An expert in Arabic Studies has warned CGTN there could be an escalation of the Israel conflict, leading to a “wider conflict erupting” between Israel, Hezbollah and Shebaa.
Atef Alshaer, a Senior Lecturer in Arabic Studies at the University of Westminster, was speaking after more than 700 people have been reported killed in Israel since Hamas launched its attacks on Saturday morning, including 260 at a music festival.
“Both sides maybe would be careful not to get into a long, drawn-out battle,” he said. “But it could get out of hand and we could see a wider conflict erupting between Israel and Hezbollah and Shebaa.”
Alshaer went on to explain that he does not agree with the United States’ belief that there is intent to derail the normalization effort between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
“I think there are a number of factors,” he said. “I don’t think it’s to do with the derailment of the Saudi-Israeli potential relationship.
“I think it’s to do with the internal dynamics in Gaza, the siege of Gaza, the occupation around Gaza, in the West Bank, the many incidents of killing, Palestinians being killed by the Israeli forces, the situation at Al-Aqsa mosque.”
The Palestinian Authority has called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the crisis engulfing Israel, but Alshaer conceded he was not surprised there has not been a unified response as yet.
“Arab governments have their own preoccupations, their own situations, and they are, I think, observing the situation because of the news recently about the normalization with Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I think it’s a quite a complex picture.”
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