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End game Gaza-Israel war; More of the same old?

Israel is today under intense international pressure to negotiate a cease-fire, with the US having moved Resolution 2735 to this effect, in the United Nations Security Council. Internally there are widespread protests in Israel to bring home the remaining 120 hostages and end the Gaza War.

News Arena Network - Tel Aviv - UPDATED: July 10, 2024, 05:52 AM - 5 mins read

IDF forces in Gaza (left). Palestinian civilians escaping during a bombing (right).

End game Gaza-Israel war; More of the same old?

IDF forces in Gaza (left). Palestinian civilians escaping during a bombing (right).


On 07 October 2023, over 1500 Hamas terrorists crossed into Israel from the Gaza Strip wantonly killing 1200, primarily Israeli citizens, and withdrew, taking 240 hostages with them.

 

The assault broadcast on social media, shocked the civilised world, earning its universal condemnation. Israel to save face, declared a “state of war”, the first since Yom Kippur War in 1973. Nine months later, international sympathy has swung away from Israel, to the poor Gaza citizens subjected to a systematic collective punishment, as they are hemmed in and herded around in the 41x 6 to 12 km strip, facing the ire and might of the Israeli state.

 

Israel is today under intense international pressure to negotiate a cease-fire, with the US having moved Resolution 2735 to this effect, in the United Nations Security Council. Internally there are widespread protests in Israel to bring home the remaining 120 hostages and end the Gaza War.

 

The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) are facing a possible confrontation with Hezbollah while the provision of warlike material by the US to continue the war at the same intensity, is reluctant and sluggish, blunting Israel’s combat capabilities. The political opponents of Netanyahu, Benny Gants in particular, are clamouring for an early end of the conflict, to force a fresh election.

The situation is being corralled into “an end game”, but will the end result be any different from the previous confrontations of Israel with Gaza?  

To answer this we need to understand what led to the October 7 assault.

In 1948, the State of Israel was created for both Jews and Palestinians. Hostilities between the two communities that year led to the mass displacement of Palestinians.

In 1993 a possible resolution was negotiated in the “Two State Solution of Oslo Accord” wherein the Israeli government and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), agreed on the creation of a Palestinian state alongside an Israeli state.

 

Hamas rejected the plan and carried out a terror campaign to disrupt it. Subsequent opposition from Palestinian and Israeli fringe elements managed to scuttle the Accord. In 2005 Israel vacated Gaza.

 

 In 2007 Hamas emerged as the de facto ruler in Gaza. This prompted a blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt. A major conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out in 2008. It included Israeli air strikes and a ground invasion.

 

Hostilities continued at a fair regularity, the ones in 2012, 2014 and 2021 being of reckonable intensity.

 

They lasted from a few days to weeks, resulted in few Israeli civilian casualties, and possibly weakened Hamas’s military capacity. The resultant cease-fire agreements that followed temporarily lifted the Israeli blockade and facilitated the transfer of foreign aid into the Gaza Strip.

 

In early 2022 militants of PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) conducted a string of attacks against Israel in the West Bank. IDF responded with raids, the deadliest since the end of the second Palestinian Intifada uprising (2000-05) in the West Bank. By year's end, Netanyahu returned as Israel’s PM with the “most far-right cabinet” since independence, which was domestically destabilising.

 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was negotiating an Israeli–Saudi peace deal. Saudi sought concessions on Palestinian issues, but the Palestinians were not directly involved. Palestinians feared losing the relevance in the local security calculus, and the funds and support that flowed to it as a consequence.

 

It is estimated that disrupting these negotiations, relieving pressure from the operations in the West Bank against PIJ, the weak political make-up of internal Israeli politics and the growing support from Iran & its Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon (Iranian Axis of Resistance)were considerations that prompted the October 7 attack.

 

The attack managed to get the Palestinian issue on the centre stage of West Asia security considerations, resulted in the scuttling of the Israel – Saudi Arabia peace deal and consolidated the Arab support for the Palestine cause, at the cost of 38,000 dead and 2.5 million Gazans, facing starvation. Hamas is today desperate to negotiate for a ceasefire without pre-conditions.

 

Israel went into the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of wiping out Hamas. Their West Bank operations continued unabated & she simultaneously targeted Hezbollah in Lebanon. They were barely able to contain a possible direct conflict with Iran.

 

Israel, after a considerable degradation of its combat capability, is forced to negotiate a cease-fire with a degraded but certainly not wiped-out Hamas. The return of surviving hostages is a positive outcome. Ceasefire, subsequent negotiated disengagement & withdrawal of forces will include aid for the sustenance of the Gazans facing starvation and reconstruction of infrastructure.

 

Arab petrodollars would flow in to ensure this. While Israel will retain a stated option to reinitiate conflict to destroy Hamas, Arab dole to sustain the beleaguered residents of the strip will flow as hitherto fore, thence more of the same old, where punitive coercion prevails and humanity fails.    

 

Related Tags:#Israel-Hamas
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