April 18, 2004 by

Abdel Aziz Rantisi


Categories: Criminals, Medicine

arantisi.jpgDr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the interim leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas, was assassinated on April 17. He was 56.
Less than a month after Israeli forces killed top Hamas official, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a missile strike was launched against his successor. Rantisi’s car was about a block from his Gaza City home when two Israeli helicopters opened fire. Rantisi died from massive head wounds. Two of his bodyguards were killed and five pedestrians were also wounded.
Rantisi was born in the town of Yebna, just south of Tel Aviv. His family fled to the Gaza Strip in 1948 when the establishment of the state of Israel sparked the first Arab-Israeli war. He grew up in a refugee camp and attended American schools in Khan Younis, where he learned to speak fluent English.
After graduating from a medical school in Alexandria, Egypt, and earning a master’s degree in infants’ therapy, Rantisi became a physician at Nasser Hospital. He taught at the Islamic University of Gaza, and was a member of the Gaza Islamic society Al Mujama’a, the Arab Doctors Association and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
In 1987, Rantisi helped found Hamas as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas, which provides education and health care to impoverished Palestinians, is also responsible for scores of suicide bombings and other deadly attacks on Israelis. The militant group rejects the existence of Israel and seeks to establish an Islamic state in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. Known as a vocal hardliner, Rantisi was deported to Lebanon in 1992. Upon his return in 1993, he was locked up for four years in an Israeli jail. Palestinian Authority security forces also incarcerated Rantisi for 21 months.
Israel decided to kill Rantisi after he rejected the U.S.-backed road map to peace. Last June, an assassination attempt failed when an Israeli helicopter fired a missile into his car. Rantisi and his teenage son were wounded; his driver and two innocent civilians died in the attack.

4 Responses to Abdel Aziz Rantisi

  1. man bellefontaine

    assasinated? is that how it will be described when we kill bin laden?
    hardliner? what a term. how about fascist, racist, mass murderer?
    are you nervous yet, yassir ara’fascist?

  2. J. Walker

    Assassinate – To murder (a prominent person) by surprise attack, as for political reasons. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)
    If bin Laden is killed in the same way, “assassinated” will be the correct terminology for his death.

  3. p millerman

    A “hardliner”? More like a vicious, uncompromising mass murderer. There was no “negotiating” for “peace” with Rantisi. He called for the murder of Jewish people, and the annihilation of Israel, period.
    Hard to get too upset over this one…

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