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U.S. Elections 2024: How a Trump Victory Could Shape the Israel-Hamas War

Amid the Israel-Hamas war, the possibility of a Trump victory in the upcoming 2024 U.S. elections looms large, raising questions about potential shifts in US policy and their implications for the region.


 


 


Recent Developments and Updates


 


The Israel-Hamas war has killed more than 28,000 people since  October 7, 2024. Israel’s military saw one of its longest wars. Experts consider the airstrikes on Gaza the most devastating urban warfare in modern history.


On Wednesday, the 7th of February, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’s ceasefire proposal. ‘Total victory’ is necessary he said to achieve a peace deal.


Netanyahu


“Surrendering to Hamas’s delusional demands… will not only not lead to the release of the hostages, but will invite another massacre,” he said in a press conference, insisting that military coercion on Hamas is needed to ensure the release of the estimated 130 Israelis held hostage in Gaza.


 


Netanyahu claimed he had informed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who held meetings with Israeli officials on Wednesday as part of a tour in the Middle East, that once Hamas is removed from power, “we will make sure Gaza is demilitarised forever”.


 


 


Trump v. Biden


 


 


The 2024 United States elections are set to be held on Tuesday, November 5. This year, Americans are expecting a potential Trump-Biden rematch.


 


Trump v. Biden


 


The Supreme Court held oral arguments on Thursday in efforts to disqualify former president Donald Trump from running for presidency due to his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack by his supporters.


 


Referring to the 2020 election results, Trump said had he been elected, “you wouldn’t have an attack on Israel”. He added that all President Biden knows how to do is “drop bombs” and warned of possible World War III.


 


This is one of the largest presidential election cases heard by the high court since 2000 when they upheld George W. Bush’s victory against Al Gore.


 


On that day, President Joe Biden was delivering remarks at the White House after the release of a special counsel investigation on classified documents. After looking into President Biden's handling of secret material, Special Counsel Robert Hur found "serious risks to national security" in Biden's actions but he refused to bring charges.


 


The report touched upon Biden’s “significantly limited memory” and said Biden did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died. Moments after defending his memory, President Biden mistakenly referred to Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as the president of Mexico.


 


It was the third time this week Biden has appeared to mislead world leaders after he confused Emmanuel Macron with predecessor Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996. Breaking his record set in 2020, Joe Biden will be the oldest major-party presidential candidate ever at the age of 81.


 


A poll by The Economist shows Donald Trump holding a slight lead over President Joe Biden.


 


Trump is currently the presumed Republican nominee for the general election in November after winning races in Nevada, Iowa, and New Hampshire.


 


 


Donald Trump and the Israel-Palestine Conflict


 


 


A few days following the October 7 attack, the former president sharply criticised Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the prime minister was “not prepared”.


 


Following his victory in the Iowa caucuses, Trump claimed that "Israel never would have been attacked" if he were still in power.


 


Donald Trump’s approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict during his presidency was marked by several significant policy shifts and actions that departed from traditional diplomatic norms. Here are some key aspects of Trump's approach:


 


 


Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital


 


 


On December 6, 2017, Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with decades of US foreign policy. The decision caused controversy as both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.


 


 


Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem


 


 


Following the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the Trump administration ordered the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. Donald Trump called the movement “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement.”


 


The decision was not only met with widespread criticism from the international community but also led to Israeli forces killing dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border.


 


 


Support for Israeli Settlements


 


 


The Trump administration adopted a supportive position toward Israeli settlements in the West Bank in November 2019, reversing four decades of previous U.S. policy that viewed them as illegal under international law.


 


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the West Bank’s condition was for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate. As Israel welcomed the move, Mr Pompeo said "calling the establishment of civilian settlements inconsistent with international law hasn't worked. It hasn't advanced the cause of peace".


 


 


“The Deal of the Century”


 


 


In January 2020, Trump formally unveiled his administration's peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, titled Peace to Prosperity: A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People referred to as “the deal of the century”.


 


The plan heavily favoured Israeli interests, offering significant concessions to Israel while imposing strict conditions on Palestinians. It proposed the annexation of large parts of the West Bank by Israel and suggested a demilitarised Palestinian state with limited sovereignty.


 


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the plan, calling it “the final phase of the Balfour Declaration”.


 


 


Normalisation Agreements


 


 


One of Trump's main accomplishments in his approach to the Middle East was brokering normalisation agreements between Israel and several Arab states, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. These agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, marked a significant shift in regional dynamics and were seen as a diplomatic win for Israel and the Trump administration.


 


Abraham Accords


 


During Donald Trump’s presidency, tensions between Palestinians and Israelis remained unresolved. As the possibility of a Trump victory in the 2024 U.S. elections looms, one cannot help but wonder: 


 


Did Trump's policies bring the region closer to peace or did it further entrench divisions? 


 


And what lessons can be drawn as the world anticipates potential shifts in US leadership?


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