7th Day of the Israel-Hamas War
An Overview Prayer Guide on January 2, 2009
Israel is into the 7th Day of its invasion on the Gaza Strip targeting the Hamas infrastructure and the infrastructure of other terror organizations in Gaza.
Hamas has been hit hard but continues to strike a belligerent tone calling for "martyr" attacks against Israelis from their supporters outside of Gaza. This is an area of prayer concern.
There was talk about Israel calling a temporary cease fire, which it backed off from - and this is a good thing, in my opinion. If they are going to continue the operation to cripple Hamas control of Gaza, Israel can give no 'time out' to Hamas to re-group.
The Israelis continue to hit Hamas infrastructure targets. Pray for the safety of those who are providing the intel of where to bomb. Pray for the Lord's hand to be upon them not only for protection, but also in Divine guidance in identifying the strategic targets.
Pray for minimal civilian death and injury in these Israeli strikes, even though Hamas and other terror groups operating in Gaza purposely use mosques, schools and other civilian areas to store weapon resources or as launch sites. They do this because life is cheap to them - even the life of their own people - and they know when civilians are killed or mosques are bombed because of proximity to Hamas resources, that it results in great international pressure against Israel.
Pray for the next phase of Israeli operations which will be the entrance of ground forces into Gaza. This is a very dangerous phase and although there is some question if it will be given a green light, 6000 Israeli reserves have been called up and stand readied on the border of Gaza to enter. Among them are many from the believing Messianic Jewish families. Pray for all the soldiers, young men, for God to be with them in all they do.
A few days ago a mosque that held much weaponry was targeted for bombing and it collapsed an adjoining wall onto a house where many young Palestinian sisters were killed. One of the surviving sisters gave an interview saying that she blamed Hamas for bringing this upon them. The video is being shown in many places on the web - it is out of the mouths of babes. Pray that the Palestinian people in Gaza will see as this young girl, the truth of that statement. Pray that the homicidal hatred of Islamist-Hamas is broken off of Gaza and that God will give Israel the political will to fight this to the finish.
Israelis have a bad taste in their mouth because in the aftermath of the Lebanon war, the international community did not keep Hezballah from rebuilding its terror infrastructure. Many Israelis feel they are in worse shape in the north than they were before they launched the attack against Hezballah in Lebanon.
Whatever else may be true, Israel had to attack to stop the relentless bombing of its citizens on the border with Lebanon, and now on the border with Gaza. For whatever else may not have been accomplished in the Lebanon war, one thing was accomplished: the terrifying bombing in the north was stopped.
Pray that the current confrontation with Hamas in Gaza will not only halt the unnerving and relentless bombing of Israeli citizens in towns in the south, but that Hamas will be entirely crushed as a governing influence among Palestinians. With God ALL things are possible.
Please pray for ground troops as they await their orders and for the government and military strategists who will issue the orders. Pray Divine guidance in these days ahead that will make for peace on both sides of the borders in the aftermath of this war.
Continue to pray that no outside terror organizations or nations become involved in any way to the aid of Hamas. That God will be an invisible barrier to them.
A time to fight
Jerusalem Post Editorial Dec 28, 2008
For weeks Israel has been imploring Hamas to stop shooting across the border, to stop tunneling in preparation for the next round of violence, and to allow our farmers to tend their fields. The Islamists responded that they were not afraid of the IDF and that they reserved the right to resist "the occupation" - meaning the existence of a Jewish state. They brazenly told Israel to get used to the idea that no amount of humanitarian gestures would stem their behavior.
Moral Clarity in Gaza
Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.
By Charles Krauthammer Washington Post Friday, January 2, 2009
Some geopolitical conflicts are morally complicated. The Israel-Gaza war is not. It possesses a moral clarity not only rare but excruciating.
Israel is so scrupulous about civilian life that, risking the element of surprise, it contacts enemy noncombatants in advance to warn them of approaching danger. Hamas, which started this conflict with unrelenting rocket and mortar attacks on unarmed Israelis -- 6,464 launched from Gaza in the past three years -- deliberately places its weapons in and near the homes of its own people.
This has two purposes. First, counting on the moral scrupulousness of Israel, Hamas figures civilian proximity might help protect at least part of its arsenal. Second, knowing that Israelis have new precision weapons that may allow them to attack nonetheless, Hamas hopes that inevitable collateral damage....
Israeli Defense Force Website Summary of Humanitarian Efforts and this Statement:
"The IDF is engaged in a battle with Hamas and other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and does not aim to target the Palestinian civilian population."
See IDF YouTube Videos here.
Holding Hamas Accountable
By Matthew Levitt Forward January 2, 2009
Operation Cast Lead, initiated in response to resumed Hamas rocket attacks on communities in southern Israel, represents Israel's most furious attack on Hamas since the terrorist group assumed control of Gaza. ...
Radical Islamist groups from Lebanon to Iraq will be watching the international community's response to Hamas. So long as Hamas remains committed to violence, anything less than isolation will convince such groups that they need not moderate their tactics to gain international recognition. The message to violent Islamists throughout the region must be clear: Terrorism and politics cannot go hand in hand.
Israel Launches Fresh Attacks in Seventh Day of Fighting
Troops Prepare for Possible Ground Invasion of Gaza
By Griff Witte Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, January 2, 2009
"...there is pressure within Israel for the government to continue its campaign, and perhaps topple Hamas altogether. That would almost certainly require a ground operation, which would be likely to raise the death toll substantially on both sides.
"There is no way to take Hamas out without going into Gaza. The problem is the price," said Yaakov Amidror, a retired Israeli major general who headed the military's research and assessment division.
Gaza and Hizballah
By David Schenker CounterTerrorismBlog December 31, 2008
Israel completed its fifth day of air operations against Hamas in Gaza today. Meanwhile, throughout the Middle East, battle lines are being drawn between “moderate” Arab regimes like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt and the militant camp, led by Syria, Iran, and their Lebanese ally Hizballah. Recent days have seen a flurry of verbal attacks launched against the “moderates,” accusing these states of not being supportive enough of Hamas.
No tears for Hamas leader in Ramallah
By Khaled Abu Toameh Jerusalem Post Jan 1, 2009
Nizar Rayyan, the Hamas military commander who was killed in Thursday's air raid on his home in the Jabalya refugee camp, was a sworn enemy not only of Israel, but also of the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.
Rayyan personally led the Hamas militiamen who seized the compound and PA security installations throughout Gaza. He later boasted that the Strip had been "cleansed" of "traitors" and "CIA agents" - a reference to Abbas and his former security chiefs.
The Gaza operation’s unstated goal: Anarchy
Analysis: By Herb Keinon Jerusalem Post Jan 1, 2009
Palestinian apologists have argued since the elections that brought Hamas to power in the PA in 2006 that the Palestinian people did not really buy into Hamas's extremist ideology, that they didn't really want a Hamas government, but rather, they were just fed up with Fatah's corruption and ineffectiveness, and voted for Hamas because they wanted a government that could rule.
But Israel seems now to be betting that if Hamas can no longer govern effectively, then its public legitimacy may wane. And that, Jerusalem believes, is something that genuinely does scare Hamas.
Deputy Foreign Minister slams int’l media for playing down Israel’s version
By Haviv Rettig Gur Jerusalem Post Dec 28, 2008
"Instead of showing who these terrorists [Hamas] are and how Israeli children are hiding in bomb shelters afraid to leave," the media outlets are showing Hamas's side of the conflict, he said. He did not name the media organizations.
The blood on Hamas' hands
Editorial: Dallas Morning News December 29, 2008
No state can permit its citizens to live under that kind of mortal threat, as President-elect Barack Obama acknowledged during the campaign. Israel is acting in self-defense. Yes, the Israelis have inflicted far more casualties on the Gazans than the Gazans have on them, but that is because Hamas deliberately and evilly locates its military resources among civilians, cynically hoping for a propaganda victory.
Don't forget that Israel is committed to a peace process and a two-state solution. Hamas despises both. There can be no peace as long as Hamas is a player.
Shadow of Iran Looms Large Over Gaza
By Walid Phares CounterTerrorismBlog December 31, 2008
The Gaza fight is about Iran’s confrontation with Israel, and perhaps with the U.S. globally. A global strategic reading leads us to conclude that — just as we saw in Lebanon in 2006 -Tehran is pulling the strings and very smartly. Timing the Hamas end to the cease fire between two American presidencies in Washington and just before the Israeli and Palestinian elections, the Mullahs thought they would drag Israel into the Gaza battle on an Iranian timetable, triggering a “street” show of anger, boosted by the jihadi propaganda machine in the region with all the usual ramifications in the West. The astute Iranian move is to drag Israel enough into Gaza’s mud to indict it internationally so that any future Israeli strikes at Iran’s nuclear program will be seen as catastrophic. Tehran is calculating the minutia hoping Hamas will win at the end of the day, and that the Obama administration will begin its “talks” with Iran from an inferior position (since Israel will be blamed for the violence not the jihadists in Gaza). But the game has lots of risks, including the possibility that Hamas may lose its ability to be a military event maker after this campaign is over.