Middle East Tensions

October 27, 2006 • Volume 16, Issue 38
Are there any hopeful signs?
By Peter Katel


Supporters of the Islamic resistance organization Hamas vow never to recognize Israel during an Oct. 6 rally in the Gaza Strip.  (AFP/Getty Images/Abid Katib)
Supporters of the Islamic resistance organization Hamas vow never to recognize Israel during an Oct. 6 rally in the Gaza Strip. (AFP/Getty Images/Abid Katib)

United Nations peacekeepers are maintaining a fragile peace in south Lebanon after last summer's devastating 34-day war between Hezbollah and Israel. Elsewhere in the Middle East, the climate of confrontation makes prospects for peace appear grim. In the region's longest-running conflict, Israel and the Palestinians remain locked in disagreement over creation of a permanent homeland for the Palestinians, and armed skirmishes between rival Palestinian parties are complicating efforts to restart peace negotiations with Israel. In addition, the Bush administration is leading an international boycott of one of those parties — Hamas — for its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. In Lebanon, many fear the truce between Israel and the Hezbollah militia won't last. Hezbollah's main patron, Iran, is defying American and European efforts to ensure that its nuclear-power development is limited to peaceful purposes. And in Iraq, U.S. forces remain bogged down after more than three years of fighting.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Peace
Dec. 11, 2020  The Abraham Accords
Apr. 13, 2018  The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Mar. 09, 2018  Saudi Arabia's Uncertain Future
Jun. 21, 2013  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
May 2009  Middle East Peace Prospects
Oct. 27, 2006  Middle East Tensions Updated
Jan. 21, 2005  Middle East Peace
Aug. 30, 2002  Prospects for Mideast Peace
Apr. 06, 2001  Middle East Conflict
Mar. 06, 1998  Israel At 50
Aug. 30, 1991  The Palestinians
Oct. 19, 1990  The Elusive Search for Arab Unity
Feb. 24, 1989  Egypt's Strategic Mideast Role
Apr. 15, 1988  Israel's 40-Year Quandary
Mar. 02, 1984  American Involvement in Lebanon
Nov. 12, 1982  Reagan's Mideast Peace Initiative
Apr. 23, 1982  Egypt After Sadat
Jan. 04, 1980  Divided Lebanon
Jul. 20, 1979  West Bank Negotiations
Dec. 01, 1978  Middle East Transition
Jan. 13, 1978  Saudi Arabia's Backstage Diplomacy
Oct. 29, 1976  Arab Disunity
May 16, 1975  Middle East Diplomacy
Sep. 13, 1974  Palestinian Question
Dec. 12, 1973  Middle East Reappraisal
Apr. 25, 1973  Israeli Society After 25 Years
Aug. 19, 1970  American Policy in the Middle East
Apr. 25, 1969  Arab Guerrillas
Aug. 02, 1967  Israeli Prospects
Jul. 06, 1966  Middle East Enmities
Apr. 14, 1965  Relations with Nasser
Aug. 17, 1960  Arab-Israeli Deadlock
May 27, 1959  Middle East Instability
Jun. 04, 1958  Nasser and Arab Unity
Oct. 02, 1957  Soviet Threat in Middle East
Sep. 18, 1956  Suez Dispute and Strategic Waterways
May 09, 1956  Middle East Commitments
Apr. 13, 1955  Middle East Conflicts
Mar. 31, 1954  Security in the Mideast
Oct. 23, 1952  Israel and the Arab States
Jan. 30, 1952  Egyptian Crisis and Middle East Defense
Mar. 17, 1948  Palestine Crisis
Feb. 18, 1946  Soviet Russia and the Middle East
Middle East Conflicts
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia