How good are Israeli weapons

Middle East conflict: new force, new weapons and new political constellations

The rocket fire by Hamas provokes a new level of escalation. Israel will probably answer them with great military severity. Mediation attempts could remain in vain

The traditional mediator Egypt is trying to reach a ceasefire through negotiators, but Israeli analysts believe that the time has not yet come for this conflict resolution: "Israel is not interested in ending the fighting until certain military goals are achieved."

The reported of 35 Palestinian deaths and 233 wounded Times of Israel this morning as an interim balance with reference to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. Added the sentence: "Israel reports that many of those killed are terrorists." In Israel, five people have been killed and dozens injured since hostilities began.

The balance sheet has its gaps. In recent days, the Palestinians have drawn attention to the fact that many children are among the victims of Israeli attacks. It is also quite possible that in view of the confusing situation, the results of civilian casualties on the part of the Israeli population will be worse. The rocket fire on places and cities in Israel is enormous. The Iron Dome defense system is overwhelmed. And the shelling continues, as well as the Israeli attacks. There will be more victims.

How many rockets the Islamist extremists in the Gaza Strip, who set the tone and the politics there, still have in their arsenal, how effective the Israeli army will be able to limit or stop the shelling, how much the armed conflict will bring suffering and death to the civilian population some of the many acute questions that are currently still open.

This also includes the mystery of how the new generation, especially the militant groups, Hamas and Islamic jihad, to name just the most conspicuous and most widely mentioned radical militias in Gaza, ticks.

The interim balance also lacks the long-term effects of the events of the last few days in Jerusalem, in Israeli locations and in the so-called disputed areas. There is the relationship between Jewish and Arab Israelis and the Palestinians who live and work in Israel.

Incitement by extremists

There, too, tensions have escalated, distrust and hostility dominate. Fanned by extremists, also to a large extent by right-wing Israeli groups such as Levaha. It emerged from the forbidden Kach movement, founded by the ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Meir Kahane.

Levaha extremists made a noticeable difference in the current build-up of tensions in Jerusalem (cf. "Death to the Arabs"). The fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly campaigned for the right-wing party Otzma Yehudit, whose boss Itamar Ben Gvir was a student of Kahane, speaks volumes about Israel's right-wing swing under Netanyahu's leadership and the radicalization that goes with it.

That the tensions that have built up in Jerusalem over the past few weeks against a complex background (see, for example, the perspective of East Jerusalem from here and there) are now culminating again, as so many times before, in a "military solution" largely because the Palestinians were politically marginalized.

Their representatives, Abbas on the one hand, and Hamas and affiliated extremists, however, also contributed their share. One entrenched oneself in old ideological positions. Just how large flows of money from the EU, for example, were dealt with, how the money seeped away without any results, shows how comfortable it was.

Palestinians as ghosts in plans that are turned away from the reality of many

In Donald Trump's son-in-law Kushner's "great peace plan", Palestinians did not even appear as serious negotiating partners. The US president, who was already considered ripe for the Nobel Peace Prize by his sympathizers, was looking for a peace without Palestinian representatives who still insisted on their rights and claims.

The current escalation would prove how beneficial the "historical agreements" between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, two Gulf states and with the UAE, a regionally politically influential contractual partner, brought about under Trump's advertising policy are.

Another important role is played by Iran, which for years has contributed significantly to the armament of the militias in Gaza.

The core conflict in the Middle East is returning with new force, new weapons and a changed political constellation, which also explains the relative reluctance of the US government under Joe Biden to date.

There is a risk that a war could develop that could spread in the region with crisis countries in the immediate vicinity such as Lebanon. This is opposed by the fact that Hezbollah has many more missiles and that neither side, the IDF nor the militia affiliated with Iran, should have any interest in such an expansion.

"There were hardly any Palestinians in his story. The world of my childhood was completely unknown to him," writes Sari Nusseibeh, who grew up in East Jerusalem, in his book "Once upon a time there was a country. A life in Palestine" about the Israeli writer Amos Oz, who worked hard for an understanding between Palestinians and Israelis.

Not much has been heard of such commitment recently. Instead, there have been polls which indicated that Israelis are less and less aware of the living conditions of the Palestinians. (Thomas Pany)

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