While the war between Israel and Palestine rages on, individuals such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas are exploiting the situation to their own benefit. How long can they keep doing it though?
War has officially broken out between Israel and Palestine once again, its flames already consuming friends and foe alike. Today began with both sides trading blows, most notably Hamas militants who fired more than a hundred rockets on Israel, spreading unrest throughout the whole country. Previously, the fighting between the two warring sides was limited to the attacks traded between Jerusalem and Gaza’s central areas but thanks to the increasing number of attacks, neither side is now willing to back down. In the meantime, Israelis haven’t been sitting down on their laurels either. Last night, Israeli bombers conducted raids all over Gaza, killing at least 35 out of which 12 were children. According to the reports, this has been the worst conflict between the two since 2014 and the civilian casualties are expected to pass the numbers registered during the previous conflict if no one stops fighting.
In spite of its rather disastrous effects on civilian lives, the conflict hasn’t been without benefits for certain individuals on both sides. Starting with Israel, it is quite clear that nobody benefits from this state of chaos more than the caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. You must know that until the fighting started, Netanyahu’s political career was believed to be at its end. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had tasked Netanyahu’s longtime rival Yair Lapid with forming a coalition and things were slowly starting to look favourably thanks to the pulses coming from another potential contender, Naftali Bennett. Lapid, being a centrist and all, believed that a peaceful two-state solution might be a more viable option to put an end to this long conflict and with Bennett’s backing he could have finally accomplished something. Now that the war has broken out, Netanyahu’s propaganda machine has been activated again and all leftist figures who pushed for the peaceful path are pushed to the fringe once again. Knowing Bennett’s ambitious mindset and Lapid’s fearfulness, that option is no longer on the table and Likud will likely get a boost should an election come summer.
Mahmoud Abbas is clearly yet another winner of this recent conflict no matter who comes out on top. Thanks to the leniency of Fatah these past few years, Palestinian Authority’s standing among the Palestinians had sunk to its lowest since the last intifada. This leniency and appeasement attitude became evidently clear a while ago when Fatah refused to support the Palestinians who had come under attack from the radical Lehava whilst they were practising their religious customs near the Old City. To make the matters worse, even when the skirmish escalated and Palestinian protesters went on to protest for their voting rights, which by the way would have bolstered Fatah’s chances, Abbas and his compatriots refused to comment let alone intervene. Knowing that they stood no chance against Hamas’s growing popularity, Abbas instead postponed the election indefinitely to buy himself time. Now that the war has broken out, Abbas, who is partly responsible for the beginning of this war, has resorted to corresponding letters with US President Joe Biden, bent on presenting himself as a reliable and neutral ally who can keep Palestinians in check.
Though the continuation of war seems to be benefitting aforementioned individuals for the time being, it is not likely to last forever. Right now, there are talks about a possible Third Intifada while the Israelis are contemplating a full frontal assault to conquer the whole strip. Worse still, nobody except a few players are willing to influence the events directly. One of Biden’s few assurances when taking up the office was that of the Abraham Accords designed by Trump’s government. He thought that with that problem laid to rest for a time being, he can at least bring his focus to other issues such as JCPOA. Now thanks to the recent conflict, the US government does not even know how to approach the situation. Arabian countries are in no better position. Again this will have to do with the Abraham Accords and the hand that has been dealt. One way or another however, this bloodbath must come to an end and if not for an outsider intervention, we might see even more painful pictures in the coming days.