• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Israel versus Iran: Drum of imminent global war

Israel versus Iran: Drum of imminent global war

The Israel bombing of the Iran embassy in Damascus, Syria, which culminated in Iran’s recent attack on Israel with a cluster of drones loaded with bombs and explosives, is capable of snowballing into a mega-war or probably the anticipated third world war. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to be stopped or called to order by its traditional allies (the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada). We might know the beginning of this war, but not everyone will know its end. The fact is that both sides in this conflict can use weapons of mass destruction under provocation if the need arises.

Notably, the Republic of Iran has been studying the body language of Israel, anticipating and planning its own counterstrike in case Israel mistakenly drew it into tension in the Middle East. The Iranian counteroffensive rocked Israel to its core, which is why Israel launched a response in retaliation against Iran’s outlying community. However, the Iranian military leadership played down this reprisal as insignificant. Either way, the two nations are beating a palpable drum of imminent war, which could divide the world into two sides: anti-Israel and pro-Palestine, or vice versa.

The recent escalation of tensions between these two nations has raised concerns globally, particularly regarding the intricate web of geopolitical dynamics at play in the Middle East. One key factor contributing to these tensions is the Iranian support for the Palestinian militant organisation Hamas, which exercises control over parts of the Gaza Strip. This support has been linked to a series of events that have heightened bilateral tensions in the region.

“The recent escalation of tensions between these two nations has raised concerns globally, particularly regarding the intricate web of geopolitical dynamics at play in the Middle East.”

Hamas, considered by some as a terrorist organisation, has been a significant player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. The group’s ideology and actions have often led to violent confrontations with Israel, resulting in casualties and destruction on both sides. However, Hamas enjoys backing from various state and non-state actors, with Iran being a prominent supporter. Iran’s support for Hamas is multifaceted and rooted in both ideological and strategic considerations. From an ideological standpoint, Iran, as a Shiite-majority nation, views itself as a champion of the Palestinian cause against what it perceives as Israeli oppression. This ideological alignment provides a basis for Iran’s support for Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups.

Strategically, Iran sees Hamas as a valuable proxy for its broader regional ambitions. By providing financial, military, and logistical support to Hamas, Iran aims to exert influence in the Palestinian territories and project power against Israel, its regional rival. This support includes the supply of weapons, the training of militants, and financial aid to sustain Hamas’s operations.

The ramifications of Iranian support for Hamas extend beyond the confines of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The actions of Hamas, fuelled by Iranian backing, have contributed to broader regional instability and heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, as well as other regional actors. Incidents such as rocket attacks launched from Gaza into Israel territory have sparked retaliatory strikes from Israel, further exacerbating the cycle of violence.

Nonetheless, the perception of Hamas-controlled Gaza as a haven for terrorists adds another layer of complexity to the situation. While Hamas presents itself as a resistance movement fighting against occupation, its tactics and alliances have led many to view it as a terrorist organisation. Especially Israel and its international allies, led by the U.S. and others. This perception influences the responses of other nations, including Israel, towards Hamas and its backers. However, other nations, apart from Israel and its allies, see Hamas as a freedom fighter group struggling for the liberation of its oppressed and suppressed people.

Considering this dynamic, it is evident that the escalation of bilateral tensions in the region cannot be divorced from the Iranian support for Hamas. As long as Iran continues to help Hamas and other militant groups, the prospect of peace and stability in the Middle East remains elusive. However, the current situation is dicey, and so long as Israel refuses to recognise the aspiration of Palestine to coexist as an independent state with all the attendant interests of a modern state, the possibilities of peace in that region are a great mirage. However, addressing the root causes of this support and finding constructive avenues for dialogue and resolution is crucial to mitigating tensions and fostering peaceful coexistence in the region.

Resolving these longstanding tensions in the Middle East requires Israel authority to stop the war of annihilation in the Gaza Strip forthwith and surmount courage to address the underlying grievances, such as economic inequality, political disenfranchisement, and the lack of basic services experienced by Palestinians. This will help reduce support for extremist ideologies and violence. Investing in education, infrastructure, and economic development in Palestine is crucial for long-term stability. Also, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel based on pre-1967 borders has long been considered a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This solution would require compromises on both sides and address core issues such as borders, security, refugees, and the status of Jerusalem. Similarly, engaging regional powers, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and others, in diplomatic initiatives could help address broader regional challenges and foster cooperation on common interests. Besides, initiatives like the Saudi-brokered Arab Peace Initiative (API) of 2002, which offers normalised relations with Israel in exchange for a comprehensive peace agreement, deserve continued exploration.

Rotimi S. Bello, a public commentator, writes from Canada.