Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a longtime prominent figure in Hamas, was killed in an Israeli operation on April 17, 2004. Rantisi was named leader of the terrorist organization on March 23, 2004, following the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
The Gaza-based Rantisi was known to be a key organizer of terrorist attacks policy for Hamas. A pediatrician who speaks fluent English, Rantisi regularly served as Hamas' spokesman to foreign journalists.
Rantisi was no moderate. His statements, interviews and sermons were filled with incendiary threats of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and leaders and calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and the murder of all its citizens. Rantisi was thrown in jail a number of times by the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, but his prison stays were short.
Abdel Aziz Rantisi in his own words:
"By God, we will not leave one Jew in Palestine. We will fight them with all the strength we have. This is our land, not the Jews."
From his hospital bed on June 10, 2003. Rantisi suffered light shrapnel wounds following an Israeli missile strike on his car in Gaza City.
On Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: "A liar, terrorist, Nazi, with G-d's help Hamas will strike all of Israel a blow and will kill both Sharon the cur and his friend Peres."
About Suicide Bombers: "I congratulate them. They will teach the Jewish mothers in Haifa, Tel Aviv and everywhere that our blood is not cheap.
On the borders of Palestine: "There is no difference between Akko, Haifa, Gaza, Jaffa or Nablus. The Palestinian Intifada will continue until the last Zionist is banished."
On the Road Map peace proposal: "This is a Zionist conspiracy against the Palestinian people. Our armed resistance will not stop. On the contrary, Hamas will reach deep into the cities of Israel."
About terrorism: "This is the answer to the Zionist terrorism, in the future we will multiply the suicide bombing attacks and we will carry out operations that will shock the Jews."
On the explosion of Space Shuttle Columbia: "... The explosion of the shuttle Columbia is, it is reasonable to assume, part of the divine punishment of America and, together with it, Zionism - because of their massacres of Muslims, the destruction of their lives, the humiliation of their honor, and their desire to globalize corruption..." - Hamas Web site, 2/2/03.
(Source: Yediot Ahronot, Jerusalem Post and MEMRI).