Netanyahu and Hamas leaders decided against letting the recent fighting escalate. Both parties had good reasons for having done so.
War in Gaza looks likely but may yet be averted. PA President Abbas appears to be resolved to thwart Egyptian mediation between Israel and Hamas.
Qatar: no movement on the dispute with the four. Increasing Qatari confidence, outward investment, arms purchases. Mediation going nowhere, but Qatar itself a mediator.
Following major violence short of outright war, Israeli punitive measures relaxed. Reports of a truce brokered by Egypt, even a one-year ceasefire.
More violence in Gaza following the “Land Day” protest massacres. An Israeli soldier killed and a temporary truce agreed. British (Western) policy failing. Some ideas from Uri Avnery.
Jared Kushner interview suggests the long-delayed US peace plan may be about to emerge. The Trump team could be setting Abbas up to take the blame for its likely failure.
Palestinians living under occupation in Gaza and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) have tried various forms of resistance, with varying results. One non-violent protest last year achieved its objective but its success has not been reproduced elsewhere.
For ordinary Gazans, some things have got better, some worse, since last October’s Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement. Israeli security officials and politicians disagree on the potential for conflict. And the White House announces a new initiative “to find real solutions”.
Sisi’s second presidential term will be challenged by Islamic extremism. The long-standing violence in Sinai is only one, albeit the most active, hotspot. Problems are worsening in Lower Egypt, too, as a result of the marginalisation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. It is not certain, however, that the Egyptian government will be as successful in combating such militancy as it was in the 1990s in dealing with the Gami’at Islamiyya. We are once again grateful to George Joffé, Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute in SOAS, for the …
Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Saturday, bringing some relief to Gazans. But security questions remain to be resolved.