Bar-Ilan’s BESA Center regularly publishes Perspectives Papers, which provide analysis from research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

In his analysis, Prof. Louis René Beres discusses the legal and moral considerations surrounding Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas commander Marwan Issa. Beres argues that this action was a legitimate measure of self-defense under international law, particularly given Issa’s involvement in the planning of attacks against Israeli civilians. According to Beres, targeting such figures is a necessary aspect of combating terrorism and protecting national security, emphasizing that under international law, terrorists are viewed as hostes humani generis, enemies of all mankind, which legitimizes actions taken against them when conducted within the bounds of law.

The article elaborates on the complexities of international law in contexts where conventional legal systems do not adequately address non-state threats like terrorism. Beres suggests that while targeted killings may appear contentious, they may sometimes represent the most moral and rational defense against imminent threats, especially when such actions are the most effective means to prevent further innocent lives from being lost.

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