China – Russia and Israel’s plan to fragment and divide the Gaza Strip

It is clear that there is a declared conflict between the three countries (China, Russia, and the United States of America) regarding Gaza.

It is clear that there is a declared conflict between the three countries (China, Russia, and the United States of America) regarding Gaza.  Both China and Russia tried to challenge the existing American role as the “sole mediator” by communicating with all concerned parties after the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation launched by the Hamas movement against Israel. China and Russia expressed their concern about the plan to divide the Gaza Strip, which was translated  All Chinese media and official newspapers, as well as China’s special envoy to the Middle East, stated that Beijing believes that the situation in Gaza is very dangerous with the increasing possibility of a large-scale ground attack amid a worrying future outlook in light of the spread of armed conflicts on the border on more than one front. The strongest statements also came from Russian President Vladimir Putin, which spoke of “the necessity of reaching the spider that has extended its limbs to every inch of the world, that is, the United States of America”. Both China and Russia also clearly benefited from some South American countries, such as Bolivia, severing their relations with Israel, thus straining their relations with the United States of America, its ally.  Since the beginning of the war, the official Chinese and Russian media have strongly attacked Israel, and they have cited the Iranian media through the reporting mechanism, which indicates the excessive illegal use of white phosphorus bombs by the Israeli army. They have also placed blame and responsibility on the United States of America, the strongest supporter of Israel,  Increasing tensions in the region.

  Here, China and Russia are trying to play a role through their allies in the Middle East to stop the process of dividing and fragmenting the Gaza Strip, and trying to forcibly displace its residents to neighboring countries such as Egypt and Jordan.  From my point of view, we are facing the process of dividing the new Middle East according to the ongoing Israeli and American plan. The history of China’s support for Palestinian resistance movements dates back to the time of the founder of the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Zedong, who sent weapons to the Palestinians as part of supporting the so-called “national liberation” movements around the world.  Mao Zedong even compared Israel to Taiwan, which enjoys the support of the United States of America as bases for Western imperialism, as he put it at the time.  China, along with Russia, has displeased Israel by refusing to join the United States of America and other countries in classifying Hamas as a terrorist organization, and described it, instead, as a “Palestinian resistance movement”. Over the past years, the most dangerous rift in the region’s torn geopolitical landscape has been between the friends and allies of China and Russia, and the friends and allies of the United States of America.  The core of the China-Russia axis, sometimes called the “axis of resistance”, consists of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Assad regime in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, and various Iraqi militias armed and trained by Iran. The Iranians also support Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.  Hence, both China and Russia, due to their proximity to Iran, depend on entering the Middle East through it, especially after Iran recently became an important part of the Russian war effort in Ukraine, in addition to China purchasing large quantities of Iranian oil.

   To analyze the extent of the chances of success of Israel’s plan to divide and control the Gaza Strip, and the extent of the cohesion of the resistance and Hamas movement in the face of this Zionist plan, in view of the escalation in the intensity of Israeli military operations to fragment the Gaza Strip, with the aim of forcing the people of the Gaza Strip to move south, and to try to make the Zionist and American plan to divide the Gaza Strip successful.  Gaza is divided into two parts, northern and southern. What the Israeli authorities are currently doing constitutes collective punishment that violates the provisions of international law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of the Civilian Population, and causes great harm to the civilian population and their property, which has actually exacerbated the humanitarian crisis as a result of the sanctions regime and closure imposed on the Gaza Strip. This forces us to understand and analyze the situation inside the Gaza Strip, especially after the Israeli occupation army’s ground attack and its incursion into the Strip stopped.  We now find ourselves facing extreme Israeli scenarios, with the escalation of the dominance of parties, religious movements, extremist politicians, and settler representatives from the right-wing forces in Israel, with the growing rise of the far-right forces, to become the main and most important component and hegemon in Israeli political life, and manage all the decisions of the Israeli occupation authority.  The fragmentation of the Palestinian territorial integrity is an organized and systematic Israeli process, through which Israel is trying to effectively undermine the principle of the two-state solution, which is supported internationally. Therefore, it makes persistent attempts to eliminate Palestinian consciousness – in theory and practice – to consolidate the idea of ​​the impossibility of embodying the unity of the land, the people, and the political system.  The Israeli occupation authorities are aware of the importance of the Gaza Strip in resisting the occupation, so we find that from the first day of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip in 1967, the Israeli military commander issued an order declaring the Gaza Strip a closed military zone, prohibiting entry or exit from it, and this prohibition remained in effect until the year  1972, when the Israeli military commander granted, under the same military order, which he did not cancel, a general permit to the residents of the Gaza Strip enabling them to exit the West Bank. Hence, the general permit served the direct interests of the Israeli occupation state, as it came after the establishment of the military administration in the Gaza Strip and its ability to manage the lives of  The population through a series of military orders that forcibly linked the economy of the Gaza Strip to the Israeli occupation state, deepened its dependency, and controlled all aspects of economic activity, including land and the delivery of services to the population.  The Israeli goal behind the policy of continuous closure for years in the Gaza Strip is primarily (separation between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip), which has become clear in the official Israeli policy of undermining the unity of the Palestinian territories, thus preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state, and thus eliminating the chances of a Two states solutions , and consequently transforming the Palestinians from a unified people into several separate groups, sects, and families in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.

 Here we must understand Israel’s long-term plan behind its continued military operations inside the Gaza Strip, with the aim of completely eliminating the Hamas movement, and thus eliminating all Palestinian resistance movements. Therefore, the correct vision at the present time lies in the necessity of unifying the Palestinian ranks and finding a consensual political solution to the internal conflict in Palestine first, provided that the Palestinian Authority assumes the administration of Gaza according to a Palestinian national vision, away from any external projects that European parties wish to implement at the behest of the well-known Israeli occupation government.  With her extremist tendencies.  We must understand the “permit system plan” that the Israeli authorities imposed on Gaza residents to leave the Strip for the purpose of education, work, treatment, family reunification, or any other reason, which is one of the basic forms of establishing the Israeli occupation’s authority and control over the population.  Therefore, all Arab parties and the Palestinian Authority itself must reject any confused Western ideas or proposals that aim to (administer the Gaza Strip according to a special system) away from the Palestinian national vision, because this is the beginning of completely separating Gaza from the Palestinian body, which undermines any chance of establishing the Independent state of Palestine according to the borders of June 4, 1967. These Zionist and American attempts to fragment the Gaza Strip and forcibly displace its residents eliminate the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the future. They also fundamentally undermine the principle of the two-state solution, which established the legitimacy of the peace process, and replace it with a situation of permanent occupation and an integrated system of apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, so that  Through it, the Palestinian Authority is excluded from the circle of political action, and marginalizes the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization, leaving the people of the West Bank and Jerusalem without a real force to represent them, thus weakening their resistance to the ongoing Israeli occupation and settlement, and then causing them to gradually transform into (residents of Bantustans), which means isolating them all from  Each other, with maps of Israeli settlements, thus causing the people of the Gaza Strip to lose their national and political identity in the future, due to the marginalization of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO, and with it, of course, all the factions and Palestinian resistance movements such as Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, Islamic Jihad, and others. This is the only goal now for Israel and the United States of America in confronting the Gaza Strip and its residents, and even all of the Palestinians.

  The Israeli system of permits for the people of the Gaza Strip for work, movement, study, etc., has established what we see today of the dangerous fragmentation of the unity of the Palestinian territories and their population, which has been deepened by the separation wall that the Israeli occupation state has erected on the Palestinian territories, in addition to the (military checkpoint system) that it has established.  Israel in the West Bank, annexing Jerusalem and isolating it from the rest of the occupied territories. All of these measures constituted an organized official Israeli policy to facilitate the seizure of Palestinian lands, which makes the implementation of the annexation plan ongoing and continuous and finds its translations on the ground daily, as is the case today of beating, displacing and starving the residents of the Gaza Strip, and their attempt to force them to displace them from their lands.     

  After understanding the clear Israeli and American plan to divide the Gaza Strip and separate it from the West Bank and all the Palestinian territories, we must understand to what extent the Chinese and Russians can play a role in what is happening and stop all those Israeli and American plans against the Palestinians.  The most important of which is what was announced by the Chinese UN envoy “Zhai Jun”, that China has provided and will continue to provide emergency humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. The Chinese media also published many articles accusing the United States of America of ignoring Palestinian rights, destroying the Gaza Strip and displacing its residents, and blaming the United States of America for the suffering of civilians in Gaza.  This is the same thing that the official newspaper “Global Times” raised in its editorial, saying that the United States of America showed the world the extent of its hypocrisy, as a major power in the world, with regard to respect for human rights.  Chinese state television channel “CGTN” also indicated that American policy during the recent war on Gaza was under the control of the “Jewish lobby”, which sparked an angry reaction from the Israeli embassy in Beijing.

 We find here that the recent Chinese diplomatic moves regarding Gaza aimed to portray China to the world as a responsible country, seriously seeking to find a peaceful diplomatic solution to a severe humanitarian crisis affecting Muslims, in contrast to the United States of America, which caused this crisis, with its absolute support for Israel, and its lack of pressure on it on several issues, such as: (East Jerusalem and the construction of Jewish settlements), in addition to the recent administration of US President Biden obstructing the work of the UN Security Council, and approving the sale of precision-guided missiles to Israel worth $735 million, which both Beijing and Moscow protested against.  Of course, for fear that these missiles would be exploited to strike and harm Palestinian civilians. The Chinese “International Development Cooperation Agency” also announced that Beijing will provide emergency humanitarian aid to the Palestinian government to help the people of the Gaza Strip get out of their current humanitarian crisis.

  Finally, according to a careful analysis of the scene, if both Moscow and Beijing are able to create what is known as (parallel legitimacy or parallel pole industry) and push aside the dominant unipolar world, represented by the United States of America, their role will be effective in resolving the Palestinian crisis, through the role of nations.  United Nations and through bilateral channels to help alleviate the current humanitarian crisis, and then stop the division and fragmentation of the Gaza Strip according to the ongoing Israeli and American plan. Here we find the Chinese and Russian role in increasing pressure on Washington in Western capitals before the Middle East, which rejects its policies of support for Israel and the killing of civilians.  American support for Israel will also give China an opportunity to expand its arms sales to Arab countries that are dissatisfied with the position of the United States of America, but Beijing, at the same time, wants to resolve the crisis to protect its economic interests in the region. It is also expected that the involvement of China and Russia in the Middle East will increase during this raging conflict in the Gaza Strip, as Beijing and Moscow will play an enhanced role in the efforts made to end the war and secure their economic interests. They also want to take advantage of the Arab countries’ frustration with the United States of America to consolidate themselves as a major power in the region, and accordingly, Beijing and Moscow’s declared approach risks disturbing Israel and its plans towards the Gaza Strip.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit