An Update on the War from Israeli Messianic Leader
Eddie Santoro of the Ahavat Yeshua Congregation
Sunday July 20th 2014
The expected sacrifice has begun. Five young men have died. Each with a life and a future. Each with families and loved ones. Each with a destiny that could have blessed many. And each with a part to play in the building of this nation. Today, their loved ones are mourning, those destinies have been cut off and the part that each might have played in building this nation is forever gone.
In a few hours, the funerals will begin as Israel honors those who have fallen in battle. Sadly, this has always been a part of our nation's history. Each Passover we recite; “In every generation there have been those who have risen up against us.” Today it is Hamas, yesterday it was Hezbollah in Lebanon, a few generations ago, it was Germany. We have never initiated these battles. We have never done anything to deserve them. And yet, even while we bury our dead, we continue to pray that the God of peace would bring peace to all Israel.
Front Line Reports
Tunnel Destruction | Over the years, Hamas has built a large number of tunnels, many of them originating from under private homes and exiting into Israel. The purpose of these tunnels is to give Hamas terrorists access into Israel so that they can carry out terrorist attacks and kidnap soldiers and civilians. The destruction of these tunnels is the first goal of the ground action in Gaza. As of this morning, fifteen of them have been destroyed. Yesterday 2 soldiers were killed when terrorists exited one of these hidden tunnels within Israel and fired on an army vehicle patrolling the area.
Last night the government authorized a broadening of the offensive, as the IDF looks towards the cities of Gaza, where most of Hamas' weapons are hidden. The placement of these weapons under hospitals, schools and other civilian locations in the midst of crowded neighborhoods is not only a flagrant violation of international law but a sinister part of the enemy's strategy to ensure that there will be many civilian casualties. Hamas willingly sacrifices its innocent people to ensure that world opinion turns against Israel.
It would be far safer and easier for Israel to destroy these weapons from the air but this nation's commitment to minimize civilian casualties necessitates the entry of Israeli troops into these incredibly crowded locations. In contrast to Hamas, Israel will put its soldiers in harm's way to save Palestinian lives. How strange modern warfare is!
During the night, large numbers of additional infantry and tanks have entered into Gaza in preparation for this next phase of the battle.
To date, fifteen soldiers have been wounded with two in serious condition. [At the time of this posting, Israel has since reported 13 IDF soldiers killed overnight from the Golani Brigade]
Attacks Against Israel's Population Centers | The number of rocket attacks against Israel decreased by 30% yesterday, a measure of progress against Hamas.
Yesterday, a Hamas missile fell on a Bedouin family killing the father and seriously wounding a young child. This casualty highlights the obvious truth that every missile that is fired into Israel is aimed at civilians.
Numerous homes and apartments have been damaged by the ongoing barrage of rockets on Israel's population centers but miraculously the cost in human life has been remarkably low. Israel has called up over 50,000 reservists to active duty. That is the equilavent of the US calling up 3,000,000 reservists to serve in the army!
World Opinion | London, Paris, Holland, Chile, Turkey, Egypt and the United States is a short list of the nations that are being shaken by demonstrations against Israel's actions in this current war. And even more ominous is the overwhelming hatred of Jews that is being expressed in many of these demonstrations. In Paris, the cry rang out in the night air: “Kill the Jews”. From Turkey comes the accusation that “Israel is worse than Hitler”. In London, a Jewish man fled for his life as an angry mob chased him because he is a Jew. (Click on picture to see video of riots in Paris.)
Yeshua said that in the Last Days men would call evil good and good evil. One of the hallmarks of these demonstrations is the inability of people to rightly discern truth. Israel did not commit aggression in the current war. It started when Hamas began to indiscriminately fire missiles into Israel's cities. Hamas is the aggressor. Israel is the victim. Hamas is openly and publicly committed to the destruction of Israel. Israel has repeatedly called for peace and coexistence. If the world loved truth, then demonstrations would be against Hamas, not Israel. The willingness of people to gather against Israel and ignore the incomprehensible evil that is being lived out on the global stage today, only highlights that the spirit of antisemitism is alive and thriving in today's world.
The violent demonstrations in Europe's democracies are particularly frightening as these were the very nations that fought and sacrificed so much against the forces of evil in the Second World War. The popularity of hating Jews and Israel in these nations and the complete absence of any demonstration of support for Israel is symptomatic of the Islamization of many of these nations. Their populations will soon discover that human rights, democracy and Islam do not coexist.
As Israel commits its soldiers to the battle, the determination of this nation is only increasing. We understand that the struggle will be hard, the cost high. Already Israel's important tourist industry has taken a significant turn downward. (If you are one of those who is considering canceling your soon trip to Israel, I encourage you to please come. Your presence is a great encouragement to the people) The financial cost of this war is huge and the price that we are paying in human life and suffering is immeasurable. As difficult as it is, there is no choice. May God have mercy.
We are deeply grateful for your love and support. Together we will see the goodness of God victorious on the earth.
Prayer Points | This is a critical moment and we ask you to please join us in prayer.
Thousands of Israeli men are in danger as they do battle in the Gaza Strip. Pray for God's protection on each one of them.
Pray for the families of those who lost loved ones in the current battle
Pray that God would raise up voices of truth to counter the anti-Israel dialogue that is so prevalent.
Pray for wisdom for Israel's leaders.
Pray that the Palestinian people would begin to see how they are being exploited by their leaders.
Pray for the knowledge of Yeshua to be manifest in the hearts of many, both Jews and Palestinians during this war.
We send you our love from Zion