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Two main objectives of the invasion of Gaza by the Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) on 23 October, 2023 were to eliminate Hamas and to recover hostages taken by them.

Despite over six months of brutal and a disproportionate operation, achievement of the declared objectives remains a failure. More than 33,000 innocent Palestinians lives have been lost, mostly women and children. Gaza has become inhabitable as almost eighty percent of infrastructure and buildings within it have been destroyed.

Real objectives of the Israeli invasion of Gaza, backed by the U.S. led western powers, have now been exposed fully i.e. (1) Genocide of the Palestinians and colonization of Gaza and the occupied West Bank. (2) Stepwise fulfilment of the Zionist dream of creating greater Israel with a view to securing control over the water and energy resources in the Middle East region. (3) To establish complete hegemony of the western powers in the Middle East region in the wake of new challenges posed by growing Chinese influence.

International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling against Israel brought some hope for peace, but it failed to produce desired results because of Israel’s defiant attitude. A much warranted ceasefire, as a necessary first step towards lasting peace, could not be achieved. As opposed to this, Israel chose to intensify its brutal military operation against Palestinians, in utter defiance of the ICJ ruling.

Furthermore, due to contentious positions of the adversaries and conflicting interests of the great powers, a ceasefire agreement still remains a distant possibility. The influence and power that US possess could have been exerted to broker a ceasefire in the early days of the conflict.

But it did not happen as America’s complicity in Israel’s war on Gaza is an open secret. Growing influence of new international alliances in which Russia, Iran and China’s role figure prominently has profound implications for regional stability, security and the ongoing processes to resolve long standing conflicts.

As such perceived threats to economic and strategic interests of western powers are a cause of anxiety of the US-led western alliance and Israel, which they must disrupt.

The world is in the grip of new trends, particularly in the U.S, in which political cynicism is endemic and its shallowness defies the claim of liberal democracy. Public opinion is shaped by the Zionist owned powerful corporate media. The US foreign policy is hostage to powerful Zionist lobbies within the public which includes a powerful military industrial complex and a Zionist-dominated US administration in which they occupy almost 35 percent of the key positions.

A hypocritical US foreign policy bias in Zionists favor tends to lead to decisions that are generally reactive, not strategic, particularly concerning conflicts such as the one in Gaza. Track record of the US military adventures, overt or covert, is full of consequential failures being outcome unnecessary destruction and bloodshed.

Repeated rejections of the UN Security Council draft resolutions, demanding Israel to implement the provisional measures and immediate ceasefire, by the Biden administration through veto, is the continuity of the US bias and hypocritical foreign policy. According to the document “Day after Hamas Principles” presented to his war cabinet by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza is to be transformed into a kind of a prison.

According to the plan, Gaza would be subjected to stringent security controls through land, air and sea. It is in line with the map that Netanyahu had displayed while addressing the UN General Assembly last September showing Gaza and the occupied West Bank as part of Israel. The document proposes a set of measures aimed at de facto annexation of Gaza in the aftermath of the genocidal campaign against Palestinians.

Gaza and Israeli-occupied West Bank will be subjected to tighter security controls through intensive policing and surveillance. According to the plan, a buffer zone (security zone) all along its border inside Gaza as well as an over and underground “security flank” along Gaza northern border with Egypt would be created blocking one-fifth of the land mass of Gaza.

Eventually, a puppet regime will be installed to administer Gaza. However UNRWA’s presence within Gaza is deemed to be a hurdle by Israel in the way of its nefarious plans. So in order to dislodge UNRWA from Gaza the US-led western alliance has joined Israel in their malicious campaign to discredit it. In this connection, UNRWA is being implicated falsely due to alleged involvement of certain members of their staff in carrying out attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7.

In this connection disbursement of funding to UNRWA amounting to $ 450 million has been put in jeopardy. According to Philippe Lazzarini, the UNRWA head, Israel’s calls to close UNRWA are “not about agencies neutrality” rather “UNRWA’s mandate to provide services to Palestine refugees within this same area is an obstacle to that map becoming a reality.”

In the above background Israel’s ulterior motives of carrying out ethnic cleansing of Palestinians which is to be followed by colonization of Gaza and the occupied West Bank are beyond any doubt. \

A seizure of 800 hectares (1976 acres) of land for the construction of 3,500 new housing units for settlements in the occupied West Bank has already been carried out by the state of Israel. In addition, 300 hectares (740 acres) of land in the Jordan valley in the Maale Adumim area in the occupied West Bank has also been designated as state land by Israel for the construction of new settlements.

Land in this particular area was meant as the core of future independent state by the Palestinians. Planning of new settlements is under way in Gaza after its occupation is completed.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called latest move a “Crime” that is part of an official policy “racing against time to annex the West Bank and eliminate the possibility of creating a Palestinian state”.

According to a statement by the UN Human Rights Chief Volker Turk, “The establishment and continuing expansion of the settlements amount to a war crime under international law.

In the background of these developments it can be concluded that the proposal of a two-state solution is almost dead. Netanyahu has repeatedly ruled out the possibility of a two-state solution ever being considered. His latest “day after” document rejects any “unilateral recognition” of a Palestinian state, “Israel utterly rejects international diktats in the matter of a final status arrangement with the Palestinians,” it declares “Such an arrangement will only be reached in direct negotiations.” It is simply because Israel is pursuing a policy of a Zionist dominated one state in which only the compromised and submissive Palestinians would stand a chance of being accommodated as second class citizens.

In a conflict like Gaza, real underlying causes and intentions tend to get overshadowed by temporal issues i.e. ceasefire, prisoners exchange, detainees release, humanitarian aid supply, etc., as being the byproducts of the conflict. These issues are just the symptoms not the causes that tend to dominate discussions in the media. Consequently, the urgency requiring attention to such emergent issues cause a shift in the focus, away from the core issues that lie at the roots of the conflict. Therefore, core issues like the restoration of fundamental rights, independent statehood, two-state solutions, etc., get pushed in the background.

In this context a policy of perpetual war, driven by greed of the US military industrial complex, becomes an effective tool to subvert the real issues by creating more issues. This is how wars are integral to American and Israeli formative history and “genocidal acts of vengeance”. The US economy thrives on perpetual wars that are the main pillar of the US foreign policy.

Any resolution at the UN Security Council calling for immediate ceasefire in Gaza is vetoed by the US to not only to ensure a perpetual war but to also to ensure that Israel’s dominance is not challenged.

A US sponsored draft resolution as being reflection of a biased US policy and absurdly proclaimed by the US media as a “ceasefire” resolution, was vetoed by Russia and China at the UN Security Council on 22 March 2024. It was clearly designed to give an upper hand to Israel and a free hand to carry out genocide in Gaza.

The resolution linked any “ceasefire” with the achievement of Israel’s stated war objectives implying that a ceasefire could be achieved if Hamas lays down the arms.

According to US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, its aim was to “put pressure on Hamas” not Israel. In explaining Algeria’s vote against the resolution, Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s representative to the UN, said the resolution “implies a license for continuing bloodshed.” “The emphasis on measures to reduce civilian harm from ongoing and future operations implies a license for continuing bloodshed.”

In March 2024, the Washington Post reported that US officials had told the Congress in a classified briefing that Washington had approved and delivered on more than 100 arms sales to Israel since October 7. The shipments included thousands of precision-guided munitions, small-diameter bombs and other weapons. Therefore, any hope for an equitable settlement of Palestinian issue at the expense of the US and Israel’s agenda of racist colonial domination under the master plan of a greater Israel would be self-deceptive.

The conflict is bound to continue as long as Palestinians are subjected to state terror and racial discrimination. The only possibility of bringing the conflict to an end is that Palestinians agree to settle the issue on Israel’s terms, but that is never going to happen.

This is a recipe for a perpetual war which Israel and the US have adopted as a policy that in their view serves their best national and strategic interests.

In the historical background Hamas’ attack of October 7 on Israel does not mark the beginning of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is an episode of the perpetual war that actually started in 1948 followed by the first Nakba. Negotiated ceasefires have been just the temporary pauses in perpetual war that provided some breathing space to adversaries for strategic reasons to resume military operations with even greater vigour, not for the better but for the worse. Wars create more wars not peace. Ongoing war In Gaza has the potential to spill over into the region, expanding in scope and scale, in line with Israel’s expansionist ambitions.

Active involvement of Iranian allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen (Houthis) and Lebanon (Hezbollah) in the ongoing conflict add to the complexity of this multifaceted geopolitical puzzle and the likelihood of breaking out of an all-out regional war. That Iran’s attack on Israel in response to an air strike on its consulate in Damascus by the latter has left the region on tenterhooks is a fact.

The ongoing efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue at the international forums are unlikely to be fruitful as long US insists on giving an upper hand to the apartheid regime of Israel.

In the light of events unfolding and intensification of Israel’s genocidal campaign, hopes for an end to the conflict and restoration of lasting peace are dying. Ongoing exchanges of fire and targeting of Hezbollah positions, as well as target killing of their leaders, in Lebanon manifests spillover of the Gaza conflict.

A breakout of a full-fledged war could be the next phase of Israel’s genocidal and land grabbing campaign, aimed at realization of their dream of greater Israel. Given the entry of many other stakeholders in the region, prospects of ongoing conflict have the potential to expand into a regional and further down the road, into a global conflict.

As advised by Martin Indyk the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel “Biden should make clear the choice facing Israelis. ...They can continue on the road to a forever war with the Palestinians, or they can embrace the U.S. ‘day after’ plan”—one that would “hold out the hope of an enduring peace”. It is time for President Biden to make a choice between a ceasefire and a perpetual war that has the potential to transform into a regional war.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Ayub, Vancouver Apr 22, 2024 01:19pm
Hamas should surrender unconditionally. That's the endgame.
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