At approximately 8:25 pm Saturday April 17, 2004, Israeli helicopter gunships fired three missiles on a civilian car in Al Lababidi Street in Gaza City killing Dr.
Abdul Aziz Al Rantisi and two of his guards: 38-year-old Ahmad Al Ghura and 36-year-old Akram Nassar.
Rantisi, 57 years old, is know as one of the founders of Hamas Movement and was elected to lead the Movement in Gaza after the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin.
Al Rantisi himself was formally imprisoned several times by IOF, deported to south Lebanon and exposed to an attempt of assassination on June 10, 2003, when IOF helicopter fired missiles on his car killing four Palestinians.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights condemns Israel’s assassination crime, which follows its announced policy to proceed with extra judicial killing.
The Center warns about the consequences of such crimes which will lead to further deterioration of the human rights situation in the OPT.
Yesterday's assassination constitutes an additional war crime perpetrated by the IOF in the OPT, in breach of the 4th Geneva Convention.
It is worth asserting that such assassinations are prohibited by international law whatever the motives behind them are.
Al Mezan Center for Human Rights calls for the International Community to immediately intervene to stop Israel’s crimes and protect Palestinian civilians who are exposed to continued and systematic war crimes.
Under the 4th Geneva Convention, the International Community has a moral and legal obligation to intervene at this particular time, while indicators show the IOF intention to increase its criminal actions in the OPT.
The International community must bear in mind that its silence encourages the continuation of Israel's violations.