The Potential Fallout of a Widening Israel-Hamas War

In the mini-documentary Middle East Shockwave, we show how a regional conflict would imperil more lives, worsen poverty and threaten the global economy.

(Bloomberg) — The war between Hamas and Israel has claimed close to 5,000 lives, according to authorities on both sides. Following the militant group’s Oct. 7 incursion into Israel, during which it killed 1,400 people while kidnapping hundreds more, Israel responded with a bombing campaign that’s killed thousands of Palestinians ahead of an expected ground invasion. 

Tensions in the region have been rising. With no end in sight, the war could draw in Iran-backed militias such as Hezbollah or even Iran itself. As US naval forces mass offshore, the potential for escalation is growing. In the Bloomberg Originals mini-documentary Middle East Shockwave, we explore where the war may go from here, and how a regional conflict would imperil the safety and livelihoods of millions of people across the region—and all over the world.

The human toll of a proxy war between Israel and Hezbollah or other militias, let alone direct conflict with Iran, would almost certainly claim more lives than if the conflict remained limited to Gaza. A secondary effect is that a likely spike in oil prices could push a global economy already battered by inflation, pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine into recession, hobbling struggling countries and exacerbating poverty everywhere.

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