Most Americans Say Israel Was Justified in Killing Hamas Leader, Poll Says

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

( - A new survey says most Americans feel Israel was justified in assassinating Hamas leader Sheik Yassin.

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, between March 22-23, showed 66 percent of Americans knew about Israel's targeted killing of Yassin within 24 hours of the attack, and by March 23\super rd\nosupersub , 69 percent of Americans had heard something about it.

Those who knew were very supportive of Israel's actions, with 61 percent of respondents saying Israel was justified in killing Yassin, the leader of the terrorist organization Hamas.

Most of those surveyed (74 percent) also rejected the statement: "Even though Sheik Yassin headed the Hamas terror organization, as a Moslem spiritual leader who was partially blind and wheelchair bound, Sheik Yassin should have had immunity from attack by the Israelis."

"This poll clearly shows that Americans understand that while the photos of Hamas terrorist leader Yassin showed a smiling and bearded old man, this guy was not Santa Clause on parade. He did not bring tows to children - he brought death, said Laszlo Mizrahi, founder and president of The Israel Project, in a statement.

"Despite the image his PR team put forward, the Hamas leader didn't make dreams come true - he ended them. He didn't put toys under trees for children who were good - he gave cash and prize to parents who encouraged their children to join a cult of death by becoming homicide bombers. Yassin was to Israel what Bin Laden is to America," he said.

"Israel wants peace and is willing to make painful sacrifices for peace. It made peace with Egypt and Jordan. But peace means that Israelis need to be able to live in security - free of terrorist attacks on buses, in discos, pizza parlors and markets," said Mizrahi.

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