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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.

CrisisWatch Israel/Palestine

Unchanged Situation

Tensions mounted at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade and Palestinian protests in Gaza flared mid-month. In Jerusalem, Jordan’s newly reconstituted and enlarged Waqf Council, leadership of Islamic organisation that administers Holy Esplanade, met for first time 14 Feb, giving larger role to Palestinian national institutions. Ending meeting, Waqf Council held prayers in area to which Israel has restricted access since 2003, Israel removed worshippers. Protest prayers 19-21 Feb led to clashes between worshippers and Israeli police, over 60 arrested. In Gaza, after week of increased protests in Jabaliya region, organisers of Great March of Return weekly demonstrations 15 Feb escalated protests at Gaza-Israel border, citing Israel’s failure to fulfil its side of ceasefire agreement. Hamas 17 Feb took control of Kerem Shalom crossing on Gaza-Israel border, expelling Palestinian Authority (PA) employees. Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegation 3 Feb met Egyptian authorities in Cairo to discuss ceasefire agreement, opening of Rafah border and disbursement of Qatari funds to Palestinians in Gaza. PA early Feb cut salaries of 5,000 employees, prisoners and families of martyrs in Gaza for alleged links to Hamas, Islamic Jihad or Mohammed Dahlan. In West Bank, following PM Hamdallah’s resignation in Jan, several political factions 4 Feb announced boycott of new Fatah govt line-up citing what they viewed as Fatah’s agenda to centralise power and deepen national rifts. Palestinian factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah, 11-13 Feb met in Moscow to discuss Palestinian unity, but failed to agree on closing statement. Israel 17 Feb affirmed its decision to withhold $130mn of tax money owed to PA in bid to stop transfer of funds to families of prisoners and martyrs. Regarding peace process, U.S. 14 Feb said it would unveil peace plan after 9 April Israeli elections. Ireland 19-20 Feb hosted meeting of several European and Arab countries committed to traditional peacemaking positions and Palestine Liberation Organization to coordinate stances ahead of EU and Arab League summit in Egypt 24-25 Feb in which participating states declared commitment to traditional peace-making positions.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

12 Mar 2019
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. Twitter

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
24 Jan 2019
Since February 2018, the Israeli-Iranian conflict visibly is no longer ‘cold'. Fanack

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
4 Dec 2018
Israël a l’impression que le Hezbollah ne prend plus au sérieux ses menaces (...) Agir maintenant est un avertissement, bien au-delà de la question des tunnels. Libération

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
13 Nov 2018
Even if Israel and Hamas manage to avoid war and continue based on the understandings they have reached, these will be rickety and subject to collapse. Al Jazeera

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
13 Sep 2018
By punishing the Palestinians, the [Trump] administration unwittingly is liberating them from former restraints under which they had operated since Oslo in order to placate the U.S. and Israel. The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
12 Sep 2018
What is the reason [President] Netanyahu views a Palestinian state as a security risk? He thinks Palestinians will continue to teach their children that Zionism is unjust and that the state next door should not exist as a state for the Jewish people. The New York Times

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine

Latest Updates

Peace Starts In Jerusalem's Holy Basin

US mediation will have to help the sides identify a middle path toward resolving a tension potentially inherent in this approach between purely professional interests and each stakeholder’s agenda.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post

Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade Reveals the Limits of Israeli Counter-terrorism

Israeli-Palestinian tensions are mounting, not just in Gaza and over the U.S. embassys move to Jerusalem, but also over Jerusalems Holy Esplanade, known to Jews as Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Israeli and Palestinian leaders could take simple administrative steps to reduce the risks of violence at the holy sites.

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation.

Also available in العربية

Video: Israel, Hizbollah and Iran: Preventing Another War in Syria

Joost Hiltermann, Crisis Group's Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa talks about a new phase in Syria’s war that augurs escalation with Israel.

Russia Can Keep the Peace Between Israel and Iran

But following the hostilities over the weekend, does Putin want to?

Originally published in The Atlantic

Also available in العربية

Our People

Nathan Thrall

Project Director, Arab-Israeli Conflict

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine

Tareq Baconi

Analyst, Israel/Palestine and Economics of Conflict