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#Israel At War Day 5: Hamas fires 114 rockets at Israel, 3 fired at Tel Aviv; details of cease fire demands emerge

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2012 at 5:15 am

(Jerusalem, Israel) – On Sunday, several of my Joshua Fund colleagues and I arrived in Jerusalem where I did a Fox News interview on the Gaza crisis and Israel At War.  I also had the honor of preaching at a wonderful church congregation in Jerusalem.

No rockets or missiles were fired at Jerusalem today, but the war here continues unabated. Please keep praying for the millions on both sides who are fearful and traumatized. Pray the Lord would comfort and encourage them, and draw them close to His heart. Pray that as they huddle in their bomb shelters they read the Scriptures, including passages like Psalm 91. “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!’ For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark….You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day….Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him [says the Lord God of Israel]; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.”

Here are the latest developments:

  • On Sunday, 114 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, including 50 rockets that were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.
  • The Iranian-backed terrorists in Gaza fired three missiles at Tel Aviv, all of which were shot down by Iron Dome.
  • Nine Israelis were injured during rocket attacks today.
  • Enormous numbers of Israeli combat soldiers and their tanks and equipment continue to amass on the Gaza border, awaiting orders for a ground invasion.
  • Hamas is now threatening to unleash a wave of suicide bomber into the interior of Israel.
  • Schools remain closed throughout southern Israel, as are most businesses.
  • Meanwhile, let us not forget the terrible bloodshed underway in Syria. Today, at least 78 people were killed there. All told, more than 37,000 people have been slaughtered in Syria amidst that nation’s gruesome civil war. (CNN)

Under pressure from Egypt, Hamas is calling for a truce. Israel confirmed that it sent a diplomatic team to Cairo to discuss a possible cease fire. Yet no terms have been agreed to. However, cease fire demands from both sides are beginning to emerge in the local media.

What Hamas wants:

  1. Israel must completely lift the blockade on Gaza.
  2. Israel must stop its incursions into the Gaza Strip.
  3. Israel must stop targeted killings of faction leaders in Gaza.
  4. Israel must stop attacking Gaza fishermen and firing at them.

What Israel wants:

  1. The ceasefire must last for over 15 years.
  2. Weapons must no longer be let into Gaza.
  3. Hamas and the factions must stop shooting missiles and targeting Israeli forces on the border.
  4. Israel may conduct a “hot” pursuit into the Gaza Strip if it has information on an imminent attack.
  5. The removal of the blockade will be done from the Egyptian side, not the Israeli.
  6. President Morsi is the personal guarantor for the agreement, and not Egyptian security forces.
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    * Please prayerfully consider helping The Joshua Fund care for the poor and needy in Israel, teach the Word of God in the epicenter, educate and mobilize Christians around the world to bless poor and needy Israelis, train pastors and ministry leaders in Egypt, strengthen the believers in Syria, and assist with those being affected by this new war in southern Israel — would you make a generous, tax deductible financial contribution to The Joshua Fund

I visited the “Armageddon McDonald’s” in northern Israel yesterday. But the kids who work there don’t know the prophecy.

In Uncategorized on November 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

The current war here between Hamas and Israel is terrible, and traumatic, and is drawing the attention of the whole world. Many people are Tweeting me to ask if this is a prophetic war and whether it will lead to the battle of Armageddon.

Operation Pillar of Defense is not the beginning of the battle of Armageddon. It is not the end of the world as we know it. There is no evidence — at the moment, at least — that it is one of the specific wars against Israel that are mentioned in Bible prophecy. Still, this war could begin to establish the conditions that will lead to some of the most dramatic End Times prophecies in the Bible coming to pass in the not-too-distant future. Please keep praying for the Lord to comfort and protect the millions of Israelis and Palestinians on both sides who are being so deeply affected by the current conflict.

That said, let me share with you a little story I think you might find interesting in this context. About five years ago or so, McDonald’s built a new restaurant in the town of Megiddo in northern Israel. I’m not making this up. It is literally around the corner from the Jezreel Valley. It’s next to the site of the ancient mountain of Megiddo that has been conquered at least two dozen times in history. It is right next to the site that Bible prophecy says will be the location of one of the most dramatic and horrific battles in all of human history. I call it the “Armageddon McDonald’s.” Lynn and I have taken many tour groups to see it, and our kids have had plenty of french fries and hot fudge sundaes there.

A few years ago, I was speaking on Bible prophecy at a conference and I told the people about the Armageddon McDonald’s. “I can’t say for certain why McDonald’s built a restaurant there of all places,” I told the audience. “But maybe they heard about the prophecy and said, ‘Are you telling me that all the armies of the world are coming here one day? Is that what the Bible really says? Wow. Well, they’re going to need to eat, right? Let’s build a restaurant there. We’ll make a fortune!'” The audience laughed. “Of course, I don’t think people will be ‘loving it’ when that terrible war comes,” I added. “And I’m guessing the fries will probably be burned on that day.” After the event, I was doing a book signing. One woman came up to me and said, “I really liked your talk. Thanks for giving a plug for the McDonald’s corporation.” I laughed and said I wasn’t really endorsing a company. She told me that she was a McDonald’s franchise owner, and then she said, “According to Bible prophecy, where else should we build restaurants?” True story. I think she was kidding, but it was a priceless question. I said, “You could always try the city of Babylon in Iraq. The book of Revelation says in the last days Babylon will be the wealthiest, most powerful city in the world. Sure, the most evil, too. But people are going to need to eat!”

Yesterday, I was telling this story to a group of pastors from the U.S. and Europe that I’m in Israel with. They wanted to see the Armageddon McDonald’s for themselves. So after finishing our time at another Bible conference, and spending some time praying along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we stopped by for some sundaes. As we ordered, I asked the kids working there if they knew that the end of the world as we know it was going to take place there. They didn’t. I asked if they knew that the Bible says that all the armies of the world will come there to try to destroy Israel? They didn’t. Did they know that Jesus Christ will come and destroy those armies? No. Did they know that the Lord Jesus will also save the nation of Israel, physically and spiritually — everyone who calls on the name of Jesus and receives Him as their Savior and Lord? They did not. But to their credit, they were certainly intrigued. Good for them.

I chatted with one Palestinian Arab Muslim girl who worked at the cash register. I told her I was sorry that I didn’t have any books about the battle of Armageddon or Bible prophecy with me, but that I would post this blog this morning to tell her a little more about it.

  • Here is a link to Revelation chapter 16 that tells about that the battle of “Har Megiddo” — the mountain of Megiddo — what we know in English today as “Armageddon.”
  • Here is a link to the whole book of Revelation so you can read about these prophecies in context.
  • The battle of Armageddon, it should be noted, is only one of several major, horrific wars that will face the nation of Israel in the last days. Another prophetic war is called the “War of Gog and Magog,” and that involves an alliance between Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Sudan and several other nations. Here is more information of the War of Gog and Magog.
  • One important difference between these two prophecies: The battle of Armageddon involves all the nations of the earth attacking Israel. The War of Gog and Magog involves a limited coalition of nations attacking Israel.
  • One important similarties of these two prophecies: The God of Israel supernaturally intervenes to save the people of Israel.
  • What is Bible prophecy? Why is it important? Here are notes from a sermon I gave earlier this year on “Rediscovering The Purpose and Power of Prophecy.”

Last point: the most important thing for everyone in Israel and around the world to know is where they are going when they die. Will you go to heaven, or to hell? Jesus Christ said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one can come to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) Jesus claimed to be the Messiah. He said the only way to get to heaven is through Him. Is He right? Have you ever examined the evidence for yourself? Have you ever taken the time to read the New Testament to see for yourself whether the claims of Jesus are true or not? I encourage you to do so.

Here are three resources that I hope you’ll find helpful:

I’m praying for all who read this blog to use these resources and make a decision one way or the other — for Jesus, or against Him. And I pray you say “Yes!” to Jesus, so that you will be adopted by God into His family, receive His peace and love and mercy, and so that you can spend eternity with the Lord in heaven and never have to fear these terrible wars, nor fear hell. God bless you.

I’ll be on Fox News @ 1:30pm eastern on Sunday to discuss #IsraelAtWar in Gaza

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Hope you can join me and Fox News Channel anchor Shannon Bream as we discuss the latest developments in the crisis and what may lie ahead for Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the main driver behind this war: the radical mullahs in Iran. For updates — including possible changes to the interview time — please follow me on Twitter, @joelcrosenberg.

#Israel At War Day #4: Full ground invasion, or truce?

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s just a few minutes after midnight here in Israel. We’ve just finished Day # 4 of this intense fighting between the terrorists in Gaza and the State of Israel and we’re heading into Day #5.

Here are the latest developments:

* All signs point to Israel preparing a massive ground invasion of Israel. Massive numbers of Israeli Merkava (chariot) tanks, armored personnel carriers, and combat engineering equipment is being moved hour by hour to the Gaza border. When several colleagues and I were driving north to Galilee today, we passed mile after mile of Israeli military vehicles heading south towards Gaza from their bases along the Lebanon and Syrian borders. Some 75,000 Israeli reserve soldiers are being mobilized as we speak. What’s more, Israeli officials are telling the nation to prepare for at least 7 weeks of fighting. I still maintain Netanyahu and Barak don’t want to invade. But they do want to be ready if there is no other choice, and massing all that firepower on the Gaza border might have a psychological effect and persuade the Hamas terrorists to “cry uncle” and unilaterally choose a cease fire.

* That said, Israel is awash with rumors tonight of an imminent truce (“hudna” in Arabic) — some media reports are speculating a cease fire could begin soon.

* There is also much speculation that the Egyptian leadership is pressing Hamas hard to stop firing at Israel. The Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil visited Gaza on Friday to meet with Hamas leaders. During a press conference Saturday with Turkish leader Erdogan, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said “there are some indications a cease fire could be soon.”

* Israel, however, says it is “not interested” in a cease fire — has many more terror targets still to hit and destroy. (Times of Israel)

* Meanwhile, Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza have not stopped firing missiles and rockets at Israel — about 100 rockets were fired at Israel on Saturday.

* 2 Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles were fired at Tel Aviv on Saturday, Israel’s largest city and commercial capital, but were shot down by the Iron Dome system (see video here) (Jerusalem Post)

* 57 rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system on Saturday

* 267 rockets have been intercepted by Iron Dome since Wednesday

* “The Palestinians report 42 killed from Israeli airstrikes.”  (Times of Israel)

“Israel has carried out over 300 [air] strikes in the past two days, and 950 in all to date.” (Times of Israel)

* “The Israeli death toll is three, and one seriously injured.” (Times of Israel)

Please continue to pray for Jews and Arabs on both sides of the conflict. The Lord God loves them both. He has a plan for them both. Let’s pray for peace and security. Let’s also pray for wisdom for leaders on both sides and for the Lord to comfort and heal the dozens who are wounded and the millions who are traumatized on both sides. Please pray for the believers here as they continue to love their neighbors and pray for and comfort their neighbors, and continue to preach and teach the Word of God. Please mobilize others to pray. Remember: at its core, this is a spiritual battle. The violence is a physical manifestation of a spiritual war that is going on in the heavenlies. We need you to be interceding for Israel and the Palestinians in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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BREAKING: Israeli officials tell nation to prepare for 7 weeks of war

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Map showing where the rockets and missiles have been hitting in the first 3 days of this war with Hamas. (Haaretz)

I’m in a hotel watching wall-to-wall coverage of the escalating violence here. We’re now getting breaking news. Israeli PM Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet have just concluded their classified meeting, which has lasted for hours. Only a few details have been released concerning their conclusions. But the main two are ominous:

* Israel’s Home Front Command has been ordered to tell the nation to prepare for 7 weeks of war.

* 75,000 IDF reserve soldiers are definitely being called up for action — up from 30,000 on Thursday, and 16,000 on Wednesday.

“Home Front Command asks local authorities to prepare for seven-week fighting period,” reports Ynet News. “In discussions held between Home Front Command Chief Major-General Eyal Eisenberg, regional commanders and heads of local authorities in the center and in the south, authorities have been instructed to prepare for a seven-week period of combat as part of Operation Pillar of Defense and to prepare emergency supplies, accordingly. Some supplies were prepared in advance. The Home Front Command estimates that terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are still capable of launching long-range rockets, even further than a 75-kilometer range. The Home Front Command sharpened instructions for the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and southern residents and, accordingly, communities located in a range of between 40-75 kilometers from the Gaza Strip must enter nearby, protected spaces the moment blasts or sirens are heard. If there is no protected space in the vicinity, residents should enter the nearest structure or stairwell. In light of the long-range rockets fired over the past few days, these instructions apply to all communities within a 75-kilometer range and not only in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.”

I’ve been consulting with The Joshua Fund staff today. At the moment, we’re blocked from providing any humanitarian relief to those in the thick of the rocket fire because all roads in the region are closed to civilian traffic. But we believe specific opportunities will open soon. We’re closely monitoring the situation and making preparations to move the moment the Lord gives us the green light. Please pray for us to have wisdom. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to The Joshua Fund, please go to www.joshuafund.net. Thank you so much for faithfully standing with us as we seek to bless Israel and her neighbors — Jews and Arabs — in the name of Jesus, especially in this time of crisis.

“Israeli citizens, like any other people, deserve peace and quiet, so they can go about living their lives,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told CNN on Friday. “If we will see in the next 24, 36 hours more rockets launched at us, I think that would be the trigger” for a ground operation, he said.

Please pray for Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet that they would be like the “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” (I Chronicles 12:32) Please pray for the Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his advisors to know what to do to stop this violence, as well. And continue to pray for the millions of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

#Israel At War Day 3: Missiles fired at Jerusalem & Tel Aviv. Netanyahu orders 75,000 reservists mobilized. Is ground war coming?

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Friday was a potentially game-changing day for Israel. For the first time since 1970, Iranian-made missiles were fired at Jerusalem from terrorists in Gaza. Missiles were also fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens were blaring in both cities this evening, rattling residents because of their exceedingly rare nature. As I write this late Friday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Security Cabinet have been meeting for several hours behind closed doors. One decision has been made for certain: Israel is now calling up 75,000 reserve soldiers, not the 30,000 that were just approved on Thursday.

The big question now: Will the Palestinian terrorists’ attacks on Jerusalem, Israel’s political and religious capital — and Tel Aviv, its largest population center and its commercial capital — trigger an IDF ground invasion of Gaza?

Israel is certainly moving rapidly to prepare for such a possibility. Tanks and armored vehicles are being moved into position surrounding Gaza. Roads leading into Israeli towns and villages near Gaza are closed to all but military traffic (and some journalists). We have friends who live in the Israeli town of Sderot who were out of town when the shooting began who now can’t get back to their apartments (not that they really want to return at the moment).

That said, the decision may not be as obvious as one might think. Israel will invade if it absolutely has to. But the more I think about it, the more I’m thinking that Netanyahu doesn’t want to invade. Not because he is weak, but because he is shrewd. He knows three things:

  1. CASUALTIES — Netanyahu knows that Israeli and Palestinian casualties will mount rapidly if IDF soliders have to fight house to house in Gaza — no one wants that if it can be avoided.
  2. CHARGE OF OCCUPATION — Netanyahu also knows that Hamas is trying to lure Israel into Gaza. Currently, Hamas officials are saying they are fighting the “occupation.” That’s ludicrous, of course. Israel hasn’t occupied Gaza since it pulled all of its military forces and residents out of the Gaza Strip in 2005. However, if the IDF has to invade, then Hamas will be able to claim that Israel is “occupying” Palestinian land, something Netanyahu would prefer to avoid.
  3. RISK OF TRIGGERING DECISIVE U.N. VOTE  FOR A PALESTINIAN STATE– As I’ve reported in recent days, the Palestinian leadership has asked for and been promised a vote in the U.N. General Assembly on November 29th for the world to declare an official Palestinian state. Before this week’s violent escalation by Hamas, the Palestinians were all-but-assured of a winning vote. Now there is some doubt. Some governments around the world are going to be hesitant to vote to create a Palestinian state when a major portion of Palestinian-controlled territory has fired more than 700 rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians. Netanyahu doesn’t want to take actions that could trigger more sympathy and support for the Palestinian state initiative.

Please continue to pray for Jews and Arabs on both sides of the conflict. The Lord God loves them both. He has a plan for them both. Let’s pray for peace and security. Let’s also pray for wisdom for leaders on both sides and for the Lord to comfort and heal the dozens who are wounded and the millions who are traumatized on both sides. Please pray for the believers here as they continue to love their neighbors and pray for and comfort their neighbors, and continue to preach and teach the Word of God. Please mobilize others to pray. Remember: at its core, this is a spiritual battle. The violence is a physical manifestation of a spiritual war that is going on in the heavenlies. We need you to be interceding for Israel and the Palestinians in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Over the past several years, The Joshua Fund has been privileged to provide funds for the purchase of much needed equipment for a medical center in the south where the rockets have been aimed. This morning we received word that the medical center has been placed on its highest state of emergency due to the rockets being fired from Gaza. Patients are being evacuated to other facilities, all elective procedures have been cancelled, and doctors and nurses are on site to handle the wounded. As of Thursday, the medical center was treating 20 injured patients and preparing for more. As you pray for the Lord to intervene, please also remember the doctors and nurses who are presently dealing with the wounded.

Here are the latest developments:

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Netanyahu tells foreign press: “There is no moral symmetry….the terrorists are committing a double war crime”

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 at 4:36 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made following statement to the foreign press: “In recent days and weeks, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza have made normal life impossible for over one million Israelis. No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation. This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. And this is why Israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people. I want to remind you that, seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now, Hamas took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold. They fired thousand of rockets at our cities, at our towns, at our civilians, at our children. They’ve smuggled thousands of rockets and missiles into Gaza, and they deliberately place these rockets and missiles in civilian areas: in homes, in schools, near hospitals. This year alone, they fired over one thousand rockets and missiles at Israel, including close to 200 rockets in the last 24 hours….I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand one simple point. There is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. And, by contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties. I saw today a picture of a bleeding Israeli baby. This picture says it all: Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality – and it’s a very difficult reality – Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties…..”

Senate passes unanimous resolution supporting Israel in op against Hamas

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2012 at 4:25 am

“The United States Senate sent a message of solidarity to Israel on Thursday by unanimously passing a resolution that expressed firm support for Israel’s right to protect its people from terrorism on the second day of Pillar of Defense,” reports the Times of Israel. “Introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senate Resolution 599 expressed ‘vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.'”

#IsraelAtWar — Missiles fired at Tel Aviv for 1st time since ’91 Gulf War…IDF hits 70 terror sites in past hour….30,000 IDF reservists called up….latest developments.

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Israeli fighter jets hit terrorist missile launching pads and weapons depots in Gaza. (AP photo)

It is just after midnight on Friday morning here in Israel. To put it bluntly: Thursday was a very difficult day for Israelis in the south and Palestinians living in Gaza. Consider this: the Palestinians have fired nearly 700 rockets, missiles and mortars over the past 36 hours. The Israelis have bombed more than 70 terrorist sites in Gaza in just the past hour. Tonight, the big news here is that the terrorists have fired missiles at Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest and most populated city. Air raid sirens have been going off. People are anxious. This is the first time Tel Aviv has been the target of missile attacks since the Gulf War with Saddam Hussein in 1991. What’s more, three Israelis were killed in a direct rocket strike earlier today, and 54 have been wounded. Now the IDF is calling up 30,000 reserve soldiers to prepare for what could be a massive ground invasion.

As I explain in Israel At War, the onslaught by Hamas and its allies in Gaza is being driven by Iran. It is the mullahs in Iran who arm, fund and encourage the Palestinian terrorist movement and no one is happier to see Hamas unleashing its evil fury on Israeli towns, villages and cities more that the Ayatollah Khamenei. The big question is this: How far are Israeli leaders prepared to go to shut down the Gaza threat, before they turn towards a possible war with Iran to neutralize Iran’s nuclear threat. Will this conflict go just a few more days? Or are we talking weeks. That’s not yet clear, though officials in Jerusalem are telling their people this is just the beginning.

Events here are dominating discussions wherever you go. I just had dinner with Israeli friends who kept the TV on for much of the evening to keep track of the latest developments, particularly the nearly unprecedented attacks on Tel Aviv. They know families whose fathers and sons are being called up to prepare for an invasion of Gaza. We’re all praying that doesn’t have to happen, but Israeli officials are warning this is just the beginning of “Operation Pillar of Defense,” not the end. “Difficult days are ahead,” said IDF spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai Mordechai. “We must be strong in both defense  and offense. At the end of the day we will be measured by what we have achieved; not by what we said we would achieve.”

Over the past several years, The Joshua Fund has been privileged to provide funds for the purchase of much needed equipment for a medical center in the south where the rockets have been aimed. This morning we received word that the medical center has been placed on its highest state of emergency due to the rockets being fired from Gaza. Patients are being evacuated to other facilities, all elective procedures have been cancelled, and doctors and nurses are on site to handle the wounded. As of earlier today (Israel time) the medical center was treating 20 injured patients and preparing for more. As you pray for the Lord to intervene, please also remember the doctors and nurses who are presently dealing with the wounded. Please continue to pray for Jews and Arabs on both sides of the conflict. The Lord God loves them both. He has a plan for them both. Let’s pray for peace and security. Let’s also pray for wisdom for leaders on both sides and for the Lord to comfort and heal the dozens who are wounded and the millions who are traumatized on both sides. Please pray for the believers here as they continue to love their neighbors and pray for and comfort their neighbors, and continue to preach and teach the Word of God. Please mobilize others to pray. Remember: at its core, this is a spiritual battle. The violence is a physical manifestation of a spiritual war that is going on in the heavenlies. We need you to be interceding for Israel and the Palestinians in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That said, here are the latest developments you should know about:

  • Air raid sirens went off repeatedly in Tel Aviv tonight. At least two — and possibly three — missiles were shot from Gaza at Tel Aviv. This is the first time since the 1991 Gulf War with Saddam Hussein that missiles have been fired at Israel’s largest city and commercial capital.
  • As of 11pm Thursday night local time, Palestinian terrorists have fired at least 665 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians since Wednesday morning. Hamas has fired 527. Islamic Jihad has fired 138. Remember: each rocket fired involves two war crimes — firing from innocent Palestinian civilians, and firing at innocent Israeli civilians.
  • As of midnight Thursday, Israel has hit 340 targets in Gaza  since launching Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday, according to the Jerusalem Post.
  • Israel hit more than 70 targets just between 10pm and 11pm local time on Thursday night.
  • Israel’s “Iron Dome” system has shot down more than 100 rockets and missiles fired out of Gaza at southern Israel since Wednesday. A report at 11:41pm local time said the number is 130.
  • 3 Israelis have been killed so far. “Three people — two men and a woman — were killed and an 8-month-old baby was critically injured Thursday morning after a rocket blasted into a four-story building in Kiryat Malachi in southern Israel. Six people suffered from shock,” reports the Times of Israel. “The names of the victims were cleared for publication late Thursday afternoon. Aharon Smadga, 49, Itzik Amsalem, 24, and Mirah Sharf, 26 will all be buried Thursday evening. Sharf was reportedly pregnant.”
  • 16 Palestinians — including the top commander of the Hamas military wing — have been killed.
  • 54 Israelis have been wounded.
  • Some 200 Palestinians have been wounded (primarily because Hamas stores its weapons and missile launchers in and near schools, mosques, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other civilian areas)
  • The IDF is in the process of calling up 30,000 reservists to prepare for a possible ground operation into Gaza.
  • 10:41 PM local time — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon notifies Israeli government of an upcoming visit to Jerusalem, Cairo, and Ramallah, to take place on Tuesday, following the escalation of the situation in the Gaza Strip.
  • 7:35 PM — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says President Obama condemns the rockets fired at Israel; “there is no justification for these cowardly acts.”
  • Egypt sending PM to Gaza, denounces Israel assault

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Urgent prayer request: Hamas violence escalating rapidly….raining rockets on Israel…IDF calling up reserves, preparing to invade Gaza….latest details.

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

(Netanya, Israel) — UPDATED: We urgently need Christians around the world to pray for peace and to mobilize your family, friends and churches to pray and fast. The  situation here is rapidly going from bad to worse. It is nearly midnight here, and the battle between Hamas and Israel has been intensifying hour by hour throughout the day.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terror organizations — backed by Iran — are firing rockets, missiles and mortars at innocent civilians in Israel, along the southern border. Each act is a war crime. The Iranian-backed terrorists are also firing from behind innocent civilians in Gaza, often from hospitals, mosques and schools. Thus, each act is actually two war crimes. In just the past several hours, the terrorists have fired more 50 times at Israel. That’s more than 100 war crimes. Since Saturday, they have fired at Israeli civilians more than 200 times. That’s more than 400 war crimes.  Yet the world is paying very little attention and doing little to stop the terrorist attacks. Israel, therefore, is moving swiftly to defend herself. 

Please pray for the Lord to intervene and stop the violence. Pray for wisdom for the leaders to know how to bring calm and security. Pray for the Lord to protect and comfort those injured and traumatized on both sides — Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs — because the Lord loves both. Please pray for the Christians living in the crossfire to be brave and courageous as they ride out this terrible storm. Pray, too, for the believers to humbly serve those in need, provide humanitarian relief as needed, encourage and comfort with their neighbors with the Word of God, and to point people to the only Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You can track events most closely by following me on Twitter — @joelcrosenberg, but here are the latest developments.

CONTEXT: Israel doesn’t occupy Gaza. Israel withdrew all its forces from Gaza in 2005. Yet Israeli towns along its southern borders have been hit with hundreds of rockets and mortars in recent months, while the world has remained silent. More than 1 million Israeli civilians have been under constant threat of attack. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed. People are living in fear. Children can’t sleep. It has become an unsustainable situation. So on Wednesday, the IDF killed of the top Hamas military commander — Ahmed Jabari — who had masterminded myriad attacks on Israel, had been in charge of the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and oversaw the firing of thousands of rockets and mortars at Israel. See video of the airstrike that killed Jabari. The Israeli Air Force on Wednesday also bombed at least 20 terror facilities in Gaza. Hamas terrorists vowed revenge, saying Israel has “opened the gates of Hell” and that it plans a massive retaliation.

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