The Israeli death toll has crossed 1,200, including more than 120 soldiers; a heavy price for such a small country. The worst is feared for Israeli hostages taken away by Hamas into the rabbit warren of streets that make up the Gaza Strip.
Could this have been avoided? The Netanyahu government had been warned by Mossad of Hamas’s retaliation for Israel’s relentless pressure on the Palestinian civil population, the aggression by Jewish settlers, and incidents at the holy mosque in Jerusalem.
Add to that, Hamas’s growing anxiety over the Arab-Israeli re-approchement including the announcement of the IMEC Corridor that would bring together the Saudis, UAE, and Israel. It would undermine the already shaky foundations of a two-state solution, meaning an Israeli and a Palestinian state existing side-by-side. But does this attack help Hamas in the long run?
The worldwide sympathy and support for the Palestinians may also see a change.
How this war will end is anybody’s guess. Israel has hinted it may launch a ground invasion of Gaza. What effect could that have on the Arab countries, on Iran? Will Hezbollah jump into the fray? The questions underline the uncertainties and dangers that loom ahead.