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July 26, 2002


Americans For a Safe Israel/AFSI believes that the brilliant pinpoint attack on Sheik Salah Shehada, terrorist leader of Hamas and organizer of more than half the suicide bombings that have been launched against Israel, claiming hundreds of Israeli lives, and wounding thousands, should be applauded throughout the world, rather than condemned. By killing this mastermind of terrorism, the worldwide terrorist network has been damaged, making life safer for innocent people everywhere. Herbert Zweibon, Chairman of AFSI, states, "The Israeli government is wrong to apologize for the unfortunate collateral killings that took place during the operation against Shehada. During war time, the way to save innocent civilian lives is not through apology and appeasement. Such action will only confirm that terrorists are right in surrounding themselves with "innocents", as they've always done, to win world sympathy . Instead of encouraging this tactic, Israel, the U.S., the EU and the UN should stand by the Fourth Geneva Convention which holds that 'The presence of a protected person (civilians) may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.' In this particular case, Shehada and Hamas bear the direct burden of responsibility for loss of life and property.

Zweibon continues, "It was less than a year ago that thousands of innocent civilians were shockingly murdered and maimed in the Bin Laden organized attack on the World Trade Center. President Bush declared war on terrorists and those who harbor them. The U.S. went after Bin Laden and is still tracking him. Sheik Salah Shehada, head of the Hamas military wing Izz a-Din el-Kassam, was just another Bin Laden. He was directly responsible for the bloody bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, the double suicide bombing in Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda market, and the attack in Atzmona. Under his command, commuter buses were blown up in Jerusalem, Hadera, Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Haifa. The Park Hotel in Netanya was bombed during the Passover seder, the Dolphinarium disco in Tel Aviv was attacked and three suicide bombings took place on the BenYehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem. There were countless other attacks going back to Feb. 18, 1989 which murdered and maimed hundreds and thousands of Israelis, Americans, and people of other nationalities, all innocent civilians. All of this was aided and abetted by Arafat and his PLO."

"It must be understood," AFSI's Chairman concludes, "that there is no difference among Hamas, the PFLP, Fatah, DFLP, PLO, Hizballah, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood and Al Queda. They are all part of the same network whose ultimate goal is militant Islamic takeover of the western world. Apologies for eliminating any of the terror masterminds and their networks simply feed their appetites for more blood. Appeasement, in terms of turning over millions of dollars of frozen PA tax funds is misguided. That money should be given as compensation to the victims of their heinous acts. Easing border restrictions, IDF pullouts from PA areas, and dangling the promise of a PA state in the future are all dangerous actions that will encourage rather than discourage terrorism. We applaud the Israeli action and wish them more such successful strikes. Let the terrorists take care of safeguarding their people."

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