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What are the consequences of Israel Palestine conflict?

Rayhan Ahmed Tapader

Rayhan Ahmed Tapader

Wed, 12 Jun 24

The horrific massacres in Gaza are undoubtedly distressing. Amid the prevailing discontent in the Arab world, various perspectives have emerged regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza, leading to a divided public opinion. Questions have arisen about whether the decision to engage in intense conflict in Gaza was solely made by Hamas or if there were other resisting factions or allied forces involved in making this crucial decision. In such an unstable period, when the entire region was on the brink of a potentially catastrophic situation, this decision seems to have further exacerbated the situation.

In this context, a crucial matter that warrants investigation is the outcome of this war and who stands to benefit from such a volatile approach. On May 24, judges of the United Nations' highest court, the International Court of Justice, ordered Israel to urgently cease its military aggression in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The case filed by South Africa against Israel for genocide marks an undoubtedly groundbreaking development. Although the International Court of Justice (ICJ) lacks the means to enforce its own orders, this ruling signifies Israel's increasing global isolation due to its Gaza operations. By continuing its devastating attacks in Rafah last month, Israel ignored calls from its close ally, the United States. This defiance has made it difficult for other Western allies to offer blind support to Israel. The verdict stated that the situation in the besieged Palestine has deteriorated.

The verdict stated that the state of Israel should urgently cease its military attacks and stop other ongoing inhumane activities against the authorities in Rafah. It also mentioned that Israel has concealed information regarding the safety of lives during the attacks and evictions it has carried out, and has not provided adequate information about the availability of food, water, sanitation, and medical care for the 800,000 Palestinians fleeing from Rafah. As a result, the court concluded that Israel has disregarded rather than adequately addressing the concerns arising from its ongoing military aggression in Rafah. This ruling by the International Court of Justice was adopted by a 15-2 vote by a panel consisting of 15 judges from around the world. The two dissenting judges were from Uganda and Israel.

The verdict was announced just a week after South Africa's request as part of its case against Israel, accusing it of violating the 'Genocide Convention' adopted in the wake of the Holocaust. Recently, the ICJ also issued a much-anticipated ruling, ordering Israel to cease its heinous attacks in Rafah immediately. This step was taken in support of South Africa's plea, holding Israel accountable for genocide. Despite the latest ruling calling on Israel to take measures to improve the situation in Gaza, the plight of Gaza has worsened. Israel has vehemently opposed these accusations, stating that it will reject any ruling that demands the cessation of its operations in Gaza.

During the reading of the verdict on May 24th, the President of the International Court of Justice, Nawaf Salam, stated that Israel must immediately cease its military campaign. He emphasized the need to halt the ongoing urgency in the Rafah region. These actions, which threaten the lives of Palestinians in Gaza, are described as acts of genocide under international law. Israel must allow unrestricted access to any United Nations agency investigating allegations of genocide in Gaza. The verdict reiterated the urgent need for unimpeded access to essential services and humanitarian assistance in Gaza, without any hindrance from Israel. Additionally, it emphasized that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is deteriorating further.

The observation highlighted by the court indicates that the situation in Gaza is deeply concerning, as Israeli prisoners are still held by Hamas and other armed groups. The court has called for the swift and unconditional release of these prisoners. However, Israel rejects this ruling of the court, arguing that its military campaign in Gaza was consistent with international law. According to the country's national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel is not conducting any military campaigns in the Rafah region and will not engage in actions that could inflict harm on civilian life or partially or entirely destroy non-militant Palestinian communities. However, their Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz, has stated that whenever necessary and wherever necessary, even in Rafah, Israel will keep its attacks uninterrupted. The United Nations welcomed the verdict, with Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, expressing gratitude, and called on Israel to abide by it.

The most significant reasons behind Israel's perpetrated massacres against unarmed civilians in Gaza are arguably the country's extreme militarization and the full support and assistance it receives from the United States government as its primary sponsor. In the world's history, no war like this has seen such widespread condemnation and disgrace from so many nations and peoples across the globe. The crimes identified by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by leaders of both Israel and Hamas since October 2023. Although both sides deny such accusations, the inhumane consequences they ignore are more dangerous. Despite anyone being guilty or not, President Biden has been compelled to immediately condemn the ICC's arrest warrant application against Israel's Prime Minister and Defense Minister.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant's actions over more than seven months are morally and legally unacceptable. Hamas must be condemned for its human rights abuses. However, the abhorrent and inhumane acts committed by the Israeli government with direct military and economic support from the United States are also unforgivable. The ICC has further scrutinized that the war crimes being charged are not viewed as part of a global armed conflict between Israel and Palestine. Globally, it is not seen as a war between Israel and Hamas. Therefore, it can be seen in parallel to crimes against humanity that, in reality, the policies pursued by the Israeli government are systematically targeting the civilian population of Palestine through various means.

Although this assessment of the crime has remained untouched until now, it would also be fair to consider that Israel's aggression in Gaza started after Hamas launched attacks. Hamas is the de facto governing authority in Gaza, which, on October 7, initiated an attack on Israel, resulting in the deaths of nearly 1,200 people and the abduction of 252 individuals taken into Gaza. Recently, on May 25th, Hamas has been seen launching rockets towards Tel Aviv for the first time since the conflict began. Meanwhile, Israel's attacks on Gaza have escalated continuously. As a result, since October 7th, according to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, at least 35,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 80,000 have been injured. Most of them are women and children, who are all part of the civilian population.

In light of the latest judicial steps, Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under supervision, urges Israel to comply with the conventions and norms related to the prevention and punishment of crimes and genocide, as well as to adhere to the obligations under international human rights law. The ICC-issued interim measures, deemed mandatory and enforceable by law, will be considered, as they have been issued by the highest international judicial body. Egypt also insists that Israel, as the occupying power, bears full legal responsibility for the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Calls on Israel to stop its systematic policy of targeting the Palestinian people and subjecting them to starvation and siege in violation of all provisions of international law and international human rights law.

Furthermore, in a statement from the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it has been said that they welcome the ICC's decision to immediately cease military aggression and other misconduct in Rafa. Such remarks suggest that Israel has begun to change the geopolitical dynamics of the Israel-Palestine conflict. We can hope that the United States, the European Union, and Israel will soon understand this. The behavior of Western countries has provided Tehran with an opportunity to strengthen its influence in the ongoing conflict against the United States.

Unfortunately, as it stands, it appears that Palestinians are the sole victims in terms of casualties. As the geopolitical chessboard unfolds, the complexities of alliances, secret deals and power struggles become more apparent. The influence of the Indo-European corridor and its strong impact on regional dynamics has already added to an unstable situation, raising the possibility of conspiracies in an already volatile environment. In the intricate web of events, the Gaza conflict serves not only as a battlefield but also as a symbolic arena in a broader geopolitical chess game.

Author: Researcher and Columnist

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