(Washington, D.C.) — An Israeli military invasion of the Gaza Strip seems increasingly likely, and imminent.
- Hamas formally rejected the Egyptian cease-fire proposal.
- Netanyahu and Egyptian President Sisi have been secretly speaking and coordinating, but so far Hamas is defiantly fighting on.
- Abbas is also actively engaged in the behind-the-scenes discussions, offering to put Palestinian Authority security forces on the Gaza-Egyptian border to prevent weapons smuggling if a cease-fire is established.
- Israeli generals are coming to the reluctant conclusion that air strikes alone may not be enough to restore calm.
- The IDF is warning 100,000 Gazans to evacuate their homes immediately, presumably because more devastating air strikes — and ground operations — will commence shortly.
- The IDF is calling up 8,000 more reservists to add to the 40,000 soldiers already positioned close to Gaza.
- Israeli special forces units are already reportedly operating inside of Gaza.
- Israel suffered its first war-time casualty on Tuesday, as a 37 year old man was killed by a direct mortar attack while bringing food to Israeli soldiers near the border.
Clearly, we need to keep praying for calm to be restored soon. After all, so much pain and so much damage has been caused by this latest rocket war so far.
Here’s the latest on possible invasion developments:
- “A senior Israeli military official said Wednesday the likelihood of a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip was ‘very high,’ and that ‘if you want to efficiently fight terrorism you must be present, boots on the ground,'” reports the New York Times.
“The official, who has been briefing Israeli ministers who make strategic decisions, said his assessment was based on ‘the signals I get’ and the diminishing returns of aerial bombardment after nine days,” noted the Times. “He said an Israeli takeover of Gaza is ‘not a huge challenge,’ estimating it would take ‘a matter of days or weeks,’ but that preventing a more dangerous devolution in the coastal enclave would require an occupation ‘of many months.'”
“Every day that passes makes the possibility more evident,” the official told a handful of international journalists in a briefing at the military’s Tel Aviv headquarters. “We can hurt them very hard from the air but not get rid of them.”….
“The stark assessment came as Israel bombed 60 targets, most of them in northern Gaza, after warning 100,000 residents to evacuate their homes by 8 a.m. via leaflets, text messages, and automated telephone calls,” the Times added. “The Palestinian death toll reached at least 205 by late afternoon, including four children killed in a strike on the seashore. The lone Israeli casualty, a 37-year-old man killed by a mortar round as he distributed food to soldiers Tuesday night near the Erez crossing, was eulogized by Israel’s president-elect, Reuven Rivlin, at an afternoon funeral.”
Here’s The Big Picture to date:
- Over 1261 rocket have been launched at Israel, reports the IDF blog.
- 984 of those rockets hit Israel
- Approximately 228 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
- The IDF has targeted over 1,752 terror targets, with both naval and aerial capabilities.
As of 2pm eastern (9pm Israel time), Hamas has fired 61 rockets today.
37 of them hit Israel.
23 were intercepted by Iron Dome.
- More than 155 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.
- At least 122 rockets struck Israel.
- 26 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
- The IDF hit 96 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.
- More than 115 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.
- At least 92 rockets struck Israel.
- 15 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
- The IDF hit 163 terror targets in the Gaza Strip.
- More than 130 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel.
- At least 102 rockets struck Israel.
- 22 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Learn more about The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.com). This is an organization my wife and I founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her Arab neighbors in the name of Jesus, including caring for the poor and needy with food and other humanitarian relief. Read our 2013 Donor Report. Please pray for our team, especially as they care for people in the rocket zone. And please prayerfully consider making a generous, tax deductible, secure, on-line contribution.
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