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Some Thoughts on the Eve of War by Aaron Hecht

Israel has been in a war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip for almost nine months now, but we appear to be on the eve of a much bigger conflict that will make everything that's happened so far seem fairly mild by comparison.

Since October 8th, 2023, there has been a low-intensity battle on the northern border with the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah firing a small but steady drizzle of weapons into northern Israel, and the IDF responding with air and artillery strikes on Hezbollah targets.

In the last few weeks, there's been growing indications that the IDF has accomplished all that the political leadership thinks it is possible to accomplish in the Gaza Strip, and so forces that have been fighting there are being withdrawn and re-deployed to the northern border. There are many other anecdotal indications that an Israeli attack on Hezbollah is imminent. It is meant to severely weaken this evil organization and at the very least push them far away from the border so that the 100,000 or so residents of northern Israeli communities who have been forced to evacuate their homes amidst the Hezbollah attacks can return and live peacefully there.

Last but certainly not least, there was a report in a German newspaper this week saying that a date has been set for this attack, and although the exact day wasn't mentioned, the report said it was in the second half of July.

All of that has got me thinking, a lot.

There are some very serious people who have warned that Hezbollah will likely be able to fire up to 4,000 rockets, UAVs, and missiles into Israel every single day for several days following the outbreak of war. It could take the IDF up to 10 days, according to some estimates, before there would be any large reductions in this number, and long before we got to that point, Israel's vaunted air defense systems will have been depleted and overwhelmed. Large numbers of casualties and massive damage to civilian infrastructure is expected in this scenario, including heavy damage to cities, especially in the northern third of the country. Much of the country will be without electricity for several days and possibly longer in this scenario. Internet connection is also likely to be lost, along with running water and many other things we've long taken for granted.

Other people say the IDF will level Lebanon as far north as Beirut in a week or less and there will be very few rockets being fired after the first 72 hours. In this scenario we might lose power for a few hours but otherwise it'll be pretty normal for most of us who live in the center and south of the country.

All this reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld's famous quote from a press confrence he gave back in 2002, saying "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones."

This quote is often in the back of my mind at times like this, when I find myself on the eve of some really big event that's likely to bring big changes to my situation. Candidly, I think everyone, including the former IDF generals and all the other "experts" who have made these predictions about what's about to happen in Lebanon, are just guessing. We won't know for sure what's going to happen until it happens.

In any event, I don't have the luxury of doing anything other than expecting the worst and preparing as best I can accordingly. I believe I've done all I can to prepare myself, my home, my family and even the building I live in for what's coming. The bomb shelter in our building has been cleaned up and stocked with enough bottled water and canned food, toilet paper, and other basic necessities so that if the nearly 40 people who live in this building need to stay down there for several hours or even a day or two, it'll be bearable, if not comfortable. I've got a respectable supply of water and non-perishable food and other neseccities in my own apartment, including a camping stove and other gear that'll come in handy in case the power goes out.

I've done all I can, and now I'm sitting here writing this blog and hoping it gets read far and wide, especially this last part.

The last part of this blog is going to be a request to anyone reading it to pray. I know most of you already are praying for the safety of Israel, the success of our soldiers, and all the rest. But I'm asking you to pray for individual people in this country, especially the Body of Messiah here. Almost anyone who reads blogs like this one knows at least a few Israeli believers. Please make it a priority to pray for these people by name.

I know many of you are also donating to ministries and organizations that are active in Israel. Please keep doing that, because the economy here is in very bad shape, the cost of living keeps going up, and soon there's going to be a lot of new immigrants coming from France, the US, Canada, and many other places. These new Israelis are going to be a great blessing, but they're also going to make a lot of things that were already difficult even more difficult, including the housing crises and the rather right job market and many other things.

I could say a lot more, but that really is the essential part.

Please keep praying, giving, advocating for Israel and otherwise doing whatever you can to support this country. Even in a best-case scenario, we're in for a difficult few weeks and months, and we're going to need all the help we can get.

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