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

Resolution Opportunity

Hamas slaughtered 1,400 in unprecedented attack, triggering indiscriminate Israeli bombardment of Gaza that killed over 8,500 and set off humanitarian crisis; threat of regional war loomed large, as Qatari mediation offered slim hope for talks.

Hamas’s assault triggered full-scale war. Hamas 7 Oct launched multi-pronged offensive into southern Israel, killing around 1,400 Israelis and taking at least 200 hostages. Israeli PM Netanyahu 7 Oct declared Israel “at war” and 11 Oct formed emergency govt with opposition. Israel launched 6,000 airstrikes on Gaza in first six days after attack and thousands more since, killing over 8,500 Palestinians, including over 3,500 children, according to Gaza’s health ministry (as of 31 Oct). Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant 9 Oct announced “full siege” of Gaza Strip, cutting off electricity, food, medicine, and water; disease and starvation are poised to become serious additional threats to civilians. Israel 13 Oct ordered evacuation of northern and central Gaza Strip, displacing around 1.4m, and 27 Oct expanded ground operations; while it seems plausible Israel can occupy northern Gaza, how it will deal with Hamas forces in south is unclear; speculation Israel may seek to forcibly displace Gazans into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula triggered fierce Egyptian opposition. Israeli airstrikes 31 Oct hit Jabalia refugee camp, killing dozens. Gaza-based militants fired daily rockets; Israel 31 Oct announced eleven soldiers killed during incursion. Qatari mediation secured release of four hostages, raising prospect indirect communication could release more captives and serve as basis for ceasefire talks. Netanyahu 30 Oct rejected ceasefire, saying “this is a time for war”.

In West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers killed scores of Palestinians. Israel 7 Oct imposed total closure on West Bank and East Jerusalem and reportedly arrested 1,500 Palestinians, while Israeli forces and settlers dramatically stepped up violence, killing at least 118 Palestinians, amid Palestinian protests across territory. In first in decades, Israeli airstrikes 19 and 22 Oct in West Bank killed over dozen.

Border clashes with Hizbollah raised risk of regional war. Near-daily border clashes between Hizbollah and Israeli forces killed dozens of Hizbollah fighters and at least eight Israeli soldiers, raising risk of war spreading to other fronts (see Lebanon).

Continue reading

In The News

19 Nov 2023
Arab states feel they should not be held responsible for Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, which to them stands at the origin of much that ails the region. Fox News

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
15 Nov 2023
Israel is seeking to change the reality on the ground in Gaza this time around and is not saying what exactly is its endgame. The National News

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
11 Nov 2023
[Leaders in the Middle East] have always seen the Palestinian cause as a way for people to vent their anger. DW

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
7 Nov 2023
The Israeli strikes we’ve seen so far should be raising serious questions for people at the State Department about how U.S. weapons are being used. The New York Times

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.
5 Nov 2023
Even if there is a legal justification for ... every airstrike in Gaza, this conflict has been catastrophic for [Gazans] … Falling within the law only gets you so far. The Washington Post

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.
3 Nov 2023
There's … widespread condemnation of what Latin American countries consider as a disproportionate response by Israel [in Gaza]. Anadolu Agency

Mariano de Alba

Senior Advocacy Advisor

Latest Updates

Our People

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
Joost Hiltermann

Mairav Zonszein

Senior Analyst, Israel-Palestine
Mairav Zonszein

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.