UPDATE 0830 EST 17 November 2012: With HAMAS terror rockets hitting Israel's capital city (Jerusalem) and largest metropolitan region (Tel Aviv) like intermittent Nazi V-1 buzz bombs hitting England during WWII, the expected ground war has yet to materialize. Something is in abeyance, but what that something actually is remains unknown after 72 hours of missile vs. airstrike warfare. Some media are intimating that something constitutes back-channel negotiations between the U.S., apocalyptic-minded Iran-Hezbollah, Israel, HAMAS-PA-Egypt.
These are parties who do not directly or normally converse with one another even when shots are not being fired, so I remain skeptical that this explanation is accurate. I think Israel is building its land forces for an overwhelming invasion of Gaza, but has yet to actually make the political decision to: (A) take full control of the territory in the aftermath or (B) the likelihood of engaging Egyptian forces as the result of a full-scale invasion. Whatever the case, PM Bibi Netanyahu had better be extremely cautious and trust Barack Hussein Obama only as far as he can spit. Muslims rarely backstab their brethren, especially in the midst of total Islamic jihad. This is a situation that the apocalyptic Iranian Shi'a have been fervently praying to a false god to bring to fruition while their program to acquire nuclear weaponry remains at a full gallop and a very, very short ride to completion. One might expect Ayatollah Khamenei to issue such an order under the present circumstances. I am sure PM Netanyahu has this probability at the top of his considerations.
As we all know, it is the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is in control of these and future events for the sovereign purposes of establishing His Kingdom on this earth. Pray that His Will is done.
UPDATE 0800 EST 18 November 2012: Overnight developments - True to their Islamic nature the terrorists of HAMAS have taken to detaining innocent, non-muslim foreign nationals all over Gaza to serve their purposes as hostages/human shields and a hedge against punishing IDF actions. This tactic is a certifiably productive method to turn normally supportive European and Asian public opinion against HAMAS' cause, but nobody ever accused HAMAS of being overtly intelligent. These foreign civilians were in Gaza for a reason.
PM Netanyahu spoke to Israel at noontime today and made very clear that the land warfare escalation ("a significant expansion") is very close to occurring. Leaflets urging Gaza civilians to stay clear of HAMAS and other terrorist facilities have been dropped yet again. The IAF today also launched strikes intended to destroy HAMAS primary real-time radio frequency and SATCOM centers. IDF boots on the ground in Gaza cannot be far behind. With multiple terrorist suicide squads anticipating the IDFs arrival a 'kill anything that moves' directive might be in play from the outset - the civilian population has been warned. Increased vigilance in Judea and Samaria is the standing order.
More recently a salvo of 15 Grad artillery rockets hit the city of Ashdod at about 2 PM IST today. It is now evident that HAMAS is coming to the realization that its unrestrained and inaccurate onesy and twosy missile fire is not having the desired terroristic effect upon the Israeli population. Had HAMAS read the history of Londoners during WWII they'd have known to expect a negative result from this tactic. Nevertheless, they have apparently deployed their version of a Russian-made BM-21 grad rocket launcher from its underground bunker and fired a salvo against Ashdod. The salvo apparently impacted Ashdod in two distinct locations. No reports of injuries as yet.
UPDATE 19 November 2012: The Potential Prophetic Implications of Operation Amud Anan
Four days ago I began looking into any potential prophetic significance apart from the obvious significance found in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 28:24-26. The first prophetic note to be made is that Ezekiel 28:24-26 clearly illustrates the safety and security Israel will live in just prior to the Gog of Magog invasion will have been won in the existential Psalm 83 war that has been fought against the Muslim Arabs for the past 65 years come Friday, 30 November 2012.
“And there shall no longer be a pricking brier or a painful thorn for the house of Israel from among all who are around them, who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.”‘Thus says the Lord God: “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God.”’”
"Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.” So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud (Ed. "Amud Anan") to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people."
UPDATE 12:29 AM EST 21 November 2012: Operation Amud Anan continues as it has for the past several days with strikes and counter-strikes. The reported ceasefire negotiation has produced nothing and the much anticipated ground invasion remains on hold. What is evident is that Israel has been systematically destroying HAMAS ability to govern Gaza. What remains to be seen is if Israel will carry forward and destroy HAMAS itself and what Egypt and other Arab governments will do in response. Meanwhile, back in Iran, the nuclear weapons program continues.
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to US SECSTATE Clinton: “If there is a possibility of achieving a long-term solution to this problem with diplomatic means, we prefer that, but if not, I’m sure you understand that Israel will have to take whatever action is necessary to defend its people.” This statement came after the terrorists in Gaza rejected Israel's offer of a 90-day ceasefire during which his government would assess the "goodwill" of its enemies toward a long-term solution.
What HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, other Islamic terrorist groups and their Iranian and Egyptian and Arab benefactors have thus far failed to comprehend is that the ceasefire which halted the IDFs Operation Cast Lead in January 2009 was predicated upon the condition that rocket attacks originating in Gaza had to stop completely. That condition was breached just days after the ceasefire and when IDF troops had withdrawn from Gaza. Since then well over 1,000 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel. There is no way that the Israeli government can return to the status quo of the Operation Cast Lead ceasefire and the past 3 years and 10 months. Operation Amud Anan must proceed to mission complete status. IDF troops are likely to enter Gaza and begin hunting down the terrorists at any moment.
UPDATE 1 PM EST 21 November: There is currently a rush by media to report a ceasefire, but there are various interpretations of when this ceasefire is to take effect. Hillary and the Egyptian FM Mohammed Amr announced it in Cairo. Best information is that the ceasefire will commence at 2100 (9 PM) Israel Standard Time which is 1400 (2 PM) US Eastern Standard Time (one half hour from now).
Egypt is to assume responsibility for Gaza under the terms of this ceasefire. This ceasefire was agreed to in a phone call between Obama and Netanyahu with Obama saying that Bibi must give the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-led government "a chance."
Netanyahu is absolutely crazy to place any trust in either President Obama or Egypt's MB government. His chances of re-election or leading Likud will diminish accordingly.