The situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories is growing heated. Protests over the forced dislocation of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have escalated into violent confrontations with Israeli police forces, including in the Old City of Jerusalem and on the sacred grounds of the al-Aqsa Mosque, interrupting prayers there during the holy month of Ramadan. Over the past few days, these clashes have in turn triggered rocket attacks into Israel from Hamas-controlled Gaza and reciprocal airstrikes by the Israeli military. Some such rockets have even reached the city of Tel Aviv, leading Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his coalition partner, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz, to promise a new military operation against Hamas in Gaza over the days to come.
To catch up on these fast-moving developments, Scott R. Anderson sat down with Natan Sachs, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of the Center for Middle East Policy, and Zaha Hassan, a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. They discussed the origins of this most recent conflict, the unusual Israeli and Palestinian political context in which it is occurring and what it might all mean for the Biden administration's own objectives in the region.