We remember 23,741 soldiers and our fallen from the Messianic Community
Today, May 8, 2019, is Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron), and the nation of Israel remembers the 23,741 soldiers who have been killed in battle and 3,150 victims of terrorist attacks. Since last year, 95 soldiers and 16 terror victims have sadly been added.
We remember and pray.
As the believing community in Israel, we also remember our fallen sons and daughters from the Messianic Community. Please read this article that Kehila News published last Memorial day.
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Israelis mark Memorial Day with fresh round of victims from weekend attacks
As the sirens sound in Israel on the eve and morning of Memorial Day, Israelis will remember the nation’s fallen including, poignantly, the four civilians who lost their lives this week during rocket attacks against the country.
Hamas pummeled Israel with nearly 700 rockets in less than a 48-hour period this weekend killing:
Moshe Agadi, 58
Zaid al-Hamamdeh, 44
Moshe Feder, 64
Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, 21
Among these victims are two secular Jews, an Orthodox Jew and a Bedouin Israeli Arab. All were fathers.
In a somber moment, Israelis bow their heads in silence for one minute to pay tribute to fallen soldiers and terror victims on the eve of Yom HaZicharon. Sirens blare at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night for one full minute signaling the onset of the day and then again on Wednesday morning. The nation comes to a temporary halt and even drivers will stop their cars and stand outside their vehicles in prayer during the duration of the siren.
Most establishments will be closed on Wednesday morning and Israeli television goes off the air during for 24 hours except to air documentaries about Israel’s wars.
This year Israel mourns 23,741 soldiers who died since 1948 defending the country, 95 of whom were added this year. The number of terror victims is 3,150. Sixteen names were added to that list this year.
Israeli officials made condolence calls to the families of the four victims this week. President Reuven Rivlin visited three of the four families including the Arab family who lost a son and father earlier this week in the rocket barrage.
“You don’t know what it means to me that you came here,” Zaid Al-Hamamdeh’s son reportedly told the president. Rivlin replied, “Why wouldn’t I come? Aren’t you an Israeli citizen?”
Al-Hamamdeh was a truck driver. He was killed when a Hamas rocket slammed into the factory where he worked in the southern Israel coastal city of Ashkelon.
Rivlin said he does “everything I can to visit all Israelis who are in such terrible grief from terrorist attacks.”
“We, the tribes of Israel, are together in good times and bad, in hope and in difficulty, regardless of which tribe we are from,” he said. “Ultra-Orthodox, secular, religious and traditional, Jews and Arabs – terror strikes us all without discrimination and without mercy and we will never surrender to it.”
At a ceremony on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to bring home the bodies of troops who went missing in battle.
“We are not eager for battle but we know our willingness to sacrifice is the guarantor of our fate,” Netanyahu said. “We will always remember — the fate of our country is hanging in the balance. And without our loved ones who perished, the country would have perished.”
Netanyahu lost his brother Yoni during the 1976 Entebbe Operation to free Israeli hostages in Uganda.
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After 600 rockets and four dead, Israel reaches (temporary) ceasefire with Hamas
After two days in which more than 600 rockets were fired at Israel killing four people, Israel agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip — a decision not welcomed by many Israelis who have lived through several deadly cycles of rocket barrages in the past decade.
The ceasefire was agreed to after Israel threatened to cut off fuel supplies into Gaza and just as Muslims began Ramadan, the month of daylong fasting and nighttime feasts.
Many Israelis, especially residents of the South, know this pattern all too well. Past truces were fragile and usually crumble after just a few weeks or months. It doesn’t take much to trigger a single rocket or another rocket barrage from the Palestinians. This latest one, which began on Saturday, is the second deadly barrage in just a few months.
“The ceasefire, given the circumstances under which it was reached, lacks achievements for Israel,” said Gidon Saar, a Likud minister. “The time ranges between the rounds of violent attacks on Israel and its citizens are getting shorter, and the terrorist organizations in Gaza use the periods in between to get stronger. The campaign has not been prevented, but postponed.”
The truce agreement, brokered by Egypt and Qatar, requires Israel to ease its blockade of goods in the Gaza Strip and limits on Gaza’s fishing zone to 12 nautical miles off the coast plus make improvements to Gaza’s electricity and fuel situation.
While Israelis are not interested in war, they are interested in security. The residents of the south feel abandoned to political decisions that leave them as the victims in this lethal game of chicken. They are weary of having to run to shelters.
“In a month, in two weeks, in a month and a half, it will all happen again – we achieved nothing,” said Haim Cohen, 69, from Ashdod. “I think Israel needs to strike them very, very hard so that they learn their lesson.”
The Israeli military struck 350 militant targets during this escalation and assassinated an individual believed to have been Iran’s money man in the Gaza Strip. Nine militants and the same number of Palestinian civilians, including two children, were killed. It was the worst violence between the two sides since a 50-day war in 2014.
Since Israel pulled its Jewish citizens out of Gaza in 2005 and gave complete control of the coastal enclave over the the Palestinians, Hamas has been launching rockets at Israel. In the past year there have been eight rounds of fighting, some lasting little more than a day. Broader wars occurred in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014.
But the real Gaza showdown is just around the corner, according to IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Aviv Kochavi who believes that a military campaign will likely take place later this summer.
Kochavi is also intentionally redefining these events. He called the latest attacks the “days of battle” rather than the usual “rounds of violence.” He calls Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror “armies” rather than “organizations.”
Ultimately, Hamas is driven more by hatred of Israel than by wanting to help their own people who are living in squalid conditions of extreme poverty and utter hopelessness. Basically this means the fighting won’t stop outside of divine intervention.
Meanwhile, Israel has learned that giving away land did not bring peace and until now, they have been unable to stop the cycle of violence.
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Christians respond to latest Gaza escalation
ICEJ Donating Another Three Bomb Shelters, Protective Vests
After Israel absorbed over 700 rockets fired from Gaza over the weekend, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem sent a delegation to the western Negev region on Monday to assess the updated security needs of the local Israeli communities and how best to help them prepare for any future escalations in the area.
The Christian Embassy has already donated over 75 portable bomb shelters to the Gaza periphery towns and villages, and today the ICEJ ordered another three bomb shelters for the region. The ICEJ also is donating 20 protective vests for Yatar volunteers from the Negev who risk their lives working alongside the regular security forces to keep everyone safe during times of tension. In addition, the ICEJ delegation viewed all-terrain firefighting equipment as well as brand new specially-designed ATV security vehicles which Christians have recently donated to local Israeli communities through ICEJ.
“Hopefully, the ceasefire reached last night will hold, but the terror militias in Gaza are notoriously unpredictable and untrustworthy,” said ICEJ President Dr. Jürgen Bühler. “However, our team’s visit today has confirmed once more that our humanitarian investment in these vulnerable Israeli communities is comforting families and saving lives.”
Elan Isaacson, chief security officer for the Eshkol Region, told the ICEJ team that, “after 18 years of experience and all the bomb shelters which groups like you have placed around the region, the number of people killed and injured from the Gaza rockets is substantially down.”
Tamir Idan, mayor of the Sadot Regional Council, also hosted the ICEJ team in Kibbutz Alumim before heading off to an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the latest escalation in rocket fire from Gaza.
This article is a press release by the ICEJ and is reposted with permission.
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Mayday in Gaza
‘Mayday’ is a synonym for an international distress call. A senior radio officer at London’s Croydon Airport came up with the term based on its phonetic similarity to the French m’aider, which means “to come to my aid.”
Over the past few days Gazan Islamist terror groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas have directed substantial rocket attacks against towns and cities of Israeli civilians (both Jews and Arabs). Over 400 mortars and rockets of different trajectories have been fired, hitting kibbutz and moshav farms, small towns (like Sderot, Netivot and Gan Yavne) and cities like Ashkelon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Beer Sheva. So far there are three Israeli deaths, a handful seriously injured, over 80 wounded, all schools in the South are closed.
- What’s the difference between these Islamist terrorist groups?
- What are their strategic goals here?
- What are Israel’s options?
- How can we pray?
Islamist jihadi groups – what’s the difference here?
The two major Islamist terror groups in Gaza are Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad(PIJ).
- Both groups view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict not as a territorial dispute, but as a religious clash between Islam and heretics.
- Both believe that the land of Israel is consecrated for Islam as a result of jihadi conquest in 637-9 A.D. and that Israel has usurped Islamic land. Israel’s very existence is an affront to Allah and to Islam, and it is an Islamic religious obligation to destroy Israel and establish the Caliphate there.
- Both groups are committed to the destruction of Israel (and Western powers) through violent jihadi terror, completely rejecting negotiations with Israel or a two-state solution. The PIJ “Manifesto of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine” rejects “any peaceful solution to the Palestinian cause” and affirms “the Jihad solution and the martyrdom style as the only choice for liberation.” Hamas declares in its foundational Covenant “The Platform of The Islamic Resistance Movement (ed., Hamas): Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors”
- Both are dedicated to establishing a shari’a (Islamic law)-based Islamic dictatorship throughout the world
What are two of the main differences between Hamas and PIJ?
PIJ is supported by and takes its cues from the Islamic Republic of Iran (“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm;https://www.justice.gov/archive/ag/speeches/2003/02202003pressconference.htm).
Hamas is largely supported by Qatar, long-time US ally and the country where the forward headquarters of the U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM] is (al-Udaid airbase).
Hamas has received direct Iranian support in the recent past.
Regarding Qatar’s support of Muslim Brotherhood jihadi strategies:
* This Iranian link means that Iran is able to stir up major hostilities between Gaza and Israel whenever its ayatollahs choose.
The primary strategic goal of Hamas/PIJ is to wage jihad against Israel and to destroy it.
A secondary goal here – for Hamas to make sure that it receives Qatar’s financial backing for its jihadi terror activities. Those funds were supposed to be used for humanitarian purposes in Gaza, and it was agreed that they would flow through Israeli control. Unfortunately, the funds are being used for rebuilding and strengthening terrorist infrastructure, and Israel has been turning off these taps in recent days.
In the words of Middle East and Islam specialist Daniel Pipes, “the Israeli public cherishes normality and especially since the 1993 Oslo accords, has been ready to pay a price to keep the quiet. Therefore, the Palestinians play a game of chicken, disturbing the quiet in return for an Israeli pay-off. The Palestinian Authority says, give us the money you’re holding back that we use to fund attacks on Israelis or our whole structure will come crashing down and you’ll have a much bigger mess on your hands. Hamas says, give us access to the money Qatar is sending us or we will make life miserable for you, with rockets raining down during your Memorial Day, Independence Day … Palestinian logic boils down to blackmail: You Israelis are rich, strong, and happy, so we will make you miserable unless you give us or give us access to more money. It’s weird, it’s sick, but it usually works, especially given an Israeli security establishment for whom quiet is the first priority” (http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2019/05/making-sense-of-palestinian-logic).
- The real laser-like focus here is the Islamist desire to destroy Israel by any means possible.
What are Israel’s options?
This round of rocket attacks is not the first one Israel has experienced:
Usually these jihadi terrorists attack Israeli soldiers or civilians. In this case, a few days ago Islamist snipers wounded an IDF officer/tracker and a female soldier. Israel responded by taking out a Hamas observation post, and PIJ/Hamas started barrages of mortars and rockets.
The Islamist terrorists usually incrementally increase the trajectories of their rockets and ordnance, extending their reach from the areas beside Gaza to smaller surrounding towns and then on to big cities. This has been standard practice:
Right now, we are climbing the ladder toward full military engagement. Israel Air Force (IAF) planes and unmanned drones are scouring Gaza for rocket launchers, terrorist command-and-control structures and agents, and rocket storehouses. Central terror command HQs are being obliterated from the air.
The next steps involve Islamist rockets targeting Tel Aviv and IAF targeting PIJ/Hamas leaders – the ‘head of the snake.’ After this could come IDF artillery barrages and a tank/infantry invasion.
Egypt has been trying to get Hamas and PIJ to step back from the brink. Egypt has much to lose, as Hamas is an avowed Muslim Brotherhood enemy of Egypt, while PIJ and Iran would delight to see Egypt crumble into the sands of time.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for God’s strategies to guide Israel’s leaders and military
- Pray for the frustration of the enemies’ strategies, planning and communications
- Pray for the successful interception and destruction or all rockets and weapons formed against the people of Jacob
- Pray for miraculous deliverances and angelic interventions for the armies of the God of Israel
- Pray for the least amount of death, destruction and injury possible as this war is prosecuted
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
This article originally appeared on David’s Tent, and reposted with permission.
Avner and his wife, Rachel, live in the Beersheva region of Israel and are dedicated to stirring up the creative arts, worship, intercession, evangelism and the prophetic gifts within a Jewish and Israeli matrix. They oversee Final Frontier Ministries.