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. But with every escalation, Israeli-Palestinian peace seems more remote than ever.

CrisisWatch Israel/Palestine

Deteriorated Situation

Conflict Risk Alert

Qatar-brokered truce won pause in Israel’s war in Gaza amid humanitarian crisis, but efforts to extend deal may falter and see return to onslaught; West Bank violence escalated amid hostilities with Hizbollah.

First respite in Israel’s pummelling of Gaza, which killed over 15,000. Israel and Hamas 22 Nov agreed to Qatar-mediated four-day truce beginning 24 Nov that was extended until 30 Nov, pausing hostilities in Gaza to exchange over 100 women and children captured by Hamas with 240 Palestinian women and children detained in Israel; truce held but Israeli forces 24, 26 Nov reportedly killed three Palestinians in Gaza trying to move north. Ahead of pause, Israel escalated bombing campaign and broadened ground incursion, bringing Palestinian death toll to over 15,000, including 6,150 children, with at least 75 Israeli soldiers killed. Despite announcing “safe corridors” for civilians to leave north, Israel bombed evacuation routes and so-called “safe areas” in south, and 15-16 Nov dropped leaflets on eastern Khan Younis calling for evacuation ahead of potential operations that could commence after truce in Gaza’s south. In north, health infrastructure collapsed amid shortages and Israeli assault on hospitals; malnutrition and dehydration killed at least dozen, as UN warned disease could kill more than bombardment. Israel 15-24 Nov conducted ground operations inside al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city, making unverified claims that it contains Hamas command centre.

Conditions in West Bank continued to deteriorate sharply. Since 7 Oct, Israeli forces killed over 240 Palestinians and Israeli settlers – launching almost 300 attacks on properties and individuals – killed at least eight and forcibly displaced fifteen Palestinian communities. Palestinians killed seven Israelis; Hamas 30 Nov claimed gun attack in West Jerusalem that killed three. Palestinian armed groups began to reestablish in north and spread into Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, clashing with Israeli forces; in Jenin, Israeli forces 9 Nov killed fourteen and 29 Nov killed four, including eight-year-old boy.

Border clashes with Hizbollah continued, underscoring risk of wider war. Cross-border attacks penetrated further into respective territories, killing civilians and risking spiral of escalation that could trigger all-out war. Israel-Hamas pause was upheld along Israel-Lebanon front late Nov (see Lebanon).

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In The News

29 Nov 2023
There is a limit to how far Iran and Saudi Arabia can go in de-escalating tensions between themselves if the entire region is ablaze because of the war in Gaza. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Senior Adviser to the President & Project Director, Iran
19 Nov 2023
Arab states feel they should not be held responsible for Israel's conflict with the Palestinians, which to them stands at the origin of much that ails the region. Fox News

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
15 Nov 2023
Israel is seeking to change the reality on the ground in Gaza this time around and is not saying what exactly is its endgame. The National News

Michael Wahid Hanna

Program Director, U.S.
11 Nov 2023
[Leaders in the Middle East] have always seen the Palestinian cause as a way for people to vent their anger. DW

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
7 Nov 2023
The Israeli strikes we’ve seen so far should be raising serious questions for people at the State Department about how U.S. weapons are being used. The New York Times

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.
5 Nov 2023
Even if there is a legal justification for ... every airstrike in Gaza, this conflict has been catastrophic for [Gazans] … Falling within the law only gets you so far. The Washington Post

Brian Finucane

Senior Adviser, U.S.

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