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18 July, 2024
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Unprecedented escalation in Gaza and Cyprus' response

Geopolitical implications of Israel-Palestine war

Yiannis Ioannou

Yiannis Ioannou

The escalation in Gaza, triggered by Hamas' surprise terror campaign last Saturday, has plunged the Middle East into a renewed cycle of violence within the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This time, the situation is distinct: Israel, fifty years after the unexpected Yom Kippur War in 1973, is officially declaring war on Palestine, mobilizing over 300,000 reservists and preparing for a ground operation against Hamas in Gaza under the name Operation Swords of Iron.

This conflict is anticipated to be prolonged, intense, and come at a high cost to both sides. It also has the potential to evolve into a multi-front struggle for Israel, possibly involving Lebanon's Hezbollah, or even escalating into a regional conflict, with Iran closely watching.

The island of Cyprus is not immune to these developments due to its geographic proximity and strong ties with both Israel and Palestine. Additionally, it hosts a sizable community of Israeli citizens. In response, the Cypriot government has taken immediate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens and those residing in or visiting Israel.

This includes coordinating with Cypriot nationals, providing repatriation assistance, and implementing telecommuting for embassy staff in Tel Aviv and Ramallah.

Security measures in Cyprus have been heightened, especially around potential targets related to Israeli interests on the island, such as airports, ports, marinas, and roadblocks. Nicosia has also expressed its readiness to provide medical services to Israel during this conflict, with repatriation flights facilitated through Larnaca.

A full-scale war in Israel presents multiple challenges for the Republic of Cyprus. These challenges encompass safeguarding Israeli citizens on Cypriot soil from terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the "Revolutionary Guards." It also involves closely monitoring the concentration of military forces in the region, anticipating crisis scenarios, and addressing the refugee and migration issues that may arise as a consequence of this conflict.

Cyprus has a historical backdrop of involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict, making its role in these developments even more critical. Additionally, they are closely watching the geopolitical landscape as it continues to evolve.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Gaza  |  war  |  impact  |  Israel

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