Israel and Hamas sliding toward ground battle
Without much desire or a clear plan, Israel and Hamas are gradually sliding toward another conflict on the ground in the Gaza Strip.
Over the weekend there were alarms from Gedera to Be'er Sheva, nearly 100 rockets and mortars were fired, and hundreds of thousands of Israelis took shelter in secure areas. In the Strip, over two and a half days, at least 19 Palestinians were killed.
Meanwhile, according to the Iranian doctrine, the Palestinians are stepping up rocket attacks to test the Iron Dome and to hit other towns, because the two batteries essentially provide cover for Be'er Sheva and Ashkelon.
The incident on Thursday, in which a 16-year-old Israeli was critically wounded after Hamas militants fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus, points to a reprisal for the air force's killing of three men in the group's military wing on April 1. In the absence of an appropriate military target, the militants decided to target a school bus.
As far as Israel is concerned, the targeting of the bus means a red line has been crossed; this triggered a wide air assault on militant targets in the Strip.
120 Gaza rockets hit southern Israel
Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip fired no fewer than 120 rockets and mortar shells at communities in southern Israel over the weekend, forcing the regions tens of thousands of residents to spend the Sabbath hiding in bomb shelters.
The attacks continued on Sunday morning, when an anti-tank missile was fired at an Israeli tank along the Gaza security fence, and three mortar shells landed in the fields of a nearby farming community, damaging local power lines.
Israeli forces, in turn, pounded terrorist installations across the Gaza Strip throughout the weekend. Among the reported casualties was one of the terrorists behind the 2006 abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Rocket Attacks Continue; Thousands Spend Shabbat in Shelters
Thousands of residents of southern Israel spent Shabbat in bomb shelters, as Hamas terrorists from Gaza continued firing rockets at Israeli targets in the Negev. Since Thursday, Arab terrorists have fired over 100 mortar shells and Kassam rockets at Israeli targets, with fifty fired since early Saturday.
The rockets hit not only areas near the border, but areas further inside Israel, including the Ashkelon area.
Four Grad-style Katyusha rockets hit areas near the city, but there were no injuries or damage reported. However, several people were hospitalized for shock, and as of Saturday night, three were still in the hospital.
Other cities further inside Israel were also hit, with Ofakim absorbing hits from three Grad rockets.
One rocket hit very close to a school, and city officials said that there would have been many injuries had the rocket hit when classes were in session.
Hamas capabilities catching up with intentions
It might have been easy to miss this detail in the report of the Hamas attack on an Israeli school bus on 7 April, in which a 13-year-old boy and the bus driver were injured (the boy severely). Hamas used a state-of-the-art Russian-design antitank missile, the 9M133 Kornet (NATO designation AT-14 SPRIGGAN), to attack the bus. Israeli officials confirmed that the hit on the school bus was achieved using laser guidance, and that the missile was launched from two miles away.
the ability to accurately target a bus from a distance of two miles, with an effective modern weapon, is a game-changer in the Hamas campaign to target civilians.
A flashpoint may be helped along by the convergence of other anti-Israel plans: an organized call for a “Third Intifada” this spring (see here and here for a sample of posts on the campaign to get the Facebook page taken down) and the next Gaza flotilla being organized by the Turkish terrorist group IHH. Both are intended to occur in May 2011; the “Third Intifada” is billed as being launched with a “march to Palestine” starting 15 May.
Finally, this analysis from Debka:
Hamas fires 24 Grads, 50 shells Saturday. A million Israelis still in shelters
Saturday, April 9, Hamas and its allies, acting now on Hizballah guidelines from Lebanon, fired 24 heavy Grad missiles and more than 50 mortars shells at seven southern Israeli towns in an expanding radius up to Palmahim in the north.
Despite bomb shelters and home guard measures, 20 Israelis were injured or suffered shock.
The Palestinian missile violence Saturday began before dawn with Grad missiles exploding north of Israel's second main port city of Ashdod, south of Kiryat Gat and outside Ofakim. Sirens warning of a missile attack were heard in Gedera and Gan Yavneh. As a million Israeli civilians spent another day in bomb shelters, four Grad missiles landed in Ashkelon Saturday afternoon.
We see even more escalation in this current round of violence:
The IDF's tactics for countering Hamas aggression remain unchanged, except in scale: In the last 48 hours, Israeli helicopters, mortars, tanks and naval units have been pounding the Gaza Strip while Hamas releases barrages of dozens of missile and mortar attacks on villages and towns - practically without pause. Israeli civilians were told to stay close to bomb shelters in the days to come. Schools, road traffic, public transport and businesses will function intermittently.
A possible Cast Lead II was in the air after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday during a visit to Prague: Attacks on children cross a red line. Those who carry out such attacks should know that their blood is on their heads."
On the other side of the ledger, the new rulers of Egypt are in the process of unraveling Hosni Mubarak's peace relations with Israel – as DEBKAfile has reported – and engaging in rapprochement with the Gaza and Damascus centers of the two radical Palestinian organizations.
Are we about to see the "next step" in this escalation?
DEBKAfile's military experts maintain that the tactics of massive firepower without ground operations have run their course. There is no way to wipe out the increasingly sophisticated heavy weapons arsenal Hamas has been allowed to amass from the air.
So the half a million Israeli civilians of the Western Negev and the southern coastal towns must continue to live under their shadow instead of having normal lives. Often, many cannot make it to work and schools, places of business and traffic can operate only intermittently.
For the first time in three years, Hamas appealed to Cairo to broker a ceasefire. Israeli did not bother to respond since the rulers of Gaza have violated every agreed ceasefire in the past. Hamas reached out to the new Egyptian regime following its moves towards a rapprochement and a Palestinian diplomatic initiative.
And what is Egypt's response?
Egyptian leaders are willing to help negotiate Hamas' reconciliation with Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah on the following basis: Hamas would accept the two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but Egypt would not press for the second part of the formula endorsed by Washington and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, namely that "the two states live alongside each other in peace and security."
This amended formula would leave Hamas and the other radical Palestinian organizations free to continue their violent campaign of "resistance" against Israel while making peace with the rival Fatah and gaining a Palestinian state on the West Bank.
These days, Hamas is sure it is on a win-win course and has little to fear from stepping up its war on Israel until it gets what it wants.
In other words, there is currently no motivation for the terrorists in Gaza to discontinue this round of violence - and that leads to the obvious question: What will stop the current round of violence?
Perhaps nothing. In which case, we are clearly headed directly towards the tipping point in the Middle East - that point in which the road to warfare continues unabated - the road that leads directly (and ultimately) into the war of Gog-MaGog.
It seems to be coming soon. Meanwhile, we watch, wait and pray. And we anticipate the coming of Christ Jesus for His Bride.
So basically, you're saying that a 2 state solution would favor Palestine? - Dylan
Well, I know it'd be in palestines favor because of the bible. It's so cool how we can see prophecy coming true in modern times. God is good.-Dylan
Thank you Scott for your reporting and analysis. This web site is why I have a computer. Can't thank you enough.
I cannot imagine the doubt and pain the citizen of Israel must be enduring as the see the noose and world tighten and condense against them.
And the frustration and confusion....they're doing all the right, honest, honorable, and logical things. Everything that has ever worked for any country.....yet they are still loosing every battle; diplomatic and world opinion.
How absolutely deflating this must be.
And to watch the murderers just gain more traction and support......
The sooner they recognize their hopelessness and call out to Jesus the better....one would think.
Still, God's word is true and will come to pass.....exactly as stated.
Still, what a feeling of hopelessness this much be for the Jew.
I agree --- but ultimately, God is placing them in a position so they will ONLY survive as a result of God's direct intervention. Having said that, I just can't believe that the Israeli's have to live this way. They are literally having to go underground....The soccer matches in that area were played to empty stadiums - for fears of rocket attacks. And now Hamas is going after school children. Unbelievable.
Anon- Thank you for those kind words - it mewans a whole lot, it really does,
So Scott...I believe your prediction...educated guess...holy spirit insight...about the UN getting ready to torment Israel is coming to pass. The arab league is asking to UN to impose a no fly zone over gaza! Everyone pray for peace in Israel and protection...supernatural protection. I love all of you :-) Start getting your affairs in order cuz i think we have some travel plans and our tour guide is on the way! Blessings to all through Christ Jesus who strenghthens us! ally
I heard that the Hamas is taking credit now, instead of making smaller militant groups do their deeds like they usually do.
Understand Scott. He is bringing them back where they only have one hope.....to call on Him.
Just expressing my anger and hurt at watching it all happen and feeling a little twinge of what they must be feeling.
I know, I know.....it must be this way.
Dear Scott >>>>
please think seriously about this
scenario. The Arab League has decided to PLAY a manipulative game
and get a cease fire ALONG with a
move for a NO FLY zone over Gaza...
from the UN Security Council.
If they get it, it will be Libya
all over again IF there is more
This is MORE THEN LIKELY all
the excuse the Arabs and Russia
will need to attack Israel to
ENFORCE the no fly zone.
there is your 38 EZEKIEL.....
PLease go to JPOST for more info.
Stephen in Hawaii >>>>>>>
Stephen - I could see that scenario as a distinct possibility.
Caver - it IS hard to watch - I completely agree. I'm obsessive about "justice" and what happens to Israel on a daily basis is the ultimate injustice. I can't wait for God to show His hand in the ME...
IF the US veto's the UNSC resolution, then I am AFRAID that
the Arabs will use that as a POINT
in the sand to BLACK MAIL the UNSC,
ie, say that hey, you are not controlling Israeli air raids into gaza, therefore, forget the cease
fire, we will attack israel FULL
I know the arabs will blackmail
Israel, they love to play that
Apparently it doesn't have to go to the Security Council - my understanding is that they can take a general vote and if the SC doesn't proactively vote against, it will be a "done deal" - so the SC doesn't even have to get involved
GOd keeps his promises. At the battle of gog/magog, God will "smite the bow out of your left hand" and "make the arrows drop out of your right hand" and Israel will burn the weapons for 7 years. At least that's what Ezekiel says. So if gog/Magog is coming soon, we will se Gods power very soon. He also says in that verse that all the heathens will know him. So either reject or accept him. No denying he exists. To me it sounds like either just before or at the beginning of the 70th week.
Thats pretty much how I see it. Only I don't think the Church will be here for Gog-MaGog; but thats more of a hunch, and not scriptural. I think we'll know soon, one way or the other.
Scott-looks like your week is cut out for you! Your take on the UN situation is absolutely correct. . We will see what the security counsel will do! When does the vote have to be finished? Thanks for keeping us up to date.-ally
Ok. So you think it's the beginning of the 70th week? I'm not much of a theologian. I'm just a 13 year old interested in understanding more about the end times.
hey Dylan-it a lot to figure out isn't it? I am thrilled you are here and searching! God seems to have led a lot of very interesting people to this place, and thanks to the faithfullness of Scott, we are able to sift through a massive amount of info. He is very respectful of peoples questions and opinions. I am so incredibly thankful for his diligence! And everything is held up to the word of the Lord for verification :-) 70Th week is approaching quickly. At least it certainly seems that way. You don't have to be a theologen to read the bible and love Jesus.-ally
The Arab request for a no fly zone over Gaza is now the lead story on Drudge. Nice call Scott. I think you had that possibility pegged the first time the UN pulled that rabbit out of the hat two weeks ago. Who would haved guessed it would have come so quickly with Israel? Praying for Bibi, Israel and the peace of Jerusalem.
WV - It did happen quicker than I would have imagined but this shows just how close we are to the last days.
Dylan - its a pleasure having you here! I wish I would have had your maturity at your age,
We (pre-trib folks) believe that the Rapture happens prior to the Tribulation. In a nutshell:
1 Thess 1:10
1 Thess 4 and 1 Thess 5
The "chronology" of the book of Revelation, which reveals the "rapture" in Rev 4:1, before the start of the Tribulation
- The fact that no rapture is described in Rev 6-18 (a description of the Tribulation)
- The fact that the Church is seen in Heaven, before the 2nd coming (Rev 19).
The fact that Jesus already took the wrath of God for us (on the cross) thus making our presence on earth impossible during the Trib., as that IS God's wrath on an unrepentant earth.
- The parallels to the ancient Jewish wedding customs and the Rapture (John 14:1-3) which dictates a 7 "day" period of "consummation" while the wedding guests appear for the wedding feast - which is a parallel to the rapture followed by a 7 year tribulation - THEN the church (aka "the bride") reemerges with the groom for the wedding feast (rev 19).
If you are interested - listen to the audio links at the top right corner of this blog.
Maranatha and God Bless
Please excuse me this 'aside'.
There is a Bible teacher I have huge respect for who says present events have no connection to the Rapture because that would remove imminency. He defines imminency in that it is pending, and no prophecy HAS to occur before the Rapture; but that doesn’t mean prophecy MAY occur before the Rapture. We agree with that!
The re-birth of Israel, born in a day; that is just one prophecy that HAS been fulfilled in these final days. Also he does acknowledge the Jews are fulfilling the prophecy of their return to Israel in ‘UN-belief’. Events e.g. 2 WW; earthquakes as defined by AF in Footsteps; they are evidence of the nearing of the 2nd Coming, not the Rapture itself, so it remains imminent! It troubles me that such a brilliant teacher hasn’t recognised this - or is it me after all???
Also, if you get opportunity, could you find me the page number of Dr Showers where you have said, that he writes there could be a fault with his view of Matt.24 and Rev.6. That seems to me to be an allegorical interpretation instead staying with the literal???
I do hope I have made sense, as I have been struggling with this for ages and would like to try and settle it before my brain finally dries up. :~}
Thank you Scott; if you are too busy – then never mind.
Too busy? For Sue? are you kidding? :)
The signs do NOT remove imminency. The signs only point towards the Tribulation - the signs, technically, have nothing to do with the Rapture - the signs tells us about the generation that will see the Tribulation, the AC and the Second Coming.
Its only because we believe in a pre-trib rapture that (coincidentally) these signs have meaning to us - because we know the rapture will occur before that - remind him - we don't know the DAY or the HOUR, but we are SUPPOSED to know the season of Jesus return. Knowing the SEASON isn't in ANY WAY destroying the doctrine of imminency - unless somehow such signs revealed the DAY AND THE HOUR which it does not.
As far as Showers - it was all about the scriptures in Matthew 24:27-34 and whether those "taken up" referenced the Rapture of the Second Coming.
Im in the school (with Hal Lindsey and Perry Stone, and I believe T LaHaye) who believes this is a rapture reference.
Showers is in the "old school" with Walvoord and Pentecost who believe its a 2nd coming reference.
Showers' discusses this in chapter 9, page 180 and calls it "A Potential Problem"....He actually makes my case :) and his explanation of this "problem" is exceedingly complex and loses me. Its the ONLY place that I disagree with Showers.
But its academic to me, because Jesus clearly discussed the Rapture in John 14.
THANK YOU Scott; so much, I have found it but its so late I shall look properly in the morning.
God bless you for taking the time. I really appreciate it.
Love from Sue x
Yes! I have to agree; it is exceedingly complex and I don't understand it either.
AF also sees the Rapture in Matt.24I wasn't convinced until you sold me on paralambano and my resulting epiphany :D
I have been reading how the early church took 3-400 years to agree on the doctrine of the Trinity. Than came the reformation that 'stuck' on 'Faith Alone' and didn't move ahead until the 20th Century. It was suggested that the Church is in the same deciding position today regarding Eschatology!
So I think Jesus HAS to come for us to prove pretrib; otherwise I cannot imagine Prets, Mids and Posts ever agreeing with us. :D
I didn't know that AF is in the same camp regarding Matt 24. That is quite interesting....
Footsteps of the Messiah A Frucht.
Page 648 L The Rapture of the Church Matt.24:36-42; Luke 21:34-36
"...majority view... this is the 2nd Coming logically he is speaking of the same thing.
p649 "... Matt24:36 begins with BUT, Gk peri de ...introduces a NEW subject... He HAS been discussing the 2nd Coming until this point...peri de new subject is Rapture.....etc;
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