As the sun rose in Israel on Saturday, Day 19, of “Operation Protective Edge, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to “pause” the Gaza offensive for a 12-hour “humanitarian window” was fragile, though Hamas was cooperating. Hamas said it and other groups in Gaza had reached “a national consensus on the humanitarian truce,” and advised people not to approach bombed-out buildings and militant bases for fear of “explosive objects.”
The ceasefire began at 8:00 am. Israel did clarify that “we’ll continue to locate and neutralize terror tunnels,” and warned that the military “shall respond if terrorists choose to exploit” the lull to attack Israeli troops “or fire at Israeli civilians.”
On Friday night, the Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative for a ceasefire offer, citing that the language of the agreement was “too tilted toward Hamas.” Israel has also suggested that Gaza be demilitarized as a condition for a permanent ceasefire so that Hamas cannot rearm itself ahead of another round of fighting. Violent outbreaks in the West Bank continued to escalate late into the night, with six Palestinians killed among the rioting mobs. Intensive rocket firing persisted in Gaza, but foreign airlines have returned to Ben-Gurion airport.
As Hamas continues to urge a Third Intifada, some sources believe morale is weakening within the terrorist organization. With no sign of an imminent truce and continuing unrealistic demands from Hamas’s leaders, it begins to appear possible that Hamas never actually had a strategic plan for an entire campaign against Israel.
In the midst of all the news coming out of Israel this week, going largely unnoticed was the inauguration of Israel’s new president, Reuven Rivlin. The somber and modest ceremony of Israel’s tenth president was held without fanfare at the Knesset. In his inauguration speech, Rivlin said he wished to “deliver a clear message to our enemies: You cannot and will not defeat us. We are determined to protect the pillars of our polity, as well as the character of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, even in time of war against terror. …Terror will not cause us to withdraw; it will not weaken our spirit.”
Your prayers are urgently needed for:
- God to provide wisdom and sound judgment for Israel’s decision makers and President Rivlin
- The many families on both sides who are heartbroken by the loss of their loved ones
- God’s protection over the thousands of Israeli men and women who are in harm’s way as they do battle in the Gaza Strip
- The rioting in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to cease and for those who call for a third intifada and a “Day of Rage” to stand down
- The Palestinian population to supernaturally come to the realization that they are deceived
- For the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to make Himself known in the lives of all of those involved in this war
Jewish Voice supports more than two dozen ministries in Israel. Your gifts enable us to provide humanitarian aid programs for the victims of terror in this offensive. Because of our faithful partners, we are helping to fund ministries who keep bomb shelters stocked with food and water, beds and blankets, as well as other practical necessities that these families had to leave in their homes to run to safety as the sirens warned of incoming missiles. We’re helping teams of people reach out to the elderly and single parent families who are especially vulnerable during this crisis, including precious Holocaust survivors, making sure they have household goods, food, and emergency items. Please send your best gift today. As the fighting continues, the needs increase. God bless you for your generous heart for Israel and thank you for partnering with Jewish Voice.
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