The limited warfare between Israel and the jihadi terror group Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood) in the Gaza Strip has entered its third day. Hamas rocket squads are firing on the average 12 rockets per hour, or a minimum of 300 per day, at last count.

As the Sabbath evening fell on the Jewish state, over 550 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza and Sinai onto Israeli civilian farms, villages, towns and cities. Israel Air Force planes have responded with over 600 air attacks on long and medium range rocket silos and warehouses in Gaza, often hidden next to mosques and schools in Arab civilians areas. Israeli concerns not to injure Gaza civilians have resulted in a very low number of Arab casualities – 23 according to Palestinian sources, most of whom were armed terrorists.

Over 330 Grad and Qassam rockets fired by Hamas fell in open and unpopulated regions within Israel, while 26 have fallen in civilian areas. Israeli Iron Dome anti-missile batteries have shot down 185 rockets which were aimed at civilian areas. Three Israeli fatalaties occured Thursday morning in Kiryat Malachi (a sister city of Los Angeles), where a missile scored a direct hit on the fourth floor of a residential building. The individuals concerned were not in the safe room of their own house at the time, which was not available at the time.

The Prime Minister of Egypt paid a visit to the Gaza Strip today, and Israel declared that it would not initiate air attacks during that time. However, Hamas continued to fire missiles into Israel, lobbing more than thirty rockets against Israeli civilian targets during the Egyptian PM’s visit.

  • Rocket attacks by jihadi Islamist terror forces on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are a highly significant event, and have great motivational impact for the Islamic world.
  • This missile/anti-missile war is actually the first of its kind in the history of mankind, and points to the way battle strategy will morph throughout the world in the immediate future.

Crossing red lines

On Thursday afternoon and evening Hamas sent its missiles against the greater Tel Aviv region, striking Rishon LeZion and areas just south of Tel Aviv’s municipal boundaries. On Friday evening three rockets struck just outside of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries. These rocket strikes are considered by Israel to be red lines whose violations cannot go unpunished.

Whereas up to this point, Israel has been willing to dialogue on a winding down of hostilities (provided that Hamas ceases its rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian population), Hamas’ escalation of targets and trajectories signals that the IDF must strike in one or more of three areas:

  • targeting the heads of Hamas, both military and government
  • targeting essential infrastructure like the electrical power and water grids
  • a military incursion with the purposes of destroying rocket stores, Hamas infrastructure and leadership

A selection of Israeli army reserves has been called up. Tanks, armor, reserve special forces and infantry are flowing toward the Israeli Kisufim crossing, the usual entry point for a military invasion, allowing an effective cutting of the Strip into two.

Unless Hamas makes a very strong appeal for stand-down, it is quite likely that one or more of the three scenarios mentioned above will become a reality within 48 hours.

  • Pray for the leaders of Israel (executive, military, intelligence) that their decision will be guided by the God of Israel (see Psalm 83), that He would give them strategies on how to respond with maximum effect and minimum loss of life.
  • Pray for the believing and not-yet-believing soldiers readying for combat; for the pilots and drone operators, that they might be given skillful fingers for war (Psalm 144:1).
  • Pray for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) leadership, who are comrades in arms of MB Hamas, that God would reveal Himself to them either through repentance and salvation or through military defeat (Isaiah 19:16-25, Psalm 83:9-18).

Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!

In Messiah Yeshua,
Avner Boskey

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