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Israel-Hamas War Escalation Risk Results in Unity Government

Escalating Risk Ends in Unity Government

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has once again escalated, resulting in a high risk of an all-out war. The recent Hamas attack has caught many by surprise, leading to increased tensions in the region. The attack by Hamas militants has led to concerns over the safety of civilians and the potential for a ground offensive into Gaza that would significantly increase the loss of life on both sides.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were not expecting such a large-scale and coordinated assault from the militant group and were surprised by the Hamas attack. This then raised questions about the intelligence capabilities of the Israeli military and their ability to prevent such attacks in the future. Many have blamed hubris and the toxic politics that existed in Isreal prior to the attack. And this may have played a role in Hamas timing the horrible attacks on civilians.

In general, the current situation was not good and is basically unsustaible in the long-run. Short-term measures like more work visas and a gradual loosening of the restrictions in Gaza may have led the Israeli government into a false sense of security.

To meet the unexpected turn of events, Israel has formed a unity government to address the current crisis. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has worked to create a coalition with his main rival, Benny Gantz. The formation of a unity government demonstrates Israel’s commitment to managing the conflict and finding a way forward.

Brief Overview of the Key Players

Hamas, a Sunni Islamist organization, that came into power in Gaza by beating Fatah in legislative elections in 2005. Hamas has pushed out Fatah from Gaza completly and is now in complete control. It is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and closely tied to Iran and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip, tensions between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing for several years. The cycle of violence and retaliatory measures has made it difficult to achieve lasting peace in the region. It should be noted that Hamas does not recognize Israel and calls for its complete destruction echoing the policy in Iran. Hamas or its military wing is considered a terrorist organization by many Western nations.

Fatah, the biggest secular Palestinian political party, was formed in 1959 by President Yasser Arafat and the current President Mahmoud Abbas. Althought it had initially opposed the Israeli government it changed strategy and has pursued diplomatic means resulting in the Oslo accords and a two-state solution based on the borders after the 1967 Six-Day War. In short, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip would become Palestine.

The Oslo Accords then led to the formation of the Palestinian Authority which is now led by Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah. At the moment, Fatah is only in the West Bank after Hamas forced it out of Gaza violently in 2007. Fatah is currently headquartered in Ramallah in the West Bank and acts like a security intermediator for the Israeli government. In short, it has lost its importance over time mainly because many Palestinians don’t trust the Palestinian Authority as it colloborates and coordinates with the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) to keep security in the West Bank.

Thus, one of the biggest issues problems of achieving any sort of peace between the two sides is who represents the Palestinians?

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is an umbrella organization created in 1964. This organization is the representative of Palestinian interests at the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. Fatah forms the majority of this organization with militant groups such as Hamas not participating.

Thus, the Palestinians are divided domestically between Gaza (Hamas) and the West Bank (Fatah and PA) and internationally.