France condemns Israel for Rantissi killing

19th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 18 (AFP) - France and Germany on Sunday criticised Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Abdelaziz Rantissi and said that the European Union viewed such murders as a violation of international law.

PARIS, April 18 (AFP) - France and Germany on Sunday criticised Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Abdelaziz Rantissi and said that the European Union viewed such murders as a violation of international law.

"France condemns the attack perpetrated against the head of Hamas, Abdelaziz al-Rantassi, which caused his death," a statement issued by the French foreign ministry said.

"It states once again that extra-judicial executions are contrary to international law and unacceptable. Each state in the (Middle East) region has the right to protect its citizens, but not with contempt of the law," it said.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who was in Paris to meet the UN envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, said: "Germany, like the European Union, has always rejected targeted killings.

"We consider that these means should not be employed, and the events on the ground fill us with great concern," he told journalists.

The Israeli military killed Rantissi in an air strike on his car in Gaza City late Saturday.

The operation came less than a month after Israel assassinated Sheikh Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, also in an air strike in Gaza.

Israel views Hamas, a hardline Palestinian Islamic movement, as a "terrorist" group responsible for dozens of suicide attacks.

The killing provoked demonstrations in several Arab countries, with some of the anger being directed at the United States, which has approved a unilateral Israeli plan to pull back from parts of Palestinian territory and put up a security barrier to keep Palestinians out.


© AFP                                                   

                                                         Subject: French news

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