South Asia and Beyond

‘The Conflict Has Strengthened Hamas And Put The Palestinian Authority On The Backfoot’

There may be no imminent end to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, but it may not last beyond the 50 days of 2014. In a chat with StratNews Global, Prof. PR Kumaraswamy, well known West Asia specialist at Jawaharlal Nehru University, believes that this is an opportunity for the armed group Hamas, based in Gaza, to show its muscle and in the process, expand its political influence vis a vis the Palestinain Authority in the West Bank. The loss of senior military commanders may not deter Hamas since it is ideologically driven and there is an established competent cadre.

Prof. Kumaraswamy suspects that the conflict may not help Prime Minister Netanyahu much, but if the conflict prolongs, the opposition parties may see this as an effort by him to ensure a fifth election. That could speed up efforts to form new coalitions that would not only include the orthodox parties but perhaps even the Israeli Arabs.

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Prof Kumaraswamy notes that India has been carefully calibrating its position on the Palestinians, on Jerusalem and related issues for a while. He explains why India may have ended up pleasing nobody.