Amid UN Security Council demands for a ceasefire, rocket fire increased immediately after a brief respite for Palestinians to observe a Muslim holiday. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “Under these circumstances, Israel must do what it must do to defend its people.” Hamas has fired at least 2,500 rockets into Israel since the conflict began.
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu
The Prime Minister said Israeli forces will continue to dismantle Hamas’s cross-border tunnels and destroy its rocket arsenal. “I hope we achieve a sustainable quiet that will enable us to address the issue of demilitarizing Gaza,” he told CBS. “And if Hamas is discredited and demilitarized, then we may have a chance to work on something with the more moderate forces and get a better future for us all.”
U.S. President Obama called Netanyahu late Sunday night to urge an immediate ceasefire, following Secretary John Kerry’s disastrous failure at negotiating an acceptable ceasefire, which angered Palestinians, Egyptians and Israeli leaders all at once. Obama condemned Hamas attacks and reaffirmed “Israel’s right to defend itself.” He said that any lasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict “must ensure the disarmament of the terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.” In a media poll of the Israeli public, 87 percent said they would like to see the operation continue, and 69 percent want Hamas toppled entirely. Only seven percent want a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, former commander of the elite Yahalom unit that searches for the cross-border tunnels says Israel will not find them all during this operation, and that Hamas will continue to dig new ones after this conflict is over. Atai Shelach says, “The moment we leave, they will start digging again. The tunnels,” Shelach continued, “are actually part of the culture. They’ve been around for 20 years. Initially used for smuggling and then for an economic industry dominated by several families, the tunneling increased after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.”
Hamas Operated Tunnel Network
How to describe the tunnels? Having located 30 of them, the IDF says the tunnels are an elaborate system of pathways often wider than a man’s shoulders and close to six feet high. They are supported by hundreds of tons of concrete arches (likely made with the concrete provided by Israel over the years to help Palestinians build homes and apartments) and are well lit and properly ventilated. They have numerous entrances and exits into Israel.
Explosives, arms and IDF military uniforms are stashed in the tunnels as well as zip ties and narcotics meant to facilitate kidnapping. Hamas pays families near the border “to hire” a room in their homes from which operatives begin digging a shaft within the house. Hamas uses the population for their own purposes. Last week a terrorist attack was launched from one of these tunnels which actually exited into the dining hall of a kibbutz located near the border!
Please join us in prayer for:
- Divine wisdom and discernment for the Prime Minister and Israel’s security cabinet
- The grieving families and friends lost in the fighting since “Operation Protective Edge” began
- The children of Israel and Gaza, and Israel’s 180,000 elderly Holocaust survivors—for God’s divine protection over them—that He hide them under the shadow of His wing
- The IDF soldiers who are working to locate and destroy all of the underground tunnels
- God to raise up voices of truth to counter the anti-Israel protests coming from every direction
- The Palestinian civilians and soldiers to recognize the deception perpetrated by their leaders
- Palestinian violence in other parts of Israel (outside the Gaza Strip) to cease
Your prayers for the peace of Jerusalem are critically important at this time. And we are so grateful for your support of Jewish Voice and the more than two dozen ministries we support in Israel. The faithful people we work with on the ground there are daily delivering humanitarian relief packages, visiting families at home, praying with them and encouraging. Teams from abroad have gone to Israel to help with their efforts. They have shown an amazing outpouring of love and care for the Israelis. One of the ministries we support takes busloads of small children to a special camp they created in the North, to take them away from the grim reality of constant rocket fire—where they can be safe and still enjoy their summer holiday. They need food and other supplies for the camp and your gifts are supplying those needs right now!
Others continue to bring food and personal items to the bomb shelters and care packages for the soldiers. The packages have soft drinks, snacks, socks, protein bars, water, flashlights, and lip balm. These ministries are reporting miracles taking place, miracles of divine protection taking place in situations that we can’t begin to fathom. They are continuing to visit precious Holocaust survivors who remain in their homes because the shelters are too far away to get to. Your gifts are transforming the lives of those who desperately need to know the love of Yeshua through you! May God bless you richly for your tangible care and concern for our Jewish friends in the Land.
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