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Israel/Palestine

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

Israel signed bilateral normalisation agreements with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain; Hamas and Fatah announced deal to hold elections and tit-for-tat attacks broke out between Gaza militants and Israel. At White House ceremony, PM Netanyahu alongside Emirati and Bahraini FMs 15 Sept signed deal to normalise relations. Ahead of signing, President Abbas 3 Sept chaired meeting with Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to define unified response, calling for formation of popular committees to oversee resistance activities against occupation and later stressing need to unite Palestinian political system. At Arab League meeting, UAE and Bahrain 9 Sept defended deal by citing Israel’s commitment to halt prospective West Bank annexation. Following failure of Palestinian efforts to get Arab League to pass resolution condemning deals, Palestinian PM Mohammed Ishtayeh 14 Sept called for reconsidering relations with league, describing forum as “a symbol of Arab inaction”. Hamas and Fatah 24 Sept announced deal to hold Palestinian Authority (PA) legislative elections, PA presidential elections and Central Council elections for the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Across West Bank, Israeli security operations led to numerous arrests and clashes that caused injury of at least 70 Palestinians and two Israelis; notably, Israel 7 Sept detained over 45 Palestinians in Hebron in largest arrest campaign this year while skirmishes between Palestinians and settlers near Ramallah early Sept broke out. In sign of Israel’s ongoing de facto annexation of West Bank, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz 6 Sept approved construction of 5,000 settler housing units. In Gaza, Egyptian delegation 10 Sept visited amid efforts to mediate prisoner exchange talks between Hamas and Israel. Despite late Aug ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, armed factions 15 Sept protested normalisation deals by firing around 15 rockets into southern Israel, wounding two in Ashdod; Israeli air force retaliated with airstrikes. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Gaza despite lockdown, heightening fears of major outbreak in blockaded territory.  In Israel, coronavirus cases rose rapidly; govt 13 Sept imposed a three-week national lockdown. Weekly anti-govt protests continued despite health restrictions: thousands 12 Sept gathered outside PM Netanyahu’s residence denouncing corruption and govt’s handling of pandemic.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

20 Jul 2020
Cairo’s public condemnation of Israeli unilateralism in Ramallah is a blow to (Benjamin) Netanyahu’s narrative that Israel's Arab partners are indifferent toward annexation if not desirous of it. Arab News

Ofer Zalzberg

Former Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
9 Apr 2020
This is the first time [Palestinian Prime Minister] Shtayyeh has acquired significant support among Palestinian people as a potential long-term successor to [Palestinian President] Abbas. France 24

Ofer Zalzberg

Former Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
15 Mar 2020
Even Netanyahu’s critics are appreciative of his risk averseness [toward Coronavirus], and the clear majority of Israelis thinks he performs well. Bloomberg

Ofer Zalzberg

Former Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
29 Jan 2020
There needs to be a serious exploration — not another empty threat from the president’s office — of what dismantling the [Palestinian Authority] looks like. New York Times

Tareq Baconi

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine and Economics of Conflict
28 Jan 2020
[Trump's peace plan's] message to the Palestinians, boiled down to its essence, is: You’ve lost, get over it. Reuters

Robert Malley

President & CEO
3 Jan 2020
Netanyahu fears this incident lacks a broader U.S. strategy and would either merely escalate dynamics without restraining Iran’s nuclear program and regional activities. Time

Ofer Zalzberg

Former Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict

Latest Updates

Podcast / Africa

Hold Your Fire: Ethiopia's Political Crisis

In this podcast series, Crisis Group President Rob Malley and Board Member Naz Modirzadeh, a Harvard professor of international law and armed conflict, dive deep into the conflicts that rage around the globe, along with Crisis Group field analysts and special guests. This week, they discuss U.S. support for the Yemen war and the absence of the Palestinian issue from the normalisation agreement among Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Ethiopia, Will Davison, also joins them to discuss the challenges facing Ethiopia.

The Trump plan threatens the status quo at al-Haram al-Sharif

The plan could pave the way for an Israeli takeover of the holy site in Jerusalem.

Originally published in Al Jazeera

Hezbollah and Israel: Deterrence at the Edge of Destruction

After 13 years of maintaining the status quo, Israel and Hezbollah are now negotiating new rules of engagement.

Originally published in Middle East Eye

Why Arab Parties’ New Political Engagement Is Historic for Israel

Whatever the outcome of Israel’s post-election government negotiations, there is a historic surprise in the way most of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian majority parties, united under the Joint List, backed Blue and White’s Benny Gantz. Crisis Group Senior Analyst Ofer Zalzberg discusses the repercussions for Israel’s political landscape.

Our People

Tareq Baconi

Senior Analyst, Israel/Palestine and Economics of Conflict
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