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  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, Hizballah drastically escalated its activity along Israel's northern border, ending seven months of relative calm there. Yet, the assault on Israeli positions in the Shebaa Farms area and the cross-border shelling of northern Israeli towns pale in comparison to the potential danger posed by the terrorist cells and political opposition Hizballah is now operating -- with Iranian funding and oversight -- in the northern West Bank.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe, Jason O'Connor
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After months of restraint following the double shock of U.S. military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hizballah resumed action against Israel today, firing mortal shells and missiles at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) along the Israel-Lebanon border. Changes in the regional geopolitical environment and recent statements by the organization's leadership suggest that Hizballah may also be preparing to carry out new terror operations, while the killing of a senior Hizballah military official last weekend by a car bomb may have provided the pretext for today's attack. Washington needs to closely follow these developments and engage in preemptive diplomacy to prevent new deterioration in the Arab-Israeli conflict, at a time when there is reason for cautious optimism on the Israeli-Palestinian track.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dennis Ross, David Makovisky
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 2, 2003, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross is the director of the Institute. He served as U.S. point person on the Middle East peace process under the first Bush administration and both Clinton administrations. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and adjunct lecturer of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Many Israelis and Palestinians once again have a sense of hope, following President George W. Bush's meeting with Arab leaders at Sharm al-Shaykh and with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (known as Abu Mazen) in Aqaba. This new hope in both societies poses an existential threat to terrorist organizations operating in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Once Israel is no longer viewed as an enemy, there is no clear justification for the existence of such organizations. Hence, it should come as no surprise that these organizations are trying to escalate operations against Israel in an attempt to derail any peace initiatives. In the past, suicide operations undertaken by these organizations have been quite successful in achieving this objective; this should not be allowed to happen again.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shoshanah Haberman
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent days, both Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat and prime minister Mahmoud Abbas have said they expect an agreement on a Hamas ceasefire (or hudna) to be announced soon. According to Abbas, Hamas -- in Arabic, "the Islamic Resistance Movement" -- "will commit to halting terrorism, both within the green line and in the territories." As longtime Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat explained, Abbas needs a ceasefire agreement to jumpstart negotiations for Palestinian statehood. Abbas, said Erekat, "will insist on this declaration [of a ceasefire] because that's the key . . . for him to go out and tell the Palestinians, 'Look, we've got the Israeli government to recognize the Palestinian state, [so] we need two years in a peaceful, meaningful peace process.'"
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush will be holding three summits next week that will have a strong Middle East orientation. A G-8 summit will followed by a meeting with Arab leaders in Sharm al-Shaykh, Egypt, and a summit of Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Aqaba, Jordan, representing a new phase in the administration's approach to the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israel's cautious approval of the Roadmap opens a new phase in Middle East peacemaking. Although media focus will now turn to the next episode of high-level engagement by President George W. Bush -- perhaps at a Jordan- or Egypt-hosted regional summit in early June -- the real test for Washington and its Quartet colleagues comes in the implementation of the first phase of Roadmap requirements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent talks in Damascus focused not only on Syrian sponsorship of Palestinian terrorist groups, but also on Syria's increasingly intimate ties with and support for Hizballah. Yet, Syrian support for terrorist groups of global reach does not end with Hizballah. Recently revealed intelligence on al-Qaeda activities in Europe exposed a significant al-Qaeda network in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Syrian sponsorship of terrorism topped the agenda of Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent trip to Damascus, and his visit was quickly followed by conflicting reports regarding the status of various terrorist headquarters there. The coming weeks will determine whether the Damascus offices of Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), and other terrorist groups have in fact been shut down, and, far more critically, whether their activities have been curtailed. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Syrian officials continue to describe the Damascus headquarters of these terrorist groups as "media offices." By harboring these groups, Syria is complicit in their terrorist activities, which include inciting, recruiting, training, coordinating, funding, and directing terrorists staging operations from Syria itself and from Syrian-controlled Lebanon.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With last week's formal unveiling of the Roadmap, the Arab-Israeli peace process has moved into a new phase that is its most internationalized in a quarter century. The establishment of the Roadmap's all-important "verification mechanism" -- the structure of which has largely been worked out among the Quartet's U.S., European Union (EU), Russian, and UN representatives -- will give tangible expression to this heightened level of internationalization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries