Assassination of Israeli Minister causes fury in Tel Aviv

One day after General Sharon admitted that he accepted a Palestine state, the leader of one of Israel’s far-right political parties was shot dead. The immediate reaction from Tel Aviv is that “things will change," but there is hidden intrigue behind the scenes.

The Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Zeevi, was gunned down in the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem this morning (12.00 MSK) by unknown activists. He later died in a hospital. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has accused the Palestine National Authority and declared that “things will be different from now on."

The frontiers between Israel and the areas under the control of the Palestinians have been closed, and the Israeli foreign minister, Shimon Peres, has warned the Palestinian Authority to adopt stricter anti-terrorist measures.

The People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine has claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming that it was in reply to the assassination of the Palestinian activist Abu Ali Mustafa, killed last August in an air raid on Ramallah, Cisjordan. The assassins probably came from Ramallah, because they were seen fleeing in that direction after the attack. The Hyatt is in near this quarter in eastern Jerusalem.

Seventy-five-year-old Zeevi was the leader of the Israeli right-wing political block National Union, and Israel Beiteinu and was due to withdraw the presence of his block in the fragile coalition in power in the Knesset. This decision was due to become official later today (15.30 MSK).


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