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Targeted Killing in Israel

Targeted killing is an Israeli military policy whereby major terrorist leaders are targeted for assassination. It's legal under international law because terrorist leaders are defined as combatants and military targets. Even if civilian casualty results, it's still legal under international law (Convention 4, Part 3, Article 1, Section 28). Although the practice has saved countless lives, it is condemned by human rights groups. Note that these are the same human rights groups that have anti-Semitic and pro-militant track records.

Usually targeted killings are done by helicopter, though they have been done in other ways. Jerusalem Post, Hamas leader killed in drive-by shooting:

According to eyewitness reports, Muhammad Uda, a local Hamas leader, was shot to death Wednesday morning as he was exiting morning prayers at a mosque in the village of Habla near the West Bank Palestinian town of Kalkilya.

Uda, 37, said witnesses, was shot by three masked men who fired from a passing vehicle.

The vehicle, said the witnesses, had an Israeli license plate.

Hold on just a moment. We don't actually know that this was an Israeli targeted killing. All we know is the vehicle, according to witnesses, had an Israeli plate. Palestinians are notorious for blaming Palestinian attacks on Israel. Keep in mind the potential civil war between Fatah and Hamas. However, any time the leader of a terrorist group is killed it bodes well for the free world.

The way that terrorist leader Muhammad Uda was gunned down was surgical and precise. Civilian casualties are justifiable and legal under international law, but no civilian casualties would be best. The use of helicopters in targeted killing often results in civilian injury, though not disproportionate civilian injury. Moreover, targeted killing by missile is often prone to failing. A better way might be to follow the example above. Targeted killing by bullet instead of bomb has a higher potential for accuracy and success.

So while Israel probably didn't kill Muhammad Uda, the method used might be worthy of Israeli endorsement.

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