Israel/Palestine

Since 2002, Crisis Group has been working to advance a new, inclusive peacemaking model for Israelis and Palestinians and to reduce the likelihood of deadly conflict among Palestinians and between Israel and its neighbours. But with every escalation, Israeli-Palestinian peace seems more remote than ever.

CrisisWatch Israel/Palestine

Deteriorated Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

Israel launched long-feared Rafah offensive, displacing around 1m and exacerbating risk of famine, as international prosecutor sought arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders; domestic pressure mounted on Netanyahu.

Israel launched deadly and destructive offensive in Rafah. Israel killed over 1,700 Palestinians in May, bringing death toll since Oct to at least 36,224. Israeli forces 7 May launched ground invasion in eastern Rafah and gradually expanded assault into city, prompting around 1m of 1.4m seeking refuge there to flee; Israel same day occupied Rafah crossing and closed all humanitarian aid deliveries, worsening famine conditions. World Food Programme 22 May warned humanitarian operations are “near collapse”. International Court of Justice 24 May ordered Israel to halt Rafah offensive yet Israel continued advance; Israeli strike in Rafah 27 May killed at least 45, including many women and children. Alleged Israeli strike next day targeted camp in so-called “safe zone” hosting displaced in al-Mawasi, killing at least 21. Exchange of fire with Egyptian forces at border crossing 27 May killed Egyptian soldier; Israel 29 May announced full control of 14km “Philadelphi Corridor” along Gaza-Egyptian border (see Egypt). Meanwhile, Israel continued ground incursions in north, namely Jabalia city and areas around Gaza city, where Hamas demonstrated its ability to regroup and battle Israeli forces in areas previously “cleared”. Hamas 3-6 May launched attacks on Kerem Shalom crossing, killing four Israeli soldiers, and 26 May launched first rockets at Tel Aviv since Jan. Gaza’s authorities 8 May announced discovery of seventh mass grave of Palestinian bodies at a hospital.

Israel rejected ceasefire; International Criminal Court (ICC) mulled leaders’ arrest. Hamas 6 May accepted Qatar- and Egypt-mediated ceasefire proposal, which Israel 8 May rejected. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan 20 May sought arrest warrants against Israeli PM Netanyahu, Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and three Hamas leaders.

Israel’s war cabinet faced widening cracks. Gallant 15 May criticised Netanyahu for failure to provide “day-after” Gaza plan. War cabinet member Benny Gantz 18 May criticised Netanyahu for acting in personal interests and 30 May proposed vote to dissolve parliament to bring elections.

Israel raided West Bank and battled Hizbollah. In West Bank, Israeli forces conducted deadly raids and demolitions, displacing hundreds, and settlers continued attacks. Tit-for-tat strikes with Hizbollah remained intense (see Lebanon).

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In The News

19 jun 2024
Nobody in the Israeli political establishment is willing to say ‘stop the war’. The New Arab

Mairav Zonszein

Senior Analyst, Israel
9 jun 2024
There is an Israeli narrative in the [Gaza] war, and an international narrative, and they don’t really meet. The Guardian

Mairav Zonszein

Senior Analyst, Israel
8 jun 2024
The Egyptian acts are pushed on the one hand by a sense of solidarity with the Palestinian cause but on the other hand as a matter of security. Al-Monitor

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
21 maj 2024
I think, hopefully, [the ICC arrest warrants] should give Israel's backers — the U.S., U.K., Germany, those providing arms to Israel — cause to reconsider that support. CBC

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.
10 maj 2024
This resolution [for Palestinian UN membership] is a very clear signal to Israel and the US that it is time to take Palestinian statehood seriously. AFP

Richard Gowan

UN Director
6 maj 2024
[Israel is] actively creating the scenario of chaos [in Gaza] and doing absolutely nothing to fill that vacuum. Financial Times

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.

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Senior Analyst, Israel
Mairav Zonszein

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