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Humanitarian needs and political realities in Gaza

Feb 18,2024 - Last updated at Feb 18,2024

The ongoing conflict in Gaza appears to be entering its final stages, particularly with the focus now centred on Rafah. Day by day, the situation intensifies, with a gradual operation unfolding from the north to the central regions and towards Gaza’s main southern city of Khan Yunis. Amidst this, over 1.2 million people find themselves concentrated in the southern part of Gaza.

However, the paramount concern remains: How will this war conclude, and what lies ahead for the refugees amassed in this area? For Israel, the continuation of the conflict may seem imperative, yet, for the international community, safeguarding human lives is a top priority. Consequently, various political proposals have emerged to end the war while urging Israel to exercise restraint in military operations to protect civilian lives in this complex environment.

Efforts to find a political solution face the significant challenge of convincing parties like Hamas to participate constructively. This requires a complex approach, possibly involving individuals with affiliations close to Hamas but not within the movement itself.

Furthermore, addressing the potential aftermath of the conflict in Rafah raises concerns about managing the humanitarian crisis and the welfare of the concentrated population. International pressure to find solutions may lead to revised priorities and strategies, including reconsidering funding for UNRWA and searching for new practical steps.

Simultaneously, Israel must reassure its allies and the international community regarding the effectiveness of measures taken to safeguard civilian lives. As the conflict in Gaza evolves, attention is drawn not only to the southern borders but also to the north, particularly the escalating situation along the Lebanese border.

As the conflict in Gaza persists and the likelihood of preventing an invasion of Rafah diminishes, priorities have shifted significantly. Discussions about the necessity of humanitarian aid and rescue plans have brought to light the complexities of the Palestinian political landscape, especially among the deeply fragmented situation within Palestinian leadership. Currently, there is no clear representation for a plan towards a technocratic government, and questions arise regarding the role of the Palestinian Authority in such a scenario. Addressing these issues poses a formidable challenge in finding solutions to the ongoing crisis.

Meanwhile, the situation in Gaza unfolds amidst a region seemingly at a standstill. The resolution of the conflict in Gaza may serve as a catalyst for addressing other conflicts, particularly the longstanding issue between Israel and Hizbollah, and the potential application of UN Resolution 1701. However, it is evident that Iranian interests oppose any escalation of conflict, highlighting the need to prevent Iraqi resistance groups from targeting American troops. Recent attacks resulting in American casualties have prompted a firm response, yet this does not signify the end of such incidents. Rather, it underscores the complexity of Iraq's political landscape and its control.

In a broader regional context, the ongoing conflict in Gaza has led to the emergence of multiple fronts, extending from Yemen to Lebanon. However, the resolution of these conflicts may not hinge solely on the conclusion of the war in Gaza. Instead, the war has brought to the surface a multitude of longstanding issues that require a comprehensive resolution. Addressing these issues incrementally may pave the way towards stability, with Lebanon potentially being the starting point for this process.

Moreover, the conflict in Gaza has highlighted unresolved issues across the region, prompting the need to address underlying problems systematically. Perhaps Lebanon will be the starting point in this endeavour. While the war in Gaza has triggered conflicts across the region, its resolution is no longer solely contingent upon ending the conflict itself. It has unveiled deep-rooted issues that demand comprehensive and gradual resolution, with each step potentially paving the way for peace in the broader context.

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