Israel Defense Force twitter stream:
BREAKING NEWS: A large IDF force has just launched a ground operation in the Gaza Strip. A new phase of Operation Protective Edge has begun. The new phase follows 10 days of Hamas attacks on Israel by land, air & sea – and repeated rejections of offers to deescalate the situation.
Twitter, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Channel 4 News Jonathan Miller: "All we are evacuating our hotel as are all #gaza beach hotels. Warned of imminent amphibious landing. #c4news"
Netanyahu's office says purpose of mission is to destroy terror tunnels and seriously harm the infrastructure of Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza. Prior to the commencement of the ground invasion, the IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night. The IDF said that the operation will involve infantry, engineering corps, and tank units combined with air force and naval support and intelligence.
Analysis from a week ago, which turned out to be accurate.
"...the longer Hamas fails to stop firing rockets, the greater the likelihood for a ground incursion becomes, perhaps even as soon as within “the next 1-2 weeks,” Nisman said. He further noted that, “This would be a much larger ground offensive than Hamas is anticipating,” and that the operation, “would first aim to cut the Gaza Strip into different sections, then take control of peripheral areas which are used to launch short and medium range rockets.” Former IDF officer Dror Markus echoed this analysis, in a separate interview, indicating that if Hamas fulfills its goals of inflicting casualties on Israeli civilians, “Netanyahu will be left with no choice other than a limited ground military incursion.”
The Ukraine and Russia are also nations who will be active in the prophetic years, AKA the time just before, during, or after the rapture, as per Ezekiel 38-39
WSJ: U.S. intelligence confirms surface-to-air missile fired at Malaysian jet but are divided over origin
PASSENGER MALAYSIAN AIRLINER #17, allegedly shot down by Ukrainian rebels. 295 souls aboard.
Foreign Policy magazine
What We Know So Far About the Passenger Jet Allegedly Shot Down in Ukraine
A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington declined to comment on charges that pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine shot down a Malaysian Airlines plane. "Why should we comment on allegations?" the official said. The spokesman did however point to an article published by the Russian news service RIA Novosti suggesting that the Ukrainian military shot down the aircraft, not the rebels.
Airspace in Eastern Ukraine is now closed 'until further notice'
Eurocontrol, which directs air traffic across Europe, said that since the crash, all airspace in eastern Ukraine had been closed “until further notice” and that the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell had been activated to deal with the closure.
Obama is golfing.
In other news, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL. He has kept His had over the fuse that will eventually light the Middle East and He may do so again today. Or He may not and this particular series of events may be the ones which lead the fuse to the rapture. Or it may be that a series of wars began today which the church will be seeing from earth's vantage point. We simply don't know, but His plan is perfect and His sovereignty is never in doubt.
I pray for the families of the souls aboard the downed plane. While heaven's gate was likely opened to receive some, more likely Hades' mouth was enlarged to receive even more. Hundreds of families are at this moment in shock and mourning at this senseless and tragic act that has rendered children fatherless, wives into widows and families torn by grief..
The Israeli soldiers fighting on behalf of a frightened citizenry should also be prayed for, as well as the leaders on both sides.
For perspective's sake, I offer to you from 2005 John Piper's essay, "Ten Aspects of God's Sovereignty Over Suffering and Satan's Hand in It"
The impetus for this conference comes from th ultimate reality of God as the supreme value in and above the universe. God is absolute and eternal and infinite. Everything else and everybody else is dependent and finite and contingent. God himself is the great supreme value. Everything else that has any value has it by connection to God. God is supreme in all things. He has all authority, all power, all wisdom—and he is all good “to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25). And his name, as Creator and Redeemer and Ruler of all, is Jesus Christ. In the last four years, 9/11, Tsunami, Katrina, and ten thousand personal losses have helped us discover how little the American church is rooted in this truth.You should click here to read in full the ten things we celebrate in our Almighty and Sovereign God. He is still on the throne, praise Him. Here are some highlights
In other words, our vision of God in relation to evil and suffering was shown to be frivolous. The church has not been spending its energy to go deep with the unfathomable God of the Bible. Against the overwhelming weight and seriousness of the Bible, much of the church is choosing, at this very moment, to become more light and shallow and entertainment-oriented, and therefore successful in its irrelevance to massive suffering and evil. The popular God of fun-church is simply too small and too affable to hold a hurricane in his hand. The approach I am going to take tonight is not to solve any problem directly, but to celebrate the sovereignty of God over Satan and all the evils that Satan has a hand in.
1. Let us celebrate that God is sovereign over Satan’s delegated world rule.
2. Let us celebrate that God is sovereign over Satan’s angels (demons, evil spirits).
3. Let us celebrate that God is sovereign over Satan’s hand in persecution.
4. Let us celebrate that God is sovereign over Satan’s life-taking power.
It is a time to mourn, but it is also a time to celebrate.
A Time for Everything
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)