, December 12 (Chen Caixia) "After a long period of relative calm, the ancient conflict in the Middle East has flare-up and pushed the entire region to the brink of broader violence. The British "Economist" weekly wrote in an article a few days ago.

On December 12, local time, two months have passed since the new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. After a brief ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), fighting has resumed in the Gaza Strip. So far, nearly 7,1 people have died in the current round of clashes.

In light of the latest developments in the situation, the following two issues deserve attention:

What is the current situation in Gaza?

Will Israel defeat Hamas at all costs and take over Gaza in its entirety?

On December 12, local time, people in the Khan Younis Hamad residential area in the southern Gaza Strip fled their homes.

The Israeli army expands its military operations

"Destroying Hamas in every way"

According to a report by the Times of Israel on the 5th, the Israeli army has sent tanks to southern Gaza to expand military operations against Hamas.

On the same day, Israeli Chief of General Staff Al-Halevi said that the ground operation against Hamas had entered the next stage, and that "the Israeli army has cleared many of Hamas's strongholds in the northern Gaza Strip and is now taking action against its strongholds in the south."

On the evening of the 6th local time, the Israel Defense Forces said through its official social media that in the past few hours, the 98th Division of the Israeli Army has broken through the defense line of the "Khan Younis Brigade" under Hamas, surrounded the southern city of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip, and carried out military operations in the center of the region for the first time. According to the Israeli army, the city of Khan Younis is now under the "basic control" of the Israeli army.

At the same time, the US "Wall Street Journal" disclosed on the 4th that Israel is currently considering flooding the underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip with seawater, forcing Hamas personnel who may be hiding in the tunnels to appear.

In mid-November, Israeli forces installed at least five large water pumps about 11.1 kilometers north of the Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, in preparation for the flooding plan, the sources said. "Each pump can pump thousands of cubic metres of seawater from the Mediterranean Sea per hour and is expected to flood underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip within a few weeks."

"It's difficult to fully assess the impact of pouring seawater into the tunnel because it is not clear how permeable the tunnel is, how much seawater will seep into the soil, etc.," said Altman, senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. think tank.

An Israeli military official said, "The Israeli army is using different military and technical techniques to destroy Hamas in various ways." ”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on the 6th local time that the Israeli army surrounded a residence of Hamas leader Sinwar in the Gaza Strip in the Gaza Strip on the same day. However, he hinted that Sinwar may no longer be in the residence, but he said it was "only a matter of time" before Israeli forces captured him. Hamas has not yet responded to this request.

On December 12, local time, people in the Khan Younis Hamad residential area in the southern Gaza Strip fled their homes.

The United States is unwilling to "stuck" Israeli military aid

Is there a major change in the Middle East?

According to the Times of Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently declared that he would continue to carry out military operations aimed at eliminating Hamas despite the pressure of the international community, and vowed to "resolutely confront the world when necessary."

"[Israel] says it will not stop its military operations until it completely eliminates Hamas. This goal sounds ambitious, but it is almost impossible to achieve. Ashok Swain, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote in the UAE's Gulf News.

"Without a clear exit strategy, military occupation can become protracted, costly, and politically unsustainable... The more likely Israel is to face resistance from the Palestinians in the occupied territories and from the international community. ”

Reuters pointed out on the 6th that "the United States has avoided measures that really have the potential to change Israel's approach, such as restricting military aid." ”

The report pointed out that the United States provides about $38.140 billion in military aid to Israel every year, providing weapons such as fighter jets and bombs that can destroy Hamas's underground tunnel system. After the outbreak of a new round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Biden administration even asked Congress to approve an additional $<> billion.

Seth Binder, director of propaganda for the Middle East Democracy Project (POMED), a Washington-based nonprofit organization, said the support allowed the United States to exert "significant influence" over Israel's military action against Hamas. "The seizure of certain types of equipment or the postponement of replenishment of various weapons stockpiles will force the Israeli government to adjust its strategy and tactics... But so far, the U.S. government has shown a reluctance to use this tool."

In addition to the "unwavering" support of the United States, Qatar's Al Jazeera has pointed out that Netanyahu's personal factors have also added another dimension to the escalation. "Because [Netanyahu] faces a devastating political fate after the conflict ends, he wants it to be extended as long as possible."

The current conflict is still ongoing, and the outcome is still difficult to judge. The analysis points out that this round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict has further complicated the situation, and its trend is expected to have an impact on the evolution of the pattern in the Middle East in the future.

According to the New York Times, the pattern of the Middle East may undergo major changes in the future. "Some of the changes will become clear after the end of the conflict ... But everything depends on how the conflict ends. ”

On November 11, local time, people in the Zeitoun area of the southern Gaza Strip moved to escape the fighting. On the 19th, the Israeli army continued to advance its ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

The parties called for a ceasefire and an end to the fighting

Return to the two-state solution negotiations

As Israel's offensive in southern Gaza intensifies, the new round of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is considered to have entered a "bloody new phase", with the death toll of civilians and Hamas personnel in the Gaza Strip continuing to rise by 2:1.

According to a report by Agence France-Presse on the 5th, the Israeli army admitted that during the military operation against the Gaza Strip, for every one Hamas member killed, two Gaza civilians were killed.

United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Griffiths warned on the 4th that there will be an "apocalyptic" state in the Gaza Strip, and civilians "have nowhere to go". The United Nations has also warned that it is impossible to create a "so-called safe zone" for civilians in the Gaza Strip during Israel's bombing campaign.

On December 12, local time, UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent a letter to the rotating presidency of the Security Council, invoking Article 6 of the UN Charter and asking the Security Council to take action on the situation in Gaza. This is one of the few cases in which the Secretary-General has explicitly called for the implementation of Article <> of the Charter of the United Nations since the establishment of the United Nations. It allows the Secretary-General to bring to the attention of the Council any question that is considered a threat to international peace.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Spoljaric visited Gaza on the 4th, and then said that the people of Gaza are suffering "intolerable suffering", while stressing that Gaza civilians are protected by the "laws of war", and called for humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip smoothly.

At the same time, Arab countries, China, Russia, and the European Union have called on Palestine and Israel to cease fire and cease fighting as soon as possible, return to negotiations on the "two-state solution," and achieve peaceful coexistence.

According to public information, the "two-state solution" refers to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and enjoying full sovereignty. An important condition for the realization of this plan is that the Palestinians and Israelis uphold the principle of "land for peace" and exchange a lasting and just peace by ceding the ownership of certain lands.

On November 11, Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the two-state solution is the only way to resolve the Palestinian issue. Independent statehood is an inalienable national right of the Palestinian people and is not subject to trade. Only when the two-state solution is fully implemented can true peace be achieved in the Middle East and lasting security for Israel. (ENDS)