Situation at sea as reported in Jerusalem Post, HaAretz, and Ynet
Hysterical reports and misinformation have beclouded the unfolding confrontation between the Gaza Flotilla and the Israeli Navy. NTV, the Turkish Television, reports up to 15 people killed, others reported 14. Perhaps the IDF’s (Israel Defense Forces) own reporting is the most accurate; it reported 10 dead and 10 commandos wounded, 2 seriously.
The Israeli military said ten activists were killed after its troops came under fire while intercepting the convoy.
“Navy fighters took control of six ships that tried to violate the naval blockade (of the Gaza Strip) …During the takeover, the soldiers encountered serious physical violence by the protesters, who attacked them with live fire,” a military statement said.
Activists attacked a commando with iron bars as he descended onto the ship from a helicopter, the army said. The IDF said its rules of engagement allowed troops to open fire in what it called a “life-threatening situation.”
Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade on Gaza after Hamas militants violently seized control of the seaside territory in June 2007.
Israel says the measures are needed to prevent Hamas, which has fired thousands of rockets at Israel, from building up its arsenal.
Israel has let ships through five times, but has blocked them from entering Gaza waters since the three-week military offensive against Gaza’s Hamas rulers in January 2009. The flotilla bound for Gaza is the largest to date.
Israel rejects claims of a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, saying it allows more than enough food and medicine into the territory. The Israelis also point to the bustling smuggling industry along Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, which has managed to bring consumer goods, gasoline and livestock into the seaside strip.
Why has Turkey become The Champion of the Palestinian cause lately?
The Turkish interest is in highlighting the plight of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, providing Ankara with a useful lever in the region to claim the mantle of the strongest defender of the Palestinians in Gaza (a reputation Iran has been attempting to build). (www.Stratfor.com)
Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh came on Al-Jazeera to condemn the “brutal attack” and called on the UN to intervene on the activists’ behalf.
A bit of analysis
As in most of the encounters with terror organizations such as Hamas and rest of the anti-Israel crowd, there is much misinformation flying around. The encounter now unfolding was actually the goal of the Flotilla organizers from the beginning; this is more about hating Israel than loving the Palestinians (see comment at the bottom regarding Turkey’s reason for involvement in this charade.) The goal is to de-legitimize and demonize the nation of Israel by making it look like a monster and an enemy of world peace and humanity.
The organizers wanted the confrontation to be as violent as possible; it served their purposes much better. Thus, they intentionally put their people in harms way and although they declared that they would not resist the Israeli forces, apparently some of the activists came prepared with firearms.
The Hebrew paper Yediot Aharonot has reported that the commandos said that some of the activists had planned to lynch any of the soldiers they could get their hands on. The soldiers reported that they encountered fierce violence and were attacked with live fire, long knives and bats.
The Flotilla was given the choice to follow the navy ships peacefully to Ashdod, but the organizers chose the more sensational option.
Israel has stated repeatedly: “Our war in Gaza is not against the Palestinians but against Hamas.”
Please do not be riled up by the confused reports you are getting in the media. Rather stand on the Word of God before the Lord and PRAY!
Several prayer strategies you can take
Pray for God’s full plan of salvation from Ezekiel 36-39 which includes:
(When you pray into God’s Kingdom agenda with faith, He moves to fulfill it and removes all the obstacles to His plan along the way.)
Bringing the Jews back to the land of promise
Pouring out the Spirit upon them and cleansing them from all sin
Reestablishing God’ presence among His people (The Great Reconciliation)
Sanctifying God’s name by His wondrous work in His people
Uniting Israel under the rulership of the Messiah
Fighting Israel’s enemies and showing His great name and authority by what He does in the midst of the Nations who defy the Lord (see Ps. 2 as well)
Pray specifically into what is happening on the ground right now
Psalm 9 (as we shared in our last Prayer Priority Update)
No weapon that is formed against you shall succeed, and you will condemn every tongue that rises against you in judgment.”
Pray for much wisdom for the IDF and the government of Israel as things unfold.
Pray for Israel to be inspired and even prophetic in PR war (which is actually the main battle right now and not the mechanics of handling the Flotilla).
Pray for light to be shed and cut through all the lies and misinformation that is, no doubt, being spread by Arab and western media outlets, who are hostile to Israel. Stratfor reports that. “…. through reports broadcast by al Jazeera from the ship, the flotilla organizers appear to have been prepared to provoke the Israelis in order to gain considerable media exposure for their cause.“
Pray for the wounded on both sides.
More than ever, we need to walk with the Lord; in the knowledge of God and in His light. Ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding for the days we live in and seek His face. What we have had till now will not be enough to take us through the days just ahead.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Ofer Amitai ( Senior Advisor to the IFI Board)
To add a little to Ofer’s alert:
We need to uphold P.M. Netanyahu and the government as they will come under intense pressure to lift the blockade of Gaza.
Let us be very alert in the Spirit to the possibility that Turkey will not only organize a new Flotilla, but will escort it with their warships. If that happens it will change the situation dramatically.
One of the main organizers of this “Flotilla” is Turkish IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH, “humanitarian relief fund”). A radical Islamic organization which has connections with known terrorist organizations.
A late breaking report says that the Chief of the Turkish Military has cut short a trip to Egypt and is returning home. In the past 40 years the Turkish Military has four times staged a military coup to “rescue secular Turkey”. In the natural such an occurrence would be a blessing not just to Israel but to Turkey as well, which is descending into Islamic darkness.
We also need to pray against a violent uprising amongst Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of Judea and Samaria.
Many will say that in this lose-lose situation, Israel picked the bigger loss to go with. In reality Israel did the only thing it could have without damaging its deterrent posture with its enemies. The Nations do not need an excuse to oppose us and blame us – this is reality and the historical record these last few years proves this to be true.
Let us remain alert in the dangerous and rapidly changing attack on Israel’s right to self-defense.
Now also many nations have gathered against you, Who say,Let her be defiled, And let our eye look upon Zion.But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the Lord and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth.