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Gaza War – Not About Terror Alone

Reasons for the ongoing battle in Gaza go way beyond the terror attack of Hamas, and if allowed to continue, can have global ramifications

November 29, 2023 By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd) Photo(s): By, IsraeliPM / X, IDF / X
The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army


Palestinians inspect the damage following an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal aera in Gaza City on October 9, 2023.

With Israel's continued invasion of Gaza, it has become more than evident that Israel, the US (with a secret base in Israel) and perhaps even the Five Eyes Alliance had information of the impending Hamas attack on October 7. The attack was not stopped in its tracks (which was feasible) in order to invade Gaza. This is why Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not sack his military and intelligence chiefs despite saying they did not inform him, which is not a minor lapse.

Israel initially reported 1,400 Israelis killed by Hamas on October 7. But Israeli newspaper Haaretz cites a police investigation to say an IDF combat helicopter that fired on terrorists at the music festival may have killed civilians also. Israel has now revised the number of Israelis killed on October 7 to 1,200.

Despite having advance knowledge of the impending Hamas attack on October 7, the decision not to prevent it was in order to justify the invasion of Gaza

Successive Netanyahu governments deliberately permitted bags of Qatari money for Hamas through Israel to Gaza, strengthening Hamas and weakening the Palestinian Authority not very different from the US training and arming ISIS/ISIL, inducting them into Iraq-Syria and then attacking them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited in the Gaza Strip, where he received security briefings with commanders and soldiers and visited one of the tunnels that has been revealed.

There are multiple reasons for Israel's invasion of Gaza, which concerns both the US and Israel, some of which are us under:

  • According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Palestinian territories have 1,525 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. On request of the Palestine Authority, British Gas explored Palestine in 2000 and identified 30 billion bcm gas reserves. The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates 30-45 bcm gas reserves off the Gaza coast. Israeli occupation prevents Palestinians from developing these oil-gas fields to meet socioeconomic development and energy needs.
  • British gas exploration rights to the Gaza marine gas field expire in 2024 and America is worried Gaza could grant these rights to Russia. Oil is crucial to America's warmongering. America's Iraq invasion on false pretext and destruction of Russia's Nord Stream pipelines are just two examples.
  • Declassified Israeli document of July 1, 1963 revealed plans for nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal 160 miles (256 km) across Israel, connecting the Mediterranean with the Gulf of Aqaba an alternative to the Suez Canal. Maximum excavation depth estimated was 1,500 feet. Palestinian territories are a hurdle to this plan.
  • America is behind Israel's plan to push Palestinians into the Sinai desert in refugee camps, for which Egypt is being offered help to reduce its debts. External debt of Egypt reached $164.7 billion in June 2023.
  • The US is loath to the OPEC Plus controlling oil prices and its dollar woes have gone up with Saudi Arabia and China signing a currency swap agreement.
  • In 2002, the US had already decided to "take out" Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran over the next five years ( Conflagrating the Israel-Hamas war is in America's interest, which is why the massive US naval deployment in 'Greater Middle East' from Crete (Eastern Mediterranean) into the Red Sea and the Bab-el-Mandeb, further into Gulf of Aden, and beyond to the Gulf of Oman.
  • The US wants to attack Iran also at any pretext fearing it will acquire nuclear weapons.
  • The Houthi hijacked cargo ship 'Galaxy Leader', in the Red Sea, its ownership connected to Abraham "Rami" Ungar (one of the richest businessmen in Israel). Houthi have also been firing missiles at Israel.
  • The Israel-Hamas war diverts attention from Ukraine. The US probably hopes that the Middle East war would divert China's focus from Taiwan?

The above indicates that the Israel-Hamas war will continue for a long time. Netanyahu has already said so and recently visited Israeli troops in Gaza. The POTUS Joe Biden is asking the US Congress for more military support for Israel.

A police investigation suggests that an IDF combat helicopter may have inadvertently killed civilians at a music festival, prompting a revision of the death toll from 1,400 to 1,200

The Israel-Hamas truce and hostage release came through because Israel's War Cabinet Ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkotargued Israel must save whoever hostages it can. For the same reason, Qatar says truce could be extended by every one day if Hamas releases 10 Israeli hostages.

Jordan, in coordination with Egypt, sending equipment for a Jordanian field hospital to meet medical needs in southern Gaza Strip.

Josep Borrell, heading European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs and Security Policy recently said, "It makes no sense to give food to someone who will be killed the next day. We must stop the bombing and avoid more deaths. Humanitarian assistance is necessary, but it is not enough."

But Israel is in no mood to stop the bombings. Israeli officials have been telling the US they anticipate several more weeks of fighting in the north, before shifting focus to southern Gaza. America's Deputy NSA says, "We believe Israel has right to do that." But the notable issue is thousands of Gaza residents have fled from the north to the south "at Israel's request". Already more than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Israeli bombings in Gaza.

Successive Netanyahu governments deliberately allowed Qatari money to flow to Hamas through Israel to Gaza, mirroring tactics seen in the US with groups like ISIS/ISIL

On the eve of the truce, Israel intensified Gaza bombings and also bombed Syria and Lebanon. Seven Hezbollah fighters were reportedly killed. But degrading Hamas requires hand to hand fighting in urban settings and underground tunnels, which is the expertise of Hamas. Till now, the IDF have relied on tanks and APCs for operations in Gaza operations, with some foot patrols to prevent attacks on its armour.

(Left-Right) Underneath the Shifa Hospital, through this door, are Hamas terrorists' tunnels

Bombings, invading hospitals and destroying people's homes will not bring an end to Hamas. More and more civilians will die and with weather worsening and disease spreading, the situation in Gaza would draw adverse reactions globally. The EU is already batting for a two-state solution, which Israel and the US want to avoid at all costs. In his recent article 'Happily, Joe Biden is finished', Andrew Mtrovica writes that Biden's approval ratings have dropped to 40 per cent for supporting Israel's Gaza invasion. Notably, the West Bank is rapidly emerging as another front in the war for Israel.

The invasion of Gaza by Israel is driven by multiple factors, including control over vast oil reserves in Palestinian territories, concerns about gas exploration rights, and plans for a nuclear excavation of a sea-level canal

The US and Israel are also trying to "force" transfer of Palestinian population to their Arab clients, not only neighbouring Egypt, but also Gulf states like Jordan and Saudi Arabia, plus immigrant-absorbing Western nations like Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Whether this works remains to be seen. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently offered $10 billion to Egypt and $5 billion to Jordan in exchange for compliance but both have rejected the offer.

The US and Israel continue to bomb Syria. However, direct attacks on Yemen and Iran could have repercussions. The Houthi have ballistic missiles and kamikaze drones and have successfully hit Saudi oil facilities in the past. Iran has recently tested its hypersonic Fattah II missile. If the war spreads to the Middle East, is it possible that Beijing may test an Iranian nuke on Chinese soil?

Beginning of the process for normalization of relations in the Middle East is dead with the war in Gaza. Continued war and its expansion can cause a jump in oil prices. This will unbalance economies worldwide. The 1973 Yom Kippur War led to the Arab oil embargo, resulting in a four-fold jump in oil prices. The Arab nations, leaving aside American lackeys like Qatar, are unlikely to remain immune to continued massacre of thousands of more Palestinians. The future of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), which kicked off at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, is already looking dark.