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June 24, 2021
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Rockets Fire Toward Jerusalem & Gaza Border Communities Amid Rising Escalation

The IDF said that seven rockets were fired towards the capital and one was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman said that the combined rocket attacks towards Jerusalem, Gaza border communities and the anti-tank guided missile that hit a civilian vehicle “is a significant event that won’t go by quietly.”

According to Zilberman, “Hamas will feel that our response to this event…it will not last several minutes, but days.”

Calling it an “inexcusable event,” Zilberman warned that “If Hamas doesn’t understand it yet, they will understand after what we do. We have a number of options on the table.”

According to reports on Channel 12, an uninhabited building was struck by a rocket and a fire broke out in another community, though it is unclear whether it was because a rocket landed there or just shrapnel. 

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the rocket fire saying that it was “in response to [Israeli] crimes and aggression against the holy city and harassment of our people in Sheikh Jarrah and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and this is a message that the enemy should understand well.”

Dozens of rockets were also fired towards Sderot, Ashkelon and neighboring communities shortly after the rockets were fired towards Jerusalem.

An anti-tank guided missile also struck a civilian vehicle near Sderot, causing light injuries to the driver who was just several meters from his vehicle. He was transferred to hospital for medical treatment.

According to reports, Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired the ATGM. In May 2019, the group fired another towards another civilian vehicle killing 64 year old Moshe Feder from Kfar Saba.

The Home Front Command issued new directives for the southern Shfela region, the Merkaz Hanegev region, the Lachish region, the Maarav Negev region, the Maarav Lachish region and the Gaza border communities.

Residents of these communities are able to gather up to 10 people in open area and up to 50 people in closed buildings. Buildings functioning on the Green Pass system can have up to 100 people in them. Workplaces can continue to function as long as there is a shelter nearby. School and non-formal education in these areas has been canceled.

The defense establishment had been concerned about rocket fire towards Israel, specifically towards the center of the country. Earlier on Monday, the IDF sent reinforcements, closed roads and postponed its largest drill in its history following the current tensions in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The moves were made as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz were briefed on the security situation by senior security officials including IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Nadav Argaman, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and others.

The IDF closed a number of roads near the Gaza border and instructed farmers to stop all work near the fence. Additionally, train traffic between Ashkelon and Beersheba and to Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim was halted on Monday afternoon after orders by security officials.

The Shaar Hanegev Regional Council announced that it would be cancelling all extracurricular activities in the council.

Additionally, due to the rocket fire, the path of flights into Ben-Gurion Airport were altered to descend via the north instead of from over Tel Aviv.

The drill, known as “Chariots of Fire,” was meant to be the military’s largest exercise and would have involved all units of the IDF. But, “following a situational assessment, Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi decided to postpone the ‘Chariots of Fire’ exercise for at least the next day and ordered the IDF to focus its efforts on preparation and readiness for the possible scenarios of escalating [violence],” the military said in a statement.

The military has also sent reinforcements from the elite Maglan commando unit and two training companies from the IDF Officer’s School to the Gaza Division following a situational assessment.

On Monday afternoon, Abu Ubaida, the spokesman of the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, warned that the terrorist groups in Gaza were giving Israel until 6 p.m. to withdraw security forces from the Temple Mount and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and to release all those detained in the recent clashes.

Three rockets were launched early Monday morning at the town of Sderot. At least one was successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

Following the rocket-fire, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Rassan Alian announced the immediate closure of the Erez Crossing until further notice, except for humanitarian and exceptional cases.

The move follows the decision yesterday to close the fishing zone, and in response to the continued launching of rockets and incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip.

“The Hamas terrorist organization is accountable for all that is done in and from the Gaza Strip toward the State of Israel, and it will therefore bear the consequences for the violence committed against the country’s citizens,” COGAT said in a statement.

Terror groups in Gaza threatened to escalate their attacks in response. On Monday some 10 fires were sparked in the south by incendiary aerial devices.

On Sunday night, two rockets were fired from Gaza toward the city of Ashkelon and surrounding communities. One was intercepted while the other landed in an open area. One woman was hurt while running for shelter. In response IDF tanks struck Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier on Sunday, two mortar shells fired from the blockaded coastal enclave failed to clear the border and landed within the Gaza Strip. Hours later another mortar struck an open field near the border fence.

Throughout the day on Sunday some 39 fires were sparked due to the incendiary balloons.

Alian reiterated remarks made earlier that Israel “is committed” to allowing freedom of worship in Jerusalem but would not allow violence and the violation of law and order. There is a difference between freedom of worship and “unbridled” violence and terrorism, he said.

“Some of the participants believe sincerely that they are protecting the holy sites. But in fact, they are defiling them during the blessed month of Ramadan and on Qadr Night (Laylat al-Qadr). The participants are being cynically incited and exploited by those who are trying to escalate and inflame the situation, using violent and inciteful rhetoric on social and mainstream media,” he said. 

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.

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