Yassin’s coffin, on the way to the gates of hell
They’ll open the gates of hell? What have they been doing up to now? In this broadcast transcript from Australia’s ABC Online, at least there is some clarity about what Yassin meant to the jihadis — a sharp contrast to the “old man in a wheelchair” blather coming from Jack Straw.
TONY JONES: And we’ll cross now to our correspondent, Mark Willacy, who is in Jerusalem, Mark, let’s start with the reaction in Gaza.
Right now we’re seeing grief and rage.
What do you think that’s going to develop into?
MARK WILLACY: Well, we’re seeing not only grief and rage but we’re seeing some violence, particularly in southern Gaza, we’re hearing reports of up to five Palestinians killed in clashes with Israelis.
Obviously tens of thousands are turning out for the funeral, that’s still going on, but we’re hearing that afterwards the Israeli security forces are bracing for more violence, particularly in Gaza, but there are also reports of violence in the West Bank, particularly in places like Hebron and Nablus.
TONY JONES: Naturally some pretty tough rhetoric from surviving Hamas leaders.
They’re talking about open war, they’re talking about opening the gates of hell.
Do they still have the capacity to strike Israel back hard?
MARK WILLACY: Very much so, Tony.
They’re saying, “Look we’ve got young people knocking on our doors since the assassination of Sheikh Yassin, asking to be suicide bombers, begging to be able to avenge these killings.”
So certainly Hamas has quite a large militia it can call on.
The killing of Sheikh Yassin is certainly a massive blow.
This man is the founder, he’s the spiritual leader of this movement.
Israel says he’s a bit more than that, that he’s also planner, he’s also the executor of a lot of these attacks.
But we can imagine that Hamas certainly still has the capability to strike back.
TONY JONES: Who’s going to replace him in the leadership of this organisation, particularly the spiritual leadership, if that’s indeed all he was?
MARK WILLACY: Well, we’re hearing from Palestinians that he’s irreplaceable.
He is the founder.
He is the spiritual leader of Hamas.
He embodies what Hamas is up to.
We’re hearing from that perspective there will be no replacement as such in Sheikh Yassin’s role.
We’ll just see more political leaders, the military wing come into its own to respond to this assassination.
So I don’t think we will see a direct replacement for Sheikh Yassin.