Ignoring the roots of violence in the IsraelPalestine conflict challenges any future peace

From: Chatham House
Published: Mon Oct 30 2023


Only by addressing the suffering on all sides can we understand what is happening - and what can come next.

The Hamas attacks on Israelis on 7 October shattered a growing regional and international consensus that the Israel-Palestine conflict was dormant. The violence was a horrifying reminder that regional transformation, grounded in integration and normalization between Arab and Israeli states long hostile to one another, remains far off.

Some watching and reading analyses of this month's events across much of English-language media may think that Hamas' attack represented the end of a period of peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett stated the attack was ‘unprovoked'. Shadow UK Foreign Secretary David Lammy insisted ‘these events started on Saturday'.

These claims imply that a peace was broken by Hamas on 7 October. But what they ignore is the Palestinian reality of a conflict that has never ended.

Understanding this context is not to justify Hamas's actions but to explore the roots of it. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated, ‘the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.' Israel has rejected Guterres' remark and demanded his resignation.

The Netanyahu government had long insisted its conflict with Palestinians was under control. Many Israelis lived relatively stable lives and either believed or tolerated their government's narrative of ‘post-conflict'.

Click here to continue reading the full version of this Expert Comment on the Chatham House website.

Company: Chatham House

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