ISRAELI TARGETED KILLINGS
INTL 614 - Assassination
October 25, 2014
"Consequently, today's threat is just a real from seven thousand miles away as it is from ten feet away," Michelle Mallette-Piasecki, Albany Law Review, 2013.
In 1995, Yahya 'Ayyash, otherwise known as "The Engineer," and an expert terror planner for Hamas, answered his last phone call. The Israelis had laden the phone with explosives and detonated while he was carrying it ( Luft, 2003, 2). In that same year Fathi Shiqaqi, the spearhead of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who had organized several suicide bombings against Israelis, received fatal gunshot wounds by Mossad, the often mythical ...view middle of the document...
Not far away are Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Israel is surrounded by Arab nations. There are two areas within Israel that are claimed by the Palestinians, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the latter sitting in the Southeastern corner ( CIA, 2014)
Asymmetrical threats and attacks are changing modern warfare and effective response which over time has legitimized targeted killings for Israeli citizens and the state of Israel. This needs more explanation. Moral and ethical standards can sway towards supporting targeted killings when the benefit outweighs the cost and other warfare tactics are ineffective or not enough. The effectiveness of Israel's targeted killings has reduced the number of terror incidents but cannot be credited as the sole factor. Other actions such as effective intelligence gathering, enforcement collaboration, and border fencing contribute to deterring terrorist attacks. This paper examines the factors, both current and historical, influencing Israel's response to terrorism by using targeted killing strategies. Acceptance of this practice by Israelites (“Israelites” is biblical, the contemporary form is Israeli or Israelis) and the state, despite international pressure, will also be examined. For Israel, targeted killings have become ethically legitimized based on the perception the benefit outweighs the cost.
Lethal Uses of Force
Defining targeted killing is challenging and without international consensus. This ambiguity allows individual nation states to interpret the legality of the practice based on their own individual national security priorities. Arguments that targeted killing is a form of assassination, which is banned by international law, have been debated. (it would be good to give some elements of the debate here) First, defining assassination is necessary in order to determine if targeted killing is an evolution of such an act. Webster's define assassination as the killing, usually treacherously, of a prominent or public figure often for political reasons. Similar to assassination, targeted killing is a lethal use of force focused on a named or confirmed individual. Solis defines targeted killing as,
"The intentional killing of a specific civilian who cannot reasonably be apprehended, and who is taking a direct part in hostilities, the targeting done at the direction and authorization of the state in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict," (2007, 127).
Bachmann defines targeted killing similar to Solis but incorporates terms such as "selected and confirmed High Value Targets" which results in a "military operation aimed at killing these individuals," (2013, 263). Grayson simplifies the concept stating it is "the intentional selection, targeting and execution of an individual-not held in physical custody- by a state for military, political or security purposes," (2012, 120). The difficulty surrounding targeted killing and even...