Journal Article

Suicide Campaigns as a Strategic Choice: The Case of Hamas

Minna Saarnivaara

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 2, issue 4, pages 423-433
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/police/pan061
Suicide Campaigns as a Strategic Choice: The Case of Hamas

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This article examines the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as a case study of an organization engaging in suicide campaigns as a result of a strategic choice. It examines the political, cultural and strategic preconditions that make this choice possible. In order to do this, the article also examines the interaction between Hamas and Palestinian society—how Hamas gains support at the grassroots level and how it in turn operates to Islamize the society and how Hamas came to a turning point where its political leadership found that starting suicide campaign was a necessary strategic choice. The article refers to Hamas suicide campaigns in 1994–96 and 2001–04. Hamas achieved its campaign goals: the campaigns sabotaged the peace process and Hamas won the Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006. The suicide missions represented a big shift away from Hamas’ previous policies and strategies.

Journal Article.  6067 words. 

Subjects: Policing

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