Sadly, security concerns continue to emanate from Gaza as Israel finds herself in the unenviable position of having to deal with what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes as an existential threat second only to the threat posed by Iran. The sad truth is that while the existential threat from Iran may be more conceptually significant, the threat from Gaza is much more practically significant. According to data compiled by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the terror group Hamas has launched more than 20,000 missiles into Israel since Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007. In one record-setting day in November 2018, a barrage of more than 300 rockets was launched from Gaza toward Israel. More than 150 rockets were launched the next bringing the total number of missiles fired during the two-day barrage in excess 450!
Disagreement within Israeli Government
Since then the Israeli cabinet has made the decision to accept a cease-fire with the Islamist terror group Hamas in hopes of quelling the violence and find a long-term solution to bring peace to Israel’s southern border. However, not all Israeli lawmakers are in favor of this decision. Avigdor Lieberman, a former member of Netanyahu’s Security Council, who has long advocated for a more decisive blow to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second-largest militant group in Gaza, has openly accused Netanyahu of “surrendering to terror” and recently resigned in protest. Lieberman warned, “We are buying quiet for the short term at the price of serious damage to national security in the long term.” Netanyahu defended the truce saying, “The leadership is doing the right thing.” However, tensions along the border continue to escalate. An estimated 10,000 Palestinians took part in violent protests along the Gaza border recently, burning tires and hurling rocks and explosive devices at IDF soldiers. Such organized protests are being held weekly at various locations along the border under the banner of Hamas’s ongoing “March of Return” demonstrations. Thus, even as Israel honors their commitment to the most recent cease-fire, Hamas continues to fan the flames of dissent and problems continue in Gaza.
Relevant Scripture Passages
As Israel’s enemies continue to surround her, pressing in from all sides, we are reminded that the terror that Israel’s international enemies intend to unleash upon her will also escalate as the Last Days become increasingly more imminent (cf. Joel 2:11; 3:2, 9, 14; Psalm 2:1-3; Zechariah 14:2-3). Likewise, the Bible plainly teaches that when we can see Israel surrounded by her enemies, we should know that the end times are drawing nearer (cf. Luke 21:20, 22). As the tensions continue to increase in Gaza, we should be in prayer for Israel.