Palestinian Territory Country Report
Business activity is severely hindered by Israeli border closures, weak infrastructure, corruption, and complex bureaucracy. The collapse of the unity government in 2007 and the subsequent takeover by Hamas in the Gaza Strip further compounded this situation.
Hamas is likely to continue to launch arson attacks against southern Israel, but is unlikely to escalate this to regular rocket or mortar bomb fire while Egypt and Qatar continue to back mediation with Israel. 'Price-tag' and other attacks by Jewish settlers are likely to continue in the West Bank, alongside a risk of isolated knife attacks, shootings, and car-rammings at Israel Defense Forces (IDF) checkpoints and at other locations. Unco-ordinated, low-capability attacks by Palestinians would likely intensify in the event of Israel proceeding with unilateral annexation plans in the West Bank, leading to a collapse of its security co-operation with the Palestinian Authority.
Almost all forms of criminality are at problematic levels in the Palestinian Territories. The police force and judiciary lack the capability to address criminality, with evidence of complicity among the rank and file of the security forces. Despite these structural weaknesses, violent crime is generally rare.
Israeli airstrikes, artillery strikes, and limited ground incursions are probable in response to rockets fired from Gaza, but the risks of escalation into wider inter-state war are mitigated by Hamas's continued limited security co-operation with Egypt. War risks are mitigated in the West Bank, where the PA security forces will probably continue co-operation with the Israeli military. One exception would be a third 'intifada' scenario, which would likely lead to the security forces ceasing co-operation.