Israel-Gaza War Updates

Foreign Policy Brief #124 | By: Ibrahim Castro| February 28, 2024
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Current situation:

Nearly six months have passed since the October 7, 2023 attacks, an Israeli assault on the Gaza strip that has killed over 29,000 people with thousands more believed to be uncounted and buried under rubble in the strip. Despite growing international condemnation and calls for a ceasefire, the war shows no sign of ending, and has driven around 80% of the Palestinians in Gaza from their homes and has left nearly half of the population starving, according to UN officials. The US in recent weeks has been meeting with mediators Egypt and Qatar to try to broker another cease-fire and hostage release agreement. Yet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue the assault on Gaza until “total victory” is achieved. The unwillingness of the Israeli PM to move towards a negotiated ceasefire has raised fears that Gazans will be forced out of the strip and that troops will soon move and attack the town of Rafah on the Egyptian border, where half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have sought refuge from the Israeli bombing campaign in the rest of the strip.

International responses to the Israel-Gaza war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza:

As the Israel-Gaza war has dragged on, calls for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid have grown. Last week the Turkish and Egyptian presidents met in Cairo, for the first meeting between these two heads of state in over a decade, during the meeting the two called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. In the Netherlands a Dutch appeals court ordered the government to stop the delivery of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel in order to comply with the recent ICJ ruling. In Africa there was unanimous agreement at an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where the continent’s heads of state condemned Israel’s offensive in Gaza and called for its immediate end and the Israeli Delegation was prevented from entering the union’s headquarters.

Earlier this week Brazilian President Lula Da Silva Lula compared Israel’s war on Gaza to the Nazi’s treatment of Jews in World War II. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz announced that Lula is not welcome into the country until he takes back his comments. The leaders of Canada, Australia and New Zealand issued a joint statement also calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, the statement came as a response to Israeli attacks and reported plans for a ground invasion on Rafah. The recent ICJ ruling stated that, it was plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide and issued six provisional measures, including that Israel must do all it can to prevent genocide, including refraining from harming or killing Palestinians. At the United Nations, thirteen countries on the 15 member body security council backed an Algerian resolution to call for an immediate ceasefire. Only two states did not vote in favor of the resolution with the UK abstaining, with the US being the sole veto to the resolution.

Violence in the region:

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza there has been a dramatic rise in conflict across the region. States including Israel, the US, and Iran have conducted airstrikes within the borders of other countries. Israel recently launched its longest and heaviest attack on neighboring Lebanon since the start of the Gaza war, striking several locations in the south, killing multiple civilians, and raising further the prospect of full war between the two states. Israel and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah have traded fire since the beginning of the war, Hezbollah has called for an end to an assault on Gaza in order to end the fighting.

The US has struck sites in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, the strikes are claimed to have been carried out against Iranian backed groups within those countries. Last month four US personnel suffered traumatic brain injuries after the Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq was hit by ballistic missiles and rockets allegedly fired by Iranian backed militants. Iran last month also launched missile and drone strikes on targets in three countries Iraq, Syria and Pakistan, angering the targeted countries and killing civilians. All players involved claim to be striking bases of operation for one anothers proxy groups. The overall result of these strikes is that these developments continue to heighten concerns over the possibility of a wider all out Middle East war. This concern has been augmented by missile and drone attacks by the Houthis in Yemen on cargo ships in the Red Sea. The US has responded with air strikes on the Houthis.

For more articles and in-depth analysis on the Israel-Gaza War, click here. Stay informed with the latest insights from our dedicated reporters by subscribing to the US Renew Democracy Weekly Newsletter. Your support is crucial in safeguarding fearless, independent journalism. If you appreciate our content, please consider donating today to continue in helping to protect democracy and empower citizenship. 

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