Middle East, on a knife edge due to Israel’s war in Palestine

The war between Israel and the Palestinians of Gaza, triggered by Hamas attacks in southern Israel and brought to a extreme violence by the Jewish Army against the Palestinian civilian population, has disrupted the geopolitical order of the Middle East and has raised the risk of a regional conflagration that could alter global stability and security.

What could have been a serious terrorist crisis, which would have required strong counterterrorism measures to resolve, has become a war of conquest and destruction for the disproportionate response of Israel, which has taken the opportunity to dismantle the home of more than two million Palestinians and occupy their land with sword and fire.

The consequences of this offensive also have international components that put much of the Middle East on the knife’s edge, with pro-Iranian groups such as Hamas itself, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, the Yemen Houthis or the Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah integrated into the so-called Axis of Resistance with which Iran intends to unite hatred towards Israel, now in full ferment due to the war.

Middle East, an explosive region

The attack launched by Hamas against Israel on October 7, which resulted in the murder of 1,200 people and the kidnapping of another 240, and the war unleashed by Tel Aviv in response to Gaza, where there are already more than 21,000 dead8,000 of them children massacred by Israeli bombs, have shown that the Middle East remains one of the most unstable regions on the planet.

With this new war, the fragile calm of recent years, endured by the Abraham Accords between Israel and several Arab countries, the pact between Saudi Arabia and Iran fostered by China, and the precarious but hopeful understanding, dissipated like a mirage. , between Washington and Tehran regarding the Iranian nuclear program and the withdrawal of some financial sanctions that weighed on the Persian regime.

The war in Gaza destroyed the negotiation process to reach an agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia

Above all, the war between Israel and Gaza destroyed the negotiation process to reach a understanding between the Israelis and the Saudisalso within those agreements that had brought Israel, Morocco, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan closer together.

Of course, the war context inaugurated with the invasion of Gaza has allowed the United States, Israel’s main ally, to return to the Middle East in style.

The immediate involvement of the US

Therefore, the first thing the United States did when the war broke out was to send two of its aircraft carrier with their corresponding fleets, in addition to reinforcing their positions in their bases in Iraq and Syria.

The US deployment would seem to have as its main objective stop Iran’s feetthe other dark hand in this conflict and whose knowledge of the massive Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 seems more than evident.

Iran was very interested, as a simple matter of regional counterweights, in suspending talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and creating a focus of tension on Israeli borders with which to measure Tel Aviv’s ability to contain a crisis. of still unpredictable consequences.

However, given the deterrent balance that existed in the region between Iranians and Israelis, backed in this case by a nuclear arsenal of unknown dimensions, it does not seem that the increased American presence is only to send a warning to Iran and deactivate any war plan that could pass through the minds of the Ayatollah. Even though Iran has tripled its production of enriched uranium since November and is advancing towards the level necessary to make a nuclear bomb.

Nor to respond to the attacks by pro-Iranian militias that are receiving US bases stationed in the area and that, however, have not left any fatal casualties among US troops. For this, such a naval deployment was not necessary.

Israel’s war against the Palestinians has above all allowed Washington resume some of the positions in the Middle East that it had lost to Russia during the Syrian civil war in the last decade, when the alliance between Moscow and Damascus revealed the US military weakness in the region after so many years entangled in Iraq.

That is to say, the geopolitical realignment in the Middle East has been a reality since October 7, although perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that it is a military realignmentwith a potential armed conflict looming and many contenders that could set the entire region on fire.

The image of the US, on the ground

It is also very important to emphasize that the credibility of the United States has been greatly damaged by its closing ranks with Israel, reinforced by the Washington veto to the UN Security Council resolutions that called for a ceasefire and an end to the violence unleashed on the Palestinian population.

Even more so when even President Joe Biden urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a greater restraint when it came to destroying Gazan cities, refugee camps or hospitals in the Strip one after another, without, however, accompanying such demands with any coercive measures.

On the contrary, Israel has been given carte blanche to attack the Palestinians in Gaza, but also in the West Bank, where more than 300 people have already been murdered, 80 of them children, by the Army and illegal Israeli settlers since the beginning of the war. war.

And this letting the Israeli Army do its thing, with the US looking the other way, includes Lebanon and Syriacountries that are bombed by Israeli planes without any shame, and not only against the supposed objectives of organizations allied with Hamas or Iran.

Syria is one of the places in the Middle East where the risk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict spreading is greatest.

Syria is one of the places in the Middle East where the risk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict spreading is greatest, with the addition of the Russian presence and the special military cooperation between Moscow and Damascus, and with Turkey’s expansionist desires in the Syrian north also involved.

The government of dictator Bashar al Assad has denounced the successive Israeli “air aggressions” occurred since the beginning of the war against Gaza. Under the excuse of responding to attacks launched from Syrian territory by Islamist forces allied with Hamas, the Israeli Army is taking the opportunity to eliminate batteries and rocket launching points that could threaten the northern Israeli border with Syria and southern Lebanon.

Some of these attacks, as denounced by the Government of Damascus, have been carried out by Israeli planes from neighboring Lebanon, whose airspace is repeatedly violated by aircraft sent by Tel Aviv.

The Red Sea is red hot

Another hot spot in this crisis is the Red Sea. There, commercial shipping routes have been partially interrupted by the threat posed by the Houthi rebels, a Yemeni rebel faction of the Shiite faith that has the financial and weapons backing of Iran.

The Houthis have declared their own crusade against the israelis for its attack on Gaza, and it is a rare day when one of its missiles is not aimed at an Israeli target. The vast majority of these attacks are nullified by Israeli or American anti-aircraft batteries.

This has not prevented Washington from also taking action on the matter. To do this, he has gone to battle and raised the flag of an international coalition whose official purpose is to protect the sea routes of the Red Sea and the Strait of Bab el Mandeb.

It has even requested the participation of China, one of the countries with the most interests in the maritime transport of its goods through this area. However, Beijing has not wanted to fall into the US trap, and be marked by a direct alignment with Israel and boxed into the Pentagon’s own military hegemonist strategy.

Election year for the US

The year that now begins, 2024, may bring surprises and changes for this American commitment to unabashedly supporting Israel, even when genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population could be taking place.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is wreaking havoc on support for Biden among the Arab population

In November they celebrate presidential election in the US, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is already wreaking havoc on support for Biden among the American population of Arab origin.

A larger-scale war in which the US intervention would be more forceful, while Washington’s involvement in Ukraine also continues, may not be very popular with the electorate, subject to the economic ups and downs of these times.

Internal crisis in Israel

It is to be expected that pressure from the White House will increase on Netanyahu, who these days celebrates one year since assuming his current mandate. In reality, it is his sixth term of government in 27 years.

And his popular support vanisheswith all the doubts that have arisen around the attack of October 7, the inability of intelligence and the Israeli Army to foresee it, and the commitment to indiscriminately bomb the Palestinians even at the cost of the safety of the hostages who They remain in the hands of that militia.

Some failures of the intelligence services in which the CIA and other American intelligence bodies failed as miserably as the Israelis, with errors as serious as ignore public opinion international and its rejection of the massacre that Israel is committing in Gaza.

If it were not for the war, Netanyahu could be on the verge of political disaster and the end of his stay in power, also harassed by the despotism of his judicial reform. There are many variables that could influence the fate of the war, not only to shorten it, but, on the contrary, to extend it in a forward flight by the Israeli Executive.

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