Israeli online daily Haaretz reported on Sunday that the Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak said on Sunday that he intends to rule soon in two petitions filed against the Israeli army’s policy of targeted killings.
Barak said that he is “ready to issue a ruling” after three years of deliberations in the case.
The two petitions were filed by The Public Committee Against Torture and Yesh Gvul Israeli organizations.
Mishael Cheshin, the Israeli Deputy Chief Justice expressed impatience with the two appeals and said that a distinction is required between what he described as “the legal status” of assassinations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Haaretz stated that ahead of the deliberation, State Prosecutor for Special Issues Shai Nitzan submitted a document to the court arguing that assassination policy of Palestinian fighters by the army “is not in violation of the law”.
He added that that after Israeli withdrew from the Gaza Strip, and ended its military control there, Gaza became subject to the “law of war” which permits targeted killings, , rather than the "laws of occupation" or the "laws of belligerent occupation" that governed the area previously, according to Cheshin.
The Public Committee against Torture is petitioning against the state’s "assassinations policy," while Yesh Gvul is demanding a criminal investigation against current Israeli army Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, and former chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon for their part in the killing of 14 innocent Palestinians when the army assassinated a Hamas activist identified as Saleh Shehadeh in July 2002.
Also, Nitzan wrote in his document that the Israeli army left the Gaza Strip on September 12, 2005, and ended the military regime that existed there since the end of 1967 war.
“This means that starting from that dare, the laws of belligerent occupation no longer apply to the Gaza Strip”, he said, “The state’s position was and still is that the laws applying to targeted killings in a situation of armed conflict are those of war and not those of belligerent occupation”.
It is worth mentioning that the petition was first submitted in 2002, but it was frozen after Israel suspended the targeted killing. September 2005, Israeli High Court Justices decided to combine the two petitions, and after Israeli renewed the assassination policy recently.