David’s Comment (with some imput from Israel Today) : Why the Ceasefire ? F
Further to the special Carmel Alert that I sent out last Sunday requesting prayer for the south of Israel that was under attack by Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip. The barrage of rockets came to an end at 02.30 am on Monday morning, after more than 700 rockets were fired at the towns and cities in the south. Four Israeli civilians were killed and dozens injured. As a result thousands of children, teenagers and adults are suffering from shock and trauma following the 2 days of almost constant sirens and explosions. A large number of homes, shops, factories and vehicles sustained damage. A ceasefire has been in place since early Monday morning and the Israel / Gaza border is quiet once again, schools have re-opened, and the damage is being repaired as life returns to some form of normality ……. until next time. Hamas and Islamic Jihad agreed to a ceasefire that was brokered by the UN and Egypt. Israel also ceased all military action early on Monday morning as the rockets stopped. Even though Israel had not officially agreed to the ceasefire, and PM Netanyahu was reported as saying “the action against Gaza terror groups is not over.” The Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Defense, came under immediate critizism and condemnation for once again not finishing the mission against the Gaza based terror organisations. Family and friends of the current victims and victims of previous rocket attacks, politicians and media, and the majority of regular Israelis, all expressed their disappointment and even anger that the mission was stopped before the terror groups were eliminated permanently. So why has Israel ‘unofficially’ agreed to the ceasefire ?
The answer to that question is very complicated. We all know that unless Hamas and the other terror groups are totally removed from Gaza, these barrages of rocket attack will continue and the residents of southern Israel will continue to live in a state of constant stress and fear of the next attack. The citizens of a civilized country should not have to live under such circumstances in the 21st century, however Israel faces exceptional a situation, that no other faces. Most of the world refuses to accepts that the GOD of the Bible gave all of the Land of Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Therefore they do not like it when Israel uses strong force against the enemies who do not hesitate to use force against us. The media and the politicians do not seem to understand that Israel uses its army to protect her citizens, while the terror groups use their citizens to protect their terrorists. Hamas, Hizbollah and the other terror organisations are funded and armed by Iran, which is currently ruled by radical Islamic leadership. Iran funded terror with 7 billion US $ last year. This means that until the situation in Iran changes, there is no way that the terror organisations will ever pull back from their hatred of Israel and their goal of killing Israelis and destroying the State of Israel. So every cease-fire that is negotiated can only be temporary until the next time they start firing rockets again. And more people are killed and injured on both sides, and the cost of these exchanges is massive.
PM Netanyahu is a very seasoned leader who surely understands the reality of the situation. On one hand PM Netanyahu wants to protect his nation and his people, and knows that the only way to do that is to rid the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon of every last terrorist. Once again last weekend PM Netanyahu was faced with a major dilemma – launch a full scale military operation ( war ) to drive the terrorists out, or accept the ceasefire and restore calm. The other issues that must have influence his decision were that this week was Memorial Day for the fallen soldiers and victims of terror, and then Independance Day. Both events would have been severely if the rockets were still flying, or if we were in major conflict with Gaza. Also the Eurovision Song Contest, which is set to begin on May 14th, could have been cancelled, costing Israel millions of dollars and jeopardising future events.
Despite enormous criticism from many quarters, PM Netanyahu is a great communicator, the reason why he is set to become Israel?s longest serving Prime Minister in 2 months time. He knows how to talk to the Israeli people. He knows what strings in the nation?s historical memory to pull, and both when and how to pull them. On Monday, in announcing the end of the latest round of fighting in the South, which claimed four Israeli lives and paralyzed nearly two million Israelis for two days, he chose none of the above: neither passion, nor drama, nor heroism. He did not, as he has done following previous rounds of violence, address the nation. Rather, he issued a brief, seven-sentence statement that did not even mention that a ceasefire was agreed upon. ?Over the last two days, we struck Hamas and Islamic Jihad with great force,? he said. ?We hit over 350 targets. We struck at terrorist leaders and operatives and we destroyed terrorist buildings. The campaign is not over and it demands patience. We are prepared to continue. The goal remains to ensure quiet and security for the residents of the South. I send condolences to the families and best wishes for recovery to the wounded.? There was relief in some quarters that the two days of non-stop missiles were over, and that life within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip could return to normal. But there was also deep frustration that the Gaza problem was not solved, but rather just kicked down the road. And the anemic communique reflected that reality. The way Netanyahu handled this round was no different than the way he handled 500 missiles fired toward Israel from Gaza
in November 2018. Then, as now, |PM Netanyahu hit back, but stopped short of a wider military campaign; taking considerable political fire for his actions ? and for not, as some called upon him to do, ?finishing the job, once and for all.? In PM Netanyahu?s mind it is impossible at this point to finish the job in Gaza once and for all. Sure, Israel could retake the coastal strip, but at a high cost in lifes and finances on both sides. And then what ? Administer it again, even though that did not turn out so well the first time? Hand it over to the Palestinian Authority, although that also did not turn out well the first time ? Last month, just prior to the elections, PM Netanyahu was asked in one of his many pre-election interviews why he did not take more aggressive action in Gaza. ?I do not wage unnecessary wars,? he said. ?I use force when it is needed and am willing to pay the price, but only when needed. I want every mother and father to know that I will not send their children to war without exhausting every possibility. It is very possible that we will need to launch a wider military campaign in the Gaza Strip and mobilize the forces. But that is the last option, not the first.? While PM Netanyahu made clear on Monday that this option remains on the table, the manner in which he conducted the operation over the last two days ? refraining again from launching a wide-scale military campaign that might win him some momentarily applause ? shows that he does not believe every other option has yet been exhausted.
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on all of the land given to the Jewish people by the GOD of Israel. Please pray that all Israel will turn back to their GOD. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for a breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom ….. David & Josie h
This Week’s News Items
1. Ceasefire in Place After 700 Rockets Fired at Southern Israel from Gaza Strip World Israel News May 6th
A ceasefire went into effect at 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning between Israel and Hamas. Though it made no formal announcement, the IDF signaled it had agreed to a ceasefire as it declared it was removing protective restrictions on Israeli citizens starting at 7:00 a.m. The fighting, which started Friday night, came to an abrupt halt with the last air raid siren warning Israelis to take shelter being heard at 2:30 a.m. in the Eshkol region in Israel?s south. Israel?s transportation department said that all roadblocks in the south have been opened and that train lines were returning to normal. Schools, which initially had been cancelled for Monday, announced there would be classes today. This latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas has been the worst since Israel?s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, prompted by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas. Over 700 rockets were fired at Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. Four Israelis were killed, including 21-year-old Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, 58-year-old Moshe Agadi, 47-year-old Zaid al-Hamamdeh, and 60-year-old Moshe Feder. Israel?s Kan news reports that 145 Israeli citizens were injured, some seriously. The numbers are considered high in comparison to other rocket barrages. Gaza media reports 23 were killed, among them 11 terrorists. An Islamic Jihad terrorist leader said that the ceasefire is based on Israel lifting its blockade, easing fishing limits and fuel and electricity infrastructure improvements. Pray that the ceasefire holds at least until the Eurovision Song Contest ends on May 22
2. As Rockets Fell, Israel Foiled Major Hamas Cyber Attack United with Israel News May 6th
The Israel Defense Forces and intelligence agency Shin Bet foiled a major Hamas cyber-attack this weekend, local media outlets reported on Sunday. The target was vital Israeli infrastructure. Further details on the nature of the attack have not yet been revealed. A top official in Israel?s National Cyber Directorate said that Israel not only foiled the attempted attack, but retaliated against Hamas? cyber ?war room,? Israeli news website Mako reported. The official said that Israel had been tracking the network behind the attack for some time. ?All the actions and attempts were discovered and thwarted in advance, and the network failed to realize its plans,? said the IDF Spokesperson?s Office. ?Most of the attempt failed in recent days.? A senior official in the Shin Bet said that Israel?s cyber defense capabilities ?have reached the point that attempts by the Hamas terror organization to implement activities in the cyber realm fail time after time.?
3. Israel Remembers the Fallen and then Celebrates 71st Independance Day
As Wednesday Israel remember her soldiers and citizens who have been killed in wars and terror attacks over the last 71 years. The total number of fallen stands at 23745. Sadly 100 new names were added to the list this year which includes 13 civilian victims of terror. Four of these civilians lost their lives over the most recent indiscriminate firing of rockets by the terrorist Hamas organization in which over 700 rockets were fired into Israel. The nation also remembered her “Lone Soldiers” whose families live abroad. A large majority of them serve in combat units. The young soldiers not only lack in domestic warmth, they are almost completely financially dependent on themselves during their service. As the sun set on Wednesday, the somber mood of Memorial Day turned into joy as the modern State of Israel celebrated her 71st Independance Day. As I have been preaching for many years, the resurrection of Israel on May 14th 1948 is the greatest miracle the World has ever seen since the resurrection of Yeshua.The population has just passed 9 million and the Israeli currency is one of the strongest. The IDF is the 6th strongest military and Israel is disproportionately blessing the world in science, medicine, digital technology, food sciecnes and more. Is that not something worth celebrating. I have a new meaning for the BDS movement. Beauitful, Diverse and Sensational. Pray that the world wakes up to the benefits of standing with Israel instead of against her
4. New Arab Political Party Ready to Accept Israel United With Israel News May 6th
Ashraf Jabari, a prominent Hebron businessman, has launched the Reform and Development party, which advocates a one-state solution that he says will drastically improve Palestinians? lives, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday. ?The Oslo Accords have failed,? he said. ?Most people realize that the economic situation was much better before the Oslo Accords. Let?s focus now on the economic track. We can deal with the political track later. The people are caught hostage to Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. The situation is very bad, and people want economic stability.? [PA President Mahmoud Abbas recently threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority if Israel annexes the West Bank because that would mean the end of the two-state solution,? Jabari said. ?That?s why we are proposing the one-state solution to Israel. We want an end to violence and bloodshed. We want to end the suffering of our people, which has been going on for the past 70 years,? he said. This doesn?t mean that Jabari says Palestinians prefer Israeli sovereignty. ?We want to have the same rights of Palestinians living under Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem,? he told The Jerusalem Post. ?Of course, it would be better for Israel if it accepted an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. But no Israeli prime minister would dare to accept such a solution. On the other hand, no Palestinian leader can give up Jerusalem or make concessions.? Pray that more Arab people in Judea, Samaria and Gaza will realise life under Israel is the best option
5. PM Netanyahu: Israel Will Not Allow Iran to Get Nuclear Weapons INN News May 8th
Israel will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said. The Prime Minister made the comments during his address at the annual Yom HaZikaron Israeli memorial day ceremony at the central military cemetery on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem Wednesday morning. ?This morning, on my way here, I heard that Iran intends to pursue its nuclear program,? Netanyahu said. ?We will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weaponry. We will continue to fight those who would kill us.? PM Netanyahu?s comments came after Iran?s foreign minister, Javad Zarif said that his country would reduce some ?voluntary? commitments within its nuclear deal. ?The European Union and others … did not have the power to resist US pressure, therefore Iran … will not carry out some voluntary commitments,? Zarif said. Zarif?s comments come on Monday after Iranian media reported that Iranian President Rouhani will announce on Wednesday that Iran will begin to renege on its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. Pray that the World leaders will place much more pressure on Iran to stop their nuclear program.
6. Israel Delegation Invited to Saudi Arabia Middle East Monitor May 2nd
A Jewish-Israeli delegation will accept the invitation of the Muslim World League to visit Saudi Arabia, Hebrew sources revealed yesterday. ?For the first time, a Jewish delegation will visit Saudi Arabia in response to the Muslim World League invitation, said the Saudi Secretary-General of the League, Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abdul Karim Issa, who declared the visit will take place in January 2020,? Israel?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted in Arabic. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have succeeded in leading Arab countries to forge overt relations with Israel. It was reported last year that Riyadh had permitted Air India to use its airspace for flights travelling to Tel Aviv. Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has also reportedly offered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas $10 billion over ten years to force him to accept the US? peace plan with Israel. Pray that more Arab nations will seek to have diplomatic and trade relations with Israel.
7. Israel Reaches Another Milestone & Celebrates 71st Anniversary Israel Ha Yom News / INN News May 9
Just days before Israel begins its 71st anniversary on Wed. evening 8 May 2019, new figures show the number of Jews and overall population have reached a record high. The Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday 2 May 2019, reported that the number of residents in Israel stood at 9,009,000. The number of Jews is 6,738,500, or 74.8%. In 1948, Israel had 850,000 residents, of which an estimated 650,000 were Jewish. On Wednesday night, the mournful and somber speeches of Memorial Day gave way to joyful celebrations as Independence Day officially started. The juxtaposition of the two days is a key element of Israelis? experience of national independence, ensuring that no commemoration completely excludes the achievement wrought by the sacrifice of the fallen and their families, and that the elation of independence is never far removed from an awareness of its cost. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis were flocking to beaches and parks, lighting grills, waving flags and craning their necks for a glimpse of Israel?s fighter jets to mark the country?s 71th Independence Day on Thursday. After a night of fireworks, concerts, parties and an emotional crossover from Memorial Day to Independence Day, most Israelis were spending the day, a national holiday, celebrating the country?s birthday. Celebrations in Jerusalem kicked off Thursday morning at the President?s Residence in Jerusalem where President Rivlin hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu, IDF chief Aviv Kohavi and others for a ceremony honoring 120 soldiers receiving commendations for excellence. The IDF also opened its bases to the public, displaying jeeps, tanks and other equipment throughout the country. Pray that the LORD will continue to bring ALL of His ancient people home to the Promised Land.