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Arab Nations Hesitate as U.S. Propels Post-War Strategy for Gaza: What’s Next?

While the United States works diligently to construct a comprehensive postwar plan for Gaza, there is a significant lack of responsiveness or support from Arab states. Despite traditionally being staunch supporters of the Palestinian people, Arab states appear reluctant to participate actively, find solutions, or even express much interest in the current crisis.

The recent outbreak of violence has brought a significant change in the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape, with most Arab countries more focussed on their internal affairs than any external turbulence. The ongoing pandemic, economic crisis, and political instability have drawn their attention away from regional issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates recently witnessed a paradigm shift in their relations with Israel by signing the Abraham accord. This move has also triggered apprehension and criticism from the Arab populace, which could potentially cause these states to tread carefully in their dealings with Gaza.

The U.S. has proposed an ambitious plan envisioning the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Gaza, following the recent 11-day war that resulted in massive human and property losses. Though the U.S. seeks a multi-step approach encompassing an immediate ceasefire, rapid humanitarian response, and rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure while ensuring Israel’s security, responses from most Arab states have been lukewarm at best. The lack of Arab cooperation in this matter could hinder the U.S.’s desire to achieve lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Egypt’s role remains instrumental given its geostrategic location and historical ties with Palestinians. Egypt has already played a pivotal part in brokering a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, though, continues to be cautious about involvement in the U.S.-led Gaza postwar plan. Similarly, Jordan, which shares a border with the West Bank, has expressed its reservations.

Furthermore, Arab nations may be apprehensive for fear of upsetting Iran, the primary benefactor of Hamas, or receiving criticism from their own populous who tend to support the Palestinian Cause. It appears that Arab states, despite being regional stakeholders, prefer to maintain a cautious distance.

Moreover, the U.S.’ undeterred support for Israel might be a significant reason behind the Arab states’ reticence. It’s worth noting that the trust deficit is based partially on the perception that the U.S. favors Israel over the Palestinians. For a plan of the magnitude proposed by the U.S. to succeed, mutual trust between all involved parties would be essential.

In summary, while the U.S. administers its postwar

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