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      Israelis Support Killing Of Arch-Terrorist Yassin

      Public opinion polls show that Israeli public opinion is running 3-1 in favor of the killing of terrorist leader Ahmed Yassin - despite the perceived short-ranger dangers.
      First Publish: 3/23/2004, 3:39 PM / Last Update: 3/23/2004, 4:55 PM

      A poll conducted yesterday evening by Maariv and "The New Wave" indicates that Israeli public opinion is running 3-1 in favor of the killing of arch-terrorist Yassin. 61% of the respondents - including Arabs - support the missile attack that rid the world of one of its most deadly murderers, while 21% thought Israel should not have killed the Hamas leader. This, despite the fact that most Israelis believe that Hamas will increase its terror attacks as a result: 55% believe terror will increase, 36% think it will not change, while only 9% see the level of terror decreasing. The question did not specify whether it referred to a short-, medium- or long-range time frame.

      A Yediot Acharonot poll by Dr. Mina Tzemach showed similar results - although its questions specified both the long-term and the short-term: 81% feel that terrorism will increase in the short-term - while the public is divided approximately equally on whether it will increase, decrease or remain the same in the long run.

      IDF Intelligence Chief Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash said today that he does not expect a significant increase in the number and extent of terrorist attacks in the wake of Yassin's death.

      IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon said today that the "reactions of Arafat and Hizbullah-chieftain Nasrallah to Yassin's killing show that they understand that they're also in line for the same treatment."

      The Maariv poll found that 43% believe that Israel should now eliminate Arafat, while 38% object to such an operation.

      The ten worst Hamas attacks in the past 3.5 years ended the lives of a total of 186 people. See the list here.