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Jordan warns Israel over Arafat safety

AMMAN, Jordan, March 22 (UPI) -- Jordan Monday denounced the slaying of Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and warned Israel against trying to kill Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Prime Minister Faycal al-Fayez described Monday's pre-dawn killing of Yassin in an Israeli air strike in Gaza as "a new crime to be added to Israel's criminal record and which constitutes a dangerous violations of all norms and principles."

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He said Yassin's assassination further restrained the chances of achieving a comprehensive and just peace that guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Government spokeswoman Asma Khoder later warned Israel against trying to kill Arafat, who has been held under siege in his Ramallah headquarters for more than two years.

"We stress that targeting President Arafat poses a direct and dangerous threat to the stability of the region and eliminates all chances of reaching a peace settlement," Khoder said.

Abdel Majid Thuneibat, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Jordan, slammed the "cowardly act which targeted an old and crippled religious man."

"The assassination of Sheikh Yassin will not intimidate the Palestinians or stop resistance against Israeli occupation," Thuneibat vowed.

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