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Although Syrian President Hafez Assad has condemned the assassination, his official state-run paper expressed no sorrow at the event. Syria and its client Lebanon are the only neighboring countries that have not signed a peace agreement with Israel, and little progress has been made in Syrian-Israeli peace talks since they began in 1991. "Syria's stand toward the peace process is fixed and it is still sincere to the issue of just and comprehensive peace in the region," the Tishrin daily said. "Syria will persist with this path regardless of this or that incident." In Lebanon, many cheered Rabin's death. Palestinian refugees forced over the past several decades from Israel burned the Israeli flag and an effigy of the Israeli Prime Minister even as he was buried. Mohammed Zahhar, a leader of Hamas, told an Associated Press reporter in Gaza: "He practiced all forms of violence against us. I'm joyful because he was punished."