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President condemns Israeli attack that killed Hamas leader and 14 others
Associated Press / SFGate

Posted on 07/23/2002 7:59:23 AM PDT by RCW2001

SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
©2002 Associated Press

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2002/07/23/national1018EDT0556.DTL

(07-23) 07:41 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

President Bush denounced as "heavy-handed" an Israeli warplane's missile attack on a Gaza City apartment building, which killed a Hamas leader at the top of Israel's most-wanted list and at least 14 other Palestinians, including nine children.

"This heavy-handed action does not contribute to peace," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday, pointing to "the loss of innocent life."

"This message will be conveyed to Israeli authorities, and the United States regrets the loss of life," the spokesman said.

Fleischer rejected comparisons between the missile strike and American attacks in Afghanistan that have killed civilians.

"It is inaccurate to compare the two, because the United States, because of an errant bomb, a mistake in a mission, has occasionally engaged in military action that we very regrettably included losses of innocent lives," Fleischer said.

"This was a deliberate attack on the site, knowing that innocents would be lost in the consequences of the attack," he said, adding that Bush still remained a strong backer of Israel.

With his condemnation, the White House joined European and Arab nations who called the strike irresponsible and denounced the civilian deaths.

The Israeli Embassy responded to the White House criticism with a defense of the targeting of the leader of Hamas' military wing.

"Like the government of the United states, the government of Israel regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives," spokesman Mark Regev said. "However, out military action against one of the most dangerous Hamas terrorist leaders was a justified action of self-defense."

Palestinians vowed revenge as they dug through wreckage from the strike, which obliterated a three-story building and destroyed or badly damaged several adjacent ones.

The attack killed Salah Shehadeh, 48, a founder and the top commander of Hamas' military wing, known as Izzadine el-Qassam, the group said. The group has carried out scores of attacks, including more suicide bombings than any other Palestinian faction in the current Mideast conflict.

"This operation was in my view one of our biggest successes," Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Cabinet ministers. "We hit perhaps the most senior Hamas figure on the operational side," Sharon said of Shehadeh, who was jailed first by Israel, and then by the Palestinians, from 1988 to 1999.

But by firing a powerful missile into a densely packed neighborhood in the middle of the night, civilian casualties were a certainty, Palestinians said.

©2002 Associated Press  


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; Israel
KEYWORDS:
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1 posted on 07/23/2002 7:59:23 AM PDT by RCW2001
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To: RCW2001
Well sorry, Dubya and Ari, I wouldn't call the loss of a Hamas leader the loss of an innocent. Gonna have to disagree with the admin on this one. But I get the feeling it's more public posturing while behind the scenes they are clapping.
2 posted on 07/23/2002 8:00:39 AM PDT by rintense
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To: rintense
Note to Palestinians:

If you are living in an apartment building with a Hamas leader, I would highly suggest that you move ASAP!

3 posted on 07/23/2002 8:04:35 AM PDT by Hunble
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To: rintense
Your wrong on this one. This was chacking a walnut with a steamroller - you certainly crack the nut, you just don't like the consequences. This gives the PLO too many dead children to parade in front of the cameras. Israel looses in Europe and the US with this move.
4 posted on 07/23/2002 8:05:41 AM PDT by DSHambone
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To: Hunble
Hehehe! It's funny too- they want to be martyrs when it's on THEIR terms. But when they get blown up by the Israelis, it's just wrong. Fools.
5 posted on 07/23/2002 8:05:53 AM PDT by rintense
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To: rintense
Quite frankly, Bush really ought to stop pandering to those murderous heathens! The Israelis are engaged in a war. War is no respector of innocence! And it is idiotic to presume otherwise! I think that the Israelis did a great job! I think that the Israeli Intelligence and Military ought to be commended for their accuracy and effectiveness!
6 posted on 07/23/2002 8:08:11 AM PDT by old school
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To: RCW2001
So are we back to the position that Osama's still alive? I mean, if it's wrong for Israel to kill its terrorists isn't it wrong for us to kill ours?

Sigh. Bush must have heard a hint of a rumor of a story that someone, somewhere, is unhappy with Israel for this.

Well, he can't help it. He's a Republican.

7 posted on 07/23/2002 8:09:52 AM PDT by Grut
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To: RCW2001
I remember him condemning the Specter Gunship that fired on terrorists amidst a wedding party? I remember him condemning all operations in Afghanistan in which their was collateral civilian damage.

Pres. Bush, I voted for you, I donated to you....but I will not oppose God regarding His clear guidance about Israel.

8 posted on 07/23/2002 8:10:32 AM PDT by xzins
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To: DSHambone
Israel is already lost in Europe. And it would take more than this to shake the US support. What about the 'innocent' lives that were taken by homicide bombers? Surely you aren't suggesting that when Israel accidentally kills innocents it's worse than homicide bombers purposely taking the lives of children?
9 posted on 07/23/2002 8:10:34 AM PDT by rintense
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To: RCW2001
Tough crap W and Ari, shut your pieholes.

At least the Israelis have the stones to do what needs to be done. Unlike us.

10 posted on 07/23/2002 8:11:19 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: RCW2001
This is Bullsh*t!
11 posted on 07/23/2002 8:11:33 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: RCW2001
**Bush still remained a strong backer of Israel.

His tut-tut is just a sop to the Arabs. He knows they plant killers among the innocent as a matter of course.

12 posted on 07/23/2002 8:11:43 AM PDT by vance
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To: old school
The President should know by now that he doesn't have to comment on every single thing that happens in the world. "Better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." This is one of those instances for our president.
13 posted on 07/23/2002 8:12:24 AM PDT by thegreatbeast
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: zhabotinsky
'skind of like Bill Clinton; Apologist in Chief.
15 posted on 07/23/2002 8:15:32 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: DSHambone
This gives the PLO too many dead children to parade in front of the cameras.

I'm skeptical whenever the PA puts on a dead baby show. How do we know they haven't been saving up all the dead babies who died of disease, SIDS, left too long in the hot car, etc. for special events just like this one?

17 posted on 07/23/2002 8:17:00 AM PDT by Alouette
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To: rintense
All war is politics - and this was a very poor political move. When the civilian casualities out number the military casualities in an operation you have a very bad political equation.

If the intent of Israeli operations were kill all of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PLO etc. and damn World opinion - then small tactical nukes would be an answer. However, that is not their aim, for they recognize that they must still operate in the world after peace breaks out or hostilies subside. Therefore, "Heavy Handed" moves like last night are not helpful in the long-term politicial goals arena.

18 posted on 07/23/2002 8:18:56 AM PDT by DSHambone
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NOTE TO ALL:

Bush has to condemn this publicly due to the death of children. However, if you don't think we are making high-level calls to Israel congatulating them on killing a very high level Hamas leader, you don't jack.

19 posted on 07/23/2002 8:21:26 AM PDT by willgetsome
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To: everyone
A 6 month old baby was killed in the raid on the bus a week or so ago. War is hell. Quit blowing yourselves up, and this kind of thing might not happen. You have to treat these savages as what they are, savage murdering evil bastards. At least the dead innocent children will have a chance in the afterlife since they died innocent, and not as a homicide bomber.
20 posted on 07/23/2002 8:22:25 AM PDT by RolandBurnam
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To: DSHambone
At this point, I don't think Israel gives a crap what the world thinks. They have been given so little support already.
21 posted on 07/23/2002 8:22:59 AM PDT by rintense
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To: RCW2001
Notice how shaken the Israeli's are at this criticism......they continued their hunt and got a few more terrorists today............GO ISRAEL GO
22 posted on 07/23/2002 8:23:17 AM PDT by OldFriend
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To: willgetsome
Exactly my point.
23 posted on 07/23/2002 8:23:24 AM PDT by rintense
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To: xzins
While Bush gives the standard line to the media about preventing the death of children and condeming Israel for a "heavy-handed" attack, Israel will still get our support and behind closed doors we congratulate them for killing the Hamas leader.
24 posted on 07/23/2002 8:25:01 AM PDT by willgetsome
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To: RCW2001
"Like the government of the United states, the government of Israel regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives,"

Unlike the Palestinians who only regret the loss of more potential Hamas-cide bombers.

The President has to say this, but I'd bet he'd rather high five the Israelis...

25 posted on 07/23/2002 8:27:48 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands
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To: KenPhil
I see you missed the entire first part of the post. And I see you don't understand the construct of the 2nd part.
26 posted on 07/23/2002 8:28:04 AM PDT by xzins
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To: rintense
Come on !!! There is a total agreement between isreal and america that we must stand up and denounce this.... however you KNOW bush is thinking.... HO HO HO .... nice shootin' Tex. ( A la Ghost busters) Remember PLO only want collateral damage. We will not be leveling sanctions of any kind. I wouldn't doubt we provided technical assistance for this hit. IT WAS A BIGGIE.
27 posted on 07/23/2002 8:28:11 AM PDT by Walkingfeather
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To: RolandBurnam
We and Israel don't need to lower ourselves to the level of the PLO. When we do, we lose all moral authority and our cries of outrage when American or Israeli children die are unjustified.

I think there were several other ways to "wack" this Hamas leader without stirring up so much bad PR.

28 posted on 07/23/2002 8:29:24 AM PDT by willgetsome
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To: willgetsome; Corin Stormhands
If we're going to congratulate the Israelis behind closed doors, why can't we find a middle ground between that and condemnation in our PUBLIC statements?

Why can't we just "regret" the loss of civilian lives?

29 posted on 07/23/2002 8:30:47 AM PDT by xzins
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To: RCW2001
Bush better wake up and smell the coffee.
30 posted on 07/23/2002 8:31:37 AM PDT by cynicom
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To: thegreatbeast
what he needs to comment on is the connection to The Clinton Treasury and the downfall of the stock Market, you know Rubin and his crimes. That is what this President needs to start commenting on. No one else will!
31 posted on 07/23/2002 8:33:06 AM PDT by TLBSHOW
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To: cynicom
We had no problem going after Al Queada in Afghanistan, during which we killed the family of Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
32 posted on 07/23/2002 8:33:48 AM PDT by vance
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To: DSHambone
Now target the funeral procession.

Message to the alleged Palestinian innocents: "Don't moon the machine gun - Terrorists are pariahs."

33 posted on 07/23/2002 8:34:24 AM PDT by Theophilus
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To: xzins
You are soooo right.
34 posted on 07/23/2002 8:35:44 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: vance
His tut-tut is just a sop to the Arabs. He knows they plant killers among the innocent as a matter of course.

He could have just stated that he regretted the loss of innocent lives. He condemned it. IMHO, hipocrisy is involved here. I think highly of Bush, but double-speak will not get us on the road to peace, either.

35 posted on 07/23/2002 8:37:54 AM PDT by dubyagee
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To: RCW2001
"Like the government of the United States, the government of Israel regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives," spokesman Mark Regev said. "However, out military action against one of the most dangerous Hamas terrorist leaders was a justified action of self-defense.".... The attack killed Salah Shehadeh, 48, a founder and the top commander of Hamas' military wing, known as Izzadine el-Qassam, the group said. The group has carried out scores of attacks, including more suicide bombings than any other Palestinian faction in the current Mideast conflict."

Gotta agree with the Israelis on this one...wonder how many Israeli children's lives were saved by eliminating this inhuman cretin?!

Sorry to hear about the nine (9) innocent young lives that were lost, though...MUD

36 posted on 07/23/2002 8:39:30 AM PDT by Mudboy Slim
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To: rintense
You guys are amazingly sick. If Israel blew up a children's hospital to kill one terrorist, you would cheer. You Israeli sycophants get greasier every day.
37 posted on 07/23/2002 8:41:17 AM PDT by Northpaw
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To: DSHambone
If dragging dead children in front of the cameras impresses the media then Israel has a great deal to impress. But really, we know it's only dead Palestinian children who impress. Jews have no value in the media or the EU.
38 posted on 07/23/2002 8:41:37 AM PDT by Robear
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To: KenPhil
"...we all kneel before every Sunday."

God gives us free will. And mankind is composed of individuals who make choices. Blanket condemnation is easy, isn't it?

39 posted on 07/23/2002 8:44:42 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: willgetsome
I think there were several other ways to "wack" this Hamas leader without stirring up so much bad PR.

Such as?

40 posted on 07/23/2002 8:45:57 AM PDT by anapikoros
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To: rintense
I concur. There were no innocents lost in the attack.
41 posted on 07/23/2002 8:47:57 AM PDT by bert
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To: KenPhil
Your comment in #16 is blasphemous and a discredit to this forum. Take your vileness to your coven meeting, not here.

Leni

42 posted on 07/23/2002 8:49:04 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: willgetsome
Why should the U.S. or Israel give a *uck what the press thinks. You don't run a war assuaging the press. How on Earth would we have won WWII if we cared about the press' opinion how it was being fought. This is ridiculous. Remove the press from any war zones. That the U.S. or Israel won't be committng atrocities is a given IMHO. Look at how Islam views life, compared to the U.S. and Israel. Reality check.
43 posted on 07/23/2002 8:50:14 AM PDT by Robear
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To: DSHambone
Your wrong on this one. This was chacking a walnut with a steamroller

Oh, Gee, Dubya, want us to do it your way? Lend us a daisy cutter and we will make a 1200 YARD diameter circle in the middle of the city full of gravel.

(What a hypocrite...)

44 posted on 07/23/2002 8:51:02 AM PDT by American in Israel
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To: MinuteGal
He created the darkness and the light. Who else is ultimately responsible.
45 posted on 07/23/2002 8:52:22 AM PDT by Robear
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To: RCW2001
"This heavy-handed action does not contribute to peace," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday, pointing to "the loss of innocent life."

Sometimes, Ari, 'tis better to keep yer mouth shut and look the other way...

While I mourn for the children and other innocents lost, I have to keep thinking about the fact that these are people who would rather see all of us dead - witness 9/11.

46 posted on 07/23/2002 8:52:30 AM PDT by mhking
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To: anapikoros
Rifle? Poison? Booby-trap? Raid?
47 posted on 07/23/2002 8:52:39 AM PDT by willgetsome
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To: rintense
Hehehe! It's funny too- they want to be martyrs when it's on THEIR terms. But when they get blown up by the Israelis, it's just wrong. Fools. Exactly, it amazes me that Palestinians can kill, anyone, yet when Israel defends her people, it is the absolute worse thing that can happen. Palestinians are simply a few bricks short of a load or their elevators don't go to the top.
48 posted on 07/23/2002 8:54:24 AM PDT by mel
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To: Robear
He also gave us free choice. We have chosen to fight evil.

Leni

49 posted on 07/23/2002 8:55:43 AM PDT by MinuteGal
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To: old school
Quite frankly, Bush really ought to stop pandering to those murderous heathens! The Israelis are engaged in a war. War is no respector of innocence! And it is idiotic to presume otherwise! I think that the Israelis did a great job! I think that the Israeli Intelligence and Military ought to be commended for their accuracy and effectiveness!

Hear! Hear! (or maybe: Read! Read! in this case.)

ML/NJ

50 posted on 07/23/2002 8:55:53 AM PDT by ml/nj
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