written by Avner Boskey www.davidstent.org


Background to the recent war


Hamas or ‘The Islamic Resistance Movement’ (for deeper background on Hamas and all archived newsletters on the war see www.davidstent.org, under “words”, newsletters February 2006, June 2007) 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.


On December 19 2008 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. On Saturday December 27 Israel Air Force jets attacked Hamas forces in Gaza, finally responding to years of Hamas rocket attacks. On January 3 2009 a land invasion of Gaza was initiated. The war lasted for just over 22 days. A unilateral ceasefire was declared on Saturday evening January 17, going into effect Sunday January 18 at 2 am, after which Israel troops evacuated the Gaza Strip by January 20.


Gaza after the cease-fire


IDF troops pulled out of Gaza on the evening of Tuesday January 20, President Obama’s Inauguration Day. Their pullout had been delayed by post-ceasefire Hamas mortar fire and sniping. Sporadic Hamas mortar fire continued up to January 24, though most of the mortars which were fired landed within the Gaza Strip.


Since the ceasefire Hamas gunmen continue to hijack humanitarian aid trucks and steal much of the aid, as well as to assault UNRWA drivers. They have prevented Gazans from accessing Israeli medical clinics at the Erez crossing (set up to treat Palestinian Gazans).


Hamas is currently engaged in a vendetta against Palestinian Authority (PA) members of Mahmoud Abbas’ former PLO/Fatah.  Ehab al-Ghsain, Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman, said that “the Internal Security Service was instructed to track collaborators and hit them hard”. This euphemistic “tracking” refers to Hamas rounding up, torturing and killing PA loyalists. Well over 100 confirmed PA people have been shot in their legs or have had their hands broken; at least three have had their eyes gouged out; many are being tortured at a children’s hospital and at a mental health center in Gaza City, as well as at school buildings in Khan Yunis and Rafah. An unnamed Fatah operative said, “What’s happening in the Gaza Strip is a new massacre that is being carried out by Hamas against Fatah”. It remains to be seen whether or not the world’s media will care that much about Palestinian deaths when they are “only” caused by fellow Arabs in Hamas.


Photos of smuggling tunnels between Egypt and Gaza are front page news in Israel. These tunnels are being re-dug and are in busy operation. Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon estimates that it will take Hamas one year to re-arm and make up for its losses before it is ready to attack Israel again. This explains Hamas’ strategy in seeking only a one year lull (tahadiya in Arabic) in the fighting.


How “moderate” is Fatah in Gaza?


The US and Europe classify Hamas as a jihadi terror organization, while its sister organization the Muslim Brotherhood is illegal in Egypt. Another major Palestinian organization exists in Gaza called Al-Fatah. Fatah is the largest faction of Yassir Arafat’s PLO (also called the PA or Palestinian Authority). It is considered by the Western world to be a moderate Palestinian organization, and most Western aid has been funneled through the PA.


Active in terror for more nearly three decades, in September 1993 Arafat gave public commitments to Israel, Norway and the USA that the PLO would abandon terror and armed struggle against Israel. As a result Israel co-signed the Oslo Accords, recognizing the PLO/PA/Fatah as “the representative of the Palestinian people” and “commencing negotiations with the PLO”. 


Though the accepted Western perspective is that the PA is now moderate and committed to non-violence, the truth is rather different. Arafat may have publically declared pacifism on the White House lawn, but he continued to fund and administrate terror for a decade post-Oslo. Occasionally Israeli intelligence has been able to present “smoking guns” – incontrovertible evidence – incriminating the PLO and blowing their cover.


On May 7 2001 the Santorini arms smuggling ship (loaded with Iranian arms and headed for Gaza) was commandeered by Israel’s Shayetet 13 Navy commandos. On January 3 2002 the Karine A was boarded, again by Shayetet 13, again under control of Arafat’s people, again full of Iranian and Russian weapons (packed in 80 submersible containers to be tossed overboard at the Gaza coast). Documents seized by IDF special forces from Arafat’s Muqata HQ in Ramallah (April 2002) confirmed his paying of terrorists’ salaries for specific attacks against Israelis. The PLO’s declarations of moderation were simply lies 15 years ago, and the Palestinian Authority’s “peace declarations” today are also lies.


Arafat’s successor today is Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority. He graduated from Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow in 1982, and his thesis was later published as a book titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism” in which Abbas described the Holocaust as a “the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie that six million Jews were killed”. His conviction is that the “number of Jewish victims (was) only a few hundred thousand”.


After Operation Cast Lead, Fatah in Gaza declared that they had fully participated in the jihad against Israel, firing 137 mortars and rockets on Israeli towns, farms and cities.


The first phone call that President Obama made (8 am on his first day of work in the White House) was to PA head Mahmoud Abbas. In that conversation Obama pledged to work with Abbas as a partner for a lasting peace in the region.


Hamas declares “unilateral victory”


Hamas and its allies continue to declare that Israel has been defeated. “With full trust and full confidence I say the Palestinians people and the heroic resistance have won this battle. Hamas today is stronger than any time before”, said Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri. On January 20th banners carried at Hamas’ victory parade read, “The resistance will be victorious; Israel has been defeated”.  Hamas Politburo chief Khaled Mashaal declared that Hamas had “gained legitimacy through struggle” and insisted that the EU should begin dialogue with Hamas.


On the other hand, Lt.-Col. Rick Francona, a former US Air Force intelligence officer and military analyst for NBC News, said to Israel, “You’ve won the battle”. It is his perspective that the ceasefire is “just the end of this round, and that seems to be Israeli policy right now. The best Israel can go for is to manage the conflict until Hamas can be made to go away,” Francona said.


Lt.-Gen. Thomas McInerney, a 35-year veteran of the US Air Force and a Fox News military analyst, said on January 20 during a visit to Israel, “I think you achieved what one Israeli general called ‘changing the reality’ in which Hamas operates, but I think you were too restrained and could have gone deeper into Gaza … The Israeli public’s support for this war mutes global opinion. When a nation is united in its right to defend itself, it makes it more difficult for Europeans, the Left or the Arab media to counter that … Your leadership is too sensitive about world opinion. I know why Israel didn’t (drive deeper into Gaza) – you have an election coming up and a new (US) president taking office, but you need to gain the freedom of operation in Gaza that you have in the West Bank.”

His take on the Israeli unilateral ceasefire?  “Israel did not want to destroy Hamas. I believe you should have.”


Israeli perspectives


Dr. Dan Shiftan (head of National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa) recently wrote an article “Limits of Restraint”. In it he analyzes the strategic nature of Israel’s response to Hamas rocket fire targeting its citizenry and originating from within Gazan civilian areas. Israel’s willingness to sow disproportional destruction on its enemies is a clear message to some of its unfriendly Middle Eastern neighbors: “Destruction in Gaza contributes to the prevention of war with Lebanon and Syria, assists Egypt and Jordan in fighting radical elements, and signals Israel’s limits of restraint to Iran”.


Colonel Yigal Slovik, Commander of Armored Corps’ 401st Brigade, described how entering his first booby-trapped house in Gaza removed his moral reservations about low-intensity urban conflict. “When you see one house that is laden with explosives, and then the one next to is also booby-trapped or serves as a weapons cache – then there is no dilemma … As a father, looking into the house and seeing a photo of children – then clearly it touches the heart – but if there is a possibility that my soldiers will get hurt as a result of an explosion from inside that house, then I’d rather feel bad over the photo than bury five of my soldiers. We did not destroy homes; we acted against terror infrastructure.”


European perspectives


President Nicolas Sarkozy of France stated at the Sharm esh-Sheikh press conference, “In our minds, this is the beginning of our journey. We should continue and we should accelerate our efforts in order to achieve a settlement based on the creation of two states, a Palestinians state living side-by-side with an Israeli state that has the right to its security”. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner added that this should happen “very quickly”.


Trine Lilleng, First Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Riyadh, sent out a newsletter juxtapositioning Holocaust pictures of Jews alongside of color photos of Operation Cast Lead. She stated, “The grandchildren of Holocaust survivors from WW II are doing to the Palestinians exactly what was done to them by Nazi Germany”. Does Lilleng actually believe that death camps and gas chambers exist in Gaza?


The amount of anti-Jewish attacks has risen more than 300% since the same time last year. Most of these anti-Semitic attacks have focused on the Gaza war, and have involved verbal and physical attacks on Jewish people and Israel supporters.


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on the leaders of eight countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (where recent demonstrations were starkly anti-Semitic in nature) to publicly condemn “the explosion of anti-Semitic rhetoric”. Posters and banners with Nazi imagery, as well as genocidal chants comparing Jewish Holocaust victims to Gazans have been widely used at anti-Israel demonstrations in the past three weeks.


The ADL statement said, “Blatantly anti-Semitic displays have contributed to an unacceptable wave of anti-Semitic threats of violence, intimidation and attacks against Jewish communal institutions and individuals in many countries … While it is important to take immediate steps to increase security measures for the Jewish community for the protection of property and the personal safety of individuals, there is also an urgent need for your government to publicly and forcefully speak out against such anti-Semitic attacks to make it clear that anti-Semitism, hatred and bigotry of any kind has no place in your country”.


The Time of The Hunters


The prophet Jeremiah described a time (yet future in his day) when God would bring the Jewish people back to Israel in an Ingathering greater than the Exodus from Egypt (Jeremiah 16:14-15). At that time there will be a movement of fishers – people who benignly participate in and catalyze this return (verse 17). As well, Jeremiah said that there will be a last-days movement of hunters – men and women who will hunt down and destroy the Jewish people in a scenario very similar to Hitler’s Final Solution.


A dear prophetic friend James Goll told me of how God spoke to him on the morning of September 11 2001. The Lord told James, “Turn on your TV”. He did so and saw the second jet crash into the Twin Towers in NYC. Then the Lord told James, “The time of the hunters has begun”.


We are now in the season where anti-Semitism is increasing exponentially, and it will grow until it even outstrips that of Hitler’s Nazi Reich. The war in Gaza is being used by Satan to catalyze and jump-start a European and Western anti-Semitism that has merely lain dormant, and an international Islamist anti-Israel movement that daily prays and strives for a jihadi vision of Israel’s future.


Ø  Pray for the protection and salvation of the entire Jewish people; that Diaspora Jews will wake up to the growing danger of world anti-Semitism; and that believers in Yeshua worldwide will be ready to stand with the Jewish people and the Jewish state, having counted the cost.