Christian leaders in Gaza and Israel are urging a ceasefire between the militaries of Israel and Hamas, explaining the situation on the ground from their perspective but rejecting the habit of laying blame on one side for the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Dr. Munir S. Kakish, Chairman Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email interview on Monday that "one piece of information often not known is that there are Christians in Palestine, Gaza and the West Bank. There have been Christian Arabs here since the time of Jesus," he pointed out.
Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a violent conflict stretching over two-weeks now, with rockets being fired from both sides. Palestinian casualties have reached over 500, with thousands more injured, after the Israel government ordered a ground invasion into Gaza, targeting terrorist tunnels and other sites it said are a direct threat to the Israeli people. more >>
When Secretary of State Kerry criticized Israel's military operations in Gaza by calling them a "hell of a pinpoint operation," he not only validated Hamas's human-shield strategy, he handed Hamas a key propaganda victory.
And he had no excuse for doing so.
Unlike the vast majority of Americans - including a vast majority of Americans in "public service" - Secretary Kerry has actual combat experience. He's fully aware of the enormous destructive capability of a modern military, and he's thus fully aware of what a truly unrestrained Israeli military operation would look like. Further, as a senior leader in the Obama administration, he's aware - or should be aware - of our own rules of engagement and conduct in urban operations in Fallujah, Tal Afar, Najaf, and other recent urban fights. If he is aware, he'd know that the Israelis often take even greater precautions than our own military does to prevent civilian casualties. more >>
A Holocaust Studies professor has rejected accusations by some world leaders that Israel is committing "genocide" against Palestinians in Gaza during the ongoing military conflict.
"It seems as if every time Israel defends itself, somebody points an accusing finger and yells 'Genocide!' Raphael Lemkin, who coined that term 70 years ago this autumn, would have been appalled by such abuse of his life's work," Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, wrote in a JNS.org article on Monday.
"For the term 'genocide' to have any meaning, it must be used strictly in situations that indisputably warrant such a determination, according to the legal definition. Applying it or withholding it based on political considerations will render the term useless," he added. more >>
Over 100 people, including women and children, were killed on Sunday in the bloodiest day since the conflict between Israel and militant group Hamas began two weeks ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for putting Palestinian civilians in the crossfire and using them as human shields, with the overall death toll reaching close to 500.
"We're sad for every civilian casualty. They're not intended. This is the difference between us. The Hamas deliberately targets civilians and deliberately hides behind civilians. They embed their rocketeers, their rocket caches, their - their other weaponry from where - which they fire - which they use to fire on us in civilian areas," Netanyahu told CNN in an interview on Sunday.
"What choice do we have? We have to protect ourselves. So we try to target the rocketeers. We do. And all civilian casualties are unintended by us, but intended by Hamas. They want to pile up as many civilian dead as they can, because somebody said they use - it's gruesome. They use telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause. They want the more dead the better." more >>
In light of the murderous actions and intentions of Hamas, what would you like Israel to do?
I wholeheartedly concur that the death of even one unarmed civilian is tragic, let alone the death of scores or of hundreds. And I affirm without hesitation that Arab blood is as precious as Jewish blood.
That being said, since Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction, since Hamas initiated the recent hostilities, since Hamas rejected cease fire offers, since Hamas is using civilians, including women and children, as human shields, and since Hamas is actively attempting to infiltrate Israel and murder, kidnap, and maim its people, what do you suggest that Israel does? more >>
Israeli ground forces have moved in on the Gaza strip with a mission to take down terrorist tunnels and other targets, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announcing on Friday that the military is preparing for a "significant expansion" of its ground operation against militant group Hamas.
Speaking at an emergency cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said that "since there is no way to deal with the tunnels only from the air, our soldiers are doing it now from the ground."
Netanyahu added that there is no guarantee of success, but said that everything will done to achieve maximum results. more >>