RealNews

Two Hard-Liners Chosen To Succeed Hamas Leader

Assassinated Sheik’s Heirs Vow to Strike Israel ‘Everywhere’. Two firebrand Hamas political leaders claimed the Palestinian organization’s top posts Tuesday, a day after its spiritual leader and one of its founders, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, was killed in an Israeli missile strike here. The two men, Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Khaled Meshal, are known for their frequent threats and verbal assaults against Israel. Both are considered to be aligned with the more extremist factions of the group, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, which has launched numerous suicide bombings and other attacks against Israelis in the past 31/2 years and is listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization. Rantisi, in an interview Tuesday night and in appearances before reporters and a large crowd of Hamas supporters at a soccer stadium here, said that under Hamas rules, he would ascend from serving as Yassin’s deputy to the leadership of the group in the Gaza Strip. Meshal, who is based in Damascus, the capital of Syria, would become “the first head” and world leader of Hamas, Rantisi said. Full Story

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