Reserve General to CBN News: Gaza Ground Invasion Imminent, 'Now, Everybody is Praying'
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JERUSALEM, Israel – “Crush and conquer:" that's the stated goal for a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, and one Israeli minister says the I.D.F. (Israeli Defense Forces) has the green light to move ahead, with the timing reportedly in the hands of the military.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Israeli troops on the Golan Heights.
“I am here with Golani's fighters, they come from all parts of the country. They fought like lions, they will fight like lions," Netanyahu declared. "We are going to win with all our might. The entire nation of Israel stands behind you, and we will give the hard blow to our enemies so that we achieve victory – for victory!"
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In the south, the I.D.F. says it's completing its checklist by approving operational plans and deploying forces. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addressed troops at the Gaza border.
"Get organized, be ready," Gallant exhorted. "The order will come. Thank you so much, guys, we trust you, good luck, and we'll meet again. Whoever sees Gaza from afar now, will see it from the inside. I promise you. That's a promise."
Reserve Brigadier-General Amir Aviv told CBN News, “We have a very, very clear goal. We are (going) into Gaza and we are going to completely destroy Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and every terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.”
While there’s been talk about the ground campaign being delayed, Avivi claims it is right on schedule.
“There is no delay," he explained. "There is preparation. We have a schedule for preparing the troops. You have to remember that we have mobilized hundreds of thousands of reservists. We want to train them, equip them. They have to learn their mission. When we feel it is the right moment, we will go in. Anybody thinking maybe we are not going in, we (will) not operate, is not understanding what is going on. The ground operation is imminent.”
Middle East expert Avi Malamed says Hamas is part of Iran's scheme to destroy the Jewish state.
“The Iranian regime has also been advancing its master plan to eliminate the state of Israel through the use of conventional weapons, and the Iranian regime, to that end, has created what we call the “ring of fire" – meaning, creating armies of terror around Israel’s neck in Lebanon in the shape of the Hezbollah, in Syria in the shape of Iraqi, Afgan, and Pakistani Shiite militias, and the last component of that ring is Hamas and Islamic Jihad in (the) Gaza Strip.”
Up north, as Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah continue to fire at one another, the question remains if and when Hezbollah will join the war.
Israel's security forces Friday evacuated thousands of residents from the strategic city of Kiryat Shemona near the Lebanese border, sending them to hotels and other places of refuge in different parts of the country
Meanwhile, other regional hot spots are emerging. A U.S. warship in the Red Sea intercepted missiles meant for Israel, fired by Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen.
Two U.S. military bases in Syria are also reportedly under attack. These events signal the possibility of a wider Middle East conflict that would fit the idea of the Iranian regime creating a regional ring of fire.
Melamed told us, “I said from the beginning, this is a mega event. This is a seismic event. This is an event that has huge ramifications in many perspectives. It sends aftershock waves in the context of Israeli society and politics, Palestinian society and politics. The trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It sends massive aftershocks to the region, to the Middle East. It sends shock waves to the international community, and finally, also to American Jewry.”
Despite the danger, General Avivi says all eyes are on the God of Israel.
“It’s amazing to see how united we are, how the spirit is strong, how the connection to God is strong. Now, everybody is praying. You know in war, you don’t hesitate. Everybody speaks with God and seeks guidance and protection.”
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