Within the context of over 50 years of illegal occupation and current apartheid conditions, Israeli bombs continue to fall on Gaza following the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation. The world has finally begun to realize the disastrous implications of Israel’s unrelenting campaign to eradicate Hamas and alter the pre-October 7 dynamics in the besieged territory. Western governments’ failure to advocate for restraint has emboldened Israel, with U.S. President Joseph Biden giving the regime “the green light to act as it sees fit.”
Over 5,000 Palestinians, at least a third of whom were children, have been murdered by Israeli bombs so far, and one million people displaced in the first two weeks since the Hamas-led operation. Israel has imposed a “total siege” on Gaza, cutting off its access to food, water, fuel, and aid. Human Rights Watch reported that Israel has used white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon, violating international law. At least 500 Palestinians were killed in an air raid on Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza. As tensions flare with Hezbollah on the Lebanese southern border, and Iran threatens “pre-emptive” action, the conflict could escalate regionally.
In response to these tragic events, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs (ME Council) in partnership with the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut hosted a webinar to offer Palestinian and regional perspectives. What is Israel’s endgame as it begins a military ground invasion? Does Hamas and the larger Palestinian national movement have a strategy? Is the regionalization of this conflict inevitable? How will the broader international community respond, and what are the geopolitical implications beyond the region?