Medvedev meets Hamas

Russia on Thursday rebuffed Israel’s criticism of President Dmitry Medvedev’s meeting with the leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas this week.

Calling Hamas “a terror organisation in every way”, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday it was “deeply disappointed” that Medvedev met the group’s exiled leader Khaled Meshaal during a visit to Syria this week.

Russia, the United States, European Union and the United Nations, make up a quartet of Middle East mediators. The U.S., EU and Israel consider Hamas a terrorist group. Russia insists that Hamas should not be isolate

“Hamas…is a movement supported by the trust and sympathy of a significant part of Palestinians,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement. “We have regular contacts with this movement.”

“It is known that all other participants of the Middle East quartet are also in some sort of contact with Hamas leadership, although for some unknown reason they are shy to publicly admit it,” Nesterenko said.

New anti-terrorist bill would replace and expand current laws in Israel

The Jerusalem Post reports that the Israeli government finished drafting comprehensive legislation to fight terrorism and distributed it to cabinet ministers, human rights groups and other interested parties for comments and criticism.Those who received copies of the bill have until June 4 to submit their input. After considering it, the Justice Ministry will bring the proposal to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation for approval as a government bill.

The legislation is based on several existing laws, including the 1948 Ordinance on Terrorism, the Law Prohibiting the Funding of Terrorism and the 1945 Emergency Defense Regulations.

According to the Justice Ministry spokesman’s office, the first two laws and parts of the emergency regulations will be revoked after the new bill is approved by the Knesset. The bill also incorporates existing temporary legislation dealing with the detention terms for security suspects during their interrogation.

According to the ministry,

“the aim of the proposed bill is to give appropriate tools to state authorities in the areas of criminal and civil law to cope with terrorist organizations and the terrorist threats that Israel faces… We propose to give the law authorities a variety of tools in the criminal and civil areas. Their intertwined purpose is to prevent and foil acts of terrorism, damage the organizational and financial infrastructure that nourishes it, and bring violators to justice.”

Israel is following in the footsteps of many other countries that introduced anti-terrorism legislation in the wake of 9/11. But since several laws were already in place here to fight terrorism, including the 1948 Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance and the 1945 Emergency Defense Regulations, Israeli authorities were not in as much of a hurry to legislate as were other Western countries, a human rights expert told The Jerusalem Post.

The only new law that Israel introduced prior to the current bill was one dealing with the financing of terrorist organizations.

However, the bill is not just a compendium of existing legislation but includes changes and, in many cases expansions, of current provisions.

The second section of the law, for example, defines in detail the type of illegal activity pertaining specifically to terrorism, including leading, membership in, providing services to or publicly identifying with a terrorist organization. Other crimes include incitement to terrorism, failure to prevent a terrorist act, threatening to perpetrate a terrorist act, and training or giving instruction to perpetrate a terrorist attack.

The bill also proposes to stiffen punishments for these crimes.

For example, the maximum sentence for anyone carrying out a criminal act that is defined as an act of terrorism will be twice the sentence prescribed by the Penal Law for “regular” criminal acts, up to a ceiling of 30 years in prison. A person sentenced for a terrorist crime to life in prison will only be allowed to have his sentence commuted after 15 years. Those serving life sentences for “regular” crimes may have their sentences commuted after seven years.

The human rights official warned that the type of anti-terrorism legislation passed by Western nations after 9/11 tended to be broad in its wording and granted governments a great amount of power on the basis of information it did not have to disclose in public. It also gave the government broad administrative powers against suspects without the need to prove guilt in court. Israel’s proposed legislation must be examined with these facts in mind, the official said.

Israel: New Comprehensive Counter-terrorism Memorandum Bill

Ido Rosenzweig and Yuval Shany have a post on Terrorism and Democracy Newsletter (Issue No. 17, May 2010) commenting the new Israelian counter-terrorism memorandum bill.

Introduction

On 21 April 2010, the Ministry of Justice published a comprehensive counter-terrorism memorandum bill (hereinafter: “the Draft Bill”).  This Draft Bill is intended to provide the authorities with the necessary tools for their counter-terrorism efforts and coordinate the relevant legislation, which is currently dispersed in a number of statutes (some of which originate in the British Mandate over Palestine). A key concept underlying this comprehensive legislation is that the complicated nature of terrorist activity, which employs various methods and has a variety of goals, requires a multi-faceted and robust response.

In this article, we briefly discuss a few of the issues raised by the Draft Bill as part of the IDI’s Terrorism and Democracy Newsletter coverage of relevant legislation in the field of counter-terrorism.

Background

Despite Israel’s long struggle against terrorism, there is no comprehensive legislation governing the Israeli “war on terror”. To date, the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance 5708-1948 and the Prohibition on Terror Financing Law 5765-2004 constitute the main legislative tools at the authorities’ disposal. [3]  In order to supplement their counter-terrorism legal arsenal, they have often used provisions of the criminal code and administrative measures, such as the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945, the Incarceration of Unlawful Combatants Law 5762-2002, and the Criminal Procedure (Detainee Suspected of Security Offense) (Temporary Order) Law 2006. However, these legislative tools have left a few crucial questions unanswered. For example, they have not clearly defined what constitutes “an act of terrorism”.

On 21 April 2010, the Ministry of Justice published a long draft bill (the Draft Bill and the explanatory note appended thereto extend over 105 pages). The Draft Bill has been distributed to local NGOs and interest groups for comments, and after obtaining their comments, the Ministry of Justice will finalize the drafting of the bill and submit it to the Knesset.

The Draft Bill

According to the explanatory notes attached to the Draft Bill, the proposed measures were drafted in order to balance the need to act effectively against the threats posed by terrorists, on one hand, and the obligation to preserve and secure the values of democracy and human rights, on the other hand.

The Draft Bill offers a very broad definition of “terrorist organization”:  “a group of people who act to execute an act of terrorism or in order to enable or promote the execution of an act of terrorism.” This definition may include organizations that do not execute terrorist acts per se, but rather encourage and promote them directly or indirectly. For example, it appears that the “Dawah” organizations, which function as the community services system of Hamas by providing educational, medical and welfare services to its supporters and to the general Palestinian population, would qualify as terrorist organizations under the proposed bill. The philosophy underlying such a broad definition is that auxiliary organizations are meant to generate public support for terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, through the humanitarian activities they conduct. Moreover, the bill assumes that auxiliary organizations can also be used to channel money for the purpose of financing the terrorist activity of the terrorist organizations and recruiting new members for terrorist activity.

With regard to the issue of membership in a terrorist organization, the Draft Bill suggests that due to the vagueness of this feature (normally, there are no formal procedures for membership in terrorist groups), membership in a terrorist organization should be deduced from a person’s general behavior (if he or she are taking part in the organization’s activities). Moreover, the Draft Bill creates a rebuttable presumption, which places the burden of proof on a person that was once a member of a terrorist organization to show that his or her participation in the organization’s activities has terminated.

One of the innovations of the  Draft Bill is found in its attempt to create a new special crime of holding a senior position in a terrorist organization. It also creates new criminal offenses for individuals who publicly support terrorist organizations, attempt to recruit new members, or incite terrorist acts.

The explanatory note states that the Draft Bill’s definition of “act of terrorism”, which is partially based on the General Assembly’s decision on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism,  does not distinguish between actions directed against soldiers and actions directed against civilians. The stated justification in the Bill is that terrorism is not a legitimate method to achieve political, ideological, or religious goals regardless of the identity of the victims.

The Draft Bill also attempts to clarify and expand the measures that may be taken against the property of terrorist organizations. In this context, it broadly defines the property of terrorist organizations as including property that is either owned by an organization, or if found in the organization’s complete or partial possession or custody.

As part of the  process of codifying existing counter-terrorism legislation, the Draft Bill is intended to replace the current methods for designating terrorist organizations provided by the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (declarations by the Minister of Defense) and the Prohibition on Terror Financing Law (foreign declarations). Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Draft Bill does not revoke the procedure for designating an entity as an unlawful association under the Defense (Emergency) Regulations of 1945. Under the Draft Bill, once a terrorist organization has been designated, its status as a terrorist organization will be accepted as a proven fact by the judicial system in any legal procedure (with the exception of petitions brought before the High Court of Justice).

Finally, the Draft Bill is being used to codify an appropriate set of rules that will enable Israel to ratify the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and to implement the obligations set out in the International Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material.

Conclusions

The attempt to create a comprehensive counter-terrorism law will afford to the Israeli authorities more legal tools that are closely tailored to Israel’s counter-terrorism needs. For example, by introducing new terrorist crimes, the new law will allow the state authorities to detain and seek the conviction of a greater number of terrorists. Eventually, it seems that one of the possible outcomes of the increase in the use of criminal proceedings under the proposed law will be a decrease in administrative detentions under other laws.  At the same time, the criminal definitions offered in the proposed law appear to be very sweeping in nature, and it is doubtful whether they strike an acceptable balance between security needs and human rights concerns.

Although the new Draft Bill attempts to consolidate and coordinate all the relevant legislation, it does not revoke the counter-terrorism provisions of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations. One possible explanation for this omission may be the desire to retain the harsh provisions of the Regulations which, unlike new legislation, are shielded from constitutional review pursuant to the 1992 Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (which cannot be applied retroactively). This casts some doubts on the stated desire of the government to strike a constitutionally acceptable balance between security and human rights in the field of counter-terrorism.

The Draft Bill, and some other specific issues it raises – such as its provisions on pre-trial detention, control orders and electronic surveillance – will be subject to further analysis in forthcoming IDI publications.

Independent UN rights expert warns Israeli orders may breach Geneva Convention

Two orders by the Israeli military relating to movement in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) may breach the fourth Geneva Convention and violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an independent United Nations human rights expert said.

“The orders appear to enable Israel to detain, prosecute, imprison and/or deport any and all persons present in the West Bank,” said Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Mr. Falk said his concern was based on Israel’s new definition of the term ‘infiltrator.’ The term is defined as “a person who entered the Area unlawfully following the effective date, or a person who is present in the Area and does not lawfully hold a permit.”

“Even if this open-ended definition is not used to imprison or deport vast numbers of people, it causes unacceptable distress,” the UN independent expert said in a statement, noting that “it is not at all clear what permit, if any, will satisfy this order.”

Mr. Falk said that “a wide range of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law could be linked to actions carried out by the Government of Israel under these orders, with particular gravity in the event that young persons become victims of their application.”

He added: “Illustrative of the potential for cruel abuse is a provision of the order requiring the person deported to pay the costs of his or her deportation, and suffer confiscations of property if unable to pay.”

Mr. Falk warned that deportations under the two new orders could take place without judicial review, and that detained persons can be imprisoned for seven years, unless they are able to prove that their entry was lawful, in which case they would be imprisoned for three years.

The special rapporteur recalled that Israel is party to the fourth Geneva Convention, which outlines its obligations as the Occupying Power in the West Bank. Article 49 of the Convention states that “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

Mr. Falk also noted that, despite the fact that Israel is party to the ICCPR, “the orders establish a system that allows Israel to deport people without having their right to judicial review properly fulfilled, or possibly not reviewed at all.”

He stressed that “the orders do not even ensure that detainees will be informed in their own language that a deportation order has been issued against them.”

The independent expert, who is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor the situation of human rights and international humanitarian law in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, also expressed his serious concern on “whether a military committee, as the one established by one of the orders, is the kind of mechanism appropriate to satisfy requirements of judicial review, in the case that detained persons are not deported before having their situation reviewed.”

Bin Laden threatens US over alleged 9/11 plotter

Osama bin Laden threatened in a new message (click here for full text) released Thursday 25 March to kill any Americans al-Qaida captures if the U.S. executes the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks or other al-Qaida suspects.

In the 74-second audiotape aired on Al-Jazeera television, the al-Qaida leader explicitly mentions Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was captured in Pakistan in 2003. He is the most senior al-Qaida operative in U.S. custody and is currently detained at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2008, the U.S. charged Mohammed with murder and war crimes in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Pentagon officials have said they will seek the death penalty for him. Four of his fellow plotters are also in custody.

“The White House has expressed its desire to execute them. The day America makes that decision will be the day it has issued a death sentence for any one of you that is taken captive,” Bin Laden said, addressing Americans.

After his March 2003 capture in Pakistan, Mohammed described himself as the architect of numerous terrorism plots and even claimed that “with my blessed right hand,” he had decapitated Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Pearl was found beheaded in Pakistan in 2002.

Mohammed, appearing in June 2008 for the first time since his capture five years earlier, said he would welcome becoming a “martyr” after a judge warned him that he faces the death penalty for his confessed role as mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The U.S. is still considering whether to put Mohammed and the four fellow plotters on military tribunal. The Obama administration is also looking into recommendations for civilian trials, and is expected to announce a decision soon.

Bin Laden also said President Barack Obama is following in the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush by escalating the war in Afghanistan, being “unjust” to al-Qaida prisoners and supporting Israel in its occupation of Palestinian land.

“The politicians of the White House were and still are wronging us, especially by supporting Israel and occupying our land in Palestine. They think that America, behind oceans, is safe from the wrath of the oppressed, until the reaction was loud and strong in your homeland,” he said of the Sept. 11 attacks. “Equal treatment is only fair. War is a back-and-forth.”

The prospect of giving Mohammed and the four fellow plotters a civilian trial in New York City has led to protests by residents and relatives of Sept. 11 victims who fear that such a move could again make the city a terrorism target and that they should instead face a military trial.

Scott Horton on lawfare

Quote:

The concept of “lawfare” appears to be a one-size-fits-all cover for this strategy: in the view of the conference organizers, any human-rights organization that criticizes the government’s security policies is an adversary. To the extent that it engages courts and the law, it is “lawfare.” The next step will apparently be to try to dry up the funding that supports this sort of work, by pressing donors directly and tarnishing the reputations of the NGOs that receive their grants. Recent reports inside Israel surrounding the New Israel Fund show how this tactic can be pursued; Israeli commentators are busy attacking NGOs who take money from the European Union as a “European lobby.” NGOs that cooperated with the Goldstone inquiry and whose representatives testified before it have been specially singled out.

The notion of “lawfare” was previously used to attack lawyers in the United States who filed habeas petitions on behalf of alleged terrorists in Guantánamo. These lawyers were and continue to be subjected to McCarthyite character assassination as terrorist sympathizers, even though about 80% of their clients have turned out not to be terrorists after all. Lawfare turns out to be a flexible concept, available for a wide array of situations in which a government finds itself at odds with the law, fighting a rear-guard action in its own courts, or menaced by the prospect of prosecutions overseas.

Efraim Chalamish, the U.N. Representative of the Association of Jewish Lawyers, pointed to Asia as an interesting case study for those looking at the lawfare concept. Indeed, Pervez Musharraf, the one-time Pakistani dictator, zealously embraced the idea of lawfare. In a speech on November 3, 2007, he declared a state of emergency in Pakistan. In his televised address (turning to the camera and switching from Urdu to English, moreover), he argued that his government had been hamstrung in the conduct of the war against terror by lawyers who were flooding the courts with writs challenging the government’s detention of alleged terrorists. He declared a state of emergency and suspended the country’s constitution. It soon appeared that Musharraf’s real adversaries were more the lawyers than the terrorists. He placed the Supreme Court under house arrest and proceeded to round up the leaders of the bar. In the struggle between Musharraf and the bar, however, Musharraf lost. And with the lawfare dictator gone from the scene, and the judges and lawyers back filing their writs and petitions, the war against terror in Pakistan seems to have gained its second wind. This Asian example provides a good demonstration of how the lawfare concept is wielded and what role it really plays in the war against terror.

Targeted killings, surveillance and drone attacks after the Dubai assassination plot and the Al Awlaki controversy

NewAmerica study on the use of drones in Pakistan between 2004 and 2010

The study shows that the 114 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, including 18 in 2010, from 2004 to the present have killed approximately between 834 and 1,216 individuals, of whom around 549 to 849 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to this analysis is approximately 32 percent.

The NYtmes reports that drones are also playing a more important role in Afghanistan, which is illustrated by at least 14 drone strikes near Marja in the first half of February. Trying to bring down civilian deaths, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of the American-led forces in Afghanistan, has tightened the rules for airstrikes, especially by military jets, which usually drop larger bombs than the drones and have less time to follow the targets.

General McChrystal recently told Congress that the intelligence from the drones and other planes was “extraordinarily effective” in dealing with the broad mix of demands.

Military officials said the Special Forces were using the drones to attack Taliban leaders and bomb-making networks in eastern and southern Afghanistan, often by stacking two or three drones over a compound to track everyone who came and went. Much of that data was analyzed in the United States, where the drone pilots are stationed. But ground commanders also receive the video feeds on special laptops.

Controversy about targeted killings of US civilians with drones
A front-page story in the Washington Post on January 27 included the remarkable statement that

“Both the CIA and the JSOC [Joint Special Operations Command of the Department of Defense] maintain lists of individuals… whom they seek to kill or capture. The JSOC list includes three Americans, including [Islamist cleric Anwar al-] Awlaki, whose name was added late last year. As of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens, and an intelligence official said that Aulaqi’s name has now been added.”

But at least the part about the CIA list turns out to be unfounded. As Secrecy News notes:

“The article referred incorrectly to the presence of U.S. citizens on a CIA list of people the agency seeks to kill or capture,” the Washington Post said in a correction published in the February 12 edition.  “After The Post’s report was published, a source said that a statement the source made about the CIA list was misunderstood. Additional reporting produced no independent confirmation of the original report, and a CIA spokesman said that The Post’s account of the list was incorrect. The military’s Joint Special Operations Command maintains a target list that includes several Americans. In recent weeks, U.S. officials have said that the government is prepared to kill U.S. citizens who are believed to be involved in terrorist activities that threaten Americans.”

However, on February 3, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair testified to his view that U.S. government agencies may use lethal force against U.S. citizens who are involved in terrorist activities. While Blair did not specifically discuss Awlaki, the cleric survived one such airstrike in December.

The U.S. intelligence community policy on killing American citizens who have joined al Qaeda requires first obtaining high-level government approval, a senior official disclosed to Congress on Wednesday.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said in each case a decision to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen must get special permission.

“We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.”

He also said there are criteria that must be met to authorize the killing of a U.S. citizen that include “whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us, whether that American is a threat to other Americans. Those are the factors involved.”

Glenn Greenwald argues that this is clearly a violation of US law.

However in subsequent interviews with Newsweek’s Mark Hosenball, anonymous current and former U.S. national-security officials revealed that no such special procedure need occur if a strike does not specifically target an American citizen, even if an American dies in the process, raising questions about whether the administration sought to evade the constitutional prohibition on summarily killing Awlaki that his citizenship entitles him to receive. In any case, the president himself does not have to sign off on kill orders – making plausible deniability all the more possible.

The ACLU said the following:

“It is alarming to hear that the Obama administration is asserting that the president can authorize the assassination of Americans abroad, even if they are far from any battlefield and may have never taken up arms against the U.S., but have only been deemed to constitute an unspecified ‘threat.’ This is the most recent consequence of a troublingly overbroad interpretation of Congress’s 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. This sweeping interpretation envisions a war that knows no borders or definable time limits and targets an enemy that the government has refused to define in public. This policy is particularly troubling since it targets U.S. citizens, who retain their constitutional right to due process even when abroad.”

Over at OJ, Kenneth Anderson argues that the Obama administration’s lawyers need to step up to the plate and defend targeted killing using Predators and, second, the proper legal basis on which to defend it to the full extent undertaken by the Obama administration is the international law of self-defense, rather than simply the law of armed conflict, targeting combatants. More here and here.

Roger Cohen at the NYTimes brings back memories of the Letelier assassination in Washington to put things more in perspective. He adds:

The drone strikes are concentrated on Pakistan, with which America is not at war. The Obama administration has declined to say anything about this doctrine of targeted killing. It’s not clear how you get on a list to be eliminated; who makes that call; whether the decision is based on past acts (revenge, say, for the killing of C.I.A. agents in Khost, Afghanistan) or only on corroborated intelligence demonstrating that the target is planning a terrorist attack; what, if any, the battlefield limits are; and what, if any, is the basis in law.

Others see other dangers that come with the use of drones.

Peter Singer reminds the readers of Newsweek that at least 40 other countries—from Belarus and Georgia to India, Pakistan, and Russia—have begun to build, buy, and deploy unmanned aerial vehicles.

Just as we once failed to imagine terrorists using our own commercial aircraft against us, we are now underestimating the threat posed by this new wave of technology. We must prepare for a world in which foreign robotics rivals our own, and terrorists can deliver deadly explosives not just by suicide bomber but also by unmanned machine.

The ease and affordability of such technology, much of which is already available for purchase commercially, means that drones will inevitably pass into the wrong hands, allowing small groups and even individuals to wield power once limited to the world’s great militaries.

As one robotics expert told me, for less than $50,000 “a few amateurs could shut down Manhattan.”

Israel’s air force has recently introduced a fleet of large unmanned planes that it says can fly as far as Iran.

The NSJ argues that drones raise unique security issues as their data streams, and possibly control streams, must be secured.

U.S. drone vulnerability stems from the fact that once a drone is far from its base, satellite uplinks are necessary to link the drone to the base.  Such uplinks are vulnerable to hacking, unless the data stream is encrypted.  But the drones’ data stream is unencrypted, and unless significant expenditures are made to add encryption to the proprietary satellite technology, the vulnerability will remain.  The unencrypted data stream vulnerability carries over to other U.S. satellite traffic, as a 2005 CIA report describes.  While the control data stream of drones is encrypted, the ability of enemies to access U.S. drone intelligence seriously undermines the ability of the United States to use that intelligence for mission purposes.

U.S. drone vulnerabilities have been known to the U.S. military since at least the 1999 Yugoslav war.  Whether it was bureaucratic indifference or inertia, the problem was not addressed.  Most worrying, U.S. commanders may have seriously underestimated the ingenuity and technical proficiency of militants.  If this is so, it must be hoped that the same commanders will not continue to underestimate the threat to drone data-gathering and control posed by a lack of data stream security.  Only by addressing this security hole can the ever-growing drone force be considered a fully functional weapon of war, useful in all possible conflicts and with a varied mission profile.

Is surveillance complicating targeted killings?
Although the Dubai police say those involved in Mabhouh’s killing were careful to use encrypted communications and to avoid leaving traces of their real identities behind, the global use of advanced investigative technologies, is enough to gravely complicate the creation of “covers” meant to allow assassins to slip unnoticed past national authorities, according to several former U.S. covert operations officers in The Washington Post.

“It is getting harder and harder in a pervasive surveillance society,” partly because of biometric technologies that include computer-driven matching and comparisons of facial structures, said one former official. But, he added, “for every technical barrier, there is going to be some technical solution. There might be a lag time” before new countermeasures are adopted, but even now “there are other ways to go about it . . . without sending in 11 to do a job like this.”

Ubiserv comment here.

More academic reading

Gregor Noll (Lund Univ. – Law) has posted Sacrificial Violence and Targeting in International Humanitarian Law. The paper also sheds some light on some of the issues raised above.

The LA Times has a string of opinions on targeted killings as well, focussing more on the alleged killing of Hamas leader Mabhouh by the Mossad, including by Philip Alston and Amos Guiora. See also this piece in the WSJ.

Alan Dershowitz analysis of the legal issues rising out of the alleged Israeli assassinations of a Hamas leader in Dubai here.