The current situation in Gaza is complex and and it is evident that sustaining the cessation of fight is precarious. Building a durable truce based solely on the hostage issue has proven challenging. Nevertheless, it is imperative to strive for a long-term ceasefire as a means to guarantee enduring peace.
It has been anticipated that resolving the hostage issue could pose challenges in persuading Israelis to endorse a lasting ceasefire. The ongoing threats and drivers behind the war make it difficult for them to consider stopping. The situation is multifaceted with no readily apparent solutions.
The recent escalation in the West Bank and the Israeli military operations in Jenin indicate that there is a strong determination within the Israeli security mindset to address the threats from both Gaza and the West Bank. They are focused on neutralising these threats, regardless of the potential implications. It is a complex situation with multiple factors at play.
At the same time, the underlying historical situation in Gaza seems to be manifesting on the ground. It is believed that there is a need for practical strategies to face the current catastrophe, which is essential and should be addressed to counter support for open war with Israel again, as it has in the past week. Additionally, there will be more international pressure with the social and humanitarian issues. This rescue to the humanitarian crisis must be done under the umbrella of the international community, to bring a new approach on how to deal with the whole situation in Gaza.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza needs a comprehensive long-term approach. Immediate aid is crucial, but the crisis cannot be seen just from the perspective of food and medication. It is also critical to look at rebuilding infrastructure and establishing a more stable situation. This raises questions about who will be responsible for Gaza and how the plans will be implemented. Israel's security concerns will play a role in the decision-making process. It is a complex situation that requires careful consideration and collaboration from the international community.
From Hamas's perspective, the issue of hostages could have been used strategically to avoid or contain the war. However, after decades of conflict, it seems that Hamas has found it challenging to leverage this as a strategic advantage. It has become more of a burden for them, prolonging the ceasefire but limiting their political options. The Israelis, on the other hand, are determined to resume the fight and achieve their goal of a demilitarised Gaza without Hamas. This puts Hamas under immense pressure, and the only way forward may be a long-lasting ceasefire coupled with a significant political agreement.
From a regional point of view, this conflict has wider implications. The actions of the Houthis in the Red Sea have, indeed, put pressure on the US to secure international trade and shipping not dissimilar to the piracy movement in Somalia that required international intervention. This could potentially escalate regional tensions. While Hizbollah has managed to maintain a balanced confrontation and Syria has somewhat faded from the picture, there are emerging Iraqi militias seeking a presence. The Israelis believe that Damascus and the Syrian geography play a significant role in posing threats to Israel. As a result, we might see a gradual escalation, and the Israelis may engage in selective operations in Gaza to counter Hamas's power and disrupt its ability to launch future attacks.
Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh