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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Navigating the Israel-Hamas Conflict

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For over a decade, an ongoing conflict has persisted between Israel and Hamas, a group with both political and military wings, representing a new face of Palestinian resistance. Hamas gained power in the Gaza Strip after defection from Fatah during the 2006 general elections. The thin strip, measuring 41 km long and 10 km wide, is considered the world’s largest openair jail, surrounded by Israel and Egypt. The current escalation began on October 7 when Hamas infiltrated Israel by air and land, leading to thousands of casualties on both sides. Israel responded with a complete siege of Gaza, punishing the Palestinian people collectively. This conflict not only poses a grave humanitarian crisis but also holds the potential to disrupt the global order. It may fuel deglobalization, spike oil prices, halt the normalization process between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and potentially involve other countries in the conflict. Furthermore, the Hamas-Israel conflict could increase extremism. Urgent intervention by the Security Council and the UN is imperative to prevent further civilian casualties and halt the spread of this devastating war.

The process of deglobalization commenced in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis and has since gained momentum. With Trump’s ‘America first’ policies and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world has become divided into distinct blocs. The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict further exacerbates this division, as countries align themselves based on their views. Supporters of Israel cite security concerns, while those sympathizing with Palestine condemn human rights violations. This polarization challenges the existing global order built on principles of globalization and human rights, raising ethical concerns about civilian targeting. As the conflict unfolds, it underscores the complexities of our interconnected world, demanding thoughtful diplomacy and a collaborative international approach.

In addition to accelerating deglobalization, the Israel-Hamas conflict may lead to an increase in fuel prices. With the world still recovering from the impact of COVID-19 and the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia, this conflict has the potential to cause a surge in fuel prices. Historical events, such as the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, serve as a reminder of how geopolitical conflicts can disrupt fuel production, leading to price hikes. Prolonged high fuel prices can disproportionately affect poorer and underdeveloped countries already grappling with inflation issues. It is crucial to recognize the potential economic repercussions and work towards a resolution that ensures stability for vulnerable economies.

In addition to raising fuel prices, this conflict has the potential to draw numerous countries into the fray. Many nations are showing allegiance to either Israel or Hamas, escalating the tension. Recently, the US deployed its second aircraft carrier as a deterrent against hostile actions aimed at Israel. Similarly, the Iranian government has sternly warned Israel, stating they will not stand idle while civilians are targeted and killed. It’s crucial to recognize that a minor miscalculation in this conflict could escalate the situation, dragging not only the entire region but potentially the world into a major war.

Similarly, this conflict is likely to stall the long-awaited Saudi-Israel negotiations. Despite the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia not officially recognizing Israel, talks supervised by the United States were underway for the normalization of ties between the two countries. The ongoing conflict has the potential to significantly strain their relationship. Israel’s bombardment of civilian infrastructure and the collective punishment of Palestinians through the blockade of essential resources such as water, food, and fuel in the Gaza Strip further exacerbate the tensions between these nations.

Additionally, this conflict has the potential to fuel an increase in extremism. Extremist organizations can exploit people’s sentiments, using them in terror attacks against various countries. History serves as a stark reminder; Osama bin Laden once urged his followers to carry out attacks inside Pakistan, criticizing the country for not aiding their fight against imperialism. Similarly, the ongoing conflict can inflame public sentiments, possibly leading to attacks in Western countries. Consequently, this conflict has the potential to exacerbate the problem of extremism, posing a significant global security concern.

In last, adhering to the UN resolution and implementing the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine, would significantly contribute to resolving these conflicts. Similarly, the UN Security Council can play a crucial role in diffusing the current conflict by preventing Israel from attacking civilians and halting potential war crimes in Gaza. The implementation of a two-state solution, along with the active intervention of the UN Security Council, holds the potential to defuse this conflict effectively.

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Writer is BS ECONOMICS from School of Economics, QUAID I AZAM UNIVERSITY, Islamabad.

Contact NO: 03450940441

gmail: salmankk097@gmail.com

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