Ahmed Yassin

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Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin (1937 – 22 March 2004 [1]) (Arabic: الشيخ أحمد إسماعيل حسن ياسين‎) was a founder of Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian paramilitary organization and political party.[2][3][4][5][6] Yassin also served as the spiritual leader of the organization. Hamas gained popularity in Palestinian society by establishing hospitals, education systems, libraries and other services,[7] but it has also claimed responsibility for a number of suicide attacks targeting Israeli civilians, leading to its being characterized by the European Union,[8] Israel,[9] Japan,[10] Canada,[11] and the United States[12] as a terrorist organization.[13][14]

Yassin, a quadriplegic who was nearly blind, had used a wheelchair since a sporting accident at the age of 12.[15] He was assassinated when an Israeli helicopter gunship fired a missile at him as he was being wheeled to early morning prayers.[16] His killing, in an attack that claimed the lives of both his bodyguards and nine bystanders, precipitated much criticism of Israel, and many observers suggested that the act would negatively impact the peace process.[16] 200,000 Palestinians attended his funeral procession.[17]

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