Israel-Hamas, fears for the outbreak of a Third World War: the possible scenarios

Elizabeth Smith

The planet fears the outbreak of a third world war after the escalation of clashes between Israel and the political and paramilitary organization Hamas. But how much is there really to worry about?

Conflict between Israel and Hamas hint at an imminent world war

No one can yet confirm with certainty whether an armed confrontation between countries allied with Israel and countries allied with Hamas is coming. What is certain for now is that in all likelihood, as has been the case for a while now, there will be proxy fighting.

Many heads of state and government over the past two days have called on Israel and Hamas for dialogue to prevent the conflict from moving forward and possibly becoming international in scope.

While some nations are trying to follow the line of diplomacy, other nations, on the other hand, have already found fertile ground in the new clashes to carry out offensives against their rivals. In this case we are talking mainly about states that have a common enemy-Israel.

The State of Israel does not boast good relations with many neighboring countries and other nations in the Middle East. Underlying these differences may be religious tensions between Jews and Muslims. But also and above all political interests.

Read also: The history of Hamas: what it is, what it wants, and which states it is supported by

The positions of Middle-Eastern and Arab states

The common rivalry against Israel has also brought Sunnis and Shiites closer together. Suffice it to say that Iran, a Shiite, has looked up to the military actions of Hamas. Which instead is Sunni and linked to far-right circles.

Another state that has not been sitting on its hands is Lebanon. As reported, it appears that some news agencies have given the news that mortar shells would also be fired toward Israel from Lebanon.

Also of concern is the position of some pro-Palestinian Egyptian citizens who have espoused the violent Hamas line. Indeed, Israeli tourists were killed in the city of Alexandria, and this could lead to a serious diplomatic incident. No statement has yet been made by the Cairo government. But it is well known that historically relations between Israel and Egypt have never been good.

Also of concern is Saudi Arabia. Since the Abrahamic Accords, the Gulf Monarchy has taken a much more moderate stance toward Israel. Unfortunately, however, in recent days, Saudi Arabia has returned to point the finger at the Israeli government. Thus holding it responsible because of: “provocations and the deprivation of rights inflicted on Palestinians.”

The position of the Western states

In the Middle East the conflict has already begun (or perhaps never ended). And now the question is: “But what about the Western states?”

At the moment, it appears that the situation is seemingly quiet despite the fact that the European Union, the United States of America and all nations allied with Israel have condemned Hamas’ actions by giving maximum support and solidarity to the Netanyahu government.

What is most worrisome is that nations militarily allied with Palestine may take the initiative and attack Western states with attacks aimed at harming Israeli citizens living abroad. Thus by shifting the armed conflict from the Middle East to other Western nations.

In all this, Russia could also take advantage of this to increase attacks in Ukraine. Although the biggest fear is that the government in Moscow could weld even more civil-military cooperation with nations such as Syria and Iran, now allied with Hamas.

The only thing that is certain is that the world, since Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, when Hamas fired rockets at Israel, has been on a knife’s edge. And as of today, any misstep or diplomatic incident could become the straw that will break the camel’s back of a vase that has been on the verge of overflowing for years.

Read also: Why is there conflict in the Gaza Strip? The history and reasons for the war

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