20231026 gaza raid
Israeli soldiers seen in a tank near Israel's border with Gaza Image Credit: Reuters

The unfolding events in Gaza undeniably depict a harrowing scenario, bordering on a massacre. Amid the prevailing discontent in the Arab world, diverse perspectives emerge concerning the ongoing conflict in Gaza, prompting a divisive public opinion.

Questions loom regarding whether the decision to engage in this intense confrontation in Gaza is solely attributable to Hamas, as suggested by certain factions of the resistance, or if there are collaborative forces behind this weighty choice.

This decision, teetering on the edge, places the entire region at the precipice of a potentially catastrophic conflagration. The crucial inquiry arises: What are the ramifications of this war, and who stands to gain from its unsettling course?

Doubts surface about the proclaimed “unity of squares” against Israel, as articulated by the axis of resistance. Scepticism lingers concerning the effectiveness of the “joint operations room,” managed by resistance groups, ostensibly forming a cohesive battlefront against Israel.

More by Prof Mohammad Alrumaihi

Undisclosed agreements

Notably, for over a month, there has been a conspicuous absence of new fronts beyond Gaza. Instead, a series of seemingly limited military operations in southern Lebanon have unfolded, potentially orchestrated to deflect blame from the Lebanese resistance. This covert scenario raises questions about undisclosed agreements behind closed doors.

This conjecture gains support from a recent revelation by former US president Donald Trump, shedding light on a sensitive matter. Trump disclosed that during a previous incident involving Iran, the US and Iran communicated privately, with the Iranian response strategically limited to save face.

The possibility of a similar arrangement between the US and the Iranian government, along with its proxies, cannot be dismissed. This aligns with Trump’s description and finds backing in statements by Iran’s former Foreign Minister, emphasising a commitment to defending the oppressed without direct confrontation.

Ever-evolving balance of power

The announcement of the Indo-European corridor during the G20 summit in Delhi last September has sparked discontent within the “axis of resistance.”

This corridor, traversing the Arabian Peninsula, Jordan, Israel, and into Europe, has garnered US support, potentially overshadowing the Chinese corridor through Iran and Syria.

The strategic corridor has raised concerns for Iran and Bashar Al Assad, prompting Al Assad’s visit to Beijing to reaffirm support for the Chinese corridor.

In response, the proposed India-Middle East corridor has fuelled dissatisfaction within the axis of resistance, leading to a crisis aimed at obstructing Israel’s path and disrupting the project.

These developments may have compelled Hamas to launch the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, albeit at the cost of numerous Gazan lives. The pledge of the axis of resistance under the banner of the “unity of squares” remained unfulfilled, leaving Hamas isolated in its plight, as the axis achieved its goals.

The Oct. 7 operation lacked a discernible political ideology, highlighting a void in political backing for a military conflict. This war in Gaza has further fractured Arab public opinion on Western double standards.

The world witnessed a vehement outcry when Russia initiated a military operation against Ukraine, while the Gaza war received comparatively muted global response.

A volatile situation

The differential treatment by Western countries has provided Tehran with an opportunity to bolster its influence in its ongoing struggle against the US. Unfortunately, in this calculus of gains and losses, the Palestinian cause emerges as the sole loser.

As the geopolitical chessboard unfolds, the complexity of alliances, covert agreements, and power struggles becomes more apparent. The implications of the Indo-European corridor and its ripple effects on regional dynamics add a layer of intrigue to an already volatile situation.

The discord within the axis of resistance underscores the fragility of geopolitical alliances and the pursuit of divergent interests.

In this intricate web of events, the Gaza war serves not only as a battleground but also as a symbolic arena where broader geopolitical maneuvers play out. The juxtaposition of global reactions to conflicts in different regions raises uncomfortable questions about the consistency of international responses and the underlying motivations that drive them.

As the dust settles over Gaza, the lasting impact on regional dynamics and the geopolitical landscape remains uncertain.

The shadow of this conflict extends beyond the immediate casualties and destruction, reaching into the realms of diplomatic relations, public perception, and the ever-evolving balance of power in the complex tapestry of international politics.

Mohammad Alrumaihi is a thinker, author and Professor of Political Sociology at Kuwait University