Sympathy Shift After Iran Attack Takes Focus Away From Starving Refugees In Gaza

( – It’s been a rough few months in the Middle East as Israel continues its assault on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The conflict has already displaced millions of Palestinians, who are lacking most of the basic necessities. While there was global sympathy for the region, reports say that Iran’s recent attack on Israel has shifted the diplomatic focus, once again painting Israel as the victim.

On Saturday, April 13, Iran launched a massive attack on Israel, involving more than 300 missiles and drones. While most of them were intercepted by allies and Israel’s Iron Dome, some did land and cause minor damage. The strike was a retaliation for Israel’s launch on an embassy in Syria that killed several members of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two senior commanders. It was the first time in history that Iran attacked Israel directly, having relied on its proxies up until now.

In the wake of the strike, many, like 52-year-old Bashir Alyan, who previously worked for the Palestinian Authority, believe that the attention on Israel will draw attention from the Gaza region and those who need help. He said, “Countries and people were sympathetic to us, but now sympathy has shifted to” the Jewish state.

Alyan is currently living in a tent in Rafah, an area Israel says it plans to invade, with his five children. He says he has lost more than 40 pounds in six months because he’s only eating two meals a day, and most of the food is provided by Unwra, the UN agency for refugees. Alyan expressed concern that the Iranian attack has centered attention back on Israel rather than on the Palestinians, who are in desperate need of aid.

The situation in Gaza hasn’t changed, however. Samantha Power, the US aid chief, confirmed that famine was beginning to take hold. When Western allies began questioning whether it was ethical to sell arms to the Jewish state given the situation, Israel said it would deliver. But there are real concerns that Gaza will be abandoned.

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