Sun 26 May 2024 8:56 pm - Jerusalem Time

National Interest: The war on Gaza has reached a critical turning point

An article in the American magazine National Interest reported that the raging war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza has reached a critical point, at a time when Tel Aviv is launching its military operation in the Rafah area, south of the besieged Strip.

Foreign policy analyst specializing in the Middle East and North Africa, Alexandre Langlois, wrote in his article that the dispute between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is becoming more acute in public, which has led Washington to use progressively harsher tools to prevent the Israeli far-right government from taking over. In evil deeds in Gaza.

The writer warned that there are real risks that the current situation could eventually spiral out of control, calling on the leaders of Western countries to take this into account and anticipate it to avoid a possible massacre with long-term repercussions.

Langlois seemed optimistic when he said that there is still a possibility that these leaders will be able to prevent this massacre through the ongoing ceasefire talks between Hamas and Israeli negotiators.

He said that Hamas's acceptance of a ceasefire agreement on May 6 after Israel approved it, with the blessing of the major mediators (the United States, Egypt, and the State of Qatar), surprised Tel Aviv, which claimed that the movement had accepted a different agreement that contained wide, unacceptable loopholes.

On this basis, Tel Aviv - according to the article - still views the attack on the Rafah area - which is supposed to be the last major stronghold of Hamas in Gaza - as the only way to strengthen its position in the negotiations or, at least, rescue the prisoners while eliminating the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement. .

Some officials went so far as to accuse the United States of acting in bad faith by not informing them of the deal approved by Hamas. Langlois believes that the Israeli and "Hamas" formulas are not very different from each other, as American officials claim that the gaps can be "closed."

In his article, the foreign policy analyst believes that this accusation is ironic given the efforts made by Israel to spoil the negotiations since the approval of the proposal that was sent to Hamas in late April.

According to the writer, Netanyahu’s statements on April 30, in which he claimed that his forces would enter Rafah “with or without an agreement” to achieve “complete victory,” threaten the possibility of reaching any agreement in the future.

It is not surprising that events escalated in the wake of Hamas' acceptance of a ceasefire in this way, which reflects the continuing Israeli intransigence that undermines the chances of reaching an agreement, even if the movement is "acting in bad faith," as the article put it.

Langlois: Israel is walking without guidance or leadership, driven by inertia and a tendency to revenge, and international order and peace are at stake, and the coming weeks will be decisive to end the conflict and determine the features of Biden’s presidency if he is elected again.

Langlois pointed out that American officials had made contact with Israeli decision-makers over a period of months to develop a plan that would allow Israel to eliminate the remaining Hamas fighters in Gaza while following international humanitarian law, which is a long-term policy of the Biden team.

It was reported that these efforts resulted in disagreements, as the US President threatened to refrain from sending further arms shipments if Israel invaded Rafah, which prompted US and Israeli officials to promote the narrative that the Rafah operation had not begun or had been reduced and refocused.

Ironically, according to Langlois, the Rafah invasion is already underway, with Israel sending more troops to the region.

The writer pointed out that it was difficult for Israel's "extremist" demands to completely defeat Hamas to be achieved, while the Palestinian resistance movement largely succeeded in its goal of exchanging prisoners and efforts to reduce Israel's international standing.

He added that Israel is moving without guidance or leadership, driven by inertia and a tendency to revenge, noting that the international order and international peace are at stake, and the coming weeks will be decisive for ending the conflict and defining the features of Biden’s presidency of the United States.

What is certain, according to the writer, is that this situation still requires one or more parties to do something decisive about it, which is something that only the United States seems to be leaning towards in its pressure on Israel as it is motivated to end the conflict and the political headache associated with it, but the matter remains difficult. As long as each party insists on achieving its political goals.

Source: National Interest+ Aljazeera


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National Interest: The war on Gaza has reached a critical turning point