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Archive for January, 2009|Monthly archive page

ESCALATION: ISRAELI FORCES FIGHT THEIR WAY INTO GAZA TO STOP THE MISSILES AND MORTARS

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2009 at 12:04 am
Israeli tanks began moving into Gaza Saturday afternoon

Israeli tanks began moving into Gaza Saturday afternoon

Israeli forces are moving under the cover of darkness

Israeli forces are moving under the cover of darkness

Fires are raging in Gaza as Israeli bombs pound Hamas missile launchers and weapons depots

Fires are raging in Gaza as Israeli bombs pound Hamas missile launchers and weapons depots

The State of Israel has just dramatically escalated its war against the terrorist forces of Hamas.

Israeli tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavily armed ground forces have begun fighting their way into the Gaza Strip to hunt down and destroy Hamas missile and mortar launches, capture Hamas terrorist fighters, and create a real measure of safety and security along Israel’s southern border. As of 1:30am Israel time, “Army officials confirmed that dozens of terrorists were hurt in clashes with IDF ground troops, some of them were killed. In several cases, armed terrorists approached Israeli forces and were shot at by ground troops and IDF gunships. There are no reports of Israeli casualties at this time.”

“The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations,” said Major Avital Leibovitch, a military spokeswoman, confirming that incursions were under way, according to Ynet news, an Israeli news service. “We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.”

“It won’t be easy and it won’t be brief,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters. ‘We’re continuing to expand the operation while being well aware that this move will include challenges, difficulties, and also victims. We are doing it because of the faith that at this time this is our duty to citizens of the country.”

“Several hours ago, IDF troops entered the Gaza Strip,” Barak added. “So far in the operation, the IDF, the Air Force, and the Intelligence Corps delivered a harsh blow against Hamas.

IMMEDIATE PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Pray for the Lord to bring real peace to the situation ASAP
  • Pray for the believers on both sides — in Israel and in Gaza — for courage and wisdom to know how best to love their neighbors and their enemies
  • Pray for the children and families caught in the crossfire
  • Pray for the salvation of those who face death at any moment
  • Pray for followers of Jesus around the world to be mobilized to pray and to help these victims of war and terrorism in real and practical ways

HEADLINES TO TRACK:

COULD HAMAS ROCKETS HIT ISRAEL’S NUCLEAR PLANT? New poll finds Israelis moving toward Likud

In Uncategorized on January 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

 

Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona now appears to be in range of Hamas rockets

Israel's nuclear reactor at Dimona now appears to be in range of Hamas rockets

Will Israeli ground forces follow up intense IAF bombing of Gaza?
Will Israeli ground forces follow up intense IAF bombing of Gaza?

“There were growing fears in Israel last night that Hamas missiles could threaten its top-secret nuclear facility at Dimona,” reports the London Times this morning.

“Rocket attacks from Gaza have forced Israelis to flee in ever greater numbers and military chiefs have been shaken by the size and sophistication of the militant group’s arsenal. In Beersheba, until a few days ago a sleepy desert town in southern Israel, there is little sign of the 186,000 inhabitants. Schools are closed and the streets of shuttered shops echo with the howl of sirens warning of incoming rockets….Israeli officials say that Hamas has also acquired dozens of Iranian-made Fajr-3 missiles with an even longer range. Many fear that as the group acquires ever more sophisticated weaponry it is only a matter of time before the nuclear installation at Dimona, 20 miles east of Beersheba, falls within its sights. Dimona houses Israel’s only nuclear reactor and is believed to be where nuclear warheads are stored….Israel’s worst nightmare is that soon all its cities will be within range either of the Hezbollah Katyushas arrayed on the Lebanese border to the north or the increasingly sophisticated missiles stockpiled by Hamas to the south. Both groups have links to Israel’s archenemy Iran. Israel has said that its aim is to smash Hamas’s rocket-firing capability but also to topple the hardline Islamist regime that seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007 after bloody street battles with its secular rivals Fatah. Until that goal is achieved, many in Beersheba are packing their bags and heading for Tel Aviv or Eilat. ‘Maybe 30 or 40 per cent of people have left the city,’ said Ron Shukron, 26, running one of the few grocery shops still open. As he spoke a siren echoed through the empty streets. With only 15 seconds to take cover, he stepped under a reinforced support beam in the ceiling. Seconds later came the dull thud of a rocket exploding on the edge of town.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s Operation Cast Lead is having a curious political effect in Israel. The Kadima party — run by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who are overseeing the war — is losing support among voters, while the opposition Likud Party (run by Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu) has pulled ahead significantly in recent days. A new Jerusalem Post poll found that  “the Likud had risen from 27 seats to 29, Labor had gone up from 14 to 15, and Kadima had fallen from 27 to 23 since the previous Post poll was published on October 31. Likud and Kadima, which were tied then, are now six seats apart, and the Right bloc’s advantage over the Left remains a hefty eight mandates, 64 to 56.”

Other findings in the Post poll:

  • “Asked whether they found the Likud and Kadima lists attractive, respondents were equally positive and negative about Likud’s candidates. Fifty-one percent said they found the Kadima list unattractive, while just 28% said it attracted them.”
  • “Other polls published this week found that 81% of Israelis supported the war in Gaza, but only 63% believed it would succeed in stopping rocket fire on the South. The surveys were divided on whether there should be a ground offensive in the Strip or whether Israel should seek a cease-fire.”

HEADLINES TO TRACK:

ISRAEL KILLS SENIOR HAMAS LEADER: But does Israel’s leaders have stomach for crushing Hamas?

In Uncategorized on January 1, 2009 at 5:23 pm
The IDF on Thursday took our Sheikh Nizar Ryan, a senior Hamas leader

The IDF on Thursday took our Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, a senior Hamas leader

Israeli forces have been successfully pounding the Hamas terror leadership and infrastructure in Gaza over the past six days. There is much, much more to be done, but progress is being made. Smuggling tunnels are being destroyed. Rocket launchers — even those hidden in mosques and residential areas — are being destroyed. Terrorist shock troops and their commanders are being killed. And on Thursday, an IDF airstrike killed Sheikh Nizar Rayyan, a senior Hamas official and spiritual leader who just day before said in a mosque in Gaza: “We do not need money or weapons, we only need your prayers. We can handle the enemy ourselves.” Israel’s Channel 10 described the sheikh as the “mufti” of Hamas’ military wing.

That said, it is not clear that Israel’s political leadership has the stomach for truly doing everything necessary to crush Hamas in Gaza once and for all. Readers of this weblog will note that just yesterday I praised Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday for rejecting a French and European Union proposed 48-hour cease fire. Yet today Olmert blinked, saying Israel is not interested an extended war to truly crush Hamas. A top aide to Defense Minister Ehud Barak said pretty much the same thing, conceding that crushing Hamas is not the goal, just stopping Hamas’ rocket attacks against Israel. What’s more, Barak actually seems to be in favor of the two-day “time out” being pushed by the EU rather than fighting as aggressively as possible towards regime change in Gaza. A number of Israel’s intelligentsia is also arguing publicly that Israel doesn’t have either the will or the means to uproot Hamas from Gaza, and thus Israelis should prepare themselves for far less.

We must continue to pray for Israel’s leaders to have the wisdom, courage and faith — yes, faith — to do all that is necessary to protect the citizens of Israel and to help liberate the people of Gaza from the hellish reign of terror that Hamas has created there. Olmert, Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni seem to have forgotten that the God of the Bible is the God of Israel who loves Israel and wants to bless her and give her real and lasting peace and security. They seem to have lost any measure of faith in the Lord who loves Israel and is ready to rescue her if her leaders and people will truly turn to Him? Do they not read the Word of the Lord? Do they not remember the promises of passages like Psalm 121?

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
       where does my help come from?

 2 My help comes from the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3 He will not let your foot slip—
       he who watches over you will not slumber;

 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
       will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD watches over you—
       the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

 6 the sun will not harm you by day,
       nor the moon by night.

 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
       he will watch over your life;

 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
       both now and forevermore.

The Lord gave the people of Israel great victories in the Bible when they followed Him. He gave them great victories against overwhelming odds in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. Israel is far more powerful militarily and economically today than ever before. With the Lord at their side, they could crush Hamas and liberate Gaza from evil. Yet they seem so far from Him today. As we pray for peace and comfort for the victims of war and terror on both sides of the fence, let us, therefore, also pray for the leaders of Israel that they will rediscover the God who loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives. Let us pray that they turn to the Lord and seek His face, His will and His power. Let us pray that they remember and take heed to 2 Chronicles 7:14, in which the Lord said, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

 

 

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