The US is not the pre-eminent global superpower anymore and therefore must behave in that fashion. The Global South and many political groups in the West itself are now advocating permanent regional peace that can be attained by the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state. Peace and justice must be prioritized over war. It is doable. We are running out of time, though.
The ongoing war is escalating, prompting fears that violence will spread across the volatile region. Gaza is now facing relentless Israeli bombardment and its military is preparing to launch a massive ground offensive against Hamas. Israel says the ground offensive into Gaza will be far more comprehensive and ferocious than any previous conflict with Hamas.
Israel believes that it has no choice but to launch a massive assault to destroy Hamas. Previous campaigns were aimed at only keeping Hamas in check. This time Israel aims to eliminate Hamas including its administration.
Apprehensions of a major war have spread across the region. The Jordanian foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, said that all the indications are that a worse catastrophe having painful consequences is soon coming, as diplomatic efforts had failed to fend off the war.
The threat of an all-out ground war is looming over the horizon in Gaza, with the humanitarian crisis worsening by the day. More than one million Palestinians have fled their homes since the war began.
Humanitarian aid across Rafah: A slim lifeline
UN and humanitarian groups have pleaded for the military stranglehold on Gaza to be eased, to allow supplies of water, food, fuel, and medicines to enter. Under a deal brokered by Biden on his visit to Israel, the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border was due to open on October 20, 2023, to allow a limited supply to enter the territory. Israel indicated that more could follow if the first delivery was not seized by Hamas. Even this modest delivery was not entirely guaranteed. The US was still trying to negotiate the exact modalities of the agreement. Aid agencies have warned that the life-saving assistance, when it arrived, was in danger of being too little too late given the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
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About the author
Sohail Mahmood is an independent global affairs analyst and the author of several books, monographs, and research articles on the Middle East and South Asian politics, governance, and development issues. He has taught for about 30 years in various universities of Pakistan and the US and has worked as a consultant for the World Bank, CIDA, SDC, IUCN, and UNDP. Sohail lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States.