Displaying items by tag: Hamas
A Christian journalist in Bethlehem said the unrest between Israel and Gaza is a ‘spiritual battle’. In Genesis God tells the Jews, ‘I will give you this land’. Muslims believe that ‘a Messiah is coming soon and will free Jerusalem and give Israel and Palestine to them’. In his opinion this is making for a spiritual battle in the Holy Land - a view partly echoed by a Canon of St George's Cathedral in Jerusalem, Rev David Longe. ‘I think it's quite clear that elements within each of the warring factions will see it as a spiritual battle, because they will actually look to Scripture to give them the grounding for the reasons why these actions are happening.’ Rev Longe is desperately concerned for both sides in the violence, and believes it is vital for people across the world to continue to pray for peace in the region.
Parents with Covid, unable to look after their children and living in Gaza, have problems bigger than childcare arrangements. One such couple sent their children to their grandparents' apartment, then two days later the worst violence in years erupted on their doorstep between Israel's military and Palestinian militant group Hamas. Rockets and mortars flew everywhere. The couple have no access to health services, despite their worrying symptoms, and they are struggling with the separation from their children as Israeli airstrikes pound nearby. Less than 2% of Gaza's population had received a dose of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of April, and thousands are evacuating to shelters, the above couple included. Medical staff and humanitarian agencies are worried the enclave could be hit by a third wave of Covid-19 as dozens of schools are transformed into shelters. The health ministry believes the wave has already started, with 30% of people being tested proving positive and over 100 in intensive care units.
Sirens blare, the ground shakes and many now spend the night in bomb shelters as rockets launched in Gaza rain down nonstop. Clashes between Israel and Hamas puts them on the brink of full-blown war. Previously Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) only fired rockets into southern Israel. Now they are sending dozens of rockets into the heart of Jerusalem. In response, Israel launched a military campaign in the Gaza Strip, demolishing Hamas news outlets, targeting Hamas headquarters, and killing PIJ and Hamas commanders. Hamas and PIJ have fired 1,000+ rockets at Tel Aviv and central Israel. The international airport has had to relocate to Eilat. Israel signed normalisation agreements with Arab states last year including the UAE, which has called on Israel to stop the violence and respect ‘the Holy al-Aqsa Mosque.’ Tensions began when Israeli police cracked down on Palestinians protesting at the mosque - followed by Hamas’s call to bomb Tel Aviv and kill Jews.
Palestinians have resumed launching incendiary and explosive balloons towards Israel. Israel has responded by bombing Hamas military sites in the Gaza Strip, closed the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, stopped all fuel imports into Gaza, and reduced the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip from 15 to 8 nautical miles. Pray for the safety of innocent Palestinians living in the vicinity of Hamas military bases, underground infrastructures, and observation posts that are being targeted. Hamas said the latest Israeli actions amount to ‘a dangerous act of aggression and an uncalculated step for which the occupation will not be able to bear the consequences.’ Many believe fire balloon tactics are a way to force Israel to implement truce understandings reached through Egyptian, Qatari and UN mediation in 2018.
Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have rejected Donald Trump’s peace plan which was unveiled on 28 January. Many Palestinians protested in the West Bank, and the US embassy warned of potential terror attacks. The plan calls for a two-state solution with detailed maps of territory showing territory currently under Palestinian control more than doubled, while recognising Israeli sovereignty over major West Bank settlement blocs. Palestine’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, had a rare phone call with Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh in which they agreed to work together against the plan, even though Abbas’s Fatah faction has been at loggerheads with Hamas for over a decade. Palestinian demonstrators at the entrance to Ramallah City burnt tyres, chanting, ‘We will resist the occupier and we announce our rejection of the deal of the century. We won’t accept any substitute for Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.’ Trump’s plan enshrines Jerusalem as Israel’s ‘undivided’ capital.
On 26 December the Knesset disbanded and called elections for 9 April. The same day, Mahmoud Abbas disbanded the Palestinian legislature, with a view to 2019 elections. Many say it is hard to see how new parliamentary elections can take place in the West Bank and Gaza at the same time. ‘When Abbas dissolves the Palestinian parliament and the Knesset dissolves itself in the same week, Hamas smells trouble’. There is concern that Israel will block Qatari financial aid and seek an excuse to suspend the cease-fire deal. The Zionist Union, a joint list of the Israeli Labour party and the Hatnuah party, has broken up ahead of the Knesset elections. At the same time the Labour party, which has dominated Israeli politics for the past thirty years, is declining in popularity: see https://worldisraelnews.com/zionist-union-party-dissolves-ahead-of-elections/ An Israeli defence source told Al-Monitor that Israel assumes Hamas is gearing up for another round of widespread violence. The relative calm could end at any moment.
UNPRECIDENTED ROCKET ATTACK, GOVERNMENTAL RESIGNATIONS, A GOVERNMENT POISED TO FALL—RECOVERED, BUT HOLDING ON BY A THREAD.
Hamas rained down almost 500 rockets on Southern Israel over a two and a half day period. Netanyahu sat 7 hours with his cabinet discussing whether or not to go to war.
Some of his cabinet felt there was no other choice except to go to war, as these last months of terrorism - sending fiery balloons over the border burning up farmland and forest areas, hordes of Palestinians trying to break through the border, etc., etc., etc. were bringing a living hell to the Israeli citizens in the south.
Others believed that because of the certain loss of many lives in the IDF that would occur, and the world's condemnation that would surely come, if Egypt could help put together a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, that would be the best direction.
Netanyahu chose the latter. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was furious and resigned, taking his party of 7 Knesset seats with him. That left Netanyahu with 61 Knesset seats in his coalition. Netanyahu needs 61 out of 120 to lead the nation.
Naftali Bennett, who also felt the nation must go to war to defeat Hamas and give relief to the hundreds of thousands of Israelis in the south, told Netanyahu he wanted to take Lieberman's place as defense minister - or he would leave the government with his 8 Knesset seats. Netanyahu refused and Bennett says he is also leaving the government. That means elections are here.
It would seem logical that Netanyahu believes he can win a snap election, or he would not have let his government fall. He would have given Bennett the job.
Netanyahu is the most popular politician in Israel. The issue is that he has the entire group of ultra-Orthodox parties in his coalition, as he bends towards the religious. That means the Haredim (ultras) have tremendous power in Israel. They basically let Netanyahu do whatever he wishes to do, as long as he fills their coffers with shekels to support their men of whom the majority won't work or serve in the army. Aside from the harassment and persecution against Messianic Jews and Messianic congregations, the Haredim take far more than their share of finances, and give back little to Israeli society.
Yet, there is no other strong leader in any of the other parties that stands out who the Israeli public have faith that he or she can keep Israel in survival mode. Israel lives in the most dangerous neighborhood in the world.
So let us pray for God's will to be done in this upcoming election (2019).
Lord, we pray, in the awesome Name of Yeshua, that You will hear the prayers of Your people who have a personal relationship with You and Your Son, and give us relief from the Haredi persecutors. We pray that You will put together the coalition that You desire. Hear the words of our hearts, because we don't know who we should pray for or how to pray. But You have a plan. You have a plan to save all Israel and to bring revival to the nations of the world.
Use Your people here in Israel that love You. Give us opportunities and freedom to spread the Word of God more and more here in Israel.
- That God will “redeem Israel out of all of his troubles” (Psalm 25:22). That a government will be put in place which is not out of alignment with those redemptive purposes!
- That while it is time for the present government to stand, it will stand; when it is time for it to be replaced, that it will fall.
- That with the resignation of Defense Minister Lieberman, a man or woman of courage, integrity and wisdom for that job will be chosen to take his place.
- That, as Shira mentions above, the ultra-Orthodox members of the present government (or one which may arise in its place), will not be allowed to work injustice nor take unfair advantage of their positions to coerce the government in a direction which is unrighteous and unjust.
- That God minister strongly to Prime Minister Netanyahu during this time. That he humble himself before his God, and allow himself to be led in ways which are truly aligned with God’s purposes for Israel this year. That he fulfills the length of days God has ordained for him to lead. That a godly, strong God-fearing leader be being nurtured to be raised up to take his place.
- That the warm, strong relationship between the governments of Israel and the United States which God has brought into place during this season would not be threatened or adversely effected by a shake-up in the Israeli government outside of God’s timing.
Martin and Norma Sarvis
Virtually all media outlets are unaware of the protests in Gaza by opponents of Hamas. Palestinian media in the Strip do not dare to publicise the underground protests against the terrible injustice imposed on Palestinians by Hamas since it took control of Gaza by force in 2007. Al-Monitor has learned that recently dozens of Palestinians have demonstrated in different refugee camps, claiming Hamas had taken the Strip back to the Middle Ages and accusing leading Hamas officials and activists of corruption and of favouring their supporters over the general population. They called on Hamas to take care of its people or ‘disappear’. A few waved signs against what they termed Gaza’s ‘dictatorial regime’. Similar protests took place in 2017; they were violently suppressed by Hamas security forces.
On 31 July a Hamas-affiliated TV station was shut down, and the four Palestinians operating it were arrested. Israel had said Al-Quds TV was a terror organisation, and the four suspects are charged with incitement to terrorism as the station was a Hamas mouthpiece. One of the driving forces behind Palestinian aggression is incitement by clergy and Palestinian leadership through its state and local media. Israel is now shutting down all Palestinian media outlets and publications that incite against Israelis and promote terror attacks. The Hamas student groups in Hebron universities were also raided and incitement materials were confiscated. The students’ families were given a warning and told to stay away from terrorism. Twenty wanted Palestinians were arrested.
The Israel Defence Force (IDF) launched military exercises on 15 July, including one simulating conquering Gaza city. The IDF stressed that this exercise was part of its annual training programme and not connected to major exchanges of fire with Hamas two days earlier when 200 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel, threatening the lives of tens of thousands. Their defence system intercepted 20 rockets. Several Israelis were injured and many buildings were damaged, including a synagogue. While relative peace has returned, Israelis fear that soon civilians will again have to run for shelter from Hamas rockets. On 16 June 22 people, including 9 Iranians, were killed in an IDF attack on a Syrian base. On 18 July Gaza’s self-described ‘airborne firebomb squad’ accused Israel of spreading lies about a deal reached between Egypt and Hamas to phase out the launching of bomb-laden kites and balloons against Israel. See https://worldisraelnews.com/rebel-terror-group-in-gaza-rejects-egyptian-hamas-deal-to-stop-fire-kites/