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Israel Assassinates Hamas Leader, Militants Die in Apparent Gaza Bomb Blast

HeadlineJun 23, 2003

Israeli forces assassinated a top leader of Hamas, Abdullah Kawasme on Saturday. Israeli Prime Minister Gen. Ariel Sharon called the killing of Kawasme “successful and very important.” But the U.S. criticized the targeted killing. Secretary of State Colin Powell said “I regret we had an incident that could be an impediment to progress.”

Meanwhile the Associated Press reports that Sharon told his cabinet yesterday that Israel should quietly continue to build settlements, despite Israel’s acceptance of a U.S.-backed peace plan that requires a construction freeze.

In other news from the area, four members of the Palestinian group al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades died in an explosion last night in northern Gaza. Palestinian sources said the men were planting a land mine when an Israeli tank fired a missile at them. Israeli sources say the Palestinian’s landmine exploded prematurely.

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