Gaza: the current situation and future challenges

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For a number of years, BICOM and Fathom have focused on the numerous challenges Gaza poses to all the stakeholders interested in an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The BICOM research team produced an analysis of the current temporary ceasefire in Gaza, the impact of the most recent rounds of violence and the potential for humanitarian aid delivery.

Several briefings about the recent protests/riots were published during the demonstrations’ early weeks.

  • BICOM’s Senior Visiting Fellow Brig. Gen. (res.) Michael Herzog explained the background to the violence, Hamas’s strategy, and Israel’s dilemmas.
  • Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, International Spokesman and Head of Social Media for the IDF, described the IDF strategy and rules of engagement.
  • The BICOM research team published an analysis on Hamas’s objectives and Israel’s response.

BICOM published two recent opinion pieces about Gaza.

  • Israel Director Richard Pater explains that the protests at the border allow Hamas to redirect anger from its abject failure of ruling and administering Gaza.
  • Director of Research Calev Ben-Dor argued that amidst the blame game over the deaths, Gaza’s failing infrastructure remains unresolved.

BICOM has also published a number of strategic assessments which map out the different challenges in Gaza.

  • In January 2018, BICOM published an update on the heightened risk of conflict in Gaza, following the emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss Gaza and the two-state solution.
  • In June 2017 a briefing described the potential for a new crisis, as well as giving a number of recommendations for what the UK and international community could do to alleviate the situation and prevent violence.
  • In May 2017, former head of the National Security Council Giora Eiland provided an overview of the situation in the Strip and called for a strategic Israeli response.
  • In a Fathom interview in December 2016, Grisha Yakubovich, a former senior official in COGAT (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories), suggested an outline for a potential “grand bargain” involving Hamas in Gaza under certain conditions.
  • In August 2016, Michael Herzog published an assessment identifying the challenges hampering the reconstruction effort, and the next steps to improve the conditions for the territory’s population manifest for how the next war could be prevented.

Furthermore, following the last war between Israel and Hamas in 2014, Operation Protective Edge, Fathom asked a number of experts to share their thoughts on the principle of reconstruction of Gaza in return for demilitarisation of Hamas. These included:

In May 2017, the ideology of Hamas as a movement was analysed by Calev Ben-Dor following the organisation’s new “document of general policy principles”.