Inside of the Gaza Struggle by Perry Stone Jr.
During my 29 years of traveling to the Holy Land in 34 trips, I have never been in or near the Gaza strip. Gaza in Biblical history, was the land of the ancient Philistines, a large tribal group that included the coastal areas of Israel from the border of the desert with Egypt, and along the Mediterranean coasts. Some of the most noted Philistines were the 5 giants that were born to Anak, the Father of the giants. The most famous was Goliath, the Philistine champion that David challenged and slew in the Valley of Elah (1 Samuel 17).
Today, the area of Gaza is a large refugee camp where individuals who identify themselves as Palestinians live, as they await a day in which they believe the land that was lost during the 1967 war will be returned to them and they will form a “Palestinian State.” The main condition the Palestinians have for forming this state is that Israel (actually the Jews) must be completely removed from the alleged “occupied land,” including Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).
The “real” conflict is actually a religious one – between the Jewish faith and the Islamic faith. It is obvious that Israel and the Jewish government does not persecute or harass those of other religions, as they permit Christians to worship in their churches without any interference and permit the Muslims to not only pray in their mosques, but to pray over loud speakers that echo five times a day across the cities and nations. Now let’s turn the coin around.
Let us assume that Islamic leaders were in control of all of the Holy Land. What freedom would Jews have to worship unmolested in their synagogues or Christians without either restraint or persecution in their local churches? When the Muslim Brotherhood seized control of Egypt, the radicals began robbing Christians, burning down churches and attempted to force Christian women to wear veils over their faces. The radical and dangerous Islamic group ISIS took control of much of Syria, including regions in north eastern Iraq, where there is a small group of Christians attempting to survive in the area. ISIS gave a directive for all Christians to either convert to Islam, or to pay a large tax, or face beheading. The fact is, when radical Islam controls any region, the persecution level against Christians and Jews rises to at times an unbearable level.
If just the leaders inside of Israel and the surrounding areas were to work on living and working together, something possible and good could come out of the situation. However, the real problem is the outside forces that are continually sticking their noses into the issue. There are the Iranians that are providing weapons and rockets to Hamas and to Hezbollah in Lebanon. There are the Syrian radicals and numerous other Islamic groups that are providing money, safe haven to terrorists and other organizations – all who use the Palestinians as pawns on a chess board.
It is a known fact – although seldom reported in the national media that before Israel sends in a missile into Gaza they warn the people in the area to get out of the buildings. It is also a known fact that Hamas uses women and children as human shields, hoping to cause deaths and change the world’s opinion, blaming Israel for going after innocent people. Years ago the U.S. government gave Hamas tens of millions of dollars to build up Gaza. Instead this money was used to purchase concrete and build numerous underground bunkers used to transfer thousands of missiles into Gaza to eventually use against Israel.
The issue of the Palestinians forming a new state will be the issue that brings in the Biblical Antichrist and his control of half of Jerusalem.
During my numerous trips to the Holy Land I have never been to the Gaza and will never go and have no desire to go, as there is nothing of Biblical history to see or experience. However we should pray for those who really desire some form of a normal type of life and that the dishonest, corrupt and evil men who are living in a world of hate will be defeated and replaced by men and women with some regard to life.
Perry Stone, Jr.