Israel Pushes Envelope With Killings

Mustafa Zibri picked up a ringing telephone in his office. Then two missiles flew through his window, blowing him to bits.

The 63-year-old leader was buried Tuesday; one day after his assassination by Israeli forces.

Zibri wasn't some shadowy terrorist. He was a politician; the most senior Palestinian political figure to have been killed by the Israelis in a protracted series of targeted assassinations. He headed the second-largest PLO faction, the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. His death seems to have united usually fractious Palestinian militant groups.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, tens of thousands of Palestinians thronged to his funeral. Amid cries for revenge, masked pallbearers bore Zibri's body through the streets while gunmen shot round after round of automatic-weapons fire into the air.

The attack terrified the Daas family – Palestinian-Americans from Virginia – who live in the apartment below, reports CBS News Correspondent David Hawkins.

"We were in a state of panic. We were shocked," said the mother, Ghada Daas. The blast blew in the windows in the bedroom of their two youngest girls.

"I was right there. I was right there," said a daughter, Lala.

"My tax dollars and every American's tax dollars (are) being used to target anyone who lives in Palestine. They don't care if he's American or Arabic or anything," said the father, Abdul Daas.

Israeli officials say Zibri was behind six failed car bomb attacks in recent months. And they claim they didn't know 20 Americans live in the targeted building.

"Would we have known that there are children in the building, I'm sure our forces wouldn't have done it. But again, we targeted the room and were very successful," said Gideon Meir, an Israeli government spokesman.

But the Bush administration agrees with the Daas family. It's called on Israel to stop the campaign of assassinations and ease up on what it characterized as "the humiliations of the Palestinian people."



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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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