Displaying items by tag: israel
19 rockets fired by Hezbollah into northern Israel on 7 August sent local residents into the towns’ shelters. These barrages, the first since the 2006 second Lebanon War, followed similar attacks the previous day. More provocations from Tehran by the new hard-line leader, Ebrahim Raisi, and his proxies increase the likelihood of Israel’s retaliation. The defence minister recently indicated that Israel is ready to counter Iran's aggression. The UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon said the situation is ‘very serious’ and urged everyone to cease fire. But on 11 August rockets were fired again from Lebanon into Israel, which increases the threat of major hostilities after fifteen years. Pray for an end to these ongoing games of brinkmanship so that harmony between Israel and Hezbollah holds. May the prospect of full-scale war be a disincentive for either side to push too far.
The Asphalt Princess tanker was hijacked and boarded by nine armed men and ordered to sail to Iran through the congested approach to the Strait of Hormuz. Israel's prime minister Naftali Bennett said there was ‘evidence’ that its long standing foe Iran was responsible. Iran's Revolutionary Guards dismissed the reports as a pretext for ‘hostile action’ against Tehran. The tanker is owned by a Dubai-based company that had one of its ships hijacked two years ago by the revolutionary guards. The following day the hijackers left the tanker. A week earlier the Israeli-owned Mercer Street was attacked by a drone, killing two security guards. The US, UK and Israel blamed Iran for the attack - a claim it strongly denies. These attacks appear to be the latest escalation in an undeclared ‘shadow war’ between Israel and Iran. For months there have been several attacks on both Israeli- and Iranian-operated vessels, which are seen as tit-for-tat incidents. See
Israeli fighter jets have launched air raids on neighbouring Lebanon following a second day of rocket fire from Lebanon into Israeli territory. Fighter jets struck the launch sites and infrastructure from which the rockets were launched. Israeli aircraft routinely target Palestinian armed groups in Gaza and suspected Hezbollah or Iranian targets in Syria, but this was the first time since 2014 that they had hit targets in Lebanon. Previous acknowledged military actions mostly involved artillery shelling. Israel fought a 2006 war against Iran-backed Hezbollah, which is the dominant force in southern Lebanon. The border has been mostly quiet since then. The escalation came as thousands of grief-stricken Lebanese took part in a protest march on the first anniversary of a devastating explosion in Beirut that killed over 200. Lebanon’s situation has worsened since then - economic crisis, poverty, increasing, Covid, no hospital beds, no medicine, no electricity, no fuel - people feel that the government has forgotten they exist.
Psalm 122:6 tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Currently Israel is undergoing significant upheaval whilst still facing threats from Palestinians in Gaza.
Having seen 11 days of relative peace following a ceasefire agreed between Israeli and Palestinian forces, the Israeli military confirmed an aircraft attack in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday 16th June, retaliating against incendiary balloons deployed by Hamas.
The attack comes barely two days after the ousting of Israel's former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The attack reportedly targeted Hamas armed compounds in response to incendiary balloons that were deployed from the area. The balloons caused 10 fires in fields of southern Israel, Reuters reported.
An unwieldy coalition calling itself “Change” has removed Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, after his most recent 12-year run. The eight-party coalition ranges from ultra-right religious nationalists to the secular hard-right, through the centre-right and residue of Israel’s left, to ally for the first time with an Arab Islamist party.
The new government will be led initially by Naftali Bennett, a champion of Jewish settlement. He is opposed to any Palestinian state and wants to annex most of the occupied West Bank and stands to the right of Netanyahu.
Yair Lapid, a former TV anchor and voice of liberal secular Israelis, whose party came second to Netanyahu’s Likud, is supposed to take over from Bennett as premier in 2023 and has provided what glue the coalition has.
Netanyahu’s removal from office has been met with dismay by some evangelical Christian groups whilst others have reaffirmed their support for Israel and a desire to stay out of day-to-day politics.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu continues to challenge the legitimacy a the newly formed Israeli coalition, calling it the result of “the greatest election fraud” in the history of democracy.
Pray: that His peace may reign over the land of Israel (Psalm 122:6)
Pray: for Naftali Bennett as the new leader of the Israeli Government. Pray@ that God will Provide him and the Government with the knowledge needed during these most difficult of times.
Pray: that the ceasefire may endure and that a peaceful resolution to this complex conflict may still be found.
Sources / More: The Financial Times, USA Today,
A tunnel used by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza has been discovered under one of the schools run by UNRWA. The school was one of two of the organisation’s facilities damaged during the 11-day conflict. But now officials at UNRWA have confirmed that a terror tunnel ran directly underneath the school. Also Israel’s bombing of Gaza’s Jala Tower caused international outrage as the office block housed media organisations Associated Press and Al-Jazeera. However, the building was also being used by Hamas’s military intelligence services to develop electronic jamming systems against the Iron Dome anti-missile defence system. Israel has defended its reasons for targeting the high-rise building, which it gave notice to evacuate, and as a good-will gesture has offered to rebuild the media offices.
Israel: God’s chosen people in Scripture, the very bloodline of Jesus Christ: yet most Jews in Israel still wait for the Messiah, not realising or recognising that Jesus already came to save them. But the Holy Spirit is moving. A growing number of Jews are recognising Jesus as their Saviour, and Arabs in Israel are also turning to Christ. In fact, following the recent violence, Arab and Jewish Christians gathered at the Gaza fence to pray together!
We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and thank God that the fragile ceasefire between Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups in Gaza is holding. Hamas claimed a victory, but Israel did great damage to both the groups - to their leaders, weapons, headquarters, tunnels and personal homes, and probably to their reputation among Gazan civilians. However Israel knows this war is not over - with Iran openly boasting it is the driving force behind it all. The need for intercession has increased. Father, according to Numbers 10:35, we ask You to rise up, and scatter Your enemies. May all schemes plotted by Iran for the destruction of Israel come to ruin. We lift to you whoever leads the next government. Please fill them with heaven's wisdom to bring about Your purposes for the nation. We praise You for being a God who answers prayer (James 5:16b).
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.
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.
The worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in seven years intensified this week, as Israeli airstrikes began targeting Hamas offices in Gaza City and militants in Gaza fired rockets at the metropolis of Tel Aviv, the southern city of Ashkelon and Israel’s main airport.
In Gaza, at least 67 Palestinians, including 15 children, had been killed by Tuesday night, and 203 others were wounded, according to health officials. In Israel, five people were killed in strikes on Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Lod, and at least 100 were wounded, according to medical officials.
Away from the military conflict, a wave of civil unrest spread across Arab neighbourhoods as Palestinian citizens of Israel expressed fury at the killings in Gaza and longstanding complaints of discrimination inside Israel itself.
Towns with mixed Jewish and Arab populations have been struck by some of the worst communal violence that Israel has seen in years. Live footage was broadcast of far-right Israelis dragging a man they thought was an Arab from his car and beating him until he lay on the ground motionless and bloodied. Footage of the attack in Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburb, was broadcast live on TV. Those in the crowd justified the attack by saying the man was an Arab who had tried to ram the far-right nationalists, but the footage showed a motorist trying to avoid the demonstration.
At the same time, Arab protesters also took to the streets, triggering confrontations with Jews. They burnt cars and assaulted Jewish residents of mixed cities, according to police.
This all comes at a time when cities with mixed populations have been positive examples of co-existence but are now being destabilised by a small but destructive minority. As trust is damaged and moderate voices increasingly lost the fear is that violence will only continue to escalate.
The mayor of Lod, a city with both Jewish and Arab residents, warned that “civil war” was breaking out after Arab mourners clashed with police. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called on both Jews and Arabs to cease attacks on each other: “It doesn’t matter to me that your blood is boiling. You can’t take the law in your hands,” he said.
The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.
The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount. Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.
Palestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in mid-April.
It was further fuelled by the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers and Israel's annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, known as Jerusalem Day.
The UN have stepped in amid concerns that the region is heading towards a full-scale war. The UN envoy Tor Wennesland said leaders on all sides “have to take the responsibility of de-escalation” after a day of ferocious confrontations and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, promising to intensify attacks on Gaza. “The cost of war in Gaza is devastating and is being paid by ordinary people,” said Wennesland. “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full-scale war,” he warned.
Read more insight into the situation surrounding Israel from Well Versed World.
Pray for peace and that the moderate voices calling for it will be heard above the explosions and gunfire.
Pray for the victims and their families that they may be comforted in their loss.
Pray for the political leaders in the region, that they will show wisdom in seeking an end to the violence and not seek political gain out of the situation.
Pray for all those living in fear that they may know the peace of God in these difficult times.
Pray for restoration of communities being torn apart by civil unrest and communal violence.