Islamic Jihad Fires Rockets from Gaza over Five Days
Over the course of five days last week, Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza launched 1,200 rockets toward civilians in Israel. Israel initiated Operation Shield and Arrow, in which the Israeli Air Force (IAF) responded by targeting command centers, rocket launchers, attack tunnels, and weapon manufacturing centers. Most notably, the IAF targeted three top commanders. A few days later, Israel killed three more of the Iranian-backed terror group. The Iron Dome intercepted 91 percent of missiles headed for civilian areas. This defense system ignores rockets going to open areas, which would not cause damage.
Still, a few rockets hit homes directly, causing extensive damage. Two people in Israel were killed. One was an Israeli woman. The other casualty was a Gazan man working in Israel. At least sixty-nine Israelis were injured from shrapnel, flying glass, running to their safe rooms, or anxiety. Of the missiles launched (at least 1,234), about 200 did not fly out of Gaza and instead landed in Gazan civilian areas.
Meanwhile, citizens of southern Israeli towns had to live in or near their bomb shelters for five days. Many will remain jittery and anxious for days to come. The terrorists sent rockets as far north as Tel Aviv. Loud bangs echoing in the sky—the sound of the Iron Dome intercepting a rocket—could be heard for days.
Egypt worked hard to broker the ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which started Saturday night at 10:00 pm. Israeli Homefront Command asked southern residents to remain near their shelters as this terror group has broken previous ceasefires, which still saw rockets fired. Travel, work, and school restrictions are slowly lifting. Hamas, who governs the Gaza Strip, did not get involved in this round of fighting.
Please pray for restored calm, safety, and peace for the people of Israel and civilians in Gaza. Pray also for the people of Israel’s south to feel calm, for anxiety to lessen, and for a return to normal.
Israel Celebrates Jerusalem Day
Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day this Thursday evening to Friday late afternoon. It commemorates the reunification of East and West Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War. This day is joyful for Jerusalem residents. Many will take to the street with flags. During the festivities, there will be a controversial parade through the Old City. People parading through the Arab Quarter with Israeli flags has heightened tensions before, as some Arab Israelis deem the parade an insult. After the rockets from Gaza last week, heads of police are working hard to minimize security risks. Therefore, more than 2,000 police will be deployed to ensure the safety of the crowd, control the flow of traffic, and allow civilians of any faith to move freely.
Please pray for the safety of civilians and the police units who will protect them.
Chosen People Ministries—Israel Hosts Living Waters Conference
Please pray for our Israeli staff as we host our annual Living Waters retreat. We are expecting fifty-five people to attend. During this time, we will have excellent Bible teaching, worship, prayer, and fellowship. What makes this invitation-only retreat so special is many of the young Israelis who participate are emerging leaders or already engaged in amazing ministry with opportunities for evangelism and discipleship. Each one is incredibly gifted and talented to lead, minister, serve, and love others around them. We wish to build into them, give them a weekend to focus on the Word, a little relaxation, and . . . fun! Quite a few of them were called up for sudden military duty during this last Gazan conflict, so they are really looking forward to some refreshment and renewal.
Please pray our staff will serve and love these young leaders. We pray everyone dives deeply into our Bible studies and comes out ready to continue serving our Lord!