Fears of War As Southern Israeli Border Heats Up
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
The YNetNews website is reporting that intense fighting took place on the Southern Israeli border area with Gaza overnight. The news reports indicate that the IDF and terrorist organizations were involved in heavy fighting for the first time since Operation Cast Lead. The terrorists for their part have taken a heavy toll as reports indicate that around 20 terrorists have been killed and the IDF has made the terrorists pay a high price for their evil deeds. The YNetNews article reports:
Major escalation overnight, southern Israel under heavy fire: The Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted several Grad rockets fired at Beersheba, southern Israel’s largest city, and at the town of Ofakim early Saturday. Five residents in both cities were lightly hurt while rushing to local bomb shelters after the anti-rocket siren was activated. Four of them were taken to hospital for treatment. At around 3:45 am, the anti-rocket siren was activated throughout southern Israel, including in the cities of Ashdod, Beersheba, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Gedera, Ofakim and Gan Yavne. Shortly thereafter, several Grad rockets exploded in open areas north of Ashdod and Nitsanim.
The Gaza based terrorist group Hamas was desperate to reach a ceasefire agreement with Israel despite being the one starting the hostilities. This is a typical Islamic ploy to start a fight and then when things go bad try to reach a truce while rearming. The Hamas based group offered to hold a "ceasefire" with Israel if they would call off the IDF, but reports indicate that the IDF continued to strike Hamas based position into the night. The terrorists for their part threatened to up the ante if Israel did not agree to the ceasefire. The Haaretz news website reports:
Hamas said on Saturday it would escalate its attacks against Israel to include a wider range of targets if Israel failed to halt its aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip. Dozens of rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel on Saturday, as the IDF launched several strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, killing at least four Hamas operatives, one of them a senior commander.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri blamed Israel for an escalation in violence. "If the Israeli escalation continues, amid international silence and complicity, the reactions by resistance factions will broaden," he told Reuters, saying such actions would be necessary to protect Palestinians in Gaza. Violence has flared since Hamas claimed responsibility for firing a rocket at an Israeli school bus on Thursday, critically injuring a teenager. Hamas has said it was responding to previous lethal Israeli assaults on its members. Palestinians sources said that 18 Palestinians were killed in IDF strikes since Thursday.
The terrorist organizations in Gaza have fired approximately 120 rockets over the past few days and things threaten to get even worse as the hostilities continue to mount. The situation on the ground is beginning to remind residents of the destruction they faced during the Operation Cast Lead that took place over similar circumstances. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Police in the south said on Saturday evening that over 50 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since Saturday morning. The central Negev region was hit with 28 rockets in total. Police bomb squad officers found 13 rockets in that region. A number of homes were damaged in the attacks. The Lachish region, in the western Negev, was hit with 22 rockets. Police found four rockets during searches. The farming communities of the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regional councils have been subjected to continuous mortar and rocket attacks throughout the day.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Saturday evening, Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yalin said, “We’ve been under attack for three days. The number of rockets we are dealing with is the same as during Operation Cast Lead. The feeling is that we are in the midst of a real escalation. “As far as we’re concerned, this is Cast Lead all over again. We are in a [state of ] emergency, even though the state has not declared an official emergency. We’ve been running around all day to calm local residents,” Yalin added.
With the Southern border region going downhill, students of Bible prophecy need to keep an eye on the ground as things have the potential to explode and carry over to a new conflict. The tension in the region has been mounting since Hamas has been firing more rockets into Israel. This coupled with the recent and ongoing Middle East uprisings makes for a dangerous brew. The situation on the ground could be one where Israel is forced to take strong action and possibly go back into Gaza to clean up the area. This sort of operation was mention by an Israeli official on Saturday. While it is too early to tell if this situation on the ground will amount to anything more serious, it could be that this is simply another "ebb and flow" that happens regularly in the region. But if this turns into a dire situation, Bible prophecy students could be getting a glimpse of things to come in the future Psalm 83 conflict where Israel destroys here "inner-ring" of enemies which include those on her borders. Let us continue to watch the situation and as usual pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the peace of Israel. Stay tuned!