Aug. 4, 2017
- “Revenge of the Rejects”: Why Palestinians Commit Lone-Wolf Attacks – Amos Harel
Since October 2015, there have been more than 300 Palestinian lone-wolf terror attacks and copycat attacks. An analysis of the backgrounds of the first 80 terrorists revealed a number of key differences compared to the terrorists of the previous generation. The new attackers were not very religiously devout, most had no history of active involvement in a terrorist organization and they mostly fell in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum, with only a few coming from refugee camps.
Many suffered from personal problems: young men and especially young women who suffered abuse at home, family crises, or were relative outsiders in their society. They viewed attacking Israelis, and possibly dying as a martyr, as a way to escape their plight. Picking up a knife temporarily transformed these shunned youths into superheroes.
These personal issues as motivators became wedded to the very powerful engine of incitement. The PA, which had softened the tone of some of its media during 2016, let loose once more in recent weeks against the backdrop of the fury surrounding the Temple Mount. This has been the main motivation cited by all the terrorists of the last few weeks. Israeli intelligence has found that the number of declarations of readiness to commit terror attacks on Palestinian social networks has risen sharply.
At the same time, there are tremendous economic incentives for the terrorists’ families. A young terrorist will receive from the PA more money than the salary of a junior Palestinian police officer, from the very first day of his arrest in Israel. A long-term prisoner can receive $3,400 a month, a fortune in West Bank terms. Anyone who serves five years in prison is also eligible for a pension. The army has already arrested some Palestinians who showed up at checkpoints with knives, and later explained that they were six months of prison time away from obtaining the coveted pension. (Ha’aretz)