WASHINGTON– As a fragile cease-fire holds between Israel and Hamas militants, diplomatic talks are underway to take account of the rubble left behind and how to pave a new path forward on peace talks.
But the 11-day Israel-Gaza conflict has tested the limits of Trump-era accords that had ushered in a geopolitical shift in the Middle East, promising the of peace.
Former President Donald Trump hailed his Abraham Accords, agreements that normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries, as one of his greatest foreign policy achievements. But nine months later, a barrage of rocket attacks and airstrikes – the deadliest conflict since a 2014 war between Israel and Hamas – showed little has changed in the region.
More than 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis were killed between May 10 and May 21, after Hamas launched rockets into Israeli territory following communal violence in Jerusalem. The attack prompted Israel to respond with an airstrike campaign that sent 58,000 Palestinians fleeing from their homes in Gaza, devastating infrastructure already crumbling from a 14-year blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, which the U.S. and Israel consider a terrorist group.
The White House has defended what President Joe Biden described as “quiet and relentless diplomacy” to push for a cease-fire, while critics note the failure by the U.S. and international mediators to persuade both sides to end escalations early on. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said recently the Biden administration didn’t believe the Trump administration “did anything constructive to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.”