Gaza continues to launch rockets into Israel
Since last night, Israeli border communities have been bombarded by incoming rockets, with many a southern resident losing sleep as a result of the continuous Code Red sirens which warn them to take cover in their bomb shelters.
After some relative months of quiet, you may be asking, why now? There are a few theories. It has been mentioned that Hamas is anxious to instigate problems just before the upcoming April 9 elections, and an imminent, looming war could cause any number of complications which would have a benefit for the terror organization.
This also comes at a time when many Gazan residents are mustering the courage to rise up against their leadership which has brought nothing but poverty, massive unemployment and deprivation of every kind. With this kind of upheaval and unrest, Hamas leaders could very well be planning a pre-emptive strike which would buy them some time with their own dissatisfied and restless population.
Conversely, Israel is doing all they can to not get sucked into a trap and become embroiled in a full-scale operation before the elections. In fact, a similar scenario occurred at the end of 2008 when, once again, rockets were being launched, albeit to the more surrounding areas of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Sderot, as longer-range capabilities had not yet been realized.
Then, too, Israel was just about to have their general election. At the time, there was no choice, and Operation Cast Lead was launched, lasting three weeks, significantly weakening Hamas. Once again, in the current scenario, there may be no choice, this time, if Hamas continues to launch its now long-range rockets into the heart of the country.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has returned to Israel, abruptly cutting his U.S. trip short in order to deal with the sudden crisis. It is expected that he will be discussing the possibility of launching a major offensive with his security cabinet.
His decision, regardless of the close proximity to the election, will have to take into consideration the fact that Monday morning’s long-range attack was the third within the last two weeks, injuring seven, including children, and destroying a private home.
Thousands of other residents have been involved, many of whom only have had a little more than a minute to seek shelter. In addition, there are questions as to why the Iron Dome interception system did not work to stop the rocket from hitting its target.
There is speculation that the attack came as such a surprise, that the system simply was not positioned in the unlikely direction where no one expected an attack to occur. Just two weeks prior to this, another long-range rocket landed in the Tel Aviv neighboring town of Holon with Hamas officials proclaiming that the launching was nothing more than a mere accident.
Now, Israeli political and military leaders will have to carefully weigh the option of forcefully responding to all these attacks and send a message that its citizens will not be sitting ducks while Hamas flexes its muscles and shows its new capabilities – irrespective of the April 9 elections.
Oddly enough, the kings went to war in spring, according to the Jewish scriptures since crops such as barley and wheat were harvested at that time, thereby facilitating an invading army to live off of those grains. Now, thousands of years later, this spring may find itself repeating history as the threat of war looms heavily yet again.
Note: Just after 8:00 PM another rocket fell in an open area in southern Israel. Three minutes later another rocket was launched.
Cookie is the former managing director of Makor HaTikvah Messianic School in Jerusalem.
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Rocket hits home in central Israel, children among the injured
Seven Israelis, including two toddlers, were injured when a rocket fired from Gaza landed in the living room of a home north of Tel Aviv during the early morning hours on Wednesday.
Now Israelis are gearing up for a strong military response and escalation in violence with the Palestinians. The Israeli military has called up reserves, sent troops to the border and deployed additional Iron Dome missile defense batteries throughout the country. The IDF also shut down a number of areas and road around the Gaza border. Israeli school children in the area were sent home early today and all public events in Ashkelon were cancelled.
The rocket, which took Israel by surprise, decimated most of the two-house structure in Moshav Mishmeret, and triggered the first siren heard there since 2014. The alarm sounded at 5:20 a.m. sending residents from their beds scrambling to their safe rooms.
The rocket smashed through the roof and exploded, carving a crater in the ground and spreading shrapnel throughout the house – even in the baby’s crib.“It’s a miracle that nobody got killed,” first responder paramedic Assi Dvilanski said.
The families involved made it to shelter in time and were injured by the shrapnel, but four pets were killed according to reports from the scene.
The large rocket represents the longest launch made from the Gaza Strip at more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) since the 2014 Gaza war.
Aside from unrest in Gaza and two rockets fired at Tel Aviv last week, which Hamas later claimed were triggered by mistake, Israel had no reason to expect an attack. So far, no terror group has claimed responsibility for today’s rocket, but the IDF said Hamas built the long-range weapon.
“The rocket was made by Hamas. The attack was carried out from a Hamas position in Rafiah,” IDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis said. “We consider Hamas responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip.”
Manelis said the Iron Dome defense system wasn’t activated because it only “protects the areas in which it is stationed, according to operational situation assessments.”He also said the IDF is preparing itself “for a variety of scenarios.”
“We are talking about a serious incident of a direct hit on a home,” Manelis said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently in the United States for the AIPAC conference, cut short his trip and will return to Israel today following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
“There was a criminal attack on the State of Israel, and we will respond forcefully,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “In a few hours, I will meet with President Trump and immediately afterwards I will return to Israel in order to oversee our activities.”
The situation is very serious and tensions in Gaza has been boiling over in recent weeks. With the launching of the rocket today that made a direct hit, plus the two rockets last week that reached the skies of Tel Aviv, the possibility of war is imminent. Please pray for safety and protection, plus peace, for all of Israel.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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VIDEO: Jerusalem Dateline: Israeli spacecraft takes off for the moon
Israel on its way to the moon, set to become the fourth country to soft land there; plus a historic economic forum brings Israeli & Palestinian business people together; and could this new government in NE Syria be what the prophet Isaiah foretold?
CBN News is the journalistic branch of Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
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ICEJ Tribute to Rabbi Eckstein
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem mourns the sudden passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and pays tribute to this unique pioneer and visionary of closer Jewish-Christian relations. Rabbi Eckstein foresaw, like few other Jewish leaders did, the strategic importance to Israel and the Jewish people of forging ties with the global Evangelical community. The generous aid that he gathered from Christians around the world brought vital assistance and tremendous blessings to countless Israelis. The ICEJ extends our most sincere condolences to the Eckstein family. His daughter, Yael, and the Fellowship he founded can be proud of the great legacy of kindness and caring which he has left in their hands.
This article is a press release by the ICEJ.
Dr. Jürgen Bühler currently serves as the Executive Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). He is an ordained minister with the German Pentecostal Federation (BFP) and his unique scriptural insights into issues relating to Israel, the Church and the nations have placed him in great demand as a speaker all over the world.
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Interview about Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
Paul Calvert questions Liz Kaufman who is staff veterinarian at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, about their conservation work and education programmes.
Paul: When was the zoo started and why was it started?
Liz: 25 years ago we started construction on this site. The old site was in the middle of Jerusalem, and it was a very small site in what is now a housing project; they still call it the zoo.
We moved to Malha on the outskirts of the city to a 35 acre area, which was blank, all the trees that you see here today were planted and that would have been 25 years ago.
Paul: What is the mission of the zoo?
Liz: The mission of the zoo is conservation, education and entertainment. We want people to have fun and we want them to learn about conservation issues.