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Israeli Targeted Killings

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ISRAELI TARGETED KILLINGS

Sarah Arrasmith
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 Israeli Intelligence (Luft, 2003, 2). These were not the first nor last targeted killings performed by the State of Israel yet are signatures of Israel's propensity and tenacity to not fall victim to terror attacks. The history of violence and threats inflicted by terror groups and nations against the state of Israel has lead to Israel's development of tenacious military and intelligence capabilities. Due to its geopolitical disadvantage, Israel must utilize aggressive and resilient tactics against terror groups, state, and non-state actors. Are targeted killings a necessary resort? Are other enforcement and intelligence strategies just as effective? Israel has propagated targeted killings as effective and credits this action with saving more lives of the innocent while reducing terrorist incidents. More lives than? Is the practice of targeted killing easily adopted when it benefits the public and state behind the killing? Are targeted killings a short-sighted campaign that will foster future agitation against Israel? In 1948, Israel was declared a state sparking loud not concession, conflict! Concession is something you give away to placate an opponent from Arab nations. Israel shares borders with the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. 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.
Literature Review
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 assassination is the practices are considered "outlawed" during conventional conflicts and warfare yet, as Gross states, many international entities and doctrines have outlawed terrorism ( 2010, 8) and have failed to adapt responses to the twenty-first century warfare, States involved in armed conflicts with asymmetric groups. International law addresses actions in time of "war and peace" (David, 2003, 150) and not the grey areas between the two. Granted, the immoral and treacherous actions of an adversary do not justify immoral and treacherous responses alone. A totality of circumstances is applied in targeted killings. Is targeted killing necessarily a “treacherous” action?
History
Israel's conflicts with adversaries have occurred since Biblical times. For this paper, Israel's actions and reactions to attacks and threats will be addressed after the murders of 11 Israeli athletes during the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany in 1972. David labels Munich as the event which "galvanized" Israel's plans to incorporate targeted killing as an approved tactic (2003, 140). It would be good to explain who your experts are. It’s a bit too much to assume that your audience knows them or knows why their opinion or testimony is important The focused and persistent hunt for the coordinators of the event by Mossad, Israeli Intelligence, lead to the execution of 13 members of the terrorist group Black September (David, 2003, 139). The 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s are marked with numerous targeted killings (carried out would be a better verb here, executed is an uncomfortable choice) by Israel against the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and individuals leading the second intifada, the rise of Palestinians protesting Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. No nation has suffered the amount of terror attacks like Israel which inherently demands Israel to protect its interests at all costs. There is little disagreement that Israel is involved in an armed conflict with the Palestinians, Hamas, and their subsequent supporters; however, scrutiny of targeted killing by non-Israelis persist. You might explain the anti-Israel political motives here.
Self-Defense, Revenge, Retribution, or Extra Judicial Killing? Why does Israel implement targeted killing and what is the reasoning it is effective? Israel states it is involved in an armed conflict with terrorists groups, such as Hamas, that are non-state actors (somewhat supported by State actors) and intent on attacking non-combatant and civilian groups, entities, and infrastructures in the sovereign nation of Israel which has been demonstrated over centuries, decade by decade (Stein, 2003). Other traditional and/or conventional means of stopping the terrorists from their next attack are not always plausible or practical and call for the proactive targeting and termination of such threats. Israel presents a “self-defense” defense and champions the targeted killings have lessened the loss of civilian lives, adversaries included, and collateral damage (David, 2003). Israel is not technically at war with Hamas, the Palestinians, or other Islamic extremists since terrorists and non-states actors cannot declare war (David, 2003, 112). Stein counters much of David's support for Israel's targeted killings opining the practice is illegal and immoral based on external international entities renouncing it and a lack of ruling from the High Court of Justice (2003, 127). You should tear down that opinion. Grayson posits targeted killing is a form of "lawfare" that allows "control without occupation" and is used to modify the actions of a group not incompliance with the governance of the State (2012, 126). Criticism of Israeli targeted killing questions whether the acts as truly self-defense or as acts to send a message carried out with revenge and retribution. Article 51 of the United Nations Charter authorizes a member of the United Nations to defend itself if under an armed attack and Israel invokes this right with targeted killings as a preemptive measure before any attack can occur (Hunter, 2009, 7-8). Israel not seeking the approval of the United Nations Security Council under "anticipatory self-defense" risks the loss of international credibility and clout; however, this risk has proven less of a sting than unilaterally implementing targeted killings and saving civilian and non-combatant lives (Hunter, 2009, 8). With the lack of alternative solutions presented by the international stakeholders charged with determining what is right and wrong during conflicts, what is Israel supposed to do with the surrounding threat of terrorism literally and arms reach away? David states, "Although not a ringing endorsement, targeted killing may survive because it is indeed the last bad choice for a state confronted with the threat of terrorism," (2003, 155). Israel's actions have won over Israeli citizens; which cyclically empowers the Israeli military and restores faith in its government. David states the targeted killings do offer the Israeli public a sense of revenge and security while utilizing methods that cause the lease amount of damage to people and property (2003). Measuring the success of Israel's targeted killing campaign is difficult. There is question as to how much violence has been thwarted and how much has been more agitated by targeted killings. Many of the Israeli targeted killings enveloped collateral damage and/or have created martyrs out of the targets (Hunter, 2009). Both of these results can fuel future supporters of the terrorist groups and create a swell of individuals willing to give their life for the loss of more Israeli lives. Hunter concludes the use of targeted killing, as a tactic in the war on terrorism, is short sighted and offers no evidence that the elimination of top leaders, bomb makers, and financers will discourage and disable terror groups and terrorists from continuing their asymmetric war (2009, 35-36). It does offer the state and its public a sense of accomplishment and progression toward "winning" against terrorism as well as serving a justified punishment. Until alternative solutions, such as diplomatic relations and law enforcement tactics, prove successful Israel will continue its targeted killing strategy and solidify its legitimacy.
Design of Study The methodology incorporated in this paper is based on previous research material, peer reviewed articles, and accomplished media sites. The geopolitical make-up of Israel is demonstrated as an intense situation with the existence of national security threats within and around its borders and the greater Middle East. The circumstances surrounding Israel's national security are geopolitically unique and there are few nations that have endured the level and frequency of asymmetrical warfare. The review of the history of violence and conflict in Israel since World War II is imperative to establish the posture and "state of mind" of Israel/Israelis today. A review of the international laws and precedence allows for analysis of the reasoning and justification for using targeted killing as a tactical tool against terror groups and non-state actors. Israel's historical incidents combined with a review of the international laws and uses of force by a nation offer insight as to why the practice of targeted killing becomes legitimate to Israelis, and in fact, other nations like the United States. Research refuting the effectiveness of targeted killing is presented which demonstrates a tactical use of force can gain a perception of effectiveness which fuels the tangibility of the practice. Petitions protesting against Israel's targeted killing practice based on international humanitarian law claiming it is extra-judicial killing and/or assassination are acknowledged; however, the approval and continuation of Israel's targeted killing campaign prevails with Israeli acceptance with counted victories and in spite of errors and failures. This paper will show Israel promotes targeted killing as effective by showing terror attacks have decreased since the adoption of the tactic which has yet to empirically be proven, but is enough to wins the minds of Israelis.
Analysis
The interpretation of international laws dictating how sovereign states can and cannot behave during of war and peace offers an arena of gray matter within its language where the use of targeted killing can be justified. When peaceful resolutions have failed, the international community asserts the right for a nation to take military action against the threat (Gross, 2010, 213). International laws regarding armed conflicts and wars are proscribed in the Geneva Conventions which were conceptualized in 1949 and in 1977 (Mallette-Piasecki, 2013, 263). Like most laws, elements of ambiguity and generality exist in the legalese for purposeful reasons. It is not possible to write laws to account for every possible situation or "what if" scenario, therefore, the law applies to most situations with a level or reasonableness factoring for interpretation. Mallette-Piasecki opines the two arguments that targeted killing not legal and outside the international humanitarian law rests upon it is "either extra-judicial killing or assassination," (2013, 267). Yet, when engaged in an armed conflict, national or international, the international humanitarian law (IHL) is clear a sovereign state hold the right to protect its interests. And, due to the inability to find consensus on the definition of assassination, the argument that targeted killing is not assassination based on Bachman's and Solis' definition. For Grayson, targeted killings have become a form of lawfare in which the vagueness and weaknesses in the international law are used for "strategic ends" (2012, 126). Grayson states targeted killings are "assassination events" that have been bolstered by technological capabilities and allow for "control without occupation" (2012). For Israel, the classification of the situation between itself and Palestinians is that it rises to the definition of an armed conflict in which Palestinian terror groups and like associates are engaged in hostile activities directed specifically toward Israel and can appropriately respond in a manner of "anticipatory self-defense" (Mallette-Piasecki, 2013, 267). If the burden of proof that an identified actor is a facilitator, at any level, of past, present, and future terrorist attacks, then Israel posture's it has the right to target that individual(s) to prevent the ability of said individual(s) to continue the participatory role. Though the international humanitarian law denotes levels and classifications of armed conflicts, there is no delegated enforcement entity if a nation acts outside of the parameters of armed conflict (Mallette-Piasecki, 2013, 269). Due to this lack of checks and balances, a nation can simply disagree with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which oversees IHL, on the interpretation of the level and type of armed conflict when dealing with terrorism due to terrorism's global reach. Modifying the Geneva Conventions is not practicable, so clarifying the parameters and definitions of international humanitarian laws, particularly international and non-international armed conflicts, or establishing an international regulatory mechanism are potential future outcomes, which the latter seems the most probable but will likely not be achieved with a consensus of equality. Who would the international enforcers be? Nations implementing lethal uses of force during armed conflicts must consider the potential of collateral damage to civilians and property. The strategy of targeted killings is the removal of the targeted leader or potentially threatening person(s) will prevent imminent or future attacks and save lives in a manner which results in the least amount of damage and casualty (Arrasmith, 2014). Lotrionte posits when targeting leaders, or high profile persons, States must: ensure their target by having "a level of certainty" that the target's identity is confirmed; ensure the percentage of success of the operation is more than just an "attempt"; and the action taken is "proportionate, discriminate, and a "last resort," (2003, 84-85). If these elements are attainable and the opportunity to eliminate the target exists, the risk of civilian casualties during the targeting become the cost of doing business and is labeled acceptable by Israel and its citizens when doing nothing likely ensures a terror attack will kill more innocents. The tendency exists for the international community to criticize the actions of another nation when the acts occur from a distance and have little effect on the critiquing party. This was a common position of the United States when Israel announced its targeted killing campaign in 2000 during the second intifada, a revolt against Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (Byman, 2006, 3). Ironically, the United States has become an active facilitator of targeted killings in the war on terror sparked by the 9/11 attacks. In the summer of 2001, an Israeli science minister spoke to the United States' opposition to Israel's 2001 campaign stating, "I would like to see how the Americans would react if a car packed with explosives blew up in the middle of Manhattan," (Byman, 2006, 5). Yet, the United States has had a car bombs explode within the homeland, killing hundreds and injuring many, in Oklahoma City in 1995, and then again at the World Trade Center in 1993. The identified perpetrators were hunted down, captured, and either sentenced to death or incarcerated for life through the criminal legal system. It was after the 9/11 attacks that the United States heavily implemented the practice of targeted killing. Was this the U.S.'s Munich and therefore legitimized through the public outcry for retribution, prevention, and protection? The tragedy in Munich was a pivotal occurrence affecting Israel's approach to countering unwarranted terrorist attacks. Previous incidents were also instrumental in Israel's decision to no longer tolerate attacks by Palestinian and associate terror groups. In addition to the Munich attacks, the 1970's involved several hijackings of airlines carrying Israeli citizens as well as the targeting of Israeli citizens abroad (Luft, 2003). The Palestinian Liberation Organization had gained membership and support while it's actors were residing in Israel and the bordering Arab nations. Israel was surrounded by threats and enemies. Not able to utilize extradition strategies, Israel embarked on covert assassination operations against the organized, politicized, non-state entity. Israel's position remains targeted killings not only saves the lives of their innocent, but also causes great disruption to the operational abilities of the targeted terror groups (Luft, 2003). Critics argue Israel's targeted killing campaign does little to end the violence between Israel and its Arab discontents; however, Israel has not embraced this theory and continues to utilize the lethal tactic as well as other strategies.
"Fighting terror is like fighting car accidents: one can count the casualties but not those whose lives were spared by prevention," Gal Luft, The Middle East Quarterly, 2003.
According to Byman, the targeted killing of terrorist leaders fosters civilian approval and support for the governance and satisfies the public's demand to actively respond to unwarranted attacks (2006, 5). Aside from gaining public affirmations, the argument that the targeted killing of a terrorist leader and/or major facilitator causes disruption to the organization is sound. Byman acknowledges the tendency of retaliation by a terror group after a successful targeted killing is legitimate and likely, the martyrdom syndrome; however, the logistics needed launch a punishing return become greatly hindered due to the recent loss of leadership or critical personnel (2006). After the start of the second intifada in 2000 and the launch of the targeted killing campaign, Israel reported a decrease in Israeli casualties, both civilian and military by 2005 (Byman, 2006). The attacks by Hamas increased after the targeted killings ensued; however, the effectiveness of those attacks greatly decreased which was measurable by less Israeli casualties (Byman, 2006). With results such as this, Israel has foundation to present targeted killings as effective and promote the practice as necessary and acceptable to the Israeli citizens. Targeted killings can be visible and though the Israeli government had also implemented law enforcement military operations into Palestine (Byman, 2006 6), the targeted killings receive a lot of credit--good and bad. Byman posits Israel's transparency regarding its targeted killing campaign has allowed for its acceptance by the Israeli public (2006, 9). Not all operations are fully disclosed due to intelligence purposes but the opportunity for the public to assess a program or policy creates sustainability for the program or policy (Byman, 2006). In What Happened to Suicide Bombings in Israel, by Kaplan et al., empirical evidence is presented that finds the reduction of suicide bombings in Israel is not due to targeted killings but prevention arrests (2005). From 2001 through 2003, 85 suicide bombing attacks, executed by Hamas and Palestinian groups, occurred in Israel (Kaplan et al., 2005, 226). This increase could arguably be a direct retaliation to the announced targeted killing campaign in 2000. Israel does not agree. In addition to using targeted killing as a tactic, Israel implemented "intelligence driven arrests" and inspection checkpoints strategically located near high commodity and populated areas (Kaplan et al., 2005, 226). Kaplan et al. propose the suicide bomber is a form of stock or supply for terror groups and the tactics used by Israel aims to deplete that supply (2005). The evidence shows Israel has had a decline in terror attacks, particularly with suicide bombers; however, Kaplan et al. report this decrease is due to the capture and detention of terror suspects (2005). Statistics show the progress Israel had made from 2001 through 2003 in reducing terrorist incidents: "119 suspected terrorists and 80 civilians killed by targeted killing methods...and 44 suicide bombings prevented by arrest," (Kaplan et al., 2005). Nine of those arrests occurred within three months in 2003 (Kaplan et al., 2005). The data alone begs the conclusion that targeted killings were more effective based on higher numbers except for the cost of 80 civilian deaths during those operations where as none were reported during the arrest operations. Kaplan et al. discovered the propensity for suicide bombing recruitment increased after the death of a terror suspect by targeted killing (2005). Interestingly, the loss of civilian lives did not generate the same level of volunteerism to become a suicide bomber (Kaplan, 2005). Considering Kaplan et al.'s research, an argument for the most effective long-term approach to thwart terrorist attacks and reduce the supply of suicide bombers is to focus efforts towards arrest and apprehension of identified terrorist targets. Kaplan et al. conclude Israel must continue to prevent suicide bombings but determine the best practice that causes the least amount of collateral damage while not fueling the recruitment of future bombers (2005, 234).
Conclusion
For Israel, targeted killing is not assassination. Due to the historical and current violence inflicted by terror groups and nations against the state of Israel. Targeted killings have become a necessary resort. Israel cannot change its geopolitical profile Israel, so it must be prepared to utilize aggressive and resilient tactics against terror groups, state, and non-state actors. Are other enforcement and intelligence strategies just as effective? Israel has reported targeted killings are effective and credits this action with saving more lives of the innocent while reducing terrorist incidents and the effectiveness of its operational capabilities. The practice of targeted killing becomes easily adopted when it benefits the public and state by way of safety and security. Though targeted killings may foster further agitation against Israel, Israel and Israeli citizens will continue to preemptively strike against terrorist adversaries. . Asymmetrical warfare occurring in Israel has changed modern warfare which now incorporates targeted killings as tactic and legitimizes the practice for Israeli citizens and the state of Israel. Moral and ethical standards are swayed 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 with check-points contribute to thwarting terrorist attacks. For Israel, targeted killings have become ethically legitimized based on the perception the benefit outweighs the cost but the need for future empirical evidence needs to be conducted. Israelis are inclined to approve and accept all of the methods used by the government to ensure their safety and security within the borders. A greater question is: when is the line crossed as to the tactics used? According to Israel and its citizens, that has not occurred yet and targeted killings remain legitimate and necessary.

Hi Sarah, This is a generally good paper which is crippled by poor writing, much of which could have been fixed by copy-editing and proof-reading. If you had let someone proof-read and correct your paper and then done one more draft you would have gotten a full letter grade better score. You might also want to take a look at the University of Chicago College Writing website for some helpful hints on expository writing: http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/resources/collegewriting/

Rubric Score: 82
Synthesis of Concepts: 34
Intellectual Rigor: 26
Writing Standards: 22
Cheers,
Phil

References
Arrasmith, Sarah. 2014. "Collateral Damage." From Forum Post Week 6, American Military University course INTL614--Assassinations.
Byman, Daniel. 2006. "Do Targeted Killings Work?" Foreign Affairs, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/print/61513 (accessed 9/9/14).
Bachman, Sascha-Dominik. 2013. "Targeted Killings: Contemporary Challenges, Risks and Opportunities." Journal of Conflict & Security Law 18, no. 2: 259-288.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 2014. "The World Factbook," From the CIA Library, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ (accessed 10/27/14).
David, Steven R. 2003. "Fatal Choices: Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing." Chapter 9 from Democracies and Small Wars. London, England: Frank Cass & Co, Ltd. Academic Search Primer, EBSCOhost (accessed 9/17/14).
David, Steven R. 2003. "Israel's Policy on Targeted Killing." Debate from Ethics & International Affairs 17, no. 1: 111-126, https://www.law.upenn.edu/institutes/cerl/conferences/targetedkilling/papers/DavidIsraelPolicy.pdf (accessed 9/29/14).
The Economist. 2010. "A Time to Kill." From the Print Edition of The Economist. http://www.economist.com/node/15549045/print (accessed 9/17/14).
Grayson, Kyle. 2012. "Six Theses on Targeted Killing." Politics 32, no. 2: 120-128. Academic Search Primier, EBSCOhost (accessed 9/7/14).
Gross, Michael L. 2010. Moral Dilemmas of Modern War. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Hunter, Thomas B. 2009. "Targeted Killing: Self-Defense, Preemption, and the War on Terrorism." Journal of Strategic Security.
Kaplan, Edward H., Mintz, Alex, and Samban Claudio, Shaul, M. 2005. "What Happened to Suicide Bombings in Israel? Insights from a Terror Stock Model." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 28: 225-235.
Lotrionte, Catherine. 2003. "When to Target Leaders." The Washington Quarterly 26, no. 3: 73-86.
Luft, Gal. 2003. "The Logic of Israel's Targeted Killing." Middle East Quarterly, http://www.meforum.org/515/the-logic-of-Israel's-targeted-killing (accessed 10/20/2014).
Mallette-Piasecki, Michelle. 2013. "Missing the Target: Where the Geneva Conventions Fall Short in the Context of Targeted Killing." , 76: 263-297, http://www.albanylawreview.org/issues/pages/article-information.aspx?volume=76&issue=1&page=263 (accessed 10/21/14)
Solis, Gary. 2007. "Targeted Killing and the Law of Armed Conflict." Naval War College Review 60, no. 2: 127-146.
Stein, Yael. 2003. "By Any Name Illegal and Immoral." Response to Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing, https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/security-and-global-studies-common/Intelligence%20Studies/INTL%20614/week%205/week.5.read.11.Stein.ByAnyNameIllegalandImmoral.pdf (accessed 9/29/14).
W.W. 2011. "Targeted Killing, The Ethics and Realpolitik of Assassination." The Economist. http://www.economist.com/node/21515781/print (accessed 9/17/2014).

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