Since an 11-day battle in May 2021, the most recent bloodshed between Israel and Gaza is the most violent outburst. The Israeli military claimed it started the most recent assault on Gaza Strip targets in response to militant group threats. After Israel detained a top Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) member in the occupied West Bank, there were days of unrest that followed.
The Palestinian health ministry reported that 15 minors were among the 43 fatalities associated with the most recent violence. The health ministry in Gaza has attributed the deaths of Palestinians and the injuries of more than 300 persons to “Israeli aggression.”
One of the most powerful militant organizations operating in Gaza, PIJ, is supported by Iran and has its headquarters in Damascus, the Syrian capital. It has been behind numerous assaults on Israel, including shootings and rocket fire.
Following the execution by Israel of a PIJ commander who Israel claimed was preparing an impending attack, Israel and PIJ engaged in a five-day confrontation in November 2019 that killed 34 Palestinians.
Around the world, there is a growing call for a de-escalation of the situation, but Israel will likely insist on pushing through until the threat has been eliminated before ending hostilities. Israel has historically relied on the substantial backing it receives from the United States and other major Western nations, whereas Palestine depends on support from Arab nations and non-Arab nations with sizable Muslim populations.
Israel-Palestinian conflict began in 1948 and have inspired support for the Palestinian cause around the world, but this support is frequently overshadowed by the powerful Israeli influence linked to major financial, media, social media, and military corporations. As a result, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians frequently bears similarities to the legendary fight between David and Goliath.
Biblical antiquities, which frequently enthrall individuals from the three main Abrahamic religions, are seen to be the cause of the conflict since they provide the foundation for each community’s claim to the holy land, which has been the scene of much bloodshed and suffering. The story of Jerusalem, or Al Quds in Arabic, is told in the Christian Bibles, the Muslim holy book of Quran, and the Jewish holy book of Talmud or the Torah. These books seem to present similar tales.
Their claims are related to the coming of a Messianic figure at the end of the world. They each assert that the Messiah will rule on behalf of their respective scriptures and codes from the Bayt Al Maqdis, where the Temple Mount is located according to Jewish and Evangelical Christian belief, and according to Islamic scriptures from Hadith (traditions of Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H.).
In 1948, the British announced the creation of the state of Israel after failing to reconcile Muslims and Jews with the fall of the Ottomans. A conflict sprang out as the local Arabs objected. An enormous Arab coalition force consisting of Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Northern Yemen was routed by Israel. They still refer to the battle, which caused more than 700,000 Palestinians to lose their homes and become refugees, as “The Catastrophe,” or Al-Nakba.
According to the book of Genesis, the Promised Land lies between the Euphrates in Syria and Iraq and the Nile in Egypt, with Jordan, Lebanon, and a portion of Saudi Arabia in the center. Israel launched a second war against an Arab coalition in 1967, dealing heavy blows while keeping in mind the ongoing conflicts and the biblical promise. Israel had to take territory from the forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan due to their devastation. As more Palestinian areas were taken over by Israel, more people fled their homes. The 1973 war reversed some of the gains, but Israel controls firepower over West Bank and Gaza strip.
There is little chance that an Arab response will be active or decisive to the most recent Israeli assault on Palestinian civilians in the pretense of neutralizing PIJ fighters. The Arab nations are busily cleaning house after suffering military setbacks and political unrest.
With regard to current developments, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco established diplomatic connections with Israel after declaring peace. Egypt and Jordan have previously signed peace treaties with Israel. Syria is enduring from a brutal civil war that the Western coalition started and has little resources to pay on an Israeli force that has undergone modernization with Western inputs.
Despite some fiery rhetoric, it is also unlikely that Turkey will roll up its sleeves as it is obligated by NATO to defend Israel. Israel and Turkey have a thriving trading relationship. Ankara is actively poised to influence a tense standoff between Azerbaijan and Armenia and preparing for an onslaught in Syria citing Kurdish threats. Iran is also unlikely to take further action beyond providing some supplies to the jihadists since it has domestic problems to address in addition to managing other fronts like Yemen and Syria.
Given Israel’s expansionist approach, which has been apparent from its creation, and its history of military campaigns outside of its existing borders, the chances of a permanent peace for Palestine are extremely slim. Constant US support has merely given Israel more confidence to subvert international laws and norms. Before the current global order began a new reorientation, the USA had allowed Israel complete freedom in the Middle East. After the effects of the Arab Spring and the resounding rise of China, Russian participation in Syria has significantly altered the Middle Eastern situation.
Both of these veto-wielding nations oppose US hegemony in the area and are staunch advocates of a two-state solution with full statehood rights for Palestine. But the Ukraine conflict and Taiwan crisis are acting as roadblocks to Moscow and Beijing in taking up more active role in the Middle East. The presence of Russia in Syria and China in the form of investor across Middle East through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) thwarted cross border Israeli adventurism albeit some hawkish airstrikes in Syria. As Russia and China seems to be getting distracted in theaters near home, US will once again look to aid its allies in Israel and Turkey to seize initiative in the Middle East.
Given the conflicts in Ukraine, crisis in Taiwan and global economic downturn followed by a pandemic, a nuclear Israel’s fervent obsession with the enactment of a Biblical Promised Land, aided and abetted by the US makes the hope of a lasting Middle East peace only bleak.