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Last Updated: Monday, 22 March, 2004, 12:22 GMT
Full text: Hamas vows revenge
The military wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas, the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, has issued a statement promising to avenge the death of its founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. It says Israel would not have carried out the killing without US approval and threatens retaliation. Here is a translation of the statement:

O Murderous Zionists, you have bestowed martyrdom upon our Sheikh, and we will bestow violent death upon you on every city and every street.

O masses of our Mujaheed and Islamic people, the sons of our Palestinian people:

The terrorist Zionist Nazis have targeted our founding leader His Eminence the Mujahid Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, after performing morning prayers at the Islamic Complex [Al-Mujamma al-Islami] Mosque.

What the Zionists have committed today illustrates the pinnacle of breakdown and failure.

By directing their rancorous rockets at the chair of the disabled Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, they thought they had killed him.

The Zionists did not know that millions of Muslims will go out to "visit with destruction all that fell into their power" [part of Koranic verse].

Today, Ahmed Yassin will come out from every city, street, and alley to grant them violent death, after they have granted him martyrdom, which total paralysis did not prevent him from seeking.

Today, the criminal [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon has issued a death sentence for hundreds of Israelis on every street and every inch of land occupied by the Zionists.

We vow Sheikh Abu Muhammad [Ahmed Yassin] to continue our march, and pursue Zionists everywhere they hide.

Abu Muhammad, your martyrdom-seeking sons will inform you of their retaliation soon.

So rest in peace our leader, teacher, sheikh, instructor, icon, our joy, and our dearest.

O Sheikh, Palestine and the Islamic nation will not miss you because you have planted strong righteous men in every house and every street. They have carried your thought and marched on your path.

While announcing to the entire world the death of the founder of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and the guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in Palestine, His Eminence Leader Sheikh Ahmed Isma'il Yassin, also known as Abu-Muhammad, and his companions, Ezzedin al-Qassam Martyrs, stresses the following:

1. He who made the decision to assassinate Sheikh Ahmed Yassin has made a decision to kill hundreds of Zionists.

2. The Zionists did not take such a step without the approval of the terrorist US administration. Therefore, it should bear responsibility for this crime.

3. The Zionists will soon see, not hear, our response, God willing.

4. The response to the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin will not be made on the level of all the Palestinian people's mujahideen factions only, but all Muslims in the entire Muslim world will have the honor to respond to this crime.

They ask you when will that be, say: Maybe it will be quite soon [Koranic verse].

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