In light of the Monday attack in Gaza City on a senior official of Hamas that left many innocent civilians dead, reporters working on stories about this might consider Johns Hopkins Professor Steven David as someone to talk to about the Israeli policy of targeted killings.
David, a professor of political science and associate dean at Hopkins, has examined Israeli's use of targeted killings closely and, in fact, gave a paper on the topic last month in Israel. He said Monday's attack on Salah Shehadeh, commander of the military wing of Hamas, was unquestionably a targeted killing.
"There's no question," said David. "They can't deny it when it's a helicopter attack. The tough thing is that a number of innocent people were killed, including children."
Despite the obvious reprisals that follow a targeted killing, popular opinion in Israel supports the policy. David said most Israelis support the policy, even though they realize it does not reduce terrorism. "I guess it has to do with a sense of retribution and revenge," he said.
While many may compare this attack in Gaza City to the bus bombings by Palestinians, David said the difference is that the goal of Israel is to kill a combatant and innocents are killed by accident; but the goal of the bus bombings is to killing innocent civilians.
To speak to David, you may call him at: 410-516- 6056.
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