It looks like an unending tunnel of violence on the extreme Western shores of Asia. Absurd atmosphere of unending insecurity and senseless rocket launching has been a routine in Gaza. The number of so called Palestinians killed in the conflict has surpassed 700 while the death toll in Israel has risen to 35. The schools and hospitals in Gaza have become the most vulnerable targets as cache of arms and ammunition is stockpiled in the premises by the Islamist outfit Hamas.
With the reports of abductions of Israeli soldiers, the atmosphere is fuming on the Israeli side, while the public opinion around the world is rallying behind the Palestine cause. It is beyond doubt that the complexities of this region have emerged out of the colonial constructs. But instead of viewing everything through the colonial frame of mind, we need to ask right questions with right perspectives to find some light at the end of this tunnel.
Historically speaking, the idea of Jewish nation state is justified as they faced institutionalized persecution. What is also true is that many Palestinians are leading the life of refugees for a long time and its time even they should get the right to live a
The issue of Gaza therefore needs to be seen in the light of the fact that it was originally occupied by Egypt, which still retains control of Gaza's southern border. During the 1967 Middle East War, Israel captured the coastal territory. In 2005, Israel withdrew its troops. A year later, the militant Islamist group Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections. It ruled Gaza from 2007 to 2014 following a violent rift with the rival Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. So, the present conflict is not between Israel and Palestine but between Israel and Hamas.
Hamas is facing problems due to limited freedom of movement and access to Gaza after mid-2013, when Egypt put new restrictions in place at the Rafah border crossing and launched a crackdown on the network of smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border. Israel too complemented this policy to restrict the terrorist organisation. The recent surge of violence in Gaza strip has therefore become more complex this time; the Arab spring is still boiling; a new Islamic state with the dictate of Caliphate has emerged; Saudi-Iran relations are on a downturn and, the role of superpowers is
Earlier, there was a Jewish nation but no state, now there is a state of Palestine with national aspirations but there is no defined geography and dual government. Some people like to blame it on the colonial construct and super-power politics in the oil-reach West Asia, while others take it back to the religious persecution of Jews.
As Israel is the only home state for the Jews worldwide, for them, it’s their duty to protect it tooth and nail; while for the Pan-Islamists, a powerful Israel is a threat to the Muslim brethren in the Arab world: Hence, it is they who need to be to be sensitised about the nature of conflict. As a possible solution, the policy of bilateral dialogue with mediation by most of the immediate neighbourhood looks the only viable option alongwith mediation by Egypt. As a legitimate representative, the Palestinian authority should also be a part of this dialogue.
As India has a strong diasporic interest in the region, it cannot stay immune from the impact of this conflict as the issues of terrorism and energy security are emanating from West Asia. Keeping in line with the recent support to the resolution proposed by Pakistan, India has no option but to cooperate with Israel on non-strategic issues while ensuring strategic and energy cooperation with the Islamic countries. At any cost, India cannot allow Gaza to be equated with Jammu and Kashmir, and support terrorism in the region.