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Hamas attack led to strategic shifts & realignments in Arab world: Experts

Trigunayat reiterated India’s “consistent position” on the two-state solution and that in the Arab world, things were changing. NEW DELHI: As the four-day truce in the Israel-Hamas ceasefire begins, there are, as war correspondents say, new facts on the ground, and some altered ways of looking at them. Anil Trigunayat, a former ambassador of India to Jordan and Libya; former ambassador and West Asia expert Bhadra Kumar, and South Asia bureau chief of the Syrian Arab News Agency, Waiel S H Awwad, shared their views in a panel discussion on the ‘War on Gaza’, organised by the Indian Women’s Press Corps in Delhi on Friday.

The October 7 Hamas attack on Israel and the latter’s relentless military damage had “changed the game” and will force the world to re-look the situation in Palestine as something more than a ‘Gaza problem’, said Awwad.  Trigunayat reiterated India’s “consistent position” on the two-state solution and that in the Arab world, things were changing. “From the Indian point of view, West Asia is ‘very important’ for energy and maritime security, diaspora… but after being on the backburner for last 20 years on Palestine issue, the Arab street is now recharged,” he said.  The outcome of the Hamas attack has led to strategic shifts and tactical realignments.

“The way Saudi Arabia has reacted has taken everyone by surprise (it is now holding summits with Iran, US’ bête noire, as the war between Israel and Hamas continues). The US mediated Abraham Accords (to pave the way for normalisation of ties signed between Israel, UAE and Bahrain in 2020) is now finished,” said Bhadra Kumar. India’s incremental approach to the conflict and the terms of its support, by words or humanitarian assistance, has been guided by “a holistic solution,” said Trigunayat. While India has no relationship with Hamas, he observed that the world community continues to be divided on the definition of terrorism, and by implication, Hamas’ action, brought about by years of settler colonialism and denial of human rights.  In Bhadra Kumar’s view, Israel had been pressing ahead with a one-state solution, “which doesn’t mean living side by side with Palestinians but in a state of apartheid…something had to give way”. Awwad said the ultimate goal of the ‘Palestine project’ is to be a Jewish State and establish a new Middle East order. “Those who came as occupiers created the problem. You demonised Arafat, dehumanised Arafat and created Hamas, ” he said. Change of game How Saudi Arabia reacted has taken all by surprise (it is  now holding summits with Iran, US’ bête noire). The Abraham Accords (to normalise Arab-Israeli ties) is now finished,” said West Asia expert Bhadra Kumar. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)