Chronicling Conflict: Five Months In The Heart Of Palestine’s War – OpEd


Five months have passed since the Palestinian conflict began, yet the Israeli army has not succeeded in rescuing a single hostage in Gaza. The IDF has encircled Gaza and demolished 80 percent of the residences in northern Gaza to minimize the threat of ambushes from urban structures during warfare. Following the Mosul conflict in Iraq, the ongoing Gaza conflict represents the second-largest urban warfare scenario globally.

Hamas is using a network of tunnels inside Gaza to launch attacks on Israeli forces, something ISIS did not have access to in Mosul. Therefore, Hamas can ambush targeted ground forces and return to their tunnels whenever they want. They are using hit-and-run techniques, in short, every single day is October 7 for Hamas. Whereas for the IDF, they will have to go into the tunnels to fight Hamas, where the balance of power will be equal on both sides.

Israel has not yet published its casualties in Gaza, but according to open sources, more than three hundred high-ranking Israeli officers have been killed in the past five months.

The objectives of the Israeli attack on Gaza were to recover the hostages and eliminate the threat of Hamas forever. Israel failed in both objectives. Negotiations are now the only option left for Israel to bring back the hostages alive. As per international media and reports peace talks between Israel and Hamas are taking place in Paris, with the United States, Qatar, and Egypt as mediators.

Hamas, along with other resistance factions, has presented demands for a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, an end to the siege, the release of prisoners, and the release of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

If Israel refuses a permanent cease-fire, which might be because of Netanyahu’s behavior, then after the end of the war, Prime Minister Netanyahu will have no choice but to go home and be more likely to go to jail. 

The ceasefire agreement in Gaza hinges on the United States. It was the US that voted against a permanent ceasefire in the UNSC, and it has dispatched over two hundred cargo planes and twenty cargo ships laden with weapons to Israel. While the United States is airdropping food from planes for Gaza refugees, it is simultaneously supplying weapons to Israel to sustain the conflict. The question arises: for how long can America maintain control over the direction of this war?

The people of Israel are protesting against the war and for the hostages in Gaza. However, due to a permanent cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu may lose his position as he faces corruption cases, leading to a state of emergency in the country. Prime Minister Netanyahu will now either reject the cease-fire demand or bring back the hostages and accept the cease-fire agreement with Hamas. However, he will seek to increase tensions on the Lebanese front.

The United States is exerting pressure on Israel for a ceasefire during Ramadan; meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Lebanon are escalating. The Israeli Air Force is conducting airstrikes within 100 kilometers of Lebanon, while the Lebanese are also targeting IDF installations on the border with new weaponry. 

Syed Ahmed Ali Shah

Syed Ahmed Ali Shah is pursuing MS in International Relations at Muslim Youth University, Islamabad. His research focuses on the strategic relations between Pakistan, China, India, and the USA in the 21st century; He also has his interest in South Asian Studies, Extremism and terrorism, foreign policy of great powers, Jammu Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan studies. He writes in World Geostrategic Insights, Modern Diplomacy, Parliament Times, Daily Country News, and NewsMart.

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