List of Israeli assassinations

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The following is a list of alleged and confirmed assassinations reported to have been conducted by the State of Israel. It includes attempts on notable persons who were reported to have been specifically targeted by the various Israeli security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

There is no clear definition of "Targeted killing" under international law. The term itself gained widespread currency only after Israel went public concerning its policy regarding alleged terrorists in the Palestinian territories.[1] Nils Melzer in his 2006 study Targeted Killing in International Law defines targeted killings in terms of five criteria, summed up as 'the use of lethal force attributable to a subject of international law with the intent, premeditation and deliberation to kill individually selected persons who are not in the physical custody of those targeting them.'[2] Before 2001 Israel denied it practiced or has a policy of conducting extra-judicial executions.[3] Early into the Al Aqsa Intifada, it became the first state to publicly outline a policy of “liquidation” and “preemptive targeted killing,” when two female bystanders were killed during an operation to assassinate a Palestinian militant, Hussein ‘Abayat, on 9 November 2000.[3][4]

According to the former Legal Advisor to the State Department Judge Abraham Sofaer:

...killings in self-defense are no more "assassinations" in international affairs than they are murders when undertaken by our police forces against domestic killers. Targeted killings in self-defense have been authoritatively determined by the federal government to fall outside the assassination prohibition.[5]

A state engaged in such activities must however, Sofaer concluded, openly acknowledge its responsibility and accept accountability for mistakes made.

This characterization is criticized by many, including Amnesty International.[6]

B'tselem has calculated that between 2002 and May 2008, at least 387 Palestinians died as a result of Israeli targeted killings, of which 234 were the targets, and the rest collateral casualties.[7][8] The majority of Israeli assassinations have taken place in Area A of the West Bank lying within the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority.[7] Some of killings listed below have been denied by Israel. Most[citation needed] fall within a series of campaigns, including Operation Wrath of God (launched in response to the 1972 Munich massacre), Israeli actions in the wake of the al-Aqsa Intifada (2000–), and strikes during the 2008–09 Gaza War. The policy of targeted killings is known in Hebrew as "focused foiling" (Hebrew: סיכול ממוקד sikul memukad).


Date Place Target Description Action Killer
July 13, 1956 Gaza Strip Mustafa Hafez Egyptian Army Lieutenant-Colonel responsible for recruiting refugees to carry out attacks in Israel. Parcel bomb[9] IDF operation directed by Yehoshafat Harkabi.[10]
July 14, 1956 Amman Salah Mustafa Egyptian Military attache Parcel bomb[9] IDF operation directed by Yehoshafat Harkabi.[10]


Date Place Target Description Action Killer
September 11, 1962 Munich, Germany Heinz Krug West German rocket scientist working for Egypt's missile program Abducted from his company offices on Munich's Schillerstrasse, his body was never found. Swiss police later arrested two Mossad agents for threatening the daughter of another scientist and found that they were responsible for the killing. Part of Operation Damocles. Mossad[11][12]
November 28, 1962 Heluan, Egypt 5 Egyptian factory workers Workers employed at Factory 333, an Egyptian rocket factory. Letter bomb sent bearing Hamburg post mark. Another such bomb disfigured and blinded a secretary. Part of Operation Damocles. Mossad[12]
February 23, 1965 Montevideo, Uruguay Herberts Cukurs Aviator who had been involved in the murders of Latvian Jews during the Holocaust Lured to and killed in Montevideo by agents under the false pretense of starting an aviation business. Mossad[13]


Date Place Target Description Action Killer
July 25, 1972 Beirut Attempted killing of Bassam Abu Sharif Member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who held a press conference with Ghassan Kanafani during the Dawson's Field hijackings justifying the PFLP's actions. He lost four fingers, and was left deaf in one ear and blind in one eye, after a book sent to him that was implanted with a bomb exploded in his hands.[14][15][16] Mossad[15]
October 16, 1972 Rome Abdel Wael Zwaiter Libyan embassy employee and PLO representative, poet and multilingual translator, considered by Israel to be a terrorist for his alleged role in the Black September group and the Munich massacre,[17] though Aaron Klein states that 'uncorroborated and improperly cross-referenced intelligence information tied him to a support group' for Black September.[18] Shot 12 times by two Mossad gunmen as he waited for an elevator to his apartment near Piazza Avellino.[16][19] Mossad[19][20]
July 8, 1972 Beirut Ghassan Kanafani Palestinian writer and a leading member of the PFLP, who had claimed responsibility for the Lod Airport massacre on behalf of the PFLP.[19][21] Killed by car bomb. Mossad[22]
December 8, 1972 Paris Mahmoud Hamshari PLO representative in France and coordinator of the Munich Olympic Games massacre.[23] Killed by bomb concealed in his telephone.[16] Mossad[24]
January 24, 1973 Nicosia Hussein Al Bashir a.k.a. Hussein Abu-Khair/Hussein Abad. Fatah representative in Nicosia, Cyprus and PLO liaison officer with the KGB.[18] Killed by bomb in his hotel room bed.[16] Caesarea hit team[10]
April 6, 1973 Paris Basil Al-Kubaissi PFLP member and American University of Beirut Professor of International Law Killed on a street in Paris by two Mossad agents.[16] Mossad .[18]
April 9, 1973 Beirut Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar Black September Operations officer and PLO official Killed during Operation Spring of Youth. Sayeret Matkal together with Mossad.[18]
April 9, 1973 Beirut Kamal Adwan Black September commander and member of the Fatah central committee[25] Killed during Operation Spring of Youth. Sayeret Matkal
April 9, 1973 Beirut Kamal Nasser Palestinian poet and PLO spokesman Killed during Operation Spring of Youth. Sayeret Matkal
April 11, 1973 Athens Zaiad Muchasi Fatah representative to Cyprus Killed in hotel room.[16] Israeli agents[26]
June 28, 1973 Paris Mohammad Boudia Black September operations officer Killed by pressure-activated mine under his car seat.[16] Mossad[22]
July 21, 1973 Lillehammer, Norway Attempted killing of Ali Hassan Salameh High-ranked leader in the PLO and Black September who was behind the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre[27] Ahmed Bouchiki, an innocent waiter believed to be Ali Hassan Salameh, killed by gunmen. Known as the Lillehammer affair. Mossad[10]
March 27, 1978 German Democratic Republic Wadie Haddad? PFLP commander, who masterminded several plane hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s.[28] He died of cancer in an East Berlin hospital, reportedly untraced by Mossad.[29] Mossad never claimed responsibility. Aaron Klein states that Mossad passed on through a Palestinia a gift of chocolates laced with a slow poison, which effectively caused his death several months later.[10][28]
July 26, 1979 Cannes Zuheir Mohsen Leader of the pro-Syria as-Sa'iqa faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization Shot in the front of casino. Caesarea agents[10]

Probably Mossad.[30]

January 22, 1979 Beirut Ali Hassan Salameh High-ranked leader in the PLO and Black September who was behind the 1972 Munich Olympic Games massacre[27] Killed by car bomb,[16] along with four bodyguards and four innocent bystanders. Mossad[10]


Date Place Target Description Action Executor
June 13, 1980 Paris Yehia El-Mashad Egyptian nuclear scientist, lecturer at Alexandria University Killed in his room at the Méridien Hotel in Operation Sphinx.[31][32]:23 Marie-Claude Magal, prostitute, client of El-Meshad, pushed under a car and killed in the Boulevard Saint-Germain.[32]:24 Mossad
August 21, 1983 Athens Mamoun Meraish Senior PLO official Shot in his car from motorcycle.[33] Mossad
June 9, 1986 Athens Khalid Nazzal Secretary of the DFLP (Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine) Assassinated in Athens by Mossad agents who entered Greece with fake passports, shot Nazzal while leaving his hotel, and fled the country. Mossad
October 21, 1986 Athens Munther Abu Ghazaleh High-ranked leader in the PLO. Senior member of the National Palestinian Council, the Revolutionary Council of Al Fatah and the Supreme Military Council of the Revolutionary Palestinian Forces. Killed by car bomb Mossad
April 16, 1988 Tunis Abu Jihad Second-in-command to Yassir Arafat Shot dead in front of his family in the Tunis Raid .[34] Israeli commandos under the direction of Ehud Barak and Moshe Ya'alon, and condemned as a political assassination by the United States State Department.[7]


Date Place Target Description Action Executor
March 20, 1990 Brussels Gerald Bull Canadian engineer and designer of the Project Babylon "supergun" for the Iraqi government Shot at door to his apartment Attributed to Mossad by several sources,[35] and widely believed to be a Mossad operation by intelligence experts,[36] Gordon Thomas states it was the work of Mossad's director Nahum Admoni.[37] Israel denied involvement at the time.[36] and several other countries had interests in seeing him dead.
February 16, 1992 Lebanon Abbas al-Musawi Secretary-General of Hezbollah Killed in his car convoy by missiles launched from two Israeli helicopters.[16] IDF[38]
June 8, 1992 Paris Atef Bseiso Palestinian official involved in Munich Massacre Shot several times in the head at point-blank range by 2 gunmen, in his hotel (Aaron Klein's "Striking Back") Mossad, with French complicity, according to the PLO, but French security sources suggested the hand of Abu Nidal.[39][40]
October 26, 1995 Sliema, Malta Fathi Shaqaqi Head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad Shot and killed in front of Diplomat Hotel.[16] Mossad.[37]
January 6, 1996 Gaza Strip Yahya Ayyash "The Engineer", Hamas bombmaker Killed by bomb in cell phone.[16] Covert Israeli operation[41]
September 25, 1997 Amman Khaled Mashaal (failed attempt) Hamas political leader Attempted poisoning. Israel provided antidote, after pressure by Clinton. Canada withdrew Ambassador. Two Mossad agents with Canadian passports arrested


2001 Israel assassinated 35 suspected Palestinian militants.[4]
2002 Israel assassinated 72 suspected militants.[4]

Date Place Target Description Action Executor
November 9, 2000 West Bank Hussein Abayat Senior official of the Fatah faction Tanzim Killed in a truck by anti-tank missiles fired from Israeli helicopters. Two women bystanders were also killed.[4][42] IDF
November 22, 2000 Gaza Strip Jamal Abdel Raziq Senior official of the Fatah faction Tanzim Killed with driver, Awni Dhuheir, when their car was fired upon by IDF troops. Two bystanders in car in front of them also killed (Sami Abu Laban, 29, baker, and Na'el Al Leddawi, 22, student).[43][44] IDF
December 11, 2000 West Bank Anwar Hamran A PIJ bombing suspect Targeted while waiting for a taxi-cab.[4] IDF
December 17, 2000 Qalandiyya Samih Malabi Tanzim officer.[45] Mobile phone bomb.
December 30, 2000 Tulkarem Thabat Ahmad Thabat Dentist, lecturer on public health at Al Quds University, and Fatah Secretary General on the West Bank.[45] Israeli Special Forces sniper shot him as he drove his car from his home, classified as an apparent political assassination.[42]
February 3, 2001 Gaza Strip Massoud Ayyad Lieutenant-colonel in Force 17, aide of Yasser Arafat held responsible for a failed mortar attack on a Jewish settlement in Gaza. The IDF also alleged, without providing evidence, that he intended to form a Hezbollah cell in the Gaza Strip. .[4][42][46] Killed while driving in Jabaliya refugee camp by a Cobra gunship launching rockets.[47]
April 4, 2001 Jenin Iyad Khadran Head of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine in Jenin Baruch Kimmerling classifies it as an apparent political execution to provoke Palestinians.[45]
June 24, 2001 Nablus Osama Jawabiri Member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade Bomb planted in public phone Apparently IDF.[48]
July 17, 2001 Bethlehem Omar Saada Hamas leader Killed by two wire-guided missiles fired by two Israeli helicopter gunships at his garden hut, killing also Taha Aruj. His brother Eshaq, a peace activist, and his cousin Muhammed were killed by a further missile as they rushed towards the rubble. A dozen people nearby were wounded. Israel maintained that it was a preventive attack on a planner of a terrorist attack at the Maccabiah Games.[49] IAF
July 31, 2001 Nablus Jamal Mansour High-ranking official of Hamas' West Bank political wing Killed when office struck by helicopter-launched missiles.[50]
August 5, 2001 Tulkarm Amr Hadiri Hamas student activist Missiles fired at car.
August 20, 2001 Hebron, West Bank Imad Abu Sneneh Leader of Tanzim Shot and killed.[51] Israeli undercover team
August 27, 2001 Ramallah Abu Ali Mustafa Head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and senior executive leader of the PLO. Killed by lasar-guided missiles fired from Apache helicopters while talking on the phone in his office.Baruch Kimmerling classifies it as an apparent political execution to provoke Palestinians.[45] Other sources say Shin Bet convinced the Israeli Cabinet he was connected to terrorism.[34] IAF
January 14, 2002 Tulkarem, West Bank Raed Karmi Head of the Tanzim in Tulkarem After surviving an attempt to kill him by helicopter on September 6, 2001, he was persuaded by Arafat to desist from violence but killed twenty three days after a ceasefire was in place because the Shin Bet was convinced they would never have the same operational opportunity to take him out. Killed from a bomb planted in a cemetary wall, set off while he was on his way to his mistress, to create the impression he had blown himself up accidentally.[34][52] Baruch Kimmerling classifies it as an apparent political execution to provoke Palestinians.[45]
January 22, 2002 Nablus, West Bank Yusif Suragji West Bank head of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Three other Hamas members also killed. Palestinian Authority claims it was an assassination.[53] Killed in a raid on an alleged explosives factory.[53] Israeli army
January 24, 2002 Khan Yunis, Gaza strip Adli Hamadan (Bakr Hamdan) Senior Hamas member missile attack on car.[53] Israeli Air Force
February 4, 2002 Rafah Ayman Bihdari DFLP member wanted for 25 August 2001 raid in which three Israeli soldiers were killed. missile attack on car. Four other DFLP members killed.[53] Israeli Air Force
March 5, 2002 Ramallah Mohammad Abu Halawa, Fawzi Murrar, Wanted AMB members Missile fired at car from helicopter.[54]
March 6, 2002 Gaza City Abdel Rahman Ghadal Hamas member Missile attack on his home.[55] IAF
March 14, 2002 Anabta Mutasen Hamad. Mutasen Hamad thought to be a bombmaker. Hamad was an Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade member. Balbiti 3 missiles fired from an Israeli attack helicopter at Hamad's car, near a chicken farm. A Palestinian source say a bystander, a chicken farmer (Maher Balbiti) was also killed. An Israeli sources identify him as a terrorist.[55][56][57] IAF
April 22, 2002 Hebron Marwan Zaloum and Samir Abu Rajoub. Tanzim Hebron leader and Force 17 member Zaloum was on a an Israeli wanted list, and thought responsible for shootings, including that Shalhevet Pass. Israeli helicopter strike.[55][58] IAF|-
June 24, 2002 Rafah Yasir Raziq, 'Amr Kufa. Izzeddln al-Qassam Brigades leaders. Missiles fired at two taxis, killing two other passengers (reportedly also Hamas activists),[59] the two drivers and injuring 13 bystanders.[55][60] IAF
June 30, 2002 Nablus Muhaned Taher, Imad Draoza. Muhaned Taher, nom de guerre "Engineer 4", was a master Hamas bomber claimed by Israel to be responsible for both the Patt Junction Bus Bombingand the Dolphinarium discotheque suicide bombing, died with a deputy in a shoot-out with Israeli raiding commandos.[55][59] IDF naval commandos
July 4, 2002 Gaza City Jihad Amerin/(Aqid) Jihad Amrain Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Colonel. Killed in a car bomb.[55][61] Israel Security Forces.[62]
July 22, 2002 Gaza City Salah Shahade Leader of Hamas Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades Killed by 2,205-pound explosive dropped by an F-16. The attack also killed fourteen other Palestinians including his wife and 9 children. Yesh Gvul and Gush Shalom tried to have Dan Halutz indicted, but the case was dropped.[55][63][64][65] IAF
August 6, 2002 Jaba, Jenin Ali Ajuri, Murad Marshud Classified as people not known to be involved in the fighting (B'tselem). Ajuri (21) was killed by an air to surface missle, during an attempt to arrest him. Murad Marshud (19) killed as bystander.[66]'Palestinian killed by Israeli security forces, Not known if involved in fighting in the West Bank,' B'tselem 2009.</ref> IAF
August 14, 2002 Tubas Nassa Jarrar Senior member of Hamas's militant wing. Died crushed by rubble when an IDF bulldozer demolished his house. The IDF admitted it compelled at gunpoint Nidal Abu M'khisan (19) to act as a human shield and get the victim out of his house. Jarrar shot the youth, believing he was an IDF soldier. The victim was wheelchair bound. ISrtael suspected him of preparing a bomb an Israeli high-rise building.[67][68] IDF
October 29, 2002 Tubas Assim Sawafta Age 19 Hamas Izzedine al Qassam military leader. Killed by an undercover army unit, after failing to surrender.[55][69] IDF
November 26, 2002 Jenin Alah Sabbagh and Imad Nasrti Sabbagh reportedly an Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade member, Nasrti Hamas local leader. Killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Jenin refugee camp by two missiles fired into a room.[55][70] IAF
December 23, 2002 near Jenin Shaman Hassan Subah (29) and Mustafa Kash (26) Subah was a Hamas commander and bombmaker. Ambushed by IDF unit as they rode on a tractor between Burqin and Al-Yamun.[55][71] IDF
March 8, 2003 Gaza City Ibrahim al-Makadmeh Gaza Dentist. Second-in-Command of Hamas's Military Wing.[55] Hamas political leader. He and three of his aides killed by helicopter-fired missiles.[72] IAF
Baqat al-Hatab Nasser Asida March 18, 2003 Hamas commander Shot while hiding in a cave,On Israel's most wanted list as alleged mastermind of attacks on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.[73] IDF's Kfir Brigade[74]
April 8, 2003 Gaza Said al-Arabid Hamas Helicopter missiles struck the car in Gaza.[55] IAF
April 9, 2003 Mahmoud Zatma Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine Senior Commander, Bomb Maker[55] Apache helicopter hit the car he was driving in Gaza City. IAF
April 10, 2003 Tulkarm Yasser Alemi Fatah, Tanzim Shot and killed as a fugutive in Tulkarm. Israeli Border Police undercover unit [55]
April 29, 2003 southern Gaza Strip Nidal Salameh PFLP Killed when 4 helicopter missiles struck his car[55] IAF
May 8, 2003 Iyad el-Bek Aide of Salah Shehade.[55] Killed after three helicopter missiles fired at a car. IAF
June 11, 2003 Shijaiyah Tito Massoud (35) and Soffil Abu Nahez (29) Massoud was a senior member of Hamas's military wing.[55] Retaliatory strike one hour after the Davidka Square bus bombing. 4 bystanders also killed [75] IAF
June 12, 2003 Gaza City Jihad Srour and Yasser Taha Hamas members[55] Killed by between 4 and 6 helicopter missiles while their car was caught in a traffic jam, near a cemetary where victims of the June 11 strike the day before were being buried. Collateral damage consisted of 6 other victims including Taha's wife and child. 25 others were injured by the blasts.[76] IAF
August 21, 2003 Gaza City Ismail Abu Shanab (48) Engineer and high-ranking Hamas moderate and pragmatist.[77] High-ranking Hamas official[78] Missile strike, ending a cease-fire.[79][80] IAF
August 24, 2003 Gaza City Walid el Hams, Ahmed Rashdi Eshtwi (24), Ahmed Abu Halala, Muhammad Abu Lubda Hamas members. Eshtwi was said by the IDF to be a Hamas liaison officer with West Bank cells.[81] Twin helicopter missile strike as the five were sitting in a vcant lot near a Force 17 base. Several bystanders were injured, and a further Hamas member critically wounded.[82] IAF[55]
August 26, 2003 Gaza City Khaled Massoud brother of Tito Massoud, killed 3 months earlier. Hamas Qassam rocket designer, alleged to be involved in mortar strikes. Attempted assassination of Massoud, who was with two other Hamas activists, Wa'al Akilan and Massoud Abu Sahila, in a car. Alerted to the threat, the three men managed to escape from their car as 3 missiles struck it and killed a passing 65-year-old Jabaliya donkey driver Hassan Hemlawi, who was driving his cart. Two bystanders were also wounded, including four children.[81][83] IAF[55]
August 28, 2003 Khan Yunis Hamdi Khalaq Izzedine al Qassam 3 missiles struck hit a donkey cart Khalaq was driving. Three Gazans nearby were wounded. The IDF said he was on his way to a mortar attack on an Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip.[84] IDF[55]
August 30, 2003 On a road linking the Nusseirat and Bureij refugee camps]] in the Gaza Strip. Abdullah Akel (37) and Farid Mayet (40) Hamas members, said to have fired mortar shells and Qassam rocks. Killed when 4 helicopter missiles struck their pickup truck. Seven others Palestinians were wounded by the fire.. IDF soldiers machine-gunned an 8-year-old girl Aya Fayad the same day in the Khan Yunis refugee camp, while, according to IDF reports, shooting at road-bomb militants detonating bombs on a patrol route. ref>'Israeli Missiles Kill Two Militants,' Los Angeles Times, 31 August 2003.</ref>'Israeli strike kills two militants,'[85] IAF[55]
September 1, 2003 Gaza City Khader Houssre (36) Hamas member Killed when 4 helicopter missiles struck a car with 3 Hamas members, in a crowded side street. The second was critically wounded, while the other managed to flee. 25 bystanders were injured in the strike.[86] IAF[55]
December 25, 2003 Gaza City Mustafa Sabah Hamas master bombmaker, thought behind explosions that blew up 3 Merkava tanks inside the Gaza Strip.[87] Killed when 3 helicopter missiles destroyed a Palestinian Authority compound where Sabah worked as a part-tieme guard.[87] IAF [55]
December 25, 2003 Gaza Strip Mekled Hameid PIJ commander. Helicopter gunship attack on car, killing its occupants, including two PIJ members. Two bystanders were also reported killed and some 25 bystanders injured.[88] IAF [55]
February 7, 2004 Gaza City Aziz Mahmoud Shami Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine local field commander, claimed to be behind a 1995 double suicide bombing in Netanya. Missile strike incinerated his car while he drove down a crowded street, and a passing 12 year old boy was killed, and 10 others wounded.[89] [55]
February 28, 2004 Jabaliya refugee camp Amin Dahduh,Mahmoud Juda, Aiyman Dahduh. PIJ military commander Missiles hit his car as it travelled from Gaza city to the refugee camp. Two passengers are also killed and eleven bystanders wounded.[90][91] Israeli helicopters.
March 3, 2004 Gaza City Tarad Jamal, Ibrahim Dayri and Ammar Hassan.[4] Senior Hamas members Missiles from helicopter fired at their car as it drove down a coastal road.[92] Helicopter strike.[55]
March 16, 2004 Gaza City Nidal Salfiti and Shadi Muhana Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine Israeli missile strike.[55]
March 22, 2004 Gaza City Ahmed Yassin Co-founder and leader of Hamas As he left a mosque at dawn, he, 2 bodyguards, and 7 bystanders killed by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache-fired Hellfire missiles. 17 bystanders were wounded.[93][94] IAF
April 17, 2004 Gaza City Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi Co-founder and leader of Hamas, and successor of Ahmed Yassin as leader of Hamas after his death Killed by helicopter-fired missiles, along with his son and bodyguard. Several bystanders were injured.[95] IAF [55]
May 5, 2004 Imad Mohammed Janajra[55]
May 30, 2004 Wael Nassar [55] Hamas member
June 14, 2004 Khalil Marshud[55]
June 26, 2004 Nayef Abu Sharkh Jafer el-Massari Fadi Bagit Sheikh Ibrahim Respectively Tanzim; Hamas Nablus officer; Islamic Jihad officer.[55]
July 22, 2004 Hazem Rahim[55]
July 29, 2004 Amr Abu Suta , Zaki Abu Rakha[55]
August 17, 2004 Four Unidentified[55] Hamas
September 13, 2004 Mahmud Abu Khalifa [55]
September 20, 2004 Khaled Abu Shamiyeh


September 21, 2004 Nabil al-Saedi, Rabah Zaqout[55]
September 27, 2004 Izz Eldine Subhi Sheik Khalil[55] Hamas
September 27, 2004 Ali al-Shaeir[55] Popular Resistance Committee member
October 6, 2004 Bashir Dabash and Zarees Alareer[55] PIJ
October 21, 2004 Gaza Adnan al-Ghoul Imad al-Baas 2nd in command of Hamas, and Qassem rocket expert. Killed together with his aide Imad Abbas when their car was destroyed by a missile from an Apache helicopter. Four bystanders were wounded. .[4] IAF[55]
May 25, 2006 Sidon, Lebanon Mahmoud al-Majzoub Commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Injured in car bombing, and died the next day. Islamic Jihad blamed Israel, though Israel denied it.[96]
June 8, 2006 Jamal Abu Samhadana Founder of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group, a former Fatah and Tanzim member, and number two on Israel's list of wanted terrorists.[97] Killed by Israeli airstrike, along with at least three other PRC members.[98][99]
February 12, 2008 Damascus Imad Mughniyah Top Hezbollah commander Killed by car bomb. Some news reports indicated the Mossad was responsible,[100] though Israel denied carrying it out.[101] Mossad (Speculation)
August 1, 2008 Muhammad Suleiman Syrian General, and top liaison between Syria and Hezbollah Killed by sniper fire. Israel never takes credit for the killing, but is widely suspected.[102][103]
January 1, 2009 Nizar Rayan Top Hamas military commander and decision maker, who advocated suicide attacks against Israel[104] Killed in Israeli airstrike, along with his 4 wives and 11 of their children. He is the most senior Hamas member to be killed since 2004. According to Israel, Rayan was not the target, rather, the strike aimed to destroy Hamas' central compound which included several buildings that served as storage sites for weapons. Israel further stated that phone warnings were delivered to the residents.[104][105]
January 3, 2009 Abu Zakaria al-Jamal Senior Hamas military wing commander, and leader of Gaza City's rocket-launching squads[106] Killed in Israeli airstrike.[107]
January 15, 2009 Jabalia Said Seyam Hamas Interior Minister Killed in Israeli airstrike with his brother, his son, and Hamas general security services commander Salah Abu Shrakh.[108]
March 4, 2009 Gaza Strip Khaled Shalan Senior member of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine Killed in Israeli airstrike, in retaliation for[dubious ] Palestinian rocket attacks on the Israeli city of Ashkelon.[109] IAF


Date Place Target Description Action Executor
January 12, 2010 Iran Masoud Alimohammadi Iranian Physicist Killed in a car bomb. Mossad (Alleged)
January 19, 2010 Dubai Mahmoud al-Mabhouh Hamas senior military commander, believed to have been involved in smuggling weapons and explosives into Gaza.[110] Widely reported to have been killed by Israeli intelligence members. Israel stated that there is no proof of its involvement, and refused to confirm or deny the allegations.[111] Dubai police report that Israeli agents used Australian, French, British, Irish, and Dutch passports. Mossad (Speculation)
July 31, 2010 Gaza Strip Issa al-Batran Hamas military commander in central Gaza, thought to have been involved in manufacturing rockets Killed in retaliation for earlier rocket attack on city of Ashkelon[112] IAF
November 3, 2010 Gaza Strip Mohammed Nimnim al-Qaeda affiliated, Army of Islam commander[113] Car explosion, due to either a bomb planted by Israel or an Israeli airstrike.[114] IAF, with Egyptian intelligence
November 17, 2010 Gaza Strip Islam Yassin al-Qaeda affiliated, Army of Islam commander[115] Israeli airstrike on his car, killing him, his brother, and injuring four others.[116] IAF
November 29, 2010 Iran Majid Shahriari Iranian nuclear scientist Killed in a car bomb. According to the German newspaper Der Spiegel Israel was behind the killing.[117] Mossad (Alleged)
January 11, 2011 Gaza Strip Mohammed A-Najar Islamic Jihad operative, suspected of planning attacks against civilians and launching rockets at Israel[118] Attacked by the Israel Airforce while driving his motorcycle in the Gaza Strip.[118] IAF
April 9, 2011 Gaza Strip Tayseer Abu Snima Senior Hamas commander Killed along with 2 of his bodyguards by the Israeli air force during a period of escalated rocket fire from Gaza. He was the most senior Hamas commander killed since 2009.[119] IAF
July 23, 2011 Iran Darioush Rezaeinejad Iranian electrical engineer Killed by unknown gunmen on motorcycle. Rezaeinejad was involved in development of high-voltage switches, which are used in a key component of nuclear warheads. Such switches may also have civilian scientific applications.[120] The German Newspaper Der Spiegel claimed Mossad was behind the operation. He is the third Iranian nuclear scientist killed since 2010.[121] Mossad (Alleged)
August 18, 2011 Gaza Strip Abu Oud al-Nirab and Khaled Shaath Popular Resistance Committees Commanders Killed hours after a terrorist attack killed 7 Israelis in southern Israel. 4 additional members of the group were killed in the strike.[122] IAF, Shin Bet
January 11, 2012 Iran Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan Iranian nuclear scientist The bomb that killed Ahmadi-Roshan at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, and another unidentified person was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and the " of the Zionists [Israelis]," deputy Tehran governor Safarali Baratloo said.[123]


Mossad (Alleged)
March 9, 2012 Gaza Strip Zuhir al-Qaisi Secretary-General of the Popular Resistance Committees According to Israeli intelligence, he was planning an imminent attack.[126] IAF
October 13, 2012 Gaza Strip Hisham al-Saedni Head of Tawhid wa-Jihad Killed along with Ashraf al-Sabah in an Israeli airstrike.[127] IAF
November 14, 2012 Gaza Strip Ahmed Jaabari Commander of Hamas' military wing Killed in an airstrike at the start of Operation Pillar of Cloud. Led Hamas' 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip and, according to Israel, was responsible for most attacks on Israel originating in Gaza from about 2006 to 2012, including the capture of Gilad Shalit.[128] IAF


  1. ^ Jonathan Masters, Targeted Killings Council on Foreign Relations May 23, 2013.
  2. ^ Nils Melzer, Targeted Killing in International Law, Oxford University Press, 2008 pp.3-5, p.5.
  3. ^ a b Lisa Hajjar,'Lawfare and Targeted Killing: Developments in the Israeli and US Contexts,' Jadaliyya 15 January 2012:'In 1992 a government spokesperson said, “There is no policy, and there never will be a policy or a reality, of willful killings of suspects…the principle of the sanctity of life is a fundamental principle of the I.D.F. There is no change and there will not be a change in this respect”.'
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Anthony H. Cordesman, Jennifer Moravitz, The Israeli-Palestinian War: Escalating to Nowhere, Greenwood Publishing Group 2005 p.347.
  5. ^ Abraham D. Sofaer (March 26, 2004). "Responses to Terrorism / Targeted killing is a necessary option". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Israel and the Occupied Territories: Israel must end its policy of assassinations". AI Index: MDE 15/056/2003. Amnesty International. 4 July 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2014. "Amnesty International considers that respect for the rule of law and the protection of the right to life require that the policy of assassinating those who do not pose an imminent threat to lives be ruled unlawful and be stopped." 
  7. ^ a b c Philip Alston, UN: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, United Nations A/HRC/14/24/Add.6, May 28, 2010.
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