How the Gaza War has changed the security environment in the Middle East

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This article is featured in Orient III/2024.

“Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”, the name given by Hamas to its 7 October 2023 attack against Israel, and the war that ensued in Gaza led to fundamental changes in the political and security environment of the Middle East. The attack ignited the longest war—and by far the greatest in terms of destruction and casualties—in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict over Palestine. It also risked a wider conflict that pitted Israel and the US against Iran and its proxies across the Levant (Syria-Iraq-Lebanon and Yemen). US global strategy has also been affected by the war in Gaza, hindering its efforts to pacify the Middle East as a prerequisite to pivot to Asia. In addition, the war diverted the US attention away from the war in Ukraine and tension with China over Taiwan. Internationally, the war has led to the disruption of supply chains as a result of Houthis attacks on commercial ships and vessels, leading to the militarisation of the Red Sea.

Marwan Kabalan is a Syrian academic and writer. He has a PhD degree in International Relations and is currently the Director of Policy Analysis at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies.

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