Israel...has captured at least fifteen suicide bombers who did not (could not or would not) carry out their mission. These terrorists were extensively questioned, as were family and friends. The Israelis also collected similar data on dead suicide bombers, including email or tapped phone calls and other material the bomber left behind. The Israelis, like the suicide bomb organizations, came to the same conclusion; that certain personality traits make someone very willing to carry out these attacks. And the chief characteristic is usually not fanaticism, but deference to authority and public opinion. This is one reason why the Palestinian media campaign to glamorize suicide bombers is so dangerous.
The most interesting information in the article, however, is the explanation for what many in the West find a deplorable practice by the Israelis:
Eventually, the Israelis found several weaknesses in the suicide bomber system. The first one discovered was transportation. Most of the suicide bomber volunteers lived in the West Bank, and had to be transported to areas with a large Israeli population. As the Israelis discovered, most of the cost of each suicide bombing went to paying a driver or guide to get the suicide bomber close to a target area. Using a system of checkpoints and profiling, the Israelis began to catch most of the suicide bombers.
But some still got through. So the Israelis went back to a 1990s technique that, while it worked, was widely criticized as unfair and inhumane. Namely, the family home of the suicide bomber was destroyed. The bomber usually came from a family that housed several generations in one house (which was often the family's major asset. Before resuming this practice, the family actually profited from the bombing, receiving up to $30,000 for their son (or daughter's) sacrifice. Soon after the house destruction policy went into effect, there were reports of family's forcibly restraining adult children from joining the suicide bombing effort (or reporting the kid to the Israelis, who would then arrest the bomber volunteer.) While that dried up the source of the more competent bombers, it did not eliminate all the bombings. So Israel cut the West Bank off from Israel. Thus for the last five years, there have been hardly any attacks. Because the Palestinians continue their suicide bomber recruitment program (especially on children's television shows), the Israelis don't plan on reopening their borders to the Palestinians any time soon.
The knowledge that their act will result in the destruction of the only living quarters available to their loved ones is a powerful deterrent to those who might otherwise be inclined to commit mass murder. In other words, razing their families' houses is not an act of vindictiveness or spite, as it's often portrayed in our media, rather it's a deliberate attempt to provide a disincentive to the potential terrorist who doesn't value his own life but does care deeply about his family.
Evidently it works.RLC