The war between Hamas and Israel in the areas in and around Gaza has been going on since Hamas first attacked Israel on 7 October. Thousands of people have been reported killed and the war has not yet ended.
But what happens in Israel and Palestine on the day the war ends?
Middle East expert Bjørn Olav Utvik at UiO does not think Israel will accept a two-state solution, or a state where both Israelis and Palestinians have the same rights.
– When this does not happen, we have an extreme scenario on the opposite side. In the current Israeli government, there are people who openly say that Israel should rule all of ancient Palestine and drive the Palestinians out. It is an extreme point of view, says Utvik to Nettavisen.
Development does not believe that Israel will be able to completely eliminate Hamas, and that new groups will emerge in the position that Hamas leaves behind, if that happens.
– They are definitely not able to eliminate Hamas as a broad popular movement. They will be able to greatly reduce the military activities, and it will weaken Hamas tremendously if some military leaders are killed. I don’t know if that means there will be no armed groups belonging to Hamas, or if eliminating them means very drastically weakening them.
NRK to Marco Elsafadi: – I am very sorry
USA and the key
– If you are right that Israel cannot completely eliminate Hamas, is there any point where they will stop the war?
– Should they stand by their words, that’s not it. But in the middle of all this madness, there is, after all, politics and power balances, replies Utvik.
A decisive factor will be whether the United States and President Joe Biden put their foot down in relation to Israel, or whether they maintain the support they have provided until now, Utvik believes.
– I would like to think that Israel could be pressured into a possible scenario where the US says that it is now over, and that they must withdraw. Then Israel’s politicians will do what politicians are good at, namely redefining the goal and saying that they have crushed Hamas militarily.
– So the United States holds the key to ending the war?
– Yes. I’m not an expert on these numbers about how much the US gives Israel in military support, but they are big numbers. If the US steps down, whether it imposes sanctions or stops all or part of the aid it provides, it will create tremendous pressure on Israel.
Cashing out 16,000 for the bill UD will not pay: – “Fu**ing bullshit”, Norway
Warns against Hamas ban
Dag Henrik Tuastad has lived in Palestine, lectures on the Middle East at UiO and does research in the area. He believes that the most important thing for the Palestinians is that they unite politically.
Since 2007, there have been two Palestinian authorities in the area, with the Hamas government in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority (PLO) in the West Bank, says Tuastad. He recalls that Hamas won the last Palestinian election in 2006.
– As long as you do not have one legitimate national representation, you cannot control the use of violence. The problem is really whether Hamas is excluded from Palestinian politics. You run the risk of them going underground or being resurrected in another form.
Tuastad warns against trying to remove anyone associated with Hamas from Palestinian politics, if the people want them.
– It is one thing to judge those who were behind the terror. But does that mean that everyone connected to Hamas has a collective responsibility for the terror, even if they were not informed about it, or can they have a future in Palestinian politics, through a reformed version of the party, asks Tuastad.
– How will the international community react to politicians from Hamas?
– I think there is a consensus that those who were responsible for the terror, both those who made the decision and those who carried it out, have no future or can be accepted in Palestinian politics. But at the same time, Hamas as a religious movement and Hamas’s political wing have had broad appeal among the religious part of the Palestinian people.
– That the Christian West demands that only secular Palestinians from Fatah and the current PLO should have a future in Palestinian politics is problematic because half of the Palestinian people are then excluded. The Palestinians themselves must be allowed to choose their representatives, the West cannot decide for them who will represent them.
– When do you think the hostilities can end?
– I imagine it happening within weeks. There is growing pressure in the US and Europe that the war must stop and it is believed that it is harming Western interests in a very serious way.
Netanyahu’s popularity is soaring in Israel
– Afraid that it will get worse
Jørgen Jensehaugen is a senior researcher at PRIO, which is an institute for peace research.
Jensehaugen finds it challenging to speculate on what might happen to the Palestinian territories after the war is over.
– I think it is really, really difficult to answer. The Gaza Strip and especially Gaza City are completely destroyed, and we are seeing an escalation in the West Bank, says Jensehaugen to Nettavisen.
One million kroner collected for evacuees from Gaza
He says that the situation is escalating in the West Bank, and that the settlers there are taking over control. A wave of violence is also developing there, from both the settlers and Israel’s government, according to the researcher.
– I am terribly afraid that it will get worse in the short term, and the Palestinian Authority is also incredibly weak. They are not able to take over more authority, says Jensehaugen.
– Set few realistic plans
Jensehaugen is also unsure of what Israel’s long-term plan is in the occupied territories.
They have previously stated that they want to crush Hamas, but Jensehaugen says it is unclear whether Israel only wants to wipe out Hamas as a military threat, or whether they also want to remove them as a political party.
– I have seen few realistic plans for what might come next. I am terribly afraid that we are moving into a dark situation, considering the human suffering, and considering that we do not see any long-term horizon at all, he says.
The US president, Joe Biden, has recently advocated that a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine is the only way to resolve the conflict. Biden’s words do not impress Jensehaugen.
– Biden voted against a UN resolution on this. Those are somewhat empty words from Biden, and it is appropriate to ask some questions about what the United States wants. They have talked about this for a long time, but you see an absence of them putting any weight behind it, he says.
– This has to do with the fact that the USA sees a two-state solution as a great scenario, but that they do not want to do any of what is required to achieve it. That would mean putting heavy pressure on Israel. This entails a political risk that the US is not willing to take.