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Fifty eight percent of the world has a personal stake in Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is not a long term battle the world will fully turn a blind eye to. The world is made up of 2.2 billion Christians or 34% of the total population and 1.5 billion Islam or 23% and only 1% Jewish faith. For people of Abrahamic faith, the land holds a promise that is sacred. For global leaders and political scientists, it is an inflexible coil that is amplified by claims of Palestinian martyrdom that no other nation wants to directly address. It falls along the lines of Samuel Huntington’s political theory of the clash of civilizations that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in post WWII. Christian prophecy alludes that a final battle of Armageddon will take place in Israel with a portion of Israel being spared. Although Christians have most of their stakes in the after-life and a future kingdom, religious leader such as “Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in Texas checks in daily at the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles on the status of Israel” says Dillon Hosier, an employee, who was in my former grad program at Cal State Northridge. Hamas’ fundamental beliefs are simple. They believe in the absolute authority of Islam in all aspects of life, and that resisting the “enemy” (i.e. Israel) is a religious duty required of all Muslims. Hamas’ charter states that their goal is to “raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.” Hamas does not recognize Israel, and believes that all of Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, rightfully belongs to their people. While Hamas has offered that it will “settle” for the West Bank and Gaza in exchange for peace with Israel, many Israelis are skeptical that any true peace can be achieved with Hamas. In fact, Hamas never talks of “peace,” but only of a “hudna”—a temporary truce—leading many to believe it would only be a matter of time before Hamas set out to realize its original goal to occupy all of Israel. Israel is distraught over the recent merging of Fatah with Hamas who are attempting to present a unified resistance on the West Bank.
With this religious battleground in place, it is hard to perceive a geo-political strategy in the region that would make Israel’s allies and enemies comforted. Since the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1989, political analysts no longer compare the world in a bi-polar power struggle but see the U.S. as the only uni-polar superpower in the world. Skeptically, Russia has never backed down from strong interest and military involvement in the region. Russia is the main military supplier and trainer to the Syrian civil war and has contributed arms to Iran and Iraq as well as to a previous conflict that Israel had with Lebanon with the Hezbollah in 1982. Russia controlled Azerbaijan for years, which is in Northern Iran. Both the U.S. and Russia have sold billions of arm sales to Egypt in the last year. Even with backing, it is hard to predict how the future of the Mediterranean part of the Middle East will turn out. Eleven countries fell in the Arab Spring in 2011. Hamas recently turned down the first cease fire agreement authored by Egypt a few days ago because they do not like the new Egyptian leadership. The Gaza Strip is ripe for a major war. Over an area of 370 kilometers, it holds 1.9 million people. The Gaza Strip has a birth rate of 40 per 1,000 which is the highest in the world. Israel’s birth rate is only 18.3 per 1000. One of the Hamas’ mantras is strength in numbers. Women are encouraged to have large families to offset Israel’s population. At the moment, the population is evenly balanced between Arabs and Jews. But as the competition heats up for scarce living space and water resources, the Palestinians are on the brink of a population explosion that will swamp the Jewish populace in less than a generation. The Gaza area is continually denied imports due to Israel strangling their commerce. Supply lines are being cut off in the tunnels as well.
On June 7, 2014, three Jewish teenage hitchhikers were taken and executed. Israel states that the Hamas continued the attack with rocket fire because Israel issued more travel restrictions. Israeli military extremists killed a Palestinian boy Mohammed Abu Khdei in exchange. Israel arrested over 20 Palestinian suspects over the killing of 3 Jews. Israel also took into custody 3 men (two who were 17) who confessed to burning Mohammed Abu Khdei’s body and dumping it in a forest. These incidents spurned the recent exchange of violence across the region. Israeli Defense Force raided homes on 6/15/14 and arrested 86 more Palestinians. Netanyahu said: “Israel warned the international community about the dangers of endorsing the Fatah-Hamas unity pact. The dangers of that pact should now be abundantly clear to all. This will not advance peace; it will advance terror.” Benjamin Netanyahu stated on CNN Sunday July 27, 2014, that Hamas intentionally hid bombs and munitions in schools. He stated they are trying to avoid civilian casualties. There is evidence that the Hamas Is purposely using human shields In the line of fire. In the last major confrontation in 2008 before the 2012 cease fire agreement, Israeli used white phosphorous, a burning substance which is against Geneva convention. White phosphorus burns fiercely and can set cloth, fuel, ammunition and other materials on fire, and cause serious burns or death. Also, flechette bombs were used this past July by Israel and in 2008 as featured in the documentary “When Saturday came.” Flechette bombs have nails and metal that can tear away flesh.
The situation between Israel and Gaza Palestinians is bound to only deteriorate. Gaza civilians have turned their leadership authority over to a world-wide recognized terrorist organization known as the Hamas. The UN presence in Gaza is weak and ineffective. Israel has been condemned on occasion for its choice and amount of warfare but not officially sanctioned. No Western power will intercede with troops on the ground. John Kerry, President and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine are conferring in Egypt this week. There is no collective solution or goal that will satisfy either side. The instability in the region since the removal of Egypt’s Mubarak, the regional hegemon Saddam Hussein and now Syria will only produce more chaos and motive for the Hamas to infiltrate Israel and Israel to pledge they are only executing self- defense. Without a two state solution, the prospects of the next generation’s future are bleak. The Hamas see each death as sacrificial martyrdom and Israel sees Palestinian aggression as a need to act. With the air defense system called Iron Dome which is effective in deterring rockets, Israel has the upper hand and dominion over the Gaza Strip. The U.S. Senate just proposed $225 million to Israel in emergency funding for upgrading the Iron Dome. Under the blood stained tunnels of Gaza, Israel will press on. Over air fired rockets, Israel will deflect, until the fragmented Arab world unites. Then war will be unavoidable.