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.
Tit-for-tat attacks continued between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, and U.S. release of economic component of peace plan provoked Palestinian condemnation and protests. In Gaza, Israel 4-11 June increased and decreased size of fishing zone and, responding to Hamas’s use of incendiary balloons, 12 June banned fishing entirely. Palestinian militants 13 June launched rockets from Gaza at Israeli town; Israel next day carried out airstrikes on several Hamas targets in Gaza, no casualties reported. Following mediation by UN Envoy Nikolay Mladenov, Israel 18 June allowed fishing up to ten nautical miles off coast. Qatar 20 June began disbursing $15mn to Palestinians in Gaza. Qatar also transferred $10mn to Israel for Gaza’s fuel and 16-18 June held talks in Israel and Gaza on funding construction of power line for Gaza. In West Bank, tensions increased between Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel when Israeli soldiers 11 June opened fire on PA security forces causing injuries, afterwards claiming to have mistaken their identity. Arab League 22 June held emergency meeting on PA’s finances and renewed its commitment to provide PA safety net of $100mn per month. Israeli court mid-June approved demolition of sixteen apartment buildings containing 100 housing units in PA-controlled neighbourhood bordering East Jerusalem. U.S. 22 June unveiled economic part of Middle East peace plan outlining desired investments of $50bn, of which $27.8bn would be invested in Gaza and West Bank over ten years. U.S. convened “Prosperity to Peace” conference in Manama, Bahrain 25-26 June in bid to build support for peace plan among Arab states; several thousand demonstrated against conference throughout Palestinian territories 24-26 June. In retaliation to 1 June rocket attack from Syria into Golan Heights, Israel 2-3 June carried out airstrikes targeting Syrian govt positions, killing eight soldiers and seven non-Syrians; two Israeli airstrikes near Damascus and Homs 30 June reportedly killed four civilians. Oman 26 June announced it planned to open embassy in Ramallah.
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.
Israel and Hamas stand on the brink of another full-scale confrontation in Gaza. The only viable exit from the ongoing cycle of escalation is for international actors to use carrots and sticks to bring about intra-Palestinian reconciliation, thereby allowing the Palestinian Authority (PA) to govern the Gaza Strip.
Facts on the ground in Syria are defining the contours of the country’s political future and also the geography of a looming clash between Israel, Hizbollah and other Iran-allied militias. Russia should broker understandings to prevent a new front from opening.
The collapse of U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian talks in 2014 led to political instability, rising violence and settlement expansion. To improve his successors’ peace-making chances, President Obama should push for a new UN Security Council resolution setting out the basic parameters of a deal.
Hamas agreed to restrain the protests in return for concessions. Those haven’t materialized.
Given that the PA’s main source of legitimacy is its capacity to employ a considerable proportion of the Palestinian workforce, internal discontent could challenge its ability to govern effectively.
Netanyahu prefers to deal with Hamas because clear dynamics have been established and Hamas will not seek a final resolution [of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict] from Israel.
If Israel annexed Gush Etzion, would Trump let it lie? He could decide that the Golan was desirable, but the West Bank is not. He did not commit to recognizing all Israeli annexation. Trump never said he was going to be consistent.
Live thread: Escalation on Haram al Sharif / Temple Mount - Molotov bottle thrown at police station on upper plateau. Israel Police cleared the site, closed all gates.
Since February 2018, the Israeli-Iranian conflict visibly is no longer ‘cold'.
Watch List Updates complement International Crisis Group’s annual Watch List, most recently published in January 2019. These early-warning publications identify major conflict situations in which prompt action, driven or supported by the European Union and its member states, would generate stronger prospects for peace. The Watch List Updates include situations identified in the annual Watch List and/or a new focus of concern.
Israel’s parliamentary elections on 9 April seem set to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu return to lead a fragile, more right-wing coalition, an outcome unlikely to prompt a dramatic change in the country’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza.
As in 2014, Hamas and Israel appear close to a conflagration that neither party desires – though now a shaky ceasefire seems to have taken hold. Crisis Group’s Israel/Palestine analyst Tareq Baconi explains how the parties got to the brink and how they can step back.