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

Gaza faced “imminent famine” as Israel targeted and restricted aid and reiterated threat to invade Rafah amid stalled ceasefire talks; Israel intensified crackdown on West Bank and clashed with Hizbollah in north.

Amid imminent famine in Gaza, Israel killed thousands more and restricted aid. Israel continued its war, killing at least 32,700 since Oct and displacing two million; UNRWA head 13 March reported 12,300 of those killed were children, a higher toll than all children killed in conflict worldwide from 2019-2022. Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) 18 March warned “famine is imminent as 1.1 million people, half of Gaza, experience catastrophic food insecurity”. Israel continuously blocked and restricted aid supplies in March, as starvation/dehydration killed at least 27 children in northern Gaza, and Israeli forces mid-March killed dozens of Palestinians waiting for aid delivery in Gaza city. Israel 24 March banned UNRWA food aid deliveries to north. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Netanyahu repeatedly reiterated intention to invade Rafah, currently sheltering 1.5 million Palestinians, to eliminate remaining Hamas forces despite U.S. opposition; Israeli forces 18 March for second time besieged al-Shifa hospital, where over 30,000 have sought shelter, claiming Hamas re-organised itself there; following Israeli withdrawal, reports of alleged atrocities surfaced. Ceasefire negotiations continued. Hamas 15 March reiterated demand for 40-day ceasefire leading to end of hostilities, withdrawal of Israeli troops and detainee exchange, which Israel rejected as “unrealistic”Stop-start talks thereafter continued, offering hope deal could avert Rafah offensive. UN Security Council 25 March called for “immediate ceasefire” during Ramadan; Israel rebuked U.S. for its abstention. 

Israel ramped up crackdown in West Bank and East Jerusalem. Settler violence remained high, while Israel deployed around 15,000 additional soldiers to West Bank during Ramadan and intensified crackdown on Muslim worshippers in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces continued raids, killing at least 434 since 7 Oct; notably, Israeli drone strike 20 March killed four in Jenin refugee camp. 

Internal divisions wracked Israeli govt. Israel’s war cabinet remained paralysed as signs of instability in PM Netanyahu’s coalition grew, including over looming military conscription law requiring ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve. 

Israel-Hizbollah attacks escalated. Israel expanded attacks against Hizbollah deeper into Lebanese territory, highlighting risk of expanded war (see Lebanon).

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In The News

15 Mar 2024
Israel’s approach [in Gaza] so far has been to chip away at Hamas, but without anybody or any entity to replace specifically the civil situation there. Wall Street Journal

Mairav Zonszein

Senior Analyst, Israel
2 Mar 2024
The situation in Gaza is now so bad that any additional supplies will at least alleviate some suffering. But this is at best a temporary band aid measure. Reuters

Richard Gowan

UN Director
29 Feb 2024
The best way to get humanitarian aid into Gaza is to stop the fighting. Vox

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.
23 Feb 2024
The [U.S.] administration is very clear about its ‘ironclad’ support for Israel. HuffPost

Delaney Simon

Senior Analyst, U.S. Program
13 Feb 2024
The longer the war in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of even further spillover of the war into other regional theaters. Anadolu Agency

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
12 Feb 2024
Prior advance warnings are a feasible precaution to minimize harm to civilians [in Rafah] … but it doesn’t absolve Israel of its legal obligations. The Washington Post

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.

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Our People

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
Joost Hiltermann
 Rami Dajani

Rami Dajani

Project Director, Israel & Palestine

Tahani Mustafa

Senior Analyst, Palestine

Mairav Zonszein

Senior Analyst, Israel
Mairav Zonszein

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