CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.
Israeli forces and settler attacks killed over a dozen Palestinians, as settler violence reached highest levels ever recorded and govt expanded settlement funding.
Israeli raids, settler violence and Palestinian gunmen roiled West Bank and Israel. Israeli military forces and settlers killed at least 18 Palestinians in Aug, while Palestinian attacks killed five Israelis. UN 4 Aug recorded 39% annual increase in settler attacks in first six months of 2023, highest since it began gathering data in 2006, while UN envoy 21 Aug said Palestinian casualties in 2023 have already surpassed 2022 figures, marking highest toll since 2005. Notably, Palestinian 1 Aug shot and injured six Israelis before being killed in Maale Adumim settlement. Israeli settlers 4 Aug killed Palestinian in Burqa village and 6 Aug killed Palestinian near Ramallah; Palestinian hours later killed Israeli security guard before being shot dead in Tel Aviv. Israeli forces 6 Aug killed three Palestinians near Jenin. Suspected Palestinian gunmen 19 Aug killed two Israelis in Huwara village. In rare clash, Palestinian security forces 30 Aug killed Palestinian in Tulkarem refugee camp.
Israel accelerated settlement building, Palestinian prisoners began hunger strike. Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich 15 Aug announced plans to allocate $180mn to West Bank settlements after freezing funds to Palestinian communities in Israel and East Jerusalem; Arab local councils 21 Aug held strike in protest and Smotrich 28 Aug said he would unblock funds. Meanwhile, Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons early Aug began open-ended hunger strike in protest of detention without charge or trial; issue could provoke retaliation if any prisoner dies. Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel 23 Aug voiced anger at govt’s failure to curb wave of criminal violence.
In other important developments. Amid legitimacy crisis facing Palestinian Authority (PA), PA President Abbas 10 Aug fired 12 governors in West Bank and Gaza in apparent attempt to reclaim public confidence. Tens of thousands of Israelis 17-19 Aug continued protesting govt’s judicial overhaul in Tel Aviv. Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant 8 Aug threatened to “return Lebanon to the Stone Age (see Lebanon). Suspected Israeli airstrikes struck Syrian capital Damascus.
Israeli forces conducted largest raid on Jenin refugee camp since Second Intifada, parliament passed govt’s judicial overhaul despite massive protests, and tensions flared with Hizbollah.
Israeli forces killed a dozen Palestinians in Jenin raid amid West Bank volatility. Deadly violence continued across West Bank and Israel, killing at least 27 Palestinians and one Israeli during July. Notably, Israeli forces 3-5 July raided Jenin, claiming to target “terrorist infrastructure”, killing 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier (by friendly fire), injuring over 140, and displacing 500 families. In response, Gaza militants 5 July fired five rockets at Israel, prompting Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Palestinian 4 July conducted car-ramming and stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, injuring at least seven before being killed. Hamas militant 6 July killed Israeli soldier near Kedumim settlement before being shot dead. Israeli forces 25 July killed three Palestinians in Nablus city and 27 July killed teenager during raid in Qalqilya. Israeli cabinet 9 July voted for economic measures to prevent Palestinian Authority’s (PA) collapse; Israeli forces 30 July again raided Jenin, arresting two Hamas members, indicating that Israel’s goal of having PA operate successfully there had so far failed.
Knesset passed bill limiting Supreme Court’s judicial authority. Knesset 24 July passed bill to remove Supreme Court’s ability to block govt decisions deemed “unreasonable”, while opposition boycotted vote and anti-govt protests and strikes against bill intensified, with thousands of military reservists threatening to boycott duty. Supreme Court 26 July said it would hear appeal against bill in Sept.
Israel and Hizbollah exchanged fire. After media late June reported Hizbollah had erected two tents housing armed militants in disputed Shebaa Farms area, Israel 6 July struck southern Lebanon with around 15 artillery shells in response to alleged rocket fire from Lebanon into northern Israel (see Lebanon). Adding to tensions, Israel early July began constructing fence around northern half of Ghajar town, located in occupied Lebanese territory, prompting Hizbollah’s condemnation.
In other important developments. Syrian state media 2, 19 July reported Israeli airstrikes on Homs and capital Damascus (see Syria). PM Netanyahu 17 July recognised Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara (see Western Sahara).
Deadly Israeli military raids and armed Palestinian resistance continued in West Bank amid growing settler violence, while Israel expanded annexation policies and returned to judicial overhaul.
Israeli forces and Palestinian militants clashed heavily in West Bank. Israeli forces conducted over 500 raids that killed at least 19 Palestinians (bringing total killed this year to at least 165). Notably, rare house demolition by Israeli forces in Ramallah 7-8 June triggered clashes that injured at least 35. Underscoring dynamic in which growing Israeli raids in northern West Bank to address Israel-induced security vacuum in absence of Palestinian Authority (PA) has kindled greater Palestinian armed resistance, Israeli raid in Jenin 19 June sparked large-scale gunfight, killing seven Palestinians and wounding seven Israeli soldiers, as Israeli helicopters opened fire in first such engagement since Second Intifada; Israeli media reported remote-controlled IED may indicate Iranian support, while Netanyahu govt and settler leadership mulled extensive military operation. Israeli drone 21 June killed three in Jenin refugee camp. Militants in Jenin 26 June attempted to fire two rockets. Meanwhile, amid expanding settler violence, two Palestinian gunmen 20 June killed four Israeli settlers near Eli settlement outpost; around 400 settlers next day stormed Turmus Ayya village, killing a Palestinian.
Israel advanced de facto annexation and restarted judicial overhaul debate. Cabinet 18 June gave far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, also minister in Defence Ministry, authority to bypass approval process to build settlements. Govt 18 June moved forward plans to authorise constructing over 4,500 new settlement units in West Bank. After freezing judicial overhaul in March, Knesset 25 June began debating bill to limit Supreme Court’s power; amid protests, PM Netanyahu 29 June claimed he dropped clause enabling parliament to overturn court’s rulings.
Violent crime flared in Israel, rare attack on Egyptian border killed three. Clashes reportedly linked to organised crime 8 June killed five in Arab-majority town Yafa an-Naseriyye in northern Israel; violent crime has killed over 100 Palestinian citizens of Israel in 2023 and risks further exacerbating existing tensions. In first deadly exchange along border in over decade, Egyptian police officer 3 June infiltrated Israel and shot dead three Israeli border guards (see Egypt).
Largest escalation since Aug 2022 erupted in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), while deadly violence persisted across West Bank and Israel pursued pro-settler agenda.
Israel launched five-day operation in Gaza. PIJ member Khader Adnan 2 May died in Israeli prison after nearly three-month hunger strike. In response, PIJ same day fired 104 rockets from Gaza into Israel; Israel same day launched airstrikes on Gaza, killing one, before sides 3 May agreed to ceasefire. Israel 9-13 May launched Operation Shield and Arrow in Gaza, killing at least 33 Palestinians, including at least 18 PIJ members, and injuring nearly 200 civilians; notably, Israeli airstrikes 9 May killed three PIJ commanders and at least 12 civilians, including children. PIJ fired over 1,000 rockets, 11 May killed Israeli in Rehovot city. Israel and PIJ 13 May agreed to Egypt-brokered ceasefire. During escalation, Hamas reluctantly supported PIJ but refrained from engaging directly in conflict.
Deadly violence and volatility continued in West Bank and Jerusalem. Israeli forces conducted over 500 raids in West Bank during month, killing at least 19 Palestinians and arresting over 100 amid near-daily gun battles and settler attacks. Notably, Israeli forces 4 May killed at least three Hamas-affiliated gunmen in Nablus. Palestinian militants 30 May killed Israeli in drive-by shooting near Hermesh settlement. Israelis 18 May marched through Jerusalem’s Old City to mark Jerusalem Day, as some assaulted Palestinians. Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir 21 May entered Al-Aqsa compound, declaring Israel “in charge”.
Israel advanced pro-settler policies. Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich 18 May announced plan to double number of settlers in West Bank; army same day signed order allowing Israelis entry into Homesh outpost, paving way for formal settlement. Govt stalled court-ordered eviction of Palestinians living in Khan al-Ahmar amid international pressure but advanced plans to begin construction in E1 zone, which would break up Palestinian territorial contiguity in West Bank. Govt 24 May passed two-year budget, cementing pro-settler agenda. Meanwhile, protests against judicial overhaul continued.
Israel continued strikes in Syria. Notably, Israeli army 24 May said it retaliated against shots fired from Syria at Israeli surveillance drone (see Syria).
Israeli brutality at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque triggered multi-front rocket attacks, raising spectre of major escalation, while deadly violence continued across West Bank and Israel.
Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque triggered rockets from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. Israeli police raids and brutality against Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan triggered rocket fire from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, which may mark beginning of tumultuous period as mutual deterrence between Hizbollah and Israel erodes and shadow war with Iran moves further into light. Israeli police 1 April shot dead Palestinian at entrance of Al-Aqsa. Israeli forces 4-6 April violently raided mosque, injuring at least 18 Palestinians and arresting 450. In response, Palestinian militants in Gaza 5 and 6 April fired rockets into Israel, which responded with airstrikes. In major escalation, militants in Lebanon 6 April fired 34 rockets into Israel in heaviest rocket fire since 2006 war (see Lebanon); Israel blamed Hamas, which denied role, and 7 April struck alleged Hamas targets in southern Lebanon and Gaza. On Syrian front, Israel 2 April shot down alleged Iranian drone that entered Israel and Israeli airstrikes 2, 4, 8, 9, 29 April struck Syria: notably, alleged Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets fired from Syria 8 April targeted Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Israel next day struck suspected launch sites (see Syria). Defence Minister Yoav Gallant 16 April accused Iran of waging “multi-front war of attrition”.
Deadly violence and extreme volatility continued in West Bank and Israel. Israel security forces conducted over 421 raids in West Bank and East Jerusalem during month, killing at least 14 Palestinians and arresting 630 amid near-daily gun battles. Israel settler attacks persisted unabated and Palestinians continued attacks: notably, Palestinian gunman 7 April killed three Israeli-British settlers in Jordan Valley; Palestinian minor from Nablus 19 April shot two Israelis in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah.
In other important developments. Demonstrations against judicial reform in Israel continued. Govt 2 April authorised controversial “national guard” to deal with Palestinian unrest in Israel. Israeli forces 15 April attacked orthodox Christians attending Holy Fire ceremony in Jerusalem, limiting their access to site. Senior Hamas delegation 18 April travelled to Saudi Arabia.
Escalation loomed during Ramadan as deadly violence continued across West Bank amid unabated Israeli raids and growing Palestinian armed resistance; Israel’s domestic crisis sharpened.
West Bank hostilities killed two dozen Palestinians and one Israeli. Deadly Israeli raids and settler attacks killed at least 27 Palestinians during March, while Palestinian attacks killed one Israeli. Notably, Israeli forces 7 March killed six Palestinians in Jenin; 9 March killed three Islamic Jihad affiliates in Jenin; Hamas gunman same day opened fire in Tel Aviv, killing one Israeli. Far-right Israeli govt continued incendiary rhetoric: Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich 1 March called for erasure of West Bank village Huwara and 20 March denied existence of Palestinian people; govt late Feb handed Smotrich authority to effectively govern West Bank, marking step toward de jure annexation as it implies occupation forces are no longer temporary or military. Knesset 20 March passed amendment to resettle four illegal settlements in West Bank evacuated in 2005, drawing U.S. rebuke. Huwara continued to be major flashpoint, witnessing unabated settler violence, Israeli military presence and repeated Palestinian shooting attacks, including shooting that injured two soldiers 25 March. Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA) 19 March participated in U.S.-sponsored security meeting with Egypt and Jordan in effort to de-escalate violence, which could see upsurge during Muslim and Jewish holidays.
Israel faced unprecedented constitutional crisis, destabilising coalition govt. Amid anti-govt protests by hundreds of thousands and threats by security and intelligence reserve forces to refuse duty, Knesset 13-14 March advanced bills on judicial overhaul and making it harder to remove PM. PM Netanyahu 26 March fired Defence Minister Yoav Gallant after Gallant called for suspension of judicial overhaul, spurring further protests; Netanyahu next day froze overhaul plans for one month.
Suspected Hizbollah attack raised spectre of escalation. In rare incident, explosive device 13 March wounded civilian in Megiddo Junction, northern Israel; Israeli military same day killed suspect and pointed finger at Hizbollah and/or Palestinian factions in Lebanon, which may seek to test Israel as it faces multiple crises. Meanwhile, Gaza-based militants reportedly 8 and 18 March launched rockets. Israel continued strikes in Syria, including against Palestinian Al-Quds Brigades (see Syria).
West Bank violence killed dozens of Palestinians and seven Israelis as Israeli forces conducted deadliest raid in years, Israeli settlers rampaged town and Palestinians staged attacks.
Unrest surged and tensions soared in West Bank. Israeli forces conducted daily raids into northern West Bank and expanded operations into southern West Bank, resulting in near-daily clashes with Palestinians; raids and Israeli settler attacks killed at least 31 Palestinians, while seven Israelis were killed. In deadliest raid since Second Intifada, Israeli forces 23 Feb killed 11 Palestinians and wounded over 100 in Nablus, sparking strikes, protests as well as skirmishes along Gaza-Israel frontier. Following 26 Feb shooting of two Israeli settlers in Hawara town, northern West Bank, Israeli settlers same day rampaged Hawara, burning dozens of homes with residents inside, torching vehicles and shooting dead one Palestinian, while almost 400 were injured that night. In occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian lone-wolf attacks and Israeli house demolitions continued upward trajectory: Palestinian car ramming 10 Feb killed three Israelis. Spiralling tensions could escalate further around Ramadan and Passover. In attempt to relieve tensions, U.S. 26 Feb gathered Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian officials in Jordan; after summit, Israel denied announcement it would freeze settlement expansion. Meanwhile, Gaza-based factions 1 and 11 Feb fired rockets into Israel, prompting retaliatory airstrikes 2 and 13 Feb.
Israel legalised West Bank settlements and advanced controversial judicial reform. Israeli govt 12 Feb announced legalisation of nine settler outposts in West Bank and building of 10,000 new homes in existing settlements. Knesset 15 Feb passed preliminary reading of bill repealing 2005 Disengagement Law, which evacuated four settler outposts. Knesset 15 Feb passed amendment to Citizenship Law, allowing Palestinians convicted of terrorism to be stripped of Israeli citizenship/residency. Knesset 21 Feb gave preliminary approval to plans enabling govt to appoint judges amid weekly protests attended by tens of thousands in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Israel struck normalisation deal with Sudan amid regional tensions. FM Eli Cohen 2 Feb agreed deal with Sudan aimed at normalising relations. Suspected Iranian drone 10 Feb struck Israeli-owned tanker in Arabian Sea (see Iran). Israel allegedly struck Syria (see Syria).
Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians in West Bank as Palestinian shooter killed seven Israelis in Jerusalem; Israel’s far-right govt adopted punitive measures.
West Bank and Jerusalem remained highly volatile amid deadly violence. In West Bank, Israeli forces conducted at least 900 raids, arrested at least 397 Palestinians and killed at least 35. Notably, Israeli forces 26 Jan killed seven gunmen and two civilians in Jenin; Palestinian Authority called it “massacre” and threatened to cease security coordination. Israel struck Gaza after it accused Gaza-based factions of firing two rockets into Israel 27 Jan. Palestinian shooting attacks continue to rise: gunman 27 Jan shot and killed seven Israelis in Jerusalem and injured three others; Palestinian child next day shot and injured two armed Israelis in East Jerusalem’s Silwan.
Israel’s far-right govt pursued range of provocative and restrictive policies. In incendiary action seen as eroding status quo, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir 3 Jan visited Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, drawing condemnation from Palestinians, Jordan and other Arab states. In response to UN General Assembly resolution calling on International Court of Justice to issue opinion on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, Israeli govt 6 Jan announced retaliatory steps, including using Palestinian taxes to compensate Israeli victims of Palestinian militant attacks and freezing Palestinian construction in parts of West Bank. Israel pursued other hardline policies: Ben-Gvir 8 Jan ordered removal of Palestinian flags from public spaces; govt same day suspended Palestinian FM’s VIP pass facilitating travel; Knesset 11 Jan approved draft legislation to strip Palestinians convicted of terrorism of citizenship. Govt 2 Jan announced planned forced eviction of 14 villages in Masafer Yatta area near Hebron.
Govt pursued plans to weaken judiciary. Justice Minister Yariv Levin 4 Jan announced plan for judicial reform, including Knesset’s ability to override Supreme Court decisions by simple majority; tens of thousands of Israelis 8, 14, 21 and 28 Jan protested plans in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. PM Netanyahu 22 Jan fired Shas Party leader and Interior and Health Minister Aryeh Deri following Supreme Court’s ruling 18 Jan.
Israel continued near-daily lethal raids in West Bank, while far-right Israeli coalition was sworn in amid fears of its anti-democratic, anti-Palestinian policies.
Israel continued raids, leading to near-daily clashes in West Bank and hostilities with Gaza-based factions. 2022 saw some of worst settler violence in decade and highest Palestinian fatalities in over 16 years; Israeli security forces killed at least 219 as of 28 Dec. Israel conducted at least 463 raids as of 28 Dec in West Bank and East Jerusalem, arresting at least 176 and killing at least 13. Notably, Israeli forces 2 Dec killed Palestinian alleged assailant in what Palestinians called “execution” in Hawara town; Israeli forces 11 Dec killed 16-year-old girl in Jenin. Israeli settler 17 Dec killed two Palestinians at Zaatara checkpoint, south of Nablus city. Gaza-based militants 3 Dec fired rockets; Israel next day carried out airstrikes against alleged Hamas sites.
Far-right coalition entered office, pursuing destabilising policies. Israel’s far-right coalition was sworn in 29 Dec and immediately took several destabilising steps, including passing laws that provide expanded powers to far-right leaders over police and Civil Administration in West Bank. PM Netanyahu previous day announced govt’s guiding principles, including expanding Israeli settlements in occupied territories, preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapon and normalising relations with Saudi Arabia. Earlier, attorney general 15 Dec warned coalition’s plans could “disrupt the system of checks and balances”, while President Herzog 25 Dec voiced concern that policies could contradict “basic democratic and ethic principles”. With govt in place, plans by far-right leaders to visit Holy Esplanade and legalise settler outposts in West Bank could trigger violent escalation.
In other important developments. Fatah and Hamas 3 Dec announced they would continue Algerian-mediated reconciliation efforts in Algerian capital Algiers. Israel 18 Dec deported Jerusalem-born French-Israeli human rights lawyer Salah Hammouri. Syrian military 20 Dec reported Israeli airstrikes injured two soldiers near Syrian capital Damascus (see Syria).
Double bombing rocked Jerusalem amid heightened volatility in West Bank, and victory of far-right coalition could bring even more destabilising policies in near future.
Deadly bombings struck Jerusalem as Israeli and Palestinian violence continued in West Bank. In first such attack since 2016, unclaimed bombings at two bus stops in Jerusalem during rush hour 23 Nov killed one Israeli teenager and wounded at least 18, and raised prospect of further attacks. In West Bank, near-daily clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians continued, as Israel conducted over 170 raids in West Bank and killed at least 18 Palestinians, bringing deaths in 2022 to at least 205. Palestinians killed several Israelis; notably, 15 Nov killed three in Ariel settlement. In incident that may portend greater state-sanctioned settler violence, 30,000 Israeli settlers 19 Nov entered Hebron where hundreds vandalised Palestinian properties and attacked Palestinians. Shin Bet head mid-month reportedly warned of imminent collapse of Palestinian Authority. Meanwhile, in first launches since Aug ceasefire, Gaza-based militants 3 Nov fired rockets into Israel; Israeli aircraft next day struck alleged Hamas rocket-making facility in Gaza.
Right-wing coalition led by former PM Netanyahu won Israeli elections. In 1 Nov Israeli elections, voters elected most right-wing parliament in Israel’s history, as former PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s bloc won 64 of 120 Knesset seats with 14 going to ultra-conservative, anti-Arab Religious Zionist alliance. President Herzog 13 Nov tasked Netanyahu with forming govt, which may give far-right members control of police and army; possible policies such as encouraging formation of Jewish militias could ignite violence in mixed Arab-Jewish cities and occupied territories, while potential visit by far-right leader to Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade could dramatically inflame tensions.
In other important developments. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities confiscated or demolished around dozen Palestinian-owned buildings. UN decolonization committee 11 Nov adopted Palestinian-drafted resolution requesting International Court of Justice to provide legal opinion on Israel’s occupation. Defence minister 14 Nov revealed U.S. Justice Dept opened investigation into killing of U.S.-Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Syrian state media reported Israeli strikes 13, 19 Nov killed six Syrian soldiers (see Syria).
Israeli forces conducted raids and besieged Palestinian towns in West Bank, killing at least 28 Palestinians in some of worst violence since Second Intifada; Israel and Lebanon signed maritime deal.
Violent clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians continued. Israeli oper-ations, clashes or gunfire killed at least 28 Palestinians during month, according to UN; Israeli forces in 2022 have killed over 182 Palestinians in occupied territories – marking deadliest year since 2006. Notably, Palestinian gunman 8 Oct killed Israeli soldier and injured three others at checkpoint near Shufat refugee camp in East Jerusalem; in response, Israeli forces same day conducted raids and blocked entrances to camp. Israeli forces same day killed two Palestinian teenagers in Jenin refugee camp. Palestinian armed group “Lions’ Den” (cross-party alliance of individuals in old city of Nablus) 11 Oct claimed responsibility for killing Israeli soldier near Israeli settlement Shavei Shomron, west of Nablus; Israel blockaded Nablus, prompting Palestinians across West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza to hold strikes and protests. “Lions’ Den” 23 Oct claimed Israeli explosion killed one of its leaders in Nablus. Israeli forces 25 Oct raided Nablus city targeting “Lions' Den” alleged explosives manufacturing site and triggering largest clash in weeks, killing five Palestinians, including alleged “Lions' Den” leader; several “Lions' Den” members turned themselves in to Palestinian Authority’s security services during month. Israeli forces 28 Oct killed two al-Aqsa Brigades members near Nablus city. Hamas claimed attack by gunman 29 Oct that killed one Israeli settler at checkpoint near Kiryat Arba settlement. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers repeatedly raided Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron under army protection.
Rival Palestinian factions signed reconciliation deal. Following talks held in Algerian capital Algiers, Fatah and Hamas 13 Oct signed reconciliation deal promising new elections for Palestinian Authority presidency and Palestinian Legislative Council within one year; Fatah excluded reference to unity govt.
Israel and Lebanon signed maritime demarcation deal. Israeli and Lebanese leaders 27 Oct signed deal proposed by U.S. to demarcate maritime border along “line 23” (see Lebanon); former PM Benjamin Netanyahu opposed deal, vowing to scrap it if he gains power in 1 Nov elections.
West Bank remained highly volatile as Israeli forces conducted almost daily raids and Palestinian militants clashed with both Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) forces.Israeli forces raided West Bank, killing several Palestinians. Israeli security forces conducted 125 search and arrest operations during month, killing at least ten Palestinians and injuring around 100. Notably, Israeli forces 1 Sept raided Balata refugee camp in Nablus city and Umm al-Sharayet neighbourhood near Ramallah, leaving two Palestinians dead. Israeli forces 5 Sept killed Palestinian in raid on Qabatiya village; next day killed Palestinian and injured 16 others during raid in Jenin city. Head of Israeli security service Shin Bet 11 Sept reported 130 shooting attacks by Palestinians against Israelis this year, increase from 98 incidents in 2021 and 19 in 2020; Palestinian health ministry 5 Sept reported Israeli forces have killed 97 Palestinians in West Bank in 2022.Palestinian militants clashed with Israeli and PA forces in West Bank. Palestinian gunmen 4 Sept fired at Israeli military bus near Israeli settlement Hamra, injuring six soldiers. Members of Fatah’s armed wing al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and Israeli army 14 Sept exchanged fire at Jalama/Gilboa checkpoint near Jenin, killing Israeli officer and two Palestinians (including PA intelligence officer). During raid on Hamas in Nablus city, PA forces 20 Sept clashed with Palestinian gunmen, killing one; PA security forces and militants next day agreed truce. Israeli forces 28 Sept killed four Palestinian gunmen and injured at least 44 during clashes in Jenin. Amid rising insecurity, Israeli security officials appeared to be debating whether to step up operations in West Bank – akin to 2002 Operation Defensive Shield during Second Intifada – or strengthen PA through economic support.In other important developments. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities 5 Sept advanced plans to build new Jewish settlement. In Gaza, Hamas 4 Sept executed five Palestinians, including two on charges of espionage, for first time since 2017. Ahead of Israel’s 1 Nov general election, parties 15 Sept submitted final lists, with three far-right parties joining together and Joint List of Palestinian Arab parties splitting up. Syrian state media 6, 17 Sept reported Israeli strikes, killing five soldiers (see Syria).
Israel launched offensive against Islamic Jihad in Gaza that killed dozens in worst fighting since May 2021; Israeli forces continued lethal raids in West Bank. Israeli military 1 Aug killed alleged teenage member of Islamic Jihad armed faction and arrested two others, including senior leader Bassam Al-Saadi, in raid in Jenin city, West Bank; Islamic Jihad same day declared “state of alertness”, while Israel imposed near total blockade on Gaza strip, closing crossings and blocking fuel entry. Israel 5 Aug launched “Operation Breaking Dawn” against Islamic Jihad in Gaza, killing two top military commanders and around 20 militants and destroying group’s facilities; in response, Islamic Jihad fired hundreds of rockets into Israel. Following Egyptian-led mediation, sides 7 Aug agreed to immediate ceasefire and Israel next day reopened crossings into Gaza. Gaza’s health ministry reported Israeli strikes killed 49 Palestinians and injured 350, while Israeli sources claimed 34 Israelis were injured. Meanwhile, Israel continued raids in West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, arresting over 300 Palestinians in Aug. Notably, Israeli security forces 9 Aug killed three Palestinians, including leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade cell Ibrahim Al-Nabulsi, and injured 60 in Nablus city; Palestinians same day staged strikes and demonstrations across West Bank. Unidentified gunman 14 Aug wounded at least eight Jewish worshippers in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israeli forces 15 Aug killed Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem during raid; 18 Aug killed Palestinian and injured 30 others in clashes in Nablus; next day killed Palestinian in Tubas city. Israeli military 18 Aug raided offices of seven human rights organisations in West Bank, six of which Israel had labelled “terrorist organisations” in Oct 2021. Israeli forces 30 Aug exchanged fire with gunmen in Nablus city after three Israeli citizens entered city earlier in day. Ahead of Israeli elections slated for Nov, Knesset member Eli Avidar 2 Aug announced creation of new “Israel Free” party. Likud party 10 Aug elected former PM Benjamin Netanyahu to head of party list. Military continued strikes in Syria (see Syria). Israel and Türkiye 17 Aug restored full diplomatic ties after four years.
U.S. President Biden met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Israel con-tinued lethal raids across West Bank, and Hizbollah deployed drones amid maritime border dispute. During 13-15 July visit, U.S. President Biden met Israeli acting PM Yair Lapid and President Herzog in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Abbas in Bethlehem; while no major announcements were made in meeting with Lapid, Biden reaffirmed commitment to Israeli security. Biden pledged aid to Palestinians, including $100mn assistance to PA and $201mn funding for UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA), but failed to address Palestinian demands for U.S. to reopen consulate in East Jerusalem and remove Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) from terrorist organisation list. In West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israeli forces conducted 275 raids as of 23 July, bringing total raids in 2022 to over 4,765 and Palestinian arrests to over 2,933. Notably, security forces 6 July arrested at least 40 Palestinians in West Bank, including 30 from Silwad village. In Jabaa town, Israeli forces 2 July shot Palestinian who next day died from wounds and 6 July killed another Palestinian. Palestinian 19 July stabbed man with screwdriver in Jerusalem. U.S. State Dept 4 July announced investigation into killing of U.S.-Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was inconclusive. In Gaza, Israeli security forces conducted 24 limited incursions into eastern Gaza strip as of 23 July, arresting 67 Palestinians. Four rockets were fired 16 July from Gaza into Israel; in response, Israeli army same day targeted Hamas sites. Lapid 10 July reiterated that Israel needs better solution to Gaza than rounds of fighting with Hamas. In attempt at Palestinian political reconciliation, Algeria 6 July hosted President Abbas and head of Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh for their first face-to-face meeting since 2016. Tensions between Israel and Lebanon rose over maritime border dispute after Shiite armed group Hizbollah 2 July launched three unarmed drones toward Karish offshore gas field; Israeli army intercepted all three drones. Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah 13 July threatened war with Israel over maritime borders (see Lebanon). Syrian defence ministry 2 July claimed Israeli airstrike wounded two civilians near al-Hamidiyah, Tartous province (see Syria).
Israeli security forces continued lethal raids across West Bank, while Israel’s governing coalition collapsed, paving way for fifth election in less than four years. Following tensions around Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade in May, situation in area was calmer during month; however, risk remains of escalation around religious Eid al-Adha festivities 9-13 July. In West Bank, as of 15 June, Israeli forces conducted over 220 incursions into West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, with some turning violent, and arrested 57 Palestinians. Notably, Israeli soldiers 1 June shot dead Palestinian woman at entrance of al-Aroub refugee camp in Hebron city, prompting Palestinian protests. Israeli forces 2 June killed five Palestinians, including child, during incursions in Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah cities. Israeli forces 9 June detained 24 Palestinians in 37 raids in multiple locales, marking most arrests in 24-hour period this year. Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces 10 June wounded seven Palestinians, including four children, in Qalqilya city. Israeli forces’ pre-dawn raid in Jenin refugee camp 17 June killed three Palestinians. Palestinian Ministry of Health 17 June reported over 70 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since start of 2022. Clashes 29-30 June erupted in Nablus city where Israeli forces claimed Palestinian gunmen fired on Jewish worshippers, leaving three Israelis and dozens of Palestinians injured. EU 15 June agreed to release funding to Palestinian territories for 2021 that it had withheld over concerns of content inside Palestinian school textbooks. Regional parliament of Catalonia 16 June became first parliament inside EU to pass resolution declaring Israel is committing crime of apartheid. Meanwhile, PM Naftali Bennett and FM Yair Lapid 20 June agreed to hold vote on dissolving Knesset, collapsing eight party coalition govt and making Lapid caretaker PM, after acknowledging that there was no chance to pass emergency regulations that extend Israeli civil law to settlers in West Bank; Knesset dissolved 30 June, awaiting fifth election since April 2019 to be held 1 Nov. Egypt, Israel and EU 15 June signed deal to increase liquefied natural gas sales to EU countries to help reduce dependence on Russian supplies. Shadow hostilities with Iran became more visible (see Iran).
Tensions continued in Jerusalem, Israeli forces stepped up lethal raids in West Bank, and Israeli high court authorised forcible displacement of Palestinians in West Bank. In occupied East Jerusalem, around 600 Israeli settlers 5 May stormed al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Israeli police 16 May injured over 70 Palestinians during funeral procession of Palestinian who died of wounds sustained during April clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Tens of thousands of Israeli ultra-nationalists in annual event 29 May marched through Jerusalem’s Old City, as some chanted “Death to Arabs” and attacked Palestinians and journalists; hundreds of Israelis entered al-Aqsa compound. In West Bank, Israeli security forces stepped up raids, raising tensions with Hamas; increased public calls for assassination of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar prompted Hamas 7 May to threaten retaliation. Israel military raid in Jenin city 11 May saw U.S.-Palestinian Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh killed by gunshot to head, which sparked international outcry; Israeli authorities initially blamed Palestinian gunmen before walking back claim and 19 May announced there would be no investigation; Palestinian Authority 26 May said Israel killed her deliberately, which if confirmed would mark 48th journalist killed by Israeli forces since 2000. Israeli police 13 May attacked Abu Akleh’s funeral procession in East Jerusalem, injuring dozens of Palestinians. Also in Jenin area, clashes 13 May killed one Israeli officer, one Palestinian and injured dozen Palestinians. Israeli forces 24-25 May shot dead 16-year old Palestinian during clashes at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus city and injured at least 80 other Palestinians, and 27 May shot dead 15-year old Palestinian in al-Khader town near Bethlehem city. Settler attacks against Palestinians and their property continued during month in Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqilya, Hebron and Salfit cities. Meanwhile, Israeli high court 4 May rejected petition against forced displacement of around 1,200 Palestinian residents from Masafer Yatta, collection of hamlets in southern West Bank, amounting to single largest displacement of Palestinians in decades. Two Palestinians from Jenin 5 May carried out axe attack in ultra-Orthodox Elad city (near Tel Aviv), killing three Israelis and injuring four. Regionally, Israel reportedly carried out airstrikes in Syria (see Syria).
Violence continued to run high across Israel, West Bank and East Jerusalem, leaving three Israelis and over dozen Palestinians dead, as tensions flared at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade. In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police on second Friday of Ramadan on 15 April stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque firing rubber bullets, teargas and stun grenades, injuring over 150 Palestinians and arresting near 500, as some Palestinian youths threw stones and fireworks at police; rumours of Israel’s intention to restrict Muslim access spread on social media during month. Further clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in and around Holy Esplanade 17, 21 April reportedly injured dozens. Israeli police 20 April stopped hundreds of ultra-nationalist Israelis from entering flashpoint Damascus Gate. Israeli police again raided Al-Aqsa on third and fourth Fridays of Ramadan 22, 29 April, injuring over 70 Palestinians. In Tel Aviv city, Palestinian gunman from West Bank city of Jenin 7 April killed three Israelis in bar; police next day shot dead suspected gunman in Jaffa, and Israeli soldiers 9 April raided house of gunman and killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad member in Jenin. Elsewhere in West Bank, Israeli forces killed over dozen Palestinians; notably, 2 April killed three Palestinian Islamic Jihad members at Arraba junction south of Jenin; 10 April killed four Palestinians including two women and teenager in separate incidents. Israeli troops 13-14 April reportedly killed at least six Palestinians, including 14-year-old, in Jenin city, Silwad town and Nablus city. Meanwhile, Palestinians 10, 11 April vandalized Jewish shrine Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Israel 18 April shot down first rocket fired from Gaza since Jan 2022 and 19 April responded with airstrikes targeting alleged weapons manufacturing site in Gaza; 21 April carried out air raids in central Gaza, while several rockets were launched 20-21 April into southern Israel. Yamina party member Idit Silman 6 April quit govt coalition claiming it was not living up to right-wing values; defection stripped govt coalition of parliamentary majority. Regionally, Israel 9 April reportedly launched airstrike near Masyaf city in Syria’s Hama province; 14 April reportedly fired missiles at Syrian military positions near Syrian capital Damascus (see Syria).
Deadly violence at hands of Israeli forces and Palestinians rose, leaving at least dozen Palestinians and 11 Israelis dead; tensions could escalate ahead of April religious holidays. In occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli forces 6 March shot dead Palestinian after he stabbed Israeli police officer at Bab Hutta Gate, and next day killed Palestinian who stabbed two officers at Cotton Merchants’ Gate. Israeli soldiers 6 March killed Palestinian teenager who threw fire bomb at army post in Abu Dis village outside Jerusalem. Risk of escalating violence, which could potentially trigger wider confrontation, remains high ahead of Muslim holy month Ramadan and Jewish holiday Passover in April. Israel’s Supreme Court 1 March halted eviction of four families in flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. In West Bank, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians protesting Israeli settlements and forced evictions, and carried out arrest raids. Notably, Israeli forces 1 March shot dead Palestinian near Beit Fajar town and killed two others who came under fire during arrest raid in Jenin refugee camp. Israeli forces 15 March killed Palestinian teenager during clashes in Balata refugee camp, near Nablus city, and shot dead Palestinian in Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah city; same day killed Palestinian during raid in Rahat town in Naqab/Negev desert. Israeli forces 31 March killed two Palestinians during raid on refugee camp near Jenin city. Israeli bus passenger same day shot dead Palestinian who allegedly stabbed another passenger near Jewish settlement. Palestinian citizens of Israel – identified as Islamic State (ISIS) supporters – 22, 27 March attacked Israelis in Beersheba and Hadera cities, and Palestinian resident of West Bank 29 March carried out gun attack in Tel Aviv, leaving total of 11 people dead, including three police officers; Israeli forces began detaining Palestinians without charge for fear of further attacks ahead of Ramadan. Regionally, Israeli airstrike 7 March killed two Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders near Syrian capital Damascus; Iran 13 March fired missiles claiming to target Israeli “strategic centre” site in Iraq (see Iran, Syria and Iraq). Israel 27-28 March hosted unprecedented summit attended by FMs of U.S., United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco, in part to discuss Iran.
East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah remained tense flashpoint, while Palestinian Central Council convened for first time since 2018. In occupied East Jerusalem, tensions ran high in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, which remained critical flashpoint of friction. Most notably, in provocative move, far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvit 13 Feb reopened makeshift office in Sheikh Jarrah claiming to protect Israeli settlers, prompting clashes between Palestinians, settlers and police, injuring at least 14. EU and Palestinian Authority (PA) same day voiced concerns over potential for wider outbreak of violence. Israeli police 18 Feb violently dispersed protesters at weekly demonstration against eviction of Palestinian Salem family initially scheduled in March; court 22 Feb ruled to freeze judgment until at least after Ramadan in April. In West Bank, Israeli special forces 8 Feb carried out extrajudicial killing of three Palestinians in car in Nablus in first such operation since Second Intifada; dozens in Gaza and West Bank next day protested killings. Israeli forces 14-15 Feb killed two Palestinians during clashes in Silat al-Harithiya and Nabi Saleh villages. In first meeting since 2018, Palestinian Central Council (PCC) 6-7 Feb appointed members close to Palestinian President Abbas to Executive Committee; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, second largest Palestinian faction after Fatah, and other smaller factions boycotted meeting, accusing Abbas of stocking Palestine Liberation Organization leadership with loyalists. PCC 9 Feb announced suspension of security cooperation with Israel and recognition of Israeli state until latter recognises Palestinian sovereignty and halts settler activities; similar statements in 2018 and 2015 had not been implemented. NGO Amnesty International 1 Feb published report accusing Israel of apartheid against Palestinians; Israeli govt and allies, including U.S., UK and Germany, rejected findings. Syria 9 Feb fired anti-aircraft missile toward Israel in response to alleged Israeli attack on Syrian capital Damascus that killed one soldier and injured five; Israel same day carried out airstrike on Syrian missile batteries. Syrian state media 16 Feb reported Israeli shelling targeting Zakiya town. On Lebanese border, tensions rose with Hizbollah (see Lebanon).
Israeli forces killed five Palestinians in West Bank, Hamas and Israel exchanged fire in Gaza, and Israeli forces clashed with Bedouin pro-testers in Negev desert. In West Bank, Israeli police 5 Jan ran over elderly Palestinian activist in Umm al-Khair village who attempted to prevent police from confiscating unregistered Palestinian cars; man later died from injuries. Israeli forces 6 Jan shot dead Palestinian in raid on Balata refugee camp; Israeli settler same day ran over and killed Palestinian at Beit Shira checkpoint. Israeli soldiers 12 Jan assaulted Palestinian-American man near Ramallah city and left him blindfolded and bound; man was found dead next day after suffering heart attack. Israeli soldier 17 Jan shot dead Palestinian attempting to stab him at bus stop at Gush Etzion junction in West Bank. Israeli forces 28 Jan reportedly injured at least 26 Palestinians while dispersing rallies in Beita town and Beit Dajan village. Meanwhile, Israel 5 Jan indefinitely shelved plans to approve construction in controversial E-1 area of West Bank. In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities 19 Jan evicted family and demolished house in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood; French, German, Italian and Spanish foreign ministries same day urged Israel to stop construction of housing units in East Jerusalem. In Gaza, two rockets were fired 1 Jan into sea near Tel Aviv; Hamas said launch was unintentional and Israel responded by striking alleged Hamas missile manufacturing sites; Hamas then fired two anti-aircraft missiles toward Israeli helicopters. Islamic Jihad-affiliated administrative detainee 4 Jan ended five-month hunger strike after Israel announced release date for Feb; Islamic Jihad had previously threatened violence if detainee died. In Negev desert, Israeli forces 12-13 Jan cracked down on Bedouin citizens near Sawe al-Atrash and Beer Sheeva protesting tree planting by Jewish National Fund, considering forestation part of govt effort to expel them from legally unrecognised land; crackdown led to injuries and dozens of arrests; United Arab List party (member of governing coalition) condemned move, threatening to boycott parliamentary voting. Reaffirming Israel’s intention to deepen ties with Jordan, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz 5 Jan met Jordanian King Abdullah II in Jordan’s capital Amman.
Violence and unrest ran high in East Jerusalem and West Bank as Palestinian attacks killed two Israelis and Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians. In occupied East Jerusalem, Palestinian 4 Dec stabbed to death Israeli near Damascus Gate; border police subsequently shot dead assailant in what UN human rights office called “apparent extrajudicial execution”. Palestinian girl 8 Dec stabbed Israeli woman in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. Meanwhile, following U.S. pressure, state planning committee 6 Dec delayed approval of settlement project in Atarot, East Jerusalem. In West Bank, Israeli forces 6 Dec shot dead 16-year-old Palestinian who allegedly drove car into Jbara military checkpoint, injuring Israeli soldier. Israeli forces 10 Dec shot dead Palestinian during protest against illegal settlements in Beita village; 12 Dec killed Palestinian in Nablus city during clashes following arrest raid. Palestinian gunmen 16 Dec opened fire on Israeli settlers’ car leaving illegal outpost Homesh, killing one Israeli. In response, Israeli settlers launched reprisal attacks throughout West Bank; notably, 25 settlers 17 Dec attacked couple in Qaryut village. Israeli forces 21 Dec shot dead Palestinian allegedly attempting to drive into military checkpoint near Mevo Dotan settlement; next day, killed Palestinian near al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah who military claimed opened fire on them from passing car. Israeli troops 31 Dec shot dead Palestinian near Ariel settlement. Palestinians 11 Dec held first phase of municipal elections in West Bank; Hamas boycotted vote. UN data 27 Dec revealed 450 settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties or property damage in 2021, compared to 358 attacks in 2020. In rare visit to Israel, Palestinian Authority President Abbas 28 Dec met Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and announced “confidence-building measures”; Hamas condemned talks. Meanwhile, Israel 7 Dec completed construction of ‘iron wall’, including fence, underground wall and radar system surrounding Gaza Strip. Internationally, Israeli FM Lapid 9 Dec visited Egypt for talks with Egyptian President Sisi and FM Sameh Shoukry on consolidating ceasefire with Hamas; PM Bennett 12 Dec began first official visit by Israeli leader to United Arab Emirates. Syrian state media 7, 15, 28 Dec reported Israeli airstrikes on Latakia port (see Syria).
Suspected Hamas gunman conducted first deadly shooting in Jerusalem in years, while Israeli settler violence and Palestinian protests continued in West Bank. In occupied East Jerusalem, security forces 17 Nov killed Palestinian teenager after he attacked two border police officers with knife in Jerusalem’s Old City. Palestinian resident of Shuafat refugee camp identified as member of Hamas 21 Nov shot five people in Jerusalem’s Old City, killing Israeli man. Meanwhile, four Palestinian families facing forced eviction in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood 2 Nov rejected “compromise deal” offering protected tenancy status for 15 years in exchange for recognising settler organisation’s ownership of land. Israeli police 22-23 Nov raided home of Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem Governor Adnan Ghaith; Ghaith was summoned for interrogation 25 Nov and placed under renewed house arrest. In West Bank, Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians during olive harvest continued; notably Bat Ayin settlers 12 Nov injured three in attack in Surif city. Settlers 15 Nov injured six Palestinian farmers in armed attack in Al-Qibabat near Israeli settlement Homesh. Palestinian health ministry 5 Nov announced Israeli troops killed 13-year-old Palestinian during weekly protest against expansion of illegal settlements near Elon Moreh; clashes in Beita town same day wounded two Palestinians. The Washington Post 9 Nov published report detailing Israel’s surveillance system of Palestinians across West Bank. Israeli forces 16 Nov killed Palestinian belonging to Islamic Jihad militant group in Tubas city during raid. In Gaza, Qatar and Egypt 17 Nov signed agreement to supply fuel and building materials to Gaza. UK 19 Nov moved to ban Hamas, whose military wing is already prohibited, in its entirety, sparking condemnation from Hamas. EU diplomats 24 Nov visited Gaza strip to assess humanitarian situation. Israel’s parliament 4 Nov approved first budget in over three years. Internationally, Israel, U.S., United Arab Emirates and Bahrain 10-15 Nov held first joint military naval exercise in Red Sea. Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz 24 Nov signed memorandum of understanding with Morocco, formalising existing unofficial security cooperation. Syrian state media reported Israeli airstrikes on 3, 8, 17, 24 Nov; notably airstrike 24 Nov killed two and injured seven (see Syria).
Tensions ran high amid increased Israeli settler violence against Palestinians in West Bank and worst clashes since May hostilities at Damascus Gate in East Jerusalem. Israeli settlers stepped up attacks on Palestinians and their property in West Bank throughout month; daily incidents of vandalism and violence from 3 Oct mainly targeted villages in northern occupied West Bank surrounding Nablus and Salfit cities. Notably, settlers 15, 16 Oct attacked family in Yasuf village, injuring four, and 16 Oct injured at least 12 Palestinians in Burin village. In West Bank, Israeli forces 1 Oct injured at least 19 Palestinians protesting against settlements. Israeli soldiers 14 Oct killed Palestinian teenager allegedly throwing Molotov cocktail near Bethlehem city. In first such move in decade, Israel’s defence ministry 19 Oct approved residency for 4,000 undocumented Palestinians in West Bank. Israeli housing minister 24 Oct announced advancement of 1,335 housing units in West Bank settlements, in addition to plans to approve additional 3,100 settlement units. In occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police dispersed, arrested and beat Palestinians at Damascus Gate in worst clashes since May hostilities; security forces 18, 19 Oct raided Damascus Gate area, injuring at least 31 and arresting 35. Local Israeli magistrate court 6 Oct lifted ban on Jews silently praying at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, sparking Palestinian protest; Jerusalem District Court 8 Oct overturned ruling. Jerusalem planning committee 13 Oct approved land expropriation from Palestinian area Khirbet Tabalya to build over 1,000 housing units in illegal settlement Givat Hamatos, marking first Jewish neighbourhood to be constructed beyond Green Line in at least 20 years. Israeli govt 22 Oct designated six Palestinian civil society organisations as terror groups, effectively outlawing them. Meanwhile, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh 3 Oct arrived in Egyptian capital Cairo to meet Egyptian intelligence officials. In Golan Heights, Israeli PM Bennet 11 Oct announced plans to build two new illegal settlements, prompting protest same day by local Syrian Druze population. Israeli sniper allegedly killed Syrian man with suspected ties to Iran on Israeli-Syrian frontier in occupied Golan Heights; Israeli airstrikes 8, 30 Oct reportedly struck Syrian capital Damascus (see Syria).
Unprecedented jailbreak from Israeli maximum-security prison prompted Palestinian solidarity protests across Israel, West Bank and Gaza. Six Palestinian prisoners 6 Sept broke out of Israel’s maximum-security Gilboa prison, northern Israel; Israeli security forces immediately launched largest nationwide manhunt in decades, arresting dozens of Palestinians, including minors and families of fugitives. Jailbreak sparked prison riots; notably, Palestinian prisoners belonging to Islamic Jihad 8 Sept set fire to cells in Rimon and Ketziot prisons in southern Israel, and Palestinian prisoners across Israeli jails 17 Sept began hunger strike. In solidarity, around 500 Palestinians 8-9 Sept protested in Jerusalem and across West Bank, including in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus cities. Palestinians 10 Sept announced “day of rage” in West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israeli forces same day raided Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque compound to disperse sit-in protest; Israeli fire severely wounded Palestinian man (who later died) at gates of compound in stabbing attack. Palestinians in West Bank’s Jenin city 19 Sept threw rocks and explosives at Israeli troops. Israeli authorities 10-19 Sept announced rearrest of all six fugitives. Separately, over 500 Israeli settlers and security officers 22 Sept stormed al-Aqsa compound during Jewish holiday Sukkot. In West Bank, Palestinian military court in Ramallah town 27 Sept held first hearing into case of 14 members of security forces charged with June killing of Palestinian activist Nizar Banat; Israeli forces 26 Sept killed four Hamas and one Islamic Jihad member in gun battles in Biddu town; dozens of Israeli settlers 28 Sept assaulted Palestinians in al-Mufkara village in South Hebron Hills, injuring four-year-old. Israeli forces 30 Sept killed Palestinian gunman near Jenin. In Gaza, Israeli troops 2 Sept shot dead one Palestinian as over 1,000 gathered along border in nightly protests against block-ade. Gaza factions 12-13 Sept fired rockets into Israel, prompting Israeli airstrike 13 Sept. Palestinian President Abbas gave Israel one year to withdraw from occupied territory to 1967 borders or Palestine would withdraw recognition of Israel. Israel 3 Sept carried out airstrikes near Damascus (see Syria). Israeli PM Bennett 13 Sept met President al-Sisi in first official Israeli visit to Egypt in over decade.
Supreme Court offered deal to Sheikh Jarrah residents, Gaza factions fired rockets at Israel, and Israel exchanged retaliatory attacks with Hizbollah for first time in years. Israel’s Supreme Court 2 Aug offered compromise deal to Palestinian families under threat of expulsion from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, East Jerusalem, that would allow residents to remain in homes as tenants providing they pay annual fee to settler organisation; both residents and settlers rejected deal. In West Bank, Israel 11 Aug issued initial approval to begin construction of 863 housing units for Palestinians in villages in Area C (under full Israeli civil and military control) for first time in years, and pushed plans for 2,000 settlement homes. Elsewhere in West Bank, Palestinians in Beita town near Nablus city 6 Aug clashed with Israeli forces, leaving Palestinian man dead and dozens injured. Undercover Israeli forces 16 Aug killed four Palestinians in Jenin refugee camp during arrest raid of individual suspected of ties to Gaza-based militant factions. During raid on Balata refugee camp near Nablus, Israeli forces 24 Aug killed 15-year-old boy; Israeli forces have shot and killed over 40 Palestinians in West Bank since May. Israeli Defence Minister Gantz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 29 Aug held first high-level meeting in decade to discuss security and economic cooperation. In Gaza, ceasefire between Israel and Hamas grew increasingly fragile after rockets fired from Gaza at Israel for first time since May; factions 16 Aug fired two rockets at Israel. Hundreds of Palestinians 21 Aug marked 52nd anniversary of burning of Al-Aqsa mosque along border wall, where Israeli forces fired tear gas and live ammunition, injuring over 40 Palestinians. Israel same day launched air raids on four Hamas targets, wounding 11 Palestinians. Separately, Hizbollah claimed responsibility for salvo of rockets fired from Lebanon 6 Aug at disputed Shebaa farms area, triggering retaliatory attacks with Israel, including first Israeli air force strikes in Lebanon since 2013/2014 (see Lebanon). PM Bennett 27 Aug met U.S. President Biden, reportedly presenting “Plan B” strategy on Iran comprising small military and diplomatic actions.
Israeli forces fired live ammunition at Palestinians in West Bank, while Israeli police stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as PM Bennett challenged status quo at site. Following Palestinian protests in recent weeks at Evyatar settlement in Beita town near Nablus city, Israeli settlers 2 July vacated settlement while govt kept structures intact and maintained military presence until land status is determined. Israeli forces 9 July fired on hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators in Beita, wounding over 370, including 31 with live ammunition; during protests, soldiers 23 July shot Palestinian teenager who died next day. Israeli settlers buttressed by Israeli soldiers 3 July entered Qusra village, Nablus, and attacked local residents; Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, killing one Palestinian and injuring 24 others. Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence 23 July claimed military are complicit in “drastic surge” in settler violence this year. Elsewhere in West Bank, Israel 7 July demolished Humsa village in Jordan valley for seventh time in less than one year, displacing 65 Palestinians, including 35 children. In Beit Ummar town, soldier 29 July shot and killed Palestinian man attending funeral of 12-year-old boy killed by Israeli forces previous day. In Jerusalem, Israeli police 18 July stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, firing tear gas and sponge-coated steel bullets to disperse Muslim worshippers to allow over 1,000 Israelis to visit compound. PM Bennett same day said Jews must have “freedom of worship” at site, suggesting dramatic revision of status quo, but next day backpedalled, stating Jews must have right “to visit”. Hamas same day warned of escalation. Palestinian Authority (PA) Head of General Authority of Civil Affairs Hussein al Sheikh 25 July apologised for death of Nizar Banat, who was killed by PA security forces during late June protests, called it “unfortunate accident”. In Gaza, Israeli military 3 July launched air raids on alleged “weapons manufacturing site”, fourth raid in Gaza since May ceasefire. Meanwhile, Israel’s governing coalition 6 July failed to renew “family reunification” law for first time since 2003; law bars Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens from attaining residency and citizenship in Israel.
Israeli forces launched wave of arrests inside Israel and suppressed Palestinian protests in West Bank amid attacks by settlers; ceasefire between Israel and Hamas faced strains. Following May deadly fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian factions that triggered widespread violence across Israel and West Bank, Israeli forces sought to restore security in what Palestinian activists claimed was attempt to suppress protests. Israel 3 June concluded operation that led to arrest of 2,142 citizens, 90% of them Palestinian. Israeli border police 5 June detained journalist Givara Budeiri, releasing her after four hours; International Press Institute director Barbara Trionfi same day slammed arrest. Israeli police 6 June detained twins Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd over their activism against removal of families from East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah; police same day clashed with protesters outside station before Muna’s release. In Jerusalem, Israeli-run municipality 7 June issued demolition orders to residents of al-Bustan area in Silwan neighbourhood, giving some 1,500 Palestinian residents 21 days to evacuate and demolish their houses; court hearing on matter postponed until 7 Aug. Thousands of Israelis 15 June rallied in nationalist march around Jerusalem’s Old City chanting “death to Arabs”. While attempting to suppress protest, Israeli police injured over 30 Palestinian protesters. Citing marches, Hamas 15 June flew incendiary balloons into southern Israel; Israel 15-17 June struck Hamas military compounds in Gaza in first strikes since ceasefire, leaving no casualties. In Gaza, Egyptian delegation 3 June arrived to aid reconstruction plans. In West Bank, Israeli settlers 8 June shot and mutilated Palestinian man after setting fire to Palestinian-owned land in al-Rihiya village, south of Hebron city; settlers fired live bullets at Palestinians attempting to extinguish fire. Israeli forces 11 June shot and killed four Palestinian residents protesting illegal settler outpost in Beita town. Palestinian security forces 24 June killed prominent activist Nizar Banat, outspoken critic against Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security coordination with Israel, leading to protests throughout West Bank against PA, which police repressed. In Gaza, Egyptian delegation 3 June arrived to aid reconstruction plans. New Israeli govt led by ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett 13 June sworn in following power-sharing agreement between eight opposition parties, ousting Benjamin Netanyahu as PM.
Israel’s forced evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and restrictions on worshippers sparked widespread unrest and 11-day war with Gaza’s armed factions that killed hundreds. Israeli police 7 May clashed with young Palestinians protesting planned expulsions in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and worshippers observing Ramadan at Al-Aqsa mosque inside Old City, injuring over 200 Palestinians and 17 Israeli police officers; Israel’s restrictions and attacks on worshippers as well as police raids in compound continued over following days, injuring 1,000 Palestinians by 10 May. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem 10 May protested Jewish ultra-nationalist plans to march through Old City toward al-Aqsa to mark Jerusalem Day, leading to police raids that injured some 300 Palestinians even as Israeli authorities same day redirected march. Responding to events, Hamas’ military wing admonished Israel to halt violence. Joint Chamber of Palestinian Resistance Factions in the Gaza Strip 10 May issued ultimatum for Israel to withdraw forces from al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah and release detainees by 6pm; shortly after deadline expired, Hamas fired rockets toward Jerusalem. Israeli forces 10-21 May heavily bombarded Gaza as Palestinian factions fired thousands of rockets into Israel; fighting killed at least 248 Palestinians in Gaza, including some 66 children, and 12 people in Israel, including two children, before ceasefire went into effect 21 May. Amid Gaza hostilities, unprecedented wave of violence erupted throughout Israel’s mixed cities and neighbourhoods. Notably, govt 12 May declared state of emergency in Lod city for first time since 1966 to contain widespread violence, including Jewish gunman 10 May killing Palestinian and Palestinian same day setting fire to synagogue; Israeli ultranationalists 12 May attacked Lod’s Al-Omari mosque, prompting mayor same day to declare “civil war”; Israeli police late month made 1,550 arrests, 70% of them Palestinians. Palestinians held protests throughout West Bank in solidarity with Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza; Israeli forces 14 May responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition and 16 May killed 13 Palestinians and injured 1600 others. Palestinians in West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and Israel 18 May held strike for first time in decades.
Amid tensions in Jerusalem, Jewish extremist attacks injured over hundred Palestinians; President Abbas indefinitely postponed elections, raising prospects of major protests in coming weeks. In Jerusalem, Israeli police 13 April clashed with Palestinians near Damascus Gate who were demonstrating against restrictions on gatherings to mark start of Ramadan previous day. Police 15-16 April arrested boy suspected of posting videos on TikTok showing Orthodox Jews being slapped in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem; in response to videos, far-right Jewish supremacists chanting “death to Arabs” 22 April attacked Palestinians and skirmished with police in East Jerusalem, injuring over hundred Palestinians and 20 police officers. Protesters overnight 24-25 April clashed with police; authorities 26 April removed barricades around Damascus Gate, relieving tensions. In Jaffa, old district of Tel Aviv city, police 18 April arrested at least two Palestinian citizens of Israel for allegedly attacking yeshiva (religious school) head; incident next day triggered clashes between Israeli and Palestinian protesters that injured two police officers. In West Bank, Israeli soldiers 5 April fatally shot Palestinian man and wounded his wife in village near Ramallah town, claiming car sped toward checkpoint; soldiers 9 April shot Palestinian child in eye with rubber bullet in Hebron. Palestinian Authority’s President Abbas 30 April cancelled Legislative Council elections scheduled for 22 May. Palestinian electoral commission 3 April had approved 36 candidate lists, including “Freedom List” headed by Yasser Arafat’s nephew Nasser al-Qidwa and Fadwa Barghouthi, spouse of imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi, in direct challenge to official Fatah list. Hamas 30 April condemned cancellation as “coup”, while decision raised prospect of protests given high voter registration. In Gaza, Israeli jets 16 April struck Hamas targets in response to rocket fire into southern Israel; militants 23 April fired more rockets into Israel. Meanwhile, PM Netanyahu’s trial 5 April resumed; President Rivlin next day asked Netanyahu to form governing coalition by 4 May following inconclusive results of 23 March election. Internationally, Israel blamed Iran for 13 April missile strike on Israeli commercial vessel in Gulf of Oman (see Iran). Errant missile from Syria 22 April exploded in near Dimona nuclear plant in southern Israel, triggering retaliatory Israeli airstrikes (see Syria).
Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in West Bank, Palestinian factions pledged support for electoral process, and Israel’s fourth election in two years resulted in deadlock. In West Bank, Israeli settlers 10 March attacked Palestinian Saeed Alyan Awad and his family near Mitzpe Yair settlement, south of Hebron, leaving him with cracked skull and broken jaw. Israeli soldiers same day detained five Palestinian children aged eight-13 in South Hebron Hills after settlers accused them of trespassing. Israeli settlers 12 March threw stones in Palestinian neighbourhood in northern West Bank, damaging two cars. Israeli human rights group B’tselem mid-month reported 94 violent attacks by Israelis against Palestinian civilians between 21 Dec 2020 and 13 March 2021. Israel 12 March issued banning order prohibiting Palestinian Authority (PA) Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith from communicating with President Abbas and other officials. Israel’s Jerusalem municipality 17 March asked courts to reactivate demolition orders for dozens of buildings housing 1,500 Palestinians in East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. In sign of internal party rifts ahead of Palestinian summer elections, President Abbas 11 March xpelled Yasser Arafat’s nephew Nasser al-Kidwa from Fatah over his attempt to field separate list of candidates for legislative poll in May. As concern rose over uncertain outcome of legislative election, Abbas 16 March rejected request from Israel and U.S. to postpone vote. PA, Central Elections Commission and 15 Palestinian factions 16-17 March convened in Egyptian capital Cairo for second round of national dialogue; parties agreed mechanism to form new Palestinian National Council while factions affirmed support for electoral process. In Gaza, Hamas 14 March announced that Yahya Sinwar was re-elected as head of movement’s political bureau in Gaza. Israel 24 March carried out night-time airstrikes on Hamas positions in response to rocket fire. Over 10,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel 5, 12, 19 March demonstrated against police brutality and criminal gangs. Israel’s 23 March election produced no clear winner; PM Netanyahu’s bloc won 52 seats, nine short of threshold to form govt, setting stage for arduous coalition negotiations and possible fifth election. Israel 12 March conducted airstrikes in Syria (see Syria).
International Criminal Court (ICC) opened door to potential probe into alleged war crimes, Israel continued de facto annexation of West Bank, and Palestinian factions prepared for elections. In major decision, ICC 5 Feb ruled it has jurisdiction to investigate war crimes that may have been committed in occupied Palestinian territories; U.S. same day expressed “serious concerns” about ICC ruling while PM Netanyahu 6 Feb called it “pure antisemitism”. In West Bank, Israeli forces 1, 3 Feb demolished Bedouin Humsah al Fouqa village for second time, displacing over 130 inhabitants. NGO Jewish National Fund 11 Feb shifted policy, authorising official and direct purchase of West Bank land to expand existing Israeli settlements in Area C or adjacent areas. Israeli settler 5 Feb shot dead Palestinian man near Ras Karkar village. Ahead of Palestinian legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 22 May and 31 July, respectively, representatives of fourteen Palestinian factions at meeting in Egyptian capital Cairo 7-9 Feb agreed to form unity govt following elections; Palestinian Authority President Abbas also formed “electoral court” with jurisdiction over electoral process. To unify party, senior Fatah official 11 Feb attempted to convince imprisoned popular leader Marwan Barghouti not to run for president. Central Elections Committee 17 Feb announced 2.6mn voters (93%) registered to vote in West Bank and Gaza, excluding Jerusalem residents. After Abbas 20 Feb issued decree on public freedoms, Hamas 25 Feb released 45 Fatah-affiliated prisoners. In Gaza, authorities 17 Feb received shipment of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine after Israeli authorities delayed shipment. Egypt 9 Feb opened Rafah border crossing with Gaza indefinitely. Hamas 19 Feb held internal leadership elections. Meanwhile, Israel’s political parties 4 Feb completed electoral slates ahead of 23 March elections. Netanyahu 8 Feb pleaded not guilty in corruption trial. Israel and Syria 18 Feb concluded Russian-mediated prisoner exchange, involving release of Israeli woman and two Syrian shepherds. Israel 3, 15 and 28 Feb reportedly launched airstrikes in southern Syria (see Syria). After explosion 25-26 Feb hit Israeli-owned cargo ship in Gulf of Oman, causing material damage, Defence Minister Benny Gantz 27 Feb suggested “likelihood” of Iranian involvement.
Israel continued de facto annexation of West Bank while Palestinian Authority (PA) set date for elections this year following breakthrough in talks between Hamas and Fatah. Israel advanced de facto annexation of West Bank: govt 11 Jan announced construction of nearly 800 settler homes in Itamar, Beit El, Shavei Shomron, Oranit and Givat Zeev settlements as well as Nofei Nehemia outpost; UN Sec-Gen Antonio Guterres 18 Jan urged govt to “halt and reverse” decision. Israeli govt 19 Jan issued tenders for 2,572 settler units in East Jerusalem. Elsewhere in West Bank, Israeli forces 1 Jan shot and injured Palestinian man; 5 and 26 Jan reportedly killed Palestinian man over alleged knife attacks. In major breakthrough, Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah 6 Jan agreed to hold elections in Palestinian territories, which will be first in 15 years; PA President Abbas 15 Jan signed decree setting legislative and presidential elections for 22 May and 31 July, respectively. Guterres 16 Jan welcomed deal, calling it “a crucial step towards Palestinian unity”. Palestinian PM Shtayyeh 18 Jan called on EU to send team of international observers to monitor polls. Meanwhile, Palestinian MFA 11 Jan called on UN Security Council to stop Israeli govt’s excavations at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, specifically at Western Wall/al-Buraq Square and near al-Maghariba/Dung Gate, accusing Israel of “Judaising” some sites. Following 11 Jan meeting of “Munich Quartet” (Germany, Jordan, Egypt and France) in Egyptian capital Cairo aimed at reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace process, four FMs called for relaunch of “credible negotiations”. New U.S. administration 26 Jan confirmed commitment to two-state solution. In Gaza, unidentified assailants 18 Jan reportedly fired two rockets into Israel; Israeli airstrikes same day struck Hamas targets. After normalisation deal with Israel announced in Oct, Sudan 6 Jan formally signed Abraham Accords in its capital Khartoum. World Health Organization and human rights organisations criticised Israeli govt for withholding COVID-19 vaccines from Palestinians in occupied territories: NGO Amnesty International 6 Jan accused govt of “institutionalized discrimination”. Jerusalem’s District Court 11 Jan postponed PM Netanyahu’s corruption trial to 8 Feb. In Syria, suspected Israeli air raids struck Iran-linked targets (see Syria).