Bullets, barriers, and bombs : an assessment of Israeli counterterrorism measures during the second Intifada
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The primary issue examined here is whether the prospect of retaliation through offensive measures or failure through defensive measures has been more effective in reducing incidents of suicide bombings against Israel. The thesis reviews existing arguments for and against a controversial Israeli offensive counterterrorism measure, targeted killing. It then assesses the impact this measure has had on Palestinian suicide bombings. In comparison, the study evaluates the impact the West Bank barrier, a contentious Israeli defensive measure, has had on suicide bombings. The principal claim of this examination is that the ladder--broad defensive measures--may be more effective than the former--narrow offensive measures--in curbing incidents of suicide bombings. The study explores why, despite its failure to resolve the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel may have chosen to respond to force with force. Some of the factors that likely influenced this decision are not specific to the state of Israel and may apply to other states endeavoring to combat terrorism.