Imagine living in a place where you have to scurry to hide from rocket fire several times per day. You’re in the middle of school, cooking dinner or working outside when warning sirens go off. You have 30 seconds or less to find shelter. That is what many Israelis (both Jews and Arabs) face every day as they deal with Hamas rocket fire.
Since 2003, about 10,000 rockets and mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip against Israel, most of them after Israel pulled out its 9,000 residents (settlers) of the Gaza Strip in 2005. Over 1,000 Israelis have been wounded or killed.
Palestinian casualties tend to grab most of the foreign headlines. But the current situation in Israel is bad for all sides. Both Palestinians and Jews are sending their children off to fight a needless war. While I believe the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is far from perfect in how it has handled some of its operations, at least the IDF tries to avoid civilian casualties. The IDF targets Hamas rocket sites while Hamas targets Israeli cities and hides behind civilians for protection. The IDF drops leaflets warning people to avoid hot spots. Hamas gives no warning before it launches attacks.
The real enemy here are the men who think shooting missles into Israel will solve the plight of the Palestinian people. That is no way to get the world to see you as anything other than terrorists who are making the situation worse.
The IDF has been too zealous at times by taking out power stations and other facilities that were not high priority targets. Blockades have made the conditions very tough for the Palestinians who are caught between Israeli and Hamas fighting.
I truly believe that Israel just wants peace and the rocket attacks to stop. Hamas still seems to support the destruction of Israel. Unfortunately, the Fatah Party is seen as the rich, elites who have not taken care of the people, which explains how Hamas won an election in the first place. As long as radicals run the show in Gaza, I don’t see how there can be a lasting peace.
Christians around the world should pray for peace and that a new government would rise up in Gaza that would seek to help the people and live at peace with Israel. We need to pray that aid would get to those in need and that civilians on all sides would be safe.
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This is a problem that the world can no longer afford to ignore.