The Israel-Palestine conflict is rooted in factors such as convoluted history, territorial disputes, a continuous cycle of violence, and the role of extra-regional powers. Currently, Israel and Hamas are fighting the horrific Gaza War that forced millions homeless and left approximately 20,000 dead. This humanitarian crisis promoted international actors, including Palestinian authorities, to call for an unconditional ceasefire.
Despite considerable efforts, including United Nations emergency sessions, the international community failed to secure peace between Israel and Palestine, generating risks for expansion war in the region.
This article analyzes the contemporary security dynamics of the Middle East shaped by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, focusing on the role of the U.S.The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a contentious and deeply entrenched dispute that has profound implications for international diplomacy, regional stability, and the lives of those affected by its ongoing ramifications. The U.S.’s role in the conflict is crucial, as Israel intensifies its ground operations within Gaza and Keeps up its bombardment of the Gaza Strip in October. In a week (7-12 October 2023).
Israel dropped over 6,000 bombs on Palestinians, bringing the total to 25,408. Israel targets hospitals throughout its military attacks, causing 16 of the 35 hospitals in Gaza to cease operations (500 people died in Gaza’s Ahli Hospital). According to Palestinian health officials, over 1.5 million people have been displaced, and over 20000 Palestinians, including 4,104 children, have died as a result of Israel’s’ ceaseless attacks on the Gaza Strip since October 7.
Over the past decades, the U.S. has been instrumental in peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians, including the Camp David (1978) and Oslo Accords (19993). However, a lasting solution remains uncertain. The Clinton Parameters for a Two-state solution were sponsored in 1998. Subsequent administrations have put forth their own proposals, including George W.
Bush’s Road Map to Peace (2003), John Kerry’s Six Principles (2016), and Trump’s Peace and Prosperity, which were created without consulting Palestinian leaders, were a win for Israel on all the major final status issues. The American government’s stance on this conflict has changed over time. The Trump administration sided with Israel, while the Biden administration supports equal rights and normalization. At times, Biden has been too pro-Israeli or too pro-Palestinian.
Analyzing the Current acts of Human rights violations, the U.S. has given a Red Cross Statement on the conflict between Israel and Gaza: The conflict between Israel and Gaza is devastating for so many . We grieve for those who have lost their loved ones and who are suffering as the violence continues. As a humanitarian organization, we condemn these heinous acts.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working to secure hostage release, uphold international humanitarian law, and provide aid to evacuated U.S. citizens from Israel and Gaza.
United States, as a staunch ally of Israel, provided substantial economic support from 1971 to 2007, as well as overseas military assistance in 2022. The U.S. agreed to give Israel almost $4 billion a year under the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding, $500 million of which would go toward missile defense. It added $1 billion in funding for missile defense after the Israel-Hamas conflict in 2021. In July 2023, Biden criticized the Palestinian Authority for failing to rein in extremist organizations while supporting Israel’s counterterrorism efforts. See Figure:
Total US Foreign Aid Obligations to Israel: 1946-2023
Current, or Non-Inflation-adjusted, U.S. dollars in Millions
Source: U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Green Book), the U.S State Department, and Missile Defense Agency
The U.S. also provides aid to the Palestinian people, primarily through funding humanitarian and governmental initiatives. Between 1950 and 2018, the U.S. provided over $6 billion in aid to the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA). However, under president Trump, US aid to the Palestinians began to decline. His administration stopped funding UNRWA and cut back on aid to Gaza and the West Bank. The West Bank and Gaza have once again received aid from the Biden administration, which has committed to giving the Palestinians at least $500 million by 2024—pending congressional approval. See Figure:
US Bilateral Aid to Palestinians, FY2014-FY2024 Request
The enduring Israel-Palestine Conflict highlights the complex dynamics shaped by the United States as a liberal Hegemon.
Israel’s strategy has received considerable support from the U.S., creating a challenge in holding Israel accountable. The U.S. has failed to hold Israel accountable for decades of violations of international law. Biden’s recent remarks on Palestinian casualties have underscored discontent, framing humanitarian crises as a natural disaster. The International Community, while expressing its support for the Palestinians, faces contradictions by simultaneously blocking their cease-fire demands. This Study highly condemns such attitudes, emphasizing the imperative for Optional Implementation of International Law. A two-state solution is advocated to uphold the rights of all, end the cycle of violence, and address Israel’s illegal occupation.
The author is a scholar at the Department of International Relations, National University of Modern Languages Rawalpindi. Her area of interest is World Politics and geopolitics of South East Asia and the Middle East. She can be reached at Twitter: https://twitter.com/GuleArzoo_9