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Dr. Ranttisi assassinated in Gaza:Eyewitnesses describe exactly how it happened
Monday, April 18, 2004


Gaza City: As soon as local people in Gaza heard the sound of an explosion within the city, many began wondering and asking questions; where? Who? How? Etc・Within minutes, news broke off that a missile fired from an Apache Helicopter attempting to assassinate Dr. Ranttisi, the newly appointed Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip. Word spread that Ranttisi was already in Shifa Hospital of Gaza receiving medical Care. Ten minutes after, Palestinian health sources at the hospital confirmed the death of Dr. Ranttisi.

The fifty six years old Pediatric doctor from Khan Younis town, south of Gaza Strip, was only nominated as the new leader of Hamas three weeks ago immediately after the assassination of the Hamas founder Ahmad Yassin.on March 22nd. of last month.

Eyewitnesses who happened to be present at the time when a missile hit a car described the last moments of Ranttisi痴 life and his two companions. ・We were sitting in front of the shop when suddenly a missile landed with huge flash and sound. We do not know which direction it came from. Luckily, our water tank truck was parked in front of us and that saved us.・Explained Samir Musabih, 35 years old owner of a distillation shop for selling drinking water. Locals said that Rantissi was in a white Subaru Car with two people; one of them was his son.

Samir continued,・ I saw the car blown away about 15 meters forward with big fire. I rushed inside my house to get the fire extinguisher and ran towards the burning car trying to put the fire down. First, I thought, there were only two people; the driver and the passenger next to him. I did not see the third passenger in the back seat. Then, my brother Halim, 31 years old, came to help with the water tanker痴 hose and he opened it full releasing much water.

Halim described how he pulled the big water hose and reached the bombed out car. He said,・as soon as I arrived to the car, I realized that there was someone stuck in the back seat. Fire was raging all over the car at this moment. Then, I shouted ,段t is Dr. Ranttisi・and everybody was shouting 組et Dr. Ranttisi out・ I pointed the hose water at him releasing so much water at him trying to put out the fire around him. I could see there was some sign of life in him. But, the fire was strong and all those in the car were suffering from the huge shock and impact of the missile.

At this moment, the crowd was getting bigger and everyone started to shout 組et Ranttisi out of the car・ One man who actually helped in pulling Ranttisi out described what exactly happened. Mr. Nahed, 52 years old man, said,・I saw him [Ranttisi] and recognized his face and his glasses.

You see, it was dark because when the missile landed on the car, it cut off the electricity line on its way. I pushed forward to pull him out of the car. I caught his shoulders and tried hard. Three other men helped me and we succeeded in getting him out and took him to the other side of the street. Then, a man from our neighborhood brought his car, a white one, and took Dr. Ranttisi to the hospital.・Mr. Nahed continued,・I looked at the other two passengers. The son of Ranttisi was already dead, his body laying down on the right side of the car. The driver was in his last breath of life. I saw him pointing his finger and uttering with difficulty the Shahada.・(This [shahada] means that the driver uttered the words ・I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet・. The fifty two years old man, Mr. Nahed, seemed sad but remarkably relaxed knowing that he was in the middle of the scene an hour before. He reflected on what happened saying,
・Luckily, very few people were on the street. May God have mercy on those who died? Ranttisi is a shaheed (Martyr).・

After Yassin痴 death, about three weeks ago, Ranttisi held a press conference in which he expected that Israel was going to assassinate him as well. Ranttisi remained defiant and challenged Israel to end occupation or else he would be happy to die for the cause. One European journalist asked Ranttisi directly, ・are you afraid of death?・Dr. Ranttisi paused for a moment and tilted his head to the right and asked back, ・Are you afraid of death?・Then, Ranttisi went on and spoke,・death is one. Whether you die by cancer or Apache? But, I prefer to die by Apache.・

Then, Dr. Ranttisi excused everyone and left the scene.

By: B. Samed
Gaza, April 18th. 2004

-->JAPANESE




Palestinian local civilians are moving Ranttisi's bombed car from the street where a missile fired from an Apachi helicopter gunship hit this residential area at Lababide Street in Gaza City.


A child is looking at the remains of the scene of the bombed car shortly after an Israeli Apachi fired a missile at Dr. Ranttisi's car. Local residents, after sending casualities to hospital, washed the area from blood and burnings.
Photo: Gaza, April, 17th, 04



"Defiance and determination to fight on"
A Palestinian youngster is showing the victory sign with hundreds like him minutes after assasination at the scene.



Voices of rage. (Gaza: April 17th. 04)
Scenes of crowds at the same street where Dr. Ranttisi was assasinated by an Israeli Apachi gunship missile.



Shouts of anti Sharon and Bush erupted everywhere in Gaza immediately after news of Ranttisi's assasination broke off. Public anger was vividly clear this time against Bush. Palestinians believe that Bush has given green light to Sharon.


Locals in this shop were the first ones to rush to the bombed car of Ranttisi for rescue as it all happened across the street. Shortly after, they stood before the TV News to hear of the latest about Ranttisi's Health just before announcement of his death.


Angry scenes at a Gaza street prompted people out into the streets, burning tires and protesting "the cowardic act of assasination by Israel". People also voiced their fury at Bush for backing Sharon's "barberic violence".


The assasinated Leader of Hamas in Gaza, Dr. Ranttisi, was speaking at one of his last appearances in a press conference on March 25th, 2004 in which he answered a question on fearing death. He said, "Death is one. Whether you die by cancer of Apachi? But, I prefer to die by Apachi."
Photo: Gaza. March 25th, 04







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