In this week's podcast, join your host Valeria Scuto, our Middle East and North Africa Analyst, along with Anastasia Chisholm, our Associate Analyst and Ahmed Alqarout, our Lead Middle East and North Africa Analyst to discuss Israel's launch of Operation Breaking Dawn against targets of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the Gaza Strip on 5 August that prompted a weekend of cross-border confrontations with the group.
Despite the agreement of a ceasefire on 7 August, ethno-religious tensions remain high in the Palestinian Territories, following frequent Israeli military raids and arrests on Palestinian militant group leadership in the West Bank.
The Israeli military's targeting of PIJ specifically, while aiming to avoid escalations with Hamas, in part reflects the varying degrees to which both groups are willing to engage in armed confrontations with Israel, with PIJ being the more willing party. The latest escalations are underpinned by an intensification in Israeli counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank since April, in response to a series of terror attacks on Israeli territory. Ongoing operations will continue to drive tensions with Palestinian militant groups, increasing the threat of repeated bursts of short-term, limited armed escalations in the coming months.