Operation Pillar of Cloud Continues Over Gaza
On May 14, 1948, the newly formed State of Israel was attacked by her Arab enemies, before the Israeli settlements in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, before Israel had control of East Jerusalem. The Arabs attacked again in 1956, and fighting erupted again in 1967, 1973, and 1982.
In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip, forcing thousands of Israelis to leave behind their homes and fields and greenhouses in the Gaza settlements. Rather than responding with peace efforts, the leadership in Gaza barraged southern Israel with rockets.
Hamas, the terrorist group duly elected to govern Gaza, has continued to shoot rockets into Israel over the past seven years.
Last Wednesday, Israel launched “Operation Pillar of Cloud,” an effort to destroy the missile stockpiles of Hamas, and the result has been a week of destruction. The terrorists in Gaza rained 180 missiles on Israel on Tuesday for a week-long total of about 800. Overnight on Tuesday, Israel’s air force and navy made about 100 strikes on the Gaza Strip, focusing on underground rocket launcher sites according to an IDF spokesman. Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system destroyed 15 rockets fired from Gaza on Ashkelon, Beersheba, Be’er Tuviya, Hof Ashkelon and Ashdod on Wednesday morning, with 300 intercepted over the week of fighting, but many other missiles still made it through, many smashing through civilian homes.
More than 130 residents of Gaza have died in the Israeli air strikes, while five Israelis have been killed. The people of Gaza are to be pitied; their leaders hide their missile stockpiles and major weapons in among civilians. These people have endured in refugee camps for decades, with little or no constructive relief by their leaders. Despite donations over the years from a variety of sources from the U.N. to the Gulf states, little has been done to improve the lot of these people. They’ve been used by radicals that have no interest in giving their people peaceful lives. They’ve been trained up to nurse their anger and hate. The terrorists long for the very destruction of Israel more than the peace and safety of their people, and spurred by hatred, their people continue to support them.
Michael Oren writes for The New York Times:
Negotiations leading to peace can be realistic with an adversary who shares that goal. But Hamas, whose covenant calls for the slaughter of Jews worldwide, is striving not to join peace talks, but to prevent them. It rejects Israel’s existence, refuses to eschew terror, and disavows all previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements – the terms established by the United States and the other members of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers for participation in the peace process. Bound by its genocidal theology and crude anti-Semitism, Hamas cannot be induced to make peace. But it can be deterred from war.
The international community has diverted its attention from Syria for a moment to try and turn a hose on the hostilities. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and diplomats from the European Union and Arab League have flown in to try to broker peace. Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi has sought to maintain Egypt’s peace with Israel while standing in support of the people in Gaza. No truce has succeeded yet, but even then, a ceasefire is not the end of the war.
If Israel wanted to annihilate the people of Gaza, it certainly could do so. The purpose, however, is not to destroy another people; the purpose for Israel is simply to deter the enemy…disarm and deter the enemy, and survive.
While Israel might be the object of great hatred and its neighbors desire its destruction, the Bible promises protection for Jerusalem. God promised to give the land to Abraham and his descendants forever, and as Israel survives one attack after another, it becomes apparent that God still has plans for this piece of real estate in the Middle East.
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.-Zec 12:2-3