At 75 Years, Israel is Under Attack AGAIN!
Dear Christian Leader,
Two weeks ago, Israel celebrated the 75th anniversary of its declaration of independence, issued the day the British Mandate came to an end in 1948. According to the biblical calendar, the date was the 5th of Iyar. In 1948, that day was May 14th on the Gregorian calendar.
The way was paved for Israel's independence by the passing of a UN resolution on November 29th, 1947. On that day, the UN General Assembly called for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel and required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary [emphasis added] on their part for the implementation of that resolution.
One of the most essential steps Israel has had to take repeatedly since 1948 to ensure the continued establishment of the Jewish State has been the protection of its citizens against Arab efforts to annihilate them. Today, as the 75th anniversary of May 14th approaches, Israel is under attack AGAIN. So, this week, as in many other times over the last 75 years, Israel has been forced to take such steps as are necessary to protect the lives of its people.
On Tuesday, May 9th, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) launched Operation Shield and Arrow in response to the firing of over 100 rockets towards Israel by Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip on May 2nd. The rockets targeted Israeli communities, but thanks to the effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome, and in some cases, the ineffectiveness of the rockets from Gaza, there were no Israeli casualties last week. However, there were several injuries and widespread disruption to lives as Israelis were forced to run to bomb shelters within seconds of hearing a warning siren.
Shield and Arrow is a targeted operation against Islamic Jihad, designed to carry out surgical strikes that defend Israeli citizens from incessant rocket attacks by eliminating terrorist leaders and attack capabilities. As of today, May 12th, Islamic Jihad has fired approximately 1,000 rockets at the Jewish State - rockets that have reached Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Yesterday, Israel suffered its first loss of life when a rocket scored a direct hit on a home in the town of Rehovot.
Here is a statement from Israel Under Attack concerning Israel's elimination of terrorist leaders and attack capabilities:
"The IDF targeted three senior Islamic Jihad commanders responsible for launching rockets toward Israel over the last month and planning further terror attacks against Israel. The IDF also struck Islamic Jihad terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, including weapons manufacturing sites and military compounds. The strikes were carried out with pinpoint accuracy based on real-time intelligence, while making efforts to avoid harming uninvolved civilians as much as possible.
All three senior Islamic Jihad members targeted in the operation were heavily involved in the terrorist attempts of the Islamic Jihad to harm IDF soldiers and uninvolved Israeli civilians, both from Gaza and in Judea and Samaria."
Every time Israel takes necessary action to protect its citizens from continued attack, there is a major outcry from government leaders, academia, the media, and even parts of the church. As Christian leaders who understand the significance of Israel's existence and its right to defend itself against those who seek to annihilate the Jewish people, we must speak out loudly at such a time as this.
To enable you to speak on behalf of Israel in the face of unjustified condemnation of Israel's right and responsibility to defend the lives of its citizens, here are some succinct talking points issued by the Israeli government about Operation Shield and Arrow as of today, Friday, May 12th at 11:30 AM.
1. This is the fourth day of Operation Shield and Arrow in which Israel is working against the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, in a joint operation conducted by the IDF and the Israel Security Agency, the commander of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization's rocket force and his deputy joined the list of Islamic Jihad leaders eliminated in targeted strikes. They were responsible for rocket fire at Israel, including those fired yesterday. Terrorists should know that they will not be able to escape Israel’s long reach.
2. No country in the world would quietly accept the firing of hundreds of rockets at its cities and civilians. Yesterday, a rocket fired from Gaza hit Rehovot, killing one and causing multiple injuries. As we have proven through targeted strikes of high-level Islamic Jihad commanders in Gaza, we know how to deal with terrorist leaders and with anyone participating in or assisting terrorist activity against Israel.
3. The operation will only end when calm and security have been restored for the citizens of Israel. Security forces are on high alert, and we are ready to continue combat operations on any front for as long as required.
4. We inflicted significant damage to Islamic Jihad. The operation demonstrates Israel's initiative in the fight against terrorist organizations and established deterrence through a measured and considered response and surgical precision in its actions.
5. We acted in a targeted manner as much as possible to prevent any harm to non-combatants, against a terrorist organization with a method of operation that constitutes a double war crime: firing on a civilian population, while using Gazan residents as human shields.
6. Islamic Jihad launches its rocket attacks against Israeli citizens and is causing harm to the residents of Gaza- a double war crime considering they use them as human shields to conceal their rocket locations. Roughly 20% of the terrorist organization's rockets launched at Israel, on average one out of every five, has landed in the Gaza Strip. This has caused fatalities and injuries to civilians in Gaza, including minors and children.