Analysis: Hamas rockets reach Tel Aviv as tensions reach boiling point

  The past week has seen a major escalation of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, as confrontations and violence in Jerusalem have been followed by more than 1,000 rockets being fired indiscriminately into Israel by Gaza-based terror groups. Israel has responded with strikes targeted at Hamas in Gaza. What happened Tensions and low-level violence had[…]

Analysis: First Palestinian elections since 2006 postponed once again

Elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council and presidency, respectively scheduled for 22 May and 31 July, have been postponed indefinitely – and effectively cancelled. What happened Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas announced on Thursday that the elections, which would have been the first to take place since 2006, would be postponed. Most observers see the indefinite delay[…]

In Brief: Largest ever Israel-UAE commercial deal agreed

Israeli energy company Delek Drilling has signed an agreement to sell its 22 percent share in the offshore Tamar natural gas field to Abu Dhabi’s Mubdala Petroleum Company for $1.1 billion. The deal represents the largest and most significant commercial agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates since the two countries established diplomatic relations[…]

In Brief: Iranian foreign minister laments IRGC influence

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has offered a glimpse into Iran’s internal power struggles in a leaked recording, claiming that the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) dominates governmental decision-making. Zarif claimed that IRGC commander Qassim Suleimani, who was killed by the United States in January 2020, had consistently undermined him, working with Russia to[…]

Analysis: Weekend of violence and rockets amid election uncertainty

Following several nights of rocket fire from Gaza, Israel has warned Hamas that it will face major retaliation should the attacks continue. Gaza-based armed factions launched more than 40 rockets into Israel over the weekend, against a background of continued unrest in Jerusalem and electoral uncertainty in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories. What happened Israel’s[…]

LFI Focus: Fourth time lucky? Israel’s March election

Introduction In May 2019, the Israeli Knesset dissolved itself barely one month after voters had been to the polls. That political stalemate marked the first time in the state’s seven-decade history that an election has not resulted in the formation of a government. Few then, however, could have predicted that, after another three elections, Israel would still be mired in[…]

In Brief: Sudan ends 63-year Israeli boycott law

The Sudanese government voted to annul its so-called Israel boycott law on Monday, in the latest development in the two countries’ diplomatic normalisation process. The decision to scrap the law, dating from 1958, was confirmed earlier this month by the Sudanese prime minister’s office, which also affirmed Sudan’s support for a two-state solution between Israelis[…]

Analysis: Is time running out for Netanyahu?

With two weeks left to form a government, Benjamin Netanyahu suffered a major blow on Monday when his supporters lost a key vote which effectively cost them control of the Knesset. The loss increased speculation that the long-serving prime minister’s days in office are numbered. What happened The anti-Netanyahu bloc secured an important victory in a[…]

In Brief: US defence secretary visits Israel

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, forming part of a two-day visit to Israel. Austin tweeted that the US is committed to working closely with Israel, particularly on security and “threats posed by Iran”. He did not mention Iran or its nuclear programme on the visit, however. The[…]

In Brief: Bibi-Bennett coalition talks continue

Benjamin Netanyahu met with Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Yamina party, for the fourth time on Wednesday after being asked to form a government by President Reuven Rivlin last week. The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem hosted coalition negotiations between Likud and Yamina, who have also been meeting separately. Talks between Netanyahu and Bennett were described as[…]