Israel’s Impossible Dilemma: Pray to the Waymaker

Here’s Israel’s dilemma: Get all the hostages back and live with terrorists at the border, terrorists who are promising to repeat October 7th again and again, or destroy the threat of Hamas at the expense of all those Israelis still held in brutal captivity. As it was put in the Times of Israel, Hamas is “making Israel decide between Israel’s body and our nation’s soul”.

In stark contrast to the division in the land (verging on civil war) before the massacre of October 7, Israel is united as a nation in the fight against terror. There’s a consensus that all Hamas infrastructure must be dismantled and the terror organization finished for good. There can be no living next door to neighbors so thoroughly committed to brutalizing and annihilating Israel.

But Hamas still holds over a hundred hostages. Like bargaining chips in their cruel game.

A matter of life and death

Eyon Levy, spokesman for Israel, repeats that “no one will be left behind”. This is our ethos. Israel values life extremely highly, as has been shown by the price that has been paid for the hostages so far, and the 1000+ prisoners exchanged for the life of Gilad Shalit back in 2011. Hamas knows this.

“The Israelis are known to love life. We, on the other hand, sacrifice ourselves”, explained senior Hamas official, Ali Baraka, in an interview on Russia Today TV. “We consider our dead to be martyrs. The thing any Palestinian desires the most is to be martyred for the sake of Allah, defending his land.”1

Running headlong towards death is a matter of pride for Palestinian militants, a perceived strength in the face of Israel’s perceived weakness: loving life. This is what has opened Israel up to the dilemma we are in today.

Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh himself has declared, “We love death like our enemies love life”, while another Hamas dignitary from the Al-Sawarka tribe in Gaza declared that “the Palestinian people shall liberate its land with blood, with martyrs, with women, and with children” and that “we shall come and take down that [border] fence with the fingernails of our children.”2 Hamas has sent this message to Israelis over and over in the past: “The price will be high, Sons of Zion. Are you willing to pay the price? … Oh occupier, we are coming towards you. Leave our land. All of Palestine is ours. There is nothing here for you but death. There is nothing here for you but to be killed and to leave.”3

While there was a ceasefire (supposedly), as Hamas has had the option to release 10 hostages a day in exchange for another day of ceasefire. Having agreed to the terms, which involved not even being able to do surveillance during the ceasefire, Israel’s hands were tied behind its back as Hamas regrouped and rearmed. It’s highly likely that traps and devices were set in key places in anticipation of the IDF’s return to finish off the rest of the tunnel infrastructure, and now Israel is at risk of endangering the lives of soldiers as a result. The cost of hostage lives is heavy.

Israel’s dilemma

Now the Hamas terror group has brought a counter proposal to the table: all the hostages returned in exchange for a total ceasefire. Many around the world believe that such a ceasefire would be “peace”. It would be nothing of the sort.

Hamas’s idea of a ceasefire does not equate with the generally accepted idea of what a ceasefire should mean.

After the ceasefire was declared, Hamas fired several rockets at Israeli civilians in Eilat and the Gaza Envelope. They also detonated three bombs targeting IDF troops, opened fire on Israeli soldiers, and have taken responsibility for the attack in Jerusalem on November 30 in which two terrorists with MK16s opened fire on civilians at a bus stop, murdering three and injuring many others. Moreover, Hamas also violated the conditions of the ceasefire in the returning of hostages. The agreement stipulated that mothers and their children must be released together, which they have refused to do. They have refused to release the youngest baby from captivity, and have denied the Red Cross permission to visit the hostages or provide them with medication. They have openly admitted they are committed to their goal of eliminating Israel and murdering all Jewish people, and any ceasefire is not a matter of making peace but rather an opportunity to gear up for the next attack. But now the ceasefire is over after many more rockets were shot at Israel.

However, the thought of every Israeli being set free will be impossible to dismiss. Protecting the “body” of Israel is to defeat Hamas soundly and for good. But what about our hearts that are with the hostages? What about our soul? Most would agree that Israel absolutely must not stop in the mission to destroy Hamas completely, and that failure to do so is subjecting the nation to more massacres as a matter of inevitability. This is Israel’s dilemma. What can Israel do? Lose the hostages? Or endanger the nation to constant attack? How on earth do you make a decision like that?

Hamas leaders are likely rubbing their hands with glee, believing they have got Israel in an impossible dilemma, a checkmate. Israelis will die either way, it seems. Something Israel can surely not countenance—in either eventuality.

God of deliverances

So now what? It’s like Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt only to be faced with the Red Sea in front and the Egyptian army behind. Death either way. But Israel is resolute. Hamas must be defeated. Here is a statement on the matter from Benjamin Netanyahu:

“From the start of the war, I set three goals: Eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza will never again go back to being a threat to the State of Israel. These three goals still stand. In the past week, we have had a very great achievement – the return of dozens of our hostages. A week ago this seemed imaginary but we achieved it. But in recent days I have heard a question: After completing this stage of the return of our hostages, will Israel go back to the fighting? My answer is an unequivocal yes. There is no situation in which we do not go back to fighting until the end. This is my policy. The entire Security Cabinet is behind it. The entire Government is behind it. The soldiers are behind it. The people are behind it – this is exactly what we will do.”An Israeli believer has been asking themselves this question: What would I think if it was my loved one trapped in Gaza? What if it was my decision to make, to sacrifice my beloved for the sake of my nation? Would I do it? What a dilemma. Yet God also had to weigh this terrible cost as well. His beloved Son for the sake of the whole world. Salvation did not come cheap. Sacrifices are bloody. Now we, captives of sin and death, get to go free. This is our God.Although Israel is in this terrible situation, our God can make a way where there seems to be no way. God parted the sea for Moses and the Israelites, when they were trapped between two terrible alternatives… who knows what He could do for Israel now?

We need you to pray earnestly, and with great faith, for miracles.

We need miraculous rescues of the hostages. We need supernatural success for the soldiers. We need divine protection for our troops, and disaster to befall Hamas. We need our nation to look to God at this time for deliverance. It’s time for some major spiritual battle. Please pray with us!


  2. (2012), (2014) Hamas leader Muhammad Deif: “Today you [Israelis] are fighting divine soldiers, who love death for Allah like you love life, and who compete among themselves for Martyrdom like you flee from death.”
    Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh: “We love death like our enemies love life! We love Martyrdom, the way in which [Hamas] leaders died.”
  3. These statements were aired on March 29 2018 on the Hamas Al-Aqsa TV channel, which did not provide the name of the dignitary. “This is a message to the whole world: The Palestinian people shall never relinquish the Right of Return. The Palestinian people shall liberate its land with blood, with martyrs, with women, and with children. We shall never relinquish our land, the land of our fathers and of our forefathers. We shall return with all our might. We shall return as liberators, with our heads held high, and carrying the banner of ‘There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.'”
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