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

 

Tuesday has seen another red line crossed with escalation of Hamas rocket attacks against Israel’s fifth largest city Beersheva, and a corresponding escalation on the Israeli side through targetings of Hamas leaders. Preparations for a ground operation are complete.  

 

The Islamist group Hamas (‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’; for deeper background see newsletters February 2006, June 2007 at www.davidstent.org, under “words”) is linked with the Muslim Brotherhood, a world jihadi group ideologically connected to Osama Bin Laden.  Hamas has fired over 10,000 rockets and mortars against civilian targets in Israel over the past 8 years. Sporadic firing of rockets against Israel continued during a recent temporary “cessation of hostilities”, and that season was used by Hamas to build up forces and weaponry in preparation for the present continued attacks on Israel.

 

Two weeks ago Hamas refused to extend even that partial cease-fire and began intensive rocketing Israeli kibbutzim, towns and cities on the average of 40-50 attacks a day. We thank the God of Israel that He is granting an amazing measure of protection to His people (See Leviticus 26:8; 1 Samuel 18:7; Psalm 91:7) and encourage you to pray for the safety and peace of Jerusalem and the salvation of the Jewish people (Psalm 122:6; Romans 10:1).

 

Escalation – Hamas attacks Beersheva

 

Taking a page from Hizbollah’s tactics in August 2006, Hamas has long threatened to hit major Israeli cities. Their weapon of choice are Katyusha rockets manufactured in China and Iran, packed with screws, bolts and ball bearings to maximize casualties, and topped off with ammonia to increase explosive power.

 

The 122 mm Grad-model has been used recently to hit Sderot, Netivot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gan Yavne, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Gat, Rahat, moshavim just outside of Beersheva and now Beersheva itself. These rockets are smuggled through Yemen, Eritrea, and Sudan, and finally brought across the very porous border with Egypt. Hamas’ demand that these borders (the Philadelphi Corridor) be thrown wide open is basically the demand to be allowed to resupply and continue rocket attacks against Israel.

 

Over the past 36 hours 80 rocket attacks have struck Israel from Gaza. Nine Grads have been fired into Beersheva, and have made impact not far from our home. One demolished a children’s playground (Tuesday evening), another destroyed a high school classroom (Wednesday 9:30 am). There would have been many casualties, but the Mayor of Beersheva had decided at 4 am Wednesday morning to close all schools in the Beersheva area, keeping 43,000 children at home.

 

A total of 200,000 schoolchildren are sitting at home today from Ashdod through Beersheva. Grads have fallen within the municipal boundaries of the city, and air raid sirens sound from time to time. Those who have lived through the London Blitz or Saddam Hussein’s Scud attacks have a sense of déjà-vu all over again.

 

In the over 540 IAF sorties which have been carried out, a total of 400 Arab fatalities and close to 2,000 with various injuries to date have been tabulated by Hamas.

 

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.

 

Israeli response – targeting leaders

 

In response to the rocket attacks on Beersheva, increased IAF over flights have been taking place. A top Islamic Jihad terror leader was successfully targeted.

 

A mosque used for storing rockets was destroyed. In Muslim tradition, mosques have sometimes been gathering places for encouraging, stirring up and supporting jihad. They have been used to shelter combatants and as a base from which to attack unbelievers. In recent UAV reconnaissance flights over Gaza, Israeli drones have positively identified terror leaders gathering and using mosques as command and control centers – to brief ground forces and distribute rockets. Though such behavior is not an accepted part of modern Western culture, the Islamist use of houses of worship in jihad or holy war has definite historical precedent in the Middle East.

 

More than 250 rockets have been fired by Hamas into Israel over the past 6 days.

 

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

 

Ground operation approaching

 

Though there is a total news blackout on Israeli military preparations and timing, it is being reported that all preparations have been completed for a ground forces invasion. Only the green light is lacking.

 

Though the IAF air attacks have been comprehensive, the military forces of Hamas are still untouched. This terror army is waiting for an Israeli incursion, convinced that they will be able to inflict heavy casualties on the IDF. Roadside IEDs (improvised explosive devices), huge explosives concealed under newly paved roads, anti-tank and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles certainly await the IDF.

 

Ø  We ask you to pray for the military leadership of the IDF regarding the decisions they are making concerning the upcoming ground operation – that God will grant them His strategies, wisdom, courage and discernment, as He did to the prophets and armies of Israel in Elisha’s day (2 Kings 6:8-12).

 

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). Ask God to strengthen their families with His power and sovereign love.

 

A special prayer requests

 

We would ask for special prayer for Jerusalem’s Border Police. They have been working 12 hour shifts around the clock, and all leaves have been cancelled. Night duties involve apprehending terror suspects. Some fatigue is setting in, and they have been away from their families for an extended period of time (2 Samuel 11:9-11). The MAGAV (Border Patrol) is expecting serious riots on Friday at the Temple Mount and in some Arab areas of East Jerusalem. We believe that praying saints can seriously alter the plans of the enemy in Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem in a special way today and tomorrow!

 

FINAL FRONTIER MINISTRIES  

BOX 121971 NASHVILLE TN  37212-1971 USA

 

written by Avner Boskey  www.davidstent.org

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