2004: Ahmed Yassin, the Palestinian co-founder of Hamas, is assassinated when an Israeli helicopter gunship fires a missile at him as he is being wheeled from early morning prayers in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. The strike also killed Yassin's bodyguards along with nine bystanders and left 12 more people injured. Yassin, a 67-year-old quadriplegic who was nearly blind, had used a wheelchair since a sporting accident at the age of 12. An Islamist Palestinian paramilitary organization and political party, Hamas has been characterized by the European Union, Israel, Japan, Canada and the United States as a terrorist organization. The assassination was condemned by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the UN Commission on Human Rights, the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and many Arab world leaders and sparked protests throughout the Middle East.