Palestine ceasefire, what next ? | By Tariq Khalil


Palestine ceasefire, what next ?

CEASEFIRE between Palestine and Israel has been agreed upon and effective since 22 May.

In reality it is a temporary truce, already hostilities reoccurred in the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque, but there are rumours that behind the scene Israel agreed to vacate Al-Aqsa mosque and that Sheikh Jarrah settlement will not be disturbed. But this is not but beginning of a new phase of conflict prevailing for the last 70 years.

No doubt, Arabs initially sold their lands but actually were trapped. In the past, Israeli conflicts always got prolonged till Israel felt their objectives have been achieved.

This time it is a mini-war, not a conflict, though it lasted only eleven days. But unlike in the past, the issue attracted worldwide attention and condemnation. It was not expected and postulated by Israelis.

There is a visible divide between Jewish organisations of the world and Zionist’s. There is a strong feeling that Israelis are aggressors.

The massacre of civilians and destruction of their properties in which a large number of civilians/children were killed and thousands injured are now attracting world attention, not only by mainstream media but much expanded social media.

There is no doubt Israel and Jews with their deep pockets control world media. Yet, changing technology spread the information.

Another important point to note is, in opposing Israelites and standing with Palestinians have seen new players dominating the issue.

The conflict exposed the Arab countries that could not go beyond ritual condemning and lip service.

It is non-Arab countries that are in the van guard to pressurise, first in SC and later by requesting General Assembly session. They maintained pressure first for a ceasefire and then seek solution.

It is a temporary relief for Palestinians. There are issues which need immediate attention and to take long-term measures to find a solution in line with UN resolutions.

More than 45000 people are displaced as refugees, there is no water and sewerage is in shatters and its water flooding the streets.

Schools are closed, hospitals have been damaged. There is a need for immediate repair and restoration of facilities.

All this needs international financial support and help. Demand is, Israel should also pay. Otherwise another human catastrophe is in the making.

Pakistan along with other friendly countries especially China, Russia, Malaysia, Turkey and others, created pressure which has been remarkable.

There is now a need to be followed. Human right issue be raised to seek a permanent solution.

Fulfilment of UN resolutions which are more than, three thousand and over 231 SC resolutions should be the thrust point of diplomacy.

Israel must be forced to withdraw from occupied territories, preserve sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque and be made to agree to station an international peace keeping force .

Israeli experiment of mixed cities like in LOL and Haifa also failed due to its apartheid policy vis-à-vis Palestinians who are denied equal rights in all spheres including housing and nationality. Even basic facilities like health are not given.

Israeli courts have been showing bias in their judgements. It will not change until international pressure is applied and more so USA’s public opinion is aroused. During this war importance of social media has been a major factor.

Further, Gaza and West Bank movement should be free and Gaza be allowed to have diplomatic arrangement with other countries. It will allow other countries to intervene in case of aggression.

Within Israel chaos has compounded. After twelve years, Netanyahu could not form the government.

There is now a coalition with the help of extreme right wing parties, left liberal and small Arab Muslim RAAM party is part of coalition. The Rightists party completely reject two-state formula.

Naftali Bennett, new PM is dubbed as extreme hardliner which means perpetuation of hostilities. Israeli-Palestinian conflict will continue to simmer.

With the entry of non-Arab powers, especially Russia and China, any future conflict will not remain restricted and other side Palestinians may get sophisticated weapon, even air force support from the side of Lebanon and Syria could be made available.

Or we may see active involvement of Russian forces that consider Israeli grand design to expand in the ME, a strategic threat . This will also involve non-Arab Muslim countries. The ME is going to change.

—The writer, a retired Brigadier, a veteran of 1965, 1971 wars with SJ, SI, and IS Bar Gallantry. A senior Defence and Industry analyst.

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