ROCKET WAR UPDATE: Terrorists using longer range rockets against Israel than ever before. Israel warning Gazans by phone calls, text messages & leaflets of impending attacks.

(Washington, D.C.) — “Zionists, wait and see stabbing attacks everywhere. Wait for suicide attacks on every bus, café and street. Wait for the rage and for revenge for Gaza, wait for the flames of the West Bank and inside you [Israel]…”Zionists, [we] can reach you above ground and below it. So start counting the number of coffins you’ll need in these months.” This is the message of a new Hamas propaganda video, just released.

The terrorists in Gaza are using longer ranger rockets and missiles than ever before (source: IDF blog)

The terrorists in Gaza are using longer ranger rockets and missiles than ever before (source: IDF blog)

As Hamas ratchets up their rhetoric, here is a quick briefing on the latest developments in the rocket war:

  • Since July 1st, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired more than 469 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israel.
  • Today, Thursday, at least 120 rockets have been fired at Israel.
  • On Wednesday, 105 rockets were fired at Israel.
  • Please download the “Red Alert” app to your iPhone or iPad to be informed every time rockets are fired at Israel. This is a great tool to stop and pray for Israelis and Palestinians every time the sirens go off — click here for more details.
  • The terrorists are using rockets and missiles with a much longer range than ever before — they are not only able to hit Tel Aviv, but they are striking targets as far north as Caesarea.
  • These longer range weapons are coming from Syria and Iran.
  • The terrorists are not firing at military targets.
  • Rather, they are randomly shooting at Israeli cities and towns, trying to hit civilians.
  • Thus, most of these attacks are double war crimes — that is, the terrorists are firing at innocent civilians which is a war crime; and often they are shooting at Israeli civilians from schools, hospitals, apartment buildings and other civilian facilities, which is another war crime.
  • Remarkably, the Israelis are continuing to send the people of Gaza food and fuel during this conflict — the IDF reports that 1,228 tons of food were trucked into Gaza from Israel on Wednesday, along with 290,000 liters of fuel.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the IDF to call-up 40,000 reservists for a possible invasion of Gaza — but no final decision has been made and let’s pray that’s not needed and things calm down quickly.
  • In a particularly disturbing development, the armed faction of the Palestinian political party known as “Fatah” has announced that it, too, is firing rockets from Gaza at Israel — Fatah is the party led by Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority.
  • The IDF has attacked about 780 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip so far, striking rocket launchers, buildings housing missiles and other weapons, and the homes and vehicles of terrorist commanders.
  • No Israelis have been killed in the fighting so far, though there have been injuries.
  • Several dozen Palestinian terrorists and some civilians have been killed in Gaza and others have been injured.

That said, the Israelis are taking special precautions to minimize civilian deaths in Gaza.

Here are excerpts from a New York Times story, “Israel Warns Gaza Targets by Phone and Leaflet”:

  • Israel [has a] policy in which occupants of a building about to be bombed or shelled are given a brief warning in Arabic to evacuate.
  • The Israelis have used such telephone calls and leaflets for years now, in a stated effort to reduce civilian casualties and avoid charges of indiscriminate killings or even of crimes against the rules of war.
  • During Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in late 2008, the Israelis often used telephone calls and leaflets to tell occupants to leave before striking.
  • In some cases, the Israelis fired missiles without explosive warheads onto the roof to get Palestinians who had gathered there to leave.
  • But often, as in the Khan Younis case on Tuesday, people die in any case, because they ignore or defy the warnings, or try to leave after it is too late. And, of course, sometimes bombs and missiles do not hit the building at which they are aimed.
  • The Israelis also regularly drop leaflets over Gaza urging citizens not to cooperate with terrorism and to stay away from border zones….
  • Israel also uses leaflets in Arabic, some of them intended as warnings and others as propaganda. On Tuesday, many were dropped over northern Gaza near Israel. One said that “the terrorist elements, tunnel owners and arms smugglers know very well that the continuation of the terror operations, the smuggling of arms and the digging of tunnels constitute a lasting target for the operations of the Israel Defense Forces.”
  • “However,” it said, “they continue working from the areas you live in and take you as cover.”
  • The leaflet urged residents not to allow their houses to be used as cover for digging tunnels or smuggling weapons, and provided an email address and phone number for people to report on such activities around them, saying, “Don’t stand idle as the terrorist elements use you.”

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Please pray that the fighting will stop soon.
  • Pray for calm on both sides of the border.
  • Pray for healing and comfort for those who have been wounded in the conflict, and for comfort for the families and friends of those killed.
  • Pray for the Lord to comfort the millions of innocent civilians on both sides who are constantly running into bomb shelters.
  • Pray for wisdom for leaders on both sides, and for international leaders trying to bring about a cease fire.
  • Pray for Israeli and Palestinian followers of Christ and their pastors as they seek to be a blessing to their people and to be a light for the Gospel in the darkness.
  • Please pray, too, for The Joshua Fund team as we seek to be blessing to Jews and Arabs amidst this crisis

OTHER HEADLINES WORTH TRACKING:

MINUTE BY MINUTE: Thursday, July 10

“In order to restore quiet to the region and stop Hamas terrorism, the IDF has commenced Operation Protective Edge,” reports the IDF blog. “The operation has one goal: to stop Hamas’ incessant rocket attacks against Israel’s civilians. Since the start of the operation, over 469 rockets have been fired towards Israel and the IDF has targeted approximately 780 targets, with both naval and aerial capabilities.”

Update: 8:00 PM: IDF keeps border crossing open all day despite 120 rockets being fired from Israel 

6:10 PM: 4 Rockets Fired at Jerusalem; 2 intercepted and 2 land in a open field. 

Update: 4:40 PM: The IDF targeted 3 Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza: Mahmoud Walud, Hazm Balusha & Alla’a Abd Al-Nabi. Al-Nabi was a senior PIJ terrorist who was responsible for launching rockets capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

4:10 PM: Iron dome intercepts rockets of Ashkelon

Update: 4:00 PM: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired 96 rockets at Israel today, and 442 in the past 3 days.

2:00 PM: 20 rockets were fired from Gaza; the Iron Dome intercepted 8 of them above the Shfela area (Judean foothills).

11:30 AM: More rocket sirens in Tel Aviv

10:00 AM: Initial report: At least 3 rockets have hit residential communities in the Negev.

9:18 AM: The Iron Dome intercepted a rocket above the Israeli community of Netivot.

8:15 AM: The Iron Dome system intercepted at least one rocket above Tel Aviv.

8:00 AM: IDF targeted three PIJ terrorists involved in rocket manufacturing in northern Gaza.

7:52 AM: Earlier this morning, the IDF targeted three Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists who were involved in the manufacturing of medium-range rockets. A hit was identified.

6:20 AM: Since midnight, 8 rockets have been fired at Israel by Hamas terrorists and the IDF has hit 54 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.

4:00 AM: Yesterday, 90 rockets hit Israel. An additional 24 were intercepted by Iron Dome.

1:33 AM: Two rockets intercepted over Beer Sheva. An additional rocket landed nearby.

12:57 AM: In the past 24 hours, more than 105 rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israel. In response to the continued rocket fire, the IDF struck 326 targets across the Gaza Strip including concealed rocket launchers, terror tunnels, training bases, military compounds, weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, and additional sites utilized as control centers by senior Hamas terrorists.

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