IT’S been raining in Gaza these past days. This time a natural deluge from the skies has only added to the man-made misery from the usual hail of missiles, bombs and shells that have borne down on the strip.

The suffering of Gaza’s civilians, it seems, knows no bounds.

But incredibly bleak as the news continues to be and unpalatable as the thought is, it’s time the world woke up to another harsh reality that lies just around the corner.

I’m going to put this very bluntly and say it as I see it. Quite simply, no-one gives a toss about the future of the millions of Gazans already displaced and uprooted as well as those other Palestinians across the West Bank.

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Let me qualify that remark a little by saying that when I refer to “no-one”, I mean those countries and their leaders who possess the real power to make a difference as opposed to the countless ordinary people globally who identify with and recognise suffering and a long-term injustice when they see it.

As is stands right now, all this talk of a “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict is nothing more than pie in the sky. As a journalist who has spent many decades covering this battle of wills, I only wish the runes read differently, but the realpolitik of the situation on the ground suggests otherwise.

I’ve been around the Middle East long enough to remember a time when back in the 1990s during the Madrid peace conference there was at least some semblance of an attempt by the international community to revive the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

But that was an age ago in more ways than one. For starters, it was before the second intifada of 2000-2005 and before the numbers of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank rose from 100,000 to almost half a million as they are now.

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In the intervening years, the political landscape just like the territorial one has slipped into an irreconcilable abyss while the international community looked the other way, just as it will do so again when Gaza faces “the morning after”.

It doesn’t help currently that Israel and Hamas are one in the same thing. To put this another way, neither side has any real interest in ceasing the fighting – let alone creating a two-state solution.

While the Israeli government is riven with far-right extremists whose foot soldiers are doing their damnedest to run all Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza, Hamas meanwhile remains hellbent on destroying Israel. To talk then of a “solution” right now is fatuous at best.

Against this uncompromising and unforgiving stance adopted by both sides, only the most naive would believe it possible to set in train anything meaningful with regards to peace. I fully understand those who might counter this by asking, if not now, then when? It’s a good point and I certainly would hope that it brought results.

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Certainly the fighting must stop at some point, but this then brings us to the question of what will become of Gaza, Gazans and Palestinians as a whole. Again, I wish the signals were positive – they are anything but.

The reasons for this come down both to Israel’s allies in the West but also those in the Arab world. The same Arab world and its leaders who for decades have cynically viewed the Palestinian cause as one not really worth the candle for fear of upsetting their own vested interests with the West.

Cynical self-interest rules the day here and the Palestinians for the umpteenth time in their history are about to be cast adrift again and tossed about in the cruel sea of geopolitics.

To give but just a few examples of this self-interest, let’s start with the Americans, who like the EU and the Saudis have long advocated a two-state solution.

US president Joe Biden’s administration – when not giving Israel the green light for bombing – has already says it favours a post-war Gaza administered by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Biden has long been pressing the Israelis for a plan for the “day after the war”, but his take differs markedly from Benjamin Netanyahu’s (below).

The National: Benjamin Netanyahu

Earlier this week a report by Israel’s Channel 13 television network indicated that during an Israeli Knesset Foreign and Security Affairs Committee meeting to discuss control over Gaza once the war is over, Netanyahu made his position crystal clear. Not only did he re-reiterate that under “no circumstances” would the PA be permitted such a role in Gaza, but that security control would remain under the state of Israel.

“The difference between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is only that Hamas wants to destroy us [Israel] here and now and the PA wants to do it in stages,” insisted Netanyahu, in language that suggests any long-term planning for Gaza will not only be Israeli driven, but likely at odds with the view of Israel’s staunchest ally, the US.

It's almost a given then that without Israel having a cohesive long-term political plan for Gaza and the Palestinians in the West Bank, it will prove near impossible to entice nations to help rebuild Gaza and rehabilitate the lives of those Palestinians that “live” there.

It’s not that there are any signs of a rush by major world powers to inherit the responsibility for Gaza’s future even if Israel did have a long-term plan. In the days after the war, as ever, it’s a fair bet that those in the West will make the right noises but not want to upset Israel.

The Arab world meanwhile will likewise stick to what it has often done with regard to the Palestinians – very little. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, might have a few sleepless nights pondering how to balance modernising his country and normalising relations with Israel without being seen to betray the Palestinians … but that’s about it. Other Arab countries will face similar “dilemmas”.

Saudi will also want to keep Washington sweet. The UK, meanwhile, will follow America’s lead and the EU will sound off but stop short of crossing Israel.

As has happened so often in the past, Gazans and the Palestinian people once again will find their fate determined by geopolitical whims and vagaries beyond their own control. I wish this were not so but it will take a quantum shift in diplomacy to make for any other outcome in the foreseeable future.

For months now the world has watched as Gaza has been bludgeoned, but don’t be surprised if now we watch as it’s abandoned.