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.
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.
Violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in Gaza flared early May, killing 25 Palestinians and four Israelis. Israeli soldiers at Israel-Gaza fence began shooting at Palestinian protesters’ head and chest areas 2 May, prompting retaliation. Palestinian factions fired 700 rockets and projectiles into Israel and Israelis carried out 320 airstrikes in Gaza 3-6 May. Israel claimed responsibility for 5 May killing of Hamas member whom it said had been transferring money from Iran to militant groups in Gaza. Israel 4 May closed Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings and banned fishing off Gazan coast. Hamas and Islamic Jihad delegations in Cairo 5 May agreed to Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, which came into effect 6 May. As part of ceasefire agreement, Israel 12 May reopened border crossings and allowed fishing up to twelve nautical miles offshore, only to reduce fishing zone to up to five nautical miles offshore 16 May, citing Hamas’s use of incendiary balloons. Qatar 7 May pledged $480mn to West Bank and Gaza: $180mn for humanitarian aid and electricity in Gaza, $50mn grant to Palestinian Authority (PA) and $250mn loan to PA over twelve months. Following his April electoral victory, PM Netanyahu failed to form governing coalition in allotted time, instead he passed bill 29 May to dissolve parliament and hold new election 17 Sept. U.S. 19 May announced that as first phase of Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative it would convene “Peace to Prosperity” economic conference in Bahrain 25-26 June; Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) 20 May said it would not attend. Israel 27 May announced it had agreed to take part in U.S.-mediated talks with Lebanon on disputed maritime border.
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'.
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.