Altruism and fatalism: The characteristics of palestinian suicide terrorists

Ami Pedahzur, Arie Perliger, Leonard Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade, the suicide method became one of the most prevalent tactics of Palestinian Terrorism in Israel. Who are these people, willing to sacrifice their lives in such an act, and what drives them to do such things? In our present analysis, we answer these questions, while relying on the concepts of altruistic and fatalistic suicide from Durkheim's typology of suicide behavior. Based on a newly established database compiled for this purpose m which includes information based on suicide, as well as non-suicide--Palestinian suicide terrorists from 1993 until the beginning of 2002, fit the "altruistic" type as well as some elements from the "fatalistic" and represent a combination of both types; thus they can be labeled under a new category of "fatalistic altruistic" suicide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-423
Number of pages19
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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