Female Palestinian Terrorists: The Role of the Intifada Period and the Terrorism Context

Revital Sela-Shayovitz, Hava Dayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Palestinian women have played an increasingly active role in terrorist activities in the past two decades as part of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The present study aims to examine differences in the characteristics of female Palestinian terrorists and in the patterns of their terrorist activity between the Second Intifada and the Third Intifada. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of male Palestinian terrorist activity between the two Intifada periods was conducted in order to explore whether trends in female terrorist activity were unique to women or reflected global trends. Data are based on 171 female and male Palestinians that carried out terrorist activities. The findings show that age, terrorist method and organizational affiliation correlate significantly with the Intifada period. Significant differences were not found in the main motive for female terrorist activity. The analysis shows that overall trends of Palestinian female terrorist characteristics and their involvement in terrorism were similar to those of male terrorists. Moreover, during the Third Intifada female terrorists mainly acted alone, reflecting the current growing global trend of lone-actor terrorists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-685
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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