At 11 a.m. Tuesday, Israeli Apaches fired seven rockets directed at a car in which 46 year old Dr Abdulaziz Al Rantizi, a dentist and one of the prominent political leaders of Hamas Dr. Rantisi and his son Ahmed were traveling.
This targeted killing attempt came two days after Palestinian resistant gunmen attacked Israeli soldiers at Erez checkpoint killing four soldiers and wounding four others. The three armed Palestinians were killed in an exchange of gunfire with the Israeli army. One of the armed Palestinians belonged to the military wing of Hamas, the others to the military wings of Islamic Jihad and Fatah.
Rantizi is the highest-ranking Palestinian militant to be targeted in an attempted Israeli
assassination since the killing of Abu Ali Mustafa, the ex-general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). According to Haaretz, the operation was viewed as likely to prompt intense Palestinian grass-roots anger and deadly Hamas bids for revenge.
In an immediate reaction, Hamas said that the attack was an Israeli ‘declaration of war,’ and that all cease-fire talks with the Palestinian Authority have been cancelled, so Army Radio reported.
This Israeli move came in the midst of Palestinian Prime Minster AbbasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ attempts to resume talks with Palestinian opposition groups for a ceasefire agreement. This was a necessary attempt by Abbas to calm the situation after the Erez killings and create a suitable environment to continue the ceasefire talks.
During the implementation of the road map Israel insisted on preserving its right to fight against Palestinian armed resistance groups, including the usage of targeting killings, even throughout the negotiation period and in spite of AbbasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ promises at Aqaba to end the Ã¢â‚¬Å“armed intifadaÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Palestinians armed resistance groups, in their negotiations with AbbasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s government, have also insisted on preserving their right to continue the resistance, including armed resistance, as long as the Israeli occupation continues to exist.
As long as both are turning their claimed right into active military actions, it is likely that such bullets and rockets will set an end to the road map peace plan as it did to the many other plans presented in the past.