Regional war threat looms over the Middle East

By January 29, 2024

Middle East (MNN) — The UN’s top court demands that Israel do everything it can to prevent death, destruction, and any acts of genocide in Gaza.

However, the International Court of Justice did not indicate if genocide had already taken place or demand a halt to Israeli military action. The timing of the ruling magnified its solemnity; it was given on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Fighting connected to the Gaza war has intensified and broadened in scope over the past two weeks, raising the specter of regional war.

“When you say ‘regional war,’ we have this idea of nations fighting nations. This (current) escalated regional conflict is [by] paramilitary groups or proxies,” says Trey Hulsey, a consultant for ministries working in the Middle East.

Missile explosion in the Gaza Strip in conflict between Israel and Hamas.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Asked if the Gaza battle would morph into a regional war, Hulsey replies, “It’s good to be aware [of current events, but] trying to predict what’s going to happen, especially in this part of the world, is often a foolish task.”

The Gaza war and its associated skirmishes are a complex web of multilayered motives.

“If you list the big players – Israel, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis – all of them are going to do what they view as best for themselves first, and then it may line up with what their “allies” want or don’t want,” Hulsey says.

Take Israel, for example. “Israel and the United States government are strong allies. That’s been true for decades,” Hulsey says.

“Israel doesn’t only do what the United States wants it to do; Israel does what’s in its best interests. That often coincides with what the United States would like, but sometimes it doesn’t.”

The same principle applies to Hezbollah. “They’re mostly restraining themselves. And Israel’s mostly restraining itself. But for both parties, that is in their best interest right now,” Hulsey says.

“When I think about these things, I try to keep in mind that everyone in these situations is behaving rationally, according to what they understand their interest to be.”

Whatever happens next, the best thing you can do is pray. Use the prompts listed alongside this report to guide your intercession, or go here for more prayer resources.

“Life for Christians in these communities is already hard,” Hulsey says.

“They’re already under persecution. But as state control breaks down, it’s less likely that anybody who is marginalized will be safe.”



Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay.

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