I’m saddened by the deaths happening in this conflict in Gaza. Here’s a report by The Guardian:
Israel killed more Palestinian civilians in 2014 than in any other year since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip began in 1967, a UN report has said.
Israel’s activities in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem resulted in the deaths of 2,314 Palestinians and 17,125 injuries, compared with 39 deaths and 3,964 injuries in 2013, according to the annual report (pdf) by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The conflict in Gaza in July and August was largely responsible for the dramatic increase in fatalities. It claimed the lives of 2,220 Gazans, of whom 1,492 were civilians, 605 militants and 123 unverified.
More than 11,000 people were injured and about 500,000 Palestinians were internally displaced at the height of the conflict. About 100,000 remain so.
When ancient Israel felt so self-righteous as chosen people and abused their political and military power against their own people and against their neighboring nations, and have forgotten justice and peace, the Creator had this to say through the Prophet Amos:
“‘Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain. The swift will not escape, the strong will not muster their strength, and the warrior will not save his life. The archer will not stand his ground, the fleet-footed soldier will not get away, and the horseman will not save his life. Even the bravest warriors will flee naked on that day,’ declares the Lord.” (Amos 2:13-16 NIV)
And this really happened in history during the Exile and the succeeding generations of their life as a nation.
Israel was given a chance to repent and practice justice and righteousness, not just religiosity:
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:21-24 NIV)
I pray for Israel: to practice justice and righteousness, and stop its military atrocities against their own people and against their neighbor — the people of Gaza whom God loves so much.