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.
Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank are spiking with attention focused on Gaza. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Mairav Zonszein explains what is behind this dangerous phenomenon and what can be done to stop it.
Hamas slaughtered 1,400 in unprecedented attack, triggering indiscriminate Israeli bombardment of Gaza that killed over 8,500 and set off humanitarian crisis; threat of regional war loomed large, as Qatari mediation offered slim hope for talks.
Hamas’s assault triggered full-scale war. Hamas 7 Oct launched multi-pronged offensive into southern Israel, killing around 1,400 Israelis and taking at least 200 hostages. Israeli PM Netanyahu 7 Oct declared Israel “at war” and 11 Oct formed emergency govt with opposition. Israel launched 6,000 airstrikes on Gaza in first six days after attack and thousands more since, killing over 8,500 Palestinians, including over 3,500 children, according to Gaza’s health ministry (as of 31 Oct). Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant 9 Oct announced “full siege” of Gaza Strip, cutting off electricity, food, medicine, and water; disease and starvation are poised to become serious additional threats to civilians. Israel 13 Oct ordered evacuation of northern and central Gaza Strip, displacing around 1.4m, and 27 Oct expanded ground operations; while it seems plausible Israel can occupy northern Gaza, how it will deal with Hamas forces in south is unclear; speculation Israel may seek to forcibly displace Gazans into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula triggered fierce Egyptian opposition. Israeli airstrikes 31 Oct hit Jabalia refugee camp, killing dozens. Gaza-based militants fired daily rockets; Israel 31 Oct announced eleven soldiers killed during incursion. Qatari mediation secured release of four hostages, raising prospect indirect communication could release more captives and serve as basis for ceasefire talks. Netanyahu 30 Oct rejected ceasefire, saying “this is a time for war”.
In West Bank, Israeli forces and settlers killed scores of Palestinians. Israel 7 Oct imposed total closure on West Bank and East Jerusalem and reportedly arrested 1,500 Palestinians, while Israeli forces and settlers dramatically stepped up violence, killing at least 118 Palestinians, amid Palestinian protests across territory. In first in decades, Israeli airstrikes 19 and 22 Oct in West Bank killed over dozen.
Border clashes with Hizbollah raised risk of regional war. Near-daily border clashes between Hizbollah and Israeli forces killed dozens of Hizbollah fighters and at least eight Israeli soldiers, raising risk of war spreading to other fronts (see Lebanon).
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.
Israel is seeking to change the reality on the ground in Gaza this time around and is not saying what exactly is its endgame.
[Leaders in the Middle East] have always seen the Palestinian cause as a way for people to vent their anger.
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.
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.
There's … widespread condemnation of what Latin American countries consider as a disproportionate response by Israel [in Gaza].
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s Iran Project Director Ali Vaez, to discuss how Iran sees the Gaza war, the danger of a region-wide confrontation and Tehran’s nuclear calculations.
Why Israel—and the United States—Has Only Bad Options for the Day After
The Israeli army has locked down the West Bank since 7 October, staging several incursions into Palestinian cities, as settler violence also rises. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Tahani Mustafa looks at the consequences of this escalation.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group experts Tahani Mustafa and Heiko Wimmen and USMEP President Daniel Levy to discuss Israeli operations in Gaza, rising violence in the West Bank and escalation risks on the Israel-Lebanon border.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Conduct in Gaza Should Prompt Scrutiny of U.S. Arms Transfers.
Few conflicts involve just two actors, and the Israel-Hamas war is no exception. From Iran and its proxies to the Palestinians’ Arab backers, as well as Turkey, governments throughout the Middle East are carefully calculating how to respond to the conflict.
Terrible as the Gaza war’s toll has already been, it would get worse if sustained fighting were to erupt between the U.S. and Iran or its Middle East allies. Crisis Group experts Brian Finucane, Lahib Higel, Naysan Rafati and Ali Vaez lay out the dangers.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group experts Mairav Zonszein, Robert Blecher and Azmi Keshawi to talk about whether Israeli leaders’ war goals are evolving, life in Gaza under the Israeli assault and if there is any way of addressing Israel’s concerns about Hamas without such devastation and civilian suffering.
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