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ARAB-US RELATIONS - Feb. 7 - Yassin Urges Muslims To Retaliate.

In an open letter, Hamas spiritual leader Shaikh Ahmad Yassin instructs Muslims worldwide to retaliate against "Western interests" if the US makes war on Iraq. He writes: "Muslims should threaten Western interests and strike them everywhere". Calling an attack on Iraq part of "a crusader's war" against Islam by "the envious West and the US first among them", Yassin urges, "As they fight us, we have to fight them". He also calls for a boycott of products from the US and its allies. (Yassin has made similar comments in the past, during rallies against a war on Iraq. The letter comes as Hamas is already flexing its muscles within Palestinian society, increasing longstanding tension with Arafat and his Fatah faction, which is less religious than Hamas, whose leaders are also widely viewed as less corrupt than senior Fatah officials. Hamas, which is on the Bush administration's list of terrorist organisations, recently rejected an effort supported by Fatah leaders and Egypt to unilaterally declare a limited ceasefire in the conflict with Israel). In his letter, Yassin repeats his intention to destroy "this cancer that is called Israel".
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Title Annotation:Shaikh Ahmad Yassin
Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:70MID
Date:Feb 8, 2003
Previous Article:ARAB-US RELATIONS - Feb. 4 - US Trade Policy 'Isolates Muslim States'.
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