Israel launches Gaza operation; ministry broadcasts hope

By May 21, 2007

Israel (MNN) — Israel launched retaliatory strikes at Gaza for a series of rocket attacks late last week.

Action stepped up a notch Thursday when Israelis fired at the headquarters of a Hamas paramilitary force accused of firing rockets from the territory into Israel. The region is fast becoming a war zone after five days of battles between rival Fatah and Hamas.

The threat of civil war has driven the coalition cabinet to the brink of collapse. Planned peace talks in the Gaza strip were cancelled late last week. It's the third bout of feudal fighting since December, aided by lawlessness and an aid boycott, and it steals the hope of residents for a peaceful solution.

Israeli air strikes are further complicating the situation, and residents doubt a ceasefire will hold after previous agreements collapsed within hours.

The threat of the collapse of a barely five-month old peace accord is keeping trapped residents glued to electronic media in an effort to stay current on what's happening.  SAT-7's David Harder says that's how their satellite broadcasts often help. "We do get responses from people who are living in very difficult places, who tell us how grateful they are that, when they can't go outside, they can watch Christian broadcasts and they can watch SAT-7. They find it very encouraging to hear hope." 

Harder urges prayer for the remnant church in the Middle East. "Arab Christians do feel very isolated; they do feel like the West has forgotten them, so they would ask that people in the West would be praying for them as they face these very difficult challenges and as they wonder what will happen next. It does provide added motivation for our staff to make programs that would encourage people who are watching." Click here if you can pray or support the teams working in the region.

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