The Palestine-Israel problem is one of the oldest, most complex, and most difficult problems in the world. The Arab Palestinian people, who have been oppressed by Israel for hundreds of years, standing in the valley of death, still show courage and patriotism and remain uncompromising towards their motherland.
Recently, the Palestinian armed group Hamas has been involved in a bloody conflict with extremist Israel. Recently, Israeli officials repeatedly entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque and destroyed its sanctity, in addition to the 16-year-long Israeli blockade of Gaza. This has limited the income of Palestinians. Frustrated and enraged by the economic crisis, including food, Hamas launched the attack on Israel, which is believed to be the biggest ever. This is the first time in 75 years that Palestinian fighters have crossed the Green Line. Hamas spokesman Khaled Kadomi told the media that Palestinians have been subjected to extreme brutality for decades. In response, they attacked Israel.
In response, occupying Israel launched the largest massacre in living memory, a brutal military operation, leaving children, women, and the elderly in bomb blasts on the streets. Thousands of people have already lost their lives, destroying entire houses, hospitals, mosques, schools, colleges, and educational institutions. This time, they launched a military campaign with the promise of completely razing Gaza to the ground.
More than 1 million Gazans were told to leave their homes from northern to southern Gaza ahead of the Israeli ground offensive. The so-called Westerners talk of carving out a corridor for humanitarian aid in Egypt’s Sinai Valley. But for Palestinians, who have burned through the pain of displacement for generations, the corridor is a scary sound. It meant choosing to live as a refugee in Sinai, Egypt, once again facing genocide. Living in tents again.
There are three major parties involved in the Middle East peace process: Israel, the Arab world, and the United States. The role of these three parties is strongly significant, with every issue as important as the political stability of the Middle East and the solution of the Palestinian problem.
This tripartite disagreement and conflict is one of the reasons behind the conflict in the Middle East.
Although the Arab world and the United States are blamed for this, observers consider Israel’s barbaric and inhuman treatment of the Palestinian population for centuries to be the root cause of the problems in the Middle East. Israel has also disobeyed most of the resolutions adopted at the international level and by the United Nations to date. And publicly announced that he did not accept.
On the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, United Nations Resolution No. 181 was unanimously adopted, stating that the British Mandate of Palestine would be divided into two equal parts of 20,770 square kilometers to form two independent states: Israel and Palestine. Although the state of Israel was established in 1948 with the covert support of the British authorities, the state of Palestine has not yet been formed. Rather, after the establishment of the Jewish state, in the face of the genocide of the Jews, millions of Palestinians flee their homes and become refugees in neighboring Arab countries every year. According to the survey, in 2019, more than 5.6 million Palestinian refugees were registered with the United Nations.
In 1948, the Jews seized all Palestinian aid, none of which has yet been returned. However, according to UN Security Council Resolution 194, those who want to return should be allowed to do so. And those who don’t want to come have to pay compensation; there is an established law.
After the signing of the Camp David Agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1978, the United Nations again passed Resolution No. 446. It stated that Israel would leave the territories occupied in 1967 and stop Jewish resettlement in the West Bank. But Israel does not accept any of these conditions.
In 1980, the United Nations passed Resolution 465. It called for the demolition of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, but the Jews ignored it and continued the new Jewish resettlement work in full swing. In 1948, Israel’s area was 5,000 square miles, but in 1955, Israel’s area increased to 8,000 square miles due to the continuous occupation of Palestinian territories. In 1967, it increased to 30,000 square miles. And so it continues to grow, as they illegally seize Palestinian land every year.
Recently, Israeli forces repeatedly attacked the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem, which has been occupied for several years. Various videos of the arrest, beating, and even extreme torture of worshipers praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque spread on social media. When the world condemned their terrible and dangerous actions, even the Israeli people took to the streets against their government. The general public says that the government is inciting in various ways, creating incendiary situations and religious conflicts.
On the other hand, they have carried out operations in response to the Israeli government’s usual claim of rockets fired from Gaza and Lebanon.
In this way, over the years, Israel has been carrying out brutal killings on the Palestinian people for 70 years, regardless of peace policies introduced by the United Nations, reconciliation proposals, and the protests of the whole world.
The country that can directly influence Israel on the Palestinian issue is the United States. These two countries are bound by a strategic alliance. Even if the governments of these two countries change, there will be no change in strategic ties. The United States often favors Israel’s interests. Former US President Jimmy Carter and former Defense Secretary Bob Gates said that the anti-American sentiment among Muslims around the world is behind US Middle East policy. The United States has sent two warships to the eastern Mediterranean amid ongoing clashes between Hamas and Israel to send a strong message to anti-Western powers. The United States has said that if anyone intervenes, they will have to confront not only Israel but also US troops.
The US gives Israel $4 billion in military and financial aid each year. America’s keen interest in the Middle East is not just for strategic reasons; it is also recognized as the lifeline of the US economy. A large part of the economic prosperity of the United States is tied to the oil resources of the Middle East. For this reason, the United States never wants a power hostile to the United States to raise its head in the Middle East, to have this area under the control of another power, or to disrupt the free flow of Middle Eastern energy in any way. Even the United States is ready to engage in frontal war if necessary to prevent these.
In addition to financial and military aid, the United States has provided Israel with political support by using its UN Security Council veto power 42 times out of 83 times its veto has ever been used. Between 1991 and 2011, 15 of the 24 vetoes were used to protect Israel.
May 14, 2018 was another sad day in the bloody history of Palestinians. The US was opening its embassy in Jerusalem that day. And that day, Gaza turned into a bloody wasteland. According to Palestinian officials, Israeli forces killed 58 people in Gaza that day. About three thousand more were injured. Since the 2014 Gaza war, so many Palestinians have died in a single day. That day was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Israel was founded on this day in 1948. And to the Palestinians, the day is the ‘Nakba’ or the Day of Catastrophe. Millions of Palestinians were driven from their homes in Israel that day. Every year, they observe the day as ‘Nakba’ day.
Another undeniable obstacle to peace in the Middle East is disunity and mistrust among the Arabs. Part of the current Middle East is controlled by the United States and its allies. The other part is influenced by Iran and its proxies. The Arab states, which stretch from Syria to Morocco, share many similarities in language, religion, and culture but have wide political differences. Disagreement is also emerging in resolving Middle East issues, as Arab leaders have stark differences over leadership. At one time, Egypt’s Jamal Abdel Nasser, Saudi King Fahd, Syria’s Hafiz al-Assad, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein were Arab leaders.
The image that the Arabs have built has been shattered by the crushing defeat of the Arabs in the Arab-Israeli war.
Not only Arab leaders, but leaders of almost all Muslim countries are busy protecting their power. The OIC is the largest organization in the Muslim world. It has become a lifeless organization. Only statements and accusations are absolved of liability. But this OIC was born to protect the interests of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestine. This very institution has not done anything for Palestine in the last 52 years.
And in the last decade, this organization has become more useless in the leadership fight. Saudi Arabia could not accept Turkey’s leadership in the OIC. So there has been a deliberate attempt to keep the OIC largely inactive under Turkish leadership. And the organization called D-Eight with eight countries in the Muslim world was created by the former Prime Minister of Turkey, Nazimuddin Erbakan. That, too, has been conveniently disabled. On the other hand, the Arab League is another useless organization.
Over 9 million people live in Israel. Despite that, politically, 42.7 million Arabs, rich in oil resources, are bowing to Israel. Between 2000 and 2019, Western countries like France, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Germany provided $9.6 billion in arms and military equipment to Israel. In these 20 years, they have sold more weapons to Arab countries than that. During this time, they provided $29.3 billion to Saudi Arabia, $201 billion to the United Arab Emirates, $17.5 billion to Iraq, $9.1 billion to Iraq, and $6 billion to Qatar.
The reality is that if Israel ever invades Arab lands again, these weapons will do little to protect the Arabs. If anyone is to be blamed for today’s plight in Palestine, the Arab countries are to blame the most. Because the Arabs are terribly divided.
Commentator for Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper, Azzasami, wrote, Thank you, Netanyahu; may God give us people like you who will destroy Hamas. The Middle East is burning with unrest today because of the shameless flattery of Arab kings and emirs. Apart from the above reasons, the failure of the United Nations, OIC, European League, and Arab League to take effective action against the Hamas-Fatah conflict and Israel’s aggressive attitude and brutal killings are equally responsible.
However, the recently discussed event, the news of the restoration of bilateral relations between arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran through the mediation of China, is somewhat of a message of hope for the Middle East. The geopolitical relations of the Gulf region may be reshaped. And the troubled Middle East can become peaceful, and geopolitical stability can return.
On the other hand, the United States has taken on the role of the police even earlier, working non-stop to improve the relations of Arab states with Israel. Hamas leaders feel pressured to take action because of Israel’s normalization process with Arab countries over the past few years. Due to this process, the Palestinian issue is becoming less important to Arab leaders. Arab leaders have no urge to pressure Israel on this matter. If Saudi Arabia establishes formal diplomatic relations with Israel, brokered by Washington, the already tenuous two-state solution will be forever destroyed. That is what Hamas had in the equation.
Hamas is the largest of the radical Islamist organizations in Palestine. Hamas was formed in 1987 after the start of the ‘Intifada’ or Palestinian uprising to demand an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. According to the organization’s charter, it is committed to the destruction of Israel. And their demand is that the Palestinian state will be a single Islamic state consisting of present-day Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.