November 13, 2018: As the world commemorated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Prime Minister Netanyahu hurried home to deal with the explosive situation of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. An Israeli covert team was discovered inside Gaza, and Hamas operatives engaged them in a gun battle. Seven Hamas terrorists were killed as well as an Israeli Lieutenant Colonel. The already volatile situation erupted into total warfare. Hamas has bombarded Israel with hundreds of rockets. The Code Red sirens are going off constantly. Residents of southern Israel have been told to remain in their bomb shelters. Several roads have been closed. Israel responded to the rocket bombardment with strikes at 150 targets, including a terror tunnel, the Hamas internal security headquarters and other strategic—not civilian—targets. We hear rumors that the reserves are being called up. The army is massing near the border. Will a full ground invasion be next?
This situation didn’t just happen because of a single event. The riots on the Gaza border have continued for months as thousands of Gaza-based armed terrorists assaulted the border. These weren’t just peaceful demonstrations. They have mortars, rockets, bombs, grenades, Molotov cocktails and guns. The “demonstrators” are dangerous and full of rage. They will do everything they can to attack Israel and the Jewish people. These rioters have repeatedly attempted to breach the border fence in order to terrorize the Jewish occupants of the nearby towns. Hamas, the terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip, continues to dig cross-border tunnels to allow its militants access to Israeli communities. Arson terrorism has become a daily occurrence as kites and balloons with incendiary devices attached are flown into Israeli towns and territories. Half the forests in the area have been destroyed. Thousands of wild animals have died. Crops have been ruined.
A ceasefire has been agreed to. Does this mean the war is over? No! In fact Hamas is openly gloating that they won and boasting that they will hit Haifa and Jaffa next time. This ceasefire is simply Hamas saying “we need time to reorganize ourselves for the next time.” When will that be? A day? A week? A month? Meanwhile we need to continue to supply bomb shelters, fire equipment, food and encouragement to the Israelis who live close to the Gaza Strip. If you want to help you can donate to our Crisis Fund.
Gaza isn’t the only front Israel must contend with. On the northern front with Syria and Lebanon, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) faces regular incursions. Iran is actively involved, and their stated desire is to destroy Israel. Russian forces complicate the situation. Israel’s leaders expect a major flare-up on this front. One hundred and thirty thousand rockets are aimed at Israel.
Netivot, Sderot, Ofakim—they are all small towns in the south of Israel that shouldn’t be well known. Like little towns everywhere, people who live there want a small-town life where they know their neighbors and their children can play in the quiet streets. But these towns have become notorious—not because of their deeds, but because for years, they have been constantly under attack from terrorists in nearby Gaza. When the terrorists sent arson balloons, these small-town residents sent back balloons with messages of peace and hope. Sadly, those deep-felt desires remain elusive. Children can’t play peacefully outside. Bomb shelters are on every corner. Residents only have 15 seconds to get to safety after the Code Red siren is sounded.
As the rockets flew, our Christian volunteers loaded our delivery truck with food and headed directly into danger. The rest of the team held them up in prayer, trusting God to keep them safe. Bridges for Peace is committed to these towns and their residents, as well as to the farmers and smaller communities throughout the Israeli area known as the Gaza Envelope. All three of these towns are on our Adopt an Israeli Town program. We take food to the neediest inhabitants every month. We know their mayors and security officers.
As war and terror rages, our commitment to the people of Israel stands firm: you are not alone. Christians are standing with you in prayer and in action.
We need help from our fellow Christians. Join us today by sending your gifts to help comfort and restore what has been cruelly stolen from innocent civilians. Your gift to our Crisis Fund enables us to help those who are in danger by providing firefighting equipment, bomb shelters and food for those who can’t leave the shelters. It also helps us restore ruined agricultural infrastructure. If you can, we encourage you to become a monthly sponsor for our Adopt an Israeli Town program which provides food on a regular basis to those most in need. Thank you for your generosity and love for those under siege.
As the oldest Christian organization of our kind in Israel, Bridges for Peace has been building relationships ever since our founder arrived in Israel in 1964. We are respected by all levels of Israeli society. They trust us to be there in times of need. We are poised to be a rapid response team of dedicated Christians living in Israel. You can trust us to be your hands extended in love to the family of Jesus (Yeshua)
With a heavy heart,
International President and CEO
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