Hezbollah pressures northern Israel; Blinken tries to contain Gaza war

By January 10, 2024

Israel (MNN) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with senior leaders in the Middle East this week, trying desperately to de-escalate and contain the Gaza war.

Blinken meets with Israeli leaders again today after discussing Arab leaders’ responses with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, various Israeli Cabinet ministers, and opposition leader Yair Lapid yesterday.

According to Reuters, Arab leaders told Blinken:

“…they wanted integration with Israel – also a long-term Israeli aim – but only if that included a ‘practical pathway’ to a Palestinian state. With U.S. support, Israel established diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2020. It was working to do the same with Saudi Arabia until the Gaza conflict broke out.”

Speaking at a Tuesday conference in Qatar, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh cited Israel’s normalization of regional relations “at the expense of the Palestinian cause” as one of the reasons behind the October 7 attacks.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Hezbollah threatens to expand the war beyond Gaza after bombing northern Israel. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned recently that Israel’s patience for Hezbollah is wearing thin, and a major IDF operation could be on its way.

“The majority of attacks throughout [Israel’s] history have come [from the] north, not south,” Tom Doyle with Uncharted Ministries says.

“The eye has always been on the north because, as Jews say, ‘Bad news comes from the north.’”

Four Hezbollah members were killed in southern Lebanon this week, but Israel did not take credit for the strikes. That didn’t stop Hezbollah from attacking an Israeli base at Safed, approximately eight miles from the Israel-Lebanon border.

Despite tit-for-tag fighting since early October, Hezbollah and Israel have stopped just short of declaring war on one another.

“Hezbollah is armed to the teeth, fueled by Iranian cash and weapons galore. We’ve seen some of the weapon caches, the fake mountains in Lebanon,” Doyle says.

“They (Hezbollah) have been waiting for decades to go to war with Israel. Something is holding them back.”

October 2023 Gaza−Israel conflict
(Wikimedia Commons)

Uncharted Ministries partners with Christians and churches on both sides of the Gaza war. At the Gaza Baptist Church in Gaza City, “There are 70 Christians in the building. Israel knows they’re there, they’re fine with it,” Doyle says.

“They’re hiding out, but it’s very desperate. Food is running out. When the (aid) trucks come in with relief, the people don’t get it. Hamas steals it. In fact, there are videos of them shooting their own people [who] tried to get some food for their family.”

Ask the Lord to strengthen and sustain His followers in this difficult situation, and pray for the war to end. Consider sending tangible support to war-weary Christians through Uncharted Ministries.

“The Body of Christ transcends war, strife, and all the problems that are happening in the world,” Doyle says.

“We’re praying for both sides and sending messages from Palestinian believers to Jewish believers and vice versa. War is] not an enviable place for anyone to be a follower of Christ.”




Header image depicts the Hezbollah flag. (Wikimedia Commons)

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