Operation Pillar of Cloud: Israel at war

The following is a letter written by Ari & Shira Sorko-Ram who live and whose ministry is in Tel Aviv, Israel.

——————–

This is the seventh day of war in Israel and there’s no end in sight.

While Israel agreed to further halt a ground operation because of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s arrival in the region, rocket launches from Gaza continue to intensify. Israeli officials said we are willing to give diplomacy a chance, but the time is running out.

Earlier in the evening Hamas reports were coming out that a cease-fire agreement has been reached and will go in effect at 9pm, but Israeli officials say the deal is not done yet. It is past 9pm in Israel and no cease fire has been announced.

A total of 75,000 IDF reservists have been called up over the weekend and Israel continues preparations for a ground operation in Gaza.

Today has been a rough day for Israelis. Jerusalem was targeted – again – and several rockets that hit southern cities caused multiple injuries and damage to buildings and cars. (More on our Maoz Blog: http://maoz.convio.net/site/R?i=LGsXLsCmSCB4gkmIkxdJ4A.) In the evening it was confirmed that two Israelis were killed in the attacks.

The greater Tel Aviv area has been attacked on a regular basis as well in the last days, sending our Maoz office workers to the building bomb shelter several times. They report hearing and feeling at least one of the Hamas rockets being shot off by the Iron Dome defense system.

Children in rocket range areas have not been going to school, and have to stay inside in order to be close to a bomb shelter at all times. These kids (and adults, too) desperately need your prayers for peace and healing of their hearts and minds. Please also pray the same for innocent children in Gaza who are caught in the midst of this conflict.

Targeted Israel Air Force strikes on terrorists in Gaza continue, with several terrorists reported killed in the last couple of days, including one of Hamas’ leaders.

We again want to stress that the IAF specifically targets known Hamas buildings, rocket launch sites, weapon smuggling tunnels and places used to store Qassam and other rockets. Civilians in Gaza get hurt because of Hamas’ policy to store weapons in rooms they rent from owners in apartment buildings and launch rockets from populated areas.

As this operation continues, international pressure is rising against Israel. Hamas, of course, is winning the propaganda war against Israel, tweeting and posting pictures from Syria and even Israel as “pictures from Gaza,” with the mainstream media falling again in their trap.

Turkish PM (who is supposed to be helping with cease fire efforts) today accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing in Gaza.” Pressure from Europe to once again for Israel to retreat is mounting. Though President Obama declared the other day that “Israel has the right to defend herself against Hamas,” no one knows where he will draw the line. (In the meantime the international community is silent regarding the mass murdering that continues in Syria, where tens and hundreds of thousands of people have died.)

We ask that you continue praying for Israel’s protection. Pray for our leaders to choose to defend our people rather than succumb to international pressure. Pray for born-again Christians and other innocent people in Gaza. Pray that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel will use this war to draw many to Himself.

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