Modi’s Fortunes Hinge On Gaza Peace

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Hamas-Israel conflict has turned West Asia into an international flash point. For PM Modi, this is an important issue which will impact his image and the prospects of his party in the general elections which the BJP must win; if it has to emerge as one of the strongest political parties India has seen.

While the BJP is certain to prepare for the final battle in 2024 with its confidence boosted by the results of elections in five states with the party expected to do well in most of them Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains concerned about the Hamas-Israel conflict which has turned West Asia into an international flash point.

For Modi this is an important issue which will impact his image and the prospects of his party in the general elections which the BJP must win if it has to emerge as one of the strongest political parties India has seen. Modi also underscored the need for an end to the conflict in his recent address to the virtual G-20 summit.

There is growing curiosity about Hamas. The organization, designated as a terrorist outfit by the US, the UK, the European Union and Israel, is in focus following its recent blitzkrieg against Israelis that killed over 1,000 people. Hamas, according to experts, has a history steeped in violence. Obliteration of Israel and formation of an independent Palestine state is its raison d’etre.

Hamas is the antithesis of its Palestinian rival Fatah both ideologically and tactically. With the Gaza strip under its control since 2007, Hamas has been designated as a foreign terror group by some powerful countries including the US and the UK. Both Hamas and Fatah have been vying to lead the Palestinian national movement and have clashed often in the past. Fatah is part of the larger Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) which was founded under the aegis of the Arab League in 1964. Fatah is recognised by most countries in the world as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people but Hamas is not prepared to accept this.

 

They have been locked in a conflict and competition to fully represent the Palestinian movement for the last one and a half decade. It was following one of these conflicts in 2007 that Hamas took control of the Gaza strip and expelled Fatah from the region. Israel and Egypt retaliated by enforcing a blockade on Gaza, stopping the import and export of most items. The blockade has been in force for the last 16years.  Hamas has been involved in several conflicts with Israel.

There were confrontations in2008, 2011, 2014 and 2021 before the latest strike by the group against Israelis. This attack was unprecedented in its scale and stunned the world including Israel which launched an immediate counter-attack aptly named ‘Swords of Iron’ that saw Gaza strip being continuously pounded with air strikes.

The attack by Hamas left over 1,300 Israelis killed and more than 3,000 injured. On the other hand, Israeli blitz has killed over 1,000 people in Gaza and forced more than 1,75,000 people in the area to flee their homes.

Though a temporary truce has been worked out and some pro-peace developments are taking place the fear of war returning to haunt the people in Gaza and Palestine remains. This is what worries Modi and he has reiterated time and again that the war must end. This is crucial not only for the countries at war but also the Indian Prime Minister because his political fortunes depend a lot on it.

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