Update on Conflict and Diplomacy
This update summarizes bilateral, multilateral, regional, and international events affecting the Palestinians and Israel. It covers the quarter beginning on 16 May 2017 and ending on 15 August 2017: U.S. president Donald Trump continued working on a largely undefined peace initiative with little success. Violence in the Old City of Jerusalem interrupted U.S. diplomatic efforts and the Israeli government imposed new security measures at Haram al-Sharif. These restrictions sparked a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territories and a Muslim boycott of the sanctuary, testing the nascent U.S. initiative. Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas increased pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza to the PA. The 1,500-plus Palestinian prisoners who declared a mass hunger strike last quarter secured key concessions from the Israeli authorities and brought their strike to a close. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates enacted a diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar.