Former Israeli Security Official Reacts to Hamas Threats - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/22/04 - Tyler

Former Israeli Security Official Reacts to Hamas Threats

The killing of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is drawing praise and criticism from people from around the world. No doubt many are glad the Islamic militant leader is dead, but even they disagree on whether the way Israeli forces got rid of him was best for Israel's interests and the interests of the rest of the world. One such person is local Rabbi Shlomo Shechter. Shechter was born in Israel and served in the Israeli security force before coming to the U.S. in 1964. He has family in Israel and friends who are still working for Israeli security.

"There is no question on my mind that he deserved that," Shechter said. "The question of whether it will be effective, whether other families will suffer, as a end result of that action, I feel very sad about that."

Shechter had firsthand experience with victims of Hamas killings when he was a security official.

"Too many families did I have to go in and consult and comfort and talk, after one of the families was killed," Shechter said. "The killing has to stop, notwithstanding the fact that he deserved what he got."

The killing probably won't stop, given the new threats of retaliation made by Palestinian militants.

But Shechter says, Israelis are more or less moving on with their lives as usual: "People are used to it."

The Israeli government, however, is fearing revenge attacks and are taking the necessary precautions. Officials imposed a closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, barring all Palestinians from entering Israel.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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