The GAERC meeting today under President Mr. Brian Cowen T.D. have agreed the following on the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin
“The Council condemned the extra-judicial killing of Hamas Leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and seven other Palestinians by Israeli forces this morning. The European Union has consistently opposed extra-judicial killings. Not only are extra-judicial killings contrary to international law, they undermine the concept of the rule of law which is a key element in the fight against terrorism.
The European Union has repeatedly condemned the terrorist atrocities committed by Hamas which have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Israelis. The EU recognises Israel’s right to protect its citizens against terrorist attacks. Israel is entitled to do this under international law. Israel is not, however, entitled to carry out extra-judicial killings. Furthermore, the assassination which has just been carried out has inflamed the situation. The Council called on all sides to exercise restraint and to refrain from acts of violence, which will only lead to more deaths and will put a peaceful settlement still further from reach.
Violence is no substitute for the political negotiations which are necessary for a just and lasting settlement. The Quartet Roadmap remains the basis for reaching such a settlement.”