t was Tuesday evening at 7PM. After one final, massive volley of rockets launched into Israel, the fifty long days of Operation Protective Edge seemed to come to an end as Hamas and Israel agreed to an open ended cease fire.
The ink had barely dried on the paper when the leaders of Hamas crawled out of the holes they had been hiding in for nearly two months and declared “victory”. The tragic face of that “victory” should have been overwhelming to them. Over 2,200 of their fellow citizens had been killed and more than 10,000 were wounded. Formerly flourishing neighborhoods had been reduced to rubble. Over 15,000 buildings were either destroyed or severely damaged and the electrical, water and sewage infrastructure were nearly gone. Over 1,000 of their fighters were dead. The secret tunnel system in which they had invested millions of dollars in order to carry out a massive surprise terror attack against Israel laid in ruins. Their armaments were nearly depleted and these leaders who are so ill equipped to govern their people now faced a daunting humanitarian catastrophe.
But none of this mattered! Not the suffering. Not the death. Not the overwhelming destruction. Once again it was “the lie” that had to be declared and endorsed. So with much forced fanfare, they ordered their defeated people to gather and declare their “victory” over Israel in the midst of the rubble.
On the political front, they fared no better. All of the original demands that Hamas had so arrogantly boasted would need to be met were ignored in the final cease fire agreement. There will be no seaport or airport. The prisoners were not released, the needed funding for their employees will not come, the buffer zone surrounding their border with Israel is still in place and the blockade, except for humanitarian and rebuilding supplies, is still in effect.
How different the reality on the Israeli side. Saying very little, Israel accepted the Hamas surrender. Over those same fifty days there was minimal damage from the over 5,000 rockets and mortars that were fired into Israel. This nation had not wasted its energy in empty boasting but had prepared for the coming fight. The Iron Dome intercepted over 700 rockets that would have wrought untold damage to our cities. Israelis had shelters to take cover in. Our neighborhoods remained intact. Our infrastructure is undamaged. Our economy is still strong. And, although tragically 63 Israeli soldiers and 7 civilians were killed, it was a high but unavoidable price to pay in order to damage this terrorist group. Israel claims that Operation Protective Edge has set Hamas back ten years!
The God of Israel who protected this nation supernaturally these past fifty days will continue to protect his people today and will be our shield tomorrow.