Four reasons why the war in Gaza will be prolonged – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Four reasons why the war in Gaza will be prolonged – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

People killed since October 7, 2023

sources: Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza/UNOCHA/Israeli authorities

Figures issued by Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza do not distinguish between civilians and combatants, and may be delayed from time to time. Figures from the Israeli authorities show that about 1,200 civilians and soldiers were killed as a result of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, 2023. 287 Israeli soldiers have also been killed since October 27, 2023. None of these numbers have been confirmed by independent sources. Palestinian numbers are updated daily. Figures from Israel are updated at least twice a week.

Israel's four-and-a-half-page ceasefire proposal was sent to Hamas this week.

The proposal begins with a six-week conditional ceasefire, followed by the release of all Hamas hostages, and Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

The goal, according to the proposal, is “a permanent cessation of hostilities.”

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday that there will be no permanent ceasefire as long as Hamas remains in power in the region.

Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi also announced that the Israeli war in Gaza will continue until the end of the year.

How can we understand this? NRK asked three Middle Eastern researchers how to proceed with the war.

Israeli war goals “impossible to achieve”

Hilde Henriksen Waag is Professor of History at the University of Oslo, and Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute (PRIO).

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Waag believes that the United States will continue to sell weapons to Israel to enhance the country's sense of security.

Photo: Eskil We Voronis/NRK

It says that one of the important reasons why Israel continues to carry out attacks in Gaza is that it has not yet achieved its war aims.

– They did not eliminate Hamas, they did not bring the hostages home, and they did not create more security for the Israeli people, as Hamas can still fire rockets.

– These war goals cannot be achieved in reality. It is not possible to eliminate Hamas if Israel does not intend to kill the entire population of the Gaza Strip.

Therefore, Waag believes that the Israeli government needs to achieve something that it can market as a kind of victory, even if the goal is not achieved.


This photo taken by the Israeli army is supposed to show its soldiers inside the Gaza Strip. The ongoing campaigns are increasingly worsening the humanitarian situation.

Photography: AFP

Either there will be negotiations because the other party is broken, which Israel will not be able to do in this case, or all parties will feel that they will emerge from this with their honor intact.

-We're not even close to that yet.

Hamas can wait

Jacob Huggelt is Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oslo. He believes that Hamas has time on its side.

Photo by Jacob Huggelt

Middle East scholar Jacob Hugelt believes the war will likely stop when it becomes unpopular in Israel.

Photo: Jarley and Jordan

– Israel is increasingly losing support and sympathy in world public opinion because the war has brutal consequences. As long as Israel cannot completely crush Hamas, this is a victory for Hamas in itself.

– But they have no more cards to play. They will likely be completely eliminated militarily, and have no chance of winning against the Israeli war machine.

Historian and Middle East researcher Marty Hijn Engdahl believes that regardless of whether the negotiations lead to a ceasefire, the war itself will last much longer.

Funeral for Hanan Yablonka, who was taken hostage following the deadly October 7 attack, in Tel Aviv

A child during the funeral of the late Hanan Yablonka, who was a Hamas hostage.

Photograph: Marko Djurica/Reuters

– Part of the reason is that Hamas has shown that it is still capable of fighting, also further north than Rafah.

But Hamas's strongest card in the current situation is the hostages. I think they think that if they give up, it will only be a matter of time before the process starts in full force again.

He still supports the war in Israel

Most Israelis still support the war in Gaza, but one in five believe the army has gone too far in its military response to the Hamas terrorist attack.

This came on Thursday in a new opinion poll it conducted Pew Research Center.

The war looks very different in Israel than it does in Norway, according to Hijn-Ingdahl.

Marty Hian-Indahl

Hian-Engdahl says one should start on October 7 to be able to see the war from the Israeli side.

Photo: private

– When we all understand that the Israelis see the same images that we see, and are not shocked by the fact that children are killed on such a large scale, it is not because the Israelis are monsters.

– There's a very different interpretive framework than ours, where they think, I think, that if we don't kill them first, they'll kill us the next round.

But the only way the war can end is if the people of Israel decide that enough is enough, Hugelt believes.

Archive photo: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu arrives at the Likud Party bloc meeting in the Knesset in Jerusalem

Although Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not very popular among Israelis, most of them support his war in Gaza.

Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

– If the war continues like this, it will demand a lot from Israeli society. There will be a loss of soldiers, and they will not get the hostages back.

– At some point, the Israelis will believe that the war must end, and then Netanyahu's government will not have enough support to continue.

They still get weapons from the United States

– The Joker in the game is in Washington, says historian Wagg.

– As long as the United States believes that there are not enough Palestinians killed to do anything, nothing will happen either.

Hian Engdahl believes that this war represents a big problem for the current US president.

2024 Biden Ohio Election

Biden has previously withheld weapons from Israel in an attempt to influence the fighting in Gaza. But it does not appear that the United States will withdraw its support completely, says Hian Engdahl.

Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

– Although there is a significant movement, especially in the Democratic Party, among young voters and in swing states that are important for Democrats, I think we should have modest expectations that Joe Biden as a president will change his policies significantly.

She says there's not much the international community can do about it either.

– The world can continue to put pressure, and then you have to do it in the direction of the Americans.

We are at a point where many people are questioning the international rules and institutions that are supposed to try to protect peace and security, and the world is already doing well.

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01.06.2024 at 21.59

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

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