Israel Inflicting Damage in Gaza and ICG Middle East News

Gaza City


Israel has continued to inflict damage to Hamas in Gaza:

17 November 2012

Israel expanded its air assault on rockets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, striking a Hamas government compound and a Cabinet building where Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met with Egypt’s prime minister on Friday.

17 November 2012
JERUSALEM — Israel carried out more than 200 air strikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Saturday, as Palestinian rocket fire continued to paralyze southern Israel. At least 40 Palestinians, including 13 civilians, and three Israeli civilians have been killed since the Israeli offensive began on Wednesday.Israel launched wave after wave of airstrikes on Gaza, shaking the ground and sending black plumes of smoke into the air.

The operation expanded to targeting the symbols of power of the ruling Palestinian militant group Hamas. Israeli warplanes hit the prime minister’s office, a police compound and the home of a military commander, as well as weapons depots and smuggling tunnels.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev says the aim is to end Palestinian rocket attacks…The Israeli operation began on Wednesday, when the military leader of Hamas was assassinated in an air strike, following days of rocket attacks. After that, Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian rocket attacks intensified.

The conflict escalated on Friday, when the Palestinians fired a rocket that landed near Jerusalem for the first time. Several rockets have also been fired at Tel Aviv. Both cities used to be out of Palestinian gunners’ range, but Hamas has smuggled in longer-range rockets made in Iran.

With no break in the rocket fire coming from Gaza, Israel’s Cabinet authorized the military to call up 75,000 reservists. Tanks, armored personnel carriers and troops are deploying on the Gaza border in preparation for a possible ground assault.

A possible ground assault by Israel in Gaza would really tend to fan the flames of war over there.  Israel is in a tough spot as it feels it cannot allow its cities to be attacked and not respond, while also realizing that responding is upsetting Egypt and others in at least the Islamic world.  Syria and Iran may ultimately try to take advantage of this and escalate matters against Israel–those nations are aware that Israel hopes to attack them, so this could be a time that they will decide to get involved, we will see.  It also should be realized that it must be near impossible to live in Gaza for many reasons, and attacks and a possible ground assault there must be of massive concern to its residents.

Today, the Arab League was asked to take “real action” against Israel:

17 November 2012

BEIRUT: Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said Saturday condemnation and words were not enough to stop the Israeli aggression against Gaza and called for “real action” against the Jewish state.

“Enough condemnation … what we need now is real action to stop this enemy,” Mansour told reporters prior to leaving to Cairo to take part in an Arab League meeting.

There is a lot going on in the Middle East.  The Arab League historically has been cautious, and we will see if they will take many steps beyond words this time (in recent times, they have tended to make condemnations, push for UN resolutions, and provide some funding, as opposed to directly participating militarily).

In its latest newsletter, ICG’s Mark Armstrong wrote the following which overviews multiple Middle East/North Africa issues:

The state of war that has developed between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is getting tremendous attention, now that rocket attacks have hit the outskirts of both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Media reports began to pay attention when the dramatic aerial video of the strike on an automobile carrying a high level Hamas commander became available. But rocket attacks out of Gaza have been going on for some time, becoming more frequent, and since Israel took out the terrorist’s car in such a display of deadly precision, Hamas employed its longest range and most sophisticated rockets provided by Iran and sent them toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel has moved tens of thousands of troops and a significant fleet of tanks and armored personnel carriers to Gaza’s border. Clearly, Israel is not prepared to have the citizens of its most significant cities cowering under the constant threat of rocket attack. As of this writing, some 500 rockets have rained into Israel, and it looks like a ground war to put a stop to it is imminent. The situation is more complicated than ever before since Egypt has fallen under radical Islamic leadership. The Egyptian ambassador to Israel has been withdrawn, and this situation may very well turn out the be the catalyst that breaks the long standing peace treaty once and for all.

Amidst all the other news is the less prominent situation in Jordan where they are seeing the biggest demonstrations, including attacks on police stations, against the government of King Abdullah. He is the last remaining moderate ruler of all the Islamic nations that border Israel. Syria is fraught with an ongoing civil war that began with demonstrations and escalated into the wretched state of anarchy that now exists. Despite calls from the U.S. and elsewhere in the west, Assad is not about to give up power unless defeated or killed, and Russia is on his side.

Lebanon is a terrorist hotbed, with no national leadership beyond the activities of Hezbollah and the hateful preachments of radical Islamist Nasrallah. Israel’s last war was against those forces in southern Lebanon, and one has to wonder whether that may come into play once again amid the action against Gaza. It doesn’t take much imagination see what ultimately is coming in the Middle East, as the entirety of the Muslim world delves deeper into the precepts of hate for the Jews in their midst, and increases in fervor for their ultimate goal of a worldwide caliphate.

The outrage in Benghazi, Libya has really hit the fan, just as this update assured you it would in the weeks prior to the election when the mainstream media was so busy ignoring it. Now that the scandal has salacious details, the media can’t get enough. And private hearings have begun in both the Senate and the House which are already beginning to expose the flood of disinformation fed to the American public over the past couple of months, as if it weren’t already obvious to any amateur observer. There’s no telling how this bleak episode will be resolved, assuming it is. But as we noted weeks ago, the timing of this massive scandal breaking just days after the election is mighty suspicious. But it was already mighty suspicious two months ago!

If the damage isn’t already done, it surely will be. We’re seeing nearly every great American institution that has enjoyed nearly universal respect besmirched. The CIA is a major casualty in all this, as is the FBI and the Department of State, not to mention the ambassador to the UN. Top American generals are dropping like flies.

While Israel and the Middle East continues as a hot bed of activity, the USA continues more and more to show that the morality of its leadership has been tainted.  And while adultery is not new or limited to USA leaders, the trend in the USA seems to be for more and more leaders to have problems involving sexual immorality.   The time is fast approaching when the USA, despite its military strength (cf. Daniel 11:39) will be no more.

As far as the Middle East goes, as I have written for some time, it will likely take some type of regional war for the apparent peace deal of Daniel 9:27 to take place.  The current actions between Israel and Hamas will likely be a factor.  At minimum, the actions are enraging much of the Arab world.

At some point in time, the Bible shows that the nations of North Africa and the Middle East will form a confederation, involving Egypt (Ezekiel 30:1-9), under the leadership of one the Bible refers to as the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43).  The dislike that many of the Arab states have for each other is sometimes less than the hatred that they (or their people) tend to have for the nation of Israel.

Thus, conflicts like this (and especially if Syria is sufficiently involved) that lead to destruction (cf. Isaiah 17:1) may be the motivating force for both a “peace deal” as well directly or indirectly for the formation of the North African/Middle East confederation that the Bible shows will happen in the end time (cf. Daniel 11:40-43).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2012, 2013, or 2014? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”?  Why might Daniel 9:27 be referring to a peace deal? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims?

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