Commenting on the killing of Zawahiri, UN Secretary General's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN was "committed to fighting against terrorism and strengthening international cooperation in countering that threat".
Of course it was a different story when Israel acted against Jabari. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland was "deeply concerned" by "the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza."
Israel has not claimed its operation in Gaza — codenamed Breaking Dawn — is to deter. The government has made it clear that the strikes were to prevent an imminent threat to the Israeli population. It had hard intelligence that PIJ, led by Jabari, was planning attacks across the border from Gaza. Protecting its people from violent external attack is not only permitted under international law, it is the duty of every government. If deterrence of such attacks were possible, Israel would have taken action to deter.
PIJ is an Iranian proxy, directed and funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Its leader, Ziad Nakhaleh, has been in Tehran for the last few days, meeting with his IRGC paymasters and other government officials including Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
As PIJ and its fellow jihadists have indiscriminately fired an estimated 400 missiles (at time of writing) at targets from Sderot to Tel Aviv since Operation Breaking Dawn began, the IDF has continued to launch precision strikes from the air and the ground to halt the attacks on Israeli citizens. Just as Israel's casus belli for attacking PIJ targets was lawful, it has taken the utmost care to ensure its continued strikes are also lawful, only attacking targets that are proportionate and necessary to the military objectives and giving warnings where civilian casualties could occur.
We can expect non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Human Rights Watch to pile on. Amnesty International, however, might be slightly more circumspect as they are at present gyrating from the widespread international reproach that greeted their just-published report condemning Ukraine's defensive actions, in which they again showed the total incomprehension of war and the laws of war that they often demonstrate in their denunciations of Israel.
Slavering for the last two days at the prospect of IDF-inflicted mass casualties, much of the media immediately and without any evidence eagerly pointed the finger at Israel over the tragic killing of seven people, including four children, in Jabalia camp in the Gaza Strip. They will undoubtedly try, but journalists and UN investigators will find it hard to refute the IDF's confirmation that they did not strike the location and have conclusive video and radar evidence that the deaths were caused by a misfired PIJ rocket, launched as so often from within the civilian population. This would certainly fit, as approximately a quarter of all terrorist rockets fired so far during this campaign have landed inside Gaza, not in Israel.
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Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander. He was also head of the international terrorism team in the U.K. Cabinet Office and is now a writer and speaker on international and military affairs. He is a Jack Roth Charitable Foundation Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
Pictured: Local residents and Hamas police officers assess the damage from a missile strike by Palestinian Islamic Jihad that hit the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, on August 7, 2022. (Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images)