The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8


July 28th, 2014


US intelligence source claims Hamas has many more tunnels than Israel says

Israel has reached “only a fraction” of Hamas’s tunnels, Mushir al-Masri , a spokesman for the organization stated in an interview translated by MEMRI and made public on Monday.

Masri was referring to the network of tunnels which Hamas has dug under the Gaza-Israel border in order to infiltrate Jewish communities and perpetuate terrorist attacks.

“We are convinced that our people are on the brink of liberation,” Masri said.

He continued by saying, “The Zionist enemy declared its ground war to destroy the tunnels but [we], the thousands of mujahideen from the al-Kassam Brigades (Hamas military wing) who dug these tunnels with their fingernails say that the Zionist enemy has reached only a fraction of these tunnels – [and we] will dig many more God willing.”

Regarding the heavy toll inflicted on Hamas and the Gaza Strip so far by the fighting, Masri claimed, “Even while the battle is being waged, the resistance is recuperating its military losses.”

According to an IDF source, Hamas built the network of tunnels that begin a few kilometers away from the Israeli border, and pass under the frontier, in a bid to enable dozens of terrorists to infiltrate the country.

In response, the IDF has used a wide array of firepower and ground units to tackle the challenge of locating and destroying many terror tunnels.

“Hamas has turned tunneling into a national profession. They lean on highly skilled engineers to do this. We’re dealing with all of these threats through close-range combat,” the source added.

The IDF and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office have said that the purpose of Operation Protective Edge and the ground offensive in Gaza is to destroy terror tunnels and seriously harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza.

Earlier in July, Hamas terrorists attempted a massive attack when 13 terrorists infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa, but were discovered by the IDF and repelled or killed. The incident preempted the government’s decision to send troops into Gaza and commence the ground incursion.


July 27th, 2014

by Ido Ben-Porat, Tova Dvorin (IsraelNationalNews)

Economics Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett noted the success, so far, of Operation Protective Edge on Sunday, in a Facebook post entitled “Historic Crossroads: Now is the Time to Decide.”

“The State of Israel is at a historic, deciding moment,” Bennett began. “It could decide to end Hamas, dismantle tunnels and disarm missiles – to bring Gaza to a state similar to Judea and Samaria, which is without missiles, launchers, rockets, and tunnels. To put the IDF in control and prevent terror from escalating. It can finish with the conflict between the South and Gaza once and for all.”

“We can prove to our enemies, our neighbors, to the world and to ourselves, that we can overcome Islamic terrorism,” he continued. “For the first time in years, it’s within reach.”

Bennett presented an analysis of the situation, saying that “after three weeks of heavy fighting, this is the situation:”

Hamas has been severely beaten, but not eliminated.

IDF soldiers have “removed the rust” and are highly competent.

The world understands that we have no choice but to fight for our homeland.

The Jewish people have united like it hasn’t in years.

The Front is solid; the Iron Dome, this time, works almost perfectly.”

Bennett then urged Israel not to succumb to international pressure for a cease-fire.

“Hamas is desperate for re-armament, refreshing its forces and realignment so it can harm our troops,” he said. “This is similar to a boxing match, when the other side falls to the floor.”

“To cease fire now is to reach out to the enemy, pick him up, give him a drink, and refresh him,” he continued. “Now, now, we must not remove our foot from the gas pedal; we must finish this.”

“Israel’s targets: demilitarizing Hamas of its rockets and terror tunnels in a controlled, effective manner,” he added. “The goal: to make Gaza like Judea and Samaria.”

He also proposed economic incentives to ease the demilitarization process – what he called a “Gazan Marshall Plan” – “because we have no interest in harming the people of Gaza.”

“No ceasefires, no surrenders, no discussions,” he concluded. “You have our phone number; when you’re ready for demilitarization, call us. Otherwise, we are moving forward.”

“Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah is looking, Iran is looking, ISIS is looking, the Arab world is looking, the Europeans and Americans are looking – everyone is waiting to see whether Israel will work up the courage to defeat Hamas once and for all.”

“I believe our Security Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, will make the right decision. Now is the time.”


July 27th, 2014

by Shlomo Pitrikovsky (Arutz Sheva News)

Hamas has allegedly changed its mind about rejecting a “humanitarian ceasefire” with Israel, according to several reports, and have turned to United Nations (UN) envoy to the Middle East Robert Serry to ask for an additional 24-hour truce, beginning at 2:00 pm.

“In response to the UN’s intervention request to monitor the situation… it has been agreed between the resistance factions that a 24-hour humanitarian truce will start from 2:00 pm (1100 GMT),” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

The Political-Security Cabinet is currently meeting on the issue, according to Channel 2.

Hamas’s request surfaces just hours after Israel retaliated for more rocket fire on Israel, after at least eleven rockets were fired at major Israeli cities between 8:00 am and 9:30 am.

Hamas fired at least eleven rockets on Israel Sunday morning, despite Israel’s announcement late Saturday that it would extend a humanitarian ceasefire called on Saturday until Sunday at 9:00 pm.

Several rockets were shot down over Petah Tikva, Ashdod, and Gan Yavne by the Iron Dome missile defense system; shrapnel was scattered over the greater Petah Tikva area. One motorcyclist was injured as he tried to pull to the side of the road during an air raid siren in the Sharon-area city.

At least five rockets also fell in open area in the South; one car was damaged, but no injuries were reported.

To propose the ceasefire, Hamas has allegedly agreed to retract its own demands for a truce, including withdrawing IDF troops from Gaza.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal declared on Wednesday that Israel must accept his list of unprecedented conditions for a ceasefire in order for any truce to be implemented. Many of the demands include, effectively, lifting all travel and import restrictions in Gaza and re-releasing arrested terrorists.

The IDF halted fire for several hours early in the operation in a humanitarian ceasefire, but Hamas took advantage of this and continued to attack Israel.


July 25th, 2014

by Benny Toker (IsraelNationalNews)

Chairman of the Bnei Akiva Yeshivas and head of Yeshivat Or Etzion, Rabbi Haim Druckman, gave a special blessing to troops serving in Operation Protective Edge in an interview with Arutz Sheva on Friday.

Rabbi Druckman referred to the concept of “milchemet mitzvah,” whereby certain wars are Torah-mandated for men to serve – such as to defend the Jewish people from attack.

“Our soldiers are fighting God’s War,” he said. “This war determines our very existence in this country.”

“This war is for real peace, as told about in Isaiah: ‘And your peers shall have swords … and no nation shall lift up a sword against your nation, which is not knowing another war.’,” he added.

”Israel does not strive for another war, for deaths; each Iron Dome cost a fortune – who needs it?” he continued. “But there is evil in the world and we must fight that evil.”

Rabbi Druckman had no doubt who will win this war, as Operation Protective Edge enters its eighteenth day.

“Our ancestors fought, Abraham fought, Moses fought,” he reassured. “Our aspirations are indeed that ‘the wolf will live with the lamb’ [citing the verse in Isaiah about the Messianic era - ed.] but if the sheep does not deal with the wolf, nothing will be left of the sheep.”

“This is a holy war by all accounts, a war of salvation and for the existence of Israel in its homeland,” he said.

Rabbi Druckman believes that the tremendous show of unity among the people of Israel in recent times is the proof of the greatness of Israel.

“You see, at funerals of individual soldiers, tens of thousands of people – where else is there such a world?” he reflected. “Individuals who are not close relatives and friends arrive.”

“These enemies of Israel – with God’s help we will overcome them, as we have overcome [our enemies in] all of Israel’s wars,” he concluded.


July 25th, 2014

by David Lazarus (Israel Today News)

The following is an open letter from Shmuel Aweida to all those “peace activists” rising up against Israel. Listen carefully, Awieda is an Israeli Arab Christian pastor who knows of what he speaks!

Dear so-called “peace-seeking people”, “pro-ceasefire people” and “peace and reconciliation activists”,

Forgive me for not taking your nice dreams and peace demonstrations and wishes so seriously… People who didn’t care about the suffering people in Gaza under the Hamas regime for years can’t really be considered morally superior to any IDF soldier that’s on the ground there now. You might seem to be better and kinder, but not really… Sorry…

If you really care, then free Gaza from Hamas and other Islamic jihadist organizations! How can you feel sorry for the innocent children hurt accidentally by Israel when you don’t care that the same children grow up to learn to hate intentionally? You claim to feel sorry for the hungry children while ignoring the poison they are fed every single day at Hamas and Fatah schools and on TV.

How can you feel sorry for the women crying now when you didn’t care that they’ve been humiliated, discriminated and even raped and killed regularly for years?

Here’s another thing I don’t get:

These kind, sympathetic, peace-loving people who automatically want and pray for a ceasefire in Israel’s war(s) against the evil, anti-Semitic, anti-human, blood-thirsty terrorist organizations like Hamas (not against the Palestinians) – they make Israel never finish “the job” and then on the top of it all, their governments and NGOs send billions of dollars of “aid” to this corrupt evil system.

And guess what happens time and again – instead of feeding the hungry with food, they feed themselves with weapons. Instead of teaching the children math, they teach them hate and jihad against the Jews. Instead of building houses and hospitals above the ground, they build terror-tunnels under the ground.

The tunnels found in the past days have cost hundreds of millions of US dollars to build! The IDF blew up millions of your money, dear nice people in the naive West!

I’m not saying that Israel is without any fault here, but sometimes I really wonder if the Palestinians’ best friends are in reality the ones that maintain their oppression under this Islamic regime?

I simply don’t get it! Someone here needs to get a better grasp of reality!

As much as I hate this war and the price that’s being paid by our dear soldiers and the innocent civilians on both sides, I hate the fact that it’s necessary! May the needed pain of war bear good fruit of peace for all! May the Lord of Hosts and Armies give us His Shalom!

There has been quite a lot of activity in the social media in the past month. I was disappointed and frustrated of some my Facebook friends and the level of naiveté and blindness with regard to the real situation and the roots of the conflicting the Middle East.

Do they really not see what the Hamas is all about or what Islam really is? Are they all so blind to what’s happening around us in Syria, Iraq and all over? Don’t they see what Hamas is doing to the poor population that lives under this terror daily? I don’t know why I keep being surprised…

To my anti-Arab friends:

But what really surprised me was that, with regard to this operation in Gaza, the hatred, revenge and racism that filled the [Facebook] statuses of those who support Israel.

They expressed such joy over going to war and causing destruction (a joy I’m glad our leadership doesn’t have). The fact they quoted Bible verses didn’t make it any less stinking. So I threw those people out of my Facebook just like I did with others that posted pornography and other disgusting stuff. Trash is trash is trash.

Praying that God may protect our soldiers who are serving us and giving their lives for us – proud of the moral code of the IDF and the legitimacy of this necessary operation. Praying for those making the tough decisions – but with much more humility.

I guess we need to pray that we’ll all guard our hearts from hatred, revenge, racism, pride and other destructive things that do not honor us, nor the God of Israel.


July 24th, 2014

by Tova Dvorin (IsraelNationalNews)

The end of Operation Protective Edge depends on Hamas, not Israel, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (HaTnua) made clear Thursday.

“I never thought about how to reach an agreement with terrorist organizations,” Livni said in an interview with Walla! News. “We must hit terrorist organizations.”

She added that a ceasefire agreement, while brokered by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, would not solve much. Livni’s hard-line stance will be surprising to some given the criticism she faced during her former role as chief negotiator with the PA, when she was accused of being too willing to compromise.

“Hamas is the problem,” she said. “Some people seem to think every military activity should be brought to an end in imagined agreements, and that an agreement should be made with Hamas.”

“I say no – it’s not truly strategic to talk to Hamas, to pay for quiet,” she stated, “I’m not ready to give extremist elements in the region what they want to see.”

“We do not need their (Hamas’s) approval for a cease-fire,” Livni clarified. “I am in favor of deterrence, of executing military operations against Hamas until it is deterred.”

Livni also, surprisingly, rejected the assumption that – despite the IDF’s progress in destroying terror tunnels – the time for a cease-fire is now.

“It’s too early to tell whether we have reached [that deterrence],” she said. “We are currently working hard on the ground to pause the operation to check [our status].”

Livni did stress that Israel “should” work with the international community and the PA to broker a ceasefire – even if it becomes a matter of Israel, the international community, and the PA on the one side, and Hamas, Turkey, or Qatar on the other, in her words.

“Our arrangements should be made with the world, and with the PA, who wants to talk to us,” she insisted, adding that even if a one-sided truce was reached, the IAF should respond.

“We live in a tough neighborhood,” Livni said, “Hamas is an Islamist extremist, and they are not going to change tomorrow morning after this operation.”

“I don’t promise that, tomorrow morning, we will wake up to being like Europe,” she said. “The question is: how do we deal with it?”

Livni, who has been a staunch supporter of peace talks despite Fatah’s unity pact with Hamas earlier this year, has surprisingly advocated an operation in Gaza to counter the terror since the early hours of the offensive.


July 24th, 2014

by Hezki Ezra, Tova Dvorin (Arutz Sheva News)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond Thursday, thanking Britain for its support and stressing the need to understand Israel’s struggle to defend itself in light of the UK’s own history.

“You, as a representative of the UK, of Britain, have a special understanding – at least, a historical understanding – of what we’re undergoing,” Netanyahu began. “There’s only been one other instance when a democracy was rocketed and pelleted by projectiles of death, and that’s Britain during World War Two.”

“Israel is undergoing a similar bombardment now,” he noted. “We are responding, in our own way, by targeting the rocketeers and seeking to ferret out these terrorists, who are firing behind civilians at our civilians.”

“This is a double war crime,” he continued. “And naturally, it’s made more difficult for us to fight this criminality. As I’ve just shown you, the terrorists are firing rockets from schools, from mosques, from hospitals, heavily at civilian populations.”

“We have to try, and are doing our best, to minimize civilian casualties, but we cannot give our attackers immunity,” he added. “We seek, as best as we can, to target them – but all the civilian deaths that are there – and we regret each one of them – are the responsibility of Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad terrorists that are in league with them.”

Netanyahu then took a stab at the United Nations Human Right’s Council (UNHRC)’s condemnations of Israel. The decision to launch an inquiry was made shortly after UNHRC chief Navi Pillay said that there is a “strong possibility” that Israel was violating international law through Operation Protective Edge.

“This use of human shields is extraordinarily cynical, grotesque, it’s inhumane – but what is equally grotesque is that Israel was condemned in the Human Rights Council,” he noted. “It’s a travesty of justice, it’s a travesty of fairness, it’s a travesty of common sense, it’s a travesty of truth.”

“It will not prevent us from continuing to act to defend our people, to protect against rocket attacks, and to dismantle the vast terror tunnel network that we have seen that is geared to penetrate our territory,” he added.

Netanyahu also thanked the UK for its support of Israel over the past several days, as well as the fact that British Airways, the UK’s national carrier, continued to fly to Israel despite a bandwagon of bans.

“I thank you for keeping your moral focus and your moral clarity – we shall need it in the days ahead,” he concluded.

‘Israel has the right to defend itself’

Hammond responded by clarifying the UK’s unwavering support for Israel’s need to defend itself.

“Britain has been very clear, I’ve been very clear, Prime Minister [David] Cameron has been very clear that this current cycle of violence was triggered by Hamas firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli towns and cities, indiscriminately and in breach of international humanitarian law,” he began.

“Britain has also been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens.”

Hammond then expressed, however, “grave concern” for the “level of civilian casualties” and said that Britain wants to see a ceasefire “quickly agreed.”

“We welcomed the earlier cease-fire proposal by Egypt, and we are grateful to you, Prime Minister, for your immediate agreement to it,” he added, “and we are disappointed that Hamas has apparently, once again, rejected ceasefire proposals.”


July 23rd, 2014

by Ido Ben-Porat and Ari Soffer (Arutz Sheva News)

The IDF has struck a terrorist position in Gaza’s Al Wafa hospital, illustrating the highly sensitive and illegal use of civilian targets as human shields by Hamas and other Gazan terrorist groups.

IDF sources say that the controversial decision to attack the position was taken after several days in which ground forces came under heavy fire from gunmen positioned inside the hospital grounds. The fire reportedly included both light weaponry and heavy anti-tank missiles directed towards IDF armored vehicles.

“The hospital premises were being used as war rooms and command centers by the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad,” said an IDF spokesperson.

The military added that it had repeatedly warned international agencies and the Palestinian head of the hospital directly about the gunfire from the hospital, as well as several other senior Palestinian officials – but to no avail. Instead, in the past several hours the intensity of the attacks has only increased, posing a real and imminent danger to the lives of soldiers operating in the area, forcing the IDF to respond with fire of its own.

In the past day the IDF has killed approximately 30 terrorists, and overnight the Israeli Air Force struck 120 targets in the flashpoint Gaza neighborhood of Shajaia where heavy battles are still raging.

Since Operation Protective Edge began 16 days ago, some 3,200 terrorist positions have been hit in Gaza and 28 terrorists were arrested by IDF forces. Some 80 tunnels and concealed rocket launchers have also been exposed by IDF ground forces.

According to the military in the last day or so terrorists have upped their efforts to attack ground forces searching for the tunnels, which are used to store and transport rockets and also to plan infiltration attacks into southern Israel.

An IDF spokesman added that the decrease in rocket attacks on Israeli population centers in the past few days is not indicative of terrorists “running low” on rockets, and urged Israeli citizens not to become complacent and to continue taking the necessary precautions and following the instructions of the Home Front Command.


July 22nd, 2014

By Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)

Golani unit kills 4 terrorists who opened fire on soldiers; Paratroopers direct air strike at detected terrorist cell.

The IDF struck some 190 terrorist targets over the past 24 hours in the Gaza Strip, including over 100 in the area of Shejaia, the army said Tuesday.

Targets included underground rocket launcher, homes of terrorists used as command and control centers, a site used to produce weapons, military structures, tunnels, and surface to surface missile launchers.

Two more soldiers killed in Gaza, bringing IDF fatalities up to 27

The IDF attacked over 1,715 terrorist targets since the beginning of its ground offensive on Thursday night.

Ground units have so far uncovered 66 tunnel shafts that are part of 23 underground passages. Six tunnels have been destroyed. The army took 28 terrorists into custody, the army added.

On Monday night, a Golani unit killed four terrorists who opened fire on it. Later, an IAF aircraft and a Paratroopers unit struck seven terrorists, including snipers, who fired on soldiers. During the exchange of fire, St.-Sgt. Ohad Shemesh was killed and 13 were injured.

Overnight between Monday and Tuesday, the army detected a Hamas control room, which served as a command and control center. The building was attacked by the air force and destroyed.

On Tuesday morning, Paratroopers detected a terrorist cell, and directed an air strike against it. Ten terrorists were killed in the attack, and additional members of the cell were seen escaping in an ambulance. The IDF did not bomb the ambulance in order to avoid harming noncombatants.

A few hours later, Paratroopers directed tank fire at a cell of three terrorists. The cell was hit in the attack, the army said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the IDF identified a cell that opened fire on the army. Soldiers fired at it, killing a terrorist, the army added.

Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the IDF is allowing the transfer of humanitarian equipment and goods into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing.


July 22nd, 2014

By Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post Article)

How will Israel deal with the latest developments in the Gaza Strip, and what are its plans for the day after fighting ends?

Herb Keinon, the diplomatic correspondent at The Jerusalem Post, moved to Israel from Denver some 30 years ago. He has been at the Post since 1985, and has covered a wide range of beats since then. He took over the diplomatic beat in August 2000. Keinon has a BA in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an MA in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is the author of one book: Lone Soldiers: Israel’s Defenders from Around the World.

Herb recently took the time to answer questions submitted by Jpost readers on Israeli diplomacy in the face of the current operation in Gaza.

Q. Why is it so difficult for Israel to win the media war? We know Gaza has been independent for over 9 years, we know that Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization that uses children as human shields and hence the causalities. Why are we still not being able to get the world outraged at the Hamas?

A. The old platitude one picture is worth a thousand words holds very true here. Even with the most reasoned, cogent, sound arguments by the most eloquent Israeli spokesperson, it is difficult to compete with pictures of dead civilians. Television is not built for context.

Q. Can Israel go into Gaza, conquer it, and than call for the UN to control it until Palestinians are ready to rule. That was done in Kosovo, it can be done here.

A. Israel has the ability to conquer Gaza. The question is whether it wants to pay the price to do so, and – if so – then what?

Israel would be very wary of a UN administration of the Strip. Would the UN be willing and able to prevent Hamas from re-taking Gaza, or keep it from re-arming in Gaza?

The UN was supposed to ensure that southern Lebanon would be demilitarized, except for the Lebanese army, after the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The result: Hizbullah’s missile arsenal went from 6,000 missiles before the war, to more than 60,000 now. Israel is likely to look at other alternatives beyond the UN for the ‘day after” the guns fall silent in Gaza.

Q. Is there a connection between Israel’s war strategy and the ongoing nuclear power negotiations between the USA and Iran, Hamas’ sponsor?

Israel is keen on degrading Hamas’ capabilities irrespective of the negotiations with Iran.

However, Iran is a strong backer of the terror groups in Gaza – Hamas and Islamic Jihad – and Jerusalem will argue that if this is the way they act without an Iranian nuclear umbrella, imagine what they could do – or try to do – if their main backer had nuclear capabilities.

Iran sows instability and violence everywhere throughout the Mideast. Israel has tried to get the US to put it’s behavior throughout the region on the table in the nuclear negotiations, and that the issues should not be divorced. The US has opposed this approach up until now. The current situation will strengthen Israel’s argument.

Q. Can a permanent DMZ be instituted in northern Gaza to help protect against incoming Hamas missiles?

A. A DMZ in northern Gaza would not necessarily solve the problems of the rockets, since they could be moved further south and still easily reach Israel. The DMZ, however, could help deal with the tunnel problems, since the further Hamas is from the border, the more difficult it would be to burrow into Israel.

Q. What will be Israel’s response, should the EU take at least the political arm of Hamas off its list of terrorist organizations?

A. There is no indication that this is in the offing.

Q. How will Israel handle a strong condemnation of its general policy in regard to occupation, settlements, peace-process, which is expected to come out next week from the meeting of the EU foreign ministers?

A. Israel is working on the diplomatic channel to fend off just such a condemnation.

It is clear that much of the world will, after the fighting stops, say that it illustrates the need for a comprehensive agreement.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said over the last couple of weeks – and will argue after the campaign is over – that the tunnels coming from Gaza show precisely why Israel cannot cede security control over territory, because when it it does, the terrorist organizations can use that territory to build terrorist tunnels into Israel.

The well-worn disagreements with the EU over the diplomatic process and the settlements will continue, and likely intensify, after the Gaza campaign.

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