When Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, no one described it as an “assassination.” Why not? Because Osama wasn’t a civilian political leader; he was a terrorist combatant who had declared war on America, and tried to continue his attacks in any way possible.
Why, then, have the New York Times and other media outlets referred to Israel’s killing of Ahmed Jabaari in Gaza as “an assassination?” He was the military commander of a terrorist organization, Hamas, which remains at war with Israel, and takes pride in aiming deadly rockets at Israeli civilian targets every day. There’s a big difference between assassination–the targeting of civilian leaders for political purposes–and striking armed combatants in self defense in the midst of an ongoing war.
American media ought to recognize and emphasize that distinction.