During Abu Ghraib scandal, "Israel's tactics" were the main smokescreen behind the attempt to scapegoating Israel for the perversive actions of American soldiers. Surely Zarqawi's successful "targeting assassination" needs the same credit. After the second intifada broke out in September 2000, Israel dramatically stepped up its targeting of Palestinian terrorists, killing more than 200 of them. This campaign worked. Targeted killings â combined with the border security barrier, military operations and improved intelligence â reduced Israeli deaths from a high of 172 in 2002 to less than 40 in 2005. Even more telling, this decline in deaths occurred during periods when the number of attempted attacks by Hamas increased, suggesting that the organization became less capable even though its hatred did not diminish. The targeted killing campaign also bolstered Israeli morale. In the last five years, Israel has lost more than 1,000 people to terrorism. No government can remain idle as its citizens are slaughtered, and, in a grim fashion, the killings of terrorists created a sense among the Israeli public that its government was striking back and protecting them.