- The ongoing conflict between Israel-Hamas has already claimed thousands of innocent lives from both sides despite the global community and the leadership making fervent appeals for peace to stop the mayhem. The Israeli leadership was right in carrying out the counterattacks in the beginning when an unprecedented attack perpetrated by the Hamas militants killed innocent lives. The global community including the Indian leadership backed Israel in its quest to avenge those civilian killings. The USA-led allies of Israel left no stone unturned in backing the countermeasures adopted by Bibi (Netanyahu) to subdue Hamas for carrying out a daring attack. It’s been more than three months since the war started but there is no end in sight.
PC: The Hindu
- West Asia is under immense pressure and sitting on a powder keg where so many state players are bursting at the seams needs no further elaboration. The conflict has all the ingredients to blow out of control even as countries like Iran, Yemen, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and others are keenly watching the unfolding events. The geostrategic scenario in the region is as dicey as it gets despite the UN as well as other important countries making concerted efforts to rein in the protagonists, especially Israel to accede to peace initiatives. Unfortunately, Netanyahu has reiterated his rejection of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that is so crucial to usher in much-needed peace in the region. Prima facie this refusal will harm Israel’s interests big time.
- This comes after the US insistence that he looks for an exit strategy on the Israel-Hamas war. Israel’s PM cites security as a reason. Real reasons may lie elsewhere – he is fighting for his political survival and can’t end the war. Of course, Bibi’s official goal in the ongoing conflict is the destruction of Hamas. Logically, this should have been accompanied by empowering the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. But since the start of Israel’s offensive in Gaza, its strong-arm tactics in the West Bank have led to 369 deaths. So, forget Gaza, Bibi doesn’t want a viable Palestinian administration in the West Bank either. Adopting such a stand defies logic. Further, US intelligence agencies estimate Hamas has lost only around 20-30% of fighters so far.
PC: Lowy Institute
- That’s far from Israel’s objectives of destroying the group. Plus, polls show Hamas’s popularity among Palestinians is growing. So, Netanyahu’s military/tactical objectives haven’t been met either. Israelis too are losing patience with Bibi. Family members of hostages still held by Hamas – 132 remain in captivity – are protesting, demanding an immediate deal for hostage release. Surveys show Bibi’s Likud party would lose half its seats if polls were held today. Moreover, conflicts delay the conclusion of the corruption trial pending against him. Here, Washington should give Bibi a firm deadline to end the conflict and ask him firmly to agree to a Palestine state. President Biden has the leverage, and he must put that to good use.