The Israel-Hamas conflict and Nusseibeh’s analysis

The Israel-Hamas conflict and Nusseibeh’s analysis

The Israel-Hamas conflict and Nusseibeh’s analysis


With the recent conflict going on between Israel and Hamas, it is clear that sooner or later, experts and military analysts will attempt to dissect the ongoing ‘war.’ These assessments will inevitably be colored by personal and national biases. However, one aspect stands undebatable – the substantial loss incurred by all parties involved. This article aims to shed light on the key dimensions of this conflict, examining the failure of intelligence, the implications for the Palestinian Authority, and the stance of India in this matter.


GS-02- Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, Indian Diaspora, Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests


Israel, Palestine, Middle-East, Arab World, Yom Kippur War, Zionism, Al-Aqsa, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)

Mains Question:

If we apply the insights of Sari Nusseibeh regarding the morality and ethics of persisting in unattainable goals to the Kashmir problem, what can be gleaned about the Kashmir conflict and the need for a potential compromise? (250 words)

Dimensions of the Article:

  • A Total Failure of Intelligence
  • The Morale Boost for Hamas
  • Impact on the Palestinian Authority
  • Military Objectives
  • India’s Support for Israel
  • Sari Nusseibeh’s Perspective
  • Applying Nusseibeh’s Logic to the Kashmir Issue

A Total Failure of Intelligence:

  • The conflict began with a lightning, brutal, and simultaneous attack by Hamas on multiple Israeli locations. This audacious move caught both Israel and the United States off guard, highlighting a significant intelligence failure.
  • Although investigations may identify ‘fall guys,’ the fact remains that this lapse in intelligence led to Israel’s declaration of ‘war.’ The ramifications of this blunder will be felt long after the conflict subsides.

The Morale Boost for Hamas:

  • In a surprising turn of events, Hamas’s actions led to Israel’s official declaration of war. This, in itself, was a significant morale booster for Hamas. The strong undercurrent of speculation regarding Israel’s possible involvement in Hamas’s creation further underscores the unexpected nature of this development.
  • Hamas’s continued rocket attacks, inflicting substantial casualties on Israel, represent a shift from previous conflicts. While the world rightly condemns the cruelty inflicted on innocent Israeli civilians, Hamas views these actions with a sense of ‘pride,’ often designating those who lose their lives as martyrs.

Impact on the Palestinian Authority:

  • Hamas’s actions have had far-reaching consequences for the Palestinian Authority, specifically the Fatah party led by President Mahmoud Abbas. His position has become increasingly untenable, potentially leading to his resignation.
  • Hamas’s influence in the West Bank is poised to grow, and support for the organization on the ‘Arab Street’ is on the upswing. Remarkably, some western countries may find themselves grudgingly admiring the coordination displayed by Hamas in this conflict.

Military Objectives:

  • While Israel may ultimately prevail in military terms, its modified objective of eliminating Hamas raises important questions. Will Israel launch a ground operation into Gaza, and if so, what will the scale and consequences be? The prospect of heavy casualties looms on both sides, raising concerns about the viability of physically reoccupying the Gaza Strip.
  • In the end, the true losers in this conflict are the ordinary people on both sides. While not assigning equal blame, it is undeniable that the price of war is paid by civilians caught in the crossfire. The innocent citizens bear the heaviest burden for the bloodthirstiness of leaders on both sides.

India’s Support for Israel:

  • The Indian government’s unwavering support for Israel, motivated by the brutality of Hamas’s attack, is a significant diplomatic move. This stance is driven not only by moral considerations but also by the potential to foster stronger relations with West Asian countries, many of which have sought to normalize relations with Israel for technological and investment benefits.
  • The unequivocal support for Israel may also resonate positively in Washington, highlighting a shift in India’s diplomatic stance.

Sari Nusseibeh’s Perspective:

  • Sari Nusseibeh’s analysis, as expounded in his book ‘What Is a Palestinian State Worth?’ offers a unique perspective. He posits that the state exists for the people, not the other way around.
  • The primary duty of a state is to protect its citizens and facilitate their well-being. However, when a state pursues unattainable objectives and continues to do so knowingly, it acts immorally and unethically. The sacrifice of lives for unattainable goals becomes indefensible.

Applying Nusseibeh’s Logic to the Kashmir Issue:

  • The Kashmir issue, a longstanding conflict between India and Pakistan, offers an opportunity to apply Nusseibeh’s logic. Both nations have pursued maximalist objectives that they recognize as unattainable. The persistence in these objectives, as per Nusseibeh, is both immoral and unethical.
  • This prompts the question of whether a compromise, such as the four-point formula considered in the past, should be revisited for the sake of peace and the welfare of the Kashmiri people.

Way Forward:

In the aftermath of the Israel-Hamas conflict, it is imperative for all parties involved to reevaluate their objectives and strategies.

  • A path toward a sustainable peace must be sought, and diplomacy should be prioritized over violence. The recognition that unattainable goals only lead to the needless sacrifice of innocent lives should guide future actions.


In the fog of conflict, the Israel-Hamas war has exposed the pitfalls of persisting in unattainable objectives. The losses incurred by both sides, especially among innocent civilians, are a stark reminder of the need for ethical and moral decision-making. As India takes a firm stance in the global arena, it should also consider the lessons of this conflict when dealing with its own challenges, such as the Kashmir issue. Peace and the welfare of the people should always be at the forefront of any conflict resolution efforts.