Riots, Disturbances & Some Observations.
Before the air-strikes began, there were a number of riots and violent demonstrations from Hamas-sympathising Islamic thugsÂ across the country. These appear to have been orchestrated. Near to us there have been riots in Haifa, Acco (Acre) and other places.Â From talking with our unsaved friends, many are frightened. What is actually more worrying than the rockets, (which unless it is aÂ heavy and sustained bombardment, have only a small probability of causing human casualties), is that across Israel, a number ofÂ attempted kidnappings of Israelis by Muslims have been reported. Students at Universities here, have found that their Muslim Arab co-students, whom they thought to be friends have been publishing anti-semitic or jihadist statements on social media. Some of ourÂ friends are frightened of going into areas populated by Arab Muslims. The attempted kidnappings, riots and rocketings, plus the liesÂ and hate propaganda belching forth from Islamic media mills also have a cumulative effect of destroying trust between Jews andÂ Arabs, which of course is what they are intended to do.
Our own alert last night, resulted from rockets launched from Lebanon by a group sympathetic to Hamas;--not, thankfully from theÂ Hizbullah. As you may be aware, Hizbullah have a truly massive arsenal of far more powerful rockets, which are capable of doingÂ massive damage to a building. Modern Israeli apartment blocks have reinforced rooms in every apartment designed to withstandÂ Katyusha rocket attacks of the type that Hamas uses. The Moriel Israel office is situated in such a room;--But the missiles possessed byÂ Hizbullah are of a type that these reinforced rooms are not designed to deal with. At present Hizbullah is more occupied with events inÂ Syria than over this side of the border. While we think it unlikely to happen on this occasion, if for some reason Hizbullah decided toÂ step in and start bombarding Northern Israel, things could become decidedly unpleasant. Our own proximity to the border, means thatÂ Nahariya would have no warning before the first rockets fell and the first damage or casualties were experienced. This would not be aÂ situation what we would relish too much, nevertheless at present we think this scenario improbable. Hizbullah are biding their timeÂ and building their strength for another occasion. It is considered by some sources that they are preparing for a massive ground assaultÂ into Northern Galilee co-ordinated with saturation-bombing of Israeli population centres. This would extremely serious, as a massiveÂ bombardment would overwhelm our anti-missile defences and their more powerful rockets could cause heavy damage and loss of life,Â if coupled with a large-scale ground assault our border defences could be overrun. Especially if this was combined with attacks fromÂ other directions. A number of analysts feel that Israel has not learned from the 2006 Lebanon War in the way that Hizbollah have. NotÂ only so, but Hizbullah combat units are now acquiring hands-on large scale battle experience in Syria, which will make them a muchÂ more dangerous opponent in a future war. Unlike Israel, jihadi groups are relatively insensitive to high casualty statistics, because in aÂ culture that thrives on hate, and worships death and violence, the longer the casualty list the better. Israel, on the other hand, is notÂ prepared for a protracted conflict with a high butchers-bill, and it is highly sensitive to international criticism that would result fromÂ having to slaughter thousands of radicalised muslim youths who would hurl themselves fanatically at Israeli defences, (and it is notÂ beyond the bounds of possibility that many of such jihadis could come from Western nations like the United Kingdom, as hasÂ happened in Syria). Most Israeli victories in the past were achieved quickly and decisively, and this is the kind of scenario that IsraelÂ prefers, whereas Islamic groups like Hizbullah and Hamas nurture hate and grievance for generation and generation, and are preparedÂ to throw myriads of their own people under the bus, enduring apparent defeat time and time again, if that is what it takes to hurtÂ Israel and eventually bring about her destruction by gradual means.
Around us since the Arab Winter, state after state has fallen to Jihadi-style terror governments. Thankfully the Egyptians ejectedÂ theirs and we have at least for a time a government there that is less sympathetically disposed to Hamas and its associates. JordanÂ however is weak, its population is mostly comprised of "Palestinians", and a major incursion by I.S.I.S. forces assisted by the largeÂ Palestinian Fifth Column, could overwhelm the Jordanian armed forces, the Hashemite regime would then fall and then we would beÂ surrounded on all sides by those who are inimical to the idea of our existence. Or if Hizbullah prevails, perhaps we could be eventuallyÂ surrounded by Iranian proxy-states equally desirous of our national demise and with possible nuclear capabilities.
At this time our army is poised waiting to see if a full-scale ground assault into Gaza becomes inevitable. This will result inÂ concentrated urban and house to house fighting, and a much higher potential for casualties, because our armed forces cannot employÂ AFV's and tanks in enclosed spaces as they are vulnerable to RPG's and IED's. Not only so there is a high probability that many of theÂ houses will be booby-trapped and/or contain civilians deployed (willingly and unwillingly) by Hamas as human shields in order toÂ rack up collateral damage to make Israel look bad. Hamas are so evil and have little concern for human life, that even machineÂ gunning their own citizens and leaving the bodies around for Western media (already ill-disposed to Israel) to find, and blame IsraelÂ for "atrocities" would not be beyond them.
Militarily, Hamas is extremely unlikely to "win" this conflict. In fact its motives for provoking it are open to speculation. It may beÂ hoping to lure our ground forces into Gaza in the hope of giving us a demoralising bloody nose or to kidnap soldiers or find someÂ other way of humiliating us, or in some manner using the situation to paint Israel in an even worse light via the Western media thanÂ has happened so far.
My feeling is that this particular conflict will blow over, and that our eye needs to be on what is happening in the Arab nationsÂ immediately surrounding us. This I.S.I.S. movement and Hizbullah give great cause for concern; it is not impossible that one or theÂ other of these could mark the beginning of the confederation that we see in Psalm 83:
"The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with theÂ inhabitants of Tyre: Assyria also is joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot."
Ishmaelites would be a general term for the Arab nations, Edom, Moab, Ammon and Amalek (the Amalekites are descendants ofÂ Esau), the children of Lot are all represented in the territory of modern day Jordan. Tyre of course is the Lebanon. Philistia is theÂ coastal plain area, which would include Hamas-controlled Gaza. Assyria covers most of modern day Iraq with large parts ofÂ Iran/Persia. The Hagarenes would be located somewhere in the territories of Arabia. Gebal appears to be a reference to the SouthernÂ part of modern Jordan. Interestingly enough Egypt is not among these nations.
Any present victory is only temporary, ultimately this confederation of evil will come about, it may be delayed through revival andÂ repentance, but it will eventually surely come. Israel like the western nations is under God's judgement, which will not be deferredÂ forever. He will chastise us sorely, but He will not make a full end of us. His judgements on us nationally are intended to beÂ redemptive in nature. He is using these things to drive us toward Him.
Some Points For Prayer.
However in the interim, there are some prayer needs.
Please pray for the protection of our soldiers, particularly if there is a ground assault. Our enemy is wicked, and mad with hate, butÂ he is cunning cruel and resourceful, and in the event of a ground attack he will try to make us pay as heavy a price as possible.
Ultimately behind the scenes this conflict is a spiritual one, but we have weapon that can bring down strongholds and shine lightÂ into the darkest recesses of the human heart, and undo Satan's works. The Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation!
Pray for the dissemination of the Gospel among our troops, that those believers who are in the Army may be a shining light ofÂ testimony to their fellow soldiers. Nothing focuses the mind like the thought of imminent possible death. May the LORD use thisÂ situation to provoke unsaved soldiers to call on His name with all their heart. We have His promise that "If you seek me with all yourÂ Already the LORD has used the situation for us and others to provide opportunity to share the Word of God with non-believers.Â Pray that this is multiplied many times over, that the LORD will use individuals and local congregations to share His word to the unsaved and that the words spoken fall on good soil.
Pray for our enemies. Particularly those ordinary people in Gaza that really just want to get on with life. That God would use thisÂ situation to disillusion them and expose Islam to them for what it truly is and cause them to seek the truth and cry out to Him.
For the witness of believers in the Gaza strip, that the LORD would grant them opportunities and boldness to spread the Word of Godin power.
Thank you for your prayers. May the LORD bless you.