(CNSNews.com) - Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said the assassination of the head and founder of the terrorist group Hamas sends a message to all those responsible for terrorist attacks against Israelis - they will be punished.
Shalom called Sheikh Ahmed Yassin the "godfather of the suicide bombers" and said Israel acted alone, without consulting the U.S. "Sheik Yasim was the leader of a terrorist organization that has a very extreme ideology to destroy the state of Israel and to kill its people," Shalom said.
"Hamas, al Qaeda, Hizbollah - all of them are extreme organizations that would like to implement their ideology to fight all of those societies and countries" that value freedom, democracy and human rights, he added.
"We are doing everything we can to coordinate our future moves with the American administration, but it didn't include this action that was taken this morning in Gaza," the Israeli foreign minister said. Yassin's death was a means of self-defense, he said.
Shalom said he doesn't believe this latest attack will disrupt the peace process in the Middle East.
"It might bring all the leaders of the Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and the other extremist organizations to realize that they will pay for their crimes," Shalom said. They will pay for giving instructions to suicide bombers, he said, adding that it might make them realize that they should "abandon this extreme ideology."
Meanwhile, Palestinian militants fired homemade rockets towards an Israeli checkpoint in the Gaza Strip Monday in retaliation for Yassin's death. Earlier, Hamas had fired at the Erez crossing, but no one was reported injured.
'It's War,' Hamas Vows, After Israel Kills Leader (March 22, 2004)
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