We are continuing to pray for the IDF as they fight on two fronts against enemies that seek the destruction of Israel; Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

On Sunday, speaking with those on the frontlines in Rafah just one day after Israel faced some of its heaviest losses of the war, IDF Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman said, “We are here after a painful incident… we lost fighters and we lost commanders during the attack. These are our best sons… our imperative is to continue moving forward. You are attacking [Hamas’s] Rafah Brigade, and we will continue until we defeat it.”

On Monday, IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari addressed the situation in the north saying, “Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation, one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region.”

Jerusalem knows far too well the costs of war, but they likewise know that when an enemy tells you they plan to kill you, believe them.

Israel’s heavy losses in Gaza and aid to Palestinians

Over the weekend, 16 Israeli soldiers (may their memories be a blessing) were killed fighting terrorists in Gaza. From the beginning of Operation Iron Swords, the IDF cautioned that it would be a difficult and long war.

That has, tragically, proven true. But Israel has made immense military gains. Northern and Central Gaza have no militarily effective Hamas presence. The terrorists and their sympathizers are still there, and they can still kill, but they do not constitute an effective fighting force.

In Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city, Israel has made significant gains but at a significant cost. As fighting continues in Hamas’s last stronghold, there will be more stories of triumph and tragedy – all of which would be unnecessary were Hamas to release the hostages and lay down their arms.

Earlier this week, Israel also opened an additional humanitarian corridor for the free flow of humanitarian goods during daylight hours. This “strategic pause” in fighting in the area will enable goods to flow more easily to Palestinian civilians.

Despite claims to the contrary, the primary challenge, as the war has gone on, has not been getting goods into the coastal enclave. Since the beginning of the war, more than 35,000 trucks carrying nearly 670,000 tons of humanitarian goods have entered the Gaza Strip. As of this writing, there are currently 1,000 truckloads worth of humanitarian goods sitting on the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom crossing awaiting distribution.

The UN is scared to distribute the aid. It’s a warzone so such fear is understandable. But the answer is not pressuring Israel – unless the goal of such an answer is not to find solutions to aid distribution but rather to find excuses for the UN’s (consistent) ineffectiveness.

At the end of the day, Israel is doing everything it can to provide aid to the Palestinian people while Hamas is doing everything it can to prolong everyone’s suffering, and the Biden administration is jumping – without any discernible pattern – from doing the right thing to appeasing the fringe-left.

Israel’s northern border and Hezbollah

Headlines in recent days have indicated a sincere concern amongst Western leaders that the increasingly violent and deadly exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah could explode into a full-blown war.

Those Western leaders are concerned that one errant Hezbollah shell could spark a conflagration, and they’re right to have such concerns. But to limit one’s focus to preventing that one scenario opens the door for other, less random by their very nature, scenarios that are likely to start a regional war.

Hezbollah has sent spy drones to analyse targets over Israel’s major northern port city, Haifa. Likewise, they have been using increasingly sophisticated drones and large, heavy rockets to target Israel.

Since 7 October, Hezbollah has been doing everything it can to make Israel feel squeezed in the north, in order to benefit Hamas, but initially tried to avoid the full extent of Israel’s wrath. They crossed certain unspoken redlines – tested the boundaries as does a child.

What they found, and what their overlords in Tehran found, is that the Israelis are in no mood for child’s play. Most recently Hezbollah learned this as Israel conducted a targeted strike eliminating the head of Hezbollah’s central region rocket division – which has been focused on bombarding Israel’s Galilee region.

More than 60,000 Israelis have been forced to flee their homes in northern Israel. They are refugees in their own land. So, while we do not want to see an errant rocket provoke a war, we understand that the errant rocket is not the only way that war starts. The more likely scenario is that if the status quo remains along Israel’s northern border, Jerusalem, which knows all too well the consequences of war, will be forced to push Hezbollah back.

If the UN, Western leaders, and the like want to prevent a wider war in the Middle East, they’re going to have to get tough with Doha, Ankara, Beirut, Damascus and Tehran. War and/or peace are decided the same way in every language, in every age, and in every culture – through strength.

Israel is a nation at war. Week by week, more soldiers fall. Day by day, an entire country feels a catch in its throat with each breaking news alert. Was someone’s loved one killed by Hamas? Did a hostage family receive the worst news? The best? And for tens of thousands, these daily terrors are not even experienced in the peace of their homes, as they are refugees in their own country, pushed far from its borders due to the bloodlust of their neighbours.

Praying for the IDF

The brave men and women of the Israel Defence Forces are giving their lives to protect the Jewish state from enemies that seek their destruction. Throughout history, nations and peoples have risen up in anger against God’s people, and every time they have failed to wipe Israel out.

The Bible is clear that the enemies of Israel are God’s enemies. God Himself defends the nation of Israel and guides their hand in battle.

Therefore, we are continuing to pray for Israel’s protection from all physical and spiritual attacks. We also pray for the brave men and women who are fighting as part of the IDF. We pray that they will have supernatural protection in battle against the evils of Hamas and Hezbollah, we pray also that the IDF maintains its moral clarity and continues to protect civilians on both sides of this conflict. Ultimately, we pray there will be peace between Israel and her neighbours.