RealNews

Hamas death is new setback

ISRAEL killed a senior Hamas military commander in the Gaza Strip yesterday just as Mahmoud Abbas’s new Palestinian Government was trying to persuade the militant group to agree to a ceasefire. Ilyad al-Beik, 30, was killed when two missiles — which witnesses said were fired by army helicopter gunships — struck the car he was travelling in. He was described by Israel as a “very significant” leader in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, who had once belonged to an al-Qaeda cell. Shortly after the incident, Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, announced his readiness to reopen peace talks with Syria. “The Syrians will of course have demands on us and we will have for sure demands on them. We are ready to sit and discuss these issues,” he told Israeli television. His comments followed a visit to Syria last week by General Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, who arrives in Israel tomorrow in an effort to kickstart the Middle East peace process. Full Story

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