This is a report of details of today’s fighting, followed by a brief analysis of the war, and then specific prayer requests.

 

Monday has been another day of air attacks against the infrastructure, military leadership and weaponry of the Islamist group Hamas (‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’; for deeper background see newsletters February 2006, June 2007 at www.davidstent.org, under “words”).  This group is linked with the Muslim Brotherhood, a world jihadi group ideologically connected to Osama Bin Laden.

 

It has also been another day of rocket fire against Israeli cities, towns and farms.

 

Air attacks

 

IAF planes targeted weapons caches, some of which were hidden inside mosques. Video footage from Israeli UAVs (drones or unmanned aerial vehicles) show Hamas pickup trucks being loaded with long-range Grad missiles and then heading to the northern Gaza Strip to be relocated or fired against Israeli cities. The truck was taken out by air-to-ground Israeli rockets, causing a huge explosion of ordnance.

 

In one case, a mosque was hit and its ammunition dump destroyed. As the mosque toppled over, it crushed an adjoining house, causing five fatalities. For these reasons the Israeli Military Intelligence has been telephoning civilian house in Gaza prior to the air raids, and warning civilians to immediately vacate the premises and to stay away from weapons caches.

 

Today government building associated with Hamas and symbolizing their rule over the Palestinian populace were targeted, including the Ministries of Culture and the Interior. Though the buildings were empty, they have enormous symbolic value for Gazans.

 

A concerted effort is also being made to target military leaders of Hamas, most of whom are underground in deep bunkers – similar to Viet Cong strategies in the late 1960’s. On Monday Maher Zakut (age 30) the commander of Hamas’s rocket-firing forces, was successfully targeted, as well as Ziyad Abu-Tir, 36, a senior activist in the Islamic Jihad terror group.

 

Two research-and-development laboratories located on the Islamic University campus in Gaza City were destroyed. These labs were involved in weapons development, as well as in work to increase the range of the Qassam and Grad rockets.

 

A total of 350 Arab fatalities to date have been tabulated by Hamas. Although Hamas insists that they are 99% civilian deaths, according to yesterday’s UN figures, only 51 of these were civilians. Again of these 51, approximately 30 were women or children. This relatively low figure shows how strenuously the IAF is trying to avoid civilian fatalities, even though Hamas deliberately sets up its command and control (CC) centers and ammo dumps in the heart of civilian areas.

 

Pray for the Israeli pilots who need to make split second decisions where many lives could hang in the balance. Pray that God would give them the necessary accuracy, wisdom and discernment. Pray for the salvation of many Gazans (physically and spiritually) during this time of trail.

 

Hamas rocket fire

 

On Monday over 73 rockets have been targeted against the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon, as well as against kibbutzim in the area.

 

At 9:29 am a Grad rocket fired by Hamas struck a construction site in Ashkelon, killing an Israeli Bedouin Arab worker, Hani al-Mahdi (27) from the Negev village of Aro’er, and injuring 30 others.

 

On Monday over 30 Israelis have been hospitalized, either from wounds or from shock. As I write, three attacks happened in short succession: a Hamas Grad rocket hit a moving civilian car in Ashdod (seriously wounding 2 women) and a Qassam fired by the PRC (Popular Resistance Committee, a PLO break-off group financed by Hizbollah in Lebanon) seriously wounded two Israeli men near the Gaza Strip. As well, a mortar shell killed an Israeli soldier and seriously wounded three others near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, bordering the Gaza Strip.

 

Much has been made in the world media of the fact that many Hamas terrorists have died but only a few Jewish people so far. The logic of these statements is obscene, because it infers that warfare should involve and equal number of fatalities on both sides for it to be a fair fight. Allow me to paraphrase a famous American Army General, George S. Patton, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other b—– die for his.”

 

Pray for Gaza‘s leadership – that God would frustrate their plans, operations and strategies (Psalm 83:4, 9-15)

 

We thank God for the protection He has granted so far to Israelis, and we strongly encourage you to keep praying for continued safety! Pray for Yeshua to reveal Himself to many through these trials.

 

Possible developments

 

The prima facie cause of Operation Cast Lead is the continuing rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza’s Hamas against Israeli civilian cities, towns and farms. Over 10,000 of these have been fired at Israel over the past three years. Israel has stated that Hamas’ ability and will to fire these missiles and rockets must be degraded and absolutely stopped. Even though the air attacks have been quite powerful and accurate, Hamas is continuing to fire rockets and cause Israeli fatalities and casualties.

 

On Monday Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced, “Unless the criminal fire at Israeli citizens stops immediately, Israel will utilize all the legal means at its disposal in order to halt the enemy’s aggression”. These words convey a meaning that all Israelis understand. A ground operation is only a short matter of time.

 

Over the past few days a total of 6,500 Israeli reservist have been called up, while tanks, APCs, artillery batteries, Paratroops and Golani Brigade infantry have been taking up holding positions facing the Gaza Strip. Monday morning all access roads leading to the Gaza Strip have been closed to civilian traffic.

 

Pray for the leadership of Israel who are even now making monumental decisions regarding the upcoming ground operation – that God will grant them His strategies, wisdom, courage and discernment (2 Kings 6:8-12)

 

Other prayer requests

 

Ø  Pray for the Israeli special forces, infantry, tanks and artillery who will be involved in the fighting. Ask God to send angelic warriors to stand with them, to protect them and to grant them victory (Judges 5:20)

Ø  Pray especially for the believing soldiers who will be participating in these battles (Galatians 6:16)

Ø  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the salvation of the Jewish people (Psalm 122:6; Romans 10:1)

Ø  Pray for the struggling tiny community of believers in Gaza, some who have been tortured or martyred by Islamists in recent days

Ø  Pray for the Jewish believers in the Negev area bordering on Gaza, some who contend with daily rocket attacks

 

FINAL FRONTIER MINISTRIES  

BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN  37212-1971 USA

 written by Avner Boskey www.davidstent.org

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