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Argument: There is no evidence that assassinations effectively reduce terrorism

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Steven R. David. "Fatal Choices: Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing". John Hopkins University. September 2002. - "The Limited Effectiveness of Targeted Killing There are also strong arguments that targeted killing is an ineffective and even harmful policy for Israel to follow. No compelling evidence exists that targeted killing has reduced the terrorist threat against Israel. By May 2002, after eighteen months of targeted killings carried out at an unprecedented scale, the number of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror had reached an all-time high of nearly 500. It is, of course, always possible to assert that the number of Israeli deaths would have been even greater if not for the targeted killing. But this is an unfalsifiable proposition that is based more on faith than on reasoned analysis. It is not difficult to understand why targeted killing has not been effective in stopping terrorism. Political entities promoting terror against Israel such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority are very decentralized. They are made up of many cells, the destruction of some having little or no impact on others. Moreover, the number of young men (and women) who are willing and eager to be suicide bombers appears to be virtually limitless. Outfitting these martyr wannabes with primitive bombs capable of wreaking murderous assaults appears to be relatively easy—at least within the capability of many Palestinians who the Israelis have not yet killed. No greater evidence of the failure of Israeli policy exists than the dramatic escalation of terrorist attacks and Israeli casualties in the first half of 2002, after more than a year of targeted killings."

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