Flag of Israel Scottish Friends of Israel Redressing the Balance Scottish Saltire flag
 Home   About Scottish Friends of Israel - Useful Links - Contact

 

Targeting Terrorists


Ahmed Yassin: Terrorist Mastermind

The attempt in some quarters to present Ahmed Yassin as some kind of 'moderate spiritual leader' is no less ridiculous than describing Bin-Laden as such. Underneath his supposed clerical garb, Ahmed Yassin was an arch-terrorist, a true pioneer in the ruthless murder of innocents. He was the founding leader of the Hamas, and was personally responsible for its strategy of wholesale suicide terrorism. He distorted lofty religious principles in order to recruit Palestinians, including children and women, to embark upon so-called 'holy Jihad' missions, kill themselves and murder hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Since the start of the Palestinian violence in September 2000, Hamas has perpetrated 425 terrorist attacks, of which 52 were suicide attacks. As a result of these attacks, which Ahmed Yassin directly ordered, 377 Israelis were murdered and 2,076 wounded. Furthermore, in his public appearances and interviews, Ahmed Yassin repeatedly called for a continuation of the 'armed struggle' against Israel, and for an intensification of the terrorist campaign against its citizens. Such statements include:

24.9.03 - Ahmed Yassin rejects cease-fire with the Zionist enemy

"There is no dialogue. Moreover, the cease-fire was not initiated by the defeated, beaten, chased-after nation, but by the powerful nation that has everything. The Zionist enemy was granted a previous cease-fire and continued with its acts of aggression, massacre, destruction and killing. It didn't stop for even one moment. Therefore, discussing cease-fire today, while the enemy's hostility continues, is not an option."

7.9.03 - Hamas may attack everywhere in Israeli territory

"We haven't limited the military command, battalions or factions. Response may come anywhere in Israel, exactly as it (Israel) acts against the entire Palestinian territory. "

30.4.01 - Terror attacks are religiously legitimate.

"Those who fight for Allah kill and get killed", says the holy Koran, without specifying the method. What heroism is superior to that of an individual who sacrifices himself for his country, in attempt to spread fear, defeatism, separation and destruction among enemy lines? Our Muslim clerics should be knowledgeable on this subject."

28.7.98

"The day in which I will die as a shahid [martyr] will be the happiest day of my life." Q. "Do you expect Israel to attempt to assassinate you?" Yassin: "I will be very happy if that happens. I wish they had done it already -- if they have the talent for it. The day in which I will die as a shahid [martyr] will be the happiest day of my life."

Top

The Targeting of Terrorists and International Law:

The targeted killing of terrorists must be regarded as an exceptional measure, appropriate only in extraordinary circumstances. However, in cases in which there is an imminent and genuine threat, and in which there is no practical possibility of preventing such attacks by other means, it is permissible under international law. It is the responsibility of the state acting in self-defence to consider, on a case-by-case basis, the gravity and imminence of the threat, the likelihood of injury to civilians, and the danger posed by the individual in question.

Terrorists situated in areas under Palestinian jurisdiction cannot claim protection under the IVth Geneva Convention, both because these areas, under the full governmental control of the Palestinian side, cannot be considered occupied, and, more importantly, because by actively engaging in terrorist activities they, in any event, forfeit their rights under the Convention.

Israel only ever acts in a manner that is in compliance with the principles and practice of armed conflict, and makes every effort to avoid the involvement of innocent civilians. For a more detailed outline as to the legal aspects of the targeting of terrorists, please see the attached document.

Top

 


March 2004

The Targeted Killing of Terrorists -
Legitimate Self-Defence


Following is a summary of Israel's position on this issue.

  • The targeted killing of terrorists is an exceptional measure, appropriate only in extraordinary circumstances.
  • In cases in which there is an imminent and genuine threat, and in which there is no practical possibility of preventing such attacks by other means, it is permissible under international law.
  • Terrorists situated in areas under Palestinian jurisdiction cannot claim protection under the IVth Geneva Convention, both because these areas, under the full governmental control of the Palestinian side, cannot be considered occupied, and, more importantly, because by actively engaging in terrorist activities they forfeit their rights under the Convention.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian agreements contain no prohibition on Israel's defensive measures against terrorism. To the contrary, the agreements contain specific provisions authorizing Israel's measures in this regard.

Background

" For over three and a half years, Israel has been subjected to a horrendous and continuous barrage of Palestinian-instigated violence from within the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

" The Palestinian Authority has taken almost no steps to comply with its fundamental obligations, under the Israeli-Palestinian agreements to combat terrorism, to arrest terrorists, to confiscate illegal weapons, to prevent incitement and to cooperate on matters of security. To the contrary, Palestinian officials have consistently supported and encouraged terrorist actions and engaged in incitement.

" In order to comply with its responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens, Israel has initiated a series of defensive measures intended to protect the lives of Israeli civilians, while limiting, as far as possible, injury to Palestinian civilians.

" Painful dilemmas are created by the fact that the terrorists invariably locate themselves within civilian areas. While the prevention of injury to civilian bystanders must be a paramount concern, the fact that a terrorist deliberately places himself within the civilian population does not grant him immunity.

" Among these defensive measures, as a rare and exceptional measure, is the targeted killing of terrorists acting with impunity from within Palestinian territory. Considered use of this measure is both lawful and appropriate.

The right of self-defence in the face of terrorist attacks

" No state is required by international law to remain passive in the face of an armed attack. This is a cardinal principle of customary international law.

" Israel's options for prevention have been severely narrowed by the failure of the Palestinian side to comply with its obligations to combat terrorism, and, to the contrary, its active support and encouragement for many terrorist acts.

" In fact, the Palestinian side, far from simply failing to prevent terrorist activity, has persistently encouraged it, by releasing terrorists from prison and expressing support for their actions, while members of the Palestinian police have taken a leading role in instigating violence.

"Assassination" or Targeted Defensive Actions

" The use of such phrases as "assassination" and "extra-judicial killing" to describe such defensive acts is demagogic and inappropriate.

" "Assassination" is generally used to describe the murder of a prominent person or public official for political ends.

The targeting of terrorists focuses not on the public role of the individual, but on the role played by them in the murder of innocent civilians, and has as its goal not political motives but the saving of life.

" "Extra-judicial killing" implies that an alternative legal recourse is available and has been deliberately ignored.

o On the rare occasions that Israel targets terrorists, it is precisely because no legal recourse is available. As such, the policy is no more extra-judicial than any individual using force to defend themselves from attack.

The IVth Geneva Convention

" To seek to impose the obligations of the Geneva Convention on Israel in regard to individuals in areas under Palestinian control and jurisdiction, would not only be imposing a responsibility without the rights necessary to fulfill it, but would also absolve the Palestinian side, which does have actual control in these areas, of its responsibility to prevent terrorists from acting within its jurisdiction.

" Even if the Convention were to be applicable to these areas, the Convention itself recognizes the principle that an individual engaging in hostile activity forfeits his protection and cannot regain it by simply masquerading as a civilian.

Israel's Actions and the Israeli-Palestinian agreements

" The Israeli-Palestinian agreements do not prohibit Israel's measures to combat terrorists (be they targeted killings or temporary incursions into PA territories).

" To the contrary, the agreements include specific provisions that allow such activity within areas under Palestinian jurisdiction.

" These provisions are especially pertinent when the Palestinian side is continuously flouting its security obligations under these agreements.

" The argument that, by taking defensive measures against terrorist acts emanating from Palestinian controlled areas, Israel is violating the Israeli-Palestinian agreements, is strange, to say the least. The very situation in which Israel finds itself, and which mandates the taking of such extraordinary measures, has been created by the continued breach by the Palestinian side of its obligations under these agreements.

Top

For additional news from Israel, please visit the new Israeli Government website at www.mfa.gov.il


Embassy of Israel Public Affairs Office
Embassy of Israel
2 Palace Green
London W8 4QB

 


 

Web Design surfgate7 - copyright: MRG ©2003