Growing tensions in the Israel – Palestinian Conflict is forcing action from much of the international community, testing diplomatic relations and humanitarian and military discussions. Several countries have chosen sides denouncing Hamas as a terrorist organization or focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza claiming war crimes against Israel’s actions; each side with their own reasons as to what the main contributor to the start of the war – few countries remaining neutral.
Since the start of the conflict, the United States and President Joe Biden has denounced the acts of Hamas as a terrorist organization and planned support of Israel to defend itself as the conflict continues (Aljazeera,1). Similarly, the United Kingdom stands “resolutely” with the belief that Israel should be allowed to defend itself (Gov.UK) but still encourages military restraint in concern for civilian life (Reuters). A number of other countries share the same position as these two powerhouses, but there are more actors concerned with the humanitarian crisis that Israel has caused along the Gaza strip. The United Nations (UN) is accusing Israel of committing war crimes and having broken international law in their retaliation against Hamas (Aljazeera, 2), pleading for a ceasefire as the death toll reaches 10,000 (Aljazeera,3). Turkey, not a government that labels Hamas a terrorist organization contrary to most of the western world, has called back their ambassadors from Israel as increased opinions of the humanitarian crisis continues. President Erdogan took it a step further ending communication with President Netanyahu and demanding immediate ceasefire (Aljazeera,4). Likewise, the South Africa government has openly condemned the actions of Israel in their pro-Palestinian campaign, also removing their diplomats from the Israeli state and even alleging imposed “collective punishment” (BBC,1). Palestinian support is a popular opinion by those that are not the western world or allied with the United States or the European Union.
Most interestingly is the position that China has placed itself in during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a sort of peace broker. Historically, China has held strong relations with Iran – who backs Hamas and the Hezbollah militant group in Lebanon – the Palestinians, Arabs, and Turkey. It is common practice for China to take a cautious approach like condemning violence against civilians and calling for ceasefire while focusing on Palestinian complaints, failing to pick either side anytime conflict between Palestine and Israel arise. (Aljazeera,5). However, it is not expected that China will be a major contributor to a solution (BBC,2) based on how they have responded to their feelings towards Hamas. China has refrained from condemning Hamas and has stated that they consider themselves as a friend to both Palestine and Israel, concerned with any violence against civilians (CNN).
Regardless of which international players are siding with what side, this type of conflict has no winners without consequence. It is important that some type of resolution is created, and soon before we see a drastic escalation of violence within the middle east and possibly outside of the region. With the United States’ cooperation as one of Israel’s closest allies, and China as another powerhouse in the middle east, all parties could be gathered to bring about conclusion to this conflict.
Aljazeera, 2: www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/10/17/israel-could-be-in-breach-of-global-law-with-gaza-relocation-order-un#:~:text=The%20United%20Nations%20human%20rights,of%20civilians%2C%20breaching%20international%20law
Aljazeera, 3: www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/6/un-chief-guterres-urges-ceasefire-as-gaza-becomes-graveyard-for
Aljazeera, 4: www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/4/turkey-recalls-ambassador-to-israel-for-consultations-as-gaza-bombing-rages
Aljazeera, 5: www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/6/china-takes-cautious-approach-to-diplomacy-over-israel-gaza-war
BBC, 2: www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-67237146.