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Gaza Conflict Continues to Intensify

Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/JoeCatron

Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/JoeCatron

By Ruth Kramer, Mission Network News, July 21, 2014

Israel (MNN) — There’s no easy way to simplify the complexities of the Gaza conflict as the Israeli ground invasion continues.

This follows days of Hamas pounding Israel with rockets and a rejected ceasefire brokered by Egypt.

E3 Partners Middle East expert Tom Doyle explains, “Israel has been threatening to send in the Israeli Defense Forces, to just ‘clean house’ on Hamas. The power’s been cut in Gaza City. It’s definitely an elevated situation.”

Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/IsraeliDefenseForce

Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/IsraeliDefenseForce

Hamas warns of “dreadful consequences” of the conflict’s escalation, while the U.S. cautions Israel on civilian casualties as the death toll rises. The ground assault began on Thursday. Initially, government reports showed a maze of tunnels dug by Hamas from Gaza into Israel. Israel wants to put a stop to the attacks and prevent future ones from occurring via the tunnels.

However, this action could drag Israel further into Gaza, which increases the risk of more casualties. Doyle says, “Gaza City is a very densely-populated area, and so are the refugee camps.”

Even though Israel warned residents about their plans, the risk of civilian deaths is still high. “The Gazans cannot get out, so they join with Israel in saying they would love to see the terrorists gone.” Doyle says not all the Gazans support Hamas. “The Gaza believers and those that are not terroristslive under Hamas rule, and it’s been really horrible.” Doyle says that Hamas has blended in with the population in places like apartment buildings, etc.

What’s more, This conflict goes to show an inexorable advance of political Islamism over Islam. Specifically, the body of Christ. “They are praying that the terrorists would be stopped and that peace would be restored to Gaza. It’s a difficult situation, and we just pray for the believers in the midst of Islamic terrorism in Gaza.”

Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/IsraeliDefenseForce

Photo courtesy Flickr/CC/IsraeliDefenseForce

In short, “It’s a terrible situation to be in. It’s a no-win.” That about sums up what’s happening on a 26-mile strip of land in the Middle East.

It’s hard to imagine anyone has time for anything but just trying to survive the assault, says Doyle. However, the Christians are focused, even more so now. “The believers in Gaza right now are convinced that this is their time to be there, that God has a reason for them to be there. They’re not running, even If they could. They want to be the light of Jesus Christ to this very dark place.”

One of the Christian leaders Doyle reached by phone in Gaza told him, “I’m praying for a Hamas-free Gaza. Both Israel and the people of Gaza deserve it.”

In a Facebook post on Friday, Doyle observed, “We follow Jesus who radically transformed everyone He encountered. He took Saul and turned him into Paul. A Jew killer became an Apostle. Is anything too hard for God? He could do the same thing with Hamas members. May it be, Lord! King David knew all about war. ‘I cry out to the Lord. I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy’ (Psalm 142:1). Looking and expecting to see the Mercy of God.”

Would you help us build a prayer wall on Facebook? “The believers that live in Gaza are always so focused on what would really bring changeand it’s the light of Jesus Christ.”

 

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