GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The new leader of the militant group Hamas on Sunday called President Bush the enemy of Islam and said that "God declared war" against Bush, the United States and Israel.
In a speech at Gaza's Islamic University, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi said he was not surprised that the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel's assassination on Monday of Hamas spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin.
"We knew that Bush is the enemy of God, the enemy of Islam and Muslims. America declared war against God. Sharon declared war against God and God declared war against America, Bush and Sharon," Rantisi said. "The war of God continues against them and I can see the victory coming up from the land of Palestine by the hand of Hamas."
The United States lists Hamas as a terrorist organization. The militant group has carried out many of the suicide bombings that have killed more than 450 people in the current conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Immediately after the Israeli missile strike that killed Yassin, Rantisi and other Hamas leaders threatened to retaliate against the United States, Israel's staunchest ally. However, a few days later, Rantisi backed down from the threat, saying Hamas would only be active in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel.
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