As parts of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire were being implemented, fighting again broke out between Hamas Islamists and Israel, raising the question of whether such a cessation is even possible.
Weekly riots on Israel’s southern border have resulted in hundreds of Palestinians killed. Accompanied by incendiary aerial devices, the riots have destroyed massive amounts of farmland and nature preserves in southern Israel. Accented by sporadic rocket fire by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the hostilities led Israel to take part in Egyptian-brokered ceasefire talks, leading to a transfer of $15 million by Qatar to pay beleaguered Gaza civil workers.
The talks seemed on track to bring quiet to the area when, on Sunday night, an IDF undercover intelligence mission went awry, leading to a firefight. A senior IDF officer was killed and another more junior officer wounded. A senior Hamas military officer, thought to be in charge of their terrorist tunnel operations, was killed as well as seven other members of Hamas’ military wing.
More than 500 projectiles were fired at Israel from Gaza over the next two days. The IDF responded by hitting 160 military targets in Gaza.
On Tuesday evening, Hamas and leaders of Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza announced that a ceasefire agreement with Israel had been worked out. The Israeli government neither confirmed nor denied the statement.
“Israel maintains its right to act. Requests from Hamas for a ceasefire came through four different mediators. Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect. an Israeli official told Times of Israel, on condition of anonymity.
If true, the news of a ceasefire agreement with Hamas is unwelcome to many on the Israeli side. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the situation in a special seven-hour cabinet meeting. Four members of the cabinet responded that they opposed such an accommodation with Gaza’s rulers.
At the same time as the cabinet was meeting in Jerusalem, residents of southern Israel took to the streets, protesting a ceasefire with Gaza, demanding a clear and complete solution, an end to rocket attacks, and a return to normalcy and security.
“It’s better to suffer in the safe rooms, and once and for all for them to put an end to this,” Reut Bassis from Sderot told Channel 2 News. “I know that a month from now it will be the same thing again – another few days and again there will be missiles, and nothing will have changed. It’s unreasonable that this is how our lives look.”
While the political situation grows murkier, a Biblical perspective on these events paints a clearer picture. As a historian and Senior Lecturer and Researcher for Aish HaTorah Yeshiva, Rabbi Ken Spiro understands the current political situation from both an academic and a Biblical perspective.
“In terms of their national origin as described in the Torah, the Arabs are all descended from Ishmael,” Rabbi Spiro told Breaking Israel News. “But the first time the word ‘Hamas’ is used in the Bible was used to describe the lawlessness in the generation of Noah.”
The earth became corrupt before Hashem; the earth was filled with lawlessness. Genesis 6:11
The rabbi explained that though Hamas probably did not choose the name of their organization because of its Biblical connotations, it clearly has meaning.
“Hamas is firing hundreds of missiles directly into Israeli cities,” Rabbi Spiro said. “This is not how you wage a war with military objectives. Basically, Hamas is openly trying to kill any Jew they can. Objectively, Hamas should be accused of perpetrating a genocidal effort against Israel. The only reasons there aren’t massive casualties are Hashem’s protection and the Iron Dome System.”
Rabbi Spiro maintained that Hamas and the Palestinians, Muslims who oppose Western values, are receiving (ideological) support from an unlikely source; the liberal/progressive Left.
“If it weren’t for the far left-wing, mostly Western Europeans, supporting them, this situation would never exist,” Rabbi Spiro explained. “There is no cycle of violence. They attack and we do not fully respond. If Israel really responded like any other country, it would have ended already. There is no real military contest. If Israel wanted to, in 24 hours Gaza would not exist.”
“The insanity is that this continues. We Jews are merciful people and bomb empty buildings. Also, the Europeans react by calling for restraint right after Israel is attacked. That is like telling the Americans to dial it back the morning after Pearl Harbor.”
“Tragically, this is being done for reasons that serve internal Palestinian politics. Hamas is under pressure from more extreme groups. They are at odds with Abbas. A show of force serves them. They recieve huge amounts of money and squander it on terrorism. The whole situation in Gaza is a disaster on every level, and not just for Israel.”
Rabbi Mattityahu Glazerson, an expert in Torah codes, discovered a hint to the situation on Israel’s southern border which he presented in a Hebrew language video. Using a Torah program that searches for equidistant letter sequences in the Bible, Rabbi Glazerson found the words Hamas, teelim (missiles), and Aza (Gaza). Remarkably, these codes all appeared in the portion of the Torah that discusses going out to war.
When you take the field against your enemies, and see horses and chariots — forces larger than yours — have no fear of them, for Hashem your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, is with you. Deuteronomy 20:1
Rabbi Glazerson noted that the phrase was repeated in the next chapter but with an additional letter “yud” making the word ‘enemy’ plural.
When you take the field against your enemies, and Hashem your God delivers them into your power Deuteronomy 21:10
“Even when Israel goes out to war against a single enemy, they are also fighting the angel that ministers over that nation and gives the nation its strength,” Rabbi Glazerson said.
A quick search revealed the name of the angel aiding Hamas, its name enmeshed in the verse in chapter 20: Lilith. In Jewish literature, Lilith is the mate of Samael, the angel of death and commander of a legion of two million angels.
“Hamas has no strength but the condition of the world today favors Lilith who gains sustenance from the dark side of what is incorrectly labeled ‘love.’”
Rabbi Glazerson found the word ‘HaKoveah’ (the one who sets or establishes) between the words ‘Hamas’ and ‘Aza’.
“Hamas is the one setting the agenda for the entire region,” Rabbi Glazerson said, interpreting the code. “Israel has lost the initiative and our enemies feel that we cannot threaten them in any way.”
But embedded in this grid of Torah codes, Rabbi Glazerson also found the solution. The words ‘cheil tshuva’ (the soldiers of repentance) were at the top like a chapter heading describing the entire message of this code.
“We are forbidden from making a covenant with Hamas,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “It is only through strengthening ourselves spiritually, through Torah, that we can win the physical war.”
A similar conclusion was given by Rabbi Shimon Apisdorf, a prominent author and educator, who noted a strange twist in the signing of a peace agreement with Hamas.
“Israel has a great interest in ending the conflict with Hamas,” Rabbi Apisdorf told Breaking Israel News. “It would prevent more suffering on both sides. This is a very Jewish perspective and might strengthen Israel’s Jewish identity, even though it may not be sound politically.”
But Rabbi Apisdorf noted that there was a distinct difficulty preventing signing a peace agreement from the Palestinian side.
“Hamas has never hidden the fact that their entire identity and reason for being is to destroy Israel,” Rabbi Apisdorf told Breaking Israel News. “This is written out explicitly in their charter. Ironically, if they sign a peace agreement with Israel which includes their agreeing to stop trying to destroy Israel, then Hamas will cease to exist.”