FULL REPORT: Israel – Palestine – Cycle of violence will continue between Palestinians and Israelis despite efforts to de-escalate

Middle EastIsrael12 April 2023

FULL REPORT: Israel – Palestine – Cycle of violence will continue between Palestinians and Israelis despite efforts to de-escalate

Image Credit: Dima Moroz / Shutterstock

Torchlight Torchlight Predictions

  • Clashes with Palestinians will not lessen Israel’s political crisis
  • Armed Palestinian factions will fire more rockets towards Israel due to friction over Haram al-Sharif compound
  • More indiscriminate lone-actor attacks will take place in Israel and occupied territories due to continuation of lethal raids and settler rampages


  • Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshippers from al-Aqsa mosque with stun grenades, rubber bullets and batons, twice in less than 24 hours. (4-5 April)
  • Suspected Palestinian factions fire rockets from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria towards Israel. Israel responds with relatively restrained force, attacking targets in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. (7-9 April)
  • Thousands of Israeli and Jewish worshippers forcefully enter the Haram al-Sharif compound on two consecutive days. At the same time, right-wing politicians lead a mass rally into an illegal West Bank outpost under heavy security protection, vowing to establish a Jewish settlement. (9-10 April)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bans non-Muslim visitors from entering the Haram al-Sharif complex during the last 10 days of Ramadan in an effort to de-escalate tensions. (11 April)


Outsourcing Israel’s political crisis by triggering conflict with Palestinians will not reduce the political divisions. The timing of the flare-up suggests an attempt to divert attention from Israel’s internal political crisis by triggering violence with the Palestinians in an effort to unify Israelis through a common threat. However, a larger than anticipated escalation with the armed Palestinian factions would risk an opposite reaction for the already troubled government. Anti-reform protests also continued despite the escalating violence, indicating the public will not be distracted from the issue

Netanyahu’s efforts to de-escalate will not significantly reduce risks of violence in the coming weeks. The Israeli response to the rocket attacks was notably more restrained than during previous flare-ups, and Netanyahu’s temporary ban on non-Muslim entry to the Haram al-Sharif complex is a further attempt to avoid further flashpoints in the immediate term. That said, anger among Muslims regarding the earlier raids will sustain the risk of clashes between Muslims and Israeli security forces at the site, with subsequent risk of renewed cross-border rocket fire. Furthermore, Jewish fundamentalist groups – backed by Netanyahu’s far-right coalition allies – will continue to threaten the status quo at the site by conducting Jewish prayers and rituals. This, combined with persistent clashes over land rights in the occupied West Bank, will subsequently continue to serve as a source of friction for the duration of the current administration. 

Implications for Business

Security: Clashes between Muslim worshippers and Israeli security forces at the Haram al-Sharif complex will trigger further rocket attacks. Despite Israel’s layered air defences which provide substantial protection to major population centres, the defences are not foolproof, and intercepted projectiles still create dangerous debris. With that in mind, cross-border rocket fire continues to pose risks to life safety and property, particularly in areas in proximity to Gaza such as Sderot.

Safety: Indiscriminate lone-actor attacks will become more prevalent in Israel proper and the occupied territories. Lethal security force raids and controversial actions by far-right settler groups, such as visits to illegal settlements or attacks on Palestinian properties, will continue to drive retaliatory violence in Jerusalem, Israeli-occupied areas of the West Bank, and more widely in Israel. Such violence is likely to be indiscriminate and consist of lone-actor stabbings, shootings, and vehicle-rammings, posing incidental life-safety risks.

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