Sirens continued to scream warnings throughout the day today in Israel. It’s just before 9:00 p.m. on Friday evening there—the beginning of the Sabbath. As of nightfall Thursday night, over 350 rockets had been fired at Israel, with about 90 of them intercepted by the “Iron Dome.” Israel had conducted almost 900 airstrikes in Gaza.
The origin of the Israeli-Palestinian problem is different according to which side you’re on. However, Hamas has assaulted Israel from Gaza for the last 13 years with their hatred and weaponry. Israel has responded with aggressive action twice before in the last five years. In 2009 they conducted Operation Cast Lead and in 2012, Operation Pillar of Defense. In an article on Israel Hayom, Avi Dichter, (former internal security and home front defense minister for Israel, director of Shin Bet security agency, and Knesset member) writes,
Indeed, no civilians anywhere in the world, including in President Barack Obama's United States, would agree to live like this for 13 years, without exerting their right to defend themselves at any cost. The window of opportunity that has now been opened to Israel makes it possible to initiate a strategic move, to destroy the military infrastructure of the terrorist groups in Gaza -- Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
He believes the time for a strategic campaign has come for Israel, something that will last not a matter of weeks or months, but perhaps years. “Without destroying the terrorists’ military infrastructure in Gaza we will continue living from one round of shooting to the next, as the time in between rounds decreases and the range of the rockets increases,” he says.
Though some in Israel are complaining of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s lack of speed and decisiveness of action, The Times of Israel has reported that the PM has “warned Israelis to brace for a lengthy conflict.” What some may call indecisiveness may be a firm determination to step wisely into a serious long-haul solution that will ensure this recurring threat does not resurface in the future.
Meanwhile, Israel is seeing support from around the world. The Jerusalem Post reports that in a conversation yesterday between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, the US president “reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks.”
The US State Department clearly places the blame on Hamas for this most recent rocket war, as revealed when spokeswoman Jen Psaki addressed a number of questions posed by a Palestinian journalist in a recent press conference. The Times of Israel notes her reply: “‘I would remind you who is at fault here,’ she told reporters, ‘and that is Hamas.’”
Hamas has declared they will not stop the rocket fire and is now demanding the release of 56 terrorists from Israeli prisons. Netanyahu declared, “I will end when the missile threat is over.”
Toward the manipulative play on Israel’s decency by Hamas placing their military sites amid Gaza’s civilian population, Netanyahu “accused Hamas and Islamic Jihad members of ‘hiding behind civilians’ saying they were responsible if any harm comes to them.” It is believed that Hamas leaders are once again hiding under Gaza’s main hospital, an accusation Israeli officials made during the 2012 battle.
To make matters worse, two rockets appear to have been fired into Israel from her northern neighbor Lebanon, home of Hezbollah, another terrorist organization aimed at the destruction of Israel.
Please continue to pray for:
- Wisdom for Israel’s senior governing and military leaders
- The individuals directly involved in the nitty-gritty of this terrible situation
- The Israeli military, made up of specific people with full lives and families, who are readying themselves for the possibility of a ground war
- God to bring HIS peace to this entire region
- No further aggression toward Israel from Lebanon or any of her other enemies
- The hearts of individuals – on both sides of the border – to come to know the Savior of all mankind, Yeshua Messiah
Sources: Israel Hayom, The Times of Israel