This book analyzes Palestinian attempts to create an organized military force from the period of the Mandate up to the present day.
Beginning with a comparative overview of the relationship between insurgent movements and the quest to build up a standard military, the book looks, first, at how the 1936 revolt galvanized the Palestinian leadership to attempt to create a military. It then goes on to examines other major topics such as: the 1948 failure to create an organized armed force; Palestinian participation in other Arab armed forces; the creation of the PLA; attempts to develop a security apparatus after Oslo; and, finally, the question of security reform and peace-making. The book concludes by identifying the lessons from the Palestinian experience that can be applied in promoting healthy civil-military relations within political entities located in major conflict zones.
1. The Quest for an Army, the Reality of Militias 2. From Revolt to Communal Defeat 1936-1948 3. Serving Others or Themselves? Palestinians in Arab Armies 4. The PLO and the Palestine Liberation Army 5. The Security Forces under the Palestinian Authority 6. The Security Forces and the Al-Aqsa Intifada 7. Politics, Law and Security 8. The Palestinian Security Forces under Abbas 9. From One Military to Two: The Triumph of Hamas. Conclusion