MAOZ Update: Conflict in Gaza
by Shira Sorko-Ram
It is now Saturday night in Israel. Our Shabbat morning meeting was very special. We spent a long time praying for our nation and our soldiers. Many in our congregation have children and relatives serving in the army and air force, and several families live in the area of the rockets.
Even while we were praying, several rockets hit Ashkelon, injuring some 30 people. Fortunately, the injuries were not serious, for which we thank God. Nevertheless, the trauma experienced by Israelis, especially children, can affect them for a lifetime, unless God intervenes.
After the service we heard stories of miracles told to our members by soldiers on the field. Truly, the death toll of Israeli soldiers could have been so much higher - except that God intervened.
At one point two large groups of our soldiers thought the other was Hamas and were about to fight it out when the catastrophe was stopped literally seconds before it happened. We cannot give more information - but we can say God is having mercy on Israel - because of the prayers of saints throughout the world.
Israel’s greatest problem is not Hamas’ military power - though that is great. It is Hamas’ willingness and skill as terrorists in using Palestinian women and children in their war against Israel.
If Israel has to agree to a cease fire, and Hamas is not yet subdued, this terrorist organization will rise up to attack not only the south, but will launch bigger and better rockets smuggled in from Iran that will reach Tel Aviv and the main population areas of Israel.
The UN Security Council passed a binding resolution to stop the conflict immediately, but Hamas said “they were not involved” in the resolution, and so would not abide by it. This allows Israel to continue to fight Hamas, for which Israel is very grateful.
Israel is preparing to launch a third part of its operational plan: to bring its troops into Gaza City itself, where war would become hand-to-hand combat against Hamas terrorists, hiding in the midst of crowded civilian areas.
This, of course, would be the most difficult part of the war so far. The only thing that would stop it is if Hamas agreed to the current UN resolution or some other resolution.
The world press continues to show bloody pictures of Palestinian children - dead or wounded - all taken by Palestinians because Israel is not letting the world press into Gaza. Many pictures really show the misery of the Palestinians (because of Hamas fighting Israel while using its citizens as hostages), but also many pictures are faked, even to putting red paint on children and women, “creating” injured or dead citizens.
Meanwhile, all believers throughout the country are praying and serving in every way we know to reach our fellow citizens. There are many opportunities to minister to families whose sons and daughters are on the battlefield. Today we started our second Membership class. The commitments our people are making to service is affecting the congregation as a whole. To God be the glory!
1. Continue to pray for God’s divine protection on Israeli soldiers.
2. Pray for protection for the citizens of southern Israel where rockets are falling daily. Pray for the mental and psychological well-being of those under constant rocket fire.
3. Pray for protection of Palestinian civilians who are caught under the control of the ruthless Hamas terrorists who care nothing for their own people.
4. Pray for God’s help in the media as Israelis attempt to explain the IDF’s justification for this war against Hamas - as opposed to the terrible pictures of Palestinian misery - those pictures are Hamas’ main weapon.
5. Pray that God will rule and overrule in the halls of the UN and that in His mercy the Lord will allow Israel to complete a heavy blow against Hamas.