Over 10,000 dead, an entire region flattened, over a million displaced and with the humanitarian disaster growing, now by the hour. This is the image recorded in the Gaza Strip with the completion of one month since the attack by Hamas and the start of the Israeli pounding.
The Israeli authorities, as well as the prime minister himself, announce that operations to eliminate the Islamic organization will last up to months, but it is not certain that Benjamin Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political survival, has that much time ahead of him .
The nightmarish everyday life that has been imposed on Gaza, the images of destruction, poverty and the lifeless bodies of young children, have already begun to create even greater reactions in the Western world and this pressure from public opinion is expected to be transferred to the leaders of the states – allies of Israel.
Moreover, there are not only Israelis among the hostages of Hamas, and no Western leader, with Joe Biden in the first place, wishes to see his citizen dead either by an Israeli strike or by the actions of Islamic militants.
The situation inside the country is also critical for Netanyahu, as protests by citizens, including relatives of the hostages, are ongoing with citizens blaming the government and the prime minister for the October 7 fiasco that led to the massacre by militants. of Hamas.
“Pauses”, tours and demonstrations
American intentions are, after all, clear with the US president calling for “humanitarian pauses” last week and again sending his secretary of state to tour the Middle East.
The Biden administration is not only faced with the nightmare scenario of dead Americans, but is also under suffocating pressure within Congress, as documented in recent Republican resolution. At the same time, demonstrations, pro-Israel or pro-Palestine, are increasing in the US, while more and more progressive Jews are openly protesting the massacre and calling for a ceasefire.
The United States, after all, is already moving into a pre-election climate and Joe Biden is seeing his percentages fall, with Donald Trump already recording significant gains, while the deterioration of the government is also directly related to the negative developments on the Ukraine front.
“She’s only weeks old”
In this direction, today’s interview with the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, is also interesting, as he tells Politico that Netanyahu has a few weeks before public opinion, especially in the US, clearly turns against the attacks on Gaza.
“The window is closing, it is clear that we are heading for a confrontation with the Americans. America cannot tell Israel what to do, but we cannot ignore them. We should agree to the American demands within the next two or three weeks, maybe less,” he said before adding “Listen to the public discourse and behind closed doors things are stricter. We are losing public opinion in Europe and in a week or two we will start losing governments in Europe as well.”
The “front” with the UN
The situation in Gaza has forced even the United Nations to use unusually high tones against Israel, while just yesterday the Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, declared that the Gaza Strip is turning into a “cemetery for children”, stressing that the appeal the “humanitarian ceasefire” becomes “more urgent with each passing hour”. Also, in a joint statement, the leaders of the most important humanitarian organizations of the UN as well as international charities called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Gaza Strip, describing the situation in the Palestinian enclave as “horrible” and “unacceptable”. More than half a million people in northern Gaza face the risk of starvation as food stocks run “dangerously low”, international charity ActionAid also warned.
Israel worries about dwindling Western support
Israel’s envoy to the EU, Haim Regev, also expresses concern and annoyance, stating that Western support for his country is beginning to falter a month after the brutal attack by Hamas.
“We’ve had strong support so far, but we’re starting to see the erosion of support because of what’s happening in Gaza and because Hamas is using the population as a human shield,” Regev said in a conversation at Politico’s Brussels office on Monday.
Regev praised the EU’s response. to the Oct. 7 attacks, but fired scathing barbs at several proposals put forward by leaders over the past month.
The Israeli diplomat criticized calls by EU leaders – led by Spain’s Pedro Sanchez – for a peace conference within the next six months. “This is not the time to talk about the peace conference right now. Now we are at war against Hamas, and as long as Hamas is there, I see no prospect of peace.”
Regev was equally dismissive of the “humanitarian conference” to be hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on November 9 — to which he said Israel had not been invited. “Like many, we don’t understand what’s going to happen there,” the Israeli envoy told us. “We just hope it doesn’t turn into some kind of anti-Israel platform for criticizing Israel, for calling for a ceasefire.”
The Israeli diplomat suggested that Western politicians calling for an end to the fighting in Gaza – including Sanchez and UN chief Antonio Guterres – were unwittingly playing into Hamas’ hands. He suggested that the calculation may have been to carry out the October 7 attack betting that international pressure would eventually force Israel to halt its military response.
Regev rejected any talk of a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians – which has long been the EU’s official position. “Talking about the next day, not just about Gaza, but about a two-state solution, is a long way off,” Regev said: “We need to recover mentally and physically, and we need to understand why it happened.”
Earlier on Monday, von der Leyen laid out her five points for what should happen after the conflict ends and reiterated her support for a two-state solution in a speech to EU ambassadors.