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Washington moves seen as risking instability

By JAN YUMUL in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-22 09:10

Palestinians evacuate wounded children following an Israeli strike on a mosque in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday. ISMAEL MOHAMAD/UPI

The United States, through its continuous support of Israel without commitment to international humanitarian law, risks fueling global instability and breeding a cycle of revenge and retaliation by prolonging the violence in Gaza, say analysts.

The US, supposedly "a champion of democratic principles", contradicts "its own professed values", they said, adding that its continuous support for Israel also heightens the security risks of its other allies in the Middle East region.

Rasha Al Joundy, a senior researcher at the Dubai Public Policy Research Centre in the United Arab Emirates, told China Daily that US statements and its "continuous support of 'Israel's war'" without any Israeli commitment to international humanitarian law or the laws of war increase the security risks for other US allies in the region.

Jawaid Iqbal, chairman of the Department of West Asian and North African Studies at Aligarh Muslim University in India, told China Daily that Israel "flattening Gaza "and killing nearly 20,000 Palestinians would not win friends or promote peace in the region.

Instead, it "will only breed a new generation of militants who will be more hard-line than Hamas", he said.

Israel is hellbent on destroying Gaza's ruling Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) "until victory", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Dec 13.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Egypt on Wednesday for the first time in over a month for discussions with Egyptian officials who are seeking to mediate another truce.

Western media reported that a vote on a cease-fire resolution was supposed to take place on Dec 18, but the United Arab Emirates requested it be postponed for negotiations to continue.

UN vote delayed

The UN Security Council on Wednesday postponed, for the third time in a week, the voting on a draft resolution calling for the suspension of fighting and boosting aid to the Gaza Strip.

"The more the conflict is prolonged, the more civilian deaths will be blamed on US support either among Arab or Muslim communities or among those who oppose the conflict in the West," Al Joundy said.

"Ignoring all these factors is a mistake and it is causing a growing gap between the US and its allies and between Israel and its Arab partners. Weakening the peace agreements with Jordan, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain is never a good decision because it took years and decades to manifest," she added.

Arhama Siddiqa, a research fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad in Pakistan, said that the decision by Israel and the US to prolong hostilities "seems to be at odds with their best interests".

It also raises the specter of heightened tensions and the potential for a cycle of revenge and retaliation, she said, citing Yemen's Houthi militia's recent attacks in the Red Sea.

Ayman Yousef, a professor of international relations at the Arab American University in Jenin in the West Bank, thinks that Israel was also "utilizing and exploiting the contradictions within the positions of the US government" and that they were "using the Jewish lobby in the US to continue supporting this government".

Hussein Maklad, a professor of international relations at Damascus University in Syria, told China Daily that Israel's assault on Gaza may also affect energy security in the Eastern Mediterranean if the conflict expands.

Agencies contributed to this story.


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