Socialist International denounces the assassination of Hamas' spiritual leader

22 March 2004

The Socialist International, the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist, and labour parties has learned with consternation of the assassination of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin this morning by a decision of the Israeli government, further deepening the spiral of violence in the Middle East.

The Socialist International has on earlier occasions denounced the policy of assassination and physical elimination of political and other Palestinian leaders carried out by the Israeli government, as it has strongly denounced and condemned all forms of terror against Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.

There will be no solution, nor peace, until dialogue and negotiation become the only way forward to resolve the Middle East conflict.

The Socialist International will continue to work for the implementation of every initiative for peace in the Middle East. Today, the Chair of the SI Middle East Committee Thorbjørn Jagland, SI Vice-President Massimo D’Alema and SI Secretary General Luis Ayala, are on their way to the region on behalf of the International to discuss with Israeli and Palestinian leaders the worsening current situation and to convey the International’s strong support and aspiration for finding a way to overcome violence and build a common future of peace for both Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.