The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: either frozen or compounded

Israeli airstrikes launched in retaliation to an intercepted rocket from the Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian woman and her three-year-old daughter. Following recent events, tensions between Israel and Palestine are reaching higher levels than we have seen in the last few years. An outbreak of violence has occurred between the two nations that share Jerusalem as their capital. These conflicts have left both sides uneasy and making great demands of one another.

Socio-political activist and co-Chairman of Israel Palestine Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI) Gershon Baskin commented the latest escalation of tensions in the region: “The parties need to start talking to each other again. It’s not going to end without the parties securing out a way of understanding each other.” Let's try to understand about what and under what circumstances could talk both groups in the conflict.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a classic armed sectarian struggle, in that does not have a solution which would be acceptable for all parties. Any ongoing conflict may be either frozen or compounded. That is, the sides of the conflict can leave it unresolved for an indefinite period in order to maintain the status quo, or exacerbate the situation, risking human lives and the full or partial loss of territory under their control.

A solution to the conflict which would favor the Zionist state of Israel would imply the total elimination of any Arab territorial and political autonomy on its territory. The population of the Arab enclaves in this case would be exposed to massive repression. This could be achieved more softly - Arabs could be resettled outside of Israel, or Israel could expedite events - via mass ethnic cleansing, filtration and concentration camps. This scenario would inevitably entail the emergence of hotbeds of instability along the land borders of the state, armed clashes, and the galvanization of a fully radicalized Arab Islamic refugee population. The Israeli Defence Forces, unable to control the consequences of such a situation, would turn to the country's closest ally, which has provided it with funding and the latest military technology for decades: the United States. The resulting instability in the region would render Israel a pariah state in the eyes of its neighbors, one utterly dependent on its American allies, who would use the opportunity to expand their sphere of influence.

The second way to decisively resolve the conflict would be to meet the requirements of the Arab population and abolish the state of Israel. The logical consequence - the revocation of the legitimacy and sovereignty of "Israel" as a territorial and political entity within the de jure borders set forth in the UN General Assembly's 1947 Resolution as well as in lands that were illegally acquired by the country during its 1947 War of Independence and subsequent conflicts. The entire territory of Israel would return to international control, under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority. The Jewish population of the country, which migrated there primarily during the 20th century, would return to Europe, the US and the former Soviet Union, or agree to live on the same territory under the terms of the re-established Palestinian government.

It should also be mentioned a number of Arab groups associated with Palestine. Hamas is something like offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is, in a sense, partially ISIS, with some of their members turning to ISIS: It happened in Iraq, it happened in Syria, when certain significant numbers of their people decided to become more radical.

In the case of Hamas this organization was aided largely by Syria and Iran up until a couple of years ago, and their military headquarters were sustained in Damascus. And what they did when the civil war started was to turn their weapons against the government of Syria. Therefore the government of Syria – Assad and Iran today are very unhappy with Hamas – they fight Hamas. And Hamas people in Syria joined ISIS. Therefore, today we cannot clearly delineate Hamas and ISIS.

Israel in this game is definitely threatened by ISIS, and has helped Yazidis and the Kurds in Iraq since the beginning of the fighting there. Israel was the first to assist them in their fight against ISIS. Thus, Israel has been fighting ISIS in indirect ways since shortly after ISIS came into existence. Finally ISIS is a group which wants to destroy Israel, and acts against Israel, and from the very beginning supports the idea that Israel should not exist in the Middle East.

Fatah now is a leading secular Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In the 2006 parliamentary election, the party lost its majority in the Palestinian parliament to more radical Hamas. Having resigned all its cabinet positions, it did not then assume the role of main opposition party. Fatah's size is estimated at 6,000–8,000 fighters with 45–300 politicians. However, the Hamas legislative victory led to a conflict between Fatah and Hamas, with Fatah retaining control of the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank.

Following the defeat of the Soviet Union in the Cold War, Israel fully became the responsibility of the USA. Any confrontation or outbreak of violence in Arab neighborhoods, the Gaza Strip or the West Bank undermines US influence in the region. Changing the balance of power in favor of the Arabs - strengthens the position of Iran, Russia and other ethnically Arab states.