The Israel-Palestine conflict has been an ongoing struggle that does not seem to have an end in sight. This is mostly because rather than being in a conflict based on religion, both parties are embroiled in a legal dispute over land and settlement. But it could soon be about to change, if Al Qaeda, the most redundant terrorist organisation aiming to reconsolidate itself, has its way and imbibes the spirit of Jihad in the Palestinian struggle. If and when that occurs, that would be the death of Palestine.
In an attempt to make itself more relevant, Al Qaeda’s general command issued a lengthy statement where it decried the Israeli forces and government and called the attack, an attack against Jihad and Muslims in general. While Palestinian groups have never based the conflict in its completion along religious lines, but a chance to get Al Qaeda’s support, could entice them to do so.
In the statement, Al Qaeda mentioned that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a victory for the Mujahideen in the Muslim world against the crusaders. Moreover, the Biden administration’s soft support to Israel shows that the US is receding slowly but surely from the region. However, it should be noted that the support Palestine is provided from the US under the Obama administration and now the Biden administration was based on humanitarian grounds rather than the pursuit of a Jihadi mindset and objective.
If the basis of the conflict changes from a legal land dispute to propagating Jihad, the United States policy on religious terrorism will remain the same as it has been since 9/11, i.e. a stern anti-terrorism approach. Moreover, apart from the unanimous support to Israel, from the United States, other states which have been until of now, critical of alleged Israeli aggression, will not remain critical of Israel but will condone the Jihadi stand of the Palestinian aggressors.
Furthermore, Al Qaeda stated in their declaration that the Palestinian cause should be universal and not exclusive to Palestinians. They said that the Muslim Ummah must recognise that this is a cause that affects the entire Ummah and that efforts should be made in this direction. “The Ummah cannot abandon the people of Palestine: it must wage jihad in support of Palestine and all the causes of the Ummah. Liberating Palestine is connected with the wider cause of liberating the Ummah from American hegemony. Affiliates of al-Qa’ida should continue operations in line with the series on preventing the Judaification of al-Quds (Jerusalem),” the statement read.
The Palestinian cause has enjoyed the support of other state and non-state actors, whereas on the other hand Israel has been left to fend off criticism for defending its civilians. However, if Al Qaeda’s plan to include the Palestinian cause succeeds, Palestine would enjoy the said support. The said state and non-state actors will pull back their support and it would embolden Israel’s resolve.
In their statement, Al Qaeda has also denounced the “Abraham Accords” and the states which participated in the most useful diplomatic exercise in the region. Under the Abraham Accords, UAE, and Bahrain officiated diplomatic ties with Israel. The Accords also had the backing of the leader of the Arab world, Saudi Arabia. By denouncing and condemning these states, Al Qaeda will only go on and isolate Palestine and its people. These states understand the importance of open and peaceful diplomatic ties with Israel for peace in the region. Moreover, the Abraham Accords will also propagate important and most beneficial economic development too.
Al Qaeda’s plan to return to some sort of relevancy will cost Palestine their land, support and identity. Palestine enjoys major support from the Arab-Islamic community as well as throughout the world. But if Al Qaeda is successful in imbibing religious dogma into the Palestinian movement, it surely will lead to an annihilation of the dreams, struggle of the Palestinians and Palestine as a whole.