Settlements and challenges from Gaza to Golan heights
Following the ending of the battles in south of Syria, political settlements phases on Syrian domestic and regional level are supposed to take off. Russia who managed to play the role of guarantor of the situation in the south, will find itself obliged to keep playing this role on a bigger scale. The achievement of the south deal between Israel and Syria will logically lead to a further reconciliation stage.
The Iranian presence in Syria is not only problematic for Israel and Jordan, it might also represent a problem for the Syrian government, as the phase of risks that requires the Iranian physical presence is over.
The Syrian government will logically adopt a pragmatic political approach that will help the central government of Damascus contain all triggers of any possible coming upraise. On an internal level, The Syrian government is expected to launch a phase of reconciliation. On a regional level, the Iranian presence in the whole of Syria, not just in the south, will be subject of more pressure on Damascus. Syria realizes that at the end, the internal reconciliation is key to launching the political solution, therefore, the Syrian priorities will logically change. Beside that, Syrians believe that Russia is the only protagonist that can shape a solution on the international level, while Iran might represent a strong burden on the same level.
The settlement of the south of Syria might represent an important phase in launching the whole Syrian political settlement, and it might go further to
extend to a regional level. Russia, an ally for both Syria and Israel, might find much interest in shaping a regional settlement between the two Russian allies. Moreover, limited clashes in Golan heights are expected to go on, especially from the Israeli side. Such clashes might risk blowing the situation up, yet, reaching the point of open confrontation doesn’t seem probable in the short term. However, Russia might think seriously that putting an end to these risks requires huge diplomatic efforts. The success in shaping an agreement in the south; reassuring Israel and getting sovereignty back to the Syrians would give Russia an extra powerful card to play on a political level. Tracing the pending peace process talks between Israel and Syria might be the only solution that would guarantee a stable period for Russia, with no concerns of having the situation blowing up again.
On the Israeli level, while Israel observes the challenges on the southern part of Syria, there is another boiling front that is not less risky, Gaza and the current situation might threaten the stability of the whole region including Jordan. Gaza requires serious interventions today; security can never be maintained just by applying security measures, and the new concept of security should be based on efficient local development plans. This applies everywhere, but it might apply to Gaza in particularly.
. Also, the south of Jordan requires serious mega development plan that can turn the wide empty lands into regional development hubs.
The region is facing a fundamental point, where settlements appear to be the only path to saving it from the continuous phases of war, blood, hate and decadence. Yet, the lack of serious thinking of how to impose development plans in hot areas keeps feeding pessimism of the capability of putting an end to these crises. Therefore, if security is the priority of all countries today, it is a must to include local development plans as part of security maintenance strategies.
Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh
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