Yesterday was a difficult day in Israel. Hamas, the terror organization that controls the people of Gaza by force, unleashed more than 120 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli population centers. One shell exploded in a kindergarten. If not for the fact that the school did not open for another hour, we would be looking at all-out war in Gaza, in addition to burying young children whose only crimes were: 1) being Jewish, and 2) living in the restored nation of Israel.
This unprovoked attack was so grievous that even nations that normally wink at Hamas violence, or make excuses for the terror group, condemned their actions.
“Germany unequivocally condemns the escalation of violence. There is no justification, under any circumstances, for the continuation of the massive mortar attack on Israel from Gaza. Especially malicious was the firing of a large portion of the rockets at Israeli cities and communities exactly during the hours of heavy traffic when people go to work. As a result of that barrage, a kindergarten was hit, among others. We wish the wounded a speedy recovery. It is Israel’s right to [preserve] its security, defend its borders and respond proportionately to attacks.”
I have an app called ‘red alert’ that sounds a siren whenever there is a rocket launch. Not since the 2014 war with Gaza have I seen my phone blow up like that. Sirens went off 166 times as more than 100 shells and rockets were fired at Israel during rush hour.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney had strong words for Hamas, tweeting,
“I strongly condemn firing of rockets from Gaza at Israel today. I continue to advocate strongly for people of Gaza who live in impossible conditions, but this Hamas-led violence undermines Palestinian cause plus it is counterproductive to political progress.”
Of course, he might blame the “impossible conditions” on the Israelis, but my wife can remember shopping in Gaza as a seven-year-old with her dad. In 1967, Israel liberated the people of Gaza from Egypt, who treated them horribly—worse than a prison. But Israel gave them freedom, commerce and friendship…until they chose to follow Yasser Arafat over peace. And then, in 2006, they voted in the Hamas terror group to lead them.
Emanuel Griaufret, the European Envoy to Israel, understood the reality of the situation for the traumatized Israeli children of the south:
“As kids were preparing for school this morning, a barrage of rockets from Gaza fell on southern Israel. One landed outside a kindergarten. I know the resilience of communities in southern Israel but indiscriminate attacks are totally unacceptable and to be condemned unreservedly.”
Even the uneven UN was critical of the attack, but could not help itself from issuing the typical verbiage that makes it seem that Israel and Hamas are equally at fault: All parties should show restraint and avoid escalation.
Israeli Restraint is Unmatched in World Conflicts
Let me tell you something UN, if Israel was not showing restraint, Gaza would be no more. It is only because Israel has more love and respect for the people of Gaza than Hamas does, that we don’t demolish it.
Last night, thousands of Israelis in the south had to sleep in bomb shelters as 40 more rockets were shot at our southern communities. While there were no casualties, the affects of terror wreak havoc on the souls of the young.
Now, to be clear, these outbursts usually cause little damage and I am not even sure Hamas is looking for a direct hit on Israelis, as it would bring a response that would not be beneficial to their existence. There seems to be some unwritten rules of engagement. If you don’t actually kill anyone, our response will be minimal. But heaven help them if there ever are mass civilian casualties.
While Tel Aviv has not been targeted, we know they have the capabilities. Please keep our Tel Aviv community in prayer, that we stay the course of preaching the gospel. Pray that God will use these circumstances to open up the eyes of Israelis to the truth of Yeshua. And pray for the innocent Arabs of Gaza who are under the oppression of Hamas, especially the Christian Arabs.
(Pic: A mortar shell landed on the grounds of a kindergarten — Shay Machluf)