by Raffaele Crocco

People have been dying in Gaza for 175 days. The death toll, at least officially, stands at 32,500: observers say it is likely to be much higher. Those left under the rubble, lost in the madness of war, are missing. The hope that the UN Security Council’s endorsement of a ceasefire would lead the Netanyahu government to curb its military action was short-lived. The actions on the ground were not changed by the news of the abstention of the United States, which has always opposed any action against Israel. The increasingly palpable isolation did not slow down Tel Aviv, which hit Rafah, south of the Strip, where one and a half million refugees are gathered, and bombed southern Lebanon. At the same time, settlers in the West Bank and Israeli right-wingers in Jerusalem blockaded the offices of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

Horrific scenes are happening daily in Gaza and the West Bank. The Israeli government’s objective seems increasingly clear: the final solution to the Palestinian problem, with the expulsion of an entire people from their homeland. The United States insists on calling on Tel Aviv to stop. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told Israel’s Channel 12 that the US believes “a major ground operation at Rafah is a mistake. We think there are other ways to hit Hamas in Rafah.” A clear message, deaf ears. Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy commissioner, on the other hand, reiterated that “it is Israel’s legal obligation to allow urgent and safe humanitarian access to Gaza.” His intervention follows the denunciation of Médecins Sans Frontières and other NGOs: the risk of famine is becoming ever more imminent for the population of the Strip.

And while Ireland decided to support South Africa in its case against Israel for genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Muhammad Deif, the military leader of Hamas, called on the Arab world to march on Palestine and “take part in the liberation of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.” Deif has been on the wanted list since 1995. He has escaped seven Israeli bombings and is now believed to be hiding in Gaza. His is an authoritative voice and the message is clear: widen the scope of the conflict, regionalise the clash.

It is in the logic of the planetary risk that is being played out between “pro-Americans” and “anti-Americans”. In the Red Sea, the Rubymar, a Liberian-flagged ship attacked by Yemeni Houthis in recent weeks, sank after days of agony. The attacks on pro-Western and pro-Israeli merchant ships in the name of solidarity with the Palestinian people continue. The European and US navies sent to patrol the area are unable to stop the attacks, which are plunging part of the world’s trade into crisis.

Further away, on the Russian-Ukrainian front, the globalisation of the conflict has hit Moscow with the Isis K attack that massacred 139 people and injured 180. Russia, using its intelligence services against Ukraine, was probably an easy target. But what’s interesting is that the hardliners hit Russia to demonstrate their alienation from the global risk game, which they see as being played by opposing forces but sharing the same model of living.

This means there is a third player in the game, ready to take on everyone. We had almost forgotten about Isis fundamentalism, with its plans to unite Sunni Islam in a great planetary caliphate. It is active in Africa, where the sub-Saharan states of African neo-nationalism are trying to block it. And it is present in many other parts of the world. In this long and bloody confrontation, it is an important variable that adds madness to the madness.