Initial findings of the profile of Palestinian terrorists who carried out attacks in Israel in the current wave of terrorism (Updated to October 25, 2015)

 Profile of Palestinian terrorists


Copyright: ITIC

The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center conducted a study examining the profiles of 35 Palestinian terrorists who carried out attacks in Israeli territory (Jerusalem and other locations inside Israel) during the current wave of terrorism. Twenty-four of them were killed while carrying out the attacks and 11 were injured. They carried out a total of 29 terrorist attacks, most of them in greater Jerusalem and some in other locations inside Israel. Their personal attributes were different, but based on the initial examination a general profile can be drawn.

Initial findings of the data analyzed to date indicate that the Palestinian who most commonly carries out a terrorist attack in Israel, especially a stabbing attack, is generally male, young, between the ages of 17 and 19, unmarried, unknown to Israeli security, not affiliated with a terrorist organization, and lives in one of the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem (especially Jabel Mukaber and Sur Bahr in southeast Jerusalem) and in several instances also in the Hebron region. In most instances he carries out the attack by himself following a spontaneous personal decision without instructions from any organization or leadership. He does not follow an Islamist ideology (some of the terrorists lived fairly secular lives) and does not belong to a terrorist organization, although he feeds off the incitement to terrorism and anti-Israel hatred disseminated by the various terrorist organizations.

The Palestinian terrorist who carries out an attack in Israel is motivated by Palestinian nationalism, and for the past six years he has been deeply influenced by reports of popular terrorism. He has also been influenced by events on the Temple Mount and by the false slogan "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger." He is personally and socially frustrated and feeds off the anti-Israel hatred and incitement on the social networks (mainly Facebook). He is willing to risk his life and aspires to follow in the footsteps of Palestinians who died initiating the current wave of terrorist attacks (the deaths of some of them and their glorification in the Palestinian media has become contagious, and copying them has become a challenge and "fashionable").

The study has three appendices. The first presents the main findings of the primary examination of the attributes the terrorists. The other two include a short, initial summary of the attacks carried out in Israel and individually examine each of the terrorists who carried them out. The parameters examined include the modus operandi of attack, its geographical location, where the terrorist came from, his motivation, age, organizational affiliation (if it exists), family status, education, profession, the involvement of women in terrorist attacks and various other aspects unique to each individual terrorist.

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