Tens of thousands of angry Palestinian mourners marched in the streets of Gaza City today (Sunday) in the funeral of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
The marchers demanded revenge for the slain head of the Palestinian militant group, who was killed Saturday by an Israeli missile strike.
Earlier today, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said there will be no change in the policy of hunting down the leaders of terrorist organizations.
His comments followed an announcement by Hamas that it had appointed a new leader to replace Mr. Rantisi, but was keeping his identity secret in an attempt to forestall further Israeli attacks on its leadership.
Mr. Rantisi had led Hamas in the Palestinian territories for less than a month, taking the position after Israel killed his predecessor, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, in a missile strike outside a mosque in Gaza City (on March 22nd).
The killing of Mr. Rantisi triggered an international chorus of criticism of Israel, which said the Hamas leader had to be killed to prevent more terror attacks.
The Bush administration warned Israel to consider the consequences of its actions. A White House statement did not condemn the killing of Mr. Rantisi, but said Israel has a right to defend itself.
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan says the attack violated international law, and called on Israel to stop such killings. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called the targeted killing unlawful. European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana said the attack would not help advance the peace process. Egypt and Jordan also condemned the strike.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia said the attack was the result of American bias towards the Israel government.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.