In Brief: PA expects first vaccine shipment as Israel aims for 250,000 jabs a day

The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday that the first shipment of covid vaccines – which had been expected “within days” – had been delayed until mid-February for “technical reasons”. Last week, the PA health ministry granted emergency approval for the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine. It is one of four providers with which the PA has signed contracts. Israel has already approved Ramallah’s request for the[…]

In Brief: Abbas announces Palestinians will vote in new elections this year

Mahmoud Abbas has fired the starting gun on presidential and parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza – 15 years after Palestinians last went to the polls. The Palestinian president signed a decree on Friday scheduling parliamentary elections for 22 May. Presidential elections will follow two months later on 31 July, with a vote for the Palestinian National Council  – the PLO’s elected[…]

In Brief: US bill with $250m boost to Israel-Palestine peacebuilding becomes law

The US Congress has passed a historic bill which will provide a $250m boost to coexistence work in Israel-Palestine, as well as Palestinian economic development. The legislation, which received bipartisan support, was signed after days of prevarication by Donald Trump between Christmas and the new year. It is a major victory for the Alliance for[…]

Analysis: How Israel came to lead the global vaccination drive

Israel continues to lead the world in the speed of its coronavirus vaccine rollout programme. Less than one month after Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli to receive the covid-19 immunisation jab, the country has vaccinated over 22 percent of its population. By the start of this week, nearly three-quarters of Israelis over the age of 60 had been[…]

Analysis: After Israel’s Morocco deal – what next?

Morocco last week became the fourth Arab country in as many months to announce it would be normalising its relations with Israel. The announcement formalises relations between the two countries which the Moroccan foreign minister described over the weekend as “already normal”, and, given the ancient ties between the Jewish people and the North African[…]

In Brief: Ashrawi quits PLO executive in protest at PA resuming Israel links

Hanan Ashrawi, who rose to international fame when she headed the Palestinian delegation to the landmark 1991 Madrid peace talks, has reportedly resigned from the PLO’s Executive Committee. Ashrawi is thought to have quit in protest at the decision of the Palestinian Authority to resume civilian and security coordination with Israel. Sources told the Al-Araby[…]

Analysis: Abbas prepares for the Biden administration

The Palestinian Authority appears to be engaged in a potentially significant repositioning exercise ahead of Joe Biden’s arrival in the White House. The moves by Ramallah are reviving hopes that, with a new administration in Washington committed to a two-state solution, the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process might be revived. In recent weeks, the PA has[…]

In Brief: Nearly half of Israelis want Biden to restart talks with Palestinians

Nearly half of Israelis want Joe Biden to restart the stalled Middle East peace process and launch negotiations with the Palestinians when he takes office in January, a poll published this week found. The survey – carried out by the dovish Geneva Initiative – shows that 49 percent of Israelis want the new US administration[…]

In Brief: Covid pandemic worsens in West Bank and Gaza as cases hit record

The West Bank saw a record increase in new coronavirus cases this week amid fears that the pandemic is spiralling out of control in the Palestinian territories. According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, the West Bank saw 1,126 new cases yesterday. The previous record, set only a day before, was 863. In Gaza, health[…]

Analysis: LFI MPs push for International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

LFI vice-chair Catherine McKinnell led a debate in parliament today calling for the British government to support the establishment of an international fund for Israeli-Palestinian peace. The debate is part of a long-running campaign by LFI – ‘For Israel, For Palestine, For Peace’ – to back the fund, which would invest in peacebuilding projects that[…]