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Sunday, May 19, 2024, 4:17 am

Sunday, May 19, 2024, 4:17 am

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Hamas imposes their own requirements for a truce, which worsens the situation.

Hamas
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Gaza’s euphoria for an indefinite ceasefire with Israel were premature. Hamas originally resisted accepting the agreement, resulting in the escalation. The terrorist group has yet to release all of the hostages held since the October 7 attack on Israel. However, approximately 30 captives, including those who died in captivity, are expected to be released. Hamas played psychological games as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced pressure from the hostages’ friends and relatives. The goal was to bring the Israel Defence Forces to a standstill, relieving pressure on the alleged surviving cadres buried in the underground tunnels. Netanyahu and hard-line orthodox forces in his government aimed to “decimate Hamas by all means” to prevent a repeat of the October 7th atrocities. The top leadership of Hamas, as well as four divisions of the terrorist organisation, were purportedly holed up in tunnels beneath Rafah. With roughly 30,000 people killed in IDF operations in Gaza, the attack on Rafah to neutralise Hamas leadership and fighters could exacerbate the humanitarian disaster.

While collateral damage is unavoidable, the inability of the US and other Western governments to persuade Netanyahu to halt the Gaza operations has led to an increase in global anti-Israel sentiment.
Hamas imposes their own criteria for a truce, which exacerbates the situation. Protests on universities in the US and Europe have been largely one-sided, focusing on Israeli leadership rather than Hamas’ provocations.

In concerns of survival, Israel’s leadership prioritises security over public relations. A besieged mentality can have serious consequences, as everyone who has experienced it knows. Security hysteria produces unnecessary pain for peaceful Palestinians who have nothing to do with the terrorist organisation. Protesters should focus on the horrible wars in Syria and Yemen, where thousands of Muslims have lost their lives fighting against one another.

The use of petrodollars to fund rallies, as reported in western media, should prompt academics to reconsider anti-Israel sentiment on campuses in the US and Europe. If Hamas releases all remaining prisoners and returns the remains of those who died, Israel will struggle to continue operations in Rafah.

The timing of student protests may be a tactic to push Israel to halt operations in Rafah, where Hamas’ top leadership and fighters are housed. Hamas may believe that US President Biden will put pressure on Netanyahu to end the conflict or risk losing the support of the liberal-left in the upcoming presidential elections. Given Trump’s strong support for Israel’s anti-Hamas operations, centrist-liberal-left voters may find themselves in a difficult position.

The continuing conflict in Gaza is blamed on both sides, but traditionally, petrodollar-rich West Asian autocracies have been accused of abandoning the Palestinians to their fate. These are the “nowhere” people that no Islamic nation will accept. In the absence of a two-State solution, frequent outbreaks of hostility and uneasy peace are expected. However, Israel appears to be focused on removing the current Hamas leadership from power. There is no question that another Hamas will emerge until a lasting solution is found, regardless of its name.
The world is at a loss to reconcile what appears to be irreconcilable.

ABHISHEK VERMA

 

 

 


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