Israeli police and military carry the remains of a rocket fired from Gaza at the Ashkelon in southern Israel.

Israel accepted Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire beginning at 9 a.m. this morning. Hamas did not. The deal gave in to none of Hamas’ demands, so their response was to continue firing. The Israel Defense Forces’ website notes that Israel suspended their strikes in Gaza at 9 a.m. but that as of 3 p.m., Hamas had fired almost 50 rockets at Israel. Therefore, Israel resumed their operation against the Palestinians in Gaza. IDF reports that today they “struck Hamas’ tunnels, 20 concealed rocket launchers, weapons storage facilities and other operational infrastructure.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that in Israel’s acceptance of the cease-fire deal, “I said that if Hamas and Islamic Jihad don’t accept the ceasefire, they will pay a heavy price,” and “Hamas leaves us no choice but to respond.” Please pray as tensions escalate and a standoff seems to be taking place.

A woman in Israel caught in the open covers her head as rocket warning sirens sound. Operation Protective Edge, July 2014

Sirens have sounded throughout Israel as far as Haifa, and including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The cities closest to the Gaza Strip are seeing the most danger and damage. Many Israelis have a special app on their cell phones that sound the sirens and advise them of where the rockets are headed. When the sirens sound, people in that area have 60 seconds or less to find protection. Sometimes, one of Israel’s many public bomb shelters – at bus stops, playgrounds, and other regularly positioned sites throughout the cities – is not close enough. Can you imagine living with this kind of stress?

Please pray for  Israelis and Palestinians as there does not appear to be an easy or swift end to this altercation. Please pray for Israel’s citizens, under constant threat from rocket fire every day now. Nearly 1,100 rockets have been launched at Israeli cities in the last eight days.

Pray for Gaza’s citizens, who have not only suffered over 1,500 airstrikes on terror targets by Israel, but are also being used and sacrificed by their leaders.  In an interview with Fox News’ Brit Hume, Benjamin Netanyahu noted the stark contrast when he said, “We are using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles.” This reality for Palestinian citizens is beyond demeaning. Yet they are deceived into believing it is good.

The plights of each, though “normal life” to them, certainly must be taking a great toll. Please pray for ultimate freedom from hatred, evil, and terror in the region. The only means is through Yeshua (Jesus), the Savior and Messiah of all. Pray that hearts – on both sides – will be drawn to Him in faith each day.

Please pray also for our ministry partners and others ministering in Israel. They are committed to serving and loving the Jewish People there. Pray for their safety and that God would open doors of opportunity to them to share the love and Good News of Yeshua.

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