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Allies and enemies are anxiously waiting to see if the Israeli government will escalate regional conflict further after more than 300 projectiles were fired from Iran at Israel on 13-14 April in Tehran’s retaliation to the Israeli strike that killed IRGC commanders in Damascus. Most of the drones and missiles were shot down, but a few hit Israeli military bases, causing limited damage.

Iran | Israel | Palestine

Efforts to bring the Gaza conflict to an end continue, with little apparent prospect of short-term success. Arab states are pushing for Israel to end its bombardment but there is just as much focus on trying to ensure the war doesn’t escalate into a regional conflagration. A key challenge is the Houthis’ campaign against commercial shipping in the Red Sea, which Washington and allies are struggling to counter despite a major attack on targets in Yemen on 12 January.

Iran | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel | Palestine

Qatar has said it is continuing to push for a permanent ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, after a week-long ‘humanitarian pause’ it helped to foster ended on 1 December. The resumption of fighting has seen Israel launch a major bombardment of southern Gaza and brought renewed condemnation from Gulf governments.

Israel | Qatar | Palestine

The work schedule is unrelenting for Qatari Prime Minister and foreign affairs minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al-Thani, who flew into Manama for talks with Bahraini Prime Minister and Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa on 17 November – to cement bilateral ties as well as discuss the situation in Gaza. 

Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Palestine | Qatar

In a major coup for Qatar, Doha has been credited with brokering a four-day truce in Gaza, which was due to come into effect as GSN was going to press, in a deal where Hamas would start freeing its 7 October hostages while Israel releases Palestinian prisoners from its jails. There is still a huge amount of work to do by international partners if a wider peace settlement is to be achieved, but what is clear is that Qatari actors have emerged as international players after years of effort to position Doha as a deal-broker that can be all things to all men.

Israel | Palestine | Qatar

The organisational structure of Hamas is clouded in secrecy, but the current war – and negotiations to bring it to an end – mean it is now critical for Israel and other parties to understand how the group operates and makes its decisions.

Israel | Palestine

Qatar Foundation (QF) chair Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser led a roundtable discussion in Doha in November to review the humanitarian situation in Gaza and ways to provide support to Palestinians.

Palestine | Qatar

Omani officials told GSN that the failure to achieve a settlement to the Israel/Palestinian conflict was nurturing radicalisation and undermining the prospects for resolving other political problems across the Middle East.

Oman | Israel | Palestine

Saudi Arabia is leading a fresh effort from the Gulf to assert its regional influence in an attempt to bring the Gaza war to an end, there has been no indication that Israel would consider reducing the intensity of its relentless bombing campaign as it seeks vengeance for the brutal Hamas assault of 7 October.

Iran | Saudi Arabia | Jordan | Bahrain | Yemen | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel | Palestine | Iraq

The Qatar-headquartered International Union of Muslim Scholars (Iums) has called for urgent military intervention in Gaza. Founded and formerly headed by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, a senior Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen figure who died in September 2022, Iums is generally regarded as the primary religious authority guiding Hamas.

Qatar | Palestine

In regions across the Middle East and North Africa where popular support for the Palestinian cause is widespread, the UAE has been trying to walk a fine line, maintaining diplomatic ties with Israel while publicly focusing on the provision of humanitarian aid to Gaza and calls for a ceasefire.

Yemen | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel | Palestine

Even before the new Gaza war shattered comfortable assumptions about regional security, the global economic climate had been hostile, as shown in analysis of the International Monetary Fund's new reports on the global outlook and regional economic performance.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | Yemen | Oman | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Palestine | Iraq | Qatar

The 'Axis of Resistance' bloc of state and non-state actors, Shia and Sunni militias, has been long in the making, as Iran's revolutionary elite has sought to project its influence via a disparate group of organisations ranged across the Middle East. Its components are of differing sizes and capabilities, and their links to Iran also vary.

Iran | Yemen | Israel | Palestine | Iraq | Syria | Lebanon

There have been public protests in a number of countries around the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) in support of Palestinians and against Israeli actions in Gaza, but in many countries they have been limited in scope. Huge crowds have taken to the streets in capitals from Rabat to Baghdad, but there have been no major events in the countries where the public space is most tightly controlled, such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Kuwait | Bahrain | Oman | Palestine | Iraq

Governments across the region are trying to ensure the war between Hamas and Israel doesn’t escalate, with potentially disastrous expansion to other fronts. Meanwhile the monarchies and others are trying to assuage the anger many of their citizens feel towards Israel’s actions in Gaza, in a conflict that has profoundly upset recent comfortable assumptions about the regional status quo.

Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | Bahrain | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Israel | Palestine | Qatar