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Pakistan has taken the right step by joining the Muslim world in strongly condemning the Israeli minister’s threatening statement of nuking Gaza and termed this show of unprecedented belligerence a wake-up call for the global community to the threat posed by Israel to regional peace, security, and stability.

No doubt, the statement is a strong reflection of Israel’s plan to carry out ethnic cleansing and genocide in Gaza, occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

Although Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, it is universally believed to possess nuclear arms and their number ranges between 75 and 400 warheads.

Discussing, among other things, why escalation between Israel and Hamas could be catastrophic, Foreign Policy, a US-based publication, has argued that “In such a moment, one cannot forget Israel’s unique nuclear status.

Perhaps more than past American leaders, Biden (due to the Ukraine war) recognizes the solemnity and fragility of the global nuclear taboo.

One wonders whether another tacit reason for Biden’s unprecedented involvement—including his naval deployments and high-profile visit to Israel on Oct 18—is to make sure that taboo is not shattered.” In my view, it is increasingly clear that Israel will not be using nukes in the ongoing conflict owing to a host of reasons.

One of the reasons behind its decision not to nuke Gaza, the West Bank or any area outside Palestine such as southern Lebanon and Yemen would emanate from its consistent policy of maintaining ambiguity about its nuclear programme.

Unfortunately, however, the US seems to have further muddied the waters by sending an attack submarine with Tomahawk missiles to the Middle East. The USS Florida transited the Suez Canal last Sunday and joined the strike group led by aircraft carrier Eisenhower in the Red Sea.

Washington, therefore, is the main culprit insofar as escalation in the region is concerned. Its participation is not just aimed at responding to Iran and Hezbollah should they decide to attack Israel; it is actually aimed at precluding China’s or Russia’s involvement in the conflict.

Hafiz Bashir (Islamabad)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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