By Joel C. Rosenberg
The State of Israel has just dramatically escalated its war against the terrorist forces of Hamas.
Israeli tanks, armored personnel carriers and heavily armed ground forces have begun fighting their way into the Gaza Strip to hunt down and destroy Hamas missile and mortar launches, capture Hamas terrorist fighters, and create a real measure of safety and security along Israel’s southern border.
As of 1:30am Israel time, “Army officials confirmed that dozens of terrorists were hurt in clashes with IDF ground troops, some of them were killed. In several cases, armed terrorists approached Israeli forces and were shot at by ground troops and IDF gunships. There are no reports of Israeli casualties at this time.”
“The objective is to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure in the area of operations,” said Major Avital Leibovitch, a military spokeswoman, confirming that incursions were under way, according to Ynet news, an Israeli news service. “We are going to take some of the launch areas used by Hamas.”
“It won’t be easy and it won’t be brief,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters. ‘We’re continuing to expand the operation while being well aware that this move will include challenges, difficulties, and also victims. We are doing it because of the faith that at this time this is our duty to citizens of the country.”
“Several hours ago, IDF troops entered the Gaza Strip,” Barak added. “So far in the operation, the IDF, the Air Force, and the Intelligence Corps delivered a harsh blow against Hamas.
IMMEDIATE PRAYER REQUESTS:
Pray for the Lord to bring real peace to the situation ASAP
Pray for the believers on both sides — in Israel and in Gaza — for courage and wisdom to know how best to love their neighbors and their enemies
Pray for the children and families caught in the crossfire
Pray for the salvation of those who face death at any moment
Pray for followers of Jesus around the world to be mobilized to pray and to help these victims of war and terrorism in real and practical ways
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
Hamas pushes for Sharia punishments: Such punishments include whipping, severing hands, crucifixion and hanging
UN Chief to Olmert: End Gaza op immediately
EU presidency: Israel ground op in Gaza ‘defensive not offensive’
Hamas: Gaza will become ‘cemetery’ for Israeli army
France condemns Israel operation
Hezbollah has no interest in opening military front with Israel in light of Gaza op, sources say