Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Gaza and a Senseless War!

Here we are, facing yet another senseless war in Gaza following the operation "Al-Aqsa Storm," which was carried out by Hamas and other militant factions. I believe these wars are senseless because there is no strategic objective. Rather, it is being fought to serve the interests of particular factions, and behind them, Iran and its subordinates.

These are wars of merchants, as the militants behind this operation have no plan or project. Could this operation lead to an Israeli withdrawal? No! Do the factions have a negotiating strategy for when it ends? The answer is also: No!

The truth is that "Al-Aqsa Storm" is akin to hijacking a commercial flight. It guarantees 24-hour coverage of Hamas and the factions, and it will certainly end with devastating repercussions and immense suffering for the Palestinians over the next few decades.

If some believe that the images of the "Al-Aqsa Storm" might "mend hearts," its consequences will break them. Innocent Palestinians will be the victims, as usual, while the leadership of Hamas and the other factions watch on from the comfort of their luxurious hotels.

I also believe that the war this operation has brought to Gaza is a war of merchants because of its dubious timing. It will achieve nothing for the Palestinians. No regional or international political actor sees getting involved in this misadventure as a possibility.

The timing is dubious because it was launched amid Saudi-American negotiations for a peace deal with Israel that would ensure better living conditions for the Palestinians. The timing is also suspect because of the domestic divisions around Netanyahu within Israel. In addition, Egypt is on the verge of holding elections, and the US elections are not far off.

What I mean by dubious timing is that this operation is part of an Iranian conspiracy, while it is also the result of Hamas and the factions' lack of political foresight. They have also taken this approach, in every war that has broken out in Gaza, and they are taking it now.

The absence of a sound political assessment is obvious, especially as this operation comes at a time when the Palestinian cause has been receiving unprecedented support from the Democrats in the United States. It had been said that President Biden would be the Democratic president last to be sympathetic to Israel, and even he was openly adversarial to Netanyahu.

The Palestinian cause is also garnering sympathy from Europe countries and organizations, and receiving stronger support from the Western left than ever before. All of this will recede as images and videos of this operation come out. Now, no one will dare to criticize Israel.

With this background in mind, it is clear that Iran does not want to see real peace, particularly not between Saudi Arabia and Israel, as Such a peace deal would change the face of the region. Hamas and the other factions understand that any peace would end their profiteering and bring the Palestinian Authority back to the forefront, reviving the prospects for a genuine peace process.

Moreover, if such a peace deal were concluded, the lives of the Palestinians would change, and their suffering would be assuaged. This, in turn, would weaken Hamas and the other factions, as well as broaden our horizons and our understanding of peace in the region.

In conclusion, this new war of merchants will buttress Iran's destructive strategy in the region, as well as allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the other factions to reposition themselves and go back to the game of intermediaries. The certain loser: the cause and the Palestinians.

No matter how much the populist applause and cheering rise they receive for their actions, such attacks will not change the equation. Our region has tried them for decades, and they failed. In fact, they backfired and have devastating implications