More than 1,100 rockets have been indiscriminately fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip toward Israel’s southern and central civilian communities, while the IDF has simultaneously been conducting hundreds of strikes against targets across the Palestinian enclave.
A massive Hamas rocket attack on Tel Aviv and its vicinity last night claimed the lives of 3 people, bringing the Israeli death toll in the current conflict to 6.
Early this morning, a 52-year-old man and his 16-year-old daughter were killed when a rocket fired from Gaza hit their home in an Arab area near the city of Lod.
A 65-year-old Israeli woman was killed in the Rishon LeZion, south of Tel Aviv. A 5-year-old girl was hurt in the same attack.
Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated dramatically yesterday, with the most intensive aerial exchanges for years.
Air raid sirens and explosions were heard in Israeli communities more than 70 km (45 miles) up the coast and into the south amid sounds of explosions as interceptor missiles streaked into the sky towards the incoming rockets.
A bus driver was seriously injured when his bus burst into flames caused by the explosion of a rocket.
Pedestrians ran for shelter, and diners streamed out of Tel Aviv restaurants while others flattened themselves on pavements as the sirens sounded.
The Ben Gurion International Airport was temporarily closed to protect outbound and incoming flights, and the IDF Homefront Command instructed all residents of the Tel Aviv area to remain in their bomb shelters overnight.
Hamas claimed it fired the heavy missile salvo at the major metropolitan area in response to an earlier Israeli air strike that downed a tower block in Gaza. The IDF said that the building, housed “multiple” offices belonging to the terror group, including ones for military research and development and military intelligence.
The IDF carried out 4 separate drone ‘roof-knock warnings’ prior to striking the 13-storey Hanadi Towers building in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City to give time for residents to vacate the premises. CNN reported that the building’s doorman was seen speaking on his cell phone with someone in Israel, who also instructed him to help residents leave the site. Other eyewitnesses reported that the Israeli warnings came at least an hour before theattack.
“We are now carrying out our promise,” the Islamist organization’s armed wing said in a statement. “The Qassam Brigades are launching their biggest rocket strike against Tel Aviv and its suburbs, with 130 rockets, in response to the enemy’s targeting of residential towers.”
“If the enemy persists in bombing civilian towers, then Tel Aviv will have an appointment with a harsh missile strike that exceeds what happened in Ashkelon,” vowed Abu Ubeidah, spokesman for the Hamas armed wing.
The IDF maintains that around a third of the rockets have fallen short, landing and causing fatalities within Gaza.
Violence continues to rage today.
21-year-old IDF Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib was killed when an anti-tank guided missile fired into southern Israel from the northern Gaza Strip near Moshav Netiv HaAsara hit his vehicle this morning. Another soldier was critically injured in the attack.
Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes on Gaza into Wednesday morning, as the Islamist group and other Palestinian militants fired multiple rocket barrages at Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheba.
Israel said its jets had targeted and killed several Hamas intelligence and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Leaders over the past 2 days. According to the IDF and Shin Bet Security Agency, those killed includE the Head of the Hamas Military Intelligence Security Department Hassan Kaogi and his deputy Wail Issa, who led the Military Intelligence Counter Espionage Department and was the brother of the Hamas Deputy Commander Marwan Issa. Others include the head of the PIJ’s rocket unit, Samih al-Mamluk, in a direct airstrike; Eyad Shrir, who led the Hamas anti-tank unit; and Mohamad Abu al-Atta, who was the brother of the PIJ Northern Brigade commander in Gaza Bahaa, Abu al-Atta, who was assassinated by Israel in late 2019.
Other IDF airstrikes were aimed at eliminating Gaza’s rocket-firing capabilities, by targeting launch sites and storage facilities, which were deliberately set up in heavily-populated areas.
For Israel, the targeting of the Tel Aviv commercial center poses a new challenge in the confrontation with the Islamist Hamas, regarded as a terrorist organization by Israel and several other countries including the United States.
The violence followed weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the compound revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
These escalated in recent days ahead of a – now postponed – ruling by the High Court of Justice on an appeal by Palestinians who have been ordered to vacate east Jerusalem property in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood found to be Jewish-owned.
Hamas has dubbed its rocket assault the “Sword of Jerusalem,” seeking to marginalize Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to present itself as the defender of Palestinians in Jerusalem. The terror group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said Israel had “ignited fire in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa and the flames extended to Gaza, therefore, it is responsible for the consequences.”
Clashes have also erupted in the West Bank, where a 26-year-old Palestinian was killed during rock-throwing riots at IDF troops in a refugee camp near the city of Hebron.
There appears to be no imminent end to the violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that militants would pay a “very heavy” price for the rocket attacks, which began during Jerusalem Day celebrations for reunification of the capital in the 1967 Six Day War. The Monday attack marked the first time Hamas fired missiles at Jerusalem since the 2014 Israel-Gaza War – which claimed the lives of 73 Israelis and more than 2,100 Gazans were killed in the 7 weeks of fighting.
The first Israeli casualties were inflicted yesterday, when 2 women in Ashkelon were killed and over 100 others injured during what Hamas claimed was its largest ever salvo from Gaza. One of the victims has been identified as 30-year-old Indian national Soumya Santhosh, who was reportedly working in Israel as a caregiver and the mother of a 9-year-old son.
Following their deaths, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the IDF would step up its attacks on Gaza, and that Hamas “will now be dealt blows that it did not expect.”
“We are in the midst of a campaign,” which has been dubbed Operation Guardian of the Wall, he said, while urging “patience and a certain sacrifice on your part, citizens of Israel.”
The Israeli leader made the statements following a late-night security assessment at IDF Southern Command headquarters on Tuesday with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the National Security Council, GOC Southern Command and other senior officials.
Later this evening, Netanyahu is slated to convene the Security Cabinet. “There have been difficult developments, including anti-tank fire” from Gaza, he said, vowing that “We will respond – and are responding – with increasing force,” but declined to elaborate further.
The outbreak of hostilities led Netanyahu’s political opponents to suspend negotiations on forming a coalition of right-wing, leftist and center-left parties to unseat him after an inconclusive March 23 election.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has three weeks left to establish a government, with a new election – and another chance for Netanyahu to retain power – likely if he fails.
This is the heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war.
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
It is the deep-rooted anti-Israel Bias in Nations that has stopped them from putting Iran in their place. As Netanyahu previously has stated, “If Iran’s terror proxies were firing thousands of rockets at your cities, perhaps you’d be more measured in your praise.”
Amir Tsarafti has pointed out that the rise in escalation that we are seeing currently in Israel can be attributed to the action of a failing US President that has emboldened Iran.
“I am going to say something that might sound controversial, but hear me out all the way,” Tsarfati said in an audio recording on Telegram. “What we are watching in Israel right now is directly related to the election fraud in the United States. Now, let me explain. When Biden got into office, obviously through fraud, the Iranians were very emboldened. Right now, Iran is sending its octopus arms everywhere, and they are behind what is going on here in Israel right now. So you see the connection… It is very, very simple.”
It was former President Donald Trump that stood up to Iran in the protection of Israel. He removed the United States from the nuclear deal and place stiff sanctions on the country so they would not be able to so easily fund these terror proxies that seek collectively to destroy the Jewish State.
In Genesis 12:3, God not only calls all the nations of the world to bless Israel, but He also presents a warning to those nations and people that choose to curse them: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” God will ultimately judge nations by how they treated the Jewish State of Israel (Joel 3:2).
The anti-Israel bias among the nations is also on display as they continually condemn the Jewish state for defending themselves against these terrorist organizations. Which is Israel’s right.
The tensions, specifically in Jerusalem and the temple mount, have revealed that the world is turning to reflect Zechariah 12:1-3, a prophecy which tells of a time in which Israel stands alone against global leaders salivating over dividing Jerusalem and stripping it from its God-given ownership to the Jews.
Christians (should) know better and understand their biblical responsibility toward God’s chosen people. It is incumbent upon Christians to love, pray for and stand up for the Jewish people, the state of Israel, and their eternal capital of Jerusalem. God has not forgotten His people, and neither should His servants.
Hal Lindsey In his latest article, “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem,” wrote about God’s desire for us to pray for the Jewish state and its capital.
“Reports from Israel this week reminded me of a place in scripture where God Himself makes a prayer request. Psalms 122:6 says, ‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,’” Lindsey said. “Praying for Jerusalem has always made sense, but especially now.”
Lindsey then went on to explain that although a person may start praying for Israel’s eternal capital out of obedience, God will use that time in prayer to provide believers with a better understanding of His plan and love for Jerusalem and the Jewish People.
“You do it out of obedience, but then you will find yourself doing it because your heart has changed,” he explained. “As you pray, you will begin to sense God’s heart for Jerusalem, her people, and His plan for the world. That plan in many ways centers on Jerusalem. God wants you to be a part of His great plan for the ages. Praying for Jerusalem brings you into His inner circle.”
With all that is taking place, let believers stand up for the rights of Israel and pray for them during this time of crisis as ambassadors for a God and Savior who loves them and is still keeping His promises to His chosen people and nation.