Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prevent Israeli-Palestinian clashes from escalating into regional conflict

Prevent Israeli-Palestinian clashes from escalating into regional conflict

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Palestinian protesters confront Israeli troops at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank on May 18. AFP

Prevent Israeli-Palestinian clashes from escalating into regional conflict

The armed conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is escalating. It must be contained as soon as possible to prevent it from developing into a regional conflict. Not only must the parties concerned exercise restraint, but the US also needs to strengthen its involvement.

The Israeli military has been launching daily air strikes on the Palestinian autonomous territory of Gaza, which is effectively controlled by the Islamist organisation Hamas, which continues to fire rockets into Israel. The conflict erupted a week ago and has developed into the largest clash since 2014.

Both sides have suffered civilian casualties. The spread of human suffering should not be left unaddressed. It is important first to agree on a temporary ceasefire and put a stop to the cycle of violence. Japan also needs to raise its voice to demand a ceasefire.

Since the establishment of the state of Israel by the Jews in 1948, conflict with the Palestinians who were forced to leave their land has continued unceasingly.

In recent years, the hard-line stance by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has intensified the conflict. Unable to establish a stable administration and on the verge of losing his position due to corruption allegations, he might have dared to increase tensions in order to restore his political strength.

The Palestinian political situation also faces many problems. Palestinian National Authority president Mahmoud Abbas postponed at the last minute the first parliamentary elections in 15 years, which were originally scheduled for May. Hamas probably saw an opportunity to expand its support as it judged that Abbas feared defeat.

Hamas launched the attacks, taking advantage of the repeated bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces around Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority has been unable to control radical actions with the use of force by Hamas, which denies the existence of Israel.

It is a matter of concern that the clash is spreading to neighboring countries. In Lebanon, the Islamic Shiite organisation Hezbollah is said to have attempted an attack on Israel. In Jordan, a protest movement against Israel is also taking place.

Further intervention by Iran, which provides militarily support to Hamas and Hezbollah, and other countries must not be allowed to complicate the situation further. The escalation of the conflict in the Middle East could also lead to the expansion of the influence of Russia and China.

US President Joe Biden has dispatched a high-ranking official to the region and is calling for a calming of the situation, but it is unclear whether this will lead to a ceasefire. It cannot be denied that the US has prioritised its strategy toward China, and its diplomacy in the Middle East has taken a back seat.

The extreme pro-Israel policies of the administration of former US President Donald Trump have also encouraged Netanyahu’s hard-line stance. Biden needs to tell Netanyahu that excessive attacks and an invasion of Gaza will only lead to international isolation.



  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration