Digital Jihad

Palestinian Resistance in the Digital Era

Erik Skare


The first book to investigate the increasingly important role of hacker activists in the Palestinian liberation struggle.

A new and innovative form of dissent has emerged in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Dubbed "electronic jihad", this approach has seen organized groups of Palestinian hackers make international headlines by breaching the security of such sites as the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, AVG, Avira, Whatsapp, and BitDefender. Though initially confined to small clandestine groups, "hacktivism" is now increasingly being adopted by militant Palestinian parties, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who have gone so far as to incorporate hackers into their armed brigades.

Digital Jihad is the first book to explore this rapidly evolving and still little understood aspect of the Palestinian resistance movement. Drawing on extensive interviews with hackers and other activists, it provides a unique and fascinating new perspective on the Palestinian struggle.

Author Bio

Erik Skare is an activist and editor for the pro-Palestinian website Infofada. He is also the author (in Norwegian) of Palestine: A Political Travel Guide.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Heading for the Military–Digital Complex
    • 1. The resistance develops
    • 2. The shahīd and the normalization of occupation
    • 3. A digital fortress: The Israeli military–digital complex
    • 4. The istishhādī and the emergence of Palestinian electronic jihad
  • Part II: Palestine 2.0 and the New Cyber-Warriors
    • 5. Gaza Hacker Team: Electronic jihadists and script kiddies
    • 6. From the nation to the umma
    • 7. Islamic Jihad and Hamas: The Palestinian cyber-brigades
    • 8. Does matter really matter? Palestinian ambivalence about electronic jihad
  • Part III: When the Guns Fall Silent
    • 9. A continuation of the armed struggle?
    • 10. Final thoughts
  • Epilogue


'A vital read.'

'[A]n excellent discussion of the history and development of Palestinian activism ... useful for classes on resistance, activism, and conflict in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, youth movements, and cyber security'.
Review of Middle East Studies

'A well-researched and accessible mediation on Palestinian hacktivism.’
Gabriella Coleman, author of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous

‘An original and trailblazing study, this is a must read.’
Robert W. McChesney, co-author of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

‘This excellent book provides a fascinating insight into the new generation of young Palestinians and their daily battle in cyberspace for the liberation of Palestine.’
Ilan Pappé, editor of Israel and South Africa: The Many Faces of Apartheid

‘This groundbreaking book takes us into the secret world of Palestinian hacktivism. Through a series of in-depth interviews, Skare presents a well-balanced and original account of Palestinian hacktivists, their ideology and role in the resistance.’
Anne Stenersen, Director of Terrorism Research, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment

‘A fascinating exploration of the complex inter-weaving of both the social and technical aspects of an ever-evolving conflict.’
Paul Taylor, author of Hacktivism and Cyberwars: Rebels with a Cause?


Publication Date: 15 October 2016
240 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783607846
Hardback: 9781783607853
eBook ePub: 9781783607877
eBook PDF: 9781783607860
eBook Kindle: 9781783607884

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