While all eyes have turned to the Russian-Ukrainian border and the Arabian peninsula, a boiling caldron continues to heat up in and around Israel.
First, the US and Israeli forces (as well as other allies, at times) have held many joint military exercises very regularly over the past few months, including Desert Falcon that wrapped up just last week. They are definitely sharpening skills, increasing cooperation and strategizing to defend allied nations.
Meanwhile, with each conflict with Israel, Hamas has gained tactical skill and boldness. Gaza citizens continue to be used as human shields, protecting against devastating retaliatory Israeli strikes. Hamas routinely violates international law, while simultaneously manipulating media worldwide to report just the opposite.
Hamas is now supplied with enough rockets to fire large quantities at once, in order to gain advantage over Israel’s Iron Dome. Following missiles launched toward Tel Aviv last week, Hamas is confidently making hard line demands of Israel in negotiations brokered by Egypt.
Hamas is also determined to take over much of Palestinian-controlled West Bank, providing even greater areas from which to infiltrate and attack Israel. Several military experts are indicating Hamas has greatly increased its capability (thanks in large part to Iran), and could quickly gain the upper hand if not confronted soon.
So, why doesn’t Israel take action to stop, or at least limit, Hamas’ aggression? No one knows for sure, but here are some possible reasons:
- The Abraham Accords and normalization with moderate Arab countries could be damaged.
- Israel does not have the strength of backing from the Biden administration as they did from the Trump administration.
- Israel could face extreme international pressure.
- Action could upset the delicate balance in the Knesset, leading to the fall of the current coalition.
There is suspicion that a stalemate in negotiations could lead to a confrontation that could expand from the Gaza Strip, to Lebanon, Syria and beyond.
If that is not enough, Israel is preparing for confrontation with Iran and proxies such as Hezbollah and others. Hamas and Hezbollah are both present on the northern border, as the first line of defense against Israeli action into Lebanon and parts of Syria.
Of course, we know of the Iranian threat, though Iran has thrown up a smoke screen in Vienna…called nuclear negotiations! It is believed Iran allows continued talks only to distract from what they are really doing…building nuclear weapons.
So, with Hamas in the south, Hezbollah in the north and the over-arching Iranian plans, trouble is boiling just beneath the surface. Meanwhile, Israeli leaders are focused on eradicating a virus that is forcing quarantine upon many IDF soldiers, and is once again leading to choices that hinder Israel’s economy and depress young and old alike.
Never has it been more important to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122) and be a watchman on the wall, sounding warnings of what is to come (Isaiah 62). Let’s be faithful on both accounts!