The past few days, and in reality, the past few weeks have been a troubling and difficult time in Israel, especially in Jerusalem and certain areas in Judea and Samaria. Since the beginning of the Fall Feasts, riots on the Temple Mount have caused disruptions in the Old City where many of the Jewish religious crowds are trying to pray. The past few weeks have also been met with an increase in rockets being shot from Gaza into Israel, thankfully not causing any harm to residents in the south.
Thursday Oct 1: The level of tension increased dramatically starting last Thursday night when reports came out that there was a drive-by shooting terrorist attack near Nablus. The couple was approached by another car that opened fire on them killing the husband and wife. Their four boys sitting in the back seat survived unharmed. In the following days, the IDF arrested a number of suspects of the murder.
Friday, Oct 2: That night and the following day was met by revenge attacks by settlers on Palestinians.
Saturday, Oct 3: Just two days after, there was a stabbing in the Old City. A young 19-year old Palestinian boy attacked Israelis with a knife near the Lion’s Gate. He stole the gun off of one of the men whom he stabbed and began shooting at the tourists. Two men, aged 41 and 24, died of their stab wounds soon after the attack. The wife and toddler of Aaron Bennett (24) were also attacked and suffered wounds. It was reported that the woman tried begging for help from those around her and one Palestinian man spit on her and wished her dead. Hours later, around 4a.m. on Sunday morning another young Israeli teenager was attacked by knife at a gas station near the Old City. In both stabbings, the attackers were shot dead by security forces who were alerted and rushed to the scene.
Sunday & Monday (4th & 5th): Throughout Sunday and Monday, the IDF recorded a total of 64 violent disturbances, some of them large scale, up to more than 1,000 Palestinians taking part. Two Palestinians were killed and 51 were wounded while 3 IDF soldiers sustained wounds. It seems as if these rioters (many of them have been found out to be members of Hamas) and attacks are meant to stir up a Third Intifada.
PA President Abbas’ response to all of the recent turmoil is to blame Israel, while Hamas publicly applauds the attacks and hails the at terrorists as martyrs. International news stations like Al-Jazeera and BBC use their headlines to make the Palestinians seem innocent and the Israelis guilty with headlines such as, “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” PM Netanyahu has decided to boost security measures by restricting access for Muslims in the Old City and the Temple Mount, and increase the number of house demolitions of terrorists. Already overnight, two homes were demolished and seals off the home of a third.
It is hard for the nation and all watching to wrap their heads and hearts around these awful events. Israelis fear more uprisings that could potentially lead to another violent intifada and the prospect of war with Gaza is always of concern. On one hand Israelis want to continue on with their lives in peace and calm, yet find that the more passive they remain, the more blind-sided they are by these kinds of surprise attacks. It is important that we pray for the government of Israel as they make strategic decisions as to how to prevent more of these kinds of attacks and not allowing a deterioration of the current situation. Please pray for the morale of the people of Israel. Every life lost or taken is hard hit for the nation, as all of people mourn as one. Join us in prayer during these critical and difficult times. God’s grace and presence is ever so needed.
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