Middle East crisis: Time to de-escalate hostilities

The need for detente options in the now-intensified armed conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians’ militant wing, Hamas, is all-time urgent and non-negotiable. The bloodletting is appalling. The catastrophic event, instigated by Hamas (Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement) in the wee hours of October 7, 2023, seems to have been a miscalculated attempt by the friends of the Palestinians to undo Isreal. There have been different narratives adduced in the wake of this crisis, but the sore point is, who is the rightful owner of the territorial integrity of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians? I do not intend to reproduce the already covered historical profiles and antecedents of the two states now at daggers drawn, but the focus is on the imperatives of tapering off the ongoing tension.

Our mainstream media space has been awash with developments of murderous bombardment or what looks like genocidal expeditions on both the Israeli and the Palestinian camps. No news channels, both print and electronic, conclude their publications or broadcasting without the scary analysis of the Middle East impasse. Yet, it appears that the more this dissemination spreads, the closer we approach the brink of the precipice – the 3rd World War. But before things descend to this inexorable finality, let us exhaust avenues to avert the impending catastrophe.

The detection of Hamas tunnels in Israel suddenly became a priority for the Israeli army to quickly checkmate the Hamas onslaught on Israel. The tunnels were constructed clandestinely with proceeds from the Arab League nations’ support funds in solidarity with the Palestinians’ core interests above Israeli consistent claims of land ownership. The asymmetrical method that Hamas kick-started this battle with, the blitzkrieg or raid format, did not give room for any responsive conventional protocol. This preemptive offensive dashed any hope that the reprisal attacks on Gaza Strip by Israel could be preeminently controlled as presently proven. The decision to obliterate Israel from the face of the earth by their enemy nations’ combined strategies smacks of foolishness, delusion, and paranoia.

The world’s consensus on ‘Live and Let Live’ embodied by the United Nations cannot necessarily accommodate an aggressive ideology that disparages and despises fellow humans. Humanity’s values abhor such horrible tendencies. The antagonised or the antagonist, the malicious disposition to eliminating targeted fellow humans should be condemned. The philosophy of not having the prerogative to kill the person you did not create is significant. I wonder what the perspectives of the warmongers and armed conflicts thirsty elements to this universal principle could be. Nevertheless, let it be made crystal clear that what touches Israel and her neighbour Palestinians affects the entire world one way or the other.

Whereas China, Russia, and other first-world nations sympathetic to the Palestinian cause are flexing muscles to showcase their military armaments and power as though in preparation for what will ravage the world, it is important to insist that every stakeholder should refrain from making incendiary utterances and moves forthwith. The United Nations and other cognate world bodies should articulate and implement this crucial regulation on time, too. The continued letting out incisive commentaries on an already flared-up situation can only exacerbate things

The United Nations Charter stipulates Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation, and Reintegration (DDRR) should not be the exclusive for third world nations. It is rapidly becoming rife at the rate organised violence is engulfing our world. It remains indefensible, inexcusable, unconscionable, and preposterous to opt for terminal conflict direction when the grandeur objective of dialogue has not been explored.

The insects that infect a vegetable reside in its stems, is a Yoruba adage that generates a platform for brainstorming on the wisdom behind this overzealous Hamas activity in Gaza Strip. For example, I was oblivious to the dilemma faced by those well-intentioned interventionists in the Israel-Palestine imbroglio until I listened to the Palestinian Ambassador to Nigeria, Abu Shawesh, during a television programme on Arise television a few days ago. I could not fathom it when the ambassador looked at Dr. Reuben Abatti, and the energetic and nonconforming Mr Rufai Oseni with fortified face and to the global audience and said the Hamas raiding of Israel on October 7, and murdered more than 1000 unsuspecting civilians in cold blood, then kidnapped others were mere acts of Artificial Intelligence (AI). I wept. As if the programme anchor team did not get it clear, they asked Mr Shawesh to recap, and he did. Then I stood up and walked away.

Let me reiterate that to gain modesty, the mighty should be magnanimous and meek to the weak despite manifesting a lack of proper restraint. Few Palestinians know who their real detractors are. They are ever willing and disposed to let peace reign between them and Isreal. The indiscriminate bombardment with dreadful implications on both sides should be suspended. Truce talks should commence instead of further calling to the battlefield the warheads and drones. Must we all die before some human feelings and values in us resonate? Please de-escalation of resentment and aggression is not an option; it is now mandatory.

Orajiaku, investigative journalist and security strategist, writes via [email protected]

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