Studies in conflict & terrorism, Vol. 37, issue 4, 2014, p. 295-321
Targeted killing has become an increasingly prevalent tactic employed by states in their efforts to counter terrorism. Despite its widespread use, the criteria for targeted killing permissibility have remained vague. This article identifies and evaluates the circumstances under which targeted killings can be considered permissible and looks at on-the-ground implementation by Israel and the United States. While both Israel and the United States may have largely adhered to the laws of armed conflict, in practice, discrepancies in implementation exist. This is primarily due to the ambiguity of the “distinction” and “proportionality” principles, two key legal and moral criteria that need further clarification.