President Trump kept his promise.
The U.S. embassy move – or its first stage – is successfully completed. It was so exciting to be here with our Jewish Voice 2018 Israel Tour as it happened!
But not everyone is pleased.
Hamas incites 50,000 Gazans
Ahead of Monday’s embassy opening, thousands of Gaza residents demonstrated against the move.
The activities at the Gaza border quickly turned violent, and demonstrators burned the border gate and nearby electrical and power stations. The results affected Gaza residents and, as a result, they now have no gas to cook with and no electricity for their homes.
Damage was estimated in the millions. As usual, the Palestinian Hamas blamed Israel for the power outage, which will now cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. And, as in the past, it will likely be Israel who will fix it.
The Times of Israel reported that 50,000 Gazans demonstrated in 12 locations along the border. Thousands more were gathered at points several hundred meters from the fence, it reported.
Demonstrations soon turned into full-blown riots as Gazans launched burning kites into Israel in hopes of destroying farmers’ crops. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) estimated that the violence caused $9 million in damage on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
At least 60 people were killed and nearly 1,200 injured during the rioting on Monday, according to the Jerusalem Post. On Tuesday, the border clashes were calmer with two deaths reported in the area.
Our tour group was in Jerusalem at the time experiencing the excitement of the Embassy opening.
What’s Really Going On?
The riots were part of weekly demonstrations billed as the “Great March of Return.” Encouraged by the terror group Hamas, the uprisings were originally slated to last from March 31 until May 15, the day known in Palestine as nakba (“catastrophe”) because it marks the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring itself a sovereign nation in 1948.
The IDF later closed the crossing, issuing a statement that read in part, “The Hamas terror organization has been carrying out terrorist attacks in the guise of riots. (They are) harming the well-being of Gazans and paralyzing their ability to go about their daily lives. Israel and many countries around the world work to deliver goods such as food, equipment, and fuel to Gaza's citizens, initiatives that are prevented by the Hamas terror organization’s actions.”
According to YNetnews.com, a Palestinian source said; “Hamas was encouraging rioters to damage crossings.” As crossings run by the Palestinian Authority (PA) are closed, the PA loses revenue from customs and other taxes. Closings also re-route goods to the Hamas-run Rafah Crossing, giving Hamas the income it needs to continue its actions against Israel.
In short, the riots provide cover for Hamas’ terror activities, which have as their sole purpose the destruction of Israel. Hamas used publicity surrounding the U.S. embassy inauguration in Jerusalem to convince tens of thousands of its own people to risk their lives and livelihoods by attacking Israel.
Middle East nations are among those that condemned Monday’s violence, and the UN Security Council met Tuesday in response. During that session, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, defended Israel, saying, “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”
How You Can Pray
Pray for the safety of Israeli and Gaza citizens in the crosshairs of Hamas terrorism.
- Pray that Gazans will see that they endanger their own children when they allow Hamas to use them for its terror purposes.
- Pray for young people in Israel’s military, who are Hamas’ targets.
- Pray for quick repair of the Kerem Shalom Crossing, both to allow the free flow of humanitarian supplies and to starve the Hamas terrorism treasury.