While a relatively quiet, rocket-free night brought a measure of calm for the residents of southern Israel, Hamas called for “a third intifada” and “A Day of Rage,” following a mass protest in Jerusalem that attracted a crowd of up to 10,000. Two Palestinians were killed in the riotous melee. Some 40 Palestinians were treated at East Jerusalem hospitals for minor injuries; 60 people were arrested. Hamas released a statement saying, “We call on the Palestinian people to a day of rage against the occupation’s procedures in Jerusalem against al-Aqsa mosque.” Israel has denied the accusation that the mosque has ever been in danger.
Yesterday’s announcement from the UN Human Rights Council that an independent commission be established to investigate possible violations of international law in Gaza (at the request of the Palestinians, Egypt and Pakistan) was met with the following response from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office: “The decision is a farce. Instead of investigating Hamas for committing a double war crime – firing rockets at Israeli civilians – the Human Rights Council calls for an investigation against Israel, which is making unprecedented efforts to avoid harming civilians. The Human Rights Council should investigate Hamas’s decisions to turn hospitals into command centers and schools into weapons depots and to place rocket launchers next to playgrounds, private homes and mosques,” the statement continued.
That the investigation applies only to Israel’s actions—ignoring Hamas’s culpability entirely—is beyond the reason of reasonable people, yet Israel finds itself standing dead center in the crosshairs of international outrage. Twenty-nine countries voted in favor of the investigation of Israel, including, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Abstaining were: Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, South Korea, Romania, the Republic of Macedonia, and the United Kingdom.
The United States stood alone in voting against the initiative. However increased pressure is constant from the current U.S. administration to end the fighting fast.
Back in Gaza, the fighting remained intense, with many rockets still being fired into Israel as the offensive continued, but the numbers of rockets has decreased from 190+ near the beginning of the conflict to 63 yesterday. This morning, news came that Israel’s government and Hamas officials are considering a five-day (others say it’s for seven days) ceasefire offer that was brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Operation Protective Edge” has been strategized gradually:
- Phase One – intensive air strikes on rocket launchers, weapons-production centers and command-and-control centers
- Phase Two – the entry of ground forces and destroying Hamas’s tunnel network
- Phase Three – the attack and destruction of Hamas’s military assets throughout Gaza. The targets of such a phase remain unclear, but it would not be unreasonable to assume they would focus on Hamas’s senior military leadership structure, all remaining weapons factories and rocket stockpiles, regime buildings, Hamas posts, large swaths of its territorial battalions
Israel needs your heartfelt prayers for:
- True surrender of hearts and lives to the only Source of peace—Yeshua (Jesus), the Prince of Peace
- Restoration of calm and quiet to the nation of Israel and the war-weary soldiers and civilians
- A peaceful resolution to be reached that both sides will be able to honor
- Divine protection for all Israeli troops, Jerusalem’s police force, and those who are living in bomb shelters for the past 18 days
- Miraculous signs and wonders to be recognized as the divine favor of the God of Israel and His heart of love for His Chosen People
- Intensified prayer against the spirit of deception that fuels global anti-Semitism
Thank you for your prayers for the peace of Jerusalem. And thank you for your support of Jewish Voice and the more than two dozen ministries we support in the Promised Land. You can help us continue providing much-needed funds for ministry on the ground in Israel. The faithful and courageous people we work with in Israel are daily delivering care packages containing food and personal items for the bomb shelters, sodas and snacks, socks, protein bars, water, flashlights, and lip balm, among other things to soldiers and elderly Holocaust survivors. With each generous gift you send, you are transforming the lives of those who are feeling the pain that accompanies war. Thank you for caring so deeply for our Jewish friends in the Land.
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