Pray for Israelis in southern Israel who just endured the most ever rockets fired at Israel in a single day after Palestinians launched some 400 rockets since Monday.
Israel and Hamas reached an apparent ceasefire Tuesday afternoon, but not before one person was killed and about 20 injured as rockets hit homes, buses, gas lines and shops around southern Israeli communities. Several residences were destroyed and many families were looking for places to sleep as they rebuild in the coming months.
In one attack, an anti-tank missile obliterated a bus that had been full of soldiers just minutes before. According to unconfirmed reports, the Muslim Arab bus driver said that now he knows that God loves the Jews.
“Minutes before my bus was hit, 50 Israeli soldiers de-boarded. They all would have died. It’s a miracle,” he reportedly said in news spreading through the believing community.
For a full evening and throughout the night, Israelis were running to shelters when the Red Alert system signaled incoming rockets. Barely an hour went by without several alarms sounding — the kind of attacks that wouldn’t be tolerated by other countries.
In Ashkelon, one man, a Palestinian, was killed when a rocket destroyed an apartment building 8 miles from the Gaza border. The man was found with his wife who was injured.
This escalation in violence follows months of simmering tensions and protests by Palestinians at the Gaza border with Israel. The rocket barrages began in earnest on Monday after an undercover Israeli intelligence operation in Gaza late Sunday left one Israeli officer and seven Palestinians dead.
So far Israeli casualties remain relatively low compared to the number of rockets fired. In addition to God’s protection, the Iron Dome system is credited with shooting down many incoming rockets while bomb shelters directly saved many Israeli lives in the past few months. Palestinians reported seven killed in retaliatory air strikes by the Israeli air force on Tuesday.
After meetings all day, the security cabinet ordered the IDF to “continue its strikes” against terrorists in the Strip “as needed.” But the vagueness of the statement was seen as a decision of sorts to restore calm after the rocket barrage.
Pray for wisdom for Israel’s leadership to know how to respond to the situation. Pray for the safety and protection of innocent civilians. Pray for those who must rebuild now. And pray also for Palestinian people to be free from Hamas control and to come to know the Prince of Peace.