chapter  18
22 Pages

Palestinian suicide bombing: Public support, market share, and outbidding: Mia M. Bloom


Why have suicide bombings in the Middle East become so popular? In this article, I investigate how and why Palestinian public opinion increasingly supports suicide bombings even though support for such operations and for Hamas has fl uctuated in the past. Since November 2000, Palestinian public opinion has alarmingly shifted its support toward radical Islamic organizations because of a number of factors endogenous to Palestinian society.1 Under conditions of mounting public support, the bombings have become a method of recruitment for militant Islamic organizations within the Palestinian community. They serve at one and the same time to attack the hated enemy (Israel) and to give legitimacy to outlier militant groups who compete with the Palestinian Authority for leadership of the community.