Talk:List of Israeli assassinations

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I have removed the citation tag from the top of this article since most assassinations now have a ref. Joshdboz (talk) 13:33, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Gerald Bull[edit]

What about Gerald Bull? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Added today. Tiamuttalk 19:54, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
But unfortunately, deleted twice now [1] by Vrubel's Demons. Could we please acknowledge that while the source you found (Vrubel) says "allegedly", two other sources cited in the article use either no qualification or say that it is "well-known" though "officially denied"? I still think he should be included here. Perhaps the best wording would be the mid-point one? (well known but officially denied). Thoughts? Tiamuttalk 21:40, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Then rename the article to "List of alleged Israeli assassinations". Демоны Врубеля/Vrubel's Demons (talk) 21:43, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
"Alleged" is a WP:WEASEL word. I won't support that rename. Tiamuttalk 21:55, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

POV Tag.[edit]

Article lacks reasoning for targeted killing and additional input on other possible suspects. JaakobouChalk Talk 17:46, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Er, it's a LIST, not an article about the policy per se. And in any event the intro already says "as a response to ..". And finally, be careful what you wish for - someone may come along and insert claims that the reason why Israel engages in this sort of activity is because it's a vicious, terrorist state that operates outside the boundaries of international law. Apologies for "stalking" btw. --Nickhh (talk) 18:06, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
The barely noticeable disclaimer does not make the article neutral and there should be some addition of the mentioned input before we can call this article neutral.
Is there a good reason to exclude the information I mentioned? JaakobouChalk Talk 22:38, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I gave at least two just now - 1) it is a list of events, not a debate about the rights and wrongs of the activity; 2) the information is already there in the lead in any event (I can see it, even if you had difficulty noticing it). Putting in even more detail on how and why Israel justifies or explains these acts will of course not make the article neutral; quite the contrary, it will make it a one-sided apologia. The List of Hamas suicide attacks page doesn't kick off with the claim that they are carried out in response to Israeli aggression and occupation, nor do I see anyone suggesting that it should. --Nickhh (talk) 23:03, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm thinking we should turn the list into a category rather than a List article. Thoughts? JaakobouChalk Talk 23:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Disagree about turning into cat and disagree about neutrality tag or accusation of POV. A) It's a list B) It's merely a list. If you would like to deepen the discussion, the place for that is a 'main article' to this list. A very legitimate article.--Shuki (talk) 23:24, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Link? JaakobouChalk Talk 10:28, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Jaakobou, I'll try to answer your concerns. Article lacks reasoning for targeted killing. Somewhat true, I guess since this is simply a list of assassinations, not an article on the assassinations, descriptions are rather short. Most of the more notable assassinations have an article on the person himself. That being said, if you think reasonings need to be added for certain targets, by all means see what you can do with it. Additional input on other possible suspects. I don't know if you're trying to say that this list is incomplete, or if the responsibility for certain assassinations may have been ascribed to groups other than Israel. In either case, I would again urge you to add more info/describe where you feel it to be necessary. Joshdboz (talk) 13:28, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Joshdboz, I think you understood my concerns perfectly. I figured I'd start by making note of these concerns with a POV tag and a bit of talk... I'm a tad backed up though so I don't think I will be able to go fishing for details on these cases. Maybe someone familiar with the topic can make some basic changes that will help the situation? I know it's a tad annoying to post a tag and then not do anything about it, I'm open for suggestions and compromise though. JaakobouChalk Talk 17:01, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Just an amusing remark, by the way...[edit]

By a curious coincidence, the page "List of Israeli assassinations" is available in Arab, but not the "List of Hamas suicide attacks"... I wonder why... How strange, isn't it? ;-) Fan2jnrc (talk) 12:01, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

It's called systematic bias - an unfortunate consequence of the demographic groups editing each Wikipedia. Joshdboz (talk) 15:20, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

1950s assassination only kills policeman[edit]

Please explain why this was taken out: *March 27, 1952 - package addressed to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany exploded in the Munich Police Headquarters, killing one police officer. Five members of the disbanded terrorist group, Irgun were arrested in Paris but no action taken. Future Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin was implicated as the organiser. See Konrad Adenauer, Assassination Attempt for more details. (talk) 08:43, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for not having responded sooner. This list is for government directed assassinations (basically via the military or intel orgs); there does not appear to be evidence that the event you mention was sponsored by the state of Israel, even if Israeli citizens were allegedly invovled. Joshdboz (talk) 17:32, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

List of alleged Israeli assassinations?[edit]

I do not see that a clear distinction is drawn in this article between assassinations that are alleged or that have drawn some speculation of Israeli involvement, and assassinations that have been proven or officially admitted to be link to Israeli security agencies. There were several items (which I removed) that were in the former category, and I suspect many more can be found. Демоны Врубеля/Vrubel's Demons (talk) 19:17, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Given that spy agencies don't generally openly proclaim responsibility for their exploits, we can't expect that all the entires will be accompanied by an admission of guilt by the perpetrating party. The solution is to attribute the claims to who is making them (if there doubt). But if sources report the event without any qualifications, we should too. Where there are Israeli denials, those should be noted. I restored what you removed. Please don't remove sourced text again. Please do feel free to add any qualifications or denials. Tiamuttalk 19:39, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
The solution would be to rename this article into List of alleged Israeli assassinations because that is what we have in most cases - speculations and accusations and nothing more. Cherrypicking sources is not helpful here - if most reliable sources report an event without any qualification we could include it, but for the two entries I deleted above that is not the case, and I suspect that is true for many more entries on this list. Демоны Врубеля/Vrubel's Demons (talk) 21:38, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't think the best solution is a rename. I think you'll find that thi entry you removed for al-Mabhouh will soon be proven without a doubt (given the latest reports of the involvement of Israeli immigration officials in procuring the fake UK passports). I also don't see why the source you found that uses "alleged" for Gerald Bull should trump the other two sources cited in his article, one of which uses the descriptor "well-known" to refer to Mossad involvement and the other which uses no qualification.
As I said, the best way to handle ambiguous cases in to give space to that ambiguity in the columns provided in the table using what reliable sources have to say. Where there are conflicting reports, this should be noted. If we went by your standard and only included those that Israeli bodies officially owned up to killing, there would be hardly any entries on this page, because the secret services simply do not do that.
Please restore the two entires you have deleted and add information qualifying them per the reliable sources you have found that offer qualifications. Thanks. Tiamuttalk 21:45, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

It's at least good that there's finally some debate here, as this page does call for some judgment - absolute certainty is almost always lacking. The intention is to rely on reliable sources and commonsense. Just because Al-Ahram blames something on the Zionists doesn't make it true. Neither does a breathless story from Debka. In the most recent case of Mabhouh, we have the Dubai police announce that they are almost 100% certain Mossad was behind it, and independent reporting that confirms this from other sources (see the latest from the Times). To me that seems like enough reliable sources to merit a mention here. As for the rest, I think renaming the article would get cumbersome, but if there is doubt on certain cases then by all means we should debate inclusion, and if included, add caveats where necessary. Joshdboz (talk) 01:36, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Folke Bernadotte[edit]

What are the views of other editors regarding the inclusion of Folke Bernadotte? While it is true that the Lehi were responsible for the killing and they were not a strictly state apparatus (it was a transitory period in any case being just months after the state's establishment), many of those involved went on to become members of the Israeli government at various times. Thoughts? Tiamuttalk 21:11, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, on the one hand I think it would be opening up a can of worms to start including unofficial Lehi and Irgun stuff, on the other hand it does make interesting material. What do people think about a background paragraph up top about assassinations by Jewish/Israeli groups pre-1948? Just a thought. Joshdboz (talk) 01:52, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Repeated deletions of sourced material[edit]

Now Drmoos is deleting the same material Vrubel's Demons deleted [2]. Could we please stop pretending that there is misrepresentation going on here? The article states clearly that these are incidents reported to have been carried out by Israeli actors. The entries being deleted are reported to have been carried out by Israeli actors. That there is no official Israeli confirmation is to be expected given that secret services don't tend to confirm these kinds of things. Any doubts expressed in reliable sources can and should be noted, including official denials. But entires should not be summarily removed, particularly when they are reliably sourced and properly attributed. Please stop deleting these things without discussion and without regard for our policies on NPOV and RS. Tiamuttalk 23:03, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

And I have removed them again. Do not ignore my explanation above. If you want to include alleged assassinations then please rename the article, otherwise refrain from adding speculations. Демоны Врубеля/Vrubel's Demons (talk) 20:08, 31 March 2010 (UTC)


The first line of this article is The following is a list of assassinations reported to have been conducted by the state of Israel. Does anybody here seriously doubt that this was an assassination reported to have been conducted by Israel? When a reliable source explicitly says that The Israeli secret service Mossad has been widely accused of carrying out the killing? The text made clear that Israel had not confirmed that they did this, there is no cause for removal. nableezy - 23:05, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Looks fine. The BBC statement is clear. Joshdboz (talk) 14:31, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
Then why is the title of the article "List of Israeli assassinations" and not "List of assassinations reported to have been conducted by the state of Israel"? Демоны Врубеля/Vrubel's Demons (talk) 20:11, 31 March 2010 (UTC)


These are all killings. There is no controversy as to whether they are killings.

There is controversy as to whether they are assassinations. A large number of the most RS sources -- professors and judges -- call them killings but not assassinations. That is because, among other things, assassinations are murder. Those RS sources do not believe the killings are either murder or assassinations.

This is quite clear for anyone who looks at the sources. If they need to see examples, I will be happy to provide them. For that reason, I am changing the word "assassinations" (disputed) to killings (undisputed).--Epeefleche (talk) 05:39, 10 October 2010 (UTC)


I disagree. The definition of assassination is according to Merriam-Webster "to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons". This definition holds regardless if murder is performed by a sniper rifle or a drone missile attack. The use of assassination is not controversial at all, on the contrary it is precisely in accordance with the dictionary. The use of [targeted killing] is controversial and disputed, as many (me included) refer to them as assassinations and believe it is simply an attempt to circumvent the legal rights and "baggage" that comes with concepts such as torture (advanced interrogation techniques) and prisoners of war (unlawful enemy combattants)

Gnurkel (talk) 13:10, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

page move[edit]

to include attempted assassinations, kidnappings and failures as well. Ie- Khalen Meshal in Amman,a nd the fella in Argentina.Lihaas (talk) 06:33, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

I would be OK with that if we change "assassinations" to "targeted killings".--Epeefleche (talk) 06:42, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
That sounds good. It seems Meshaal is there right now, nut he shouldnt be under the current criteria.
Although we ned wording to include kidnappingstooLihaas (talk) 06:51, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
As with List of kidnappings.--Epeefleche (talk) 07:33, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, of the sort but combined here (as this is already a specific and not a "list of assassination")Lihaas (talk) 06:10, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
How would you propose it read? "List of Israeli targeted killings and kidnappings"? I don't think we need the word "attempted" or "failed" in the title (IMHO).--Epeefleche (talk) 06:51, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
I am against changing the title to "targeted killings". Israel has killed individuals who are not involved in warfare or terrorism against the state of Israel (e.g. ex-Nazis, various Western scientists). Factomancer (talk) 13:11, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
The scientists are targeted killings. Not sure we have much in the way of ex-Nazis.--Epeefleche (talk) 05:50, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Targeted killings is the accurate term. Targeted killing is the intentional killing–by a government or its agents–of a combatant or civilian targeted by the government, who is not in the government's custody. The target is a person taking part in an armed conflict whether by bearing arms or otherwise. This is by far the more accurate name. Marokwitz (talk) 06:42, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

October 2010 incident[edit]

I believe that the October 2010 killings should be removed from this list. Here is the description of what happened from the source:

They were killed in their Hebron hideout after resisting capture and opening fire on soldiers from the IDF’s Duvdevan undercover unit and officers from the Israel Police’s Counterterrorism Unit (YAMAM).[3]

The source is very clear that the Israelis approached these men in an attempt to arrest them, not to kill them, and that the killing was incidental. This is not an assassination. GabrielF (talk) 01:36, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable based on the above, though I've not independently looked at all the sources.--Epeefleche (talk) 02:00, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Indeed it appears to be a case of death in action, not an assassination. Marokwitz (talk)
Cool, it seems this exclusion is warranted by consensus. (previously it was just removed)Lihaas (talk) 05:18, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Walid Obeidi[edit]

I'd like to remove Walid Obeidi from the list for the same reason listed above - it appears he was killed as the result of a gun battle with troops who came to arrest him, not assassinated. Here are two sources. CNN BBC GabrielF (talk) 02:48, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Three points[edit]

Some thoughts:

1) The Maxwell inclusion is highly dubious. I propose its deletion. 2) Some of the editorializing as to "in retaliation for" is unsourced, and needs sources or revision. 3) We should only inline the first instance of each word, such as Gaza. --Epeefleche (talk) 14:39, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Attributing the Maxwell case to Mossad is "conspiracy/fringe theory" or a wild speculation of the worst kind. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary sources. Marokwitz (talk) 15:08, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
1. i digress, the RS sources have said so, but perhaps add the caveat that it was "suspected" even though the RS said so. No such accusation has been mage against Gideon's Spies (and also sourced on his page)
2. fact/dubious tag it for now, if nothing is forthcoming then it can go.
3. Agreed per WP:Overlink.Lihaas (talk) 05:19, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree to Maxwell's deletion. Clearly a fringe theory (and way, way out there, as those go).--Epeefleche (talk) 05:49, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:Consensus. on what basis. it has been cited by RS sources.Lihaas (talk) 10:08, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
It was removed per WP:REDFLAG. Where are the multiple, high quality reliable sources? Not every sensational news article is strong enough to introduce such extraordinary facts. Marokwitz (talk) 10:25, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with deleting Maxwell as well. It seems little more than a rumor. GabrielF (talk) 15:47, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Rumour? Where is there a question of doubt in the source? if the source is somehow questionable, THEN an added source is needed.Lihaas (talk) 19:44, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Please read WP:REDFLAG. The Mossad killing well known Jewish philanthropists is totally out of character, the source seems to be a clear case of yellow journalism, a better source is needed to back such wild speculation. Marokwitz (talk) 05:23, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
But you havent answered why this source is not good enough. Its not "journalism" as such anyways. What is abd abotu this aource that a better one is needed>?Lihaas (talk) 22:34, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree w/Gabriel and Marok, for the reasons stated.--Epeefleche (talk) 23:00, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Gerald Bull[edit]

What should we do about Gerald Bull? We are stating definitively that he was assassinated by Mossad and citing a piece in the Irish Independent as a source. However, our own article on Gerald Bull says that nobody really knows who killed him and there are many suspects. The Irish Independent article [4] strikes me as very weak - it is very sensational and states as true many claims that are really just unproven allegations (for example, that Israel killed Imad Muganiyeh, or that Mossad has "tens of thousands" of Jewish helpers around the world. A much better source is a huge New York Times Magazine article (12 pages online) on the Bull case which says:

No one knows who killed Gerald Bull. His family claims that it was the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. Shortly after the killing, Bull's son Michel said an unnamed intelligence agent had warned his father that Mossad was after him (he has since backed off that assertion). Despite Israel's denials, the family's suspicions are widely shared by intelligence experts. In the past, Israel has shown that it will move quickly and decisively to eliminate military threats from Iraq. In 1981, staging a pre-emptive strike, Israeli warplanes destroyed the Osiraq nuclear reactor near Baghdad to prevent Iraq from producing nuclear warheads.
But if Mossad is a prime suspect, there are many others who might have wanted to kill Bull: the Iraqis, the British, the Americans, the South Africans or even the Chileans. Bull moved in a dangerous world of hidden arms deals and murderous intelligence agencies. Bart Van Leysabeth, a spokesman for Belgium's public prosecutor, says, It is a difficult case, adding that authorities are not very hopeful. Only one thing is certain. Bull had a dangerous ambition, and someone pumped two bullets into his head to stop him.[5]

My preference is that we either delete Bull or, at the very least, explicitly state that this is a rumor.GabrielF (talk) 16:03, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I reviewed the sources and you appear to be right. If not removed, this at very least should be marked as a "media speculation" , to separate it from the rest. This is an encyclopedia, not a rumors site. Marokwitz (talk) 06:36, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I largely agree with GabrielF initial comments. After a quick review, I can't find any RS saying definitively that he was whacked by the Mossad. There are number of sources that point to speculation that he was whacked by the Mossad. How do we denote that one of this hits is speculated rather than definitive? Furthermore, how much speculation does there have to be before someone merits inclusion in the list?
It strikes that someone like Mahmoud al-Mabhouh obviously belongs, b/c pretty much everyone agrees the Mossad was responsible, though there are no RSs saying that is definitively the case (to my knowledge at least).
Perhaps we should add a "(speculated)" comment next to the name? I'm going to be bold and put that in. NickCT (talk) 17:02, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Was Amr Qawasme technically assassinated?[edit]

It strikes me as though this is more of an accidental killing. NickCT (talk) 22:17, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

That is what the Ma'an News source claims. He was a 66-year-old elderly man in his bed. The IDF didn't say the man offered any resistance. Hamas is calling it an assassination as well. I think an accidental killing is when you bomb someone's home and kill some people on accident. Someone pointed a gun at this man in the bed and pulled the trigger. -asad (talk) 00:53, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Hmmmm.... Well, in my mind, "assassination" typically involves forethought (i.e. it's premeditated). The article cited seems to suggest it happened in the heat of the moment. To be frank, this shooting is obviously a little disturbing, but I don't think it's really assassination. Anyway, I'll let others decide. NickCT (talk) 13:34, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
The BBC story referenced in the article says: "Reports say Israeli forces carried out a number of raids across the city, rounding up five men." Based on the sources it seems like this is an arrest attempt that went wrong. We've discussed similar situations in the past and the consensus seems to be that if someone was killed while the Israelis are attempting to make an arrest than it isn't really an assassination since the intent was not to assassinate someone and the death was incidental. (See the October 2010 section above). The same standard should be applied here. GabrielF (talk) 15:21, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, just because it was the wrong target whom was assassinated, does it mean that they were not assassinated? -asad (talk) 16:39, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
That's not what I'm saying. I don't have a problem with listing the Lillehammer affair here for example. That was clearly an attempt to assassinate someone where they got the wrong guy. Here it looks like they were trying to arrest someone but something happened and this guy ended up getting killed. If we include that in a list of assassinations than we're implying that they intended to kill someone and that's not what the source says. I understand its a fine distinction but "assassination" is a highly-charged word and there are POV issues. GabrielF (talk) 16:49, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I concur with GabrielF. NickCT (talk) 17:10, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
The intended target to be assassinated was Wael Mahmoud Said Bitar. Which wold be exactly like the Lillehammer affair you were talking about. see here — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asad112 (talkcontribs) 17:50, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Well the article you cite says: "Bitar, who was implicated in a deadly suicide bombing attack in Dimona in 2008, was arrested during the raid." That implies that this was not an assassination attempt. GabrielF (talk) 22:40, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
It implies he was the target of a botched assassination attempt. -asad (talk) 23:43, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
You mean they came there to kill the guy but they accidentally arrested him? I'm pretty sure that's not how these things work. GabrielF (talk) 23:45, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what went wrong and why he wasn't kill in the end. All I know is that Amr Qawasme was not the target of the raid, but that Bitar was. Even if they didn't intend to assassinate Bitar (which I don't believe is true) they assassinated Qawasme. -asad (talk) 19:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
An accidental killing is not an assassination, based on the dictionary definition of the word. Same as Ahmed Bouchiki. Marokwitz (talk) 11:35, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

relevant RfC on the defining an assassination[edit]

An RFC on Talk:Death of Osama bin Laden is relevant to this article. The RFC was specifically located at: Talk:Death of Osama bin Laden/Archive 3#Rename to Assassination of Osama bin Laden. There was a clear consensus around the idea that if reliable sources don't indicate a clear attempt to kill someone (for instance if the order is to capture or kill if resisting) than the term "assassination" is inappropriate. We have reached a similar consensus on this article with regard to two cases described above.

date discrepancy[edit]

According to contemporary press accounts, Massoud Ayyad's assassination took place on February 13, 2001, not February 3, as this article says. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicothewhiz (talkcontribs) 20:14, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Could someone[edit]

please change the title. A good number of these assassinations are attributed to Israel without proof, or admission, and therefore to be balanced the title should read: List of Israeli assassinations, alleged or otherwise I don't think this is controversial. The title as it stands is grossly misleading.Nishidani (talk) 10:38, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

I agree the name should be changed. The article should also clearly differentiate between those cases where there's no question about, and those that are just alleged. Right now they're intermingled. No More Mr Nice Guy (talk) 12:12, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
If the title were to be changed, it should be changed to "Terrorist attacks by the israeli government". Many of these attacks use typical terrorist weapons, such as car bombs, and/or have killed innocent bystanders. PerDaniel (talk) 12:51, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
See WP:TERRORIST. GabrielF (talk) 01:05, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Calling acts of terrorism something else is a violation of WP:EUPHEMISMS. PerDaniel (talk) 16:14, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
In your opinion, it's a euphemism. We don't go by your opinion, we go by what the preponderance of mainstream sources say. In this case mainstream sources do not use the word "terrorism" but prefer assassination or targeted killing. Further, the word terrorism is unnecessarily incendiary in this case. Please read WP:NOR, and WP:NPOV. GabrielF (talk) 16:35, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Obviously assassination of terrorists killers who are hidden in third countries is NOT terorrism. It does not fall under terrorism definition (this acts are targeted against individuals, not innocent people, nor using bombs or attacking civilians). And by my part, I say a large BRAVO to Israel. It is a service to mandkind to eliminate these killers. -- (talk) 15:40, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Could someone now add the details of the assassination of Arafat by Polonium? There is now substantial evidence that this was an Israeli assassination - certainly in excess of the balance of probability.... (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Gilad Shalit, what verb to use?[edit]

Regarding this:

| 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]].<ref>{{cite news|last=Kershner|first=Isabel|title=Ferocious Israeli Assault on Gaza Kills a Leader of Hamas|url=|accessdate=15 November 2012|newspaper=The New York Times|date=14 November 2012|author2=Fares Akram}}</ref> | IAF

We had "capturing" of Gilad Shalit, it was reverted (twice, I might add) to "kidnapping," and then I changed it to "capture," keeping the old verb but correcting the tense. Now, which should we use and why? I believe that "capture" is more neutral than "kidnap," as kidnapping is a particular kind of crime and it requires a particular kind of mindset during the actions which constitute it. I don't think the NYT made the right choice of word here. As I said, I think "capture" is more neutral than "kidnap," but I don't think it's perfect. It connotes (but doesn't denote) military action, and there are plausible reasons for assuming that allowing that connotation to stand violates NPOV. Perhaps someone more logopotent than I has a better suggestion?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 00:45, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

I copy a part of my reply: "The article Gilad Shalit is not perfect but in the lead, it's stated that he is a former MIA soldier, that he was abducted and captured. This is consistent with WP:NPOV".
Problem exists in that article too, though. "Kidnapped" is used sometimes in the rest of that article. --IRISZOOM (talk) 00:53, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

The reliable source we use for this claim uses the verb "kidnap" (as do many others). That's what we should use. Stuck in SD with Yaming (talk) 01:27, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

It doesn't matter if some sources call it "kidnapped". It is still not acceptable to use that at Wikipedia. Secondly, you should have waited for this to be discussed instead of instantly reverting it. --IRISZOOM (talk) 01:36, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I am discussing it (unlike you at some other artciels, I might add, so get off your high horse). On wikipedia, we go by reliable sources. That is policy. Stuck in SD with Yaming (talk) 01:39, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
You are adding a term which has been seen as not neutral. Instead of reverting, you should have waited for this to be settled.
You could find many claims in RS that still can't be used to state as facts at Wikipedia. "Kidnapped" is one term that is not neutral. --IRISZOOM (talk) 01:43, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
This entire article uses a term ("assassination") which is not neutral, so don't make me laugh with these rdiculous double standards. 01:49, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict)While you're discussing this artciel, do you think you could address the actual NPOV issue? No one's questioning the reliability of the NYT. What we're questioning is the neutrality of their choice of verb. Do you have any comments from the low horse on the substantive issue?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 01:45, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Sure, see above. This entire article uses a term ("assassination") which is not neutral. Perhaps if it is renamed to something along the lines of "list of killings.." we could simialrly address claims of non-neutrality with regards to the kidnapping. Stuck in SD with Yaming (talk) 01:49, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Ridiculous. You want to change the name of the article, start a new discussion. One thing has nothing to do with the other. You claim to be discussing. Discuss.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 01:53, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
What's ridiclous is the unabashed double standards in use here: The killing of multiple people who are described as military commnaders, by another military force as part of an on-going military engagement is called an "assassination" - a term from the criminal code that has no place when describing wartime hostilities, and the same people who insist on such usage are shocked (!), shocked I tell you, that someone would quote a reliable source that describes the abduction of a soldier by militanyts as part of the very same on-going hostilities as a "kidnapping" , becuase that's not NPOV, you see. Won't fly, sorry. Stuck in SD with Yaming (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 02:03, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't actually disagree with you about the word "assassinations." In fact, I think "killings" would be better. That's not what we're talking about now, though. Why don't you move the article or propose a move or something. Meanwhile, since you claim to be willing to discuss this particular concrete issue, why don't you discuss it instead of multiplying loaves and red herrings?— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 02:08, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
What we are discussing is the use of terms that, while in use by multiple reliable sources, are seen by some editors possibly POV. This includes both "kidnapping" and "Assassination". We will either allow for allegedly POV-terms to be used all over the article, or nowhere in the article, but we will not allow a situation where one side gets to use allegedly POV terms, but the other does not. So we need to treat this issue wholisticly. I am ok with a bold change that inlvolves both the renaming of the article and the removal of any referral to "assassination" (which you seem to agree with), as well as using "abduction" or "capture" for Shalit, but I WILL NOT agree to changing just one term - that's a disingenious double standardd. Stuck in SD with Yaming (talk) 02:17, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There are no "sides" here. Would you like to clarify what you mean by "sides"? Anyway, your hijacking of this talk-page section and holding it hostage to impose your conditions isn't discussion, so I'll just wait for others to contribute.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 02:29, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

A soldier on active duty was taken prisoner by enemy soldiers. The normal English words are "captured" and "taken prisoner". Use of "kidnapped" is simply wrong. Zerotalk 17:17, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
The manner of Shalit's capture mirrors what the IDF does every other day in hunting down what it designates as operatives/militants/terrorists in the West Bank. We call that 'capture', not 'kidnapping' (even when 'kids' are arrested). It's called neutrality, and Robert Louis Stevenson's novel has no place here.Nishidani (talk) 18:02, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Of course it is kidnapping, maybe you can show a source that supports your use of the work capture or revert it back. BernardZ (talk)

Can you argue other than by assertion, please? That's a rhetorical fallacy.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 12:22, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
BarnardZ, There is a thing called "google" that will help you find a large number of sources using "captured" or "taken prisoner" in relation to Gilad Shalit. Demanding that others do such basic research for you won't earn you many points around here. Zerotalk 13:13, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
You are the one making the claim, I do not have to prove anything. In this case even your own reference saids kidnapping BernardZ (talk) Added at 13:23, 2 April 2014‎ — alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:52, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, if Shalit was a civilian, then "kidnapped" would be the right word. --IRISZOOM (talk) 21:37, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
For this to be true HAMAS would need to be a army and at the time Israel and HAMAS at war. Both conditions have to be meet, if say Egypt which has a recognized army was to take a Israeli soldier now, it would be kidnapping. BernardZ (talk) Added at 13:23, 2 April 2014‎ — alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 13:52, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
You're clearly not a native speaker of English. Do you suppose it's possible that some English words might have connotative subtleties that are hard for you to understand for that reason? For instance, regardless of the proper word to use in this specific case, your claim in this comment is ridiculous.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 14:01, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

First, let me propose that there are two separate issues here. First, whether "kidnapping" is the right word. Second, whether "capture" is the right word. There may be a better word than either. I'm still mulling over the second issue, but it's clear to me that using the word "kidnapping" violates NPOV. For a taking of a person to be kidnapping it must be illegal. For an act to be illegal there must be a codified legal system under which it's illegal. In this case the Israeli legal system considers the taking illegal, but it is highly disputed whether the Israeli legal system is legitimately applicable where the action took place. Thus using the word "kidnapping" is privileging one side of that dispute over the other and is thus a violation of NPOV. I'm not wedded to the word "capture," as I said at the beginning of this discussion, but we do need to find a word that's neutral with respect to the legality of the action. We don't have to say it was legal, but we choose either legal or illegal and say it definitively. The fact that the NYT uses the word "kidnapping" is a red herring. We rely on sources to tell us what happened, not how to describe it. The NYT is well-known for being less than balanced in its descriptions of the Israeli-Palestine situation.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 14:01, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting side-note: Eichmann was "captured." And rightly so, too.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 01:43, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Not true if Israel took an Egyptain soldier now it would be kidnapping.

BernardZ (talk)

Adolf Eichmann was apparently in wiki terms not kidnapped but captured, though a civilian (there was a warrant for his arrest on war crimes however, so arrest/capture/ and not kidnapped.
Mordechai Vanunu was 'abducted' (link kidnapped) in the lead and captured in the article. 'Abducted' is a good word. But I really don't see the problem with 'capture' since in war, soldiers are captured (Israel and Egypt are not warring).Nishidani (talk) 13:43, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Officially both Israel and HAMAS are not warring, they are under a dual unilateral cease-fire. So your argument does not hold. It is kidnapping

BernardZ (talk) 13:48, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

  • On the subject of the word assassination, I think it is improper for us to use it, for the reasons elucidated above. Whatever changes we make (or don't make), if we retain the list, the phrase should be changed to "killings" or "targeted killings". Epeefleche (talk) 20:32, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Anthony H. Cordesman (who has, rightly or wrongly be criticized for relying far too much on official and IDF handouts to compile his details on such matters) has no problem with it. He speaks of 'Israel's targeted assassination policy' (Arab-Israeli Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric Wars,) Greenwood Publishing Group 2006 p.74, and elsewhere in his many books. The same goes for even a pernickety legal authority like Alan Dershowitz, certainly not a pro-Palestinian advocate and, as an authority on law, very precise in his language (if not his reading of the facts), as witness his remark about 'Israeli policy with regard to targeted assassinations' (The Case for Israel, John Wiley & Sons, 2011 p.lxxxviii). On the other hand, there are over Ascore OF terms frequently used in the relevant literature. The Israeli government's preferred term is 'targeted killings'. In a survey of usage Roland Otto,(Targeted Killings and International Law: With Special Regard to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, Springer (Beiträge zum ausländischen öffentlichen Recht und Völkerrecht) Vol. 230, 2011 pp.9-12) opts for 'targeted killings', against such terms as 'extra-judicial killings', 'liquidation', 'assassination', etc.etc. In wiki terms, that is a tad problematical, since there are precedents advising we try to avoid replicating a nation-specific terminology in this area. It is also true that 'targeted killings' is a relatively new term, post-dating the four decades when these desultory acts were variously described as 'assassinations', or even 'liquidation' (ugh!, though in Israeli Hebrew that has less negative connotations apparently than it has to my anglophone ear). Whatever, I think we should clarify this in the lead, and also the ruling by Israel's judiciary and other things. Perhaps we need an RfC on this, and I'd back one.Nishidani (talk) 13:48, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Citations needed for a large number of entries[edit]

There are a large number of entries on this list, including about half of the 2000s entries, that have no citations at all. Normally, I'd remove them immediately, but since this is a highly contested area and such a removal would likely be reverted immediately, I will instead leave a message here. I'll give it some time for sources to be located and found, but if I come back to this page in a week and there are entries without sources, I am going to remove them per Template:Unconfirmed. I realize that such an action might not go over well, but there is nothing to stop them from being re-inserted with a source, which is the barrier to entry for all contested lists. Sven Manguard Wha? 20:26, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Setting aside entries that are entirely unsourced, we should also think about how we want to handle many of the entries that are sourced. We have several categories of entries. There are people who Israel has admitted killing, there are people who Israel has not admitted killing but a consensus of sources attribute to Israel and then we have people which one or two sources have attributed to Israel but nobody really knows.
Gerald Bull is an excellent example of a case where nobody really knows. Here's what the cited NYTimes source says: "No one knows who killed Gerald Bull. His family claims that it was the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad... But if Mossad is a prime suspect, there are many others who might have wanted to kill Bull: the Iraqis, the British, the Americans, the South Africans or even the Chileans. Bull moved in a dangerous world of hidden arms deals and murderous intelligence agencies. Bart Van Leysabeth, a spokesman for Belgium's public prosecutor, says, It is a difficult case, adding that authorities are not very hopeful. Only one thing is certain. Bull had a dangerous ambition, and someone pumped two bullets into his head to stop him.""
On the other hand we have Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who the Dubai police believe was assassinated by Mossad - and there seems to be a very strong consensus among sources.
So, what is our standard for inclusion here? Should we include something based on, say, a report in Der Spiegel attributed to unnamed sources as we do for some of the Iranian nuclear scientists? Should we require consensus among sources that the person was assassinated by Israel? It may be useful to have an RFC about this article to clarify the standard for inclusion.GabrielF (talk) 21:00, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
The article title should be changed to something like 'List of Israeli assassinations, alleged, admitted or proven' (which is awkward, admittedly) (2) Simply asking someone to provide documentation within a week for numerous entries otherwise mass removal, is shifting the burden massively. Tagging is the usual remedy [citation needed] followed by some months of waiting, after which... (3)'alleged' should be used more frequently. (4) Check the wiki-linked page to the assassinated person before rushing to judgement (5)Since the generally well-informed Gordon Thomas even sets a date for a putative decision by Shamir to order Bull's killing, 20 March 1990 (in a discussion with Nahum Admoni) it's odd that no source I know of has challenged this. (6) I'd like to second the suggestion that an RfC is needed. It strikes me as odd that we don't have unless I am wrong parallel pages singling out other governments (Soviet Union/Russia/the United States etc.etc.) for similar practices, though they are reluctant to admit it. Nishidani (talk) 21:37, 13 April 2014 (UTC)


Gordon Thomas makes a number of extraordinary claims (Israeli foreknowledge of the Monica Lewinski affair, Israeli involvement in the Princess Diana assassination, etc.). Kirkus Reviews and Publisher's Weekly both raise questions about his reliability: PW ("Thomas writes with the pulpy charm familiar to readers of English tabloids; however, his use of unnamed sources and his reliance on conjecture will leave readers intrigued but determined to reserve judgment"[6]) Kirkus: "How many of his tales are true? As Thomas doesn’t document, aside from a short list of “primary interviewees” and other sources, it’s hard to say. Nor does he build credibility by getting certain basic facts wrong or by occasionally offering hyperventilating prose. In short, this fun read, while containing much juicy ready-for-film-adaptation material, should be approached with a skeptical eye by readers interested in serious history."[7]) I would be very reluctant to consider Gideon's Spies as a reliable source. GabrielF (talk) 22:47, 13 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't check the article before linking to that. I'd be the last person to take anything written by governments, or their tabloid critics, at face value. He does state that he wrote that book with Mossad's approval. Did Mossad challenge that? What I wrote was that it was very odd to give a date, and a name, and find this unchallenged. But justifying Bull was an afterthought - not the gist of my comment.Nishidani (talk) 07:05, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
Having responded to the unconfirmed template's implicit request to look through this, I have found it inappropriate, since I have found no unconfirmed rumours or speculations. I have therefore removed it. Some other template could be added, asking for better sourcing etc., but that banner headline is off-the-mark. One or two entries that were sourced were incorrect, and have been adjusted. I will complete the rest of the page presently. If one looks at the Jewish Virtual Library Source (not to mention the now extensive academic sources introduced, and there are others (Laleh Khalili,Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine, Cambridge Middle East Studies (No. 27) 2007;Nasser Abufarha,The Making of a Human Bomb: An Ethnography of Palestinian Resistance,Duke University Press,2009) that could be adduced, one can see at a glance that not only virtually every name so far listed here is registered there, but scores more are also listed. Far from being built on rumour and speculation, the page was notably correct in its provisory enumeration of persons and incidents targeted. If anyone can spot something that actually is (a) rumour (b) speculation, then they should indicate it specifically (preferably after doing some work on checking readily available google resources).Nishidani (talk) 14:42, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate your effort to add sources to this list. I disagree with the decision to remove the template. I would characterize the Gerald Bull entry and the recent nuclear scientists as rumor and speculation. Gerald Bull is discussed above. The nuclear scientist entries appear to be based on claims in Der Spiegel that are themselves based on unnamed sources. That does not meet the bar for confirmation.GabrielF (talk) 17:56, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
I see what you mean now. If the criterion is 'unconfirmed' means wiki cannot report or list anything like this, the implication would be that only what governments or their spokesman put on the record re anything passes the test. In this sensitive area, that is a dangerous principle. Wiki reports all reliably sourced views neutrally, and using a criterion like 'confirmed' sounds to me like one is introducing the notion of truth, rather than a verifiable version of things. I don't have the foggiest notion of the real circumstances of almost everything on this list, not excluding Bull. But I do think the standard procedure is simply to report what mainstream or academic sources say of each and every incident, here or on any other topic. Most of the details given in sources re these incidents (check Omar Saada and Mutasen Hamad to cite just two of many I've noticed) are based on government handouts, that are later contradicted, or revised or adjusted, according to the intensity of journalistic focus, and in the end a reader like myself can't judge. Compare this and this. All I can do is take the basic details, provide a variety of high quality sources that relate the incident, and let the curious reader prefer whatever version he likes, if he does, what people should do, click through and read the sources themselves. Specifically on Bull, I've added that several other countries had interests in killing him (haven't a source at hand, but will provide one). Remember, this article is in a first drafting stage, a skeleton article. There's room for expansion, and finessing.Nishidani (talk) 20:17, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
Yambaram, could you please lay off. That is extremely disruptive, jumping into a complex editorial revision. It took me 40 minutes to restore the stuff that is the basis for my revision. What you did wiped out legitimate entries. Example August 5, Amr Hadiri was removed as unsourced. Well I overlooked it. It took me 20 seconds to reference it (why didn't you take some trouble. Removal is an instantaneous piece of cake, working is arduous and time-consuming. Again you removed May 22, 2002 the notice re[[Iyad Hamdan et al. It should be evident to anyone taking care to follow what I did there that I must have had some source, for I added the details. I forgot to put in the obvious source, B'tselem. If you had done some work, instead of just wiping that out, you would have enriched the page as well. Tampering with the text with temerarious alacrity while another editor is working on it is bad manners and indeed disruptive. I was compelled to restore the material because, if I don't see it on the page, there is no way I can source it. I myself, if I can't source something, will be all for removal. There is a talk page here, and a week was the time given before the admin said he would start removing unsourced stuff. I think that a bit of a pressure-cooker timetable, but it's fair. So exercise some patience, and desist from what is a disruptive intervention of otiose and preemptive erasure (it's not disruptive to do some actual contributive work here, however). Thanks Nishidani (talk) 22:00, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
This will taken longer than I thought. Too much source contamination and you need to look at several reports for each incident. I've had to correct numerous errors. Th JVL doubling of Hisham Ali Abd al-Karim Saidani(Hisham Saidni for Oct 13, 2010, being just one of many examples that have to be fixed.Nishidani (talk) 17:29, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm a day or two over the set limit, but I think I have provided sources for every entry in a provisory re-examination and redrafting of the page. If I've overlooked something, or the data/ sources need finessing, please notify this page, and I will see what I can do.Nishidani (talk) 15:35, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Is the ACLU quote appropriate?[edit]

This article quotes says the "ACLU refers to targeted killing programs as

an illegal program in which people far from any battlefield are determined to be enemies of the state and killed without charge or trial."

The problem is that the link on the ACLU website refers only to American targeted killing programs (i.e. drone strikes). Clicking the link won't work because of a syntax error but the cited page is here:[8] I don't believe that the ACLU takes a position on international issues. I don't think its fair to use a quote from an organization that says one country's targeted killing program is "illegal" to imply that the organization believes another country's program is illegal - after all different countries have different laws. I'm removing the ACLU quote.GabrielF (talk) 01:53, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Links to disambiguation pages[edit]

Nishidani, I fixed most of these, but I left the ones linked to Gaza for you because it'll almost certainly be easier for you than for me to figure out what's wanted in those cases.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 21:50, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Sorry for all of that disambiguating work which my negligance caused you. I'll get round to Gaza in duke horse, once I've eaten my way through the backlog of Easter eggs the clan set aide for me out of pity as the pigs snuffed the trough and I, a mere bottle of brandy at my elbow, dourly parsed news reports. Source analysis is terrible: there is misreportage everywhere, many 'hits' not registered, Arab names mispelled as journalists write copy without checking. I spent the last week, with every edit, with the face of Sal Mineo in Exodus haunting me: most of these lads had the same story, so I need a break. But I'll get round to it.Nishidani (talk) 07:42, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Hey, don't worry about it! There's a script for that. I can't do the Gaza ones with the script, though, because there's no context to allow me to decide what they should link to. That's why I left them for you. You're doing great work here.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 14:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

'I suggest you work on your grammar, boy scout'[edit]

il darsi la zappa sui piedi

This is piddling, but it's hazardous to suggest, while flaunting one's own illiteracy, that someone else work on their grammar. Willi Winkler Der Schattenmann: von Goebbels zu Carlos : das mysteriöse Leben des François Genoud, Rowohlt, 2011 p.247 adopts in the present tense on both Klein's thesis and Haddad as follows:

'Der mit Geheimdiensten vertraute Autor Aaron J. Klein glaubt zu wissen, dass Haddad vom Mossad ermordet wurde, ein Verdacht, der in dieser paranoiden Welt des Verrats und der ständig wechselnden Loyalitäten naheliegt.'

Note the narrative present tense. (My only contact with boy scouts occurred when I was 9 years old, when I was told to punch one up if I wanted to join a gang. Unfortunately I did, and knocked him flat out. Fortunately, I was then inducted into the gang.) Nishidani (talk) 19:07, 26 May 2014 (UTC)


'Schama cites Emmanuel Van Meteren, Belgische ofte Nederlantsche Historian van Onser Tidjen, (1605)'. Susan James, Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics, Oxford University Press 2012 p.264 n.13

'Judt cites Israeli authors to bolster his argument.' Elhanan Yakira, Post-Zionism, Post-Holocaust: Three Essays on Denial, Forgetting, and the Delegitimation of Israel Cambridge University Press ‎2010 p.322.

There is a grammatical, semantic and stylistic reason for the use of the present tense in such instances, but I'm sure a bare second's thought will suffice if one mulls on the two examples in order to twig the point. Cheers Nishidani (talk) 19:22, 26 May 2014 (UTC)