Willing to Die: Palestinian suicide bombers
Most suicide attacks are methodically designed down to precise details. Moreover, according to Robert A. Papes article, The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism, the attacks usually serve specific strategic functions.
David Plotz writes in The Logic of Assassination that the most important rationale for bombing is public relations. Those who commit suicide bombings are able to relay their messages successfully to the world with the help of media coverage. Plotz stated that the media coverage of Palestinian bombings often reinforce the Palestinian image as an oppressed and impoverished people using whatever meager weapons they have, including themselves, to fight their tormenters. This has enraged Israelis because suicide bombers are often typed by the media as religious and political victims, instead of the methodical murderers they really are. Thus, Palestinian extremist groups profit by the free publicity and see it as a means of gaining public sympathy.
Pape suggested that suicide attacks are a strategy of coercion and are a means to compel a target government to change policy. This can sometimes be accomplished by killing as many as possible, including oneself in the hopes of achieving a planned goal. In the case of Palestinian suicide militants, this means destroying Israeli citizens until the government decides to finally give into their demands of granting them the land and governing rights to the
Furthermore, Pape suggested that the fact that most suicide attacks involved the organized timing of events, specific nationalistic goals and the selection of specific political targets further supported the theory that they are indeed strategically and logically planned. While some attacks have initiated negotiations on political demands, the
Interestingly, Pape claimed that even though moderate attacks may appear successful and set into motion moderate concessions, more aggressive attacks do not. In fact, more aggressive terrorist campaigns are less likely to succeed. He stated that the reason for this is because states such as