US Will Have 'Blood On its Hands if Plan for Israel Has No De-Escalation': Former Egyptian FM
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On October 7, the Palestinian group Hamas launched a rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip; in response, Israel declared a state of war the following day and launched an operation against Hamas. Israel later ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel.
The United States risks having blood on its hands if its security assistance for Israel does not include efforts to deescalate the conflict, former Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told Sputnik.
On Friday, President Joe Biden submitted a $106 billion supplemental funding request to Congress that includes $61.4 billion for Ukraine, half of which is to provide Kiev with weapons
and replenish US weapon stockpiles. The supplemental package also proposes $14.3 billion for Israel, which includes $10.6 billion for security assistance such as air and missile defense support and industrial base investments.
"So it's really surprising. What is the actual intention? What is going to be done that requires this much support? If you're going to provide this blanket support without a clear, de-escalation phase, then frankly, you're going to also have blood on your hands," Fahmy said.
Fahmy added that the White House's call for a supplemental aid package of this magnitude is indicative of what the United States is trying to do, unless it's simply an electoral motive.
"In all honesty, the money and the kinds of equipment being envisaged here for Israel [...] the amount of material and resources here even exceed what's provided to many NATO countries," Fahmy added.
Moreover, Fahmy said Biden
's comparison of the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza are completely different issues. He added that the United States should take the opposition position in terms of Gaza because Israel is the one that is occupying the West Bank and carrying out a gas blockade.
According to him, Western countries are spoiling their reputation in the Arab world with their flagrant support for Israel amid its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
"Well, I think the West is doing its best to spoil its reputation in the Arab world by having a double standard that is flagrant and blatant [...] the West is doing a huge disservice for itself," Fahmy said.
The West should support a ceasefire that will stop hostilities on both sides, provide humanitarian access to Palestinians, and support a conflict resolution that would deal with the issues of hostages and most importantly Israel's occupation, Fahmy added.
He notes that he would not rule out that the Israel-Hams war in the Gaza Strip may expand into a regional conflict given the ongoing level of violence.
"So, as an analyst, I would not expect this to be the intention, but as a practitioner, I would not rule it out given the level of violence that continues to go on," Fahmy stated regarding risk of a wider regional conflict in the Middle East
Fahmy explained that he does not think it is the intention of any third parties to get involved in the Israel-Hamas war at this point because of the complications associated with that, however, he underscored that the "fog of war" is difficult to control.
In addition, the minister explained that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war could have an impact on the price
of oil and gas around the world if the conflict is prolonged.
"Any extended geopolitical disturbance effects strategic goods, be it oil, be it gas," Fahmy said. "The cost of energy – be that oil or gas – could be affected, but it's secondary in my mind. My primary objective here is the cost in terms of human life."
On October 7, Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip. Israel launched strikes on the Gaza Strip and ordered a complete blockade of it, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food and fuel. The blockade was later eased to allow trucks with humanitarian aid
into the Gaza Strip. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in thousands of people killed and injured on both sides.