The clock is ticking for Israel despite UN failing to agree on ceasefire resolution

World

As the United Nations vote showed last night, Israel still has the backing of its most powerful ally, the United States, and the UK who chose to abstain.

However, with 13 of the 15 members of the Security Council voting in favour of a ceasefire, and more than eighty other countries supporting it, the US and British positions are looking increasingly isolated.

The US-Israeli relationship is likely to become increasingly strained over the next few weeks if the two sides continue to disagree over the path forward, and the humanitarian situation for civilians in Gaza continues to worsen.

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Why did US veto ceasefire resolution?

It has been reported that Israel believes it needs another two months to complete this phase of intense fighting in Gaza, but the US wants them to finish by the end of the year.

What an ultimate and lasting victory for Israel will look like is the big unknown. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken of demilitarising and deradicalising Gaza and destroying Hamas but has said little about who will manage the aftermath of the war in Gaza.

Read more:
Bigger than the Tube – the problem of Hamas’s tunnels in Gaza
Israel vowed to eliminate Hamas – can it be done?
What happened after Hamas left the Nova festival site

A key objective of Israel’s ground assault in southern Gaza is targeting the Hamas leadership who they believe are hiding around Khan Younis, most likely in a vast tunnel system.

Killing or capturing a top Hamas leader would be a major scalp for the Israelis, which has so far eluded them. It’s hard to imagine Israelis pulling out of Gaza with Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif still alive and free.

The bigger problem for Israel is what they do once this phase of fighting is over, how they maintain the security of Gaza and how they ensure aid reaches the civilian population there.

Suggestions of a multinational force have been rejected by Netanyahu – so, too, the handing of power to the Palestinian Authority.

But unless Israel wants to reoccupy Gaza, and I don’t think they do, an alternative must be found and fast.

The clock is ticking.

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