Has Arab Spring Sprung?

Prelude to War with Gaza?
Over 40 rockets and mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli communities since Saturday. These deadly devices have been slamming into the major cities of Beersheva, Ashdod and Ashkelon, the town of Gan Yavne, and the Eshkol Regional Council, claiming the life of one Israeli and injuring another twenty. After a reported truce was reached, several rockets were then fired into Israel on Sunday night. The attacks continue even as we write this Monday evening, reaching towards the center of the country.

Some say the attacks are due to terrorists who are emboldened by the recent release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. His freedom was secured earlier this month by Israel’s promised release of over 1,000 convicted and imprisoned terrorists. But clearly other factors are also at work, including the flexed military muscle of one of Iran’s proxy terror groups in Gaza, Islamic Jihad.

This latest escalation began after a Gaza rocket struck Ashdod on Wednesday, October 26. In a joint operation of the IDF and the Israel Security Agency, IAF aircraft attacked a cell of terrorists actively preparing to fire long-range rockets into Israel from southern Gaza. This same terrorist cell was responsible for the rockets fired last Wednesday. In its defensive strike, Israel took out a commander of Islamic Jihad and four of its munitions experts.

On Saturday afternoon, Gaza retaliated by firing rockets into Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gan Yavne, and around Beersheva, taking the life of one Israeli and wounding another 20.

As a result of the attack, schools were canceled today in Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon and other towns in the 40-kilometer range from Gaza.

Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Brigade terror groups claimed responsibility for Saturday’s rocket attacks against southern Israel. Footage released by Islamic Jihad Saturday night showed terrorists firing the rockets at Israel using a portable rocket launcher installed on the back of a pickup truck—a method of attack that had not been used in Gaza previously, but presumably made available due to smuggling across borders now experiencing looser control.

Last night, the IAF aircraft preemptively targeted six active terror sites in the Gaza Strip. As we write, there is no evidence of any imminent cease-fire. Israel asked the UN on October 27 to condemn the attacks from Gaza, but it has not done so.

The above information was obtained from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, 10/31/11.

How to Pray:

  • Divine wisdom for Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, and all related Israeli defense, intelligence, and security forces.
  • Supernatural protection over innocent civilians in both Israel and Gaza. Miraculously, only one Israeli civilian has been killed. Please pray for his bereaved family and for the injured.
  • Prophetically declare that war will occur only in God’s sovereign timing, and only for His purposes. Pray the Captain of the Armies of Heaven will quell the fighting with minimal casualties on all sides.
  • Pray that the underground revival in some Middle Eastern countries will ignite in Gaza, and that Jesus will reveal Himself to those bent on the destruction of His people.
  • Pray for a righteous response on the part of the nations.

Palestinians Gain Membership Today in UNESCO

The Palestinian Authority successfully obtained membership today in the United Nations agency organization, UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization), in an attempt to bolster their upcoming bid this month to gain membership in the UN. Of 173 countries that voted from a possible 185, 107 voted in favor, 14 against, 52 abstained and 12 were absent. UNESCO’s web site summarizes its mission statement as that of “building peace in the minds of men and women.” It also stresses the goal of securing gender equality.

The PA currently uses textbooks throughout its educational system that blatantly foster hatred toward Israel and teach the importance of the destruction of the Jewish state. It is a bit difficult to imagine how this comports with UNESCO’s policy of building peace in the minds of men and women. The Palestinian school system does, however, teach that peace can be obtained once Israel no longer exists. Ostensibly, in a world void of biblical moorings, this could meet the objectives of an international body such as UNESCO.

Without delving into the lack of evidence displayed by the PA with respect to the advance of science or culture in the traditional sense (there is quite arguably a culture predicated on terror), the commitment to securing gender equality appears similarly puzzling. The PA’s two chief parties, Hamas and Fatah, are both recognized as Islamic terror organizations. Muslim Palestinian women must not be seen in public without traditional full body and head coverage. Palestinian men may and do have multiple wives but similar multi-marital “privileges” are not accorded to women. Other gender inequities in the PA Muslim population are too numerous to list here.

How to Pray:

  • Pray that UNESCO will hold the PA accountable for making genuine progress in the arenas of education, science and culture. This could help lessen the Islamists’ grip on the Palestinian people and open up avenues for the Gospel.
  • Pray that the small but genuine body of believers there will grow in the grace of God and reach out to many through new potential avenues of societal influence. Pray for revival in the PA.
  • Pray that PA membership in UNESCO will not wrongly influence the nations with respect to granting membership to Palestine in the UN.