Theme:

  • Israel is currently in the midst of a conflict with Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. The conflict began on 7th October 2023, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, firing five thousand rockets into southern and central Israel. The conflict has been intensifying ever since.

What really happened?

  • On 7th October 2023, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, breaching Israeli borders via various means, including gliders and tunnels, and catching Israeli forces off guard.
  • The attack resulted in many deaths and several others were injured and caused significant damage in Israel.
  • The attack coincided with a significant Israeli annual festival, taking advantage of a perceived vulnerable moment.
  • Israel responded with airstrikes and ground operations to neutralise threats and protect its citizens, leading to a cycle of violence.
  • Israel has declared war, and currently, Israel is doing military operations in the Gaza Strip in Palestine to target Hamas terrorists with a mission to eradicate them all together.

How did Israel’s intelligence fail?

  • Despite the esteemed reputation of Israeli intelligence, it appears there was a crucial oversight in accurately assessing the capabilities of Hamas, leading to a lack of adequate preparation and response.
  • Due to the possible misinterpretation of the threat, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were also not prepared for the attacks by Hamas.
  • The Israeli military, while highly capable against conventional adversaries, struggles to effectively combat asymmetric warfare. Hamas and similar groups, being unconventional and highly motivated, presented a significant challenge to the conventional Israeli military, as they operate within civilian populations and employ guerrilla tactics.
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The root of the Israel-Palestine conflict:

  • In 1917, the Balfour Declaration was issued by the British government, expressing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
  • After World War II, because of the impact of Hitler’s regime, Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, and Zionist aspirations for a Jewish homeland gained more momentum.
  • The UN partition plan of 1947 proposed the division of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international city.
  • The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, but the Arab leadership rejected it, leading to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • The conflict is because Palestine holds profound religious significance for the Abrahamic religions, encompassing the “Promised Land” in Judaism, key events in Christianity such as Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, and revered Islamic sites like Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
  • Ever since Israel has been in a constant state of war against the Arab countries, including in the Gaza Strip, where it has been in conflict with Hamas since 2008.

Impact of this War:

  • This war will result in the displacement of many Palestinians and a refugee crisis in neighbouring countries.
  • This war could potentially lead to more future conflicts between Israel and Arab countries.
  • The US was in talks with Israel and Saudi Arabia to discuss an agreement normalising their relationship. However, due to this war, Saudi Arabia has suspended talks, which is detrimental to peace efforts in the region.
  • This conflict may also impact the plans of the India-Middle East-Europe Corridor (IMEC), which passes through Saudi Arabia and Israel. Implementation may not be possible if relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel do not normalise, raising concerns about IMEC security.
  • If this war is prolonged and Israel gets stuck in this war just like Russia is in Ukraine right now, the IMEC will no longer remain viable. This would be a significant setback to India’s interests.
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Conclusion:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists, with Israel asserting its commitment to ensuring the safety of its citizens and the complete eradication of Hamas terrorists. Bringing about a resolution in this situation is undoubtedly challenging, but if attainable, it demands intensified diplomatic efforts facilitated by international mediation, encouraging dialogue, and fostering empathy from all parties involved. In a world where conflicts are simultaneously rampant, finding a lasting solution becomes even more important, emphasising the need for concerted global efforts towards peace and stability.

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