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As I See It: After Putin, now its Hamas, global attention shifts to Israel

For almost two years now, the world is at war, either directly or indirectly, focusing our attention mostly on the Russia-Ukraine war.

The attention in the Russia-Ukraine war, however, shifted temporarily to Israel with the sudden attack of Hamas, a Palestinian militant terrorist group from the Gaza area.

With this development, Ukrainian and Russian leaders have turned their attention — publicly at least —toward the escalation of violence and bloodshed in Israel and Gaza.

Already, Ukraine has pledged its support for Israel and condemned Palestinian militant group Hamas, which launched unexpected and large-scale attacks against Israel on Saturday, while Russia called for a cease-fire. The conflict puts Russia and Ukraine in a somewhat awkward position, however. Ukraine urged the West to remain united behind them as Israel distracts global attention. (Holly Ellyatt, CNBC)

With this development, US is now offering military support to two allies – Israel and Ukraine. And Russia — which has traditionally trodden a fine diplomatic line between Israel and fellow oil-producing Arab countries — has a close relationship with Iran, which funds Hamas, putting Moscow in a more ambiguous and awkward position.

As these developed, it complicated the world situation since more countries now will be involved in the two wars directly and indirectly.

An analyst at the Institute for the Study of War said. “Russia is likely to try to use the eruption of violence in Israel to distract from its operations in Ukraine.”

As I See It, there will be a lot of ramifications and the global situation will be more complicated. Both camps must be innovative and creative enough to pursue their individual plans to be able to continue the war while the Israel-Hamas conflict is going on.

For instance, the center for training Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 jets is being established in Romania. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote this on X, formerly known as Twitter.

So, Zelenskyy and his Romanian counterpart, Klaus Iohannis, agreed that Ukrainian pilots would be enrolled in the first wave of training and according to Zelensky, Romania will be the F-16 jet training ground for Ukrainian pilots.

The two leaders signed a bilateral declaration on their security cooperation, which included improving transport, facilitating border crossings and opening new checkpoints. Zelenskyy and Iohannis also “condemned the terrorist attack on Israel,” with Zelenskyy saying the entire world must condemn terror and all those who support it. — Hannah Ward-Glenton

Here’s the thing, Russia must choose where its loyalty lies in the Middle East because the outbreak of bloodshed, violence and war between Israel and Hamas has put Russia in an awkward position. Moscow traditionally was treading a fine diplomatic line between Israel and its allies in the Middle East. This is the dilemma of Russia.

Analysts say Russia’s position on the current conflict in Israel is likely to be nuanced and a challenge for Moscow to navigate given its conflicting ties in the region. This is so because in recent years, Russia has enjoyed warm and constructive relations with Israel.

On the other hand, Israel is a very close ally of the US, but since its invasion of Ukraine last year, Moscow has greatly increased its military ties to Iran, a sworn enemy of Israel and a state known to have provided financial and material support to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Well, perhaps this will play a vital role in Russia’s position and whatever they decide to do, it will affect both the ongoing wars outcome.

“My main accent today was air defense. And I’m glad that Ukraine was heard by the Romanian side,” Zelenskyy, who has been seeking more arms to defend Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, told a joint press conference in the Romanian capital.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the conflict had been simmering for years and that Russia had ties to both the Israeli and Palestinian territories.

“In this case, we maintain relations with both sides of this conflict,” Peskov told reporters…Of course, we have long-standing historical ties with the Palestinians, we continue our contacts. Indeed, we are talking about contacts at different levels, including at a high level over time. But at the same time, we also have our relations with the state of Israel, with whom we also have a lot in common, especially the large number of our compatriots who live in this state,” he said.

Peskov said Moscow was ready to offer support to both sides but conceded there had been few successful attempts to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians previously. “We are ready to continue to make efforts and play our part,” he said, without giving further detail. — Holly Ellyatt

Russia’s stance on the Israeli-Hamas conflict is complicated, analysts say — Moscow has traditionally good relations with Israel and increasingly close ties to Iran, which provides the Hamas militant group with financial and material support. Israel-Hamas conflict puts Russia in an awkward position in light of that, observers say Moscow is likely to stay neutral.

Ukraine’s deputy central bank governor says the West needs to band together. Ukraine’s deputy central bank governor said the West needs to remain united when it comes to aid for Ukraine as war fatigue and public and political discontent with continued financial assistance appear to be increasing.

Deputy Governor Sergiy Nikolaychuk told CNBC that international aid is a very important factor in Ukraine’s economic resistance as the war continues and that Kyiv was concerned about future aid.

“We have a lot of concerns regarding the future outlook, the future international national support,” he told CNBC’s Joumanna Bercetche at International Monetary Fund meetings in Morocco.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, having offered his support and condolences for those killed in deadly attacks that erupted in the country after Hamas launched an audacious and large-scale attack on Saturday. — Holly Ellyatt

As this developed, Iran has denied it has supplied Russia with Shahed kamikaze drones for use in Ukraine and has said it is not involved in the weekend’s attacks on Israel. Ukraine, however said about 1,000 Iranian-designed Shahed drones were used by Russia over the past six months.

Zelenskyy urged Western unity in the face of global events. “This is not the time to withdraw from the international arena into internal disputes. This is not the time to isolate ourselves. This is not the time to remain silent or pretend that the terror on one continent does not affect global affairs,” Zelenskyy said. — Reuters

Analysts say Kremlin is already trying to exploit the Hamas-Israeli conflict. Russia is likely to try to use the eruption of violence in Israel to distract from its operations in Ukraine, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War noted in analysis on Saturday.

“The Kremlin is already and will likely continue to exploit the Hamas attacks in Israel to advance several information operations intended to reduce U.S. and Western support and attention to Ukraine,” the ISW said.  Noting that the Kremlin had already amplified several information operations after Hamas’ attacks in Israel on Saturday — primarily blaming the West for neglecting conflicts in the Middle East in favor of supporting Ukraine — the ISW said Russia was claiming the international community will cease to pay attention to Ukraine.

With the two wars, Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars, global situation now is volatile!