Is Hezbollah getting involved from Lebanon?
- Terrorists in Lebanon fired mortar rounds into Israel near the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. There were no casualties and no property damages. Israel returned fire and blood at the terrorist launch site indicates Israel’s hit produced injuries. Reports out of Israel say Lebanon’s terrorist group Hezbollah is not responsible for the attack, but it is believed that radical Palestinian groups in Lebanon are to blame. (Fox News)
Sirens sound in Israel
- Sirens went off Friday in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Ashkelon, and Ashdod. A Gaza-sent rocket hit a gas station in Ashdod causing an explosion of a gas tanker at the site and injuring 61, one of them seriously. Terrorist rockets also hit as far north as Haifa revealing the use of longer range missiles within the considerable arsenal of Hamas and Jihadist groups in Gaza. (Fox News, The Times of Israel)
- President Obama has expressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a willingness to play a role in decreasing the violence.” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “There are a number of relationships the U.S. has that we can leverage in the region to bring an end to the rocket fire.” (Fox News)
Egypt closes border access
- Egypt closed its border crossing point with Gaza on Friday, thus blocking people and vehicles from leaving Gaza and entering Egypt. The crossing was closed without giving a reason but it came after they thwarted an attempt to smuggle rockets from Gaza into Egypt intended to be used on Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. (The Times of Israel)
- As of 5pm Friday in Israel, the IDF confirmed over 70 rockets were fired at Israel since midnight. Fifty-three of them hit Israel while 18 were intercepted. (IDF)
IDF states purpose of operation
- IDF states that Operation Protective Edge “has one goal: to stop Hamas’ incessant rocket attacks against Israel’s civilians.” Their website noted today that “since the start of the operation, over 490 of those rockets hit Israel, and approximately 129 rockets were intercepted.
Opposition to Israel
- Some in the international community have spoken out against Israel and their strikes of terrorist launch sites in civilian areas. Turkey has called for Israel to immediately stop their airstrikes on Gaza. Today, the UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, expressed concern over the reports of civilian casualties suffered in Gaza, stating it raises “serious doubt whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law.” Israel maintains that “it makes great efforts to avoid civilian casualties, but…militant group Hamas often places military assets in residential areas.” Pillay agrees this is against international law and called on Palestinian militants to stop using such sites from which to launch their attacks. (Today’s Zaman)
Please continue to pray for everyone involved in this crisis, on both sides. Pray for wisdom, protection, and most of all for God to make Himself known and that all would come to faith in His Son, Yeshua, the only solution for peace in the Middle East and individual hearts.
Note: Israel time is 10 hours later than US PDT and seven hours later than US EDT.
Sign up to receive our Insiders Insights for weekly Middle East news updates from Jewish Voice Ministries.