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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 34 The Killing of Khalil al-Wazir by Israeli Commandos in Tunis—1988

Erin Pobjie, Fanny Declercq, Raphaël Van Steenberghe

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 May 2024

Individuals and non-state actors — Precedent — Targeted killing — Use of force, war, peace and neutrality

This contribution discusses the 1988 killing of Khalil Al-Wazir by Israeli commandos in Tunis. It first sets out the facts and context of the killing, the legal positions of the main protagonists (Israel and Tunisia) and the reactions of the international community. The chapter then examines the legal debate on targeted killing under the jus ad bellum that was raised by the incident. This chapter concludes that this precedent contributed to a strengthening of the view that even small-scale, targeted attacks by a state against non-state actors in another state violate the prohibition of the use of force.

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