Author: Jørgen Jensehaugen

Chasing a Mirage Amid a Famine

The recurring refrain that there is a route to a two-state solution diverts attention from what is truly urgent: ending the famine and securing a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. It is difficult to believe, but after more than 200 days of war, there is still no ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. According to the… Read more »

Chronic Refugees: A Burden on Poor Countries

We are continually reminded of how wars result in mass human migrations: think only of Palestine, Syria, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Ukraine and Sudan. In general, poor neighbouring countries shoulder most of the burden of housing these refugees, while rich countries do little to take in their share. The result has been to create ‘chronic’ refugees in… Read more »

Lebanon’s Impending Catastrophes

Lebanon is teetering on the brink of an abyss that it is not equipped to deal with. If Hezbollah drags Lebanon into a war, the consequences will be catastrophic for a country that is already deep in economic and political crisis. At the time of writing, Hezbollah, together with Palestinian groups in southern Lebanon, has… Read more »

UNRWA: In Anticipation of a Double Collapse

There is a looming infrastructural collapse of parts of UNRWA, the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees. Such a collapse could bring down the Palestinian Authority (PA) in its wake. That would be a catastrophe for the situation on the occupied West Bank. On the Israeli-occupied West Bank, things are going from bad to worse…. Read more »

The Two-State Solution Vacuum

In Israel/Palestine, it is an established truism that there is no alternative to the two-state solution. When the Oslo Accord was signed in September 1993, this solution was its central premise. Developments over the past 30 years, however, have rendered it impossible. This is something we must talk about.

Transactional Engagements: Middle Eastern Responses to the Ukrainian War

Russia’s war in Ukraine has been met with global condemnation drawing NATO and the EU closer together in coordinating collective responses. In contrast to this coordinated front among US, French and German responses, it is worth drawing attention to the mixed regional responses among states in the Middle East for whom the war can have… Read more »

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Addressing the Structures

In a series of brief blog posts, researchers of the PRIO Middle East Centre offer their reflections on the unfolding Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The two-way rocket salvos into and from Gaza feels like a tedious repetition of tragedies past. The world has seen this before, and tragically we will probably see it again in the not… Read more »

The Politics of Refugee Relief: UNRWA and the Ongoing Funding Crisis

On 9 November 2020 Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner General of UNRWA, tweeted: “I am pained to announce that despite all efforts to raise the resources for @UNRWA 2020, I informed our 28,000 staff that we do not have enough funds to pay their salaries in full this month”. This is a desperate situation for the… Read more »

Pompeo and the Two-State Swan Song

On 19 November 2020 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the most senior US politician to officially visit an Israeli settlement on the occupied West Bank. This visit, and his ensuing statement that products from Israeli settlements can be labeled as “Made in Israel”, mark the swan song of US support for the two-state… Read more »