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Since 7 October 2023, the question of Palestine has re-emerged on top of the regional agenda in the Middle East. Hamas’s attacks and Israel’s war on Gaza – which the International Court of Justice has ruled is plausibly genocide – have sent shockwaves through the region, where armed reactions among Islamists in places like Yemen (the Houthis), Lebanon (Hizbullah), and Iraq (various Shia militias) have gained much attention. However, Islamists are far from being monolithic; they come in various forms. While they may be influenced by regional events, they are also shaped by the specific context in which they are situated.

Against this background, the panel will examine whether, how, and why different kinds of Islamists in the Arab Middle East have reacted to the war on Gaza and Palestine. Specifically, the aim is first to examine how Islamists situated in different contexts have reacted and to compare reactions, reflecting on whether there are differences between Sunni/Shia, Ikhwani/Salafi, and armed/non-armed Islamists. The second aim is to gain a better understanding of the main drivers for the (diverse) reactions and the relative importance of domestic vs regional and ideological vs other kinds of factors.


  • Toby Matthiesen (University of Bristol) – Arab Islamist responses in context
  • Alexander Weissenburger (Austrian Academy of Sciences) - The Houthi's response from Yemen
  • Inna Rudolf (King’s College London) - Iraqi Islamist responses
  • Aurélie Daher (Université Paris Dauphine-PSL) - Hizbullah’s response from Lebanon
  • Jérôme Drevon (International Crisis Group) - Syrian Islamist responses


  • Jeroen Gunning (King’s College London)
  • Morten Valbjørn (Aarhus University)

At this event


Professor of Middle Eastern Politics and Conflict Studies

Inna Rudolf

Research Associate

Event details

Safra Lecture Theatre, King's building, Strand campus
Strand Campus
Strand, London, WC2R 2LS