France condemns Israeli killing of Hamas leader

22nd March 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, March 22 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin Monday condemned Israel's killing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a setback for the Middle East peace process.

BRUSSELS, March 22 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin Monday condemned Israel's killing of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as a setback for the Middle East peace process.

"At a time when it is so important to mobilise ourselves to advance the peace process, such acts can only feed the spiral of violence," he told reporters on arrival at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels.

The 67-year-old wheelchair-bound cleric was killed early Monday in an Israeli helicopter strike in Gaza City, prompting the radical Islamist movement he founded to declare all-out war on the Jewish state.

In Paris, foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said Israel's assassination of prominent militants was illegal in international law.

"France condemns the action taken against Sheikh Yassin, just as it has always condemned the principle of any extra-judicial execution as contrary to international law," he said.

"The attack bears a serious risk of increasing tensions in the whole of the region."

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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