Conflict and Fragility


Expert insights: Israel-Hamas war

16 Apr 2024 - 09:00
Bron: Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, as seen from Ashkelon in southern Israel October 10, 2023.Reuters

To navigate through the latest news and place the events in a broader perspective, we have created a compilation of our latest publications, videos and 'in the media' expert comments.

Norway, Spain and Ireland recognise the state of Palestine 

Television fragment with Erwin van Veen featuring in BBC Breaking News 

Norway, Spain and Ireland have recently decided to formally recognise a Palestinian state. ''It has become clear that the past few Israeli governments don't envisage any new negotiations, let alone a new Palestinian state,'' argues Erwin van Veen. This decision by these countries sends a clear message to Israel that the current situation is unsustainable. 

Watch video

Israel's strategic peril

Article by Erwin van Veen 

Israel's predicament is far worse than being gradually sucked into a low-level permanent insurgency in Gaza. The devastation in Gaza has unveiled a myriad of strategic vulnerabilities for Israel, posing challenges that will prove difficult to address. Consequently, Israel's ability to present itself as a secure and democratic nation will be severely compromised once the conflict subsides. 

Read article.

A 'symbolic' attack by Iran on Israel

Television fragment with Erwin van Veen featuring in news show 'Nieuwsuur' (Dutch)

Iran has carried out a major attack on Israel for the first time, primarily intende as a symbolic message for domestic political consumption. The attack was a response to an Israeli assault on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Iran has sought to minimise the risk of escalation by issuing warnings beforehand and refraining from deploying their most advanced missiles. 


The shadow war between Iran and Israel Tensions between Iran and Israel are rising

Video with Erwin van Veen by news show 'Nieuwsuur' (Dutch)

This video analyses the shadow war between Iran and Israel, delving into the shared history between both countries. The recent rise of tensions is not the first crisis; the relations between Iran and Israel have been problematic from decades. The attack by Hamas on October 7th last year, however, has further escalated the conflict.


Hardening of Israeli politics and the role of far-right minister Itamar Ben-Gvir

Television fragment with Erwin van Veen featuring in news show 'EenVandaag' (Dutch)

This fragment analyses the growing influence of far-right ideology in Israeli politics in recent decades, particularly at the role of Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir. ''Not only after October 7th, but over the past 10 years, I see that Israeli politics is hardening and becoming more extreme.'' 

Read the article and view the fragment (Dutch)

Tensions between Iran and Israel are rising

Article with Erwin van Veen in Het Financieele Dagblad (Dutch)

An offensive on Israel from Iran is feared. Erwin van Veen, Middle East expert at the Clingendael Institute, is on the edge of his seat, he says. He expects a reaction from Iran, as the country 'does not want to lose face'. Still, Van Veen thinks Iran will mainly bring 'light and noise': 'a regional conflict with militarily strong Israel is risky for Iran'.

Read the article (Dutch)

In Darkness All is Black: Exploring the Realities of Violence by the Israeli State and Hamas 

Essay by Erwin van Veen in The Cairo Review of Global Affairs

This essay explores the use of violence by respectively Hamas and the Israeli State. It concludes that they are broadly comparable if gauged against a legal, political and operational standard. This has two major policy implications, namely that sanctioning Hamas without also sanctioning the Israeli state for its use of violence tilts the odds against peace, and that excluding Hamas from peace negotiations because of its use of violence – but not the Israeli state – will likely ensure their failure.

Read the essay 

Judy Asks: Has the War in Gaza Irreversibly Damaged Europe’s Credibility? 

Article by Carnegie Europe

Has The War in Gaza Irreversibly Damaged Europe’s Credibility?’ Erwin van Veen reflects.

Read the article

Scenarios for the Palestinian issue after the Gaza war

This Alert presents four scenarios for the Palestinian issue once ongoing ground operations in Gaza have ended. They describe possible futures, however uncertain, and encourage us to consider how we feel about these.

Read the Clingendael Alert.

Robert Serry at Clingendael's State of the Union Conference 2023



Clingendael in de media (in Dutch)



Met zwaarste bommen poogde Israël in humanitaire zone Hamas-kopstuk te doden, NOS


Aanval op Rafah: beperkte operatie of 'sluipoffensief' om onder radar te blijven, NOS

Norway, Spain and Ireland recognise Palestine. What happens next, the National News

Verhuizing ambassade naar Jeruzalem zou klap in het gezicht zijn van Palestijnen, het Algemeen Dagblad 

Recognition of state of Palestine 'lays bare failed EU diplomacy' in Middle East, the National News

Na de Israëlische droneaanval: ‘Iran is op strategisch niveau de oorlog aan het winnen’, Knack

Is Iran de vijand, of tot vijand gemaakt?. De Kanttekening

'Netanyahu is een Machiavelli van de 21ste eeuw': wat gaat er écht om in het hoofd van de Israëlische premier?, De Morgen

Midden-oosten verder op scherp: 'Als Iran Israël echt had willen raken, hadden ze het wel anders aangepakt', Algemeen Dagblad

Wat wilde Iran bereiken? En vier andere vragen over de Iraanse aanval op Israël, RTL Nieuws

Voor welke aanvallen kiest Iran en wat zijn de mogelijke gevolgen voor ons?, Het Laatste Nieuws

Spanningen Israël en Iran lopen op, Lufthansa schrapt vluchten Teheran, Het Financieele Dagblad


Aanleg haven Gaza door VS levert vooral uitdagingen op aan wal, NOS

Volksheld Marwan Barghouti: de hoop van alle Palestijnen in bange dagen, Het Parool

Construction of the Gaza port by the US mainly poses challenges on land, Paudal

Nederlandse bijdrage aan Midden-Oosten missies, De Ochtendspits

Nederland stuurt schip voor missie tegen Houthi-aanvallen in Rode Zee, Met Het Oog Op Morgen


Escalatie van conflict in Gaza: mogelijke aanval op Rafah, Bureau Buitenland

Rondetafelgesprek over het Midden-Oosten, Tweede Kamer

Kruitvat Midden-Oosten: Bluffen, dreigen, aanvallen, wreken..., De Groene Amsterdammer

Opnieuw aanval op schip Rode Zee, BNR The Daily Move


Gaza grotendeels verwoest, BNR Nieuwsradio

Ook Iran gooit olie op het vuur, dreigt verdere escalatie in Midden-Oosten?,

Escalatie van conflicten in het Midden-Oosten, NOS Radio 1 Journaal

Houthi's bestoken schepen op Rode Zee en Iran valt Pakistan aan: staat het Midden-Oosten op ontploffen?, VRT

Aanval na aanval in het Midden-Oosten: 'Kans op grotere oorlog neemt toe', RTL

‘In conflict met Houthi’s is houding China cruciaal’, FD

Westers geduld met Houthi’s is op, FD

Wordt er onderzoek gedaan naar oorlogsmisdaden door zowel Israël als Hamas? En andere vragen over de oorlog beantwoord

, EenVandaag

‘Het echte doel van Israël is intussen duidelijk: het verdrijven van zoveel mogelijk Palestijnen uit de Gazastrook’, De Morgen €


'Landen kijken toe conflict Gaza', Nieuwsuur

Hoe leefbaar Gaza blijft & Einde van Nagorno-Karabach, Bureau Buitenland

Bijeenroepen Veiligheidsraad over Israël-Gaza 'doorbreekt impasse', FD

Houthi's vallen schepen op Rode Zee aan: 'Dit kan uitgroeien tot een serieus probleem', FD

Oud idee, nieuwe obstakels: hoe haalbaar is tweestatenoplossing?, NOS

Veel vrijgelaten Palestijnse 'gevangenen' zijn minderjarigen zonder aanklacht, RTL

Hervatting van gevechten in Gaza na korte pauze, Nieuwsuur

Oud idee, nieuwe obstakels: hoe haalbaar is tweestatenoplossing?, NOS

Hervatting van Israëlische aanvallen op Gaza, NOS Met het Oog op Morgen

Houthi's vallen schepen op Rode Zee aan: 'Dit kan uitgroeien tot een serieus probleem', FD








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