Targeting Terrorist Leaders
To the Editor of Financial Times
RE: "False Security" , 3 August 2003
Sub: Legal Aspects of Targeted Killings
Your writer complains on Israel eliminating terrorist leaders, calling these operations as 'assassinations'.
These targeted killings are indeed an ugly business, but war is always an ugly business, particularly against terrorists who deliberately target civilians and use civilians as human shields.
The moral aspect is subjective, I personally believe that elimination of such terrorists is a moral duty in order to protect innocent civilians. The legal aspect is more objective: terrorists are not legitimate combatants under the laws of war, as reiterated in the Geneva Conventions:
1 - they do not wear uniforms or other markings that mark them as combatants, (more than that, they frequently use our uniforms and civilian dress as disguise)
2- they do not carry their arms openly but hide them,
3 - they mingle illegally with civilian population, both their own and ours, using them as human shield, and
4 - they deliberately target civilians.
Therefore terrorists do not deserve any protection either under the Geneva Conventions.