'The religious group Hamas is first and foremost a terrorist group,' Evgenii Satanovskii, head of the Russian Jewish Congress and president of the Institute for Israeli and Middle East Studies told a press conference Monday. As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, Satanovskii said that terrorists must be annihilated, and that 'that is the only answer terrorists understand, even if they learn it too late.' At the same time, he did not make any categorical evaluation of Israel's killing of the Hamas leader, Sheikh Yasin.
'I am one of those who feels that Sheikh Yasin should never have been allowed to become the head of Hamas,' Satanovskii said. 'He should have been in an Israeli jail.'
He recalled that in the 1990s, Yasin had been in Israeli custody, and that the cleric had been released then as part of the peace process. 'However, it seems that there will only be peace in the Middle East when not one stone is left atop another,' he said. 'Had he still been sitting in jail, Hamas would not have killed anyone at his command. The sheikh himself would still be alive.'
According to Satanovskii, 'Israel has very naively unwound the spiral of violence under a flag of the peace process, and now it will reap a bitter harvest.'