United Association for Studies and Research Condemns Murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin

3/23/2004

From: United Association for Studies and Research, 703-750-9011

WASHINGTON, March 23 -- The United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), a Muslim American think tank, condemns yesterday's murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine and calls upon Israel to end its policy of extra judicial murders of Palestinian people, the destruction of their homes and property and the continued illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories.

"We condemn the murder of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, and also Israel's policy of targeted assassination," says UASR Director of Public Affairs, Anisa Abd el Fattah. "It is ironic that Yassin was killed only days after releasing a statement saying that his organization was willing to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority, and other Palestinian groups in an effort to prevent anarchy should Israel withdraw from Gaza. To most political analysts, this was a signal that the Islamic Resistance Movement was preparing to perhaps moderate its activities and focus more on alleviating the suffering of the Palestinian people, rather than attacking Israel. Sheikh Yassin, contrary to what Israel says, had offered Israelis many opportunities to enter a truce, and to end the practice of targeting civilians by both sides but Israel refused these offers. Israel proved yesterday that it is not interested in peace with the Palestinian people, and that it has reserved for itself the right to kill at will, in violation of international laws, and any recognized and civilized concept of justice. Israel has continued its attempts at provocation today by issuing public statements threatening other acts of violence against Palestinians and other extra judicial killings. We believe that Israel has taken this path of escalated violence to avoid what has become the inevitable reality. Israel can no longer justify its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands beyond its 1967 borders, nor can it any longer justify its attacks on the Palestinian people, which it claims as retaliation, and the destruction of their homes and property. The United States should be the first to strongly and without reservations, condemn these acts of provocation and also Israel's criminal policy of targeted assassinations, and the United Nations Security Council should take immediate steps to ensure the security of the Palestinian people and their property, and to end the occupation. Please forward questions or comments to UASR at 703-750-9011 or by fax at 703-750-9012.









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