We’ve been here before. The 1936 Arab Revolt. The 1947–48 Civic War in Palestine. The 1948 War. The 1956 Sinai War. The 1967 Six-Day War. The War of Attrition. The Yom Kippur War in 1973. The list continues and grows ever more lengthy and bloody. Well, we might just have a war of Biblical proportions.
Volumes have been written trying to unpack the conflict. We won’t do that on these pages. Instead, we will seek to understand the immediate conflict and it’s implications.
In recent weeks, tensions between Israeli police and Palestinian protestors have boiled. In an Israeli Supreme Court case, six Arab families have accused Israel of evicting them in a Jerusalem neighborhood in an effort to overwhelm the Holy City with Jewish citizens. The Israeli government has said their plans to construct a settlement there will allow more people to live there. The evictions have spurred tremendous protests and confrontation from Palestinians toward police offers and government officials.
Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic culture, was from Monday, April 12th — Wednesday, May 12th. On Friday, May 6th, thousands of Muslims leaving prayer at the Aqsa Mosque (located on the Temple Mount) confronted Israeli police officers and began throwing rocks, injuring over 130 officers.
The Aqsa Mosque sits on one of the holiest sites for Muslims, Christians, and Jews. To the Jews and Christians, this is where the Holy Temple, first built by King Solomon, was erected. The compound, controlled by the Waqf (a trust funded and managed by the state of Jordan), has had much tension and violence surrounding it. Christians and Jews are prohibited from praying on the grounds. The discriminatory measures have led to violent encounters for decades.
In response to the clashes near Asqa and the evictions in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, Hamas, the Islamist militia group of the Gaza and a designated terrorist organization, fired hundreds of rockets toward populated cities (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, among many).
Hamas, the militant group that has run Gaza since 2007 and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, has parlayed the arsenal into an increasingly lethal threat, as seen in the most recent upsurge of hostilities with the Israeli military. By Thursday, Israeli officials said, the militants had fired about 1,800 rockets. — Mona El-Naggar
The question of how Hamas was able to build such a vast and powerful arsenal has led to more potential concerns by world security experts. Specifically, it is believed that Hamas receives substantial support from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Prime Minster Netanyahu vowed that Hamas will pay a “heavy price” for their attacks on Israel and it’s citizens, launching a campaign called “Guardians of the Wall” — mobilizing 9,000 troops along the Israeli-Gaza border.
We are doing so and we will continue to do so with great force. The last word has not been said and this operation will continue as long as necessary in order to restore the quiet and security to the State of Israel.
IDF (The Israeli Defense Force) has launched over 600 airstrikes, targeting and killing over 20 Hamas leaders.
The United Nations Secretary-General expressed genuine concern over the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine, “gravely concerned” of a full-scale war in the Middle East.
The growing violence and confrontation has serious implications for the Middle East. If a full-scale war become reality, it is likely to see nations like the United States, Iran, Jordan, and others intervene.
U.S. leaders on both sides of the political aisle have condemned the actions of Hamas. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was quick to provide support for Israel.
I condemn the escalating and indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel. Israel has the right to defend herself against this assault, which is designed to sow terror and undermine prospects for peace.
What does Palestine view as the possibility for peace? I think it's best said by Yasser Arafat, former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization:
Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all-out war, a war which will last for generations.
In contrast, Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, is hopeful for peace but willing to defend the Jewish people at any cost.
Both peoples, both nations, deserve a nation-state of their own. Palestinians, if they wish so, will go to the Palestinian state; Jews, if they so wish, can go to the Jewish state. And we'll have to have security and demilitarization agreements between us.
One thing is clear: both Palestine and Israel have strategic plans for the conflict, and there does not seem to be any plan to show restraint.
The political climate is almost palpable, choking out even the most committed, passionate, and resolved of us. People are battle-weary and exhausted. The last 18 months have been a constant fray. Whether it be the pandemic, racial upheaval, government overreach, the shutdown of Churches and businesses, education reform, or ludicrous legislation — it seems that the array of fronts for faith-filled parents, pastors, and community members is never-ending.
We are here, several months later with the creation of a vaccine that continues to divide the thoughts of even the most devout evangelicals in our Nation. With further Government ‘mandates’ which potentially violate a person's deeply held moral beliefs and opinions, we are faced again with the question: What does the Lord ask of us in this season?