SHOWDOWN IN GAZA
“Concerning Gaza … the city and those who live
in it: the men will cry out,
and every inhabitant of the land will
wail.” (Jeremiah 47:1-2)
“I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza and it
will consume her citadels.”
The Gaza war was not Israel’s
choice; it was forced upon them by the radical agenda of the Hamas
leaders, and by the urging of both the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood of
Egypt, and the fanatical Shia leaders of Iran.
For three years after Israel
dismantled its Jewish settlements in Gaza and withdrew its troops from
the territory, Gaza’s Palestinians have fired six thousand rockets on
southern Israel, making it a constant nightmare for residents in towns
In January 2006, Hamas won the
first Palestinian elections defeating the old Fatah party of Arafat.
After some time, however, Hamas was not able to govern, and it was
persuaded to join Fatah in a power-sharing arrangement. But this was a
disaster – both sides were mostly at war with each other.
The Hamas charter calls for Israel
to be wiped out, and therefore it has consistently refused to recognise
or to make peace with Israel. .
Last June, Hamas orchestrated a
coup against the Fatah organisation and took over full control of Gaza.
Western nations and Israel began a
financial boycott of Hamas, but large sums of cash were smuggled into
Gaza from Iran and Arab nations, enabling Hamas to survive. And the
rockets continued to rain down on Israel in retaliation.
Israel’s usual response to those
attacks has been to target the rocket launchers - a response that proved
to be quite ineffectual in stopping the rockets.
In June 2008, through Egyptian
mediation, Hamas and Israel agreed to a ceasefire for six months.
Israel, of course, knew that this would be merely a lull during which
Hamas would replenish its armaments and build up its military capacity.
But Israel also used the time to collect intelligence and to prepare for
the inevitable battle.
The 6-month truce ended on
December 19, 08; and even though several Arab governments including
Fatah pleaded with them to continue “the cease-fire,” Hamas refused.
The “cease-fire,” in fact, had been that in name only.
The Palestinians reduced the
number of rockets but did not stop firing them. The Israeli army says
Palestinian militants fired 3,000 rockets on Israel over the past year.
For this reason Israel refused to cancel their tight embargo on Gaza
which had been designated a terrorist state by the US and Europe as well
For several days before Dec 19,
08, and for seven days after, Hamas and other radical groups in Gaza
fired hundreds of rockets and mortars at an increasing number of Israeli
towns and cities. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis were subjected to
the constant attacks which became intolerable.
After several years of blows, and
showing moderation and restraint, (which made the government appear
anaemic, Israel finally declared, “Enough is enough!”
ISRAEL’S RESPONSE TO
On Dec. 27, 08, in an attempt to
halt the rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled territory, Israel
launched “Operation Cast Lead.”
With Israeli elections coming up
on February 10, 09, the coalition government, consisting primarily of
the Kadima Party of Olmert and Livni, and the Labor Party of Ehud Barak,
could not afford to be seen as indecisive, especially at a time when
hard-line opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu was mounting a strong
political challenge to them.
Israel warned Hamas in no
uncertain terms that their rocket barrage would no longer be tolerated,
and that Hamas itself would be in danger. But still the rockets kept
coming. A Hamas official even boasted that Israel was weak, confused,
and afraid to take on Hamas.
The offensive began eight days
after the “truce” between Israel and the militants expired. Israeli
planes launched a “shock and awe” attack on Gaza. The attack began on
the Sabbath (27th morning). It took Hamas by surprise as they thought
nothing would happen, at least until after an Israeli cabinet meeting on
In the heaviest military strike
against the Gaza Strip since the 1967 Six Day War, the Israeli Air Force
bombed over 170 targets killing more than 230 Palestinians, mostly
militants, as it launched its “Operation Cast Lead” which was
aimed at putting a stop to the Hamas rockets.
Over 100 fighter jets and attack
helicopters dropped dozens of smart bombs and tons of explosives on
Hamas training camps, rocket-manufacturing facilities, weapons
storehouses, underground missile silos and command-and-control centres
scattered throughout the Gaza Strip that had been identified in advance.
Military officials said aircraft
released more than 100 tonnes of bombs in the first nine hours of
A Hamas police spokesman said 180
members of the Hamas security forces were among the dead, including at
least two senior Hamas commanders and 70-80 Hamas operatives who were
killed at the Gaza Police Academy during a graduation ceremony.
From Day two, Gaza leaders went
into hiding in bunkers. Most Hamas service men dropped their uniforms to
It was reported that some senior
Hamas operatives and terror chiefs were hiding and conducting their
operations from within Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. “They have disguised
themselves as nurses and doctors,” an official said. Hamas was also
using mosques, public institutions and private homes as ammunition
During the first 18 days of the
war, more than 1000 air strikes were carried out by the IDF. Over 1000
Palestinians were killed, including many senior officials and military
leaders. According to a UN count, 25% of those killed were civilians.
Some of the “children” killed were in fact teenage terrorists.
Early in the piece, an IDF plane
bombed and destroyed a mosque in Gaza City claiming that the mosque was
“a base for terrorist activities.” At least fifteen other mosques were
attacked later for the same reason. Another target was the Al Aqsa TV
Israel’s operation included air
force sorties in which “bunker busters” were dropped along Gaza’s border
with Egypt. These bombs release shockwaves designed to collapse secret
passages. The majority of the several hundred tunnels along the Rafah
crossing between Gaza and Egypt, which Hamas used for weapons smuggling,
have evidently been destroyed.
OF THE HUNDREDS OF TUNNELS UNDER THE GAZA BORDER
Gaza militants continued firing
rockets into Israel - on average, 60 per day, causing a lot of damage.
Four Israeli citizens were killed from these rocket attacks, dozens were
wounded, and tens of thousands were traumatized.
But that response was far less
than the 200 rockets a day that IDF defence experts had anticipated from
Hamas. Most of their rockets were home-made Kassams, but longer-range
Katyusha rockets had been added to their arsenal; and at least 40 of
these were fired at targets up to 45 kilometers away.
One Katyusha scored a direct hit
on a building in Netivot, killing a 58-year-old man and wounding several
others. Another rocket killed an Israeli, and wounded 16 others, in the
centre of Ashkelon.
Grad-model Katyusha rockets that
into Beersheba, it was discovered, were
manufactured in China. They had been
smuggled into Gaza
after the Sinai
wall was blown up by
Hamas last January, according to defence
officials. - Jerusalem Post
One of the missiles exploded on
the southern outskirts of
of Yavneh, approximately 9-10 km north
the port city of Ashdod,
furthest a missile has reached
from Gaza. Yavneh is more than 40 km
north from Gaza, and only 15 km south of Tel Aviv.
increased range of Gazan rockets put
at least 700,000 people (10% of
Israel’s population) within
After the first week of fighting,
both Israel and Hamas remained defiant and determined. Israel said
operations “will continue, will be expanded, and will deepen if
... this is a ‘war to the bitter end’.” A
spokesman spoke likewise: “Hamas will
continue the resistance until the last drop of our blood.”
As ground forces amassed outside
Gaza ahead of stage
two - a ground operation, PM Ehud Olmert
warned that Saturday’s aerial
bombardment was just the opening salvo
of an operation
several weeks. Defence
Minister Ehud Barak said: “There
is a time
cease-fire and a time to fight ...
time to fight.”
Israel will push forward with its
offensive in the Gaza Strip until it “completely destroys” Hamas,
Israel’s ambassador to the
Shalev, said, saying that the operation will continue
that goal. Shalev refused to discuss
war strategy, but said the operation would continue “as long
takes to dismantle Hamas completely.” Other statements suggest lesser
commentators say Hamas is unlikely to
be brought down by force, short of
Israel reoccupying the territory. And
Israel does not like that option because it doesn’t want to get bogged
down in urban warfare.
looking for a knockout against Hamas because the costs
high,” said Shlomo Brom, a former senior Israeli military official. “The
purpose is to eventually return to
OLMERT TO SARKOZY:
“The goal of the
operation is not to destroy the Hamas
leadership, even though we are able to
as well. We defined from the very beginning a limited goal
change the security situation in the South and
from the threat of terror. We will not
able to come
Hamas is able to fire, in another
month or two, on the Israeli population,” the prime minister said.
the ceasefire, Hamas had rockets that could
far as 20
kilometres. After the ceasefire, the
range of their rockets grew to
40 kilometres, threatening the lives
of a million Israelis.”
THE GROUND OPERATION
air operation began,
mobilizing tanks and increasing ground troops to 10,000 near the
preparation for a
Ehud Barak said he would not rule out widening the offensive in the
With Hamas hitting Ashkelon,
Israel’s 13th largest
city, for nearly one year, and now targeting
Ashdod (the 5th biggest city, and a
Beersheva (6th biggest city with a
large university), it became
inevitable that a
operation would need to take place.
Israel entered the second week of
offensive on Saturday
3rd, by launching the much-expected
ground operation. Reports from both Israel and Gaza indicated that IDF
troops had killed dozens of Hamas gunmen as they traded heavy fire upon
entering the Strip.
IDF emphasized that this stage of the
operation will strike a
direct and hard blow against the Hamas while
increasing the deterrent strength of the IDF, in order to bring about an
improved and more stable security situation for residents of Southern
took part in this stage of the operation including infantry,
engineering forces, artillery and intelligence with the
of the Israel Air Force, Israel navy, the Shin Bet security
other security agencies.
The invasion was preceded by the
firing of artillery shells into
from military preparation sites along
the Gaza-Israel border.
The artillery fire aimed to detonate Hamas
explosive devices and mines planted along the border area before troops
The IDF escalated its ground
operations in Gaza after it divided the Gaza
into two segments - a move aimed at
cutting off the flow of arms, supplies
and fighters to northern Gaza.
Israeli forces then began surrounding
Defence officials said Hamas was
trying to kidnap Israeli soldiers
operating inside Gaza and that commanders had
been ordered to take extra precautions to ensure their soldiers’ safety.
PHONELESS HAMAS ARMY
campaign spread to cyberspace and
cell phones, leaving Hamas’ terrorist army in confusion, unable to issue
and receive orders efficiently. Almost of all of Gaza’s cell phone
out of order; television stations have been
hit and the Hamas website is down. Hamas’ leaders, who have been forced
underground, have been forced to
rely on old-fashioned walkie-talkies
to maintain communication.
trying to avoid
civilian casualties, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told reporters.
on the other hand,
is looking for children to kill. Hamas is deliberately targeting
kindergartens and schools and citizens and civilians because this is
according to their values. Our values are completely different, Livni
trying to target Hamas
militants, which hide
The conflict has left hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians in
Gaza increasingly desperate
water, fuel and medical assistance.
allowed trucks loaded with humanitarian aid to enter the Rafah terminal.
It was also taking in wounded Palestinians from Gaza, with more than a
dozen Egyptian ambulances waiting at the crossing.
BATTALIONS WIPED OUT”
At the end of the second week a
said whole Hamas battalions had been
in dozens of clashes with troops over the
weekend, and that terror groups were hit by a wave of desertions.
ARMY WARNS GAZA
Israel Air Force has dropped leaflets throughout the Gaza Strip warning
residents that Israel
to begin a “new phase in
terror,” and that it will “escalate.”
The leaflet read: “Strip
residents: Two days ago, the IDF dropped leaflets in Rafah, warning
residents and instructing them to leave
their homes for their safety. As Rafah
residents complied with IDF instructions, civilians not involved in the
fighting were spared any harm. In the near future, the IDF will continue
to attack tunnels, arms caches, and terror activities with greater
intensity all across the
Strip. For your safety and
safety of your families, you are
from staying near
terror elements or sites where
ISRAEL TO HIT HAMAS
PA President and Fatah leader,
office today slammed as “barbaric” and
“unnecessary” Israel’s air strikes in
according to top diplomatic sources
in Jerusalem, for months Abbas had
petitioned Israel to launch
such a massive military raid against his
Hamas rivals in Gaza. -
Abbas, who heads a not-so-moderate
government in the West Bank issued his
strongest condemnation yet of the
operation, calling it a
Gaza,” and saying he would consult with his
bitter rivals in Hamas in an effort to end
HAMAS MOVES AGAINST
very nervous, because they feel that their end
nearing,” a senior Fatah
have been waging a brutal
campaign against Fatah members
Gaza Strip.” Hamas
militiamen have been assaulting many Fatah
activists; at least 75 Fatah activists were shot in the
while others had their hands broken.
The spokesman accused Hamas of
executing a number of Fatah
reports that the Fatah leadership in
to be ready to assume power over the Gaza
Strip when and if Israel’s military operation results in the
of Hamas rule.
Hamas has also
more than 35 Palestinians who
of collaborating with
Israel and who
were being held in various Hamas security
Jan 4. A Knesset committee
approved Ehud Barak’s request for the call-up of tens
thousands of IDF reservists in light of the ground operation in
This call-up was deemed
necessary, for after dealing with Hamas on
southern border, Israel may have to deal with
one of Iran’s proxies
northern border - Hizb’ullah in Lebanon, armed with 40,000
that can reach almost every part of
THE THREAT FROM
Lebanon’s powerful Hizb’ullah
guerrilla movement — widely seen as the Arab world’s most effective
is a staunch Hamas supporter but
far it has held back its fire and allowed
Palestinian ally to endure Israel’s assault
in Gaza alone.
gained significant clout by joining a national unity government with
pro-U.S. rivals in Lebanon. The country is now enjoying an unusually
stretch of relative
calm and prosperity
fear anything that
arsenal and claims
possess up to 40,000 rockets, with far greater range, sophistication and
firepower than Hamas’ mostly primitive rockets. At present
constrained by its own domestic political
its fear of the massive retaliation that Israel has promised for
Lebanon should it allow Hizb’ullah to
launch a new rocket bombardment.
Israel’s top commander on the
border with Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, warned in October that
Israel would reply with “disproportionate force” if Hizb’ullah attacks
again, adding that any village used to fire missiles against the Jewish
state will be destroyed.
Hizb’ullah also has to reckon with
the Lebanese army and a more robust UN peacekeeping force in the south
near the border with Israel.
HAMAS MUST BE
CRUSHED, NOT CODDLED
DEC 31, 08. The leaders of the
European Union, Russia, and many governments around the world are
putting enormous pressure on Israel to stop defending the Jewish people
and stop attacking the terrorist strongholds in Gaza.
More than 6,300 rockets and
missiles have been fired at Israel by Hamas since Israeli withdrew its
military forces from Gaza in 2005. Hundreds of rockets have been fired
at Israel just since December 19th. Would the French or Germans agree to
a cease-fire if they were being hit by hundreds and thousands of
rockets, missiles, and mortars by enemies sworn to annihilate them? Of
course not. The Russians invaded Georgia for far, far less.
“We didn’t initiate the Gaza
operation in order to end it while Israeli towns are still under fire,
as they were before the operation,” PM Ehud Olmert told reporters.
“Israel has shown restraint for years; she gave the truce a chance; we
told ourselves ‘let’s try it,’ but Hamas violated the truce.”
I don’t often say this, but Olmert
is right! Hamas must be crushed, not coddled. Yet the world is trying to
coddle these Palestinian radicals. It’s an outrage. The onus is on the
Hamas terrorists to lay down their arms and stop firing rockets into
Israel. Until that happens, the IDF should continue fighting.
It pains me to see the suffering
on both sides, but this is entirely Hamas’ responsibility. They were
urged by Egypt, by Mahmoud Abbas, and by the Israelis not to let the
previous cease-fire lapse, but they chose war instead.
By Joel C. Rosenberg
THE EUROPEAN UNION
The EU has called for a cease-fire
to end the violence in Gaza. The Czech Republic on 3 Jan published a
statement on behalf of the EU, saying the ground assault was “more
defensive than offensive.”
CZECH REPUBLIC AND
Jan 3, the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said Israel had
the right to defend itself. “Let us realize one thing: Hamas increased
steeply the number of rockets fired at Israel since the ceasefire ended
on December 19. That is not acceptable any more,” he said.
France, on the other hand,
condemned Israel’s strikes and the rocket attacks from Hamas militants
and called for both to stop immediately. President Sarkozy complained
about Israel’s disproportionate use of force.
On Jan 5, the Czech EU presidency
issued a statement retracting its outright support for Israel. “Even the
undisputable right of the state to defend itself does not allow actions
which largely affect civilians,” the communiqué said.
And President Sarkozy also
switched his position and now laid the lion’s share of blame on Hamas.
“Hamas, which decided to break the truce and resume rocket fire against
Israel, bears a heavy responsibility for the suffering of the
Palestinians,” he said.
The Czech EU presidency and Mr
Sarkozy are both leading EU efforts to broker a ceasefire. –
Jan 5. A deep crisis in
Turkish-Israel relations appears to be the first strategic casualty of
Israel’s offensive to suppress Hamas’ rocket campaign.
DEBKAfile’s Ankara sources report
that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seriously planning
to freeze the long-standing military ties between the US’s foremost
defence allies in the Middle East, and call off forthcoming joint
maneuvers. If his hostility toward Israel persists, it will have
far-reaching fallout for American Middle East policies and Israel’s
defence position in the region. - www.debka.com
IRAN: “NOW IS THE
TIME TO ACT”
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told
the Arab League, which began a meeting on 31 Dec, it must act quickly to
end Israeli attacks on Gaza Palestinians, adding that “setting up a
committee” or “making speeches” was not enough.
Iran, in addition to providing
Hamas longer-range rockets, is also promised 10,000 volunteer suicide
bombers to attack Israel. The country’s supreme religious leader,
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that anyone who died in the defense of Gaza
would be deemed a martyr.
But an Egyptian official said that
the Iranians were applying “double standards” regarding the current
conflict - on the one hand, they encouraged Iranian men to volunteer to
fight alongside Hamas; on the other hand, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told
the volunteers that they would
be permitted to join
the fight against Israel.
“CUT OIL TO ISRAEL‘S
Jan 4. An Iranian military
commander called on Islamic countries to cut oil exports to Israel’s
supporters, the official IRNA news agency reported. This would be …“one
of the powerful elements of pressure” on Israel’s Western backers in the
“unequal war” faced by Palestinians in Gaza.
IN GAZA, THE REAL
ENEMY IS IRAN
The Los Angeles Times (Jan
4, 09) hit the nail right on the head with this forthright commentary by
Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael B. Oren:
THE images from the fighting in
Gaza are harrowing but ultimately deceptive. They portray a mighty
invading army, one equipped with F-16 jets that have bombed a civilian
population defended by a few thousand fighters armed with primitive
But widen the lens and the true
nature of this conflict emerges. Hamas, like Hizb’ullah in Lebanon, is a
proxy for the real enemy Israel is confronting: Iran. And Israel’s
current operation against Hamas represents a unique chance to deal a
strategic blow to
Until now, the Iranian revolution
has appeared unstoppable. The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s ended with
Iranian troops occupying Iraqi territory. Iranian influence then spread
to Saudi Arabia’s heavily Shi’ite and oil-rich Eastern province, and to
Lebanon through Hizb’ullah. Since the fall of their long-standing enemy,
Saddam Hussein, Iranians have deeply infiltrated Iraq.
Syria has been drawn into Iran’s
sphere, and even the Sunni sheikdoms of the gulf now defer to Iran,
dispatching foreign ministers to Tehran and defying international
sanctions against it.
Iran has co-opted Hamas, a Sunni
organization closely linked to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood,
transforming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a jihad against the
But Iran’s boldest achievement has
been to thwart world pressure and approach the nuclear threshold. Once
fortified with nuclear weapons, Iranian hegemony in the Middle East
would be complete.
All of which helps explain the
public statements from moderate Arab leaders, such as Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak and Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, who have
blamed the end of the tenuous Israel-Hamas cease-fire on Hamas.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed
Aboul Gheit has even called on the Arab world to stop using the UN as a
forum for blaming Israel alone for the fighting; surely a first! Those
leaders understand what many in the West have yet to grasp: The Middle
East conflict is no longer just about creating a Palestinian state but
the region’s takeover by radical Islam.
Indeed, Palestinian statehood is
impossible without neutralizing the extremists who oppose any negotiated
If Israel successfully overthrows
Hamas in Gaza, it would strengthen anti-Iranian forces throughout the
Middle East and signal the region that Iranian momentum can be reversed.
Israel’s main goal is to ensure that Hamas is unable to proclaim
victory and thereby enhance Iranian prestige in the Arab world.
An earlier opportunity to check
Iran — during Israel’s war against Hizb’ullah in 2006 — was squandered
through a combination of Israeli incompetence and international
pressure. Hizb’ullah manipulated the Western media by grossly inflating
the number of civilian casualties and even “recycling” corpses from one
bombed site to another.
The international community
responded by imposing a cease-fire before Israel could achieve its goals
and installing a peacekeeping force that has since allowed Hizb’ullah to
more than double its prewar arsenal. Though the Israeli army killed a
quarter of Hizb’ullah’s troops and destroyed its headquarters, Israel
was widely perceived as the loser. The winner was Iran.
Israel learned the bitter lesson
of Lebanon. But the question remains whether the international community
has learned its Lebanon lesson, or will once again allow the jihadists
IRAN - THE MOST
“This is the most dangerous
Iranian regime in history and if they get nuclear weapons and Iran
attaches those weapons to the high speed missiles they already have,
Iran could do in six minutes what it took Adolph Hitler almost six years
to do, and that is to kill six million Jews.”
- Author and
Mideast analyst Joel Rosenberg
ARAB RIOTS IN ISRAEL
Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen
Arab-Israelis had been arrested within Israel over the past week,
and 230 are still behind bars
in connection with violent demonstrations
against the Gaza
officers were injured in the
citizens of Israel. -
”Look, the nations are as a drop in the bucket, and are counted as small
dust on the balances. See, He lifts up the isles as a very little
thing.” (Isaiah 40:15)
The anti-Israel propaganda kicked
in from the start – it is very much a part of the war, and the enemies
of Israel count on it! Passionate and often violent pro-Palestinian
demonstrations have taken place around the world.
gives this comment:
“It began with the usual suspects
– led by the Arabs, the Russians, the Muslims – all demanding an
immediate Israeli withdrawal from its “invasion” of Gaza. Then right on
cue, the members of the United Nations begin their usual chorus –
charging that Israel’s response is “not proportionate.”
“Finally, the media revs up their
one-sided campaign. Their job is to spotlight the injuries and deaths of
Palestinian women and children who are accidentally hit during the
intense battles. Apparently, the months and years of constant
bombardment lavished on the Israelis by Hamas thugs didn’t trigger the
media’s interest. Only when Israel struck back did the signal go out for
the mainstream media to join the fray.
“What is it about Israel that
makes it the world’s pariah state? How can it be that no insult to the
Arabs is too slight to justify wholesale murder, whereas no atrocity, no
matter how outrageous, justifies an Israeli defensive response? It
matters not how reasonable and legitimate the defensive action would be
for any other nation. But leaders from around the world have streamed
into the UN to defend the ‘Palestinian democracy’ – as if such an entity
“It makes absolutely no sense in
the natural. Only the Bible can explain the mystery behind the
supernatural hatred of the Jews. Bible prophecy predicted that Israel
would be miraculously reborn in “the last days.” The Bible also
predicted that a supernatural hatred against Jews would grow worldwide.
This will be soon followed by Armageddon and the return of Jesus the
“All of this is being fulfilled to
the letter before our eyes. So don’t be surprised or afraid. Christ’s
return to deliver those who have believed in Him is coming very soon.”
THE GAZA CONFLICT IN
The general news media likes to
report the conflict as a tit-for-tat issue, with Palestinians responding
in the only way they know how against the Israeli siege and settlements
- “The occupation.” But that is simply propaganda.
For Hamas, the issue is not about
the ‘occupation.’ The Hamas charter still calls for the complete
destruction of the state of Israel and the Jewish people. There is no
amount of land that Israel could give up that Hamas would be satisfied
Gaza terrorists have deliberately
targeted Israeli civilians with 3000 rockets in the last year alone. And
yet the international community condemns Israel’s ‘disproportionate
If Israel indiscriminately fired
missiles on civilians in Gaza there would be tens of thousands of
Palestinians slain. But Israel does not target Palestinian civilians,
In fact they deliberately seek to avoid injuring civilians, whereas as
rockets in civilian areas, and their operatives cower behind human
shields, there are,
tragically, civilians killed.
Hamas also teaches their children
to hate and kill, and then send their young people and their women to
their deaths with explosives strapped to their waists. And if their
desires could be fulfilled, tens of thousands of Jews would be
slaughtered – so many that the rest would feel compelled to flee from
If the Palestinian radicals were
more successful, Israel would have wiped them out long ago.
Of course as Christians we know
there is another side to this issue. There is a spiritual aspect to all
this which cannot be ignored. The Bible predicted that this would
happen; that the nation of Israel would be reborn (Ezekiel 37); and that
they would have war with their enemies until the time comes when they
(the Jews) are ready to embrace the One whom they have rejected for so
long. (Zechariah 12).
CEASE-FIRE AND TRUCE
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
rejected an early call for a 48-hour “humanitarian pause” and told her
French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, that Hamas must not be given the
opportunity to gain any sort of legitimacy within a renewal of a truce.
Under the current offensive, she said, Hamas must understand that Israel
will not tolerate Gaza rocket fire without a response.
QUARTET CALLS FOR
Dec 30, 08.
Foreign ministers from
the Quartet of Middle East peace brokers - the UN, the US, Russia and
the EU - called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and southern Israel.
But Israel’s envoy to the U.S.,
Sallay Meridor, blamed Iran for the situation in Gaza. “What you see in
Gaza is made by Iran - it’s funded by Iran, the terrorists are trained
by Iran, it’s supplied by Iran, the know-how to create short range
rockets is Iranian,” he said. “As an octopus, Iran has proxies in the
region and beyond the region, and at the same time they’re moving
towards nuclear weapons.”
“This is not a separate Israeli
problem or just a threat to Israel; this is very well-connected to the
threat in Mumbai, Beersheva, or God forbid, NYC, and we can defeat it
only if we stand together determined not to let those terrorists kill
citizens and destroy our way of life. You must act against terror if you
want to give peace a chance,” he said. But “we are making efforts to
make sure that whatever humanitarian aid wants to get to Gaza, will get
On Jan 3, the US blocked approval
of a UN
Security Council statement calling for an immediate
between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
has designated Hamas
and it sees
abiding by the council’s call for
immediate end to the
ARABS SEEK UN
On Jan 4. A delegation of foreign
ministers from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and
Syria, led by the
PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, were in
New York, urging the UN Security Council to adopt an Arab draft
resolution that would condemn Israel and demand a halt to its bombing
campaign in Gaza.
There were also
lifting of the blockade on
Gaza, a return to negotiations,
renewed truce between Israel and
Hamas. But the US said the
draft is unacceptable and unbalanced because it makes no mention of
halting the Hamas rocketing of southern Israel which led to the Israeli
UN WANTS MONITORS
Jan 5. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
is urging key world leaders to intensify efforts to achieve an immediate
Israel-Hamas cease-fire that includes international monitors to enforce
a truce and possibly to protect Palestinian civilians.
EU SENDING TWO PEACE
The new Czech EU presidency sent a
peace mission to Egypt, Israel, Palestine’s West Bank and Jordan to try
to broker a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza war.
Czech foreign minister Karel
Schwarzenberg led the team, comprising French foreign minister Bernard
Kouchner, Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, EU top diplomat Javier
Solana and external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
At the same time, the French
President, Nicolas Sarkozy, led a mission to Syria, Egypt, Lebanon,
Israel and ‘Palestine.’ The Schwarzenberg and Sarkozy delegations were
to hold a joint meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in the West
“HAMAS LOOKING FOR
Jan 4. Shin Bet (Israel Security
Agency/ISA) chief Yuval Diskin told the government that “there are
initial signs that Hamas is becoming less intransigent about the
possible ceasefire. Their leadership is under heavy pressure and they
want the Israeli operation halted, while looking for an ‘honourable
exit’ that will not humiliate them,” he told a cabinet session.
“There is a willingness on the
part of Hamas to reach an accommodation,” Diskin said. “The Hamas
leadership abroad and in Gaza is under pressure and is acting to achieve
a ceasefire,” he explained. “It is disappointed with the Arab countries
which are not standing by its side. Everything Hamas has created in
under real threat and
its leadership feels an existential danger,”
Military Intelligence Chief
Yadlin told the cabinet that “Hamas
understands that it made
in violating the
dealt a serious blow. Dozens of
hit, ammunition depots and [weapon] production infrastructure have been
destroyed. The ability to smuggle through tunnels has been impaired.
Their ability to govern has also been harmed; its leaders have
completely abandoned the population and are worrying only about
themselves,” Yadlin said.
RESOLUTION - #1860
Jan 8. The UN Security Council
resolution calling for an immediate durable and fully respected
ceasefire leading to the “full withdrawal” of Israeli forces from Gaza.
It also demanded “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout
humanitarian assistance,” and measures
to prevent arms smuggling to
Palestinian militants, and the opening of
border crossings into Gaza.
14 of the 15 Security Council
members voted in favour of the resolution. The US abstained as it first
wants “to see the outcomes of the
Egyptian mediation” with Israel and
BOTH ISRAEL AND
HAMAS REJECT THE RESOLUTION!
Israel’s government said any
cease-fire must guarantee an end to rocket fire and arms smuggling into
(During the recent six-month
believed to have used tunnels under the
Egypt-Gaza border to smuggle
in the medium-range rockets that it is now
using to hit deeper than ever inside Israel.)
Ayman Taha, a Hamas spokesman in
Gaza said: “Even though we are the main actors on
Gaza, we were not consulted about this
not taken into account our vision and
the interests of
said it won’t accept
any agreement that does not
the full opening
Gaza’s blockaded border
Israel is unlikely
to agree to that demand,
it would allow Hamas
to strengthen its hold on the territory which it
seized in June 2007.
While the UNSC call
tantamount to a demand on the parties, Israel’s
won’t be required to
pull out of
until there is a
calls on U.N. member
to provide guarantees in
truce, including prevention of illicit
trafficking in arms and ammunition.
Jan 9. The
Security Cabinet voted to continue Operation Cast Lead
despite the UNSC resolution. “The State of Israel has
agreed that any outside body
would determine its
defend the security of its
citizens,” read a statement released by
Prime Minister’s Office immediately
IDF will continue operations in order
defend Israeli citizens and will carry out
with which it has been assigned in the
morning’s rocket fire (by Hamas) against
residents of the south only proves that the UN Security Council
Resolution #1860 is not practical and will not be honoured in actual
fact by the Palestinian terror organizations.”
U.S. HOUSE BACKS
Jan 10. The
House of Representatives passed a resolution “recognizing Israel’s right
itself against attacks from Gaza” by a
majority of 390-5.
Lawmakers in Washington routinely
non-binding resolutions supporting Israel during Middle East crises.
US, Egypt, Jordan, Germany and Israel -
all ARE working FOR A ceasefire package
Jan 6. DEBKAfile reports that
Washington, Cairo, Amman and Jerusalem are hammering out
ceasefire deal that will depend on
the state of
proposition that the ceasefire
the lines of
combat reached in the
Strip in the fighting between Israel
Egyptian intelligence minister
Gen. Omar Suleiman outlined the deal
Hamas delegation after
finally agreed to discuss a truce. It was clear
sides that he was
dictating honorable terms
for a Hamas capitulation.
Egyptian and Jordanian
will then enter
will hold the lines
established on the day
goes into effect,
for a 2-3
month trial period. Egyptian and Jordanian units will remain
enclave until a pre-set date. An
will prevent Hamas from rearming.
overt diplomatic drive for a
ceasefire, Washington is quietly
moving ahead on
conjunction with Saudi Arabia,
is managing the
Hamas track - and German chancellor
SARKOZY: HALT TO
ARMS SMUGGLING IS KEY TO CEASE-FIRE
Jan 9. French President Nicolas
Sarkozy said that the
key; to reaching a cease-fire between Israel
and Hamas in Gaza
was the permanent cessation of arms smuggling
to the Hamas-ruled coastal territory.
“We must give
the guarantee that weapons will not pass through that border. As of that
Israeli army must withdraw from Gaza. Then in
a second phase we will talk about reopening
border crossings,” Sarkozy told a news conference with
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris.
Israeli estimates, there
were around 300
smuggling tunnels along the
before Operation Cast Lead.
half of them have been destroyed by
the Israeli air and land forces.
One of the options being
considered is deployment of an American military engineering force along
the Philadelphi Corridor to assist
the Egyptians in
The Egyptians have
asked Israel to allow them to
increase their Border Police force
along the Gaza border, a move that would enable
Egypt to crack
down on the tunnel-smuggling
industry more effectively.
Cairo believes that
to the idea and understands
Egypt is to stand a chance at
halting the smuggling, it will need a
force than the 750 border policemen agreed
following Israel’s disengagement from
UN DRAFTING GAZA
PLAN TO REINSTATE PA
Jan 10. A day after the UN
Security Council resolution calling
ceasefire was dismissed by both
and Hamas, a new plan
was being hatched to reinstitute
Palestinian Authority on the Gaza-Egypt border, according to the British
Times. The report said that the UN diplomats were drawing
up a plan
to bring in international monitors
the Egypt-Gaza border.
new plan, a triangle at the southern
Gaza, including the Rafah crossing
to Egypt and the Kerem Shalom crossing
to Israel, would be policed by Turkish and French
monitors to stop arms smuggling into Gaza, while the Strip itself
would return to the jurisdiction of the
EU monitors were previously
installed on the border, but they fled when Hamas violently wrested the
Strip from the hands of the Palestinian Authority in 2007.
Since then, Egypt, which has been
working to tone down
the power of
fanatic Muslim Brotherhood inside
Egypt, has shut the Gaza
its own side, wary of an emerging
terror base affiliated with the
Brotherhood on its north eastern border.
in Gaza has been flouting Abbas’
authority since its takeover of the Strip, and now it has announced that
after January 9, it would stop regarding him as the legal head of the
West Bank as
says it will not allow
other than its
own men on the side of
border it claims as
EGYPT REFUSES TO
STATION FOREIGN TROOPS ON GAZA BORDER
Jan 10. Egyptian efforts to broker
a Gaza cease-fire appears to have run into trouble because of
disagreements with Israel over how
to secure the border to prevent Hamas
diplomats said Egypt had objections to proposals
foreign forces deploying on the Egyptian side of its 15-km (9-mile)
border with the Gaza Strip.
The diplomats said an
international deployment on the Palestinian side of the border was also
unlikely because of objections from Hamas.
“IF CEASE-FIRE DEAL
DOESN’T MEET ISRAEL’S DEMANDS,
GAZA OPERATION WILL
8. Defence Minister Ehud Barak
Javier Solana said
that “[Israel] is working to
that [Operation Cast Lead]
creates a safer reality for
southern communities. We will not abandon this objective.”
possibility of a
cease-fire agreement with Hamas, Barak said
Israel “will examine
make sure it leads to the creation of
reality. If it
the Israel Defence Forces will continue its
operation in Gaza
and possibly intensify it.”
Israeli Spokesman Mark Regev said
Israel could accept
the proposal if it halts hostile fire from
includes measures to prevent
from rearming. “The
talks continue on the basis of that
sustainable calm in the south will be
based upon the total absence
Israel and an effective arms embargo on Hamas
that enjoys international support.”
HAMAS ARMED WING MAY
Jan 7. Israel’s defence
establishment believes that Hamas’ armed
wing is likely to resist any ceasefire
the Islamist group’s political leadership decides.
Hamas, which comprises a military
wing, as well as political leaderships in Gaza and Syria, does not make
decisions as a unified body. Rather, the organization’s separate
branches hold their own discussions.
According to this assessment,
Hamas’ armed wing will not accept the Egyptian and French brokered truce
proposal, which calls for an end to the smuggling of weapons and
militants from Sinai.
HAMAS: WE REJECT A
Jan 7. The deputy head of Hamas’
political bureau said his group is studying peace initiatives to end the
violence in Gaza Strip but
rejects a permanent truce
Exiled Hamas leader Moussa Abou
Marzouk said there will be no talks about a permanent cease-fire and
that as long as
there is an Israeli occupation, there will be resistance.
Hamas received proposals from France, Turkey, Syria and Egypt to bring
about a cease-fire, Abu Marzouk said, and it stands by its demands for
an immediate end to Israel’s offensive, Israeli withdrawal from Gaza,
and the opening of the border with the strip.
A Hamas representative in Lebanon
close to the group’s leadership in Syria, told al-Jazeera television
that Hamas would not accept any initiative that does not include the
withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza and the opening of all of the
territory’s border crossings.
“The idea of an international
force is rejected and such forces that will come to Gaza to protect
Israel, will be dealt with as enemy forces,” he said
10. Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, in Damascus, accused Israel of
carrying out a “holocaust” in Gaza, and said Israel’s attack had
destroyed any chance of a settlement agreement.
Dec. 30, 08. Former IDF Brig.-Gen.
MK Effie Eitam says that a ceasefire now is practically an existential
danger to the State of Israel. “We must understand that this war against
the Hamas terrorist regime has ramifications well beyond the immediate
outcome,” Eitam told Arutz-7’. “The entire Arab and terrorist worlds,
especially Iran and the like, are watching Israel to see how it
deals, yet again, with terror threats and rockets fired into its
No Excuse This Time
Eitam noted that our lack of
success last time, only two and a half years ago, set the stage for the
war in Gaza:
“Our failure last time in Lebanon
is that which created the present situation … Everything taking place
now in Gaza is a direct imitation of what happened in Lebanon: the way
they prepared themselves on the ground, firing rockets at our cities,
etc. In Lebanon, we had a few excuses, in that our army wasn’t
perfectly ready, and Hizb’ullah had a home front behind them constantly
re-supplying them and helping them – but here in Gaza this is not true:
Our army is ready, there is no home front behind them (Hamas), and we
will have no excuse for not dealing them a total defeat.”
“If we do not now effect the total
defeat of a terrorist organization to the point where they get down on
their knees and beg for mercy,” Eitam said, “we will face a
deterrence-loss crisis much greater than that which occurred following
the Second Lebanon War.”
MK Eitam defines this “total
defeat of Hamas” as one in which “we deal a terrific blow to their
military capabilities and to the desires of their decision-makers – if
they are still around at the end; in my opinion they should not be - to
resume firing rockets at us. Anything less will endanger us in the long
run. Therefore, the test now is for the government leaders, not the
army, which is ready and capable. If we fail, it will be a failure of
the leadership. If they do half-a-job, it will have the gravest
ramifications on our deterrence capability.”
“Hamas can easily decide to stop
firing rockets for a few days,” Eitam said, “if that is the condition
for a ceasefire - and then where will we be? We will have had a small
exchange of rockets between us, ending in a tie… We must not stop under
any circumstances until we have achieved the objectives I stated above.”
“The very fact that Olmert, Livni
and Barak are deliberating over this question of a ceasefire,” Eitam
said, “proves why they must be voted out of power and not allowed to
remain at the helm. It was their governments that brought us to this
situation in the first place – with the Disengagement from Gaza, which
allowed them to prepare for this war, and then the decision to allow
Hamas to run in the Gaza elections.”
“IT WILL END WITH A
Rabbi Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, the
Number Four man on the National Union’s Knesset list, thinks the leaders
of Israel should follow King David’s advice from the Eighteenth Psalm
“I will chase my enemies and catch up to them and I shall not return
until I annihilate them.” (Psalm 18:37)
“This should be the slogan of
every leader and IDF commander,” he said. “The enemy must know that
whoever raises his hand on Israel, we will teach him a lesson and
annihilate him as well as all his helpers and supporters, and only thus
will we take out their will to fire missiles at us.” However, he is
under no illusions that the present government will do so.
“The conflict will be decided on
the political level,” Ben-Ari predicted. “In the end, the Arabs’ pleas
for a ceasefire will be heeded before we break the enemy’s will to
fight, just like our humiliating defeat in the Second Lebanon War and
“There will probably be an
agreement on some kind of ceasefire but the enemy will never agree to
lose their ability to rearm. Their entire existence depends on their
ability to keep on hurting us,” he said. - IsraelNN.com
BUT ISRAELIS WANT
Israelis in general define victory
as the destruction of the Hamas military and political leadership and
the liberation of southern Israel from the constant threat of Hamas
rocket, missile and mortar fire. Anything less than the accomplishment
of these goals, they say, would make the situation worse because it
would effectively be a victory for Hamas and a defeat for Israel.
And 94% of the Jewish Israeli
population want Gilad Shalit to be liberated from his Gaza dungeon.
WILL ISRAEL COMPLETE
THE JOB, OR WILL IT SURRENDER TO A COMPROMISE THAT WILL LEAVE HAMAS
ALIVE IN GAZA?
Jan 11. This is the question going
though “everyone’s” mind at this time.
Although Ehud Olmert said a few
days ago that it was not Israel’s goal to destroy the Hamas leadership,
Defence officials say they are prepared for a third stage of the
offensive, in which ground troops would push much further into Gaza.
Moreover, the officials, speaking
on condition of anonymity as they were discussing classified
information, said the army has also planned
a fourth stage
which calls for a
full re-occupation of Gaza and the toppling of Hamas.
But there are fears that the
current war will end up like the Lebanon war – in a dangerous
Caroline B. Glick who writes for
the Jewish World Review, is a forthright critic of the
Olmert-Livni-Barak coalition and their failed policies in Gaza, and in
Lebanon, and their anemic performance over the last three years.
She is convinced that the Olmert
government will not
pursue the conflict until Israel’s objectives are fulfilled. Rather, it
will be a repeat of the 2006 Lebanon fiasco in which
troops were brought in to
monitor and enforce the UN ceasefire.
“These outside actors have done
nothing of the sort. The European-commanded UNIFIL force in Lebanon has
instead acted as a shield defending Hizb’ullah from Israel. Under
UNIFIL’s blind eye, Iran and Syria have tripled the size of Hizb’ullah’s
pre-war missile arsenal. And Hizb’ullah has taken full control over some
130 villages along the border.
“In a similar fashion, today the
government is insisting on the establishment of an
force, comprised perhaps of
Egyptian, Israeli, Fatah-affiliated Palestinian, American and European
officials that will monitor Gaza’s border with Egypt and somehow prevent
“It ignores the fact that similar,
already existing, theoretically friendly monitoring forces - like the
US-commanded Multi-National Force Observers in the Sinai - have done
nothing to prevent or even keep tabs on weapons transfers to Hamas.”
But Glick admits Israel may emerge
as the perceived victor in the current campaign.
“Firstly, Hamas’ leaders are
reportedly hiding in hospitals - cynically using the sick as human
shields. And the Hamas leadership in Damascus have sent representatives
to their new arch-enemy Egypt to begin discussing cease-fire terms.
Taken together, these moves could indicate that Hamas is collapsing. But
they could also indicate that Hamas is opting to fight another day -
assuming that Israel will agree to let it do so.”
may be defeated
because much to everyone’s surprise, Iran may have decided to let Hamas
lose. Like Hizb’ullah, Hamas is an Iranian proxy. And just as was the
case in 2006, Iran was instrumental in inciting the current war.
Iran prepared Hamas for this war.
It used Hamas’ six-month cease-fire with Israel to double both the range
and the size of Hamas’ missile arsenal. It trained Hamas’ 20,000-man
army for this war. And as the six months drew to a close, Iran incited
Hamas to attack.
But today Iran seems to have
little interest in expanding the war and saving Hamas from military
defeat and humiliation.
Glick says there are many possible
explanations for Iran’s inaction. Two are:
1. “There is the fact that war is
an expensive proposition and Iran today is in trouble because of the big
plunge in the price of oil. (Oil is Iran’s chief money-earner). Iran
has been begging OPEC to cut back supply quotas to jack up the price of
oil. But, perhaps in its interest of weakening Iran, Saudi Arabia has
consistently refused Iran’s requests.
2. “There is Iran’s political
weakness. Washington-based Iran expert Michael Ledeen argued that Iran’s
apparent decision to sit this war out may well be the result of the
regime’s weakness. Its recent crackdown on Irani dissidents -
with the execution of nine people on Christmas Day - and the unleashing
of regime supporters in riots against the Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi,
Turkish and French embassies, as well as the home of Nobel Peace Prize
laureate Shirin Ebadi, lends to the conclusion that the regime is
worried about its own survival. Ledeen says Tehran may view another
expensive terror war as a spark which could incite a popular revolution
or simply destabilize the country ahead of June’s scheduled presidential
IRAN AND HIZB’ULLAH
In spite of all its anti-Israel
rhetoric (like “10,000 Iranians volunteer as suicide bombers to fight
Israel”), Iran has evidently deterred Hizb’ullah from starting a second
front. Maybe for the same as those above.
And Hizb’ullah also, with an eye
on its own national elections in mid year, does not want to jeopardise
its chances of winning by bringing calamity on Lebanon by another
unpopular war with Israel – at this time.
And Iran, moreover, does not want
to see its Lebanese delivery systems destroyed in a local war – when
those systems will be needed if and when Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear
installations - in 2009.
(Last month, a French
parliamentary report on Iran’s nuclear program concluded that Iran will
have passed the nuclear threshold by
the end of 2009
and will become a nuclear power no later than 2011. Other reports say
Iran has already passed the threshold.)
So political and financial events
could be restraining both Iran and Hizb’ullah, and giving Israel a free
hand in its Cast Lead operation. But there is no guarantee that
Israel will complete the job!
A DEBKAfile report suggests it
will do so ...
IDF POISED FOR NEXT
ULTIMATUM TO HAMAS
DEBKAfile reports, (Jan 12,
09), that Israel and Egypt are playing hard ball with a Hamas delegation
who arrived in Cairo on 10th January to seek a ceasefire in Gaza
When Ehud Olmert said, “We are
closer than ever before to ending the rocket fire and getting Hamas’
arms traffic under control,” he may have had in mind the “ball game”
going on in Cairo.
DEBKAfile says Egyptian
intelligence minister Gen. Omar Suleiman rejected Hamas negotiators’
appeal for compromises and told them the deal on offer was
take-it-or-leave-it: Accept or face an all-out Israeli assault on all
This was the first time the
Egyptian government has used Israeli military gains as currency to
further its national interests, namely, breaking the back of an Islamist
movement deemed a destabilizing element for the Mubarak regime.
Suleiman informed the Palestinian
delegation that Israel was holding out for Hamas to collect all its
rockets and missile stocks, and weapons in the hands of other
Palestinian terrorist groups, and turn them over to a third party. This
party would also take charge of security in the Philadelphi Corridor.
Hamas would be given a month to implement the handover, but no longer.
Israel was also adamant about
retaining its army on the battle lines held in the Gaza Strip when the
ceasefire goes into effect until a new military mechanism is put in
place on the Philadelphi Corridor and has proved capable of effectively
stemming the arms traffic entering through tunnels from outside sources.
The Hamas negotiators also ran
into a blank Egyptian wall when they proposed setting a six-month time
cap on the proposed ceasefire and reopening the Rafah crossing from Gaza
to Sinai as a face-saving gesture to mark the onset of a truce. Suleiman
said firmly that Rafah would reopen only when all six Gaza crossings
into Israel were reactivated by Palestinian Authority personnel and
European military monitors.
Sunday, an Egyptian military plane
ferried the Hamas-Gaza delegation to Damascus to seek the endorsement of
hard-line Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal for the truce terms
dictated by Egypt and Israel. Gen. Suleiman directed them to pass this
message on to Mashaal: “Give up your illusions; Hamas’ only remaining
option now is to bow to the Middle East Quartet’s primary condition:
But ... Jan 12. The Gaza Hamas
faction failed to persuade its Damascus leaders to accept the Egyptian
ceasefire terms and was ordered to carry on fighting in the Gaza Strip.
It is now up to the Israeli
defense cabinet to decide whether Israeli forces stand still on their
present battle lines or go forward to the crunch, which means entering
Gaza City proper and capturing the Philadelphi smuggling corridor.
IRAN WARNS HAMAS NOT
TO ACCEPT TRUCE
Jan 13. Iran is reportedly
exerting heavy pressure on Hamas not to accept the proposal for a
cease-fire with Israel.
“As soon as the Iranians heard
about the Egyptian cease-fire initiative, they dispatched the two
officials to Damascus on an urgent mission to warn the Palestinians
against accepting it,” an Egyptian government official said.
“The Iranians threatened to stop
weapons supplies and funding to the Palestinian factions if they agreed
to a cease-fire with Israel. The Iranians want to fight Israel and the
US indirectly. They are doing this through Hamas in Palestine and
Hizb’ullah in Lebanon.”
Even if Hamas is totally removed
from power in Gaza, Israel’s problems will not be over. If authority in
Gaza is restored to the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas,
tremendous pressure will then be applied to establish a “united”
Palestinian state, especially after Obama and Clinton enter the fray.
But Fatah as a peace-loving
neighbour to Israel, is by no means assured; rather, it is highly
unlikely. The following commentary brings out the very real danger:
TO WIN AGAINST HAMAS
IS TO LOSE!
Most of Israel’s supporters
believe that the forces should complete the job and eliminate Hamas. But
there is another side to this question, as
explains in the Jerusalem Watchman.
Jan 4. I pray for courage,
protection and enhanced fighting ability for the Israeli soldiers. I
pray for their safe return to their families. And I pray for wisdom and
divine guidance for the military and political leaders in Jerusalem and
Regarding Hamas, I pray for
failure, for repeated frustration of their efforts, and the efforts of
the other terrorist groups, in Gaza.
What I am NOT able to pray
for is the successful crushing of Hamas right now. For I do not believe
that any answer lies in the return of Gaza to the PLO under Palestinian
Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (or his successor).
On the contrary – for Israel, such
a development would be like jumping out of the frying pan and into the
fire. In this sense, more than the “quagmire” Israel fears,
Gaza is a real snare for
the Jewish state.
Let me paint a
that will hopefully explain
why . . . .
The international community fails
to secure and enforce a ceasefire in time to stop Israel from
devastating Hamas, killing and imprisoning the leadership and severely
degrading its weapons. In reality the half-hearted condemnations of
Israel have hardly pressured Jerusalem up to now.
Gaza is handed back to the PLO-run
Palestinian Authority – the movement that has been portrayed as
“moderate” alongside Hamas.
Immediately the world – including
those western powers that are now tempering their criticism of Israel’s
actions in Gaza, and headed by a new American administration whose
president is being swept into office on an enormous wave of popularity
that will render him extremely powerful and influential - insists that
the climate is finally ripe for the peace process to resume.
The Israeli electorate, thankful
to the Kadima Party for effectively dealing with Hamas, makes Tzipi
Livni – who is fully committed to the US-pushed two-state vision – their
new prime minister.
“We need to change the equation,”
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reiterated in France on January 1st.
And in a January 2, 2009
Washington Post column, former Israeli Deputy-Minister of Defence
Ephraim Sneh called for “a comprehensive solution” to the Gaza crisis
that would see the Hamas
group of Khaled Mashaal
replaced by the PLO
group of Mahmoud Abbas.
What little resistance there still
is among the rest of Israel’s politicians to the creation of a State of
Palestine on the Jews’ historic homeland is washed aside by this
overwhelming flood of support for it, and with the “new reality on the
Even if the Likud’s Benjamin
Netanyahu is elected prime minister, the “New Middle East Order” that
will exist with Gaza back in the PA’s hands, and the “new world order”
that will be our reality with Obama in the White House, will be pretty
well impossible to resist.
No – wiping Hamas out and handing
the reins back to Mahmoud Abbas would not be a positive development in
the long run. Ultimately it could lead to even worse terrorism and war
than Israel has experienced in the south – hard as that may be to
Let me stress this: It is
absolutely essential that we keep our eyes and our prayers focused on
the core issue: Israel’s homeland and the efforts to wrest it from the
- Used by permission: Jerusalem Watchman /
The writer of this commentary,
Stan Goodenough, would like to see Israel retake the Gaza and to hold on
to all of its covenanted land. He says, “In fact, the land-for-peace
formula must be totally revised and reversed.
For Israel does not have
land to give; and the Palestinians do not have peace to give.”
The Olmert-Livni government have
earlier followed a rational approach, and have been bending over
backwards to appease “moderate” Arabs, and to surrender more and more
parts of God’s land - to the enemies of His covenant - the covenant that
is for ever. YHWH told Moses long ago:
“The land shall never ever be sold beyond reclaim (permanently), for the
land is Mine; for you are but strangers and settlers with Me.”
Gaza was clearly part of the
promised land given to Israel (Genesis 15:18) - to Judah in particular,
and it was captured by Joshua.
ARE WE NOW?
The cover story of TIME
magazine (Jan 19, 09) has the title,
CAN’T WIN. The article sums
up the situation: “The assault on Gaza, no matter how it ends, will not
ease the Jewish state’s existential anxiety.
Peace, not war, is its
Sure, but they have been trying
for peace for decades!
Prophetically, we know there will
be no true peace until the Messiah establishes the Millennial Kingdom.
And Gaza, the West Bank, and the
Arab nations will never have true lasting peace with Israel, even though
the Man of Sin arbitrates the 7-year peace deal.
But when will the Messiah come to
Israel? Y’shua Himself said, “You will not see me
until you say
‘Baruk haba b’Shem Adonai’.” - “Blessed is He who comes in the
Name of the LORD.” (Luke 11:35)
a Deliverer for Israel -
Yahweh who is mighty to save! Yahweh, manifest in Y’shua the Messiah.
But first, Israel needs to turn to
Y’shua the Anointed One - the One who died on the cross to provide
redemption and deliverance for Israel, and for all of us.
“O Israel; return to YHWH your God.” (Hosea 14:1)
Until then, Israel will not know
the powerful spiritual anointing that it so desperately needs.
Now it’s true, Israel may suffer
from constant threats and attacks, but
Israel will not be
destroyed, even when Iran
perfects its nuclear weapons. It is Iran that will be wiped out, along
with Russia, when they come up against God’s land.
“And with pestilence and with bloodshed I shall execute judgment upon
him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples
who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones and burning sulphur.”
“Listen! I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Rosh, Meshech, and
Tubal; I will turn you around and drive you on. I will bring you
from the remotest parts of the north, and send you against the mountains
…. You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops,
and the nations who are with you. I will give you as food to birds of
prey of every kind and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open
field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Master, YHWH. I will
also send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the
coastlands. Then they will know that I am YHWH.”
(Ezekiel 39:1-2, 4-6)
But for the times ahead, Israel is
destined for continuous bouts of war as Daniel says:
“There will be war until the end; and desolations have been decreed.”
And the prophecy in Psalm 83 and
Zechariah 12 will also be fulfilled.
“They have said, ‘Come, and let us destroy them as a nation, that the
name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have conspired
together with one mind; they make a pact against You - Edom, the
Ishmaelites, Philistia (Gaza), the inhabitants of Tyre (Lebanon),
Assyria (Iraq) also.” (
(Watch Iraq – as British and
American troops pull out their troops beginning this year, Iran will
seek to move in to fulfil the “vacuum”, and the Tehran-backed Shia
majority will join in the fray against Israel!)
A PROMISE FOR ISRAEL
“They will fight against
you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you, says
YHWH, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah
“In that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a burning pot in a
woodpile, and like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume on
the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples; and
Jerusalem will be inhabited again on her own sites - in Jerusalem. YHWH
will save the tents of Judah first, in order that the glory of the house
of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be
greater than that of Judah.
“In that day YHWH will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one
who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house
of David will be like God, like the Angel of YHWH going
before them. And it will come about in that day that I will set out to
destroy all the nations that come up against Jerusalem.
“And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of
Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication, so they will look on Me,
the One they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns
for an only son, and they will weep bitterly for Him, like the bitter
weeping over a lost first-born.”
These prophecies are still ahead,
and I expect they will take place early in the 7-year Great Tribulation.
The Gaza conflict will end, I
expect, before you receive this Alert. Hamas has been badly battered but
it will survive. (So far there have been no leaders emerging from their
hideouts with their hands up! ) And again, Israel has not secured the
release of Gilad Shalit who was captured by Gazan terrorists 2½ years
Hamas is preparing to claim
victory - on the basis of its own
and the fact that Israel, the most powerful military in the Middle East,
was “not able” to wipe it out.
The exact terms of the cease-fire
agreement are being thrashed out even as I finalise this Alert and send
it to the press. I’ll leave you to read or hear those details in the
news media in the next few days.
Egypt is insisting that the
Palestinian Authority under Mahmound Abbas must be involved in the
control of Gaza’s borders. Egypt has a compelling interest to prevent a
Hamas remake, and its control of the border.
Israel is insisting on a total
absence of all hostile fire from Gaza into Israel, and an
internationally supported mechanism that will prevent the rebuilding of
tunnels, and Hamas rearming.”
Hamas says it is willing only for
a 6-month truce. It does not want the PA involved with the borders; but
it wants Gaza’s borders to be open. It is not likely to get that for a
very long time.
Like Hizb’ullah, Hamas will
contravene embargoes and agreements, and build up again; and on the
strength of its “victory,” it is likely to instigate situations through
which it may gain control of the Palestinian Authority.
It remains to be seen who will
compromise, and who will get their own way. There may be a time of quiet
for some time, but Israel will be threatened again before long. That’s
the way it will be until after Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12 are fulfilled.
The big issue
now looming is Iran and its nuclear program. The whole world is
preparing for World War, and for the New World Order. Gordon Brown is
only one who is calling for a NWO and a new financial system. Barack
Obama will undoubtedly be another.
And while there’s no real shalom –
no true peace - in the world, for the believer there is our Father’s
“Do not be anxious about anything - do not worry at all, but in
everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your
requests known to God. And the peace of God, which exceeds all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through the
Messiah, Y’shua.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
My dear reader, if you do not know
Y’shua, Jesus the Messiah, as your own personal Saviour, that promise
may not mean much to you, because you can only come to God through the
Messiah – He is the Saviour of all who call upon Him.
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under
heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
Is there a battle still raging
within your heart, my friend? If so, I want you to know you can enjoy
peace with God – the peace that Christ obtained for you through His
sacrifice on the cross.
So pray to the
Heavenly Father, confessing that you are a lost sinner needing His peace
and salvation. Confess that you believe in the Lord Jesus – that He is
indeed the living Saviour who died for you, and who rose from the dead.
And then ask Him, and trust Him, to save you today.
TIMES LIKE THESE
In these times of terrorism,
financial crisis, constant disasters, and anxiety, the most important
thing that every one of us needs is a strong faith in Y’shua who
promises to uphold us in His mighty hands, during the stormy gales, and
This faith is expressed in this
old song by James McGranahan:
When the storms
of life are raging,
tempests wild on
sea and land,
I will seek a
place of refuge
in the shadow of
Though He may send
’twill but make me
long for home,
For in love and
not in anger,
chastenings will come.
strive to injure,
Satan all his
God will turn
what seems to harm me,
So while here the
cross I’m bearing,
meeting storms and
Jesus, for my soul
nought can harm
His Father’s child.
He will hide
me, He will hide me,
where no harm
can ever betide (trouble) me;
He will hide
me, safely hide me,
in the shadow
of His Hand.
And another old song says:
When upon life’s
billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are
discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many
blessings, name them one by one,
And it will
surprise you what the LORD has done.
Are you ever
burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem
heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many
blessings every doubt will fly,
And you will
keep singing as the days go by.
My dear reader, let’s start
counting the blessings! And God bless you!