Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 4 > Issue 4

The Shape of Things to Come? On the Dynamics of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings

David A. Jaeger, City University of New York Graduate Center, University of Cologne, and IZA, djaeger@gc.cuny.edu , M. Daniele Paserman, Boston University, Hebrew University, NBER, CEPR, and IZA, paserman@bu.edu
Suggested Citation
David A. Jaeger and M. Daniele Paserman (2009), "The Shape of Things to Come? On the Dynamics of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 4: No. 4, pp 315-342. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00009013

Publication Date: 15 Dec 2009
© 2009 D. A. Jaeger and M. D. Paserman
Civil conflict,  Security,  International conflict
Suicide terrorismTargeted killingsAssassinationsSecond IntifadaPalestiniansIsrael


Download article
In this article:
Previous Literature 
Prevalence of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings 
Israeli Reaction to Suicide Attacks and Other Palestinian Violence 
Palestinian Reaction to Targeted Killings 
The Timing of the Palestinian Response and Israeli Vigilance 
Intended Palestinian Violence 
Discussion and Conclusion 


In this paper we examine the dynamics of suicide attacks and targeted killings in the Second Intifada. We find evidence that the targeted killings of Palestinian leaders by Israel reduce realized Palestinian violence. We find, however, that intended Palestinian violence is increasing at low levels of targeted killings, but decreasing at higher levels. We find that suicide bombings that kill at least one Israeli lead to a subsequent increase in the incidence and levels of Palestinian fatalities. Our results do not support the notion that suicide attacks and targeted killings follow the "tit-for-tat" pattern that is commonly postulated in the literature.