November 15, 2023

IntelBrief: Escalating West Bank Violence Could Have Major Implications for the Region

AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

Bottom Line Up Front

  • While violence in the West Bank is far from a new phenomenon, it has escalated precipitously since October 7 and, if left unaddressed, could have serious political and security implications throughout the region, including complicating the prospects for a two-state solution.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently offered rare criticism of growing unrest in the West Bank, saying about reports of settler violence, “I condemn this, and we will act against it,” echoing concerns expressed by the White House.
  • Lethal attacks have spiked in the West Bank, while Israel’s minister for national security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has promised to provide guns to settlers in an effort to stand up “security squads” that will be trained and organized by the police.
  • Spiraling violence has led to the displacement of Palestinians in the West Bank, increasing pressure not just on the Palestinian Authority but also on countries like Jordan, which will inevitably be impacted by instability on its borders.