Motivation or capabilities? Israeli counterterrorism against Palestinian suicide bombings and violence

Hillel Frisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Scholars have expressed doubts about the ability of counterterrorism to cope with suicide bombings, resulting in tit-for-tat or loop-like and repetitive violence and counter-violence without meaningful, let alone decisive results for the stronger side. Such skepticism may explain why so much of the recent literature on terrorism and insurgency is focused on the factors motivating the challenger rather than upon the insurgent's capabilities. This article demonstrates the extent to which Israeli offensive measures have reduced considerably the impact of Palestinian violence on the Israeli protagonist corroborating research that counterterrorism should adopt an offensive escalating strategy against the insurgent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-869
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank Jonathan Fox, Efraim Inbar, Stuart Cohen and the anonymous reviewer for their comments and the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), Bar-Ilan University, Israel, for funding the project.


  • Israel
  • Suicide-bombings
  • Terrorism


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