Friday, January 09, 2009

The Truth of What is Happening in Israel

My mom posted this letter on her blog. A dear friend of her's has friends living in Israel. They sent her this letter on the war going on over there.

Update From Israel

January 2009

Dear Friends,

As you all know, Israel is in a middle of a war. First, we would like to thank you for your prayers and to tell you that we are doing fine.
I know that the news broadcast picture the Palestinians as the victims and us as the aggressors. But the truth must be said.
In the last eight years… eight years! The cities in the south west side of Israel suffer from attacks by the Hamas. Missiles are launched at our cities regularly, on a daily basis. Israel did not react at all. Children in Sderot and other settlements in the region learned to lie down under the desk in school when the alarm goes off. Many families left the area while others stayed and tried to have some kind of normal life. What does it mean? They never take showers that take more than two minuets, the children do not play outside, they drive with open windows to hear the alarm… normal life.
Then, six months ago, Israel signed a cease fire agreement with the Palestinians. Israel did not shoot even one bullet, but Hamas kept sending missiles to Israel. Not a lot, but still few every day. In the mean time the Hamas built tunnels under the border with Egypt and smuggled long range rockets.
Israel knew about it but respected the cease fire. Why? Good question.
As the six month came to an end, the Hamas started a big attack on the southern cities, including Ashkelon, where our church has meetings. For some days Israel waited hoping the Hamas will quit, but they didn't.
Do you know any country in the world that would allow something like that to happen for eight years? The Hamas shoot their missiles in purpose to kill civilians, women and children. Thanks to the Lord, the God of Israel, they have little success. But they definitely are destroying the lives of many.
Two weeks ago Israel said that enough is enough. We attacked with much power and are giving the Hamas a hard lesson. In the mean time Hamas keep shooting missiles and long range rockets to our cities. Now the Grad rockets can reach some 40 KM. That means that they reach even northern than Ashdod. 3 of the missiles landed in Gan Yavne, thank the Lord in open spaces. Few landed in Ashdod and killed a woman who was a secretary in the high school where Amir studied.
It is not fun time in Israel, Now as I write this letter, the alarm in Gan Yavne went off 3 times. Each time all has to go to a shelter and wait there until we hear the explosion.
I am sure you see many pictures in the media of dead civilians on the Palestinian side. This is true. But some thing must be said:
First, Israel never aims at civilians! The Hamas terrorists took of their uniforms and they fight with civilian clothing. So not always when you see civilians they are civilians.
Second, The Hamas uses children and women as human shields. Probably you heard yesterday that the IDF bombed a UN school. The true story is that there were no students there. The place was full with refugees and terrorists. The Hamas launched bombs from the school yard to hit the Israeli soldiers. The IDF had no option but to fire back. We know that the terrorists kidnapped children and they walk from one place to another with children because they know that the Israeli soldiers will not shoot while children are around.
Third, since the terrorists hide behind civilians and since many houses are in fact storage for missiles, Israel has no choice but to bomb the houses. Now listen to that. Before Israel attack a building we warn the people who are inside that we are going to do that and ask them to leave. How do we do that? By sms, telephone calls and by spreading notes from an airplane. We know that many of the terrorists escape because of that, but the IDF has high standards of morality.
Forth, Since the war started the heads of the Hamas disappeared. The fact is that we know where they are. Many of them are in a shelter under the Gaza main hospital. They know that Israel will not bomb a hospital so they use the sick and injured as their shield.
Yes, we are sorry for any civilian that hurt from our activity. It is not our goal. Whenever Palestinian children and women are hurt, the Israelis have real sorrow. When Israeli children suffer, the Paletinians have real happiness. Wars are not nice. The Palestinians civilians have to stand against the Hamas and not allowing them to shoot Israel.
The Israeli army is doing his best to win the battle but is also very careful not to harm innocent people. I don't think that there is any army that would be as careful as the IDF. It should be said that our care for the civilians increase the number of injured and dead on our side.
At the moment the war continues. Israeli soldiers are fighting in Gaza strip while Israel sends humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
All the schools in the south are closed, so Orit stays at home with the kids. I work almost as usual. We do not have church meetings in Ashkelon now.
Please pray with us that this battle will end with some hope for the two peoples. The situation must be changed. Israel should not agree to have her children under a threat day and night.
We trust the Lord and we know that He is sovereign. Please pray that we will be bold to share the eternal hope with our friends and families especially now.
May our Lord Jesus Christ receive the Glory.

Yours in Him,
Eitan and Orit Kashtan

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