Calls for a ceasefire are growing louder. Most often, it must be said, from those who were silent about the massacre committed against Israel and the subsequent antisemitic fury that immediately followed it around the world. But as much as we all want peace, Israel remains certain that relenting at this crucial point, leaving Hamas undefeated and hostages in captivity, is not the way to bring a lasting peace to the region.

Why won't Israel agree to a ceasefire?

The images of war and suffering are unbearable as Israel puts unrelenting pressure on Hamas with astonishing force. Many are asking why Israel's fury is not spent? Surely enough death and damage has been inflicted in retaliation? But those people are missing the point entirely. This is not about fury and it's not about revenge. If you want to understand why Israel won't agree to a ceasefire, you have to see things from Israel's point of view.

Six months have now passed since innocent Israelis were slaughtered and dragged from their homes in pajamas—men, women, and children, old and young. Six months of the most harrowing ordeal imaginable.  And we are just beginning to find out about it now. Those released are starting to tell their stories.

⁠133 are still held in cruel captivity by Hamas. Israel cannot, and will not, abandon them. Moreover, Israel will not stop until it can be sure that the threatened repeat of October 7 dies along with those who masterminded the massacre. A premature ceasefire sends the message to Hamas (and all the other Iranian proxies surrounding Israel like Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Muslim Brotherhood , ISIS, and others) that taking hostages is the way to go. The consequences of that are unthinkable. Israel must demonstrate that hostage taking does not end well for those who perpetrate it.

Hostages are a powerful bargaining chip in the hands of the terror group, as they know the lengths Israel will go to for each one. While serving a 20 year prison sentence for murdering Palestinians who cooperated to help Israel, Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar, spent time reading Israeli literature in order to understand the Israeli psyche.1 He was released in the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011 along with over 1000 other Palestinians held in Israeli jails in exchange for just one Israeli soldier. He knows full well what it means to have Israelis in his grip. And he does not want to let them go.

The terror group released a video of three of the hostages reading the scripts they were given, but by the end two of them are shown dead. It was an evil psychological game designed to play with the desperate families who got a glimpse of their loved ones, raising hope for a minute, then crushing it with the pictures of corpses. Hamas claims they were killed because of Israeli fire, but we know they are not a movement committed to telling the truth, especially concerning Israel. We also know that they are not averse to killing Israelis. And the IDF were initially hesitant to verify that they are truly dead, given the deception and tactics consistently played by evil men who want to inflict as much suffering as possible.

The search for peace

It has to be remembered that the reason any prisoners were released at all was because of military pressure. Israel's leaders are convinced that the way to bring a peaceful resolution to this war is to force Hamas to give up: to give up and surrender, both the war and the hostages.

Getting rid of Hamas for good will benefit both Israel and the people of Gaza who have suffered for years under the terrorist regime. Israel wants to live in peace and security, and the people of Gaza deserve a much better quality of life than they have been experiencing.

As many Gazans are now recognizing, their leaders have left them impoverished and brutalized in favor of their military goals, pouring billions of aid into tunnels, rockets, and their leaders' lavish lifestyles. Leaving the job half done will only encourage further attacks from Hamas and the multitude of other terror organizations surrounding Israel. It also leaves Gaza in the grip of Hamas. Certainly it is well known now that Hamas have promised to continue with their terrorist attacks in their charter and in recent interviews, but we are seeing it happen right now.

Just as children were coming out of school, two terrorists went on the rampage in central Israel injuring 17, many of whom were children, and one woman was killed. The Hamas terrorists from Hebron in the West Bank stole three vehicles, ploughing into people in multiple places in the city of Ranaana, also stabbing people.Moreover, there were public calls in the streets of London to continue large scale terror attacks. A speaker called out to a cheering crowd, “we must normalize massacres as a status quo”.3  The idea that October 7th was a storming success to be replicated will only be amplified if Israel gives up now.

Rockets continue to be fired at Israel even now, and for months on end Tel Aviv residents were regularly running for shelter in a city twice as densely populated as Gaza. Hamas will not quit unless they have to, and it's up to Israel to bring that to pass. Israel not only has the right to protect its civilians but the duty and obligation. Israel cannot simply agree to peace at any cost. We live in a very dangerous neighborhood where signs of weakness are like an open door of invitation. But many cannot comprehend this. They just want the violence to stop without appreciating the consequences of a premature ceasefire.

Those standing up for the hostages and for Israel's right to fight for survival are being pilloried, or worse. In a football match in Turkey, Sagiv Jehezkel (a player from Israel) dedicated his goal to the hostages, lifting up a message about the 100 days of captivity on his hand, and found himself under arrest. “So we live in a world where calling for jihad and massacres and killing Jews is totally cool and gets you devoted followers on insta and tiktok, but showing support for the innocent hostages held captive by Hamas gets you suspended”, concluded Israeli writer, Sarah Tuttle-Singer. These are dark days indeed. But even though the cost is high, it's important to challenge those who want to silence all dissent and give the impression that terror is winning.

Hope in the darkness

Among the many stories now being told are accounts of hostages calling out to God in their distress, and they are here to tell the tale. Israelis continue to turn to God, asking questions about the Bible and faith, prophecy and the end of the world, while the world shakes around us.

Meanwhile, out in the nations while the pro-Hamas rallies continue, demonstrations in support of Israel are also taking a stand. Many Christians are in their number, as are many Iranians! The willingness to stand out in the bitter cold to signify support with Israeli and Iranian flags warms the hearts of many in Israel who feel vilified and hated. The situation is not easy and involves many more players than just Israel and Hamas—something the Iranian people understand well—and love expressed by people who look past the simplistic and counterproductive calls for a ceasefire mean a lot.

More importantly, we know that God Himself has made a covenant with Israel and it is in Him we must put our trust. He is our help in times of trouble.

Please pray:

  • For the families of the hostages who are losing hope
  • For wisdom for Israel's political and military leaders
  • For the hostages themselves, especially for answers to their prayers
  • For courage for believers in the nations to publicly take a stand for Israel
  • For protection and safety of both Israeli and Gazan civilians
  • For many to turn to God in Israel and Gaza, including Hamas terrorists



  1. Times of Israel
  2. Time of Israel
  3. Instagram

Photo by Sunguk Kim on Unsplash

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