Christian Watch UPDATE PRAYER ALERT FOR ISRAEL
Christian Watch UPDATE PRAYER ALERT FOR ISRAEL
The situation in Gaza and Southern Israel –
Update: On Monday 19th November 2012 800 missiles were fired from Gaza – The Iron Dome have been continuously intercepting missiles since Wednesday 14 November……..
In the last decade, over 12,800 missiles were fired from Gaza.
Prime Minister David Cameron
A Downing St spokesperson said:
“The Prime Minister spoke to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation in Gaza and Southern Israel.
“The Prime Minister said that he was extremely concerned by the dangerous situation and deeply sorry for the loss of civilian life on both sides. He said the rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups were completely unacceptable and that the increasing frequency of rocket attacks in recent days was the immediate cause of the situation. He made clear that Hamas bears the principal responsibility for crisis.
“The Prime Minister said that the priority must be to de-escalate the crisis. He called on Mr. Netanyahu to do all he could to avoid civilian casualties and emphasised that both sides needed to avoid a spiral of violence that would be in no-one’s interest, particularly at a time of instability in the region.”
Foreign Secretary William Hague calls on Hamas to end its terrorism and violence and Israel to take every opportunity to de-escalate the situation.
Commenting on the situation in southern Israel and Gaza on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“There has been an increase, a spike in rocket attacks over recent days and a very large number over recent weeks. What Israel has done is obviously the Israeli response to that”.
“The thing that would bring this most quickly to an end would be Hamas to stop launching rockets at Israel. But, of course, there are also responsibilities on Israel, and I spoke to the Israeli Foreign Minister yesterday afternoon to urge the Israelis to do their utmost to reduce tension, to take every opportunity to de-escalate the situation, to observe international humanitarian law, to avoid civilian casualties. So both sides, of course, have a responsibility to try to bring this to an end”.
“The Egyptian government have been doing a good job of trying to negotiate a ceasefire…and the Israelis say that they want a sustainable ceasefire. I also spoke to the Egyptian Foreign Minister last night to urge Egypt to use that leverage… to try again over the coming days to negotiate a really meaningful ceasefire. But there’s a wider point to all of this – of course, these things are happening hour-to-hour, but they underline in the wider context the importance of the Middle East Peace Process, of a real drive to get negotiations going again. And the onus now is on Palestinians to reconcile with each other, Hamas to commit to a deal instead of terrorism, Israel to seize that opportunity, and the outside world, including the United States, to help negotiations to restart”.
“The biggest contribution to ending this would be for Hamas to stop launching the rockets and then to take control where other people are launching rockets at Israel. But we do stress – and the Prime Minister has stressed this when he spoke to the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr Netanyahu, last night – that we do want Israel also to take every opportunity to de-escalate… and Israel does have to bear in mind that it is when ground invasions have taken place in previous conflicts that they have lost international support and a great deal of sympathy around the world. So… there is a cautionary lesson from previous ground invasions on that”.
“We don’t want any further firing to take place from either side. But I’ve been clear about the where the principle responsibility lies. We look to Hamas to end its terrorism and violence and Israel to take every opportunity to de-escalate”.
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander called for “an immediate end to the violence to avoid a spiral downwards to even greater suffering”.
He added: “Escalating tension serves no one’s interest. Citizens in both Israel and Gaza deserve to live in peace and security.
“The recent rocket attacks into southern Israel that have led to this latest response deserve our categorical condemnation but Israel must at all times act in accordance with international law.
“This latest escalation of violence only emphasises why it is vital that negotiations to achieve a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must resume with urgency.”
Summary and update on the situation:
Since Wednesday 14 November, 335 unguided missiles have struck Israel, landing in the South and in the greater Tel Aviv area, killing three people in Kiryat Malachi: Mirah Scharf, 25, Aharon Smadja, 49, and Itzik Amsalem, 24. The Iron Dome anti-missile defence system intercepted an additional 130 rockets, preventing them from striking populated areas in Israel.
Following an air raid siren in Tel Aviv Thursday evening, just an hour after a missile from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open field outside Rishon Lezion, 60 km from the Gaza Strip.There were no reports of injuries in either strike. A Beersheba home later sustained a direct hit, none hurt.
About 70 Israelis were wounded (about half suffering from shock)
25 Israelis were extracted from a collapsed building
Homes, factory, a school and a cowshed sustained direct hits
Rishon LeZion was targeted for the first time
Schools within 40km of Gaza remained closed
Gatherings (weddings, etc.) were limited to less than 100 people
Since the start of ‘Operation, Pillar of Defense’ the Israel Air Force has targeted 300 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, armoured Forces targeted terror activity sites in the northern Gaza Strip.
All of Israel’s actions have been taken in self-defence. It is the duty and right of every state to protect its civilian population from attack. No other state would allow a million citizens to be targeted by terrorist organizations without responding.
The targets of Israeli operations are all military. Israeli strikes are conducted in a precise surgical manner, in order to reduce to a minimum any effect on the civilian population of Gaza. Israel regrets any injury that may nevertheless be caused to civilians in the Gaza Strip The IDF dispersed leaflets above several locations in the Gaza Strip. These leaflets warn the residents of the Gaza Strip to stay away from Hamas and other terror organization operatives and facilities that pose a risk to their safety.
“Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip:
For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety.
Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed. The IDF is determined to defend the residents of the State of Israel. This announcement is valid until quiet is restored to the region. Israel Defence Forces Command.”
In addition to the leaflets, over 20,000 phone calls have been made to warn the residents of the Gaza Strip to vacate areas that may be targeted in the near future. The IDF is making every effort to minimize the collateral damage to Gaza’s civilians.