The writer is an
analyst and the
President of All
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) military’s brutal attacks in Gaza are the deadliest and most destructive criminal war in recent history, but Israelis look in vain for any sign of victory. The diplomatic hourglass is running out to reach a negotiated solution. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expands its ground attacks in Gaza, Iran’s threats of retaliation over the airstrikes that killed a senior military officer and continued criminal war attacks from Tehran-backed groups in the region are increasing the likelihood of an all-out war in the Middle East. Israel’s decision to assassinate a high-ranking member of the Iranian military in Damascus is a huge provocation. Iran has stayed out of direct involvement so far, but if its commanders are being targeted, it will have trouble continuing along a path of restraint. Israel neither confirms nor denies involvement in Mousavi’s death. If Israel is behind the killing, it’s unclear whether it is doing so as a warning to Tehran or to trigger an Iranian response that would give Israel the pretext to enlarge the war. Tehran vowed retribution for what it called the assassination in Syria of Seyed Razi Mousavi, a senior adviser to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The U.S. did not respond to whether Israel informed Washington in advance of the airstrikes that killed Mousavi. Immediately after the Gaza war broke out, the United States moved military assets to the Middle East as deterrence and messaged Tehran and its proxies to stay out. Around the region, however, there are signs the conflict is spreading. The international community is calling for a cease-fire, but Israel vows to press ahead saying it wants to destroy Hamas. It is a risk U.S. President Joe Biden cannot afford as he heads into an election year in 2024, most Americans disapprove of his handling of Gaza, but he is keen to avoid a cease-fire in the Gaza war, resulting in Israeli attacks, which have been intensifying. “We are expanding the fight in the coming days,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his Likud party. Since Christmas Eve, its airstrikes have killed hundreds of Palestinians, many of them in refugee camps. Since October 9, Israeli airstrikes and ground brutal attacks have killed close to 22,000 people including more than 10,000 children in Gaza, according to health authorities there. The Hamas-run health ministry says more than 55,000 people have been injured since the start of the war. The World Health Organization (WHO) says only 13 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are partially functioning. The nine hospitals in the south are operating at three times their capacity while facing critical shortages of basic supplies and fuel for generators. UN agencies say 40% of Gazans – 576,600 people – have exhausted their food supplies and coping capacities and face catastrophic hunger and starvation. According to Unrwa, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, 1.9 million Gazan residents – about 85% of the population – have been displaced, and 1.4 million of them are sheltering in its facilities. Every day is a struggle for survival. No doubt, a cease-fire would end the attacks on U.S. troops, end the attacks on ships in the Red Sea, and most likely also calm down the Lebanese-Israeli border. In just over two months, these brutal attacks have wreaked more destruction than the razing of Syria’s Aleppo between 2012 and 2016, Ukraine’s Mariupol, or, proportionally, the Allied bombing of Germany in World War II. It has killed more civilians than the U.S.-led coalition did in its three-year campaign against the Islamic State group. The Israeli military has said little about what kinds of bombs and artillery it is using in Gaza. But from blast fragments found on-site and analyses of strike footage, experts are confident that the vast majority of bombs dropped on the besieged enclave are U.S.-made. They say the weapons include 2,000-pound (900-kilogram) “bunker-busters” that have killed hundreds in densely populated areas. Which turns the earth into liquid and pancakes entire buildings. The explosion of a 2,000-pound bomb in the open means instant death for anyone within about 30 meters (100 feet). Lethal fragmentation can extend for up to 365 meters (1,200 feet). In another strike on the urban refugee camp of Jabaliya, a 2,000-pound bomb killed over 100 civilians. Experts have also identified fragments of SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) 2000-pound bombs, which are fitted with a GPS guidance system to make targeting more precise. The Israeli military is also dropping unguided dumb bombs as well.
The Gaza-Genocide is not about the claims of Israel protecting itself, but, this is all about oil. Indeed, IDF’s-Gaza-War is to get illegal possession and control on Palestinian gas, focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $524 billion to avert Israeli energy crisis.
The Israeli strategy of brutal attacks seems not working, as Israel says it has two goals: destroy Hamas and rescue the 129 hostages still held by Hamas. Moreover, according to Middle East Monitering’s report Hamas killed about 2,100 Israeli soldiers, and the number of war-wounded Israeli soldiers is likely to reach approximately 20,000. Whereas, as per the head of the Israeli Defence Ministry’s Rehabilitation Department, 58 percent of soldiers have sustained injuries to their limbs, including amputation. The Gaza Genocide is not about the claims of Israel protecting itself, but, this is all about oil. Indeed, IDF’s Gaza war is to get illegal possession and control of Palestinian gas, focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $524 billion to avert the Israeli energy crisis. Given the billions of barrels worth of oil in Palestine, which believed that fossil fuels are influencing Israel’s attacks. Both off the coast and beneath the occupied lands of Palestine, over 3 billion barrels of oil are estimated to exist, according to a 2019 U.N. report. These numbers don’t even include the gas potential in Palestine, which is estimated to have some 1.7 billion barrels of oil while over 1.5 billion barrels are estimated to lie beneath the occupied West Bank area. Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Palestinian Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel’s increasing domestic energy woes. In this context, the issue of forced illegal occupation of Gaza’s gas fields is the main aim of Israel. In 2014, the then-Israeli defense minister and former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon confirmed that military plans to uproot Hamas are about dominating Gaza’s gas reserves, and announced that Operation Protective Edge marks the beginning of protracted attacks on Hamas. Israel’s strategy over Gaza has been designed to make Palestinian access to the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas wells impossible. Israel’s long-term goal besides preventing the Palestinians from their own resources, is to integrate the gas fields off Gaza into the adjacent Israeli offshore installations. For the Israeli government, Hamas continues to be the main obstacle to the finalization of the gas deal. The only option for Israel, therefore, was yet another military operation to uproot Hamas. Israel says it has destroyed many Hamas sites and hundreds of tunnel shafts and has killed 7,000 Hamas fighters out of an estimated 30,000-40,000. Israeli leaders say intense military pressure is the only way to free more hostages. But families of hostages worried that the intense bombing endangered and killed their loved ones. Hostages released during a weeklong cease-fire last month recounted that their captors moved them from place to place to avoid Israeli bombardment. Hamas has claimed that several hostages died from Israeli bombs due to the high level of destruction. This strategy of intense bombardment of Israel seems failed, as a major part of the Hamas’ tunnels are still functional and protecting Hamas from advancing its ground forces to attack. Unfortunately, for the IDF brutal attacks uprooting Hamas means destroying the civilian support base – which is why Palestinian civilian casualties massively outweigh that of Israelis. This was confirmed in practice by the earlier report of the UN fact-finding mission in Gaza which concluded that the IDF had pursued a deliberate policy of disproportionate force, to destroy the civilian population. Although, the Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources, in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels is increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war. But Israel’s strategy of brutality and capacity to inflict destruction is simply far greater devastating.
Resultantly, the war is spreading now, Yemen’s Houthis also known as Ansar Allah, claimed responsibility for a missile attack on a container ship in the Red Sea. It’s the latest in a string of attacks on global shipping in recent weeks that has prompted Washington to set up a multinational naval forces coalition to patrol the waterways. Escalation is inescapable as Yemen’s Houthis compete to show their support for Hamas. The Red Sea is a real concern for the West and Israel because Yemen’s Houthis are much harder to deter. Since 2022, Saudi Arabia and Houthi in Yemen have been negotiating a permanent cease-fire to end their eight-year war. Since the Gaza conflict began, Israel has engaged in fierce cross-border clashes with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The situation is really on the brink of war. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been evacuated from border towns in anticipation of an attack by Hezbollah. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant acknowledged the country is in a multifront war under attack in seven theaters, including Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran. On the other hand, the Biden administration has quietly continued to supply arms to Israel. However, President Joe Biden publicly acknowledged that Israel was losing international legitimacy due to indiscriminate bombing. Israel’s brutal attacks have destroyed over two-thirds of all structures in northern Gaza and a quarter of buildings in the southern area of Khan Younis. That includes tens of thousands of homes as well as schools, hospitals, mosques, and stores. U.N. monitors have said that about 70% of school buildings across Gaza have been damaged. At least 66 damaged schools served as shelters for displaced civilians. Israeli brutal strikes damaged 160 mosques and three churches, the monitors said. Gaza is now a different color from space with a different texture. By some measures, destruction in Gaza has outpaced Allied bombings of Germany during World War II. Between 1942 and 1945, the Allies attacked 51 major German cities and towns, destroying about 40-50% of their urban areas. This amounted to 10% of buildings across Germany, compared to over 33% across Gaza, a densely populated territory of just 140 square miles (360 square kilometers). Gaza now sits comfortably in the top quartile of the most devastating bombing campaigns ever. The U.S.-led coalition’s 2017 attack to expel the Islamic State group from the Iraqi city of Mosul was considered one of the most intense attacks on a city in generations. That nine-month battle killed around 10,000 civilians, and the coalition carried out nearly 15,000 strikes across the country, according to Airwars. By comparison, the Israeli military has conducted 22,000 strikes in Gaza and killed around 10,000 children with more than 22000 civilians, since October 7. Israel has also gone on to impose a siege of the territory, barring the entry of food, fuel, and water to Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, amid growing concerns of famine and the spread of disease, which is likely to exacerbate the death toll. Whereas, Washington’s announcement that it had approved a $147.5 million sale of high-explosive artillery munitions to Israel, was clear evidence of the American administration’s full sponsorship of this criminal war. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, must institute proceedings against Israel regarding the Genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip concerning its obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (the “Genocide Convention”). Israel, since 7 October 2023 in particular, has failed to prevent genocide and has failed to prosecute the direct and public incitement to genocide, and that Israel has engaged in, is engaging in, and risks further engaging in genocidal acts against the Palestinian people in Gaza. The Court’s jurisdiction on Article 36, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Court and on Article IX of the Genocide Convention allow as provisional measures, pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Articles 73, 74 and 75 of the Rules of Court, the Court must take provisional measures in order to protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the Genocide Convention and to ensure Israel’s compliance with its obligations under the Genocide Convention not to engage in genocide, and to prevent and to punish genocide, which shall have priority over all other cases. Indeed, the acts and omissions by Israel are genocidal in character, as they are committed with the requisite specific intent to destroy Palestinians in Gaza as a part of the broader Palestinian national, racial, and ethical group, and that the conduct of Israel through its State organs, State agents, and other persons and entities acting on its instructions or under its direction, control or influence in relation to Palestinians in Gaza, is in violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.