Willing to Die: Palestinian suicide bombers
At the Foundation
Between 1994 and 2003 there have been approximately 120 major terrorists attacks aimed at
The attacks were prompted by years of intensified political conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis over the territorial and governorship rights to land, which included the Gaza Strip, the
According to Nachman Tal in Suicide Attacks: Israel and Islamic Terrorism, the first recorded use of Palestinian suicide attacks against Israel was on April 1993, when a Palestinian man drove to an Israeli settlement in the Jordan Valley in a car packed with explosives and blew himself up, killing one Israeli and injuring seven more. The attack was followed by several more, which occurred after the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords between Palestinians and Israelis later that September.
During that time, the radical militant groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad carried out a majority of the attacks because they opposed the agreement struck between their rival, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Authority (PLO) and
According to Tal, there has been a growing religious dimension in the recent waves of attacks. Palestinian extremist organizations have mixed Islam and politics. They believe that it is their religious duty to defend their people and traditions against the enemies of Islam, most of whom are considered to be Israelis. Murder to obtain a political objective goes against the fundamental teachings of the Koran.
According to a Jewish Virtual Library article, Potential Threats to
- Violence is acceptable to achieve their political goals.
- Rejection of Jewish sovereignty on any land in
- Islamic form of government should be imposed in the
- No distinction between military and civilian targets.
Palestinian militant organizations have been growing in number and size over the last few years, mostly attributed to a martyr campaign that promotes self-sacrifice for the sake of God and nation. The use of martyrdom to achieve political/religious goals has become widely accepted and even facilitated by a large portion of Palestinian society. Conversely, the international view outside the Islamic world is that suicide terrorism is outrageous and barbaric and will only decrease the chances of Palestinians ever obtaining an independent state.