Palestinian Islamists are regularly in the headlines, mainly for their violent attempts to undermine the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. Who are these people, what motivates them and how did they become such a powerful force? Drawing on interviews with Palestinian and Jordanian Islamists, primary sources and historical records, this work provides some answers, and challenges prevailing theories of Islamic resurgence. The book argues that the contemporary revival of Islamic politics occurred much later in Palestine than in other countries of the Middle East and explores the reason for this lag. It also traces Israel's initial encouragement of political Islam as a rival force to the PLO and its subsequent growth into a movement that now defies all Israeli attempts to crush it and presents a formidable challenge to the PLO's claim to determine the future of the Palestinian people.