‘Mayday’ is a synonym for an international distress call. A senior radio officer at London’s Croydon Airport came up with the term based on its phonetic similarity to the French m’aider, which means “to come to my aid.”
Over the past few days Gazan Islamist terror groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas have directed substantial rocket attacks against towns and cities of Israeli civilians (both Jews and Arabs). Over 400 mortars and rockets of different trajectories have been fired, hitting kibbutz and moshav farms, small towns (like Sderot, Netivot and Gan Yavne) and cities like Ashkelon, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Beer Sheva. So far there are three Israeli deaths, a handful seriously injured, over 80 wounded, all schools in the South are closed,
- What’s the difference between these Islamist terrorist groups?
- What are their strategic goals here?
- What are Israel’s options?
- How can we pray?
Islamist jihadi groups – what’s the difference here?
The two major Islamist terror groups in Gaza are Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).
- Both groups view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict not as a territorial dispute, but as a religious clash between Islam and heretics.
- Both believe that the land of Israel is consecrated for Islam as a result of jihadi conquest in 637-9 A.D. and that Israel has usurped Islamic land. Israel’s very existence is an affront to Allah and to Islam, and it is an Islamic religious obligation to destroy Israel and establish the Caliphate there.
- Both groups are committed to the destruction of Israel (and Western powers) through violent jihadi terror, completely rejecting negotiations with Israel or a two-state solution. The PIJ “Manifesto of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine” rejects “any peaceful solution to the Palestinian cause” and affirms “the Jihad solution and the martyrdom style as the only choice for liberation.” Hamas declares in its foundational Covenant “The Platform of The Islamic Resistance Movement (ed., Hamas): Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors”
- Both are dedicated to establishing a shari’a (Islamic law)-based Islamic dictatorship throughout the world
What are two of the main differences between Hamas and PIJ?
PIJ is supported by and takes its cues from the Islamic Republic of Iran (“Country Reports on Terrorism 2013: Chapter 6. Terrorist Organizations,” U.S. Department of State, April 30, 2014, http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/2013/224829.htm; https://www.justice.gov/archive/ag/speeches/2003/02202003pressconference.htm).
Hamas is largely supported by Qatar, long-time US ally and the country where the forward headquarters of the U.S. Central Command [CENTCOM] is (al-Udaid airbase).
Hamas has received direct Iranian support in the recent past.
Regarding Qatar’s support of Muslim Brotherhood jihadi strategies:
* This Iranian link means that Iran is able to stir up major hostilities between Gaza and Israel whenever its ayatollahs choose.
Strategic goals in Gaza
The primary strategic goal of Hamas/PIJ is to wage jihad against Israel and to destroy it.
A secondary goal here – for Hamas to make sure that it receives Qatar’s financial backing for its jihadi terror activities. Those funds were supposed to be used for humanitarian purposes in Gaza, and it was agreed that they would flow through Israeli control. Unfortunately, the funds are being used for rebuilding and strengthening terrorist infrastructure, and Israel has been turning off these taps in recent days.
In the words of Middle East and Islam specialist Daniel Pipes, “the Israeli public cherishes normality and especially since the 1993 Oslo accords, has been ready to pay a price to keep the quiet. Therefore, the Palestinians play a game of chicken, disturbing the quiet in return for an Israeli pay-off. The Palestinian Authority says, give us the money you’re holding back that we use to fund attacks on Israelis or our whole structure will come crashing down and you’ll have a much bigger mess on your hands. Hamas says, give us access to the money Qatar is sending us or we will make life miserable for you, with rockets raining down during your Memorial Day, Independence Day … Palestinian logic boils down to blackmail: You Israelis are rich, strong, and happy, so we will make you miserable unless you give us or give us access to more money. It’s weird, it’s sick, but it usually works, especially given an Israeli security establishment for whom quiet is the first priority” (http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2019/05/making-sense-of-palestinian-logic).
- The real laser-like focus here is the Islamist desire to destroy Israel by any means possible.
What are Israel’s options?
This round of rocket attacks is not the first one Israel has experienced:
Usually these jihadi terrorists attack Israeli soldiers or civilians. In this case, a few days ago Islamist snipers wounded an IDF officer/tracker and a female soldier. Israel responded by taking out a Hamas observation post, and PIJ/Hamas started barrages of mortars and rockets.
The Islamist terrorists usually incrementally increase the trajectories of their rockets and ordnance, extending their reach from the areas beside Gaza to smaller surrounding towns and then on to big cities. This has been standard practice:
Right now, we are climbing the ladder toward full military engagement. Israel Air Force (IAF) planes and unmanned drones are scouring Gaza for rocket launchers, terrorist command-and-control structures and agents, and rocket storehouses. Central terror command HQs are being obliterated from the air.
The next steps involve Islamist rockets targeting Tel Aviv and IAF targeting PIJ/Hamas leaders – the ‘head of the snake.’ After this could come IDF artillery barrages and a tank/infantry invasion.
Egypt has been trying to get Hamas and PIJ to step back from the brink. Egypt has much to lose, as Hamas is an avowed Muslim Brotherhood enemy of Egypt, while PIJ and Iran would delight to see Egypt crumble into the sands of time.
How should we then pray?
- Pray for God’s strategies to guide Israel’s leaders and military
- Pray for the frustration of the enemies’ strategies, planning and communications
- Pray for the successful interception and destruction or all rockets and weapons formed against the people of Jacob
- Pray for miraculous deliverances and angelic interventions for the armies of the God of Israel
- Pray for the least amount of death, destruction and injury possible as this war is prosecuted
- Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,
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