A month of Palestine-Israel war has changed everything | KHMER TIMES

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A month of Palestine-Israel war has changed everything. | An article quoting Avi Melamed insights,khmertimeskh.comfirst published in New Straits Times, sourced from AFP.

One month after Hamas attacks wracked Israel, life has been upended for both the Palestinians and Israel after it launched a war of reprisal in the Gaza Strip.

The Oct 7 attacks by Hamas fighters who stormed across from Gaza and struck kibbutzim and southern Israeli areas killed 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and deeply scarred the nation.

Images of charred and mutilated bodies invoked comparisons to the horror of the Holocaust, and the abduction of more than 240 people by Hamas gunmen continues to stir political and emotional turmoil.

Gaza, a territory of 2.4 million people, has been transformed into an apocalyptic battleground by airstrikes and ground assaults after Israel vowed to eradicate Hamas.

The Gazan Health Ministry says nearly 9,500 have been killed, two-thirds of them women and children.

Al Quds, the most widely read Palestinian daily, said: “Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of innocent people.”

The left-wing Israeli daily Haaretz wrote last week: “It feels like we have to pinch ourselves to make sure that this is truly the new reality,

“The change wrought by the war is total: in losses of life and in damage, in anxieties, in the country’s agenda and in the total upending of old political conventions from every possible aspect.”
Fears have mounted of a possible regional conflagration.

Iran, an ally of Hamas and Hizbollah in Lebanon, has warned the situation risks spiralling “out of control” in a Middle East transformed into a “powder keg”.

A Pentagon spokesman said the United States is “concerned about all elements of Iran’s threat network increasing attacks in a way that risks miscalculation, or tipping the region into war”.

As tensions increase, the Israeli army is on alert on its northern border with Lebanon too.

Breaking a month of silence on Friday, Hizbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said “all options” were open for an escalation of the conflict on the Lebanese frontier with Israel, while at the same time blaming the US for the war.

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder said he did not think Hizbollah would escalate the fighting, telling the BBC: “A broader regional conflict has been deterred.”

However, Avi Melamed, an Israeli specialist on Middle East relations said: “Hizbollah could set fire to the region.”

“They have a military capacity 10 times superior to the Hamas cell. It could inflict grave damage on Israel.”

The Israeli army says it is also prepared to confront any escalation in the West Bank, occupied since 1967 and the scene of more intense violence since the Gaza war erupted.

Israel was once lauded for its military and intelligence prow-ess, but that reputation was drastically harmed by the Oct 7 attacks.

“I don’t sleep,” said Sarit Zehavi, a mother of three and a reserve lieutenant-colonel who fears Hizbollah will copy Hamas and infiltrate in the north.

For Gaza resident Omar Ashur, who was 8 in 1948 when the state of Israel was created: “What’s going on is dangerous.”

He fears the violence will provoke “a second Nakba”, referring to the mass exodus of about 760,000 Palestinians that followed the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.

“Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week.

Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida has vowed that “Gaza will be a cemetery and quagmire for the enemy”.

Claude Klein, former dean at the law faculty of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said: “The possibility of a peaceful settlement is remote. I don’t see anything positive on the horizon.

“What happened on Oct 7 strengthened those in Israel who say there are no interlocutors for peace.”

Former Palestinian minister Ghassan Khatib, who teaches at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, said: “Radicalisation has reinforced each side of the conflict and has led to a deep disbelief in a peaceful solution.” First published in New Straits Times, sourced from AFP

Avi Melamed is a former Israeli intelligence official who went on to serve as deputy and then as senior Arab affairs adviser to Jerusalem Mayors Teddy Kollek and Ehud Olmert, operating as a negotiator during the first and second intifadas. He is the author of “Inside the Middle East: Entering a New Era,” and his latest docuseries, “The Seam Line,” available on the IZZY streaming platform, focuses on Jerusalem’s flashpoints and his work during the intifadas.

A month of Palestine-Israel war has changed everything. | An article quoting Avi Melamed insights, “khmertimeskh.com” first published in New Straits Times, sourced from AFP.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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