Israel Update: February 2023


    Israel and Palestine have undergone one of the deadliest months in recent years. The level of violence has ramped up since clashes in November 2022. With tension rising further after a shooting inside a synagogue on holocaust memorial day, a peaceful solution is not likely. Furthermore, Israel and Iranian relations have been worsening as Israel warns Iran it will consider all options in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Israel’s new right wing government is increasingly being criticised by its own citizens over proposed laws and from external powers.

    Key Judgement-1: It is highly likely that violence in the West Bank between Israel and Palestinians will continue to increase in the next 6 months.

    • January is proving to be one of the bloodiest months in the West Bank in several years. (Source)
    • On 27 January 2023 (Holocaust memorial day) a terrorist attack on a synagogue on the outskirts of Jerusalem killed several people. (Source
    • The shooting comes a day after Israeli security forces killed nine Palestinians in a pre-emptive raid on a refugee camp in Jenin. (Source)
    • Moreover, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised a decisive and swift response to the attack. (Source)
    • In addition, clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians have become increasingly violent throughout January. (Source)
    • Israel’s security cabinet has proposed loosening gun control to strengthen settlements in response to the growing attacks. (Source)
    • The Israeli government has proposed denying residency and social benefits to the families of terrorists. (Source)
    • Palestinian militants from the Gaza strip have launched multiple rockets into Israel. (Source)
    • Israel is announcing that they will increase troop numbers in the occupied West Bank. (Source)
    • 28 January 2023, a Palestinian teenager opened fire on Israeli civilians before being eventually killed. (Source)
    • Senior Israeli cabinet members are calling for increasing the numbers of settlements angering the Palestinian community. (Source)

    Key Judgement 2. It is highly likely that tensions between Israel and Iran will continue to escalate in the next 6 months.

    • Israeli news sites are claiming Iran is using Hamas to fight Israel in Jenin. (Source)
    • Unidentified drones struck a military factory in Iran28 January 2023. (Source)
    • US officials credit the attack to Israel. (Source)
    • Allegedly, senior IDF officials expect conflict with Iran before the summer. (Source)
    • Moreover, this comes after the US and Israel have just completed one of the largest joint military exercises the region has ever seen. (Source
    • Israel is continuing to stress that if diplomacy fails, they are willing to use force to halt Iran’s nuclear weapon program. (Source)

    Key Judgement 3. It is likely that the new Israeli government will continue to face opposition from its own citizens and from allies over a shift in right wing politics in the next 6 months. 

    • Israel currently has the most right wing government in the nation’s history. (Source)
    • In addition, Pro Israel lawmakers in the US are worried by how right wing Israel’s new government is. (Source)
    • Protests are ongoing across Israel about proposed judiciary reform, which would grant the Knesset more power. (Source)
    • Furthermore, there are worries that Israel under its new government is becoming increasingly authoritarian. (Source)
    • Moreover, These protests have been ongoing for three weeks. (Source)
    • The US Secretary of State is expected to try and calm down tensions during his upcoming visit to Jerusalem. (Source)

    Intelligence Cut-off Date: 10 February 2023

    Aidan Hickey
    Aidan Hickey
    Aidan is a Third Year War Studies Student at King's College London with a keen interest in the Middle-East and Insurgency.

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