Hamas – Israel Conflict: Unlikely to be swift and short
By Colonel Krityanand Das
It is a month old conflict now. It started this date that is 7th day of month of October.
Otherwise Arab – Israel conflict in the past were swift and short. It does not look that way now.
Though what Hamas did to general public of Israel, specially the children, women and the aged is most condemnable. With such acts it will always have the tag of terrorists attached and never of a respectable of freedom fighters. However their plan and its execution were very perfect and professional. Surprisingly the conduct of famed Israel Defence Forces (IDF) was found wanting on every aspect.
The anger and ferocity in Israeli reactions were on expected lines. And certainly Hamas deserves a beating of extreme dimensions for their heinous conducts. Collateral damages to the general public and their properties could be tolerated in a short and swift campaign, but in a long drawn conflict as it is now, eye brows will be raised and words will be few and not easily found to defend them.
It is certain from the repeated statements of Israeli leadership both political and military that they will go all out to wipe out the presence of Hamas from Gaza Strip. That will be long and difficult. It will be rather costly in casualties of both combatants and the general public, beside damage to properties.
Fighting in a built up area has always been a nightmare for any force and so it will be for the IDF as well. Almost every piece of concrete rubbles that bombing has piled up in that ten by forty KM of narrow stripe will have to be searched to eliminate any and every Hamas terrorist. That is on the surface, but over the years Hamas has built labyrinth of tunnels of hundreds of kilometers. Going into those and clearing those of terrorists will need time and men. This will prolong the conflict further. These tunnels have been purposely built for military purposes and so it will demand both high skills and power of endurance. Well for tied ambush sites manned by the terrorists will play havoc with the Israel moves in the tunnels. Casualties evacuations and move of reinforcement will be a major problem.
It will be better if arrangement are made to flood these tunnels with sea water which is available free of cost and in plenty along the entire narrow stripe on the coastline. Pumps, pipes and some engineering efforts will do the trick and save both lives and time.
Palestinians aren’t welcome in their Arab neighbourhood. Lebanon, the only Arab Christian state in the Middle East has lost its identity with the arrival of Palestinians during the previous conflicts. Jordan faced tough time preventing almost a take over by the Palestinian refugees and had to get a Pakistani brigade to break the uprising, which saw thousands of Palestinians killed and remains in memory as Black September. Taking clue from these, Egypt has not opened its borders in the south except for humanitarian aids.
Israelis have some plan to settle them in Sinai peninsula and help them become a productive community in the region with liberal investments and training. Similarly Israel would like to push the Palestinians from the West Bank in to Jordan and help them settle there and turn into a productive community. It would also like a to push the Palestinians from Golan Heights into Syria. But it’s unlikely to take such shape in near future or even in far future. If pushed to the brim the Palestinians will infiltrate into Europe and not into Arab neighbourhood.
A long drawn conflict will foul anti Israel opinions further, not only in Arab neighborhood and rest of the muslim world who suffer from victim hood syndrome and love to celebrate it at a drop of hat beside the famed Islamophobia at all level. Things will further foul and deteriorate. The death, damages and destructions will fill hearts with bitterness in the younger generations and specially those who have lost their near and dear ones in the on going conflict.They will be vulnerable to the influences of many other out fits that will take the place of existing terrorists and extremist outfits.
These are ideology driven out fits and there is never a death or an end of an idea. These exist like the elements of the nature and manifest as the environment evolves.
The scale and the skill with which the Hamas initiated the conflict gives ample indication of involvement of regional and non regional power, who want to make their presence felt and foot hold established in the region.
Two names are now in lime light that is Iran and China. Turkey is another one who wants to revive the Ottoman Caliphate and waits for opportunities to fish in the troubled waters.
In other places left liberal cabal is always eager to take unconcerned issues to be in news.
Sometimes back these elements had created such ruckus in many places in India, demanding settlement of Rohingia refugees from Myanmar. Who knows such ruckus may be initiated now again to lure the vote bank in election season.
The war industries around the world will also not miss the opportunity of making hay while the sun blazes on the Gaza Strip!
Already Iran patronised Hijbullah in Lebanon and Huttis in Yemen have jumped into the fray and added further fuel into the already blazing fire. At the present moment it is only the known terrorists outfits that are involved in the conflct whose resources are drawn from the states that sponsor them. Their given resources are limited and so are their actions and reactions. But in case some state joins the conflict the scope will change and then it will be difficult to reach a cease fire early and move towards some kind of acceptable solution.
The war in Ukraine has been dragging on for over a year now. It does not even get a mention in the news these. But place and the people there are going through untold miseries.
It seems the deaths of thousands of innocent children have no effects on the world leadership. Who are mostly family men with children and grandchildren. Do not their conscience prick them.It seems they are only guided by false pride and lure of profits. World bodies and institutions are just helpless, a mere drain on the world exchequer.
It’s time some thoughts are given to this long pending problem. Arabs who have both wealth and space, should think towards arriving at a solution to the problem and not be pulled around by extra regional powers for their own narrow ends. They should make it an Arab nay a Sematic problem and not a Muslim problem and tell Iran to lay-off. They should settle it with Israel a fellow Sematic people by agreeing to creating a Two State Theory. Other than that there is only death and destruction. It’s time this is realized. Arab states should also remember that if this persists then this can flare up Arab Spring type movements in future, which can disturb the Arab world and make existence of many regimes difficult.
The region is resource rich, specially in terms of hydrocarbon and world will be dependent on this fuel for many decades to come, specially the Global South. Whose development, progress and prosperity are linked to the price and availability of this fuel. They will suffer more than the rich North. They should raise their voice and help in solving the problem.
India has been victim of terrorism for long. Its initial reaction to the Hamas’ heinous conduct was quite natural therefore. And India has a good relation with Palestinian Movement. Subsequently humanitarian aid for the Palestinians people was a good gesture. It should now be more than that. It will be good in case India is able to maneuverer the global south’s voice, its relations with both Israel and Palestinians and the Arab states to reach a solution that is to Two States Theory and bring an end to this long persisting tragedy.
Let maturity rise and good sense prevail!