IOF Statement: Abdel Aziz Rantisi Killed
Leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, killed during a security forces operation in the northern Gaza Strip
This evening, in a security forces operation in the Northern Gaza Strip, the IDF targeted a car carrying the leader of Hamas, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who is directly responsible for the killing of scores of Israelis in numerous terror attacks.
Major terrorist Rantisi was the instigator of many attacks in Israel
of the founders of Hamas in the Gaza strip, was responsible
for the Hamas terror policy and promoted the carrying out of
deadly terror attacks.
Rantisi, 56, was recently chosen to head the Hamas organization, replacing Ahmed Yassin. Rantisi took part in establishing the terrorist policy of the organization and also served as its main spokesperson. He played a key and active role in inciting to carry out terror attacks.
Rantisi was one of the six founders of the Hamas in September 1987, along with Ahmed Yassin. He first served as head of the Hamas in Khan Yunis and was among the senior leadership of the Hamas during the first Palestinian 'Intifada'. He was jailed between 1988-1990 and following his release returned to activity in the Hamas. He was briefly Jailed in 1991.
Rantisi, originally from Khan Yunis, was by profession a doctor and a lecturer at the Islamic University. With the start of the violence in Sep' 2000 he moved to the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza.
In December 1992, he was expelled to Lebanon where he served as a spokesperson for the expelled group. In December 1993 he was arrested again after being named by other Hamas members as a contact for the terrorist network and for coordinating the appointment of operatives for various positions in the organization. For these activities he was jailed until April 1997.
Following his release from Israeli jail he began to reorganize the Hamas leadership in the Gaza strip. He expressed extremist positions and enjoyed the support of the extremist members of the terrorist apparatus and of the Hamas leadership abroad, based in Syria. He tried to replace the old leadership of Hamas, which was active between 1995-1997 in Gaza because he felt they were too moderate. In elections held may 1997, a new leadership of 30 activists was elected. Rantisi, with the encouragement of the Hamas abroad, represented this group and was appointed spokesperson for the Hamas in Gaza.
Between 1997-2000 Rantisi was jailed periodically by the Palestinian Authority, but was able to continue to act within the Hamas and worked to strengthen his position within the Hamas organization and specifically within the leadership.
Since the outbreak of violence in September 2000, Rantisi solidified his position within the Hamas leadership. His role included:
Rantisi publicly called, at every possible opportunity, to continue armed attacks and specifically to increase the suicide attacks and attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers. These public calls were taken as operational directive of the Hamas leadership.
Rantisi was officially named as the replacement of Ahmed Yassin.
The following are statements by Rantisi (source ? Hamas internet site, 26th January 2004).
There will be concession of one inch of Palestine, because it is Islamic Land.
There will be no recognition of what is called "the State of Israel".
Any solution which includes recognizing what is called "the State of Israel" or concession on one inch of historic Palestine is unacceptable and void, and doesn't obligate us at all.
[Violent] Resistance is the only option for the restoration of our stolen rights.
In interviews on April
9, 2004 - "We say to the Muslim people of Iraqi, we are with
you in you're struggle against the American terror and
destruction, we are with you in your war in defense of
Islam. We say to the fighter and commander Mokutada A-
Sadr: Hamas stands by your side and blesses your Jihad
(holy war) and wishes you with the help of God, that you
will win and be victorious."