Quarterly Updates for (16 May 2017 — 15 Aug 2017)

U.S. pres. Donald Trump continues working on a largely undefined peace initiative with little success. Violence in the Old City of Jerusalem interrupts U.S. diplomatic efforts and the Israeli govt. imposes new security measures at Haram al-Sharif. These restrictions spark a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territories and a Muslim boycott of the sanctuary, testing the nascent U.S. initiative. Palestinian Authority pres. Mahmoud Abbas increases pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of Gaza to the PA. The 1,500-plus Palestinian prisoners who declared a mass hunger strike last quarter (the “Dignity Strike”) secure key concessions from the Israeli authorities and bring their strike to a close. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates enact a diplomatic and economic boycott of Qatar.