The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has spoken out against the “silence” over the rockets that reached Israel from Gaza. This time, it is not Hamas, but a rival Salafist group known as the “Omar Brigade” that sent rockets into Israel. Israel retaliated by sending its own airstrike into the Gaza Strip, where the Omar Brigade launched their weapons from. The Gaza Strip has been pushed into war yet again.
The Omar Brigade is a group that actually rivals Hamas, because it is upset with Hamas’ ceasefire, and believes that it has not worked well enough to implement Islamic Law. This Salafist group supports the fellow Salafist group, the infamous ISIS.
The issues between Israel and Palestine have been amongst the most hotly debated issues in recent history. Last summer, Israel and Hamas were in a war, which meant that Israel and Palestine were in a war. Because Hamas is in Palestine, their war affects the Palestinian community. Hamas’ goal was to threaten Jewish settlements that have encroached upon Palestinian land. Some of the most common arguments from either side include pro-Palestinians accusing Israel of ethnic cleansing to make room for its Jewish state, while pro-Israelis say that the nation has a right to defend itself against Palestinian aggression.
Many people are unhappy with the Israeli air strikes in Palestine because several civilians were killed and left without resources even as basic as food and shelter. Meanwhile, others are unhappy because it seems to them that Hamas hides amongst innocent Palestinians while threatening Israel with its rockets. Even so, Hamas is recognized as a legitimate party by a few countries because it was elected by the Palestinian people to solve issues with Israeli occupation. Some see Hamas as freedom fighters, while others see it as a terrorist group. Either way, Hamas has been replaced by the Omar Brigade rebel group.
Underlying these issues are also religious claims over the city of Jerusalem. Debates cannot rest solely on which country is right and which country is wrong. History repeatedly comes into play in arguments, as well as philosophy. The whole issue is a big political and religious mess. The two-state solution looks bleaker everyday. This mess has once again sucked the Gaza Strip into war again.
Daniel Byman and Shadi Hamid teamed up to publish a piece, through a think tank, on a set of major problems in the Middle East and their potential solutions. One of the six issues the team highlighted was the Palestine-Israel conflict. The proposed solution was a powerful Palestinian authority in the Gaza Strip to help mediate talks with Israel more diplomatically and administrate the territory.
Fortunately, none of the rockets that have been fired by either state have caused any reported casualties. It is possible that the recent firings could be warnings. The rocket from the Omar Brigade was definitely a way to announce its presence, while the retaliation from Israel was an indicator that it will not sit back in the face of threat. People can only hope that there is not another devastating conflict that causes the deaths of several innocent Palestinians. The world can only hope that it is not the case, but it seems quite possible that the Gaza Strip could be perpetuated into war again.
By Tania Dawood
Clingendael- Adversity and Opportunity: Facing the security and policy changes in the Middle East
Al Arabiya- Israeli army strikes Gaza Strip after rocket attack
The Sydney Morning Herald- US backs fresh Israeli strikes on Gaza Strip
Star Tribune- Israeli prime minister criticizes what he calls the world’s ‘silence’ on Gaza rocket attacks
Featured Photo Courtesy of andlun1’s Flickr Page