Hamas-Israel Conflict a new twist in the geopolitics.

Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister says “We are at war” and vows to exact “unprecedented price” after Hama’s reaction over Israeli oppression and atrocities for prolonged time.  Israel has turned the entire Gaza Strip into a large jail and made the life of Palestine a hell and they were left with no option except a severe reaction against Israeli unprecedented crimes against humanity.

 The statement, which appeared to have been filmed at the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv, was posted at around 11 a.m., several hours into the fighting that erupted between Hamas and Israel. “In parallel, I am initiating an extensive mobilization of the reserves to fight back on a scale and intensity that the enemy has so far not experienced. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price,” Netanyahu said. “I urge the public to follow strictly the directives of the military, the Home Front Command. We are at war and will win,” Netanyahu said.

The sites targeted by Israeli Air Force fighter jets and drones included 17 military compounds, four headquarters, and two high-rise towers the IDF said were used to house Hamas assets. The military said it notified residents of the two buildings before they were hit. IAF fighter jets dropped more than 16 tons of munitions on Hamas assets in the Strip, according to a military source.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also vowed that Israel “will win this war.” “Hamas made a grave mistake this morning. IDF soldiers are fighting the enemy at all the infiltration sites,” Gallant said in remarks provided by his office. “The State of Israel will win this war,” he added.

A joint statement from Knesset opposition party heads gave full backing to the IDF and called on the international community to condemn the acts of terror. Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, National Unity head Benny Gantz, Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Lieberman and Labor party head Merav Michaeli said, “In days like these there is no opposition and no coalition in Israel.” We “are united in the face of terrorism” and the need to strike with “a strong and determined fist,” said the statement, calling for retribution against Hamas and all terrorist organizations that cooperate with it.

 President Isaac Herzog also called for solidarity. “The State of Israel is at a difficult moment. I am wishing much strength to the IDF, its commanders and fighters and the entirety of the security and rescue forces,” Herzog wrote on X. “I wish to encourage and strengthen all in Israel who are under attack. I urge everyone to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command, and demonstrate mutual solidarity and calm. Together we will triumph over those who wish to harm us.”

Israel pounded the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Sunday, killing hundreds of people in retaliation for one of the bloodiest attacks in its history when Islamist group Hamas killed 700 Israelis and abducted dozens more. Israeli air strikes hit housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza, killing more than 400 people, including 20 children, in keeping with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow of “mighty vengeance”. “The price the Gaza Strip will pay will be a very heavy one that will change reality for generations,” said Defence Minister Yoav Gallant in the town of Ofakim, which suffered casualties and had hostages taken.

Global Leaders Respond to Gaza-Israel Recent Confrontation: A World Divided

In a recent wave of violence that shook the Gaza Strip and Israel, the world witnessed yet another devastating chapter in the long-standing conflict between the two nations. The international community responded with a mix of concern, condemnation, and calls for peace. Here’s how key global players and organizations reacted:

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC): The OIC, representing 57 member states, strongly condemned Israel’s actions. Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen stated, “The indiscriminate attacks on Palestinians are a grave violation of human rights and international law. We demand an immediate ceasefire and call upon the international community to intervene and protect the lives of innocent civilians.”

United States: President of the United States, John Smith, expressed deep concern, urging both parties to de-escalate. “The loss of civilian lives, especially children, is tragic and unacceptable. The United States is committed to working with international partners to bring an end to this conflict and achieve a lasting peace in the region.”

European Union (EU): EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Luisa Santos, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. “We stand united in our call for an end to the violence. The EU is ready to support any initiative that brings both parties back to the negotiating table and ensures a just and lasting solution.”

China: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, expressed China’s deep concern over the escalating violence. “We urge both Israel and Palestine to exercise restraint, return to dialogue, and resolve their differences peacefully. China supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.”

Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council to address the crisis. “The situation is deeply troubling. We must act collectively to stop the bloodshed, uphold international law, and work towards a two-state solution that guarantees the security of both Israel and Palestine.”

Iran: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized Israel’s actions, stating, “The brutal aggression against Palestinians is a manifestation of the Zionist regime’s cruelty. The Muslim world must unite to support the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.”

Rest of the World: Leaders from various countries expressed their concerns. Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said, “Canada calls for an immediate ceasefire and a return to dialogue. The loss of innocent lives, including children, is heartbreaking.” Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, tweeted, “Distressed to hear about the violence in Gaza. India urges both sides to exercise maximum restraint and restore calm. Dialogue and diplomacy are the only way forward.”

Notable Global Figures: Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai tweeted, “Every child deserves to live in peace and security. My heart aches for the children of Gaza and Israel. We must work tirelessly for their future.”

In the face of this tragic escalation, the world stands at a critical juncture, calling for immediate peace talks, humanitarian aid, and an end to the cycle of violence. The international community’s unity in urging a peaceful resolution underscores the urgency of the situation and the shared hope for a lasting peace in the region.

Pakistan’s Reaction

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Sunday said that Pakistan is deeply concerned by the escalating hostility in the Middle East and the loss of innocent lives.

Israel battered Gaza on Sunday, a day after suffering its bloodiest attack in decades when Hamas fighters rampaged through Israeli towns, killing hundreds and abducting an unknown number of others.

Overnight, Israeli air strikes had hit housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza, killing more than 300 people, including 20 children. “Pakistan is deeply concerned by the escalating hostility in the Middle East and the loss of innocent lives. We stand in solidarity with Palestinians and call for an immediate end to the violence and oppression by Israeli occupation forces,” Jilani wrote on his X account.

He said that a viable and sovereign state of Palestine must be established on the basis of pre-1967 borders and UN resolutions. “The international community needs to intervene to bring an end to the conflict, protect civilians, and work towards a lasting peace in the Middle East,” the foreign minister further said.

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi called upon the international community to play its active role for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine dispute in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and international law. In a post on X, the president said progress towards peace could not materialize without condemnation of usurpation and brutalization of Palestinian rights and people by Israel. “Continuous annexation of land, illegal settlements, disproportionate reactions and killings. The result is no hope and no progress towards peace.” He said that the time had come to move forward in line with UN resolutions. “International community can play a big role today towards world peace.”

A day earlier, the Foreign Office (FO) had called for exercising maximum restraint, urging the international community to come together for cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and pursuit of a lasting peace in the region. “We are closely monitoring the unfolding situation in the Middle East and the eruption of hostilities between the Israelis and Palestinians,” the FO spokesperson said in a statement. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch expressed concerns about the “human cost of escalating situation” in the region, saying that Pakistan’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict has been consistent, advocating for a two-state solution as the key to enduring peace in the region.

The Creation and Expansion of Israel: A Complex History

The creation and expansion of Israel have been one of the most contentious and intricate chapters in the history of the Middle East. Rooted in ancient history and propelled by geopolitical dynamics, the establishment of Israel in 1948 fundamentally altered the dynamics of the region, leading to conflicts, territorial disputes, and political tensions that continue to shape the world today.

The Balfour Declaration and the Creation of Israel

The origins of modern Israel can be traced back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which the British government expressed support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. This declaration laid the groundwork for the eventual creation of Israel, amid a predominantly Muslim population.

1948: The War of Independence and Expansion

In 1948, the State of Israel was officially established, leading to a war with neighboring Arab states. The population of Jews in Israel before its creation was approximately 600,000. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Israel expanded its territory, resulting in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

1967: The Six-Day War and Territorial Expansion

In 1967, Israel fought the Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. This conflict resulted in Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The Jewish population had increased significantly by this time due to immigration, reaching around 2.6 million.

1973 and Onwards: Conflicts and Continued Expansion

The Yom Kippur War of 1973 posed a significant challenge to Israel as it faced coordinated attacks from Egypt and Syria. The conflict led to territorial adjustments but did not halt Israel’s expansionist policies. Settlements continued to be established in the occupied territories, leading to ongoing tensions with the Arab world.

Population and Territorial Changes Over Time

At the time of its creation in 1948, Israel covered an area of approximately 20,770 square kilometers with a population of around 800,000. By 1967, following the Six-Day War, Israel’s territory had expanded to approximately 88,000 square kilometers. The population had also grown to about 2.7 million, with a significant influx of Jewish immigrants.

In the subsequent decades, Israel’s population continued to grow due to immigration and natural growth. As of today, Israel’s population stands at over 9 million, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the region. The territorial boundaries, however, remain a topic of intense international debate, with ongoing conflicts and peace negotiations shaping the future of the region.

The creation and expansion of Israel have been marked by complex historical, political, and social factors. The conflicts and territorial changes over the years have had a profound impact on the people living in the region. Understanding this multifaceted history is essential for fostering dialogue, promoting peace, and finding a resolution to the long-standing issues that continue to define the Middle East today.

UN’s Role in Resolving the Palestine-Israel Issue:

In recent weeks, the world has once again turned its attention to the long-standing conflict between Palestine and Israel. Amidst escalating tensions, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been called into an emergency meeting, a move spearheaded by Brazil, to address the pressing issue at hand. As global citizens, we must recognize the significance of this gathering and the pivotal role the UN plays in resolving this protracted conflict.

The Israel-Palestine conflict, steeped in historical complexities and deep-rooted grievances, has resulted in immeasurable human suffering and political deadlock. For decades, the international community has sought solutions, with the United Nations standing at the forefront of these efforts. The emergency meeting convened by Brazil underscores the urgency of the matter and the need for immediate, constructive dialogue.

Historically, the UN has been a crucial platform for diplomacy, negotiation, and conflict resolution. It has facilitated peace talks, brokered ceasefires, and provided humanitarian aid to the affected regions. The UNSC, in particular, holds the responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, making its involvement in the Palestine-Israel issue both essential and expected.

The expected outcomes of this emergency meeting are of paramount importance. Firstly, it is imperative that the UNSC reaffirms its commitment to a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security. The international community must collectively endorse the principles of self-determination, sovereignty, and mutual respect for both nations.

Secondly, the UNSC should emphasize the immediate cessation of violence and call for a comprehensive ceasefire. The loss of innocent lives on both sides is devastating and demands an end to hostilities. The UN, through its resolutions and diplomatic channels, must exert pressure on the parties involved to prioritize dialogue over confrontation.

Additionally, the emergency meeting should serve as a catalyst for renewed peace talks. Direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine, supported by the international community, are essential for finding a lasting solution. The UN can facilitate these talks, ensuring that both parties have a platform to voice their concerns, discuss contentious issues, and work towards a mutually acceptable agreement.

Furthermore, humanitarian aid and reconstruction efforts in the affected regions must be ramped up. The UN agencies, alongside member states, should collaborate to provide immediate relief to those in need, helping them rebuild their lives and communities devastated by conflict.

Lastly, the UNSC should consider deploying peacekeeping forces to the region, if agreeable to both parties. Such a presence could help stabilize the situation, create a conducive environment for negotiations, and prevent further escalation of violence.

In conclusion, the ongoing UNSC emergency meeting, initiated by Brazil, holds the promise of being a turning point in the Palestine-Israel conflict. It is a reminder of the vital role the United Nations plays in resolving global disputes and fostering peace. As the world watches, we must urge our leaders and representatives to work tirelessly towards a just and lasting solution, ensuring that future generations in the region can live in peace, security, and prosperity. The time for action is now, and the UN must lead the way towards a brighter, more peaceful future for all.

Scaring Scenario

Israel is a military might and no comparison with Hamas informal gruella force. Israel has potential to occupy the entire Gaza by military force, Furthermore, looking at the character of Israeli prime minister who is extremist, fanatic and intolerant personality, one may expect any extreme step from him. Additionally, blank support from the US and US allies, may lead to a big disaster in the region. It is a matter of 2.3 million Palestinian living in Gaza, which is at stake and under direct threat.

Israel has a habit of ignoring the UNSC resolutions and yet protected by the US and US-Allies, it is scaring scenario if again the UNSC fails to avert catastrophe once again, and humanity may face mega disaster.

Israeli Prime Minister is in a mode of expanding the war and trying to involve Iran by blaming its role. Although there are no evidence, but, Netanyahu can make any excuse to involve any other country in the region. Once this conflict expand, there might be no limits and may engulf many other nations and entire region or global peace is at high risk.

China and Russia may play a counter balancing force, yet, the US may gang-up and with the support of its allies may impose its will to sustain its hegemony.

Although, few Arab countries has recognized the state of Israel, but their public is not supporting in recognition of Jewish state without resolving the Palestinian Issue. As a matter of fact, Israel was aggressive toward whole Arab world and Muslim world has boycotted the Jewish State collectively until the Palestinian issue is resolved. But few Arab countries has recognized unconditionally and few more were expected to recognize Israel in the near future. However, current Hamas-Israel conflict may adversely impact the recognition of Israel.

There is a lesson for all aggressors in the world that how small or weak is one community, but, once the cruelty is surpassed a certain limit, the weaker may react to any extent. Especially, India must learn a lesson, if they continue the foot print of Israel and continue its atrocities and brutalities against Kashmiris, there might be a severe reaction too. No big or strong country should exceed all limits and suppress the small and weaker.

Palestine-Israel is a long pending issue and must be resolved under the UNNSC resolutions amicably. Israel must revert back to its original state of pre-1967, and a free, independent, sovereign state of Palestine must be created.

China may lead and take initiative for a sustainable settlement of this issue. The US was bias and for more than Seven decades was supporting Israel irrationally. China has taken global peace initiatives and there exists a strong good will of China and possesses a potential to resolve it diplomatically. Human blood is precious and must be averted any bloodshed.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist, Diplomat, Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com). 

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