Friends, while you were sleeping rockets were falling in Israel—well over 100. What sparked this latest wave of terror was the targeted assassination of the most senior terrorist in Islamic Jihad. Baha Abu al-Ata was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the Gaza Strip early this morning—and now knows that there are no virgins waiting for him in “paradise.”
IDF Chief of Staff (equivalent to General of the Joint Chiefs) Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi said that the killing of Abu al-Ata was justified in order to protect Israelis.
“He is the man who acted in every way to sabotage attempts for calm with Hamas. He was a live ticking bomb, and even now he worked and planned attacks. He was responsible for the majority of attacks that took place over past year. We are preparing for escalation from the ground, air and sea.”
Islamic Jihad responded to the assassination with the launching of more than 160 rockets and their typical over-the-top rhetoric: “The response to this crime will have no limits.” Yawn… Not to make light of their threats, but if you live in the Middle East, you are accustomed to empty “Mother of All Wars” threats. As well, one of the tools that terrorists employ is to instill fear through mere words.
Israel used self restraint for the first few hours, letting the highly reactive and emotional terrorists let off steam. It seemed that as long as the rockets didn’t actually hit anything, Israel didn’t feel the need to immediately respond. Our Iron Dome missile defense system took out 60 rockets.
Last week, we were filming in the Gaza border town of S’derot. We heard testimony after testimony of young mothers explaining what it was like to run to shelter with their young children. S’derot-based Messianic Pastor Mikael Beaner had to rush home from a conference to S’derot. One of the rockets hit a building next to theirs.
Sadly, our government doesn’t seem to take Hamas and Islamic Jihad seriously until the rockets start falling in Tel Aviv.
And that is what happened. Fox News is reporting:
“Militants in Gaza sent a barrage of at least 50 rockets over the border into Tel Aviv early Tuesday, vowing further revenge after the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic jihad commanders in Gaza and in Syria.”
As a precaution schools are closed for the day and all weddings and other events are canceled.
Of course, in the early hours of these events, news reports are often inaccurate, but my daughter did tell me that at 8:00 AM sirens sounded in Tel Aviv. No damage or injuries have been reported. Israel is now bracing for several days of fighting.
This is the part where I have to say, all is good in Israel. I know that for the westerners, it can seem scary, but we live in Israel and there is no place we would rather be! Elana and I are in Orlando for a conference and the first thought that came to my mind with she woke me at 4 AMwith this news was, “I want to go home!” I want to be with my people.
We have a tour in December and this is the time to express to the people of Israel that the Church is standing with them. I can’t wait to bring our group to Israelis to shine the light, life and love of Yeshua. It means so much to them.