GAZA UPDATES: Ceasefire Reached, Sporadic Attacks Continue

UPDATE – Monday, May 15, 10:50 am:

Despite a ceasefire agreement signed by Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Saturday evening, sporadic rocket attacks at Israel’s Southern cities, including last night (Sunday), at around 6 pm. Israel continued to respond with targeted aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip. However, it does appear that the bulk of the fighting is over. Despite heavy losses in infrastructure and personnel, the PIJ claimed a “victory” in its round of fighting with Israel.

Israel thanked Egypt for their role in facilitating the ceasefire.

Israelis returned to their ordinary lives as of the beginning of the week.

Please continue to pray for peace! The ceasefire is still tenuous and could break. Please pray for healing for the wounded and grieving. Lastly, please pray for wisdom for Israeli government and military leaders moving forward.

UPDATE – Friday, May 12, 10:20 am:

Operation Shield and Arrow entered its fourth day on Friday, with a growing casualty list on both sides. Thursday evening, a malfunction in Israel’s Iron Dome missile system allowed for a direct rocket hit on an apartment building in Rehovot, which killed one Israeli and injured eight others. Israel has now assassinated five Palestinian Islamic Jihad senior operatives and hit over two hundred terror sites in the Gaza Strip.

As of Friday morning, the last heavy rocket barrages (on central and southern Israel) occurred just before 10 pm Thursday. However, a ceasefire is not yet on the horizon. The United States continues to call for de-escalation, while Austria and Hungary expressed support for Israel.

LATER UPDATE: a rocket barrage was fired at the Jerusalem area, including the Etzion Block and Bet Shemesh, on Friday afternoon. This marked a definitive escalation in the conflict.

Please continue to pray for an immediate ceasefire and a peaceful Shabbat. Please pray for healing for the injured and comfort for those who lost a loved one. Lastly, please pray for protection and peace over Israelis, both civilians and security forces.

UPDATE – Thursday, 11:40 am:

Following an uneasy (but rocket free) night, Israel woke up Thursday morning to the news the Israeli Air Force eliminated a fourth senior terrorist leader overnight. The strike triggered another round of rocket attacks towards Israeli civilian border communities. Terror factions have now shot at least 507 rockets at Israelis so far. The Gaza Health Ministry reports that 25 Palestinians have been killed and 76 injured since the beginning of the operation. 25 Israelis have also been injured.

Egypt reportedly began mediating a ceasefire between Israel and the PIJ last night, leading to the overnight pause in rocket attacks. However, no agreement has been reached and both rocket attacks and Israeli strikes on terrorist targets continue in the meantime.

Please pray for: an immediate and sustainable ceasefire. Please pray for soldiers, leaders and security forces working around the clock to restore deterrence and peace. Lastly, please pray for peace and protection over Israelis, especially those in the South, where attacks are nearly incessant.

UPDATE – Wednesday, 3:40 pm:

Starting approximately 1:30 pm Israel time, Palestinian factions in Gaza began targeting Southern Israeli communities with rockets. So far dozens of rockets have been shot, with red alerts blaring in central Israel. Alerts have sounded in the Gaza Envelope, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Rishon leTziyon, Bat Yam, Holon, Givatayim, Ramat Gan, and Tel Aviv, as well as numerous villages and settlements.

Although southern Israel frequently faces rocket fire, Gazan factions have not fired on central Israel since Operation Guardian of the Walls, in May 2021. This is an outstanding occurrence. Israeli intelligence believes that Hamas and PIJ together may have as many as 9,000 rockets stored. Officials previously warned that fighting could last days.

As of 3:40 pm, there has been no red alert for nearly 30 minutes.

Wednesday morning:

The last 24 hours, following an Israeli strike in Gaza that eliminated three key terrorist leaders, have been tense. Israeli security forces continue to expect retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza, and Israeli residents of the area along the Gazan border pause their daily lives and wait near bomb shelters. The strike immediately drew condemnation from several international sources, including, unsurprisingly, the United Nations, whose Security Council called an emergency meeting in response to the strike.

Please pray for protection over all Israelis, security forces and its civilians, as well as emotional protection for those struggling with the attacks! Please pray for an immediate de-escalation. Lastly, please pray for international support of Israel’s right to self-defense.

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