The Israeli government has threatened more strikes on Palestinian militant leaders, a day after it killed Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas.
Sheik Yassin was targeted as he returned from a mosque in Gaza City at daybreak. Five others were killed and some 15 wounded.
Israeli security forces are on high alert after Hamas vowed to strike back and bring death to "every city and every street".
Palestinian towns in the West Bank are sealed off and police in Jerusalem have set up checkpoints, while Israeli tanks rolled into north Gaza overnight.
Where does this leave the Middle East peace process? Are Israel's actions justified? Read your earlier comments.
You put your question to Rime Allaf, Middle East expert with the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and to Sharon Sadeh, UK correspondent for the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, in an interactive forum.
The following comments reflect the balance of the opinions we have received:
I am very sorry for the killing of Sheikh Yassin because it is unquestionable that this will create crises in the Middle East. Death will increase in the coming days, as Palestinian militants won't stop fighting until they avenge their spiritual leader's death. I think that it was a very big mistake.
Hussein Moalim, Hargeisa, Somalia
Killing brings more killings and there is no way of having peace in this way!
Hakan, Geneva, Switzerland
Is this not a cycle? A leader is killed, revenge follows, another leader gets killed - revenge sought again.
Simba Bhashu, Harare, Zimbabwe
An eye for an eye will make the world full of people without eyes! Love and kindness can and will overcome hatred. Too many of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are full of hatred. Are they so blind to see that are destroying children, women and men all over the world? Peace, Peace, Peace!
Kolawole Raheem, Finland
Meaningful dialogues should solve political problems. Incidents like this would only increase miseries and hatred in the Middle East.
Ehsan Baig, Lahore, Pakistan
Mr Yassin should have known: Violence comes back to you. One more terrorist down.
Timo Oivo, Lahti, Finland
Can't the current Israeli leadership see that this is not the way to the peace that they presumably want? However much Yassin was responsible for Palestinian terror acts, do they really think that the Palestinians are just going to lie down and accept this? We all know what's going to happen now, more suicide bombings and less security for the Israeli people.
Brian Bailey, Winterthur, Switzerland
Sadly it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate between the terrorist and the terrorised. Its time that the US government balanced their support for both factions before we find ourselves associated with just the sort of behaviour the War on Terror seeks to combat.
Chris, Denver, USA
One of the biggest problems with some of these terror groups, particularly those who attempt to gain legitimacy by separating their so-called "spiritual" leadership from their "military" leadership, is that they willingly preach violence and send off brainwashed followers to bloody death while they themselves feel inviolate. Maybe if the leaders had to bear more of the consequences personally for their poisonous policies there might finally be some real change.
Zohar Shorer, Israel
Sharon again proves to be a short-sighted war monger. This murder of an old, sick, quadriplegic national figure will only serve to open the flood gates of retaliation and blood-shed on both sides.
Oscar, Los Angeles, CA
This just shows that both sides use terrorist means to achieve whatever their aim is. The other countries should distance themselves from Israel as much as possible - especially economically, since I doubt very much Israel could play such a tough role if others were not paying for their rather pathetic economy.
Mat, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Unfortunately Israel has succumbed to the Bushist belief that you can cut the head off the beast and defeat terrorism. This will only spawn greater support for Hamas. Sharon has just condemned hundreds more of his own people to death by ordering this action.
Jeff, Loughborough, UK
Good riddance to a very evil man. This is the approach we should take to all terrorists and stop being too PC about it. This is War and in War you have to do nasty things, including assassination.
Jim, Sheffield, UK
I can't believe that the Israeli government has taken this step, I'm expecting to hear of another suicide bombing in the coming days & weeks as a retaliatory response. They have only managed to make a martyr of Sheikh Yassin and invite even more anger.
Nabeel Hamarain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
You utterly subjugate and humiliate a people and now you kill their prophets. History teaches us this is, at least, a terrible error of judgement.
J. Max Akroyd, Skipton, UK
No one has the right to bomb any one. The Israelis don't want any peace process. They are creating the violence themselves. When another bombing of their people happens, let them remember why. Nobody fights back for no purpose.
Reem Zain, Bahrain
Yassin got the kind of death he "dreamed about" propelling him to martyr status amongst his followers. Israel needs to hope the lesson is not lost on them that no one who associates himself with Hamas is immune from retaliation.
Shai, Johannesburg, South Africa
The one enduring theme in the century-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been that Palestinians have continued to fight for self-determination despite numerous setbacks like the assassinations of resistance leaders. The killing of Yassin by Israel will not stop the Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation.
In Kyu Noh, U. S. A. (South Korean)
I don't have any regrets over the death of a terrorist mastermind. Why did it take too long to Israel to kill him?
Naom Bin Mozer, Kigali
Hamas may be the only side to profit from Yassin's death... Hamas is perceived as an organization whose leaders are free of corruption and ready to make sacrifices... The more Israel hits Hamas leaders and rank-and-file members, the more their popularity climbs. This is the sober analysis of Haaretz (an Israeli newspaper) and I fully agree.
Seggey, Moscow, Russia
Israel has often taken overly aggressive action against innocent civilians, but this assassination is different. Yassin was horrible, carelessly murdering even his own people. Without him, we now have a greater chance for peace. Let us hope the world supports this chance, and not get blinded by their own political and emotional biases.
The Hamas, as a recognized terrorist organization, has been responsible for despicable terror attacks on innocent civilians in Israel. They murder innocent civilians from babies to the elderly - success to them is killing as many innocent civilians as possible. How can any decent person condone such actions? The leaders and members of such an organization are legitimate targets, and they know it. It's a pity so much innocent blood had to be spilt, and continued suffering by maimed survivors, before this despicable murderer met his due fate.
Ilan Cohen, Haifa, Israel
Without the Hamas, we would probably had a peace with the Palestinians, years ago. For our many families, the "gates of Hell" were opened in the moment their beloved were killed by Yassin's inspiration and orders. Once the terror stops, most of us will agree to give up our historical land (and not occupied land) for the value of peace.
Ketzale, Modi'in , Israel
Its amazing how much world condemnation is directed at Israel for taking out a terrorist leader who ordered the deaths of hundreds of innocent Israelis. When it's the innocent Israeli citizens who are murdered the world stays silent.
Well, I guess we just sit tight and wait for the next retaliation bombing, in which, if I'm lucky, none of my friends will die. Every time there's an assassination, there's a retaliation attack, and Sharon's an idiot for denying it.
This will only make the martyrs and freedom fighters of Palestine more determined. Let's just wait and see just how much peace this brings. Previously moderate people will now be tipped over the edge to become martyrs.
Though I am not at all a supporter of Israel but frankly I am delighted to hear of the elimination of the leader of Hamas. Israel, you earned this time my support.
S.N.A Aga, The Hague, Netherlands
My sympathies for the prospective Israeli victims and their families who will killed or maimed as retribution to this assassination. Unless the Israelis understand that peace and might are not the same I see no end to this vicious cycle of violence.
ajith kariguddaiah, Bangalore, India
Its time for Israel to show the Terrorists of the world that they mean business, and that terrorism must be eradicated from the world no matter what the risk. Ahmed Yassin was the founder and so-called spiritual leader of a documented and recognized terrorist entity. Most of us in this world understand that terrorism must not exist, no matter what the cause. Israel must brace itself for an onslaught of trouble, but they are definitely on the right track to defeating and possibly eradicating terrorism from the midst of their own land.
Jonathan A., Brooklyn N.Y.
The murder by air-to-ground missile of a wheelchair-confined man as he was leaving his place of worship brings us to a new low. Talk about cowardice! I can only pray that those who are responsible pay the ultimate price for their actions.
It is a mystifying contradiction in terms to call a man who espoused terrorism directly and openly a "spiritual" leader. Murderers, if they have any spirit at all, are from below. A "spiritual" leader of killers? If of any other religion, he would be castigated and never referred to as "spiritual".
Greg Tatsu, Lagos, Nigeria
Instead of these actions Israel would be wiser to continue building the fence. Disengagement from the Palestinians is more important than killing one fanatic or another. Israel should put up a barrier that no Palestinian will cross and end the occupation. There is no chance for peace so at least we should aim for some quiet.
Ben R., Ramat Sharon, Israel
This must be the most provocative act that the Israeli's have carried out in years. Will they never learn? This will surely give a clear signal to all who oppose them that they really are not interested in trying to live with their neighbours. If they and the US think this is the way forward to beat terrorists, then we are all in for a very long and very bloody future. It's a very sad day, and time for the politicians to think hard about what they are doing.
K Owen, Reading
Hamas is an awful terrorist group who uses Islam and the promise of martyrdom to encourage the Palestinians to become Suicide Bombers. However, Israel has just proved once again that that they are no better. Where is the UN to protect the Palestinians????
Marie A. Alkan, Bursa-Turkey
I am not happy about any killing - anywhere in the world. We live in a reality where spiritual leaders in times of economic hardship call upon young people to kill in the name of their religion. One needs to help via education and economic growth to weaken fanaticism. When a young person has nothing to lose in life, then it is very easy for those spiritual leaders to gain followers.
Where is the 'war against terrorism' now? This sort of act by a Nation State is disgusting! No matter how evil an individual may be, how can a State which claims to be an ally in the US's fight against terrorism resort to murder? Are the gunships of Bush and Blair steaming towards Tel Aviv as we speak? I doubt it!
Michael, York, UK
The sick celebratory attitude of Israel's people speaks for itself. Israel has no right to attack people like his. I am tired of this nonsense.
Mark T, Vancouver, Canada
If it had been Bin Laden we would all be cheering... What is the difference??
This man founded Hamas, a group with no interest in co-existence with Israel and responsible for inciting and facilitating terrorist actions. He who lives by the sword... Let this be a reminder to all terrorists.
Aaron Scribner, Vancouver, Canada
I don't understand earlier comments that seem to place this man as a valid political leader. Anyone who specifically targets large numbers of civilians deserves what's coming to him. It probably won't help things much, but it sends a message that just because you pay lip service to a so-called peace process, you can't get away with ordering the murders of civilians to create a bargaining chip without incurring consequences. Hopefully the next leader of Hamas who sets up a ceasefire will not be so quick to break it.
Anonymous, Ottawa, Canada
This is madness. Yassin was such a popular leader in Palestine, and even though he was a terrorist, there is no way that killing him will end the violence. If Hamas were to assassinate Ariel Sharon, Israel would call it murder. I fear a full-blown civil war could erupt if the peaceful elements on both sides do not move quickly.
Nick, London, UK
Yassin worsened the lot of my people, the Palestinians. He encouraged young men and women to their deaths. Hopefully with end of this provoceur, we Palestinians can focus our energies not on terrorism, but on the true roots of evil: inequality, education, corruption, and our economy.
Mahmoud E.Y. Asir, Detroit, USA
Mixed feelings. On the one hand, this is war and he was apparently a commander, hence a legitimate target. On the other hand. If the evidence of his involvement in specific Hamas attacks is overwhelming, why didn't the Israeli authorities simply arrest him and put him on trial?
Much has been said about fighting the root causes of terrorism. How the international community reacts to this atrocity will show whether the world's leaders have learnt anything from recent history, or whether they are content to let the spiral of violence escalate.
People on this board seem to have strong opinions from both angles regarding the death of Sheikh Yassin. The fact is, it is disgusting what BOTH sides are doing to one another and now any peace process is about as far away as it possibly could be due to the escalation of attacks.
James , Arnhem, Netherlands
Israeli state sponsored terrorism against the Palestinian people has reached a new level. Sending missiles at a wheelchair bound quadriplegic is a crime against humanity. It's about time we held Israel responsible for its crimes.
Christian Haunebu, Hannover, Germany
Hamas has killed so many innocents, without care or regard for who they are. Israel knew who this man was, and knew that he had a hand in the killings. How could their choice to take him out be anything but correct?
Jim Hughes, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
To grant any country the use of force on people that do not have an equal capacity to respond, is to continue to invite the use of force through unconventional means by the lesser of the two nations. Every act of violence in the Middle East reinforces this cycle and the only outcome will be continued misery and death. The onus is on the more powerful nation to break this cycle.
Chris, Hawaii, USA
This is indeed a justified action in the war on terror. It should have been done sooner. The peace process is a joke as long as Israel is not recognized as a sovereign nation with a right to defend itself. If the terrorists put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Israelis put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.
Caleb Wasilewski, Chicago, USA
Terrorism should not be answered with terrorism! Shame on Israel for killing an old man in wheelchair. They will definitely pay for it as neither side has interest in ending the violence. The peace process will never come to a beginning not to mention an end.
Zsofia, Vienna, Austria
I dread the inevitable escalation of carnage that will take place now. What did the Israeli government hope to achieve with this assassination? When all is said and done, innocent people will be dead.
Niall McIlroy, Perth, Australia
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was a leader of Hamas, a terrorist group whom have killed many Israeli civilians in cold blood. He put himself in the firing line and this was to be expected.
Dan F, Barnsley, UK
Israel can justify it's killing of Yassin more convincingly than he could have justified the tactic of suicide bombings aimed at Israeli civilians, but this is beside the fact that Israel has always had the whip hand in relation to the Palestinians, and that Palestinian terror is a nasty but predictable result of injustice. My hope in the longer term is for a re-evaluation of the Israeli national mission. Meanwhile continual conflict seems assured.
Geoffrey Burnet, New Zealand
Israel was never going to make peace with this man. This may make things easier for the Palestinian security forces to take the initial steps for the roadmap to work, that is dismantling the terrorist infrastructure.
All civilized peoples should rejoice that the State of Israel finally found the courage to wipe out this wicked scourge. May we find the courage to increase the pace of the executions.
Uri DeYoung, Gush Qatif
I haven't noticed the US condemn this act of terrorism. Will this be discussed today with other terrorist acts such as in Madrid? Or is it one rule for us and one for them?
Christopher, London, UK
Assassinations of leaders such as Sheikh Ahmed Yassin serve only one cause: the creation of "Martyrs" that result in extreme reactions from humiliated followers. They cause the widening of the gap between the Arab people and the rest of the world. I believe the best way to silence extremists, is by giving more power to the liberal voices in that country, and prove the extremists useless and dangerous to their people! I believe Sharon is causing more problems than the ones he is solving, for his people, and for the rest of the world!
George J. Zeritis, Athens, Greece
Yassin was Israel's Osama Bin Laden. He didn't want peace talks, didn't want to negotiate. He wanted the whole of Israel and stood at the head of terrorism in Israel, responsible for hundreds of innocent Israeli citizens blown up in buses and restaurants.
Eva, Antwerp, Belgium
Sharon complains there are no Palestinians with whom he can negotiate. Now we understand why. Those leaders who have the support of the Palestinian people are either locked up on trumped up charges of murder like Marwan Barghouti or simply butchered in the streets like Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. These and other blatant acts of Israeli state terrorism must not go unpunished.
Nicholas Ferriman, Bangkok
Someone who preached death and hatred is now dead. The terrorist atrocities for which he was responsible stopped any chance for peace. I am not sad at his death.
James, London, UK
Death without trial. In any other (especially Muslim) country this would cause cries of 'human rights abuses' and statements like 'only barbaric regimes would kill people without trial.' I doubt that would happen in this case - not even for his bodyguards. I find it interesting how you label this is a 'killing' whereas if it was an Israeli, it would be classed as 'murder' - subtle yet important choice of words and the image they conjure.
This event will most likely turn out to be a double sided sword. On one hand, the elimination of Yassin can be seen as the elimination of a key architect of Islamic terror. On the other hand, it is sure to ignite the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to a new level. Either way, no one wins.
Joel T. Terranova, Lake Charles, USA
Whichever way you look at it, government assassinations cannot be justified and must not be tolerated by any civil society. Regarding the case of the Palestinians, who are currently under many restrictions and have few leaders they can agree on - to "rub out" one of their main spiritual leaders is hardly going to put peace back on the agenda is it?
Cherif Wehbe, Dubai, UAE
Whilst Yassin was spiritual head of an organisation that is responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians (as is the IDF), his murder will only further destabilise the region and cause yet more deaths on both sides. The Israeli government knew this and their commitment to peace must be questioned.
Alex Tait, London
Israel's decision to kill Sheikh Ahmed Yassin will accomplish nothing but escalate the violence in the region. It is another example of "state terrorism," consistently embraced by Israel's ignorant leadership, that proves that Zionism is truly dead and something sick has taken over. The nation of Israel will remembered by history as a thuggish, murderous state who chose to oppress, wall out, and systematically kill Palestinians instead of honestly and ardently pursuing peace. Maybe Ariel Sharon should watch "Boyz in the Hood" and realize that at some time, someone needs to step out of the cycle of violence.
Aaron Engle, Seattle, WA USA
Yassin was responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians: including the deliberate targeting of children in terror attacks. He got no more than he had long deserved.
David, Auckland, New Zealand
Mr. Yassin was an evil man who promoted the murder of innocent Jewish men, women, and children. Hamas was an evil organization that did not want any form of peace with Israel. This evil man advanced only one goal - the total destruction of Israel. His assassination should remind every person in the world that Israel (and the Jewish people) will never be intimidated by acts of terror. This is bittersweet justice for many Jewish families that have suffered from the terrorists.
William Shara, Fort Lee, USA
Certainly the killing of Ahmed Yassin will cause additional violence. But equally certain is the fact that Hamas is a murderous force dedicated to undermining the peace process and which must be eliminated from the Middle East. It will be interesting to see whether the Palestinian Authority will be able to restrain Hamas, much as they have called for the United States to restrain Israel in the aftermath of bombings by Hamas.
David, Toronto, Canada
When a spiritual advisor of tens of thousands of people extols the virtues of death and destruction on a daily basis, encouraging the murder of innocent people, why should the world mourn at his death? When will the world realise that no lasting resolution to any international conflict ever came about through the waging of indiscriminate acts of bloodthirsty violence. Who among the media has the guts to stand up and say that this was a thoroughly evil man who finally got what he deserved?
Peace lover, Leicester, England
This could be the death knell for the peace process. It is up to the international community to step in and take urgent measures to persuade both sides to step back from the brink of disaster.
Mike, Gaborone, Botswana
The killing of Sheik Yassin is totally unjustified. It is a serious setback to the so-called peace process in which neither Ariel Sharon nor George Bush were interested. Violence begets violence and terror begets terror.
M. Ahmed, Kuwait
Anyone who advocates the killing of innocent people, especially in the name of God, is clearly wrong. Firing a missile at a man being pushed in a wheelchair on the way to a mosque seems wrong to me as well.
Abdul Ahad Rehmatulla, Washington DC, USA
You ask "Was Israel's action justified?" How could it not be? Yassin directed an organisation that openly admits to intentionally killing hundreds of civilians, for a political purpose. By any definition, that is terrorism.
When will the Israeli leader realise that these kinds of attacks will do nothing but further inflame the situation. It's time someone took a mature approach to this situation. Please stop the killing!
Chifundo, Johannesburg, South Africa
As a Brit. I remember only too well the war against the IRA when I lived in England. When the Arabs are prepared to recognise Israel's Divine right to live here I am sure that our government will willingly sit down for peace talks
Avi Schreiber, Jerusalem
Unfortunately this won't change anything. Hamas will continue to target Israelis whenever it can and Israel will continue the pointless and dangerous occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. When both sides speak a language of force it's difficult to see a solution in the horizon.
Sharon probably thinks that he has sent Yasin to Hell today. In fact Sharon just brought Hell nearer to us all.
Regev Nathansohn, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Israel is doing the right thing by trying to weaken the terrorist groups. Only this way can we really have peace with the future Palestinian state. They must also know that terror doesn't pay out in the long run.
Eva Klein, Israel
Hypocrisy and injustice is the new world order today. This "targeted" killing is only going to bring about mayhem and the loss of innocent lives at the cost of political gains.
KF, Hong Kong
Yassin was an absolute rejectionist who would have settled for nothing less than the complete dismantlement of the Israeli state. His assassination makes not one jot of difference. It was an act of pure revenge which will immortalise his martyrdom in the eyes of his followers.
Nigel Perry, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Regardless of our opinion of Hamas and its chief, this will just worsen the spiral of violence. Hamas will breed a more radical team of radicals who will take revenge and Israel will kill more of them. Israel should withdraw from the occupied territories the UN should intervene by sending peacekeeping forces.
Yassin was the head of an internationally branded terrorist organisation, the same type of organisation that recently carried out the Madrid bombings. Why do you persist in calling him a spiritual leader?
Neil Peterman, Jerusalem
I see only more trouble and violence in an already troubled area. I feel ready bad for the innocent people who will end up in the crossfire to come.
The assassination of Sheikh Yassin will inevitably lead to an escalation of the violence. Israel made a terrible mistake. It will serve as a great recruiting tool for Hamas and will radicalise Palestinians even more. When will Israel learn that their assassination policy will not bring it security or peace?
Mo Ayoub, Beirut, Lebanon
Suicide bombings do no good. Peace is the only way. Now that Yassin has been killed hopefully the Palestinian people will realise that peace is the only solution.
Yasim, Gaza City
I don't understand how assassinating a 70 year old paralysed man can improve Israel's security. This action proved that terrorism isn't solely a Palestinian weapon. Everyone is killing for the sake of killing. Murder is wrong, and violence will only bring more violence.
Mohammed Herzallah, Palestine
The assassination of political opponents by Israel is just another mark of the illegality of its brutal occupation. Unfortunately, no-one will doubt the cycle of revenge attacks following this senseless murder of a man who was holding an occupied people together by preaching restraint and patience despite constant provocation by the Israel.
Rob Kelly, UK
Yassin openly declared war on Israel and he made it clear that Hamas would never make peace with Israel and could never allow Israel to exist. Please God that every "religious leader" who lives by the bomb will also die by the bomb.
Steve Morris, Asseret, Israel
You can't let the leader of a vicious terrorist organisation call for terror attacks against Israeli civilians again and again and again, and just sit still.
The martyrdom of Ahmed Yassin only boosts up the anger in Muslim world. This will worsen the peace process.
Killing an old and quadriplegic on his wheel chair? This could be the end of Israel.
Barbarous. I would consider it a terrorist attack. An "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" leaves both sides blind and toothless.
Rick Pietrusiak, USA
It will unleash hell on the people of Israel and Palestine. Israel should have never targeted the spiritual leader of Hamas.
Imran Ahmed, Kansas, USA
Combating terrorism is about fighting an intangible idea, not a people or an army. Eliminating this leader will not help in the short term, as he had many disciples. Terrorism will only stop when the terrorists get what they want, or when they think the idea is no longer worth the effort. Neither will come true in the foreseeable future.
Lior Bar-On, Israel
Another act of crime, another act of injustice against the Palestinians. Till when are the atrocities going to last? Wake up Middle Eastern governments. Act fast, not in a rash manner but peacefully in a cooperative stand.
Samir, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
To help you understand who was the man, I challenge you to find any footage or speech where Yassin speaks for peace. The world must remember that he was a leader of a terror group!
Shmulik, Tel Aviv, Israel
I will wait to hear who Israel will blame when Hamas takes revenge. I should add a question for Mr Bush...who is the aggressor here, Israel or the Palestinians?
A very unwise move by the Israeli Government, this will only serve to escalate the violence. The peace process is in its darkest hour.
Aarif, San Fernando, Trinidad
One can feel no pity for someone who has supported and encouraged murder, suicide attacks and indiscriminate violence, but his assassination will only encourage more reprisals and more murder. Every time the IDF kill a Palestinian, be they a militant or civilian, then the Hamas recruitment line stretches even further.
Al, Christchurch, New Zealand
This is a disaster for peace in the Middle East that will result in years of escalating conflict. It is now an historical ingredient in the crucible of violence that the region has become. One wonders in apprehension: "Where is this madness leading?"
J. Mac, St. Vital, Canada
This incident shows Israel is not interested in the peace process. It seems like Israel is trying to provoke more attacks from Palestinians to justify their illegal wall and their occupation. The international community needs to act now to restrain Israel, and apply sanctions if necessary. Israel needs to learn to be a responsible member of the global community.
Chan Chow Wah, Singapore
I am concerned by the failure of UK government ministers to condemn this assassination. The result of such silence is that the Israeli government thinks it can do what it likes; it does what it likes; then the whole world suffers.
Brian Smith, Shetland, UK
Israel did a very right thing. Unlike most cowardly EU countries, it will not back off from fighting the terrorists and will not allow a few suicide bombers scare this small country into passive withdrawal from the war on terror. Bravo.
Ezra Stelmach, Warsaw, Poland
What goes around, comes around. Just what is Israel supposed to do - sit on their hands while the Palestinians continue to target civilians? Up until now, Israel has shown an unbelievable amount of restraint. But I think this shows that they have their limits. It's time for the terrorism to stop, and if it doesn't, Israel will have no choice but to deal with it themselves.
Chuck Hunnefield, Lancaster, PA
As a survivor of one of the hells created by Yassin, I am more than happy that finally it is time for him to vanish upon the face of the earth. This man was responsible for killing of hundreds of men - Jewish, Christians and every one that lives in Israel no matter what religion they are belong to... and for that, he got what he deserved.
Ofir, Beer Sheva, Israel
I find it funny that the Palestinians/Hamas are calling this a "cowardly act". Hmm, like all those Hamas suicide bombers that blow themselves up with explosives in the midst of innocent the civilians of Israel? Good riddance to him.
Bryan Morris, Normal, IL
Does Israel really think killing this old man will solve their problems? Murder in this manner will just bring more death and suffering to this world. I really fear this act of violence will trickle down and affect the whole world.
Erik Morgan, Long Beach, CA, USA
The Spaniards have shown the way when, in the face of terrorism, they showed composure and promptly voted off a belligerent government. Will the Palestinians and Israelis ever be able to shake off their respective belligerent leaderships rather than support them?
Noam, Tel Aviv, Israel
The impact of this assassination can hardly be overestimated. It, along with the all too familiar 'lateral' death of 8 other Palestinians cannot be justified. Everyone in Israel knows that this will not add a iota to security. On the contrary. This means war. A war, that, I think, Sharon wanted. Proceeding along this path is very dangerous. Steps need to be taken to stop this development that has been going on too long under the smokescreen of 'war on terror' that clouds both vision and minds.
David Kiltz, Muenster, Germany
I don't see why anyone would oppose killing a terrorist.
George, New Jersey, USA
May God accept him as a martyr. The cowards who killed him and his companions could not look him in the face, they can only strike from a distance.
Yassin was the symbol of Hamas - nothing more and nothing less. Yassin's martyrdom will increase his symbolic value and motivate the terrorists even further. Murder and bloodshed never bring about peace - they only lead to more. As a result of his murder there will be much blood spilt in the weeks and months to come.
Regan, New Zealand
Both Israelis and Palestinians should take note of Martin Luther King's words; "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral. Returning violence with violence only multiplies violence adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars." He was a wise man.
Bev, London, UK
I think Israel did the right thing. The Israeli Government needs to protect it's people from the extremists, at any cost. What are the Israelis supposed to do, roll over and die?
Ilja Jakovich, Helsinki, Finland
Thank God!!! He is finally dead. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is not a spiritual leader. He is the head of the terrorist organisation that is called Hamas and wants to destroy the state of Israel and together with it all the Jews. He is behind the killing of many Israeli citizens. I hope he will burn in hell!
Tini Grossman, Tel Aviv, Israel
I simply cannot see how either side can reconcile the use of violence of this kind with their professed belief in God.
Greg, Abingdon UK
If Israel is not a terrorist nation and Yassin is the killer they say, then why not arrest him and put him on trial. This "assassination" is an exercise in provocation so that the Israeli leaders can keep crying "victim" while further decimating Palestinian society. I find it interesting that the tone of comments coming from the US is almost the opposite to those coming from the rest of the world. Either those writers don't understand the situation adequately or they are as ruthless and lawless as Sharon.
Rick London, Perth, Australia
Yassin should have been arrested, tried and executed for his crimes. Public assassinations are not the actions of a civilised state.
Chris, London, UK
Israel has every right to defend itself against terrorism, The US are still chasing down Bin Laden to do exactly the same thing. We in the UK could also learn a thing or two and sort out the terrorists we support here in the UK.
I believe Israel has the right to defend its people, but by killing Yassin they have now made the world a dangerous place. This act will just fuel more hatred within the whole Muslim community. This is very worrying.
Zak Khan, London
Every new murder only prolongs the suffering. The only hope is to end the occupation. There can be peace only when there is justice.
Richard Guard, Nagaokakyo, Japan
I woke up this morning with my one year old baby smiling at me. A few minutes later we switched on the TV for the news. The first thought that came into my heart was - what is next? Doesn't my child and the children from both sides deserve a better life. I just want to shout ENOUGH. Enough for both sides. We, on both sides, are killing the future of our children. What will be left after that?
Amir, Tel Aviv, Israel