Israelis Pray as Hamas Missile Barrage Intensifies

Israeli soldiers pray
Israeli soldiers pray near the border of the central Gaza Strip Nov. 18 (Reuters/Nir Elias)

Hundreds of Israelis gathered to pray for their country as Hamas continued to launch rockets into Israel and the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes on terror targets. 
 
The terrorist group intensified its missile barrages against southern Israel over the weekend. 

More than 560 rockets have slammed into Israel so far, with another 300-plus intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile batteries.

Haim Gabo's house on Moshav Beer Tuvia was hit last week while his wife and children sat protected in their safe room.

"I don't want to think about what would happen if we didn't have shelter," Gabo said.

The Israeli army pounded Hamas buildings and weapons' storage facilities by land and sea over the weekend. They've targeted more than 1,350 terror sites in the last six days in what they're calling Pillar of Defense.

The air force has inflicted extensive damage on the terror infrastructure, including buildings, weapons launching facilities, and terrorist workshops.

In one case, Palestinians say a bomb killed 11 members of one family including women and children. But Moshav Beer Tuvia resident Colleen Montgomery says the bad press against Israel isn't fair.

"Just remember, every time someone holds up a child who has been hurt in Gaza -- which we hope they aren't—but if they are, somebody needs to place beside that pictures from Syria," Montgomery said.

"This has been a year and a half, two years going on, and nobody is getting in the middle of it, nobody's yelling," she added.

"I wish the yelling would stop at Israel," Montgomery said. "We are doing our best. We know our soldiers. They are not trying to do anything to the civilian population."

Meanwhile, Israeli public support for the ongoing military operation remains high.

Some 31,000 reservists have already been called up for a possible ground offensive. But some Western leaders are warning the Jewish state not to send their soldiers into Gaza.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya'alon says Israel expects the world to stand behind its right to defend itself.

"We expect our allies to support us to use all our tools to bring peace to our people," he said. "So to say the least, we don't like these kind of reservations."

In Jerusalem, hundreds of Israelis gathered at the Western Wall to pray for their nation and for protection for the army. They prayed Psalm 121: "He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps."


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