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Israel top court ruling on targeted killings disregarded by military: report

[JURIST] Members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have killed Palestinian terror suspects in defiance of a 2006 Israeli Supreme Court [official website] ruling [JURIST report; MJIL analysis] on targeted killings, according to Haaretz Wednesday. The 2006 ruling set up guidelines for targeted killings [BBC backgrounder] which include a direction that if possible, suspects should be arrested, and that "every effort must be made to minimize harm to innocent civilians." Haaretz said IDF documents it obtained [Haaretz report] indicate that since 2006 Israeli Defense Forces have generally made little effort to arrest suspects before killing them. In June 2007, for example, the IDF made no attempt to arrest Jenin Islamic Jihad head Ziad Malaisha before killing him [IDF press release]. Israeli Chief Military Advocate Brigadier General Avichai Mendelblit [IDF backgrounder] rejected the newspaper's report [Haaretz report], saying all IDF actions, including targeted killings, are in compliance with the law.

In 2006 the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that although some targeted killings were not legal, not all are prohibited by international law [JURIST report]. It outlined four factors that would determine whether a particular targeted killing was justified. Two Israeli human rights groups filed a petition in 2002 seeking a ban on the Israeli policy, which Israeli government officials have defended as the most effective method of stopping Palestinian terrorists from bombing Israel targets. The court's consideration of the case had been put on hold after Israeli security officials said in January 2005 that targeted killings of Palestinian militants would be suspended [JURIST report], but the court resumed deliberations later that year after the IDF resumed the practice.

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