In that day, I will restore David’s fallen sukkah. I will repair it’s broken walls and restore it’s ruins. I will rebuild it as in the days of old.

– Amos 9:11

Terrorizing the Daughter of Zion

Over the past 36 hours Israel has come under increased attack by the Islamist jihadi group Hamas. More than 200 terrorist rockets have been fired into Israeli cities, towns and kibbutzim. Two Hamas commando raids against Israeli civilians were decisively shredded. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has authorized the call up of 40,000 reserve soldiers.

What is developing here? How can we pray? What guidance can the Scriptures give us in understanding this scenario?

Rocket war

Hostilities were initiated by Hamas firing rockets into Israeli civilian neighborhoods. This has been going on intermittently over the past months and years. Up to and including Operation Pillar of Fire in November 2012, over 10,000 Hamas rockets were fired at Israeli population centers. In May 2014, seven rockets were fired, while in June sixty-five rockets were shot against civilians. In the past nine days of July, since the outbreak of war, over 200 rockets have been fired.

Hamas missiles have extended their reach since November 2012, targeting:

  • Negev cities – Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Netivot, Ofakim, Sderot
  • Southern coastal plain cities – Yavne, Gedera, Nes Tziyona
  • Greater Tel Aviv area cities – Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Holon, Givatayim, Ramat Hasharon
  • Sharon plain cities – Herzliya, Ra’anana, Kfar Saba, Givat Ada, Hadera
  • Jerusalem area – Bet Shemesh, Givat Ze’ev, Psigat Ze’ev
  • Ben-Gurion Airport – Wednesday morning July 9, 0831 hours

Air raid shelters have been opened in all the above areas. Nearly half of the country has had air raid sirens go off, and has had to run for shelter throughout the day and night.

A rocket new to this military theater was used last night – a Chinese-Syrian 302 mm rocket able to reach 130 kilometers. Hamas calls this the R-160, named after Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi, one of Hamas’ founders, killed by Israel in a targeted assassination in 2004. The rocket is part of Syrian President Assad’s arsenal, as well as of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“You will not be afraid of the terror by night” (Psalm 91:5)

Israel’s anti-missile defense Iron Dome has changed much of the military equation in this war. Since Hamas missiles do not have GPS, Israeli mathematicians and physicists have developed  missile software that is able to differentiate between launched missiles which will not fall on civilian areas, and rockets which are on a deadly trajectory. Only 10-20% of Hamas missiles are intercepted and blown out of the skies. The rest fall without causing casualties.

  • It is an answer to prayer that, so far, there have been no civilian casualties. There have been slight injuries from panic attacks or while running to air raid shelters. Please continue to pray for safety here.

Israelis responding to air raid sirens have between 15 and 45 seconds to take shelter. A dull thud indicates that the Iron Dome anti-missiles have been fired, while a shuddering crump indicates successful interception.

Over 270 attacks against terrorist infrastructure have been carried out by Israeli Navy and Air Force. More specifically, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has targeted over 120 missile launchers (,7340,L-4540101,00.html).

There have been a number of targeted assassinations against terror leaders, including Hafez Hamed (Senior Commander, al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad,. Bet Hanoun) and Mohammad Sha’aban (Commander, Naval commando group Hamas;

Prior to attacks on Hamas leaders’ offices or homes, Israeli Military Intelligence officers engage in what is known as “knocking on the roof”: they actually call the house concerned and advise the inhabitants to leave immediately. After the people have left, the house is bombed with pinpoint precision. In one case, the family left but immediately returned and was killed. In another case, the terrorist refused to leave and was killed. Hamas leadership has publically called on its people to go up to the roofs of their houses and to be killed as jihadi ‘martyrs.’

Jerusalem in the cross-hairs

Hamas missiles targeted Jerusalem on Tuesday early evening. At least three landed in the northern suburbs of Jerusalem, one in a cemetery, one between two houses. Iron Dome booms and missile interceptions were heard across the city of Jerusalem. The areas where the rockets landed happened to be Jewish, but barely one kilometer from each site are Arab communities of significant size. Evidently Hamas is prepared to murder Arabs in pursuit of its primary goal – the murder of Jews.

During the missile attacks on Jerusalem, Muslims were gathered for Ramadan prayers on the Temple Mount beside the Dome of the Rock. Here is an amateur video filmed last night of them cheering the attacks and calling for more bloodshed:

Hamas fired a barrage of over 40 missiles simultaneously at Jerusalem and many sites near Tel Aviv. Their goal was to overwhelm the Iron Dome network, which can only stop a limited number of simultaneously fired missiles. The soldiers manning the Iron Dome had to make life-and-death decisions in split-seconds. Thanks be to God that they were able this time to stop the right missiles without there being human casualties.

“O YHVH God of armies, how long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people? You have fed them with the bread of tears, and You have made them to drink tears in large measure. You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves. O God of armies, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved” (Psalm 80:4-7).

There is great symbolism in Islamist rockets targeting Jerusalem. Decisive action is needed by Israel’s government to re-establish deterrence in the jungle known as the Middle East.

Five if by land

On Tuesday evening a five-man squad of Hamas terrorists put on wet suits and, armed with grenades, explosives and many weapons, were dropped off by zodiac craft at the popular Zikim Beach just north of the Gaza Strip. An extremely capable female soldier, an Israeli Navy spotter, caught them on her videocam and alerted IDF Givati Brigade and Special Operations forces, as well as the Navy. Within ten minutes the squad was liquidated, barely one mile away from a kibbutz. The terrorists were planning a coordinated mega-attack involving civilian hostages. Such an event would have moved up the starting time for a land incursion by the IDF into Gaza.

At the same time, another Hamas group had been tunneling from Gaza under the border to Kibbutz Kerem Shalom (‘vineyard of peace’ in Hebrew). Their goal was to surface within the kibbutz, murder and take hostages. Israel had discovered the tunnel barely a few days before, and was ready for the attack – which was successfully blocked.

Hamas TV in Gaza claimed decisive victories in each case, describing fantasy Israeli casualties and totaling the Jewish dead. But in reality there were only dead terrorists. Gazans are watching Israeli TV, and saw the clips released by the IDF last night showing the interception of the Hamas squad. Both Hamas’ commander of their naval commandos  and his five-man squad met their end on the same day.

Operation Protective Edge

Prime Minister Netanyahu declared Operation Protective Edge (in Hebrew, Tzuk Eitan, or Stalwart Cliff; on July 8. He authorized the call up of 40,000 reserve soldiers. Some of those being called up are personal friends as well as Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua.

  • Pray for the soldiers stepping up to the plate – for their protection and success
  • Pray for the believing Israeli soldiers – for opportunities to be a light in the midst of battle

This military operation is in response to a concerted effort by an Islamist jihadi terror movement to weaken, cause damage, sow terror and destroy the Jewish state. They are attempting (from a biblical point of view) to curse the God of Israel and the Jewish people. Psalm 83 offers some clear definition here:

“O God, do not remain quiet! Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, and conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, ‘Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ For they have conspired together with one mind; against You they make a covenant: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them. They have become a help to the children of Lot” (Psalm 83:1-8).

Those who are the enemies of God, who hate Him, have made a covenant against Him. And what does that mean?  How do these enemies carry out their evil intentions? The writer of Psalm 83 tells us plainly – by making terrorist plans against the Jewish people in Israel – to murder them and to take over their land. From a biblical perspective, at this point in time Hamas is only the tip of the spear for a much larger Arab/Islamist confederacy.

The issue here is not a matter of taking sides. God has already decided that question. The real issue is – will we stand with God in His covenantal protection and prophetic promises over Israel? Will we call ‘enemies’ those whom God calls ‘enemies’?

It is the God of Israel who is restoring His sons and daughters of Jacob to their Promised Land. The Islamist forces opposing them believe that God has rejected His people and has transferred their land to Islam as waqf – an everlasting Muslim possession. They believe that jihad – armed Islamist terror and combat – is the only way to recapture those lands.

The Bible has so much to say about this issue. We are truly living in the Last Days. It is important for believers, at the very least, to have these issues straight and clear. The ‘narrative’ (or self-justifying propaganda) of the enemies of God in Psalm 83 is poles apart from the narrative of the God of Israel. And the enemy’s narrative is not a spiritually kosher option for those who follow the God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua.

  • Dear brothers and sisters, let’s make sure that we end up on the right side in this battle – on the side of the God of Israel and His Jewish people. Let us not be bystanders at the Battle for Jerusalem!

“How great are Your works, O YHVH! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man has no knowledge, nor does a stupid man understand this: That when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. But You, O YHVH, are on high forever. For, behold, Your enemies, O YHVH – For, behold, Your enemies will perish. All who do iniquity will be scattered. But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox. I have been anointed with fresh oil. And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, my ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me” (Psalm 92:5-11)

Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do!

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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