(Jerusalem, Israel) — Yesterday was not an easy one in the Epicenter. Here’s the latest as of 7:30am, Israel time:
- More than 200 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at Israel by terrorists in Gaza on Saturday, July 14 — the biggest salvo of attacks since August 2014.
- Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians in the southern tier near Gaza spent most or all of the day in bomb shelters. Many of those are not air-conditioned, and the temperatures were hovering between 90 and 100 degrees yesterday.
- After hours of back channel diplomacy led by Egypt — and relentless pounding by IDF forces — Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced a ceasefire in the early hours of Sunday morning.
- The terror groups briefing broke the ceasefire shortly thereafter, firing more rockets and mortars at Israel.
- The IDF retaliated against these attacks, after the most intensive airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza since the August 2014 war known as “Operation Protective Shield.” The IDF blew up two terror tunnels, an urban terror training center, weapons depots and other terror facilities throughout the Gaza Strip.
- Meanwhile, over the past three months, terrorists in Gaza have sent incendiary devices over the border and have set more than 1,000 fires in Israel.
- “The fires have laid waste to over 8,200 acres of forest and agricultural land, with damage totaling tens of millions of dollars,” reports Israel Hayom. “Experts say it will take at least 15 years to rehabilitate the vegetation and wildlife in the scorched areas. When the remote arson attacks began a few months ago, some politicians and military officials dismissed them as a passing nuisance. But the protesters added explosives-laden balloons that ignite upon landing on the Israeli side of the fence to their arsenal, and now Israeli children who come across a stray kite or balloon have to back away and tell their parents to call in sappers.”
- What’s more, for the past three months, Palestinian terrorists have repeatedly tried to blow up and surge through the security fence that separates Gaza from Israel. Thus far, they have all been stopped by IDF forces. But Hamas leaders are openly calling for their forces to penetrate the fence and murder Israeli civilians living in nearby communities.
- Since roughly 2:00am local time, the ceasefire has held and the Gaza/Israel border is quiet again. That is, we haven’t had any more rockets or mortars fired. It remains to be seen whether the “kite bombs” and attacks on the security fence will stop.
- Neither President Trump nor any senior U.S. officials have condemned or even commented the 200+ attacks on Israel. Not sure how to explain that.
- Almost no media outlets outside of Israel have covered any of this. That, sadly, is par for the course.
- Please continue to pray for calm and restored security on the border.
- Please pray for the Lord to comfort those wounded and those emotionally and spiritually traumatized by all these events.
Again, please follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the day. Thanks.
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