IPF Blog

Sep 12, 2014

This week in Israel, debate is split between leaders who believe in actively engaging the Palestinian Authority and moderate Arab states, and leaders who oppose a two-state solution. Among the Palestinians, conflict still surrounds Fatah and Hamas, especially over the payment of Hamas civil servant wages. On Wednesday night, Barak Obama addressed the American people and outlined a plan to combat and defeat the threat posed by the ISIS. Throughout this week, tensions in Jerusalem have been reaching new heights as clashes between Jews and Palestinians increase.


Sep 05, 2014

This week in Israel violence continued to subside in the wake of last week’s ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. On Sunday, the Government of Israel announced it was appropriating 4,000 dunams of land between Jerusalem and the Etzion Bloc. On Tuesday, a Palestinian poll was released which reported Hamas support had grown. On Wednesday, Israel announced a fifteen billion dollar gas deal with Jordan, and Saeb Erekat met with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and recent developments in the region. In the latter half of this week, the Israeli press has been reporting on the unequal appropriations of funds between Gaza periphery communities and West Bank settlements. Tensions along the Israeli-Syrian border remain elevated as fighting between Syrian Jihadi groups and the Syrian military continue.

Aug 29, 2014

Fighting between Israel and Hamas entered its seventh week. On Tuesday, the fiftieth day of the conflict, Israel and the Palestinian factions agreed to an Egyptian brokered open-ended ceasefire. IPF issued a statement of support and remains guarded in our optimism that the halt to the fighting will be sustained. On Wednesday, Al-Qaida's Syria wing, Al-Nusra Front, and other Islamist fighters took control of the Syrian side of the Israeli-Syrian border. On Thursday, a senior Palestinian official commented that the Palestinians would take Israel to the International Criminal Court unless the UN Security Council imposes a timeline for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian Territory. Many in Israel continue to have mixed feelings about the accomplishments of Operation Protective Edge, and with an end to fighting, the attention is now focused on the political and diplomatic outcomes of the operation.

Aug 27, 2014

Israel Policy Forum (IPF) welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. We remain guarded in our optimism that the halt to the fighting will be sustained.  It is sad that Hamas refused and violated numerous prior Egyptian ceasefire attempts which closely resemble the current arrangement.  The injuries, loss of life and trauma incurred by Israelis and Palestinians after 50 days of fighting have been incredibly tragic.  

Aug 22, 2014

This week began with continued negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Egypt. On Monday, Israel’s Shin Bet reported that it had foiled a Hamas coup attempt in the West Bank. On Tuesday, the negotiations once again collapsed when Hamas fired a barrage of rockets into Israel. In the renewed violence, Israel has been able to successfully target top Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, including Raed al-Attar, Mohammed Abu Shamala, and Mohammed Barhoum. The condition of Mohammed Deif, Chief Commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, remains unknown.

Aug 15, 2014

This week began with the initiation of the second ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.  On Monday, the United Nations Human Rights Council announced that they will open an investigation to all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Israel replied by stating it will not cooperate with the commission and made arrangements to conduct its own investigation.  On Wednesday night, amid uncertainty, the three day ceasefire was extended by an extra five days.  Yesterday, tensions arose between Israel and the United States over reports that the US halted a military shipment to Israel.  Today, the Egyptian paper, A-Shorouk, published what it reports are the eleven clauses of the Egyptian ceasefire deal.  IPF joins the Jewish community in mourning the loss of Leonard “Leibel” Fein, a great advocate for peace.   

Aug 08, 2014

This week began with dual terror attacks in Jerusalem, sparking fear of a new Palestinian uprising.  On the eve of Tisha B’av tensions deescalated with the announcement of a 72 hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt.  This morning Hamas rejected to extend the ceasefire, and once again rockets and mortars were fired into Israel. 

Aug 01, 2014

Operation Protective Edge entered its fourth week, as Israeli journalists and officials harshly criticized Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to broker a cease-fire.   On Thursday night a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire was announced with the hope of being extended, yet on Friday morning the truce crumbled when Hamas conducted a suicide bombing and captured an Israeli soldier. Israel Policy Forum strongly denounces Hamas’ breach of the ceasefire.

Aug 01, 2014

Israel Policy Forum (IPF) is deeply saddened that the latest ceasefire attempt was violently upended by a Hamas suicide bomb, and the terror organization’s subsequent capture of an Israeli soldier, Hadar Goldin. 

Jul 25, 2014

The death toll continues to rise as Operation Protective Edge enters its third week.  The start of this week saw heavy fighting in the Sajaiya neighborhood in Gaza.  On Wednesday, a rocket landed nearby Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, leading the FAA to suspend American flights in and out of Israel for 48 hours.  Secretary Kerry remained in the region to continue efforts to forge a humanitarian and, ultimately a long-term, ceasefire. As the operation continues, many questions remain as to how the fighting will end, including whether Israel will declare a unilateral ceasefire, or be forced to disarm Hamas through the reoccupation of Gaza.


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Dennis Ross and Daniel Kurtzer each provided creative ideas for diplomacy in the aftermath of the Gaza conflict.

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