A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Do Targeted Assassinations Work? A Multivariate Analysis of Israel's Controversial Tactic during Al-Aqsa Uprising


Do Targeted Assassinations Work? A Multivariate Analysis of Israel's Controversial Tactic during Al-Aqsa Uprising

Abstract: 
We assess the impact of Israeli targeted assassinations on rates of Palestinian violence from September 2000, the beginning of Al-Aqsa uprising, through June 2004. Literature concerning the relationship between repression and rebellion suggests four plausible effects of targeted assassinations on insurgents: deterrence, backlash, disruption, and incapacitation.  Using differenced and lagged time-series analysis, we utilize multiple and logistic regression to evaluate the effect of targeted assassinations on Palestinian violence. We conclude that targeted assassinations have no significant impact on rates of Palestinian attacks. Targeted assassinations do not decrease rates of Palestinian violence, nor do they increase them, whether in the short or long-run. Targeted assassinations may be useful as a political tool to signal a state’s determination to punish terrorists and placate an angry public, but there is little evidence that they actually impact the course of an insurgency.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Hafez, Mohammed, and Joseph M. Hatfield. 2006. "Do Targeted Assassinations Work? A Multivariate Analysis of Israel's Controversial Tactic during Al-Aqsa Uprising." Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (June): 359-382. http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/(grlihf55pwnkx1yjlnjubrqb)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&backto=issue,4,6;journal,1,42;linkingpublicationresults,1:102492,1

START Author(s): 
Mohammed Hafez
Publication URL: 
Visit Website

Additional Info

Research Area: