Israel and Hamas: What happens to Gaza After the War?

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The current devastation in Gaza will have lasting effects for citizens. (Image Credit: BBC)

The unprecedented news of Hamas attacking Israel has led to a conflict between both parties that has surpassed a month in duration. There have been many casualties on both sides of the conflict. However, the death toll of civilians in Gaza has sparked outrage and international condemnation of the way Israel has been carrying out its retaliation against Hamas. Thirteen thousand have now been killed in the territory, with approximately 40% of these deaths being children. Additionally, 30,000 Palestinians have also been injured, with 884,000 being internally displaced in the territory. As it has now been labelled a humanitarian crisis by UNICEF, the conflict has led geopolitical experts to question how and when the suffering of civilians in Gaza will end and whether there will be a solution between both parties.

Experts in the Middle East have stated that the conflict is now entering or is in a destructive state, as the IDF bombards Gaza in the air while troops enter the territory. There have now been many calls for a ceasefire between both parties, most notably from countries in the Gulf region. This was evident in late October as nine Arab countries called for an immediate UN-enforced cease-fire in Gaza. This call was made in a joint statement by ‘the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Morocco.’ The statement also condemned Israel for “the targeting of civilians, forced displacement, and the policy of collective punishment.”. However, whether efforts from these countries will be successful in stopping the conflict is yet to be seen due to Israel’s lack of deceleration in their pursuit of invading Gaza and eradicating Hamas.

However, Germany has also communicated a UN-based solution, calling for the organization to take control of Gaza once the conflict between both parties is over.  On the other hand, the international community, such as foreign secretaries of the EU and the United States, have called for a Palestinian authority to be sovereign over the territory once the conflict is over. Israel’s intentions with the territory still remain unclear whether it desires to be sovereign of the land after the conflict. However, Netanyahu has made this clear, as he stated that Israel does not intend to ‘occupy Gaza’ and instead that Gaza must be ‘rebuilt’. Nevertheless, it can be argued that Gaza is already occupied and has been for over a decade as Israel controls its borders, airspace, and territorial waters despite having formally withdrawn from the land in 2005.

As tensions increase and Israel seeks to accelerate its attack, the death tolls of civilians in Gaza do not look to be decelerating anytime soon. This is primarily because civilians in the territory have nowhere to flee to, as Egypt has yet to open its borders to Gazans. This is due to fears that opening the border raises the possibility of Gaza being lost to the Israeli state. Despite sympathy for the Palestinian cause from the Egyptian president, security threats such as the revival of the Muslim Brotherhood have discouraged the idea of allowing Gazan refugees to enter. However, the international community is beginning to question Israel’s legitimacy, as violations of international humanitarian law may have consequences for Israel further down the line.

Written by Arash Moaref

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