Suicide bombing escalates Middle East tensions.

By December 6, 2005

Middle East (MNN)–Hamas’ leadership says they will not renew the treaty with Israel in January unless Israel releases Palestinian prisoners and halts military offensives.

That bodes ill for a smooth electoral cycle in early 2006. Already, violence has shattered the uneasy lull. A Palestinian suicide bomber struck Monday near a shopping mall in the town of Netanya, killing at least five bystanders and wounding more than 30.

The bombing escalated tensions between the people groups, all of which have been marked in blood. It is certain Israel will respond with deadly force,

Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says believers are caught in the crossfire. “You have the Palestinians, primarily Muslims, you have the Israelis, primarily Jews, the Christians in some cases become almost a people without a country in the back and forth between Israel and Palestine and between the various political factions as well as the radical Muslims within Hamas.”

While their work in the Middle East is limited, Nettleton says the remnant church there is active. That is also why they are targets. “It’s dangerous just to be there, but then to be vocal in your Christian faith and draw attention to yourself in that way, makes it even more dangerous.”

Prayer is a necessary support, he adds. “So, it’s a very challenging situation in which to live out your faith in Christ, particularly if you are bold in witnessing for Him to other people.”

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