Suicide Bombing as a Strategic Weapon: An Empirical Investigation of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad
Posted: 20 May 2005
Date Written: May 2005
Using half-yearly data from 1991 to 2003, we analyze the incidents of suicide attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad within Israel and the Palestinian territories of West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Given the exploratory nature of the question, we have first estimated the relevant coefficients by using Quasi-maximum Likelihood Ratio and then checked their robustness by re-estimating the model with the help of a Seemingly Unrelated Regression as an interrelated system. The results indicate that the two groups deliberately use suicide bombings as strategic weapons within the larger Israeli/Palestinian political milieu. With the Western world locked in an armed struggle with the militant extremists of Islam based on millenarian ideologies, this study emphasizes the need to develop appropriate analytical capabilities to distinguish among terrorist groups, their motivations, ideologies, and tactics.
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