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Title: The Motivations of Palestinian Suicide Bombers in the Second Intifada (2000-05)
Authors: Ela'Arj, Bader
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: The Canadian Review of Sociology
Abstract: Despite the relatively long history of Palestinian suicide bombing (1993-2009), research about Palestinian bombers based on primary data is rare, and no previous study analyzes a representative sample of cases. Based on interviews the author conducted in 2006 with close relatives and friends of 42 randomly selected Palestinian suicide bombers, representing about one-quarter of Palestinian bombers during the second intifada or uprising (2000-05), this article concludes that the motivations of Palestinian suicide bombers are typically complex. In descending order of importance, motivations include the (1) desire for revenge against Israeli forces and their harsh repressive measures, (2) religious inspiration, and (3) desire for liberation of the homeland. These findings are used to critically evaluate prevailing interpretations of the motivations of suicide bombers, including arguments based on psychopathology, absolute and relative deprivation, cultural determinism, and rational choice
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