The United Christian Council in Israel

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To all who pray for the peoples of the Middle East,

We have entered into a time of great stress and uncertainty in the Middle East. Israel and Hezbollah are at war with one another. It all began on Wednesday the 12th of July with an attack on two Israeli armored vehicles who were driving on the Israeli side of the Israeli Lebanese border. Most of the soldiers inside the vehicles were killed instantly; two others were abducted and brought to Lebanon. Israel responded swiftly by military action. The rest of the story is unfolding before the world's eyes and we hear daily how the situation escalates.

The IDF has been carrying out strikes against targets that have affected many people. We personally know people from a local evangelical organization who have been evacuated from a town just outside of Beirut, in spite of the severe damage to the infrastructure. I just received word that the whole team made it to the leader's parents home which means that they are in a safer place.

In Gaza it also started the same way; Palestinians crossed the border, killing two soldiers and abducting a third. This happened two weeks before the Lebanese crises. Now three weeks into the stand off the Palestinians in Gaza are facing a humanitarian crisis. Electricity is unavailable to sporadic at best, this means; no cooling, no storing whatever food is left, and no communication. Other social services have also broken down e.g. water and sewage
. There have been many deaths, militants as well as innocents.

The situation in Israel is also bad. In the north, people are living in constant fear of rocket attacks. They are basically living in bomb shelters. Normal life is disrupted, to say the least. From the moment that rocket warning sirens begin, the citizens have one minute to react. The people feel cornered and scared. Some personal friends of ours are living in the north where there have been many rocket attacks from Lebanon. They are a young couple who are expecting their first child. They are safe but they have already packed their bags just in case they need to evacuate.

Over and over we see that the larger population is effected by the actions of a minority. Pray that those with extreme views will be brought to reason, nothing less than a miracle can bring this about.

Pray also for moderation and that voices of realism can speak reason to those who make decisions which bring life or death.

The greatest threat is escalation. Please pray with us that the crisis will not spread to other countries and pray for a decrease of the attacks on both sides.

Please pray for a quick end and a lasting solution to this conflict.