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Anatomy of targeted killings

Prof. Asa Kasher: 'IDF's targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists is a complex process designed to minimize harming of Palestinian civilians'

'Israel's security forces prefer to capture terrorists rather than kill them'

Hamas Terrorists in Gaza Strip

For the first time, an authoritative Israeli source has revealed how the Israeli defense forces conduct the targeted killing of Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip who deliberately rocket Israeli towns and villages. Prof. Asa Kasher has told IsraCast that Israeli security and political echelons carry out a complex process to limit Palestinian collateral damage in tracking down terrorists. Prof. Kasher, who formulated the IDF code of ethics, was speaking during a seminar at the Jerusalem center for ethics at Mishkenot Shaananim.

'Israeli security forces prefer to capture Palestinian terrorists rather than to kill them' - that's how Prof. Asa Kasher defines the overall policy of Israeli security forces in the bitter confrontation with the Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip. He describes a detailed process of how, when and under what conditions a terrorist will be targeted if he cannot be apprehended. The final decision is not taken solely by the military but also at a high political level. Kasher went on to say, 'although the other side acts as a terrorist, that does not mean we throw out all our principles and do the same'.

Prof. Asa Kasher

However, while trying not to harm Palestinian civilians Israel was duty-bound to protect her civilians from the Palestinian terror attacks. But what if the Palestinian terrorists launch their rockets from inside populated areas even using schools and hospitals for cover? Did this mean that Israeli forces should not fire back, or in other words - was Israel fighting this guerrilla warfare with one hand tied behind her back? Kasher refuted this idea saying although the IDF took stringent measures not to harm Palestinian civilians Israel was conducting an affective counter-terror campaign.

Editors' note: The Israeli government has repeatedly rejected a public outcry for more drastic actions in the Gaza Strip to halt the launching of Katyusha rockets at the towns of Sderot and Ashqelon and other Israeli communities. Since the year 2000, the Palestinians have launched more than four-thousand rockets at Israel, although there has been a lull in the attacks since the recent IDF operation into Gaza. Similarly, the demand for a massive IDF ground invasion into Gaza has been put on hold.

Asa Kasher (born on 1940 in Jerusalem) is an Israeli philosopher and linguist working at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He is noted for authorship of Israel Defense Forces Code of Conduct. Professor Kasher has contributed also to fields of psychology and ethics. He was awarded Israel Prize in 2000.


David Essing

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