Recent Trends in Palestinian Terrorism


by Bruce Hoffman


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This paper, a revised, updated version of P-6981, uses the RAND chronology of international terrorism to identify trends in Palestinian terrorist activity since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982: (1) There was little change in the total level of Palestinian terrorism against Israeli targets when measured over six-month intervals beginning in January 1982. (2) Surrogate attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets outside Israel by European and Latin American terrorist groups increased in the six months following the invasion, and then declined dramatically after December 1982. (3) The level of attacks on Israeli interests and citizens in Europe has remained constant since the July-December 1982 period. (4) Almost as many attacks are staged by Palestinian and Arab terrorists against Palestinian and Arab targets as are committed against Israeli and Jewish targets. The author concludes that, despite setbacks, the PLO's ability to undertake sustained terrorist operations against Israeli targets both inside and outside Israel has remained largely intact.

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