Israel Is Winning Battles But Losing International Support

On October 7, Benjamin Netanyahu publicly announced the goal of the war against the Palestinians: the destruction of Hamas. On the one hand, at that time this goal seemed to be quite reasonable, since it was Hamas that attacked Israel and started the war. But the actual reasons are much deeper, and if one studies them in more detail, one can see that it is not Hamas that is to blame for starting this bloody conflict, but Israel. It was Israel, which, contrary to all international agreements, was not able to guarantee the creation and preservation of a Palestinian state within the borders established by UN Resolution No. 181(II).

After the devastating and bloody Hamas attack on cities in the south of the country, the Prime Minister said that Israel will destroy Hamas’ governing and military capabilities and bring the 253 hostages home from Gaza. Five months of war have passed. After 150 days of war, the IDF boasts partial war success and the exchange of 100 hostages for about 1,000 prisoners from the Gaza Strip. A good result? Not really, given the fact that the Israeli army has the most advanced Western-made weapons and is fighting against, in fact, the rebels, who have to assemble and repair most of their weapons in a rather primitive way. But this pales against what is taking place on the international arena: countries are watching what is happening in this volatile region and drawing their own conclusions. These conclusions often turn out to be not in favor of Israel.

First of all, the IDF’s actions are criticized because of the incredible number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. None other than Joe Biden — Israel’s seemingly main ally from America — called for Israel to drop plans for a military assault on the city of Rafah. The attack on the last city that was undamaged by the IDF was planned to be launched during Ramadan, but Biden publicly made a statement to make it clear to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that he “wants a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip against given the escalation of a humanitarian catastrophe.” Separately, the US President also criticizes Benjamin Netanyahu, who he has never been a big fan of, saying “In my view, he’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel.”

israel-gaza-hamasHowever, this did not convince the head of the Jewish Government. Everyone understands perfectly well that he will quit politics after the end of war. In this regard, he is a political corpse. That is why he is trying to use all the opportunities available to continue military operations. First of all, this is the absolute support from the population, which supports the hostilities against the Palestinians rather than the head of government. At this stage, they do not care about who heads their government, which Netanyahu, with his extensive political experience, takes advantage of. He plays on his citizens’ fear of Hamas. He is doing it pretty well. People living in Israel want to see the Jews overthrow Hamas.

And, in fact, Netanyahu is doing well in the war — Hamas troops, their fortifications, rocket launchers and command centers were destroyed in the north of the Gaza Strip. It is unclear whether the militants will be able to quickly regroup and strike back at the Israeli army, given that the approximate number of militants killed is about 13,000 people. The north of the Gaza Strip has been almost secured, which is proved by the fact that Tel Aviv and Ashkelon hear air alarms less frequently.

Provided that the war lasts for a few more months, the Israelis will probably win. But at what cost? At the cost of thousands of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip. At the moment, according to official data alone, 31,000 Palestinians have been killed. This is 2.5 times more than the number of killed militants who fought against Hamas. Two thirds of the dead are women and children. And given the escalating risk of a humanitarian disaster, the number of civilian deaths can dramatically increase.

In this case, Israel’s international reputation will be completely destroyed. This will also worsen the further support from Israel’s partners: the United States and Germany, who are already treating Benjamin Netanyahu with distrust. It will be especially difficult for Biden, who, in addition to a difficult personal relationship with the Prime Minister of Israel, also has presidential elections near at hand. And the majority of the US population opposes the extermination of the Palestinians, and, consequently, opposes the support of Netanyahu. It is very difficult for the president to balance between these two powers. Now food will be delivered not only through the border crossing, but also by sea. This is a US initiative that will satisfy not so much the residents of Gaza as the US electorate. A similar intention is expressed by Germany, which also plans to participate in the project in order to “soften” the mood in society and Arab agglomerations, the number of which is steadily growing due to the constant flow of migrants.

It is doubtful that Israel will be able to end the war on its own terms. Most likely, if this continues, this will lead to a stalemate situation: firstly, Netanyahu promised to exterminate Hamas, secondly, the international community is pressing on him, thirdly, Israel people will stop at nothing to ensure their safety and the safety of their children in the future. But the Arabs are nobody’s fool either. We can only guess who really stands behind Hamas and supports the militants. One thing is clear: this is not a war of annihilation. Neither side is ready to play for high stakes. Therefore, peace talks are coming, the result of which will depend on the level of escalation of the conflict in the Gaza Strip and international pressure on Benjamin Netanyahu.

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