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Israel/Palestine

CrisisWatch Israel/Palestine

Unchanged Situation

Representatives of some 70 countries gathered at Israeli-Palestinian peace conference in Paris 15 Jan amid uncertainty over implications of U.S. presidential transition for diplomatic process; concluding statement underlined continued feasibility of two-state solution, called for “swift steps” to improve humanitarian situation in Gaza and exhorted both sides to refrain from actions and policies that endanger two-state solution. President Abbas 9 Jan warned that if new U.S. President Trump acts on his campaign promise to move U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) may rescind recognition of Israel. In Israel, annexationist supporters of settlement expansion increased pressure for bills to legalise settlements built on private Palestinian lands; for formal endorsement of 2012 Levy report which holds that Israel has right to build in West Bank; for application of Israeli law to Ma’ale Adumim settlement east of Jerusalem; and for renewing access of Israeli Knesset members to Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade. Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem 8 Jan drove truck into crowd of Israeli soldiers in E Jerusalem, killing four; Israeli forces launched crackdown on Palestinians throughout E Jerusalem. Israel carried out demolitions of illegally built homes in Arab town Qalanswah 10 Jan and of homes in unrecognised Bedouin village Umm al-Hiran 18 Jan, during which one resident and one police officer were killed; more demolitions scheduled. Large demonstrations held in Gaza over worsening electricity shortages, including 10,000 in Jabaliya refugee camp 12 Jan. Hamas blamed crisis on Ramallah’s decision to re-impose full taxes on fuel entering Gaza; Palestinian Authority (PA) demanded Hamas hand over control of Gaza if it wanted crisis resolved; Qatar and Turkey provided assistance for fuel. Following talks in Moscow, Hamas and Fatah 17 Jan announced they had reached new agreement to form unity govt to prepare for elections for PA and PLO parliaments; announcement greeted with scepticism among many Palestinians. Ahead of 1 Feb evacuation of small (40 houses) Amona settlement on basis of Supreme Court order, Israel announced construction of 5,500 residential units in settlements in move to reduce antagonism among pro-settlers forces; vast majority of units lie within Israeli-defined settlement blocs, definition Ramallah rejects but which U.S. President Trump is seen as highly likely to accept.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

16 Feb 2017
Essentially Netanyahu was presented with the choice between a one state or two [state solution]. But he is in favour of one state and a half. AFP

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
14 Feb 2017
Netanyahu is basically someone who is extremely risk-averse and wants to preserve stability at all costs. The Christian Science Monitor

Nathan Thrall

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
27 Jan 2017
We hear a lot of talk of Trump being interested in pursuing some kind of peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in the context of a regional approach to Middle East peace. That all sounds conventional to me. Financial Times

Nathan Thrall

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
16 Jan 2017
[Netanyahu] feels that Abbas has been able to do this to him — to outsmart him and get the international community to support Palestinian views. ABC News

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
16 Jan 2017
The Trump administration will have to deal with the fact that the European and Arab countries are saying: '[the two-state solution] is what we are committed to.' News 24

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
23 Nov 2016
Egyptian-Israeli relations are today at their highest level in history. Nathan Thrall

Nathan Thrall

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine

Latest Updates

Trump’s Threat to Arab-Israeli Peace

U.S. policy threatens to undo not only the two-state solution, but stable relations with Israel’s Arab neighbors.

Originally published in The Cairo Review of Global Affairs

Don’t Let Symbols Blind You to the Mundane at the Temple Mount

Once again Israeli leaders denounce UNESCO and tell their people with an odd tone of satisfaction: “The whole world is against us; we you told you so!”

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post

Shoring Up the Status Quo at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade

Defusing conflict over Jerusalem’s holiest site.

Our People

Nathan Thrall

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
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Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine
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