Weekly Update: A War on Many Fronts

20 October 2023

The war against Hamas following the brutal attack of 7th October is now in its 13th day. It is developing on many fronts.

While most Western world leaders continue to support Israel’s right to self-defence, there is growing criticism of Israel’s response, and the war has also unleashed a global grassroots protects in support of Hamas.

Hamas still has over 200 hostages. Their whereabouts is unknown. A massive international campaign has been launched for their release.

According to the IDF, there are still some Hamas operatives hiding in Israeli territory in the Negev desert, awaiting their commands to carry out the next strife. Israel is on a high alert level.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and their allies continue to fire rockets into Israel.

Israel continues to carry out precision airstrikes.

Israel called for Gazans in the north of Gaza to evacuate to the south, in order to free up the area for attacks on Hamas. This has been perceived as an unreasonable demand. Under pressure from USA, Egypt has agreed to allow humanitarian assistance to enter Gaza.

The Israeli army (IDF) is preparing for a ground offensive that is predicted to last several months.

Conflict is increasing on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon where Hezbollah is apparently preparing for attack.

Yemen has fired rockets towards Israel, that have been intercepted by the US marine.

The Al-Wad Al-Saddeq Shiite militia has moved 5,000 heavily armed members to the border with Israel in the Golan Heights. Iran has tens of thousands of fighters in Syria who will participate in an attack on Israel.

Globally, there have been massive pro-Hamas demonstrations in major cities and on university campuses.

As Christians, we are called to pray for justice and peace. Let us pray –

  • that the IDF soldiers will be given great wisdom, courage and insight in their difficult task
  • that the Israeli leaders and IDF will succeed in destroying Hamas capabilities, and minimizing civilian casualties
  • that the Lord will intervene to disperse the Hamas leadership
  • that the civilians of Gaza will be protected, allowed to flee the conflict zone, and given the necessary humanitarian aid
  • that the evil spirit of the Islamist jihad movement will be defeated
  • that the leaders of other nations will act with discernment, wisdom and impartiality.
The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

Reflection on the Current Affairs in Israel
Rev. Willem Glashouwer: That is his deepest motivation. That is his ultimate prayer. That they will look for and find the One and only true God.
> Read more..

IDF paves way for a ground offensive, but could Hamas escape with civilians?
(JNS) Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated that Hamas terrorists have two options: Be killed or surrender unconditionally.
> Read more..

Egypt to open Rafah crossing for aid to Hamas-ruled Gaza
(JNS) Families of Israelis held hostage by the Palestinian terror group accused Jerusalem of bowing to U.S. pressure.
> Read more..

International criticism, Israeli gratitude for US veto at UN Security Council
“The council needs to get this right,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
“We thought it was very unfortunate that that resolution did not recognize Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of these terrorist attacks. We think that is an important principle,” U.S. State Department Spokesman Matthew Miller said when asked during the department’s press briefing on Thursday why the United States cast a veto.
> Read more..

Hamas, Israel and the hypocrisy of Arab and Muslim leaders
(JNS) Now that Hamas has brought down hell on two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, perhaps these Arab and Muslim rulers will finally decide whose side they are on.
> Read more..

Israel bringing diplomats home from Turkey after warning citizens to leave
(Times of Israel) ‘Temporary’ step comes after National Security Council urged all Israelis to leave Turkey ‘as soon as possible’ due to mounting anger over Israel-Hamas war.
> Read more..

Hamas, Hezbollah jihadists’ plot take over the world opinion
(JPost) Jihad, used by groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and their sponsors, is carried out in order to achieve the ultimate goal of establishing authority over the whole world.
> Read more..

How can we pray? Interview with Frank van Oordt and Andrew Tucker
The war in Israel evokes many divided reactions, also within the churches. How can we pray?
> Read more..


Psalm 83

O God, do not remain silent;
do not turn a deaf ear,
do not stand aloof, O God.
2 See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
3 With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those you cherish.

4 “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”

5 With one mind they plot together;
they form an alliance against you—
6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
of Moab and the Hagrites,
7 Byblos, Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
8 Even Assyria has joined them
to reinforce Lot’s descendants.

9 Do to them as you did to Midian,
as you did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
10 who perished at Endor
and became like dung on the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 who said, “Let us take possession
of the pasturelands of God.”

13 Make them like tumbleweed, my God,
like chaff before the wind.
14 As fire consumes the forest
or a flame sets the mountains ablaze,
15 so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your storm.
16 Cover their faces with shame, Lord,
so that they will seek your name.

17 May they ever be ashamed and dismayed;
may they perish in disgrace.
18 Let them know that you, whose name is the Lord—
that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.