For Immediate Release December 11, 2005
HIGH COURT TO HEAR SHURAT HADIN'S PETITION IN SUPPORT OF IDF'S POLICY OF
A petition brought by Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center in support of the
Israel Defense Forces's policy of targeted killings will be heard by the
High Court of Justice this morning, Sunday December 10, 2005 at 10:30am.
The original petitioners in the case, a coalition of left-wing
organizations, brought the first suit in 2002, in an effort to block the
IDF's pre-emptive targeting of suspected terrorist leaders and suicide
bombers. The left-wing petitions claim that international law prohibits the
extra-judicial killing of terrorists in the Palestinian areas even if they
pose a danger to Israel's civilian population.
The Shurat HaDin petition, filed in response, argues that neither the
Israeli courts nor the customary international law have yet developed
precedents that address the operative aspects of antiterrorist warfare and
neither can be applied to the type of terrorist attacks and security
challenges which Israel is contending in recent years. As such, a "lacuna"
in the law exists and pursuant to the provisions of the Foundations of Law
Act, 5740-1980 - the High Court must implement the principles of the
Jewish heritage; namely: the Jewish Law.
The Shurat HaDin petition was brought on behalf of 25 residents of Jerusalem
who utilize public transportation, such as buses, and who claim that the
targeted killings of suspected terrorists saves Jewish lives. The
petitioners are represented by attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
The Shurat HaDin petition analyzes the legality and moral implications of
the IDF's preventive self-defense policy according to Jewish Law and
concludes that the terrorists, their leaders and accomplices would be
labeled "rodefs" (pursuers) who it is permissible to kill. As such, not
only are targeted killings of Palestinian terrorists justified, there is a
clear duty to carry them out to safeguard Israel's civilian population.
Accordingly, there is no obligation on Israeli soldiers to try to arrest or
neutralize the terrorists by any other means before utilizing deadly force
"The abettors, the accomplices, the planners and all of the personnel of the
terror apparatuses - who are all indirect pursuers - are deemed to be a
Rodef; hence, there is a duty to save the pursued - the citizens of the
State of Israel - from their hands that are tainted in blood, even at the
cost of their lives. As aforesaid, there is no obligation to try and prevent
the acts of terror by lesser means, even had such lesser means been
available, since the pursued himself is permitted to kill the pursuer
without first resorting to less drastic means, as stated above. "It follows
then, that the "targeted strikes" policy enacted by the Israeli government
and implemented by the security forces is not only justified, but there is
an actual duty imposed under Jewish Law on the governmental and military
authorities to save the lives of the citizens and residents of Israel, even
at the cost of the lives of those who conspire to strike them dead."
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