Columbus church leader joins delegation to Israel - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus church leader joins delegation to Israel

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

There are estimates of more than ten thousand homes severely damaged or destroyed in Gaza...while hundreds of civilians have been killed.

As the violence rages on, a group of American pastors have made a quick trip into Israel to bring hope to the holy land...including one from the Columbus area.

Pastor Jay Bailey of Solid Rock Assembly of God in Columbus is one of the forty people on this mission.  He spoke to us from Jerusalem today.

"Not only were we able to see the places from which the rockets would come from, what was daunting was to realize that they're also building tunnels underneath, a mile, or two kilometers into Israeli land, and that they will go to kidnap or kill soldiers or children," says Bailey.

Pastor Bailey says the observing the Iron Dome defense system along the Gaza border today left a major impression on him.  It's an automated defense system on Israel's borders that is credited with keeping the majority of incoming rockets from landing in population centers.

"It's really a remarkable piece of technology, when you think that those rockets would be fired to intercept incoming Hamas rockets. And what I've come to understand in all this, is that every rocket that Hamas fires, has an intention of mass murder. The only thing that has saved lives is the genius of Iron Dome," says Bailey.

"That means to protect our people from roughly 3500 rockets, that Hamas and the other terrorist groups have fired on cities, on our towns and our civilians and our children in the last month," says Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli Prime Minister.

The latest seventy-two hour cease fire between Israel and Hamas continues to be upheld.

Pastor Bailey says he's been to Israel several times before, but this is the first time he's gone during an active conflict.  He says a country like Israel heavily depends on tourism and it's seeing a major disruption in its economy due to these attacks, but in spite of the danger, he describes the people as being very calm.

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