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Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi was the only MK to denounce Saturday the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, calling it a "sadistic act and a mark of Cain on the American occupation [in Iraq]."
"Even dictators deserve humanitarian treatment," said Tibi. He was the only Arab MK available for comment as most were in the midst of celebrating the Muslim holiday of Eid el Adha. A representative of the United Arab List Party added that it was a "great shame" that Hussein had been executed in the midst of a holiday.
Many of Israel's lawmakers expressed hope that Hussein's death would quiet the growing insurgency in Iraq.
"I think it is important to the region that terrorists and dictators will learn the lesson that sooner or later they might pay a price for targeting innocent civilians," said MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud). "This man used ballistic missiles on innocent Israeli civilians in 1991. He killed his own citizens in Kurdish villages and sponsored Palestinian suicide bombers. His death is a message to brutal dictators like [Iranian President] Ahmadinejadâ€¦ I hope they will be deterred from continuing their paths."
Steinitz said that Hussetin "deserved punishment" and added that in the 1990s Israel had failed to assassinate the Iraqi leader.
"I cannot be sorry that someone like him is gone. It might be better, from the Israeli perspective, that Israel would have punished him and not just his own people. But it is also fitting that he was killed by his own people, maybe with the help of America," said Steinitz.
Steintiz's words were echoed by his Likud colleague, MK Yisrael Katz, who said that the execution sends "a clear message and a red light to all the leaders of the Middle East who support terrorism and threaten war."