Abdel Aziz Rantisi has long been a deadly enemy of Israel. In August 2001, he announced that Hamas would target a host of Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, then-Foreign Minister Peres and then-Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer. He was a great admirer of suicide terrorists, bragging in March 2002 that there were "thousands." A month later, reacting to the revelation that many of them were children, he issued a call for children to delay their martyrdom until they are older.
In July 2002, Rantisi made quite clear what the Palestinians' ultimate goal was, saying that terrorist attacks would continue until all Jews leave Israel. He said this while claiming responsibility on behalf of Hamas for the Hebrew University cafeteria massacre, in which nine people were killed.
Less than two months ago, Rantisi called upon PA Arabs to abduct IDF soldiers. Just last week, he condemned the Aqaba summit.
Two or three passersby were killed in today's attack, but Rantisi was able to escape, possibly after having seen the helicopters overhead. His bodyguards were also lightly hurt. Rantisi has served as the spokesman for Hamas for ten years, and was one of the 400 terrorists expelled to Lebanon for several months by the Rabin government.