Experts Warn Conflict in Gaza Could Evolve into Full War

( – Experts are warning that the Middle East conflict could expand into an all-out world war. Israel’s war with Hamas rages on, while Jewish state officials say Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, continues firing rockets into the country. Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen have also engaged in exchanges of fire with American troops in the Red Sea.

Analysts say Hamas had probably hoped that its attack on Israel on October 7 would pull its allies into a broader war, but this did not immediately materialize. Israel’s ferocious response to the attack could, however, bring Iran and its proxies into battle. Qassim Qassir, a Lebanese expert on Hezbollah, said, “They don’t want war, but at the same time, they don’t want to let the Israelis keep striking without retaliation.”

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said the danger of escalation is “rising by the day,” adding that Israel’s “aggression against Gaza has exceeded all the human, legal and moral limits.” International pressure is growing on Israel to show restraint in Gaza, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned his people that there will be no let-up, and they should prepare for a long and difficult conflict.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Israel in early January in a bid to stop the war from spreading across the region. Meeting with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv, Blinken said he would discuss the “way forward,” and relay to Israeli politicians what leaders across the Middle East advised him during his visits there. Blinken has met with leaders from Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog thanked America for its support since the terror attacks of October 7 and denied claims that his country is intent on “genocide” in the Gaza Strip. He called the accusation “atrocious and preposterous,” and said Israel is engaged in “self-defense under our most inherent right under international humanitarian law.”

South Africa filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice accusing Israel of “genocidal acts.”

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