Crossroads in Gaza and the Region
Crossroads in Gaza and the Region

Against the backdrop of multiple failed hostage deal outlines, violent confrontations between Israeli settlers and soldiers with Palestinians in the West Bank, a continuously catastrophic situation on the ground in Gaza, and the spiraling brinksmanship between Iran and Israel, the prevailing feeling is that of a war in relative statis. In the short term, all fronts – Gaza, the Israel-Lebanon border, and the West Bank – are poised on the potential brink of an even greater escalation. The current issues that will determine the immediate direction of the war are the new hostage deal offer and a potential invasion of Rafah. As Thomas Friedman of the New York Times wrote last week, an Israeli full-scale invasion of Rafah without international support and a continuous lack of a coherent exit strategy could have terminal implications for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s desired foreign policy legacy of Saudi-Israeli normalization. Friedman writes: “The road to Riyadh has a much bigger payoff at the end than the road to Rafah, which will be a dead end in every sense of the term.” While international players strive to prevent a regional conflagration, reputational costs and radical actors all threaten to push the conflict into an even more extreme level of crisis. 

This month’s Two State Index will examine:

  • International sanctions and recognition of Palestinian statehood;
  • Palestinian leadership preparing for the "day after" in Gaza;
  • The significance of regional tensions and alliances following the Iran-Israel confrontation.

As a result of parameter changes analyzed below, the Two-State Index decreased from 5.17 to 5.11 (-1.2%) this month.