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UNIVERSIDAD DE GRANADA 

FACULTAD DE POLÍTICAS Y SOCIOLOGÍA 

 
 

LOS MÁRTIRES SUICIDAS PALESTINOS (ISTISHHADIYIN): 
REALIDADES Y NÚMEROS 

  

PALESTINIAN SUICIDE MARTYRS (ISTISHHADIYIN):  

FACTS AND FIGURES 

TESIS DOCTORAL PRESENTADA POR: 

BASSAM YOUSEF IBRAHIM BANAT 

Granada, 2010 
Editor: Editorial de la Universidad de Granada
Autor: Bassam Yousef Ibrahim Banat
D.L.: GR 1476-2010
ISBN: 978-84-693-0719-9
Universidad de Granada

Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología

Departamento de Sociología

Programa de Doctorado Análisis Sociopolítico de la Sociedad Contemporánea

 
Los Mártires Suicidas Palestinos (Istishhadiyin): Realidades y Números

 
Tesis presentada para aspirar al grado de doctor por

Don Bassam Yousef Ibrahim Banat, dirigida por la

Dra. Dª Margarita Latiesa Rodríguez y por el Dr. Don Khader Musleh

Granada, 2010.
La Dra. Dª Margarita Latiesa Rodríguez, Catedrática de Sociológica (Estadística Métodos

y Técnicas de Investigación Social) de la Universidad de Granada, como directora de la

tesis presentada para aspirar el grado de doctor por Don. Bassam Yousef Ibrahim Banat.

El Dr. Khader Musleh, Profesor Titular de Psicología de la Universidad de Belén, como

segundo director de la tesis presentada para aspirar el grado de doctor por Don. Bassam

Yousef Ibrahim Banat.

HACEN CONSTAR:

Que la Tesis titulada: “Los Mártires Suicidas Palestinos (Istishhadiyin): Realidades y

Números” realizada por el citado doctorando, reúne las condiciones científicas y

académicas necesarias para su presentación.

Granada, 2010.

Fdo. Dra. Dª Margarita Latiesa Rodríguez Fdo. Dr. Don Khader Musleh
Dedication

To the Holy, and Blessed Land…

The Land of Jihad and Istishhad…

The Land of Sad Orange…

Palestine…

To the Immortals of Martyrs who’s Blood fell on the Land of Palestine…

To all the Fighters who had Rewritten History with Letters of Blood…

To every Refugee who Dreams of Returning to his Usurped Homeland…

To the Chaste Soul of My Mother…

To My Cherished Father and Brothers…

To My Wife Manal, and My three sons, Aram, Adam and Rojan…

To them all and to you,

I dedicate this Dissertation.

Bassam Banat

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Acknowledgements

Upon completion of this dissertation, I would like to extend my deepest thanks and
appreciation to Professor Margarita Latiesa Rodríguez for her inspiration,
encouragement, wisdom and understanding in getting this thesis off the ground. A special
thanks to Professor Khader Musleh who saw me through to the end and provided
extremely valuable insight and direction from the beginning with great passion and
interest.

I would like also to extend a warm thanks to Professor Angel Manuel Molina Montoro
who helped me in choosing the title of this thesis when he realized my keen interest to
write about the Palestinian question. I would like also to express my thanks and
appreciation to the members of the committee.

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Al-Quds University, in particular Professor Sari


Nusseibeh President, the PEACE program and to the University of Granada. I have
reached this place not by my efforts alone, but also through your support and kindness.
Besides, I would like also to thank a lot the families of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
and the entire staff of “Mu’asasat Ri’ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal Jarha” (Foundation
Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded and the field researches in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip for their generous cooperation.

Beyond the academic world, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the love
and support of my wife Manal and my three sons Aram, Adam and Rojan who supported
me all through the work on this thesis until it was completed thanks to Allah (God).

I whole heartedly hope that this thesis has added a qualitative addition to the Palestinian
library.

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The Executors of Palestinian Martyrdom Operations Were Called

From Palestinians point of view…

Istishhadiyin…Mujahidun…Fighters…Freedom Fighters…Heroes…

Martyrdom Bombs Deterrence Balance Victory Annunciation…

Medals of Pride for the Palestinian People…

Life Makers to Palestinians….

Palestinian Strategic Weapon….

My life in My Martyrdom Weapon…

The Greatest of all Sorts of Jihad in the Cause of Allah…

The Only Way to Victory and Independence…


 

From Israelis point of view…

Terrorists….Suicides…Fanatics…Killers…Criminals…

Intelligent Bombs…Nuclear Bombs…Live Bombs…

Fatal Weapon…Heroic Culture…

A Breathing Killing Machine…

People Looking for Death…

Strategic Threat with no Solution…

Heroes of Mass Death…

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From the Wills of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin)

“How beautiful for the splinters of my bones to be the response that blows the enemy up, not for
the love of killing, but so we can live as other. We do not sing the songs of death, but recite the
hymns of life. We die so that future generations may live”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady)
Mohammed Al-Ghoul, Jerusalem operation, 18 June 2002.

“I wish I had so many lives to avenge time and time again and respond to the many massacres
and many insults perpetrated against the Palestinian people”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady)
Maher Habisheh, Haifa operation, 2 December 2001.

“We have to defend our blessed land against the occupiers until the last drop of blood in our
veins. We will fight them until Jaffa, Haifa and Ashkelon return”. The suicide martyr
(Istishhady) Mahmoud Salem, Ashdod operation, 14 March 2004.

“The nation that masters the death industry is unbeatable”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady) Fouad
Al-Hourani, Jerusalem operation, 9 March 2002.

“The person who thinks that Jihad will win without blood is for sure disillusioned”. The suicide
martyr (Istishhady) Mahmoud Marmash, Netanya operation, 18 May 2001.

“We, the martyrs, may talk less, since we have realized that blood talks louder”. The suicide
martyr (Istishhady) Samer Shawahna, Hadera operation, 29 November 2001.

“What is the use of life if death chases us from all directions? We will go to it before it comes to
us and revenge for our selves before we die”. The female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-
Akhras, Jerusalem operation, 29 March 2002.

“Blood is the only road to victory; all surrender solutions will fall and the blood of the suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) will remain a witness and a beacon”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady)
Ragheb Jaradat, Haifa Operation, 10 April 2002.

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“The battle is imposed on everybody; do not wait at the doors of tomorrow which you would not
have anything but humiliation”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady) Hisham Hamad, Netzarim
settlement in Gaza Strip, 11 November 1994.

“Martyrdom has no laws; it is not carried out by those who are young or old; it is required to be
fulfilled by any Muslim whether married, single or very old”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady)
Rafiq Hammad, Tel Aviv operation, 10 October 2002.

“Heroes are the ones who write with their blood the history of their nation and build with their
bodies the glory and with their skulls the impregnable fortresses”. The suicide martyr
(Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari, Tel Aviv operation, 1 June 2001.

“If the Palestinian National Authority, Israel and Clinton can stop me from meeting my Lord and
carrying out my martyrdom operation, I will tell them go ahead. My children are not dearer to
me than God and homeland”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady) Suliman Tahayna, Jerusalem
operation, 5 November 1998.

“The only path to the one who seeks immortality is Martyrdom; I do say to those who fell behind
and did not seek to become martyrs if I and you do not make a sacrifice who would?”. The
suicide martyr (Istishhady) Salah Shaker, Netanya operation, 22 January 1995.

“I have decided to carry out this operation only in order to avenge the pure blood of our people,
which is being shed every day, if not every hour, by the hateful Sharon and the Zionist army who
have had no mercy on our women, our elderly, or our children and in order to defend our right to
live in freedom and dignity on our pure land”. The suicide martyr (Istishhady) Akram Nabtiti,
Tel Aviv operation, 17 March 2002.

“As the body and spirit are all what we have, I offer them for the sake of God the Almighty to be
bombs that will burn the Zionists and destroy the myth of God's chosen people in retaliation for
the remains of our martyred brothers. I call on every Muslim and determined fighter who loves
freedom and martyrdom to follow this honorable path of Martyrdom and freedom”. The female
suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha, Maccabim settlement checkpoint near
Ramallah, 27 February 2002.

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Table of Contents

Dedication 1

Acknowledgements 2

The Executors of Palestinian Martyrdom Operations were called 3

From the Wills of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) 4

Table of Contents 6

List of Tables 11

List of Figures 16

List of Appendixes 20

Resumen in Español 22

1. Chapter One: Literature Review 74

1.1 Introduction 74

1.2 Social Structure in the Palestinian Society 76

1.2.1 Palestinian Social Structure During the Ottoman Regime (1917) 81

1.2.2 Palestinian Social Structure Post 1948 83

1.3 Palestinian Personality 84

1.3.1 Process of Contact and Interaction in the Palestinian Society 86

1.3.2 Social Organization and Control in the Palestinian Society 87

1.4 Economic System in the Palestinian Society 88

1.4.1 Economic System in the Palestinian Society Pre 1948 88

1.4.2 Economic System in the Palestinian Society 1948-1967 89

1.4.3 Economic System in the Palestinian Society Post 1967 90

1.5 Political System in the Palestinian Society 91

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1.5.1 Palestinian Ideology until 1948 92

1.5.2 Palestinian Ideology since the Establishment of Israel until the PLO 92

1.5.3 Palestinian Ideology Following the PLO until the Formation of PNA 93

1.6 Political Organization in the Palestinian Society 93

1.6.1 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) 94

1.6.2 Palestinian National Authority (PNA) 95

1.7 Cultural System in the Palestinian Society 98

1.8 Palestinian Reality 101

1.9 Phenomenon of Suicide Martyrdom Operations 106

1.9.1 Definition of Istishhad (Martyrdom) 106

1.9.2 Historical of Suicidal Attacks 110

1.9.3 History of Palestinian Suicide Martyrdom Operations 111

1.9.4 Analysis of the Concept Istishhad (Martyrdom) 117

1.9.5 Factors Behind Martyrdom Operations in the Palestinian Society 124

1.9.6 Palestinian Culture and the Support of Suicide Martyrs 127

1.10 Path of Martyrdom in the Palestinian Society 134

1.10.1 Criteria for Selecting the Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) 134

1.10.2 Preparation of the Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) 134

1.10.2.1 First Stage: Physical Training 134

1.10.2.2 Second Stage: Spiritual Preparation 135

1.10.2.3 Third Stage: Military Preparation 135

1.10.3 Criteria for Choosing Targets of Martyrdom Operations 136

1.10.4 Monitoring and Planning Stage 136

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1.10.5 Implementation and Breaking through Israeli Security Stage 137

1.10.6 Will Preparation Stage 137

1.10.7 Cost of Martyrdom Operations 138

1.11 Palestinian Factions who Implemented Martyrdom Operations 139

1.11.1 Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) 139

1.11.2 Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ) 140

1.11.3 Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fateh) 140

1.11.4 Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) 141

1.11.5 Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) 141

1.12 Palestinian Women and Resistance 142

1.12.1 Women Involvement in Martyrdom Operations 142

1.12.2 Palestinian Women Martyrs Against the Israeli Occupation 143

1.13 Martyrdom Operations in Islam 148

1.13.1 Martyrdom Operations in Islamic Sharia 148

1.13.2 Martyrdom Operations in Law 150

1.14 Pro and Cons of Martyrdom Operations in the Palestinian Society 152

1.15 Martyrdom Operations from an Israeli Perspective 157

1.16 Impact of Martyrdom Operations 161

1.16.1 Impact of Martyrdom Operations on Israelis 161

1.16.2 Impact of Martyrdom Operations on Palestinians 163

1.17 Study Design 165

1.17.1 Statement of the Problem 165

1.17.2 Study Questions 165

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1.17.3 Study Significance 166

1.17.4 Study Variables 166

1.17.5 Study Terminologies 166

1.17.6 Study Limitations 169

2. Chapter Two: Previous Studies 170

2.1 Arab Studies 170

2.2 Foreign Studies 176

2.3 Comments on Previous Studies 196

3. Chapter Three: Methodology 198

3.1 Study Approach 198

3.2 Study Population 198

3.3 Method and Tools of Data Collection 199

3.3.1 Validity of the Study Tool 199

3.3.2 Reliability of the Study Tool 199

3.4 Study Procedures 200

3.5 Statistical Analysis 203

4. Chapter Four: Findings of the Study 204

4.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs 204

4.2 Demographic Characteristics of the Palestinian Martyrdom Operations 214

4.3 Measures Taken by Israelis Against the Martyr’s Family Following the Operation 220

4.4 Main Personality Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs 221

4.5 Social Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs 222

4.6 Religious Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs 223

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4.7 National Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs 224

4.8 Psychological Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs 225

4.9 Palestinian Suicide Martyrs Motivations Behind their Martyrdom Operations 226

4.10 Behavioral Changes on Palestinian Martyrs Prior to their Martyrdom Operations 227

4.11 Opinions of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs Families in the Martyrdom Operations 229

5. Chapter Five: Discussion of the Findings and Recommendations 230

5.1 Discussion of the Study Findings 230

5.2 Conclusion 299

5.3 Recommendations of the Study 301

5.4 References 302

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List of Tables

Table No. (1). Distribution of Palestinian martyrdom operations by region and way of martyrdom 198
Table No. (2). Distribution of respondents according to their relationship to the Palestinian 201
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
Table No. (3). Distribution of respondents according to their age group 201
Table No. (4). Distribution of respondents by gender 202
Table No. (5). Distribution of respondents by social status 202
Table No. (6). Distribution of respondents by academic qualification 202
Table No. (7). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by gender 204
Table No. (8). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by social status 204
Table No. (9). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by age group 204
Table No. (10). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by zodiac 205
Table No. (11). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by academic 205
qualification
Table No. (12). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by birth rank in the 205
family
Table No. (13). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by size of 206
households
Table No. (14). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by kind of family 206
Table No. (15). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by degree of 206
religion
Table No. (16). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by external 206
appearance
Table No. (17). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to skin 207
color
Table No. (18). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by height 207
Table No. (19). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by weight 207
Table No. (20). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to blood 208
group (N=79)
Table No. (21). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by number of close 208

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friends
Table No. (22). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 208
favorite color (N=188)
Table No. (23). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 209
favorite day
Table No. (24). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by region 209
Table No. (25). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by place of 209
residence
Table No. (26). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by district 210
Table No. (27). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 210
refugee status
Table No. (28). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to work 210
status
Table No. (29). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by profession 211
(N=140)
Table No. (30). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 211
monthly income (NIS Israeli Shekel) (N=110)
Table No. (31). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by work condition 211
(N=121)
Table No. (32). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to family 211
bread winner
Table No. (33). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to their 212
families exposure to Israeli violence
Table No. (34). Mean scores and standard deviation of Israeli violence forms that the families of 212
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had been exposed to, ranked in a descending order
(N=147)
Table No. (35). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to their 213
exposure to Israeli violence
Table No. (36). Mean scores and standard deviation of Israeli violence forms that the Palestinian 213
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had been exposed to, ranked in a descending order (N=92)
Table No. (37). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to party 214
affiliation
Table No. (38). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 214

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way of martyrdom
Table No. (39). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 214
region in which they carried out their martyrdom operations
Table No. (40). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the place in 215
which they carried out their martyrdom operations
Table No. (41). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the time in 215
which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Table No. (42). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 216
day in which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Table No. (43). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the month in 216
which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Table No. (44). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the year in 217
which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Table No. (45). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 217
leaving a will
Table No. (46). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 218
type of will (N=156)
Table No. (47). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 218
will direction (N=156)
Table No. (48). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 218
wearing a military uniform during the reading of the will (N=156)
Table No. (49). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to any 219
signals prior to the operation indicating their intention to carry out the martyrdom operation
Table No. (50). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 219
number of days in which he/she disappeared from the home prior to the martyrdom operation
Table No. (51). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 219
prior knowledge of a family member concerning the implementation of the martyrdom operation
Table No. (52). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 220
resource of family’s knowledge about the implementation of the martyrdom operation
Table No. (53). Mean scores and standard deviation for the measures taken by Israelis against the 220
martyr’s family following the implementation of the martyrdom operation ranked in a descending
order
Table No. (54). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 221
body being handed over

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Table No. (55). Mean scores and standard deviation for the main personality characteristics of the 221
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order
Table No. (56). Mean scores and standard deviation for the social characteristics of the 222
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order
Table No. (57). Mean scores and standard deviation for the religious characteristics of the 223
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order
Table No. (58). Mean scores and standard deviation for the national characteristics of the 224
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order
Table No. (59). Mean scores and standard deviation for the psychological characteristics of the 225
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order
Table No. (60). Mean scores and standard deviation for the Palestinian suicide martyrs 226
(Istishhadiyin) motivations behind the carrying out of the martyrdom operation ranked in a
descending order
Table No. (61). Mean scores and standard deviation for the Palestinian suicide martyrs 227
(Istishhadiyin) behavioral changes which appeared and were noticed in the martyr two weeks
before the execution of the martyrdom operation ranked in a descending order
Table No. (62). Opinions of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) about 229
martyrdom operations (N=186)
Table No. (63). Reaction of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) if they 229
previously knew of the martyr’s intention to implement a martyrdom operation (N=186)
Table No. (64) Group of referees and expert arbitrators 318
Table No. (65). Factor analysis for the psychological characteristics of the Palestinian suicide 319
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) sub-scale
Table No. (66). Factor analysis for the social characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 319
(Istishhadiyin) sub-scale
Table No. (67). Factor analysis for the national characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 320
(Istishhadiyin) sub-scale
Table No. (68). Factor analysis for the religious characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 320
(Istishhadiyin) sub-scale
Table No. (69). Factor analysis for the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations 321
behind the carrying out of the martyrdom operation sub-scale
Table No. (70). Factor analysis for the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) behavioral 322
changes which appeared and were noticed on the martyr two weeks before the execution of the
martyrdom operation sub-scale

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Table No. (71). Pearson correlation for the psychological characteristics of the Palestinian suicide 323
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) items with the total degree sub-scale
Table No. (72). Pearson correlation for the social characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 323
(Istishhadiyin) items with the total degree sub-scale
Table No. (73). Pearson correlation for the national characteristics of the Palestinian suicide 324
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) items with the total degree sub-scale
Table No. (74). Person correlation for the religious characteristics of the Palestinian suicide 324
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) items with the total degree sub-scale
Table No. (75). Pearson correlation for the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations 325
behind the carrying out of the martyrdom operation items with the total degree sub-scale
Table No. (76). Pearson correlation for the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) behavioral 326
changes which appeared and were noticed on the martyr two weeks before the execution of the
martyrdom operation items with the total degree sub-scale
Table No. (77). Cronbach Alpha Reliability Analysis for the questionnaire sub-scales 327
Table No. (78). Casualties and material losses during the Intifada September 28th, 2000 – January 328
30th, 2009
Table No. (79). List of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to their names, 329
district, date of martyrdom, way of martyrdom, place of martyrdom and party affiliation

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List of Figures
Figure No. (1). Distribution of respondents according to their relationship to the Palestinian 333
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
Figure No. (2). Distribution of respondents according to their age group 333
Figure No. (3). Distribution of respondents by gender 333
Figure No. (4). Distribution of respondents by social status 333
Figure No. (5). Distribution of respondents by academic qualification 334
Figure No. (6). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by gender 334
Figure No. (7). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by social status 334
Figure No. (8). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by age group 334
Figure No. (9). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by zodiac 335
Figure No. (10). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by academic 335
qualification
Figure No. (11). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by birth rank in the 335
family
Figure No. (12). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by size of 335
households
Figure No. (13). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by kind of family 336
Figure No. (14). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by degree of 336
religion
Figure No. (15). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by external 336
appearance
Figure No. (16). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to skin 336
color
Figure No. (17). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by height (cm) 337
Figure No. (18). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by weight 337
Figure No. (19). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to blood 337
group (N=79)
Figure No. (20). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by number of close 337
friends

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Figure No. (21). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 338
favorite color (N=188)
Figure No. (22). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 338
favorite day
Figure No. (23). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by region 338
Figure No. (24). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by place of 338
residence
Figure No. (25). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by district 339
Figure No. (26). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 339
refugee status
Figure No. (27). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to work 339
status
Figure No. (28). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by profession 339
(N=140)
Figure No. (29). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 340
monthly income (NIS Israeli Shekel) (N=110)
Figure No. (30). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by work condition 340
(N=121)
Figure No. (31). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to their 340
families exposure to Israeli violence
Figure No. (32). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to their 340
exposure to Israeli violence
Figure No. (33). Distribution of Israeli violence forms that the families of Palestinian suicide 341
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had been exposed to (N=147)
Figure No. (34). Distribution of Israeli violence forms that the Palestinian suicide martyrs 342
(Istishhadiyin) had been exposed to (N=92)
Figure No. (35). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 343
family bread winner
Figure No. (36). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to party 343
affiliation
Figure No. (37). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 343
way of martyrdom
Figure No. (38). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 343

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region in which they carried out their martyrdom operations
Figure No. (39). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) due to the place in 344
which they carried out their martyrdom operations
Figure No. (40). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the time in 345
which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Figure No. (41). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 345
day in which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Figure No. (42). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the month in 345
which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Figure No. (43). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by the year in 345
which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Figure No. (44). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 346
leaving a will
Figure No. (45). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 346
type of will (N=156)
Figure No. (46). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 346
will direction (N=156)
Figure No. (47). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 346
wearing a military uniform during the reading of the will (N=156)
Figure No. (48). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to any 347
signals prior to the operation indicating their intention to carry out the martyrdom operation
Figure No. (49). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 347
number of days in which he/she disappeared from the home prior to the martyrdom operation
Figure No. (50). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 347
prior knowledge of a family member concerning the implementation of the martyrdom operation
Figure No. (51). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to 347
resource of family’s knowledge about the implementation of the martyrdom operation
Figure No. (52). Distribution of the measures taken by Israelis against the martyr’s family 348
following the implementation of the martyrdom operation
Figure No. (53). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) according to the 349
body being handed over
Figure No. (54). Distribution of the main personality characteristics of the Palestinian suicide 349
martyrs (Istishhadiyin)

18
Figure No. (55). Opinions of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) about 349
martyrdom operations (N=186)
Figure No. (56). Reaction of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) if they 349
previously knew of the martyr’s intention to implement a martyrdom operation (N=186)
Figure No. (57). Distribution of the social characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 350
(Istishhadiyin)
Figure No. (58). Distribution of the religious characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 351
(Istishhadiyin)
Figure No. (59). Distribution of the national characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs 352
(Istishhadiyin)
Figure No. (60). Distribution of the psychological characteristics of the Palestinian suicide 353
martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
Figure No. (61). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations behind 354
the carrying out of the martyrdom operation
Figure No. (62). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) behavioral changes 355
which appeared and were noticed on the martyr two weeks before the execution of the martyrdom
operation
Figure No. (63). Palestine under the British Mandate, 1923-1948 356
Figure No. (64). Palestine UN Partition Plan, 1947 356
Figure No. (65). Palestine: West Bank and Gaza Strip 357
Figure No. (66). The Oslo Accords between Palestinians and Israelis 357
Figure No. (67). Palestine: West Bank Separation Wall 358
Figure No. (68). Palestinian Refugee Camps 358
Figure No. (69). Palestinian Loss of Land, 1946-2000 359
Figure No. (70). Poster for Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) 360
Figure No. (71). Poster for Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) 361

19
List of Appendixes
Appendix A. The Questionnaire of the Study in English 362
Appendix B. The Questionnaire of the Study in Arabic 372
Appendix C. Letter of Request for a Second Advisor 380
Appendix D. Letter of Approval from the Second Advisor 381
Appendix E. Facilitating Mission Letter to the Foundation Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded 382
in Gaza
Appendix F. Facilitating Mission Letter to the Foundation Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded 383
in Ramallah
Appendix G. Facilitating Mission Letter for the Families of Palestinian Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) 384
Appendix H. Cooperation Letter with the Foundation Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded in 385
Palestine
Appendix I. List of the Field Researches from West Bank 386
Appendix J. List of the Field Researches from Gaza Strip 387
Appendix K. Formal Statement of Mourns of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by 388
Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas Movement)
Appendix L. Formal Statement of Mourns of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by Al- 389
Quds Brigades (Islamic Jihad Movement)
Appendix M. Formal Statement of Mourns of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by Al- 390
Aqsa Martyrs Troops (Fateh Movement)

Appendix N. Urgent Appeal to Palestinians to stop the Suicide Bombings 391


Appendix O. Stories of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) 392
Appendix O.1 Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Salah Shaker and Anwar Sukar 392
Appendix O2 Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Ibrahim Sarahneh and Majdi Abu 396
Warda
Appendix O.3 Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari 400
Appendix O.4 The Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Raed Barghouthi 403
Appendix O.5 The Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Ragheb Jaradat 405
Appendix O.6 The Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Martyr Raed Messk 408

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Appendix O.7 The Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Ali Ja’ara 410
Appendix O.8 The Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Wafa Idris 412
Appendix O.9 The Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha 415
Appendix O.10 The Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras 417
Appendix O.11 The Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Andaleeb Taqatqa 420
Appendix O.12 The Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Hiba Daraghmeh 422
Appendix P. Wills of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs (Istishhadiyin) 425
Appendix P.1 Will of Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari 425
Appendix P.2 Will of Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha 426
Appendix P.3 Will of Palestinian Female Suicide Martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras 427
Appendix P.4 Will of Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Ragheb Jaradat 428
Appendix P.5 Will of Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Samer Hammad 429
Appendix P.6 Will of Palestinian Suicide Martyr (Istishhady) Mohammed Siksik 430

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Resumen en Español
Los Mártires Suicidas Palestinos (Istishhadiyin): Realidades Y Números
El presente estudio tiene por objeto la identificación de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) y las operaciones de martirio desde el punto de vista de los mismos mártires y de
sus familias. El estudio ha abordado la cuestión de las operaciones de martirio como un
fenómeno multidimensional a partir de investigaciones teóricas y prácticas. La tesis se centra en
un nuevo fenómeno social, que se ha extendido en la sociedad palestina en todos sus grupos y
clases sociales. Los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) han sido capaces de ejecutar
doscientas operaciones de martirio bastante efectivas que han sacudido a Israel y provocado una
gran ola de reacciones a escala local e internacional. Este fenómeno constituye un punto de
inflexión en la historia del conflicto israelí-palestino. Teniendo en cuenta el elevado número de
mártires suicidas palestinos, no es usual encontrar un fenómeno similar a éste en cualquier otro
lugar del mundo. En esta tesis se han tenido en cuenta las características psicológicas, sociales,
religiosas y nacionales de los mártires palestinos, las cuales les han capacitado para llevar a cabo
estas operaciones estratégicas. Además, el problema de estudio se centra en la identificación de
los principales motivos que impulsaron a estos jóvenes a llevar a cabo estas operaciones, así
como la relación entre la aparición de estas operaciones y los crímenes cometidos por Israel
contra los derechos del pueblo palestino. El presente estudio pretende responder a las siguientes
preguntas:
1. ¿Cuáles son las características demográficas de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin)?
2. ¿Cuáles son las características demográficas de las operaciones palestinas de martirio suicida?
3. ¿Cuáles son las medidas adoptadas por los israelíes en contra de la familia del mártir suicida
tras producirse la operación de martirio?
4. ¿Cuáles son las principales características de personalidad de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin)?
5. ¿Cuáles son las características sociales de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)?
6. ¿Cuáles son las características religiosas de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)?
7. ¿Cuáles son las características nacionales de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)?
8. ¿Cuáles son las características psicológicas de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)?
9. ¿Cuáles son los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) y las motivaciones que llevan a la
realización de sus operaciones de martirio suicida?
10. ¿Cuáles son los cambios de comportamiento que han tenido lugar en los mártires suicidas
palestinos (Istishhadiyin) antes de la ejecución de la operación de martirio suicida?
11. ¿Qué opinan las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) sobre las
operaciones de martirio?
Debido a la modernidad del presente estudio este puede resultar de enorme importancia en la
sociedad, a pesar del hecho de que no se limita al pueblo palestino. Se han formulado varias
preguntas en las mentes de numerosas personas, por lo que se ha convertido en indispensable la
realización de un estudio objetivo sobre el terreno del fenómeno que se ha investigado
teóricamente; también la parte israelí prestó una gran atención a este fenómeno que en principio

22
surgía de una demanda palestina. La bibliografía palestina necesita precisamente una
investigación de campo en este sentido y sentar las bases científicas con el fin de mejorar su
cuestión política, social y culturalmente. El presente estudio es considerado la primera encuesta
estudio sobre este tema. Esperamos que sus resultados se añadan a los nuevos conocimientos
científicos en su ámbito, en particular, ya que analiza un nuevo e importante tema en la historia
de la lucha palestina. Este estudio será una importante fuente de referencia para los interesados
en el ámbito de las operaciones de martirio sobre todo en la información que se revelará sobre el
fenómeno que cruzó más allá de las fronteras de Palestina para convertirse en un fenómeno
mundial. El investigador tiene el honor en este deber nacional de ser el primer intérprete de este
derecho dentro de su propio potencial al ser uno de los investigadores del tema de los mártires
suicidas palestino a través de un procedimiento de estudio científico.
El Istishhady (mártir suicida), que cristalizó en el ámbito de la lucha palestina se define como un
concepto palestino de significados religiosos y populares que se otorga a la persona que con
premeditación y plena conciencia se pone un cinturón explosivo en su cuerpo, lleva un saco o
una bolsa de explosivos o conduce un coche bomba suicida para causar una explosión y dañar de
esta forma al enemigo y no tiene ninguna oportunidad de salir vivo. Es importante separar el
concepto occidental de suicidio del concepto islámico. El presente documento se centra en el
martirio, implicando el uso de la muerte de uno en una defensa de la patria para infligir pérdidas
a un enemigo, no sobre el suicidio que es el auto infligido acto intencional destinado a poner fin
a la propia vida.
Cuando nos introducimos en el estudio del fenómeno del martirio en la realidad contemporánea
de Palestina, debemos recordar que no se trata de un fenómeno nuevo, ya que la sociedad
conocía este fenómeno; desde los albores de la historia siempre hubo tiranía despótica. No se
limita a una religión o nación. A partir del siglo XV a.C. pasando por el cristianismo y el
islamismo, y terminando en la historia moderna. Nos encontramos con modelos de éste en la
Guerra de la Independencia de España contra Francia (1785), durante los años de la guerra civil
Española (1936-1939), o con los japoneses en las operaciones de los pilotos kamikaze de la
Segunda Guerra Mundial, además de los campesinos vietnamitas en sus enfrentamientos con los
ocupantes franceses y la experiencia del Hezbolá en el Líbano, con el desarrollo cualitativo que
se ha visto en la confrontación y la masa de operaciones suicidas en los ferrocarriles para
interrumpir el paso de las municiones y las armas que llegaban a las tropas inglesas en India, en
el Partido de los Trabajadores de Kurdistán (PKK) en Turquía y en los Tigres Tamil (LTTE) en
Sri Lanka. Llegamos a la conclusión de que lo que se trata es de un cálculo estratégico de las
organizaciones para llevar a cabo la violencia suicida como una táctica efectiva en la lucha
contra poderosos enemigos.
Este fenómeno es tan antiguo como la humanidad y tiene distintas denominaciones,
principalmente “Suicidio’’. El término suicidio se mencionó por primera vez en la época
medieval en 1177. Procede del latín sui cidium (auto-asesinato) y sui caedere (matar a sí mismo).
Ahora bien, este término se utiliza en la literatura científica internacional. El suicidio es un
fenómeno social por diferentes razones y formas. El suicidio es un fenómeno que ha atraído la
atención de gran parte de los científicos y filósofos en la medida en que un número considerable
de ellos se enfrentaban a él entre la confusión y el asombro. Sócrates consideró el suicidio como
un acceso al mundo de las presencias idealistas, es decir, el suicidio es un camino para la
salvación. En cuanto a Aristóteles, que consideraba que el suicidio era un mal contra el Estado y

23
las leyes de la sociedad, opinaba que era un fenómeno común, y fue apoyado por Platón, que
consideraba la vida un don de Dios y que tenía que ser preservado hasta que volviera a su dador.
En cuanto a los estoicos en la época de los romanos, especialmente en el momento del
nacimiento de Jesucristo, ellos legitimaron el suicidio de los que consideraron que no tenían
ningún motivo para vivir y existir.
A raíz de la propagación de las enseñanzas cristianas y musulmanas, el suicidio fue
completamente prohibido; ambas religiones creen que Dios es el creador que tiene y da la vida,
por lo que ninguna criatura tiene derecho a desempeñar el papel del creador.
Podemos decir que la investigación sistemática sobre este fenómeno no fue lo suficientemente
clara hasta que apareció en escena el sociólogo Durkheim y estudió el fenómeno del suicidio
desde diferentes aspectos. Se recogieron alrededor de veinticuatro mil casos de suicidios de todo
el mundo, incluyendo las distintas sectas, denominaciones, y los diferentes sectores sociales del
clero, los ricos, los pobres, los políticos y los pensadores. Durkheim define el suicidio diciendo,
“El suicidio es un resultado directo o indirecto de un trabajo positivo o negativo a través de la
propia víctima, que ya conocía los resultados’’. Durkheim solía estudiar indicando en todos ellos
que los factores básicos para el suicidio están conectados con la relación del individuo con su
entorno social y las normas de control. El considera que es un fenómeno social, por lo que negó
todas las propuestas o las explicaciones dadas en el siglo XIX sobre el papel de la herencia, las
enfermedades psicológicas, el clima y la imitación de los demás. Para demostrar la relación entre
el individuo y la sociedad y la importancia de esta relación en su comportamiento, identificó tres
tipos de suicidio que se caracterizan por la integración de un individuo en la sociedad. Estos
serían: el suicidio egoísta, el suicidio anómico y el suicidio altruista. El más relevante es el
suicidio altruista, que el Islam clasifica como martirio y cuya definición es: “Sacrificio de la vida
para servir no a los objetivos sublimes individuales’’. Los suicidas palestinos son mártires del
tipo del fatalismo altruista de acuerdo con la clasificación de Durkheim. El suicidio altruista
puede ocurrir cuando una persona pasa a estar profundamente integrada en un grupo social y el
suicidio se convierte en un deber para los miembros de ese grupo. El objetivo del acto del
suicidio no es el de satisfacer a la persona que comete el suicidio, sino más bien el de satisfacer
al grupo al que pertenece. Este tipo de suicidio (Martirio) es requerido por la mentalidad
colectiva palestina y se ve reforzado por la cultura de la sociedad palestina, ya que es un
comportamiento social respetable y aceptable. EL estandarte que el suicidio representa se levanta
por el del bien de los demás, por el cese de la injusticia y por la recuperación de las tierras
palestinas y de sus derechos.
Convertirse en un mártir suicida (Istishhady) es un proceso social. Implica socialización, y está
sujeto a normas y patrones de exposición. La oportunidad de participar en el proceso está
también socialmente determinada. Una operación de martirio requiere tres elementos principales:
las personas motivadas, el acceso a las organizaciones cuyo objetivo es el de crear mártires
suicidas, y una comunidad que ensalza a los perpetradores de los hechos como héroes y abraza
sus actos como una noble forma de resistencia.
El fenómeno del martirio en la realidad contemporánea de Palestina es muy claro. Tiene un
interés especial en todos los niveles, oficiales y extra oficiales, porque tiene una fuerte influencia
efectiva en la senda del conflicto palestino israelí, junto con la controversia y los pensamientos
que plantea.

24
Tal vez la experiencia palestina bajo la ocupación ha sido y sigue siendo la más trágica en cuanto
a las víctimas y la violencia que ha dejado tras de sí como consecuencia de los actos de
asesinato, lesiones, discapacidad, tortura física y psicológica como consecuencia de la
demolición de viviendas, la confiscación de las tierras y del agua, las detenciones, los
allanamientos, las persecuciones y otras formas de violencia. Los palestinos siempre se han
enfrentado al ocupante más brutal de la historia. Es cierto que los palestinos no eligieron esta
batalla, y que desearían ser como el resto de los pueblos del mundo, prestando su atención al
desarrollo de su Estado independiente y el cumplimiento de sus políticas, su economía y sus
aspiraciones sociales. Sin embargo, se vieron obligados a vivir con el ocupante israelí que trajo
la destrucción y el odio a esta región del mundo.
La memoria del terror de los crímenes de los sionistas y el terror oficial de los consecutivos
gobiernos israelíes, alcanzó grados de brutalidad y crueldad sin precedentes que se han instalado
en la mente de los palestinos. A cambio, el principal generador de la resistencia palestina fue la
jihad (guerra santa) por la causa de Dios, en defensa de la patria, el honor y la lucha contra la
agresión. En primer lugar, fueron héroes, Mujahidun, militantes y combatientes por la libertad, y
más tarde Istishhadiyin (mártires suicidas) que han contribuido a la formulación del fenómeno
del martirio en la Intifada de Al-Aqsa cuando jóvenes palestinos, hombres, y más recientemente,
mujeres, comenzaron a atarse el cuerpo con explosivos abriendo su propio camino hacia zonas
israelíes judías llenas de soldados o civiles e inmolándose matando e hiriendo a docenas de
personas a su alrededor. Históricamente hablando, los palestinos no comienzan su resistencia
contra la ocupación con los mártires suicidas. Estos llegaron al menos 25 años más tarde, cuando
la situación política y de seguridad se deterioró considerablemente, y cuando se hizo obvio que la
comunidad internacional era incapaz de aplicar sus propias resoluciones. No hubo mártires
suicidas con bombas antes del proceso de paz de Oslo. Es el resultado de la desesperación y la
desesperanza que comenzó a imponerse cuando un número cada vez mayor de palestinos empezó
a frustrarse por la profundización de la opresión israelí y la humillación. En otras palabras, estos
jóvenes no nacieron “terroristas’’. Nadie nace terrorista.
Es posible indicar que en el primer intento en el plano de las operaciones de martirio en el año
1986, a través de lo que solía llamarse “Saraya Jihad Islami’’, que pertenece al Movimiento de la
Jihad Islámica Palestina (PIJ), fue el que decidió que Itaf Ilayan conduciría un coche bomba por
el Distrito de Belén, sin embargo la operación fue descubierta en el 17 de diciembre de 1992. El
primer mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady), Saher Tamam, de la ciudad de Nablus, dedicó su
operación de martirio, que llevó a cabo en Beit Shean (Bisan) el 16 de abril de 1993, a los
deportados de Marj Az-Zuhur en el Líbano, 416 políticos y dirigentes de la resistencia palestina
que las autoridades de ocupación israelíes habían expulsados de Palestina y se negaron a su
regreso. Cuando el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Tamam llevó a cabo su operación de
martirio, que coincidió con “La Marcha de los Sudarios (Akfan)’’ que los deportados empezaron
yendo hacia el puesto de control israelí en el cruce Zamriya, a dos kilómetros de su campamento
en Marj Az-Zuhur, lo que fue un modo de presionar a la entidad israelí como forma de protesta
por su injusta expulsión.
Durante la Intifada de Al-Aqsa en septiembre de 2000, la resistencia palestina contra la
ocupación israelí se desarrolló rápidamente. Las raíces de la Intifada crecieron a pesar de las
repetidas campañas militares israelíes, los asesinatos de activistas palestinos, el bombardeo de
centros de seguridad e instituciones civiles por los combatientes israelíes, los helicópteros

25
Apache y los aviones de combate. En una declaración oficial, la dirección palestina pidió a las
fuerzas oficiales y populares empezar una movilización popular en la preparación de una
resistencia a largo plazo contra la ofensiva cuando Israel volvió a ocupar todas las ciudades
palestinas en marzo de 2002.
La última doble operación de martirio fue ejecutada por los dos suicidas mártires (Istishhadiyin)
palestinos, Shadi Izughayyar y Mohammed Al-Herbawi, del movimiento Hamas, el 4 de febrero
de 2008 en Dimona, en respuesta al injusto asedio de la Franja de Gaza y en solidaridad con los
palestinos sitiados. También vino a confirmar la capacidad de la resistencia encabezada por las
Brigadas Ezzedeen Al-Qassam, la rama militar del movimiento islamista Hamas, de penetrar en
las fortificaciones y atacar al enemigo en lugares sensibles, y en el tiempo y en el lugar que ellos
ven oportunos. Los dos mártires suicidas aparecieron en una cinta de vídeo subrayando que la
operación era una continuación del camino de la yihad, de resistencia y venganza por la sangre
de los mártires de Gaza. También destacaron que el sitio, bloqueo y las matanzas trajeron más
operaciones de martirio.
Entre abril de 1993 y febrero de 2008, doscientas operaciones de martirio de resistentes
palestinos se produjeron contra israelíes. Estos recuentos no incluyen operaciones de no martirio,
el número de intentos de operaciones es mayor.
Distintas facciones de la resistencia palestina llevaron a cabo operaciones de martirio contra
israelíes a través de uno, dos o tres mártires suicidas. También fueron capaces de llevar a cabo
operaciones conjuntas. Después de cada operación de martirio, el nombre de su ejecutor se hacía
público a la facción al que él / ella pertenecía en unas declaraciones formales (Apéndice K-M)
difundidas en los medios de comunicación o través de altavoces en las mezquitas, además de las
consignas y pintadas escritas en las paredes inmortalizando de esta forma el nombre del mártir.
En algunas ocasiones y por razones de seguridad, la declaración del nombre del mártir se
aplazaba.
Las operaciones de martirio fueron ejecutadas por los mártires suicidas palestinos de Cisjordania
y de la Franja de Gaza, además de algunas llevadas a cabo por algunos de los palestinos de
Jordania e Israel. Las condolencias se extienden a través de carteles distribuidos por toda
Palestina (Gráfico 70); estos carteles incluyen a menudo algunas expresiones entusiastas
(Gráfico 71). Una gran celebración se lleva a cabo para recibir felicitaciones por el martirio; se
hacen discursos y se ofrecen dulces. Además, en memoria de los sacrificios realizados por los
mártires suicidas, sus nombres son dados a los grupos nacionales, nombres de calles y otras
organizaciones sociales y actividades nacionales. También se celebran festivales anuales para
inmortalizar su memoria.
La cultura palestina desempeña un papel importante en la aparición de las operaciones de
martirio. Nos encontramos con que la cultura palestina glorifica el martirio por la causa de Dios
y de la patria. Se insta a la resistencia frente a los ocupantes y agresores por todos los medios y
maneras. El mártir es el poder del pueblo, el poder para tomar venganza en nombre de las
víctimas. Tienen todas estas nociones románticas. Consideran que el mártir valientemente se
sacrifica a sí mismo por el bien de todos, como un símbolo de la lucha por la libertad, porque eso
es por lo que estas personas están luchando.

26
La vida y la memoria de los mártires suicidas son consideradas las más virtuosas, puestas en las
páginas de la historia de la resistencia palestina que narran su heroísmo en todas partes: en casa,
en la escuela, en la mezquita, en la cafetería, en la oficina, incentivando a los jóvenes a unirse a
las filas de los mártires suicidas. El martirio contra los ocupantes se ha convertido en el mayor
valor de sacrificio y redención, su esencia y significado se ven reforzados por la continuación de
la ocupación en sus prácticas, como son la brutalidad y la escalada de matanzas, asesinatos,
destrucción y aniquilación, en lugar de acabar con las razones que crean el martirio, la
terminación de la ocupación y la aplicación de las resoluciones de la ONU.
El legendario líder de Hamas, Yahya Ayyash, apodado como “Almuhandes, el ingeniero’’ se
considera el cerebro de las operaciones palestinas de martirio. Se graduó de la Universidad de
Birzeit en Ingeniería Eléctrica. Fue capaz de liderar y presidir los grupos principales de suicidio
en los mártires de Brigadas de Mártires Ezzedeen Al-Qassam por venganza de las víctimas del
terrorismo israelí mediante la ejecución de más de veinte operaciones de martirio a partir del 16
de abril de 1993 hasta su asesinato a manos de los israelíes en la Franja de Gaza el 5 de enero de
1996. Tras el martirio de Ayyash, sus alumnos continuaron su camino en operaciones de martirio
espectaculares que Hasan Salameh, Salah Shihada, Mohyee Din Mahmoud Sharif y Mahmoud
Abu Hnud llevaron a cabo sacudiendo los cimientos de Israel. Los palestinos seguían este
camino después del estallido del la Intifada de Al-Aqsa. Hoy en día, es común escuchar o leer en
los medios de comunicación, locales e internacionales, que hay una operación de martirio contra
los israelíes.
El camino del martirio es muy difícil, requiere una preparación cultural, psicológica y militar y
sobre todo ello está la doctrina de reclutamiento, ya que constituye el límite decisivo que es la
principal base para el desarrollo del conflicto; también exige gran esfuerzo y trabajo por parte de
los mártires suicidas, y sus profesores se distinguen en primer lugar por ser racionales. Los
mártires suicidas palestinos se seleccionan en función de cuatro criterios: compromiso religioso,
ser soltero y tener hermanos y hermanas, ser capaces de llevar a cabo la misión que se les
encomendó hacer y darse cuenta de su gravedad y su importancia, y que su martirio sirva de
llamada y motivación a otros para seguir el ejemplo y fomentar la Yihad en el corazón de la
gente.
Los mártires suicidas (Istishhadiyin) suelen prepararse a través de las siguientes etapas:
entrenamiento físico, espiritual y preparación militar. Los objetivos para la ejecución de las
operaciones de martirio son seleccionados de acuerdo con los principios islámicos y yihadistas.
No se lucha contra los judíos por sus creencias o por afición a la lucha, es porque son ocupantes
y usurpadores de tierras palestinas. Los niños, los ancianos o los lugares de culto no son
objetivos, a pesar de que son blancos fáciles; las escuelas y los hospitales tampoco lo son. Los
niños muertos se deben a razones que están fuera de control.
En cuanto a la vigilancia y la etapa de planificación, dentro de cada organización palestina hay
grupos de vigilancia (inteligencia militar), cuya misión es realizar un seguimiento de las patrullas
militares israelíes y de los colonos y observar sus movimientos en los distintos territorios, a fin
de determinar las carencias o faltas en la seguridad y, en consecuencia, se determinan los
objetivos y la planificación de la forma de ataque según sea contra un asentamiento, un puesto
militar, vehículos militares u otros. Las cámaras de vídeo se suelen utilizar para grabar los
objetivos que están vigilados por un comité especial antes del proceso de toma de decisiones.
Posteriormente, el mártir suicida es entrenado para llevar a cabo la operación. El éxito de la

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operación depende en el 90% del proceso de seguimiento que puede durar una, dos o cuatro
semanas. A veces, es necesario llevar cuatro o cinco meses de seguimiento. Algunas operaciones
de seguimiento, duraron cuatro semanas antes de que el mártir suicida se enterara de la
información sobre el lugar, el objetivo, las personas objetivo del ataque, incluso desde donde se
puede llegar a ellos, en qué punto parar para la ejecución, dónde dormir, cuándo empezar a
disparar, cuándo estarán las personas, o sea, el objetivo del ataque, presentes en el lugar, etc.
El mártir suicida tiene que escribir su testamento, considerado un documento que pueda ser
contemplado con el fin de leer su contenido, significados y objetivos sublimes; también contiene
una petición por parte de él para los palestinos, a través de una conducta educada, ética, nacional
y patriótica de seguir el ejemplo y la voluntad del escritor. La voluntad lleva un mensaje dejado
por el mártir suicida a los miembros de su familia, la sociedad, la nación, pidiéndoles que sigan
el ejemplo para explicar el propósito de las operaciones de martirio a través de un testamento
escrito, visual o sonoro. Los testamentos de los mártires suicidas se caracterizan por los impactos
positivos que dejan en la sociedad. Es considerada como una carta escrita con sangre y luz; la
sangre para conquistar a los ocupantes y la luz para iluminar el camino de aquellos que lo siguen:
el camino de la resistencia y el martirio (Apéndice P).
Tanto las autoridades religiosas dentro como fuera de Palestina aprobaron el derecho de los
palestinos de llevar a cabo operaciones de martirio suicida contra israelíes. El Jefe Imam de
Azhar Mohammed Sayed Tantawi dijo que los que se inmolan a sí mismos contra a los enemigos
con el fin de preservar sus cosas sagradas, su patria, su propiedad y sus niños son mártires.
Además, el derecho internacional no sólo considera la ocupación militar de otras tierras como un
acto ilegítimo, sino que también reconoce que los pueblos de los territorios ocupados tienen el
derecho a utilizar todas las formas de lucha, incluida la lucha armada con el fin de lograr su
independencia.
En Palestina se ha caldeado el debate sobre la viabilidad y la legitimidad de las operaciones de
martirio que se llevan a cabo por diferentes facciones de la resistencia palestina, especialmente la
resistencia islámica. Algunos consideraron este método como perjudicial para los intereses de los
palestinos y no contribuyentes al beneficio de los intereses nacionales palestinos. Por el
contrario, otros lo consideraron como la cima de la lucha nacional palestina contra la tirana
ocupación israelí que se siente en los corazones de los palestinos. Además, hay algunas llamadas
a favor de la racionalización de este fenómeno por la medición de sus pros y sus contras.
El doble rasero es evidente en el caso de la posición de la Autoridad Nacional Palestina (ANP)
respecto a las operaciones de martirio: por un lado, la Autoridad Nacional Palestina insiste en la
legitimidad de la resistencia palestina contra la ocupación de la tierra palestina hasta que ésa
llegue a su fin y, por otra parte la Autoridad Nacional Palestina condenó, en su momento,
algunas operaciones de martirio especialmente aquellas que ocurrieron en el interior de la línea
verde (Israel, 1948) y llamó a sus ejecutores como “Violadores de la ley’’.
Expertos en sociología de Palestina y el mundo árabe indicaron que el martirio se ha convertido
en parte de la cultura de la sociedad palestina, y que el pueblo palestino se ha convertido en un
medio ambiente oportuno para producir un mayor número de mártires suicidas. Los palestinos
han llegado a la conclusión de que se han convertido en el único perdedor tanto si guardan
silencio respecto a su sufrimiento cotidiano, como si llevan a cabo acciones militares dirigidas

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contra israelíes. Los casos de represión, humillación y sumisión a los que los palestinos se
enfrentan a diario les llevan a pensar en hacer algo en venganza por su dignidad robada.
En cuanto a la opinión de la calle en Palestina sobre las operaciones de martirio, las encuestas de
opinión indican que la mayoría de los palestinos las apoyan. En la última encuesta de opinión
llevada a cabo por la encuestas y sondeos de opinión del Centro de Estudios de la Universidad
Nacional AnNajah realizadas en el período comprendido entre el 22-24/12/2007 en una muestra
de 1360 hombres y mujeres de los cuales 860 de ellos eran de Cisjordania frente a 500 de la
Franja de Gaza, todos mayores de 18 años, los resultados señalaron que el 56,6% mostraba su
apoyo a las operaciones de martirio en las ciudades israelíes, mientras que 37,4% se oponía a
ellas y el 6% no daba una opinión.
Las percepciones de los israelíes acerca de las operaciones de martirio palestinas son diferentes
de las de los palestinos. A pesar del hecho de que las operaciones palestinas de martirio son
medios legítimos de resistencia de la ocupación, son calificadas en la mayoría de los casos como
operaciones terroristas. Tanto los israelíes como las fuerzas que los apoyan consideran estas
operaciones como actos terroristas. Pero las operaciones de martirio palestinas causaron una gran
controversia en todos los niveles israelíes: el militar, el civil e incluso el gubernamental, donde
funcionarios de alto rango en el ejército se preguntan sobre el alcance de la supervivencia de
Israel ante estas operaciones, considerando que la guerra de independencia de su estado no había
terminado todavía. Los oficiales y responsables israelíes admiten que no es posible impedir la
realización de las operaciones de martirio y que eso es una señal de su impotencia. Estas
operaciones tenían influencias espectaculares en todos los aspectos de la vida en Israel debido
del pánico que horrorizaba a los israelíes a frecuentar en lugares públicos, utilizar el transporte
público o ir a restaurantes y clubes nocturnos. El porcentaje de la inmigración inversa de Israel
ha aumentado en aras de la estabilidad y seguridad.
Los dirigentes políticos y militares israelíes no encontraban una solución a las amenazas de las
operaciones palestinas de martirio y se sentían avergonzados por ello. El ex Primer Ministro
israelí Isaac Rabin resumió esta impotencia diciendo, “¿Qué podemos hacer ante los jóvenes que
desean morir?’’. En cuanto a la policía israelí el inspector general, Shlomo Aharoniski, dijo, “No
es lógico asegurar a nuestros ciudadanos que estamos en condiciones para impedir la realización
de más operaciones de este tipo’’. Además, Ze'ev Schiff, analista militar en el periódico Haaretz,
consideraba las operaciones de martirio como una amenaza estratégica sin solución eminente.
Indicó que era un problema estratégico duro y complicado, y que Israel no tenía entonces una
solución práctica a esta amenaza estratégica. Estaba de acuerdo con el ex director del
Departamento de Inteligencia de Israel (Shabbak) Ya'cob Perry, quien expresó, “Es la única
amenaza estratégica contra el Estado de Israel’’.
Las operaciones de martirio hicieron que el presidente israelí, Shimon Perez y otros altos
dirigentes israelíes las consideraran como la más peligrosa etapa que Israel había atravesado.
Esta influencia animó a los líderes israelíes a declarar públicamente la necesidad de la retirada
israelí de la Franja de Gaza y Cisjordania, y la necesidad de desmontar todos los asentamientos
construidos allí y de aceptar las condiciones de los palestinos para una solución definitiva
después de que las operaciones de martirio palestinas causaron un ligero terremoto que provocó
una grieta en el tejido social y económico en Israel.

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La cuestión de las operaciones palestinas de martirio ha sido objeto de preocupación de los
investigadores y estudiosos. También han dado lugar a la aparición de una polémica a gran
escala tanto local como internacional. Tras un aumento sin precedentes en las operaciones de
martirio que superó todas las expectativas, varios estudios y trabajos de investigación, tanto
árabes y extranjeros, que abordaron este tema desde diferentes dimensiones, fueron publicados.
Es evidente para nosotros a partir de una revisión de la literatura anterior que varios de estos
estudios tratan las operaciones de martirio a través de la investigación y el estudio; los
investigadores de diferentes orígenes se esforzaron para hacer frente a este fenómeno desde
diferentes aspectos, y tema generó mucho interés a nivel mundial y a nivel social palestino en
particular. Estos estudios, en general, tenían como meta identificar este fenómeno en términos de
definición, marco histórico, causas y efectos, y posición de la religión. Estudios muy limitados
abordaron el tema desde la perspectiva de los familiares y amigos íntimos de los mártires
suicidas. La mayoría de los estudios están de acuerdo en que las operaciones de martirio suicida
tienen muchas formas y causas, y tienen riesgos y efectos negativos en las personas y la
sociedad, sin embargo, estos los estudios árabes y los extranjeros se encuentran en desventaja en
función de los siguientes puntos:
1. La escasez de estudios sobre el terreno relativo a este tema.
2. La concentración de la mayoría de los estudios previos en la dirección del fenómeno en el
aspecto teórico intelectual, la narración histórica y personal de análisis del mismo.
3. La dependencia de estos estudios anteriores en su análisis de los recursos secundarios de los
medios de comunicación, artículos personales, que descuidaban los principales recursos, lo que
distrajo al lector y contribuyó a la colisión de números al respecto.
4. El fenómeno de las operaciones de martirio suicida no fue estudiado con objetividad y
neutralidad, especialmente en los estudios israelíes.
5. La falta de un estudio de este importante fenómeno que podría provocar un alto nivel de
controversia a nivel local e internacional.
6. El gran número de errores que se produjeron en los anteriores estudios sobre las cuestiones
relacionadas con los mártires suicidas palestinos, especialmente sus nombres, las facciones, la
fecha y lugar de la operación de martirio.
En cuanto a los estudios anteriores (Abu M'ala, 2004; Abu Ras, 2006; Ashour, 2006) que se
ocupan de la cuestión también se encuentran en una situación de desventaja por lo siguiente:
1. No se concentraron en la singularidad de la sociedad palestina y su contexto histórico en su
estudio de este fenómeno distinto en tal sociedad.
2. Se centraron en la cuestión de más sensibilidad en el debate y analizaron el tema y esto puede
de una u otra manera influir en la dirección científica de este fenómeno.
3. Las condiciones de las operaciones de martirio palestinas no eran identificadas con precisión,
ya que incluyen casos que no fueron básicamente operaciones de martirio, como disparar
atacando un puesto de control y la participación en la Intifada en general.

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4. Estos estudios no abarcan otras dimensiones en la observación de este fenómeno, como la
dimensión social, la religiosa, la política y los aspectos económicos relativos a cada caso de
martirio.
5. La escasez de las muestras investigadas en las operaciones de martirio en Cisjordania además
de la falta de estudios exhaustivos de este fenómeno en la franja de Gaza.
6. Se centraron en el estudio del fenómeno de las operaciones de martirio en el aspecto
cuantitativo, mientras que el cualitativo pasa desapercibido.
7. Se centraron en una herramienta de investigación que es el cuestionario en su estudio del
fenómeno sin recurrir a otros importantes instrumentos de investigación como la entrevista y el
análisis de contenido.
Sin embargo, estos estudios han beneficiado el presente para que arroje luz sobre el fenómeno de
las operaciones de martirio, con sus diferentes dimensiones, y han animado a los investigadores a
seguir adelante con el estudio de este fenómeno en una encuesta a través de las familias y amigos
íntimos de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin), en el actual el estudio será una
continuación de los mismos y seguirá sus recomendaciones.
En el presente estudio se utilizaron enfoques cuantitativos y cualitativos descriptivos, ya que
ambos enfoques se consideran más adecuados en investigación para estudiar las características
de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin), desde la perspectiva de sus familias y
parientes. Ambos enfoques también son los más convenientes para cumplir los objetivos del
estudio, ya que ambos trabajan en la descripción de hechos relativos a las posiciones tal como
están o bien describir lo que ya existía. La recogida de datos y la información será más tarde
clasificada, organizada y expresada cuantitativamente, además será interpretada en consecuencia,
y con el fin de llegar a un entendimiento de la relación entre el fenómeno y sus diferentes
factores.
La población del estudio consiste en todas las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) en Cisjordania y en la Franja de Gaza desde el año 1993 hasta finales de 2008,
que cuenta con doscientas operaciones de martirio (151 en Cisjordania y 49 en la Franja de
Gaza) .
El presente estudio utiliza el enfoque de la encuesta, el cuestionario (Apéndice A y B), y la
entrevista como instrumentos para la recopilación de datos. El método de análisis de contenido
de las voluntades de los mártires suicidas palestinos también se utilizó. Sobre la base de revisión
de literatura con el fin de examinar las características y motivos de los mártires suicidas
palestinos, desde la perspectiva de sus familias y parientes, el investigador desarrolla un
cuestionario que consta de seis secciones. Primero incluye las características demográficas de los
mártires suicidas palestinos: sexo, edad, condición social, nivel educativo, región, lugar de
residencia, barrio, condición de refugiado, situación laboral, profesión, ingresos, así como la
exposición a la violencia israelí…etc. El segundo incluye las características demográficas de las
operaciones palestinas de martirio: facción, forma de martirio, lugar, hora, día, mes y año de
martirio...etc. La tercera tiene las características de la personalidad de los mártires suicidas
palestinos (Istishhadiyin) con sus cuatro dimensiones: social, religiosa, nacional y psicológica. El

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cuarto incluye las motivaciones de los mártires suicidas palestinos que se encuentran detrás de la
realización de sus operaciones de martirio. La quinta tiene los cambios de comportamiento que
tuvo lugar en los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) antes de la ejecución de la operación
de martirio, mientras el sexto incluye las opiniones de las familias de los mártires suicidas
palestinos en las operaciones de martirio. Los cinco puntos de la Escala Likert (siempre, a
menudo, a veces, pocas veces y nunca) fueron utilizados en el cuestionario, además de el sí y el
no.

El cuestionario fue validado por ser examinados por un grupo de árbitros y árbitros expertos
(Tabla 64), que le proporcionaron algunos comentarios sobre la herramienta. Estas observaciones
fueron incorporadas en la versión final del cuestionario. Por otro lado también se midió
estadísticamente la validez con un análisis factorial y con el de correlación de Pearson a fin de
examinar la coherencia interna del cuestionario. Los resultados indican que todos ellos
combinados miden las características y las motivaciones de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) a la luz del marco teórico en que se basa la herramienta de estudio (Tablas 65-76).
Además, la herramienta fue probada con antelación sobre quince familias de mártires suicidas
palestinos y sobre cinco familiares de los mismos. En lo que respecta a la fiabilidad del
cuestionario señalar que fue probado calculando la consistencia interna de las sub-escalas del
cuestionario mediante la fórmula Alpha de Cronbach. Los resultados en la tabla (77) indican que
el cuestionario con sus diferentes dimensiones es muy fiable.
Los nombres de todos los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) en Cisjordania y Franja de
Gaza (Tabla 79) se obtuvieron a partir de “Mu'asasat Ri'ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal Jarha’’
(Fundación de Atención/Las familias de los mártires y heridos) en Palestina. Esto tuvo lugar
después de la coordinación entre el Instituto y el investigador en la correspondencia oficial a
través de los supervisores del estudio (Apéndice E-G).
La presidenta del Instituto, la Sra. Intesar Al-Wazeer, ha facilitado mi misión y designó a una
coordinadora para mi estudio, la Sra. Shama Washah −Directora de su oficina en la Franja de
Gaza−. Esto se debe al hecho de que este estudio trata un aspecto muy importante de la lucha
nacional palestina (Apéndice H). Tras el cumplimiento de las herramientas de estudio, el
investigador, junto a la participación de un equipo experto compuesto por siete investigadores,
(Apéndice I) ha completado los datos recogidos de todas las familias de los mártires suicidas y
de su red social más próxima en Cisjordania, que sumaron un total de ciento cincuenta y una
familias. El investigador también llevó a cabo catorce entrevistas grabadas individual y
colectivamente con los miembros de la familia de los mártires suicidas, familias que han sido
seleccionadas al azar de un total de doscientas familias de sujetos. Los datos, en un promedio de
más de dos horas cada uno, fueron recogidos en las casas de las familias de estos mártires
suicidas. Esta técnica permitió al investigador obtener información completa y triangulada de
cada caso, sobre todo el material adicional, tales como cintas de vídeo, los testamentos que
dejaron los mártires suicidas (Apéndice P), carteles (Gráfico 70-71), así como las declaraciones
ofíciales de las facciones a las que pertenecían (Apéndice K-M). Estos materiales
complementarios nos ayudan a evaluar la exactitud de algunas respuestas y ofrecer un
conocimiento más profundo de la vida social, política, y económica de los mártires suicidas
(Istishhadiyin).

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En cuanto a la Franja de Gaza, que está completamente separada de Cisjordania, y después de
que las autoridades israelíes me negaran el acceso a esta zona para recoger datos, el proceso de
recopilación se llevó a cabo en coordinación con el “Mu'asasat Ri'ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal
Jarha’’ (Fundación de Atención/Las familias de los mártires y heridos), bajo la supervisión de
personal capacitado, experimentado y en coordinación con la Sra. Shama Washah que supervisó
el proceso completo a través de un especializado equipo de campo que consistía en un grupo de
diez investigadores (Apéndice J) que habían sido entrenados por el investigador en relación a las
herramientas de investigación a través de videoconferencia en la presencia del Dr. Khader
Musleh el segundo supervisor del estudio.
El equipo de investigación visitó todas las familias de los mártires suicidas y sus familiares, hasta
un total de doscientas veintidós familias sobre la base de las recomendaciones de la “Mu'asasat
Ri'ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal Jarha’’ (Fundación de Atención/Las familias de los mártires y
heridos) en aras de la clasificación de operaciones de martirio en la Franja de Gaza, de acuerdo
con el estudio de la definición que fue de cuarenta y nueve casos. El proceso de recopilación de
datos se llevó a cabo en el período comprendido entre el 15 de junio al 20 de diciembre de 2008.
Las familias de los mártires suicidas y sus amigos fueron muy cooperativos.
Tras la recogida de datos, éstos fueron examinados para la preparación de su procesamiento en el
ordenador; determinando números asignados a los mismos es decir, transformando las respuestas
verbales en números (siempre 5, a menudo 4, a veces 3, pocas veces 2, y nunca 1) y (sí 2 y no 1)
para llevar a cabo los procedimientos estadísticos para los datos que se llevan a cabo a través de
la obtención de números, porcentajes, promedios, desviaciones estándar y gráficos. Además
fueron utilizadas las siguientes pruebas estadísticas: Correlación de Pearson, Alpha de Cronbach,
y análisis factorial, utilizando el programa estadístico SPSS.

Los resultados evidencian que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) eran
hombres, mujeres eran pocas.
Los palestinos se han mostrado al mundo a través de sus operaciones de martirio como el más
alto tipo de auto sacrificio en el camino de la victoria y la liberación. Han representado los
mayores ejemplos jamás mostrados en las páginas de la lucha internacional. Es la primera vez en
la historia moderna de los movimientos de liberación en todo el mundo en el que el hombre
bomba se convierte en un amplio fenómeno social y político que arrasa a través de grandes
sectores de todo un pueblo y no sólo un puñado de individuos comprometidos. La mayoría de la
población palestina prefiere la opción del martirio, que atrae a un gran número de palestinos de
diferentes sectores ya sean hombres o mujeres. La participación de la mujer palestina y la
participación en las operaciones de martirio de suicidio han conmocionado a los círculos de
seguridad israelíes que se dan cuenta de que ahora se enfrentan a un fenómeno por el cual todo el
pueblo palestino, tanto jóvenes como hombres y mujeres buscan a alguien para que les ayude a
llevar a cabo esas operaciones de martirio suicida.
La sociedad palestina, como otras sociedades árabes, es una sociedad masculina en la que una
gran carga recae sobre los hombros del hombre. La educación palestina trata de conducir a los
hombres hacia la afirmación de las cualidades masculinas, como la virilidad, la caballerosidad, la
valentía, la gallardía y la resistencia. Por otra parte hace hincapié en dirigir a las mujeres hacia la
femineidad, la decencia, el decoro, y la virginidad, el amor de los niños, la economía doméstica y

33
la estabilidad. En consecuencia, es fácil contratar a varios jóvenes para las operaciones de
martirio, pero ¿qué pasa con las mujeres palestinas?
Las mujeres palestinas se dieron cuenta de la importancia de la lucha nacional y de su papel
efectivo en la liberación de Palestina y la salvación de la ocupación y la esclavitud. Ellas
irrumpieron en el campo de batalla y fueron expuestas al igual que otros hombres palestinos a
todo tipo de violencia israelí. La principal preocupación tanto para hombres como para mujeres
es la liberación de Palestina. La mujer palestina participó activamente en la lucha nacional
palestina a lo largo de la historia, ella era la madre, el cautivo, el activista, y el mártir cuando ella
entró en el círculo de las operaciones de martirio. Cuando una mujer voluntariamente se quita su
vestido femenino y se pone su traje de guerra, los significados se hacen más profundos y se
añaden nuevos colores a la naturaleza innovadora, su participación ha reconstruido la escena y la
ha hecho un elemento activo en la nueva fórmula. Esa era la situación de la mujer palestina que
pudo revelar la estrecha relación entre los encargados de la muerte y la vida, por lo que de aquí
vino el suicidio de mujeres mártir (Istishhadiya). La mujer palestina se situó al lado del hombre
en la resistencia. Su contribución se da a través del uso de cinturones de explosivos que decoran
y adornan sus cuerpos en lugar de usar collares y joyas como llevan los cuerpos de las niñas hoy
en día. Estas mujeres mártires han obtenido su fuerza de su firme creencia en la justa causa que
poseían sus corazones. Ellas han escrito un nuevo capítulo en la gestión de los conflictos.
Durante esta Intifada, los palestinos han sacrificado diez mujeres mártires suicidas empezando
por Wafa Idris y Darene Abu Aisha, que llevó a cabo una operación de martirio en el puesto de
control del asentamiento de Maccabim cerca de Ramallah el 27 de febrero de 2002. En su
testamento, Darene dijo, “Debido a que el papel de la mujer palestina musulmana es igual a la de
nuestros hermanos muyahidin, me ofrezco de todo corazón por el amor a Dios en represalia por
los cadáveres de nuestros mártires muyahidin, en venganza por la santidad de la nuestra religión
y las mezquitas, la sacralidad de la Mezquita de Al-Aqsa y las Casas de Dios que fueron
convertidas en bares en los que todo lo que ha sido prohibido por Dios (obscenidades) se practica
en contra de nuestra religión y del mensaje de nuestro Profeta Mohammed que la paz y las
bendiciones de Dios estén con él. El papel de la mujer palestina ya no se limita al duelo por la
pérdida de un padre, hermano o marido, sino que convertimos nuestros cuerpos en bombas
humanas que se encuentran dispersas en todo el mundo con el fin de acabar con la ilusión de la
seguridad de Israel. Hago un llamamiento a todos los musulmanes y luchadores que amen la
libertad y el martirio a que sigan este camino honorable, el camino del martirio y la libertad’’.
En palabras muy conmovedoras y apasionadas, la mujer palestina mártir suicida (Istishhadiya) y
abogada de Jenin Hanadi Jaradat dice en su testamento, “Con la fuerza y determinación de Dios,
he decidido ser la sexta Istishhadiya que hace de su cuerpo fragmentos explosivos para matar a
los sionistas y destruir cada colono sionista ya que no somos nosotros solos quienes tienen que
pagar el precio y la cosecha del precio de sus crímenes’’. Se llevó a cabo una operación de
martirio cualitativo en Haifa el 4 de octubre de 2003 en venganza contra los israelíes que
mataron a sangre fría a su hermano Fadi y a su primo Salah en Jenin el 12 de junio de 2003. Ella
estaba realmente afectada por la brutal agresión israelí contra el campamento de Jenin, en
particular, y contra el pueblo palestino en general.
El miércoles 14 de enero 2004 no fue un día cualquiera en la misión de la resistencia nacional, y
todos deben recordar que una madre palestina llamada Reem Rayashi había dibujado la imagen
más sublime de una mujer palestina ofreciéndose en sacrificio cuando esta madre mártir suicida

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(Istishhadiya) apareció en los canales de televisión despidiéndose de sus dos hijos antes de salir
para llevar a cabo su operación de martirio en el puesto de control de Erez en la Franja de Gaza,
escribiendo de esta forma con su sangre virtuosa las palabras más elegantes y honestas.
El estudio concluye que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) eran
solteros y jóvenes (menores de 25 años de edad).
Corta edad y celibato se consideran parte de las condiciones previas para la selección de los
Istishhadiyin y la facilitación de su misión. No existirán fuertes lazos familiares que les impidan
llevar a cabo la operación especial. El hombre casado, que habitualmente piensa en su familia-
esposa, hijos, su futuro y el destino, no se incluye en las operaciones de suicidio, el matrimonio
reduce las posibilidades de pensar en una operación de martirio. Ambos: los solteros y los
jóvenes son más entusiastas y fervientes hacia la realización de un acto de martirio. Si nos
fijamos en el mundo, nos encontramos con que en todas las revoluciones de liberación, los
jóvenes desempeñan un papel pionero en ser los líderes y el impulso de tales revoluciones. Con
más atención, nos encontramos con que el pueblo palestino comenzando con la familia, la
escuela y la sociedad en general, respectivamente, cría al niño en una auténtica cultura, que es la
cultura de la resistencia y el martirio, lo que crece dentro de la cultura de los niños sin ningún
tipo de obstáculos o dudas. Eso se ha convertido en una parte de la cultura palestina. Este es el
apoyo sin precedentes que da el gran número de mártires que crecen en el entorno palestino.
La cultura de la resistencia y el martirio se ha convertido en una parte importante de la cultura de
los niños palestinos. El palestino y las operaciones de martirio, junto con sus diferentes símbolos
culturales fueron capaces de aumentar la conciencia de los niños palestinos y su identidad. El
niño palestino se convirtió en la obsesión por el amor de Palestina y su justa causa, por lo que
estos niños empezaron a aspirar a ser uno de sus mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
héroes. Esto se reflejó en los jóvenes, el entusiasmo y el celo hacia el martirio sobre todo cuando
la tendencia general en la sociedad palestina es el respeto y la santificación del martirio y el
aliento a otros a adoptar este camino hasta que se termine la ocupación de Palestina y ésta sea
liberada.
Los resultados concluyen que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
tuvieron una buena educación.
Este resultado pues destaca que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) proceden de un
nivel educativo en la sociedad palestina donde ellos se han hecho plenamente conscientes de los
verdaderos conflictos con los ocupantes y por tanto ellos mismos han elegido su camino de
martirio, con plena conciencia de su realización y sus consecuencias. Esto también viene a
desmentir las fuentes israelíes que denuncian que estos mártires suicidas palestinos estaban bajo
la influencia de las distintas facciones. En cuanto a la ausencia de expertos palestinos capaces de
hacer operaciones de lavado de cerebro a los mártires, la respuesta es que lo que realmente existe
es una decisión consciente y un entorno social y político que ha sido impuesto día a día por las
medidas de ocupación contra los palestinos, junto con la disposición de la víctima a sacrificarse a
sí mismo y perjudicar al originador de estas malas condiciones. Creo que un ser humano que
tiene este nivel académico es capaz de tomar decisiones y elegir objetivos. Esto está muy claro
en varios testamentos de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin).

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Es evidente en la voluntad del estudiante universitario palestino mártir (Istishhady) Samer
Hammad, en la operación de Tel Aviv el 17 de abril de 2006, que su decisión de llevar a cabo
esta operación no fue inútil. Llegó como consecuencia de su toma de conciencia dentro de un
plan bien definido de la resistencia palestina en la que sus soldados reclutados son firmes
creyentes de su papel de elevar bien alto la palabra de Dios y la bandera islámica, frente a las
violaciones infligidas a los palestinos por la ocupación. Él escribió, “Yo me ofrezco
sencillamente en aras de elevar alto el pilar islámico “La ilaha ila Alá wa Mohammed Rasul Alá”
(No hay otro Dios sino Allah y Mahommed es su profeta). Esta operación viene en represalia
por los crímenes y las matanzas de la ocupación contra nuestro pueblo en Cisjordania y la franja
de Gaza, yo digo que el enemigo de nuestras operaciones continuará y los mártires suicidas
palestinos (Istishhadiyin) vienen por aquellos que aman la muerte y el martirio lo mismo que
vosotros amáis la vida’’.
En palabras muy conmovedoras y de un nivel académico muy alto, el mártir suicida palestino
(Istishhady) y estudiante universitario Fouad Al-Hourani, en la operación de Jerusalén el 9 de
marzo de 2002 escribió, “La nación que lidera la industria de la muerte es imbatible; cómo
tendrán el derecho los hombres que están al margen si realmente no lo representan. Un creyente
sin valor es como un árbol sin fruto, por lo que el atractivo de esta tierra es temporal comparada
con la del paraíso’’.
Los resultados demuestran que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
ocupaban un rango de nacimiento intermedio entre los diferentes hermanos, ―eran los hermanos
medianos― proviniendo generalmente de familias nucleares.
El tamaño de la familia y la existencia de hijos en ellas son las condiciones necesarias para el
proceso de selección de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhady) y para facilitar su misión.
Por lo general, el hijo mediano es el mejor candidato ya que no tiene graves responsabilidades
familiares, especialmente aquellas que le impiden llevar a la operación. El hijo mayor de la
familia árabe en general y de la familia palestina, en particular, se considera un modelo claro
para el resto de la familia y tiene que llevar un montón de responsabilidades y cargas familiares,
especialmente en el caso de que falte el padre. La selección del mayor de los hijos como un
mártir, sin duda, afecta a la vida de una familia en todos los aspectos. Por lo tanto, la selección
tendrá lugar entre los otros hermanos en la familia. El deseo hacia el martirio no está vinculado
con el tamaño y tipo de la familia como varias fuentes israelíes trataron de difundir a través de
varios canales por satélite y otros medios con el fin de difamar y devaluar el acto de martirio.
Una vez se asoció con el tamaño de la familia y la incapacidad de los padres para satisfacer las
necesidades de sus familias y en otra ocasión se relacionó con la clase de familia, especialmente
la nuclear, y la preocupación de los padres por el funcionamiento de la economía de la familia;
en consecuencia los padres se desinteresarían por sus hijos los cuales recurrirían al martirio.
La solidaridad familiar es una de las principales características de la familia palestina en la cual
el niño es criado en un entorno solidario en diferentes niveles, incluidos los de la educación y el
control de los niños. El padre, la madre, los hermanos, las hermanas y otros parientes como tíos y
primos participan en este proceso. Hay una familia o clan fuerte al que pertenecen todos los
miembros que les ayudan espiritual y materialmente. Los palestinos consideran la familia y la
tierra como su casa. El clan y el pueblo son la vida psicológica, social y de conciencia de un
palestino. Como he mencionado anteriormente, el pueblo palestino cría a los niños, en casa, en la
escuela y la sociedad en general, en una auténtica cultura, que es la cultura de la resistencia y el

36
martirio para poner fin a la ocupación, lo que crece dentro de la cultura de los niños sin ningún
tipo de obstáculos o dudas.
Sin embargo, podemos decir que el hecho de que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) procedan de familias nucleares ha facilitado la ejecución de la operación. Es
cierto que existe la solidaridad de la familia en la familia palestina. Esto es un poco más débil en
la familia nuclear que en la familia extensa ya que los padres están preocupados con la provisión
de necesidades de la vida, lo que desviaría su atención de sus hijos y su seguimiento. Así pues, la
contratación y ejecución de las operaciones de martirio es algo fácil. Por otro lado, encontramos
que las relaciones familiares en la familia ampliada se describen como más firmes, los miembros
están cerca, cara a cara y en relaciones de cooperación. La familia es la base para la formación de
la naturaleza social del individuo; las relaciones estrechas llevan al individuo a la fusión con el
grupo y a todos a hacer lo mismo individualmente al menos, y por otras razones una parte de la
vida y el propósito del grupo. Entonces la persona vive los sentimientos de todos y considera que
el objetivo básico de su voluntad se encuentra en este sentimiento. De este modo se lleva a cabo
este acto de martirio como un deber hacia el grupo.
Los resultados mostraron que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) eran
profundamente religiosos. El compromiso religioso se considera un requisito básico en el
proceso de selección para el martirio porque será una invitación a otros a seguir a su ejemplo y
alentar a la Yihad en otros. Hoy vemos que todo joven palestino cree, independientemente de los
antecedentes y de la dogmática incluida la facción laica, incluiría en su voluntad que está
llevando a cabo esta operación de martirio por la causa de Dios y de la patria. El ser humano es
el único ser espiritual que abraza los dogmas y las prácticas rituales y ceremonias que organizan
sus relaciones con el universo y que le proporcionan garantías cognitivas y psicológicas hacia el
futuro desconocido e incontrolable que no está sujeto a ningún potencial materialista. Los
territorios palestinos son la cuna de las tres religiones monoteístas (el Islam, el cristianismo y el
judaísmo), es bien sabido que la mayoría de los residentes palestinos son musulmanes y el
porcentaje de los no musulmanes no excede el diez por ciento. También se sabe que la religión
en la familia palestina ocupa un amplio espacio de su compromiso social, intelectual y emocional
de la vida. Es natural que el credo religioso sea respetado por todos los miembros de la sociedad
palestina. Esto se debe a los esfuerzos concentrados que ejercen los padres en la niñez de sus
hijos. Y se refleja en sus comportamientos diarios que se topan con una lucha libre y un
sacrificio por el bien de los demás. Esto nos permite decir que el Islam y su cultura son un
elemento de unificación y no de desintegración. El Islam es uno de los elementos de la
liberación.
Dentro de este contexto, el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ismail Almasuabe ―su
operación de martirio fue en el asentamiento de Dugit en la Franja de Gaza el 22 de junio de
2001― escribe en su testamento sobre el valor del martirio por la causa de Dios. Él escribe, “El
amor de la Yihad y el martirio ha poseído mi vida, mis sentimientos, mi corazón y mis
emociones; es muy difícil para aquél que probó la dulzura de la Yihad y goza de su sufrimiento
no encontrar ningún tipo de consuelo sino estar en el Paraíso en la presencia de Dios’’.
Además, algunos mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) consideran que sus operaciones se
producen en defensa de la religión, los lugares santos, la mezquita de Al-Aqsa, la Mezquita de
Abraham etc. y lo consideran como el tipo más sublime de resistencia y de Yihad por la causa de
Dios y de la patria. El Todopoderoso dijo, “Combatid por Alá contra quienes combatan contra

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vosotros, pero no os excedáis. Alá no ama a los que se exceden’’ (Al-Baqara: 190). En este
contexto, la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras ―operación de Jerusalén el
29 de marzo de 2002― dice en su testamento, “Yo llevaré a cabo este trabajo sólo por la causa
de Dios el Todopoderoso y en respuesta a las convocatorias de los mártires, la sangre, las madres
dolidas, los huérfanos, los pobres de la Tierra, y en respuesta al rescate de Al-Aqsa. Lo digo en
voz alta para ser escuchado por todos los árabes y musulmanes valientes, grito: Wa Aqsa
WaAqsa (Guardarlo y socorrerlo) wa falastin wa falastin God akbar God akbar on the dalimin
wa inaha Intifada hata an nasr). !Oh Aqsa! !Oh Aqsa!) !Oh Palestina!, !Oh Palestina! Dios es
grande, Dios está en contra de los tiranos. Ciertamente es una Intifada hasta la victoria”.
El mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) se caracteriza por la profunda fe que le hace estar seguro
de que la otra vida es mejor que la primera vida, por lo que se ofrece a sí mismo mientras que él
está en paz en su mente y en la certeza de que él está pasando de una vida mortal a otra inmortal.
En este sentido, el escenario ha sacudido realmente las almas cuando la mártir suicida palestina
(Istishhadiya) Andaleeb Taqatqa ―operación en Jerusalén el 12 de abril de 2002― fue a la
lectura de su testamento y con un Corán en la mano, ella dijo, “Voy a hacer de mi cuerpo un
arma de fuego, un barril de polvo que haga lo que los dirigentes árabes no han podido hacer. Ésta
es una vida que no tiene ni sabor ni valor’’.
Los resultados mostraron que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) tuvieron una buena
estructura física, en términos de peso, altura, color de piel, apariencia externa, lo que hacía que la
mayoría de ellos no parecieran israelíes.
La apariencia y los rasgos de personalidad del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) tienen un
papel importante en la determinación del tipo de operación; seleccionado para esta sola persona,
también que tiene que ver con el grado de adaptación de la apariencia externa del mártir suicida
palestino a la naturaleza del objetivo, especialmente a través del proceso de encubrimiento. El
mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) no debe presentar características que puedan llamar la
atención. Esta parte se refiere al aspecto materialista acerca de la preparación de la operación de
martirio, la mirada externa del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) estará preparada para que
coincida con la de los israelíes y no levantar sospechas para garantizar el éxito de la operación.
En este contexto, el muyahid Hasan Salameh, uno de los líderes de las Brigadas Al-Qassam, la
rama militar del Movimiento de Resistencia Islámica Hamas, que estaba directamente a cargo de
la preparación de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) Ibrahim Sarahneh y Majdi Abu
Warda ―operación doble el 25 de febrero de 1996― dice, “Encontrar un mártir suicida
palestino (Istishhady) es fácil si se compara con las muchas dificultades encontradas en los
preparativos de una operación de éxito”. Esto en realidad se refiere a las características
personales de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin). Salameh añade, “Seis días antes de
la operación, me he reunido con los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) como se había
acordado previamente. Ese día los llevé a una peluquería y pedí a Majdi Abu Warda que se
hiciera un estilo de peinado mártir, y comprara un nuevo traje de calle. En cuanto a Ibrahim
Sarahneh, le pedí cortarse completamente el cabello y le proporcioné un uniforme militar, cada
uno según su talla’’.
Disfrazado con el uniforme de los colonos judíos, el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Fouad
Al-Qawasmeh llevaba un cinturón con explosivos el 17 de mayo de 2003 y se dirigió hacia el
corazón de la ciudad de Hebrón que se encuentra ocupada por los israelíes; él comenzó a caminar

38
junto a ellos sin ser notado, de hecho, los ciudadanos palestinos pensaban que tenía previsto
atacar a los palestinos como los colonos suelen hacer; momentos más tarde, él mismo se inmoló
en medio de ellos pese a todos los equipos de seguridad y el toque de queda impuesto en la parte
antigua de la ciudad en aquel momento.
Quizás esto explica la capacidad de las ramas militares de penetrar en los lugares sensibles y
llegar a lugares bajo una estricta vigilancia sin levantar sospechas sobre todo en las horas de
mucho movimiento cuando los israelíes estarían en su máxima alerta de seguridad. Este logro
refleja la capacidad de los planificadores de la resistencia palestina a inventar nuevas formas en
que pueden fusionarse y mezclarse sin ser notados exactamente como hacen los israelíes, así las
unidades de la fuerza especial, “Dovdovan’’.
El estudio mostró que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) gozan de la vida. Esto se
reflejó a través de la gran cantidad de amigos, la preferencia de diferentes colores, y la
preferencia del viernes, festivo para los musulmanes. Basándose en lo anterior, queda claro que
los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) son personas normales y corrientes que no
necesitan el testimonio de nadie con relación a esto. Puedo decir claramente que el gran número
de amigos de los mártires fue otro estímulo más para buscar el martirio; que quieren seguir el
camino de los mártires que fueron ejemplares. De hecho, los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) y sus amigos fueron capaces de formar grupos primarios en los que había muy
estrechas relaciones y solidaridad. Esto llevó al individuo a fundirse en el gran crisol del grupo y
la fuerte competencia para llevar a cabo este acto de martirio heroico fue fundamental para
unirse a sus compañeros mártires suicidas.
Los dos mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) Majdi Abu Warda y Ibrahim Sarahneh tenían
una estrecha relación sin precedentes. Iban juntos a la mezquita y mostraban una pasión enorme
hacia los niños a quienes daban golosinas y regalaban juegos en los días de fiesta. Durante sus
últimos días tomaron parte en un grupo de desayuno en la mezquita. Ellos tenían mucho interés
en servir a toda la gente en la mezquita. Sirvieron la comida y lavaron los platos. Rechazaron la
ayuda de los demás. Su relación se mantuvo hasta su muerte; salieron del campamento y llevaron
a cabo a la vez sus dos operaciones de martirio en Jerusalén y Ashkelon, el mismo día, 25 de
febrero de 1996. Majdi se inmoló en Jerusalén e Ibrahim en Ashkelon.
Hasta el día de hoy, la historia de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) que fallecieron
en el mismo año va de boca en boca por las calles en la ciudad de Nablus. Ellos fueron: Abu
Hamid Hejla ―Netanya el 1 de enero de 2001― Imad Zubeidi ―Kefar Sava el 22 de abril de
200― Jamal Nasser, Shafi Shamron ―operación de asentamiento cerca de Nablus, el 29 de abril
de 2001― Maher Habisheh ―Haifa, operación el 2 de diciembre de 2001― y Ashraf Saed ―
Punto de Coordinación de Hamra, cerca de Nablus, el 8 de agosto de 2001―. Entre cada uno de
ellos había una fuerte amistad. Según el padre de Ashraf, Imad Abu Hamid Zubeidi y Hejla
Ashraf eran colegas en la escuela. En cuanto al mártir suicida Jamal Nasser, que estaba
trabajando como taxista, fue uno de sus clientes regulares. Maher Habisheh era el más apreciado
amigo de Ashraf; los mártires suicidas mencionados eran clientes habituales de la coctelería de
Ashraf. Como Ashraf tenía muy buenas relaciones con los mártires y la historia de sus vida, aún
mantenía todas las fotografías de éstos, colgadas en el escaparate y en el dormitorio para tener
un contacto permanente con ellos, incluso espiritualmente hasta que fue elegido por Dios para
unirse a sus compañeros mártires, según su padre. En este contexto, Abdallah Al-Hutari, el primo
del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari ―Tel Aviv cualitativo operación el 1 de

39
junio de 2001― dijo, “Said fue profundamente influenciado por lo que su mejor amigo Fadi
Amer hizo en la realización de la operación de martirio en Israel en Kefar Sava el 28 de marzo
de 2001, el decía, “Cada familia tiene que sacrificar un mártir para que el país se libere de la
ocupación’’.
Los resultados demuestran que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
proceden de Cisjordania y de la Franja de Gaza. Vinieron de todas las regiones: ciudades, aldeas
y campamentos. Nablus es la ciudad de los mártires suicidas. Este resultado puso en relieve que
las prácticas arbitrarias de la ocupación han influido en todos los sectores del pueblo palestino,
que en realidad no diferencian entre los habitantes de Cisjordania y/o la Franja de Gaza, con
todas sus ciudades, aldeas y campamentos. Esto dio lugar a este gran número de mártires
suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) de todos los territorios palestinos que decidieron con
determinación y firme voluntad sacrificar sus vidas por el bien común, incluso la liberación de
Palestina. Las agresiones israelíes en contra del pueblo palestino, como los asesinatos selectivos
y los embargos han llevado a los palestinos y los sectores de fuerza de la sociedad a llevar a cabo
operaciones de martirio.
Por lo tanto, el martirio se ha convertido en un fenómeno social público por encima de los límites
del trabajo individual para fundirse en el conjunto de la sociedad después de que el mártir suicida
palestino (Istishhady) ofrezca su cuerpo y alma por la causa de Dios, patria y pueblo. El
estrangulamiento y el asedio israelí, la política de hambre, los asesinatos, las matanzas militares
y las inhumanas escenas a las que los palestinos están sometidos en los puestos de control, son,
entre otros, son los motivos que han neutralizaron la vida y la muerte y transformaron a todos los
palestinos en un mártir que producen células que ya no se limitan a una facción, una tendencia,
un género, un grupo de población u otros.
Cisjordania y sus provincias del norte (Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem) siempre han constituido un
destacado aspecto de la resistencia en el ámbito de aplicación de las operaciones de martirio que
se iniciaron gracias a su ubicación geográfica al encontrarse muy cerca de las concentraciones de
población israelí ; también existe una amplia zona que hizo posible la libre circulación y cruce
de los combatientes en las fronteras de Israel en cualquier momento sin ser de mucha
importancia las medidas estrictas de seguridad israelíes. Además, muchas familias en las aldeas
ocupadas en 1948, tienen familiares y una estrecha relación de parentesco con familias en
Cisjordania. Muchos de los jóvenes palestinos se casaron en veces anteriores, en virtud del
parentesco con chicas palestinas dentro de los territorios ocupados de 1948. Muchos de ellos
tuvieron la oportunidad de llevar un carné de identidad israelí, que hace fácil para su titular el
movimiento entre los territorios ocupados, tanto los ocupados en el año 1967 como los ocupados
en el año 1948. Estos últimos terrenos fueron considerados por la mayoría de los jóvenes
palestinos antes de la Intifada como un lugar de trabajo. Esto ha aumentado la experiencia de la
resistencia, cuyo principal componente son los jóvenes con respecto a los territorios y la
identificación de los lugares de hacinamiento allí.
La situación, sin embargo, en la franja de Gaza es completamente diferente; los palestinos viven
en una gran cárcel donde Israel impone un cierre total y están constantemente sujetos a un
estricto control de seguridad. No es fácil en absoluto para los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) alcanzar el interior de Israel.

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Nablus, a la que se llama “Jabal Annar’’ (El monte de fuego) es la ciudad de los mártires
suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) lo que ha hecho que la ocupación se sienta y mantenga
desamparada en este sentido. El pueblo de Nablus está orgulloso no sólo por el hecho de que su
ciudad ha sido una fuente de decenas de mártires y mártires suicidas (Istishhadiyin) a lo largo de
los largos años de lucha nacional y de la Intifada de Al-Aqsa, que estalló a finales de septiembre
de 2000, sino también porque esta ciudad dio a luz a varios líderes de ramas militares que
asestaron a Israel muchos y duros golpes.
Saher Tamam fue el primer mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) de la ciudad de Nablus; él hizo
explotar el coche que conducía entre dos autobuses israelíes en la región de Beit Shean, el 16 de
abril de 1993. Hamid Abu Hejla, estudiante de educación superior en la Facultad de Ingeniería
en la Universidad Nacional AnNajah fue el primer combatiente de la resistencia entre los
habitantes de la ciudad que aplicó una operación de martirio desde el estallido de la Intifada de
Al-Aqsa, cuando se inmoló en Netanya el 1 de enero de 2001; más tarde, varias operaciones de
martirio suicida llevadas a cabo por los habitantes de las ciudades siguieron el ejemplo. La
operación de martirio de Haifa, el 2 de diciembre de 2001, llevada a cabo por Maher Habisheh
provocó la muerte de 17 israelíes y alrededor de otros 60 heridos. Es una de las operaciones de
martirio más fuertes llevadas a cabo por un mártir suicida (Istishhady) de Nablus. Esta operación
fue en represalia por el asesinato del mártir Mahmoud Abu Hnud, líder de las Brigadas Al-
Qassam en Cisjordania.
La ciudad de Nablus es considerada la ciudad más afectada por el asedio y los ataques militares
de Israel durante la Intifada de Al-Aqsa que estalló en el año 2000. Puestos de control militares
israelíes se extienden hasta el día de hoy alrededor de la ciudad y la están estrangulando. Los
puestos de control son el de Hawara, Bet Ibia, Bathan, y Hamra. Israel describe Nablus como
“una fábrica de producción de terroristas’’. El ejército israelí lanzó varias incursiones y
campañas militares en varias áreas incluyendo la ciudad de Nablus. La más conocida como
operación ‘’Escudo Blindado’’ en el año 2002, que se llevó a cabo debido a la enorme cantidad
de mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) que vinieron de esa ciudad. El ininterrumpido
asedio de la ciudad y la dificultad de intercambio de bienes han llevado al deterioro de la ciudad
en el rango de centro económico causando de esta forma un aumento agudo en las tasas de
desempleo.
Según los resultados reportados en el estudio, la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) fueron refugiados por culpa de la creación de lo que ahora es Israel.
El 15 de mayo de 1948, el movimiento sionista declaró la creación del Estado de Israel sobre el
78% de las tierras palestinas. Aproximadamente setecientos mil palestinos, es decir el 66% de los
habitantes de Palestina, fueron expulsados de más de veinte ciudades, convirtiéndose así en gente
sin hogar, lo que causó de esta forma el deterioro de la sociedad palestina, con todos sus
componentes y bases, y dando lugar a la aparición de un nuevo fenómeno en la sociedad
palestina, lo que son los campamentos de refugiados palestinos que se extendieron en
Cisjordania y en la franja de Gaza y los países vecinos: Jordania, Siria, Líbano y el resto del
mundo. Estos campamentos, son testigos de la catástrofe, la falta de vivienda y el desarraigo de
los palestinos de sus tierras, y su patria simboliza sufrimientos cotidianos en todos los niveles
culturales, sociales, económicos y políticos. Estos palestinos siguen esperando hasta este
momento una decisión política para poner fin a su dolor y su sufrimiento. En la historia de la
humanidad no hay ningún delito que sea tan brutal como el delito de forzar a los palestinos a

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salir de sus tierras en 1948 a manos de los gánsteres sionistas; lo que más tarde fue llamado la
Nakba palestina (Catástrofe).
Los mártires suicidas procedieron de todos los campamentos palestinos en Cisjordania y la franja
de Gaza, de algunos de los cuales salieron varios mártires. Del campamento más grande y más
concurrido, el de Balata en Cisjordania (20 mil habitantes), once mártires figuran en la lista de
los ejecutores de operaciones de martirio en el interior de Israel, tales como Ahmed Al-Khatib,
Alaa Marshood, Iyad Harb, etc. Este campamento ha sido objeto de las peores formas de
opresión israelí, invasiones e incursiones desde abril de 2002. Entre la primera invasión, que se
llamaba entonces “Campo de Espinas’’ y la última invasión, “Agua Estancada’’, que sobrecarga
el campamento, hay cientos de historias dolorosas y detalles humanitarios con los cuales un no-
palestino es incapaz de convivir. Las imágenes de los mártires llenan los espacios, están
presentes, aunque sus cuerpos están ausentes de las calles del campamento. La gente siempre
preveía enfrentamientos con las fuerzas de ocupación, las imágenes están en las paredes de las
casas pequeñas, en calles estrechas, en las tiendas, en las escuelas y en las mesas vacías. El
terrorismo israelí no se limitaba a las personas en el campamento, sino que iba dirigido a las
casas como ocurre con todos los demás lugares en Palestina. Las fuerzas de ocupación
destruyeron completamente 20 casas y dañaron unas 500, según las estadísticas de la Comisión
para la Defensa de los Derechos de los Refugiados en dicho campamento.
Sin embargo, los residentes del campamento siguen dando lecciones de paciencia y constancia,
que no se borran de la memoria palestina. Los jóvenes, generación tras generación, seguirán
hablando de ello. En general, con el fin de acercarnos al misterio que hay detrás de la prisa y el
entusiasmo de los jóvenes refugiados para llevar a cabo atentados suicidas, no debemos perder
de vista el hecho de que los refugiados preparan el terreno para la memoria, para seguir
existiendo y recordar los dolores del pasado, la Nakba en 1948, las masacres cometidas por los
israelíes, y los lugares de donde fueron desplazados y desarraigados. Cuando los niños tienen ya
los cinco años, sus padres los llevan delante de sus aldeas destruidas, señalan las ruinas de sus
casas, y les dicen de nuevo los nombres de las calles y cerros que solían ser, y les hablan acerca
de la tardes de cosecha y los sueños de las noches de luna, cuando no había invasores, para que
los niños no se olviden de todos estos recuerdos cuando se conviertan en hombres y Palestina
crezca en su corazón como un olivo, profundamente arraigada, y libre, como un al amanecer.
Las historias sobre la tierra bautizada con el dolor de las aceitunas se mantendrán en el corazón
de los palestinos que no pueden olvidar la imagen de su patria que se quedará para siempre en su
memoria inmortal. Los refugiados palestinos se llevaron su historia con ellos, vivieron en las
fronteras de su país, y enseñaron a sus hijos y nietos el significado del orgullo y de la patria, y la
amargura de ser un refugiado y la crueldad de la confrontación. Así es como la cultura del
martirio se ha creado en sus corazones y sus mentes. Los campamentos de refugiados fueron
testigos del nacimiento de la resistencia de las facciones palestinas, y desde allí comenzó la
lucha, la prisa y la carrera de los jóvenes refugiados para llevar a cabo ataques suicidas, en la
creencia de que su resistencia, las operaciones de martirio, es la única manera de traer a sus
familias de vuelta a sus tierras y a la madre patria.
En relación a este tema el joven Ihsan Abu Warda, del campamento de refugiados de Al-Fawwar
―su hermano Majdi Abu Warda fue uno de los mártires suicidas que ejecutó una operación de
martirio doble el 25 de febrero de 1996― dijo, “Yo nunca perdí de vista nuestras esperanzas de
de regresar a nuestro propio pueblo, Irak Al-Mansheya. Lo que hizo mi hermano Majdi es

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honorable. Estamos orgullosos de ello. No hay nadie entre nosotros que desee morir o poner fin a
su vida estando en la flor de la vida. La Nakba sigue haciendo eco en nuestras mentes desde hace
sesenta años y el campamento ha sido el mayor testimonio de ese evento. Hasta ahora, no hemos
hallado ningún intento serio, ni árabe ni internacional, para recuperar nuestros derechos, y
hemos encontrado estos regímenes sólo hablando de paz y rendición’’. Añadió, “La violencia
israelí no se detuvo en este punto. Cada día vemos la barbarie israelí perpetuando las matanzas
contra los palestinos con la ausencia, sino el apoyo, del mundo. Todo ello ha constituido una
motivación suficiente para que mi hermano y otros mártires de la lucha marchen por sí mismos
con el fin de restablecer nuestra tierra usurpada, a la que los israelíes no tienen derecho, y tomar
venganza sobre el enemigo, el opresor, que obligó a nuestro pueblo a salir fuera de sus casas
ocupando nuestra tierra’’.
La expulsión de los refugiados palestinos se convirtió en un factor de fortaleza para el pueblo
palestino en la lucha contra la ocupación. Los refugiados palestinos son más decididos a resistir y
volver a sus aldeas, pueblos y ciudades. La madre de la mártir suicida, Fátima Najjar, es una
mujer que vivió la Nakba Palestina. Ella vio el éxodo de los palestinos de sus tierras en 1948.
Sus días se mezclaron con el dolor y la tristeza. Esa mujer, cuyo rostro podía hablar de los
escollos del amargo tiempo, no dudó, ni por un momento, en llevar a cabo una operación de
martirio en medio de un gran grupo de soldados israelíes en la Franja de Gaza el 23 de
noviembre de 2006, confirmando que la generación de la Nakba, la generación del éxodo
palestino de 1948, marca el inicio del martirio y la repatriación.
En cuanto a la situación económica de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin), los
resultados mostraron que la mayoría pertenece a la clase media. Trabajaban como empleados en
diferentes profesiones, con un promedio mensual de ingresos moderados, y la mayoría no era
quien llevaba el pan a casa. De ello se deduce que la estampida para llevar a cabo las operaciones
de martirio no está asociada con la situación económica de muchas familias palestinas, como las
fuentes de información israelíes trataron de mostrar a través de múltiples canales y en diversas
formas con el fin de distorsionar el valor de este conflicto. Es cierto que los factores económicos
son importantes en muchos aspectos de la vida, especialmente en relación a las necesidades
básicas de los miembros de la familia que, si no están satisfechos, podría dar lugar a varias
formas de desviación y prácticas erróneas, pero ese factor no influye a los jóvenes a tener prisa
en llevar a cabo las operaciones de martirio.
Los ingresos mensuales bajos de las familias de los mártires suicidas es algo normal porque se
trata de un desarrollo de la sociedad palestina, en la que la mayoría de los palestinos están
sometidos a severas condiciones económicas. Las estadísticas publicadas por la Oficina Central
Palestina de Estadísticas (2008) reveló que más de dos millones de palestinos en Cisjordania y la
franja de Gaza (50%) viven por debajo del umbral de la pobreza. Si damos por sentado que las
difíciles condiciones económicas experimentadas por los palestinos son las que les hacen llevar a
cabo las operaciones de martirio, tendríamos que preguntarnos quién está detrás de estas
condiciones. Según nuestra opinión, no cabe duda de que el motivo es la ocupación israelí. El
mártir suicida (Istishhady) Ahmed Daraghmeh no sufrió ningún tipo de privación. Tenía una
buena vida con la cual muchos soñaban. Su padre es una de las personas más ricas, uno de los
comerciantes más importantes de la ciudad de Tubas, al sur de Jenin. Ahmed, que usaba su
calma para ocultar su inteligencia impresionante, fue uno de los estudiantes más listos de su clase
en la escuela secundaria. Su promedio era de 92%, pero el atroz asesinato del mártir Mohammed

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Bisharat y sus compañeros por las fuerzas israelíes en julio de 2001 generó un fuerte impulso
dentro de él para ejecutar su operación de martirio en Biet Shean, el 10 de octubre de 2001.
Por lo tanto, la correlación de los factores económicos con el martirio reduce de esta manera el
valor del martirio y lo convierte en una forma de suicidio para pretender escapar de la realidad
como resultado de las presiones económicas experimentadas por el individuo.
Los resultados demuestran que la mayoría de las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) fueron expuestos a diversas formas de la violencia israelí, en su mayoría a la
confiscación de tierras, la tala de árboles, el arrasado de las tierras, a los insultos y las palabrotas,
las detenciones, los asaltos en las casas, y el no conseguir un permiso de trabajo. Los mismos
motivos tuvieron casi la mitad de los mártires palestinos suicidas (Istishhadiyin) la mayoría de
ellos se vieron expuestos a los insultos y las palabrotas, a malos tratos en los puestos de control y
ambiente circundante, a golpes, al martirio de una persona querida y a la detención. Estos
resultados hicieron hincapié en que casi no hay familia palestina en Cisjordania y la Franja de
Gaza que no haya experimentado dolor debido a la violencia israelí contra los palestinos. El
terrorismo es otra cara de la violencia, que no sólo se dirige a la víctima, sino también al régimen
y al grupo al que pertenece la víctima. Esto es lo que el gobierno israelí y las fuerzas armadas
han estado haciendo en sus acciones arbitrarias en los territorios palestinos mediante el asesinato
de los activistas, la política de bloqueo, el aislamiento y los castigos colectivos perpetrados
contra los palestinos.
La violencia israelí contra los palestinos sólo puede generar violencia, y constituye un mayor
incentivo para la venganza. En este contexto, el mártir suicida Jamal Nasser, que llevó a cabo
una operación de martirio suicida en el cruce del asentamiento judío Shafi Shamron en
Cisjordania el 29 de abril de 2001, escribió algunas palabras apasionadas que muestran el horror
de la violencia israelí contra los palestinos, “¿Quién de entre nosotros no se pone furioso y tiene
un sentimiento de venganza cuando camina en el funeral de mártires, sobre todo en los funerales
masivos de Nablus? ¿Quién de nosotros no se vuelve loco y tiene un fuerte sentimiento de
venganza cuando ve a las madres de los mártires, a sus esposas, o a sus hijos en la televisión?
¿Quién de nosotros no se lamenta con los propietarios de casas y tiendas que han sido demolidas
en Jan Yunis, Rafah y Hebrón? ¿Quién de nosotros no se pone furioso por la muerte de los niños,
la destrucción de árboles y el bombardeo de las ciudades? Etc. En nombre de Dios, los judíos
han transgredido todos los límites más allá del país y ahí se acumula el daño’’.
Por otro lado, el hecho de que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas (Istishhady) no fueron
directamente expuestos a la violencia israelí demuestra una vez más el gran cuidado por las
facciones de resistencia en la selección de los aspirantes a mártires suicidas. En el proceso de
selección, se hace hincapié en las personas que no tienen ningún registro de seguridad con los
israelíes a fin de facilitar su misión y garantizar el éxito de la operación. Esto no significa que las
personas que han sido sometidas directamente a la violencia israelí no participaran en estas
operaciones. Por ejemplo, Mohammed Al-Herbawi, uno de los mártires suicidas que llevó a cabo
un atentado doble perpetrado en Dimona, el 4 de febrero de 2008, era un ex-prisionero, como su
madre explicó, “Tenía menos 16 años cuando fue detenido y estuvo en las cárceles de la
ocupación sionista de más de 27 meses con el pretexto de su actividad en el movimiento
Hamas’’. El mártir suicida (Istishhady) Hamdi Inseo, que perdió tres dedos de su mano derecha,
además de sufrir graves lesiones en su mandíbula debido a un brutal bombardeo israelí sobre la
franja de Gaza, no esperó mucho para tomar represalias en contra de la agresión con una

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operación de martirio por mar utilizando una trampa dirigida a un barco de guerra israelí frente a
las costas de la ciudad de Rafah, el 7 de noviembre de 2000.
Los resultados evidencian que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos pertenecían al
movimiento Hamas, con su rama militar, las Brigadas Ezzedeen Al-Qassam, y el movimiento de
la Yihad Islámica con su rama militar Saraya Al-Quds. En la actualidad el levantamiento
palestino del Movimiento de Liberación Nacional Al-Aqsa de Fateh, con su ala militar Brigadas
de Mártires de Al-Aqsa siguen el ejemplo. Estas son las facciones mayores de la Organización de
Liberación de Palestina (OLP) y las facciones que representan una gran peso y potencial sobre el
terreno. Las fuerzas de izquierda palestina, especialmente el Frente Popular para la Liberación de
Palestina (FPLP) con su rama de las Brigadas de Abu Ali Mustafa y el Frente Democrático para
la Liberación de Palestina (FDLP), con su rama de las Brigadas de la resistencia se unieron a
ellos.
La alta tasa de participación de Hamas y la Yihad Islámica en las operaciones de martirio, en
comparación con otras facciones, se atribuye al hecho de que el martirio es considerado como
uno de los más importantes fundamentos de la tendencia islámica en general y en particular de
Hamas. En el Movimiento Al Fateh, sin embargo, había una menor tasa de participación en las
operaciones de martirio. Esto se debió a su tardía participación en esta forma de resistencia,
especialmente a mediados de 2001. En cuanto al Frente Popular y el Frente Democrático han
llevado a cabo un número limitado de operaciones de martirio, ya que se basan más en los
métodos de confrontación directa y la participación en el asalto armado a asentamientos y
puestos militares israelíes. Sin embargo, el Frente Popular para la Liberación de Palestina ha
aumentado sus mártires suicidas tras el asesinato israelí de su secretario general camarada Abu
Ali Mustafa, el 27 de agosto de 2001. Esto confirma que las operaciones de martirio no son la
prerrogativa de tal o cual partido político, sino de todo el pueblo palestino. Todos los segmentos
de la población palestina, islámica, nacional, de izquierda, de hombres y mujeres, jóvenes y
ancianos, han practicado esta forma de resistencia. Es la expresión de la conciencia popular
palestina de la profundidad y la naturaleza del conflicto con la existencia judía en Palestina.
También es una extensión lógica de la lucha palestina que se ha prolongado durante más de un
centenar de años.
El Movimiento de Resistencia Islámica Hamas y su rama militar las Brigadas Ezzedeen Al-
Qassam, es el padre espiritual de las operaciones de martirio. Tras el anuncio de su fundación, el
14 de diciembre de 1987, Hamas adoptó la yihad, la resistencia contra Israel, como base
fundamental para su existencia. En su carta, en agosto de 1988, el Movimiento identificó la yihad
como su camino y la muerte por la causa de Dios como su ambición hasta el final de la
ocupación. Hamas tiene su propia ideología; una ideología que aboga por un estado islámico en
toda Palestina mediante la yihad y la muerte del enemigo. Ellos creen que los israelíes sólo
pueden entender el lenguaje de la fuerza. Para ello, están dispuestos a utilizar cualquier medio,
incluidos los atentados suicidas. Y hay un montón de voluntarios.
Hamas se ha impuesto en la calle palestina e islámica, que ha dado los mejores ejemplos de la
resistencia que puso al enemigo furioso más que nunca. El pueblo palestino está convencido de
que las opciones de resistencia adoptadas por Hamas y la Yihad Islámica son las mejores,
especialmente tras el fracaso de las negociaciones de paz que no han logrado nada. El primer
mártir del movimiento Hamas fue Saher Tamam, quien llevó acabo su operación de martirio en
Biet Shean el 16 de abril de 1993, en solidaridad con 416 dirigentes políticos de la resistencia

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palestina que habían sido expulsados a Marj Az-Zuhur en el Líbano por las autoridades de
ocupación israelíes.
Los mártires suicidas de Hamas han sido capaces de llevar a cabo mortíferas y cualitativas
operaciones de martirio, como la que fue ejecutada en Netanya el 27 de marzo de 2002 por
Abdel-Basit Odeh de la ciudad de Tulkarem. Fue la mayor operación contra Israel desde su
fundación. Produjo la muerte de 29 israelíes e hirió a más de 150 personas. El éxito de esta
operación se debió principalmente al trabajo clandestino del Movimiento Hamas y a su mayor
cautela, en comparación con otras facciones, al seleccionar de manera eficiente candidatos
cualificados para las operaciones.
Hamas y su rama militar fueron capaces de reclutar mártires suicidas de todos los sectores del
pueblo palestino, incluidas las mujeres de Hamas a quien considera como la reserva estratégica
para la resistencia. Reem Rayashi, por ejemplo, fue la primera mártir suicida palestina
(Istishhadiya) de Hamas que llevó a cabo su operación en la franja de Gaza el 14 de enero de
2004. El movimiento también ha sido capaz de reclutar a los mártires suicidas palestinos que
viven dentro de Israel, llamados los palestinos del 48, y en particular a mártires de Jordania. Por
ejemplo, la operación de martirio cualitativa Nahariyya fue llevada a cabo por Mohammed
Hbaishe de la aldea de Abu Sinan, dentro de la Palestina del 48, el 9 de septiembre de 2001.
Además, otras tres operaciones fueron llevadas a cabo por los palestinos de la diáspora de
Jordania en la ciudad de Tel Aviv. Los mártires suicidas fueron Said Al-Hutari el 1 de junio de
2001, Iyad Radad el 19 de septiembre de 2002, y Mohammed Muamar el 7 de mayo de 2002.
Los resultados mostraron que el camino del martirio de la mayoría de los mártires suicidas
palestinos (Istishhadiyin) fue el uso del cinturón explosivo. Históricamente, las diversas
facciones palestinas han intentado, a través de diferentes métodos, librarse de la ocupación. No
comenzaron su resistencia a la ocupación con los mártires suicidas.
Las facciones palestinas de resistencia han dado un salto cualitativo en la acción militar palestina
desde la primera Intifada en 1987, empezando por las piedras para pasar a los cócteles molotov,
las ametralladoras, las granadas, los explosivos, las bombas de relojería y, por último, las
operaciones de martirio, que fueron una innovación interna en consonancia con la reducida
capacidad del movimiento. La táctica de la bomba, creada en virtud de las circunstancias
especiales de la realidad palestina, por la enorme desigualdad militar, es la máxima expresión del
proyecto político, que se deriva de la negación de las herramientas de judeización, en principio, y
el uso de los medios creativos de resistencia. Así pues, la bomba humana es el estado ideológico
más alto jamás alcanzado por la lucha nacional palestina durante más de un siglo. En
consecuencia, esta táctica no es el privilegio de tal o cual partido político en términos de
prácticas o de logro, sino que pertenece a todo el pueblo palestino, por lo que ha sido puesto en
práctica por todos los sectores del mismo. En cuanto a este punto, el mártir suicida palestino
(Istishhady) Fouad Al-Hourani ―operación en Jerusalén el 9 de marzo de 2002― señaló al arma
del martirio y escribió en su testamento: “La nación que dirige la industria de la muerte es
imbatible’’. En el mismo contexto, la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha
―operación en el puesto de control del asentamiento de Maccabim, cerca de Ramallah el 27 de
febrero de 2002― subrayó la importancia del arma del cuerpo diciendo en su testimonio,
“Como el cuerpo y el espíritu son lo que tenemos, yo los ofrezco por la causa de Dios
Todopoderoso para que las bombas quemen a los sionistas y destruyan el mito del pueblo elegido
de Dios en represalia por los restos de nuestros hermanos mártires’’.

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Los resultados demuestran que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) han
llevado a cabo sus operaciones de martirio en todas las ciudades y regiones israelíes,
especialmente, Jerusalén, Tel Aviv, y otros objetivos israelíes como los asentamientos en
Cisjordania y la franja de Gaza. Estos resultados hicieron hincapié en que las operaciones de
martirio llevadas a cabo por los palestinos son en realidad capaces de destruir la base de la teoría
del equilibrio de poderes después de que el suicidio de los mártires demostrara que su brazo es
también capaz de llegar a lugares sensibles del fondo de Israel utilizando otro tipo de equilibrio
de horror, especialmente causando una gran controversia en todos los niveles israelíes: el militar,
el civil e incluso el gubernamental, donde los funcionarios de alto rango en el ejército se
preguntan sobre el alcance de la supervivencia de Israel a estas operaciones, considerando que la
guerra de independencia de su estado no ha terminado todavía.
A pesar de que Israel posee arsenal militar moderno y sofisticado, sus diversos servicios de
seguridad son incapaces de detener las operaciones de martirio. Esto fue expresado por el mártir
suicida (Istishhady) Suliman Tahayna, que llevó a cabo una operación de martirio suicida en
Jerusalén el 5 de noviembre de 1998. Desafiando a las fuerzas de seguridad israelíes, dijo en su
testamento, “Si la Autoridad Nacional Palestina, Israel, y Clinton pueden impedir que me una
con mi Señor y lleve a cabo mi operación de martirio, les digo que sigan adelante’’.
Las operaciones palestinas de martirio dentro de Israel fueron notables, ya que tuvieron lugar a
pesar del hecho de que todas las ciudades y aldeas palestinas habían vuelto a ser ocupadas por el
ejército israelí desde el estallido de la Intifada Al-Aqsa en 2000. Esta es una prueba clara de la
disposición de la resistencia palestina y de su capacidad para llevar a cabo los más graves
ataques contra las fuerzas de ocupación en Jerusalén, Haifa, Afula, etc., y por lo tanto el
fenómeno de los mártires suicidas se convirtió en una fuente de preocupación y ansiedad para los
israelíes. Esto se refleja de forma negativa en sus condiciones políticas, sociales y económicas.
Todas las medidas de seguridad, barreras y la fuerte presencia de las fuerzas de ocupación en el
corazón de las ciudades palestinas ocupadas no evita que la resistencia de penetre profundamente
en el corazón de la entidad enemiga en Tel Aviv para llevar a cabo un nuevo doble ataque
suicida el 5 de enero de 2003, por los mártires suicidas Barraq Kholfeh y Samer Anuri de la
ciudad de Nablus.
Los resultados mostraron que la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
llevaron a cabo sus operaciones de martirio durante las horas diurnas, especialmente durante la
mañana. Esto refleja la capacidad de las facciones de la resistencia palestina a la hora de
planificar los objetivos israelíes con precisión. Por lo general, los israelíes se concentran en
multitudes cuando salen a trabajar durante las primeras horas de la mañana, por lo que resultan
un blanco fácil en las manos de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin).
En la mañana del 19 de octubre de 1994 a las 8:55, en la plaza Dezingov, en la ciudad de Tel
Aviv, el mayor complejo de entretenimiento de Israel, el mártir suicida Saleh Nazzal llevó a cabo
una operación de martirio cualitativa en la que murieron 22 israelíes y otros 47 resultaron
heridos. También hubo importantes pérdidas materiales. La operación, que fue bien planificada,
no sólo conmocionó a Tel Aviv, sino que también sacudió a todo Israel. En algunas ciudades, el
pueblo israelí tomó las calles en protestas estridentes pidiendo la muerte de los árabes, la
eliminación del movimiento Hamas, la dimisión del Primer Ministro israelí Yitzhak Rabin y los
dirigentes responsables de la seguridad militar por no prevenir el ataque.

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Al amanecer del miércoles, 10 de abril de 2002, el mártir suicida Ragheb Jaradat, por amor y
lealtad a Palestina, se infiltró en Haifa para responder a la llamada de sus compañeros en el
campamento de refugiados de Jenin. A las seis de la mañana, él mismo detonó sus bombas en un
autobús sionista; se martirizó matando a 23 israelíes e hirieron a docenas de ellos a pesar de
todas las precauciones militares israelíes. Esta operación cualitativa, llevada a cabo en el corazón
de Israel, tenía por objeto confirmar que la voluntad de los palestinos y su disposición a hacer
sacrificios eran mayores y más poderosas que todo el terrorismo de Israel.
Según los datos aportados en el estudio, la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) llevaron a cabo sus operaciones de martirio los domingos. Este resultado pone de
relieve una vez más que las facciones de la resistencia palestina no seleccionan al azar sus
objetivos, sino al contrario, aseguran que los objetivos son cuidadosamente seleccionados para
garantizar el éxito de la operación de martirio. Como primer día de la semana en Israel, el
domingo es uno de los días, especialmente en las grandes ciudades israelíes, como Jerusalén y
Tel Aviv, en los que se unen unas zonas de Israel con otras. El domingo, 22 de enero de 1995,
dos mártires suicidas, Salah Shaker y Anwar Sukar, llevaron a cabo una fuerte operación en una
concurrida estación de autobuses donde los soldados israelíes viajaban con destino a la ciudad de
Netanya. El número de muertos fue aumentando gradualmente. El resultado total fueron 22
personas muertas y más de 60 heridas. El ataque suicida, cuantitativo, conmocionó al estado
judío.
Asimismo, el domingo por la mañana, 25 de febrero de 1996, Majdi Abu Warda llevó a cabo una
operación de martirio heroico y cualitativo cuando se inmoló a sí mismo en un autobús de la
línea nº 18, en la ciudad ocupada de Jerusalén. 23 israelíes resultaron muertos y unos 50 heridos.
Después de aproximadamente media hora el mismo día, su compañero Ibrahim Sarahneh atacó
de nuevo en la ciudad de Ashkelon, donde docenas de soldados israelíes murieron o fueron
heridos.
Los resultados mostraron que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) llevaron a cabo sus
operaciones de martirio a lo largo de todos los meses del año. No hay un sólo mes en el que no se
haya producido un ataque suicida de algún mártir.
Los meses de marzo a mayo fueron testigos de una enorme ola de operaciones de martirio, ya
que hay muchas fiestas judías durante estos meses; los grandes encuentros de los israelíes
constituyen un blanco fácil para las facciones de la resistencia palestina. Sin embargo, un número
significativo de estas operaciones coincidió con los aniversarios anuales de algunas de las
masacres israelíes cometidas contra los palestinos, tales como la masacre de Al-Aqsa, la masacre
de la Mezquita de Abraham, la masacre de Sabra y Shatella, y otras.
Su amor por la mezquita de Al-Aqsa y por Palestina, y su deseo de obtener venganza por la
sangre de los mártires suicidas llevaron al mártir (Istishhady) Jamal Nasser a llevar a cabo su
operación de martirio en el asentamiento judío de Shafi Shamron, cerca de Nablus el 29 de de
abril de 2001. En su testamento, dijo, “En nombre de Dios, el primer motivo que me empujó a
seguir este camino es mi amor por Dios y por el martirio, y el segundo, mi amor por la mezquita
de Al-Aqsa, Palestina y la defensa de ellas, y en tercer lugar, el deseo de vengar la sangre de los
mártires’’. El mártir suicida Maher Habisheh, que llevó a cabo su operación en Haifa, el 2 de
diciembre de 2001, dice en su testamento: “Ojala tuviera tantas vidas para vengar una y otra vez

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y responder a las numerosas masacres y muchos insultos perpetrados contra el Al-Aqsa, la
Mezquita de Abraham y el pueblo palestino’’.
Los resultados demuestran que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) llevaron a cabo sus
operaciones de martirio en los años anteriores y posteriores a la firma de los Acuerdos de Oslo
entre Israel y la Autoridad Nacional Palestina (13 de septiembre de 1993), mientras que la
mayoría se realizaron durante el levantamiento de Al-Aqsa, especialmente en el año 2002. Este
resultado pone de relieve que el aumento/disminución del número de las operaciones de martirio
en los años anteriores se asocia con el aumento o disminución de los atroces ataques por las
fuerzas de ocupación contra los palestinos. Por lo tanto, las operaciones de martirio estaban
mucho más motivadas después de que la masacre hubiera sido cometida por los sionistas contra
el pueblo palestino.
Las operaciones de martirio llegaron a su punto máximo en 2002, año en que todas las ciudades
palestinas, aldeas y campamentos fueron invadidos y ocupados por las fuerzas de ocupación
israelíes. Se impuso un estricto bloqueo contra el pueblo palestino, en particular durante los
meses de marzo y abril de 2002, durante el sitio de campamento de refugiados de Jenin, el asedio
a la Iglesia de la Natividad en la ciudad de Belén y el confinamiento del fallecido presidente
Yasser Arafat en su cuartel general en Ramallah, ya que fue considerado por el ex primer
ministro israelí de ser directamente responsable de las operaciones de martirio.
En un momento en el que los dirigentes de los servicios de seguridad sionista y el
establecimiento militar estaban tratando de tranquilizar al pueblo israelí poniendo fin a las
operaciones de martirio, el campamento de refugiados de Jenin fue colocado bajo un estricto
cerco del ejército israelí para acabar con una de las bases de los mártires suicidas. Mientras
tanto, el mártir suicida Ragheb Jaradat, de la provincia de Jenin, pasó las fronteras desafiando los
servicios de seguridad israelíes e inmolándose en un autobús israelí el 10 de abril de 2002 en la
ciudad de Haifa. En su testamento, escribió a los israelíes: “El criminal de Sharon, el gobierno de
sus generales y su ejército necio sabrá que la sangre se enfrenta la sangre, el fuego se enfrenta al
fuego y la masacre en el campamento de refugiados de Jenin no será pasada por alto. Los
sionistas criminales pagarán un alto precio por ello, si Dios quiere. Quisiera tranquilizar a todos
los fieles, a todos los muyahidines, a todos los honorables y liberales asegurando que la yihad y
la resistencia continuará hasta la salida de todos los sionistas asesinos de toda Palestina’’.
En el mismo año, en el que las atrocidades de Israel contra el pueblo palestino alcanzaron su
punto más álgido, el mártir suicida Akram Nabtiti, que llevó a cabo una operación de martirio en
Jerusalén el 17 de marzo de 2002, escribió a su pueblo, “He decidido llevar a cabo esta operación
sólo con el fin de vengar la sangre pura de nuestro pueblo, que está siendo derramada cada día, si
no cada hora, por el odio de Sharon y el ejército sionista que no han tenido piedad de nuestras
mujeres, nuestros ancianos, o de nuestros hijos y para defender nuestro derecho a vivir en
libertad y la dignidad en nuestra tierra pura’’.
Los resultados muestran que hay una disminución en el tamaño de las operaciones de martirio,
en comparación con los primeros años de la Intifada de Al-Aqsa. Esto se debe al hecho de que la
resistencia no sigue un ritmo; el actual conflicto no es entre dos ejércitos regulares. De hecho, es
contra un grupo de combatientes de la resistencia que mantienen un ritmo de atacar y huir. La
intensificando o deteniendo sus operaciones frente al ejército de ocupación, que es considerado
el más fuerte en Oriente Medio. Además, la limitada capacidad militar de las facciones de la

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resistencia palestina, el muro de separación, junto con los numerosos puestos de control militar y
la reocupación de Cisjordania llevó a una disminución en el número de estas operaciones. Por
otro lado, la franja de Gaza se encuentra prácticamente rodeada por cables electrificados, así que
es difícil para los miembros de la resistencia pasar a través de estos cables para llevar a cabo esas
operaciones. Sin embargo, creo que las fuerzas de la resistencia palestina nunca dejarán de
pensar en la ejecución de las operaciones de martirio dentro de Israel o de cruzar el muro de
separación, siempre y cuando se encuentren bajo la ocupación de Israel. Esto se ha mostrado
evidente en el marco teórico del estudio sobre las etapas preparatorias de las operaciones de
martirio y la selección de objetivos. El tipo, la ubicación y el método de resistencia pueden
determinarse sólo por grupos de la resistencia palestina a la luz de los crímenes israelíes
cometidos contra los palestinos. Cabe mencionar que las operaciones de martirio siempre han
llegado en forma de ondas en represalia por las matanzas llevadas a cabo por el enemigo, como
la masacre de la mezquita de Abraham, el asesinato del ingeniero de operaciones de martirio
Yahya Ayyash, y el resto de la agresiones criminales de Israel contra el pueblo palestino.
Según los datos reportados en los resultados la mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) habían dejado un testamento, distribuido entre un escrito y un documento visual.
Los testamentos se han dirigido principalmente a sus familias, a los líderes israelíes y palestinos.
La mayoría de los mártires suicidas llevaban un uniforme militar durante la lectura de los
testamentos.
La voluntad del mártir suicida puede ser considerada como un documento al que un investigador
puede referirse, leer su contenido, analizar sus significados, y comprender sus nobles objetivos.
El testamento incluye un mensaje que el mártir suicida deja a su familia, a la sociedad y a la
nación, instando a que sigan sus pasos. El testamento puede estar por escrito o ser un documento
de audio o vídeo, que explique el propósito que existe detrás de la operación, lo cual supone
importantes consecuencias a todos los niveles, especialmente a nivel religioso, nacional, ético,
intelectual o educativo.
Uno no puede encontrar nada mejor que los testamentos de los mártires suicidas, que fueron
escritos con palabras de sangre y luz: la sangre está destinada a derrotar al ocupante, y la luz, a
iluminar el camino de los muyahidin en el camino de la resistencia y el martirio. Habiendo
examinado los testamentos de los mártires, podemos extraer una serie de símbolos y significados
que reflejan las cualidades personales del mártir suicida (Istishhady), el motivo que existe detrás
de la operación, el objetivo, y otros símbolos y signos. El testamento del mártir suicida Samer
Hammad, quien ejecutó la operación de Tel Aviv el 17 de abril de 2006, demuestra que la
operación no fue el resultado de una decisión individual o inútil, sino que se precisó dentro de un
plan de la resistencia palestina para reclutar a los héroes que tienen fe en su función de elevar la
palabra de Dios y la bandera del Islam en la faz de la violaciones cometidas por las fuerzas de
ocupación contra los palestinos (Apéndice P5). Del mismo modo, el testamento del mártir
suicida Mohammed Siksik, que llevó a cabo la operación de martirio de Elat, el 29 de enero de
2007, confirma su equilibrio psicológico y social, refleja su firme fe en su papel en la vida y la
muerte para agradar a Dios, su confianza en su pueblo y familiares, en su aceptación de la
operación, y en el orgullo profundo dentro de sí mismo. Además de la planificación de la
operación de antemano, está la voluntad de mostrar la conciencia política y estratégica, que
pretende alcanzar como él llama a la unidad de los palestinos (Apéndice P6).

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La ejecución de las operaciones de martirio en Palestina no se ha limitado a los hombres. De
hecho, un buen número de mujeres también ha llevado a cabo operaciones de martirio
cualitativas y escribieron sus propios testamentos. Por ejemplo, Darene Abu Aisha, quien ejecutó
la operación de martirio el 27 de febrero de 2002, hizo hincapié en su testamento sobre el papel
de la mujer en la lucha nacional palestina y la eficacia de ese papel en la liberación de Palestina,
y pidió a las mujeres palestinas ponerse de pie al lado de los hombres en la labor de la yihad, la
resistencia, y a participar eficazmente en las operaciones de martirio. También envió un mensaje
firme al ex Primer Ministro israelí Ariel Sharon donde señalaba la existencia de un ejército de
mártires. A su vez invitó a otros miembros del pueblo palestino a adoptar el camino del martirio,
el camino de la libertad, hasta la liberación de Palestina (Apéndice P2).
En muy conmovedor y apasionado discurso, el mártir palestino (Istishhady) Mohammed Al-
Ghoul ―operación de martirio en Jerusalén 18 de junio de 2002― dice en su testamento, “Qué
bonito que la astillas de mis huesos se conviertan en respuesta al enemigo, no por el amor de
matar, sino para que podamos vivir como viven otras personas. No cantar las canciones de la
muerte, pero recitar los himnos de la vida. Morimos para que las generaciones futuras puedan
vivir’’. Por su lado, la mártir suicida (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras ―operación Jerusalén, 29 de
marzo de 2002― dijo, “¿De qué nos sirve la vida si la muerte nos persigue desde todas las
direcciones? Vamos a ir a ella antes de que ella venga a nosotros y en venganza por nosotros
mismos antes de morir’’.
Los resultados demuestran que la gran mayoría de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
no dejaron ninguna señal que indicaba su intención de llevar a cabo la operación de martirio, y
que no desaparecían de sus hogares, por lo que sus familias no tenían ningún conocimiento
previo de su intención de llevar a cabo la operación de martirio. Los medios de comunicación
fueron su principal recurso en la ejecución de la operación.
Estos resultados confirman la importancia de la selección del mártir suicida, y su compromiso de
absoluto secreto, como un requisito previo para garantizar la seguridad en la consecución de su
objetivo y el éxito de su operación; por lo tanto, las operaciones que se llevaron a cabo por el
mayoría de los mártires suicidas sorprendió a sus familias y a los miembros de la comunidad. Por
otra parte, este hecho confirma una vez más que los mártires suicidas son gente común, que
llevan una vida normal en la comunidad, al igual que otros miembros del pueblo palestino. Salah
Shaker, por ejemplo, estuvo siempre a la vanguardia en la lucha contra la ocupación en la
primera Intifada en 1987, sin embargo, su participación en una doble operación de martirio
cualitativo en Netanya el 22 de enero de 1995 no se esperaba, como su hermano ingeniero
Ahmed dijo, “Su martirio de esta manera fue una sorpresa para todos. Debido a su carácter
discreto y tranquilo, no esperábamos que se inmolaría en esa operación militar cualitativa’’.
Acerca de cómo su familia recibió la noticia del martirio de su hermano dijo, “Salah salió de casa
a las 11:00 pm un día antes de la operación sin decirnos que él no volvería esa noche. No era
habitual en él saliera, lo que nos inquietó a la mañana siguiente, nuestras preocupaciones
aumentaron cuando oímos la noticia de la operación, y nuestros parientes y vecinos vinieron a
preguntar acerca de Salah; nuestra preocupación fue creciendo, hasta que escuchamos la noticia
de su martirio cuando una agencia de noticias informó que la operación fue aprobada por el
Movimiento de la Yihad Islámica en Palestina. Entonces, rezamos a Dios Todopoderoso y nos
complacimos con Su voluntad y destino’’.

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Asimismo, Mahmoud, hermano del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ibrahim Sarahneh, no
cree que su hermano fuera el que ejecutó una operación cualitativa en Ashkelon el 25 de febrero
de 1996. “Pocos días antes de su martirio había hecho los últimos retoques en su casa en
preparación para su matrimonio” dice Mahmoud, y agregó, “No estaba nunca fuera de casa,
siempre sonreía, era tan tranquilo e introvertido que madre lo describía como el fondo del mar
que esconde lo que tiene dentro’’. Sobre la noticia de su martirio, Mahmoud dijo, “Hemos
descartado todas las expectativas, sabíamos acerca de su martirio por los medios de
comunicación israelíes; tuvimos que darlo por cierto por su ausencia y al no saber nada de él’’.
Ahmed, hermano del suicidio mártir Mohammed Al-Ghoul, que ejecutó una operación de
martirio en Jerusalén el 18 de junio de 2002, dijo, “Yo no esperaba que fuera a llevar a cabo una
operación de martirio, porque él se negó a casarse. Hizo su carrera en el programa de estudios de
postgrado en la sharia islámica en la Universidad Nacional AnNajah, y era extraordinario’’.
Ahmed agregó, “En el día de la operación, salió de casa como de costumbre a hacer sus
exámenes finales’’.
“Hoy algunas personas van a venir a pedirte mi mano, dales una cálida recepción’’. Estas fueron
las últimas palabras dichas por la mártir suicida Andaleeb Taqatqa a su madre antes de salir de su
casa para llevar a cabo su operación de martirio en Jerusalén el viernes 12 de abril de 2002. La
madre de Andaleeb aún se encuentra en estado de shock. Ella se niega a creer la noticia del
martirio de su hija, y arroja amargas lágrimas con la esperanza de que su hija algún día regrese a
ella. La madre de Andaleeb esperó aquel viernes durante horas a los pretendientes de su hija pero
fue en vano. Ella había oído hablar en los medios de comunicación sobre la noticia de una
operación de martirio, pero ella no esperaba que su hija, Andaleeb, fuera la que ejecutara la
operación hasta que decenas de soldados israelíes irrumpieron en su casa después de la
medianoche para asegurarse de la identidad Andaleeb. Ella (la madre) dijo, “El ejército de
ocupación sacó a todo el mundo de casa, y un oficial me preguntó el nombre de mis niños.
Cuando mencioné a Andaleeb, el oficial israelí me preguntó dónde estaba. Le dije que no sabía,
y entonces él me dijo: “Abre tu casa para recibir el pésame porque ella es el autor de la operación
de Jerusalén’’. Mohammed el hermano mayor del Andaleeb dijo, “Me siento triste por su partida.
Ella nunca ha hablado de política o sobre organizaciones de resistencia palestina. Pasó la
mayoría de las horas de la noche antes de su martirio con nosotros; charlamos y tenía una sonrisa
en los labios. Ella habló de sus aspiraciones y sus esperanzas de que nuestra situación económica
mejorara para construir una casa grande para todos nosotros. No presentimos por un momento
que ella se iría de esta vida para llevar a cabo esta acción heroica’’.
Cerca del día de su martirio, la madre del mártir suicida Shadi Izughayyar, uno de los mártires
suicidas (Istishhadiyin) que llevó a cabo una doble operación de martirio en Dimona, el 4 de
febrero de 2008, dijo, “Después de que él se levantara y e hiciera sus abluciones, como era
habitual, para la oración en la mezquita de la madrugada, me dijo que no volvería y que iría
directamente al trabajo. Salió de su casa, y nunca regresó. Más tarde, nos enteramos de que fue
martirizado después de escuchar las noticias en la televisión’’. Su madre añadió, “Su padre y
hermanos llamaron a su lugar de trabajo, ya que era tarde y no había regresado a casa, pero se les
dijo que no se había presentado a trabajar y que pensaban que estaba enfermo en casa’’.
Es evidente que la mayoría de las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
fueron sorprendidos por la calidad de la acción de su hijo especialmente por no decir nada acerca
de su intención de realizar una operación de martirio. Aun cuando pudieran haber mostrado

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algunas señales, éstas no fueron comprendidas por los miembros de la familia. Un número de
mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) sí mandaron algunas señales verbales o a través de
sus comportamientos, directa e indirectamente. La mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya)
Andaleeb Taqatqa ―operación de Jerusalén el 12 de abril de 2002― insistió en llamar a su
sobrina recién nacida Andaleeb en lugar de Iman. Ihsan el hermano del mártir suicida palestino
(Istishhady) Majdi Abu Warda ―operación de Jerusalén el 25 de febrero de 1996― recuerda
que su hermano hizo escuchar a su madre una canción titulada, “Mi cariñosa madre, mi madre,
no llores, hay que ser fuerte oh Dios, sin que nadie note su verdadera intención’’. En cuanto al
mártir suicida palestino Suliman Tahayna ―Jerusalén, operación el 5 de noviembre de 1998― él
no se preocupa por su esposa, sus hijos o cualquier otra excusa que darían otros para no ir a la
yihad por la causa de Dios; dijo a su esposa un día antes de su operación: “Mis hijos no son más
amados por mí que Dios y mi patria’’.
Los resultados mostraron que los israelíes han tomado diversas medidas contra la familia del
mártir tras la aplicación de la operación de martirio; la mayoría no obtienen un permiso de
trabajo, se allanan sus hogares, pierden el empleo, se les prohíbe de viajar, se demuelen sus
viviendas, o bien sufren abusos, insultos y detenciones. Además, la mayoría de los cuerpos de los
mártires suicidas palestinos aún no han sido entregados, y están en manos de los israelíes.
Estas medidas hacen hincapié en cómo el fenómeno de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) se ha transformado en un fenómeno muy preocupante en el interior de la sociedad
israelí y en el establecimiento de su seguridad. Los mártires suicidas palestinos han hecho la
mayor guerra y los políticos y generales en Israel gritan y dicen “¿Qué podemos hacer frente a
los que se acercan a nosotros y tienen la intención de morir?’’.
Las fuerzas de ocupación israelíes trataron de disuadir a los palestinos de la resistencia y del uso
de la técnica de las operaciones de martirio con todos los medios de supresión posibles, pero no
tuvieron éxito. Empezaron pues a seguir una nueva política basada en la demolición de la casa de
los padres del mártir y detener a éstos. Esta política goza de la bendición y el apoyo de los más
altos niveles políticos y judiciales dentro de Israel. A partir de 2002, algunos han considerado
que es un paso importante hacia la reducción de las operaciones de martirio, ya que tiene
enormes repercusiones en las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin).
Casi todas las operaciones de martirio causaron un ataque israelí a gran escala en forma de
castigo masivo al pueblo palestino, tales como el cerco completo a las ciudades, aldeas y
campamentos para evitar los desplazamientos entre ellos, el toque de queda, y el sitio de todo el
territorio palestino como comprensiva medida de seguridad para Israel. Esto condujo a la
parálisis completa del intercambio comercial entre Israel y los palestinos, la prevención de la
mano de obra de palestinos dentro de Israel y una serie de asesinatos de varios dirigentes
palestinos y activistas de la resistencia, además de la demolición y el bombardeo de ciudades,
aldeas y campamentos que acabaron con la muerte de numerosas personas, entre las víctimas,
niños, mujeres y ancianos.
Las medidas israelíes también se centraron en varias sociedades de beneficencia palestinas que
los israelíes consideraban los principales donantes para la ejecución de las operaciones de
martirio. Se cerraron varias cadenas de televisión y emisoras locales con el pretexto de que desde
ellas se incitaban y promovían las operaciones de martirio.

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Las mencionadas medidas israelíes contra las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) en particular y contra la sociedad palestina en general, son tan antiguas como la
ocupación, sin embargo, se ejecutaron en mayor ritmo durante la Intifada de Al-Aqsa en un
intento por parte de la ocupación de acabar finalmente con las operaciones de martirio. Estas
medidas expresan la brutalidad y la crueldad de la ocupación a través de la adopción de una
política de castigos en masa que afectó a un gran sector de palestinos inocentes. Una de las
extrañas medidas incluidas en estas medidas punitivas es la de cargar contra de los miembros de
la familia del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) sólo porque eran sus parientes. Esta es una
violación de las leyes internacionales y la cuarta convención de Ginebra de 1949, que prohíbe la
obligatoria deportación o el traslado masivo o individual de gente protegida en particular.
También es la violación de los más simples valores éticos y humanitarios, de la más simple
prohibición de las leyes celestiales: el castigo de inocentes.
Tal vez el ataque directo a las familias del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) refleja el estado
de desamparo en el que el gobierno israelí ha acabado frente a los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) desde que sus operaciones de martirio se convirtieron en una obsesión que
perturba en gran medida a los israelíes, especialmente cuando nos enteramos de que Israel por
primera vez en la historia tiene pérdida de vidas humanas que no tuvo en ninguna de sus guerras
con los árabes, a lo que se suman las pérdidas económicas. En consecuencia Israel se está auto
engañando con la posibilidad de poner fin a las operaciones de martirio. Si el mártir suicida
palestino (Istishhady) no siente las dificultades que podrían sufrir sus padres, como la demolición
de viviendas, la detención, la deportación, y otras medidas represivas, nada le disuadirá. Si esto
consigue disuadir a uno o dos mártires suicidas palestinos, alentará a otros a unirse a la lista de
mártires suicidas palestinos que estén dispuestos a sacrificarse por el bien de su causa justa y
pública.
Por otro lado, las fuerzas israelíes de ocupación mantienen en cementerios especiales los cuerpos
de decenas de mártires palestinos y se niegan a entregar sus cuerpos a sus familias para ser
enterrados. Esto sucede a pesar de las continuas demandas que varias sociedades de derechos
humanos activas en los territorios palestinos han llevado ante los tribunales israelíes. En este
contexto, la madre del mártir suicida (Istishhady) Salah Shaker uno de los ejecutores de la doble
operación en Netanya el 22 de enero de 1995 hace un solemne llamamiento a las Naciones
Unidas y a la Cruz Roja Internacional, a todas los sociedades de derechos humanos y a todos
aquellos que tienen conciencia para tratar de llevar el cadáver de su hijo con el fin de ser
enterrado cerca de ella; ella dice, “No estoy triste por su martirio; estoy triste porque deseo
visitar su tumba, pero no puedo hacerlo porque está todavía en manos de los enemigos de Dios’’.
Fátima Daraghmeh la madre de la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Hiba Daraghmeh ―
Afula operación el 19 de mayo de 2003― dijo, “No tengo sueño. ¿Cómo podría dormir mientras
estoy pensando día y noche en mis hijos y en lo que nos ha sucedido a nosotros después de que
los israelíes demolieran la casa que tardamos diez años en construir? Sobre el cuerpo de Hiba
dijo, “Yo le pregunto a cada madre sobre lo que pasaría si estuviera en mi lugar y escuchara que
su hija se explotó a sí misma y no puede ver ni el cuerpo ni siquiera enterrarla’’.
Se desprende de los testamentos de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) que esperan el
castigo de Israel sobre sus familias, sin embargo, insisten en llevar a cabo sus operaciones de
martirio. Esto apareció en el testimonio del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ramiz Abu
Salim, uno de los ejecutores de la doble operación en Jerusalén el 9 de septiembre de 2003,

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cuando se dirigió a su familia en su testamento diciendo, “Que Dios os compense por vuestra
casa y vuestro hijo y por todo lo que pueda ocurriros después de mi martirio. Seguro que seréis
recompensados cuando yo interceda por vosotros ante Dios’’. El mártir suicida palestino
(Istishhady) Raed Messk ―operación de Jerusalén el 19 de agosto de 2003― escribió en su
testamento dirigiéndose a su mujer, “Sé que sufrirás dolor y fatiga después de mi marcha cuando
hayas perdido al marido y la casa sea demolida’’.
Los resultados evidencian que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) eran ciudadanos
normales, que disfrutaban de la vida. Ellos eran: sociables, religiosos, patriotas y tenían un alto
grado de estabilidad psicológica.
Si queremos examinar la vida real de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin), veríamos
que han vivido una vida normal en medio de su ambiente social, su familia y los miembros de su
comunidad. Ellos fueron tanto productores como contribuyentes en la construcción y el
desarrollo de la sociedad palestina y la defensa de la misma. Estudiaron en sus escuelas y
universidades, fueron a las mezquitas y vivieron su causa. Consideraron que Dios y la patria
merecen este acto de martirio. El mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Suliman Tahayna, ejecutor
de la operación de Jerusalén el 5 de noviembre de 1998, expresó él mismo como le decía a su
esposa un día antes de su martirio, “Mis hijos no son más queridos por mí que Dios y mi patria’’.
En cuanto a las características sociales, eran miembros en los que la familia confiaba, gozaban
del respeto de los demás, tenían buenas relaciones con los miembros de la familia, eran
populares entre los amigos, las personas disfrutan hablando con ellos, eran dignos de confianza,
capaces de atraer la atención de otros, abiertos a la crítica, se preocupaban por los problemas y el
sufrimiento de los demás, no dudaban en poner los intereses de otros por delante de los suyos, les
gustaba hacer trabajos voluntarios, disfrutaban la vida, se preocupaban por lo que estaba
ocurriendo alrededor de ellos, tomaban parte en actos sociales, les gustaba mezclarse con la
gente, tenían un carácter carismático, y les encantaba conocer gente nueva, pero no con la gente
diferente a ellos. Por otro lado, no odiaban las actividades sociales.
En lo que respecta a las características religiosas, creían en lo que está escrito para ellos,
realizaban las oraciones a su hora, diferenciaban entre lo que está permitido y lo qué está
prohibido, seguían los pasos del Profeta Que Dios y la Oración de la Paz sea con él, se
interesaban en el cumplimiento de las enseñanzas del Islam, defendían y se aferraban a sus
creencias religiosas, recitaban el Corán, se interesaban en el desempeño de las oraciones en la
mezquita, hacían amplias súplicas, hacían amplias invocaciones, hablaban sobre la vida después
de la muerte, escuchaban grabaciones religiosas, daban limosnas a los pobres, hacían ayuno en
los días opcionales, y rezaban tarde en la noche. Por otra parte, no se preocupaban por la suerte
ni el azar ni salían de retiro religioso (vida mística).
Acerca de las características nacionales: mostraron amor a su país de origen, glorificaron a los
mártires, tomaron parte en las procesiones fúnebres de los mártires, apoyaron las luchas contra
los israelíes, estaban al tanto de los temas políticos, creían que la fuerza es la única solución a la
cuestión palestina, se referían a las violaciones diarias de Israel contra los palestinos, seguían las
noticias políticas, tenían fotografías o carteles de mártires, tomaban parte en las manifestaciones,
no se sentían a gusto al hablar de los israelíes, se oponían a los acuerdos con los israelíes,
mantenían y defendían sus pensamientos políticos pero no eran políticamente activos.

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En cuanto a las características psicológicas: actuaban de la manera correcta, de forma
perseverante, se preocupaban por las apariencias externas, eran ambiciosos, se enorgullecían de
sí mismos y de su personalidad, mantenían sus propios puntos de vista, insistían en sus
necesidades, eran revolucionarios, estaban satisfechos con sus vidas, eran misteriosos, y sentían
la importancia de la vida. Pero no se cuestionaban el propósito de la vida, o se rebelaban contra
la sociedad, o eran introvertidos o se desesperaban.
Todos los que conocían el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari, ejecutor de la
cualitativa operación en Tel Aviv del 1 de junio de 2001, están de acuerdo en que era muy
religioso y nunca abandonaba la mezquita, siempre preparaba sus lecciones religiosas y llevaba a
cabo todas las oraciones en la mezquita. Él era un adorable joven que nunca decía o hacía nada
malo. Era sobre todo tranquilo y sereno; no se mezclaba con la gente, no tenía más de cinco
amigos, no era inquisitivo cuando se sentaba con ortos, ni presumido. Era muy reservado con
claros signos de inteligencia, sabía cuándo hablar y cuándo guardar silencio, sus palabras eran
inferiores a su silencio, es decir, era bastante callado, ya que se vio afectado por tristes
acontecimientos especialmente después del martirio de un amigo de toda la vida, Fadi Amer;
esto es lo que dijo su hermano Alaa sobre Said. Abdallah el primo del mártir suicida palestino
(Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari dijo sobre él, “La calma de Said no era por debilidad o por vergüenza
ya que era karateka con un fuerte cuerpo a pesar de su pequeño tamaño. Solía enfadarse si le
provocaban y nunca le importaba’’. Y añadió, “Cuando lo veía sabía que todo iría bien y todas
mis preocupaciones desaparecían’’.
Cabe mencionar que Said Al-Hutari no se refiere a la política como otros palestinos. Él no
pertenece a ninguno de los movimientos políticos palestinos, sin embargo, parece que le
influenció el movimiento Hamas. En consecuencia, Said no era un político por naturaleza. Su
padre explicó esto diciendo: “Said no era un fanático de la política pero yo le enseñé a amar a su
patria. Yo no le enseñan a odiar el regreso de los judíos tampoco. Yo le enseñé el amor y no el
odio’’. La familia de Said era de renta media y no era activa políticamente. La declaración de las
Brigadas Ezzedeen Al-Qassam del nombre del mártir (Istishhady), nombrando a Said como el
ejecutor de la operación de Tel Aviv, supuso una gran conmoción a su familia y amigos, tal y
como señala el padre. Uno de sus amigos íntimos del padre dijo, “Yo me sorprendí al escuchar
que Said llevó a cabo la operación. Era una persona tranquila, ahora no se descarta el hecho de
que cualquier palestino pueda llevar a cabo una operación como resultado de las presiones
ejercidas sobre el pueblo palestino. Como resultado de la continuación de la ocupación,
aparecerán cientos como Said. Es posible que todas las personas se conviertan como Said, dijo,
ya que él demostró que hay un pueblo que demanda obtener sus derechos y esta es nuestra tierra
y tenemos derecho a defenderla’’.
Fátima Daraghmeh, la madre de la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Hiba Daraghmeh,
ejecutora de la operación en Afula el 19 de mayo de 2003, dijo, “Todo el mundo la quería y
respetaba, era educada, amaba la educación y la patria. Ella odiaba a los enemigos y los colonos,
y todos la querían por su sencillez; ocupaba un lugar especial por su excelencia y diligencia.
Participó en la escuela y las actividades nacionales y “marchas” por los mártires. Uno de sus
amigos dijo, “Hiba era humilde, sencilla, tímida, educada, nunca pensaba en los asuntos
terrenales y creía y confiaba en que su pueblo se libraría del yugo de la ocupación. A menudo se
refería al mártir y a su lugar en el cielo. Sin embargo, se distinguía por hablar poco y ser
reservada’’. Después de su éxito en la escuela secundaria (Tawjihi), se incorporó a la

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Universidad Abierta de Al-Quds, y optó por estudiar literatura inglesa; era activa en el área de
trabajo social y religioso a través de las actividades de la “Jama'a Islámica’’, según señalan sus
amigas.
Majid, hermano del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Shadi Anebahin, ejecutor de la
operación Kfar Darom en la Franja de Gaza el 19 de mayo de 2003, dijo, “Shadi era el hermano
más obediente. Nosotros sólo le conocíamos con su continua sonrisa. Él, que Dios se apiade de
su alma, era especialmente sociable y quería a todo el mundo. Dios hacía que todas las personas
le amaran; el amor de la gente hacia él empezó cuando vi a todos llorando en la celebración de su
martirio’’.
Ninguno de los habitantes de Allar al norte de Tulkarem ni ninguno de los miembros de su
familia pensaron nunca que el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Lutfi Abu Saada se ejecutaría
en la operación Netanya el 5 de diciembre de 2005, especialmente cuando era un joven simple y
tranquilo que venía de un hogar humilde; solía trabajar en una fábrica de ladrillos propiedad de
sus tíos por parte de madre; no se sabía que estaba afiliado a ninguna organización palestina.
La mujer del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Mohammed Siksik, ejecutor de la operación
de Elat el 29 de enero de 2007, habló de sus cualidades y sus relaciones con los otros diciendo,
“Mohammed tenía interés en realizar las cinco oraciones en la Mezquita Khansaa cerca de su
casa. Era muy aficionado a la recitación del Corán y escuchaba grabaciones religiosas. Era bueno
y obediente con sus padres. Tenía buenas relaciones con todos y siempre ofrecía ayuda a los
demás. Era un esposo humilde, tranquilo, paciente y tolerante’’. Y añade, “Odiaba la opresión,
israelí del pueblo palestino y odiaba hablar de ellos, ya que asesinaron a un grupo de sus amigos
como el mártir palestino Nadir Abu Omrain; mostró gran interés en asistir a los funerales de los
mártires. Su odio a los israelíes había llegado hasta tal punto que se alegraba cuando se enteraba
de que había noticias sobre una operación de martirio y ofrecía caramelos a la gente en la calle’’.
El 4 de febrero de 2008, los ciudadanos de Hebrón no sabían acerca de lo que había sucedido con
los dos mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) Mohammed Al-Herbawi y Shadi Izughayyar.
Los ciudadanos descartaban que ellos fueran los ejecutores de la doble operación de Dimona.
Mohammed solía ir todos los días a la fábrica de papel en la ciudad. En cuanto a Shadi, solía
trabajar en la fábrica de plástico y no se sabía que eran buscados por las autoridades de la
ocupación.
Las facciones de la resistencia palestina fueron capaces de llevar a cabo doscientas operaciones
de martirio cualitativas que sacudieron Israel y levantaron una gran ola de reacciones a escala
local e internacional, lo que constituye un punto de inflexión en la historia de la lucha palestina e
israelí; es raro encontrar un fenómeno similar a éste con un gran número de mártires suicidas
palestinos (Istishhadiyin) en cualquier otro lugar en el mundo. Se ha convertido en un ejemplo
para los movimientos de liberación en todo el mundo. La cuestión planteada es “¿Por qué existe
esta competición por el martirio?’’.
Los resultados evidencian que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) seguían las
siguientes motivaciones en la realización de sus operaciones de martirio: por el bien del propio
país, por seguir el ejemplo de los mártires, en represalia por las masacres diarias de Israel contra
los palestinos, por sacrificar la propia vida en aras de una vida digna para los palestinos, por
destruir la Teoría de Seguridad de Israel, por la sensación de inseguridad, por la sensación de

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pérdida de la dignidad, por la causa de Dios, por la difusión de la cultura del martirio entre los
palestinos, por sentimiento de injusticia en la vida, por el envío de un mensaje a los israelíes, por
la pérdida de la esperanza de contar con una solución pacífica para la cuestión de Palestina, por
ganar la otra vida, por seguir el ejemplo de amigos, por vengar el martirio de una persona
querida, en respuesta al cerco de los palestinos, por enviar un mensaje a las naciones árabes y
musulmanas, por la indignación ante la realidad vivida y en honor a los familiares. Por otro lado,
las motivaciones de cumplimiento de la llamada del partido político, y la respuesta al muro de
separación tuvieron poco impacto en la ejecución de las operaciones de martirio.
Los datos anteriores hacen hincapié en que los motivos para el martirio son nacionalistas y están
estrechamente relacionados con la ocupación israelí de los territorios palestinos y las prácticas
represivas diarias contra el indefenso y desarmado pueblo palestino. Desde 1948, el pueblo
palestino ha sido expuesto a las formas más brutales de aniquilación, persecución y ocupación. Y
el pueblo recurrió a las operaciones de martirio y a la resistencia para liberar a su país de la
ocupación y para defenderse a sí mismos, sus derechos y su dignidad. El pueblo elige la
propuesta de las operaciones de martirio con el fin de practicar su derecho de retorno, de
autodeterminación, soberanía e independencia basada en el estatuto de la ONU y el resto de los
pactos y convenciones internacionales, los principios del derecho internacional y las resoluciones
de legitimidad internacional.
Los más simples deberes del ser humano civilizado son los del encuentro y la resistencia de la
ocupación enemiga. La resistencia en todas sus formas es un deber nacional, siempre que haya
ocupación. El pueblo palestino no puede cruzarse de brazos ante la brutalidad de Israel, sólo para
complacer a la opinión pública mundial que no proporciona la protección internacional a este
pueblo. En la mentalidad de todos los palestinos se ha hecho firme la idea de que la ocupación
israelí de Palestina es el motivo directo de la existencia de la resistencia. Por consiguiente, la
continuación de la ocupación significa simplemente una continuación de la resistencia en todas
las formas por parte del pueblo palestino, incluyendo las operaciones de martirio, que han
logrado equilibrar el terror de una ocupación que mata a los palestinos día y noche sin que haya
nadie que lo impida o lo detenga. Además, la resistencia es un derecho legítimo garantizado por
todas las fes celestiales y las legislaciones existencialistas.
La ocupación israelí santifica la fuerza y la violencia y no puede vivir sin ellas ni suspenderlas.
Las masacres de Kufr Qassim, Deir Yassin, Sabra y Shatella son simples ejemplos. Comete cada
día masacres contra el pueblo palestino. La última ofensiva lanzada por las Fuerzas de ocupación
israelíes (IOF) en la franja de Gaza, que duró veintitrés días (27/12/2008-18/1/2009), ha causado
la destrucción total de muchas partes de la franja de Gaza, haciendo estas partes parezcan zonas
expuestas a terremotos. En su ofensiva sobre Gaza, las fuerzas de ocupación israelíes emplearon
todo su arsenal con fuerzas de aire, mar y tierra. Algunas zonas fueron arrasadas casi por
completo, mientras que muchas casas y establecimientos civiles se convirtieron en colinas de
polvo. Su ofensiva se cobró la vida de cientos de inocentes civiles desarmados, entre ellos un
gran número de niños y mujeres. El resultado de la ofensiva de las IOF en la franja de Gaza:
familias enteras fallecidas; los niños y las mujeres constituyen más del 43% del número total de
víctimas, todas las características de muchas zonas han desaparecido, y la infraestructura civil de
servicios está completamente colapsada.
Lo que Israel ha hecho sobre el terreno es considerado una catástrofe contra los palestinos y
cientos de investigadores se quedaron sin palabras cuando trataron de describir estas masacres. A

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la luz de la gran diferencia en la escala de poder entre israelíes y palestinos, el proceso de paz se
ha convertido en un simple cambio de nombre de la ocupación israelí. Hasta ahora Israel todavía
controla el 60% de Cisjordania y el 40% de la franja de Gaza. Se ha anexionado Jerusalén y ha
llenado los territorios de colonos. Existen asentamientos y existe ocupación israelí, considerada
la más larga ocupación del siglo XX y del siglo XXI. ¿Qué ha pasado con todos los palestinos?
Pues el resultado de esto es que el 78% de la Palestina histórica se ha convertido en árabe israelí
(Gráfico 69) y Cisjordania y la franja de Gaza (Gráfico 65) constituyen juntos un porcentaje del
22% de la Palestina histórica, lo que es la actual manzana de la discordia. Los palestinos no están
luchando ahora por la causa del 78% de las tierras que habían perdido, sino que están luchando
por el 22% restante. De este 22%, los israelíes siguen controlando el 60% de Cisjordania y el
40% de la franja de Gaza. En consecuencia, en el caso de que se estableciera un estado palestino,
no constituiría una zona viable, sino que se dividirá en pequeños fragmentos que permanecerán
bajo la merced de las carreteras de circunvalación que fueron construidas por los israelíes. Estas
carreteras rodean ahora a los palestinos en todas las direcciones y constituyen la principal razón
por la cual los palestinos están sitiados en sus pequeñas áreas.
Los israelíes han creado hechos sobre el suelo lo que hace casi imposible para los palestinos
pasar de una zona a otra desde el norte hacia el sur, o viceversa. A raíz de la Intifada de Al-Aqsa,
todos los territorios palestinos están sujetos al control israelí a excepción de los servicios
municipales y otros servicios como el de salud, junto con ciertos asuntos de ciudadanos
problemáticos que quieren entregar a la Autoridad Nacional Palestina, mientras que los asuntos
de seguridad y las fronteras seguirán estando bajo el control israelí. Cerca de cuatro millones de
palestinos han estado y están expuestos a un castigo colectivo diario durante 60 años además de
la continua confiscación de tierras palestinas, el daño de las plantas y los olivos para la
construcción del Muro de la Discriminación (Gráfico 67) y la reasignación de la geografía de
Cisjordania y la franja de Gaza a fin de proporcionar un mayor control a Israel. La situación es
desastrosa y anuncia una catástrofe. Esto se remonta a la ocupación israelí de Cisjordania,
mientras Gaza está prisionera en lo que es como una gran jaula. De hecho, el endurecimiento del
cerco alrededor de los palestinos los ha estado estrangulando a lo largo de un período de sesenta
años. Todo ello ha instalado en su interior sentimientos de rencor y odio que han ido creciendo
más y más con el tiempo y que se han expresado a través de diferentes formas de resistencia
incluyendo las operaciones de martirio.
La política de ocupación continua persiguiendo, reprimiendo y maltratando a los palestinos con
la utilizando medios y prácticas que exceden con creces a los que se utilizaron en Sudáfrica
durante el régimen del apartheid. El difunto presidente Yasser Arafat fue sitiado en Ramallah
desde el 2002, a lo que se suma la política de detenciones, demoliciones de viviendas, toques de
queda y asesinatos diarios que han influido en todos los sectores del pueblo palestino. Desde
2000, Israel sigue practicando lo que llamó “Asesinato selectivo’’ de los líderes palestinos según
sus alegaciones. Esta misión de asesinato se lleva a cabo con el disparo de un cohete desde un
carro de combate Apache sobre uno de los lugares más poblados del mundo causando gran daño
a los edificios y matando a una gran cantidad de víctimas palestinas, hombres, mujeres y
ancianos.
En el plano económico, la mayoría de palestinos viven en condiciones muy difíciles, ya que no
pueden trabajar o llevar alimentos a sus hijos. El porcentaje de desempleo supera el 50% en los
territorios palestinos, si bien es superior al 70% en la franja de Gaza. Desde el año 1996, Israel

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impuso una serie de cierres por los cuales los palestinos que estaban ejerciendo su profesión
dentro de Israel se vieron impedidos a llegar a sus lugares de trabajo, de modo que Israel importó
decenas de miles personas como mano de obra procedentes de Rumanía y Tailandia.
La mayor parte de la infraestructura fue destruida en los territorios palestinos, como la
electricidad, el agua, los servicios de salud. La destrucción no se limita a las oficinas de la
Autoridad Nacional Palestina a la que Israel considera como una banda de terroristas, sino que
también fueron incluidos como objetivos los relativos a la autoridad civil, como los ministerios
de Trabajo y Educación y los centros de salud.
Los palestinos constituyen actualmente el mayor grupo de refugiados (Gráfico 68) a los que se
pasa por alto desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Todavía está presente y se observa claramente
en los campamentos de refugiados en Cisjordania, la franja de Gaza, Siria, Jordania, el Líbano y
en la diáspora. Las más horribles condiciones, que pasan por la alta densidad de población, la
pobreza, la ignorancia y el hambre que Israel impuso como parte del resultado de la ocupación y
la política de asedio que ha adoptado contra los palestinos, son las razones por las que los
hombres jóvenes en la franja de Gaza persiguen el martirio. El palestino se siente como si fuera
un paria, aislado de todo lo que le rodea, aparte de sus conciudadanos, miembros de la familia,
sus padres y hermanos y hermanas que están siendo asesinados o heridos, por lo que de
inmediato se apresura a ofrecer su alma por causa de esas condiciones injustas que se han
impuesto sobre él.
A cambio de ello, no debemos pasar por alto los motivos religiosos que son los elementos de
apoyo de las operaciones de martirio de los palestinos. Cabe mencionar que la mayoría de los
palestinos son musulmanes y están comprometidos con las enseñanzas del Islam, lo que alentó a
la resistencia en todas sus formas y maneras frente a los invasores, los ocupantes y los
transgresores. El martirio en el Islam se caracteriza por ser parte de la Jihad (guerra santa), el
mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) tiene determinación a la hora de convertirse en un mártir por
la causa de Dios; lo está demandando y persiguiendo. Tiene la intención de matar al enemigo
hasta que él mismo sea matado con lo que se convertirá en un mártir. En su martirio hay un gran
proceso de reactivación basado en el hecho de que el mártir es vida y está bendecido por Dios,
por lo que cuando se convierte en un mártir, revive la vida en su sociedad. Los mártires suicidas
palestinos (Istishhadiyin) han llevado a cabo su deber en respuesta a la llamada de Dios, “Les
está permitido a quienes son atacados, porque han sido tratados injustamente. -Alá es,
ciertamente, poderoso para auxiliarles-. A quienes han sido expulsados injustamente de sus
hogares, sólo por haber dicho: «¡Nuestro Señor es Alá!»… ” (Al-Haj: 39-40).
Ellos complacen a Dios, puesto que ya saben que el martirio les da un alto rango como el de los
profetas, los creyentes, y virtuosos, que fueron escogidos por Dios, consciente de las palabras de
Dios Todopoderoso, “Y no penséis que quienes han caído por Alá hayan muerto. ¡Al contrario!
Están vivos y sustentados junto a su Señor” (Al-Omran: 169).
En cuanto a los factores psicológicos, sociales y económicos y otros, como motivos para el
martirio, es un error asociar estos factores con los mártires ya que esto subestima el valor real de
un mártir y lo convierte en una especie de suicida social. Es más, como la frustración lleva al
hombre a buscar un medio para deshacerse del estrés de la vida. El que examina la lengua de los
mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) en sus testamentos y el que observa su apariencia

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física y psicológica y su mirada, no notará ninguna de las características propias la frustración,
sino que en realidad detectaría las características que indican un futuro para una nueva vida.
Los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) no huyen de sus problemas ni de sus crisis
psicológicas, matrimoniales o financieras haciendo frente a la muerte; ellos han elegido este
camino basándose en una consciente decisión, la de llevar las esperanzas del pueblo palestino y
su justa causa hacia el logro de la libertad y la victoria. Se da también por sentado que toman este
camino a la luz de la presencia de la ocupación, ya que tratan de liberar Palestina de ese yugo;
esta sensación es compartida por cualquier otro ciudadano libre en cualquier otra sociedad del
mundo. Basándose en esto, su consciente martirio se encaminaba al cumplimiento de sus
objetivos políticos.
Para saber más acerca de los motivos del martirio en la sociedad palestina, en particular el
aspecto humano que se refiere a la influencia de las procesiones diarias de los mártires y a los
testigo diarios de los crímenes de la ocupación destruyendo hogares con sus habitantes dentro,
matando a niños, mujeres y ancianos, asesinando a líderes, arrancando árboles, etc., es necesario
mencionar algunas de las historias de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) que yo y el
equipo de investigación hemos recogido de las entrevistas de campo con las familias y amigos
cercanos de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin).
A raíz de la masacre de la Mezquita de Abraham, en la ciudad de Hebrón, que provocó la muerte
de 29 palestinos a mano de un colono extremista, el 25 de febrero de 1994, todas las voces
fueron acalladas, mientras que una voz alta y fuerte juró tomar represalias por la sangre de los
mártires y los heridos. En una declaración de las Brigadas Al-Qassam, se rindió homenaje a los
mártires de la mezquita y se juró tomar represalias frente al ocupante criminal anunciando un
plan en cinco partes para responder en el momento y el lugar oportunos. La primera respuesta
fue el 6 de abril de 1994 en una operación cualitativa que sacudió profundamente a Israel,
especialmente a la ciudad de Afula, operación que fue ejecutada por el mártir suicida palestino
(Istishhady) Raed Zakarneh. A continuación, mientras que el ingeniero Yahya Ayyash estaba
planeando la segunda respuesta, el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ammar Amarneh fue
elegido para ser el héroe de esta represalia y otro atentado cualitativo fue llevado a cabo en la
ciudad de Hadera el 30 de abril de 1994.
La doble operación de martirio ejecutada por Salah Shaker y Anwar Sukar el 22 de enero de
1995 en la ciudad de Netanya constituía una nueva táctica en la aplicación de las siguientes
operaciones de martirio a través de la táctica del doble ataque contra israelíes. El martirio era el
gran sueño de Salah con el que creció día a día cuando veía el odio de Israel derramado sobre su
pueblo, ya que no hay casa en el campamento de Rafah que no haya scarifying un mártir, un
herido o un detenido. Su propia casa tenía su cuota de sufrimiento; él fue testigo de la detención
por parte del ejército israelí de su hermano, el ingeniero Ahmed, para pasar tres años en prisión;
en otra ocasión, vio cómo el ejército detenía a su hermano, el doctor Mahmoud, para pasar un
año y medio en la cárcel; él tampoco se libró de la detención o las lesiones. La voluntad de Dios
eligió que el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Salah estuviera el día de la masacre de Al-Aqsa
el 8 de octubre de 1990, pasando su periodo de formación en el Hospital Maqassed de Jerusalén
para tomar parte en los primeros auxilios a los heridos de la masacre, sólo para ver con sus
propios ojos la brutalidad y los nuevos crímenes en la historia de su pueblo. Estos incidentes
hicieron crecer en él la motivación de ser un mártir en venganza por todos los torturados de su
pueblo y para dibujar una breve sonrisa en los rostros de los heridos y damnificados’’. Decía, “El

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único camino para el que busca la inmortalidad es el martirio. Yo digo a los que cayeron detrás y
no trataban de convertirse en mártires si yo y tú no hacemos un sacrificio ¿quién lo hará?’’.
El asesinato del cerebro de las operaciones de martirio, Yahya Ayyash, el 5 de enero de 1996,
dio lugar en Palestina a respuestas que van desde la denuncia, la repulsa y la condena. La gente
salió a las calles en marchas, festivales y manifestaciones pidiendo venganza. Algunos
prefirieron expresar su protesta de una manera diferente traduciéndola en operaciones,
inmolándose en un autobús atestado de gente en el corazón de Israel. En el momento en que
miles de mujeres, niños y jóvenes lloraban de rabia por el asesinato de Yahya Ayyash, el
ingeniero Hasan Salameh, oriundo de Gaza, limpiaba su frente sudada terminando de preparar y
colocar los dos cinturones de explosivos que llevarían los dos mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) Ibrahim Sarahneh y Majdi Abu Warda, en la doble operación de martirio, el 25 de
febrero de 1996 en Ashkelon y en Jerusalén. Este fue el primer contraataque en venganza por el
asesinato de Ayyash. En cuanto a los dos mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) de los
habitantes del campamento de refugiados de Fawwar, las esperanzas de volver a su lugar de
origen “Ajjur’’ y “Irak Mansheya’’ dentro de la Línea Verde (1948) nunca se fue de sus mentes
y ni la de sus familias, lo que fue un motivo suficiente para que pudieran seguir ellos mismos el
camino de la resistencia, para recuperar sus tierras robadas y vengarse de este tirano enemigo que
hizo de sus familias personas sin hogar, asentándose en sus tierras en lugar de ellos. La segunda
respuesta fue llevada a cabo por el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Raed Shaghnobi, oriundo
de Burqa, al norte de Nablus, para la operación de Jerusalén el 3 de marzo de 1996. En cuanto a
la tercera respuesta, fue ejecutada por el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ramiz Obaid, en
una operación de martirio cualitativo en, el 4 de marzo de 1996 en Tel Aviv.
Los ojos del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Suliman Tahayna a menudo se vieron
perturbados por los frecuentes golpes de los soldados israelíes en su puerta, una vez en la
búsqueda y captura de su querido hermano Salih, y otra vez para ser detenido él mismo en
ausencia de su hermano a quien quería y amaba su camino en la cárcel. Después la filosofía de la
cobardía en las fuerzas de ocupación se convierte en algo claro tras el brutal asesinato de su
hermano Salih; entonces él jura la venganza por su hermano, ¿por qué no, si él ve cada día los
crímenes del ocupante que mata, hiere y detiene a sus hermanos y amigos? Finalmente verá la
culminación de esta agresión en su propio cuerpo, cuando dispararon contra él, lo que tuvo como
resultado la amputación de su pierna derecha. Vivió el resto de su vida con una pierna de
plástico. Todo esto le hizo más insistente y determinado en la puesta en marcha de la doble
operación de Jerusalén con su compañero Yousef Izghir el 5 de noviembre de 1998.
“La persona que piensa que la Yihad se ganará sin sangre se desilusionará seguramente’’. Estas
fueron las palabras que el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Mahmoud Marmash escribió antes
de salir de su casa en el barrio oriental de la ciudad de Tulkarem para llevar a cabo la operación
de Netanya el 18 de mayo de 2001. Él escribió en su testamento, “Voy a hacer de mi cuerpo una
bomba que explote en los cuerpos de los sionistas en venganza por cada gota de sangre que cayó
sobre el suelo de la tierra santa, el camino de nuestro profeta Mohammed Que Dios de Paz,
desde el que él ascendió al cielo, en venganza por los hijos de Palestina, sus mujeres, sus
ancianos, sus niños, y en venganza por Iman Hijo que ha sacudido mi corazón, cuerpo y
emociones; esta niña de cuatro meses que fue asesinada por un bombardeo sionista de Khan
Yunis en la franja de Gaza’’.

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Ni las fronteras ni la distancia geográfica impidió que el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady)
Said Al-Hutari viviera el sufrimiento de su pueblo en la diáspora. El vino de Jordania a la ciudad
de Qalqilya al norte de Cisjordania hacia Tel Aviv para llevar a cabo un atentado cualitativo el
primer día de junio de 2001, en represalia por los crímenes diarios de la ocupación contra el
pueblo palestino. Dirigiéndose al pueblo palestino escribió, “Vosotros, los cautivos, vosotros, los
heridos, vosotros, los mártires, vosotras, las viudas, en vuestro nombre yo ofrezco mi alma por la
causa de Dios el Todopoderoso y en venganza por vuestro sufrimiento, dolores y heridas. Voy a
hacer de mi cuerpo astillas y bombas que cacen a los sionistas y quemen sus restos y complazca
a los creyentes con la presente acción’’.
En cuanto a la primera mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya), Wafa Idris, del campamento de
refugiados Amari, ejecutora de la operación de Jerusalén el 27 de enero de 2002, podemos
señalar que ella trabajaba con los servicios de emergencia, en la Sociedad de la Media Luna Roja
Palestina; veía todos los días decenas de heridos palestinos y llevó los cuerpos de los mártires
que fueron asesinados por los soldados de la ocupación. Ella siempre hablaba de la naturaleza de
estas nocivas escenas. En varias ocasiones llegó a la casa llena de tristeza y narró historias sobre
los heridos y los mártires cuyas cabezas y cuerpos habían sido volados por las balas y los obuses
de la ocupación. Esto ejerció una influencia cada vez mayor en ella y la llevó a realizar una
operación de martirio de acuerdo con lo que su hermano Khalil dijo. La última escena sucedió
dos semanas antes de su operación de martirio; ella meció a un muchacho de 15 años, Samir
Kosbeh, quien fue alcanzado en la cabeza por una bala disparada por los soldados israelíes. El
enfrentamiento tuvo justo lugar en las afueras de la sede de Cisjordania del líder palestino Yasser
Arafat. El niño estuvo en coma durante una semana, y luego murió, dos días antes de que Idris se
detonara en su operación de martirio.
El mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Akram Nabtiti ―operación de Jerusalén el 17 de marzo
de 2002― escribió en su testamento como dirigiéndose a los naturales de su país, “La única
razón por la que decidí continuar con este acto de martirio es la venganza de la pura sangre de
nuestro pueblo que se derrama todos los días e incluso cada hora como consecuencia del fuerte
odio de Sharon y el ejército sionista que no tuvieron piedad de nuestras mujeres, ancianos o
niños; es en defensa de nuestro derecho a vivir en libertad y con dignidad en nuestra tierra pura.
Llevo a cabo este acto y estoy plenamente convencido de lo que estoy haciendo. Es la única
opción para poner fin a la humillación y la represión que los aviones, tanques y soldados
practican sobre nuestra tierra’’.
En cuanto al mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Abdel-Basit Odeh, de Tulkarem, ejecutor de la
operación de martirio más grande jamás lanzada contra Israel desde su creación, en Netanya el
27 de marzo de 2002, que dio lugar a la muerte de 29 israelíes e hirió a más de 150, podemos
decir que él no esperó mucho tiempo después de que las fuerzas de ocupación cerraran ante él
todos los medios para llevar a cabo sus planes de futuro. Se le impidió viajar a Irak para casarse
con su novia y tener una familia y disfrutar de la vida. Su operación coincidió con los brutales
crímenes del ejército de ocupación en los territorios palestinos y él fue llamado “El león de la
santa venganza’’.
La familia de la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras, fue arrancada por los
israelíes de su aldea Qatra en 1948; era natural del campamento de refugiados de Dehaisha, el
campamento de los desenraizados y sin hogar; sus habitantes sufren condiciones trágicas. Ella
llevó a cabo la operación de Jerusalén del 29 de marzo de 2002; faltaban tres meses para su

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matrimonio con Shadi Abu Laban, su martirio afectó a ese matrimonio a pesar de los sueños de
la pareja, que ya había decidido el nombre de su primer hijo, ‘’Adi’’. Esta operación se produjo
en respuesta a la matanza israelí del palestino Issa Faraj tras un bombardeo con cohetes junto a
su casa, adyacente a la de Ayat. Ella fue quien lo encontró ahogándose en su sangre y se lo llevó
rápidamente al hospital. Ayat vio a su hija de dos años jugando en la sangre de su padre, tal y
como cuenta su madre, Um Samer. La madre también fue detenida en 1969, siendo la primera
mujer palestina en cautividad, además se detuvo a los hermanos de Ayat, Samer e Ismail, en
varias ocasiones.
Al oír las explosiones de los proyectiles israelíes, el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Jihad
Titi se apresuró el 22 de mayo de 2002 al cementerio del campamento de Balata, en Nablus,
donde encontró el cuerpo de su primo Mahmoud Titi, líder de las Brigadas de Mártires de Aqsa
en Cisjordania y los cuerpos de dos de sus compañeros desgarrados y en pedazos por el ataque
de un tanque israelí contra ellos. No había pasado una semana de este brutal crimen cuando Jihad
llevó a cabo su heroica operación en la ciudad de Tel Aviv el 27 de mayo de 2002.
“El martirio no tiene leyes, no es llevado a cabo por aquellos que son jóvenes o viejos, sino que
debe llevarse a cabo por cualquier musulmán ya sea casado, soltero o muy viejo’’. Estas son las
palabras pronunciadas por el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Rafiq Hammad, un día antes de
su operación de martirio en Tel Aviv el 10 de octubre de 2002; dejó tras él cuatro niños y una
mujer a la que quería muchísimo y de los que no podía estar lejos, sin embargo, la llamada de la
patria y el martirio son más fuerte que las emociones de un padre.
El mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Basem Al-Takruri, de la ciudad de Hebrón, llevó acabo
su operación en Jerusalén el 18 de mayo de 2003. A pesar de sus logros en la escuela y de
obtener un 90% en el examen de bachillerato (Tawjihi) y de haber sido admitido como estudiante
de ingeniería en la Universidad Politécnica de Palestina, que fue cerrada por las fuerzas de
ocupación en varias ocasiones, él eligió ser un mártir. Venía de la ciudad de Hebrón, que padece
el asedio, la tortura y el aislamiento como consecuencia de la presencia de los colonos en su
interior ―el número de éstos oscila entre 300-400 dentro de la ciudad en la que viven más de
150 mil palestinos― junto con el gran número de puestos de control israelíes en la ciudad que
paraliza el movimiento de los ciudadanos.
El padre de la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Hiba Daraghmeh, solía soñar con el día en
que su hija, estudiante de primer año en la Facultad de Artes / Departamento de Inglés en la
Universidad Abierta Al-Quds, obtuviera un doctorado en Literatura Inglesa. Sin embargo, ella
estaba soñando con otro certificado del que el padre no sabía nada. Hiba se vio empujada hacia la
ejecución de su operación de Afula el 19 de mayo de 2003 justo después de haber visto el estado
de destrucción y los daños sufridos en el campamento de Jenin, como resultado de la incursión
israelí.
Dos días después de que el ejército israelí hubiera disparado a un grupo de madres palestinas en
su camino a la mezquita de Beit Hanoun en la franja de Gaza, matando a 50 personas, en su
mayoría mujeres y niños, el mártir suicida Mervat Massoud, de la franja de Gaza, se inmoló
entre las tropas del ejército israelí en Beit Hanoun el 6 de noviembre de 2006. Mervat Massoud
era estudiante en la Universidad Islámica de Gaza. En su vídeo, pidió perdón a sus padres,
diciendo, “Os quiero muchísimo pero amo mucho más a Palestina y a Dios’’.

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Najjar Fatima, la mayor de las mártires suicidas palestinas (57 años), decidió sacrificar su vida
por la liberación del pueblo palestino, el 23 de noviembre de 2006. Ella era madre de 9 hijos y
abuela de 41 niños. Fátima tomó su decisión de llevar a cabo la operación de martirio contra los
ocupantes sionistas dos semanas después del bombardeo israelí en la ciudad de Beit Hanoun en
Gaza, que dejó 19 palestinos muertos, en su mayoría mujeres y niños.
La doble operación de martirio ejecutada por los dos mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin)
Shadi Izughayyar y Mohammed Al-Herbawi, del movimiento Hamas, el 4 de febrero de 2008 en
Dimona, se llevó acabo en respuesta al injusto asedio de la franja de Gaza y en solidaridad con
los palestinos sitiados allí. También sirvió para confirmar la capacidad de la resistencia
encabezada por las Brigadas Ezzedeen Al-Qassam para penetrar en las fortificaciones del
enemigo y para atacar lugares sensibles en el tiempo y el lugar que se decida. Los dos mártires
suicidas aparecieron en una cinta de vídeo y subrayaron que la operación era una continuación
del camino de la Yihad, la resistencia y la venganza por la sangre de los mártires de Gaza.
También destacó que el embargo, el bloqueo y las matanzas traerán más operaciones de martirio.
Las familias de los mártires echaron la culpa plenamente a las autoridades de la ocupación, a las
que consideraron responsables de las razones por las cuales sus hijos llevaron acabo sus
operaciones de martirio. En este sentido, la madre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady)
Abdel-Karim Tahayna ―operación en Afula el 5 de marzo de 2002― apareció en una grabación
besando la foto de su hijo y diciendo, “Sharon y su ejército son responsables de lo que está
sucediendo. Abdel-Karim estaba entre nosotros y solía llorar mucho cuando veía el asesinato de
los niños en Ramallah, Nablus y Jenin; le afectó fuertemente la noticia del bombardeo del
campamento de Jenin. Le oímos decir que era un deber estar con ellos y resistir; que aquello era
improcedente e injusto. Trató de llegar al campamento, pero regresó porque la carretera estaba
cortada. Más tarde su rastro desapareció y no advertimos nada’’.
Haj Abdel-Afu, el padre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ahmed Al-Qawasmeh, ejecutor
de la doble operación de Beersheba el 31 de agosto de 2004, consideró a la ocupación la
responsable de las operaciones de martirio. Explicó que la tierra de Palestina es para el pueblo
palestino y que los judíos vinieron como usurpadores y ocupantes desde de distintos lugares del
mundo para establecer un estado a base de un baño de sangre palestina. Esta es la razón por la
cual todo el pueblo palestino y su hijo Ahmed se apresuraron a realizar esta operación. Y añadió,
“Él se sentía mal por lo que nos están haciendo día y noche es malo y el resto del mundo sólo se
limita a mirar; vio cómo arrancaban árboles, destruían casas y granjas, mataban a mujeres, niños
y ancianos y dejaban a más de siete mil presos morir de hambre. Pensaba que todos éramos el
objetivo. Todo esto debe encender en nosotros el fuego de la represalia y la autodefensa contra
los que llegaron a asesinarnos y matarnos para quedarse con nuestras casas y tierras’’.
El padre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Samer Hammad, que llevó acabo la operación
de Tel Aviv el 17 de abril de 2006, dijo al mismo tiempo que mostraba una mezcla de
sentimientos tristes y alegres que, “Mientras que sufríamos en las cárceles de la ocupación, que
robaron muchos años de mi vida, tuve que enfrentarme a un montón de dificultades para
proporcionar el sustento a mis hijos, sobre todo, cuando la ocupación me impidió trabajar en el
interior de las tierras de 1948; considero la operación de martirio Samir como una obligación por
el bien de la patria, su causa, su gente y una reacción natural a los crímenes diarios de la
ocupación en contra de nosotros. Sin embargo, yo digo que Dios estará satisfecho de él y
aceptará su martirio’’.

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Esa fue la historia; la historia de venganza por la patria, los prisioneros, los heridos, los mártires,
los niños, las mujeres y los líderes. La venganza por la desesperación y la frustración de la
opresiva ocupación israelí, el desempleo y el confinamiento, el encarcelamiento y la tortura, la
desesperanza, el racismo, la discriminación, así como por otras razones. Es la historia de la
resistencia en la cara del ocupante extranjero que robó, mató y desplazó, es la historia de los
mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) que se negaron a subir a los cielos, pero sólo después
de haber pintado con la sangre los capítulos la historia.

Queda por decir que los israelíes han de reconsiderar muy bien sus propias acciones y prácticas,
y consultar los estudios de psicología y los estudios de los centros de investigación en sus
universidades para asegurarse de que el fuerte deseo de los jóvenes palestinos, mujeres y
hombres, de ser mártires fue el resultado de sus prácticas inhumanas, racistas y narcisistas que
sufren los palestinos mismos a través de la deportación, la demolición de viviendas, los
asesinatos, las detenciones, las incursiones, la destrucción de tierras de cultivo, el asedio y el
evitar que los palestinos logren su sustento diario, por hacer todo esto, los israelíes implantan el
odio y se pone de manifiesto que están cosechando lo que siembran.
El estudio mostró que los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) sufrían algunos cambios de
comportamiento, que se notaban en el mártir dos semanas antes de la ejecución de su operación
de martirio de la siguiente manera: escuchaban canciones patrióticas, parecían felices, hablaban
sobre el martirio, hacían como si no tuvieran intención de ser mártires, visitaban más a sus
familiares y amigos, buscaban la intimidad de la familia, pedían el perdón de los demás por
cualquier daño causado por ellos, visitaban con frecuencia las mezquitas y tendían a permanecer
en silencio.
Estos resultados hicieron hincapié en que el proceso de selección es muy complicado, y el mártir
suicida es cuidadosamente preparado antes de que él lleve a cabo la operación de martirio, en
particular en lo que respecta al secreto de la operación, no muestran ninguna evidencia ni la más
mínima intención de llevar a cabo una operación de martirio, sobre todo a familiares y amigos.
El mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) que elige esta vía no espera permiso de uno de los
miembros de su familia o amigos cercanos que no tienen la menor idea acerca de su intención de
convertirse en un mártir.
No le notaron nada, ningún movimiento que pudiera indicar su intención de llevar a cabo tal acto
heroico. Como es habitual, la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Hiba Daraghmeh, tomó su
desayuno diario antes de ir a la universidad; le pidió a su padre un poco de dinero para comprar
ropa, fue a una de las tiendas y compró lo que ella necesitaba. Su madre indicó que Hiba se
marchó de casa a las doce y treinta minutos del mediodía y que le pidió que rezara por su éxito
en su próximo examen. A las cinco y en el mismo día 19 de mayo de 2003, Hiba asestó un fuerte
golpe en la ciudad de Afula. Los amigos de Hiba la conocían como una persona tranquila y de
personalidad fuerte, su única preocupación era el éxito académico. Ellos estaban completamente
sorprendidos por la operación que llevó a cabo.
En cuanto la mujer del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Daoud Abu Sway ―operación en
Jerusalén el 5 de diciembre de 2001― mientras nos describía el tiempo que su marido pasó con
su familia antes de la puesta en marcha de la operación, nos dijo, “Daoud, que Dios le tenga en
su misericordia, era muy discreto, no se podía saber lo que estaba pensando, sin embargo, le
afectaban fuertemente los incidentes, especialmente los mártires; se iba muy a menudo a visitar a

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los mártires en el cementerio de la ciudad. Solíamos verlo sentarse durante mucho rato enfrente
de tumbas de mártires como si les estuviera hablando y escuchando. Ella agregó, “Durante los
últimos días, Daoud me decía que iba a viajar a Arabia Saudí para trabajar allí. Siempre he
discutido con él a fin de conocer las razones de su viaje, especialmente cuando Daoud había
trabajado en sus tierras desde hacía mucho tiempo y no había necesidad de viajar al extranjero.
Después de su martirio, me di cuenta de que mi esposo estaba utilizando esta técnica para cubrir
las actividades de su yihad y su disposición para la operación de martirio que implementó; logró
ocultar todas las pistas, incluso delante de gente muy cercana de la familia y amigos’’.
Um Saleh, la madre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Jihad Titi, se sorprendió al recibir
una llamada telefónica de Jihad media hora antes de llevar a cabo su operación de martirio en Tel
Aviv el 27 de mayo de 2002. Ella le preguntó, ¿dónde estás y cuándo vas a volver a casa? Sin
embargo, Yihad terminó la llamada rápidamente y le dijo, “Madre, perdóname, estoy en un lugar
que no te puedo decir’’.
La madre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Abdel-Muti Shabaneh, ―operación en
Jerusalén el 11 de junio de 2003―, no esperaba que este tranquilo joven haría lo que hizo. Ella
todo el tiempo pensaba que su hijo iba a buscar algunas preguntas de temas en inglés con el fin
de prepararse para la los exámenes del bachillerato (Tawjihi). Insistió en que su madre rezara por
él pidiendo a Dios que tuviera éxito en su próximo examen. Ella agregó, “Me sorprendió cómo
Abdel Muti-pudo llevar a cabo la operación; yo no recuerdo que nunca entrara en Jerusalén más
de una o dos veces en toda su vida. Solía quedarse en casa y en caso de salir sabía a donde iba’’.
Nivin, hermana del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Basem Al-Takruri, ―operación de
Jerusalén el 18 de mayo 2003―, fue sorprendida por el martirio de su hermano y dice, “Él estaba
completamente normal, estaba muy alegre y me di cuenta de que el viernes cantó la canción,
“Oh, mi madre cariñosa, no nos llores’’. Añade: “Después de su martirio, encontramos en su
libro una expresión que decía, “Un saludo ordenado con las balas de la dignidad y gloria’’. Nivin
indicó que se sentía muy triste cuando vio las escenas de los mártires, los heridos, las mujeres y
los ancianos. En este contexto, dijo: “solía sentir que había una revuelta furiosa reprimida dentro
de él’’.
La familia de los dos mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) Ramiz y Ihab Abu Salim,
destacaron que ambos habían llevado una vida normal sin plantear ninguna sospecha, incluso los
de las personas más cercanas a ellos. Sin ningún tipo de confusión, ansiedad, miedo o signos de
miedo, a pesar de que se daban cuenta de que su salida de este mundo estaba muy cerca. El 9 de
septiembre de 2003, el día de la operación, los dos salieron por la mañana en un taxi desde
Rantis al oeste de Ramallah; Ihab fue a su universidad de Birzeit y Ramiz fue a su trabajo en la
escuela Los Países Árabes para Huérfanos en la ciudad de Ram, entre Jerusalén y Ramallah.
Después de terminar en la universidad y el trabajo respectivamente, se reunieron en Ramallah y
cada uno fue hacia su destino en una operación de martirio, Ramiz en Jerusalén, e Ihab en Tel
Aviv.
La madre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Lutfi Abu Saada, ―operación de Netanya el 5
de diciembre de 2005― dice, “Yo no me creo hasta ahora lo que ha ocurrido. Lutfi había
desayunado y dejó la casa a las seis, como de costumbre la salir a su faena en la fábrica de
ladrillos de sus tíos y no me dijo nada; su madre negó saber nada ni tampoco su familia sobre la
intención de su hijo de volarse a sí mismo. Hizo hincapié en que lo ocurrido fue una sorpresa

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para todos, que no mostró ningún signo de llevar una acción al igual a la que había ocurrido en
Netanya y que no lo creyeron hasta que vieron en la televisión a Lutfi llevando un arma y
leyendo su voluntad antes de salir a llevar a cabo la operación’’.
Samir, el hermano del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Sami Antar ―operación de Tel Aviv
el 19 de enero de 2006― subrayó que el martirio de su hermano fue una gran sorpresa para él y
sus amigos. Él vivía una vida completa a su manera. No sólo era estudiante universitario y
empleado a tiempo parcial en la Sociedad de la Media Luna Roja Palestina, sino que también
ayudaba a sus cinco hermanos en su trabajo en el mercado de hortalizas en Nablus durante sus
descansos. En medio de todo esto Samir dijo, “No sabía nada acerca de su intención de llevar a
cabo una operación de martirio, no apreciamos ningún cambio en su estilo de vida. Sin embargo
él estaba haciendo preparativos para el martirio y su paso a los cielos’’.
En el momento en que el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ali Ja'ara apretó el botón para
hacerse estallar a sí mismo en Jerusalén, el 29 de enero de 2004, su padre, al que nunca se le
pasó por la cabeza que su hijo fuera el que llevara a cabo la operación, iba de camino hacia el
campamento de refugiados de Arroub para hacer algunos recados; allí oyó hablar de la operación
y al llegar a casa vio como la gente se apresuraba a felicitarle en el campamento de refugiados de
Aida. Él dijo, “Me sorprendió por la operación pues pensaba que Ali estaba de guardia en la
policía palestina’’. Él recuerda que Ali estaba trabajando en un lugar que no planteaba ninguna
duda que es el Cuerpo de Policía Palestina, lejos de cualquier sospecha del sistema israelí, nunca
había sido detenido antes. A pesar de la operación que llevó a cabo exitosamente, nadie en su
familia había notado nada. En este contexto, su madre dijo, “Era el mes de Ramadán, en el día de
la operación se despertó a las cuatro de la mañana y tomó suhur (comida de noche del Ramadán)
y salió a toda prisa a la mezquita para hace la oración al amanecer (Fajir) luego regresó y se puso
su ropa y dijo que iba a trabajar, no hizo nada sospechoso sino que actuaba con bastante
normalidad, no sabíamos que iba a llevar a cabo su operación de martirio mientras todavía estaba
ayunando’’.
En cambio, no fue inesperado de un joven entusiasta, como Islam Iqtaishat, que llevara a cabo la
operación de Ariel el 12 de agosto de 2003. Él preparó el ambiente dentro de su familia para
recibir la noticia de su martirio en cualquier momento, siempre hablaba con sus hermanos sobre
el martirio y los mártires. Él escribió en el testamento que dejó a su familia antes de llevar a cabo
su operación, “Querido padre: sé que usted sufrirá al perder a uno de sus hijos, pero Khansaa
sacrificó a su hijo y a dos hermanos; padre, no esté triste y levante bien alto la cabeza por lo que
su hijo hizo. Él ha muerto por la causa de Dios el Todopoderoso primero, y en aras de la
liberación de esta tierra bendita’’. Mustafa, su hermano, dijo, “Islam salió como de costumbre en
la madrugada del viernes a fin rezar la oración Fajir en la mezquita, pero no volvió y sólo
supimos de su martirio a través de la radio de Israel’’.
“Cuando escuché la noticia de su martirio no nos sorprendió, esperábamos que esto ocurriera en
cualquier momento durante los últimos cuatro años’’. Esto es lo que el hermano del mártir
Hussein Abu Nasr, ejecutor de la operación del asentamiento de Netzarim en la Franja de Gaza
el 25 de mayo de 2001, dijo. Él dijo también, “Cuando sus amigos, Anwar Shabarawi y Abdallah
Madhoun, fueron martirizados el 1 de abril de 1997, se esperaba que fuera el próximo en breve.
Su hermano añadió que su comportamiento fue como el de los mártires durante un período de
cuatro años: recitaba el Corán, se quedaba rezando hasta muy tarde, hablaba de martirio,
escuchaba las canciones y los himnos nacionales y estrechó las relaciones con su familia. Con

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este propósito él no escatimó esfuerzos en la búsqueda del martirio y explicó que pidió a su
madre que fuera en peregrinación al monte Arafat, en Arabia Saudita, para rezar por él para
llevarlo como un mártir, así lo hizo y esto es lo que había sucedido’’.
Amigos del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Rafiq Hammad, ―operación de Tel Aviv el 10
de octubre de 2002― dicen que su comportamiento antes de su martirio cambió radicalmente,
sobre todo cuando vio las escenas de muerte y masacre contra los palestinos; solía sentirse muy
triste y decía, “La venganza es un deber’’. Él repitió esta frase mucho, pero sus amigos le dijeron
que eran adultos y tenían hijos y esposas, a lo que él solía responder diciendo, “El martirio no
tiene leyes y no se lleva a cabo por un joven o un viejo; es necesario que se lleve a cabo por
cualquier musulmán, ya esté casado, soltero o sea muy viejos’’.
Los resultados evidencian que la mayoría de las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) apoyaron las operaciones de martirio contra la ocupación israelí. A pesar de ello,
la mayoría dice que les habrían detenido si hubieran conocido previamente su intención de
ejecutar una operación de martirio, otros dicen que les hubieran animado para tal acción,
mientras otros afirman que hubieran ido con ellos o en lugar de ellos.
Este resultado tiene sus indicaciones en el plano del espíritu de resistencia y la cultura del
martirio que se extendió fuertemente en el corazón del pueblo palestino; todas las partes
implicadas en lo que está ocurriendo en el territorio palestino tienen que considerar seriamente la
posibilidad de estas indicaciones, especialmente en lo referente al tema de la cultura del martirio
que se ha convertido en parte de la cultura de la sociedad palestina. El entorno palestino está listo
para producir un mayor número de mártires suicidas, ya que los palestinos han llegado a la
conclusión de que se han convertido en el único perdedor, tanto si guardan silencio con respecto
al su sufrimiento de todos los días, como si llevan a cabo una acción militar en contra de
objetivos israelíes.
Um Samir, la primera presa palestina en 1969 y madre de la mártir suicida palestina
(Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras, ―Jerusalén, operación del 29 de marzo de 2002― dice: “Lo que
Ayat hizo es un acto honorable y es la respuesta más satisfactoria a los crímenes diarios de la
ocupación, que van más allá de lo que podríamos describir, ya que nosotros, como palestinos,
sólo tenemos el arma de la bomba humana (Istishhadiyin) que pone en peligro la seguridad de
Israel. Juro que si hubiera sabido que iba a hacer esto, hubiera ido en su lugar; nada se quiere
más que a un hijo’’, y añade: “El mundo entero fue ocupado y obtuvo su libertad excepto
Palestina, la ocupación requiere resistencia. Nosotros, como refugiados, necesitamos una
solución que nos devuelva nuestros derechos; cuando hayamos recuperado nuestros derechos,
nuestra tierra, tengamos un estado, y veamos a nuestros hijos salir de la cárcel, entonces yo iré a
la televisión y a las cadenas que funcionan por satélite a decir que queremos la paz’’. Su hermana
Samah dijo: “Felicidades por su martirio; se lo merece porque ella es valiente; todos somos
proyectos de martirio’’. En cuanto a su novio, Shadi, dijo; “Yo sólo deseaba haberla acompañado
en su heroísmo y haber podido morir juntos; que disfrute de su martirio, yo le pido a Dios
seguirla pronto’’.
El padre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ahmed Al-Qawasmeh, uno de los ejecutores de
la doble operación de Beersheba, el 31 de agosto de 2004, dijo, “Gracias a Dios por todo,
créanme, si Ahmed me hubiera dicho que se iba a volar a sí mismo en Beersheba, le hubiera
dicho que fuera. Lo que ha pasado con mi hijo es lo que estaba destinado para él. Fue destinado a

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ser un mártir de esta manera en este lugar y matar y herir a este número de sionistas; que Dios
tenga piedad de su alma y que le bendiga con el cielo; deseo que todos los mártires procedan de
la familia Al-Qawasmeh. Éste es un honor para nosotros, para Hebrón y para Palestina’’. En
cuanto a la madre de Nasim Al-Jabari, el segundo mártir suicida en la misma operación, ésta dice
con alegría: “Estoy feliz porque Nasim eligió el camino del martirio y la venganza por la muerte
del Jeque Ahmed Yassin, y el Dr. Rantissi y la huelga de prisioneros, gracias a Dios; felicito a
las madres de los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin), especialmente a mi hermana, la
madre del mártir Ahmed Al-Qawasmeh y el deseo que el destino de mis hijos sea como el de mi
hijo Nasim’’ .
Como el padre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Ashraf Al-Asmar, ―doble operación de
Tel Aviv, 21 de octubre 2002― dijo, “Ashraf fue honesto, dedicado y amante de su familia y de
las personas, por lo tanto, no me arrepiento de lo que hizo; escogió el camino del paraíso, y la
bondad de Dios y nadie le odia’’. Su hermana dijo, “Ashraf respondió a la llamada de Al-Aqsa y
de Palestina, que nunca podrá guardar silencio mientras se están matando a pequeños y a
ancianos a sangre fría ante los ojos y los oídos del mundo que es parte de la conspiración’’.
Añadió, “Ashraf es un héroe que deseaba el martirio y Dios se lo otorgó a él, por lo que no
estaremos tristes por él, sino que vamos a estar orgullosos por los siglos’’.
En Jordania, la familia del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Iyad Radad, ―operación de Tel
Aviv del 19 de septiembre de 2002― dijo, “Cuando nos enteramos de que las Brigadas Al-
Qassam habían preparado la operación y nuestro hijo era uno de los ejecutores de la misma, nos
alegramos y lo consideramos como un mártir por la causa de Dios, si Dios quiere nos reuniremos
con él en el paraíso”. Añadieron que el hombre siempre muere. Si quiere realmente morir que
muera en una muerte digna y honorable en lugar de morir como los demás. Los padres de los
mártires expresaron su admiración y su reconocimiento a los héroes de las Brigadas Al-Qassam y
les deseó éxito, prosperidad y progreso. Ellos oraron a Dios para liberar a la patria en manos de
los héroes. Todo el mundo ahora confía en ellos más que en nadie. Las operaciones de martirio
son la única manera de librarse de la ocupación israelí y de recuperar los derechos robados de los
palestinos; su padre deseaba que el pueblo palestino pudiera ser reunido y que eso se lograra para
poder ver Palestina unida antes de morir”.
En cambio, las emociones maternales y la fuerte paternidad aparecieron en algunas familias de
los mártires que se opusieron a lo que sus hijos e hijas hicieron y que intentaron evitar las
operaciones de todas las formas. El padre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Fouad Al-
Hourani, que fue oficial de la Autoridad Nacional Palestina, dijo, “Nunca olvidaré a Fouad
mientras viva; no hay nada más querido que un hijo, si yo hubiera sabido que iba a hacer tal cosa
le habría retenido en la Muqataa' a mi lado, impidiéndole llevar a cabo la operación de Jerusalén
el 9 de marzo de 2002’’.
El padre de la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya), Hiba Daraghmeh, ―operación de Afula el
19 de mayo de 2003― dijo, “No hay ningún padre o madre en el mundo que posea el
sentimiento de paternidad y que arroje a sus hijos al camino de la muerte, ¿cómo no voy a llorar
por mi hija? estaría mintiendo si dijera que quería que ella muriese de esta manera’’. En cuanto a
la madre del mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Mohammed Al-Herbawi ― doble operación en
Dimona, el 4 de febrero de 2008― aún guarda la fotografía de Mohammed en su móvil, y dice,
“Ahora hace un año de su martirio, pero yo todavía huelo su rastro en la casa, su habitación y la
cama que hago como si estuviera durmiendo sobre ella, y en la ropa que dejó, sin embargo, la

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casa se ha quedado callada después de su partida; si yo hubiera sabido que iba a hacer esta
operación, le habría parado dándole píldoras para dormir, un hijo es muy querido sin embargo,
el poder es de Dios’’.
La madre de la mártir suicida palestina (Istishhadiya) Andaleeb Taqatqa, ―operación de
Jerusalén el 12 de abril de 2002― aún vive el enorme impacto de la noticia y se niega a creer la
noticia del martirio de su hija y se cubre de lágrimas en la esperanza de que va estar de vuelta
hoy o mañana. Ella dice, “Si yo hubiera conocido su intención de ser un mártir la habría detenido
por todos los medios’’.
Queda claro a partir de lo arriba mencionado que las familias de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin) implantaron en los corazones de sus hijos el amor a la patria, la resistencia y el
martirio por la causa de la victoria y la continuación de la resistencia para hacer frente a la
agresión de Israel en sus tierras. Sus palabras explican el alcance de la determinación, la fe, la
paciencia en sus corazones, el orgullo, y se jactan de que el acto heroico de sus hijos se ha
llevado a cabo por la causa de Dios y de la patria.
En resumen, los mártires suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) son personas corrientes que, en
primer lugar, no necesitan que nadie declare por ellos. Ellos han elegido su camino a sabiendas,
con firme voluntad y determinación. Esto ha sido alimentado por la injusticia y la persecución de
la ocupación, con la gran motivación de librarse de la ocupación para dibujar así un nuevo mapa
basado en el derecho, la libertad, la justicia y la independencia completa. El pueblo palestino está
ahora convencido de que la opción de la resistencia, incluida la opción de las operaciones de
martirio, es lo mejor, sobre todo cuando no se cosecha nada desde hace quince años en las
negociaciones con los israelíes.
El martirio se ha convertido en una exigencia social fundamental para proteger la existencia del
pueblo palestino y en una demanda estratégica, ya que el único camino para esta protección y
este retorno demandado por los palestinos, tiene lugar, de acuerdo con la experiencia, poniendo
fin a la ocupación solamente por la fuerza. Estas bombas humanas son específicamente un acto
social, ya que cumplen un objetivo social dentro los medios disponibles y en condiciones que al
menos se puede decir son extremadamente difíciles. Sobre esta base, nos encontramos con el
amplio apoyo de este fenómeno entre los jóvenes palestinos que se consideran a sí mismos una
reserva estratégica para las batallas decisivas de la ocupación israelí. Hoy nos encontramos con
que cada joven palestino, ya pertenezca a las facciones islámicas o nacionales o bien con
independencia del fondo dogmático de la facción en el pasado, incluyó en el testamento que iba
a ser a mártir por la causa de Dios y la patria. Es una expresión de la conciencia del pueblo
palestino en el que hay una realidad profundamente arraigada de la naturaleza de la lucha y su
naturaleza con la presencia judía en Palestina; es el tramo racional de la lucha palestina en curso
por más de cien años.
Esta valentía en el sacrificio y este salto cualitativo en el nivel de conciencia de las normas de
lucha son el fruto del martirio y de la cultura que lo nutre de una forma que rompe las barreras
del miedo, la reticencia, la debilidad, elimina la confusión y genera una conciencia madura un
conocimiento del origen de los secretos de la competencia y las normas de lucha contra la
injusticia y originan de una fina de visión de la naturaleza de las cosas; el martirio es un
movimiento intelectual y psicológico antes de ser un movimiento temporal en el campo de
batalla. Los combates de éxito alternante no son sino una traducción práctica de este movimiento

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intelectual y psicológico donde el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) es considerado su
corazón.
Puedo decir que las operaciones de martirio expresan la determinación del pueblo palestino y su
disposición a hacer sacrificios; estas operaciones ponen el interés del país por delante del
individuo, que obtiene su identidad a partir de su disposición de ser un mártir por la causa de
Dios y el país natal, por lo que el suicidio por martirio se convierte en un fenómeno general,
social y cultural, que supera la privacidad del trabajo individual para fundirse en el interior de la
sociedad en su conjunto después de que el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) voluntaria y
deseosamente muestre la determinación de sacrificar su vida por la causa de Dios, el hogar y el
pueblo. Él o ella estará más involucrado en este trabajo que en cualquier otro; sus huellas
vuelven al pueblo en general, que siempre interactúa con su causa, y trae un cambio que hace del
martirio un modelo que no es fácil de entender por los demás. Por lo tanto las operaciones de
martirio se convierten en una poderosa arma que es capaz de cambiar las ecuaciones, las
condiciones y las soluciones.
Los valores éticos, individuales, sociales y nacionales encarnan la imagen realista de la
existencia y de lo que es materialmente logrado en la forma de un cuerpo. Este logro se
transforma en algo falso y frágil cuando está libre de valores. Sobre esta base, el martirio se
convierte en la respuesta natural de los palestinos que poseen este legado de la civilización del
concepto de la controversia de la vida y la muerte. Ellos sienten tal humillación, injusticia y
opresión de los que practican la ocupación en sus tierras. No dejan un espacio para que ellos
vivan en libertad y con dignidad en su país, sobre todo cuando no tienen avances técnicos en
armamento que les permitan defender su existencia frente a las armas avanzadas de Israel. Es
natural que bajo el yugo de las condiciones de aniquilación, el pueblo palestino, que posee este
gran legado de ética, valores culturales y resistencia, recurra a la innovación y el desarrollo de las
diferentes formas de lucha y resistencia que les permita hacer frente a la brutal máquina de
guerra israelí que tiene como objetivo los derechos de los palestinos en su existencia y en el
futuro de sus hijos.
Las operaciones de martirio se han desarrollado en el marco de trabajo de la resistencia palestina
para derrotar a la ocupación. En consecuencia, la estrategia de resistencia se aferra a un título que
indica que mientras haya ocupación habrá resistencia. Esto significa, sencillamente, su
continuidad a largo plazo, además de otras formas de resistencia hasta la expulsión de la
ocupación. Se espera que el pueblo palestino siga intentando inventar nuevas formas y técnicas
de lucha que sean más efectivas que las operaciones de martirio. Es cierto que no van a liberar a
Palestina, sin duda, pero su beneficio básico es que se mantenga el sonido de la resistencia y el
sonido de la cuestión palestina viva en los corazones de los hijos de la nación árabe e islámica,
hasta el momento histórico en el que recuperen lo que fue ocupado de las tierras de Palestina,
además del hecho de herir profundamente el proyecto sionista y retrasar su crecimiento y
expansión en el ámbito árabe e islámico.
Puedo decir que las operaciones de los mártires suicidas palestinos son operaciones de grupo
innovadoras con múltiples fórmulas y niveles. Se trata de la innovación en la acción que los
palestinos desarrollan a través de nuevos medios y técnicas de resistencia que atraen la atención
de todo el mundo en general y de los estudiosos y pensadores, en particular. Es la innovación en
el valor representado, dirigiendo un acto influyente que lleve hacia los logros presentes y futuros
los valores sociales. El pueblo palestino ha establecido a través de su lucha el simbolismo de la

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resistencia y la lucha contra el ocupante en el interior de la conciencia colectiva del mundo, de
hecho, se ha convertido en un ejemplo seguido por los movimientos de liberación globales, es
por primera vez en la historia moderna que la bomba humana se convierte en un fenómeno social
comprensible que se propaga a través de grandes segmentos de todo el pueblo y no sólo a un
puñado de individuos afanados. En Palestina el auto sacrificio ha perdido su distinción y en su
lugar se ha convertido en la expansión natural de la cultura de la resistencia.
El pueblo palestino se ha visto obligada a aprobar las operaciones de martirio con el fin de crear
una equivalencia en la disuasión. La batalla frente a la agresión israelí, que depende de la
supremacía del engranaje y el equipo militar, es desigual. Si el pueblo palestino tuviera un arma
que contrarrestara a la de los israelíes o estuviera cerca de ello, lucharían de manera
convencional. Sin embargo se defienden con los medios de los que disponen. Creo que si la
comunidad internacional fuera justa con los palestinos y frenase la ocupación, no tendríamos
necesidad de llevar a cabo operaciones de martirio. Es irracional pedir al pueblo palestino que
ponga fin a la resistencia y a las operaciones de martirio, si bien está todavía bajo el yugo de la
ocupación israelí. Dentro de este contexto, el mártir suicida palestino (Istishhady) Hisham
Hamad, que atacó el asentamiento de Netzarim en la franja de Gaza el 11 de noviembre de 1994,
escribió en su testamento, “La batalla se impone sobre todos, no esperéis a las puertas del futuro
pues no tendréis nada más que humillación’’.
Es cierto que el pueblo palestino no puede estar de brazos cruzados ¿pero no puede hacer nada
frente a los crímenes de la ocupación más que dar la espalda en señal de rendición? ¿Si este no es
el momento de una respuesta a la ocupación, las masacres y los baños de sangre, cuando será? La
autodefensa es parte del carácter y la condición humana. Cualquier persona que repase la historia
del mundo encontrará que la respuesta a la agresión en todas las formas de resistencia es un
fenómeno histórico subjetivo que no se refiere a un pueblo en concreto.
En consecuencia, la resistencia del pueblo palestino contra la ocupación se considera una
respuesta natural. Las operaciones de martirio son un medio de resistencia legítima; los mártires
suicidas palestinos (Istishhadiyin) no llegan de manera arbitraria, de hecho, las condiciones de la
ocupación son la razón de que se den este tipo de operaciones. Por lo tanto ¿no es ilógico culpar
al pueblo palestino cuando son víctimas de lo que les están haciendo? Se trata de defenderse. El
agresor es el que tiene que ser culpado. Es el derecho de la población ocupada, en todas las leyes
y jurisdicciones, celestiales o terrenales, a defenderse. A la luz del presente estudio y su debate,
recomiendo lo siguiente:
1. Estudiar los impactos de las operaciones de los mártires suicidas en sus familias a través de
pruebas post traumatismo.
2. Disponer de un estudio analítico de los testamentos de los mártires suicidas palestinos
(Istishhadiyin).
3. Disponer de una encuesta de estudio de las operaciones de los mártires suicidas palestinos en
relación con los enfrentamientos armados.
4. Traducir el estudio actual en lengua árabe, así como otros, para que sean publicados en un
libro, debido a la importancia del tema de los mártires suicidas (Istishhadiyin) en esta etapa de la
lucha nacional palestina.

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1. Chapter One: Literature Review
1.1 Introduction
Self sacrifice is not a new term in the history of humanity; it received a large scale attention from
thinkers and scholars in the field of human, social and psychological sciences. This self sacrifice
was expressed by causes and motives which were connected with intellectuals and interpretations
of scientists who attempted to present explanations to this perplexing phenomenon; however, it
was connected with certain elements linked with limited aspects mainly: biological,
environmental, psychological and religious.
Durkheim is considered the first sociologist who addressed the phenomenon from a social
objective aspect. In his explanations, he presented social and cultural facts supported by
systematic percentages and statistics that proved the wrong conclusions of previous studies
which tried to connect between this phenomenon and the psychological disease, climate or
biological symptoms or ethnic ones. Durkheim explained the causes of this phenomenon and its
relationship with the social, cultural and ethical changes which the European society underwent
in the period of Industrialization stage and post Industrialization stage (Said et al., 1987; Reuter,
2004).
In his address of the concept of suicide, Durkheim explains the cultural and social reasons linked
with collective mentality of the societies which did not experience the stage of Industrialization
in which social solidarity constitutes an incubator for the steadfastness of society and its
preservation for the sake of stability especially in relation with the encounter of the enemies.
This is what pushed him to consider suicide for the sake of preserving the group and defending it
as another kind of suicide which he called "Altruism Suicide" (Taylor, 1982).
We can say that Durkheim relied in his interpretations of the phenomenon of suicide on the
cultural and social aspects, but he neglected the psychological, economic and political factors
since he believed that the social phenomenon has to be explained from a social perspective only.
This incompetence is incapable of providing explanations to societies which did not experience
the cultural, economic and political conditions which the European society experienced in terms
of political and economic stability especially those communities which are still under the yoke of
occupation; therefore, the factors and reasons that cross ones mind are accumulating since one
factor is incapable of providing a clear picture of this phenomenon.
“Istishhad” Martyrdom is a Palestinian term introduced into the political dictionary to describe
the case of self sacrifice for the sake of others in their struggle with the occupier. In spite of the
religious significances for this term which are taken from the Islamic religion, the factions of the
Palestinian society worked on nationalizing this term to include both religious and non religious
Muslims and Christians. This martyrdom constituted a social value that brought fourth
appreciation and respect to the martyr and his family. Self-scarifying for the sake of the group is
a term expressed by Palestinians through the “Istishhady” (Suicide Martyr) which has religious
and popular significances given to the person who, with premeditation and full conscious, makes
a decisive decision to sacrifice himself and blow it up to inflict losses in the ranks of the Israeli
occupation.

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The issue of martyrdom has preoccupied scholars especially philosophers, jurists, researchers,
sociologists and psychologists. Each party started to research this phenomenon due to the big
controversy it caused following the increase in the number of martyrdom operations in different
areas in the world in general and the Palestinian society in particular. The researcher refers this
to the fact that the bulk of contradictions and variables which the Palestinian Israeli conflict
witnesses and the scales of regional and international forces involved in the political settlements
or conflicts are huge. Since the beginning of the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the Palestinian
people have always been fighting and resisting. This resistance has developed over sixty years of
struggle and ended with different techniques and methods until a new model of Palestinian
resistance has emerged in the first half of the nineties called “Martyrdom Operations”. At the
beginning, these operations used to be individualistic and soon they increased with the start of
the Aqsa Uprising in September 2000 in a very noticeable manner. It became a general
phenomenon spread among the different sectors, groups and social classes of the Palestinian
people. This caught the attention of officials and interested parties since it became a phenomenon
that cannot be ignored but should be studied by following a scientific approach.
The Palestinian revolution since its first spark passed through several historical stages. Even at
the peak of its might on the Jordanian and Lebanese arenas, we did not notice this large number
of martyrdom operations but only on the internal arena in the Palestinian territories. Perhaps this
stems from the uniqueness of this arena in which the Israeli occupation enjoys an element of
supremacy in all fields. The Palestinian element on the other hand is barehanded and only
possesses the “Self intelligent bomb”, in martyrdom operations, which was able to destroy the
bases of the theory of the balance of powers according to the view of the military analyst in the
Israeli newspaper Haaretz Ze'ev Schiff (Haaretz, 9/8/2002). The study of the martyrdom
phenomenon is a Palestinian demand before any other thing. It is also considered a contribution
to reach a unified Palestinian vision as much as possible regarding the ways of Palestinian
struggle and resistance. Before indulging into the Palestinian martyrdom operations and
understanding them, we should look at the roots of the Palestinian society which has been under
the yoke of the Israeli occupation since 1948, with its various systems: social structure,
Palestinian personality, economical system, political and the cultural system, in addition, to the
Palestinian reality these days.

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1.2 Social Structure in the Palestinian Society
A study of the social structure of any society is an essential access to the study of that society. In
order to understand the Palestinian social structure, we have to speak first about the local social
organizations of the Palestinian society (substructures) which are represented by Family, Village
and Palestinian Camp.
The Palestinian family has played a role and is still playing a distinctive role in the preservation
of the social, cultural, political and economic identity of the general Palestinian society
especially if we look at the difficult conditions and the huge events that the Palestinian society
has been exposed to since more than 60 years and even before. It had a direct effect on the
Palestinian family and its members.
The Palestinian family is distinguished by essential characteristics; they are derived from the
Palestinian environment in principle and from the difficult Palestinian experience in the
compulsory factors of change from outside since:
1. About 80% of the Palestinian people until the year 1948 were living in rural areas; this
means that the Palestinian family depended for its survival on land and raising cattle.
2. The family concentration on the land means that there are face to face social relationships
among individuals; they focus on the father and kinship based on blood bond. These
relationships are managed by cooperative social processes whose main function is to
preserve the family and its center in addition to carrying out its multi functions towards
the individuals and the society. Besides, the social activities, roles and centers of the
Palestinian family are derived from the land; thus, they closely link the Palestinian
culture and its different patterns with the land. The size, value, and standards of the
Palestinian family depend on the land it owns or works on; we are talking about three
forms for the Palestinian family: Extended family, Nucleus family and Average Size
family.
3. The Palestinian family has suddenly changed in terms of its structure and size as a result
of the compulsory factors which continued to accumulate following the First World War
and exploded in the year 1948 in the forms of collective compulsory expulsion of the
Palestinian family at the hands of the Zionist gangs; about two million Palestinians from
the Palestinian cities, villages, and nomads were displaced and the social structure of
the Palestinian concentrations was completely destroyed and they were dispersed in the
Arab and international Diaspora. The Palestinian family was exposed to another
compulsory shock in 1967. More than 300.000 Palestinians were dispersed in the
Diaspora and half of the lands of the West Bank and Gaza Strip were confiscated by the
Israelis (Sayegh, 1983; Thorpe, 1984; Kana’na, 2000).
The Palestinian family has six standards that define it: it is expanded, patriarchal in kinship,
patriarchal in distance, patriarchal in residence, polygamous, depends on very closed marriage.
The expanded Palestinian family depends on three or four generations in which its members live
as one economic unit, share income and life expenses; authority is in the hand of the father of the
family; it is patriarchal in kinship because lineage always refers to the father. Patriarchal in
relatives since the official relation is determined through the father. It is patriarchal in residence

76
since when the woman gets married, she leaves her father’s house and moves to live in her
husband’s; the family depends on very closed marriage and allows polygamy under certain
conditions and Sharia conditions (Muhawi & Kana’na, 2001: 20).
Our knowledge of the way authority is distributed in the society helps us to realize the social
position of the woman in the Palestinian family; authority leads to the individual in accordance
with three criteria: gender, age and rank inside the family. The three criteria apply on the father
or grandfather of the family; his authority is almost absolute on every member of the family
while the woman does not benefit from the criteria of age and rank. In accordance of her rank,
the wife of the main father practices her authority on all women in the family (Muhawi &
Kana’na, 2001: 26).
As for the father son relationship, it is the dogmatic relationship of the entire familial system; it
is based on the strong bond which the society shows through its absolute obedience to the will of
the father. The ideal son rarely refuses his father’s will on the family; the society praises the son
who announces his allegiance and obedience to his father in all what he does. As for the father
daughter relationship, it is very significant in the family hierarchy since the father is the only one
who enjoys the right of consent to his daughter’s marriage; thus, he establishes the grounds for
another relationship. The affiliation and belonging of the girl remains towards her father’s
family. The wife only carries the family name of her husband after marriage. Thus the
responsibility for the girl falls on the fathers and brothers as long as she lives whether she was
married and moved to her husband’s house or stayed at her father’s house (Muhawi & Kana’na,
2001: 28).
The relationship between the mother and her sons is based on gentleness and love; the same
applies to the relationship between the brothers and sisters. It is usually close and kind. Family
solidarity is often considered one of the main features of the Palestinian family where the child is
raised on family solidarity at different levels including responsibility for children care and
guidance. The father, mother, brothers and sisters, some aunts, uncles, and cousins take part in
this. The Palestinian family is led in most of its economic and social activities by the father;
important decisions that influence the total life style of the members are left for him. As for the
mother, her role will be complementary like giving advise to her husband whenever he needs it.
The process of socialization in the Palestinian society is based on religious education and
teachings of the Islamic religion. The majority of the Palestinian people are Muslims; the
teachings of Islam influence the daily, social and cultural life of the child; consequently, it
influences his struggle life, so it implants into the children the meanings of heroic sacrifice and
grows with them since early childhood. It is reinforced by the bitter and daily occupation crimes
against the Palestinian people. As any Arab society, the Palestinian family socialization process
is characterized for being patriarchal in relation to the process of differentiation between males
and females in the directions they receive according to gender. Separation between the two
genders starts at a very early age in the individual’s life. Boys are raised in the men’s world
while the girls are raised in the women’s. This distinction spreads to several educational, moral,
aesthetic, intellectual, philosophical and even practical atmospheres. It is clear that guidance of
the males is geared towards confirmation of manhood, bravery, chivalry, courage, eloquence and
stamina while the girls are geared towards feminism, decency, chastity, love of children, home
economics and stability (Muhawi & Kana’na, 2001; Lachkar, 2002).

77
Another feature of the Palestinian social socialization is the highlighting of duties more than of
rights; the Palestinian family and the educational systems stress raising the members to qualify
them for making sacrifices and offering more services than obtaining rights and gains. If we go
deep into the behavior of the original Palestinian personality which represents the outcome of
this type of education, it will become clear to us the extent of its interest in its duties towards
others and its keenness on preserving its social reputation and bonds to those who care about
those duties.
What has accompanied the targeted aggression towards the Palestinian society aimed at
destroying its social structure and economic, cultural, political and social systems through
violence, deprivation of means of living, and immigration. This is reflected directly on the
Palestinian family in terms of its structure and relationships between its members, size,
concentrations and other psychological and cultural influences which put burdens and economic,
social and political functions on the shoulders of the Palestinian family; it held it responsible for
giving the reference framework, preserver of values and executor of criteria regarding the
behavior and belongingness of its members. This resulted in the establishment of a special
relationship between the members of the family which was developed within the framework of
the ethical bond with the family which had persisted in spite of the difficulties in the social
geographical distance of the family, and interruption of the social duration into individual’s
behavioral patterns towards other individuals in the family in relation to: care of the old and
young, education and learning, financial support regardless of distance between members and
connection with all available means in spite of distance, homelessness and displacement
(Sayegh. 1983).
If the Palestinian family is the basic unit of the social system, then the Palestinian village is the
first unit in the social structure since it includes the family with its stretched relationships outside
the family along with the emerging culture, economics and politics as a result of this interaction.
The Palestinian village is a population cluster that is influenced by the physical, geographic and
social environment of the place it was established in. The Palestinian village almost became a
semi detached administrative, political, social, cultural and economic unit from the Palestinian
Bedouins and cities. It caters for its own self production and consumption. The villagers depend
in their life in principle on land property, work in agriculture and raise of cattle. A group of
individuals and families who belong to the same father reside in the village. The clan or curia
constitute several curia linked by the same father especially when they are linked by special
relationships based on blood and kinship bonds (Arraf, 1985).
Following the year 1948, entire villages were eradicated and lost any kind of population cluster;
it had disappeared as a social and cultural system linked to a specific time and place; Israel has
destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages and cities and totally wiped them out. It prevented the
development of what is left. However the essentials of cooperation between the clans and
families of the village to encounter the suppression and persecution they had experienced, made
it important to make the village unified in its structure; this has represented by time the social
belonging to the family and an almost complete allegiance to the village. This has led to the
peasants’ resistance in the 1936 Palestinian revolution; thus, the village was involved into the
revolution of 1965 and subsequent revolutions.
The Palestinian Bedouins had the same particularly distinguished Palestinian experience since
the end of the Ottoman regime following the First World War passing through the British

78
Mandate era until 1948 and post 1967. The Palestinian Bedouins come in terms of size of
population cluster after the rural family in the village in the same place and time; the Palestinian
Bedouins depend in their living on raising cattle in principle and the Bedouin clans are in
constant traveling (Budairi et al., 1990).
As for the Palestinian camp, it does not basically involve the structure of the Palestinian society
since it's a foreign and urgent body to the social structure and the cultural and political systems
of the Palestinian society. The camp is an expression that represents the urgent Palestinian
concentrations through compulsory Diaspora which the Palestinian 1948 and post 1967 war were
exposed to. The Palestinian Diaspora was the social, economic and cultural condition of place
and time resulting from the immigration of more than one million Palestinians from their
Palestinian cities, villages and Bedouins sites. Based on this incident which was later called
Nakba, the terms of Diaspora sociology entered into the dictionary of the Palestinian life and
formulated it in its present condition.
The refugee is any Palestinian expelled from his natural place of residence in Palestine for the
year 1948, later or departed from it for any reason but Israel did not permit him/her to return to
his/her original home. Palestinian refugees are distributed into 59 official camps; 19 are in the
West Bank, 8 in Gaza Strip, 10 Jordan, 10 in Syria in addition to 12 in Lebanon; the rest are in
the Arab Diaspora in the Arab countries outside camps and in the international Diaspora i.e.
outside the limits of the Arab World in the two Americas, Australia and other countries; it is
estimated that the number of Palestinian refugees today is more than five millions (Banat, 2002:
46).
The Palestinian camps were established in the year 1949 by the UNRWA; ever since their
establishment and until present time the camp is entirely subject to the monitor and supervision
of the UNRWA; it seeks to provide the basic needs for the residents whether health, education,
and in kind as much as possible. The majority of the camp residents are living in small size
houses that do not exceed 50 square meters at a rate of two to three rooms for one family; these
houses belong to the UNRWA in the first place; the population density in the camp is very high
in light of the ever increasing number of newborns (Banat, 2002).
The majority of the camp residents work outside the camp, and this constitutes a basic source of
income after they were displaced leaving their main source of income in 1948. As for the
administration of the camp, it is under the supervision of the UNRWA which appoints a director
to the camp who carries a refugee card. The director is responsible for running the affairs of the
camp like distribution of allowances, aids, registration of new born babies, supervision of the
different facilities in the camp like schools, clinics and centers (Budairi et al., 1990).
As for the infrastructure of the camps, there are water and electricity networks; the sewerage
network was recently connected to different parts of the camp. There is also a telephone network
inside the camp but it does not cover all the areas inside it. There are a number of centers and
facilities which offer services to the residents and meet their essential needs. In the camp, there
are two schools one for boys and the other for girls; both are for the preparatory stage. There are
also mosques in the camp, kindergartens, UNRWA clinic. Warm and close social relationships
are spread in the camp and they are based on love, cooperation and common target of the camp
residents and the entire Palestinian people. This was reinforced due to the experience of different
persecution conditions since 1948 and the existence of a high rate of intellectuals in the camp

79
who hold different academic degrees in different specializations. There is distinguished young
leadership who considers the interest of the camp in particular and the homeland in general as
their first priority. Since the Palestinian Nakba until this present day, the sons of the camps are
still holding the torch of national struggle following the path of their fathers and forefathers until
the liberation of the entire soil of the homeland and their return to the land they used to live in
prior to the year 1948. The culmination of this national struggle of the camp residents was in the
fall of several martyrs and suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) from all national and Islamic factions
and organizations (Budairi et al., 1990; Banat, 2002).
The Diaspora experience had unforgettable impacts on the Palestinian social structure as follows:
1. Immigration and humiliation: There was a loss of land and source of income; there is
cold and scarcity of food; search for relatives; grief over martyrs; living in camps or in
the open; charities from others and their pathetic looks. All of these along with other
accompanying experiences had shocking experiences that are unerasable. A wound that
would never heal; they will be passed from one generation to another until they return.
2. The special peasant make up and the Bedouin (nomad) and city in general according to
its environmental and cultural formation came from the land; thus, displacement and
uprooting has become fatal, loss or burial; if it were not for the family bonds, Islamic
religious values which call for patience and supplication to God since He is the source of
conciliation to what the Palestinians were able to bear the dissolution of the self and
deterioration of the structure, humiliation, and cruelty they were exposed to (Sayegh,
1983).
3. Palestinians resorted to education and stronger family bonds; they have also sought to
regain their peasant experience, so they designed the camp in the shape of a village that
they were forced to leave whether in terms of construction or social structure; however, a
number of changes have taken place like: change in the class structure in the ranks and
roles and the social status, social isolation, family disintegration, and Israeli political
persecution. All of this had the largest role in the outbreak of mechanisms of resistance,
self defense, sacrifice, value of martyrdom, martyrs and struggle for the regain of land,
honor and dignity.
In spite of the uproot and quick change in the structure of the Palestinian society, it remained a
united society from the social aspect in terms of its economic, cultural, social and political
systems within the frame of a structural image of the society along with leaving the village in the
form of a spiritual eagerness and homesickness which fills the souls, the hearts and behaviors of
every Palestinian member and family. This has helped in the rise of the resistance in all its
military, political, social and intellectual forms.

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1.2.1 Palestinian Social Structure during the Ottoman Regime (1917)
Until the year 1917, the Palestinian social structure started to formulate the image of the
hierarchal feudalism with simple changes dictated by the Ottoman reformation plan in the final
years of the age of the empire called “Tanthimat”; these “Tanthimat” replaced heads of clans by
notables and proprietors of lands in Palestine; following the British occupation of Palestine the
Palestinian social structure was as follows:
1. The Ottoman ruler “Wali”, his assistants, from the army and Turkish employees.
2. Supervision – they played a role in Palestinian economy and politics; they inherited
their roles and positions by birth; they do not pay taxes, have military exemption and
special financial privileges because they control high religious positions.
3. Families Proprietors of Lands: They own vast areas of rich Palestinian lands. They live
in cities and lease the lands so that peasants work in them.
4. Businessmen and Traders in cities: They are the Palestinian Bourgeois class who
benefited from creeping civilization, relative industrialization, and advancement of
transportation towards late stages of the Ottoman Empire; the majority were Christians
and they included a considerable percentage of Muslims.
5. Handcrafters: This was the traditional production class at the time of the Ottomans;
they depend on the system of enclosed professional families and keep the secrets of
their vocation inside the group.
6. Labor class: This class was small in number and they started to formulate during the
British mandate era as a result of commercial and production exchange.
7. Peasants: It constituted a percentage of 80% of the population; it suffered from poverty
and persecution, payment of several taxes; their ownership of lands was very little;
there was a noticeable difference between them and city dwellers at the economic,
educational and cultural levels (Smith, 1984).
During the era of the British Mandate on Palestine, the Palestinian social structure accompanied
a number of changes represented in the transformation of the Palestinian society into a labor
class society. Based on Balfour Declaration in 1917, British Mandate and the Palestinian
Peasants Revolution in 1936, Britain had placed Palestine under social, political and economic
conditions that facilitated the establishment of a national homeland to immigrating Jewish
settlers to Palestine through:
1. Transfer of state owned lands and facilitation of sale and confiscation of lands to transfer
it from Palestinian peasants to Jewish settlers.
2. Imposition of restrictions on Palestinian expansion in the areas of construction,
education, industry, and agriculture. Deprivation of the society of political expression in
administration and right to self determination of the Palestinian people in return for
offering all facilities to the Jewish agency to lay the foundations for the Jewish settlers’
society and the denial of the Palestinian nationality.

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3. Work on the increase of the number of Jewish immigrants at a great level by all means
both legitimate and illegitimate and expulsion of Palestinian residents and peasants to
cities by force.
4. Britain with the help of the Jewish settlers’ community had expelled Palestinians and
declared the state of the Jews; then, it withdrew from Palestine and left the residents
exposed to the cruelty of the Zionist gangs which carried out a process of evacuation
towards the middle of the 1948.
5. The fate of the Palestinian question was transferred into non Palestinian hands due to the
interference of the Arab countries and the United Nations in the Palestinian question.
This had influenced the Palestinian political leadership and caused its failure to achieve
any of the aims of the Palestinian people; this has contributed to the abortion of the 1936
revolution.
6. Britain has contributed to the establishment of a Palestinian Bourgeois class associated
with it and the Arab regimes; it created conflicts among them in the absence a peasant’s
leadership; this conflict escalated until the 1948 war in which the Arabs were defeated
and the state of Israel was declared leading to more expulsion of Palestinians (Smith,
1984; Al-Quds Open University, 2000: 110).

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1.2.2 Palestinian Social Structure Post 1948
Following the expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland, their communities started to be
influenced by the other social structures in the other Arab and non Arab structures like the
Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Arab gulf societies. This was in addition to different
cultures like the European and American cultures. Israel influenced the social structure of the
Palestinian society by canceling and destroying it, these patterns of immigrations won the
Palestinians new skills and roles, adapted traditional roles, informed them of new Arab, local and
international cultures that enriched their experiences; the Palestinian social structure was
influenced by these experiences; the scale of ranks and roles was turned over; new classes and
groups emerged like intellectuals, capitalists, positions of land proprietor families dropped, and
the Nakba experience led to the formation of the collective Palestinian conscience which
increased interaction between the groups of the people causing an emergence of new youth
leaderships.
As for the Palestinian concentrations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they were concentrations
of some sort of social structure that was not cut off from the Palestinian land. It lived under
occupation and it still preserves its daily and actual belonging to the Palestinian land. It has
developed an internal resistance movement that had influenced the course of the Israeli
Palestinian struggle; however, it still suffers from Israeli despotic and capricious measures:
1. Suppression methods like imprisonment, expulsion, arrest, assassinations and collective
punishment.
2. Expulsion and displacement of families and denial of political rights and confiscation of
the Palestinian national identity.
3. Establishment of daily settlements on Palestinian lands.
4. Exploitation of the Palestinian labor force through payment of the lowest wages in the
Israeli labor markets.
5. Obstruction of education, sabotage of economic institutions and increase of economic
dependence and reliance on the Israeli economy (Hirst, 1977; Abu Arafa, 1981; Thorpe,
1984).

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1.3 Palestinian Personality
When we study the Palestinian personality, we have to remember that the Palestinian society is
an integral part of the Muslim Arab society; the Palestinian society shares with the Arab society
its primary personality; the common essential characteristics between the Palestinian and the
Arab are derived from the Islamic Arab cultural system and its implications:
1. The system of Islamic religious values and the matrix of the spiritual and social criteria
scales of what is true and what is false, the philosophy of life and all that is the outcome
of the general cultural common points.
2. The Palestinian social system is an integral part of the larger Arab social system in terms
of the roles, positions, sub concentrations of city, countryside and nomad clusters which
relatively carry the same characteristics.
3. The time and place as two frameworks which shaped the national personality, general
culture and subcultures which have grouped the Palestinian society and the Arab society
in historical, economic, cultural and military experiences (Al-Quds Open University,
2000).
Following the year 1948, the Palestinian society was isolated from the Arab society politically,
economically, socially, and it was placed in a special state in which its development started to
take on different uncontrollable tracks. Distances between the Palestinian society and the Arab
society started to expand due to external colonizers. New and different approaches have
developed within the narrow political and national framework; the Palestinians started to suffer
from the threats of destruction and premeditated annihilation, cancellation of its national
personality and its social and cultural structure; even the social and cultural particulars of the
Palestinian society have deepened causing the Palestinian personality to grow within its own
experience (Abu Injela, 1996).
In light of what the Palestinian society starting from its smallest social structure units like the
family, the Bedouins, the village, and the city was exposed to, it was forced to adopt new types
of socialization which all aimed at the preservation of the surviving Palestinian identity
politically, socially and culturally. It also aimed at implanting inside the hearts of the coming
generations the values and criteria which are capable of implementing these missions on top of
them is the revolutionary one which is to liberate Palestine.
When talking about the structure of the Palestinian personality, we find that there are differences
between the personalities of the members of the Palestinian people. We cannot speak about one
individual personality; however, similarity comes from the same experience which the
Palestinian people had gone through now and then. As for the sub personality in the Palestinian
villages, among bedouins and in cities, there is a striking similarity in the essence and the core
with a slight difference in the individual and small groups’ level in the degree and not in the
kind.
As for the national dimension in the Palestinian personality or the national self, Sayegh (1983)
study asked the camp residents about the reason for their departure from their villages and cities
in 1948 and 1967, the answer was the same in spite of the differences in the way of answer; it is,
“We are Palestinians; we were Palestinians; we are still Palestinians; we will stay like this for

84
ever; we will return to Palestine sooner or later”. This determination means one thing;
Palestinians whether members or society view themselves as meaningless without the national
dimension in their personality.
A review of the size of physical and moral sacrifices which the Palestinian people made in their
attempts to preserve their national personality and belonging to the place and time indicates the
depth of the link between the national personality and the land which is the bone of contention
with the Israeli occupiers. The Palestinians enjoy general characteristics which appear in their
behaviors and actions which enjoy a great deal of steadiness and stability since they are repeated
in different positions; it is considered indicative to a large extent of the Palestinian personality
(Wasfi, 1981; Abu Injela, 1996; Al-Quds Open University, 2000) mainly:
1. Religious characteristic: The Palestinian is religious; his religious passion is considered
very strong; this appears in the official and popular Palestinian legacy; the Palestinian
practices it in the form of worships, feasts and political activities. Since old times,
Palestine is considered the cradle of the three monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity
and Judaism); it hosts several holy places like Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock,
Church of Nativity and other cultural religious landmarks which testify to the religious
practice of the Palestinian saying and action.
2. Sustainability and survival over a long period of time and the gradual change in the place
and time, in spite of the wars and campaigns which Palestine witnessed now and then, the
Palestinian society has continued to exist and continued to be full of residents.
3. Love of land and association with it. The Palestinian peasant loves and cherishes land for
his life and entities are connected with it. When the land was threatened, the Palestinian
was in rage and his life became a chain of rebellions.
4. Offering, giving, redemption, sacrifice and martyrdom. Experience has taught the
Palestinian individual to give and redeem his home and land by his life for the sake of the
country and land. The sacrifices of the young Palestinians were linked with several
characteristics like: rebel, freedom fighter, suicide martyr (Istishhady); these
characteristics became well known internationally and were recognized by both friends
and enemies.
5. Innovation in adaptation with new urgent situations; the Palestinian learnt to adapt with
difficult conditions; he mastered new roles and knew all the secrets around him so as to
adjust very well with his surroundings.
6. Dignity, chastity and preservation of honor. The Palestinian learnt how to respect the
feelings of others and to make sure that his behavior is up the standards and values to win
the respect of others and their appreciation. Following the experience of Diaspora and
deprivation which the Palestinian passed through, he became more sensitive than any
other previous time; we often hear the Palestinians say that dignity is all what is left to us.
7. Belonging to a family and a clan along with veneration of the old and feeling of moral
belonging and oriental commitment towards the family and helping them physically and
morally because the family in the eyes of the Palestinian is home, and home, land and
village are his psychological life, social framework and conscience.

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8. Seriousness, grief, enthusiasm and overwhelming lead to impulsiveness and sacrifice
whether for the sake of homeland or help of a neighbor or a friend.
9. Contradiction. Because of it, the Palestinian finds himself in different situations; he is
before an occupier authority and not a national one. On several occasions, he resorts to
compromise in order to get rid of the different forms which he faces everyday. It is worth
mentioning that Israeli and western researchers associated with the Palestinian
personality a number of negative characteristics which are not based on scientific basis or
academic studies.

1.3.1 Process of Contact and Interaction in the Palestinian Society


The forms of internal contact in the Palestinian society have developed from the face to face
which is distinguished by the relationship which groups the time and place of interaction where
the Palestinian sub clusters in the cities, villages and Bedouins are governed by the fundamental
social relationships before 1948 in light of the nature of the cultural system which imposed itself
at that time. With the coming of the British Mandate and the start of the influx of Jewish settlers
towards Palestine, this face to face pattern started to change to an indirect one in terms of the
medium through which the message travels. This led to the development of advanced means of
communication. However, the British Mandate and its suppressive policy tried to impose its
objectives, significances and purposes on the process of communication among the members of
the Palestinian society by force and suppression until the Nakba in 1948 which had a great effect
on the process of communication as a process of cultural and social interaction (Budairi et al.,
1990).
The emergence of the Jewish settlers society perplexed the process of communication between
the Palestinian concentrations and clusters and disintegrated its elements through interference
into the place, objectives and work with the authorities of the British Mandate as a disturbing
element in the communication process. This has stopped the process of communication making
the place distant and breaking the continuity of time; as a result, the face to face means of
communication became threatened and paralyzed especially when the communication process
was exposed to the aggressive external control; this led to other indirect means of
communication like Arab broadcasting stations, telephone and post.
As for the process of communication between the Palestinian society and other societies, it was
exposed to external control by the authorities of the British Mandate passing through the Jewish
settlement society and ending with the Israeli authorities and its suppressive measures against the
members of the Palestinian people, and it deprived the Palestinian society of its means of
communication with the public due to occupation and suppression. It sought to achieve the
Palestinian national identity in the Palestinian time and the Palestinian place (Budairi et al.,
1990; Al-Quds Open University, 2000).

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1.3.2 Social Organization and Control in the Palestinian Society
As it is already known social control indicates the different processes which aim at making the
behavior of the individuals harmonize with culture of the society. As for social organization, it is
the aim of social control and its purpose; individual and collective objectives are achieved in it; it
prevents deviation from the group; both (Social Organization and Social Control) organize the
relationship between the individual and the group; both prevent conflict; both regain balance in
the society and prevent the social structure from deterioration and disintegration.
Since the year 1917, the Ottoman authority followed by the authority of the British Mandate until
1948, the Zionist movement following 1948 and some Arab regimes practiced processes and
mechanisms of external social control on the Palestinian society in order to have the appropriate
social organizations to fulfill its purposes; the outcome was an on going Palestinian resistance of
the external control processes over the years of the Mandate until the years of the Israelis; the
organization of the Palestinian society was developed in response to internal social control
bodies causing the social organization to emerge in the Palestinian society in spite of the absence
of the national authority from the internal social control which is derived from the social
structure of the Palestinian structure stemming from the values, standards and cultural and social
system of the Palestinian society represented by the school, family, clan, village, rebellion,
national belonging, and encounter of threats which lead to the production of:
1. Preservation of the family and familial relationships as a social organization and social
control body.
2. Preservation of the image of the social structure in spite of the displacement, evacuation,
belonging to land in order to preserve cultural systems and systems of values, standards,
religion and homeland.
3. Development of positive adaptation approaches with the scientific developments, new
roles and benefit from the experiences of other societies.
4. Development of the resistance movement both inside and abroad of Palestine to preserve
national gains, regain of homeland, and entire systems of the society.
5. Benefit from resistance of the external aggression to organize and control the society
from inside (Budairi et al., 1990; Al-Quds Open University, 2000).

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1.4 Economic System in the Palestinian Society
In general, the economic system aims through its different economic patterns to bring about
economic advancement and development, increase individual’s income in average and satisfy the
unlimited desires of the human through exploitation of wealth resources in different countries.
The economic means and systems which the countries follow differ in their achievement of the
sought after objectives. The most internationally common economic systems are: capitalism,
socialism, and Islamic system.
1.4.1 Economic System in the Palestinian Society Pre 1948
We can state that the transformations which started to appear on the economic and social
structure in Palestine since the second half of the nineteenth century were the result of the
Ottoman reformation policy which contributed to the change of the existing economic system in
the Ottoman empire and its orbit Arab states including Palestine from the Islamic system to the
Capitalist system. This has led to the encouragement of the process of penetration of foreign
capitals through the privileges granted to European countries. This led after a while to control of
the European capital over all the large banks in the Ottoman Empire and on a significant portion
of foreign trade, means of transportation including rail routes and ports. The inevitable result for
these developments had led to the creation of transformations in the economic structure inside
Palestine in a manner that serves the penetration of the European capital. This was reflected on
the social and economic reality in Palestine as follows:
1. Dissolve of the system of common land which was spread in Palestine and it was
transferred to the system of private ownership through "Tabu" system; large real estate
has been formed with the introduction of the feudalist system on the Palestinian
countryside; land property was transferred to owners of Tabu holdings from city
dwellers.
2. Transformation of Palestinian farmers to hired labor or shared (allotment) labor.
3. Escalation of conflict between the proprietors, traders and notables.
4. Development of the role of land proprietors and formation of coalitions between them.
5. Concentration of Government and Administration departments in the city.
6. Concentration of the handicraft and industrial activity in the city (Budairi et al., 1990; Al-
Quds Open University, 2000).
The processes of land transformation to private property have continued; this phenomenon
increased the ability of the Zionist establishments to purchase lands especially from main
absentee landlords; this led to deterioration of traditional agriculture in Palestine; many desolate
peasants who did not have a land were forced to immigrate to the city in search of work and a
source of income after the policy followed by the Jewish settlements which is known by
“Judization of Labor” i.e. employment of Jewish labor and boycott of Palestinian labor was
enforced; this constituted a start to the organized immigration of the Jews to Palestine (Sayegh,
1983).

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1.4.2 Economic System in the Palestinian Society 1948-1967
In this period, the West Bank was annexed to East Bank and the Jordanian regime while Gaza
Strip was annexed to Egypt. As a result, the Palestinian society was influenced by the economic
policies of these two different states. As for the West Bank, the rise of the State of Israel has led
to radical changes in the economic relationships inside it; it was isolated from its main
commercial and industrial centers which used to be the basic market for its agricultural products.
It also lost its outlet in the ports of the Mediterranean; it was totally isolated from the rest of the
Palestinian territories; the influx of the refugees from the occupied Palestine in 1948 had
increased the economic difficulties of the West Bank and contributed to a sharp increase in
unemployment rates.
The economic activity of the West Bank was influenced by the economic and political situation
in Jordan; the Palestinian economy was directly influenced by the disfigured economic structure
of the Jordanian economy on one hand and the biased economic policy towards the East Bank
(Jordan) which the Jordanian government followed on the other hand. This policy was translated
in the concentration of productive projects in Jordan, exploitation of the West Bank productive
potentials, and attraction of Palestinian Labor. The Jordanian economic policy had also
influenced the economic sectors in the West Bank as its economy remained as a backward
economy until 1967 in general and it was characterized as a large agricultural sector, a weak
industrial sector and a continuous deficit in the trade balance. The Palestinian economy used to
depend in the first place on import of industrial goods; this was reflected on the low living
standard in the West Bank. Statistics regarding that period indicate that the services sector
contributed about 56% of the total gross local produce. The agricultural sector contributed about
27% while the contribution of the industrial sector was below 9%; the sector of construction and
building was about 6.4% while electricity, water and gas about 1.5% (Hilal, 1974; Saleh, 1988;
Mansour, 1989).
As for the Gaza Strip, the agreement signed between Egypt and Israel in 1948 acknowledged that
Gaza Strip is a separate unit under the supervision of the Egyptian government; the Strip became
a separate unit from the rest of Palestine; the Egyptians ran the Strip as an independent unit. The
Egyptian regime then was characterized by having an imbalance between the abundance of
human resources and scarcity of raw material. Moreover the infrastructure was very fragile, since
there was not a real market; thus, immigration abroad was encouraged and the different
economic sectors suffered at varying degrees from this situation (Abu Amr, 1989; Budairi et al.,
1990).
As for the agricultural sector, it constituted the main economic activity in the economy of the
Gaza Strip and it contributed during that period by about 7% of the gross local income; citrus
trees were the main produce. The area of citrus trees lands before the Israeli occupation of the
Gaza Strip reached in 1967 about 68 thousand dunums. As for the industrial sector, it consisted
of small industrial workshops owned by some families and they were targeted to meet the local
every day needs. The contribution of the industrial sector in the year 1966 reached about 4%
only of the gross production of the Strip; trade enjoyed a great importance in the economy of the
Gaza Strip; citrus and agricultural products were the main exports of the Strip (Budairi et al.,
1990; Al-Quds Open University, 2000).

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1.4.3 Economic System in the Palestinian Society Post 1967
In the first period which followed the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in June
1967, there was not a clear cut economic policy due to Israel preoccupation with security and
political matters resulting from occupation. Later on, in order to guarantee the Palestinian
economy dependence on the Israeli economy, Israel made several political and economic
measures through military orders which made it easy for the Israeli economy to exploit the
available resources of the Palestinians. It contributed to the deformation of the Palestinian
economy and reduction in its development resources like: confiscation of a significant portion of
water resources and a large area of agricultural land, closure of Arab banks working in Palestine
and opening of Israeli banks in Palestine, collection of unjust taxes, attraction of Palestinian
Labor and exploit it in Israeli labor market, control of local markets; obstruction of export, and
drop of governmental expenditure on economic sectors (Alawneh, 1989; Budairi et al., 1990).
The previous procedures had gradually led to the obstruction of the economic development in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip and deepened the dependency of the Palestinian economy on the
Israeli economy; this had devastating effects on the different sectors of the Palestinian economy
as follows:
In the agricultural sector, Israelis confiscation of 52% of the lands in the West Bank and 33% of
the lands of the Gaza Strip in addition to confiscation of 85% of the Palestinian water has
contributed to: drop in areas of agricultural lands; drop in labor force in this agricultural sector;
absence of raw agricultural materials; unavailability of agricultural loans institutions, and
collapse in food production with its two parts: animal and plant. This has lead to a drop in the
percentage of self satisfaction of basic food products in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Al-Quds
Open University, 2000: 159).
The contribution of the Industrial sector in the formation of the national income remained steady
within boundaries of 5% in the West Bank and 7% in Gaza Strip. This indicates the marginality
of this sector in the Palestinian economy as a result of the decline in the production of industrial
branches depending on local raw materials like food industries, wood, other traditional industries
and the increase in the productivity of industries that rely on import of raw materials from Israel
like construction materials, shoes manufacture, textile and fabrics which are working for Israeli
factories. This led to the drop in the contribution of the industrial sector to employment of local
laborers (Abdel Razzaq, 1991).
As for the commercial sector, Israelis had applied right from the beginning the theory of unequal
commercial exchange in their commercial relationships with the occupied Palestinian territories
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through flooding the Palestinian markets with Israeli goods and
banning any Palestinian exports to it and to international markets as well. This had a negative
impact on the Palestinian commercial sector in terms of decline of the role of internal trade as a
result of the shrinking of local markets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and their inability to
accommodate national products due to the policy of closure, Israeli competition and absence of
relative balance between supply and demand. The negative influence of external trade had
increased on the Palestinian economy and tightened its dependency on the Israeli economy in
addition to a drop in the percentage of coverage of exports and imports and increase of deficit in
the Palestinian commercial balance (Budairi et al., 1990).

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Regarding the Palestinian economic system recent studies addressed the effects of the Palestinian
economic dependency on the Israeli economy, the latest was one done by Hebron Chamber of
Commerce & Industry (2007) which aimed at identifying the existing situation of the industrial
firms working in the city of Hebron, the largest commercial city in Palestine. The questionnaire
was distributed on a stratified random sample of (537) industrial firms formally registered in
Hebron Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Findings show that the majority of industrial firms
do not operate at its full production capacity, and it was affected by huge economic losses during
Al-Aqsa Uprising and the Israeli closure of the Palestinian areas. Also, the majority are facing
many obstacles related to: marketing, transportation, import, export, Israeli security check and
high cost of raw materials. Firms' owners confirmed that the economic situation is very bad in
the district. Regarding the future vision of the firm’s owners, it came in the following order:
expanding business, increasing production, producing of new products and staying at the present
situation. In addition, the study shows that there is a need to give training for 50% of the
industrial firms' workers in both administrative and technical fields.

1.5 Political System in the Palestinian Society


The political ideology is considered the mirror of the political environment in which any society
lives. It changes along with the variables and events that the society passes through.
Undoubtedly, the Palestinian ideology is not far from this frame. It is difficult to say that the
Palestinian society had adopted a single ideology in spite of the existence of common elements
inside the Palestinian ideology in the past and the present. It is worth mentioning that the
Palestinian ideology in the beginning was very similar to the Arab ideology taking into account
the obstacles that the Palestinian society and the Arab societies encountered like national
struggle against colonization and the call for Arab unity (Muheisen, 2006).
We can say that the Palestinian ideology had passed through four stages due to the Zionist
scheme which sought to establish a national Jewish homeland in Palestine.
1. First Stage: Since the beginning of the Zionist scheme until the 1948.
2. Second Stage: Since the establishment of Israel until the establishment of the
Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964.
3. Third Stage: Since the establishment of the PLO until the start of peace talks in 1993
and the formation of the Palestinian National Authority.

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1.5.1 Palestinian Ideology until 1948
The Palestinian political awareness started with the serious threat of the Zionist –British scheme
to establish a national homeland to the Jews in Palestine since the beginning of this century
through an Ideological position that rejects such scheme. This contributed to the development of
the Palestinian national movement which had resisted the Zionist scheme in all means. It has
resisted the British colonizing policy in Palestine. Believing in their full and legitimate right in
Palestine and rejecting the Zionist through calling for the historical right of the Jews in Palestine,
all the categories and classes of the Palestinian society took part in the Palestinian National
Movement (Hourani, 2000).

1.5.2 Palestinian Ideology since the Establishment of Israel until the PLO
In spite of the disappointment and frustration of the Palestinian people due to the Palestinian
Nakba in 1948 and the uprooting, dispossession and homelessness away from their homeland,
the Palestinian people deep belief in the fairness of its cause and the need to take action in order
to return to its stolen homeland did not change. At this stage, the Palestinians were involved in
Arab societies and parties. The outcome was the development of the Palestinian ideology due to
differences that were present among the Arab, Marxist, and Islamic parties which different
categories of the Palestinian people joined. Some considered that the liberation of Palestine
passes through the path of Arab unity; others believed that liberation comes only through the
gate of peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews while others thought that the Palestinian
question was an Islamic one, so Palestine would only come back through implementation of the
Islamic Sharia. However, the issue of liberation of Palestine continued to be the main concern
inside the Palestinian society; it moved to the Arab ideology and made the Palestinian issue the
central issue in the Arab world. In spite of the severe suffering inside the Palestinian society and
in the Diaspora, it was not reflected on the Palestinian ideology; the concern of liberation has
remained the basic objective that preoccupies the Palestinian political thought (Ghalyon, 1994;
Muheisen, 2006).
We can say that the experience of the Palestinian national movement pre 1948 was simple.
Consequently, it fell victim to illusions, and its leadership in terms of essence was an expression
of the coalition of the family trend and the traditional Islamic attitudes; this leadership remained
in isolation from the movement of the society and it was unable to create viable national
institutions, so they did not succeed in transforming their political slogan into an integrated
societal project.

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1.5.3 Palestinian Ideology Following the PLO until the Formation of PNA
The Palestinian political thought has developed in the sixties and moved on two main tracks:
1. Advocacy of military struggle as a basic method for the liberation of Palestine.
2. Emergence of the Palestinian entity and Palestinian identity besides the national concept
for the liberation of Palestine (Hussien, 2003).
This development has forced the Palestinian ideology to change a lot of its literature which was
spread earlier; however, the issue of right of return and liberation of Palestine remained the main
objective dominating the different trends of the Palestinian political thought.

1.6 Political Organization in the Palestinian Society


Until the first quarter of the present century, there was not a single political organization that led
the Palestinian national action; there were political national figures that felt the Zionist threat and
resisted it. These figures started to organize themselves through societies and clubs; in no time
there were different political organizations that differed according to the figures on top of them.
An executive committee was formed in 1931 and it consisted of members residing in Jerusalem
in order to hold an Arab conference to discuss the issue of Jewish immigration to Palestine.
Several conferences were held in Palestinian cities to this effect; Musa Kazem Al Hussaini was
the first unanimously elected president to preside over these committees until he passed away in
the year 1934. The political parties started to emerge; most of them were family parties like the
Arab Palestinian Party under the leadership of Jamal Al Hussaini, National Defense Party under
Ragheb Nashshibi, Palestinian Arab Reform Party under Hussain Khaldi, and National Block
Party under advocate Abdel-Latiff Salah. These parties intersected in resistance of the Jewish
immigration to Palestine but differed in the mechanisms and tools of action against the British
Mandate and the Zionist movement (Hilal, 1998; Al-Quds Open University, 2000; Muheisen,
2006).
The momentum of incidents in Palestine and the increase of Jewish immigration were the direct
reasons for the declaration of the Great Palestinian Revolution in 1936 under the leadership of
Sheikh Ezzedeen Al-Qassam; this pushed the parties and the political figures to form Upper Arab
Committee which lead the national action and the Palestinian people. It can be considered as the
first political organization on the basis that the previous parties and organizations were divided
and did not work as a unified leadership. The Upper Arab Committee continued, under the
leadership of Haj Amin Husseini, to lead the Palestinian national action until the British Mandate
government dissolved it in 1937. However, the Palestinian political parties continued to work for
the formation of a unified Palestinian position to face the Zionists schemes. Nevertheless, the
existence of political pluralism at that time and the many disputes between them weakened their
capabilities to organize the rank of the Palestinians. For the first time dogmatic political parties
and movements have started to emerge in the Palestinian society to fill the political vacuum
created in the country; these were far from traditional family leaderships and on top of them was
the underground Qassam movement which practiced organized armed struggle against the
British Mandate forces and the Zionist organizations (Azaar, 1996; Al-Quds Open University,
2000).

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In April 1946 the Arab League recognized in Bloudan conference, held in Syria that the
Palestinian Upper Arab Body under the leadership of Haj Amin Husseini as the representative of
Palestinians; it considered it as the full representative. This body led the Palestinian national
action on the political and military levels before and after the fall of Palestine. It was the only
Palestinian Political Organization for about twenty years (Hoot, 1986).
We notice that the Palestinian political organization was not organized in the years that preceded
the rise of the PLO as a result of internal elements relating to the Palestinian society and other
external ones relating to the British Mandate and its suppressive policy against any form of
Palestinian political organizations; accordingly, the Palestinian political society did not enjoy a
stable and steady political leadership in this stage causing a weakness in the Palestinian
performance.
Following the establishment of Israel, matters were aggravated as a result of the Palestinian
Diaspora and fighting of some Arab states of the Palestinian entity, it has become difficult to
speak about a unified Palestinian leadership to lead the Palestinians as a result of their
nonexistence over one geographical spot and their melting into one political society. Thus, the
Palestinian endeavors remained scattered until the formation of the Palestine Liberation
Organization in 1964.

1.6.1 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)


The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is considered the comprehensive framework
through which the Palestinians have worked for thirty years and the only political system in the
Palestinian society and in the Diaspora over long years. The PLO was formed as a result of the
weakness of the Upper Arab Body and the increase of the Palestinian trends which were calling
for the need to form an independent political entity for the liberation of Palestine. The Arab
League made a decision to establish the PLO under the leadership of Ahmed Shuquiry in 1964.
A new Palestinian entity appeared and led the Palestinian struggle with its different trends then.
It became the only and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people over a period of thirty
years. The PLO considered according to what was stated in its fourth article of the Articles of
Incorporation that all Palestinians were natural members in the PLO and performed their duty in
the liberation of their homeland each according to his/her capacity and competence. The
Palestinian people constituted the larger basis for the PLO; the PLO leadership then started to
strengthen the feeling of an independent entity among Palestinians inside and in the Diaspora. It
encouraged all Palestinian concentrations to join and support it; it also built its establishments in
the ranks of the Palestinian people including: Executive Committee, Palestinian National
Council, Central Council, Palestinian National Fund, Palestinian Liberation Army. It was able to
achieve some accomplishments to the Palestinian people like: establishment of the independent
entity; declaration of Independence of the State of Palestine on 15 November 1988 in Algiers
under the presidency of Yasser Arafat, defense of the Palestinian question, and organization of
the Palestinian people. It continued military confrontation with Israel through its freedom
fighters’ groups causing a continuation of the blazing flame of the Palestinian struggle and
contributing to the viability of the Palestinian question among the Palestinian people and the
entire world (Asaad, 1987; Azaar, 2006).

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There is almost a consensus in the Palestinian society that the PLO is the most important
accomplishment under the Palestinian revolution; it had achieved the strong presence of the
Palestinian national forces in the Palestinian collective conscience as an objective challenge
imposed by the enemy annihilation nature which was stemmed from the presence of this identity
and the Palestinian nationality as an actual counterpart to its existence and legitimacy (Dipak &
Kusum, 2005: 575).
The party organization was formed under the framework of the PLO of resistance factions
specifically. Due to the formation of the PLO outside its province, the party organization
reflected the influences of the Arab states. It was also influenced in terms of its intellectual
references and organizational forms along the common revolutionary climates. There were Fateh
Movement, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) etc…and out of Palestinian revolutionary trends and movements.
Fateh Movement was able to control the Palestinian political organization based on its
Palestinian national ideology in addition to the fact that it had huge financial resources which
enabled it to transform from a deciding and gradual faction into a dominating faction until it
became the only faction (Dipak & Kusum, 2005; Hilal, 2006).
In spite of the fact that the PLO formed a coalition formula based on the recognition of the
legitimacy of political pluralism and organizational, intellectual and financial independence, the
democratic issue did not enjoy a priority in the field of the PLO and its factions for several
reasons, so political and intellectual pluralism was summarized into the quota system (Hilal,
2006; Muheisen, 2006).
With the return of Muslim brotherhood to action and activity in the seventies of the past century,
the relationship between the two sides witnessed a strong competition and it sometimes turned
into violence especially in the area of student, social and union actions. It was in the stage of
making ideological dominance. Since the first Intifada 1987, the Muslim Brothers movement
witnessed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip a big transfer from a religious movement to a
political social movement when it established Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in 1987.
The new movement was careful to distinguish itself from the PLO and not only its factions. It
seemed that it presented itself as an alternative. Its options ranged from submission under the
banner of the PLO and work from inside and attempt to dominate it and guide it in a manner that
harmonizes with Hamas programs or to bypass it and challenge it on the front of the Palestinian
representation until the Palestinian National Authority was established in 1993 (Azaar, 1996;
Muheisen, 2006; Saarnivaara, 2008).

1.6.2 Palestinian National Authority (PNA)


The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) was formed in accordance with the Oslo Accords
signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993 to be an interim tool for the self autonomy of the
Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; the PNA differs from the PLO since the
latter is a political entity which is considered the legitimate and only representative of the
Palestinian people in accordance with the Arab Summit conference held in Rabat in 1974; as for
the PNA it is a political and administrative entity aimed at executing the limited self autonomy
agreement in some areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Figure no. 66). It is also expected to

95
be the nucleus for the next Palestinian state on part of the historical land of Palestine which is the
West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem as its capital. This is the long lasting dream of the
Palestinian people. According to the 1995 agreement between the PNA and Israel, the West
Bank was divided into three areas:
Areas A: They are completely subject to the PNA in terms of administration and
security.
Areas B: They are subject to the PNA in terms of administration and Israel in terms of
security.
Areas C: They are subject to Israeli control only.

Israel kept its control of the borders, outside security, Jerusalem and settlements Accords
(Wikipedia, 2000; Passia, 2002A).
In light of Oslo agreement, the Palestinian political system has embarked on new qualitative
turning point that was represented in the establishment of the PNA on its region making the
original struggle revolve on the boundaries of this region and the form of national sovereignty
over it. This development has witnessed the following changes over the political organization:
1. Reproduce of the supremacy of Fateh Movement using the numerous mechanisms like
building a security force, focus on an organizational base, management of confrontation
with the occupation, containment of the traditional formations and struggle to control
civil society institutions.
2. Rise of Islamic political organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) and a noticeable decline in
the leftist organizations.
3. Formation of party organization in this phase out of supporting and participating forces
in the Palestinian Authority as opposed to rightist opposition (Hamas, Islamic Jihad) and
leftist (Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine) which blame the
Authority for its corruption (Hilal, 1998; Muheisen, 2006).

Following nine years of self autonomy especially in 2002, the infrastructure of the Palestinian
National Authority was exposed to destruction and headquarters of its president Yasser Arafat
was under complete siege and its existence was entirely threatened in an attempt by the Israeli
government to stop the losses it was exposed to since the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada in
September 2000. It held Arafat as directly responsible for the incidents of the Intifada especially
martyrdom operations. The Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon did not find any deterrence in the
Arab states or international positions to stop him from resuming his plan to terminate the
Palestinian National Authority (Atrissi, 2002).
The most dangerous shelling operations were those that targeted the headquarters of the
president of the National Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat on 29 March 2002 after a
qualitative martyrdom operation carried out by the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Abdel-Basit Odeh
from Tulkarem governorate on 27 March 2002 in Netanya city. It resulted in the killing of 29
Israelis and wounding of more than 150 others. Sharon announced then that the president of the
Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat was the enemy of Israel. He then imposed a
complete siege on President Arafat and the Israeli army reoccupied the entire territories of the

96
Authority; the Israeli forces prevented the journalists from entering the city of Ramallah which is
currently considered the political and economic capital of the Palestinian Authority.
Before these huge political changes which the Palestinian, regional, and international arena had
witnessed, the deterioration of the Palestinian Israeli peace process started and led to the
outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada passing through the September 11 incidents and the occupation
of Iraq and ending with the passing away of the president of the Palestinian National Authority
Yasser Arafat and the change of the Palestinian political system; Hamas’ position had changed
and accepted to take part in this system; it took part in the second legislative elections in 2006
and achieved an overwhelming victory over Fateh movement which ruled the system for more
than 35 years. Hamas was able to form a Palestinian cabinet alone and in accordance with its
own platform which differed from that of the PLO; it did not recognize Oslo Accords as a ceiling
for the legislative elections. This made Israel, the United States and the majority of the
international communities impose a financial and political boycott on the Palestinian
government. The implications of this measure were in having two heads for one authority; the
presidency and the government were different in programs and positions and competed on
authorities. This made the Palestinian political system fall into a suffocating political crisis that
seriously threatened to cross the red lines and bring out Palestinian internal fighting.
The rise of Hamas movement to the top of the Palestinian political system following the second
legislative elections was not insignificant whether at the level of relationships with Hamas
movement and its future or at the level of the nature of the Palestinian political system and the
general conditions of Fateh National Palestinian Liberation Movement. The involvement of
Hamas in the political organization came as a culmination of a complex and long historical
process. Hamas preferred to work outside the framework of the PLO and compete with it on the
front of Palestinian representation. It refused to recognize the authority and followed a strategy
to embarrass it both through military confrontation with the occupation especially qualitative
martyrdom operations and political confrontation with its leadership. The second Aqsa Intifada
reinforced the conviction of participation of all in the Palestinian political decision including
Islamic forces; thus, the notion of formation of a unified national leadership was raised and it
received a large scale popular support. Everybody was faced by the truth regarding the need of
the corrupt Palestinian political system for radical remedies. If the leadership of Palestinian
Authority is unable to rule, Hamas seemed ready to do so. This desire was reinforced following
the passing away of Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and election of Mahmoud Abbas as his
successor. The latter followed a strategy based on cooperation with Hamas; he offered to Hamas
the chance to take part in the government and merge into its institutions. This proved two things:
Hamas’ submission to the logic of the Authority in return for obtaining a legitimate umbrella that
protects it from the Israeli violence and pursuit of the American administration in its war against
those whom it considers terrorists or to provide the necessary justifications to make deterrent
precautions against the movement (Bishara, 2006; Muheisen, 2006; Saarnivaara, 2008).
So far no agreement between the presidency on one side and the government on the other has
been reached. Hamas Movement controlled Gaza Strip in 2007 and this made president Abbas
consider it a step away from the national consensus, so he sacked Hamas government and
appointed instead an emergency government in Ramallah; thus, there were two cabinets one in
Ramallah headed by Fateh Movement and the other in Gaza Strip headed by Hamas Movement.

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1.7 Cultural System in the Palestinian Society
Culture is the total behavioral models that members of a group practice in which they are
influenced and they exert influence in it. Their life patterns are formed through it and their
personalities interact with it; through it they carry out all what is materialistic and non tangible
whether those people were organized in the form of a society or a community.
A reader, a listener and a seer of the Palestinian culture with its popular legacy touches the
experience of the Palestinian people in its political, social and economic aspects; one will reveal
the values, criteria, standards, customs and traditions i.e. a life philosophy expressed through its
varied cases by the following qualities: directness, spontaneously, presence, transparency; these
qualities have their significance since the achievements of the Palestinian people were gradually
exposed to aggression and sabotage before 1948; following the same year with an increasing
momentum the family, which is the legacy preserver and its first carrier to next generations
through their relationship with the mother and the elderly in the family was exposed to
disintegration and devastation. As for the Palestinian village that innovates legacy about itself
and its peasant culture was also exposed to elimination and destruction. Thus, the larger portion
of the Palestinian legacy especially the tangible one was lost. As for the other non tangible
aspect, most of it was lost because it was kept in the hearts, heads and behaviors of the elderly
who passed away since most of it is not recorded (Haddad, 1987).
Culture in its roles and centers constitutes the cultural structure and the social structure of the
materialistic people. Culture is the content of materialistic social upbringing that is transferred
from fathers to sons and from one generation to another. Culture is the echo of the past and the
loud sound of the present and the future. Values are reflected in the individual’s behavioral
attitudes and positions. Cultural values can only be understood in the daily behavioral reality of
the individuals. On the other side, values are considered general rules which the society depends
on in the assessment and judgment of the individual’s behaviors in the different life positions and
contexts. What harmonizes with these values becomes acceptable and what contradicts them
becomes deviated, exceptional or abnormal.
One of the most important characteristics of culture is that it is an acquired pattern i.e. the
thought and behavior of the people in our society is in accordance with the cultural patterns that
they learnt. They follow these patterns so that their behavior becomes sound; if not then they are
considered abnormal or deviated.
This Palestinian cultural pattern becomes clear in several behavioral patterns mainly self
sacrifice for the sake of others which is considered an old Palestinian cultural and social value.
Self sacrifice for the sake of others is a praised behavior that receives a distinguished social
behavior in the Palestinian society. If individuals condemn this value, they will be accused of
negligence and inattention; thus, they would weaken their social status. The heroic action is
linked with self identification or identity in the society. Identity as seen by the expanded
Palestinian family is collective, through respect of customs, traditions and social norms.
Individuals are raised since childhood on adapting their wishes and wills in accordance with the
collective will of the family. Individuals are always encouraged to view themselves as the others
view them and to measure their individual experience according to the scale of collective
approval (Muhawi & Kana’na, 2001: 39).

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The Palestinian cultural structure and the Palestinian social organization were exposed to a well
studied plan to cancel the Palestinian culture and to destroy the social structure through the
destruction of the social institutions of this society (like destruction of the village and
disintegration of the family) the educational institutions (school) and cultural institutions like
theatre and publication houses in addition to culture in its formal, popular levels and the political
institution (government, organizational administration and state).
The culture with its technical and literary contents reflects the experience of the Palestinian
society in its continuous struggle to preserve its materialistic, social and cultural existence before
the serious challenges which it passed through like uprooting, homelessness, compulsory
immigration, displacement and transfer of its culture and homeland by the international force of
suppression to a foreign settlement society since 1967 till now. The Palestinian artworks and
literary works carry the wealth of this experience quantitatively and qualitatively making it
difficult to contain. The continuation of the attempts to uproot the Palestinian people from its
land and the continuation of its tracking down from one place to another in this world had
distributed arts among places and literature and among cultures and languages making it very
difficult to detect, categorize and highlight its main features (Al-Quds Open University, 2000).
The Palestinian literary works focused on the issue of national self awareness and the resistance
of its cancellation in the Palestinians of 1948 through refusal of Israeli laws and taking pride in
the Palestinian Arab identity. In 1967, a new spirit was reflected in the Palestinian literature and
arts especially with the formation of the PLO; it was a spirit of rage and resistance that reached
its climax in the Palestinian and Arab literary journalism inside and outside Palestine. The topics
of martyr, prison, and sacrifice preoccupied most of these Palestinian literary works and arts. In
addition, there is the call for the preservation and revival of the national culture, emphasis of the
role of the woman, political affiliation and national unity. The Palestinian land constituted the
essential core to all Palestinian cultural works regardless of geographical locations of the
Palestinian writers (Anis, 1979).
All forms of popular literature discussed topics related to Palestinians’ daily life which
accompanied the Palestinian revolutionary waves. They all participated in general manifestations
that overwhelmed the land like martyrdom, captivity, encouragement of resistance, description of
the occupiers’ suppressive measures making the popular art (Folkloric songs) come out of the
hearts of the Palestinians to their tongues as the official spokesperson in the name of their
resistance and steadfastness. Palestinian poet Ibrahim Touqan said in one of his national poems:
My heart is for my home land Not for the party or the leader
I did not sell it to a brother Friend or close person
My end is to serve my people either through my agony or luxury (Touqan, 1965).
The Palestinian literature including its different genres has been considered a very long time a
resistance literature. Poets have praised in their poems the need to end occupation; novelists and
playwrights have excelled in this field. We still see that the Palestinian popular literature
encourages resistance by all means in order to achieve the sought after national rights of the
Palestinian people. Resistance is not through weapons alone. It is through thought and culture. It
means resistance in thought, self independence and intellectual creativity; it is the proof of the

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ego before the proof of the other. When the political identity and the threats against it are
involved, culture represents the tool for resistance in facing the attempts of removal, wiping out,
elimination and annihilation. Resistance is some form of memory against forgetfulness; in this
understanding, culture becomes of significant importance in the issue of resistance (Said, 2006).
The Palestinian writers and thinkers have suffered the same as the Palestinian people even their
suffering was more since it was intentional. They were exposed to all forms of Israeli
suppressive measures like detention, homelessness, martyrdom; however, they never stopped
producing towards their national duty in the best possible manner until their work reached the
rank and place that fit their revolutionary creativity within the framework of the map of Arab and
World creativity.
I can say that the culmination of the Palestinian literature was with the outbreak of the first
Intifada in 1987 and the second Intifada in 2000; the topics of homeland, nationalism, national
unity, resistance of enemy, the role of all members of the Palestinian people were prominent in
the literature of the Palestinian culture (Barghouthi, 1990).
At the cultural level, symbols like Kufia (Head gear), litham (Scarf), victory signs, slingshot,
stones, explosive belt, martyrs, martyrdom, suicide martyr (Istishhady) were very prominent and
the Palestinian society held fast to them in its behaviors and actions; it considered them an
integral part of a serious attempt to give an honest image of the personality of the suicide martyr
(Istishhady) which is an integral part of his daily life, so he takes pride in it, defends it and falls
under its flag. The Palestinian culture plays a significant role in the emergence of the martyrdom
operations. We find that the Palestinian culture glorifies martyrdom for the sake of God and
homeland. It calls for the resistance of the occupiers and aggressors by all means. The
Palestinian environment and its reinforced culture of the phenomenon of the suicide martyrdom
were able to execute two hundred martyrdom operations against the Israelis. They inflicted great
human and material losses in the ranks of Israelis. It is rare to find an equivalent to such
phenomenon with this big number of operations in any other place in the world. The
environment and the cultural symbols which accompanied the Palestinian revolution in general
and the martyrdom operations in particular have reinforced the suicide martyrdom action. The
declaration regarding the availability of hundreds of suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) who are
ready to sacrifice their lives is one of the matters that have to be taken seriously even if they
were at the level of readiness and self sacrifice. The life and memory of the suicide martyr are
considered the most virtuous and purist pages in the history of the Palestinian resistance and it
narrates their heroism everywhere in the house, school, mosque, café, office, so youths rush to
join the ranks of suicide martyrs. The Palestinian street supports suicide martyrdom operations;
even the martyrdom in the face of occupiers has become the highest value of sacrifice and
redemption; its essentiality and significance are reinforced by the continuation of the occupation
in its practices like brutality and escalation of killing, assassinations, annihilation and destruction
instead of wiping out the reasons that created martyrdom, which are termination of occupation
and implementation of UN resolutions.

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1.8 Palestinian Reality
Perhaps the Palestinian experience under occupation was and still the most tragic one in terms of
the victims and violence it has left behind as a result of acts of killing, injury, handicap, physical
and psychological torture as a result of house demolition, confiscation of lands and water,
arrests, raids, pursuits and other forms of violence. Palestinians have always faced the most
brutal occupier that history had ever known. It is certain that Palestinians did not chose this
battle; they wished that they were like the rest of the peoples of the world paying attention to the
development of their independent state and fulfilling their political, economic and social
aspirations. However, they were forced to live with the Israeli occupier who brought destruction
and hatred to this region of the world more than a century ago.
The Palestinians used to live in peace on the land of “Isra and Miraj” (Prophet’s nocturnal
Journey from Mecca and his ascension to upper skies), the land of heavenly monotheistic
religions before the Jews ruled over parts of it at the times of David and Solomon may peace be
upon both. Jews lived in very small Jewish communities inside Palestine in Jerusalem, Hebron,
Tiberias and Safd; however, the Jewish infiltration to Palestine started in a systematic and
conscious manner in the nineteenth century right after the emergence of the Jewish problem and
the emergence of the idea of nationalities in Europe. It took place through the Zionist movement
whose basis and features were formulated in Basil Conference in 1897. The colonizing countries
saw in this movement a golden opportunity as a colonizing project presented to it in the Arab
region through the establishment of a national Jewish homeland in Palestine starting with
Napoleon Bonaparte’s project to establish a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine towards
the end of the nineteenth century and ending with the promise of the British foreign secretary
Balfur on 2 November 1917. Britain was able to practice its required role in the judization of
Palestine after it placed it under the British mandate (Figure no. 63). The Palestinian people in
the years 1920 and 1921 started a revolt which was characterized by limited armed activities and
peaceful resistance like holding conferences and forming parties until the Palestinian people
revolted in 1929 and that was called the Buraq Rebellion (Kiyali 1985; Boyasir, 1987; Natsheh et
al., 1991; Rimawi, 2005).
In the thirties, the First Islamic Conference was held in Jerusalem in 1931; the Palestinian parties
carried out their resistance role and the Palestinian people revolted in 1933 to stop Jewish
immigration. The movement of Sheikh Ezzedeen Al-Qassam emerged in 1935 followed by the
General Strike and the Great Revolution in 1936. Al-Qassam, the leader of the first popular
resistance in Palestine against British occupation and Zionist settlement, introduced the religious
dimension in the Palestinian struggle (Johnson, 1982; Sande, 1992; Mustafa, 2003B).
The Second World War paved the way for the strong emergence of the United States of America
in the international arena; the focus of the Zionist movement concentrated on the activation of
the role of the United States to serve its interests; the Anglo-American Committee was formed to
carry out investigations in Palestine. The moment Britain submitted the Palestinian question to
the United Nations, resolution 181 was released declaring the partition of Palestine into two
states one Jewish and the other Palestinian (Figure no. 64). On the day Britain declared an end to
its mandate on Palestine on 15 May 1948, the Zionist Movement declared the formation of the
State of Israel on 78% of the Palestinian lands. They have uprooted Palestinians from twenty
cities and about four hundred villages; about seven hundred thousand Palestinians i.e. 66% of the
residents of Palestine became homeless; this represented the complete deterioration of the

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Palestinian society with all its components and bases; it lead to the emergence of a new
phenomenon in the Palestinian society which is the Palestinian Refugees Camps that spread in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip and neighboring countries: Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon and the
rest of the world (Figure no. 68). These camps which bear witness to the catastrophe,
homelessness and uprooting of Palestinians from their lands and homeland symbolize their daily
sufferings on all levels: cultural, social, economic, and political. They still exist up till this
present moment waiting for a political decision to put an end to their pain and suffering. In the
human history there is not any crime which is as brutal as the crime of forcing Palestinians out of
their lands in 1948 at the hands of the Zionist gangsters; this was later called the Palestinian
Nakba (Setback) (Sayegh, 1983; Kana’na, 2000; Banat, 2002; Hussien, 2003; Allan, 2007).
Israel has totally ignored the UN resolution 194 which demanded that Palestinian refugees return
to their homeland; all attempts of return failed so it declared the start of the stage of Palestinian
Diaspora and search for means to enable them to have liberation for the sake of return.
Palestinians tried to declare the Government for all of Palestine on the territories of the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip, however, their attempt was aborted by Jordan and Iraq. Jordan
demanded the implementation of what was agreed upon with Britain before the end of its
mandate on Palestine which is to annex the lands of the West Bank to it; this is what had really
happened and the Gaza Strip was placed under the Egyptian custody.
In the fifties, the stage of political struggle and involvement in Arab parties along with their
different national, Islamic and leftist attitudes had taken place. Then Palestinian attempts to have
independence started to appear; their own political forces started to appear in the sixties with the
birth of the Palestine Liberation Organization which was an independent Palestinian entity
established by a resolution made by the First Arab Summit Conference in Cairo 1964. Later the
slogan of armed struggle and popular liberation war was raised. The shooting of the first bullet
on 1 January 1965 by the forces of “Al Asifa” military wing of the Palestinian National
Liberation Movement Fateh was an embodiment of the early sign of the Palestinian national
struggle. Following the outbreak of the April 1967 war in which the Israelis occupied the rest of
the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Figure no. 65), the armed Palestinian
factions completed with time and carried out their military operations to reinforce their political
position; Palestinian youth joined forces to resist the occupation and all factions were united
under the umbrella of the PLO as a framework for all Palestinian forces. It received Arab,
Islamic and international support and recognition. By a resolution made by the Arab Summit
Conference held in Rabat, Morocco in 1974, the PLO became the sole legitimate representative
of the Palestinian people. Yasser Arafat, chairperson of the PLO Executive Committee stood at
the platform of the UN General Assembly in its twenty ninth assembly on 13 November 1974 to
say “From Palestine war breaks out and from Palestine peace starts” (Kiyali 1985; Mustafa,
2003B; Rimawi, 2005; Swidan, 2005).
The Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation continued, by having Lebanon as its
headquarters. This led the Israelis to attack the south of Lebanon in June 1982 and wage an 88
day battle against the armed Palestinian presence in Lebanon. This has led the PLO to go out of
Lebanon to resettle in Tunis and to redeploy its armed forces among Libya, Tunis, Algeria,
Sudan and Yemen. Thus, a new stage of the Palestinian Diaspora started. Israel exploited the
departure of Palestinian forces from Lebanon and committed the most brutal massacres known in
human history in Sabra and Shatella camps on 16 September 1982 under the command of Ariel

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Sharon the former Israeli Prime Minister. There were more than (3500) Palestinian civilian
victims; the whole world condemned this horrible massacre but did not move a thing (Boyasir,
1987; Hussien, 2003; Mustafa, 2003B; Swidan, 2005).
The first Uprising erupted in December 1987 and ended up with the martyrdom of (1700)
martyrs, (135) thousand injured, arrest of (112) thousand; the majority of Palestinians paid a high
cost for the Uprising from their own souls and lives and they suffered from economic losses in
the infrastructure and human capital (Rehabilitation, Education, Health) worth billions of dollars.
Even almost every Palestinian family suffered from the loss of a martyr, detainee or a
handicapped apart from the daily suffering, Israeli siege conditions, starvation and oppression
(Kiyali 2001; Rimawi, 2005; Swidan, 2005).
The first Uprising lasted until September 1993; then a declaration of Principles was signed
between the PLO and Israel according to Oslo Agreement signed between them; this enabled a
limited number of Palestinian forces to enter for the first time the areas of Gaza and Jericho.
However, the occupation expansionist strategies and discrimination blow up Oslo Agreements
and imposed a de-facto policy by expanding settlements and continuing occupation. This led to
the establishment of a fragile Palestinian entity over nine cantons in the West Bank and five
cantons in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli extreme right wing assassinated Prime Minister Isaac
Rabin who signed with the Palestinian president Yasser Arafat the Declaration of Principles in
Washington. Then Benyamin Netanyahu from Likud party became the prime minister and
aborted the Oslo Agreement in order to stop any progress towards the peace process. Later the
Israeli peace movement represented by the Labor party mobilized its efforts to form a new Israeli
government under the leader ship of Ehud Barak who showed superficial lenience with the late
president of the PNA Yasser Arafat through the Second Camp David Negotiations which were
held at the beginning of January 2000 under the auspices of the president of the USA Bill
Clinton, but they ended with failure following the persistence of president Arafat to hold fast to
the Palestinian invariables like refugees right to return, declaration of the independent Palestinian
state with Jerusalem as its Capital (Mizrahi & Ben-Porat, 2005; Rimawi, 2005; Swidan, 2005).
Aqsa Uprising broke out on 28 September 2000 after the visit of Ariel Sharon to the Temple
Mount or Haram Al-Sharif in Jeruslaem, in addition to the continuous chain of accumulations of
instances of injustice and long suffering as a result of the Israeli occupation practices against the
innermost of every Palestinian. This Uprising has provided the Palestinian people with an active
political presence on the international and Arab map after the Israeli occupier practiced the most
brutal acts of killing and devastation against Palestinians including assassinations, arrests,
partitioning of the country, preventing traffic, stopping education, preventing the transfer of
patients to hospitals, threatening the lives of patients, preventing teachers, physicians and
passengers from commuting to work and barring laborers from going to work (Abu Hin, 2001;
Ateek, 2002; Kiyali, 2002; Jaradat, 2003; Araj, 2008).
Then Sharon came and formed the coalition government of the occupation and started to quell
and suppress the Aqsa Uprising in one hundred days during which he used mass destruction tools
and machineries that were never experienced by past generations like rocket attacks, jet fighters,
tanks, heavy artillery, use of poisonous gases and internationally banned weapons. In addition to
the chain of assassinations of Palestinian leaders and militants, September 2001 events gave
Sharon the green light to destroy the infrastructure of the PNA and to destroy the popular
resistance represented in the Aqsa Uprising and under the pretext of wiping out terror. He carried

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out incursions into all the Palestinian cities, villages and camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
under a large scale campaign called “Shielding Wall”. He then started erecting the apartheid wall
(Figure no. 67) to stop the infiltration of Palestinians from the West Bank to Israel; this wall
devoured thousands of dunums of Palestinian farm lands. The wall, which has created a series of
semi-connected Bantustans, and the unpredictable time one can spend negotiating checkpoints,
are the real drama of Palestinian life that little reported in the West. The fence effect is
devastating, as it implies the defacto annexation of Palestinian villages to Israel, separating them
from the West Bank. It also involves instances in which lands are confiscated from their owners
so as to accommodate the building of the fence, and there are cases where the fence would
separate farmers from their lands and deprive them of their livelihood. Overall, the fence will
virtually severely hurt all economic ties that are left between Palestinians and Israel and will add
to the economic plight of the Palestinians. Built to stop Palestinian suicide bombers ravaging
everyday Israeli life, the vertical concrete slabs crash through Palestinian communities, partition
families in the same street, slow everyday life to a trickle, strangle Palestinian attempts to make a
living – and bolster extremists (Mizrahi & Ben-Porat, 2005; Forrester, 2007; OCHA, 2007).
The moment Ehud Olmert from Kadema Party became the prime minister, he followed the
footsteps of his predecessor Sharon and started to make threats on the Palestinian democracy
especially Hamas Movement which won an overwhelming majority in the Palestinian legislative
elections in the year 2006 and formed the Palestinian cabinet under the leadership of Ismail
Haniyeh. Olmert refused to deal with this cabinet and hoped to destroy it by all means starting
with military operations all over the Strip, confiscation of Palestinian funds which resulted in
having no salaries for all public service employees in the Palestinian territories for two years and
ending with the imposition of a suffocating blockade on the Gaza Strip that paralyzed all forms
of life there (Forrester, 2007).
The latest offensive launched by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Gaza Strip, which lasted
for 23 days, between (27/12/2008-18/1/2009), caused a total destruction in many parts of the
Gaza Strip, making these parts look like earthquake zones. In its offensive on Gaza, IOF
employed its full-fledged arsenal and used its air, ground and sea forces. Some areas were
almost completely erased, while many houses and civilian establishments became hills of dust.
IOF offensive claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent unarmed civilians, including a large
number of children and women. The outcome of the IOF offensive on Gaza Strip was: entire
families have passed away; children and women constitute more than 43% of the total number of
victims; entire features of many areas have disappeared; and the civilian infrastructure services
have completely collapsed. The statistics can only tell part of the story: 1,285 Palestinians were
killed, 4,336 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including 1,133 children and 735 women were
wounded, 2,400 houses were completely destroyed, the destroying of 28 public civilian
facilities, including buildings of a number of ministries, municipalities, governorates, fishing
harbors and the building of the Palestinian Legislative Council. In addition, 21 private projects,
including cafeterias, wedding halls, tourist resorts, hotels were destroyed and 30 mosques were
completely destroyed and 15 others partially. Also, 10 charitable societies and 29 educational
institutions were destroyed, in addition to the destruction of 121 industrial and commercial
workshops and the damaging of at least 200 others. The total amount of Palestinian losses in 23
days is about $1.9 billions (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 2009).

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The memory of the crimes of the Zionist terror and the official terror of the consecutive Israeli
governments which reached unprecedented degrees of brutality and viciousness have settled in
the minds of Palestinians. Regarding this point, the study of (Berko & Erez, 2005) concluded that
the social structures, the value systems, and the collective memory of a group combines to
produce a steady supply of motivated candidates, exert pressures on hesitant candidates, and
persuade reluctant recruits to go forward with the act of martyrdom operations.
In return, the main generator for the Palestinian resistance was jihad (holy war) for the sake of
God, in defense of the homeland, honor and fighting the aggression. At first, there were
outstanding Heroes, Mujahideen, Freedom Fighters, Fedayeen and later Istishhadiyin (Suicide
Martyrs) who contributed to the formulation of the phenomenon of martyrdom in the Aqsa
Uprising (Sande, 1992; Kiyali, 2002; Rimawi, 2005).

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1.9 Phenomenon of Suicide Martyrdom Operations
1.9.1 Definition of Istishhad (Martyrdom)
In 1897, Durkheim was the first to propose that spiritual commitment may contribute to
emotional well-being, as it provides a source of meaning and order in the world (Durkheim,
1951). Durkheim suggested that the wide differences in suicide rates across countries are
probably explained at least in part by cultural and religious differences (Grimland et al., 2006).
He identified three types of suicide characterized by the integration of an individual into the
society. The most germane is the altruistic suicide which martyrdom in Islam is classified and its
definition is, “sacrifice of life to serve non individual sublime objectives”.

First we have to reveal the linguistic and semantic meaning of the word Istishhad (Martyrdom).
Istishhad (Martyrdom) is the language of testimony-martyrdom and the Shahid is the one killed
for the sake of God. People said, He was named that because the angels of mercy attends to him;
others said it is named so for falling on the ground; the ground is shahida ( witness) Shahida
means also knew and verified. Also it is said, one (shahid) testified before a magistrate and
Shahidahu means attended, so he is a witness, plural of shahid is shuhud or shuhada (Ibn
Manzur, 1990).
We conclude from the abovementioned that the word Istishhad is derived from the verb shahida;
shahida means witness in Arabic and the Mashhad is the attendance of people; shahid is the one
killed for the sake of God and for falling on the ground the shahida; thus Istishhad must have a
religious belief since Istishhad is God’s sacredness and laws (Aliq, 2004).
In the Palestinian struggle, shahid "Martyr" has been used to refer to those Palestinians killed by
the Israeli army as well as for those who voluntarily sacrificed their life for Palestine. While in
English the word for martyr is derived from the Greek "Martus" and like the Arabic, simply
means a person who has given himself as a witness (Ateek, 2002).
The word martyrdom has two meanings. First is the defensive martyrdom that derives from the
Greek word "Martur", which becomes Marturos and Martures. Its essential meaning is ¨witness¨
which was used in the Greek courts, and did not mean dying for a cause. The second is the
offensive martyrdom which is inspired by a desire to destroy the enemy by resorting to a
legitimate violence that is sanctioned by religion (Evans, 1999; Khosrokhavar, 2005).
Khosrokhavar (2005: 12) concludes that martyrdom in Islam can be summarized as follows:
1. One, who fights for the cause of God, has immense merit.
2. One who dies in the course of the fight is a martyr and will go to Paradise.
3. Martyrdom is the non-intentional result of death on the field of battle at the hand of an
enemy confronted with the expressed purpose of neutralizing or killing him, and without
seeking death at his hands.
4. The ideal type of martyrdom involves an active commitment on part of the Muslim. He
will be slain or slay and will use legitimate violence against heretics or unbelievers who
pose a threat to the religion of Allah.

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5. Unlike Christianity, Islam does not renounce the use of physical violence against an
enemy. On contrary, there is an expressed will to neutralize or kill the enemy in a battle
that can just as easily end with the death of either the infidel or the believer.
The concept of Istishhad was mentioned in many verses of the Holy Quran and they talked about
Shhada and Shuhada; they undoubtedly help in understanding the meaning of this term.
God the Almighty said, “And those who believe in God and His apostles- They are the Sincere
(Lovers of Truth), and The Witnesses (Martyrs) who testify in the eyes of their Lord: they shall
have their Reward and their Light…” (Al-Hadid: 19).
God the Almighty said, “Think not of those who are slain in God’s way as dead. No they live,
finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord” (Al-Omran: 169).
God the Almighty said, “And say not of those who are slain in the way of God: They are dead.”
No, they are living, though you perceive it not” (Al-Baqara: 154).
God the Almighty said, “Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with
God; of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme) and some (still) wait; but they
have never changed (Their Determination) in the least” (Al-Ahzab: 23).
Prophet Mohammed May God’s Peace and Prayer Be Upon Him said, “The most noble of the
dead is the martyrs” (Majlisi, 1983), he also said, “Three seek forgiveness from God on Dooms
Day and receive it: prophets, scholars and martyrs”.
In this context, it is important to separate the western concept of suicide from the Islamic concept
martyrdom. The focus is on martyrdom, which involves using ones death in a defense of ones
homeland by inflicting losses on an enemy, rather than on suicide which is the self-inflicted
intentional act designed to end ones own life (Mustafa, 2003B; Sawahil, 2003; Abdel-Khalek,
2004; Gearing & Lizardi, 2008).

The naming of the Palestinian martyrdom operations as suicidal is a misleading misnomer; they
are heroic martyrdom operations which are far from being suicidal. Those who carry them out
are far from being victims to the psychology of the suicide in the western concept which is a
person who kills himself for the sake of himself only. The suicide martyr presents his life as a
sacrifice for the sake of his religion, homeland and nation and resists legitimately those who
occupied his land, usurped his right and are still practicing all sorts of systematic aggression
against all the members of the Palestinian people.
Nonetheless, it should be clear that Islam strictly forbids suicide in the western concept
(Dabbagh, 2005). In the Holy Quran, suicide is expressly forbidden, God Almighty said, “O ye
who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: but let there be amongst
you traffic and trade by mutual good-will, nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily Allah hath
been to you Most Merciful! If any do that in rancour and injustice, soon shall we cast them into
the fire: and easy it is for Allah’’ (Al-Nesaa: 29-30).

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Abdel-Khalek (2004) cites a research which indicates higher significances than the Western
samples on measures of psychological disorder, such as depression, which usually serve as
predictors of suicide. He writes that a true Muslim believes that he is the servant of Allah, the
Creator and the Provider who determines the life span of his creatures; a Muslim is not free to
end his life whenever he wants, and by killing oneself or another he is doomed to great
punishment. Moreover, Islam considers the killer of one single person as the killer of all people,
as if he killed all mankind. He adds that Islam is not a religion of submission or of oppressed
human beings and the Palestinian soil has become fertile ground for the growing phenomenon of
martyrdom. This has given rise to a culture of resistance, since they have a deep feeling of
injustice and humiliation after being chased out of their own country and conquered by Israelis.
All of these are caused as a result of what the Israeli army has done against the Palestinians by
killing and imprisoning, then burying prisoners of war alive, using arrested people as human
spare parts for wounded Israelis, demolishing more than 17,000 houses, and bulldozing farm
lands.

The concept of the Istishhady or Martyr is, by Islamic definition, a warrior killed by the enemy
in battle in the name of Allah. Besides, Muslim culture does not use the Western term “suicide
bombers” but rather Istishhadiyin, or self-sacrifice in the name of God (Abdel-Khalek, 2004;
Grimland et al., 2006; Gearing & Lizardi, 2008). In the same context, some Israeli writers
especially Ronny Shakid and Ariah Shabit addressed the difference between suicide and
martyrdom operations that each has its own aim; the latter is based on destroying the strength
and steadfastness of the Israelis, destroying the economy and causing their governments to fall
while the former is the person who commits suicide in order to kill himself (Amir, 2003).
Martyrdom in Islam is characterized by being part of Jihad (holy war), the Palestinian suicide
martyr (Istishhady) would be determined to become a martyr for the sake God; he is asking and
pursuing it. He intended to kill the enemy until he is killed, so he will become a martyr. In his
martyrdom, there is a great process of revival based on the fact that the martyr is living and
blessed by God, so when he becomes a martyr, he revives life in his society (Dajani, 1998). The
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) have carried out their duty in response to the call of
God: “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are
wronged; and verily, Allah is Most Powerful for their aid. (They are) those who have been
expelled from their homes in defiance of right, (for no cause) except that they say, "Our Lord is
Allah"…” (Al-Haj: 39-40).
They have pleased God since they already know that martyrdom enjoys a high rank like that of
the prophets, believers and the virtuous; they were chosen by God, aware of the words of
Almighty God, “Think not of those who are slain in God’s way as dead. No they live, finding
their sustenance in the presence of their Lord” (Al-Omran: 169). Besides, martyr in Islam has
many rights clearly highlighted in the traditions of the Prophet May God’s Peace and Prayer Be
Upon Him. The Prophet is quoted to have said, “A martyr has six rights fulfilled by God: he is
forgiven at first, he sees his seat in Paradise, he is not tortured, he is safe from the great panic, a
crown of reverence is placed on his head, one diamond in it is better than the entire world, he
marries seventy two dark-eyed women and asks forgiveness for seventy of his relatives” (Evans,
1999; Ateek, 2002).

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It is clear from the verses and traditions of the Prophet God’s Peace and Prayer Be Upon Him
that there are things that are awaiting a martyr in the presence of God. He is ranked in the same
rank as prophets and scholars. From an Islamic perspective, the word "Shahid" is of a great
holiness that is linked with the world of immortality and survival; the martyr is reborn and his
life starts the moment he is martyred. He is transferred from darkness to light; he will enjoy a life
full of pleasure and leisure; he got rid of all earthly concerns and searched for the best ways and
shortest of all and reached the world of martyrdom next to God where there is the true promise
along with the prophets and scholars. Through martyrdom, the believer will be able to break the
restrictions and remove darkness; he looks for a better future for all weak and oppressed people;
thus, he aspires for the promised paradise which tempts the martyr to carry it out and encourages
him to win it (Ayyash, 2003). Regarding this point, Khosrokhavar (2005) emphasized that in
Muslim societies, the martyr is a figure who stands midway between the hero and the saint.
It is important to address the difference between the terms Shahid (Martyr) and Istishhady
(Suicide Martyr). The Shahid is the person who is killed for the sake of God, but the Istishhady
(Suicide Martyr) is the one who fights for the sake of God with prior knowledge and recognition
i.e. he is the person who chose martyrdom for the sake of God and is fully conscious and fully
aware of carrying out a martyrdom operation knowing that there is no chance for him to stay
alive. The Istishhady (Suicide Martyr) dies first willingly with premeditation and is fully
conscious of the certain outcome (Ayyash, 2003).
The Istishhady (Suicide Martyr) holds the duty of defending man and homeland; he prepares
himself for martyrdom since it needs a special preparation. It only takes place through practical
suffering and abandonment of all pleasures and lusts along with real patience and anguish.
Following the psychological choices and looking towards God for peace and stability of the
mind, the martyr possesses luminary force made of righteousness (Aliq, 2004). In the same
context, Baghdadi (1993) writes that the martyrdom operation is a defensive one based on lifting
injustice and getting rid of the oppressors; it is a sublime human end which seeks to return stolen
rights; it is an honest principle for the support of the exaltedness of the Islamic principles and
values.
In addition, every Istishhady (Suicide Martyr) is a martyr but not vice versa. So every martyr is
not an Istishhady (Suicide Martyr). It is right that the Istishhady (Suicide Martyr) gets the same
dogmatic reward as the martyr, but he was formed based on a special historical experience which
showed in a qualitative way how a fully intentional martyrdom is capable of achieving victory to
the nation. The Istishhady (Suicide Martyr) is the one who had the will of martyrdom in his
thoughts and behaviors; the one who holds martyrdom will possess power i.e. he is a Mujahid
and has already sacrificed himself before becoming a martyr; his work comes to trigger a shock
in the feelings and cause a revolution in the life of the nation to remove injustice and regain
strength (Aliq, 2004).
Going back to the term Istishhad, it is not old with its current definition. Many humans sacrificed
their lives for a just cause but they were not called martyrs. Istishhad is the death which the
killed person heads towards in order to achieve a sacred goal, human goal or for the sake of God
as stated in the Quran. These heroic and daring positions might be common between Islamic
Istishhadiyin (martyrs) and other freedom fighters whether they were believers of other faiths or
seculars. They might influence their reality and cause the same way as Muslims do. These heroic
positions are based on human values which are embodied by the behavior of the freedom fighter

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from a national, human and patriotic perspective the same as they are built on religious grounds
in spite of the differences between them regarding the duties of sacrifice and the meaning of
physical death, eternal life and life after death (Aliq, 2004). Regarding this context, Rosenberger
(2003) indicates that in our modern history there are live models in this field similar to what had
happened in the Second World War between the United States and Japan when the Japanese
kamikazes flew their aircraft, loaded with explosives, directly into United States naval vessels in
Pearl Harbor in 1941.

1.9.2 Historical of Suicidal Attacks


When we are introduced to the phenomenon of martyrdom in the contemporary Palestinian
reality, we should remember that it is not new. The human society knew this phenomenon since
the dawn of history whenever there was tyranny and despotic ruling. It is not limited to one
religion or nation. Starting from the fifteenth century B.C. and passing through Christianity and
Islam and ending with modern history, we find models of this in the Spanish French War (1785),
during the years of civil war in Spain (1936-1939), in the Japanese Kamikaze pilots operations of
World War II, in addition to Vietnamese peasants’ confrontations with the French occupiers, the
Hezbollah experience in Lebanon with the qualitative development it witnessed in the national
confrontation and mass suicidal operations at the railways to stop ammunition and weapons to
reach the English troops in India. Also it was in Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in Turkey and
in Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka. They conclude that what is at work is a strategic
calculation by rational organizations that deem suicidal violence to be an effective tactic in the
fight against powerful enemies (Kushner, 1996; Gunaratna, 2000; Schweitzer, 2001; Margalit,
2003; Mustafa, 2003B; Rosenberger, 2003; Reuter, 2004; Bloom, 2005; O´Neal, 2005; Grimlan
et al., 2006; Ferrero, 2006; Hafez, 2006; Kaplan et al., 2006).
This phenomenon is as ancient as humanity and it has different names mainly "suicide". The
term suicide was mentioned for the first time in medieval times in 1177 (Smelser & Baltes,
2001). According to the Latin lamguage Sui cidium is (self-killing) and Sui caedere is (to kill
himself/herself). Now, this term is used in the international scientific literature. Suicide is a
social phenomenon controlled by different reasons and forms; it is a phenomenon that had caught
the attention of a large portion of scientists and philosophers to the extent that a considerable
number of them went into disarray and amazement. Socrates considered suicide as an access into
the world of idealistic presence i.e. suicide is a way for salvation. As for Aristotle, he considered
that suicide is a wrong doing against the state and the laws of the society. He considered it an
extra ordinary phenomenon; he was supported by Plato who considered life as a gift from God
and it has to be preserved until it returns to its giver. As for the Stoics at the time of Romans
especially at the time of birth of Jesus Christ, they legitimized suicide for those who felt that they
did not have any motive to live and exist (Ayyash, 2003).
Following the spread of Christian and Muslim teachings, suicide was completely banned; both
faiths believe that God is the creator who gives life and takes it, so no creature has the right to
play the role of the creator (Abdel-Khalek, 2004; Grimland et al., 2006; Gearing & Lizardi,
2008).

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1.9.3 History of Palestinian Suicide Martyrdom Operations
The phenomenon of martyrdom in the contemporary Palestinian reality is very clear. This
phenomenon enjoys a special interest on all official and non official levels because it has an
effective strong influence on the track of the Palestinian Israeli conflict along with the
controversy and thoughts it raises.
The Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip took a
very important turn since the early 1990, when young Palestinian men, and more lately women,
started to strap themselves with explosives making their way to Israeli Jewish areas whether
crowded with soldiers or civilians and blowing themselves up killing and injuring dozens of
people around them.
Historically, various Palestinian factions had sent fighters on one-way missions involving
extraordinary risk. They have tried through different methods to shake off the occupation but to
no avail. Before 1993, Palestinians were resisting the occupation of their country through the
traditional methods available to them. All they wanted was an end to the occupation and the
establishment of their own state along side the state of Israel (Ateek, 2002).
For instance, in May 1990, the Abu Al-Abbas organization dispatched 17 heavily armed
Palestinians to launch an attack on Tel Aviv’s Nizanim beach, where eventually four were killed
and the rest captured. Moreover, during the First Intifada, Israel experienced a spate of stabbing
attacks, or what was then labeled as a “War of knives;” in one such incident, three Palestinians
boarded a Tel Aviv bus in December 1990 and stabbed numerous passengers before being all
killed or arrested. However, the emergence of suicidal operations disturbed observers far more
due to their devastating effectiveness and the readiness of the attacker to face eminent death.
Suicide attacks combine elements of both material and psychological warfare. The bomber
creates devastation and the message conveys desperation (Yom & Saleh, 2004).
Historically speaking, the Palestinians did not begin their resistance to the occupation with
suicide martyrs. These came at least 25 years later when the political and security situation
deteriorated considerably, and when it became certain that the international community is
powerless to implement its own resolutions. There were no suicide martyrs before the Oslo
Peace Process. It is the result of despair and hopelessness that started to set out when an
increasing number of Palestinians became frustrated by the deepening Israeli oppression and
humiliation. In other words, these young people were not born “Terrorists”. No one is born a
terrorist (Ateek, 2002).
It is possible to indicate that the first attempt at the level of martyrdom operations was in the year
1986 through what used to be called “Saraya Jihad Islami”; which belongs to the Palestinian
Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ); it was decided that Itaf Ilayan would drive a bobby trapped car
from Bethlehem District; however, the operation was discovered on 17 December 1992
(Schweitzer, 2001; Fighel, 2003; Qasim, 2003; Sawahil, 2003).
The first Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Saher Tamam from Nablus city dedicated his
martyrdom operation which he implemented in Beit Shean (Bisan) on 16 April 1993 to Marj Az-
Zuhur Deportees in Lebanon; they included 416 political Palestinian resistance leaders which the
occupation authorities deported from Palestine and refused their return to Palestine. When the

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Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Tamam executed his martyrdom operation, it coincided
with “(Akfan) Casks March” that the deportees started towards the Israeli checkpoint at Zamriya
crossing, two kilometers away from their camp in Marj Az-Zuhur. This was a way to pressure
the Israeli entity as a form of protest to their unjust deportation.
Following the Abraham Mosque massacre in Hebron city which resulted in the killing of 29
Palestinians at the hand of one of the extremist settlers on 25 February 1994, all voices were
suppressed while one voice was high and loud; he swore to retaliate for the blood of the martyrs
and the wounded. In a statement by Al-Qassam Brigades, it paid tribute to the mosque martyrs
and swore to retaliate from the criminal occupier announcing a five part plan to respond in the
appropriate time and place. The first response was on 6 April 1994 in a qualitative operation that
rocked the depth of the Israeli entity especially Afula city and it was executed by Palestinian
suicide martyr (Istishhady) Raed Zakarneh. Then while the engineer Yahya Ayyash was
planning the second response, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ammar Amarneh was
chosen to be the hero of this reprisal and implemented another qualitative operation in Hadera
city on 30 April 1994.
The dual martyrdom operation implemented by Salah Shaker and Anwar Sukar on 22 January
1995 in Netanya city constituted a new tactic in the implementation of martyrdom operations
through following the tactic of dual attack against Israelis. The martyrdom was the big dream of
Salah that grow up with him day by day as he saw the Israeli hatred pouring on the heads of his
people since no house in Rafah Camp is left without scarifying a martyr, a wounded or a
detainee. His own home had its share from this; he witnessed the Israeli army arresting his
brother the engineer Ahmed in order to spend three years in prison; on another occasion he saw
how the army arrested his brother the doctor Mahmoud to spend a year and a half in prison; he
himself was not spared from arrest or injury. God’s will chose that Palestinian suicide martyr
(Istishhady) Salah was on the day of the Al-Aqsa Massacre on 8 October 1990 passing his
training period at Maqassed Hospital in Jerusalem to take part in offering first aid to the
wounded of the massacre just to see in his own eyes the brutality and new crimes in the history
of his people. These incidents created in him the motive to be a martyr to revenge for all the
tortured of his people and to draw a short smile on the faces of the wounded and the
misfortunate. He would say, “The only path to the one who seeks immortality is Martyrdom; I do
say to those who fell behind and did not seek to become martyrs if I and you do not make a
sacrifice who will?”.
The Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Labib Azem follows up the news from Jordan
through the mass media of the Israeli crimes against his Palestinian people. He used to feel
appalled by the humiliation and torture inflicted upon his people and the arrest and homelessness
of the people. This made him feel that the call of martyrdom has called on him; he could not take
hold of himself from the brutality of these scenes; he packed his stuff leaving behind his
university study and heading towards Palestine. Later he implemented a qualitative operation in
Tel Aviv on 24 July 1995 leaving the enemy in complete amazement trying to identify the
identity of the executor.
On the morning of 2 November 1995, Palestine was on a date with joy for the retaliation of the
blood of Dr. Fathi Shaqaqi the general secretary of the Islamic Jihad who was assassinated by the
Israeli Mossad in Malta on 26 October 1995. It was a dual qualitative martyrdom operation
carried out by the two Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Mohammed Abu Hashim and

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Ribhi Al-Kahlut when each one of them blew himself up in an Israeli convoy of cars in Gush
Katif settlement in the heart of the Gaza Strip.
During Al-Aqsa Uprising (September 2000), the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli
occupation developed quickly. The roots of the Uprising grow up in spite of the repeated Israeli
military campaigns, assassinations of Palestinian activists, bombardment of centers and security
and civil institutions by Israeli fighters and Apache warplanes. In an official statement, the
Palestinian leadership called on the popular and official forces to implement a popular
mobilization in preparation for a long term resistance of the Israel offensive which reoccupied all
the Palestinian cities in March 2002 (Odeh & Jum’ah, 2002).
“The person who thinks that Jihad will win without blood is for sure disillusioned”. These were
the words which the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mahmoud Marmash wrote before he
left his house in the eastern neighborhood of Tulkarem city to implement Netanya operation on
18 May 2001. He wrote in his will, “I will make out of my body a bomb that explodes into the
bodies of Zionists in revenge for every drop of blood fell on the soil of the holy land the path of
our prophet Mohammed May God’s Peace Be Upon Him from which he ascended to heaven, in
revenge for the sons of Palestine, its women, its elderly, its children, in revenge for Iman Hijo
which had broken my heart, body and emotions; this four month old baby girl was killed by a
Zionist shelling of Khan Yunis in Gaza Strip in Al-Aqsa Uprising”.
The Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ashraf Saed was as usual in his work place selling
cocktail drinks in the heart of Nablus city when one of the brothers came to him in a hurry and
out of breath explaining to him the details of the explosion that rocked Nablus. It was the Israeli
assassination of two leaders Jamal Mansour and Jamal Salim from Hamas Movement. The effect
of the news on Ashraf was like a rock that fell on his chest just like the shell which the Israelis
fired from an Apache fighter on their office. It led to their death and six others including the two
children Hilal and Bilal Khudeir. The scene of the scattered flesh of the martyrs was horrible and
the crowds only managed to salvage pieces of flesh; the fire inside Ashraf was only wiped out by
blowing up his body into the Israelis; he was the first one to retaliate for the assassination of the
two leaders when he implemented an operation at Hamra checkpoint near Nablus on 8 August
2001.
The Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ezzedeen Al-Masri was greatly influenced by the
bloody incidents during the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the brutal massacres committed in it. Day after
day the Intifada gains momentum and becomes fiercer. Many of the people whom he knew fell
as a martyr, a wounded or a detainee. Every incident that took place during the Intifada made
Ezzedeen more determined to show loyalty to the bloods of the martyrs and agonies of the
afflicted and the wounded. His heart grew more revengeful of the occupier who killed, arrested
and displaced. The retaliation hours have come closer. For the martyrs, it is the time of revenge
from the enemy who did not differentiate between an elderly, a child, and an infant. It came in a
martyrdom operation in Sbaro Restaurant in Jerusalem on 9 August 2001.
The latest dual martyrdom operation implemented by the two Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) Shadi Izughayyar and Mohammed Al-Herbawi from Hamas Movement on 4
February 2008 in Dimona, were in response to the unjust siege of Gaza Strip and in solidarity
with the besieged Palestinians there. It also came to confirm the ability of the resistance led by
Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades to penetrate the fortifications of the enemy and hit sensitive sites

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in the time and place it decides. The two suicide martyrs appeared in a video tape and stressed
that the operation is a continuation of the path of Jihad, resistance and revenge for the blood of
Gaza martyrs. They also stressed that more siege, blockade and massacres will bring more
martyrdom operations.
Between April 1993 and February 2008, two hundred martyrdom operations attributed to
Palestinian executors were transpired against Israeli targets. These tallies do not include
unsuccessful martyrdom operations; the number of attempted operations is thus higher.
To sum up, the Palestinian resistance had crossed beyond the technique of fire shooting or
random bombing as it was the case in past operations which targeted restaurants and malls to the
technique of qualitative martyrdom operations in which targets with high psychological effect on
Israelis were selected. They were also intended to damage the trepidation of the Israeli
occupation army. The involvement of women in carrying out martyrdom operations constituted a
new stage of development; five girls staged martyrdom operations by the beginning of the year
2002; the total number reached so far ten operations. Regarding the importance of the martyrdom
operations weapon, and in very touching words, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady)
Fouad Al-Hourani, Jerusalem Operation on 9 March 2002 wrote in his will, “The nation that
masters the death industry is unbeatable”. In the same context the female suicide martyr
(Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha, Maccabim settlement checkpoint operation near Ramallah on
27 February 2002 addressed the importance of the body weapon in her will saying, “As the body
and spirit are all what we have, I offer them for the sake of God the Almighty to be bombs that
will burn the Zionists and destroy the myth of God's chosen people in retaliation for the remains
of our martyred brothers”.
The Palestinian resistance factions carried out martyrdom operations against Israeli targets
through one or two suicide martyrs like the operation implemented by Shadi Izughayyar and
Mohammed Al-Herbawi from Hamas movement on 4 February 2008 in Dimona city and the
operation of Samir Anuri and Barraq Kholfeh from Fateh Movement on 5 January 2003 in Tel
Aviv, or three suicide martyrs like the operation carried out by the three suicide martyrs Yousef
Shuli, Khalil Sharif and Bashar Sawalha from Hamas Movement in Jerusalem on 4 September
1997 and another carried out by suicide martyrs Mohammed Amum, Sami Abdel-Salam, and
Suleiman Moqdad from Islamic Jihad Movement on 9 February 2003 in Gush Katif settlement in
Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian resistance factions were also capable of carrying out joint operations like the
operation which the suicide martyr Nabil Massoud from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Fateh
Movement and the suicide martyr Mahmoud Salem from Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades Hamas
Movement carried out on 14 March 2004 in Ashdod city.
In this context, the Israeli and Palestinian analysts agreed that this operation was a new strategic
blow fulfilled by the Palestinian resistance. It is a qualitative operation added to the record of
successful operations carried out by Palestinians against the Israeli occupation. The famous
Israeli analyst Ze’ev Schiff considered Ashdod operation to be a great success to Hamas
Movement indicating that this meant the success of Hamas in making coordination with Fateh
Movement fighters; it even established some kind of a joint military wing (Assabeel, 16/3/2004).

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Following every martyrdom operation, its executor’s name was made public by the faction
he/she belonged to in a formal statement (Appendixes no. K-M) broadcasted in the mass media
and through loud speakers in mosques in addition to slogans written on the walls immortalizing
the name. In some occasions and for security reasons, declaration of the name of the executor is
postponed like what had happened in Tel Aviv two operations which were executed by two
Palestinian suicide martyrs from Jordan namely Iyad Radad on 19 September 2002 and
Mohammed Muamar on 7 May 2002; the declaration came in a formal statement by Hamas
movement on 7 June 2008 i.e. six years after the operation.
The martyrdom operations were implemented by Palestinian suicide martyrs from all villages,
cities, and camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in addition to one operation implemented by
the suicide martyr Mohammed Hbaishe from Abu Sinan village inside the 48 green line on 9
September 2001 in Nahariyya; There were also operations carried out by Diaspora Palestinians
from Jordan namely Said Al-Hutari executor of Tel Aviv qualitative operation on 1 June 2001
and the other two martyrdom operations carried out by Iyad Radad and Mohammed Muamar
mentioned above.
Condolences are extended through posters distributed all over Palestine (Figure no. 70); this
poster often includes some enthusiastic expressions (Figure no. 71). A huge celebration is held
to receive congratulations on the martyrdom; speeches are delivered and sweets are offered. The
suicide martyr Mahmoud Marmash Netanya operation on 18 May 2001 wrote in his will to his
family, “I call on you to receive congratulators and not condolences. You have to offer sweets
since this day is a day of joy and not sadness”. As for the suicide martyr Ragheb Jaradat executor
of Haifa operation on 10 April 2002, he asked his family in the will not to grief over him and
refuse to receive condolences but to open a place to receive congratulations on his martyrdom.
His family followed what he asked them to do and his mother expressed her pride and
boastfulness of what her son did; she said. “I thank God for giving me a hero who holds the
banner of Al-Aqsa and Palestine; I raise my head high in the sky for my son has acted to support
the heroes of the Intifada in Jenin camp”.
In memory of the sacrifice made by the suicide martyrs, their names are given to national groups,
street names and other social and national activities. Also annual festivals are held to
immortalize their memory.
The legendary leader Yahya Ayyash is considered the engineer of Palestinian martyrdom
operations. The following lines shed light on key turning points in his life. Ayyash was born and
raised in Rafat between Nablus and Qalqilya to a conservative religious family. He was born on
22 March 1966. He was known for his sharp intelligence and started to memorize Holy Quran
verses at the age of six; he was on top of his class and received 92.8% on the secondary school
(Tawjihi) exams in order to join BirZeit University in Electric Engineering Department
(Electronics Section). During his study, he was one of the activists of the Islamic Block; silence,
shyness and tranquility were Ayyash’s characteristics. As any other Palestinian, Ayyash grew up
with the pain of the liberals witnessing the daily violence of the Israelis against his people.
Following his graduation, he tried to obtain a permit to travel abroad to Jordan to pursue his
graduate studies, but the Israeli authorities denied his request. Later he married and had two
boys.

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Ayyash was not according to his wife an average person nor was he a person with limited
potentials and talents. He was a unique, experienced, tough, faithful man and a leader. Ayyash’s
excellence in his studies and preoccupation with the issue of academic achievements did not stop
him from thinking about the issues of his people and how to remove the Israeli occupation which
is perching on the Palestinian land. He dedicated his scientific capabilities and excellence in
Electrical Engineering to fight Israeli terrorism, so he excelled in manufacturing explosives,
bombs and innovated new ways of explosives. He was able, through leading and presiding
groups of suicide martyrs in Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, to revenge for the victims
of the Israeli terrorism through launching more than twenty martyrdom operations starting from
the suicide martyrdom operation of Saher Tamam in Beit Shean on 16 April 1993. The most
qualitative operation was the dual martyrdom operation carried out by the two suicide martyrs
Salah Shaker and Anwar Sukar in Netanya on 22 January 1995. Following this operation,
Ayyash became a ghost hunted by Israelis and a nightmare that disturbs their sleep and
constitutes a dark future filling their hearts with horror; he became the number one man on the
wanted list by the Israeli occupation forces. In this context, the late Israeli Prime Minister Ishaq
Rabin said, “Undoubtedly the engineer possesses abnormal capabilities not owned by any one; if
he continues to be at large, he will constitute a serious threat to the security and stability of
Israel.” The former Israeli Minister of Internal Security Moshe Shahhal said, “I cannot describe
engineer Yahya Ayyash other than saying a prodigy; the state of Israel with all its establishments
cannot put an end to his threats” (Al-Qassam, 1996).
Israel has dedicated all its security establishments and its facilities to capture Ayyash who was
on the run for five years; he excelled in the process of movement and hide until he was
assassinated in Gaza Strip on 5 January 1996. The moment the news of his martyrdom was
spread all over Palestine, the Arab world and the Islamic world were in a state of full confusion
and turmoil; thousands took to the streets in Gaza Strip and Palestine walking aimlessly and
unconsciously. Large scale popular marches and demonstrations took to the streets all over
Palestine which was drowned into a three day strike during which Israel announced a state of
alert; it totally sealed the West Bank and Gaza Strip and deployed heavily reinforced patrols.
Saturday 6 January 1996 the day of Ayyash’s funeral was unprecedented in the history of
Palestine. About half a million mourners participated in the funeral procession shouting revenge
and retaliation; the father of Ayyash answered them by stressing that Yahya’s martyrdom is not
the end by saying, “All of you are Yahya Ayyash” (Al-Qassam, 1996).
The assassination of the engineer of the martyrdom operations Yahya Ayyash provoked raging
Palestinian reactions. At the time thousands of women, children and youth were wiping tears of
anger over the assassination of Yahya Ayyash, engineer Hasan Salameh the son of Gaza was
wiping his sweaty forehead as he was completing the preparation and setting up of the two
explosive belts worn by the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Ibrahim Sarahneh and
Majdi Abu Warda in the dual martyrdom operation on 25 February 1996 in Ashkelon and
Jerusalem. This was the first counter attack in retaliation for the assassination of Ayyash. The
second response, done by the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Raed Shaghnobi, son of
Burqa north of Nablus city to execute Jerusalem operation on 3 March 1996. As for the third
response, it was executed by the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ramiz Obaid in a
qualitative martyrdom operation on 4 March 1996 in Tel Aviv.

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Following the martyrdom of Ayyash, his students continued his path of martyrdom operations
like Hasan Salameh, Salah Shihada, Mohyee Din Sharif and Mahmoud Abu Hnud and carried
out qualitative martyrdom operations that rocked the Israeli depth.
The Palestinian martyrdom operations are still taking place since the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa
Uprising. Today, it is usual to hear or read in the local and international media that there is a
martyrdom operation against the Israelis.

1.9.4 Analysis of the Concept Istishhad (Suicide Martyrdom)


We can say that systematic research into the phenomenon of suicide was not clear enough until
the sociologist Durkheim came and studied this phenomenon from different aspects. He collected
about (24) thousand cases of suicide from all over the world including different sects,
denominations, and social sectors from clergy, rich, poor, politicians and thinkers (Said et al.
1987; Reuter, 2004).
Durkheim defined Suicide by saying, “Suicide is a direct or indirect result for a positive or
negative work through the victim itself which already knew about the results” (Taylor, 1982).
Durkheim used to study these cases all indicating that the basic factors for suicide are linked with
the individual’s relationship with his social surrounding and the norms controlling it; he
considered it a social phenomenon, so he refused all proposed explanations or given in the
nineteenth century about the role of heredity, psychological diseases, climate and imitation of
others. To prove the relationship between the individual and the society and the importance of
this relationship in his behaviors, he classified the phenomenon of suicide into three types:
1. Egoistic Suicide: It is the suicide which results from the strict concentration on the self
and its problems so that it becomes the focus of life; this tendency towards
individualism leads to the isolation of the individual and makes him unable to find the
motives or justifications for his existence or continuity.
2. Anomic Suicide: It is the suicide which results from the disintegration of the norms and
values of the society where the individual finds himself without any connection with
the society. He finds that all the rules, regulations and norms which used to help him to
live had been removed and the society is in a state of chaos and deterioration; however,
the individual feels that he cannot go on in the midst of this social chaos. Therefore, he
resorts to suicide due to the disconnection of his relationships and contacts with his
society and friends.
3. Altruistic Suicide: It is the suicide that comes from the individual’s strong commitment
to the group. The process of suicide is for the purpose of scarifying oneself in defense
of the group. This altruistic suicide stems from a strong social integration to the extent
that the individualistic trend no longer exists. It is a form of suicide which the group
approves and is called for by the collective mentality. Durkheim mentioned that
Altruistic suicide takes place among individuals who are fully integrated into the
society and it overwhelms any other attitude or tendency; therefore, the individual
realizes his existence only through the existence of his society (Durkheim, 1951;
Taylor, 1982).

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What we are concerned about in the context of our reading of Durkheim’s classifications is the
phenomenon of altruistic suicide under which martyrdom is classified and its definition is,
“Sacrifice of life to serve non individual sublime objectives”. This kind of suicide (Martyrdom)
is called for by the collective Palestinian mentality, and it is reinforced by the Palestinian societal
culture; this is a social, respected and acceptable behavior since it is the title of sacrifice for the
sake of others, lifting of injustice and regaining of Palestinian lands and rights. Suicide is a self
sacrifice for the sake of others; it is an expression of the melting of the individual into the circle
of belonging to the group with all the goals and values it represents. The thing that the suicide
sacrifices his life in his view is of a more value than that of his personal value as an individual; it
is part of the group which considers it the most important; thus, it cancels the self for its own
interest which is his main concern. Pedahzur et al. (2003) reinforces this proposition after her
study concluded that the Palestinian suicide martyrs are of the altruistic fatalism type according
to Durkheim classification. Altruistic suicide may occur when a person becomes deeply
integrated into a social group, so it becomes a duty for the members of that group. In this regard,
father of the Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras, Jerusalem
operation on 29 March 2002 said, “It has become a duty to resist the occupation, and each person
resists the occupation in his own way. You may resist with bullets, with words, by art, or
martyrdom operations”.

The aim of the suicide act is not to satisfy the person who commits suicide but rather the group
to which he or she belongs. Moreover people who commit altruistic suicide perceive their own
lives as secondary to the interest of the collective. Hence, the tendency to commit suicide will
increase if the person believes that by sacrificing his or her life, it will help the collective achieve
its goals. Acts of fatalistic suicide characterize situations of hopelessness that result from
continuous political and economic oppression. Regarding this context, we should take into
consideration that society defines the event, probably not the psychological aspects of the
suicide(s). The society decides what is honorable or not? Who are the suicide bombers? Martyrs?
Terrorists? (Leenaars & Wenckstern, 2004).

In the same time, (Pastor, 2004) focused on the existentialist reason which is based on the fact
that most people hold fast to matters that are dearer than their lives. When these values are
threatened, sacrifice with oneself for their sake becomes a vital and crucial necessity and a duty
to preserve the life of the society. The same applies to the study of Wintrobe (2003) which
concludes that suicide bomber can be rational when he is sacrificing his/her life to serve the
goals of a group. Regarding this issue the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Suliman
Tahayna, Jerusalem operation, 5 November 1998, said to his wife a day before his operation,
“My children are not dearer to me than God and homeland”.
To sum up, becoming a suicide martyr (Istishhady) is a social process; it involves socialization,
and it is subject to rules and patterns. The opportunity to engage in it is likewise socially
determined. Research has shown that suicide bombing requires three major elements: motivated
individuals, access to organizations whose objective is to produce suicide martyrs, and a
community that extols perpetrators as heroes and embraces their acts as a noble form of
resistance (Berko & Erez, 2005; Oliver & Steinberg, 2005; Hafez, 2006). At the same time,
(Kliot, 2006) reinforces this proposition after she stated that suicide bombing is a highly complex
social phenomenon in which various motives, people and beliefs play a role.

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The struggle between Palestinians and Israelis is not only military between an occupied people
and a people which practice all brutal forms of settlement colonization. It is the struggle of
intellectual images; one image against the other; one value versus another; one civilization
versus another; the Israelis have created for themselves the image of the unbeatable force, the
superior weapon, the combat soldier, the advanced technology and oasis of democracy. Now the
Palestinian resistance creates for itself the image of stone children who face the fiercest
occupation ever known in contemporary history; the elderly steadfast before the heavily armed
soldiers; the suicidal martyrdom of a youth who preferred death for the sake of God, liberty to
life under slavery. Facing the major issues which threaten the fate of the Palestinian people, the
suicide martyr (Istishhady) concluded the heroic action by salvation through voluntary death
(Hanafi, 2006).
The civilized answer today to this vicious attack against the Palestinian people was through the
bodies of the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) who blew themselves up voluntarily as a national
duty in anticipation of a better life to the Palestinian people and in order to achieve the values of
human right and justice. The issue of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) constituted a
unique experience in the history of the peoples. The action of Istishhad (voluntary death) carried
a message leading to general and deeper and more important outcomes than death itself in its
ordinary sense. It carries a larger message which is sacrifice of the self for the sake of the life of
the others, human group, the savior hero, the redeemer person. Before everything else it is the
melting of the individual self for the sake of the group. For the sake of a larger cause “Palestine”,
the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) are individuals who subjected their own identity under the
group identity of the Palestinian people. What serves this people is a matter that is the most
important for them. The basic rule of victory was that those who are in love with death defeated
those who fear death or those who view death and martyrdom as a means to immortal life have
beaten those who see death as loss and annihilation. Thus they made life out of death. In this
context, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Fouad Al-Hourani, Jerusalem Operation on 9
March 2002 wrote in his will, “The nation that masters the death industry is unbeatable”.
The model of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) is the greatest quality of the Palestinians; it is a life
project in fact a martyrdom project; its calculations are not based on the equation of profit and
loss or expectation to take in return for reward; it is a strategy of sacrifice and giving for the sake
of the upper interest of the people away from the individual interest. Thus, the suicide martyr
action becomes a heroic, exceptional, voluntary, and conscious approach based on the ethics of
freedom (Ibrahim, 2007).
In the same point, Qasem (2004) mentions that the suicide martyr (Istishhady) makes the
sacrifice not out of the love to kill the self but for the sake of the liberty and life of others; those
who offer their lives sacrifice for the sake of God and for the sake of others; they are for sure
sensitive for the agony and pain of the others (Palestinian people); they see the occupation or
supremacy as a continuous nightmare that burdens them and the nation. They search for means
and ways to salvage them from this situation and in a manner that achieves freedom. In this
context, the female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras, Jerusalem operation on 29
March 2002 said in her will, “What is the use of life if death chases us from all directions? We
will go to it before it comes to us and revenge for our selves before we die”.
Istishhad is a means and an end at the same time; a dear means for a dear end; it is a means to
what the action of martyrdom seeks to achieve and an end in being an operation that achieves an

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action and a position in itself. It is an expression of the will of the people when it shouts "yes"
and "no" at the same time; "yes" to life with all its significances and "no" to tyranny, injustice
and unjust occupation perching on its soil. Since martyrdom is life, it is a real life to
significances of pride, boast, dignity and it is a truth to the humanity of human; it is a life and
regeneration of life in the self. A real life that protectes humans against greed, hatred and
voracity of the occupiers (Saadeh, 1991; Abu Doqa, 2003; Aliq, 2004; Ibrahim, 2007).
In this regard, one cannot find any words better than the words of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) to express a choice they had written with their blood and flesh; it is a tune of
loyalty and a hymn of liberty. The Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mohammed Al-Ghoul,
Jerusalem operation on 18 June 2002 says in his will, “How beautiful for the splinters of my
bones to be the response that blows up the enemy, not for the love of killing, but so that we can
live as other people live. We do not sing the songs of death, but recite the hymns of life. We die
so that future generations may live”. As for the suicide martyr Said Al-Hutari, Tel Aviv
qualitative operation on 1 June 2001 says in his will, “Real heroes are the ones who write in
their blood the history of their nation and build with their bodies the glories of its zenith and
make out of their skulls their impregnable fortifications”.
The suicide martyr Akram Nabtiti, Jerusalem operation on 17 March 2002 wrote in his will, “We
do not love death, but in defense of our honor, land and holy places, we offer our lives so
cheaply for the sake of obtaining the freedom, security and safety of our land, people and
children”. As the female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha, executor of a
martyrdom operation at Maccabim settlement checkpoint near Ramallah on 27 February 2002
said in her will, “Because the body and the soul are the only things that we possess, I give myself
for the sake of God to be the bombs that scorch the Zionists; we will turn our bodies into human
bombs that are scattered everywhere to destroy the illusion of security for the Israeli people”.
When the culture of individual sacrifice and social heroism in the action of martyrdom is
revealed, culture becomes a weapon and also a philosophy of life which puts an end to
controversy and discussion of larger issues and decisive positions. Thus martyrdom becomes a
law the same as human rights laws as synonyms for justice and equality; it is a scream of right in
the face of injustice and a declaration of a right and existence of life; it is the struggle between
justice and injustice, between what is human and what is not, and it is a struggle between
freedom and slavery in every place and time. Suicide martyrdom (Istishhad) is a heroic action;
those who are experienced in this action are exceptional human symbols in history; heroism is a
logical concept since it comes from a conscious and rationale will where the collective mind
shines into the individual; it is the will of the people in the decision of one of the suicide martyrs
Fouad, Abdel-Basit, Nihad, Andaleeb, Darene, or Ayat. The suicide martyr (Istishhady) is the
one who views death in a conscious mind that accepts no argument and moves with an
unprecedented will towards death alone in testing the way that distinguishes him from the alive
who are still waiting or the dead who passed away in different ways (Aliq, 2004; Ibrahim, 2007).
In this way, we can show the vision of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) to freely choose the
voluntary and conscious death as one of the images of life; it is the realization of the “Ego, that I
am going to sacrifice” which cannot be reached but in describing it as existence towards death in
its positive significance which forms a metaphysical access to the making of life to others
through the making of the what; a human comes into this world through birth and receives the
what by choice or to quote Hedger, “The human presence is brought what it may be its own

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self”. This achieved thing is what is called human situation. It has to be completed through the
choice of the most honorable and sublime ranks of selection which is suicide martyrdom
(Choron, 1973). In this regard, the suicide martyr Khaled Al-Khatib, Kfar Darom operation in
Gaza Strip on 9 April 1995 says in his will, “As I am leaving you, I do say while I am fully
convinced that, Islam is my path; martyrdom is our most sublime wish; let the youth who are in
love with martyrdom spread blood all over the streets of the land of the “Isra” (prophet nocturnal
journey to Palestine and ascension to heavens) and let it be heard by everybody that Jerusalem is
ours and the land is ours as well”.
Man in fact is a bomb; the greatest weapon in the resistance is the weapon of culture; the
philosophy of suicide martyrdom moves the struggle with the occupiers into a collective act
coming out of deep, cultural and historical fundamentals through the stages of the Palestinian
struggle with all what this concept carries from duties and rights. The moment a decision is made
to be a suicide martyr is in itself a moment of declaration of allegiance to the people in its unity;
thus, suicide martyrdom is linked with the philosophy of citizenship as an expression of the will
of the people. It contributes to the identification of the track of the future of the people in victory
and fulfillment of justice; it is a radical and comprehensive breach of what was planned for the
people against its will in an attempt to rewrite history with his blood and in defense of it and
protection of its rights. This action is very influential in the future of the resistance, the people
and the overall region (Saadeh, 1991; Ibrahim, 2007).
The will of suicide martyr is considered an exceptional revolutionary mentality which appears in
the strength of implementation. It is the dearest thing that the suicide martyr possesses for his
people and homeland as an emphasis on the fairness of their cause. The sons of Nablus, Gaza,
and Hebron who attack the Israeli targets see before them all a just cause, great agony, and an
unjust series of humiliation and massacres carried out over a century in Deir Yassin, Kufr Qasim,
to Sabra and Shatella. The only weapon they have is their body, and their decisive talk is their
blood. Usually the phenomenon of suicide martyrdom is revealed especially when the occupiers
increase the stress and pressure on the Palestinian land by carrying out all forms of brutality and
ferocity. This would cause the soul of will to drop on the people. In this regard, the suicide
martyr (Istishhady) Mahmoud Marmash, Netanya operation on 18 May 2001 says, “The
Palestinian people are passing through the most difficult days; they are constantly suffering from
killing, bombardment, immigration and the harshest kinds of violence. Everyday the suffering of
the people increases; then there should be a group who is willing to sacrifice themselves and
fight for the sake of God and for the sake of defense of this peoples’ dignity and honor to raise its
banner high; the only solution to this vicious campaign is Jihad and Istishhad which are (Fardh
‘ayn – an individual obligation) on every Muslim”.
The suicide martyrdom is a weapon that is not possessed by any individual who does not have
the solid will and firm belief; the believer does not have anything to stand before the enemy but
to use his body and detonate it to transform his martyrdom act into a means which the
distinguished individuals resort to in order to defend a group, identity or a value under the
different scales of powers in favor of the enemy. Behind this act, lies a huge amount of social,
cultural, psychological and political factors (Aliq, 2004).
The suicide martyrdom operations rise to the rank of holy mission since this act is associated
with the doctrine; so the suicide martyr has to reach a degree of absorption into the doctrine to
become a real, effective, impregnable, concentrated and committed force; this is what the Islamic

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organizations (Hamas and Islamic Jihad) were able to embody. The dogmatic suicide martyrs
take this path to make an honorable life to their nation; they carry out this suicide martyrdom
operation with a psychological ability that we cannot compare with any heavily armed human
capability. This would paralyze the enemy and make it unable to analyze its capabilities and
supremacy over thses technologically advanced weapons. The suicide martyr here breaks
through all barriers, details and capabilities and only sees the fairness of his people and his
country’s cause (Aliq, 2004; Ibrahim, 2007). In this context, the suicide martyr (Istishhady)
Suliman Tahayna, Jerusalem on 5 November 1998, wrote in his will defying Israeli security
forces: “If the Palestinian National Authority, Israel, and Clinton can stop me from meeting my
Lord and carrying out my martyrdom operation, I will tell them go ahead”.
The outcome of the continuous Palestinian suffering which accumulated since the late nineteenth
century and as a result of the massacres and conspiracies against the Palestinian people
especially the UN resolution concerning the partition of Palestine in 1947 passing through the
different massacres against the people abroad and the bloody Israeli invasion of the Palestinian
concentration in Lebanon in 1982 and followed by Palestinian massacres in Sabra and Shatella
camps and ending with the continuous Israeli suppressive practices of the Palestinians inside and
outside like deprivation of their legitimate right to return, self determination, building of an
independent sate on the soil of the homeland on one hand and besieging them in their sustenance,
economy, meetings, and movement on the other, made the Palestinian people have a storage of
unlimited rage through which a boundless determination was delivered to liberate Palestine and
terminate occupation by all means and on top of these means are suicide martyrdom operations
(Hussien, 2003: 58).
It is possible to say that the suicide martyrdom operations were crystallized and matured as a
form of social resistance action with clear rules and standards for the doer and the observer as
well through its social and historical significances and the presence of the misery of the
Palestinian people. Martyrdom operations are linked with three holy aspects to Palestinians: the
land body, collective body and individual body. The year 1948 was the moment when the land
body was lost followed by loss of the Palestinian collective body and homelessness of the
individual body all over the world. The year 1948 is the date when the Palestinians started their
struggle for the sake of freedom and right to self determination. The land body constituted the
fundamental focus in the struggle with the British and Jewish colonization. In the year 1967 and
what is witnessed of a completion of the process of Israeli invasion and occupation of what was
left of the Palestinian lands, the collective body became the main arena for the struggle
especially with the emergence of Palestinian organizations as an expression of this body (Nashif,
2008). In this period, the concept of armed struggle and heroic freedom fighting was introduced
into the Palestinian culture. There were no resistance tools competing this action; consequently,
military action against the colonizer became the highest level of resistance (Sayegh, 2002;
Hussien, 2003).
The Palestinian martyrdom operations came as one of the methods of armed resistance; the
suicide martyrdom is a development and formulation of a fixed pattern in the Palestinian
collective consciousness which determines the potentials for individual work. It had quickly
emerged in the case of the Palestinian collective alienation following Oslo Agreement and the
resulting disappointments due to the Israeli tyrant policy for not giving Palestinians any of their
historical rights. In addition, the Israeli arbitrary practices on the ground against the Palestinians

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have increased the momentum for the emergence of this phenomenon. This lead to the
disintegration of the relationship between the collective and land bodies which resulted in the
production of the Palestinian collective suicide martyrdom action (Nashif, 2008).
A group of experts in psychology have analyzed the Palestinian martyrdom operations and
indicated, “The Israeli use of all means of violence like bombardment, killing, home demolition,
road blocks, expulsion of citizens, siege, bone breaking policy has increased the percentage of
participants who desire to lift oppression and injustice off their people” (Abu Al-Ghuzlan, 2003).
The suicide martyr Akram Nabtiti, Jerusalem operation on 17 March 2002 says to this effect, “I
have decided to carry out this operation only in order to avenge the pure blood of our people,
which is being shed every day, if not every hour, by the hateful Sharon and the Zionist army who
have had no mercy on our women, our elderly, or our children and in order to defend our right to
live in freedom and dignity on our pure land. It is the only option so as to make the occupier
think a thousand times before he trespasses or desecrates any of our peoples’ sanctities and any
of our Islamic and Christian holy places”.
Some see that suicide martyrdom is a killing of the others too; this is right, but the suicide martyr
(Istishhady) did not ask from the other occupier to come to his country to kill him. He is simply
defending himself; he is practicing one of his rights that were guaranteed by all religions and
heavenly and existentialist charters (Hussien, 2003; Barqawi, 2005).
Resistance is a legitimate right in every culture and religion especially when people are uprooted
from their land, dispossessed and expelled from their homeland. God Almighty said, “To those
against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged; and verily,
Allah is Most Powerful for their aid. (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes
in defiance of right, (for no cause) except that they say, "Our Lord is Allah...” (Al Haj: 39-40).
The Palestinian people who were exposed since 1948 and are still being exposed to all sorts of
elimination, persecution and occupation have resorted to resistance and martyrdom operations
for the liberation of their country from occupation and to defend itself, and its human rights and
dignity; it chose the approach of resistance to practice its right to return, self determination,
sovereignty, and independence based on the UN charter and the rest of international charters and
conventions, principles of international law and international legitimacy decisions. But the
question raised in this regard is "What are the most important factors that interacted with the
Palestinian reality to shape this phenomenon?"

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1.9.5 Factors Behind Martyrdom Operations in the Palestinian Society
It is possible to say that the involvement of the suicide martyrs in the arena of political work
constitutes a phenomenon which has its internal and external causes and it expresses the severity
of contradictions and the ruling out of the proposed peaceful political solution on the table of
negotiations. The assimilation of the phenomenon of martyrdom requires studying it from an
integrated societal perspective including a follow up of the development of this phenomenon
across history and linking it with the social, economic and political factors. Dajani (1998)
indicates in this context that a number of factors contributed to the development of this
phenomenon namely:
1. The belief of the colonizing settlement which the Zionist settlement coalition adopts in
targeting and attacking Palestine, Arab World and the kind of Zionist arbitrary practices
it exercises against them; this is clear in both the Israeli curricula and pedagogy which
encourage its aggressive values.
2. The Palestinian people are suffering a lot because of these practices under the Israeli
occupation on all social, political, economic and psychological levels. Abdel Wahab
(2002) mentions that the Palestinian citizen is under the yoke of the Israeli occupation
and is exposed to all forms and kinds of oppression and killing which reache in several
cases to the extent of genocide which is practiced by the Israeli occupation under the
pretext of fighting the Palestinian violence. This suffering has reached an unprecedented
level; figures released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics show that more
than two million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are living under the
poverty line. 14.1% of the families have no income, 57.9% of the Palestinian families
face difficulty in receiving health services apart from the continuous annoyance of
Palestinians at Israeli check points, Israeli Blockade of Palestinians, complex procedures
to obtain permits and licenses, apartheid wall …etc.
3. Reaffirmation of the conviction among Palestinians that resistance in its larger sense and
all its dimensions is the only way to put an end to the Israeli occupation. The majority of
Palestinians had this conviction over the stages of Palestinian struggle and expressed
itself in several revolutionary waves most important of which is the first Intifada in 1987.
4. The political deadlock and the inability to reach a solution that would meet the minimum
requirement of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people especially
following the failure of the Second Camp David Talks and its implications between the
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and the Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak under the
auspices of the American president Bill Clinton.
5. The interactions of Al-Aqsa Uprising which strengthened the components of the
martyrdom phenomenon in light of the brutal Israeli practices against the Palestinians
and expansion of its scope to include individuals who did not previously take part in the
Palestinian resistance or its organizations. The processes of child killings, policy of
humiliation and degradation on the Israeli check points, home demolition, mass
punishment of Palestinians, use of snipers in targeting Intifada activists, the fatal blows
and serious injuries which thousands of youth sustained, in addition to the use of rockets,
tanks, heavily loaded bullets that mutilated bodies, assassination operations of what is

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known as field executions of a number of Palestinian resistance militants, home
demolitions, uprooting of trees, closure of the territories and borders, economic blockade
have all created a state of outrage in the Palestinian street (Shuman, 2001).
In a report on the fourth anniversary of the outbreak of the Aqsa Uprising, Ispozito (2005) points
out that the number of Palestinian deaths reached (3659). Israel during this period assassinated
385 Palestinian activists, and the number of the injured reached (19667); the Israelis caused
(2500) permanent handicaps among Palestinians; the number of detainees exceeded (8000).
Israel damaged (7437) Palestinian houses and uprooted about (11553) trees and bulldozed about
(28292) dunums from the Palestinian farm lands. At the end of the report, the writer indicates
that the total amount of Palestinian losses is about $19.9 billions. The report mentions that
through this period Israel carried out a total of 21 large scale military operations against
Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip like: Rolling Response operation, Defensive Wall
operation, Determined Path operation, Still Water operation, Days of Penitence operation. The
most recent report on the statistics of the Aqsa Uprising and the Israeli violations against
Palestinians since the beginning of the Uprising until 30 January 2009 includes data of the
Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy- Miftah in table no.
(78).
According to that table, (7128) Palestinians have been killed; (7128); (2111) of them in the West
Bank and (5017) in the Gaza Strip. The distribution of the deaths was: (1134) children, (581)
women and (5413) men. The number of Palestinians wounded reached (40157); (3633) of them
had permanent disability. In addition, the report explained that Israel demolished (10356)
Palestinian house and confiscated (256878.2) dunums of Palestinian agricultural land and
destroyed (79900) dunums, and almost uprooted (1190462) tree.

In this regard, Conesa (2004) states that the culture of violence and death which the occupier
practices against the Palestinians and the shocking personal experiences they were exposed to
constitute the main reason for martyrdom operations. The final objective behind them is political
rather than religious. This is what Reuter (2004) stresses after he concludes that martyrdom
operations have political motives and the best solution to them is negotiations and political
solution and not through Israeli suppression which might increase their number.
Sawahil (2003: 151) points out a number of factors which contributed to the formation and
development of martyrdom operations mainly:
1. Spread of martyrdom culture among Palestinians through posters carrying photographs of
martyrs in every spot in Palestine, in all mass media and through marches chanting and
praising them like “Bobby trap me and give me an explosive belt; in Afula is our reply
and dare stop us”.
2. The memory and recollection of the painful past especially the Nakba of 1948, the issue
of Palestinian refugees and massacres committed by Israelis against the villages of Deir
Yassin and Kufr Qasim …etc.
Abdel Hamid (1998) sees that there are other factors behind the martyrdom operations which are
represented in the Israeli defiance and indifference of the references and world public opinion

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and the spread of the martyrdom culture among the Palestinian youth especially when death is
one thousand times more merciful than life. This is in addition to the Israeli army Theory of
Justified Security that targets the continuation of occupation which does not leave any chance for
a solution. This makes on wonder whether the dominant security of Israel requires subjecting the
Palestinian people to its control and influence or not. The writer adds that an important factor at
the Palestinian level has increased the severity of complications in the martyrdom operations
which is the Palestinian multi party (plurality) and the existence of Palestinian opposition
especially Islamic organizations which are outside the framework of the PLO and they take all
forms of resistance as a central slogan like Hamas and Islamic Jihad; they even underestimate all
agreements signed between the PNA and Israel.
Abu Hin (2001) pointed out the big media role in reinforcing children's love towards
participation and risking their lives in martyrdom operations. The study showed that children
actively took part in the activities of the Intifada and the level of impulsiveness and spontaneity
in their behavior had risen; moreover, psychological and emotional problems have been reduced
especially among passive children who were only content with watching the events.
To sum up, the majority of the previous studies conclude that the Palestinian suicide martyrs
blew themselves up for a nationalistic end to shake off the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian
territories and the daily suppressive practices against the helpless and unarmed Palestinian
people rather than for other factors.

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1.9.6 Palestinian Culture and the Support of Suicide Martyrs
Culture often sets the conditions under which individuals may commit martyrdom and,
sometimes, the means it can employ. The Palestinian culture deals with martyrs in general and
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) in particular from the moment they pass away. It interacts with
their parents and the kind of relationship with them that is a sign of tactfulness and spiritual and
materialistic support filled with glorification of their great memory. This had made the
martyrdom culture a large slogan for anybody who is lost and is looking for a varied culture with
vocabulary about heroism, strength, honesty, patience, self assured souls which are full of
nobleness and chastity (Khanfar, 2002; Sarraj, 2002; Hussien, 2003). Regarding this point, Brym
& Araj (2008) conclude that support for suicide bombing is more a function of social solidarity
than of a competition within the Palestinian community. In the same context, Yadlin (2006)
indicates that a culture of self-sacrifice is constructed with the martyrs as culture-heroes, the
Istishhady and his family thus enjoy great prestige and admiration (not to speak of material
reward) within both their immediate surroundings and broader circles informed by the media all
over the Arab/Muslim world.

The Palestinian culture shows all respect and appreciation to the suicide martyr and his family
through a number of activities and ceremonies mainly:

1. Support of Palestinian martyrdom operations (Al-Amaliyat Al-Istishhadiya) through


conducting popular marches, awesome funerals, posters carrying suicide martyr’s photographs
fill all streets, houses, window shops. Building a condolence/mourning tent which many consider
a national wedding attended by everybody where sweets are offered in celebration of the
martyrdom operation in addition to a three day strike in solidarity with the suicide martyr and his
family. Regarding this point, Sarraj (2002) emphasizes that the martyr in the Palestinian society
is glorified. The martyr is the power of the people, the power to take revenge on behalf of the
victims. They have all these romantic notions. They see the martyr as courageously sacrificing
himself or herself for the sake of everyone, as a symbol of the struggle for freedom, because this
is what these people are fighting for.

The continuous social support by the society members to the suicide martyr family takes place in
holidays and national occasions. In this context, the mother of suicide martyr (Istishhady) Raed
Barghouthi executor of Jerusalem operation on 4 September 2001 says, “Our village people look
at us with love and respect; they consider that we are the most generous people since we
contributed to having the suicide martyr who offered his soul for the sake of Palestine. The entire
village sympathizes with us and they constantly come to show their solidarity with us in feasts
and occasions even Christians came”.

The one who walks in the martyrs’ funerals and processions which start with friends and expands
to include all Palestinians may detect signs of raging fire which encircles all their bodies, hands,
feet as a reflection of the hope of the coming victory; it is not strange that these processions of
tens of participants are ready projects for suicide martyrs (Khanfar, 2002). In this context the
suicide martyr (Istishhady) Samer Shawahna executor of the Hadera heroic operation on 29
November 2001 asked his family in his will to show solidarity and steadfastness through
celebrating his martyrdom and not to cry over him; he wanted them to refuse any condolences
but to open a house of joy to receive congratulators and well wishers on his martyrdom and to

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offer sweets. His family did what he asked them for and opened a house to receive guests and
offer sweets. The suicide martyr’s mother expressed her pride in her son’s martyrdom saying,
“We cannot but take pride in our martyr who raised our heads high and fulfilled his will. He
chose the martyrdom path which was his most precious wish and we bless him for that. We do
pray to God the Almighty in this blessed month to accept his martyrdom for his sake only. The
suicide martyr refused to marry and always said that his wedding would be so big that they
would never forget.”
The family of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ra´fat Abu Diyak refused to accept condolences on
the passing away of their son who carried out Wadi Ara/Umm El Fahm operation on 20 March
2002. His mother announced the opening of her house to receive congratulators on the heroic
deed of her son whom she was very proud of. She stopped her daughters and neighbors who
rushed to console her from crying and weeping and asked them not to be sad; she said, “He is a
martyr and deserves to be welcomed with ululations and not tears”.
The support of the Palestinian street of the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) appears in a different
image through giving enthusiastic names to suicide martyrs like Abdel-Basit Odeh the executor
of the largest martyrdom operation ever launched against Israel since its establishment. The
operation took place in Netanya on 27 March 2002 and led to the killing of 29 Israelis and
wounding 150 others; he was called “The Lion of the Holy Revenge”. As for the Palestinian
female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) and lawyer Hanadi Jaradat, Haifa operation on 4 October
2003, she was called “The Bride of Haifa”.
2. Growing support and appreciation of the suicide martyrs among the Palestinian people had
lead them to innovate different ways to treasure names, pictures and life stories of those heroes
to stay alive in the minds and memories of the Palestinians. After the posters of the suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) are pasted in different streets, roads, cars and vehicles, new forms of
immortalization of their martyrs have started to appear among the youth; now they decorate their
mobiles with the photographs of those martyrs. They would also inscribe their photographs on
medals and keys; they also frame their photographs and hang them in houses, shops and different
places (Sawahil, 2003).
3. Palestinian cheers and ovation which have been accompanying and encouraging the
Palestinians’ martyrdom operations derive their utterances from daily incidents. These cheers
have succeeded in expressing suicide martyrdom operations in a more influential manner than
others since they are spontaneous and easily adaptable with the incident like:
Intiqam intiqam ya kata’b al qasam (Revenge revenge Al-Qassam Brigades)
Lilkata’b tayiha bidna akbar amaliya (Greetings to Brigades we want the largest
martyrdom operation)
Ya Qassam la I’bas bidak ahzima bnelbis (Qassams don’t frown you need explosive
belts)
Al makshof wa almakshof fakhikhni wa I’mal ma’ruf (Be open; fit me with explosives;
do me this favor)

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Al makshof wa almakshof fajirni fi Dizingov (Be open; blew me up in Dizengov).
Dizingov is a street name in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, in which so many martyrdom
operations had been implemented.
4. The clear attention of the poets and artists is shown in composing songs about the suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin), and their high ranks through embodying the images of the suicide
martyrs heroes and documenting their historical stories through a number of literary works so as
to remain inscribed in the Palestinian memory through: stories, books, biographies, poems,
movies; the latest was a movie called, “Istishhady Jihad” produced by the Egyptian cinema and it
was watched by millions. The Egyptian cinema is currently closing in its shooting a new movie
which embodies the first Palestinian female suicide martyr Wafa Idris, Jerusalem operation on 27
January 2002 in a serious attempt to give an honest picture about the personality of the suicide
martyr (Istishhady) which represented an ideal model for the courage of a Palestinian woman
who does not hesitate to offer herself for the sake of liberation and victory of her homeland
(Sadeq, 16/2/2005). In addition, one poet said about the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mohammed
Al-Ghoul, Jerusalem Operation on 18 June 2002 that all what one can say is to bow in reverence
and respect of the strikes of the Ezzedeeen Al-Qassam Brigades that really hurt the Zionist Jews
and please the hearts of believers. When I hear this news which raises ones head, I always say:
Idrib ya Ghoul al Qassam ‘Isif bi ru’us al asnam
(Hit oh Ghoul form of al Qassam and decapitate the heads of the idols)
Ishaq A’da’uka ya waladi Sahqan bi ni’al al aqdam
(Crush your enemies my son with the shoes)
Anta al imlaq fala takhsha Abadan jabarut al aqzam
(You are the giant do not fear the power of the dwarfs)
Idrib fi Al-Quds wa fi Haifa Nasfan bijahim al algham
(Hit in Jerusalem and in Haifa blast with the hell of mines)
Qul lil muhtal ana asad Wa thilal al firdaus gharami
(Say to the occupier I am a lion and the shades of paradise are mine love)
Wa silahi fi al harb rasas Wa al lughm al jabar hizami
(My weapon in the war is bullets and the huge mine is my explosive belt)
Dawiy al madfa anfasi Wa zair al qassam kalami
(The cannon echoed my breaths and the roaring of the Al-Qassam is my speech)
Bidami sa’satir tarikhi Wa ujarid liladil husami
(With my blood I will write my history and dedicate for justice my sword)

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Wa God al qahar yansurani Wa yuzalzil bil ru’b amami
(Oh God the vanquisher makes me win and rocks with fear those before me) (Al-
Qassam, 2002).
5. The emotional words which some mothers of the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) gave at
overcrowded festivals that were held in commemoration of their sons were very expressive.
Regarding this point, Evans (1999) indicates that the behavior of mothers of martyrs is a
powerful tool as many women have for political action in traditional societies. The power of this
tool is contingent upon the concept of martyrdom as a powerful weapon for the survival of the
community.
In the festival held at AnNajah National University to commemorate the martyrdom operation of
suicide martyr (Istishhady) Jamal Nasser, Shafi Shamron settlement operation near Nablus on 29
April 2001, his mother said, “I am proud that my son is a martyr for the sake of Jerusalem; he
wished for martyrdom and he got it; our people will go on with this until the liberation of
Jerusalem and the entire homeland is fulfilled”. His mother remembers that her statements were
interrupted by the cheers and calls of the audience who were calling on the Al-Qassam Brigades
to resume its suicide martyrdom operations.
The mother of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Imad Zubeidi, Kefar Sava operation on 22 April
2001 delivered a speech before students of AnNajah National University who organized an event
to commemorate Imad said that she presented Imad as a gift to Jerusalem and hoped that God
helps her to give other gifts to the Al-Aqsa and the time for crying no longer exists; his mother
raised the Holy Quran with her hand while wearing the black Khimar and her words made the
audience cry; as a result, many of the armed men fired shots in the air to salute the suicide
martyrs by reiterating calls for revenge and demanding more martyrdom operations.
6. Publication and spread of the wills whether written or visual left by suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) to members of the Palestinian people. These wills have positive effects on the
intellectual environment which the suicide martyr, society and people represent. These wills are
letters written in blood and light; blood to conquer the occupiers and light to light the path of
those following the path of resistance and martyrdom. We do find that many suicide martyrs
showed in their wills their continuous desire to be martyred and they called it as part of their
inseparable culture. In this context, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mahmoud
Marmash, Netanya operation on 18 May 2001 wrote in his will, “The person who thinks that
Jihad will win without blood is for sure disillusioned”. Besides, the suicide martyr Abdel-Muti
Assar one of the executors of Erez checkpoint dual operation in Gaza Strip on 29 May 2001
wrote in his will addressing his friends, “This is the way I have drawn for you; swear to God that
you are coming after me on the same path”.
In addition, the suicide martyr Fouad Al-Hourani, Jerusalem operation on 9 March 2002 wrote in
his will, “The nation that masters the death industry is unbeatable”. Meanwhile, the female
suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras executor of Jerusalem operation on 29 March 2002
wrote in her will, “What is the use of life if death chases us from all directions? We will go to it
before it comes to us and revenge for our selves before we die”. In the same context, the suicide
martyr Ragheb Jaradat, Haifa operation on 10 April 2002 wrote in his will addressing his fellow

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Palestinians, “Blood is the only road to victory; all surrender solutions will fall and the blood of
the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) will remain a witness and a beacon”.
7. The special commemoration activities to immortalize the memory of the suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) took place through a number of activities mainly: National slogans that fill the
street walls and the surrounding neighborhood of the suicide martyr’s (Istishhady) house like,
“Suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) are lamps lighting the path of Palestinian resistance and crowns
which are placed over the heads of the liberals and notables; glory and immortality for our
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) heroes” monument, calling groups of national action by names of
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) like suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mahmoud Salah Group, suicide
martyr (Istishhady) Fouad Al-Hourani Group, names of streets after their names, new born
babies to Palestinian families, sports sessions, and other contests and activities. In this context,
the mother of the female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Andaleeb Taqatqa, Jerusalem operation on
12 April 2002 remembers the determination of her daughter to name the newly born female
infant by the name “Andaleeb” instead of “Iman” one day before her martyrdom. She added that
the name “Andaleeb” has become well known in the town after the families named more that 70
newly born girls by this name to immortalize the memory of the martyr Andaleeb. All of this
made the suicide martyr a model to follow by the members of the Palestinian people as it was
indicated in the studies carried out by (Abu Hin, 2001; Hussien, 2003).
8. Focus of the Palestinian media with its different resources on the topics of Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) operations and empowerment of their legitimacy as a useful means in the
national struggle to stop occupiers through broadcasting national songs and poems which praise
this kind of operations. It broadcasted the live footage of the operation and the losses inflicted on
the occupiers. It held live meetings with the families of the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) as
they were talking about the qualities and lives of their sons and daughters and how they offered
their lives for the sake of homeland. Forums and lectures were also held with famous and local
thinkers to talk about the reasons for the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) operations, their role and
effectiveness in stopping the occupation and fulfillment of the Palestinian rights. In this context,
Aqtash study (2005) was on the development of the resistance culture in the Palestinian media
address during one century (1905-2005), rise of the resistance culture directly and indirectly in
the Palestinian mass media address during the same period especially in the period 1948-1998
and the period between 2000-2005 which witnessed a culmination of the suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) operations. Abu Hin (2001) study indicated the positive role which television
played in encouraging children in their race towards martyrdom.
9. Some political and religious leaders uttered some signals which reinforce the martyrdom
operations and described it as the highest rank of sacrifice for the sake of Palestine and its just
cause. The best examples of these emotional words were uttered by the late president Yasser
Arafat while he was under the siege of the Israeli forces in his compound in Ramallah in 2002,
when he addressed the Palestinian crowds, the Arab world and the whole world, “They (Israelis)
want me to be a prisoner; they want me to be a fugitive; they want me killed, but I say to them a
martyr, a martyr, a martyr”.
On the fifth anniversary of the establishment of Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement, Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin the spiritual father of the movement addressed a dignified salutation to the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) and blessed their efforts; he demanded more
qualitative martyrdom operations when he said, “I greet in them this positive spirit and do say

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that we are all proud of them; however, do not be hasty and carry out an unstudied action with an
unwanted outcome for you are not the property of yourself any more but you are the property of
God and then your people, so place this trust in its right place” (The Palestinian Information
Center, 2002).
Dr. Mahmoud Zahar one of the leaderships of Hamas movement stresses that, “Nobody from the
Palestinian side especially resistance movements nor the Arab people side can denounce the
martyrdom operations justified by Islamic Sharia; he describes them as the most sublime
martyrdom; he adds that Palestinians make life through the gate of martyrdom.
In impressive words about the martyrdom operations, Dr. Abdel-Aziz Rantissi the second man in
Hamas movement says days before his martyrdom:
Qum lil watan wa idfa' dimak lahu thaman wa itrah ba'idan kul asbab al wahan
(Rise to homeland and pay your blood, throw away all weakness reasons)
Falmawt ahwan min ghibar mathalah falirab thul dam ma baqi alzaman
(Death is better than humiliation, since humiliation will never last)
Afaman yathuq almawt ka'san wahidan yajlu kama attiriyaq awsab albadan
(The one who drinks the cup of death, it will spread in the whole body)
Aman ya'ish alumr maiyitan yashtahi ta'm albala fayarud kala, la, wa lan
(The one, who lives dead, yearns to fight and replies no no no) (The Palestinian
Information Center, 2005).
In the same context, Abdallah Shami one of the leaderships of Islamic Jihad Movement said,
“The martyrdom operations will remain a strategic weapon for the Islamic Jihad and all the
mujahidin because it achieves a balance of horror between us and the enemies until new ways
more effective are used” (Aliq, 2004: 27).
Also, in the commemoration ceremony which was held for the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Imad
Zubeidi, Kefar Sava operation on 22 April 2001 at AnNajah University, the leader in Hamas
Movement Sheikh Jamal Salim saluted the family of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) which
sacrificed her son for the sake of Al-Aqsa and homeland. He indicated that, “Martyrdom is a
medal of pride for the Palestinian people”. In another speech at the ceremony, the leader Jamal
Mansour stressed that the people who give one suicide martyr (Istishhady) after the other are
capable of resuming its jihad path until victory and liberation. He indicated that, “Every thing is
purified by water except the Al-Aqsa mosque; it is only purified by blood.” It is worth
mentioning that the Israeli occupation forces assassinated the two leaders in an atrocious and
brutal operation in Nablus on 31 July 2001 (Islam online, 2001).
With little concentration we find that the Palestinian people starting from family passing through
school and ending with the large society work on developing inside the child an original
authentic culture of resistance and martyrdom which grows inside the child and flourishes
without any obstacles or the slightest hesitation. When the Palestinian children whose father,

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mother, any of his family, acquaintances or strangers were asked about the solution to the
Palestinian question? In A study carried out by Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
(2003), the answers of the majority (67.8%) of male children see that the solution to the
Palestinian question is in carrying out martyrdom operations and they wish to be a martyr in
order to defend homeland and Palestinian people. In this regard, the mother of the Palestinian
female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras, Jerusalem operation on 29 March 2002
said, “Our children don’t need us to explain anything, Ayat didn’t consult me; she saw what was
going on to her people and did what was necessary; she was mature; if Ayat is gone, there will be
a million other Ayat’s”.
That was confirmed by the study of Sarraj (2002) which concludes that the symbol of power is
the martyr and if you ask a child in Gaza today what he wants to be when he grows up, he
doesn't say that he wants to be a doctor or a soldier or an engineer. He says that he wants to be a
martyr. Besides, the study of Allen (2002) presents suicide bombing as a phenomenon that
Palestinians have begun to view as normal, even in the eyes of the children who have grown up
in the midst of all of this violence.
In addition, Abu Hin (2001) stressed that the culture of resistance and martyrdom has become a
main part of the Palestinian child culture who reached a sound realization of the reality of the
struggle with the Jewish occupiers as opposed to the fake culture of peace which soon withered
and faded away. The Palestinian martyrdom operations, with its different cultural symbols
increase the awareness of the Palestinian child and make him/her infatuated with Palestine and
its just cause; so he/she starts to wish to be one of its suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) heroes. In
the same point, O´Neal (2005) concludes that the Palestinian youngsters' elation and willingness
to die perplexed many.
The result will be the creation of a general atmosphere in the Palestinian society that respects the
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) action and encourages others to go ahead with it until the end of
occupation, liberation of Palestine and fulfillment of the wishes of the Palestinian people
especially among the youth and children. There has been a recent talk about the presence of what
is called the culture of resistance and martyrdom inside the Palestinian society; the culture of the
suicide martyr is the strongest weapon that Palestinians possess now and nobody can disarm
them of it. Nobody can beat them with this weapon in hand; this weapon is not imported and we
do not need experts or consultants since we are its sons who inherited it generation after
generation. So it is the secret of our strength. Regarding this point, the study of (Hafez, 2006)
concludes that for collectivities, the Palestinian suicide martyrs are venerated when three
conditions converge together: cultural norms encompass symbolic narratives that honor
martyrdom; legitimate authorities acquiesce to extreme violence; and conflicts generate feelings
of victimization and threat by external enemies. Ateek (2002) also indicates that the Palestinian
suicide martyrs were accepted popularly by many as a way of avenging the Israeli army daily
killings of resistance fighters and innocent Palestinians.

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1.10 Path of Martyrdom in the Palestinian Society
The path of martyrdom is very difficult; it requires cultural, psychological and military
preparation and on top is the doctrinal recruitment since it constitutes the decisive determiner
which is the main basis for the development of conflict; it also requires huge effort and work on
part of the suicide martyrs, and their teachers are distinguished in the first place by being rational
(Kliot, 2006). What are then the criteria for selecting the Palestinian suicide martyr? How are
targets for the martyrdom operations located? How can a suicide martyr reach those targets in
spite of the stringent Israeli security measures? What is the duration required for the preparation
for a martyrdom operation? How much does it cost? How are the places targeted by suicide
martyrs monitored? All these questions were discussed at length by (Hassan, 2001; Islam online,
2002; Nirab, 2002; Sawahil, 2003) It was done as follows:
1.10.1 Criteria for Selecting the Suicide Martyr (Istishhady)
The Palestinian suicide martyr is selected according to four criteria:
1. Religious commitment
2. Single and has brothers and sisters
3. Capable of implementing the mission entrusted to him and realizes its seriousness and
importance.
4. His martyrdom must be a call and a motive to others to follow suit and to encourage
Jihad in people’s hearts.
But we should know that these criteria are not rigid and not detached from one another, but they
are linked to one another with the preference that the nominee is single. In this context, Hassan
(2001) points out that the selection process is complicated due to the fact that so many wish to
embark on this journey of honor. When one is selected, countless others are disappointed. They
generally reject those who are under eighteen, who are the sole wage earners in their families, or
who are married and have family responsibilities. If two brothers ask to join, one is turned away.
One of the “Technical Considerations” that may be taken into account in the final selection of a
candidate for martyrdom is the ability to pass, at least temporarily, as an Israeli Jew. Moreover,
Moghadam (2003) indicates that this process depends on the basis of religious devotion, trust,
and the ability to keep secrets; recruiters naturally prefer to pick candidates that they have known
for a longer period of time.
1.10.2 Preparation of the Suicide Martyr (Istishhady)
The Palestinian suicide martyr is being prepared through the following stages:
1.10.2.1 First Stage: Physical Training
This stage differs from one person to another based on the level of involvement in military work;
the suicide martyr might need a long period of training compared to those already involved in
military work and are good in using weapons and others. The suicide martyr passes through
intensive drills and workouts including physical fitness, running, and maybe he should lose
weight.

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1.10.2.2 Second Stage: Spiritual Preparation
This stage consists of fasting; waking up at night, performing worships and supplications. This
stage requires a great effort.
1.10.2.3 Third Stage: Military Preparation
Here the suicide martyr starts training on shooting and aiming for two hours each time. He might
have more than one session per day until he masters the skill of shooting and aiming. This stage
costs from 400-500 US dollars for bullets and grenades used during training.
The preparation for suicide bombing can extend over several weeks or even months but may also
be as short as a few days or several hours. In making a suicide bomber, the organization that
recruits and trains candidates employ various strategies to maintain the interest of the recruited: it
strengthens his or her resolve to go forward with the mission, as it alleviates any fear or anxiety
that may arise. The candidate receives constant reminders of the reasons for which he/she has
volunteered or has been recruited for. The contact and interaction with the organization leads
recruits to a point of "No return". Since the findings demonstrate for Palestinian men and women
recruits that the path to martyrdom through suicide is, by and large, a one-way street
(Moghadam, 2003; Berko & Erez, 2005). Regarding the same point, the study of Soibelman
(2004) emphasized that all of would-be suicide bombers had gone through a period of training
prior to the mission, and target selection.
In most cases, the suicide martyr undergoes intensified spiritual exercises, including prayers and
recitations of the Koran. Usually, the trainer encourages the candidate to read six particular
chapters of the Koran: Al-Baqara, Al-Omran, Al-Anfal, Al-Tawbeh, Al-Rahman, and Al-Asr,
which feature such themes as jihad, the birth of the nation of Islam, war, Allah’s favors, and the
importance of faith. Religious lectures last from two to four hours each day. The living martyr
goes on lengthy fasts. He spends much of the night praying. He pays off all his debts, and asks
for forgiveness for actual or perceived offenses. If a candidate is on the wanted list of the Israeli
security services, he goes underground, moving from one hiding place to another. In the days
before the operation, the candidate prepares a will on paper, audiocassette, or video, sometimes
all three. The video testaments, which are shot against a background of the sponsoring
organization’s banner and slogans, show the living martyr reciting the Koran, posing with guns
and bombs, exhorting his comrades to follow his example, and extolling the virtues of jihad. The
wills emphasize the voluntary basis of the mission. The suicide martyr repeatedly watches the
video of himself, as well as the videos of his predecessors. This encourages him to confront
death, not fear it. Just before the bomber sets out on his final journey, he performs a ritual
ablution, puts on clean clothes, and tries to attend at least one communal prayer at a mosque. He
says the traditional Islamic prayer that is customary before battle, and he asks Allah to forgive
his sins and to bless his mission. He puts a Koran in his left breast pocket, above the heart, and
he straps the explosives around his waist or picks up a briefcase or a bag containing the bomb.
The planner bids him farewell with the words “May Allah be with you, may Allah give you
success so that you win Paradise” (Hassan, 2001).
In the same context, Dajani (1998) adds that the suicide martyr is carefully prepared before he
carries out the martyrdom operation. He receives lectures on how to deal with Israelis prior to
implementation of operation; he is also informed of all the Israeli security precautions and he is

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trained on how to circumvent them. He is also expected to master the Hebrew language with an
authentic accent. He also undergoes minute cosmetic surgery to suit the requirements for the
implementation of the operation. Regarding this context, two Israeli researchers (Kimhi & Even,
2004) point out that the issue of recruiting the suicide martyrs is not superficial and simple; in
fact, it is a complicated project which requires careful research to find the best person to master
this kind of operations with conviction and determination. This requires stopping at two basic
points: First: readiness of the individual in the society to implement a military martyrdom
operation; those in most cases were not from the desperate people, but they saw in themselves
fighters who were ready to sacrifice their souls for their people. Second, the cautiousness of the
organization supervising this phenomenon and turning it into a culture that becomes a strategic
weapon; thus, it is not easy to select and nominate individuals to carry out the operation in a
simple way; this is a psychological project that requires genius people to carry out the selection
to guarantee success.

1.10.3 Criteria for Choosing Targets of Martyrdom Operations


Targets for implementation of martyrdom operations are selected according to Islamic and
Jihadist principles. Jews are not fought because of their beliefs or because of fondness in
fighting; it is because they are occupiers and usurpers of Palestinian lands. Children, old people
or places of worship are not targeted; schools and hospitals are not targeted although they are
easy targets; children killed are due to uncontrollable reasons (Islam online, 2002).

1.10.4 Monitoring and Planning Stage


Inside every Palestinian organization there are monitoring groups (Military intelligence) whose
mission is to keep track of Israeli military patrols and settlers and observe their movements in
different territories in order to determine security gaps; accordingly, targets are determined and
planning for the way of attack is carried out whether it is against a settlement, military post,
military vehicle or others. Video cameras are usually used to video tape the targets and it is
watched by a special committee prior to the process of decision making. Afterwards, the suicide
martyr is trained on implementing the operation. The success of the operation depends 90% on
the process of monitoring which might take one, two or four weeks. Sometimes, it takes four or
five months. Some operations needed monitoring which lasted for four weeks until the suicide
martyr knew every thing about the place, target, and targeted people, even from where to enter?
Where to stand during the implementation? Where to stay overnight? When to start shooting?
When the targeted people will be present in the place? The process of monitoring might cost
about $5000 (Islam online, 2002). In this regard, Sawahil (2003) mentions that the success of the
operation is not evaluated based on the number of the killed among the enemy but in the ability
of the suicide martyrs to reach their target, mechanism of implementation and good planning for
the operation.

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1.10.5 Implementation and Breaking through Israeli Security Stage
It is clear that the Israeli security theory with all its precautions and fortifications has collapsed
before the Palestinian martyrdom operations. The transfer of the required combat equipment to
complete the martyrdom operation through the largest, most meticulous and difficult military
checkpoints which the regular person cannot smuggle his own cellular through these checkpoints
takes place in a secret way like receiving help from Palestinian Jerusalemites or inside the green
line or through bribing Jews themselves (Mustafa, 2003B; Sawahil, 2003). The Israeli
Intelligence (2004) indicates that operations were carried out within the frame of cooperation
between Palestinian organizations and Israeli Palestinians who hold an Israeli identification card
which enables them to travel freely inside Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This helped in
facilitating the carrying out of the martyrdom operations.

1.10.6 Will Preparation Stage


Over human history, the will was not limited to one people than the other or one religion than the
other; historical evidence emphasizes to us that the will accompanied the individual, family and
society; it was a wonderful model to form the human behavior and give it different valuable and
ethical dimensions.
A will is what a man has declared to become the property of someone else; if I make it in my
will then it becomes under your entrust (Ibn Manzur, 1990). It is customary that a person writes
his will towards the late years of his life or when he intends to go on a long journey in which he
fears for his life so as to distribute his property on his family and children or ask them to pay
attention to other important matters. The will emerged forcefully with the introduction of the
Palestinian suicide martyrdom operations and with their impact on the house, street and among
the ranks of the Palestinian people.
The suicide martyr will is considered a document which can be referred to in order to read its
content, significances and sublime objectives; it also contains a call for the Palestinians through
an educational, ethical, national, patriotic behavior to follow suit what the writer of the will did.
The will carries a message left by the suicide martyr to his family members, society, nation
asking them to follow suit and explaining the purpose for the martyrdom operation through a
written, audible or visual will; the suicide martyrs’ wills are distinguished for the positive
impacts they leave on the society; it is considered like a letter written in blood and light; blood to
conquer the occupiers and light to light the path of those following the path of resistance and
martyrdom (Aliq, 2004).
Wills are similar to a great extent and follow a special organized pattern; all wills start with the
words, “In the Name of God Most Gracious Most Beneficent” followed by quranic verses which
call for the fighting of the occupiers. Then they end with praise of God; wills are usually
addressed to parents, friends, society members, and in some cases to the occupiers and others
(Appendix P).
In some video taped wills, the suicide martyr appears in a very dramatic look wearing an
explosive belt in military uniform and talks with a smile and holds the Holy Quran in one hand
and a weapon in the other; they emphasize that this is the path that all loyal and patient

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Palestinians have to take. The will carries prominent intellectual dimensions on all levels
especially religious, national, patriotic, ethical and educational as follows:
1. Religious dimension: the religious aspect overwhelms most wills in which the suicide
martyrs express their beliefs through the Quran and the Prophet's Sunna.
2. Patriotic dimension: the topics of homeland, land, family, martyrs, captives and prisoners
are highlighted in the wills of the suicide martyrs who carry a message full of sacrifice,
redemption of homeland, people and identity.
3. National dimension: the national dimension has a special place in the wills of the suicide
martyrs and their minds. They did not forget the Islamic and Arab nation issues, the
occupied Arab lands by the Jewish occupiers in Syria and Lebanon; their wills always
remind people of the national issues and the need to defend them.
4. Ethical, educational and social dimension: the wills of the suicide martyr carry the ethical
and educational approach where qualities of humbleness, high morals are found. This
appears in their address of their family, friends and the rest of the community (Aliq,
2004:155).

1.10.7 Cost of Martyrdom Operations


It depends on the kind of operation; an operation using automatic machine guns should pay for
the costs of buying of the weapon and ammunition. However, some operations require huge
amounts of money to be carried out like buying cars, explosives, bribes and it might reach
$50000 (Islam online, 2002). Sawahil (2003) states that some operations might exceed this sum
when the military groups settle some debts on behalf of suicide martyrs before the
implementation of the operation so that this person meets God flawless. Some suicide martyrs
who come from rich families pay for all costs from their own pocket; some sell their houses or
their wives jewelry to finance the martyrdom operation.

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1.11 Palestinian Factions who Implemented Martyrdom Operations
Factions play a critical role in the recruitment stage, planning and execution of a suicide attack.
They provide many of the resources and services that are necessary to sustain a prolonged and
effective campaign of suicide attacks, including fund-raising, procurement of weapons and the
technical know-how for their assembly and use; the recruitment, training, and indoctrination of
the Istishhady, overall decision making and strategic planning, intelligence-gathering, target
selection, and public relations (Moghadam, 2003). Regarding this point, Bloom (2004)
contended that the popularity of suicide bombing in the Palestinian society makes it a powerful
instrument used to strengthen those Palestinian organizations that claim responsibility.
The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas with its military wing Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades
and Islamic Jihad Movement with its military wing Saraya Al-Quds Brigades are the two main
movements which adopted the martyrdom operations in the First Palestinian Uprising in the
eighties. In the Al-Aqsa Uprising, the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fateh with its
military wing Aqsa Martyrs Brigades followed suit. These are the largest of PLO factions and
they represent a lot of weight and potentials on the ground. The Palestinian leftist forces
especially the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with its wing Abu Ali
Mustafa Brigades and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) with its wing
National Resistance Brigades joined them (Ateek, 2002; Jaradat, 2003; Moghadam, 2003;
Mustafa, 2003B; Yom & Saleh, 2004; Khosrokhavar, 2005).
Hamas and Islamic Jihad oppose Oslo Agreements and adopt armed jihad and martyrdom
operations as one basis for the liberation of the Palestinian national soil from the river to the sea.
As for the martyrdom operations carried out by Fateh movement, they are limited in number;
they do not express the convictions of the leaderships of the Palestinian National Liberation
Movement Fateh. Aqsa Martyrs Brigades exploited the women element in some of its operations
a matter that Hamas and Jihad approved of later. What follows is a brief review of the Palestinian
factions involved in martyrdom operations.

1.11.1 Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas)


It is a jihadist popular nationalist movement which seeks to liberate the Palestinian people and
fight the Zionist project; it is part of the movement of Islamic resurgence. The movement
released its constitution on 14 December 1987 which carries the name of its founder Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin; however, its roots go back to the movement of Islamic Brotherhood. It embarked
on a new development since the establishment of its military wing Ezzedeen Al-Qassam
Brigades towards the end of 1989. Hamas and its military wing are considered the spiritual father
of the martyrdom operations. Upon the announcement of its foundation, Hamas adopted jihad,
resistance against Israel as a fundamental basis for its existence. In its charter in August 1988,
the Movement identified the jihad as its path and death for the sake of God as its ambition until
the end of the occupation. The movement reiterated that it is not against the principle of peace,
however, it sees that the agreements which were reached with the Israeli side do not meet the
aspirations of the Palestinian people nor do they meet the minimum requirement of its
aspirations. The movement along with its popular and military momentum had a large scale

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involvement in the First Uprising in 1987 and in the Al-Aqsa Uprising as well (Passia, 2002A;
Moghadam, 2003; Rimawi, 2005; Saarnivaara, 2008).

In the Al-Aqsa Uprising on Monday 22 March 2004, the Israeli forces assassinated the founder
of the movement the wheel chaired Sheik Ahmed Yassin and did the same to his predecessor in
less than a month Dr. Abid Aziz Rantisi on Saturday evening 17 April 2004. In the year 2006
Hamas accepted to take part in the Palestinian political system and enrolled in the second
legislative elections in which it had achieved an overwhelming victory over Fateh movement that
ruled the system for more than 35 years. Hamas was able to form a Palestinian cabinet alone and
in accordance with its own platform which differed from that of the PLO; it did not recognize
Oslo Accords as a ceiling for the legislative elections. This made Israel, the United States and the
majority of the international communities impose a financial and political boycott on the
Palestinian government.

1.11.2 Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ)

The Islamic Jihad movement was formed from religious groups in the Palestinian resistance
factions and the majority of its members were from the Muslim Brotherhood who went beyond
the banners of education and the call for Jihad and resistance. The movement declared itself for
the first time in a statement distributed on 30 Februray 1980. Contrary to Muslim Brotherhood
Movement, this movement insisted right from the time of establishment on the need to declare
the principles of Jihad in Palestine in spite of the fact that both of them call for the establishment
of the regime and Islamic State in Palestine. Following Oslo agreements, the movement refused
to participate in the Legislative Council elections, and it refused to participate in the PNA
institutions. It continued on fighting the Israeli occupation which chased its leader Fathi Shaqaqi
in Malta and the Israeli Mossad assassinated him there on 26 October 1995. Now as Hamas, the
movement is taking part in the Al-Aqsa Uprising and in the Unified National and Islamic
Leadership of the Uprising. Saraya Al-Quds Brigades which are the military wing of the
movement are carrying out their operations against the Zionist entity as a strategic weapon; it
also cooperates with Fateh Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in carrying out operations. The movement had
more than one significance in the resistance march of the Palestinian warrior people (Kiyali,
1989; Passia, 2002A; Litvak, 2003; Moghadam, 2003; Rimawi, 2005).

1.11.3 Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fateh)

Fateh is considered the largest of the Palestinian national factions in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip and the most influential in terms of potentials, members and popular supporters. The
movement was established on 1 January 1965 by the late Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.
Since then it remained the only faction in control of the Palestinian arena due to its national
history which it was established on the practice of military struggle in addition to its financial
potentials and the large network of relations it intertwined with many sides inside and outside
Palestine (Kiyali, 1989; Abu Amr, 1995; Passia, 2002A).
Fateh Movement clearly highlighted its principles and stated that, “The armed struggle is the
only way towards the liberation of the usurped land; the content of the armed struggle is the

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entire Palestinian people who are the head of the spear and the vanguard of struggle. Fateh
determined the objectives of the Palestinian revolution: liberation of entire Palestine and
liquidation of the Zionist occupation state, establishment of the independent democratic
Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, support of the persecuted peoples in achieving
their struggle to liberate their countries and to have their own self determination. The movement
concentrated on the strengthening of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; it established
Shabibat Fateh (Fateh Youth) which prepared the Palestinian street in the occupied territories for
resistance using available means like stabbing with knives, beating with sticks and throwing
stones; these were the first signs for the first Uprising in 1987; this Uprising shocked human
feelings and showed the brutal role of the Israeli occupation which had gone mad and
assassinated the second man in the movement the Engineer of the First Intifada Khalil Wazeer
(Abu Jihad) on 12 April 1988. Fateh Movement is considered the backbone of the PLO and the
PNA in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Now Fateh movement is leading the Al-Aqsa Uprising
through the Unified National and Islamic Leadership of the Uprising and through operations
which its military wing Aqsa Martyrs Brigades carry out (Shahar, 2002; Rimawi, 2005).

1.11.4 Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was established on 11 December 1967
under the leadership of Dr. George Habash as a Palestinian Marxist Organization. The PFLP had
declared its hold fastness to the following principles: revolutionary violence as a unified
language for the enemy to comprehend and absorb. War against the enemy is the ideal historical
approach for action. Every Palestinian plays a role in the battle for liberation. Armed resistance
is the only efficient approach. The people are the basis for resistance. The war of the Palestinian
people is part of the Arab revolution against Imperialism. Their common belief is that the PFLP
is the second largest faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Occupied Territories.
The Israeli forces using apache fighters assassinated its general secretary comrade Abu Ali
Mustafa on 27 August 2001. Its new general secretary comrade Ahmed Sa’adat is still in Israel
prisons since 2005 (Abu Amr, 1995; Passia, 2002A; Rimawi, 2005).

1.11.5 Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)

This Front has practically appeared on 23 February 1969 under the leadership of comrade Nayef
Hawatmeh which is a Marxist organization that calls for the spread of the Marxist ideology. Thus
its work is not limited to underground activities, but it believes that the Palestinian revolution is a
revolution to fight world imperialism, Jewish capitalism and remains of feudalism and
Bourgeoisie in Palestine. The armed struggle is the way to be followed on the basis of alliance of
the labour, peasants, petit bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie with the affirmation that the
absolute leadership is for the coalition of labor and peasants in a revolutionary war lead by
Marxist ideology (Kiyali, 1989; Passia, 2002A; Rimawi, 2005).

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1.12 Palestinian Women and Resistance
Although the Palestinian history of the conflict with Israel has long been dominated by men,
there have been several high-profile women figures, often fighters and activists, and occasionally
politicians and leaders. The woman regarded as the first female Palestinian guerrilla fighter is
Fatima Barnawi, who in October 1967 planted a bomb in a Jerusalem cinema that left dozens of
Israelis injured. She was 28 and a member of Fateh Movement (Abu Ali, 1974; Khalili, 1977;
Hanson, 2006).
Perhaps the most iconic Palestinian women were the hijacker Leila Khaled. In 1969, she took
part in the hijacking of a TWA plane, flying it to Damascus before blowing it up. She had
cosmetic surgery to disguise her looks and the next year made a failed attempt to hijack another
plane as part of a wave of hijacks planned by the leftwing Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (Hanson, 2006; Nieves, 2006).
Nearly a decade later, on the morning of 11 March 1978, Dalal Mughrabi and her Palestinian
Militants (Fedayeen) unit of eleven members, including one other woman landed on an Israeli
beach, killed an American photographer and seized a bus filled with passengers. After a gun
battle with Israeli soldiers, she blew up the bus, killing 36 people on board. Mughrabi and her
fighters were also killed (Khalili, 1977; Alqam, 2005; Hanson, 2006; Naaman, 2007).
Today, new generations of Palestinian women are taking part. When Yasser Arafat in January
2002 called on Palestinian women -his "Army of Roses"- to join in the struggle against Israeli
occupation, he was surprised by their swift and devastating response. Later that same day Wafa
Idris became the first Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) on January 27, 2002 when
she detonated a martyrdom operation in Jerusalem killing an Israeli and injuring 150 others
(Beyler, 2003; Victor, 2003; Hanson, 2006; McCarthy, 2006; Naaman, 2007).

1.12.1 Women Involvement in Martyrdom Operations


The Palestinian woman has realized the importance and effectiveness of the national struggle,
and she was able to employ the different forms of the struggle in harmony with her own physical,
mental, psychological and spiritual capacities in a distinctive manner which was characterized by
depth, accountability, national belonging and ethical commitment along the historical march of
the Palestinian national resistance. The level of this noticeable involvement has gone higher with
the increase in the number of youth, old, women and children suicide martyrs who paid their
lives for the liberation, freedom and dignity since September 2000 of the outbreak of Aqsa
Uprising until this present day. The Palestinian woman is above all a patient mother who brought
to this country outstanding models of heroes who painted with their blood the main features of
freedom and national liberation. The involvement of Palestinian women in the martyrdom
operations surprised the Israeli security circles which now know that they are facing a
phenomenon in which all the Palestinian people both young men and women are looking for
individuals who will be willing to carry out such operations (Abu Ali, 1974; Khalili, 1977;
Alqam, 2005).

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The martyrdom operation carried out by Wafa Idris on 27 January 2002 was not the first
martyrdom operation of its kind carried out by a Palestinian woman; there were many other
Palestinian girls who tried to carry out such operations.
It is possible to indicate that the first attempt at the level of martyrdom operations was in the year
1986 through what used to be called “Saraya Jihad Islami”; it was decided that Itaf Ilayan would
drive a bobby trapped car from Bethlehem District; however the operation was discovered on 17
December 1992. In another attempt, there was Iman Ghazawi who carried out an abortive
operation in August 2001 during the Aqsa Intifada and she was caught in the central station in
Tel Aviv and she was carrying 5 kilos of explosives hidden inside a washing powder (Qasim,
2003; Sawahil, 2003; Victor, 2003; Hanson, 2006; McCarthy, 2006).
In an interview with Itaf Ilayan, the first attempt suicide martyr woman as stated in (Qasim,
2003; Sawahil, 2003) she indicated, “I was a member in Islamic Jihad Movement when I was 17
year old. Since 1988, I started asking the leadership to allow me carry out a martyrdom
operation; I volunteered to carry out the first operation following the success of the Lebanese
experience in this kind of operations according the Zionist enemy; I received approval and
started preparations to attack Israeli governmental buildings in Jerusalem with a bobby trapped
car; however, I was arrested and sentenced 15 years until the day I was released in 1997. Ilayan
adds, “Necessity knows no boundaries. There is a holy tradition by Prophet Mohammed May
God’s Peace and Prayer Be Upon Him as saying, “If an enemy enters into to house of Islam, the
wife would leave without the permission of her husband and the slave without the permission of
his master”.
What follows is a brief review of the main martyrdom operations carried out by Palestinian
female suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyat) (Palestinian women martyrs against the Israeli occupation,
2007).
1.12.2 Palestinian Women Martyrs Against the Israeli Occupation
1.12.2.1 Wafa Idris, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fateh), 27 January 2002

Wafa Idris was a nurse in Red Crescent Society,


the Palestinian version of the Red Cross. On 27
January 2002, the 28 year old nurse walked into a
shopping district on Jerusalem's Jaffa Road and
carried out a martyrdom operation killing herself,
an Israeli and injuring 150 others. Red Crescent
Society officials said that, “Idris had been on the
front line of clashes between Palestinian
demonstrators and Israeli troops, tending to the
wounded”. About two weeks before her
martyrdom operation, he said that, “She cradled a 15 year old boy, Samir Kosbeh, who was hit in
the head by a bullet fired by Israelis soldiers”. The clash took place just outside the West Bank
headquarters of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat. The boy lapsed into a coma for a week, and
then died, two days before Idris detonated her bomb. She lived at Amari Refugee Camp near
Ramallah.

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1.12.2.2 Darene Abu Aisha, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fateh), 27 February 2002
The second martyrdom operation by a Palestinian woman freedom fighter
occurred on 27 February 2002. Darene Abu Aisha, 22 year old, detonated a
bomb at Maccabim settlement checkpoint in West Ramallah (West Bank),
wounding four Israelis. She was a student at AnNajah National University
in Nablus, and came from the village of Beit Wazan, in the West Bank. She
left a videotape, which was broadcast by the Arab satellite channel ANN,
saying that, “She decided to be the second female– after Wafa Idris– to
carry out a martyrdom operation and to take revenge for the blood of the
martyrs and the desecration of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque”. Darene
highlighted the crucial role of Palestinian women in the resistance and said,
“Let Sharon the coward know that every Palestinian woman will give birth
to an army of martyrs, and her role will not only be confined to weeping over a son, brother or
husband; instead she herself will become a martyr”.

1.12.2.3 Ayat Al-Akhras, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fateh), 29 March 2002


Ayat Al-Akhras 18 year old was the youngest Palestinian female suicide
martyr. On 29 March 2002, she detonated a martyrdom operation inside a
supermarket in Kyriat Hayoval area of Jerusalem killing two Israelis and
injuring 28 others. Two days before she detonated the operation, Ayat sat
with her fiancée Shadi Abu Laban and talked about graduating from high
school and getting married in the summer; the couple dreams made them
agree on the name of the first baby born “Adi”. Her operation came in
response to the Israeli killing of the Palestinian Issa Faraj following a rocket
shelling of his house adjacent to Ayat’s house. She was the one who found
him drowning in his blood and rushed him to hospital; she saw his two year old daughter playing
in her father’s blood. In her will, she said, “What is the use of life if death chases us from all
directions? We will go to it before it comes to us and revenge for our selves before we die”. Ayat
came from Dehaisha Refugee Camp, near Bethlehem, the camp of uproot and homelessness in
which the residents are suffering from tragic conditions.

1.12.2.4 Andaleeb Taqatqa, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fateh), 12 April 2002


On 12 April 2002, Andaleeb Taqatqa, a 20 year old girl from Beit Fajjar
village near Bethlehem, detonated a belt full of explosives at a Jerusalem
bus stop, killing 6 Israelis, and injuring 104. The scene has really shaken
the souls when she stood reading her will and holding the Quran, saying,
“I will make out of my body a gun powder barrel which utters what
Arab leaders could not utter that this is a perished life that has no taste or
value”. She adds, “When you want to carry out such an operation,
whether you are a man or a woman, you don’t think about the explosive
belt or about your body being ripped into pieces. We are suffering. We
are dying while we are still alive”.

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1.12.2.5 Hiba Daraghmeh, Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad (PIJ), 19 May 2003
Nineteen year old Hiba Daraghmeh detonated a belt filled with explosives
that was strapped to her waist killing herself, three Israelis and injuring 93
others on 19 May 2003 outside the Amakim Shopping Mall in Afula,
northern part of Israel after she had seen the destruction and devastation
which had happened to the camp of Jenin at the hands of the Israeli
occupation troops; the camp was completely destroyed. The shy 19 year
old student of English literature never spoke to men and avoided drinking
coffee or tea at the cafeteria of Al-Quds Open University in her home
town of Tubas in the West Bank. All of her friends were girls. Even her cousin, Murad
Daraghmeh, 20 year old, who was in the same university, said “I never saw her face. I never
talked to her. I never shook hands with her. The first time the world saw her young face unveiled
was in an Islamic Jihad poster released after her martyrdom”.

1.12.2.6 Hanadi Jaradat, Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad (PIJ), 4 October 2003
On October 4, 2003, Hanadi Jaradat, a 29 year old attorney from Jenin
detonated a martyrdom operation at Maxim restaurant in Haifa, Israel
killing herself, 21 Israelis and injuring 50 others. Hanadi wrapped her
waist with explosives and fought her way past a security guard at the
restaurant. Hanadi was a single woman whose younger brother Fadi, a 25
year old, and an older cousin, 34 year old Salah had been killed by Israeli
forces in Jenin on 12 June 2003. She said in her will, “By God’s force and
determination, I have decided to be the sixth Istishhadiya who would make
out of her body separate explosive fragments to kill the Zionists and
destroy every settler and Zionist since it is not us alone who have to pay
the price and harvest the price for their crimes”. Hanadi was called “The Bride of Haifa”.

1.12.2.7 Reem Rayashi, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas), 14 January 2004


On the morning of 14 January 2004, a 21 year old mother of two
children carried out a martyrdom operation at Erez checkpoint between
Israel and the Gaza Strip killing four Israeli soldiers. The Palestinian
female martyr, Reem Rayashi of Gaza City, was a university student
with two children, ages 1 and 4 whom she loved dearly. She made the
ultimate sacrifice for the freedom and independence of the Palestinian
people, and wrote in her virtuous blood the most elegant and honest
words.

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1.12.2.8 Zainab Abu Salem, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (Fateh), 22 September 2004
Zainab Abu Salem is the eighth Palestinian female suicide martyr
(Istishhadiya) to carry out a martyrdom operation in an effort to
liberate Palestine. Abu Salem, 18 year old, blew herself up near a
hitch-hiking post in Jerusalem on 22 September 2004, killing two
Israeli border police and wounding 17 others. The blast tore through
the mainly Jewish district of French Hill in Arab East Jerusalem,
captured by Israel in 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move not
recognized internationally. Relatives of Zainab had little time to
absorb the shock. They rushed to empty the family home in the
Palestinian refugee camp of Askar near the city of Nablus, expecting
Israeli bulldozers to soon come to demolish it. “I don’t know what’s
happening”, said Abu Salem’s 12 year old brother Tarek, in disbelief
that his sister had died. “I don't know where she is. She isn’t at home”. Family members said that
they had known nothing of her plans for the operation. Her father Ali, recovering from surgery to
open clogged arteries, collapsed and was taken to hospital after learning of his daughter’s
martyrdom operation. Relatives said Abu Salem had just passed high school graduation exams
and had spoken of joining university. Days later, Abu Salem’s mother also passed out and was
rushed to a local hospital. “Oppression is everywhere” said her uncle Mustafa Shinawi, “Every
Palestinian finds his own suitable way to protest the Israeli oppression”.

1.12.2.9 Mervat Massoud, Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad (PIJ), 6 November 2006
Two days after the Israeli army had fired at a group of Palestinian
mothers on their way to Beit Hanoun Mosque killing two; 18 year old
Mervat Massoud decided that she had enough to give up her life for
the liberation of Palestine. She strapped explosives on her waist and
strode defiantly towards Israeli army troops in Beit Hanoun on 6
November 2006, blew herself up and injured one Zionist soldier.
Mervat was a student at the Islamic University of Gaza. Six days
before she carried out her mission, the Zionist occupation army had
killed 50 Palestinians, mostly women and children, in the northern
Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. The Brigades of Islamic Jihad claimed
responsibility for the mission and released a videotape of the tall, thin teenager holding the
Koran and an M-16 rifle while smiling and stating calmly her intention to die in fighting Israel.
Asking forgiveness of her parents, she said, “I love you very much, but I love Palestine and God
more”. Mervat Massoud is the ninth Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya).

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1.12.2.10 Fatima Najjar, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas), 23 November 2006
Fatima Najjar is the oldest Palestinian female suicide martyr
(Istishhadiya) to date. She was 57 year old when she decided to give
up her life for the liberation of the Palestinian people. Fatima was the
mother of 9 and grandmother of 41 children. She was one of the
Palestinian women who bravely formed a human shield around a
Mosque in Beit Hanoun to save a number of Palestinian men trapped
inside who were being shelled by Zionist soldiers. Fatima made her
decision to carry out the martyrdom operation against the Zionist
occupiers two weeks after the Israeli shelling in the Gaza town of
Beit Hanoun left 19 Palestinians, mostly women and children, dead.
Fatima approached a group of Israeli soldiers in Gaza, detonated
explosives strapped around her waist and left 5 Zionist soldiers wounded. She was from the town
of Jabaliya; a woman who experienced the Nakba of Palestine. She saw the exodus of the
Palestinians from their lands in 1948. Her days were mixed with grief and sorrow. That woman,
whose face would tell the pitfalls of the bitter time, had no hesitation, not for a moment, in
carrying out a martyrdom operation amid a large group of Israeli soldiers in Gaza Strip on 23
November 2006, confirming that the Nakba generation, the generation of the 1948 Palestinian
exodus, marks the beginning of martyrdom and repatriation generation.

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1.13 Martyrdom Operations in Islam
1.13.1 Martyrdom Operations in Islamic Sharia
A new struggling phenomenon crystallized in the battle field of the Palestinian resistance and
struggle called "Al-Amaliyat Al-Istishhadiya" Martyrdom Operations; they have come to
represent a deterring phenomenon that fulfilled the balance of deterrence and fear with the
Israelis and faced their aggressive policies against the Palestinian people. A lengthy discussion
and debate took place over this phenomenon and a large scale disagreement took place between
those who are in favor, opposition and conservative. Some described them as suicidal operations
instead of martyrdom operations. Others condemned them since they considered them as terror
forgetting that they are one of the meanings of sacrifice, redemption and self deliverance for the
sake of God (Religion, Nation, Country); they also seem to forget the systematic daily terrorism
practiced by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinian people and its holy places.
More significantly, however, Islamic gatekeepers from various circles and countries soon joined
in supporting martyrs under the religious ruling that all of Islam wars are just and holy wars.
Evidence is brought from the Quran, and the legacy of the prophet, who said that if a Muslim
country is attacked by an enemy, the obligation to wage war – the jihad – applies to each and
every Muslim (Fardh ‘ayn – an individual obligation, rather than Fardh kifayah – a collective
obligation). Accordingly, a person does not fulfill his/her duty through the actions of the Muslim
collective, and a woman is obligated to go to war, even without permission from her husband
(Takrori, 1997; Qasim, 2003; Sawahil, 2003; Yadlin, 2006).

Mustafa (2003A) mentions that some religious rulings (Fatwa) opposed at first Palestinian
martyrdom operations on the basis that they targeted Israeli civilians; therefore, they opposed it
in light of the general rules which Islam decided for the fighters since it forbade the killing of
civilians. By the same token, Takrori (1997: 133) points out that regarding the ruling concerning
the killing of civilian Jews in martyrdom operations, Islam in the first place does not approve the
killing of civilians because they are unable to fight due to the presence of a physical and moral
barrier; this includes children, old people, clergymen, farmers at land …etc; all of these are not
targeted killings unless:

• They took part in the fighting whether in carrying weapon or in giving support like giving
advice, money, encouragement, instigation and others.

• If they joined the fighters and the suicide martyr did not carry out the operation unless by
targeting them; this is called according to Scholars of Fiqh the fortification of the enemy
behind those who cannot be killed (human shield) he shows these kinds of Jewish
civilians on these two conditions:
o Jewish women are no longer civilians because they are trained to carry weapons
and they fight like men the same applies to old people and clergymen. What is left
of the Jews on the land of Palestine is the child who does not start fighting; so it is
not allowed to target it by killing. This is what the Mujahidin in Palestine did not
do so far and they will not do intentionally. In this context, Naaman (2007)
mentioned in the case of Ayat Al-Akhras, the third female suicide martyr
(Istishhadiya), who implemented a martyrdom operation inside a supermarket in

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Kyriat Hayovel area of Jerusalem on 29 March 2002 killing two Israelis and
injuring 28 others. One of her victims was seventeen year old Rachel Levy, who
was buying fish for Saturday. The two girls looked alike, and the media
repeatedly showed their pictures together, juxtaposed as the victim and the
perpetrator, the innocent and the monster. But in the media discourse it was never
mentioned that Levy was just months away from her mandatory army service,
which would have directly or indirectly put her in a position that would have
endangered the lives of Palestinian civilians.
o Martyrdom operations are legitimate and a duty if there were assigned as a means
to confront the enemy and force it to leave Muslim lands or at least to weaken it
and to strike horror into the hearts of their soldiers and settlers so they will not
feel secure and safe on the usurped land of Palestine.
Sheikh Yousef al Qaradawi, a moderate Egyptian cleric points out that martyrdom operations are
considered the greatest of all types of Jihad in the cause of Allah and it is a permissible terror
which the Holy Quran referred to as, “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of
your power including steeds of war to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of God and your
enemies” (Al-Anfal: 60). The naming of these operations as suicidal is a misleading misnomer;
they are heroic martyrdom operations which are far from being suicidal. Those who carry them
out are far from being victims to the psychology of the suicide in the western understanding of
the term which is the person who kills himself for the sake of individual issues. The suicide
martyr (Istishhady) presents his life as a sacrifice for the sake of his religion, homeland and
nation and resists legitimately those who occupied his land, usurped his right and are still
practicing all sorts of systematic aggression against all the members of the Palestinian people
(Mustafa, 2003B; Sawahil, 2003; Hafez, 2006).
In the opening ceremony of the Media Conference on the Image of Arabs and Muslims held at
the Faculty of Media at Cairo University, his eminence the Chief Imam of Azhar Sheikh
Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, a leading doctrinal authority in the Sunna Muslim world, pointed
out as he was talking about the martyrdom operations that those who blow up themselves facing
the enemies in order to preserve their holies, homeland, money and children are martyrs
(Shuman, 2001; Mustafa, 2003A).
Regarding the involvement of woman in the martyrdom operations, Sheik Yousef Al-Qaradawi
stressed the right of the woman in contributing to her role in Jihad and martyrdom; he in fact
emphasized that Jihad is a duty on her under the current condition of the Palestinian people.
When jihad is an individual duty like when an enemy enters a certain country, then the woman is
required to take part in the Jihad along side man. In a public opinion poll carried out in AnNajah
National University in Palestine regarding the role of the Palestinian women in the Aqsa Intifada,
it was found out that 57.7% support the continuation of women in carrying out martyrdom
operations while 42.3% opposed it (Mustafa, 2003B; Sawahil, 2003).
In addition, the great Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land Sheikh Ikrema Sabri does not only
determine that the martyrdom operation is legitimate but also it had caused a violent and strong
qualitative shock in the Israeli street (Mustafa, 2003A; Grimland et al., 2006).

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Besides, Imam Yahya Hendi, a Qur’anic scholar who is the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown
University says clearly that, those who die in the service of God are martyrs (Ateek, 2002).
Following the abstract scientific deep research in understanding the evidence from the Holy
Quran, the Prophet’s Sunna and looking into the views of scholars both old and new in
determining the meaning of suicide which the Sharia banned and highlighting the meaning of
Jihad which Islam called for and shedding the light on martyrdom (Istishad) and adapting it,
Takrori (1997: 151) concluded the following:

• Martyrdom Operations are not new in our age, and Mujahidin carried them out since the
first dawn of Islam under the knowledge and approval of Prophet Mohammed May
God’s Peace and Prayer Be Upon Him and he commended and encouraged them.

• Scholars agreed that attacking the enemy in which the person does not expect safety to
himself is legitimate and it is recommended if it destroys the enemy or benefits the
Muslims.

• Scholars now and then agreed that these operations are not suicide since they are not
killing of oneself out of fear or despair for something earthly. As for martyrdom
operations, they are completely different from suicide because they are a kind of
martyrdom for the sake of Allah the Exalted, homeland and people.

• The majority of contemporary scholars approved martyrdom operations. The difference


between them was regarding the conditions of venturing such operations and whether
they are necessary or not? Consequently, this difference fades away when these
operations target enemies like the Jews who usurped the land and holy Islamic sites.
Thus Jihad became (Fardh ‘ayn – an individual obligation, rather than Fardh kifayah – a
collective obligation) on every Muslim against the enemy. Perhaps these operations are
the ideal solution and the best choice to fight the Jews in our age where Muslims both
states and peoples showed incompetence with regard to Jihad.
To sum up, religious authorities inside and outside the Palestinian territories spoke favorably
about martyrdom operations against Israeli civilians; all affirmed the right of Palestinians to
carry out such operations against Israelis to preserve their homeland and people.

1.13.2 Martyrdom Operations in Law


Since the establishment of the United Nations, it adopted the right to self determination; its
charter linked between the principle of equality between the peoples in the rights and their right
to self determination. In a resolution by the UN Assembly titled, “Declaration of Independence
to Colonized Countries and Peoples”, the first two articles stated:
1. The subjection of people under the control and exploitation of the foreigner is a
denial of basic human rights and contradicts the UN Charter and threatens the issue
of international peace and cooperation.

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2. All people have the right to self determination and by virtue of this right they may
freely determine their political center and seek freely to achieve their economic,
social and cultural development (Dweik, 2001).
International Law considered the military occupation of the others lands as illegitimate; it also
acknowledged that the occupied peoples have the right to use all forms of struggle including
armed struggle in order to achieve their independence. This was clear in the UN Assembly
program issued on 12 October 1970 titled "Action Program for the Full Implementation of the
Declaration of Independence to Colonized Countries and Peoples" (Abrash, 2002; Hussien,
2003).
Based on what was issued by the UN resolutions to this regard and in light of the inability of the
International Community to guarantee the observance of this right, it was natural to accept that
people living under occupation use armed struggle techniques; thus, the armed struggle for the
sake of national liberation has become, in the opinion of the overwhelming majority of scholars
of Law, legitimate from a legal point of view, but they stipulated that in order for this armed
struggle to be legal, it has to target military targets and semi military ones or against the vital
interests of the colonizing country and within the borders of its own region. But if it targets
innocent people, it will lose its legitimacy and become a terrorist act (Tu’aimat, 2003).
In this regard, Dweik (2001) stresses that acts of violence which are carried out by national
liberation movements are not considered terrorist by all means, indicating the vast difference
between the national liberation movements and the terrorist movements. In the national
liberation movements, we find an overwhelming desire among the members of the people from
all classes, trends and attitudes to join these movements in order to practice popular resistance
against the transgressor. In contrast, those involved in terrorist movements are among the few in
the society who are disgruntled with the prevalent conditions, and they do not represent in any
manner the large sector of the society.
Regarding that point in particular, Abrash (2002) emphasizes that the peoples’ struggle for self
determination is a legitimate one and has nothing to do with terrorism. The French and American
revolutions affirmed the right to freedom and equality of the individuals; the issue of
independence and the freedom of peoples and individuals have become recognized principles in
the charters and agreements signed between the world countries through the UN and its different
organizations. The countries of the free world led by the United States of America supported the
peoples occupied by the Nazis by supplying them with money and arms. They even allocated
their lands to become bases for the French liberation army and for other resistance movements
against the Nazis and Fascists. In addition, Zaro (2002) stresses the right of the just Palestinian
resistance facing the Israeli terrorism with all forms of resistance which European peoples and
the USA peoples resorted to in their revolution against the British colonization in the second
century A.C. He reminds the world of the firm truth that an Israeli state was established on the
heads of spears, bloody terrorism, demolition and transfer policy and wiping out of the
Palestinian identity.

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1.14 Pro and Cons of Martyrdom Operations in the Palestinian Society
Debate has heated up in the Palestinian arena over the feasibility and legitimacy of martyrdom
operations which are carried out by different Palestinian resistance factions especially the Islamic
resistance. Some considered it harmful to the interests of the Palestinians and it does not
contribute to the benefit of Palestinian national interest. In contrast, others considered it the peak
of Palestinian national struggle against the tyrant Israeli occupation perching on the chests of the
Palestinians. In addition, there are some calls for the rationalization of this phenomenon by
measuring their pros and cons. These positions about martyrdom operations are considered
natural in light of the wide base of party plurality in the Palestinian society.
In an article titled, “It is not the right of Proponents of Suicidal Operations to Involve others in
what might be Avoided”, Nofal (2003) points out that he does not differ with all Palestinian
resistance factions regarding the justice of the Palestinian position and the legitimacy of fighting
the occupation, but he differs essentially with them in estimating the extent of what can be
achieved of the national objectives in this stage of conflict and regarding the more successful
ways to achieve them. He indicates that there are always effective and feasible means in resisting
the occupation and others are more effective but they are harmful and cause defeat to the
objectives and to those fighting for it. He stresses that it is crucial to avoid these techniques even
if they are just and legitimate; he adds that it is not the right of others to implicate others in what
might be averted especially if the cost for involvement is blood, devastation and siege. He adds
that some Palestinian martyrdom operations had distorted the image of the just and legitimate
Palestinian struggle and weakened the official Palestinian position at the Arab and International
arenas. It also gave the Israeli leadership the pretext to discharge their grudge and resentment
against Palestinians and escalate acts of devastation, killing, closure, siege and detention of
Palestinians. He goes on to say that the Palestinian martyrdom operations weakened the peace
movement in Israel and reinforced extremism in the Israeli community against Palestinians
instead of encouraging moderation. The writer concludes by stressing that the Palestinian higher
national interest is above all other considerations. He also emphasizes the need for dialogue
among all Palestinian resistance factions until they reach an agreement which highlights the
commitment of all factions to stop martyrdom operations.
It is important to say that there was an urgent appeal to Palestinians to stop the suicide bombings
(Appendix N) issued on 20 June 2002 for several days in the local Palestinian newspapers
carrying the signatures of 59 Palestinian intellectuals and public figures in which they declare
their categorical condemnation of martyrdom operations and demand from those behind these
operations to reconsider what they are doing and not to drag Palestinian youth into this. The
statement stated that the martyrdom operations did not contribute to the national interest at that
time and it strips Palestinians of their ethical superiority since it targets Israeli civilians; they
instead called for a concentration of the Palestinian struggle in the occupied Palestinian
territories (borders of the year 1967) considering that the final objective of the political struggle
is to establish a Palestinian state on those territories. The statement added that these operations
only served the Israeli interests which took them as a pretext to destroy the peace process and the
PNA, implement their plans and projects and continue their aggression against the Palestinian
people. Moreover, the statement pointed out that these operations caused Palestinian to lose the
support and international sympathy and weakened the Palestinian political and diplomatic
endeavors as well (Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics and Culture, 2002: 121).

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In his response to this statement, the writer Abdel Wahab (2002) emphasizes the legitimacy of
discussion inside the Palestinian house in different issues and criticizes the justifications which
the statement provides by indicating that they do not convince the Palestinian citizen who is
under the yoke of the Israeli occupation and is exposed to all forms and types of suppression and
killing which reach in several cases to the extent of mass genocide which the Israeli occupation
practices under the cover of fighting the Palestinian violence. The issue of human and ethical
superiority comes from the just Palestinian issue and legitimate struggle for the sake of regaining
the Palestinian right by all means available including the martyrdom operations which show an
unprecedented ethical superiority. The Palestinian sacrifices his soul and life for the sake of his
land and country; it is out of sheer nobleness and gallantry. As for the issue of Israeli civilians,
the writer points out that the Israeli society is a settlement society by nature; its make up and all
its members are involved in violence against Palestinians; therefore, they become a target for the
Palestinian resistance. He indicates that the civil unarmed Palestinian people were uprooted from
their lands and houses at the hands of Zionist gangs. As for the restriction of the martyrdom
operations to the territories occupied in the year 1967, the writer stresses that the Palestinian
struggle is a legitimate one over the entire land of Palestine and the resistance factions are the
only ones who decide their objectives since limitation of resistance to these territories only
serves the Israelis who want to restrict them and inflict upon them great human and materialistic
losses.
In an article in support of the martyrdom operations, Takrori (1997) points out that the present
martyrdom operations give great benefits to the Palestinian people as follows:
1. It was proven that these martyrdom operations are the most harmful and detrimental to
the Israeli occupiers; they are the most effective in causing them to panic; it made them
feel insecure in their midst even in the streets, internal and external transportations,
concentration places and military bases.
2. They are the most successful of all the other means used by resistance fighters against the
Israelis; the suicide martyrs do not show any kind of weapons but they look like any
regular passenger or soldier so their enemy has no chance to fight back; it is all a press of
a button without anybody realizing what has happened except for the blast and the
scattering of enemy corpses.
3. These kinds of operations lead to some kind of equal confrontation with the Israelis by
inflicting deaths among them the same as they do to Palestinians. Regarding this point,
and in very touching and passionate words, the Palestinian female suicide martyr
(Istishhadiya) and lawyer Hanadi Jaradat, Haifa operation on 4 October 2003 said in her
will, “By God’s force and determination, I have decided to be the sixth Istishhadiya who
would make out of her body separate explosive fragments to kill the Zionists and destroy
every settler and Zionist since it is not us alone who have to pay the price and harvest the
price for their crimes”.
4. Resistance in general and this kind of operations in particular made the Israelis think a
thousand times before they commit a massacre or genocide against the Palestinian
people; these operations became the reprisal which the Israelis expect to any massacre
they inflict on the unarmed and vulnerable Palestinian people. The suicide martyr Akram
Nabtiti, Jerusalem operation on 17 March 2002 says to this effect, “I have decided to

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carry out this operation only in order to avenge the pure blood of our people, which is
being shed every day, if not every hour, by the hateful Sharon and the Zionist army who
have had no mercy on our women, our elderly, or our children and in order to defend our
right to live in freedom and dignity on our pure land. It is the only choice to make the
occupier think a thousand times before he trespasses or desecrates any of our peoples’
sanctities and any of our Islamic and Christian holy places”.
5. The one who carries out these operations knows for sure that by doing so he is harming
the enemy and raising the Word of God in an attempt to weaken them and to bring
happiness and embolden the hearts of Muslims; therefore, he will become a martyr and
win a lofty place after he sacrificed his life for the sake of God.
6. It revives in the Palestinian people the spirit of Jihad and Martyrdom which is feared by
the enemies who are very careful that this spirit does not reappear.
7. These operations make many of the non Muslims in the world want to know about the
Islamic Doctrine which its believers are ready to sacrifice the dearest thing they own in
order to preserve this doctrine; these operations have caused many people to become
knowledgeable about the main reason why these suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) carry out
such operations and not depend only on the distracting and misguiding information
published by mass media especially the Israeli one.
As for the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) position regarding the martyrdom operations,
double standards are clear in its tackling of this phenomenon. On one side the PNA stresses the
legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance until the occupation is lifted from the Palestinian land
and on the other hand the PNA condemns some martyrdom operations especially those happened
inside the green line (Israel, 1948) and considers its executors as outlawed (Amir, 2003).

In my opinion this position is not surprising if we know the tremendous amount of international
pressure exerted on the PNA to this effect in addition to the fact that it is torn between the
occupation on one side and the Palestinian resistance factions on the other.

As for the view of experts in sociology from Palestine, Sharif Kana’na-professor in BirZeit
University- as stated in Sawahil (2003: 183) indicated that martyrdom had become part of the
culture of the Palestinian society, and the Palestinian environment has become ready to produce
larger numbers of suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin). He adds that the Palestinian individual has
reached the conclusion that he has become the only loser whether he kept silent towards his
everyday suffering or if he carried out a military action targeting an Israeli target. Kana’na
referred to cases of suppression, humiliation, and subjection which the Palestinians face
everyday. He considered that such a condition will eventually push the Palestinian to think of
something to revenge for his stolen dignity. He refused the idea that these martyrs were
brainwashed by the organizations which sent them. He stressed the lack of Palestinian experts
who are capable of carrying out a brainwash, but it is the social and political environment which
was imposed on the Palestinians by the occupation measures which touched almost every
individual. This matter has lead the Palestinian individual to reach a stage in which life and death
become equal making him ready to die and harm the one who caused these bad conditions. He
stressed that the majority of the Palestinian factions which adopt the technique of martyrdom

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operations as a form of resistance against the Israelis might not exert a big effort in searching for
executors of these operations whose belonging to any resistance faction is no longer a
prerequisite for the implementation of these operations especially when the number of people
who think of carrying out martyrdom operations is more than any other time. Kana’na also
refused the notion that the people who carry out these martyrdom operations are in a state of
despair and only do so because they wish to die; he said that the Palestinian case is represented in
death for the sake of defending others and not for the sake of defending oneself. He referred to
the recorded wills of the suicide martyrs which aimed at letting the world understand their
message, reasons for sacrifice and letting other Palestinians know that they had died for their
sake. In this context, Abdel-Khalek (2004) concludes that the Palestinian soil has become a
fertile ground for the growing phenomenon of martyrdom and has given rise to a culture of
resistance, since they have a deep feeling of injustice and humiliation after being chased out of
their own country and conquered by the Israelis. All of these are caused by what the Israeli army
has done against the Palestinians like killing and imprisoning, then burying prisoners of war
alive, using arrested people as human spare parts for wounded Israelis, demolishing more than
17,000 houses, and bulldozing farm lands.

In another article, Amir (2003) calls for the rationalization of the phenomenon of martyrdom
operations by measuring their pros and cons, so those who stand mid way see that it has no
benefits whatsoever. There are supporters of it in every stage and under any condition.

As for the view of the Palestinian street about martyrdom operations, opinion polls indicate that
the majority of Palestinians support them. In an opinion poll conducted by the Development
Studies Center in BirZeit University in the period 24-26/7/2003 through a sample of 1200
Palestinian citizens in the West Bank and Gaza Strip three years after the Al-Aqsa Intifada,
44.3% stressed that martyrdom operations inside Israeli cities had lead to very positive results for
the Palestinian question; 32.5% opposed this; 17.6% stressed that these operations did not have a
positive or negative effect on the Palestinian question while 5.6% abstained and did not give
their opinion regarding this topic. The majority of 53.3% supported the halt of martyrdom
operations if Israel stopped all forms of violence against Palestinians.

In another poll carried out by the Palestinian State Information Service in the period 11-
13/6/2002 to identify the views of Palestinian citizens regarding martyrdom operations in a
sample of 1137 male and female citizens of which 681 from the West Bank and 456 from the
Gaza Strip; they represent all educational, professional and age groups. Findings showed that
86% of the sample supported martyrdom operations inside Israeli cities; 8.8% opposed that while
5.2% did not give an opinion. The majority of 81% refused the naming of the PNA of the
martyrdom operations as terrorist operations; 9.3% opposed this and 9.7% did not give an
opinion. The majority of 69.6% stressed that the main reason for the Palestinian faction's
involvement in martyrdom operations is national struggle and liberation of the Palestinian soil;
13.4% see that the aim is to abort the peace process; 11.3% said that the aim was to weaken and
embarrass the PNA; while 5.7% of the participants mentioned other objectives. The poll findings
showed that 61.3% of the sample believed that martyrdom operations did not harm the

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Palestinian people and their legitimate struggle; 27.9% opposed this while 10.8% did not give an
opinion.

In the latest opinion poll carried out by the Opinion Polls and Surveys Studies Center at AnNajah
National University in the period 22-24/12/2007 on a sample of 1360 male and female citizens of
which 860 were from the West Bank and 500 from Gaza Strip in the age group 18 years and
above, findings showed that 56.6% of the sample supported martyrdom operations in Israeli
cities; 37.4% opposed it while 6% did not give an opinion.

Regarding this point, Bloom (2004) concludes that the Israeli counter-terror measures such as
border closures and bombings have inflamed Palestinian public opinion and mobilized support
for militants. In the same time, Jaeger et al. (2008) finds that Israeli violence against Palestinians
leads them to support more radical factions and more radical attitudes towards the conflict.

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1.15 Martyrdom Operations from an Israeli Perspective
One of the important characteristics of culture is that it forms the thought and perception which
are linked with the social positions and standards in the society while what might come out of the
elements in some cultures might not appear in other cultures. This is due to the fact that the same
historical factors were not repeated in both. Members in the same society who have the same
culture differ in their reactions towards societal positions and issues. The Israelis’ perceptions
about Palestinian martyrdom operations are different from those of the Palestinians. In spite of
the fact that Palestinian martyrdom operations are legitimate means of resistance of occupation;
they are characterized in most cases as terrorists operations. The Israelis and the forces
supporting them view these operations as terrorist while Palestinians consider them a legitimate
national struggle and a legitimate right to terminate occupation. In this context, Israel was ready
with a substitute interpretation which strips these operations the characteristics of national
resistance of occupation and describes it as terrorism and considers all Palestinians as terrorists
as well. Then the organized extermination of the Palestinian people at the hands of Israelis
becomes a war against terrorism.

In this regard, Naaman (2007) indicates that all attacks on Israelis, whether inside the 1967
borders or outside, whether targeting soldiers or civilians, are dubbed terrorist attacks. But
dropping a one-ton bomb from an Israeli airplane on a five-story Palestinian house, in which a
militant may be present, knowing fully well that dozens of civilians will be killed, is hardly ever
described in Western media as terrorism.

However, the truth is that this raging entity -Israel- was originally established on a sea of
Palestinian blood in 1948; Israel in the first place is a terrorist made state; the mass massacres
which it committed and is still committing in Dir Yassin, Kufr Qasim, Sabra and Shatella,
Abraham mosque in Hebron, Jenin camp, old city in Nablus, Rafah, Khan Yunis, Balata, Askar
refugee camps make the Palestinian people the terror itself. Consequently, the martyrdom
operations are considered a small drop in the ocean of the atrocious Israeli operations against
Palestinians (Zaro, 2002; Hussien, 2003). Regarding this point, we should take into consideration
that society (ies) defines the event, probably not the psychological aspects of the suicide(s). It is
the society that decides what is honorable or not? Who are the suicide bombers? Martyrs?
Terrorists? (Leenaars & Wenckstern, 2004).

In this context, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari Tel Aviv operation on
1 June 2001 wrote in his will, “I say to the world which is fighting Palestinians and supporting
Zionists with money and weapons if martyrdom is terrorism then we are terrorists; if defense of
honor is extremism then we are extremists; if jihad against enemies is fundamentalism, then we
are fundamentalists”. As for the father of the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mohammed
Hassanein, Tel Aviv dual operation on 21 October 2002, he said in the same context, “I say to
the Zionist enemy that my son is not a terrorist but they are the terrorists and killers; Sharon and
his cabinet are fully responsible for all what is taking place because their massacres and
terrorism were reflected on all; we are humans and not a flock of goats; they kill every day new
victims of children, women and elderly”.

Besides, the mother of the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Samer Hammad, Tel Aviv
operation on 17 April 2006, says, “My son is not a terrorist; what he did is a heroic act and it is

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the responsibility of the occupation; I say to the world that occupation is the reason; it does not
exclude anybody from its crimes and massacres; my son’s operation does not deserve
condemnation but respect and appreciation; we will not be afraid of the occupier and its
punishment; the world has to stop taking sides with the occupier; we will not allow anyone to
describe Samer as terrorist”.
As for the father of the Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras,
Jerusalem operation on 29 March 2002 said, “It has become a duty to resist the occupation,
resistance was never terrorism, it isn’t, resistance is to defend your legitimate rights by several
methods including martyrdom operations”.

Martyrdom operations caused a large scale controversy in the Israeli security and civil milieus
making ministers and high ranking officials in the army wonder about the extent of Israeli ability
to last and they considered that the Independence war was not over yet. The Israeli officials’
admission indicates that it is not possible to prevent the carrying out of martyrdom operations, is
a categorical admission of their incompetence. He adds that this kind of operations influenced all
aspects of life in Israel starting from the panic which horrified the Israelis and prevented them
from wandering in public places, taking public transportations, or going to restaurants and night
clubs. The percentage of reverse immigration from Israel has risen in search for stability and
security (Sawahil, 2003).
Ze'ev Schiff, the military analyst in Haaretz newspaper considered martyrdom operations as a
strategic threat with no eminent solution; he indicated that it is a harsh complicated strategic
problem, and Israel does not currently have a practical solution to this strategic threat. He agrees
with the former director of the Israeli Intelligence Department (Shabbak) Ya’cob Perry who said,
“It is the only strategic threat against the State of Israel” (Haaretz, 9/8/2002).
The Israeli political and military leadership does not have a solution to the threats of Palestinian
martyrdom operations and it feels embarrassed because of this. The former Israeli Prime Minister
Isaac Rabin summarized this incompetence by saying, “What can we do before young men who
desire to die”. As for the Israeli police general Inspector Shlomo Aharoniski, he said, “It is not
logical to assure our public that we are able to prevent the carrying out of more operations of this
kind”. Besides, the Minister of Internal Security Ozi Landau said, “We are worried from the
suicides bombers threats; we promise our public to take all the required security measures to stop
the terrorist operations of Palestinians; but we are not deceiving ourselves and we are not
misguiding the public; we cannot put an end, unfortunately, to these operations; it is possible that
there will not be a perfect solution to this problem; the large scale military campaigns and the
firm path did not stop these operations” (Amir, 2003).
Martyrdom operations were actually capable of destroying the basis of theory of balance of
powers after the suicide martyrs proved that their arm is also capable of reaching sensitive
targets in the Israeli depth using another kind of balance of horror (Jum’a, 2005).
This phenomenon grow among the Palestinian youth following the declaration of Hamas and
Jihad leaders that the numbers of suicide martyrs are far more than what the movements could
cope with. The engagement of Fateh Movement along with what it represents of weight and
potentials in the Palestinian street into the area of martyrdom operations was a strong shock to

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the Israelis following the increase of the option of resistance and drop of the share of settlement.
Moreover, the Palestinian leftist factions (Popular and Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of
Palestine) were involved in these operations. This constituted a new challenge for the Israeli
security departments which used to believe that the religious motive alone was responsible for
the recruitment of suicide martyrs (Araj, 2008).
This proves that the war between Islam and Judaism is not religious. The Palestinian people and
resistance factions do not fight the Jews because they are Jews, but because they are occupiers
and usurpers. If those occupiers were Muslims, the Palestinian people would also fight them. In
this regard, the Israeli writer Ariah Shabit states that, “Martyrdom operations proved themselves
as a very successful weapon in the war against Israel”. He adds that, “There isn’t any legendary
dimension in this explanation; these operations come with political motives since they proved
their effectiveness and not with religious ones; they commit martyrdom because it is a tool that
enables them to face the absolute superiority of Israel. However, we should not ignore the
suicide martyrs doctrinal environment and the force of faith motive in self sacrifice since it
cannot be imagined that a person commits self sacrifice without having religious and faith
motives. Moreover, it was found out from the wills of the suicide martyrs from the Palestinian
leftist factions who are not really religious as they appeared on tape that they were wrapped by
the flag of “No God But Allah; Mohammed is God’s Prophet” and they hold the Holy Quran
next to a rifle; they would also perform prayer; their wills are characterized by Islamic address”.
In the same point, high ranking official, in the Israeli intelligence Shaul Landau says in this
connection that, “We are paying the price for your religious awakening; the worrying
phenomenon is the increase of Palestinians return to religion” (Amir, 2003).
In addition, Berko & Erez (2005) reinforced this proposition after their study concluded that in
the Palestinian-Israeli context, both secular and religious militant organizations have invoked
Islamic texts and symbols on martyrdom and jihad to motivate individuals, and to justify their
recruiting and dispatching of suicide bombers. In this context, Shalom (2005) indicated that the
motives behind the martyrdom operations were not religious but political; in addition, there were
some psychological, social and other national motives. In contrast Kimhi and Even (2004)
concluded that the motives behind the Palestinian martyrdom operations were religious, patriotic,
and national in addition to other motives like the desire for revenge and Palestinian factions
exploitation of young people to carry out martyrdom operations.
The political analyst Ronnie Shakid in Yediot Ahronot newspaper describes martyrdom
operations as, “They are a heroic culture which caused a revolution in the Palestinian society
since they no longer express despair, disappointment or desire for revenge; in fact, they became
operations which brought hope; these operations are strengthening in the heart of Palestinians a
firm belief that these are deterrent strategic weapons of Israel which the Palestinian president
cannot stop no matter how much he tried.” (Yediot Ahronot, 21/6/2002). In this context, Kimhi
and Even (2004) state that the phenomenon of Palestinian suicide martyrs turned into an
effective and important political tool in the war between Palestinians and Israel at the present
stage; this kind of war became a source of threat to Israel because of the human, material and
spiritual losses the inhabitants, society and economy sustain and its influence on the daily life in
Israel.
When women carried out this kind of operations, it constituted another challenge to the Israeli
security establishments which realized that they were facing a phenomenon in which all the

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Palestinian people became young men and women looking for someone who would help them
carry out these operations after they were fed up with the occupation that made them reach to a
point in which they had to make grave sacrifices of lives in order to attain freedom and live
decently (Mustafa, 2003B; Sawahil, 2003; Jum’a, 2005; Naaman, 2007).
Finally, we would like to mention that martyrdom operations made the Israeli president Shimon
Perez and other high ranking Israeli leaders to consider them as the most dangerous stage that
Israel had ever passed through; this influence started to encourage Israelis to publicly declare the
need for Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip and West Bank; the need to remove all settlements
built there and to accept the Palestinian conditions for a permanent solution right after the
Palestinian martyrdom operations caused a light earthquake that caused a crack in the social and
economic walls in Israel (Dajani, 1998).
Besides, there were voices inside Israel calling for more drastic and severe measures to curb the
suicide bombings. One of those was Gideon Ezra, the deputy public security minister who
openly on television on August 19, 2001, called on his government to execute the families of
Palestinian suicide bombers. By contrast, there are courageous voices that called on their Israeli
government to examine its harsh policies against the Palestinians that breed suicide bombings. In
one case, Rami and Nurit Elhanan lost their 14 year old daughter who was killed by a Palestinian
suicide martyr in September 1997. In spite of the tragic loss, the parents became actively
involved in peacemaking. They blamed the Israeli occupation calling it “A cancer that is feeding
terror” (Ateek, 2002).

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1.16 Impact of Martyrdom Operations
Many have questioned the value, impact and success of the Palestinian martyrdom operations in
serving the Palestinian cause or harming it. Discussion of this benefit should not be related to the
right of using it in resistance or not. There is a consensus that resistance of occupation is a
legitimate action; focus was on the knowledge in the use of this right and employment of it to
remove the occupation.
1.16.1 Impact of Martyrdom Operations on Israelis
The impact of Palestinian martyrdom operations constituted a real terror inside the Israeli
society; a study carried out by Jaffa Center of Strategic Studies at the Israeli Tel Aviv University
as cited in Nirab (2002) mentioned that 92% of the Israeli public is afraid that Palestinians
martyrdom operations might hit them or any of their relatives. In this context, Dipak & Kusum
(2005) conclude that suicide attacks succeeded in inflicting deep damage not only on Israeli
politics but also, for the first time, the cruel equation of relative losses was turned against
Israelis.
The percentage of immigrants coming to Israel dropped by 23% in the year 2002, the year in
which the Palestinian martyrdom operations reached their peak. In an opinion poll, 49% of the
Israelis indicated that they fear such operations more than their fear of Iraqi Scud rockets. The
results of the poll showed that 50% of Israelis no longer entered big commercial malls in
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa and no longer stand at cross roads for fear of Palestinian
martyrdom operations or explosives. They do not allow their children to do this too (Atrissi,
2002; Abu Al-Ghuzlan, 2003). In the same context, the study of Soibelman (2004) concluded
that the Palestinian martyrdom operations have succeeded in inflicting a high number of
casualties among the Israeli civilian population, which has had a profound negative impact on
the Israeli public sense of personal security.
In another poll, 80% of Israelis stressed that they feared direct harm from Palestinian martyrdom
operations which might constitute a strategic threat that might follow them to any place they go
to (Abu Doqa, 2003). In this context, Dajani (1998) indicates that the Israeli economic losses
included a sharp drop in tourism industry that reached 40% from the USA and 60% from other
countries of the world. This constituted an economic catastrophe for hotels industry and its
investments; it also led to an increase in unemployment level inside Israel; the economic
condition receded drastically and many companies had to shut down; he adds that the martyrdom
operations had led to an increase in the budget allocated to the Israeli army and to a continuation
of the state of emergency. As for the political losses of the occupation, there was an increase in
world condemnation of the Israeli aggression especially following the disclosure of the brutality
of what it is practicing against the Palestinian people.
The qualitative martyrdom operations represented shocking surprises to the Israeli enemy
whether in their styles or outcomes in different areas. The lesson from these operations was not
only limited to the size of human losses inflicted on the enemy but also the scope of the negative
spiritual impacts it has on its victims and non victims. The Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) made the highest ranking war and political generals in Israel scream and say:
What can we do to stop those who came to us to voluntarily die; of course they cannot do
anything to stop anyone who made a decision with his own will and consciousness to be a

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martyr. This is exactly what was expressed by Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Suliman
Tahayna executor of Jerusalem operation on 5 November 1998 in his will, “If the Palestinian
National Authority, Israel, and Clinton can stop me from meeting my God, and carry out my
martyrdom operation, then let them do it”.
On another level, the question of Palestinian martyrdom operations preoccupied the different
Israeli circles; the most experienced intelligence departments and research centers were
completely preoccupied by this phenomenon in order to try to solve its riddle, eliminate it or
reduce it. This was clear from the abovementioned Israeli previous studies.
Besides, the Palestinian martyrdom operations forced the Israelis to start erecting the Racial
Discrimination Wall in 2002 considering that erection will be the ideal solution on the long run
since they imagine that having such a wall will protect them from martyrdom operations (Abu
Al-Ghuzlan, 2003).
Within this framework, no one can deny that these operations contributed to the weakening of
the Israeli security theory and it raised the economic and human bill of the occupation; this was
reflected on the political, social, economic and losses inflicted on the enemy due to the
continuation of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and Palestinian martyrdom operations; but what about its
impact on Palestinians?

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1.16.2 Impact of Martyrdom Operations on Palestinians
The Palestinian martyrdom operations had short term and long term impacts on the Palestinian
people. On one hand these operations contributed to the defeat of the Israeli enemy physically
and morally. On the other hand, it lifted up the spirits of the Palestinian people making it sure of
itself and fully realize and aware of what it wants.
The suicide martyr (Istishhady) is an effective factor in the potentials of the people; it is strong
evidence to the justice of his cause; it is the cause in which people are ready to give the most
precious thing they have for its sake; they stress its high rank and nobleness; it becomes a holy
objective (Aliq, 2004).
The Palestinian martyrdom operations are a proof to the organizational and field force of the
Palestinian factions and their military wings; this is a proof to the political development of
Hamas Movement which is the spiritual father of Palestinian martyrdom operations.
The operations have fulfilled a significant role from a psychological aspect to the Palestinians in
removing the feelings of humiliation, weakness and fragility under occupation. Undoubtedly,
these operations had a positive spiritual impact in reinstating the culture of the Palestinian
people. It has brought back hope to the people and its struggling spirit. It brought back hope in
the efficiency of the resistance and its people to the families of the martyrs, the injured, the
prisoners and to all the liberals in this homeland since they come as a response to the daily
massacres committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians.
Regarding this point, the political analyst Ronnie Shakid in Yediot Ahronot newspaper describes
the martyrdom operations as, “They are a heroic culture which caused a revolution in the
Palestinian society since they no longer express despair, disappointment or desire for revenge; in
fact, they became operations which brought hope; these operations are strengthening in the heart
of Palestinians a firm belief that these are deterrent strategic weapons of Israel which the
Palestinian president cannot stop no matter how much he tried” (Yediot Ahronot, 21/6/2002).
It is clear that the martyrdom operations achieved two main objectives: First, they stressed the
spirit of Palestinian resistance and its hold fastness under the most difficult and brutal conditions.
It emphasized the Palestinian presence in fighting the annihilation war it is exposed to. Second, it
shattered the Israeli security theory and showed that this is connected with finding a settlement
of the Palestinian question and the establishment of the state in spite of the fact that it brought the
war criminal Sharon and gave him the green light to violently and harshly hit the Palestinians for
one hundred days in which he claimed that he was capable of terminating the Al-Aqsa Intifada
and putting an end to martyrdom operations (Sawahil, 2003).
In return, Palestinians paid a high price due to the brutal Israeli practices aiming at eliminating
martyrdom operations; these damages were somewhat devastating on the human and economic
aspects and the political one as well. Israel was able to direct painful strikes which weakened the
large network of Palestinian field leaderships and greatly damaged the infrastructure and the
economic structure of the Palestinian society. On the other hand, Sharon government was able to
question the legitimacy of the Palestinian objectives at the international level and the credibility
of their leaders. It exploited these operations to promote that the real aim of such operations does
not limit itself to removal of occupation, but it aims at breaking the Israeli security and

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eliminating it. Besides, Israel managed to place its war against Palestinians into the same
framework of the American and international war against terrorism which is another step to
gradually and steadily destroy the Palestinian society physically, morally and isolate its
leadership and destroy its political entity by considering it a supporter of terrorism according to
their claim.

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1.17 Study Design
1.17.1 Statement of the Problem
The problem of the study aims at identifying the phenomenon of Palestinian martyrdom
operations from the point of view of the suicide martyrs’ families and relatives. This is a new
social phenomenon which spread in the Palestinian society in all its groups and social classes.
The Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were able to implement two hundred qualitative
martyrdom operations that rocked Israel and raised a large scale wave of reactions locally and
internationally; they constituted a turning point in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; it
is rare to find a similar phenomenon to this one with this huge number of Palestinian suicide
martyrs in any other place in the world. They have their own psychological, social, religious and
national features which qualified them to carry out this strategic action. Besides, the study
problem focuses on identifying the main motives which drove the Palestinian youths to carry out
such operations and the relationship between the emergence of these operations and Israeli
crimes committed against the rights of the Palestinian people.

1.17.2 Study Questions


The present study seeks to answer the following questions:
1. What are the demographic characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin)?
2. What are the demographic characteristics of the Palestinian martyrdom operations?
3. What are the measures taken by Israelis against the martyr’s family following the
implementation of the martyrdom operation?
4. What are the main personality characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin)?
5. What are the social characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)?
6. What are the religious characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)?
7. What are the national characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)?
8. What are the psychological characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin)?
9. What are the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations behind the carrying
out of their martyrdom operations?
10. What are the behavioral changes which took place on the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) prior to the execution of the martyrdom operation?
11. What are the opinions of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) about
the martyrdom operations?

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1.17.3 Study Significance
Due to the modernity of the current study it imposed its significance on the society in spite of the
fact that it is not limited to the Palestinian people. It has created several questions in the minds of
several people; thus, it has become essential to carry out an objective field study of the
phenomenon which has been over researched theoretically; also, the Israeli side paid a lot of
attention to this phenomenon which is in principle a Palestinian demand. The Palestinian library
is in need for precise field research to this effect and to lay the scientific grounds in order to
enhance their question politically, socially and culturally. The current study is considered the
first comprehensive survey study of the Palestinian martyrs (Istishhadiyin). It is expected that the
results would add new scientific knowledge to its field in particular since it discusses a new and
important topic in the history of Palestinian struggle. This study will be an important source of
reference to those concerned in the area of martyrdom operations especially in the information it
will reveal about the phenomenon which crossed beyond the borders of Palestine to become a
world phenomenon. The researcher in honored by this national duty to be the first performer of
this duty within his own potentials as being one of the researchers of the topic of Palestinian
suicide martyrs following a scientific survey procedure.

1.17.4 Study Variables


The current study includes six main variables. The first has the demographic characteristics of
the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin): gender, age, social status, educational
qualification, region, place of residence, district, refugee status, work status, profession, income,
the exposure to Israeli violence…etc. The second includes the demographic characteristics of the
Palestinian martyrdom operations: faction, way of martyrdom, place, time, day, month, year of
martyrdom…etc. The third has the personality characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) with its four dimensions: social, religious, national and psychological. The fourth
includes the Palestinian suicide martyrs motivations behind carrying out their martyrdom
operations. The fifth addresses the behavioral changes which appeared on the Palestinian suicide
martyrs prior to the execution of the martyrdom operation while the sixth includes the opinions
of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs about such operations.

1.17.5 Study Terminologies


1.17.5.1 Al-Amaliyat Al-Istishhadiya (Martyrdom Operations): It is an individual operation
and not military in the conventional sense in which both the enemy and the executor of the
operation are destroyed (Odeh & Jum’ah, 2002).
1.17.5.2 Intifada (Civil Uprising; Shaking off): It is a popular social rebellion movement against
undesirable conditions in order to chang them into a new and better situation through mobilizing
popular behavior and exploiting its activities against the occupier in order to regain the stolen
rights. It is referres to First Intifada which began in the year 1987 as well as to the second one
Al-Aqsa Intifada which started in 2000 (Abu Hin, 2001; Passia, 2002A).

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1.17.5.3 Istishhady (Suicide Martyr): It is a Palestinian term with religious and popular
significances given to the person who is with premeditation and full conscious fitted an explosive
belt on his body, carried an explosive satchel bag or drove a suicide car bomb in order to cause a
blast and harm among the enemy and did not have any chance of going out of it alive (Mustafa,
2003A). It is important to separate the western concept of "Suicide" from the Islamic concept
"Martyrdom". The focus is on martyrdom, which involves using ones death in defense of ones
homeland by inflicting losses on an enemy, not on suicide which is the self-inflicted intentional
act designed to end ones own life (Mustafa, 2003B; Sawahil, 2003; Abdel-Khalek, 2004;
Gearing & Lizardi, 2008).

1.17.5.4 Gaza Strip: It is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Egypt
on the south-west and Israel on the south and east (2007 est. pop. 1,389,000), 360 square
kilometers. The area is not recognized internationally as part of any sovereign country but is
claimed by the Palestinian National Authority as part of the Palestinian territories. Since June
2007 battle of Gaza, actual control of the area is in the hands of Hamas government. Egypt
governed the Gaza Strip from 1948-67, and today it rules the southern border between the Gaza
strip and the Sinai desert, a border now famous for the breach in early 2008 and the smuggling of
food through underground tunnels. Israel governed the Gaza Strip from 1967-2005. Pursuant to
the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Israel
maintains military control of the Gaza Strip airspace, non-Egyptian land borders and territorial
waters (Wikipedia, 2000).
1.17.5.5 Oslo Accords: Officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-
Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles (DOP) was a milestone in the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between Israel and political
representatives of Palestinians. It was intended to be a framework for the future relations
between Israel and the anticipated Palestinian state, when all outstanding final status issues
between the two states would be addressed and resolved in one agreement.
The Accords were finalized in Oslo, Norway on 20 August 1993, and subsequently officially
signed at a public ceremony in Washington D.C. on 13 September 1993, with Yasser Arafat
signing for the Palestine Liberation Organization and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signing for
the State of Israel. It was witnessed by Warren Christopher for the United States and Andrei
Kozyrev for Russia, in the presence of US President Bill Clinton.
The Oslo Accords were a framework for the future relations between the two parties. The
Accords provided for the creation of a Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority would
have responsibility for the administration of the territory under its control. The Accords also
called for the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West
Bank.
It was anticipated that this arrangement would last for a five-year interim period during which a
permanent agreement would be negotiated (beginning no later than May 1996). Permanent issues
such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security and borders were
deliberately left to be decided upon a later stage. Interim self-government was to be granted by
Israel in phases.

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Support for the Accords, the concessions made and the process were not free from criticism. The
repeated public posturing of all sides has discredited the process, not to mention putting into
question the possibility of achieving peace, at least in the short-term.
Further strain was put on the process after Hamas won Palestinian elections in 2006. Although
offering Israel a number of long-term ceasefires and accepting the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative,
Hamas has repeatedly refused to officially recognize Israel renounce legal resistance, or accept
some agreements previously made by the Palestinian Authority, claiming it is being held to an
unfair standard and points out the fact that Israel has not recognized a Palestinian state,
renounced violence or lived up to all pledges it has made during previous negotiations. Hamas
has always renounced the Oslo Accords (Wikipedia, 2000).
1.17.5.6 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): It is a political and paramilitary
organization regarded by the Arab League since October 1974 as the sole legitimate
representative of the Palestinian people. Founded by a meeting of 422 Palestinian national
figures in Jerusalem in May 1964 following an earlier decision of the Arab League, its goal was
the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle. The original PLO Charter (issued on 28 May
1964) stated that Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British mandate is an
integral regional unit and sought to prohibit... the existence and activity of Zionism. It also called
for a right of return and self-determination for Palestinians. Palestinian statehood was not
mentioned, although in 1974 the PLO called for an independent state in the territory of Mandate
Palestine. In 1988, the PLO officially adopted a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine
living side by side contingent on specific terms such as making East Jerusalem capital of the
Palestinian state and giving Palestinians right of return (Wikipedia, 2000; Passia, 2002A).
1.17.5.7 Palestinian National Authority (PNA): It is the administrative organization
established to govern parts of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It has
about 3.750.000 Palestinian residents. The Palestinian National Authority was formed in 1994,
pursuant to the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the
government of Israel, as a 5-year interim body during which final status negotiations between the
two parties were to take place but never did. According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian
Authority was designated to have control over both security-related and civilian issues in
Palestinian urban areas (referred to as Area A), and only civilian control over Palestinian rural
areas (Area B). The remainder of the territories, including Israeli settlements, the Jordan Valley
region, and bypass roads between Palestinian communities, were to remain under exclusive
Israeli control (Area C). East Jerusalem was excluded from the Accords (Wikipedia, 2000;
Passia, 2002A).
1.17.5.8 Palestinian Refugee: Refugee is any Palestinian expelled from his natural place of
residence in Palestine for the year 1948, later or departed from it for any reason but Israel did not
permit him/her to return to his/her original home. Palestinian refugees are distributed into 59
official camps; 19 are in the West Bank, 8 in Gaza Strip, 10 in Jordan, 10 in Syria in addition to
12 in Lebanon; the rest are in the Arab Diaspora in the Arab countries outside camps and in the
international Diaspora i.e. outside the limits of the Arab World in the two Americas, Australia
and other countries; it is estimated that the number of Palestinian refugees today is more than
five millions (Banat, 2002).

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1.17.5.9 Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (TIPH): It is a civilian
observer mission stationed in the West Bank city of Hebron. It is an organization that was called
for by the Israeli government and the Palestinian authority in 1997 to support them in their
efforts to improve the situation in the city of Hebron. It was established following the killing of
29 Palestinian who were praying at the Abraham Mosque at the hand of one of the extreme
settlers on 25 February of the year 1994. The six member states of TIPH are: Norway, Italy,
Switzerland, Turkey, Denmark and Sweden. Every six months the Israeli government and the
Palestinian authority decide if they want to renew the mandate of Tiph and - accordingly - sign
an extension of the agreement (Tiph, 1997; Banat, 2005).
1.17.5.10 West Bank: It is a territory, formerly part of Palestine, after 1949 administered by
Jordan, since 1967 largely occupied by Israel (2007 est. pop. 2,386,000), 5,607 sq km, west of
the Jordan River, incorporating the northwest quadrant of the Dead Sea. Since mid-1994 limited
Palestinian self-rule has existed in portions of the West Bank under the Palestinian National
Authority. Israelis who regard the area as properly Jewish territory often refer to it by the biblical
names of Judaea and Samaria. The largest and most historically important cities are Hebron,
Nablus, Bethlehem, and Jericho. East Jerusalem is regarded as part of the West Bank by Arabs;
however, Israel has incorporated it into the larger Jerusalem economy and municipality
(Wikipedia, 2000).

1.17.6 Study Limitations


1.17.6.1 Human Limitations: the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) who sacrificed
themselves for different motives with premeditation and full knowledge. They carried out the
martyrdom operation in which they knew that they would not come out of it alive; using one of
the following methods: an explosive belt, an explosive bag or an explosive car.
1.17.6.2 Place Limitations: West Bank and Gaza Strip.
1.17.6.3 Time Limitations: Palestinian martyrdom operations in the period (1993-2008).

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2. Chapter Two: Previous Studies
The issue of the Palestinian martyrdom operations has preoccupied the minds of researchers and
thinkers. It has also lead to the outbreak of a large scale controversy both locally and
internationally. Following an unprecedented increase in martyrdom operations which surpassed
all expectations, several studies and research papers both Arab and foreign were published, and
they tackled this subject from different dimensions. The researcher has referred to a number of
these previous studies as follows:
2.1 Arab Studies
A recent study by Ashour (2006) aimed at identifying the qualities and motives of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs in the West Bank from the perspective of their families and close friends through
a questionnaire that was distributed over a random stratified sample of 60 martyrs’ families and
relatives in the West Bank. The results showed that the main characteristics of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs were: difficulty in concentration, quick emotional involvement, kind heartedness,
persistence in opinion, followed by a frustration of needs at childhood and teenage stages. They
had physical countenance similar to Europeans from East Europe. Asceticism and simplicity in
life were the main characteristics of their personalities followed by good social relationships with
the surrounding environment and the family. They showed eagerness on performing prayers on
due time, and they used to listen to religions recordings. Then it was followed by their great
vengeance on what is happening in Palestine along with their great love to the place where they
live in. The main behavioral changes which they had undergone prior to committing martyrdom
operations were: listening for long hours to patriotic songs, exaggeration in performing prayers,
noticeably silent and calm, showed great sorrow, and then their intense desire to show great
happiness. The main motives behind their carrying out of martyrdom operations based on what
was mentioned in their wills were: religious motives, patriotic motives followed by Israeli
violence, to take revenge for a dear martyr, and finally social motives. Findings show that there
are statistical differences in the qualities of suicide martyrs from the view point of family and
relatives according to the variables of: district, place of residence, social condition, while there
were not any statistical differences in their qualities according to the variable of family relation
and educational qualification.
In another study, by Abu Ras (2006) titled “Features and Motives of Palestinian Martyrs from
the Perspective of their Families”, a questionnaire was distributed over a random sample of 173
martyrs’ families and relatives. The study came out with a number of results mainly the features
of the suicide martyrs like: sacrifice and altruism followed by humbleness, loyalty and quick
fulfillment of God’s orders, shunning ill doing and foul actions, loyalty and diligence at work.
The results had shown the main motives behind the implementation of martyrdom operations
which are: occupation practices against the Palestinian people, religious motives, wish to liberate
Palestine, maintain the dignity of the Palestinian people and self sacrifice in order to have decent
living for the Palestinian people. Findings have also shown that the following motives were not
strong enough to lead the suicide martyrs to carrying out of martyrdom operations: family
disintegration, emotional insecurity, to make penance for sins committed against ones people like
collaboration with the occupation, suffering from a chronic disease, or desire to get rid of this life
because of psychological or social problems.

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Ako (2005) conducted an analytical descriptive study titled, “Are Suicidal Operations an Act of
Martyrdom or Terrorism”; the study population consisted of contemporary suicidal operations
while the study sample consisted of suicidal operations in Palestine. The research concentrated in
the study on the many misconceptions raised over this kind of operations especially with regard
to religious rulings (fatwa) and the Sharia positions. He considered that every country has its
own uniqueness and its own justifications. He stressed that suicidal operations have a long record
in the history of many nations and religions, starting from the fifth century B.C. passing through
Christianity, Islam and coming to modern history. The researcher emphasized that the religion of
Islam does not justify suicidal operations which target innocent people whether they were
Muslims or non Muslims since Islam reveres human souls. The researcher held the United States
and Israel responsible for the escalation of violence in the region stressing that the innocent
people are the ones who are paying a high cost in the blind and bloody battlefields along with the
justifications that they allege are the fuel for the war; however, the war harvests the innocent as
well as the targeted people.
In another study, Dabbagh (2005) addressed the phenomenon of suicide in Palestine in relation
to two dimensions for suicide according to the international and religious concept. The results
had shown that the social stress, bad economic condition and psychological stress as a result of
Israeli occupation and its suppressive practices constitute the main reasons for this phenomenon.
The researcher stressed that the Palestinian people who are currently living under daily fighting
and destruction consider death an average event. This explains the readiness of a big number of
youth who are willing to take part in martyrdom operations.
Abdel-Khalek (2004) elucidates specific Islamic and psychological aspects of martyrdom
(Istishhad) in the context Palestinian martyrs in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The study
concludes that the Palestinian soil has become fertile ground for the growing phenomenon of
martyrdom and has given rise to a culture of resistance, based on the Islamic principles of Jihad
(holy war) and the right to resist the Israeli colonizer, since the Palestinians have a deep feeling
of injustice and humiliation after being chased out of their own country and conquered by the
Israelis, including what the Israeli army has done against the Palestinians by killing and
imprisoning, then burying prisoners of war alive, using arrested people as human spare parts for
wounded Israelis, demolishing more than 17,000 houses, and bulldozing farm lands. In addition,
the study emphasizes that several specialists in Islamic law (Sharia) consider that martyrdom is
legitimate and is not counted as suicide of any kind.

Abu M’ala (2004) conducted a study in Jenin district in the West Bank on “The Death Story
among the Palestinian Youth” in an attempt to identify the reality of the youth including the
tragic events on one hand and heroic ones on the other. He aimed at contributing to the
development of policies and programs which would meet the daily needs of the youth in order to
put forward rehabilitation plans which are necessary to guarantee and fulfill the youth rights and
relief them from their crises and psychological suffering. The researcher used a questionnaire
and an interview as study tools applied over a systematic random sample consisting of 200
young men and women in the age group of 18-33 years. The study results indicated that a high
percentage of the youth dream and imagine death by taking part in its different rituals. A larger
percentage was exposed to situations where they almost lost their lives. Results had shown that
there was a relationship between the events and obstacles facing the youth and obstructing their

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way to fulfill their dreams. Findings showed that the youth wished to carry out martyrdom
operations against Israeli military check points where they were exposed to daily humiliation and
coercion.
Aiasah (2004) had a study titled “The Way to Emanuel”; it was published in a book in which the
phenomenon of martyrdom and positions opposing it were studied and analyzed. The researcher
supported martyrdom operations in the Palestinian context which was a reprisal for the daily
massacres committed by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinians. He opposed the
notion that these operations come as a result of frustration motives; he cited in the study the daily
life of some suicide martyrs who were successful in their educational, practical and social life; in
fact, a large number of them were characterized by being vigorous, practical and keen on
enjoying life through making future plans.

In another study, Haddad (2004) compares public views regarding suicide bombings using data
from two surveys of Palestinian refugees living in southern Lebanon (N=342) and Lebanese
Muslims (N=553) administered during the summers of 2002 and 2003 respectively. The data
reveal that approval of suicide operations is more pronounced among Lebanese than Palestinians.
These findings hold even after controlling individual socio-economic and demographic
characteristics. For both populations, support for suicide attacks is more evident among women
than men. Among Lebanese, support for suicide attacks is also a function of low income and
among Palestinians, a function of residence in camps. Findings show for both samples, that the
most important determinant of support for suicide attacks is attachment to political Islam. The
greater the commitment to political Islam the more likely respondents are to endorse suicide
activities. The author concludes that the impact of political Islam is more evident among
Palestinians than Lebanese.
The study carried out by Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (2003) which dealt with
the psychological impacts of Israeli violations on one thousand Palestinian children through
studying their comments on a picture of a Palestinian girl named Fatima who was holding her
head with her hand. When they were asked: What does Fatima think of? And how can she solve
her problem and that of the society. Results had shown that the majority of male children
(67.8%) emphasized that the best solution for the Palestinian question is the carrying out of
martyrdom operations; as for the females, 32.2% were in support of martyrdom operations. The
study indicates that 32.7% of the children in Gaza Strip suffered from severe psychological
disorders as a result of being exposed to sever trauma. Children especially those living in refugee
camps are most vulnerable to violence and Israeli aggression. The percentage of children who
experienced trauma was 84.2% from refugee camps inhabitants, 12.9% from city dwellers while
the percentage of residents in city new neighborhoods reached 2.9%. The study concludes that
the majority (55.1%) of the residents in friction areas located near settlements or on the truce
borderlines separating the Strip from Israel is suffering from severe traumas.
In an analytical study, Hussien (2003) addressed the Israeli terror, legitimate resistance and
martyrdom operations. He considered these operations as the most noble of all phenomena which
emerged in the history of Arab struggle in fighting Zionist colonization. He pointed out that these
operations were carried out by heroes who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their people,
nation and creed. They did not run away from life, but they went in pursuit of a free decent life.
They had opted for sacrifice, redemption, and martyrdom to fulfill their dreams, liberate their

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people and win paradise. The researcher summarizes the reasons which lead to the escalations of
these operations against the ferocious Israeli terror as expressed in: Judization of mosques,
settlements and assassinations of Palestinian leaders. He categorically refused in his study what
some Arab satellite channels called Palestinian martyrdom operations as suicidal operations; he
considered them as the highest rank of sacrifice, redemption, martyrdom and heroism in the fight
against tyranny, aggression, racism and terrorism away from homeland, religion, honor and
dignity. Besides, he considers that the martyrdom operations are legitimate depending on the
International Law which considers that military occupation of the others lands as illegal and the
occupied people have the right to use all forms of struggle including armed struggle in order to
achieve their independence.
Khashan (2003) proposes that Islamic militancy, poverty, youth and personality patterns
contribute to the explanation of support for Palestinian suicide bombings, as well as proneness to
participate in them. Data come from a simple random sample of 342 Palestinian refugees living
in southern Lebanon. The administration of the research instrument took place during the
summer of 2002. The findings attest to the strength of political Islam, low income, youth and
certain social functionality attributes in explaining endorsement of suicide attacks, as well as
willingness to take part in them.
From a Palestinian Christian perspective, Ateek (2002) addressed the roots of the suicidal attacks
which took a very important turn since early 1990, when young Palestinian men, and more lately
women started to strap themselves with explosives making their way to Israeli Jewish areas
whether crowded with soldiers or civilians and blowing themselves up killing and injuring
dozens of people around them. The study indicated that between the beginning of the second
Intifada in September 2000 and until Wednesday, June 19, 2002, Palestinian militants carried out
56 suicide bombings in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank including Jerusalem, as well as inside
Israel killing, according to Israeli statistics, 225 Israelis including soldiers, men, women, and
children. In the same period, the Israeli army killed 1645 Palestinians including police, men,
women, and children. The author emphasized that the Palestinians did not begin their resistance
to the occupation with suicide bombings, and the suicide martyrs were not born terrorists.
Besides the basic political injustice and the oppressiveness of the occupation, there are four
major areas that constitute the breeding ground for suicide bombers: a slow economic
strangulation, harsh political negation, human loss (pain and injury) and daily personal
dehumanization. Findings showed that the suicide bombings had become a more powerful
phenomenon when their religious underpinnings were emphasized. Depending on Islamic
references the study concluded that the majority of contemporary scholars approved the carrying
out of martyrdom operations. The suicide bombings have been carried out by five militant
Palestinian organizations: Hamas Islamic Jihad, Fateh and the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP), and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). Regarding the
effects and outcome of martyrdom operations the researcher addressed that, although Israel was
deeply hurt by suicide bombings, the consequences that the extremists were hoping would
happen did not take place, but they were accepted popularly by many as a way of avenging the
Israeli army’s daily killings of resistance fighters and innocent Palestinians. Regarding the Israeli
reaction to Palestinian suicide bombing, the study showed that, there were voices inside Israel
calling for more drastic and severe measures to curb the suicide bombings, by contrast, there are
courageous voices that called on their Israeli government to examine its harsh policies against
the Palestinians that breed suicide bombings.

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A study carried out by Bahith Center (2002) on the phenomenon of Palestinian resistance during
the Aqsa Uprising and Independence following the passing of more than twenty months to its
outbreak, criticized the failure in regulating the pace of martyrdom operations in a manner that
would fulfill its sought after objectives in neutralizing the balance of horror. Results had shown
that finding an equation for the balance of horror between the resistance people and the occupiers
comes on top of the agenda for resistance and uprising. Martyrdom operations were alone the
ideal access to finding such an equation as long as they were implemented according to the
military concept (The Economy of Force) i.e. there should always be a link between these
operations, continuation of occupation, halt of operations and removal of occupation. The results
of the study criticized the lack of diversity in the targeted enemy targets; it demanded that
operations should target economic locations, basic infrastructure facilities- power stations, water
networks and telephones and bridges since these have direct and long run effects on the Israeli
entity.
Nabilsi (2002) dealt with the psychology of the suicide martyrs; he indicated that the crucial
stage that the Palestinian youth reached and their realization of the futility of their hopes and
aspirations made them blow up themselves into pieces that numbered as many as their shattered
dreams. The researcher defined the suicide martyr: a regular human being who has no special
psychology but blows up himself as a result of being exposed to a spiritual catastrophe. The
phenomenon of martyrdom had leaked to the western civilization in a way that the civilization
was no longer capable of ignoring or deleting it from its classifications of psychological cases.
Towards the end of the study, the researcher recommended that it would be essential to study the
martyrdom phenomenon in a survey study which includes individual psychology (positions
towards death in particular) and anthropology and cultural comparison in particular. There
should also be a follow up of the development of the phenomenon over history and an attempt to
link it with social, economic and political factors to be fully grasped and understood.
Sarraj (2002) best exemplifies the way that a desire for revenge due to humiliation is prevalent in
Palestine. He argues that the people who are committing suicide bombings in Al-Aqsa Intifada
2000 are the children of the First Intifada 1987-people who witnessed so many traumas as
children. So as they grew up, their own identity merged with the national identity of humiliation
and defeat, and they avenge that defeat at both the personal and national levels. The study
emphasizes that the martyr in the Palestinian society is glorified. The martyr is the power of the
people, the power to take revenge on behalf of the victims. They have all these emotional
notions. They see the martyr as courageously sacrificing himself or herself for the sake of
everyone, as a symbol of the struggle for freedom, because this is what these people are fighting
for. Findings show that these days the symbol of power is the martyr and if you ask a child in
Gaza today what he wants to be when he grows up, he doesn't say that he wants to be a doctor, a
soldier or an engineer. He says he wants to be a martyr. Besides, the study concludes that suicide
bombings are only the symptoms, the reaction to this chronic and systematic process of
humiliating people in an effort to destroy their hope and dignity.

Abu Hin (2001) carried out a study to identify the reasons why the children were strongly in
favor of martyrdom and its relationship with some variables. The study was carried out on a
sample of 1000 children in Gaza Strip in the age group o 9-17 years. The results of the study
showed that 90% of the children preferred taking part in Intifada activities while 42% of them

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had actually taken part in it. Findings showed that 72% of the participants wished to be a martyr.
Besides, 79% of the children indicated that the aggressive practices of the occupation were the
main reason behind their race towards martyrdom; while 57% of them attributed it to their
understanding of the Jews and their destructive planning, this is in addition to the community's
appreciation and the positive outlook towards the martyrs, which was 50%. The participants will
not forget the assassination impact of the Palestinian child Mohammed Al-Durra in the front of
their eyes, since 64% of them believed that this horrible scene increased their race towards
martyrdom. The study concludes that the resistance culture with its various dimensions has
become a part of the culture of the Palestinian children, in addition to the mass media which
played a major role in reinforcing children’s love towards participation and jeopardizing
themselves in martyrdom operations.
In another study, Sarraj (2001) questioned “Why Palestinians have turned into Suicide
Bombers”. The simple answer was the Israeli occupation and its suppressive practices against the
Palestinians since the uprooting of the Palestinians in 1948, the deep feeling of injustice and
humiliation, daily killing, assassinations, massacres, arrest, demolish of houses, and bulldoze of
farm lands, destruction of Palestinian Infrastructure, building of settlements, construction of the
separation wall, slowly moving away from Oslo Accords, collapse of the whole peace process
and negotiations with the Israelis.

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2.2 Foreign Studies
One of the foreign studies which addressed the Palestinian suicide martyrs was done by Brym
(2008) who questions whether suicide bombing is motivated mainly by religious or political
principles. The study indicates that Islamic law does not distinguish between matters of state and
religion. Findings show that Palestinian suicide bombing is motivated by both religion and
politics. The author indicates that this is not an answer which many analysts have favored, partly
because it glosses over important strategic issues that are closely bound up with whether one
gives greater weight to religion or politics as the prime mover.

Based on data collected from various sources, including 88 interviews the author conducted in
2006 with senior leaders of six Palestinian political organizations and close relatives and friends
of Palestinian suicide bombers and in a recent study, Araj (2008) argues that Israeli harsh state
repression is a major cause of suicide bombing. It shows that understanding the effect of state
repression is crucial to clarifying many of the unsolved puzzles concerning the rationales of
organizations that employ suicide bombing, the motivations of individual suicide bombers, and
the reasons why this tactic has become popular in some societies. The study concludes that there
are three types of organizational rationales underlying the use of suicide bombing. Suicide
bombing may be an extreme reaction to extreme state repression, a combined reactive and
strategic action, or a purely strategic action. Different contexts and organizations typify these
organizational rationales.

In a new study, Brym & Araj (2008) focus on the outbidding thesis, most forcefully stated by
Mia Bloom in Political Science Quarterly. Bloom sought to explain variation over time in public
support for Palestinian suicide operations during the Second Intifada. She proposed the
outbidding thesis, which holds that suicide attacks are a currency for outbidding rivals in the
competition for popular support. The present study derives testable hypotheses from Bloom’s
work and finds that public opinion data are inconsistent with the outbidding thesis. Accordingly,
the researchers propose an alternative theory that views suicide attacks as expressions of conflict
between Palestinian organizations and the state of Israel and cooperation among Palestinian
organizations. From this point of view, support for suicide bombing is more a function of social
solidarity than competition within the Palestinian community.

In another study, Gearing & Lizardi (2008) argue that religion impacts suicidality. One’s degree
of religiosity can potentially serve as a protective factor against suicidal behavior. The authors
indicate that it is imperative to understand the role of religion in suicidality in order to accurately
assess risk of suicide. PsycINFO and MEDLINE databases were searched for published articles
on religion and suicide between 1980 and 2008. Epidemiological data on suicidality across four
religions (Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam), and the influence of religion on
suicidality are presented. The study concludes that the act of suicide is condemned in most major
religious sects.

Jaeger et al. (2008) examine how violence in the Second Intifada influences Palestinian public
opinion. Using micro data from a series of opinion polls linked to data on fatalities, the study
finds that Israeli violence against Palestinians leads them to support more radical factions and
more radical attitudes towards the conflict. They also find some evidence that Palestinian
fatalities lead to the polarization of the population and to increased disaffection and a lack of

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support for any faction. Geographically proximate Palestinian fatalities have a larger effect than
those that are distant, while Palestinian fatalities in targeted killings have a smaller effect relative
to other fatalities. Although overall Israeli fatalities do not seem to affect Palestinian opinion.
When those fatalities are divided by the different factions claiming responsibility for them,
findings show some evidence that increased Israeli fatalities was effective in increasing support
for the faction that claimed them.

Moghadam (2008) argues that suicide missions made their modern debut in 1981. In recent
years, however, they have witnessed an unprecedented increase according to several indicators,
including number of attacks, number of organizations conducting these attacks, number of
countries targeted, and number of victims. Existing explanations, including the occupation and
outbidding theses, cannot account for the dramatic increase and spread of suicide attacks. A
combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, including analysis of a data set of 1,857
suicide attacks from December 1981 through March 2008, suggests that two interrelated factors
have contributed to the globalization of martyrdom: Al-Qaeda’s evolution into a global terrorist
actor and the growing appeal of its guiding ideology, Salafi jihad. As localized patterns of
suicide missions have given way to more globalized patterns, states must rethink their
counterterrorism strategies. At the same time, because Salafi jihadist groups tend to target
Muslims, moderate Muslims and nonviolent Salafists must take the lead in challenging these
groups.

Piazza (2008) indicates that recent literature on the root causes of suicide terrorism yields several
testable hypotheses, most notably that suicide attacks are a strategic response by terrorist groups
confronting foreign occupation by democratic states. The study does not find empirical support
for this and other common hypotheses and instead demonstrates that suicide terrorism is a
product of political and organizational features of the terrorists themselves. While foreign
occupation, religious diversity, and group typology do predict suicide attacks, democracies are
not more likely to be targets of suicide terrorism. Terrorists, however, who are nationals of no
democracies, are significantly more likely to launch suicide attacks.
The study of Saarnivaara (2008) examines the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as a case study
of an organization engaging in suicide campaigns as a result of a strategic choice. Also it
examines the political, cultural and strategic preconditions that make this choice possible. Hamas
political leadership found that starting suicide campaign was a necessary strategic choice in order
to gain support at the grassroots level and in turn it operates to Islamize the society. After
reference to Hamas suicide campaigns in 1994–96 and 2001–04, findings show that Hamas has
achieved its campaign goals: the campaigns sabotaged the peace process and Hamas won the
Palestinian Legislative Council elections in 2006. The study concludes that the suicide missions
represented a big shift away from Hamas’ previous policies and strategies.

Altman (2007) aims to bring a psychoanalytic perspective to bear on suicide bombing. The
author argues that our response to suicide bombing, along with horror and condemnation, should
include regarding the act as, among other things, a potential communication. Understanding
suicide bombing and suicide bombers will bring up issues of humanization and dehumanization,
how vicious circles of dehumanization develop, and the psychological perils of humanizing, in

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our minds, suicide bombers. The study concludes that suicide bombing is a response, with
respect to both the oppressed and the oppressors.

The study of Alvanou (2007) emphasized that the making of a female suicide bomber is a
multileveled and complicated process taking into consideration the special Palestinian social
settings. The author argues that about a quarter of all terrorist groups and about half of the most
dangerous ones on Earth are primarily motivated by religious concerns. The study indicates that
the dramatic situation and violence of the conflict are unmistakably influencing the phenomenon.
The kind of human suffering rampant in the Middle East is a breeding ground for hatred and
anger. Findings show that suicide violence is in a large percent a by-product of the lack of viable
political and social alternatives to the Palestinian problem, faced by the Palestinians, who want
liberation of their land. Nearly all Palestinians feel oppressed, violated; they want their homeland
freed and they believe in a religion that calls for Jihad and holy war against the Jews, the
responsible occupying force that stole their land. The study concludes that the dynamics of
female suicide bombers are driven primarily by issues related to honour and revenge rather than
ideology.

Brym (2007) draws six lessons from the carnage wrought by suicide bombers. The researcher
argues that suicide bombers are not crazy, nor are they motivated principally by religious zeal. It
is possible to discern a strategic logic and a social logic underlying their actions. Findings show
that targeted states typically react by repressing organizations that mount suicide attacks, but this
repression often makes matters worse. Only by first taking an imaginative leap and
understanding the world from the assailant’s point of view can one hope to develop a workable
strategy for minimizing suicide attacks. The study concludes that political conflict over territory
is the main reason for suicide bombing, although religious justifications for suicide missions are
likely to become more important when secular ideologies fail to bring about desired results.
Suicide bombing may also occur for strategic or retaliatory reasons – to further insurgent aims or
in response to repressive state actions.

In another study, Beriain (2007) addressed the sociological profiles of three social types of
martyrs: the scapegoat martyr, the national hero and the suicide bomber, who historically
embody violence in its specific social environments and with the respective motives which are
behind their actions. The study concludes that those types are being counteracted in a peaceful
way by other social types such as the citizen, the celebrity of the modern culture and so on.
Gill (2007) indicates that understanding suicide bombing entails studying the phenomenon on
three different dimensions: the suicide bomber, the organization, and the community from which
suicide bombings emerge. Findings show that political and social psychology allow us to
establish the reciprocal relationships that underpin the exchanges between the three dimensions,
since this method increases our theoretical understanding of suicide bombing by moving away
from the unidimensional models that have previously dominated terrorism literature.
Jaeger & Paserman (2007) assess the effectiveness of suicide attacks and targeted killings in the
Second Intifada. They find that the targeted killings of Palestinian leaders by Israel reduce
Palestinian violence. However, they find that intended Palestinian violence is increasing at low
levels of targeted killings, but decreasing at higher levels. The study suggests that suicide
bombings against Israelis reduce the number of subsequent Palestinian fatalities. Rather, they

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find that suicide attacks that kill at least one Israeli lead to subsequent increased incidence and
levels of Palestinian fatalities. Besides, findings do not support the notion that suicide attacks and
targeted killings follow the tit-for-tat pattern that is commonly postulated in the literature.
In another study, Naaman (2007) addressed Palestinian female suicide bombers as a social
phenomenon that has left Israel and the West shocked, signaling (in both Arab and Western
views) an escalation in the conflict. The researcher asks whether they are; Monsters? Terrorists?
Freedom Fighters? Martyrs? Victims?. She argues that the answer clearly lies not in their actions
or even in their choice of how to represent themselves, but in the diverse and often competing
narratives of politicians and media alike. The author indicates that the politicians’ narratives tend
to frame the actions of women suicide bombers in ways that minimize and subvert the overt
confrontation of gender politics present in the women’s own narratives and actions. Findings
show that the media treatment of the phenomenon both in the Arab world and in the West relies
on convenient stereotypes and conventional narrative frames. Those representations deny women
agency and instead represent them as monsters or brides in a hegemonic framework that enables
readers and viewers to maintain both the comfortable gender status quo and their preconceived
notions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The study concludes that, while the phenomenon of
female suicide bombers is relatively new, its media coverage is organized as news stories
packaged to reassert old beliefs. As such, news coverage of the phenomenon is in the end rather
old news insofar as gender, terrorism, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict go.

The study of Sela-Shayovitz (2007) examines the characteristics of Palestinian suicide bombers
as reflected in the Israeli press during the Second Intifada against Israel. The analysis aims to
determine whether there were significant differences in the characteristics of suicide bombers
with religious motives versus those with nationalist motives. Findings reveal that gender,
education level, and organizational affiliation correlated significantly with motives for carrying
out suicide attacks. Most of the suicide bombers with religious motives were men with
elementary education. In addition, the results show that most of the suicide bombers who were
affiliated with Hamas organization acted out of religious motives. No significant differences
were found between suicide bombers with religious and those with nationalist motives with
regard to age, marital status, and prior activity in terrorist organizations.

In another study, Brym & Araj (2006) revealed that the Palestinian suicide bombers were not
psychologically unstable asserting that they blew themselves up as an avenge rather than a result
of religious passions. The study shows that the organizers of suicide attacks do not want to
jeopardize their missions by recruiting unreliable people. It may be that some psychologically
unstable people want to become suicide bombers, but insurgent organizations strongly prefer
their cannons fixed. Findings argue that the suicide bombers did not experience extraordinarily
high levels of economic deprivation. The study concluded that a majority of bombers, like
Palestinian female lawyer, Hanadi Tayseer Jaradat, 29, who killed 21 Israelis in a 2003 bombing
at Maxim restaurant in Haifa, were motivated by the desire for revenge and retaliation. Jaradat
acted to avenge the killings of her brother, an Islamic Jihad militant, and cousin by Israeli
security forces. The study showed that, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not religiously inspired,
and suicide bombing, despite its frequent religious trappings, is fundamentally the expression of
a territorial dispute. The study identified the organizational affiliation of 133 out of 138 suicide
bombers between September 2000 and July 2005. Sixty-four percent were affiliated with Islamic
fundamentalist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, while the rest were aligned with secular

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groups such as Fateh. The study found that harsh repression can intensify bombings and prompt
bombers to devise more lethal methods to achieve their aims.

The study of Ferrero (2006) emphasizes the similarities between the diverse instances of public-
spirited suicide as the Islamic martyrs of yesterday and today, the anarchists, the Japanese
kamikaze of World War II, the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, and the Christian martyrs under the
Roman Empire. It tries to accommodate this disparate evidence within a single two-period,
expected utility model of a martyrdom contract, to which volunteers sign up in the expectation of
probabilistic earthly rewards.
Grimland et al. (2006) study addresses the question of just how much a psychological
understanding of the individuals involved can aid in the prevention of the phenomenon of suicide
bombing. The authors look at historical, epidemiological, and cultural perspectives and compare
the nonpsychological and psychological approaches to suicide bombing. On the basis of the
material available, it seems that social processes such as group-dynamic indoctrination and
political factors are decisive in analyzing this problem, besides cultural, nationalistic, and
religious factors are important. The study concludes that in suicidal bombing, suicide is
instrumental in the context of war, not in the context of psychopathology. Suicide bombing is
instrumental in realizing fatalities, and it is only one of many weapons. Besides, the act of killing
in warfare is more important to understanding suicidal terrorism than the act of suicide, which
explains why psychological profiling of suicidal terrorists has to date not been successful.

Hafez (2006) carried out a case study to identify the rationality, culture, and structure in the
making of Palestinian suicide bombers. The study showed that suicidal violence involves three
levels of analysis: individual motivations, organizational strategies, and societal conflicts. Using
rationalist, culturalist, and structuralist approaches to contentious politics, the study explores the
intersection of rationality, norms, and conflict in the making of extreme violence. The case of
Palestinian suicide bombers demonstrates the interdependence of the three approaches to
explaining suicidal violence. For individuals, self-sacrifice is conceived as an act of personal
redemption rooted in religious morality and national salvation. For organizations, human bombs
provide strategic advantages in the context of asymmetrical warfare. For collectivities, martyrs
are venerated when three conditions converge: cultural norms encompass symbolic narratives
that honor martyrdom; legitimate authorities acquiesce to extreme violence; and conflicts
generate feelings of victimization and threat by external enemies. Palestinian factions-both
religious and secular-have repeatedly adopted martyrdom operations in their latest insurgency
against Israel and have convinced the wider Palestinian public of their legitimacy. From
September 1993 to September 2000, there were 28 suicide bombings, an average of 4 bombings
a year. In the most recent cycle of violence, suicide bombings have been used monthly, weekly,
and sometimes daily. From October 2000 to December 2003, there were approximately 110
suicide attacks—an average of more than 36 attacks per year. Previously, suicide bombings were
the domain of Islamic militants belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Since 2000, this mode of
violence has been adopted by secular factions such as the semi-Marxist Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and a splinter Fateh faction known as Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
Moreover, whereas previously men were the only ones to conduct suicide bombings, in recent
years women have taken up the explosive belt. Regarding the characteristics of the Palestinians
suicide bombers, the study shows that suicide bombers do not lend themselves to easy

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generalizations. Other than being Muslim, usually unmarried, and in their late teens or early
twenties, not much more is common among the bombers. Some bombers come from modest or
impoverished backgrounds, whereas many others come from middle class or even affluent
families. Some bombers lack secondary education although others are university students and
graduates with degrees ranging from engineering, computer programming, journalism, and
Islamic law. Some have been engaged in militancy since the First Palestinian Uprising, whereas
others are recent recruits who joined the movement explicitly for the purpose of carrying out a
suicide mission.
The study of Kaplan et al. (2006) considers the suicide bombings as the leading cause of death
from terrorism in Israel. The study indicated that counterterror tactics, such as the targeted
killings or preemptive arrests of terror leaders or suspects, are meant to prevent such attacks. To
investigate whether these tactics are successful, the study estimated via maximum likelihood a
family of shot-noise models from monthly data covering 2001 through 2003 to see whether it
could predict the rate of suicide bombing attacks as a function of prevention tactics over time.
Findings show that although preventive arrests appear to lower the rate of suicide-bombing
attacks, targeted killings seem to be followed by an increase in the number of suicide bombings.
In addition, limited evidence suggests that the probability of intercepting a suicide bomber en
route to an attack increases with the expected number of suicide-bombing attacks. Such an
endogenous relationship could imply an upper limit on the rate of successful suicide bombings.

Kliot (2006) addressed the geography of suicide terrorism in Israel. She argues that Palestinian
suicide terrorism has been a key feature in the latest phase of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict,
particularly since September 2000, in which there has been a substantial increase in the use of
this type of warfare. The study pointed out that suicide terrorism is highly rational and driven by
strategic considerations. The permeability to Israel became more difficult, suicide bombers and
their organizers had to adopt more flexible practices which emphasized other spatial
considerations. Findings show that timing is of importance both for strategic and tactical
reasoning, and the obstructing negotiations and peace talks have been a salient objective, but the
exact timing of suicide bombings has been influenced by tactical considerations, which aim at
maximizing casualties. From the period of 1994 and September 2005, Palestinians militants
carried out 120 attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. Israel’s major cities and towns
absorbed most of the attacks: Jerusalem (30), Tel Aviv (11), Haifa (7), Netanya (6), and other
cities in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area suffered (10) attacks and most attacks are more likely to
occur in the areas in close proximity to hometowns of the perpetrators or their sending. The vast
majority of the attacks are from Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. The major portion of the attacks took
place during working-day hours 8:00-18:00, more than two-thirds of them take place in the first
days of the week Sunday to Wednesday, the attacks carried out along the months and years. The
Separation Wall affects targets accessibility, enhancing the friction of distance; changing the
pattern of targets hit by the suicide bombing. The study concludes that the distribution of the
places and locations which have been targets for suicide bombers is rational for the vast majority
of attacks; there is a clear trend for targeting transportation facilities: buses, bus stops,
roadblocks, and check points.
With examples of Palestine, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, and Turkey fresh in mind Nieves (2006)
argues that the religious and environmental models are far too simplistic to be considered
primary causes of suicide attacks. Findings show that many of the suicide bombers have been

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proven to be from middle to upper class families, which obviously proves that economic
hardship cannot be seen as a primary cause of suicide bombing. The three causes that are most
evidently the main examples of this phenomenon are gender inequality, a desire for national self-
determination, and a longing for revenge. It is clear that the female suicide bomber is desperately
seeking to regain self-respect and control, fighting off the male dominated world and the double
humiliation that they are forced to overcome as both the second sex and members of an occupied
region. They are, for the most part, in no way irrational and barbaric, and many feel as if they
have made the most logical choice available to them in order to assert their strength and enable
themselves to have a voice within their patriarchal societies. It is this fatal cocktail that leads the
women of the PKK, LTTE, Black Widows, and several Palestinian organizations to go above
and beyond the call of duty for their national groups.

In order to comprehend the developments underlying the suicide attacks of recent years,
Pedahzur & Perliger (2006) suggest that the organizational approach, which until recently was
used to explain this phenomenon, should be complemented with a social network perspective. By
employing a social network analysis of Palestinian suicide networks, the study found that, in
contrast to prevailing perceptions which view suicide attacks as a product of strategic decisions
made within organizational frameworks, decisions have actually been made, to a great extent, by
local activists, and struggles between local and family groups have proved to be the best
predictor of their actions in this context. The authors also found that the peripheral nature of
suicide bombers has been a characteristic common to most networks. The study has found that
the existence of cohesive subgroups, as well as the number of hubs in a network, has an
influence on the network effectiveness. The study concludes that the method of network analysis
can also be of considerable assistance from the standpoint of dealing with suicide attacks. On the
one hand, this is possible by identifying network central figures that are essential for its
continued existence, and on the other, the authors identify the grassroots factors responsible for
the emergence of these networks.

Berko & Erez (2005) study addresses the social process involved in Palestinian suicide bombers
and describes Palestinian pathways to suicide bombing. Data are derived from in-depth
interviews of (7) male and female Palestinians serving prison sentences in Israel for attempted
suicide bombing. The participants were Muslim Palestinians who resided in cities, villages or
refugee camps in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank or Gaza. Their age ranged between
16 and 28 year old, and all came from large families (the average number of children in the
family was ten). The educational level of the sample extended from third grade to second year of
university studies. The women had higher educational level than the men. None of the
participants were married at the time of their arrest. They grew up in families where the mother
was a homemaker and the father was the breadwinner. Most of them described a relatively
normal family life, with a dedicated loving mother and strict disciplinary regimen exercised by
the father. They described the father as the only authority in the household, whom they treated
with respect and fear. They expressed deep love and affection for their mother, whom they
always wanted to please. The participants took much pride in the closeness, warmth and loyalty
of the Arab nuclear and extended family, the friendly relationship with neighbors and the
collective efforts of their community in helping its members. Their social identity as
Palestinians, who are dispossessed, oppressed and humiliated, was a recurrent theme in
discussing their lives. Whether they resided in cities, villages or refugee camps in the West Bank

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or Gaza strip, they were raised in Palestinian homes, which continuously exposed them to their
version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its history. Growing up they heard their parents'
stories about houses that were left behind, or about land that was lost when Israel was established
and the Independence War (1948) erupted. Of the seven interviewees, four initiated contact with
an organization that produces suicide bombing; the other three were approached by activists
looking to recruit candidates. Findings show that in many cases the process begins with a
motivated individual approaching an organization's representative about his or her interest in
becoming a suicide martyr (Istishhady). In others, a person identified as a potential candidate-
someone who can be persuaded to commit an attack-comes to the attention of an organization
that produces suicide bombing. The individual motivation to become suicide bombers varies; it
ranges from ideological persuasion, through desire to avenge the death of a loved one or fellow
Palestinians, to the enhancement of one's social status or augmenting one's prospects of a
gratifying afterlife. One of the participants was a university student at the time of her arrest.
When she was a young child, she stated, one of her brothers, whom she referred to as a shahid,
was killed by the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) as a result of his involvement in struggle, and three
of her brothers were in Israeli jails for similar activities. The study concludes that once a decision
to volunteer is made, finding an organization that will implement one's wish to become a suicide
bomber is straightforward. In most areas where candidates reside, information on who is
involved in military operations is common knowledge. The contact with an organization embarks
the recruit on a journey, which in the normal course of events cannot be aborted. The preparation
for suicide bombing can extend over several weeks or even months but may also be as short as a
few days or several hours. In making a suicide bomber, the organization that recruits and trains
candidate employs various strategies to maintain the recruit's interest: it strengthens his or her
resolve to go forward with the mission, as it alleviates any fear or anxiety that may arise. The
candidate receives constant reminders of the reasons for which one has volunteered or has been
recruited. The contact and interaction with the organization leads recruits to a point of "No
return". Since the findings demonstrate for Palestinian men and women recruits, the path to
martyrdom through suicide is, by and large, a one-way street. Social structures, value systems,
and the collective memory of a group combine to produce a steady supply of motivated
candidates, exert pressures on hesitant candidates, and persuade reluctant recruits to go forward
with the act of martyrdom operations. The study suggested that in designing ways to curb suicide
bombing, policy makers should consider the social, cultural and religious contexts that create
"push and pull" forces and attempt to address or ameliorate them in order to bring about change.
The family members, particularly mothers, can detect in their offspring or relatives behavioral
precursors to suicide, such as changes in routines, unusual or out of character conduct, sudden
absences, withdrawal, or increased religiosity.

Using twice-yearly data from 1991 to 2003, Dipak & Kusum (2005) analyze the incidents of
suicide attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad within Israel and the Palestinian territories of the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The study estimated the relevant coefficients by using a Quasi-
Maximum Likelihood Ratio and then checked their robustness by reestimating the model with
the help of a Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) 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. In particular, they discovered the power of suicide
attacks. These attacks succeeded in inflicting deep damage not only on Israeli politics but also,
for the first time, the cruel equation of relative losses turned against the Israelis. With the

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Western world locked in an armed struggle with the militant extremists of Islam based on
millenarian ideologies, the study emphasizes the need to develop appropriate analytical
capabilities to distinguish among terrorist groups and their motivations, ideologies, and tactics.

After an analysis of three years of suicide martyrs data in Israel, Kaplan et al. (2005) reveals an
increase in such attacks through March 2002 followed by a steep decline through the end of
2003. The authors propose a terror-stock model that treats the suicide bombing attack rate as a
function of the number of terrorists available to plan and execute suicide bombings. Findings
show that the intent of Israeli tactics such as targeted killings and preemptive arrests is to reduce
the capacity of terror organizations to commit attacks. When fit to the data, this model suggests
that the targeted killing of terror suspects sparks estimated recruitment to the terror stock that
increases rather than decreases the rate of suicide bombings. Surprisingly, only the deaths of
suspected terrorists, and not Palestinian civilians, are associated with such estimated recruitment.
Although Israeli actions have reduced the rate of suicide bombings over time, it is preventive
arrests rather than targeted killings that seem more responsible for this outcome.
Khosrokhavar (2005) concluded that there were three independent utopias for the roots of
Palestinians martyrdom: the return of all Palestinians to what was their land before the state of
Israel was founded; the establishment of a new Palestinian state in Jerusalem; the feeling that the
only language Israelis, especially their army and politicians, understand is brute force, and that
they cannot be trusted. The vast majority of human bombers are from Hamas, and a minority
from Islamic Jihad, and some of them belong to various branches of the Palestinian Liberation
Organization. Between April 1993 and the end of October 1998, 22 attacks on Israel were
reported; three quarters of those responsible lived in refugee camps and had parents or
grandparents who left their homes in 1948; they came from large families, with an average of ten
or so members; the many unmarried men amongst them lived with their parents, irrespective of
whether they had jobs or were unemployed. Four were married and had children; they too lived
with their parents. Not all of them are poor. A good number of them are not refugees. There is
often a marked difference between their level of education and their professional activities.
Depending on Israeli security sources, Palestinians carried out 42 attacks on Israel between 1993
and 2000. Between January 2001 and 5 April 2002 there were 64. The study concludes that the
Palestinians involved in martyrdom operations came from all kinds of social backgrounds, all
classes and all age groups.
In another study, Margaret (2005) shed light on the culture of suicidal operations following the
September 11 attacks; it concentrated on the inquiries of many people in the different American
circles and milieus why do they hate us? She stressed that there were many analytical visions and
interpretations which were put forward in an attempt to explain these terrorist attacks. Many
experts indicated that methods, thoughts, and tactics of Al Qaeda had moved following the
weakening of its structure, security and finances to small local groups in many countries of the
world. Al Qaeda concentrated on instigating organizations and elements that do not belong to it
in executing terrorist attacks. The researcher indicated that it was worth knowing that
investigations sometimes disclosed information since a considerable number of those suicides
did not belong to any organization or group; some of these groups exploited these attacks and
adopted them to achieve a public victory in the media. Most executors of those operations
belonged to financially well off milieus and had good opportunities in life; consequently.

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Besides, any analysis which limits this phenomenon to specific factors like failure at work, study
or poverty is excluded.
Mizrahi & Ben-Porat (2005) explained how socio-political processes in Israeli society, which
transformed the nature of citizen–politician relations from a top-down to a bottom-up orientation,
gradually led to shifts in foreign policy regarding the conflict with the Palestinians. The study
showed that in 1995 a series of (82) Palestinian suicide bombers crossed into Israel, and had no
difficulty in reaching their targets. The Palestinian refugees who had been deported from their
original homes in the year 1948, the slowly moving away of Oslo agreement, building of
settlements across the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the would-be Palestinian state, frustrated
situation among Palestinians because of the Israeli military checkpoints across the West Bank
and Gaza Strip, collapse of the Second Camp David negotiations between Palestinians and
Israelis, construction of the Separation Wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories, and
the Israeli occupation and its suppressive practices, all of these might support the readiness of
becoming a suicide bomber.
O´Neal (2005) considers the phenomenon of suicide bombers into the American military battle
space is not new, recalling the Japanese Kamikazes during World War I1I? These modern day
bombers, however, have been operating primarily in the confines of the Israeli-Palestinian land
until recently. In the year 2004, families in the Gaza Strip became highly alarmed when children
as young as 11 were identified as potential bombers. Findings show that the youngsters' elation
and willingness to die perplexed many. The use of children, actually, is not new. Some African
nations typically use child soldiers to fight their wars, Liberia is an example. This most brutal
violence delivered with the elements of surprise, lethality, precision, and deception is created by
mostly young adults of Arab descent. There is no notable feature; they are hard to detect,
thereby, making everyone a potential target. This low cost, disposable human weapon, by far, is
the most effective weapon against the technologically advanced militaries. There has been no
method of deterrence identified to date. The study concludes that national and religious factors
attract Palestinians to suicide bombing.

Pape (2005) takes on a rather original and insightful approach in his view of the causes of suicide
terrorism. He argues that the presumed connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic
fundamentalism is misleading. In order to complete his research, Pape compiled a list of 315
suicide bombings, every attack world wide from 1980-2003 and it is the first complete
compilation of its kind. After an in depth analysis of terrorist organizations world wide, he
concluded that religion was rarely the root cause and that it is instead a desire for foreign
occupying forces to leave their respective homelands.

The study of Shalom (2005) regarding suicidal terrorist concludes that there are two basic
conditions for the martyrdom operations in the Palestinian arena: First, the readiness of
individuals in the society to carry out terrorist suicidal attacks and many of them were not
desperate in most cases. Second, Palestinian factions consider this suicide a strategic weapon;
thus, it will facilitate the staging of a suicidal operation and strengthening of the faction. Results
had shown that other supportive conditions helped in the implementation of suicidal operations
like: the surrounding social environment, media which publish and spread information among
residents, support of spiritual leaders, financial and social support for the martyrs’ families. In
light of the abovementioned, the researcher emphasized that the phenomenon of suicides would

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not disappear from the region over the coming period. The researcher outlined the qualities of the
suicidal personality. Most of them were from the youth age group and came from the West Bank;
a small percentage came from Gaza Strip; one suicider came from the green line. Most of them
were not married. The educational level of the majority is intermediate in addition to a
considerable number of university graduates. The researcher stressed in his explanation of the
phenomenon the factors relating to psychological damage, dignity, deviation, conformity, pursuit
of emotions, religious motives, social motives and patriotic motives.

Bloom (2004) argues that Israeli counterterrorism motivated the Palestinian factions to increase
both terrorism and support that insurgents receive from the wider society. The Israeli counter-
terror measures such as border closings and bombings have inflamed Palestinian public opinion
and mobilized support for militants. The study indicates that violent organizations are not
motivated strategically by the external arena as much as they are by the desire to outbid domestic
rivals and increase their popularity on the home front. The popularity of suicide bombing in the
Palestinian society makes it a powerful instrument to strengthen those Palestinian organizations
that claim responsibility. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad used suicide-bombing in the recent wave
of conflict to challenge the political hegemony of Fateh. The study concludes that esteem for
Palestinians is not individual, but is linked to group status. Thus honor achieved by suicide
bombers benefits family members by raising the family honor.
Conesa (2004) addressed the root of the suicidal attacks which was defined as, “A violent action
which underestimates civil victims, and its success to a great extent is linked with the killing of
the terrorist”. She pointed out that this phenomenon was present in more than thirty four
countries of the world. As for the history of the phenomenon, the researcher indicated that the
concept of the suicidal operation in principle was a combat style against the Israeli occupier then
against the UNFIL in 1982, Sir lank in 1987, Palestine in 1994, following Abraham Mosque
Massacre in Hebron and coming to attacks on the World Trade Center in the United States of
America. Regarding the personality characteristics of the suicide martyrs who executed the
September 11 attacks; they held university degrees, came from middle classes, did not have a
history of struggle in addition to private motives and difficult experience that they suffered from.
As for the reasons which nurtured this phenomenon, the author mentioned a number of factors
mostly: culture of death and violence, political crises, family problems, and private shocking
problems. The study argued that the political solution through negotiations could guarantee a
cease to this phenomenon.
A study carried out by Israeli Intelligence (2004) four years after the outbreak of the Aqsa
Uprising concentrated on Israeli victims of the Palestinian martyrdom operations. The number
reached 1017 Israeli victims, more than 5598 were injured. The percentage of Israeli citizens
among the killed is 70%; moreover, 30% of the killed were from the military personnel. The data
indicated that the total number of suicidal operations during this period reached 138 operations.
The study pointed out the operations which were carried out within the framework of
cooperation between Palestinian organizations and 1948 Palestinians who hold an Israeli
Identification Card that enables them to travel freely inside Israel and the West Bank and Gaza
Strip; this helped in facilitating the carrying out of such operations. It also addressed women
participation in martyrdom operations; they were driven by patriotic, emotional and personal
crisis motives like parents opposition to their marriage to someone they loved. The study pointed
out the reasons under which youngsters take part in these operations like the brain wash carried

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out to them by Palestinian factions and their conviction that they would enjoy a decent life in the
other world if they carried out such operations. This is in addition to the parents' encouragement
of their sons by sometimes imitating those martyrs through taking part in marches while wearing
white clothes, explosive belts and tying martyrdom ribbons round their heads.
In another study, Kimhi and Even (2004) ask “Who are the Palestinian Suicide Bombers?
Collected data were derived from interviews conducted with imprisoned suicide martyrs who did
not succeed in carrying out their attacks and from wills which the suicide martyrs left behind.
The sample included 60 wills. The research constitutes an analytical psychological study which
aims at identifying the reasons which made –the terrorist suicide martyrs– according to
researcher’s expression- carry out this systematic work. Researchers divided suicide operations
into four basic models according to the motive behind them so that they would become a
conscious and intended act; the models are: Religious model- It is represented by a person who
has strong religious beliefs which dictated that martyrdom for the sake of Allah (God) and
homeland is a personal motive for him to be a martyr in order to win paradise. All of these
models belong to religious movements: Hamas and Islamic Jihad. As for the second model, it
includes suicide martyrs who have patriotic, national and political motives; they belong to
organizations which justify carrying out such operations on the basis that they have the right to
national and pan Arab liberation along with the failure of the peace process and continuation of
occupation and struggle against it in order to establish the Palestinian State. The majority of
these models belong to secular organizations like Fateh’s Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
(DFLP). As for the third model, it is represented by persons who carry out martyrdom terrorist
attacks as a form of revenge. Most of this model belongs to families who lost one of their
members at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces. They do this as an expression of their
hatred and expectations to get rid of the Israelis. They are also directly influenced by the Israeli
practices, actions and measures against Palestinians. As for the fourth model, it is characterized
by the individuals who are exploited by what he called “Terrorist” organizations based on their
small age, difficult social and financial conditions or personal individual motives. Researchers
indicate that the culture of martyrdom became an outstanding characteristic of the Palestinian
people at this stage. These four models of suicides do not consider themselves as desperate or
lost hope but they are Mujahidin (religious militants) and fighters who sacrifice their lives in
order to achieve a sublime aim. What encourages and gives momentum to these individuals are
the religious rulings (Fatawa) made by religious clerks who commend and make it religiously
acceptable for those young people to rush towards death each in his own way. These Fatawa
which were released in the Islamic world were made by large numbers of scholars in religion and
in Sharia at universities, institutes and religious centers. They approved this kind of Jihad (Holy
War) against Israelis.
The study of Leenaars & Wenckstern (2004) argues that suicidology is not alone in wrestling
with the question, “Who are the altruistic suicides?”. The study suggests after a review of a series
studies published in Archives of Suicide Research that maybe they are not different from other
suicides. They are suicides; a case study of a “Martyr” note reveals a suicide note. Emile
Durkheim’s sociological taxonomy suggests that the difference is probably on the outside, the
social world. Findings show that society (ies) defines the event, probably not the psychological
aspects of the suicide(s). The society decides what is honorable or not? Who are the suicide
bombers? Martyrs? Terrorists?

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Pastor (2004) concluded that there were psychological reasons for the suicides and on top is the
existentialist reason which is based on the fact that most people hold fast to matters that are
dearer than their lives. When these values are threatened, sacrifice with ones self for their sake
becomes a vital and crucial necessity and a duty to preserve the life of the society. As for the
second reason, it is a doctrinal one which is based on the belief in martyrdom for the sake of
another immortal life or for the sake of a corporal reason in which it would leave a positive
memory in the minds of others. Other reasons relate to expectations of the concerned person;
Fame or having a legendary image about the person is a strong motive. The study concludes that
there are personal reasons and motives in addition to important environmental factors in these
operations.
Reuter (2004) tried in his study to answer an important question regarding the Palestinian
martyrdom operations whether they were really an act of suicide or martyrdom? In many cases
these modern-day martyrs are well-educated young adults who turn themselves into human
bombs willingly and eagerly to execute revenge on a more powerful enemy, perceived as both
unjust and oppressive. He also indicated that suicide assassins are determined to make a
difference, for once in their lives, no matter what the cost. The researcher interviews with the
would-be martyrs, their trainers, friends, and relatives reveal that the bombers are motivated
more by how they expect to be remembered-as heroic figures- than by religion-infused visions of
a blissful life to come. The study discusses the aspect of sexual motives and enjoyment of the
dark-eyed women in paradise. These young women are supposedly allocated to these young
suicides in heaven. This notion received a large scale media attention in Israel and the United
States since 2001. However, he rules out that this motive is the main reason that drives suicide
martyrs to kill themselves according to CBS news agency. He quoted the wills of those martyrs
to this effect. The wills rarely referred to the desire to have sexual pleasure, but it always
expressed support to political struggle, a challenge to Israelis, a desire to liberate Palestine from
occupation and a desire to meet previous martyrs.
Soibelman (2004) carried out a study on the phenomenon of Palestinian suicide bombers. The
study investigated the factors underlying the development of Palestinian suicide bombers
through a review of published studies and drawing on interviews with five bombers caught
before they detonated the bombs they were carrying. In this sample, three older individuals (33,
28 and 27 years at the time of the mission) were married and had children. The remaining
interviewees (19 and 23 years at the time of the mission) were single. The individuals
interviewed here had finished their schooling by the age of 14. All of them were affiliated to the
secular Fateh Movement. The concomitants of becoming a suicide bomber are explored through
political, social and psychological processes, including religious and ideological belief systems
and personal characteristics. It is argued that there is no single cause or explanation for taking on
this role, but that it comes out of a mixture of circumstances, which varies from individual to
individual. Between 1993 and early August 2002, more than 135 Palestinian suicide bombers
have detonated themselves in the vicinity of Israeli civilians or soldiers. Since then there have
been over 35 additional attacks. The human bombs belonged, for the most part to Hamas or
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). They focused their initial suicide attacks on military targets but
quite rapidly shifted their attacks to civilians in central cities and crowded areas. The two groups
have succeeded in inflicting a high number of casualties among the Israeli civilian population.
This has had a profound negative impact on the Israeli public sense of personal security. The
personal experience of conflict was evident in the lives of all five interviewees. All had

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experienced negative primary or secondary experiences with the Israeli military; Israelis
shooting, killing and wounding Palestinians. Besides, two of them had been arrested and tortured
in Israeli jails. All of them had negative viewpoints and attitudes toward the Jewish population in
general (not only Israeli Jews); they described harsh treatment by Israeli forces, poor business
relationships, and strained inter-racial family relationships. Regarding the reasons of carrying out
the attacks, one answered political reasons; another three claimed that it was political and
religious reasons. The remaining interviewee claimed it was the honor. Four interviewees and
their families had been previously involved in demonstrations, believing that they should fight
Israeli occupation. Regarding Islam and religion degree, all of them answered that Islam, is the
best religion, three of them claimed that they considered themselves more religious today, and all
of them think that it is justifiable to use violence to promote religious. Three of them initiated the
first contact with the militant group and volunteered to join the organization, the two
interviewees contacted by the organization accepted the suicide mission because of the honor
and because the organization spoke the truth than in the past. All of them mentioned honor and
respect as two of the things they intended to achieve from this action. This is extended to honor
their families as well. Their relationship with the family was normal but it was strict with fathers
and good with the mothers, since all family members were religious; some siblings were very
strict Muslims. Findings show that all of them had gone through a period of training prior to the
mission and target selection, although they had not indicated how long this lasted. Regarding the
emotions before and after the mission, all five interviewees did not regret their actions; two of
them claimed that the attack had made them feel good about themselves while the other three
were unhappy that they had not succeeded.
The study of Yom & Saleh (2004) constructed a statistical analysis on 87 Palestinian suicide
attackers from the Aqsa Second Intifada (2000). The researchers consider suicide attacks as a
social and political phenomenon, one dependent on both organizational and individual-level
explanatory dynamics. The suicide attacks combine elements of both material and psychological
warfare. Between April 1993 and March 2004, 139 suicidal-attack incidents attributed to
Palestinian operators were transpired against Israeli targets. Between 1993 and September 2000,
27 suicide missions claimed 120 of the 290 Israeli deaths attributed to Palestinian attacks; since
then, 112 suicide bombings have accounted for 474 of 918 Israeli Second Intifada fatalities while
wounding more than 3,000, despite it composed less than 1 percent of all violent incidents. The
vast majority of the suicide attacks were carried out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, while a
minority from Fateh and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Regarding the
characteristics of the suicide attackers, they were between the ages of 17-53, with mean and
median falling at 22 years. They were well educated; 38% had completed more than 12 years of
education, having been university students or graduates at the time of the attack; only 28% failed
to finish high school. The majority had many siblings; 81% came from households with at least
eight members, with fully six or more brothers and sisters. Almost all suicide bombers are
unmarried and male, though the number of female bombers is rising. Suicide bombers are better
educated than average. In the Palestinian distribution of educational achievement they are
clustered on the right- hand tail. The study concluded, that two factors, economic deprivation and
human cost, generate increased incentives to participation in militant activities. Besides, suicide
bombers often experience personal trauma related to the Israeli force prior to their volunteering,
such as the death or injury of a family member. The Israeli collective strategies of repression,
closures and other structurally damaging policies deepen the stress borne by Palestinians and
increase participation in martyrdom operations.

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Aron (2003) a specialist in suicide incidents and a psychological expert in the Israeli police force
addressed the Palestinian martyrdom operations. He concludes that there is no similarity between
suicides, the concept of self-killing and the Palestinian martyrdom operations, since the
Palestinian martyrs are motivated by the will of life, not by the desire to die. Their desire is to
change the bad conditions of their people. The researcher quotes one of the Palestinian youth in
this regard as saying, “If the Palestinian state were established, there would not be a need for
carrying out martyrdom operations. As long as there is occupation, there will always be
resistance”.
A study carried out by Jaffa Center of Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University (2003) indicated
that martyrdom operations were a fatal weapon that endangered the existence of Israel. It is also
characterized by the high number of casualties on the Israeli side and it leads to a state of frantic
panic among them causing a disturbance in the daily life of the state. Findings had shown that
Hamas Movement constitutes the spiritual father of the martyrdom operations, and it is
responsible for the very deadly ones indicating that Hamas’s carrying out of an operation at Park
Hotel in Netanya on the Jewish Easter eve on 27 March 2002 lead to the killing of 29 Israelis and
wounding more than 150 others. The study explains the reason for the strong impact of Hamas
operations compared with others. It indicates that Hamas Movement is more cautious than other
Palestinian factions in selecting those nominated for carrying out such operations and it prepares
them very well. The study summarizes the track of martyrdom operations according to different
time periods and divides them into four stages: first stage is pre Oslo agreement which witnessed
one martyrdom operation near Jordan valley region. The second stage is represented in the
period 1993-1996; several operations were carried out in reprisal for the Abraham Mosque
Massacre and the assassination of the engineer of martyrdom operations Yahya Ayyash on
January 5 1996. Although the second wave was the shortest, it was the most ferocious in which
three operations took place leading to the killing of not less than 55 Israelis. As for the third
stage, it is between 1996-2000 following the wave of deadly operations in reprisal for the
assassination of Ayyash. The late President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat
and his security apparatus made a strategic decision to crush Hamas and Islamic Jihad
Movements. Indeed, a noticeable drop in the number of martyrdom operations took place and it
continued until the outbreak of the Aqsa Uprising which represented the fourth stage. During this
stage martyrdom operations were resumed and reached unprecedented number especially after
March 2001. According to this study, there was at least one operation every week and sometimes
two or three martyrdom operations were staged in a week. The study addressed the aspects of
development that the martyrdom operations had undergone during the Aqsa Uprising. There is an
increase in the number of operations; emergence of new forms of martyrdom operations,
Palestinian leftist movement forces joined these operations in addition to involvement of women
in this field. The study divided the motives of martyrdom operations into: ideological religious
motive, revenge, psychological and economic motive. The Palestinian suicide martyrs were
turned into a legend in the Palestinian society. Their life story and act of martyrdom are
considered part of the history of the Palestinian resistance. Their photos narrating their
martyrdom stories are held high in public streets and squares. Besides, more than 90% of the
Palestinians support martyrdom operations.
The study of Margalit (2003) concludes that the main motive for many of the Palestinian suicide
bombers is revenge for acts committed by Israelis; a revenge that will be known and celebrated
in the Islamic world, since the one thing that Palestinian suicide bombers have in common is that

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they are all Muslims. The author reached to this conclusion depending on her interviews with
many Israelis and Palestinians, who know something about suicide bombers, and had read and
watched many of the bombers’ statements. Findings show that most families seem to be similarly
proud of their relatives who become martyrs.

Moghadam (2003) offered a framework of analysis for understanding Palestinian suicide


bombers as an individual and organizational phenomenon. The study explores various issues
related to Palestinian suicide bombers by presenting a two-phase model to explain the processes
and factors underlying the development of Palestinian suicide bombers, and the execution of
suicide bombing attacks. The model is applied to the case of suicide attacks that have occurred in
the course of the first 21 months of the Second Intifada, from September 2000 to June 2002. The
assumptions of the model are tested by taking an in-depth look into the various motives leading
individual Palestinians to volunteer for suicide missions, and by discussing the activities and
major functions of the organizations that have employed this modus operandi in the specified
time frame. Four major conclusions can be reached with regard to the motivations of those
Palestinians that volunteer for suicide missions: religious, personal, nationalist and economic
motives. Between 1993 and early August 2002, more than 135 Palestinian suicide bombers have
detonated themselves in Israeli targets. The majority of these suicide attacks have occurred
during the current wave of Israeli–Palestinian hostilities, which erupted in late September 2000.
The suicide bombings were carried out by four militant Palestinian organizations: Hamas,
Islamic Jihad, Fateh and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Hamas had claimed
responsibility for some 43% of all suicide attacks perpetrated against Israelis during the second
Intifada—more than any other Palestinian organization. In the 26 successful attacks organized
and executed by Hamas between September 2000 and the end of June 2002, some 161 Israelis
had been killed, and over 1,100 injured. Hamas has demonstrated an extremely high degree of
lethality in its attacks, a fact that hints at the effective organization and information-gathering
capabilities that are at the group’s disposal, in addition to its wealth of material and financial
resources. The selection process of the candidates for suicide missions depends on the basis of
religious devotion, trust, and ability to keep secret; recruiters naturally prefer to pick candidates
that they have known for a longer period of time. Most of suicide bombers undergo between
several weeks to several months of training and indoctrination, planning and execution, weapon
procurement, and division of labor.

Pedahzur et al. (2003) addressed the aspect of altruism and fatalism as characteristics of
Palestinian suicides through a sample of (823) suicide and non-suicide cases from April 1993 till
February 2002; (743) were non-suicide and (80) were suicide. Results indicated that the path of
suicide started to dominate the Palestinian resistance techniques. As for the motives which drove
Palestinian martyrs to carry out such operations, the study focused on two aspects: altruism and
fatalism suicide according to (Durkheim 1951) division of suicidal behavior. Palestinian martyrs
come under the altruism suicide and some elements of the fatalism suicide. Altruistic suicide
may occur when a person becomes deeply integrated into a social group and suicide becomes a
duty for the members of that group. The aim of the suicide act is not to satisfy the person who
commits suicide but rather the group to which he or she belongs. Acts of fatalistic suicide
characterize situations of hopelessness that result from continuous political and economic
oppression.

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The study of Rosenberger (2003) looked into the behavior of the suicide bombers. It indicated
that deliberate suicide used to achieve some end in group conflict was a relatively rare but
always dramatic behavior. Motivation for such behavior is complex, it occurs usually at both the
group and individual levels, and it can have multiple meanings. The researcher examines suicide
bombing as it has occurred recently in both the September 11 event and in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. It notes that it appears to be a behavior motivated mainly by the singular intent to
destroy a particular people, and concludes that it is a depressive equivalent behavior rooted in the
desire for vengeance. The study identifies such behavior, given this motivation, as a crime by the
leaders of the groups planning such acts against those they send on suicide bombing missions.
Regarding the Palestinian suicide bombers, findings had shown that the social stress, bad
economic condition, and psychological stress as a result of Israeli occupation might support the
readiness of becoming a suicide bomber.
In “Army of Roses” Victor (2003) addressed Wafa Idris- the first Palestinian female suicide
martyr- and the other young women who had followed her struggle lead toward a martyr's
Paradise paved with personal desperation and deadly political maneuvering. The researcher
exposes the political and cultural forces which push Palestinian women into martyrdom. She
identifies what she calls a new level of cynicism that has destroyed normal, everyday existence
in the Middle East, along with the possibility for lasting peace; tracing the roots of the women's
resistance movement back to so called personal initiative attacks and a brief period of
empowerment in the 1980 before religious leaders were clamped down. The author concluded
that how the current generation of Palestinian women has been courted and cajoled into
committing these self-destructive acts. By presenting the intimate personal histories of the first
five female bombers who have succeeded in blowing themselves up, as well as the troubling
stories of some of those who tried but failed. Victor concludes that there are over twenty
motivating factors for female suicide bombers. Among them are religion, living in a culture of
death where people are trained to kill at an early age, revenge, depression, desire for education,
equality, independence, martyrdom, divorce, domestic violence, financial difficulties, extremism,
family honor, hopelessness, humiliation by Israeli soldiers, infertility, male bombers, marriage
pressures, nationalism, oppression of Israel, pregnancy, rehabilitation and victimization of
women. She concludes that there is a fatal cocktail of causes which results from the combination
of the religious desire to be a martyr along with economic and political oppression. Findings
show that without dismissing or diminishing how far a person can be pushed when he/she is
convinced that he/she has nothing to lose.

In another study, Wintrobe (2003) developed a simple model to explain how it is possible for a
person to rationally commit suicide to further the goals of a group. In this model, an individual
gives up autonomy for solidarity i.e. he trades his beliefs for a feeling of belonging to a group.
The author indicates that small trades of this type do not result in unusual behavior and indeed,
most of us engage in such behavior all of our lives. However, at large levels, such trades imply
that a person is more and more giving up his identity for that of the group, perhaps as personified
by its leader, and lose the capacity to make decisions based on values other than those of the
leader. The study concludes that the choice of larger levels of solidarity may drive a person close
to or at a corner solution where his/her values are entirely those of the leader. Such a person is
capable of rational suicide for the goals of the group. Regarding religions, findings show that
there are some reasons to believe that Islam is more typically capable of generating the intense
social cohesion involved in such sacrifices compared to Judaism or Christianity.

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In her study, Allen (2002) presents suicide bombing as a phenomenon that Palestinians have
begun to view as normal, even in the eyes of the children who have grown up in the midst of all
of this violence. The study concludes that there are many reasons why there are many suicide
bombers and martyrs in Palestine; she cites harsh conditions and treatment from the Israeli army
as key reasons for individuals choosing to join Palestinian groups. Thus, there is a clear political
aim which is striking back at the Israeli occupation. According to this argument, living under
occupation makes the native people begin to feel desperate and under conditions where getting
from point A to point B is increasingly obstructed by an arbitrary power, martyrdom operations
are one means of regaining control. Other causes presented in the article are religion and
conviction, which result in the courage necessary to actually complete the mission. Furthermore,
the Palestinian people feel as if they are always in danger of being killed by the Israeli occupying
forces, but as suicide bombers, they have the chance to go out to fight and with some dignity, in
the eyes of the people of the movement.

Franke (2002) tried in her MA thesis to answer an important question regarding the suicide
bombers in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict whether they were really acts of martyrs or terrorists?
The researcher considered suicide bombings in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a recent
phenomenon which both sides are affected by. The thesis attempts to analyze how these different
societies construct the identity of suicide bombers, taking into consideration that the tendency to
describe suicide bombers either as terrorists or as martyrs is apparent. These contested terms are
defined. The results showed that the history of suicide bombing in Israel/Palestine demonstrates
a link to respective political events. It is a reaction to Israeli violence and it also a results from
internal Palestinian motives. The analysis of profiles and motivations of suicide bombers and
organizations behind them reveals several motives for suicide bombing. Among them are the
attempt to serve justice, restore identity, receive honors, social status, and defend oneself and
Palestine. The researcher concentrated in the study on the theory of identity whose make up is
important for understanding the different perceptions of suicide bombers. She concludes that the
process of identity construction is based on norms and cultural values, which are the benchmark
of identity construction, and equally important are the notions of others and power relations in
the discourse on suicide bombers, as their identity is externally constructed either in demarcation
to or in congruence with them; thus different historical, ideological, political, social
circumstances and norms construct the identity of suicide bombers as either martyrs or terrorists.

In another study, Klein (2002) ponders the tide of public discourse which arose in response to the
Palestinian martyrdom bombings in the recent Aqsa Intifada 2000, in which social scientists and
anthropologists have been active participants, and where the reasons and causes of this
phenomenon have been the centre of debate. The study questions the value of this analytical
posture by placing it next to a habit of everyday discursive practice the author of the paper
became aware of during fieldwork with the politically active in the First Intifada 1987. Findings
show that people (esp. women) would entertain an instrumentalist explanation of actions or
qualities of which they showed themselves in other moments, and in other ways, proud (e.g.,
mothers, of how clever and courageous their children are in confrontations with Israeli soldiers;
young couples of taking up residence with the groom’s father’s family or in the vicinity) but
which they also understood to cause aesthetic offence and moral outrage internationally. The
author asks what posture the anthropologists is to take when people we work with work with this
global and critical view on their practices and deploy an instrumentalist perspective as ideology
with which they cloak causes and aesthetics they believe in but which offend, for example an

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attitude that violent death (political suicide and murder) is not inevitably anti-aesthetic but
meaningful in an obvious way.

Lachkar (2002) addressed the psychological make up of the suicide martyrs in her study. She
focused on the unstable psychological condition of these persons which influences their lives and
encourages them to carry out such operations. This condition is expressed through: feeling of
dependency, lack of seriousness, Oedipus complex which is basically based on the feeling of
inferiority complex and denial of people of authority. The researcher pointed out the role of
Islam in this phenomenon especially when the attackers on the towers of the World Trade Center
were Muslims according to the final investigations. She psychologically connected this with the
absence of father from the family; consequently, children saw others from outside the family as
their raw models which terrorist organizations and movements are exploiting by selecting which
persons to carry out such operations.
Hassan (2001) addressed the characteristics of Palestinian human bombs through a sample of
150 suicide cases during the period (1993-2001). According to the researcher none of the 150 or
so people involved in suicide bombings had a suicidal profile. None of the martyrs -they ranged
in age from eighteen to thirty-eight-conformed to the typical profile of the suicidal personality.
None of them were uneducated, desperately poor, simple-minded or depressed. Many were
middle class, unless they were fugitives, held paid jobs. More than half of them were refugees
from what is now Israel. Two were the sons of millionaires. They all seemed to be entirely
normal members of their families. They were polite and serious, and in their communities they
were considered to be model youths. Most were bearded. All were deeply religious. They used
Islamic terminology to express their views, but they were well informed about politics in Israel
and throughout the Arab world. In order to be accepted for a suicide mission, the volunteers had
to be convinced of the religious legitimacy of the acts they were contemplating, as sanctioned by
the divinely revealed religion of Islam. Many of these young men had memorized large sections
of the Quran and were well versed in the finer points of Islamic law and practice. But their
knowledge of Christianity was rooted in the medieval Crusades, and they regarded Judaism and
Zionism as synonymous. Human bombs belonged, for the most part, to Hamas or Islamic Jihad.
In addition not all of the suicide bombers were supported by activist groups. Some of them
appear not to have belonged to any organization. Regarding the peace process between
Palestinians and Israelis, the study showed that there is a clear correlation between the peace
process and cycles of suicide attacks designed to block progress. The selection process is
complicated by the fact that so many wish to embark on this journey of honor. When one is
selected, countless others are disappointed. They must learn patience and wait until Allah (God)
calls on them. They generally reject those who are under eighteen, who are the sole bread
winners in their families, or who are married and have family responsibilities. If two brothers ask
to join, one is turned away. One of the technical considerations that may be taken into account in
the final selection of a candidate for martyrdom is the ability to pass, at least temporarily, as an
Israeli Jew. The results showed that the martyr underwent intensified spiritual exercises,
including prayers and recitations of the Quran. Religious lectures last from two to four hours
each day. The living martyr goes on lengthy fasts. He spends much of the night praying. He pays
off all his debts, and asks for forgiveness for actual or perceived offenses. Findings showed that
in the days before the operation, the candidate prepares a will on paper, audiocassette, or video,
sometimes all three; he repeatedly watches the video of himself, as well as the videos of his
predecessors. These videos encourage him to confront death, not fear it.

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Lindner (2001) argues that the main cause of suicide bombings is the feelings of intense
humiliation. She proposes that ethnic, religious or cultural differences do not by themselves
create rifts. Instead, these factors are meant to create a platform for cooperation and enrichment.
However, when respect is absent one party feels victimized and humiliated, and it is these
feelings of inadequacy that lead to differences being highlighted and used to justify acts of terror.

The study of Shuman (2001) presented a profile of the typical Palestinian suicide bombers: 47%
of the suicide bombers have an academic education and an additional 29% have at least a high
school education, 83% are single, 64% are between the ages 18-23; most of the rest are under 30,
and 68% of them came from the Gaza Strip. Religious authorities inside and outside of the
Palestinian territories affirmed the right of Palestinians to carry out martyrdom operations against
Israelis. In addition, findings show that Palestinians support suicide bombing; according to a poll
conducted among Palestinian adults from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East
Jerusalem by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO), a substantial majority (76.1%)
support suicidal attacks like that of Netanya in May 2002, whereas 12.5% oppose, and 11.4%
express no opinion. The study concludes that both religion and humiliation of life under
occupation were the key motives for suicide bombers bent on starting a better life in paradise.
In another study of the phenomenon of suicide bombings, Morris & Shahin (1996) concludes
that it is not at all religion that sparks the desire within the women, and men, who join terrorist
organizations and become martyrs. Instead, they emphasize the importance of nationalistic and
ethnic aspirations. Furthermore, it is a personal desire for glory and a legacy that will be revered
within one’s culture that adds to the desire for martyrdom. Under the assumption that many, if
not all, suicide bombers share a common mental state.
Sande (1992) described the phenomenon of martyrdom in the context of the Palestinian struggle,
with emphasis on its implications at the psychosocial level. The study discussed the situation of
martyr widows, with highlight on their difficult double role as mourning individuals under the
pressure of social, religious, and political expectations. The study shows that the religious
dimension has constantly been a context for the Palestinian struggle, hand in hand with the
strictly political and military terminology. The first Palestinian Intifada in the year 1987 has
forcefully renewed the martyr dimension of the just struggle among Palestinians. Findings show
that the phenomenon of martyrdom is of substantial significance for the Palestinians: as an
inspiration during hardship, as a motivation for sacrifice, as a context in bereavement, and as
premise for psychological, social and material support. The study concludes that the support of
the martyr widows is of major significance, and it appears to be closely linked to the impact of
the religious dimension of the struggle.

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2.3 Comments on Previous Studies
It is clear for us from a review of the previous literature that several of these studies dealt with
martyrdom operations through research and study; researches from different backgrounds
exerted outstanding effort in dealing with this phenomenon from different aspects; this subject
had an outstanding rank in the world in general and the Palestinian society in particular. These
studies in general aimed at identifying this phenomenon in terms of definition, historical
framework, causes, effects, and position of religion. Very limited studies dealt with the topic
from a field perspective through families and close friends of the suicide martyr (Istishhadiyin).
The majority of these studies agreed that martyrdom operations have many forms and causes;
they have risks and negative effects on individuals and the society; however, these Arab and
Foreign studies are at a disadvantage in the following:
1. Scarcity of field studies relating to this topic.
2. Concentration of the majority of previous studies in their address of the phenomenon
on the theoretical intellectual aspect, historical narration and personal analysis of this
phenomenon.
3. Dependence of these previous studies in their analysis on secondary resources from the
media, personal articles while they neglected the primary resources; this distracted the
reader and contributed to the clash of numbers regarding it.
4. The phenomenon of martyrdom operations was not studied objectively and neutrality
especially in Israeli studies.
5. Lack of a survey for this important phenomenon which caused a high level of
controversy locally and internationally.
6. The large number of errors that occurred in previous studies regarding the issues
related to the Palestinian suicide martyrs especially their names, factions, the date and
place of martyrdom operation.
7. As for the previous studies (Abu M’ala, 2004; Abu Ras, 2006; Ashour, 2006) which
deal with the subject are also at a disadvantage as follows:
1. They did not concentrate on the uniqueness of the Palestinian society and its
historical context in their study of this distinct phenomenon.
2. Focus on the issue of over sensitivity in discussing and analyzing the subject
and this might, in one way or another, influence the scientific address of this
phenomenon.
3. The terms of the Palestinian martyrdom operations were not precisely identified
since they included cases which were not basically martyrdom operations like
shooting, attacking a checkpoint and participation in the Uprising in general.
4. They did not involve other dimensions in their study of this phenomenon like
the social, religious, political and economic aspects relating to every
martyrdom event.

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5. Very limited samples of martyrdom operations in the West Bank were
discussed and there was not any comprehensive survey of this phenomenon
including the Gaza Strip.
6. They focused on the study of the phenomenon of martyrdom operations from
the quantitative aspect and overlooked the qualitative one.
7. They focused on one research tool which is the questionnaire in their study of
the phenomenon without using other important research tools like interview
and content analysis.
Nevertheless, these studies had benefited the present study in shedding light on the phenomenon
of martyrdom operations with its different dimensions; they encouraged the researcher to go
ahead with studying this phenomenon in a survey through the families and close friends of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin); the current study will be a continuation to them and
would carry out their recommendations.

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3. Chapter Three: Methodology
This chapter presents the methodology of the study, its population, the tools of data collection
and the methods of verifying its validity and reliability, the procedures of the study and statistical
analysis.

3.1 Study Approach


The present study used the descriptive quantitative and qualitative approaches since both of them
are considered to be the most suitable research approaches to study the characteristics of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) from the perspective of their families and relatives;
both approaches are the most convenient to fulfill the study objectives since both work on
describing facts regarding positions as they stand or describing what is already existent and
collection of data and information which would be later classified, organized and expressed
quantitatively; they would also be interpreted accordingly in order to reach an understanding of
the relationship between the phenomenon and its different factors using convenient research
tools.

3.2 Study Population


The study population consists of all the families of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the years 1993 till the end of 2008, which includes 200
martyrdom operations (151 in the West Bank and 49 in Gaza Strip) as it is clear in table no (1).
Table No. (1). Distribution of Palestinian martyrdom operations by region and way of
martyrdom

Region The way of martyrdom Number

West Bank Explosion (Belt, Car, Bag) 151

Armed clash 44

Gaza Strip Explosion (Belt, Car, Bag) 49

Armed clash 178

Total 422

*Statistics according to Foundation Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded, Palestine (2008).


Table no (1) clarifies the distribution of the study population according to the region and the way
of martyrdom, including 222 armed clashes compared to 200 explosion operations using a belt,
car or a bag in which the suicide martyr (Istishhady) knows that he/she would not come out of it
alive; this is the subject of study according to its terminology.

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3.3 Method and Tools of Data Collection
The present study used the approach of comprehensive survey, questionnaire (Appendix A; B),
and interview as tools for data collection. The content analysis method for the wills of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs was also used.
Based on literature review in order to examine the characteristics and motives of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs from the perspective of their families and relatives, the researcher develops a
questionnaire which consists of six sections. The first has the demographic characteristics of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs like: gender, age, social status, educational qualification, region,
place of residence, district, refugee status, work status, profession, income, exposure to Israeli
violence…etc. The second includes the demographic characteristics of the Palestinian
martyrdom operations like: faction, way of martyrdom, place, time, day, month, year of
martyrdom…etc. The third has the personality characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) with its four dimensions: social, religious, national and psychological. The fourth
includes the Palestinian suicide martyrs motivations behind the carrying out of their martyrdom
operations. The fifth has the behavioral changes which took place on the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) prior to the execution of the martyrdom operation, while the sixth
includes the opinions of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs in the martyrdom operations.
Five-point Likert Scale (always, often, sometimes, rarely and never) was used in the
questionnaire, in addition to (yes and no) scale. The tool of validity and reliability was checked
as follows:

3.3.1 Validity of the Study Tool


The questionnaire was validated by being reviewed by a group of referees and expert arbitrators
(Table no. 64), who provided some comments on the tool. These comments were incorporated
into the final version of the questionnaire. On the other hand, the validity was also measured
statistically by both factorial analysis and Pearson correlation in order to examine the internal
consistency of the questionnaire items. Findings indicate that they all combined measured the
characteristics, motives and behavioral changes of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
in light of the theoretical framework which the tool of study is based upon (Tables no. 65-76).
Besides, the tool was pre-tested on fifteen Palestinian suicide martyrs families and five relatives
of the suicide martyrs.

3.3.2 Reliability of the Study Tool


In regards to the questionnaire reliability, it was tested by calculating the internal consistency of
the questionnaire sub-scales using the Cronbach Alpha Formula. Findings in table number (77)
indicate that the questionnaire with its different dimensions is highly reliable. The results were as
follows: the reliability of the psychological characteristics is (0.84), social characteristics (0.80),
national characteristics (0.90), religious characteristics (0.88), the motivations (0.80), the
behavioral changes (0.91) while the reliability of the total degree was (0.90).

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3.4 Study Procedures
The names of all Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
(Table no. 79) were obtained from “Mu’asasat Ri’ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal Jarha” (Foundation
Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded) in Palestine. This took place following coordination
between the Institute and the researcher in formal correspondence through the supervisors on the
study (Appendixes no. E-G).
The Institute president Ms. Intesar Al-Wazeer facilitated my mission and designated a
coordinator for my study Ms. Shama Washah - her Office Director in Gaza Strip; this was due to
the fact that this study involves a very important aspect of the Palestinian national struggle
(Appendix no. H). Following the completion of the study tools, the researcher with the
participation of a skilled field team which consisted of seven researchers (Appendix no. I)
completed the data collected from the families of the suicide martyrs and their relatives in the
West Bank; they were one hundred fifty one families. The researcher also conducted fourteen in-
depth individual and collective video taped interviews with the members of the suicide martyr
family, randomly selected from the pool of two hundred suicide martyrs. The data collected
averaging more than two hours each, took place in the houses of the suicide martyrs families.
This technique allowed the researcher to obtain comprehensive and triangulated information
about each case, especially the additional material, such as videotapes, wills that the suicide
martyrs left behind (Appendixes no. P), posters (Figures no. 70-71) as well as their factions’
formal statement (Appendixes K-M). These supplementary materials help to assess the accuracy
of some answers and provide a deeper understanding of the social, political, and economic
background of the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin).
As for Gaza Strip which is completely separated from the West Bank and after the Israeli
authorities refused to allow me to enter into Gaza to collect data, the process of data collection
was carried out in coordination with “Mu’asasat Ri’ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal Jarha” (Foundation
Care/Families of Martyrs & Wounded) under the supervision of a trained, experienced
coordinator Ms. Shama Washah who completely supervised the process through a specialized
field team which consisted of ten researchers (Appendix no. J) after I had trained them on the
research tools through video conferencing in the presence of Dr. Khader Musleh the second
supervisor of the study. The research team visited all the suicide martyrs’ families and their
relatives adding up two hundred twenty two families based on the recommendations of the
“Mu’asasat Ri’ayat Usar Ashuhada Wal Jarha” (Foundation Care/Families of Martyrs &
Wounded) for the sake of sorting suicide martyrdom operations in Gaza Strip in accordance with
the study definition; they were forty nine cases.
The process of data collection was carried out in the period from 15 June–20 December 2008.
The families of the suicide martyrs and their relatives were very cooperative. Tables' number (2-
6) showed below present the main characteristics of the respondents.

200
Table No. (2). Distribution of respondents according to their relationship to the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)

Relation to the martyr Number Percent %

Father/Mother 131 65.5

Spouse 3 1.5

Son/Daughter 2 1.0

Brother/Sister 52 26.0

Close person 12 6.0

Total 200 100

Table no (2) clarifies the distribution of respondents according to their relationship to the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) where the majority (65.5%) of them are the
father/mother, 26% brother/sister, 6% close person, 1.5% spouse, while only 1% son/daughter.

Table No. (3). Distribution of respondents according to their age group

Age group Number Percent %

30- 44 22.0

30-44 35 17.5

45+ 121 60.5

Total 200 100

Table no (3) clarifies the distribution of respondents according to their age group, as the majority
(60.5%) of them are in the age group 45 years and above, 22% below 30 years and 17.5%
between 30-44 years. The average age of respondents was 45.19 years.

201
Table No. (4). Distribution of respondents by gender

Gender Number Percent %

Male 114 57.0

Female 86 43.0

Total 200 100

Table no (4) shows the distribution of respondents according to gender, as 57% males compared
to 43% females.

Table No. (5). Distribution of respondents by social status

Social status Number Percent %

Single 28 14.0

Married 156 78.0

Other 16 8.0

Total 200 100

Table no (5) clarifies the distribution of respondents by social status, the majority (78%) of them
are married, 14% single, while 8% are in other cases.

Table No. (6). Distribution of respondents by academic qualification

Academic qualification Number Percent %

Illiterate 21 10.5

Basic (elementary-preparatory) 77 38.5

Secondary 62 31.0

Diploma 13 6.5

Bachelor and above 27 13.5

Total 200 100

202
Table no (6) shows the distribution of respondents according to academic qualification, as 38.5%
of them are in the basic (elementary-preparatory)level, 31% secondary, 13.5% bachelor degree
and above, 10.5% are illiterate, while 6.5% have a diploma degree.

3.5 Statistical Analysis


Following data collection, it was reviewed in preparation for processing into the computer; they
were allocated certain numbers to i.e. transformed verbal answers into numbers (always 5, often
4, sometimes 3, rarely 2, never 1) and (yes 2, no 1) in order to carry out the required statistical
procedures for the data which took place through obtaining numbers, percentages, means,
standard deviations and graphics. In addition, the following statistical tests were used: Pearson
Correlation, Cronbach Alpha, and Factor Analysis, using SPSS.

203
4. Chapter Four: Findings of the Study

The current study aimed at identifying the phenomenon of the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin): facts and figures, from the point of view of the suicide
martyrs’ families and relatives. The findings are as follows.

4.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs

What are the demographic characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin)?
Numbers and percentages were used to identify the above question. Tables number
(7-36) shown below present the results.

Table No. (7). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


gender
Gender Number Percent %
Male 190 95.0
Female 10 5.0
Total 200 100

Table no (7) shows the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
by gender, as the majority (95%) males to 5% only females.

Table No. (8). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


social status
Social status Number Percent %
Single 179 89.5
Married 17 8.5
Other 4 2.0
Total 200 100

Table no (8) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
by social status: the majority (89.5%) are single, 8.5% married while 2% others.

Table No. (9). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


age group
Age group Number Percent %
25- 163 81.5
25-30 30 15.0
30+ 7 3.5
Total 200 100

Table no (9) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
by age group: the majority (81.5%) were less than 25 years old, 15% in the age group
25-30 while 3.5% were more than 30 years old. The average age of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was 21.97 years.

204
Table No. (10). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by
zodiac
Zodiac Number Percent %
Aries 18 9.0
Taurus 19 9.5
Gemini 20 10.0
Cancer 9 4.5
Leo 20 10.0
Virgo 21 10.5
Libra 12 6.0
Scorpio 14 7.0
Sagittarius 10 5.0
Capricorn 21 10.5
Aquarius 17 8.5
Pisces 19 9.5
Total 200 100

Table no (10) shows the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
by zodiac as follows: Virgo and Capricorn each had 10.5%, Gemini and Leo each had
10%, Taurus and Pisces each had 9.5%, whereas 9% in Aries, 8.5% in Aquarius, 7%
in Scorpio, 6% in Libra, 5% in Sagittarius while 4.5% of them were in Cancer.

Table No. (11). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


academic qualification
Academic qualification Number Percent %
Basic (elementary- 47 23.5
preparatory)
Secondary 95 47.5
Diploma 12 6.0
Bachelor and above 46 23.0
Total 200 100

Table no (11) shows that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were well educated: 47.5% of them were in the secondary level, 23.5%
were in the basic (elementary-preparatory) level, 23% were in the bachelor degree and
above while 6% of them had a diploma degree.

Table No. (12). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


birth rank in the family
Birth rank in the family Number Percent %
Eldest 37 18.5
Middle 122 61.0
Youngest 41 20.5
Total 200 100

Table no (12) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) according to the birth rank in the family as follows: the majority (61%)
of them were in the middle, 20.5% the youngest while 18.5% were the eldest.

205
Table No. (13). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by
size of households
Number of family Number Percent %
members in the house
1-4 41 20.5
5-9 88 44.0
10+ 71 35.5
Total 200 100

Table no (13) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) by size of households as follows: the majority (44%) came from
households of between 5-9 members, 35.5% with ten members and above while
20.5% of them from households of between 1-4 members. The average household size
of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were 8.01 members.

Table No. (14). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


kind of family
Kind of family Number Percent %
Nuclear 118 59.0
Extended 82 41.0
Total 200 100

Table no (14) shows that the majority (59%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) came from nuclear families while 41% came from extended families.

Table No. (15). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


degree of religion
Degree of religion Number Percent %
High 118 59.0
Middle 74 37.0
Low 8 4.0
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (15) the majority (59%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were deeply religious, 37% in the middle while only
4% were rarely religious.

Table No. (16). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


external appearance
External appearance Number Percent %
Looks like Israelis 60 30.0
Does not look like Israelis 140 70.0
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (16) 30% of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) looked like Israelis while the majority (70%) did not.

206
Table No. (17). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to skin color
Skin color Number Percent %
Black 20 10.0
Blond 8 4.0
Wheat 80 40.0
White 92 46.0
Total 200 100

Table no (17) shows the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to skin color: the majority (46%) of their skin color was white, 40% wheat,
10% black and 4% blond.

Table No. (18). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


height
Height (cm) Number Percent %
165- 34 17.0
165-180 141 70.5
180+ 25 12.5
Total 200 100

Table no (18) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) by height: the majority (70.5%) were between 165-180cm, 17% were
below 165cm while 12.5% of them were above 180cm. The average height of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was 173.62 cm.

Table No. (19). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


weight
Weight (kg) Number Percent %
65- 49 24.5
65-79 128 64.0
80+ 23 11.5
Total 200 100

Table no (19) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) by weight: the majority (64%) were between 65-79kg, 24.5% were
below 65kg while 11.5% of them were above 80kg. The average weight of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was 68.19 kg.

207
Table No. (20). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to blood group (N=79)
Blood group Number Percent %
A 25 31.6
B 10 12.7
O 41 51.9
AB 3 3.8
Total 79 100

Table no (20) shows that the blood group for the majority (51.9%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was O, 31.6% A, 12.7% B while the blood group for
3.8% of them was AB.

Table No. (21). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


number of close friends
Number of close friends Number Percent %
None 42 21.0
1 13 6.5
2 30 15.0
3+ 115 57.5
Total 200 100

Table no (21) shows that the majority (57.5%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) had more than three friends, 21% didn’t have any, 15% had two
friends while 6.5% had at least one friend. The average number of friends of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was 3.89.

Table No. (22). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to favorite color (N=188)
Favorite color Number Percent %
Red 4 2.1
Black 64 34.0
Green 34 18.1
Brown 14 7.5
Other 72 38.3
Total 188 100

Table no (22) shows that the favorite color of 34% of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) was black, 18.1% green, 7.5% brown, 2.15% red while 38.3% of them
preferred other colors.

208
Table No. (23). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to favorite day
Favorite day Number Percent %
Sunday 7 3.5
Monday 14 7.0
Tuesday 3 1.5
Wednesday 7 3.5
Thursday 28 14.0
Friday 137 68.5
Saturday 4 2.0
Total 200 100

Table no (23) shows that the favorite day for the majority (68.5%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was Friday, 14% Thursday, 7% Monday, Sunday and
Wednesday 3.5% each, 2% Saturday while the favorite day for 1.5% was Tuesday.

Table No. (24). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


region
Region Number Percent %
West Bank 151 75.5
Gaza Strip 49 24.5
Total 200 100

Table no (24) shows that the majority (75.5%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) came from the West Bank while 24.5% of them came from the Gaza
Strip.

Table No. (25). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


place of residence
Place of residence Number Percent %
City 79 39.5
Village 65 32.5
Camp 56 28.0
Total 200 100

Table no (25) shows that the majority (39.5%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were from cities, 32.5% from villages and 28% from refugee camps.

209
Table No. (26). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by
district
District Number Percent %
Qalqilya 7 3.5
Tulkarem 12 6.0
Jenin 30 15.0
Nablus 55 27.5
Ramallah 7 3.5
Jerusalem 3 1.5
Bethlehem 18 9.0
Hebron 19 9.5
Gaza 49 24.5
Total 200 100

Table no (26) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) by district in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as follows: the majority
(27.5%) came from the city of Nablus, 24.5% from Gaza Strip, 15% from Jenin, 9.5%
from Hebron, 9% from Bethlehem, 6% from Tulkarem, Qalqilya and Ramallah 3.5%
each while 1.5% came from Jerusalem district.

Table No. (27). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to refugee status
Refugee status Number Percent %
Refugee 107 53.5
Non Refugee 93 46.5
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (27) the majority (53.5%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were refugees while 46.5% were non refugees.

Table No. (28). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to work status
Work status Number Percent %
Was working 121 60.5
Was non working 79 39.5
Total 200 100

Table no (28) shows that the majority (60.5%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were working while 39.5% were not.

210
Table No. (29). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by
profession (N=140)
Profession Number Percent %
Worker 55 39.3
Employee 23 16.4
Business 43 30.7
Student 19 13.6
Total 140 100

Table no (29) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) by profession: 39.3% were workers, 30.7% had businesses, and 16.4%
were employees while 13.6% were students.

Table No. (30). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to monthly income (NIS Israeli Shekel) (N=110)
Monthly income Number Percent %
1500- 64 58.2
1500-3000 36 32.7
3000+ 10 9.1
Total 110 100

Table no (30) shows that the monthly income to 58.2% of the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were less than 1500 shekels, 32.7% were between 1500-3000
shekels while 9.1% were more than 3000 shekels. The average monthly income of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was 1774.55 NIS.

Table No. (31). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


work condition (N=121)
Work condition Number Percent %
Independent 32 26.4
Employee 89 73.6
Total 121 100

Table no (31) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) by work condition: the majority (73.6%) were employees while 26.4%
were self employed.

Table No. (32). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to family bread winner
Was the martyr the Number Percent %
family bread winner
Yes 93 46.5
No 107 53.5
Total 200 100

Table no (32) clarifies the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) according to family bread winner: 46.5% were the family bread winner
while the majority (53.5%) were not.

211
Table No. (33). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to their families exposure to Israeli violence
Was the family exposed Number Percent %
to Israeli violence
Yes 147 73.5
No 53 26.5
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (33) the majority (73.5%) of the families of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were exposed to various forms of Israeli
violence, while 26.5% were not exposed.

Table No. (34). Mean scores and standard deviation of Israeli violence forms that
the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had been exposed to,
ranked in a descending order (N=147)
Forms of Israeli violence Mean Standard Deviation
Land confiscation 1.79 0.40
Uprooting trees 1.78 0.41
Land bulldozing 1.78 0.41
Insults and swearing 1.54 0.50
Detention 1.52 0.50
Home raids 1.52 0.50
Not getting a work permit 1.41 0.49
Job loss 1.39 0.48
Ban from traveling 1.33 0.47
Injury 1.31 0.46
Martyrdom 1.23 0.42
House demolition 1.23 0.42
Wanted list 1.18 0.38
Handicap 1.09 0.28
Deportation 1.06 0.24
Compulsory house arrest 1.06 0.24
*Mean out of 2 points

Table no (34) clarifies the forms of Israeli violence that the families of Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were exposed to ranked in a descending order as
follows: land confiscation, uprooting trees, land bulldozing, insults and swearing,
detention, home raids, not getting a work permit, job loss, ban from traveling, injury,
martyrdom, house demolition, wanted list, handicapped, deportation and compulsory
house arrest.

212
Table No. (35). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to their exposure to Israeli violence
Was the martyr exposed Number Percent %
to Israeli violence
Yes 92 46.0
No 108 54.0
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (35) 46% of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were exposed to various forms of Israeli violence while the majority
(54%) were not.

Table No. (36). Mean scores and standard deviation of Israeli violence forms that
the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had been exposed to, ranked in a
descending order (N=92)
Forms of Israeli violence Mean Standard
Deviation
Insults and swearing 1.66 0.47
Home raids 1.62 0.48
Bad treatment at checkpoints and surrounding 1.62 0.48
environment
Beating 1.61 0.49
Martyrdom of a dear person 1.52 0.50
Detention 1.45 0.50
Injury 1.37 0.48
Not getting a work permit 1.27 0.44
Job loss 1.25 0.43
Wanted list 1.25 0.43
Ban from traveling 1.21 0.40
Compulsory house arrest 1.09 0.28
Deportation 1.05 0.22
*Mean out of 2 points

Table no (36) clarifies the forms of Israeli violence that the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were exposed to ranked in a descending order as follows:
insults and swearing, home raids, bad treatment at checkpoints and surrounding
environment, beating, martyrdom of a dear person, detention, injury, not getting a
work permit, job loss, wanted list, ban from traveling, compulsory house arrest and
deportation.

213
4.2 Demographic Characteristics of the Palestinian Martyrdom Operations

What are the demographic characteristics of the Palestinian martyrdom


operations?
Numbers and percentages were used to identify the above question. Tables number
(37-52) shown below present the results.

Table No. (37). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to party affiliation
Party affiliation Number Percent %
Fateh 49 24.5
Hamas 83 41.5
Islamic Jihad 59 29.5
PFLP 8 4.0
DFLP 1 0.5
Total 200 100

Table no (37) clarifies the party affiliation of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) as follows: the majority (41.5%) belonged to the Islamic Resistance
Movement (Hamas), 29.5% from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement (PIJ),
24.5% from the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fateh), 4% from the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) while only 0.5% came from the
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

Table No. (38). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to the way of martyrdom
The way of martyrdom Number Percent %
Explosive belt 131 65.5
Explosive car 43 21.5
Explosive bag 26 13.0
Total 200 100

Table no (38) shows that the way of martyrdom for the majority (65.5%) of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) was explosive belt, 21.5% explosive car
while the way of martyrdom for 13% of them was explosive bag.

Table No. (39). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to the region in which they carried out their martyrdom operations
Region in which the operation Number Percent %
was implemented
West Bank settlements 23 11.5
Gaza Strip settlements 40 20.0
Israel 137 68.5
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (39) the majority (68.5%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried out their martyrdom operations in Israel,
20% in the Gaza Strip settlements while 11.5% had implemented their operations in
the West Bank settlements.

214
Table No. (40). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by
the place in which they carried out their martyrdom operations
Place in which the operation Number Percent %
was implemented
Afula 4 2.0
Ashdod 2 1.0
Ashkelon 1 0.5
Baqa El Gharbiyya 3 1.5
Beersheba 3 1.5
Beit Shean 5 2.5
Dimona 2 1.0
Elat 1 0.5
Erez Checkpoint 7 3.5
Gaza Strip Settlements 33 16.5
Hadera 11 5.5
Haifa 11 5.5
Herzliya 1 0.5
Jerusalem 44 22.0
Kefar Sava 5 2.5
Nahariyya 1 0.5
Netanya 11 5.5
Tel Aviv 27 13.5
Umm El Fahm 5 2.5
West Bank Settlements 23 11.5
Total 200 100

Table no (40) shows that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) carried out
their martyrdom operations in all Israeli cities and regions: the majority (22%) was in
the city of Jerusalem, 16.5% in Gaza Strip settlements, 13.5% in the city of Tel Aviv,
11.5% in West Bank settlements, 5.5% each in the cities of Hadera, Haifa and
Netanya, 3.5% in Erez checkpoint at Gaza Strip, Beit Shean, Kefar Saba and Umm El
Fahm 2.5% each, 2% in the city of Afula, Baqa El Gharbiyya and Beersheba 1.5%
each, the cities of Ashdod and Dimona 1% each while 0.5% each of these operations
was carried out in other Israeli cities like: Ashkelon, Elat, Herzliya and Nahariyya.

Table No. (41). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


the time in which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Time in which the operation Number Percent %
was implemented
In the morning 91 45.5
In the afternoon 79 39.5
In the evening 30 15.0
Total 200 100

Table no (41) shows that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried
out their martyrdom operations during daylight hours: the majority (45.5%) were in
the morning, 39.5% in the afternoon while 15% of them took place in the evening.

215
Table No. (42). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to the day in which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Day in which the operation was Number Percent %
implemented
Sunday 47 23.5
Monday 28 14.0
Tuesday 29 14.5
Wednesday 26 13.0
Thursday 31 15.5
Friday 24 12.0
Saturday 15 7.5
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (42) the majority (23.5%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried out their martyrdom operations on Sunday,
15.5% on Thursday, 14.5% on Tuesday, 14% on Monday, 13% on Wednesday, 12%
on Friday and 7.5% were on Saturday.

Table No. (43). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by


the month in which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Month in which the operation Number Percent %
was implemented
January 15 7.5
February 17 8.5
March 29 14.5
April 20 10.0
May 20 10.0
June 10 5.0
July 12 6.0
August 13 6.5
September 15 7.5
October 12 6.0
November 22 11.0
December 15 7.5
Total 200 100

Table no (43) shows that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried
out their martyrdom operations over the months of the year as follows: 14.5% in
March, 11% in November, April and May 10% each, 8.5% in February, 7.5% each in
January, September and December, 6.5% in August, 6% each in July and October
while 5% of them were in June.

216
Table No. (44). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) by
the year in which the martyrdom operation was implemented
Year in which the operation Number Percent %
was implemented
1993 6 3.0
1994 5 2.5
1995 9 4.5
1996 4 2.0
1997 8 4.0
1998 2 1.0
2000 3 1.5
2001 37 18.5
2002 67 33.5
2003 28 14.0
2004 16 8.0
2005 7 3.5
2006 5 2.5
2007 1 0.5
2008 2 1.0
Total 200 100

Table no (44) shows that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried
out their martyrdom operations in the years before and after the signing of Oslo
agreement between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (September 13,
1993): the majority (33.5%) took place in the year 2002, 18.5% in the year 2001, 14%
in 2003, 8% in 2004, 4.5% in 1995, 4% in 1997, 3.5% in the year 2005, 3% in 1993,
2.5% each in the years 1994 and 2006, 2% in 1996, 1.5% in 2000, 1% each in the
years 1998 and 2008 while 0.5% were carried out in the year 2007.

Table No. (45). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to leaving a will
Did the martyr leave a Number Percent %
will
Yes 156 78.0
No 44 22.0
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (45), the majority (78%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had left a will while 22% did not.

217
Table No. (46). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to the type of will (N=156)
Type of will Number Percent %
Written 86 55.1
Audible 5 3.2
Visual 65 41.7
Total 156 100

Table no (46) shows the distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to the type of will as follows: the majority (55.1%) left a written one,
41.7% visual while 3.2% left an audible will.

Table No. (47). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to the will direction (N=156)
To whom was the will Number Percent %
directed
Family 74 47.4
Palestinians & Israelis 66 42.3
Arab Nation 5 3.2
Islamic Nation 4 2.6
Others 7 4.5
Total 156 100

Table no (47) shows that the majority 47.4% of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) directed their wills to their families while 42.3% were directed to both
Palestinians and Israelis, 3.2% to the Arab nation, 2.6% were directed to the Islamic
nation and 4.5% to others.

Table No. (48). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to wearing a military uniform during the reading of the will (N=156)
Was the martyr wearing a Number Percent %
military uniform during the
reading of the will
Yes 105 67.3
No 51 32.7
Total 156 100

Table no (48) shows that the majority (67.3%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were dressed in a military uniform during the reading of the will while
32% of them were not.

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Table No. (49). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to any signals prior to the operation indicating their intention to carry
out the martyrdom operation
Were there any signals Number Percent %
prior to the operation
Yes 24 12.0
No 176 88.0
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (49) the vast majority (88%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) didn’t show any signals prior to the operation
indicating their intention to carry out the martyrdom operation while only 24% of
them had left such signals.

Table No. (50). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to the number of days in which he/she disappeared from the home
prior to the martyrdom operation
Number of days in which he/she Number Percent %
disappeared from the home prior
to operation
None 123 61.5
1 39 19.5
2 16 8.0
3+ 22 11.0
Total 200 100

Table no (50) shows that the majority (61.5%) of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) didn’t disappear from their homes before the implementation of the
martyrdom operation while 19.5% had disappeared for one day, 11% for three days
and more and 8% for two days. The average number of disappearance days was 5.28.

Table No. (51). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to the prior knowledge of a family member concerning the
implementation of the martyrdom operation
Did any member of the family have Number Percent %
a prior knowledge about the
operation
Yes 15 7.5
No 185 92.5
Total 200 100

Results in table no (51) indicate that the vast majority (92.5%) of the families of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) didn’t have any prior knowledge of their
son's intention to implement the martyrdom operation while only 7.5% had such a
prior knowledge.

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Table No. (52). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)
according to resource of family’s knowledge about the implementation of the
martyrdom operation
Resource Number Percent %
Mass media 135 67.5
Close persons 17 8.5
Family member 9 4.5
Faction 24 12.0
Israeli military 15 7.5
Total 200 100

Table no (52) shows that the main resource of family’s knowledge about the
implementation of the martyrdom operation was from the mass media (67.5%), 12%
from faction, 8.5% from a close persons, 7.5% from Israeli military while 4.5% was
from a family member.

4.3 Measures Taken by Israelis Against the Martyr’s Family Following the
Operation

What are the measures taken by Israelis against the martyr’s family following
the implementation of the martyrdom operation?
Mean scores standard deviation, numbers and percentages were used to identify the
above question. Tables number (53-54) shown below present the results.

Table No. (53). Mean scores and standard deviation for the measures taken by
Israelis against the martyr’s family following the implementation of the
martyrdom operation ranked in a descending order
Measures Mean Standard Deviation
Not getting a work permit 1.78 0.41
House raids 1.73 0.44
Job loss 1.71 0.45
Ban from traveling 1.71 0.45
House demolition 1.66 0.47
Abuse and insults 1.64 0.48
Detentions 1.47 0.50
On the wanted list (Chased) 1.15 0.35
Injuries 1.10 0.29
Compulsory home arrest 1.10 0.29
Bulldozing lands 1.08 0.26
Uprooting trees 1.06 0.23
Land confiscation 1.05 0.20
Killing 1.04 0.18
Deportation 1.01 0.10
*Mean out of 2 points

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Table no (53) clarifies the measures taken by Israelis against the martyr’s family
following the implementation of the martyrdom operation ranked in a descending
order as follows: not getting a work permit, home raids, job loss, ban from traveling,
house demolition, abuse and insults, detentions, on the wanted list, injuries,
compulsory house arrest, bulldozing land, uprooting trees, land confiscation, killing
and deportation.

Table No. (54). Distribution of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin)


according to the body being handed over
Was the martyr's body Number Percent %
handed over
Yes 54 27.0
No 146 73.0
Total 200 100

According to data reported in table no (54) the majority (73%) of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) bodies have not been yet delivered and they are in the
hands of Israelis while only 27% were handed over to their families.

4.4 Main Personality Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs

What are the main personality characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin)?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (55) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (55). Mean scores and standard deviation for the main personality
characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a
descending order
Personality Characteristics Mean Standard
Deviation
Sociable 4.46 0.46
Religious 4.06 0.64
National 4.05 0.79
Psychological 4.00 0.36
Total 4.16 0.39
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (55) clarifies the main personality characteristics of the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin), they were ordinary people, enjoyed life; they were sociable,
religious, national and had a high degree of psychological stability.

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4.5 Social Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs
What are the social characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin)?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (56) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (56). Mean scores and standard deviation for the social characteristics
of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order
Social characteristics Mean Standard
Deviation
Trusts family members 4.89 0.32
Enjoys respect of others 4.86 0.46
Has good relations with family members 4.83 0.49
Popular among friends 4.79 0.52
People enjoy talking to him/her 4.74 0.66
Trustworthy 4.63 0.58
Capable of attracting others attention 4.58 0.71
Open to criticism 4.47 0.83
Cares about the problems and suffering of others 4.46 0.87
Does not hesitate to put the interests of others before 4.46 0.86
his/her
Likes to do voluntary work 4.43 0.79
Enjoys life 4.43 0.89
Cares about what is taking place around him/her 4.41 0.86
Takes part in social occasions 4.39 1.08
Likes mingling with people 4.37 0.91
Has a charismatic character 4.31 0.93
Loves meeting new people 4.31 0.90
Does not make friends with people different from him/her 3.58 1.39
Hates social activities 2.12 1.52
Total 4.46 0.46
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (56) clarifies the social characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order as follows: they were trusted family
members, enjoyed respect of others, had good relations with family members, popular
among friends, people enjoyed talking to them, trustworthy, capable of attracting
others attention, open to criticism, cared about problems and suffering of others, did
not hesitate to put the interests of others before his/her, liked to do voluntary work,
enjoyed life, cared about what is taking place around them, took part in social
occasions, liked mingling with people, had a charismatic character and loved meeting
new people but not with people different from them. On the other hand, they did not
hate social activities.

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4.6 Religious Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs

What are the religious characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin)?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (57) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (57). Mean scores and standard deviation for the religious
characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a
descending order
Religious characteristics Mean Standard
Deviation
Believes in what is written to him/her 4.72 0.60
Performs prayers on time 4.72 0.89
Differentiates between what is permissible and what is 4.67 0.71
forbidden
Follows the footsteps of the Prophet May God's Peace and 4.65 0.73
Prayer Be Upon Him
Keen on abiding by the teachings of Islam 4.61 0.72
Defends and holds fast to his/her religious beliefs 4.56 0.86
Recites the Quran 4.38 1.02
Keen on performing prayers at a mosque 4.34 1.02
Says supplications extensively 4.21 1.03
Says invocations extensively 4.15 1.05
Talks about life after death 4.09 1.22
Listens to religious recordings 3.95 1.27
Gives alms to the poor 3.94 1.20
Fasts optional days 3.58 1.39
Performs late night prayers 3.58 1.33
Does not care about luck and chance 3.12 1.66
Goes out for a religious seclusion (mystic life) 1.76 1.36
Total 4.06 0.64
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (57) clarifies the religious characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order as follows: they believed in what is
written to them, performed prayers on time, differentiated between what is
permissible and what is forbidden, followed the footsteps of the Prophet May God's
Peace and Prayer Be Upon Him, keened on abiding by the teachings of Islam,
defended and held fast to their religious beliefs, recited the Quran, keen on
performing prayers at a mosque, said supplications extensively, said invocations
extensively, talked about life after death, listened to religious recordings, gave alms to
the poor, fasted optional days and performed late night prayers. On the other hand,
they did not care about luck and chance nor did they go out for a religious seclusion
(mystic life).

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4.7 National Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs

What are the national characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin)?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (58) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (58). Mean scores and standard deviation for the national
characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a
descending order
National characteristics Mean Standard
Deviation
Shows love to his/her home country 4.58 0.84
Glorifies martyrs 4.45 1.00
Takes part in martyrs' funeral processions 4.40 1.15
Supports struggle against Israelis 4.19 1.11
Aware of political topics 4.09 1.12
Believes that force is the only solution to the Palestinian 4.08 1.16
question
Talks about Israeli daily violations against Palestinians 4.07 1.21
Follows up political news 4.04 1.22
Keeps martyrs' photographs/posters 4.04 1.32
Takes part in demonstrations 3.91 1.44
Does not feel at ease when talking about Israelis 3.91 1.28
Opposes agreements with Israelis 3.87 1.23
Holds fast to his/her political thoughts and defends them 3.69 1.36
Politically active 3.43 1.50
Total 4.05 0.79
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (58) clarifies the national characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order as follows: they had shown love to their
home country, glorified martyrs, took part in martyrs' funeral processions, supported
struggle against Israelis, aware of political topics, believed that force was the only
solution to the Palestinian question, talked about Israeli daily violations against
Palestinians, followed up political news, kept martyrs' photographs/posters, took part
in demonstrations, did not feel at ease when talking about Israelis, opposed
agreements with Israelis, held fast to their political thoughts and defended them, but
they were not politically active.

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4.8 Psychological Characteristics of the Palestinian Suicide Martyrs

What are the psychological characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin)?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (59) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (59). Mean scores and standard deviation for the psychological
characteristics of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a
descending order
Psychological characteristics Mean Standard
Deviation
Acts in the right way 4.63 0.56
Persevering 4.55 0.65
Cares about external appearances 4.53 1.04
Ambitious 4.51 0.70
Takes pride in oneself and personality 4.47 1.11
Keeps his/her views to himself /herself 4.40 0.98
Insists on what he/she needs 4.37 0.97
Revolutionary 4.18 1.15
Satisfied with his/her life 4.12 1.11
Mysterious 3.98 1.36
Feels the significance of life 3.85 1.19
Questions the purpose of living 3.08 1.20
Rebels against society 2.69 1.57
Introvert 2.34 1.59
Feels desperate 1.50 1.01
Total 4.00 0.36
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (59) clarifies the psychological characteristics of the Palestinian suicide


martyrs (Istishhadiyin) ranked in a descending order as follows: they acted in the right
way, persevering, cared about external appearances, ambitious, took pride in oneself
and personality, kept their views to themselves, insisted on what they need,
revolutionary, satisfied with their life, mysterious and felt the significance of life. But
they did not question the purpose of living, rebelled against society or were introvert
or felt desperate.

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4.9 Palestinian Suicide Martyrs Motivations Behind their Martyrdom
Operations

What are the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations behind the
carrying out of their martyrdom operations?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (60) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (60). Mean scores and standard deviation for the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations behind the carrying out of the martyrdom
operation ranked in a descending order
Motivations Mean Standard
Deviation
For the sake of ones country 4.88 0.39
Follow suit of martyrs 4.73 0.64
In retaliation for the daily Israeli massacres against 4.50 0.90
Palestinians
Sacrifice ones life for the sake of a decent life to Palestinians 4.40 0.83
Destruction of the Israeli Security Theory 4.38 0.90
Feeling of insecurity 4.07 1.05
Feeling of loss of dignity 4.04 1.05
For the sake of God 3.99 1.08
The spread of martyrdom culture among Palestinians 3.90 1.23
Feeling of injustice in life 3.86 1.18
Sending out a message to the Israelis 3.84 1.15
Loss of hope in having a peaceful solution for the Palestinian 3.66 1.23
question
Winning the other life 3.65 1.27
Follow suit of friends 3.62 1.32
To revenge for the martyrdom of a dear person 3.58 1.14
In response to closure on Palestinians 3.32 1.38
Sending out a message to Arab and Muslim nations 3.30 1.45
Indignation at the living reality 3.29 1.45
Honoring ones family 3.28 1.26
Fulfillment of the call of the political party 2.80 1.36
In response to the Separation Wall 2.71 1.18
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (60) clarifies the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) motivations


behind the carrying out of their martyrdom operations ranked in a descending order as
follows: for the sake of ones country, follow suit of martyrs, in retaliation for the daily
Israeli massacres against Palestinians, sacrifice ones life for the sake of a decent life
to Palestinians, destruction of the Israeli Security Theory, feeling of insecurity, feeling
of loss of dignity, for the sake of God, spread of martyrdom culture among
Palestinians, feeling of injustice in life, sending out a message to the Israelis, loss of
hope in having a peaceful solution for the Palestinian question, winning the other life,
follow suit of friends, to revenge for the martyrdom of a dear person, in response to
closure on Palestinians, sending out a message to Arab and Muslim nations,
indignation at the living reality and honoring ones family. On the other hand, the

226
motivations of fulfillment of the call of the political party and in response to the
Separation Wall had little impact on the implementation of martyrdom operations.

4.10 Behavioral Changes on the Palestinian Martyrs Prior to their Martyrdom


Operations

What are the behavioral changes which appeared on the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) prior to the execution of the martyrdom operation?
Mean scores and standard deviation were used to identify the above question. Table
number (61) shown below presents the results.
Table No. (61). Mean scores and standard deviation for the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) behavioral changes which appeared and were noticed in
the martyr two weeks before the execution of the martyrdom operation ranked
in a descending order
Behavioral changes Mean Standard
Deviation
Listens to patriotic songs 3.66 1.33
Looks happy 3.64 1.35
Talks about martyrdom 3.58 1.46
Pretending that he/she does not intend to be a martyr 3.52 1.38
More visits to family and friends 3.42 1.54
More intimacy towards the family 3.37 1.53
Seeks forgiveness of others for any wrong done to them 3.35 1.56
Frequent visits to mosques 3.22 1.57
Tends to remain silent 3.14 1.62
Hyperactive 2.93 1.70
Deep thinking 2.93 1.57
Talks about past memories 2.57 1.49
Loss of appetite 2.50 1.48
Talks about a divine vision 2.46 1.41
Feels sad most of the time 2.39 1.42
Loss of desire to work/study 2.37 1.40
Very sensitive 2.35 1.47
Frequent absence from home 2.13 1.41
Visits places that he/she never visited before 2.11 1.32
Seclusion from friends 2.05 1.28
Writing personal diary 2.04 1.27
Lose interest in people 1.92 1.23
Quick anger 1.86 1.16
Disinterest in outside appearance 1.79 1.20
Desire to break things 1.76 1.07
Forgets a lot 1.69 1.02
Excessive smoking 1.65 1.19
Starts to smoke cigarettes 1.63 1.20
*Mean out of 5 points

Table no (61) clarifies the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) behavioral


changes which appeared and were noticed in the martyrs two weeks before the

227
execution of their martyrdom operation ranked in a descending order as follows:
listened to patriotic songs, looked happy, talked about martyrdom, pretending that
they do not intend to be a martyr, had more visits to family and friends, had more
intimacy towards the family, sought forgiveness of others for any wrong done to
them, had frequent visits to mosques and tended to remain silent. As for the least
significant behavioral changes, they were as follows: hyperactive, deep thinking,
talked about past memories, loss of appetite, talked about a divine vision, felt sad
most of the time, lost desire to work/study, very sensitive, frequent absence from
home, visited places that he/she never visited before, seclusion from friends, wrote
personal diary, lost interest in people, quick anger, disinterest in outside appearance,
desire to break things, forgot a lot, excessive smoking or started to smoke cigarettes.

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4.11 Opinions of Palestinian Suicide Martyrs Families in the Martyrdom
Operations

What are the opinions of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) about the martyrdom operations?
Numbers and percentages were used to identify the above question. Tables number
(62-63) shown below presents the results.

Table No. (62). Opinions of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) about martyrdom operations (N=186)
Opinions Number Percent %
Support 133 71.5
Against 34 18.3
Don't know 19 10.2
Total 186 100

Table no (62) shows that the majority of respondents (71.5%) supported the
martyrdom operations against the Israeli occupation, 18.3% against them while 10.2%
declined to give their opinions in this issue.

Table No. (63). Reaction of the families of Palestinian suicide martyrs


(Istishhadiyin) if they previously knew of the martyr’s intention to implement a
martyrdom operation (N=186)
Reaction Number Percent %
Stopped him 102 54.8
Encouraged him 41 22.0
Gone with him 8 4.3
Gone instead of him 4 2.2
Nothing that is his own decision 19 10.2
Don't know 12 6.5
Total 186 100

Table no (63) clarifies the respondents reaction if they had previously knew of the
martyr’s intention to implement a martyrdom operation. The majority (54.8%) of
them said that they would have stopped him, 22% would have encouraged him for
such an operation, 10.2% indicated that they wouldn't have done anything since it was
his/her own decision, 6.5% declined to give their opinion in this issue while 4.3%
indicated that they would have gone with him.

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5. Chapter Five: Discussion of the Findings and Recommendations

5.1 Discussion of the Study Findings

The current study aimed at identifying the phenomenon of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin): facts and figures, from the point of view of the suicide martyrs’ families and
relatives. I will discuss the results and provide some important recommendations regarding the
subject of the study.
Findings showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were males
while only few were females.
Palestinians have offered the world through their suicide martyrdom operations the highest kind
of self sacrifice on the road to victory and liberation. They have portrayed the greatest examples
ever drawn on the pages of international struggle. It is the first time ever in the modern history of
liberation movements all over the world in which the human bomb becomes a comprehensive
social and political phenomenon that sweeps through large sectors of an entire people and not
only a handful of dedicated individuals. The majority of the Palestinian public prefers the option
of martyrdom which attracts large numbers of Palestinians from different sectors whether men or
women. The Palestinian women involvement and participation in suicide martyrdom operations
have shocked Israeli security circles who realize now that they are facing a phenomenon by
which the entire Palestinian people both young men and women look for someone to help them
carry out such suicide martyrdom operations.
The Palestinian society as other Arab societies is a patriarchal society in which man holds a great
responsibility. The Palestinian education seeks to direct males towards affirmation of masculine
qualities like manhood, chivalry, bravery, gallantry, dare and stamina. On the other hand it
stresses on directing females towards feminism, decency, decorum, and virginity, love of
children, home economics and stability. Consequently, it was easy to recruit several male youth
for martyrdom operations, but what about the recruiting of Palestinian women?
The Palestinian woman realized the importance of national struggle and its effective role in the
liberation of Palestine and salvation from the occupation slavery. It barged into the battlefield
and was exposed the same as other Palestinian men to all sorts of Israeli violence. The main
concern for both men and women was to liberate Palestine. They actively participated in the
national struggle across Palestinian history; she was the mother, the captive, the activist and the
martyr when she entered into the circle of martyrdom operations. When a woman voluntarily
takes off her feminine dress and put on her war outfit, meanings become deeper and add new
innovative colors to nature; her participation has reconstructed the scene and made it an active
element in the new formula. That was the situation of the Palestinian woman; she was able to
reveal the strong relationship between death and life makers, eventually the female suicide
martyr (Istishhadiya) came. The Palestinian women stood beside man in resistance. Their
contribution was through wearing explosive belts that decorated and ornamented their bodies
rather than wearing necklaces and jewelry that ordain girls’ bodies nowadays. These female
martyrs have derived their strength from their firm belief in their just cause that possessed their
hearts. They have written a new chapter in conflict management. During Al-Aqsa Intifada,
Palestinians have sacrificed a procession of ten female martyrs starting with Wafa Idris and
Darene Abu Aisha who implemented the suicide martyrdom operation at Maccabim settlement

230
checkpoint near Ramallah on 27 February 2002. In her will, Darene said, “Because the role of
the Muslim Palestinian woman is equal to that of our mujahidin brothers, I wholeheartedly offer
my self for God’s sake to retaliate for corpses of our martyred mujahidin, in revenge for the
sanctity of our religion and mosques, sacredness of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Houses of God which
were turned into bars where all obscenities forbidden by God are practiced in defiance of our
religion and the message of our Prophet Mohammed May God’s Peace and Prayer Be Upon
Him. The role of the Palestinian woman is no longer limited to grieving over the loss of a father,
a brother or a husband but we will turn our bodies into human bombs that are scattered
everywhere in order to wipe out the illusion of the Israeli security. I call on every Muslim and
determined fighter who loves freedom and martyrdom to follow this honorable path of
Martyrdom and freedom”.
By the same token, the Israeli editor of Haaretz newspaper Arnon Goler wrote, “The
phenomenon of female suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyat) has turned norms upside down; it has
created a link with the potential female suicide martyr making out of their recruitment and
armament a very complex issue. He who recruits breaks the social rule in the Palestinian society
because he did not ask for the permission of the family” (Abu Ras, 2006).
In fact, the Palestinian women keep stressing day after day that they hold an advanced resistance
position in the history of the Palestinian question. Since the outbreak of the Palestinian
revolution towards resistance, the Palestinian women freely offered their lives to redeem their
precious country. Names of several female suicide martyrs narrated with their blood the most
remarkable epics like Dalal Mughrabi, Shadiah Abu Ghazala, Itaf Ilayan and others who were
leaders of armed operations against occupation. Undoubtedly, the Palestinian woman is still
suffering from the Israeli crimes, disintegration of economic and social structure, and uprooting
of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. She also bears witness on the suffering of the
Palestinian people and its tragedy. This has reinforced her feelings of patriotism like those of
men and pushed her to actively participate in the struggle against the occupiers. The high rate of
Palestinian woman participation in the suicide martyrdom operations is due to their everyday
follow up of the Israeli occupation crimes on television. Due to their great grief over the loss of
brothers and children in their struggle against the occupiers, the women’s shocking experiences
gave them the strong motive to fight the occupiers.
The results of a study carried out by (Punamäki, 1986) showed that previous experiences due to
occupation cause more tension and stress than the problems of everyday life. Women with the
highest scores of shocking experiences associated with occupation tended to evaluate all life
events as stress compared to women who were less exposed to the shock as a statistically
significant difference. As for the patterns of adaptation of Palestinian women under occupation,
general anxiety and unpleasant feelings were the most common responses to stress instances in
the study sample. The results had shown the relatively high level of suffering of women under
Israeli occupation in psychological health through anxiety, aggressiveness, psychiatric symptoms
and general health.
The female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Andaleeb Taqatqa did not wait till Sunday 14 April
2002 to celebrate her twentieth birthday because she preferred to celebrate it in a different place
and in a different manner; Instead of blowing her twentieth birthday party candles in her father’s
very humble house in Beit Fajjar village in Bethlehem governorate south of the West Bank, she
quenched her fire of revenge from Israelis on Friday 12 April 2002 in Jerusalem. Her elder

231
brother “Mohammed” considered that the continuous occupation crimes were the motive behind
this heroic act which every Palestinian is proud of. He stressed that, “The more she watched the
occupation crimes and bloodshed, the spirit of revenge for the martyrs and the wounded
increased inside her; through her explosive body of only 40 kg, she sent a message to the leaders
of the Arab nation to move and save our Palestinian people; she also stressed that her tiny body
was capable of doing what Arab armies failed to do”.
In very touching and passionate words, the Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) and
lawyer Hanadi Jaradat from Jenin governorate said in her will, “By God’s force and
determination, I have decided to be the sixth Istishhadiya who would make out of her body
separate explosive fragments to kill the Zionists and destroy every settler and Zionist since it is
not us alone who have to pay the price and harvest the price for their crimes”. She carried out a
qualitative martyrdom operation in Haifa on 4 October 2003 to revenge from the Israelis who
killed in cold blood her brother Fadi and cousin Salah in Jenin on 12 June 2003. Besides, she was
greatly influenced by the brutal Israeli aggression against Jenin camp in particular and the
Palestinian people in general.
The words of some Istishhadiyin mothers were like a strong message to the Palestinian, Arab and
Muslim mothers of the world to encourage their children to become martyrs and sacrifice their
children for the liberation of Palestine. The Palestinian mothers bring up their sons on the love of
martyrdom in order to achieve and continue the struggle against the Israeli aggression on their
lands. Their speech explains the extent of determination, belief and patience in their hearts and
the glory and pride they feel because of the heroic act their sons and daughters had carried out
for the sake of their country. The mother of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ismail Almasuabe,
executor of the suicide martyrdom operation in Dugit Settlement in Gaza Strip on 22 June 2001
stated, “We hope to achieve victory in Majdel, Jaffa and Haifa. We hope to pray at the Al-Aqsa
Mosque; this victory is ours; it has come from the blood of the martyrs, the injured and sacrifices
of the prisoners; Praise Be to God; it is enough that God is pleased with Ismail, us and the
Islamic nation; what he did is an honorable act that humiliated the enemies; he killed three
according to Jews confessions; I am by God’s name very proud of what he did and do wish that
God would honor me and my children in the same way”. Likewise, the mother of the suicide
martyr (Istishhady) Samer Shawahna, Hadera operation on 29 November 2001 said as she was
kissing his photograph and listening to his will, “Thanks to God that I stayed alive till the day I
was able to see my son a martyr for the sake of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa. Our sons are heroes and
mujahidin and their sacrifices would not go in vain; every Muslim has to fight with himself, his
money, his life, and his children until right is regained, land of the Isra and Miraj (Prophet’s
nocturnal Journey to Jerusalem and ascension to heaven) is free from the desecration of the
Zionists”.
Likewise, the mother of the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ra’fat Abu Diyak, Wadi Ara/ Umm El
Fahm operation on 20 March 2002 said, “Thanks to God who bestowed upon us this great rank
which our hero and son enjoyed. I am really proud of him and I will not cry or grieve; he is a
hero who challenged Sharon, his soldiers and his terrorism; he heroically attacked them, killed
them and injured them”. She added, “The enemy only understands the language of martyrdom
what was taken by force will only be regained by force. Jihad (Holy War) is the right path
towards liberation and victory”.

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Wednesday 14 January 2004 was not an ordinary day in the mission of the Palestinian national
resistance; all will remember that a Palestinian mother called Reem Rayashi had painted the most
sublime image of a Palestinian woman making a sacrifice when this suicide martyr (Istishhadiya)
mother appeared on satellites biding farewell to her two children before she went to carry out her
martyrdom operation at Erez checkpoint in Gaza Strip; she wrote in her virtuous blood the most
elegant and honest words (Amir, 2004; Abu Ras, 2006; Naaman, 2007).
Regarding the involvement of the Palestinian woman in the arena of martyrdom operations,
Sheikh Ahmed Yassin Founder of Hamas Movement said, “Hamas has used for the first time a
Palestinian female fighter to carry out an operation against the occupation indicating that this
was a new development in the resistance against the enemy”. He also said earlier, “We already
said that women were a strategic storage for resistance” (Amir, 2004). In the same context, Sheik
Yousef al Qaradawi stressed the right of the woman in contributing to her role in Jihad and
martyrdom; he in fact emphasized that Jihad is a duty on her under the current condition of the
Palestinian people. When jihad is (Fardh ‘ayn – an individual duty) especially when an enemy
enters a certain country, then the woman is required to take part in the Jihad along side man. In a
public opinion poll carried out at AnNajah National University in Palestine regarding the role of
the Palestinian women in the Al-Aqsa Intifada, it was found out that 57.7% support the
continuation of women in carrying out martyrdom operations while 42.3% opposed it (Mustafa,
2003B; Sawahil, 2003).
The study concludes that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were
single and young (less than 25 years old).
The findings of (Hassan, 2001; Shuman, 2001; Yom & Saleh, 2004; Hafez, 2006; Naaman,
2007) studies led to a similar conclusion that the Palestinian suicide martyrs were usually
unmarried, lived with their parents, and in their late teens or early twenties. In contrast,
(Khosrokhavar, 2005) indicated that they came from all age groups.
Small age and bachelorhood are considered part of the preconditions for the selection of the
Istishhadiyin and facilitation of their mission. There will not be any strong bonds that would
prevent them from carrying out the operation especially familial ties. Married ones usually think
about their family- wife, children, their future and fate. This lessens the prospects of thinking
about a martyrdom operation. This would deter this person from carrying out a martyrdom
operation. Both singles and young people are more enthusiastic and fervent towards carrying out
a martyrdom act. If we look at the world, we find that in all liberation revolutions, youth played a
pioneering role in being the leaders and impetus for such revolutions. With more focus, we find
that the Palestinian people starting with the family, school and the larger society respectively
raise the child on an authentic culture of resistance and martyrdom; this culture grows inside the
child without any barriers or hesitations. It has become a part of the Palestinian culture. This is
supported by the unprecedented large numbers of martyrs who grew up in the Palestinian
environment. In this regard, the mother of the Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya)
Ayat Al-Akhras, Jerusalem operation on 29 March 2002 said, “Our children don’t need us to
explain anything, Ayat didn’t consult me; she saw what was going on to her people and did what
was necessary; she was mature; if Ayat is gone, there will be a million other Ayat’s”.

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This was the outcome of a study done by (Abu Hin, 2001) which stressed that the culture of
resistance and martyrdom had become an important part of the culture of the Palestinian
children. The Palestinian martyrdom operations along with their different cultural symbols were
able to increase the Palestinian children awareness of their identity. The Palestinian child became
obsessed by the love of Palestine and its just cause, so these children started to aspire to be one
of its Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) heroes. This was reflected in the youth eagerness
and zeal towards martyrdom especially when the general trend in the Palestinian society is
respect and sanctification of martyrdom and encouragement of others to adopt this path until
occupation is ended and Palestine is liberated.
The Palestinian society considers suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) the ultimate honor, puts them at
a very high rank and views them with great respect. Their life story and work are considered part
of the history of the Palestinian resistance. Their portraits are hanged in squares and streets; their
heroic stories are told in mosques, streets and schools. Opinion polls that were carried out on the
subject stress that Palestinians support martyrdom operations and the percentage of those in
favor is continuously increasing following the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000 (Hussien, 2003).
Regarding the same subject, Sheikh Salah Shihadeh–one of the leaders of Al-Qassam Brigades in
Palestine in an interview conducted with him prior to his martyrdom indicated, “Palestinian
youths’ eagerness to be martyrs is a true evidence to the well being and awareness of the society.
Individuals who want to be martyrs are many; they are ready to offer their lives which are their
most precious possession; however, we cannot provide an operation to every youth since the
targets are specific and the Israeli locations are well fortified” (Islam online, 2002; Nirab, 2002).
Findings concluded that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were well
educated.
These findings agreed with the findings of (Hassan, 2001; Shuman, 2001; Conesa, 2004; Yom &
Saleh, 2004; Berko & Erez, 2005; Margaret, 2005; Shalom, 2005; Hafez, 2006) studies which
concluded that the Palestinian suicide martyrs were well educated and they were university
students and graduates with degrees ranging from engineering, computer programming,
journalism and Islamic law. In addition, (Reuter, 2004) emphasized that the Palestinian suicide
martyrs were well-educated young adults who turned themselves into human bombs willingly
and eagerly to execute revenge on a more powerful enemy, perceived as both unjust and
oppressive. In contrast, Abu Ras (2006) study leads to a different conclusion when it indicates
that the majority of them had university degrees.
This outcome stresses that Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) come from the educated
category in the Palestinian society who had become fully aware of the true conflict with the
occupiers and that they had chosen their martyrdom path with full awareness and realization of
its implications. This also rules out the Israeli sources allegations that these Palestinian suicide
martyrs were under the influence of the factions that had sent them. Regarding the absence of
Palestinian experts who are capable of making brainwash operations, the reply was that all what
is really available is a self conscious decision and a social and political environment which was
imposed by the everyday measures of the occupation against Palestinians along with the
readiness of the victim to sacrifice oneself and harm the original initiator of these bad conditions.
I do believe that a human who holds this academic level, he/she is capable of making decisions
and choosing objectives. This is very clear in several wills of the Palestinian martyrs
(Istishhadiyin).

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It is clear from the will of the Palestinian university student martyr (Istishhady) Samer Hammad,
Tel Aviv operation on 17 April 2006 that his decision to carry out this operation was not futile. It
came as a result of his awareness within a well defined plan of the Palestinian resistance in
which its recruited soldiers are firm believers of their role in raising high the word of God and
the Islamic banner in the face of violations inflicted on the Palestinians by the occupation. He
wrote, “I offer myself so cheaply for the sake of raising high the Islamic pillar “La Ilaha Ila
Allah wa Mohammed rasul Allah” (There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet).
This operation comes in reprisal to the crimes and massacres of the occupation against our
people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; I do say to the enemy that our operations will continue
and the Palestinian martyrs (Istishhadiyin) are coming for they love death and martyrdom the
same as you cherish life”.
As for the Palestinian female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu Aisha, Maccabim
settlement checkpoint operation near Ramallah on 27 February 2002, she was not an ordinary
person; she was flaming with activity inside the Islamic Block at AnNajah National University as
her sister “Ibtesam” described her and added, “For more than a year, my sister was talking about
her wishes to carry out a martyrdom operation; she was searching for someone who would
prepare her to carry it out”. Darene stresses in her video tape that was taken for her prior to the
operation that, “She decided to be the second Palestinian female martyr (Istishhadyia) after Wafa
Idris in revenge for the blood of the martyrs and desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
In very touching words expressive of a high academic level, the Palestinian suicide martyr
(Istishhady) university student Fouad Al-Hourani, Jerusalem operation on 9 March 2002 wrote,
“The nation that masters the death industry is unbeatable; how will the right have men stand by it
if we really do not stand for it. A believer without valor is like a fruitless tree, so the appeal of
this earth is temporary compared to that of Paradise”.
As for the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Raed Messk who holds an M.A. degree in
Islamic Sharia, Jerusalem operation on 19 August 2003, wrote several wills to his family,
friends, prisoners, Palestinian people and students of knowledge and scholars calling upon them
to follow suit on the path of martyrdom since they are more qualified to do so. He wrote, “Oh
Divine preachers, or worldly scholars, you the elite of the earth do not let down your nation, do
not fear but God makes your souls and your means be humble to the youth and offer them
advice; live their dreams aspirations and pains”.
Findings showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) came from
middle birth rank, middle households and nuclear families.
These results are consistent with the findings of Yom & Saleh (2004) which concluded that the
Palestinian suicide martyrs came from middle households and nuclear families. In contrast,
(Berko & Erez, 2005; Khosrokhavar, 2005) indicate that the majority of them came from large
families, with an average of ten or so members.
Size of family and existence of sons in it are necessary conditions for the process of selection of
the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) and to facilitate the mission. Usually the middle son is
the best candidate since he hasn’t any serious responsibilities especially familial ones that
prevent him from carrying the operation. The eldest son in the Arab family in general and the
Palestinian family in particular is considered a raw model for the rest of the family and he has to

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hold a lot of family responsibilities and burdens especially in the absence of a father. Selection of
the eldest son as a martyr undoubtedly affects the life of a family in all respects. Therefore,
selections take place among other brothers in the family. Desire towards martyrdom is not linked
with the size and kind of the family as several Israeli sources tried to spread across several
satellite and cable channels and other means in order to defame and degrade the act of
martyrdom. It once associated it with the family size and inability of the fathers to meet the
needs of their families and on another occasion it referred it to the kind of the family especially
the nuclear one and the preoccupation of the parents with running the economics of the family;
consequently, they become disinterested in their children who would resort to martyrdom.
Familial solidarity is one of the main features of the Palestinian family where the child is brought
up in solidarity at different levels including that of raising and directing children. The father,
mother, brothers, sisters and some relatives like uncles and cousins take part in this process.
There is a strong family, clan belonging and an oriental commitment to its members that helps
them spiritually and materialistically. The Palestinians consider the family their home and land.
The clan and village are their psychological life, social framework and conscience. As I
mentioned above, the Palestinian people starting from the family, school and the larger society
respectively raise the child on an authentic culture which is the culture of resistance and
martyrdom to end occupation; this culture grows inside the child without any barriers or
hesitations.
However, we can say that the fact that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) come from nuclear families has facilitated the implementation of the operation. It
is true that there is solidarity in the Palestinian family. This weakens a little bit in the nuclear
family than in the extended one since the parents are preoccupied with providing life necessities;
this would divert their attention from monitoring their children. Thus recruitment and
implementation of martyrdom operations become somewhat an easy task. On the other hand, we
do find that the family relationships in the extended family are described to be more steadfast;
they are close, face to face and cooperative. The family is the basis for the formation of the social
nature of the individual; the close relationships lead to the melting of the individual into the
common all making the individual and for other reasons a part of the life and purpose of the
group. The individual then lives the feelings of all and finds out that the basic objective for his
will lies in this feeling. Thus, he would commit this martyrdom act as a duty towards the overall
group.
The results showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were
deeply religious.
Religious commitments are considered a basic precondition in the selection process for
martyrdom because it will be an invitation to others to follow suit and to encourage Jihad in
others. Today we see that any Palestinian youth regardless of the dogmatic background of the
faction including the secular ones would include in his will that he is carrying out this martyrdom
operation for the sake of God and homeland. A human is the only being who embraces spiritual
dogmas and practices rituals and ceremonies which organize his relationship with the universe
and provide him with cognitive and psychological guarantees towards the unknown future and
uncontrollable surprises that are not subject to any materialistic potentials. The Palestinian lands
are the cradle of the three monotheistic religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism); it is well
known that the majority of Palestinian residents are Muslims and the percentage of non Muslims

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does not exceed ten percent. It is also known that the religion in the Palestinian family occupies a
large space in its social, intellectual and emotional life. It is natural that the religious creed is
respected by all members of the Palestinian society. This is due to the concentrated efforts which
the parents exert in bringing up their children. This is reflected in their daily behaviors which are
topped with struggle and self sacrifice for the sake of others. This allows us to say that Islam and
its culture were an element of unification and not disintegration; consequently. Islam is one of
the elements for liberation.
Within this context, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ismail Almasuabe, Dugit
Settlement operation in Gaza Strip on 22 June 2001 writes in his will about the value of
martyrdom for the sake of God. He writes, “The love of Jihad and martyrdom has possessed my
life, feelings, heart and emotions; it is very difficult for ones self which tasted the sweetness of
Jihad and enjoyed its suffering not to find any comfort but in Paradise in the presence of God”.
The will of the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Mohammed Siksik, Elat operation on 29
January 2007 emphasized his full belief in his role in life and death in order to please God, to
gain the trust of his family and relatives in carrying out this operation and the pride for carrying
out this operation. He writes, “There is no reward like the one gained through martyrdom for the
sake of God the Almighty; who said, “Allah hath purchased of the Believers their persons and
their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay
and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur-an:
and who is more faithful to his Covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have
concluded: that is the achievement supreme” (Al-Tawbeh: 111).
By the same token, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Raed Messk, Jerusalem operation
on 19 August 2003 wrote in his will, “I have heard the words of God calling upon me to be a
martyr, “Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with God; of them
some have completed their vow (to the extreme) and some (still) wait; but they have never
changed (Their Determination) in the least” (Al-Ahzab: 23). Also the God Almighty said “Allah
hath purchased of the Believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden
(of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth,
through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur-an: and who is more faithful to his Covenant than
Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme”
(Al-Tawbeh: 111). Besides, “Prophetic traditions and the rank of martyrs have strongly
influenced me and made me decide to offer my soul, my self, my money, my house and all what
I possess for the sake of God”.
The Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Anwar Sukar one of the executors of the dual
operation in Netanya on 22 January 1995 wrote in his will addressing his father, “Do not shed
tears; you are educated and you know very well the reward of the martyr from God the
Almighty”.
In addition, some Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) considered that their operations
came in defense of the religion, holy places, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Abraham Mosque etc. and
considered it the most sublime kind of resistance and Jihad for the sake of God and homeland.
The Almighty said, “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits;
for Allah loveth not transgressors” (Al-Baqara: 190). In this context the Palestinian female
suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-Akhras, Jerusalem operation on 29 March 2002 said in her

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will, “I carry out this work solely for the sake of God the Almighty and in response to the calls of
the martyrs, blood, afflicted mothers, orphans, the impoverished on Earth, and in response to the
rescue of the Al-Aqsa. I say this out loud to be heard by every valiant Muslim Arab and shout
Wa Aqsa WaAqsa (Save and rescue ) wa falastin wa falastin Allah akbar Allah akbar on the
dalimin wa inaha intifada hata an nasr (God is Great Great against the tyrants; it is Intifada
until victory is fulfilled)”.
As for Alaa, brother of the suicide martyr Said Al-Hutari, Tel Aviv operation on 1 June 2001
mentions that, “All those who knew him said that he was very religious; never abandoned the
mosque, always prepared his religious lessons and performed all prayers at the mosque. He was a
loving young man who never said or did any foul words or deeds”.
The traits Hiba Daraghmeh, Afula operation on 19 May 2003 possessed are a result of growing
up in a religious and educated environment. Her father memorized over fifteen chapters of the
Holy Quran; her grandfather memorized all of the Holy Quran and knew over seven hundred
traditions of prophet Mohammed May God’s Peace and Prayer be upon him. As for her uncle,
whom her father chose to keep his identity confidential for he is living abroad, holds a PhD in
Islamic Law (Sharia), and is a lecturer at one of the universities where he resides. Hiba's father
adds, that she lived in the heart of this family and that the Holy Quran was her companion. She
memorized a lot of it, and it took up a lot of her free time. She also performed late night prayers,
but her father was not able to detect anything out of the ordinary the night before she became a
martyr; “she made him breakfast as usual” he mentions, before he went to work and asked him to
bless her.
Regarding this point, Qasem (2004) indicates that the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) is
characterized by deep faith that makes him sure that the other life is better than the first life; thus,
he offers himself while he is at peace in mind and is certain that he is moving from a mortal life
to an immortal one. In this regard, the scene has really shaken the souls when the Palestinian
female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Andaleeb Taqatqa, Jerusalem operation 12 April 2002 stood
reading her will and holding the Quran, she said, “I will make out of my body a gun powder
barrel which utters what Arab leaders could not utter that this is a perished life that has no taste
or value”.
Many of the Israeli studies have focused on the strength of the religious commitment as a main
motive for the implementation of the martyrdom operations. This commitment stems from their
conviction that martyrdom against Jews is the highest level of martyrdom for the sake of God.
This was introduced with regard to the influence of Fatawa (Religious rulings) in the youth rush
and fever towards implementation of martyrdom operations, especially the Chief Imam of Azhar
Sheikh Mohammad Sayed Tantawi, a leading doctrinal authority in the Sunna Muslim world,
who pointed out that “Those who blow themselves up facing the enemies in order to preserve
their holies, homeland, money and children are Martyrs” (Shuman, 2001; Mustafa, 2003A).
In this regard, the Israeli writer Ariah Shabit states that, “We should not ignore the suicide
martyrs doctrinal environment and the force of faith motive in self sacrifice since it cannot be
imagined that a person commits self sacrifice without having religious and faith motives”.
Moreover, it was found out from the wills of the suicide martyrs from the Palestinian leftist
factions who are not really religious as they appeared on tape that they were wrapped by the flag
of “No Allah But Allah; Mohammed is God’s Prophet” and they hold the Holy Quran next to a

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rifle; they would also perform prayer; their wills are characterized by Islamic address. In the
same context, the high ranking official, in the Israeli intelligence Shaul Landau says in this
connection that, “We are paying the price for your religious awakening; the worrying
phenomenon is the increase of Palestinians return to religion” (Amir, 2003).
The results showed that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had a good physical
structure in terms of weight, height, skin color and external appearance in which the majority of
them did not look like Israelis.
The appearance and personality traits of the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) have a
significant role in the determination of the kind of operation; the operation would be selected for
this person only; it has to do with the extent of adaptation of the external appearance of the
Palestinian suicide martyr to the nature of the objective especially through the process of
disguise. The Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) should not show any distinct features that
might attract attention. This side concerns the materialistic aspect regarding the preparation for
the martyrdom operation; the external look of the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) will be
prepared to match that of the Israelis and not to raise suspicions to secure the success of the
operation (Mustafa, 2003B).
In this context, the mujahid Hasan Salameh one of the leaders of Al-Qassam Brigades, the
Military Wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas who is directly in charge of
preparation of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Ibrahim Sarahneh and Majdi Abu
Warda dual operation on 25 February 1996 says, “Finding a Palestinian suicide martyr
(Istishhady) is easy if compared with the many difficulties encountered in the preparations for an
operation to succeed. This in fact deals with the personal features of the Palestinian suicide
martyr (Istishhady) (Assabeel, 15/7/2003). Salameh adds, “Six days before the operation, I met
with the Palestinian martyrs (Istishhadiyin) as it was previously agreed. On that day I took them
to a barber shop and asked Majdi Abu Warda to do a western hair style and buy new civil outfit.
As for Ibrahim Sarahneh, I asked him to completely cut his hair and provided him with a military
uniform; each gets one according to his size”.
Many secrets had been revealed about Park Hotel operation in Netanya which is considered the
largest martyrdom operation that Israel had ever had and was implemented by the Palestinian
suicide martyr (Istishhady) Abdel-Basit Odeh on 27 March 2002. This was in response to the
Israeli bewilderment regarding how the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) managed to enter
the hotel in spite of the heavy security on all the roofs including the hotel. The answer was in the
fact that Abdel-Basit entered the hotel disguised as a beautiful woman. He carefully prepared
himself for the operation shaved his beard and wore make up; he put on a tight pant and a high
heel shoe with a dark straight wig and a hat. He also put on a brown shirt and on top of it a
brown leather jacket. His outer appearance did not show in any way that he was a man; he passed
by the hotel security without any of them suspecting that he might be the Palestinian suicide
martyr (Istishhady) coming from Tulkarem. He wore an explosive belt under his brown shirt and
carried an Israeli identity card that originally belonged to an Israeli woman. The I.D. was not
fake but a real one. As for transportation, it took place in cars carrying Israeli registration plates
(Amir, 2004).
This is not the only case in which such a technique was followed. In the hand written diaries of
the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) leader Mahmoud Abu Hnud regarding the details of

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the dual martyrdom operation implemented by the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin):
Tawfiq Yassin and Moauya Jararah in Jerusalem on 30 July 1997, it was written that, “One of
the Palestinian suicide martyrs Moauya was disguised as a woman. He had European looks. Abu
Hnud says that he went out for several hours on the last day prior to the implementation.
Following his return, he suddenly entered into the house and was embarrassed to see an unveiled
woman with full make up and in very short clothes sitting in the room. When he examined her,
he found out that it was his friend who was subjected to the Al-Qassam operations which made
him look like an Israeli female settler” (Amir, 2004).
Disguised in the clothes of Jewish settlers, the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Fouad Al-
Qawasmeh wore an explosive belt on 17 May 2003 and headed towards the heart of the city of
Hebron where it is occupied by the Israelis; he started walking beside them without being
noticed; in fact, Palestinian citizens thought that he planned on attacking Palestinians as settlers
usually do; moments later he detonated himself in their midst passing all security equipment and
curfew imposed on the old city at that time.
Perhaps this explains the capabilities of the military wings to penetrate places and to reach
sensitive places under strict surveillance without raising any suspicions especially in peak times
when Israelis would be at their maximum security alert. This achievement reflects the
capabilities of the planners in the Palestinian resistance to invent new forms in which they can
merge and mingle without being noticed exactly like what the Israeli special force units,
“Dovdovan” do.
The study showed that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) enjoyed life. This was
reflected through the big number of friends; the preference of different colors, and the preference
for Friday Muslim holiday. Based on the above, it becomes clear that the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) are ordinary and plain people who do not need anybody’s testimony
regarding this. I can clearly say that the large number of the martyrs’ friends was another
incentive to seek martyrdom; they wanted to follow suit of their martyrs who were exemplary. In
fact, the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) and their friends were able to form primary
groups in which there were very close relationships and solidarity. This led the individual to melt
into the large pot of the group and the strong competition was to carry out this heroic martyrdom
deed was first in order to join their fellow martyrs.
The two Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Majdi Abu Warda and Ibrahim Sarahneh had
an unprecedented close relationship; they used to go out of the mosque together, show love to
children and give them candies and games on feast days. During their last days, they took part in
a group breakfast “Iftar” in the month of Ramadan at the mosque. They were very keen on
serving all the people in the mosque; they served food and washed dishes. They refused any help
from others. Their relationship continued until their death; they went out of the camp together
and carried out the two martyrdom operations in Jerusalem and Ashkelon on the same day of 25
February 1996. Majdi was the one who detonated himself in Jerusalem and Ibrahim in Ashkelon.
Until present day, the story of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) who passed away in
the same year is told on the street in Nablus city. They were: Hamid Abu Hejla, Netanya
operation on 1 January 2001, Imad Zubeidi, Kefar Sava operation on 22 April 2001, Jamal
Nasser, Shafi Shamron settlement operation near Nablus on 29 April 2001, Maher Habisheh,
Haifa operation on 2 December 2001 and Ashraf Saed Hamra checkpoint operation near Nablus

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on 8 August 2001. Each one of them had a strong close friendship with each other. According to
Ashraf’s father, Imad Zubeidi and Hamid Abu Hejla were Ashraf’s friends in school. As for the
suicide martyr Jamal Nasser who was a taxi driver, “Ashraf was one of his regular customers.
Maher Habisheh was the most cherished friend of Ashraf; the above mentioned suicide martyrs
were permanent guests of Ashraf’s cocktail shop. Because Ashraf was strongly attached to
martyrs and their life stories, he kept all their photographs and hung them in the shop window
and his bedroom in order to have a permanent contact with them even spiritually until he was
chosen by God to join his fellow martyrs”, his father said.
In this context, Abdallah Al-Hutari the cousin of the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Said
Al-Hutari said, “Said was deeply influenced by what his best friend Fadi Amer did in carrying
out the martyrdom operation in the Israeli Kefar Sava on 28 March 2001?” He goes on to say,
“Every family has to sacrifice a martyr in order for the country to be liberated from occupation”.
We detect a noticeable change which had taken place on the condition of the Palestinian suicide
martyr (Istishhady) Said after losing his best friend Fadi whom he used to stay with all the time.
Losing a friend and a strong desire to follow suit and support of martyrdom operations had
worked on the preparation of Said to carry out a martyrdom operation in Tel Aviv on 1 June
2001.
While Muslims were in all parts of the world getting ready to celebrate Adha Feast and make
their offerings, a group of Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) friends: Suleiman Moqdad,
Sami Abdel-Salam and Mohammed Amum made their offerings in the realm of Jihad and
martyrdom by sacrificing their blood and celebrating the feast in their own way in a qualitative
martyrdom operation that rocked Gush Katif settlement in Gaza Strip on 9 February 2003.
The two friends Ramiz and Ihab Abu Salim from Rantis village west of Ramallah were born
together in the same village, studied together, imprisoned together and carried out a martyrdom
operation together on 9 September 2003 in which 15 Israelis were killed and more than 60 others
wounded. Ihab detonated the explosive belt he was wearing in the midst of a group of Israeli
soldiers near Tel Aviv city; about one hour later Ramiz detonated a bag he carried on his back
inside a restaurant in Jerusalem.
As for the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Tariq Hamed, he was deeply influenced by the
martyrdom of his companion Mohammed Farhat; this has left a big gap and scar in him so it
made Tariq swear to follow suit after he realized that it was the only path that all the Palestinian
people have to take. He carried out his martyrdom operation in Kfar Darom settlement in the
Gaza Strip on 28 April 2004.
The leader Mahmoud Abu Hnud who supervised the formation of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) cell, “Shuhada for the Prisoners” in Nablus city, writes in his dairies about how
the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) competed among themselves to be martyrs when
the cell started to make preparations for a dual martyrdom operation in Jerusalem in 1997 on two
stages. The first one was implemented by two martyrs in Mahna Yohuda Street in Jerusalem and
the second followed it after one month in the same place and way. While he was supervising the
selection process of the two executors of the first dual operation, he was forced to make a draw
to stop the competition of the five friends: Yousef Shuli, Khalil Sharif, Bashar Sawalha, Tawfiq
Yassin and Moauya Jararah. The first group implemented the martyrdom operation on 30 July
1997 when the two Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Tawfiq Yassin and Moauya

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Jararah detonated themselves in a dual operation at Mahna Yohuda Market place in Jerusalem
which lead to the killing of 15 Israeli and more than 70 others injured according to confessions
of the occupation. Undoubtedly, the martyrdom of the two martyrs Tawfiq Yassin and Moauya
Jararah had left a great impact on the three Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Yousef
Shuli, Khalil Sharif and Bashar Sawalha who were impatiently waiting for their turn to come.
Few weeks later orders from the leader Mahmoud Abu Hanud came to the Palestinian suicide
martyrs (Istishhadiyin) to prepare themselves, so they started preparation for the second stage.
This time three: Yousef, Khalil and Bashar. The three carried out a martyrdom operation on 4
September 1997 in Mahna Yohuda Market place in Jerusalem which lead to the killing of 19
Israeli and tens injured according to official records of the occupation (Al-Qassam, 1997).
The Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) Mohammed Hassanein and Ashraf Al-Asmar had
embodied their dream and set out on the morning of October 21, 2002 from their childhood
neighborhood determined to shake the ground under the feet of the occupiers in a joint
martyrdom operation in Tel Aviv. They fulfilled the promise they had made at the mosque area
and died together. The two martyrs weaved very strong relationships with each other based on
respect and affection. This made them a source of respect to all those who knew them. One of the
neighbors said, “Their behaviors indicated that they had reached premature manhood. They
shared the joys and sorrows of the people, helped the poor and sat in the front rows in the
mosque and always worked in solidarity with the prisoners”.
Findings showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) came from
the West Bank, then Gaza Strip. They came from all regions: cities, villages and camps. Nablus
is the city of suicide martyrs.
The findings of Shuman (2001) study leads to a different conclusion when it indicates that the
majority of them came from the Gaza Strip. Besides, it disagrees with the findings of (Kliot,
2006) study which considered Jenin the city of suicide martyrs.
This outcome emphasized that the arbitrary occupation practices had influenced all the sectors of
the Palestinian people; it did not in reality differentiate between the inhabitants of the West Bank
and Gaza Strip with all its cities, villages and camps. This resulted in the huge number of
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) from all Palestinian territories who decided with
determination and strong will to sacrifice their lives for the common good which the liberation of
Palestine. The Israeli aggressions on the Palestinian people like continued assassinations, closure
and siege have led the Palestinian sectors and forces in the society to carry out martyrdom
operations.
Thus, martyrdom has become a social public phenomenon exceeding the limits of individual
work in order to melt into the entire society after the Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady)
offers his soul and body for the sake of God, homeland and people. The strangling Israeli siege,
starvation policy, assassinations and military assassination and inhuman scenes which
Palestinians are subjected to at the checkpoints and others are all reasons that had neutralized life
and death and transformed all Palestinians into a martyr producing cell which was no longer
confined to one faction, trend, gender, population cluster or other.
The West Bank and its northern governorates (Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem) have always constituted
a distinguished aspect of the resistance in the area of implementation of the martyrdom

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operations which were launched from it thanks to their geographical location that is very close to
Israeli population concentrations. Also, their large area made it possible for the fighters to move
freely and penetrate the Israeli borders at any moment no matter how strict the security measures
are. In addition, many families in the occupied villages in 1948 have relatives and close kinship
relations with families in the West Bank. Many of the Palestinian youth were married in previous
times by virtue of kinship to Palestinian girls inside the Occupied Territories 1948. Many of
them had the chance to hold an Israeli identity card. This makes it easy for its holder to move
around in the occupied territories whether those occupied in the year 1967 or those occupied in
the year 1948. The latter was considered for the majority of Palestinian youth before the Intifada
as a work place. This has increased the expertise of the resistance whose main component are the
youth with regard to the territories and identification of overcrowded places in it (Assabeel,
9/2/2003).
The situation however in the Strip is completely different; Palestinians there live inside a huge
jail where Israel imposes a total closure and it is constantly subject to tight security scrutiny. It is
not easy at all for the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) to reach inside Israel. In this
context, the Mujahid Hasan Salameh one of the leaders of Al-Qassam Brigades, the Military
Wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas who is directly in charge of preparation of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) talks about the great and many difficulties he
encountered in going out of Gaza towards Israel in order to carry out a martyrdom operation. He
added, “When Qassam Brigades decided to take revenge for the martyr Yahya Ayyash, we
prepared about 35 kg of TNT in Gaza Strip and prepared three Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin). The plan was that I and three Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) and the
explosives move into 1948 occupied territories. In spite of all the risks and difficulties which
faced us due to the fact that the Strip was besieged from all directions, I was able to penetrate
through the siege together with the explosives thanks to a carefully drawn plan through which I
was able to bypass the wires separating the Strip from the 1948 occupied territories in spite of
the barbed wire and electric current. After I overcame this dangerous obstacle which was the
easiest available means to me, it became clear to me that I alone was standing at the other side.
The three Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) were unable to follow me due to the
stringent Israeli security measures which prevented them from overcoming the barriers
(Assabeel, 9/2/2003).
In the same context, Said (2006) indicates that the most horrifying conditions – over
crowdedness, poverty, ignorance and starvation – which Israel imposed as part of its occupation
practices and the siege policy which it adopts against Palestinians were the motive that pushed
the youth in Gaza to compete on martyrdom. The Palestinian would find himself thrown out of
this life and isolated from all that is surrounding him and away from his fellow Palestinians,
parents, brothers, sisters who are dying or suffering from the occupation, so he would
immediately offer himself as a sacrifice in unjust conditions.
Nablus which is called “Jabal Annar” (The Fire Mount) is the city of Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) which has made the occupation feel and stand helpless to this effect. The people
of Nablus take pride in the fact that their city sent out tens of martyrs and suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) over the long years of national struggle and in the Al-Aqsa Intifada which broke
out in late September 2000; it also gave birth to several leaders of military wings who inflicted
upon the Israeli enemy all sorts of torture (Assabeel, 6/1/2004).

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Saher Tamam was the first Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) from Nablus city; he
detonated the car he was driving between two Israeli buses in Beit Shean region on 16 April
1993.
Hamid Abu Hejla, senior student at the Engineering Faculty at AnNajah National University was
the first resistance fighter from city dwellers who implemented a martyrdom operation since the
outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada; he detonated himself in Netanya on 1 January 2001; later on,
several suicide martyrdom operations were carried out by city dwellers.
Haifa martyrdom operation on 2 December 2001 which was carried out by Maher Habisheh
resulted in the killing of 17 Israelis and wounding of about 60 others making it one of the largest
martyrdom operations carried out by a Nabulsi suicide martyr (Istishhady). This operation was in
retaliation for the assassination of martyr Mahmoud Abu Hnud Leader of Al-Qassam Brigades in
the West Bank.
One of the operations which constituted a big turning point in the history of the movement was
the dual operation of Tel Aviv on 5 January 2003 carried out by Samer Anuri and Barraq
Kholfeh both from Nablus; it resulted in the killing of 23 Israelis and injuring of more than 100
others. Saer Hanani from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine carried out a
martyrdom operation on 25 December 2003 in Tel Aviv and it led to the killing of four Israelis.
Nablus city in light of its size and experience gave birth to several leaders of Palestinian
organizations on the political and military levels. It was a center for political decision making for
several years until Al-Aqsa Intifada broke out and Nablus was under siege. The occupation
forces liquidated a number of political leaders of the organizations’ leaders like Jamal Salim,
Jamal Mansour and Salah Adin Darwazeh who were considered central figures in the political
decision making for Hamas movement at the level of the West Bank in addition to Amin
Maqboul who was one of the political leaders for Fateh Movement.
Nablus city is considered the worst hit city by the siege and Israel military strikes during the Al-
Aqsa Intifada in 2000. Israeli military checkpoints are spread until present day around the city
and they are strangling the city. The checkpoints are Hawara, Bet Ibia, Bathan, and Hamra. Israel
describes Nablus as “A factory for producing terrorists”. The Israeli army forces launched
several incursions and military campaigns on several areas including the city of Nablus. The
most well known operation “Armored Shield” in 2002 was carried out due to the huge number of
Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) who came from the city. The uninterrupted siege of
the city and the difficulty of exchange of goods have lead to the deterioration of the city rank as
an economic center causing a sharp increase in unemployment rates.
According to results reported in the study, the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were refugees from what is now called Israel.
These results agreed with the findings of (Hassan, 2001; Berko & Erez, 2005; Mizrahi & Ben-
Porat, 2005; Khosrokhavar, 2005) studies which concluded that the majority of the Palestinian
suicide martyrs lived in refugee camps and had parents or grandparents who left their homes in
1948. When growing up, they heard their parents' stories about houses that were left behind, or
about land that was lost when Israel was established and the Independence War (1948) erupted.

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On 15 May 1948, the Zionist Movement declared the formation of the State of Israel on 78% of
the Palestinian lands. They have uprooted Palestinians from twenty cities and about four hundred
villages; about seven hundred thousand Palestinians i.e. 66% of the residents of Palestine became
homeless; this was the complete deterioration of the Palestinian society with all its components
and bases; it lead to the emergence of a new phenomenon in the Palestinian society which is the
Palestinian Refugees Camps which spread in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and neighboring
countries: Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon and the rest of the world. These camps which bear witness
to the catastrophe, homelessness and uprooting of Palestinians from their lands and homeland
symbolize their daily sufferings on all levels: cultural, social, economic and political. They are
still up till this present moment waiting for a political decision to put an end to their pain and
suffering. In the human history there is not any crime which is as brutal as the crime of forcing
Palestinians out of their lands in 1948 at the hands of the Zionist gangsters; this was later called
the Palestinian Nakba (Setback) (Sayegh, 1983; Kana’na, 2000; Banat, 2002; Allan, 2007).
The suicide martyrs came from all the Palestinian camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, some
of which offered several martyrs. From the largest and most crowded camp of Balata in the West
Bank (20 thousand inhabitants), eleven martyrs set out to execute their operations deep inside
Israel, such as Ahmad Al-Khatib, Alaa Marshood, Iyad Harb, etc. This camp has been subjected
to the worst forms of Israeli oppression, incursions and invasions since April 2002. Between the
first invasion, which was called then "Field of Thorns," and the last invasion "Stagnant Water"
which overburdened the camp, there are hundreds of stories and painful humanitarian details
which are impossible for a non-Palestinian to live with. The images of the martyrs fill the place;
they are present although their bodies are absent from the streets of the camp. People always
anticipate confrontations with the occupation forces; pictures are on the walls of the small
houses, in narrow streets, shops, schools and on empty desks. Israeli terrorism was not confined
to people in the camp. It targeted the houses as is the case with all other places in Palestine. The
occupation forces completely destroyed 20 houses and damaged about 500 houses according to
statistics by the Committee for the Defense of the Rights of Refugees in the camp (Khalil, 2004).
The camp residents are still giving lessons in patience and steadfastness which will not be erased
from the Palestinian memory. Young people from one generation to another will keep passing
them. Generally, in order to come close to the mystery behind the rush and eagerness of young
refugees to carry out suicide attacks, we must not lose sight of the fact that the refugees prepare
the ground for the memory of pains of the past, the Nakba in 1948, the massacres committed by
the Israelis, and the places from which they were displaced and uprooted to continue. When
children are at the age of five, their parents take them to stand in front of their destroyed villages,
point to the ruins of their homes, tell them again the names of the streets and hills that used to be,
and tell them about harvest evenings and the dreams of the moonlit nights when there were no
invaders, so children will not forget all these memories when they become men and Palestine
becomes deeply rooted in their hearts like an olive tree. Stories about the earth baptized with the
pain of olives will remain in the heart of the Palestinian who cannot forget the image of his
homeland which will stay forever in his immortal memory. Palestinian refugees took their
history with them, lived on the borders of their country, and taught their children and
grandchildren the meanings of pride and homeland, and the bitterness of being a refugee and the
cruelty of confrontation. This is how the culture of martyrdom was created in their hearts and
minds. The refugee camps witnessed the birth of the Palestinian resistance factions, and from
there the struggle began, the rush and race of young refugees to carry out suicide attacks,

245
believing that their resistance, martyrdom operations is the only way to bring their families back
to their lands and mother country.
Commenting on this subject, the young man Ihsan Abu Warda from Al-Fawwar refugee camp
and brother of Majdi Abu Warda, one of the suicide martyrs who executed a dual martyrdom
operation on 25 February 1996 said, “I will never lose sight of our hopes of returning to our own
village, Iraq Al-Mansheya. What my brother Majdi did is honorable. We are proud of that. There
is no one among us who wishes to die or to end his life in the prime of life. The Nakba has been
echoing in our minds for sixty years, and the camp has been the biggest witness to that event. So
far, we have found no Arab or international serious attempt to recover our rights, and we have
found these regimes only talking about peace and surrender”. He added: “The Israeli violence
did not stop at this point. Every day we see barbaric Israeli massacres perpetuated against the
Palestinians with the absence, if not support, of the world. All of that has provided a sufficient
motivation for my brother and other martyrs to lead the struggle march by themselves in order to
restore our usurped land to which the Israelis have no right, and take revenge on the enemy, the
oppressor, who forced our people out of their homes and occupied our land”.
The mother of the suicide martyr Majdi felt that martyrdom operations are the only salvation of
the Palestinian people from the occupation, adding: “As refugees, we are waiting for the day on
which we return to our home, Iraq Al-Mansheya. This will not happen but through martyrdom
and suicide martyrs from our free Palestinian people, even if we have to sacrifice all our children
to this end; what was taken by force can only be restored by force”.
As for the mother of the Palestinian refugee female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Ayat Al-
Akhras, Jerusalem operation on 29 March 2002 said, “We are living in misery, my people are
living in a camp, we have nothing, it is very crowded, your window opens into your neighbour´s
window, a street is one meter wide. As refugees we need a solution that gives us our rights”.
The expulsion of Palestinian refugees has turned into a factor of strength for the Palestinian
people in the struggle against occupation. Palestinian refugees are more determined to resist and
return to their villages, towns and cities. Mother of the suicide martyr, Fatima Najjar, is a woman
who experienced the Nakba of Palestine. She saw the exodus of the Palestinians from their lands
in 1948. Her days were mixed with grief and sorrow. That woman, whose face would tell the
pitfalls of the bitter time, had no hesitation, not for a moment, in carrying out a martyrdom
operation amid a large group of Israeli soldiers in Gaza Strip on 23 November 2006, confirming
that the Nakba generation, the generation of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, marks the beginning of
martyrdom and repatriation generation.
Regarding the economic situation of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin), the findings
showed that mostly they are from middle-class. They were working as employees in different
professions, with a moderate average monthly income, and the majority were not the family
bread winners.
These results are consistent with the findings of (Hassan, 2001; Hafez, 2006) studies which
conclude that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin), came from middle classes or even
affluent families. This was confirmed by (Conesa, 2004; Margaret, 2005; Abu Ras, 2006) studies
which pointed out that most executors of those operations belonged to financially well off
milieus and had good opportunities in life; consequently, any analysis which limits this

246
phenomenon to specific factors like failure at work, study or poverty is excluded. The same was
in (Brym & Araj, 2006) study which found out that the martyrs did not experience extraordinary
high levels of economic deprivation. In contrast, Yom and Saleh (2004) conclude that two
factors, economic deprivation and human cost, generate increased incentives to participate in
militant activities.
It follows that the stampede to carry out martyrdom operations is not much associated with the
economic situation of many Palestinian families, as the Israeli sources tried to show through
many channels and in various ways in order to distort the value of this conflict. It is true that the
economic factors are important in many aspects of life, especially those pertaining to the basic
needs of family members which, if they were not satisfied, might lead to several forms of
deviation and erroneous practices, but they would not make young people rush into carrying out
martyrdom operations due to their poverty or lack of financial resources. This was confirmed by
the study of Nieves (2006) which concludes that many of the suicide bombers have been proven
to be from middle to upper class families. This obviously proves that economic hardship cannot
be seen as a primary cause of suicide bombing.
The low monthly income of the suicide martyrs' families is normal because we are talking about
a developing Palestinian society, in which most Palestinians undergo severe economic
conditions. Statistics published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics PCBS (2008)
revealed that more than two million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (50%) live
below the poverty line. If we take it for granted that the difficult economic conditions
experienced by the Palestinians drive them into carrying out martyrdom operations then we need
to know who is behind these conditions? No doubt it is the Israeli occupation. On the economic
level, most Palestinians experience harsh conditions as they cannot work or bring food to their
children. The unemployment rate is more than 50% in the Palestinian territories, and it goes up to
70% in the Gaza Strip. Since 1996 Israel has imposed a series of closures, preventing
Palestinians, who earn their living by working inside Israel, from going to their jobs. They were
replaced by tens of thousands of workers imported from Romania and Thailand (Said, 2006).
The suicide martyr (Istishhady) Ahmed Daraghmeh did not suffer from any kind of deprivation.
He had a good life which many would dream of. His father is one of the richest people and
largest merchants in the town of Tubas, south of Jenin. Ahmed, who used to conceal stunning
intelligence behind his calmness, was one of the smartest students in his high school class. His
average was 92%, but the heinous assassination of the martyr Mohammed Bisharat and his
companions by the Israeli forces in July 2001 generated a strong impetus inside him to execute
his martyrdom operation in Biet Shean on 10 October 2001.
The suicide martyr Abdel-Basit Odeh, who executed the largest martyrdom operation against
Israel since its foundation in Netanya on 27 March 2002, did not suffer from any bad economic
conditions. In fact, he had a good job, an excellent financial status, and was engaged to be
married, but he did not wait long after the occupation forces closed in his face all the ways to
fulfill his future plans when they banned him from traveling to Iraq to marry his fiancée have a
family and enjoy life.
The suicide martyr Raed Barghouthi, whose smile perplexed the Israeli psychologists, carried out
his martyrdom operation in Jerusalem on 4 September 2001. Some of the wounded survivors
talked about it, trying to explain why he was constantly smiling, especially when he was going to

247
death. His mother said he had never suffered any bad economic conditions; he had been engaged
to be married, and few days before his martyrdom, he had bought his brothers new school
uniform. The following day, he went to register his brother, Rafi, at Al-Quds Open University in
Ramallah, and paid the semester tuition fees. It should be mentioned that Ra'id was a teacher of
Islamic Education subject in the village of Qarawa Bani Zaid school, not far from his own
village Aboud.
Hence, the correlation of martyrdom with economic factors in this manner reduces the value of
martyrdom and makes it a form of suicide meant to escape from reality as a result of economic
pressures experienced by the individual (Abu Hin, 2001).

Findings showed that the majority of the families of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) were exposed to various forms of Israeli violence, mostly, land confiscation,
uprooting of trees, land bulldozing, insults and swearing, detention, home raids, and not
obtaining a work permit. The same also was for nearly half of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) themselves mostly, insults and swearing, bad treatment at checkpoints and
surrounding environment, beating, the martyrdom of a dear person, and detention. Regarding
these outcomes, Araj (2008) argues that Israeli harsh state repression is a major cause of suicide
bombing. Besides, O´Neal (2005) concludes that the anger and helplessness that families and
young people experience after Israeli military sweeps that kill family members or friends is a
main factor that attracts Palestinians to suicide bombing. In addition, the study of Sarraj (2002)
concludes that suicide bombings are only the symptoms, the reaction to this chronic and
systematic process of humiliating people in an effort to destroy their hope and dignity.
These results emphasized that there is hardly any Palestinian family in the West Bank and the
Gaza Strip which has not experienced some pain due to Israeli violence against Palestinians.
Perhaps the Palestinian experience under occupation was and still the most tragic one in terms of
victims and violence; it has left behind as a result of acts of killing, injury, handicap, physical
and psychological torture due to house demolition, confiscation of lands and water, arrests, raids,
pursuits and other forms of violence. Palestinians have always faced the most brutal occupier
that history ever knew. It is certain that Palestinians did not chose this battle; they wished that
they were like the rest of the peoples of the world paying attention to the development of their
independent state and fulfilling their political, economic and social aspirations. However, they
were forced to live with the Israeli occupier who brought destruction and hatred to this region of
the world more than a century ago (Ateek, 2002; Soibelman, 2004).
These results are consistent with the findings of (Abu M'ala, 2004) study, which showed that the
youth wished to carry out martyrdom operations against Israeli military check points where they
were exposed to daily humiliation and coercion. In this regard, Conesa (2004) states that the
culture of violence and death which the occupier practices against the Palestinians and the
shocking personal experiences they were exposed to constitute the main reason for martyrdom
operations. In addition, the study of Soibelman (2004) concludes that the Palestinian suicide
martyrs experienced negative primary or secondary experiences with the Israeli military,
including shooting, killing and wounding Palestinians.

Terrorism is another face of violence, which is not only aimed at the victim, but also at the
regime and the group to which the victim belongs. This is what the Israeli government and

248
military establishment have been doing in their arbitrary actions in the Palestinian territories
through the assassination of the activists, the policy of blockade, isolation and collective
punishment perpetrated against the Palestinians. Regarding this point, Lindner (2001) argues that
the main cause of suicide bombings is feelings of intense humiliation. The same was in the study
of Allen (2002) which cites harsh conditions and treatment from the Israeli army as key reasons
for individuals choosing to join in the Palestinian groups.

The Israeli violence committed against Palestinians can only generate violence and constitute a
greater incentive for revenge. In this context, the suicide martyr Jamal Nasser, who carried out a
suicide martyrdom operation at the junction of the Jewish settlement Shafi Shamron in the West
Bank on 29 April 2001, wrote some passionate words, showing the horror of Israeli violence
against the Palestinians: “Who among us would not become angry and have a sense of revenge
when he walks at the funeral processions of martyrs, especially the mass funerals in Nablus?
Who among us would not go mad and have a strong feeling for revenge when he sees mothers of
martyrs, their wives, or their children on television? Who among us would not feel with the
owners of houses and shops that have recently been demolished in Khan Younis, Rafah and
Hebron? Who among us would not become angry at the killing of children, cutting of trees and
bombing of cities? etc… By God’s name, the Jews have transgressed beyond all bounds in the
country and heaped therein mischief”.
On the other hand, the fact that the majority of the suicide martyrs (Istishhady) were not directly
exposed to the Israeli violence shows once again the great care taken by the resistance factions in
selecting the would-be suicide martyrs. In the selection process, the focus is placed on the people
who do not have any security record with the Israelis in order to facilitate their mission and
ensure the success of the operation. “She has never talked about politics or the Palestinian
resistance organizations, but she hated the occupation and its crimes”, said, with sadness and
sorrow, Mohammed the eldest brother of Andaleeb Taqatqa who executed the martyrdom
operation in Jerusalem on 12 April 2002.
In this context, Nader, brother of the suicide martyr Samer Shawahna, who executed the heroic
martyrdom operation of Hadera on 29 November 2001 said, “For a period of time, I have noticed
the martyr writing various phrases on some of his distinct recent photos”; on one of these, he
wrote, “We, the martyrs, may talk less, since we have realized that blood talks louder”.

This does not mean that the individuals who have been subjected directly to the Israeli violence
did not participate in these operations. For example, Mohammed Al-Herbawi, one of the suicide
martyrs who carried out a dual bombing attack in Dimona on 4 February 2008, was an ex-
prisoner as his mother explained: “He was less than 16 years old when he was arrested and was
kept in prisons of the Zionist occupation for more than 27 months on pretext of his activity in
Hamas Movement”.

The suicide martyr Hamdi Inseo, who lost three fingers of his right hand in addition to severe
injury in his jaw due to an extremely brutal Israeli shelling on the Gaza Strip, did not wait long
and soon retaliated against the aggression with a sea of suicide martyrdom operation by using a
booby-trapped boat which targeted an Israeli warship off the coast of Rafah town on 7 November
2000.

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The female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Hiba Daraghmeh carried out a martyrdom operation in
Afula on 19 May 2003 after she had seen the destruction and devastation which had happened to
Jenin camp at the hands of the Israeli occupation troops; the camp was completely destroyed.
Her brother Baker, detained in the occupation prisons, was sentenced to life imprisonment for
attempting to carry out a martyrdom operation.

Bashar Sawalha, one of the suicide martyrs who executed a tripartite attack in Jerusalem on 4
September 1997, was wanted by occupation forces on charges of political activities, and the
Israeli army had already raided the village in search for him. The occupation soldiers broke into
his home ruined it and threatened to kill him if he refused to surrender himself. Besides, the
suicide martyr Abdel-Basit Odeh, who executed a qualitative martyrdom operation in Netanya
on 27 March 2002, was wanted by the occupation; his name was published in more than one
Israeli newspaper as one of the Palestinians to be either liquidated or arrested.

Findings showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs belonged to Hamas
Movement with its military wing Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades and to the Islamic Jihad
Movement with its military wing Saraya Al-Quds. In the Al-Aqsa Uprising the Palestinian
National Liberation Movement Fateh with its military wing Aqsa Martyrs Brigades followed
suit. These are the largest of PLO factions and they represent a lot of weight and potentials on
the ground. The Palestinian left forces especially the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP) with its wing Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and the Democratic Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) with its wing National Resistance Brigades joined them.
The findings of (Hassan, 2001; Ateek, 2002; Moghadam, 2003; Kimhi & Even, 2004; Yom &
Saleh, 2004; Dipak & Kusum, 2005; Khosrokhavar, 2005; Brym & Araj, 2006; Hafez, 2006;
Kliot, 2006; Saarnivaara, 2008) studies led to a similar conclusion, that the vast majority of the
Palestinian suicide martyrs affiliated with Islamic fundamentalists groups such as Hamas and
Islamic Jihad while the rest were aligned with secular groups such as Fateh.

The high rate of Hamas and Islamic Jihad participation in martyrdom operations, compared with
other factions is attributed to the fact that martyrdom is regarded as one of the most important
fundamentals of the Islamic trend in general and Hamas in particular. In this context, Dipak &
Kusum (2005) indicate that the two groups deliberately use suicide bombings as strategic
weapons within the larger Israeli-Palestinian political milieu. In particular, they discovered the
power of suicide attacks. These attacks succeeded in inflicting deep damage not only on Israeli
politics but also, for the first time, on the cruel equation of relative losses turned against the
Israelis.
Fateh Movement, however, had a lower rate of participation in martyrdom operations. This was
due to its late engagement in this form of resistance, specifically in the mid-2001. In this context,
Araj (2008) argues that Fateh as a whole did not plan to resort to suicide bombing. Instead, the
tactic was undertaken from below by Fateh’s local leaders as a reaction to Israel’s harsh actions
against Palestinian civilians and assassinations of some of Fateh’s activists, especially the
January 2002 assassination of Fateh leader Raed Karmi. Nevertheless, its operations were
characterized by a strong echo in terms of method of implementation, planning, and selection of
suicide martyrs. The movement set up a special unit of female suicide martyrs. As for the
People's Front and the Democratic Front, they have carried out a limited number of martyrdom

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operations as they relied more on the methods of direct confrontation and armed engagement in
storming settlements and Israeli military positions. But the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine has increased the number of its suicide martyrs after the Israeli assassination of its
general secretary comrade Abu Ali Mustafa on 27 August 2001.

Regarding this point, (Moghadam, 2003) indicated that, Hamas has demonstrated an extremely
high degree of lethality in its attacks; a fact that hints at the effective organization and
information-gathering capabilities that are at the group’s disposal, in addition to its wealth of
material and financial resources. Besides, Hamas and Islamic Jihad oppose Oslo Agreements and
adopt armed jihad and martyrdom operations as one basis for the liberation of the Palestinian
national soil from the river to the sea. As for the martyrdom operations carried out by Fateh
Movement, they are limited in number; they do not express the convictions of the leaderships of
the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fateh.
This confirms that the martyrdom operations are not the prerogative of this or that political party,
but they belong to the entire Palestinian people. All segments of the Palestinian people, Islamic,
national, left-wing, men and women, and young and old people, have practiced this form of
resistance. It is an expression of a Palestinian popular awareness of the depth and nature of the
conflict with the Jewish existence in Palestine. It is also a logical extension of the Palestinian
struggle which has been ongoing for more than a hundred years. Regarding this point, (Hafez,
2006) emphasized that Palestinian factions-both religious and secular—have repeatedly adopted
martyrdom operations in their latest insurgency against Israel and have convinced the wider
Palestinian public of their legitimacy. In the same context, Araj (2008) concludes that suicide
bombing is an extreme reaction by secular organizations to extreme and increasing repression by
the target state, whereas for the religious organizations it is both a reaction and a strategy.

The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas and its armed wing Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades is
the spiritual father of the martyrdom operations. Upon the announcement of its foundation on 14
December 1987, Hamas adopted jihad, resistance, against Israel as a fundamental basis for its
existence. In its charter in August 1988, the Movement identified the jihad as its path and death
for the sake of God and as its aspiration until the end of the occupation (Rimawi, 2005).
Regarding this point, Sarraj (2002) indicates that Hamas has its own ideology. They have an
ideology that calls for an Islamic state in all of Palestine through holy war and killing of the
enemy. They believe that the Israelis can only listen to the language of force. To that end, they
are ready to use any means, including suicide bombings. There are plenty of volunteers. Besides,
Hamas political leadership found that starting suicide campaign was a necessary strategic choice
in order to gain support at the grassroots level and to work on the Islamization of the society
(Saarnivaara, 2008).

Hamas has imposed itself on the Palestinian and Islamic street; it has given the best examples of
resistance that made the enemy unprecedentedly angry. The Palestinian people have become
convinced that the resistance options adopted by Hamas and Islamic Jihad are the best, especially
after the failure of peace negotiations, out of which they have achieved nothing. The first martyr
of the Hamas Movement was Saher Tamam, who presented his martyrdom operation in Biet
Shean on 16 April 1993 to the 416 political leaders of the Palestinian resistance, who had been
expelled to Marj Az-Zuhur in Lebanon by the Israeli Occupation Authorities. Hamas suicide
martyrs have been able to carry out deadly and qualitative martyrdom operations, such as the one

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which was executed in Netanya on 27 March 2002 by Abdel-Basit Odeh from the city of
Tulkarem. It has been the largest operation against Israel since its foundation. It led to the killing
of 29 Israelis and wounding more than 150 others. The success of this operation is primarily due
to the clandestine work adopted by Hamas Movement, its greater caution, compared with other
factions, in selecting and effectively qualifying candidates for the operations.

About the preparation of the suicide martyr, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader, says that
this process does not happen overnight; a suicide martyr needs good preparation based on
several major pillars, such as physical and moral ones. He adds: “In Hamas, we have an
integrated educational program aimed at young people of different ages. They have to
memorize and understand the Holy Quran, to read books of the Prophetic Biography, Islamic
studies, and books on the Movement ideology which would provide them with the steps that
they will need to follow. These steps shape and mould them in line with the moral values and
Islamic concepts, mainly, pride, self-esteem, dignity, and the like” (Nirab, 2002). Regarding the
power of Hamas, the study of (Jaffa Center of Strategic Studies, 2003) explained the reason for
the strong impact of Hamas operations compared with others by indicating that Hamas
movement- is more cautious than other Palestinian factions- in selecting those nominated for
carrying out such operations and preparing them very well.

Nirab (2002) summarizes what Israelis said about the sources of Hamas strength. It is based on
four factors which still prove their credibility. Hamas derives its status from the martyrdom
operations, especially against the Israeli army; Hamas fighters avoid confrontations with other
Palestinian factions; good reputation of Hamas on the financial level encouraged other factions
to follow suit and commit themselves to honesty, integrity and ethics; most Hamas leaders live in
popular neighborhoods, not far from the public, which would help them stay in touch with
ordinary people; Hamas does not hold useless military parades or shoot bullets in the air, but it
shoots at Israeli soldiers.

As a matter of fact, Israeli security forces fear Hamas, particularly its strength in Gaza, after it
fully controlled the Gaza Strip at the end of 2006. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper
Ma'ariv, Moshe Ya'alon, Chief of the Military Intelligence, said, “Every blow delivered to the
activists of Hamas military wing is not a fatal blow, but it weakens Hamas for a limited period”.
Ya'alon added: “Hamas does not carry out large operations haphazardly. In other words, when
the opportunity arises, someone will carry out the operation. This may be true in cases of small
operations, but in large ones there is a decision made by senior leadership, the majority of which
is based outside the Palestinian territories, i.e. the field strength of Hamas is always available,
but it does not act without an order from the highest authority” (Abu Ras, 2006).
Hamas and its armed wing were able to recruit suicide martyrs from all sectors of the Palestinian
people, including women whom Hamas regarded as the strategic reserve for the resistance. Reem
Rayashi, for example, was the first female suicide martyr (Isteshhadiya) from Hamas who
carried out her operation in the Gaza Strip on 14 January 2004. The movement has also been able
to recruit suicide martyrs from Palestinians living inside Israel, called the 48 Palestinians, and
from Jordan in particular. For instance, the qualitative Nahariyya martyrdom operation was
carried by Mohammed Hbaishe from the village of Abu Sinan, inside the 1948 Palestine, on 9
September 2001. In addition, three other operations were carried out by the Diaspora Palestinians

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from Jordan in the city of Tel Aviv. Those suicide martyrs are Said Al-Hutari on 1 June 2001,
Iyad Radad on 19 September 2002 and Mohammed Muamar on 7 May 2002.

The results showed that the way of martyrdom for the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) was explosive belt. Historically, various Palestinian factions have tried through
different methods to shake off the occupation. They did not begin their resistance to the
occupation with suicide martyrs.
Palestinian resistance factions have made a quantum leap in the Palestinian military action since
the first Intifada in 1987, starting from the stone through the Molotov burning bombs, machine
guns, grenades, explosives, timed bombs, and finally the martyrdom operations which were an
internal innovation in line with the limited capabilities of the Movement. The human bomb tactic
created under the special circumstances of the Palestinian reality and the huge military imbalance
is the ultimate expression of the political project which stems from rejection of the Judization
tools, in principle, and use of the creative means of resistance. So, the human bomb is the highest
ideological status ever reached by the Palestinian national struggle over more than a century.
Consequently, this tactic is not the privilege of this or that political party in terms of practice or
achievement, rather it belongs to the entire Palestinian people; hence, it has been implemented by
all segments of the Palestinian people. Regarding this point, and in very touching words, the
Palestinian suicide martyr (Istishhady) Fouad Al-Hourani, Jerusalem operation on 9 March 2002
indicated to the martyrdom weapon and wrote in his will, “The nation that masters the death
industry is unbeatable”. In the same context the female suicide martyr (Istishhadiya) Darene Abu
Aisha, Maccabim settlement checkpoint operation near Ramallah on 27 February 2002 addressed
the importance of the body weapon in her will saying, “As the body and spirit are all what we
have, I offer them for the sake of God the Almighty to be bombs that will burn the Zionists and
destroy the myth of God's chosen people in retaliation for the remains of our martyred brothers”.
In this context, O´Neal (2005) considers the phenomenon of martyrdom operations (human
weapon) as the most effective weapon against the technologically advanced militaries
concluding that there has been no method of deterrence identified to date.

To sum up, the Palestinian resistance had crossed beyond the technique of fire shooting or
random bombing as it was in past operations which targeted restaurants and malls to the
technique of qualitative armed resistance especially, the belt, car, and bag explosion, in which
targets with high psychological effect on Israelis were selected. They were also intended to
damage the trepidation of the Israeli occupation army.

Findings showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried
out their martyrdom operations in all Israeli cities and regions, especially, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv,
and in other Israeli targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements.
These results agreed with the findings of (Kliot, 2006) study which concludes that the
distribution of the places and locations (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Netanya) that have been
targets for suicide bombers are logical for the vast majority of attacks. These results emphasized
that the Palestinian martyrdom operations were actually capable of destroying the basis of theory
of balance of powers after the suicide martyrs proved that their military army is also capable of
reaching sensitive places in the Israeli depth using another kind of balance of horror, especially
after it caused a large scale controversy in the Israeli security and civil milieus making ministers

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and high ranking officials in the army wonder about the extent of Israeli ability to last and they
considered that the Independence war was not over yet.
Although Israel possesses modern and sophisticated military arsenal, its various security services
were ineffective in halting martyrdom operations. This was expressed by the suicide martyr
(Istishhady) Suliman Tahayna, who carried out a suicide martyrdom operation in Jerusalem on 5
November 1998. Defying Israeli security forces, he said in his will, “If the Palestinian National
Authority, Israel, and Clinton can stop me from meeting my Lord and carrying out my
martyrdom operation, I tell them go ahead”. Regarding this point, the Israeli Intelligence (2004)
indicates that operations carried out within the frame of cooperation between Palestinian
organizations and Israeli Palestinians who hold an Israeli identification card which enables them
to travel freely inside Israel; the West Bank and Gaza Strip helped in facilitating the carrying out
of the martyrdom operations.
In this context, Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades tell the story of how the suicide martyr
(Istishhady) Said Al-Hutari arrived at Tel Aviv and carried out his operation on 1 June 2001. It is
similar to the detective stories. Said was taken there with the help of a taxi driver who was a
collaborator working for the Israeli Intelligence, but who was infiltrated by Al-Qassam Brigades.
When Said carried out the operation successfully, the Israeli Shin Bet security service got the
taxi driver arrested because they considered him a collaborator with Al-Qassam Brigades. He
was brought to trial on charges of helping a terrorist, according to Israeli sources (Al-Qassam,
2001).

Palestinian martyrdom operations inside Israel were remarkable as they took place in spite of the
fact that all Palestinian towns and villages had been reoccupied by the Israeli army since the
outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000. This is a clear evidence to the readiness of the
Palestinian resistance and its ability to deliver the severest strikes to the occupation forces in
Jerusalem, Haifa, Afula, etc., and thus the phenomenon of the suicide martyrs became a source
of concern and anxiety to Israelis. This was badly reflected on their political, social and
economic conditions.

All security measures, barriers and the heavy presence of the occupation forces in the heart of the
occupied Palestinian cities did not prevent the resistance from penetrating deep into the heart of
the enemy entity in Tel Aviv to carry out a new dual suicide attack on 5 January 2003 by the
suicide martyrs Barraq Kholfeh and Samer Anuri from the city of Nablus.

The results showed that the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried
out their martyrdom operations during the daylight hours particularly in the morning.

This reflects the ability of the Palestinian resistance factions to plan and time the Israeli targets
accurately. It is usually overcrowded with Israelis heading to work during the morning rush
hours, so they would fall an easy target in the hands of the suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin).
Regarding this point, (Kliot, 2006) concludes that that timing is of importance both for strategic
and tactical reasoning.

On the morning of 19 October 1994 at 8:55, in Dezingov Square in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel's
largest entertainment complex, the suicide martyr Saleh Nazzal carried out his qualitative

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operation in which 22 Israelis were killed and 47 others were wounded. There were also
significant material losses. The operation which was well-planned did not only shock Tel Aviv,
but it also rocked all over Israel. In some cities, Israeli people took to the streets in raucous
protests calling for the death of the Arabs, the elimination of the Hamas Movement, the
resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and holding the military and security leaders
accountable for failure to prevent the attack (Al-Qassam, 1994).

At the crack of dawn on Wednesday, 10 April 2002, the suicide martyr Ragheb Jaradat, out of
love and loyalty to Palestine, infiltrated into Haifa to answer the call of his fellow men in Jenin
refugee camp. At six in the morning, he detonated himself in a Zionist bus, got martyred, killed
23 Israelis and wounded dozens of them in spite of all Israeli military precautions. This
qualitative operation, carried out deep in the heart of Israel, was meant to confirm that the will of
that Palestinian and his willingness to make sacrifices were greater and more powerful than all
Israeli terrorism.

According to data reported in the study, the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) had carried out their martyrdom operations on Sunday.

Regarding this point, the study of (Kliot, 2006) concludes that it complies with geographical
fundamentals and target selection is highly rational since it is subject to spatial considerations
such as distance, agglomeration and accessibility. The success of the operation depends 90% on
the process of monitoring which might take one, two or four weeks. Sometimes, it takes four or
five months. Some operations needed monitoring which lasted for four weeks until the suicide
martyr knew every thing about the place, target, and targeted people, even from where to enter?
Where to stand during the implementation? Where to stay overnight? When to start shooting?
When the targeted people will be present in the place? Hence the success of the operation is not
evaluated based on the number of the killed among the enemy but on the ability of the suicide
martyrs to reach their target, mechanism of implementation and good planning for the operation
(Islam online, 2002; Sawahil, 2003).

This result emphasizes once again that the Palestinian resistance factions do not randomly select
their objectives, but they are keen to ensure that the targets are carefully selected to guarantee the
success of the martyrdom operation. As it is the first day of the week in Israel, Sunday is one of
the busiest days, especially in big Israeli cities, such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which link the
rest of the Israeli areas with each other. On Sunday, 22 January 1995, two suicide martyrs Salah
Shaker and Anwar Sukar implemented a rocking operation in a crowded bus station where Israeli
soldiers gather in order to travel out the city of Netanya. The death toll started to rise gradually.
The result was 22 people killed and more than 60 others injured. The quantitative suicide attack
shocked the Jewish State. Also, on Sunday morning, 25 February 1996, Majdi Abu Warda
executed a qualitative and heroic martyrdom operation when he blew himself up in bus no. 18 in
the occupied city of Jerusalem. 23 Israelis were killed and about 50 others were wounded. After
about half an hour on the same day, his companion Ibrahim Sarahneh carried out another
operation in the city of Ashkelon where dozens of Israeli soldiers were killed and wounded.

In addition, on the morning of Sunday, 22 April 2001, the suicide martyr Imad Zubeidi carried
his soul on his shoulder, fastened his explosive belt around his waist, and set off in steady

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footsteps from his home in Nablus to the town of Kefar Sava, where the target had been
accurately selected to deal a deadly blow to the Israelis. The operation resulted in the killing of
more than 17 Israelis, and wounding of dozens of others. Also, on Sunday, 9 December 2001,
Nimer Abu Sefen executed a qualitative martyrdom operation in the city of Haifa, where he
seized the opportunity of Israeli soldiers' gathering. More than fifteen soldiers were wounded.

Different regional and global reactions came in the wake of the dual martyrdom operation which
was carried out by the suicide martyrs Barraq Kholfeh and Samer Anuri on Sunday 5 January
2003 in Tel Aviv. The operation resulted in the killing of 23 Israelis and injuring more than a
hundred. On another Sunday morning, 18 May 2003 at 6:30 am, Basem Al-Takruri carried out
his qualitative martyrdom operation on the French Hill in Jerusalem, which was crowded with
the Israeli soldiers. The operation resulted in the killing of eight Israelis and wounding of more
than fifty others.

The results showed that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried out their
martyrdom operations over the entire months of the year. There is no single month in which no
suicide martyr attacks have occurred.
The months, March–May, witnessed a huge wave of martyrdom operations as there are many
Jewish holidays during these months; the large gatherings of the Israelis constituted easy targets
for the Palestinian resistance factions. However, a significant number of these operations
coincided with the annual anniversaries of some of the Israeli massacres committed against the
Palestinians, such as Al-Aqsa Massacre, the Abraham Mosque Massacre, Sabra and Shatella
Massacre and others.

His love for Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine, and his craving to revenge for the blood of the
martyrs prompted the suicide martyr (Istishhady) Jamal Nasser to carry out his martyrdom
operation in the Jewish settlement of Shafi Shamron, near Nablus, on 29 April 2001. In his will,
he said, “By God’s name, the first motive that pushed me to follow this path is my love for God
and martyrdom; the second, is my love for Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestine and defending them; and
the third, is the desire to avenge the blood of the martyrs”. The suicide martyr Maher Habisheh,
who carried out his operation in Haifa on 2 December 2001, said in his will, “I wish I had so
many lives to avenge time and time again and respond to the many massacres and insults
perpetrated against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Abraham Mosque and the Palestinian people”.

Findings showed that the Palestinian suicide martyrs (Istishhadiyin) had carried out their
martyrdom operations in the years before and after the signing of Oslo Accords between Israel
and the Palestinian National Authority (September 13, 1993), while the majority was during the
Al-Aqsa Uprising, especially in the year 2002.
This result emphasizes that the rise/fall in the number of the martyrdom operations during
previous years is associated with the increase/decrease of the vicious attacks by the occupation
forces against the Palestinians. Thus, the martyrdom operations were much more highly
motivated after a massacre had been committed by the Zionists against the Palestinian people.

The martyrdom operations reached their peak in 2002, in which all Palestinian cities, villages
and camps were invaded and reoccupied by the Israeli occupation forces. They imposed a strict

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blockade against the Palestinian people, in particular during the months of March and April
2002, during the siege of the Jenin refugee camp, the siege of the Church of Nativity in the city
of Bethlehem and the confinement of the late president Yasser Arafat in his headquarters in
Ramallah as he was regarded by the former Israeli prime minister to be directly responsible for
the martyrdom operations.

At a time when the leaders of the Zionist security services and the military establishment were
trying to reassure the Israeli public that they put an end to the martyrdom operations, the Jenin
refugee camp was placed under a tight siege and the Israeli army was striking and liquidating
bases of the suicide martyrs. Meanwhile, the suicide martyr Ragheb Jaradat, from Jenin
governorate, entered the borders in defiance of the Israeli security services and blew himself up
on an Israeli bus on 10 April 2002 in the city of Haifa. In his will, he wrote to the Israelis: “The
criminal Sharon, the government of his generals and his filthy army will know that blood for
blood, fire for fire and the massacre in the Jenin refugee camp will not go unheeded. The Zionist
criminals will pay a high price for it, God willing. I would like to reassure all the faithful, all the
Mujahidin, all the honorable and all the liberals that jihad and resistance will continue until the
departure of the Zionist killers from all Palestine”.
In the same year, in which the Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people reached their peak,
the suicide martyr Akram Nabtiti, who carried out a martyrdom operation in Jerusalem on 17
March 2002, wrote to his people: “I have decided to carry out this operation only in order to
avenge the pure blood of our people, which is being shed every day, if not every hour, by the
hateful Sharon and the Zionist army who have had no mercy on our women, our elderly, or our
children and in order to defend our right to live in freedom and dignity on our pure land”.
The suicide martyr Shadi Toubasi, who carried out a qualitative operation in Haifa on 31 March
2002, said in his will, “I have intended to become a martyr to raise the word of God, to defend
my beloved Palestine and to avenge martyrs of the massacres which the Zionists are committing
day and night in Ramallah and the rest of Palestine against our people, children and women. Let
Sharon and his soldiers know that our people will not kneel, God willing, and will continue to
resist until the liberation of our land, Al-Aqsa Mosque and our holy places. Let Sharon know that
there are hundreds of suicide martyrs waiting. The enemy will not live, God willing, in security
as long as they commit the massacres and surge into our cities, villages and refugee camps”.
The results show that there is a decrease in the size of martyrdom operations, compared with the
first years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. This is due to the fact that the resistance does not have one
pace; the ongoing conflict is not between two regular armies. In fact, it is between a group of
resistance fighters who keep hitting and fleeing, intensifying and pausing their operations on one
hand and the occupation army, which is considered the strongest in the Middle East on the other.
In addition, the limited military capabilities of the Palestinian resistance factions, the separation
wall, the too many military checkpoints and the reoccupation of the West Bank led to a drop in
the number of these operations. On the other hand, Gaza Strip is practically encircled by
electronic wires, so it is difficult for members of the resistance to penetrate through these wires
to carry out such operations. However, I believe that the Palestinian resistance forces will never
stop thinking about executing martyrdom operations inside Israel or trying to penetrate the
separation wall as long as Palestine is under occupation. This has been obvious in the theoretical
framework of the study-in the preparatory stages of the martyrdom operations and the selection

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of targets. The type, location and method of resistance can be determined only by groups of
Palestinian resistance in light of Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinians. It is worth
mentioning that the martyrdom operations that have always come in the form of waves in
retaliation for the massacres carried out by the enemy, such as the Abraham Mosque massacre,
the assassination of the martyrdom operations engineer Yahya Ayyash, and the rest of the Israeli
criminal aggressions against the Palestinian people.

According to data reported in the results the majority of the Palestinian suicide martyrs
(Istishhadiyin) had left a will which varied between written and visual. The wills had been
directed mostly to their families, Palestinians and Israeli leadership. The majority of the suicide
martyrs were dressed in a military uniform during the reading of the wills.
The will of the suicide martyr can be regarded as a document which a researcher can refer to,
read its content, analyze its meanings, and comprehend its lofty goals. The will involves a
message that a suicide martyr leaves to his family, society, and nation, calling upon them to
follow in his footsteps. The will can be in a written, audio or video form; it explains the purpose
behind the operation and involves important intellectual dimensions at all levels, especially the
religious, national, ethical and educational ones (Aliq, 2004).

One cannot find anything better than the wills of the suicide martyrs which were written with
words from blood and light: the blood is meant to vanquish the occupier; and the light is, to
illuminate the path of the mujahidin on the road of resistance and martyrdom. Having examined
the wills of the martyrs, we can draw a number of symbols and meanings that reflect the personal
qualities of the suicide martyr (Istishhady), the motive behind the operation, the target audience,
and other symbols and signs. The will of the suicide martyr Samer Hammad, who executed Tel
Aviv operation on 17 April 2006, proves that the operation was not the result of an individual or
futile decision, but rather came within an accurate plan by the Palestinian resistance to recruit the
heroes who have faith in their role to raise the word of God and the banner of Islam in the face of
the violations committed by occupation forces against the Palestinians. The following is the text
of his will, “In the Name of Allah (God), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. God Almighty
said, “Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you
(to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers” (Al-Tawbeh: 14). “I, the suicide martyr
(Istishhady) Samer Sameh Hammad, son of Al-Quds Brigades, offer myself cheap in order to
uphold the word of God-that there is no god but God and Mohammed is the Messenger of God.
This operation is in retaliation for the Israeli crimes and massacres against our people in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip. We say to the enemy that our operations shall continue; the suicide martyrs
are coming and they love death and martyrdom just as you love life. We present this operation to
our brave prisoners in the detentions and prisons of the Israeli occupation. It is jihad until victory
or martyrdom. Your son, the suicide martyr (Istishhady), Samer Sameh Hammad, Al-Quds
Brigades, Unit of the suicide martyr Luai As-Sadi, Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ),
Monday 17 April 2006”.
Fouad Al-Hourani, the suicide martyr (Istishhady) who carried out his operation in Jerusalem on
9 March 2002, reflected clearly and explicitly on the qualitative leap brought about by the
Palestinian resistance factions in the Palestinian military action, leading to the martyrdom
strategic action, which was called the "Industry of death". He wrote in his will, “The nation that

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masters the death industry is unbeatable. Would right have men if we were not its men? The
believer without courage is the same as the tree without fruit. Pleasure of the world is temporal
and pleasure of Paradise is eternal”.
Similarly, the will of the suicide martyr Mohammed Siksik, who carried out Elat martyrdom
operation on 29 January 2007, confirms his psychological and social balance; it reflects his
strong faith in his role in life and death to please God, his confidence in his people and relatives,
in their acceptance of the operation, and in the deep pride inside himself. In addition to planning
the operation beforehand, the will shows the political and strategic awareness, which he seeks to
achieve as he calls for the unity of Palestinians. This is the text of the will, “In the Name of Allah
(God), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, God Almighty said, “Go ye forth, (whether
equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the
Cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew” (Al-Tawbeh: 41). “Dear mother, family
and friends, lovers of martyrdom and immortality: No grace is similar to the grace of martyrdom
as God Almighty says: “Allah hath purchased of the Believers their persons and their goods; for
theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain: a
promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur-an: and who is more
faithful to his Covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is
the achievement supreme” (Al-Tawbeh: 111).
My dear mother, forgive me my darling, apple of my eye. Do not be sad, be happy, mother.
God's satisfaction with me is conditioned by your own satisfaction with me; my wish would not
be achieved, if you were not pleased. It will not be complete without your patience and
considering me a martyr for the sake of God, in order to raise His banner and be with you and
my father in Paradise, God willing, the Merciful, and the Compassionate. My will to you is that
when you hear the news of my martyrdom, I hope that you will thank God the Almighty, pray to
Him and remember what He says: “Who say, when afflicted with calamity: "To Allah we belong,
and to Him is our return". They are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and
Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance” (Al-Baqara: 156-157). Distribute sweets and
drink to honor my soul, and I hope that you will not forget to pray for me. Do not cry over me,
but utter shrills of joy ululations. This is the wedding of your son.
As for you, my brothers and sisters, you have in my body a place, my heart. I tell you not to be
sad over our separation. What a perfect separation if my abode is going to be next to the throne
of God the Most Gracious! I ask you to be helpful to my mother, be patient, be of those who
expect reward in the Hereafter, be steadfast, be helpful to one another, and adhere to God's
religion and Holy Book. My will is to take my children to mosque to join classes of Quran
memorization, and to teach them the love of God, His Messenger, jihad and martyrdom.

My dear friends, especially the elderly, young people and youngsters of Al-Khansaa' Mosque,
By God, life has no taste without jihad, and there is no victory but by steadfastness and holding
fast to our terms of reference. God Almighty said, “Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven
without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (in His Cause) and remained steadfast?” (Al-
Omran: 142).

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To my brothers who have insisted on taking the path of pride and dignity, keep your pledge and
hold to your path. Do not worry about those who let you down and do not give up the banner of
jihad, for a nation which abandons jihad will surely suffer humiliation.

A message to my people, I advise you to have unity, then unity, then unity, to have one voice and
point your guns at the enemy, not at each other.
To my brothers in Al-Quds Brigades, Al-Aqsa Brigades and Qassam Brigades: Aim your guns at
the enemy. God Almighty said, “And hold fast, all together, by the Rope which Allah (stretches
out for you), and be not divided among yourselves;…”(Al-Omran: 103).
In conclusion, I do not say goodbye to you, but see you in the highest Paradise, God willing, In
an Assembly of Truth, in the Presence of a Sovereign Omnipotent. And Glory to the Lord, the
Lord of Honor and Power (He is free) from what they ascribe (to Him). And Peace on the
apostles. And Praise to God, the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds. Your Brother, who loves
you, the living martyr, God willing, Mohammed Siksik, Abu Hamam, Al-Quds Brigades,
military wing of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (PIJ), Monday 29 January 2007”.

The execution of martyrdom operations in Palestine has not been confined to men. In fact, a
number of women have also carried out qualitative martyrdom operations and wrot