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OPINION | Hamas-Israel conflict: World is now divided into two camps

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met Israeli leaders and expressed solidarity. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of civilians have fled Gaza after Israel gave 24 hours' notice to Palestinians to evacuate the northern part before an expected ground offensive.

Written By: Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive New Delhi Published on: October 14, 2023 14:39 IST
OPINION | Hamas-Israel conflict: World is now divided into
Image Source : INDIA TV OPINION | Hamas-Israel conflict: World is now divided into two camps

The Hamas-Israel conflict has entered the eighth day today and in the process, it has nearly divided the entire world into two camps. The USA, India and European nations stand firmly with Israel, while Russia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and other Muslim countries are supporting Hamas. European Union leaders demanded a ban on political and economic support to Hamas at the G20 Parliamentary Speakers Summit in Delhi on Friday. At the summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, terrorism, in any form, anywhere in the world, is against humanity, there must be no direct or indirect support to terrorism, and it should not be seen through the prism of religion. On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that thousands of civilians have suffered losses due to bombardments by Israeli army and any offensive in Gaza will have serious consequences.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met Israeli leaders and expressed solidarity. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of civilians have fled Gaza after Israel gave 24 hours' notice to Palestinians to evacuate the northern part before an expected ground offensive. More than 3,200 people from both sides have been killed in fighting during the last seven days, while more than four lakh Palestinians have become homeless. India TV reporter Amit Palit has reported from Gaza that more than 300 Israeli tanks have been amassed on the Gaza-Israel border and nearly 3.6 lakh army reserves are ready for action. Israel has asked Palestinians to evacuate because it wants to avoid civilian deaths in the offensive. The army commanders want to avoid falling into Hamas' mine traps too. On Friday, millions of Muslims staged demonstrations in support of Palestinians in France, Jordan, Libya, Iran, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. All Jewish schools have been closed in London as a precautionary measure. Pro-Hamas slogans were raised in most of the mosques after Friday prayers. I spoke to several strategic affairs experts on why Israel has planned a massive offensive against Hamas. Actually, Israel believes that Iran and Hamas had jointly planned to carry out last Saturday's vicious attacks in order to challenge Israel's supremacy.

Hamas managed to give a big jolt to Israel taking advantage of Israeli intelligence failure. Israel's military reputation was smashed in the first few hours of Hamas' blitzkrieg. Israel now wants to show to the rest of the world that its military power is intact despite Hamas attacks and that it can easily occupy Gaza. Israel's claim may be correct to some extent because it continues to have a strong intelligence and military power network. Israel continues to have the full support of the world's greatest power USA as its mainstay. I asked several experts why Iran and Hamas took the risky adventurist step in carrying out brutal murders of Israelis as they knew that Israel will retaliate strongly. Almost all of them said that Iran and Hamas had become worried after Israel and Saudi Arabia tried to improve their bilateral relations for the first time. A peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia was being worked out with US help. Had the peace agreement taken shape, Israel and other Gulf countries could have weakened Iran.  Iran feared that American clout in the region could have increased. To counter this, Iran, using the shield of past atrocities on Palestinians, prepared a plan for carrying out blitzkrieg on Israel through Hamas. I think, Iran's plan has now failed. This cannot help in finding a durable solution to the Palestine problem.

On the contrary, Israel is going to exert its military clout more.  Secondly, because of this conflict, an Arab peace initiative may again become necessary. Saudi Arabia and UAE may side with Israel, or if not, they may not stand up against Israel, as they used to do in the past. One thing to note is that on Friday, there were demonstrations in most of the Muslim countries, except in Saudi Arabia and UAE. One should watch the speeches made by Islamic mullahs during Friday prayers in India and other countries. It is dangerous to misguide devouts by describing a war against terrorism as a war against religion. This is neither good for world peace nor for our Muslim brethren. The Hamas attackers slashed the necks of innocent children, blew up teenagers after tying them up, brutally murdered innocent women after committing rapes, then dragged their naked bodies through the streets, slashed the bodies of male captives and ate their flesh, and above all, circulated these gory videos on social media. Does Islam allow all this? Is it not against the teachings of Islam? Can any true Muslim support such heinous acts? But by closing their eyes over Hamas' torture, and describing Israeli attacks on Gaza as attacks on Muslim, these religious bigots are inciting Muslims across the world. Peace loving people will never accept this. Those who are criticizing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for standing up with Israel, have ulterior political motives. Modi has clearly said that terrorism has no religion, terrorists are enemies of humanity, and the entire world must unite to eliminate terrorists. 

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