Alwaght- Despite Palestinian resistance groups' warnings about any new Israeli adventures in Gaza and the West Bank, the occupying regime ordered airstrikes on Gaza since Friday. It claimed that the attacks were preemptive and meant to thwart planned attacks by Islamic Jihad Movement (IJM). In response, the IJM brigades, as promised to make Tel Aviv regret any new hostility, responded powerfully to the Israeli air campaign. Within just two days, hundreds of rockets were fired at the occupied territories, targeting many sensitive sites. IJM's Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhalah announced a new war against the Israeli regime and said that the capital Tel Aviv was the central target of the Palestinian rockets.
Alwaght talked to Sayyed Reza Sadralhusseini, an Iranian expert of West Asia affairs, about the details of the new war developments in Gaza.
Alwaght: What has ignited a new confrontation between Islamic Jihad and the Israeli regime?
Sadralhusseini: In the present situation, the main driving force behind the start of conflict by the Israelis is finding a way out of the current home crisis. With a look at the Israeli economic, social, and political conditions, we can see that the Israeli leaders have neither managed to take under control of any of these aspects nor have they formed a stable and powerful government. Tel Aviv has also failed to meet the demands of the settlers who migrated to the occupied Palestinian territories after seeing promotions of a paradisiacal life in occupied territories in their home countries.
From another aspect, the Israeli regime has not been able to ensure the security of the occupied territories and it should not be forgotten that in the past few months we have witnessed the worst insecurity in the most important streets of Tel Aviv. In addition, the current government has not been able to attract the favorable opinion of the US and Europe on the world stage. Therefore, this military action in Gaza was to create internal unity and play victim and gain more American and European support for the caretaker government. The current government has to hold parliamentary elections in November, which according to the forecasts made by itself, it cannot win the majority of votes. Given Israeli record of crisis making in its security vicinity at the time of home crisis, Tel Aviv seems to have launched the airstrikes in Gaza to create unity and mobilization in various areas of its home front.
Alwaght: With the US and Europe currently engaged in a confrontation with Russia in Ukraine, can they support Tel Aviv in case of widened scope of clashes?
Sadralhusseini: These attacks were motivated by the US President Joe Biden's promise of support the Israeli leaders much needed. During his visit, Biden said protection of Israel is an American duty and that it will continue the supports. The Israeli government needs to make the most of Biden's pledges of backing. It is taking the military action without consideration of the Western involvement in Ukraine and finds this campaign vital to patch up things internally.
Alwaght: Will the current war in Gaza be short or continue for a long time? Which side will suffer most from continuation of war?
Sadralhusseini: Certainly, the continuation of the war is detrimental to Israel because it carried out the attacks under the pretext of preventing possible operations of the Islamic Jihad Movement. But the unity among all the resistance factions and the intensity of the operations shows that Tel Aviv takes the main loss, as after Operation Sword of Al-Quds by Hamas in 2021, reverse migration and other problems of the Israeli regime have increased. With regard to the current circumstances, it is highly difficult to predict whether the war will be short or long, but it can be admitted that considering the events that happened during the last decade, the Israeli regime avoids falling into the trap of a long war. It is seeking mediation by such countries as Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan which in the past mediated between the two sides to shorten the conflict. But the last word is held by the resistance groups and they determine when the clashes end.
Alwaght: Hamas is off the conflict yet. Can we expect its involvement for Islamic Jihad support to inflict heavy losses on the Israelis?
Sadralhusseini: Given the Hamas statement and treaty among all the resistance forces, Hamas will certainly get engaged if the need arises. We cannot consider separated the Palestinian resistance movements. In the past two days, Islamic Jihad extensively attacked the Israeli positions and it seems it can face Israel alone. But Hamas has heightened combat readiness of its forces and can go to Islamic Jihad support. It is a matter of agreement of resistance groups in Palestine.
Alwaght: In the past years, resistance groups have used conflicts with the Israeli regime to impose ttheir conditions on the enemy. What will be the result of this round of conflict?
Sadralhusseini: With a precise look at the accomplishments of the Resistance front and the power it gained via developing domestic equipment and the treaty among its branches, we can suggest that this time, too, the Palestinians will have the upper hand. The main point that should be noted is that international and human rights organizations have remained silent since the start of Israel's attacks on the residential areas of Gaza, signaling support to Israeli crimes. Driven by various experiences they gained, the resistance groups will not wait for the issuance of meaningless and useless statements by international institutions. The people of Palestine can take their rights on the battlegrounds.
Alwaght: With regard to the division among Arab countries over their stances on the Israeli crimes, how do you think the Gaza war will affect the competition between pro-normalization and pro-resistance fronts?
Sadralhusseini: The pro-compromise front inside Palestine has condemned the Israeli crimes and sympathized with the anti-Israeli rocket launches. This approach by the pro-compromise Palestinian camp will break out of the borders of Palestine and reach Arab nations. The war showed Gaza's right choice of resistance and acted as an enlightening factor making the Muslim and Arab nations aware about the dangers of normalization with the Israelis. After end of war, we will see movements of opposition in countries whose governments show openness to normalization.
Alwaght: Which side has taken the initiative in media, political, and military terms since the start of conflict?
Sadralhusseini: The Israelis have not thought that the Iron Dome anti-missile system conks out or runs out of missiles as Israeli sources leaked, or simultaneously part of the army, ministries, and other institutions' sites go down. The Israelis thought they will wrap up the operation within hours. But things are going in Islamic Jihad's favor now. Despite their silence to Israeli crimes, the main stream media had to depict the Israeli atrocities finally in show of professional gesture. Independent journalists and Resistance camp's news outlets are providing precise information on the developments. So, it seems that this time, the Resistance camp's media outlets are more successful in depiction of reality than Western mainstream media.