Report prepared by Dr. Muhammad Akram Zaheer and Dr. Muhammad Asim
The current situation of instability and uncertainty in Palestine is a series of the tragedy that has started in the last month with the Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Thousands Palestinian people affected of the Israeli cruel and wicked deed. In response to rocket fire from Hamas, Israel’s defense forces justified air strikes on Gaza. By the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, hundreds of Palestinians killed, thousands injured and other were homeless. Since that time, Hamas’s has been focused on Israel, and Israel is determined to crush Hamas.
Muslim of all over the world is deeply saddened by this situation. They have issued an extraordinary joint statement to condemn Israel’s attack on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as the Israeli-led invasion of the Palestinian territories has worsened. The OIC meeting also condemned the Israeli attacks as “barbaric” and said that Israel was committing organized crimes against the Palestinians. The Palestinian people have only a few international friends. Some friends in the region (Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) have made their stance softer to support Palestinians’ right of self-determination by establishing ties with Israel last year.
Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and Middle Eastern states have also supported the Palestinian cause and strongly condemned Israeli actions. Despite this, Israel’s aggressive behavior and actions have not reduced. Some Islamic countries have diplomatic relations with Israel, but they have not been able to stop Israel from taking aggressive measures. Although the strong stance of the rest of the Islamic countries and the announcement of support by their people is welcome but they have also failed to motivate their international allies to take a hard line against Israel. Although China is one of the world largest and closest trading and investment partners of the Muslim world but it does not seem to be active in condemning Israel’s actions.
If the current crisis in Israel and the Occupied Territories of Palestine prolongs, the issue may potentially escalate into a conflict between the Muslim-majority nations of the Middle East, Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei) and the United States. The Southeast countries and their people have also reacted strongly. In Southeast Asia, the United States will never want to annoy and irritate Islamic countries, if they become unhappy it will be a very difficult situation for the United States. On the other hand, Washington has been remained a staunch supporter of Israel’s actions and has repeatedly stated that Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas attacks, but it has kept on silent on the proportion of Israel’s actions. The question now is whether the Palestinians can exercise their right to self-defense in this way.
Another contemptible thing of the United States who has blocked the UN Security Council from adopting a joint statement calling on Israel to end its violence in Palestine. More or less, the same thing that US official has recently criticized on China and Russia for their involvement in the current crisis of Myanmar. China and Russia have called on the US president to stop blocking Security Council efforts to end the bloodshed.
Muslim world and scholars think that United States support to Israeli painful actions is a huge gap between the rule-based international statement and the reality that Washington has promised in the past about a broader US role in Israel and the Middle East. But this partisan the US policy has had a negative effect on public sentiment, and it is assumed that the current crisis can hurt the US interest in Islamic countries in future.
International and regional powers must work hard for a ceasefire. Washington must force Israel for a ceasefire. On the other hand, Egypt, Turkey and Qatar can influence Hamas due to the good relations for ceasefire. Cairo can play an important role in the peace process. It already has convinced Hamas for ceasefire. Although the United Nations and the European Union can also play an important role in the peace process and in resolving this issue but the United States seems satisfied with its efforts to establish Israel’s supremacy and puts its weight behind Israel. Israel and Hamas must also stop attacking each other and protect civilians from violence in order to create an environment conducive to dialogue. And it is the duty of the Muslim world, Europe and the United States, to work together to find a permanent solution of this conflict.