UN Votes on Israel

I am temporarily pausing the series titled Goliath to present information concerning the crisis in Israel and Gaza.

The following is a compilation of news gatherd from severla sourcdes over t e past few days.

Spiritual leader, Abu Muhammed al-Maqdisi, issued a challenge for jihadists to join the battle. calling for fighters to travel to Gaza to oppose Israel. He stated- “True, we are fighting in Syria, but our heart yearns to arrive and fight the sons and brothers of the apes and pigs [a favorite Islamic reference for Jews],” Maqdisi said. “The days of defeats have passed. Our concept today is offensive and therefore you must attack.”

While a relatively quiet, rocket-free night brought a measure of calm for the residents of southern Israel, Hamas called for “a third intifada” and “A Day of Rage,” following a mass protest in Jerusalem that attracted a crowd of up to 10,000.
Two Palestinians were killed in the riotous melee. Some 40 Palestinians were treated at East Jerusalem hospitals for minor injuries; 60 people were arrested.

Hamas released a statement saying, “We call on the Palestinian people to [gather for] a day of rage against the occupation’s [Israel’s] procedures in Jerusalem against al-Aqsa mosque.” Israel has denied the accusation that the mosque has ever been in danger.

For the second time in less than a week, a cache of terrorist rockets has been found, hidden in a school in Gaza run by the United Nations. Israel has long pointed out that Hamas uses hospitals, mosques and schools to hide their weapons. “How many more schools will have to be abused by Hamas missile squads before the international community will intervene?” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Yigal Palmor asked. “How many times can it turn its head the other way and pretend that it just doesn’t see?”

Liberal media ignores stories like this and focuses instead on the civilian casualties in Gaza that Israel does so much to minimize—even at the risk of its own soldiers. It is an outrage that the world is not loudly standing with Israel and punishing the nations like Iran that fund the terrorists who are killing Jewish people every chance they get.

On the same day Hamas terrorists launched at least 80 rockets into Israel at civilian targets, the UN Human Rights Commission voted in emergency session to launch an investigation into Israel's “war crimes.” Prime Minister Netanyahu's office released a statement calling the body “a kangaroo court” and the outcome a “foregone conclusion.”

If you ever need an illustration of the hypocrisy of the world toward Israel, this is it. Instead of focusing on Hamas, which has fired more than two thousand rockets into the Jewish state since it launched this violent campaign, the UN body is looking at Israel, which goes to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties. 

The UN Human Rights Council since announced that an independent commission be established to investigate possible violations of international law in Gaza at the request of the Palestinians, Egypt and Pakistan.

The following response from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said, “The decision is a farce. Instead of investigating Hamas for committing a double war crime – firing rockets at Israeli civilians – the Human Rights Council calls for an investigation against Israel, which is making unprecedented efforts to avoid harming civilians. The Human Rights Council should investigate Hamas’s decisions to turn hospitals into command centers and schools into weapons depots and to place rocket launchers next to playgrounds, private homes and mosques,” the statement continued.

The investigation applies only to Israel’s actions—ignoring Hamas’s culpability entirely—is beyond the reason of reasonable people, yet Israel finds itself standing in the crosshairs of international outrage.

Twenty-nine countries voted in favour of the investigation of Israel, including, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, the Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

Abstaining were: Austria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, South Korea, Romania, the Republic of Macedonia, and the United Kingdom.

The United States stood alone in voting against the initiative. However increased pressure is constant from the current U.S. administration to end the fighting fast.

Fighting remains intense, with many rockets still being fired into Israel as the offensive continued, but the numbers of rockets has decreased from 190+ near the beginning of the conflict to 63 yesterday. This morning, news came that Israel’s government and Hamas officials are considering a five-day (others say it’s for seven days) ceasefire offer that was brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry. 


The Realities of Eternity 
The bible talks about places like Heaven and Hell, which are very real places. Some folk deny their existence, but too many people testify of visiting them. I have!
In this trilogy of accounts, let me share some things with you tha include my visits to Heaven, a 45 minute visit to Hell and the story of my own son Gary who "died twice" and is now with the Lord.
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Daily Psalm מִזְמוֹר‎ & Proverb מִשְלֵי 

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
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Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah Psalm 24:7-10

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World Events 


29 July Update:
Who wants Peace?

Amid UN Security Council demands for a ceasefire, rocket fire increased immediately after a brief respite for Palestinians to observe a Muslim holiday. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “Under these circumstances, Israel must do what it must do to defend its people.” Hamas has fired at least 2,500 rockets into Israel since the conflict began. 

The Prime Minister said Israeli forces will continue to dismantle Hamas’s cross-border tunnels and destroy its rocket arsenal. “I hope we achieve a sustainable quiet that will enable us to address the issue of demilitarizing Gaza,” he told CBS. “And if Hamas is discredited and demilitarized, then we may have a chance to work on something with the more moderate forces and get a better future for us all.” 

U.S. President Obama called Netanyahu late Sunday night to urge an immediate ceasefire, following Secretary John Kerry’s disastrous failure at negotiating an acceptable ceasefire, which angered Palestinians, Egyptians and Israeli leaders all at once. Obama condemned Hamas attacks and reaffirmed “Israel’s right to defend itself.” He said that any lasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict “must ensure the disarmament of the terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.” In a media poll of the Israeli public, 87 percent said they would like to see the operation continue, and 69 percent want Hamas toppled entirely. Only seven percent want a ceasefire. 
Meanwhile, former commander of the elite Yahalom unit that searches for the cross-border tunnels says Israel will not find them all during this operation, and that Hamas will continue to dig new ones after this conflict is over. Atai Shelach says, “The moment we leave, they will start digging again. The tunnels,” Shelach continued, “are actually part of the culture. They’ve been around for 20 years. Initially used for smuggling and then for an economic industry dominated by several families, the tunneling increased after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.”    

How to describe the tunnels? Having located 30 of them, the IDF says the tunnels are an elaborate system of pathways often wider than a man’s shoulders and close to six feet high. They are supported by hundreds of tons of concrete arches (likely made with the concrete provided by Israel over the years to help Palestinians build homes and apartments) and are well lit and properly ventilated. They have numerous entrances and exits into Israel. 

Explosives, arms and IDF military uniforms are stashed in the tunnels as well as zip ties and narcotics meant to facilitate kidnapping. Hamas pays families near the border “to hire” a room in their homes from which operatives begin digging a shaft within the house. Hamas uses the population for their own purposes. Last week a terrorist attack was launched from one of these tunnels which actually exited into the dining hall of a kibbutz located near the border!

12 July Update on Israel and Hamas

Sirens continued to scream warnings throughout the day today in Israel during the night where the Sabbath has begun. As of nightfall Thursday night, over 350 rockets had been fired at Israel, with about 90 of them intercepted by the “Iron Dome.” Israel had conducted almost 900 airstrikes in Gaza.

Hamas has assaulted Israel from Gaza for the last 13 years with their hatred and weaponry. Israel has responded with aggressive action twice before in the last five years.
In 2009 they conducted Operation Cast Lead and in 2012, Operation Pillar of Defense.  In an article on Israel Hayom, Avi Dichter, (former internal security and home front defense minister for Israel, director of Shin Bet security agency, and Knesset member) writes-
Indeed, no civilians anywhere in the world, including in President Barack Obama's United States, would agree to live like this for 13 years, without exerting their right to defend themselves at any cost. The window of opportunity that has now been opened to Israel makes it possible to initiate a strategic move, to destroy the military infrastructure of the terrorist groups in Gaza -- Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

He believes the time for a strategic campaign has come for Israel, something that will last not a matter of weeks or months, but perhaps years.  “Without destroying the terrorists’ military infrastructure in Gaza we will continue living from one round of shooting to the next, as the time in between rounds decreases and the range of the rockets increases,” he says. 

Though some in Israel are complaining of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s lack of speed and decisiveness of action, The Times of Israel has reported that the PM has “warned Israelis to brace for a lengthy conflict.” What some may call indecisiveness may be a firm determination to step wisely into a serious long-haul solution that will ensure this recurring threat does not resurface in the future.

Meanwhile, Israel is seeing support from around the world. The Jerusalem Post reports that in a conversation yesterday between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, the US president “reiterated the United States’ strong condemnation of continuing rocket fire into Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks.”

The US State Department clearly places the blame on Hamas for this most recent rocket war, as revealed when spokeswoman Jen Psaki addressed a number of questions posed by a Palestinian journalist in a recent press conference. The Times of Israel notes her reply:  “‘I would remind you who is at fault here,’ she told reporters, ‘and that is Hamas.’”

Hamas has declared they will not stop the rocket fire and is now demanding the release of 56 terrorists from Israeli prisons. Netanyahu declared, “I will end [Operation Protective Edge] when the missile threat is over.” 

Toward the manipulative play on Israel’s decency by Hamas placing their military sites amidst Gaza’s civilian population, Netanyahu “accused Hamas and Islamic Jihad members of ‘hiding behind civilians’ saying they were responsible if any harm comes to them.” It is believed that Hamas leaders are once again hiding under Gaza’s main hospital, an accusation Israeli officials made during the 2012 battle.

To make matters worse, two rockets appear to have been fired into Israel from her northern neighbor Lebanon, home of Hezbollah, another terrorist organization aimed at the destruction of Israel.

JULY 16 Update:

Israel resumes air strikes on Gaza after ceasefire breaks down as Hamas rocket attacks continued

Rocketss being launched from civilian populated areas
The image above shows smoke from rockets fired from what is obviously civiliain populated areas of Gaza City toward Israel.

Israel has resumed airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, six hours after agreeing to an Egyptian-proposed truce that failed to halt Hamas rocket attacks.

"Hamas has fired 47 rockets since we suspended our strikes in Gaza. As a result, we have resumed our operation against Hamas," an Israeli military statement said.

Under a blueprint announced by Egypt, a mutual "de-escalation" of week-old fighting was to have begun at 9:00am Tuesday (local time), with hostilities ceasing within 12 hours.

Hamas's armed wing rejected the ceasefire, saying its battle with Israel would "increase in ferocity and intensity".

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to ramp up his country's military campaign against Gaza, after the truce plan failed to end eight days of cross-border fire.
"This would have been better resolved diplomatically, that's what we tried to do when we accepted the Egyptian truce proposal today," he said. "But Hamas leaves us no choice but to expand and intensify the campaign against it."

But Moussa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas official who was in Cairo, had said the movement, which is seeking a deal that would ease border restrictions imposed by both Egypt and Israel, had made no final decision on the proposal.

Local television showed Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepting several rockets over the port city of Ashdod, where a factory was hit. Emergency services said no-one was hurt.

Sirens also sounded in areas up to 130 kilometres north of the Gaza Strip.

Speaking in Vienna, US secretary of state John Kerry supported Israel. "I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets, in multiple numbers, in the face of a goodwill effort [to secure] a ceasefire," he said.

Palestinian leader urged factions to respect ceasefire. Gaza health officials said at least 192 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in eight days of fighting, the worst Israel-Palestinian flare-up in two years.

Mr Netanyahu, whose security cabinet had voted 6-2 to accept the truce, had cautioned that Israel would respond strongly if rockets continued to fly.

An Israeli official, speaking as the air strikes resumed, said: "The prime minister and the defence minister have ordered the Israeli armed forces to take powerful action against terrorist targets in Gaza."

Earlier, Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said demands the movement had made must be met before it laid down its weapons.

Other Palestinian militant groups - Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine - also said they had not yet agreed to the Egyptian offer.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who reached an agreement with Hamas in April that led to the formation of a unity government last month, urged acceptance of the proposal, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

Israel says ground invasion still a possibility. Israel had mobilised tens of thousands of troops for a threatened Gaza invasion if the rocket volleys persisted.

"We still have the possibility of going in, under cabinet authority, and putting an end to [the rockets]," said Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defence official.

Under the proposal announced by Egypt's foreign ministry, high-level delegations from Israel and the Palestinian factions would hold separate talks in Cairo within 48 hours to consolidate the ceasefire with "confidence-building measures".

Hamas leaders have said any deal must include an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza and a recommitment to a truce reached in an eight-day war there in 2012.

Hamas also wants Egypt to ease curbs at its Rafah crossing with Gaza imposed after the military ousted president Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist, a year ago.

The Egyptian proposal made no mention of Rafah or when restrictions might be eased.

Hamas has faced a cash crisis and Gaza's economic hardship has deepened as a result of Egypt's destruction of cross-border smuggling tunnels.

Egyptian authorities also accuse Hamas of assisting anti-government Islamist militants in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, an allegation the Palestinian group denies.

Hamas has said it also wants the release of hundreds of its activists arrested in the West Bank while Israel searched for the three missing teenagers.

The proposed truce also made no mention of the detainees.

Adnan Abu Amer, a political analyst in Gaza, said it appeared that Egypt had deliberately ensured that their initiative would fall short of Hamas's demands, in an attempt bid to make the movement look rejectionist.

"Egypt stood by Israel's side, as if it was trying to punish Hamas and give Israel some time to pursue its military campaign," he said.

The surge in hostilities over the past week was prompted by the murder last month of three Jewish seminary students in the occupied West Bank and the revenge killing on July 2 of a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem.


“Operation Protective Edge” has been strategized gradually:

  • Phase One – intensive air strikes on rocket launchers, weapons-production centers and command-and-control center
  • Phase Two – the entry of ground forces and destroying Hamas’s tunnel network
  • Phase Three – the attack and destruction of Hamas’s military assets throughout Gaza. The targets of such a phase remain unclear, but it would not be unreasonable to assume they would focus on Hamas’s senior military leadership structure, all remaining weapons factories and rocket stockpiles, regime buildings, Hamas posts, large swaths of its territorial battalions
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