Aid and Radicalization: The Case of Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza

Amit Loewenthal*, Sami H. Miaari, Anke Hoeffler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study how militant political factions use material aid to secure support. We focus on Hamas, a militant faction in the Palestinian Authority. We generate a unique dataset that includes the sources and extent of assistance received by Palestinian households, data on Israeli and Palestinian fatalities, and data on the level of support for particular Palestinian factions. We find that lower-income residents of districts that receive aid from religious charities are more likely to support Hamas. The support patterns identified partly align with the existing theory on armed religious groups as club good providers. We find no evidence that aid affects incumbent support or deters recipients from supporting militants. While it is possible that charities only target districts and households that support them, testing for reverse causality by regressing aid on lagged faction support yields no such evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1212
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2023


FundersFunder number
Israeli Information Center for Human Rights
Palestinian Ministry of Education, Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem


    • Hamas
    • Palestine
    • charities
    • conflict
    • humanitarian aid
    • radicalization


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