December 14, 2006

Israel Supreme Court: Targeted Killings of Terrorists Is Legal

From Israel Supreme Court: Targeted Killings of Terrorists Is Legal:

A panel of three High Court of Justice judges ruled unanimously Thursday against a petition asking it to declare that the policy of targeted killings of terrorists was illegal. The court determined that those who were on their way to commit an attack against the IDF or civilians or had planned an attack or were in between carrying out a series of attacks were fair targets.

The court cited Article 51(3) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions which states: "Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities."

Thus, the court said, a civilian who takes direct part in hostilities does not enjoy the protections granted to a civilian and is subject to the risks of attack like those to which a combatant is subject.