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Frames of law: targeting advice and operational law in the Israeli military

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Craig Jones


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In this paper I draw on interviews conducted with former Israeli military lawyers about their role in lethal targeting operations. I argue that military lawyers and the practice of operational law help to legitimize and extend violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. To make the case I focus on Israel's ‘targeted killing policy’ (2000–present) and on the involvement of military lawyers in the planning and execution stages of targeting operations. I offer two contributions to the literature on war and law; first, I extend Derek Gregory's analysis of the ‘kill chain’ by arguing that targeting is increasingly made possible by a ‘technolegal’ process. Second, I add nuance to Eyal Weizman's account of how law extends violence in what he calls the ‘humanitarian present’. I argue that we must attend not only to international humanitarian law and different scales of law but to the simultaneously plural and overlapping legal regimes that govern late modern war. I conclude with a reflection on Judith Butler's Frames of War to think through the ways in which ‘frames of law’ have come to structure our apprehension of targeting and war today.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jones CA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space

Year: 2015

Volume: 33

Issue: 4

Pages: 676-696

Print publication date: 01/08/2015

Online publication date: 14/08/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 0263-7758

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3433

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/0263775815598103


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