Israel's Supreme Court: Arbitrating Counter-Terrorism Measures in a Balancing Act - Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-03
Israel's Supreme Court: Arbitrating Counter-Terrorism Measures in a Balancing Act - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Terrorism Court system Security Society Social issue
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1648 words
14 min read


Terrorism is becoming a worldwide epidemic. It no longer impacts war-torn nations and vulnerable, hyper-salvaged communities. Societies in the twenty-first century face a severe problem of preserving their political structure and values. At the same time, it effectively reacts to terror threats and similar acts of violence. Governments have the role of balancing security and democratic values. The primary duty for addressing the threats of terrorism rests with the state’s legislature and, to a greater extent, with the executive branch. The two components are explicitly responsible for maintaining democracy and public security. These departments are also responsible for identifying a country’s needs and threats frames a specific strategy when responding to threats, and implementing state policies. Counter-terrorism measures actively engage the legislature and the executive. The judicial power in the fight against terrorism is not simple. That said, this paper reflects on discussing the arbitration of counter-terrorism operations by the Israeli Supreme Court.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Since its foundation, the Israel government has continuously engaged in conflicts and continuous domestic stability threats. Meta-terrorism is becoming a part of everyday reality in Israel. Since the year 2000, Israel has witnessed numerous militant attacks, including suicide bombings of vehicles, shops, and many other public buildings that have resulted in thousands of deaths. Because of the never-ending terrorist assaults, aided by other organizations, the Israel Defense Force has taken various initiatives, spanning from targeted killings to border restrictions to help in the war against terrorism (Roach, 2011). However, not all of these counter-terrorism measures have been calmy accepted. Other efforts have raised different opinions. The approach used by the Israeli judiciary is relatively unique when compared to other democracies, even though every democracy always seeks to address the balance that exists between civil rights and security.

The counter-terrorism measures enacted by the Supreme Court of Israel include the interrogation of terrorist suspects, administrative detention, and targeted killings. In general, self-defense and the range of its interpretation have been under a wide-ranging debate between scholars in international law and policy-makers. The post 9/11 society faces this question daily to fight terrorism underneath the framework of self-defense effectively. The most straightforward counter-terrorism technique is prevention. Thus, Israel’s intelligence services have made a great deal of effort to hunt down terror suspects and thwart their operations. However, some of these counter-terrorism approaches have been criticized by the Supreme Court of Israel (Roach, 2011).

Administrative Detention

Incarceration and prosecution are one of the most basic combating terrorism techniques used by today’s intelligence forces. The Israeli legislation sets out the basic structure for such practices. In Israel, administrative detention is seen as a way of preventing terrorism and gathering information. Administrative detention uses secret evidence that allows the country to detain individuals without exposing intelligence sources and disclosure (Roach 2011, p. 118). However, in Israel, the international Covent on political and civil rights gives the detainees the informed reason for detention. More so, the Israeli Supreme Court insists that even though criminal prosecutions are preferable for protecting intelligence sources, it is not always possible to use criminal proceedings as this may harm the state’s public security. As a result, the Supreme Court recommends long-term administrative detentions of unlawful combatants without clear findings of innocence or guilt (Roach 2011, p. 119). The supreme court also imposes possible intermediate administrative detention after the convicted has served his or her term for being part of an unlawful terror group.

Targeted Killings

Targeted killing arises when an individual’s arrest presents an exceptional security risk. This measure is a method of deterrence and is not coercive in its intent. Condemnation of targeted killing is mostly based on the notion that it involves either assassination or extra-judicial execution. However, it should be remembered that targeted killings have also been carried out by different nations, such as the United States and the United Kingdom. It should also be noted that targeted killings should not be confused with assassinations or extra-judicial killings. An assassination is defined as the murder of a political official or statesman, which includes perfidy or treachery, per the international law. On the other hand, extra-judicial executions occur where the incapacitation of political rivals by detention is necessary. Besides that, extra-judicial commissions are territorial and frequently result in violations of human rights.

A state’s duty is to defend its people, and only after all security measures have failed can a targeted killing be authorized. It is important to note that the “rules of the game” are straightforward, although they might be challenging in handling combatants. Under the military conflict law, terrorists involved in assaults on civilian or national targets are considered unlawful fighters and are enemy combatants (Roach, 2011). In international law, there exist two groups of people, civilians, and lawful combatants. Terrorists under this category fall under civilian groups. The Israeli Supreme Court acknowledges the international law on matters concerning targeted killings. However, the court rules that targeted killing of civilian terrorists is justifiable given reliable proof was presented. It is worth noting that the approach indirectly recognized terrorists as unlawful combatants. This move by the Israeli Supreme Court raised a lot of criticism. As such, the court stressed that a balance between military necessity and human rights should be maintained. For that reason, the court demanded sufficient evidence whenever there was a need for targeted killings (Roach 2011, p. 126).

Interrogation of terrorist suspects

There has been a long-lasting question about the harsh interrogation of terror suspects to gain intelligence. The Israeli Courts haven’t sufficiently addressed the issue of intense interrogation. However, in 1987, the Landau Commission “set strict standards for criminal prosecutions that did not tolerate the use of torture in obtaining involuntary confessions or perjury” (Roach 2011, p. 113). The commission insisted that pressure during interrogation should be limited in that it wouldn’t deprive the terror suspect of his or her dignity. More so, the commission pressured that using measurable physical pressure to produce confessions that would otherwise prove admissible in courts was lawful. In 1999, President Barak led the Israeli Supreme Court intervened after rumors that the GSS interrogators would lie to courts about the harsh treatment of terror suspects.

Led by a nine-judge panel, the supreme court concluded that if the government desires to enable GSS detectives to use physical interrogative methods, it must ratify legislation for such action (Roach 2011, p. 115). This move forced the GSS to be transparent in its actions and ensured that the 1992 Israeli law on liberty and human dignity was preserved. The courts also addressed the issue of physical torture. President Barak insisted that reasonable investigations free of suffering, cruelty, and inhuman treatment were paramount except in a “ticking-time-bomb” situation. Of course, this decision suffered a lot of criticism because many felt that it left the door for torture wide open. Therefore, in response to this matter, opposing members such as Ariel Sharon drafted a law that specifically allowed authorization of “physical pressures” in a ticking-bomb situation (Roach 2011, p. 116).

Role of the United States Supreme Court in addressing terrorism

Since the attack on September 11th, 2001, numerous American statutes and US Supreme Court have laid stringent measures against terrorist and terrorist attacks. Some of the most common actions include the unconstitutional proclamation of authority to detain combatants without access to court-martials. Many scholars argue that US criminal justice systems do not meet today’s terror threats. However, very little enforced concerning imprisonment in non-international military conflicts (Roach, 2011). As such, the US government should control imprisonment that binds it to its territory, not the US army. For example, in Iraq, the US can only make arrests following the Iraqi government’s permission, and all those detained must be relocated to Iraqi’s custody. It is known, however, that the US has, in most cases, disregarded some of these measures, which pose a striking difference with the Israeli justice system. As such, the US laws sanctions preventive detentions as they continue to engage al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

News search on terrorism and the Israeli Supreme Court

In a recent article by the New York Times, an Israeli settler was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing three residents in an incendiary bomb attack back in 2015. The gruesome nature of killings has seen condemnation from both sides of the sphere. Rulings by three judges at the Lod District Court found the suspect guilty of racial attacks. The final hearing is yet to be presented before the Israeli Supreme Court (Rasgon, 2020). In another headliner, earlier in May, the Israeli Supreme Court unanimously ruled to reinstate 4.3 billion dollars to be paid by the Sudanese government after they handed al-Qaida materials that helped them carry out attacks. This ruling forced the Sudan government to spend at least 700 victims that were affected. Paying this massive amount of cash will help the Sudanese country normalize its ties with Israel. It will also ensure that Sudan is delisted as sponsors of terrorism. In theory, this deal will seek to end a 50-year enmity seen with one of “Arab world’s most virulent opponents of Israel,”; a country recognized for supporting Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank over recent years (Rondeaux, 2020). The big question remains whether this move for diplomacy is justifiable given the country’s government’s current state.

In recent news, the Supreme Court of Israel has disallowed a lawsuit that claims that Facebook granted “material backing” to extremists by hosting their content. The case that emerged back in 2019 had already strengthened a legal precedent that seemed to sue social media platforms over terrorist attacks. The case for contention was the Hamas account, which is listed as a terrorist group. The Supreme court, however, found the logic unconvincing (Robertson, 2020). The court stated that there were insufficient evidence for making Facebook responsible.

Cite this page

Israel's Supreme Court: Arbitrating Counter-Terrorism Measures in a Balancing Act - Paper Example. (2024, Jan 03). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism