Gaza crisis, and newest diplomacy

Gaza’s Health Ministry said at least 30 premature babies have been evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital and will be transferred to hospitals in Egypt. According to the United Nations, 291 patients were left at Gaza’s largest hospital after Israeli troops had evacuated hundreds of others by force and coercion. Those left included 32 babies in extremely critical condition, trauma patients with severely infected wounds, and others with spinal injuries who were unable to move. The team was able to tour Al-Shifa Hospital for an hour after about 2,500 displaced people, mobile patients, and medical staff left the sprawling compound Saturday morning. Israel’s military has been searching Shifa Hospital to unearth a Hamas command centre that it alleges is located under the facility.

After days of aerial bombing and fierce fighting in the outskirts of Gaza’s largest Al-Shifa Hospital, the Israeli troops finally entered the Hosptial compounds and a forced mass exodus of patients including elderly women and children along with premature babies to other hospitals in Southern Gaza or Egypt currently underway. According to patients and their attendants, Tanks and snipers have taken positions inside and around the hospital complex. The Israeli troops detained three Palestinians and pushed patients and hospital staff out of the complex at gunpoint. The Israeli troops are blatantly carrying out ground operations in thickly populated residential areas, while an Israeli airstrike hit a crowded UN shelter in the main combat zone. The scenes were horrifying, dozens of people were killed in the urban Jabaliya refugee camp, and corpses of women and children were lying on the ground. The WHO has planned emergency evacuations from several other hospitals pending guarantees of safe passage in the next 24-72 hours issued by the belligerent military.

Amid such a high level of hostility and dire humanitarian situations in Palestinian territory, global diplomacy of Arab nations and backdoor contacts between Hamas-Israel and the United States are currently underway with the silent facilitation of the Qatari government to realize a temporary truce or a permanent ceasefire between combatant factions as early as possible. There are reports that the trio-parties including Hamas-Israel and the US had reached an accord for a five-day temporary ceasefire and release of nearly fifty Israeli hostages to pave the way for a permanent ceasefire and release of all hostages in the second phase of that tri-party engagement. Meanwhile, a committee of foreign Ministers of Islamic nations has currently set a course on a global voyage to important countries commencing with China to push for a diplomatic threshold not only to achieve a ceasefire in the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict but also a permanent resolution to the Palestine dispute in line with the UNSC resolutions and the two-state solutions that pave the way for the creation of an independent Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders and Al-Qudus Al-Sharif as its capital.

Historically, the Muslim Ummah is currently embattled with its internal issues together with security challenges, sectarian rivalries, and economic glitches. Hence, a polarized Muslim community and impotent OIC have a meek voice, weak diplomacy and trivial impact at the international level. The Muslim nations must use alternative mechanisms including the Russo-China alliance and the US-led Western forum to conceive peace and resolve the Palestine dispute, to optimize their leverage as the core dependence on Western allies complicated the Palestine issue and proved disastrous for the region. It is high time, that the OIC and Arab nations do not compromise on any temporary arrangement and push for the creation of a fully sovereign and autonomous Palestinian state. That is essential for permanent peace and stability in the broader Middle East region.