This week, the Jewish people gathered with their families for the holiday of Passover. As they remembered and celebrated their freedom from slavery in Egypt and the miracles that God enacted on their behalf, the modern day enemies that Israel still faces did their best to bring violence and destruction to the Jewish people in the Holy Land.
In the largest attack that has come from Lebanon since the 2006 war with that country, 34 rockets were fired from the southern, Hezbollah-controlled territory. Hamas, not Hezbollah, claimed responsibility for the attack. The night before Passover, sixteen rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. At least five of the missiles from Lebanon struck inside Israel, doing damage in several locations while two Israelis were lightly wounded by shrapnel. One of the rockets from Gaza struck an apartment building and another hit a factory near the Jewish town of Sderot. No injuries have been reported from the missiles shot from Gaza.
Tuesday night, Arab rioters locked themselves inside the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount. Contrary to what the mainstream media and social media users have been reporting, a group of more than 350 rioters stockpiled iron bars, clubs, fireworks, and rocks inside the mosque, after which they barricaded themselves inside. After repeated attempts to convince the rioters to leave the mosque peacefully, the Israeli Police finally entered and hundreds of people were arrested.
The Temple Mount area and the mosque were then cleaned, as the area had been destroyed by Arab vandals. After the Israeli police restored order, they then allowed Muslim worshippers onto the site, and allowed prayers for Ramadan to be held.
Mainstream media reports claimed that the Israeli police were violenting beating so-called “peaceful Muslim worshippers” inside the Al Aqsa Mosque. In fact, quite the opposite is true, because even as rioters attempted to disturb the sanctity of the mosque for the second night in a row, the police arrested the perpetrators, and continued to allow hundreds of peaceful Muslims access to the site so that they could hold prayers in accordance with Ramadan.
In response to the general disruption that Israel’s enemies are causing in the Holy Land during one of the holiest Jewish holidays, Israel has struck back firmly. The IDF has already taken out Hamas targets in Southern Lebanon as well as striking terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said in response to the attacks:
“The State of Israel will not tolerate attacks against its citizens, and our enemies will regret it. The required goal is to strike a severe blow to terrorism and the return of deterrence to the State of Israel.”
Referring to the ongoing internal debate in Israel over the proposed reforms to their judicial system, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said:
“Recently, I have made it clear that our enemies should not misjudge us: The internal debate in Israel will not prevent us from taking action against them wherever and whenever necessary. All of us, without exception, are united on this.
“We have no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount. We are calling for calming the situation and we will take strong action against extremists who use violence there.”
“Regarding the aggression against us on other fronts, we will strike our enemies and they will pay the price for any act of aggression. Our enemies will discover, again, that at moments of truth, the citizens of Israel stand united and unified, and back the actions of the IDF and the other security services to defend our country and our people,”
At times like these, it is even more important for Christians to follow our mandate from Psalm 122 and pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem. At the same time, we should not be deterred from coming and standing physically with our brothers and sisters in the land of Israel. Now, more than ever, Israel needs to know that they have friends and supporters from all over the world that support them.
May Israel come through this current struggle stronger than ever, and may true peace emanate from Jerusalem to the entire world, one day very soon.