The current Israel-Gaza War is threatening to spread in the region. Israel is pummeling Gaza City with bombs, resulting in many thousands of civilians reportedly being killed, including thousands of children. Israel is determined to uproot the governing Hamas, which the U.S. and other nations designate as “a terrorist organization,” so that it can never govern the Gaza Strip anymore. Hamas started this war on October 7th when, in about 24 hours, its armed invaders entered Israel, killed about 1,400 Israeli Jews, and returned to the Gaza Strip with over 200 hostages. Hamas militiamen escape into their elaborate tunnel system in the Gaza Strip to avoid Israeli bombs and artillery fire.
The much stronger Hezbollah in southern Lebanon threatens to spread the war by firing rockets into northern Israel.
The main reason the Israel Defense Forces appeared lax in preventing the Hamas incursion on October 7th was that this year Jewish settlers in the West Bank had become more emboldened in committing atrocities against Palestinians living there. Why? In order for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put together a coalition government as an outcome of the last election, he had to take into his cabinet more religious and far-right political parties. Some of their leaders have been calling for Israel to unilaterally annex the West Bank. And because of this, Israel’s IDF had been focusing its efforts on trying to calm that growing turmoil in the West Bank. Now, with this Israel-Gaza War in full force, the Jewish settlers are becoming more of a threat in causing this war to spill over into the West Bank. It is just further trouble causing Palestinians living in the West Bank to want to leave.
Thus, this Israel-Gaza War could result in three fronts: west, north, and east. The only way Gaza victims can escape the bombing is to flee to southern Gaza, as Israel warned them to do, and hope to find safe haven there. Yet, Israel also reportedly has then hurled bombs there too. Egypt is unrelenting in its insistence of not allowing Gaza citizens to escape across the southern Rafah border, between Gaza and Egypt, into the northern Sinai. So, Gaza civilians remained trapped in their Gaza Strip enclave as always.
This recent turn of events is looking more like what I predicted 33 years ago in my book, Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia. I claimed in it that eventually there will be a Palestinian state, but not where Palestinians have wanted it to be located–in the two separated territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That “two-state solution,” which Palestinians have demanded for nearly seventy years, is farther away from happening than ever. But what I’m saying appears more as a possible reality–two states clearly lying side-by-side in which Palestine will be located on the coastal plain as a very expanded Gaza Strip and Israel will annex all of the West Bank. I think it could happen by force, by negotiation, or both.
During this war, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into nearby Israeli villages and cities, creating much danger for Jews living there. If that danger persists, they might want to move farther inland into Israel, thereby distancing themselves from the Gaza Strip. That could cause Israel to think about negotiating a land swap with Palestinians. That is, Israel would cede its coastal territory near the Gaza Strip to Palestinians in which to create a Palestinian state, and Israel would annex the West Bank, which would require Palestinians living there to resettle in the new Palestinian state on the coastal plain. That is was I predicted in my book 33 years ago, and that is what now appears to me is more and more a possibility.