by Raffaele Crocco

No Palestinian state in the future, no foreign influence on possible permanent arrangements, and the official death of Unrwa, the United Nation agency for Palestinian refugees. The Israeli government’s plan for the future of Gaza and the Palestinian people is now clear. A future that appears to be without prospects, with the entire territory under de facto Israeli control.

The plan was unveiled this week, in the same days that it became clear that there was no real prospect of a ceasefire agreement between the Israeli government and Hamas. The Israeli military operation continues, with bombings and clashes on the ground that, according to Israeli figures, have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian militants. A likely figure, but one that cannot be verified, and which in any case does not alter the unreal and dramatic fact that there have been at least 31,000 civilian deaths in recent months: at least a third of them children.

International pressure for a solution to the crisis does not faze the Netanyahu government, which is now focusing on a “final solution” to the Palestinian question. Netanyahu has ruled out the possibility of creating a Palestinian state, as envisaged by international resolutions and agreements, and is planning for the future civil administration and public order in Gaza to be managed by local officials with administrative experience, far from countries and entities that support terrorism. That means no form of Palestinian self-rule and no democratic elections in the area.

Then there is the closure of the crossing point on the Strip’s southern border with Egypt, with the help of the United States and Egypt. This hypothesis was immediately rejected by both countries. Finally, the Israeli government wants to create a “security buffer zone” inside the Strip. For the time being, this project has also been rejected by Washington, which insists on the need to preserve the territorial integrity of the Strip.

The search for a future in Tel Aviv does not obscure the tragic present of the Palestinians. In Gaza, people are also dying of hunger, and 25 major humanitarian organisations have written and published an appeal to remind the world that airdrops are far from sufficient “to meet the enormous humanitarian needs: 2.3 million people living in extreme conditions of survival cannot be fed from the sky. Parachute drops cannot deliver the amount of aid that can be transported by land. A convoy of five trucks can carry 100 tonnes of life-saving aid, while airdrops can carry only a few tonnes at a time.” The appeal is indeed dramatic and captures the situation and the priority of the moment.

The game of World Risk continues in the Red Sea as people die in Gaza and Tel Aviv tries to draw Israel’s new borders and the new balance in the region by force. The Yemeni Houthi attacks on European and pro-American merchant ships continue. The navies of the North American alliance and the European Union continue their missions of ship defence and attacks on Houthi positions. A Yemeni government spokesman told Reuters that US and British air strikes on port cities in western Yemen on Monday killed at least 11 people and wounded 14 others. It is a conflict that is costing the US and European countries dearly. More than forty-five attacks have been carried out in four months, with thousands of missiles and drones targeting ships in transit. The military response is expensive, with ships and high-value naval missiles – worth between one and four million dollars each – deployed in response to the attacks.

It is a cost imbalance that casts doubt on the ability of the US and Europe to sustain the missions in the long term. The reality, say the experts, is that in the ongoing world risk, the ‘pro-American’ forces are sustaining a huge economic effort to militarily counter the ‘antagonists’. This is what is happening in the war in Ukraine, now in its 751st day since the Russian invasion. The European Union has announced a further 5 billion euros in military aid for Kyiv and called on the United States to decide quickly on new aid.

Moscow, for its part, continues to bomb Ukrainian cities and target civilians, and Vladimir Putin announces that he is ready to deploy Russian troops on the border with Finland as soon as Helsinki’s accession to NATO is formalised. The spectre of a widening conflict remains, fuelled by the Kremlin’s veiled nuclear threats and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s calls to support Kyiv in the fight “for the defence of all democracies”. There, as in Palestine, the idea of real negotiations remains a dream. No diplomacy finds a place and a future. And the war continues.