The Palestine-Israel war took a brief pause for prisoner exchange, after its restart with a military operation by Palestinian forces in Israeli-controlled territory On 7 October.
The two sides agreed to release a limited number of prisoners. However, it remains unclear how long the ceasefire will last and what awaits afterward.
The Lebanese-Israeli border, which has been affected by the war in Gaza, has been partially calm during the ceasefire.
In the Red Sea, which is Israel’s logistical windpipe, Yemen’s military operations against Israeli ships continue.
We can draw the following “interim” conclusions from the Palestine-Israel War:
Israel’s ground operation has so far been unsuccessful. After announcing its goal as “to completely eliminate Hamas”, Israel was forced to accept Hamas’ prisoner exchange offer and conditions only a few weeks after the ground operation had begun.
2. Domestic politics:
The longer the war drags on, the greater the reaction against Netanyahu in Israel. Netanyahu’s strategy of using the war to “repair political cracks” within the country has failed.
Criticisms against Netanyahu and calls for resignation continue from various circles, especially from the main opposition leader Yair Lapid.
On the Palestinian side, while support for Hamas has increased, Mahmoud Abbas, who has not adopted a clear line and remained ambivalent, has become isolated even within his own party.
Israel’s economy has been hit hard by the war. The mobilization of 350,000 reservists led to the loss of qualified employees in many fields, especially in the IT sector.
Additionally, all Palestinian workers, the “cheap labor source”, were deported. Statistics indicate a loss of more than 10% in the labor force.
Mizrahi-Tefahot, one of Israel’s leading lenders, published a report estimating that the monthly cost of the war is approximately 2.5 billion dollars, and this is to increase exponentially.
JPMorgan Chase analysts expect an 11% shrinkage in the Israeli economy.
Of course, Israel’s weakening economy will be helped by its international supporters, especially the US, but it is doubtful how long and far the Israeli economy could remain strong with this foreign aid.
The Palestinian side will be left with a blown-up Gaza after the war. Gulf countries and Türkiye are likely to take the initiative in the reconstruction of Gaza.
4. Population and migration:
The effects of the war are also worth discussing from a geo-demographic perspective. It is questionable whether Israel, a country built on immigration, will be able to maintain its “safe country” image after the Al-Aqsa Storm.
Of course, immigration to Israel will continue for ideological, religious and ethnic reasons. However, considering that more than 20% of Israel’s population is Arab, it is unclear whether Israel will receive enough immigration to ensure the continuity of the state in demographic terms.
Israel’s project to expel the people of Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula was strongly rejected by Egypt. The project of dividing Gaza into north and south and pushing the population in the north towards the south is still there. Given the decades-long Palestinian tradition of resistance, it is questionable how successful this project will be. Will the Palestinians not return to their lands in the north of Gaza when the Israeli tanks are forced to withdraw?
From the very first day of the war, Western countries, particularly the US, lined up behind Israel, which serves as an “outpost” for their interests in the region.
The US provided Israel with military support, aircraft carriers, and European leaders did not leave their allies alone by posing for photos with Netanyahu and backing it diplomatically and economically. Even a joint defense force against Hamas was proposed.
On the other hand, the forces claiming to stand behind Palestine were disorganized and refrained from taking concrete steps. Except for Iran, which is openly a side in the war, the countries in the region were content with statements of “condemnation”.
Egypt’s opposition to the project of expelling the people of Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula for its national interests was another notable point.
The most effective from the region was the suspension of diplomatic relations. However, economic relations with Israel continue at full speed.
Russia and China, which are positioned against the US, have also refrained from openly getting involved in the conflict. The extraordinary summit of BRICS, led by the two countries, produced nothing other than “condemnation”.
While the states which claim to defend Palestine are failing, the demonstrations of peoples in support of Palestine continue en masse from London to Istanbul and Jakarta.
Israel is in a war without end.
Unless Israel can crush the Palestinian resistance militarily – and the situation on the ground points to Israel’s failure in this regard – it does not seem possible to expel the people of Gaza from the region. It is worth reminding that Egypt and Jordan, which are planned as possible migration areas, also oppose this plan.
If Hezbollah becomes more actively involved in the war on the Lebanese-Israeli border, the question of how the US will respond will come to the fore -something is likely to have broad global impacts.
It would not be wrong to determine that the US, which is currently facing defeat in Ukraine, does not want to enter a war in West Asia in which it would openly confront Iran. Therefore, just as in the case of the ground operation in Gaza, the US will play a role in trying to restrain Israel and urge it not to engage in a direct confrontation with Hezbollah.
Communication on Gaza is increasing between Türkiye, Iran and Egypt, the prominent countries in the region. However, it is not yet possible to give a definitive answer to whether these countries are capable of developing a regional initiative to solve the problem or whether they have such a will.
Russia and China will decide on their next steps according to the attitudes of the countries in the region.
Russia, already at war with the West in Ukraine, is unlikely to directly intervene in the conflict.
China has recently signaled to the US that “the world is enough for both of us”. So, it does not seem possible “for now” for China to take a challenging step against the US.
It is possible that Israel, being in a stalemate, will be forced by the US to a “reasonable” peace.
Of course, all these possibilities will be determined by the Palestinian people’s resistance force to the occupation. Every street that Palestine wins, every Israeli unit that it forces to withdraw, will upset the international dynamics against the US/Israeli bloc.
In a world without rules and where the US hegemony has not yet collapsed, the solution grows out of the barrel of a gun, as it was, in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan…