A deceptive calm on Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade is unlikely to hold under pressure from the ongoing “third intifada”, widespread dissatisfaction among Palestinian youth and growing Jewish Temple activism. Bolstering the 1967 Status Quo arrangement remains crucial, but immediate attention must be on maintaining more recent understandings on access to the Esplanade as the religious holiday season begins.
01 June 2016
In worst violence since end of July-Aug 2014 war, Israel early May bombed Hamas facilities in Gaza; Hamas shot light ammunition, mortars, and short-range rockets at Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldier ...
Both Israel and Hamas recognise that another war is only a matter of time if Gaza’s fundamental problems are not addressed: the economy is a shambles; the acting government lacks the ability to collect or otherwise obtain the revenue necessary to pay salaries and provide services; and most residents cannot access the outside world.
Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade remains at the epicentre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With the holy month of Ramadan underway and the Jewish high holidays soon to follow, tensions are likely to increase. Calming the conflict’s symbolic core requires more support for the site’s status quo, including Palestinian participation and encouraging religious dialogue.
To achieve a durable ceasefire, not only must Israel significantly change its policy toward Gaza, but, no less importantly, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation must take further steps to implement their reconciliation agreement in order to enable reconstruction and stabilise daily life in the Strip.
The West Bank is experiencing rising instability and insecurity that palliative measures can help contain but can neither reverse nor end in the absence of a broad political settlement.
The announcement of significant new Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem has put the spotlight on the city, but the changes it has undergone since 2000, when the parties first negotiated its fate, are far broader and have far deeper roots. Israelis, Palestinians and the international community must adjust their strategies accordingly, or Arab East Jerusalem will continue its perilous decline, with catastrophic consequences for all.
Operation Pillar of Defense: Costs & Consequences
16 Nov 2012: Robert Blecher, Israel/Palestine Project Director, discusses the local and regional consequences of the ongoing fighting in Gaza.
Flotilla Attack the Deadly Symptom of a Failed Policy
31 May 2010
Global Leaders Call for Action on Arab-Israeli Settlement
4 October 2006
Towards a Comprehensive Settlement of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
22 September 2006
Global Leaders Support New Israeli-Palestinian Peace Initiatives
1 December 2003
Survey: Majority of Israelis and Palestinians Support Peace Proposal
24 November 2003
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