Update on Conflict and Diplomacy
This update is a summary of bilateral, multilateral, regional, and international events affecting the Palestinians and Israel, compiled from a survey of more than 100 print, wire, television, and online sources providing U.S., Israeli, Arab, and international independent and government coverage of unfolding events. Regional events figure heavily in developments from 16 August 2017 to 15 November 2017 as the Saudi Arabian crown prince steps out of the shadows of secret meetings with Israeli and U.S. officials; Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri announces his resignation under mysterious circumstances in Riyadh; and Prince Mohammad bin Salman summons PA president Mahmoud Abbas to the Saudi capital just two days later. These actions come soon after representatives from Hamas and Fatah sign a new reconciliation agreement in Cairo, prompting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to threaten to upend Trump’s peace initiative. Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition continue to quarrel internally over settlement growth and annexation. They also continue their crackdown on the Israeli opposition, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Earlier in the quarter, U.S. president Donald Trump asks the Palestinians to delay unilateral moves at international forums while he puts together a plan for restarting Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations.