Who Is Hamas?

Arno Froese

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert” (Acts 8:26).

The conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel sees no end. Loss of life, destruction of property, and living with the constant threat of danger is part of life in Gaza as well as across the border in Israel.

Hamas continues to claim that Israel’s blockade by air, sea, and land is the reason for their repeated attacks, mainly by rockets, against Israeli civilian targets. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The 2014 Gaza Conflict was a peak in the ongoing armed conflict waged against Israel for over a decade by terrorist organizations operating from the Gaza Strip. The tactics of Hamas and other terrorist organizations during the conflict [were a] violation of international law.” What is crystal clear is that Israel is acting defensively. The government, with its military might, is responsible for the security of its citizens.

Recently, BBC reported the following:

The army says Palestinian militants have fired 600 rockets into Israeli territory over [a] weekend, leaving four Israelis dead.

Israel says it has hit 280 targets in the Gaza Strip and threatened further “massive” strikes.

The flare-up comes despite a truce agreed [the previous] month. Egypt and the United Nations have recently been trying to broker a longer-term ceasefire.

It began on [a] Friday, during protests in Gaza against the blockade of the area—which Israel says is needed to stop weapons reaching militants.

A Palestinian gunman shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers at the boundary fence. Israel retaliated with an air strike that killed two militants.

The rocket barrage from Gaza began on [a] Saturday morning. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system shot down dozens of the rockets, but a number of homes in Israeli towns and villages were hit.

-www.bbc.com, 5 May 2019

Who Is Hamas?

Hamas, English Islamic Resistance Movement, militant Islamic Palestinian nationalist movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that is dedicated to the establishment of an independent Islamic state in historical Palestine. Founded in 1987, Hamas opposed the secular approach of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and rejected attempts to cede any part of Palestine.

From the late 1970s, Islamic activists connected with the pan-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood established a network of charities, clinics, and schools and became active in the territories (the Gaza Strip and West Bank) occupied by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War. In Gaza they were active in many mosques, while their activities in the West Bank generally were limited to the universities. The Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in these areas were generally nonviolent, but a number of small groups in the occupied territories began to call for jihad, or holy war, against Israel. In December 1987, at the beginning of the Palestinian intifadah (Arabic intifādah, “shaking off”) uprising against Israeli occupation, Hamas (which also is an Arabic word meaning “zeal”) was established by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and religious factions of the PLO, and the new organization quickly acquired a broad following. In its 1988 charter, Hamas maintained that Palestine is an Islamic homeland that can never be surrendered to non-Muslims and that waging holy war to wrest control of Palestine from Israel is a religious duty for Palestinian Muslims. This position brought it into conflict with the PLO, which in 1988 recognized Israel’s right to exist.

-https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hamas

Any hope for a lasting peace agreement between Hamas and Israel is all but out of the question at this time. The tragedy goes on, with lives lost, property destroyed, and alarming events occurring daily.

With this, we come to another side of the Gaza issue, and that is the wonderful news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When reading Acts chapter 8, we notice that Saul, who later became Paul, consented to the stoning death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. From that point on, great persecution by the religious authorities in Jerusalem against the Church, led to a great missionary awakening, as verse 4 reports: “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”

Phillip, who went to Samaria, preached Christ there until God’s supernatural intervention, as we read in the introductory Scripture. The place the angel instructed him to go was toward Gaza, in the desert. And, from there the Gospel went to Africa, before the glorious message reached Europe.

That Gaza was mentioned may indicate that they had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. We have no further record in Scripture on how they reacted, but we do know one thing with absolute certainty: the simple summary of the Gospel, as stated in the most-quoted verse—John 3:16—is applicable to all people at all times. That, incidentally, is the hope of Gaza, the hope of Israel, and the hope for the world. Only when the Prince of Peace arrives—when His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives—will He, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, order the destruction of all weapons. He will institute peace, peace that the world needs, peace that passes all understanding. That is the wondrous future the prophets of the Bible predict.

Midnight Call - 07/2019

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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