In a letter to Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh Tuesday asserted the difference between terrorism and the legal struggle of the Palestinian people. According to the Yemeni leader, his country supports the Palestinian people in their legal struggle for freedom and for an independent state with its capital Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Hamas, whose activists have carried our several attacks against Israeli targets, has recently been declared a “terrorist” organization by the United States. Yemen itself is under a cloud of American suspicion, following the bombing of the American destroyer USS Cole in Aden port in October 2000. In the past, American officials indicated that they believe Yemeni officials turned a blind eye to anti-American terrorist activists in Yemen. President Saleh’s message supporting Hamas seems likely to further agitate the United States.
The president’s message to the Hamas leader, as reported by the national news agency of the Republic of Yemen, was made in reply to a hand written letter sent by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin to the president. In this message, the Hamas spiritual leader and founder demanded that the Islamic and Arab nation stand by the Palestinian people in their struggle to retake their occupied territories. (Albawaba.com)