The reasons for the Al-Aqsa storm and its future path

In a situation where, in recent months, the United States had made extensive efforts to establish a relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and some Arab countries in the region have also started their relations with Israel on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a surprise and large-scale attack by Hamas forces was carried out to Israel under the name of "Al-Aqsa Storm" by launching ۵ thousand rockets to nearby Jewish settlements and some areas in the center of Israel. At the same time, the forces of this group entered the areas occupied by the Israeli regime.
21 October 2023
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Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri

In a situation where, in recent months, the United States had made extensive efforts to establish a relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and some Arab countries in the region have also started their relations with Israel on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, a surprise and large-scale attack by Hamas forces was carried out to Israel under the name of "Al-Aqsa Storm" by launching 5 thousand rockets to nearby Jewish settlements and some areas in the center of Israel. At the same time, the forces of this group entered the areas occupied by the Israeli regime.

An attack that surprised the world and overshadowed other important crises and wars, such as the war between Russia and Ukraine and the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. Concerning the causes of this crisis, it should be said that the continuation of Israel's occupation and settlements, the imposition of severe pressure and deprivation on the Palestinian people, especially the residents of the Gaza Strip, and the raid of the right-wing government of Netanyahu in the silence of the international community are among the important reasons that they had exhausted the patience of the Palestinian people.

But in the end, maybe it was the efforts of the Israeli regime to infiltrate and normalize relations with the influential countries of the Arab and Islamic world, especially Saudi Arabia, that made the start of the war with this regime logical for Hamas leaders, even knowing Israel's crushing response. An event that, if implemented, would consign the ideal of independent Palestine to history and make Israel the main winner of the 70-year conflict with Palestine. Based on this, the immediate result of this war is the suspension and silence of the normalization negotiations, and at least as long as Israel's crimes in the Gaza Strip are alive in the public mind, the topic of the development of the Abraham Accords and the normalization of Israel's relations with Saudi Arabia will not be implemented.

But in any case, war is not a desirable phenomenon, and especially when the level of civilian casualties is high, it is necessary to start efforts to end it as soon as possible. It should be said about the helpful solutions to end this war that although providing a definitive analysis, in this case, is not an easy task, and it largely depends on the way the war continues, the plans presented by the mediating countries and the level of intervention of regional and international powers in the war, it seems that there are several possible scenarios in this field.

The first scenario is the continuation of the war until the destruction and defeat of one of the parties. In the framework of this scenario, the war is out of the bilateral mode between Hamas and Israel and moves towards regional and international cooperation like the model of World War I and II. The increase of the parties involved in this war will increase the level of destruction and human casualties for both sides terribly, and it may turn into an attrition and costly war for all involved countries by activating and intensifying long-standing rivalries and hostilities in the West Asian region. The result of this new world war is forming a new peace agreement in favor of the dominant front and a fundamental change in the map and geopolitics of the region. As the positions and procedures of the axis of resistance, America and Europe, show, this scenario has a low probability of happening due to its high costs for the countries of the region and world powers and the uncertainty of its results. These countries try to avoid expanding the scope of the war and confronting the prominent powers as much as possible.

The second scenario is the Ukrainization of the war between Israel and Hamas; that is, like the Ukrainian war model, no country directly enters the war in support of the conflicting parties but secretly or openly provides financial, informational, military, and logistical support to one of the parties. This scenario is more likely to happen than the first scenario, but considering its effect on the attrition of war and increasing its costs, it is not a favorable option for regional and global powers, and efforts are made to avoid it.

The third scenario is the acceptance of peace plans presented by different countries, including the United States and Russia, and organizations such as the Islamic Conference, usually because these plans are not accepted by one of the parties because of bias and do not have sufficient implementation guarantees.

The fourth scenario is the leaving of Hamas and Israel alone to continue the war within the capacity of both sides. The purpose of this scenario, which has been implemented at least in the last week and is likely to continue, is mostly to restore Israel's dignity and make up for Israel's intelligence blunder, which, despite all its claims of being the superior military and intelligence power in the region, it was attacked by a militia group in this way and suffered many casualties and deaths. Of course, in the framework of this scenario, indirect aid may be provided in various fields by the countries supporting both sides, but this aid is done in such a way that the scope of the war does not spread.

In the end, regardless of which of the above scenarios is implemented in the medium and long term, considering the massive casualties of civilians, especially children, in the last week, the important thing is that the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and human rights organizations force both sides of the war to observe human rights and war rights, especially disappointed and angry Israel, who with exemplary brazenness deprives the people of Gaza of their basic human rights including food, water, electricity and healthcare and even does not shy away from attacking hospitals and fleeing civilian convoys, and prevent the continuation of war crimes in this unequal war by defining and determining all kinds of tangible and deterrent sanctions and punishments.

Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, university professor

 (The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the IPIS)

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