Israel-Hamas war threatens to spill over, AI, and a seismic US election: 5 predictions for 2024

CNN — As we enter 2024 what lies ahead on the global stage may seem more uncertain than it has in years. To help you make sense of it, here are some key themes to watch. 1. Israel-Hamas war threatens to spill over Israel has warned the war with Hamas could take months. The new year begins with Israel pushing its offensive further into the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas’ October 7 attacks. International pressure is mounting on Israel to limit the duration and intensity of its war amid global outcry over Gazans being trapped in mortal danger, without critical supplies or access to healthcare, as disease spreads through crowded humanitarian camps. Despite this, Israel has doubled down on its efforts and vowed its war on Hamas will rage for many months. The risk of a wider Middle East conflict is escalating. There are increasing cross-border exchanges between the Iran-backed, Islamist paramilitary group Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on the Lebanon-Israel border. Proxy attacks by Iran-backed factions in Iraq – like the recent strike on the US embassy in Baghdad – are becoming bolder and more common. And further attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels on global shipping routes through the Red Sea and Suez Canal could make energy prices soar. There’s also a risk of other extremist groups in the region being fueled by opportunism and/or grievances. It goes without saying that any formal normalization of ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a deal that appeared close before October 7, is now off the table. The United States’ early unequivocal support of Israeli attacks on Gaza has damaged the image it projects as a guarantor of human rights and international law – a reputational hit from which Washington is unlikely to recover in the short […]

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