An Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in the foreseeable future is unachievable, as is a credible process for reaching one. 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.
The latest escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict brought important shifts in the status quo, underscoring the necessity of a political settlement. A peace based on equal respect for both peoples’ rights will take time, however. Steps to lower the temperature are urgent in the interim.
Originally published in Política Exterior
A cluster of coronavirus cases indicates that community transmission is occurring in the Gaza Strip. Israel should relax its blockade to permit entry of medical equipment and exit of seriously ill patients. Donors should respond quickly to requests for aid.
The coronavirus is now present in Gaza, the populous Palestinian enclave blockaded by air, land and sea since 2007. An epidemic would be calamitous. Hamas should tighten public health measures; Israel should loosen restrictions so that medical supplies can enter and afflicted Palestinians can leave.
Israel is pursuing new ways of cementing its grip on occupied East Jerusalem, further enmeshing the city’s Palestinians while maintaining a Jewish majority within the municipal boundaries. These schemes could spark conflict. The new Israeli government elected in September should set them aside.
A standoff looms between Palestinian worshippers and Israeli police over a shuttered building at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade. Israel and Muslim religious authorities should reopen the building to lessen tensions at the sacred site, where small incidents have blown up into prolonged violence before.
A ceasefire agreement has brought Israel and Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas back from the cusp of yet another calamitous war. However fragile, it offers a rare opportunity for all parties to finally break the cycle of recurring hostilities that has killed thousands since 2007.
Conceptually, Hamas put the Palestinians back on the radar and Jerusalem at the center of their issues. The [Israeli] government has realized that Palestinians are uniting; that the fragmentation isn’t as effective as they would like it to be; that they empathize with each other’s struggles, regardless of whether they are in the West Bank, Jerusalem or Gaza
Dispossession is central to the Palestinian struggle, and Jerusalem is a microcosm of that.
Any pursuit toward the [Israel-Palestine] peace process will not be accepted by the majority of Palestinians if it’s being done on behalf of a small cluster of people that they do not see as being representative.
Netanyahu was very eloquent. He didn’t actively seek war, he was cautious. As for Bennett, we don’t yet know. Could he drag Israel into new wars?
For those who care about the Palestinian side, they see every Israeli government as similar, they feel like the occupation is going to continue regardless and it doesn’t matter who is the face of it.
[In Palestine,] the option is either to engage with Hamas or an incredibly unrepresentative and defunct governing — somewhat of a governing — authority that holds absolutely no legitimacy.
Originally published in The New York Times
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group experts Azmi Keshawi, Tahani Mustafa and Mairav Zonszein about what the war looks like in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel and what its longer-term implications are for Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli leadership calls what it is doing in Gaza now 'mowing the grass,' knowing it will grow back before long
Originally published in The Telegraph
The confrontations across Israel-Palestine are well on the way to becoming one of the worst spasms of violence there in recent memory. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts explain what is behind the explosive events and where they might lead.
As Israeli strikes on Iran-linked targets in Syria continue, there is always a risk that occasional spikes of violence could escalate into a broader confrontation.
Originally published in Middle East Eye