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Liveblog: Israel under attack – Pray for Israel!

editor

We are deeply shocked by Hamas’ unprecedented and bastardly war of terror against Israel.

Our hearts bleed when we think of the many dead, injured and hostages, including mothers with young children, teenagers, soldiers, the elderly and Holocaust survivors.

We ask you to pray with us and therefore we have compiled Prayer points.
Praying together has the power to change situations and bring hope in the midst of this terror!

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATES

Oct. 17, 15.55 (CET)

Oct. 17, 14.00 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
While the IDF’s ground offensive in Gaza still has not begun, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have resumed rocket attacks on Israel. Yesterday afternoon, there was a barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, where the Knesset was evacuated following the code-red air alert.

Hamas crush
Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a speech in the Knesset shortly before the latest rocket attack on Jerusalem in which he reiterated that the goal of the IDF operation in Gaza is to crush Hamas. “Our goal is a crushing victory over Hamas and removing its threat to Israel once and for all”, the prime minister said. Netanyahu also warned Hezbollah, telling them to be ‘careful’ and not to test Israel. He had not yet issued this warning or Hezbollah committed new aggression. IDF soldiers on the border with Lebanon were fired upon by Hezbollah terrorists. Fortunately, there were no casualties and the IDF again responded with artillery shelling at the spot from which the soldiers came under fire.

The Arab fifth column in Israel
There was other disturbing news that caused concern in Israel. So far, Israeli Arabs have kept calm in contrast to the last conflict with Hamas last year. Back then, real pogroms were organized against the Jewish population in Israel’s so-called mixed cities. This has not been the case so far. The only excesses were statements of support for Hamas on social media expressing approval of the October 7 massacre.

However, it now appears that part of the Arab population in Israel is preparing for armed conflict. The northern branch of the Islamist movement in Israel is notorious for its hostile activities against Israel and is now actively preparing to engage in conflict with Hamas and Hezbollah. The Islamists in northern Israel have formed a brigade in the Wadi Ara area south of the city of Afula called Shahiraq al Fahmawi, composed mainly of Arabs from the town of Um al-Fahm. This brigade holds military exercises at night near kibbutz Meggido. Israeli observers say the group has four-wheel drive vehicles and organizes combat training exercises in which paintball guns are fired. Um al-Fahm was the scene of serious violent riots during the Second Intifada in which Jews’ cars were pelted with stones.

Biden to Israel
It was also announced yesterday that US President Joe Biden is coming to Israel on Wednesday for a solidarity visit. Biden made an impression last week when he strongly condemned Hamas’ atrocities on 7 and 8 October. In Israel, pressure from Biden to resume humanitarian aid to Gaza is anticipated. The Americans, together with the Egyptian government, tried to broker a humanitarian temporary ceasefire yesterday. That attempt failed because there is strong resistance in Israel to supplying goods, electricity and water to Gaza following Hamas’ massacre of the population in southern Israel.

Documented atrocities
Those atrocities are not portrayed by the mainstream media but have been documented by a new project by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Furthermore, a group of Israeli researchers operating under the name South First Responders has published photos and videos on Telegram exposing Hamas atrocities. In Israel, these atrocities are compared to those of the SS Einsatz Gruppen. Even ISIS did not commit these kinds of crimes against humanity against Jews, it is claimed. The latter is not true, but the Islamic State group never specifically singled out Jews for the atrocities it committed. Hamas officials, meanwhile, stubbornly deny that the terror group itself was involved in the massacre in southern Israel. It is claimed that civilians from Gaza who could freely cross the border after the invasion were involved in the mass murder of Israelis.

Oct. 17, 9.14 (CET)
U.S. President Joe Biden will visit Israel this week in a show of support, as the IDF continues to strike Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip ahead of an anticipated ground offensive. (source JNS)

Oct. 16, 16.12 (CET)
Major rocket barrage targets Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, sending Knesset to shelters mid-session
Incoming rocket sirens are sounding in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as terrorists in the Gaza Strip launch long-range rockets at Israel’s largest cities in possibly the largest barrage since the initial salvo on October 7.

The rockets are launched during the opening session of the Knesset, sending lawmakers and other attendants to bomb shelter and delaying the session.

Oct. 16, 15.36 (CET)
These are the people kidnapped by Hamas

The image below shows photos of the 155 people held hostage in the Gaza Strip since Saturday, Oct. 7. Among them babies, children, women, the disabled and the elderly. The youngest hostage is 9-month-old baby Kfir; the oldest is an 85-year-old woman. There is no information about them whatsoever. Please pray for their protection and for their speedy release.

 


Oct. 16, 14.57 (CET)

Sad news from ADI

ADI, an organization in Israel that provides special care for the multiple disabled and with whom we as Christians for Israel have worked for many years, reports sad news. A member of their caretaking team, Edna Malkano, is one of the fatal victims of the bloody terror attack on Oct. 7. Her body was found near her hometown of Ofakim. She had just returned from her night shift at ADI Negev that Saturday morning. Edna was married and the mother of three children, ages 11, 14 and 15. She was 45 years old.

Marsel Talya, 65 years old, mother of ADI employee Liora, was also killed by Hamas terrorists. Marsel was visiting her daughter, who had given birth to a daughter, Asif, on Oct. 5. She was on her way to the synagogue on the morning of Oct. 7 to hand out sweets to the children in honor of Asif’s birth when she was shot dead.

 

Photos (left to right): Edna Malkano – Liora with her mother – The only photo of Grandma Marsel with her granddaughter Asif

 

Oct. 16, 13.03 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel – This is what happened on Sunday Oct. 15

Gaza
The expected ground offensive in Gaza has not yet begun. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, because of weather conditions. Yesterday it was cloudy and raining at times. This hindered operations in Gaza, including those of spy drones. A second reason for the delay is that the Israeli air force is still evacuating the area in northern Gaza.

Over the past two days, the air force carried out the largest number of attacks on military targets in Gaza in the history of confrontations with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). Hamas and PIJ will undoubtedly have “surprises” in store for IDF soldiers. Hundreds of weapons depots, rocket launchers, command centers and other military targets were bombed on Saturday and Sunday.Hamas and PIJ significantly reduced the number of rocket attacks on Israel yesterday. This is probably an indication that they want to keep the remaining arsenal of rockets for use during the ground war.

Evacuate 
A large number of Palestinian families in northern Gaza tried on Sunday to heed the urgent IDF call to evacuate before the ground offensive begins. However, they were stopped at Hamas’ checkpoints on the roads into southern Gaza. Israel partially restored water supplies to southern Gaza on Sunday evening. This was done to encourage people to go to southern Gaza. According to Hamas, fuel supplies in Gaza are running low and this would “force hospitals to close. However, take this with a pinch of salt, because Hamas has built a very large number of gas stations with underground tanks to store fuel. These gas stations act as an emergency supply of fuel. Hospitals in Gaza are Hamas facilities in two out of three cases. Compared to Israel, Gaza has seven times as many hospitals connected by tunnels.

The number of Israelis kidnapped during the Hamas invasion on Oct. 7 is now officially 156 and this number may continue to rise. This number was announced by the IDF after the families of those kidnapped were notified. Among those kidnapped is a family of five. They are the Calderon family, a father with two children, the grandmother and a cousin who is disabled. There is pressure from the families of the hostages on the government to begin negotiations with Hamas before the IDF enters Gaza.However, the chances of that happening are now very unlikely because Israel’s attitude toward Hamas and PIJ has changed dramatically. The goal now is to end the Hamas regime in Gaza, and this goal seems to transcend everything.

The second front in northern Israel
After a sharp escalation in attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah on targets in Israel on Sunday one can now speak of a second front. Five anti-tank guided missiles were reported, killing two Israeli civilians and wounding several others.On Sunday afternoon, a number of rockets were fired at villages and towns in northern Israel. Hamas in southern Lebanon claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it had fired 20 rockets. Eight Israeli civilians were wounded in the rocket attacks.New drone attacks by Hezbollah and attacks on IDF observation posts were also reported. The latter was apparently done to “blind” the IDF, just as Hamas did before the October 7 massacre.

The Israeli army used Apache helicopters and artillery in its responses to the aggression from Lebanon. Residents of the border region in northern Israel within a four-kilometer radius of the border are now in permanent shelters. In addition, the IDF decided to evacuate all residents of villages in an area of two kilometers from the border. This is to prevent kidnappings of civilians by Hezbollah.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is also active in Syria, where at least two rockets were fired from the Golan Heights last weekend. The rocket fire was met with artillery fire. IAF fighter jets again bombed the runways of Damascus and Aleppo airports on Sunday. This was done to prevent the landing of a civilian plane belonging to the Iranian airline Mahan. Mahan is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and has transported large quantities of weapons by civilian aircrafts to Syria in the past.

 

Oct. 14, 16.29 (CET)
EL AL operates two flights today on Shabbat. Click below for some facts about these flights:

Oct. 14, 10.33 (CET)

Explainer: Media coverage about Israel
The images are imprinted on our memory. Hamas invades Israel with unprecedented violence. Not surprisingly, many questions are now surfacing: what caused this escalation of violence? And how could this spin so tremendously out of control? The media give many reasons. But are they correct? Time to check the facts.

Oct. 14, 9.05 (CET)
KIDNAPPED: Pray for the Hostages Taken by Hamas, Share Their Posters, and Demand Their Safe Return

Hundreds of civilians were kidnapped: women, children, and the elderly – ranging from just 3 months old to 85 years old, including entire families. The horror that Hamas is inflicting on these hostages is unthinkable. The tragedy is beyond belief.

We must share their stories and pray for them. Here are posters that have been prepared of the hostages that we’ve been asked to help share. Please share on social media to help spread their faces globally in the hopes of bringing them home safely.

 

Oct. 13, 16.25 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
Hamas continues to launch hundreds of rockets, aiming at civilians in Israel. In the early afternoon, an estimated 150 rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon. The sky was full of white smoke and small plumes of smoke caused by Israel’s Iron Dome. Nevertheless, some houses were hit. There were no reports of injuries or worse.

At about the same time, air alarms went off again in northern Israel. This time, it was not a false alarm. A number of long-range rockets reached the region over Haifa and the town of Tzefat (Safed) in northeastern Israel. The David Slinger anti-missile shield was activated by the IDF and none of the missiles reached their target. Hamas in Gaza claimed responsibility for the attack. The town of Metula in Israel’s far north was declared a forbidden military area and residents were advised to find shelter elsewhere.

Hamas had earlier fired three anti-tank missiles at an Israeli Air Force unmanned aircraft flying over Gaza. The terror group has bid residents of northern Gaza not to heed Israeli calls to leave their homes and head to southern Gaza. Israel had earlier petitioned the United Nations to help with the evacuation. However, the United Nations refused, stating that the Israeli request was against international law.

Meanwhile, major unrest was reported in Judea and Samaria, where Palestinian Arabs responded to Hamas’ call for a ‘day of rage’. The violence began after Friday morning prayers and after the IDF, together with agents of the internal security service Shin Bet, raided the town of Tulkarm to detain wanted terrorists. Riots also broke out in Jordan when groups of Palestinian Jordanians tried to cross the border into Israel. However, they were stopped by Jordan’s army, which used tear gas to disperse the rioters.

Oct. 12, 16.22 (CET)
Arab-Israeli Lucy Aharish, news anchor at Reshet 13, sent a powerful message to the world on live television . “I’m sorry that I’m using my microphone to send a message to the world. As a journalist this is my only weapon,” she started.

“We are under an attack of a brutal, barbaric, inhumane terror organization.” “Hamas murdered and slaughtered in cold blood innocent babies, children, elderly, women and men in their homes, in their beds.”

Stand with us on the right side of History.

Oct. 12, 15.00 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
The panic that erupted in northern Israel around seven o’clock last night after air raid sirens went off almost everywhere turned out to be a false alarm in hindsight. The Israeli army (IDF) initially confirmed that so-called gliders had flown into Israeli airspace, but later determined that this had not been the case. It was fresh evidence that something is wrong in the IDF’s operational intelligence capabilities. Those flaws were best visible last Saturday, when an army of more than 1,500 Palestinian terrorists launched an incursion into southern Israel.

Last night was relatively quiet in Israel but this is clearly the calm before the storm. Last night, the new emergency national unity government was presented to the public. Defense Minister Yoav Galant was most clear about the purpose of the military operation against Hamas. “We will wipe Hamas off the map (from the face of the earth),” said Galant who had earlier said that the situation in Gaza will be turned around 180 degrees. The Israeli minister later spoke to several NATO colleagues and presented them with a video compilation of the atrocities Hamas had committed in southern Israel. Galant made it clear that the existing situation will cease to exist.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the same press conference, presented new details about the atrocities committed by Palestinian terrorists during the invasion of villages and kibbutzim around Gaza. The prime minister mentioned beheaded IDF soldiers and children shot through the head at close range. His office (PMO) later confirmed that 40 babies had been found beheaded. The death toll among civilians has now risen above 1,300 while the number of IDF soldiers killed also continues to rise. The army again published the names of 31 soldiers killed. This raised the number of soldiers killed to 220.

The Israeli Air Force reported this morning that the number of airstrikes on Gaza has been further increased. This is in preparation for the ground war that could begin at any moment. An area with a 30-kilometre radius around Gaza has been declared a forbidden military area. Furthermore, calls are now circulating on social media to pray for the hundreds of thousands of IDF soldiers who have gathered in the area around Gaza.

Investigations have now established that the invasion by Hamas and PIJ terrorists was preceded by attacks carried out from Israel during the night. There are audio recordings of the panic at an IDF base that was attacked during the night. Those audio recordings were supported by photos taken by soldiers of the attack, which was probably carried out by Bedouins.

Oct. 12, 13.15 (CET)
For the first time in 41 years, the Israeli airline ELAL will fly on Shabbat. Since 1982, Israeli law has prohibited ELAL from flying between Friday night and Saturday night in order to honour the Jewish day of rest. In Judaism, however, there is pikuach nefesh, the principle that the preservation of human life trumps any Jewish law. Israeli rabbis have given ELAL permission to fly to New York and Bangkok on Shabbat to pick up reservists. They can fly along for free; their flight is funded by ELAL itself, among others.

Oct. 12, 12.00 (CET)
By Kees de Vreugd

O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle (Psalm 140:7).

Rabbis in Israel are calling to especially pray Psalms 140 to 143 during this difficult time. These are Psalms that express Israel’s distress, but also Israel’s trust in God, Who will give salvation. But even in distress, the psalmist prays for the right words and not to say thoughtless things (Psalm 141). When you read these psalms, you see before you the images of the past few days: terrorists going door to door to massacre people – like that young couple in Kfar Azza, Iti and Hadar, who just barely managed to hide their 10-month-old twins in the protected room before the terrorists entered their home to kill them. The twins spent 13 hours in the hiding room before they were rescued.

You hear the words, evil as the poison of vipers (verse 3), even from those in our own country who believe they can justify this terrorism as if Israel were committing genocide in Gaza. What we saw on Saturday morning is the prototype of genocide.

Praying for protection
And then I see pictures of a unit of the Israeli army, somewhere in the south. Before taking action, they are standing in a large circle, embracing each other, blessing each other with the right hand on each other’s head, praying for protection from the Eternal for each other, for their loved ones at home and for all the people of Israel, while gunfire sounds in the background.

Psalm 140 repeatedly speaks of men of violence. The Hebrew word used there is chamas. Coincidentally? In the middle of the psalm is the confession: ‘O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle.’ The verb to shield is related to the word sukkah. In the synagogal prayer for the State of Israel we find the following words: ‘Spread over us the shelter (sukkah) of Your peace’.

Psalm 140
Read Psalm 140 today and pray for Israel using the words of this Psalm.

Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers;
protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the LORD, “You are my God.”
Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,
You shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD;
do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
May burning coals fall on them;
may they be thrown into the fire,
into miry pits, never to rise.
May slanderers not be established in the land;
may disaster hunt down the violent.

I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor
and upholds the cause of the needy.
Surely the righteous will praise Your name,
and the upright will live in Your presence.

Oct. 12, 11.30 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
Last night, large-scale airstrikes were launched against Nukhba, an elite Hamas unit. This unit was also prominent during the invasion of southern Israel last Saturday.

IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari said these large-scale airstrikes are intended to destroy Hamas’ ability to function as the ruler of Gaza. According to Hagari, there is chaos and anarchy in Gaza. There is no more fuel and therefore no electricity, as the only power plant in Gaza operates on diesel fuel. The supply of diesel ran out last night. Furthermore, goods are only being brought into Gaza from Egypt. Earlier, Israel cut off the water supply to Gaza.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) are currently limiting the number of rocket attacks on Israel. According to sources within the IDF, this is being done due to an awareness that a protracted war could ensue. Hamas used to produce weapons and rockets locally, but attacks by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have virtually eliminated that capability. Furthermore, Hamas still smuggles rockets and other weaponry through tunnels under the border with Egypt. However, its supply of rockets is limited and cannot be quickly replenished as is the case in Israel, which is now receiving arms and ammunition from the United States.

The US government announced last night that a total of 22 US citizens have been murdered by Hamas. Another 17 Americans are missing and are probably among those kidnapped in Gaza. Consequently, President Biden decided to transfer a second aircraft carrier to Israel. This is the USS Dwight Eisenhower, which is steaming up to the coast off Gaza along with other US warships. With the arrival of this fleet, the US military’s firepower will be of roughly the same calibre as that of the Israeli army.

However, the build-up of the US naval fleet is not only related to the kidnapped US citizens and the fact that 17 Americans have been killed by Hamas. It is also related to the expectation that the ground war in Gaza will turn into a war with the so-called Iranian ‘Axis of Resistance’. Meanwhile, it is reported from Syria that the Quds Brigade of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is transferring troops from eastern Syria to the border area with Israel.

Oct. 11, 16.24 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
Opposition leader Benny Gantz of the National Unity party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to form an emergency government. The new government will form a war cabinet headed by Netanyahu. This cabinet will include three ex-IDF generals. Current Defense Minister Yoav Galant, former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott and Benny Gantz himself. The other opposition parties have also expressed interest in joining this temporary government. This clears the way for the ground war against the Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza.

Oct. 11, 15.45 (CET)
A moving blog from Yoel Shukkmann

Dancing into war

Oct.  11, 14.28 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
The situation in northern Israel is slowly but surely escalating. It is also clear that this time not only the Palestinian terror groups there are involved in the violence against Israel, but also Hezbollah. In the background, Iran is active.

Last night, residents of Israel’s northernmost city of Metula were advised to evacuate immediately. Metula directly borders Lebanon, and Hezbollah terrorists are extremely active in the area around the town. This morning, an infiltration attempt was reported near Rosh Hanikra, on the other side of northern Galilee. At about the same time, an IDF base near the border was bombarded with rockets, including anti-tank missiles. The IDF again responded with artillery shelling and with a drone attack. According to unconfirmed reports, Hezbollah ordered UNIFIL to clear all positions along the border with Israel.

Yesterday, rockets were fired from Syria on the eastern Golan Heights. Again, the IDF responded with artillery-mortar shell shelling. It was reported today from Syria that the Quds Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has been put on alert in the Deir ez-Zor area in eastern Syria, which borders Iraq. Iran has built a land bridge in the area, over which weapons and troops can be transported.

Also, two Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq have now announced their intention to join the fight against Israel. They are Kataib Hezbollah, not to be confused with the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, and the Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigade. A spokesman for Sayyid al-Shuhada said that if Hamas became distressed in Gaza, his group would be the first to respond. Kazem Al-Fartousi, the spokesman, further warned the United States not to interfere in the war in Gaza. This would ‘affect’ US soldiers stationed in Iraq.

At the same time, the Yemen-based Ansar Allah (Houthi) militia also signalled that it would ‘intervene’ should Israel try to destroy Hamas. Ansar Allah has missiles supplied by Iran that can reach Israel. The aggression against Israel from the north is coordinated by Mohammad Saeed Izadi, the head of the Lebanon office of the Iranian Quds Brigade. Izadi works closely with Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri, who was recently threatened by Israel with liquidation.

Oct. 11, 11.37 (CET)
According to the latest information, the IDF ground offensive into Gaza will begin soon, that is, today. Now that the army has retaken the villages around Gaza from Hamas, its sights are set on invading Gaza.

A total of 460,000 military personnel are now ready for this action, which is expected to last a long time. Air Force commander Brigadier General Omer Tishler says the IAF is bombing Gaza on an unprecedented scale and that Israel will never return to a situation where terrorists there can indiscriminately fire rockets at Israel. Currently, rocket fire continues unabated. There are also continuing reports of infiltrations by terrorists from Gaza. Last night, there was panic in Ashkelon, a town 15 kilometres south of Gaza. A terrorist managed to reach the town with a paraglider, after which a gunfight broke out in which the attacker was killed.

The United States has now begun an airlift of military cargo planes bringing weapons and especially ammunition to Israel. The first US Air Force cargo plane landed at Nevatim airbase in southern Israel last night. Among the munitions and weapons delivered by the US are the Tamir missiles used by the Iron Dome. US President Joe Biden gave a press conference last night in which he used unprecedented language to condemn Hamas’ crimes. Biden also said the US stands squarely behind Israel and will do all it can to help the Jewish state eradicate terror. A fleet of US warships including the aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford is on its way to the coast off Gaza. The decision to bring this group of warships closer to Israel was also prompted by the fact that US citizens are among the dead and kidnapped.

Meanwhile, the IDF reported that the death toll in Israel has risen to over 1,200. The number of wounded is also rising and is now over 3,000. The IDF found more than 3,000 weapons that the terrorists had used to kill civilians. Among these weapons were anti-tank missiles and even unmanned attack aircraft. Most of the weapons came from Iran and were mainly produced in Russia.

Oct. 11, 11.00 (CET)
Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz have agreed to form an emergency national unity government. It is expected to be sworn in this evening.

Oct. 11, 10.39 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
Last night, the IDF reported that another 32 soldiers were killed in fighting with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. That brings the total of IDF soldiers killed since the start of the war to 156, including those killed in a firefight with Hezbollah terrorists in northern Israel. Last night, the IDF began artillery shelling on the Daraj district, in Gaza City. This district contains many Hamas institutions and military installations.

Defence Minister Yoav Galant addressed the troops along the border with Gaza, some 460,000 in number. “I have removed all restrictions, and after we regain control of the border area we will proceed to the offensive,” he said. Hamas wanted change in Gaza, and it will change 180 degrees from what it originally thought. They will regret this moment because Gaza will never return to the state it was”, Galant said. The IDF has made clear that eliminating Hamas’ top command is a priority, after a number of top Hamas officials were killed from the air.

Oct. 10, 17.18 (CET)
In the last few days, several messages have been circulating on WhatsApp channels from which we learn that Hamas has numerous phones of living or dead Israelis who have been taken to the Gaza Strip. These are used to penetrate Israeli users’ WhatsApp groups and extract information from them.

This corroborates the statements of Israeli family members and friends of the abductees, who in several cases reported suddenly receiving calls in Arabic from the numbers of their missing sons and daughters. In one case, someone called an Israeli mother and told her in Hebrew that her son was dead. The mother burst into hysterics and asked who he was. He replied that his name was Mohammed and that he was a colonel in the Gaza Strip. In another case, Mor Baider said she saw a video of her murdered grandmother on her personal Facebook page.

Oct. 10, 17.12 (CET)
30 missing people found safe in Gaza border kibbutz after hiding out for 3 days. 16 Israelis, 14 Thai nationals located in Ein Hashlosha by IDF team; ‘We will continue to work with our partners 24 hours a day to find other missing people,’ says police official.

Yossi Graiber, a Home Front Command officer, said Tuesday that “amid great darkness, we had a little bit of light last night.” Graiber said that the rescue of the 30 people brought “enormous excitement” to the members of the joint situation room: “This is a moment where you realize the power of our mission.”

Assistant Commissioner Boaz Blat, heading up the Israel Police’s unit to locate missing people, vowed that “just as we succeeded in locating these missing people and others, we will continue to work with our partners 24 hours a day to find other missing people.”

Oct. 10, 14.45 (CET)
Update from our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel
A total of 360,000 reservists have now been called up in Israel for the coming war, which in fact already began with Hamas’ invasion last Saturday. This means that the IDF will enter the war with the entire available manpower.

Some of the reservists are living abroad, but even there, the motivation to help defend the homeland is high. Israeli Air Force planes already flew hundreds of reservists, who were staying in Europe, to Israel last night.

The fact that the IDF has now called up and will deploy all available combat soldiers indicates that something big is about to happen. Such a mobilisation has not taken place before. The fact that there is already a second front on the border with Lebanon and the fact that Shia militias in Syria have been put into the highest state of readiness indicates the long-anticipated multiple front war with the so-called Iranian ‘resistance axis’.

Iran trained Hamas and provided it with the weapons that made the invasion of southern Israel possible. The script Hamas followed during that invasion was written by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. The latter has spoken openly on several occasions about invading Israel and kidnapping Israelis by his forces.

Oct. 10, 13.16 (CET)
Mr. Almog Doron, Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, mourns the loss of six relatives. He sent us the following moving message:

Dear friends,

We are in the midst of a war on the State of Israel. A war that was forced upon us by complete surprise, much like the Yom Kippur War. It is a very complex situation that we have never seen before.

In all my years in Israel and in the IDF, I never believed that we would reach such a terrible scenario, in which hundreds of innocent civilians are on the front line, many of them murdered and kidnapped, including babies, children, women and the elderly. We are exposed to videos and pictures that show an unprecedented level of brutality of the enemy. These are horrific scenes from dark times.

Yesterday evening, I was informed that six of my family members were murdered in Kfar Gaza: Chen Almog Goldstein, Nadav Goldstein, their daughters: Yam and Agam and their sons: Tal and Gal. The grandfather of the family, Chen’s father, Giora Almog who for over 30 years raised generations of children in the kibbutz, just two weeks ago presided over the memorial service for the five members of our family who were murdered in Maxim restaurant in Haifa 20 years ago.

We are facing a long military campaign, the extent and severity of which we still do not know, so I am asking you to stand by our side and as much as you can. We need you with us today more than ever.

The State of Israel is the state of the entire Jewish people. Those in Israel and those in Jewish communities everywhere. “Our strength is in our unity” is now not just a slogan. We promise to answer all your questions when the time comes. We are now concentrating our best efforts towards expanding the number of volunteers and raising funds for critical needs in order to continue to ensure the safety of the residents along the Gaza border and the essential support system of the Victims of Terror Fund. For the Jewish people. For the continued building and development of the State of Israel.

I see you and your wonderful dedication. The WhatsApps, the phone calls, the messages, the reporting for duty and the solidarity – it is incredibly moving. The sense of shared responsibility, love and togetherness inspire pride and hope. We will continue to keep in touch with you and send regular updates.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Yours with love,

Doron

Oct. 10, 12.25 (CET)
Pray for Israel with the words from Psalm 130.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with Him is full redemption.

Oct. 10, 11.55 (CET)
Analysis by our correspondent Yochanan Visser in Israel:

IDF Prepares for Ground War in Gaza After the Murder of more than 1,000 Israelis

Oct. 10, 11.02 (CET)
A video from Sondra Baras, Christian Friends of Israeli Communities International President. In this update, Sondra gives the death toll as 700. Since she filmed the update, that number has been updated to an estimated 900 dead. There isn’t a family in Israel who doesn’t know someone who has been killed, kidnapped, or wounded.

Oct. 10, 10.32 (CET)
After two days of being held by Hamas, villages in Israeli control but search for terrorists and victims continues, with the IDF “on the offensive.” More than 700 Israeli residents dead in worst terrorist attack in Israeli history.


Oct. 10, 7.00 (CET)
The White House was illuminated on Monday night in blue and white, the colors of the flag of Israel, in a show of support with Israel amid the war against Hamas.

Oct. 9, 13:27 (CET)
From our correspondent in Israel Yochanan Visser
The Israeli army is gearing up for the largest military operation in Gaza ever. The government in Jerusalem, meanwhile, has taken some unprecedentedly drastic measures against Gaza. Yoav Galant, Defense Minister, announced a total closure of Gaza.

All border crossings are now closed and nothing will enter Gaza. No fuel, no goods, nothing. Last night it was already announced that the supply of electricity to Gaza would be stopped. It is not clear whether this has actually happened. Galant said that “there will be no gas and electricity in Gaza. We are fighting against barbarians and we will respond appropriately.” Water supplies to Gaza will also be cut off.

Oct. 9, 13:10 (CET)
The Jewish Agency evacuated 916 olim (Jewish immigrants) today from southern Israel. 460 of them came from Ibim, a village near Sderot. All have been moved to safety in central Israel.

Oct. 9, 11:10 (CET)
Air raid sirens sound at several locations in Israel, including in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. There are no immediate reports of interceptions or missile strikes (yet). Pray for God’s protection.


Prayer points


Pray for the wounded and families of murdered Israelis
The ever-rising death toll in Israel currently stands at more than 700, most of them are civilians. Pray for the bereaved families. Over 2,200 people are injured, including 22 critically and 343 seriously. Pray for their healing and recovery.

Pray for the protection and release of hostages
Hamas has taken more than 100 men, women, children, elderly and soldiers hostage. They were taken to the Gaza Strip. Pray for protection of the hostages and strength for their families.

Protection and safety
We pray for supernatural protection for the rest of the country. For God’s protection for the civilians and the army. That God may be their shield and a wall of fire around them.

Pray for the Israeli army
The Israeli army has mobilised 300,000 reservists. This is the largest Israeli mobilisation ever. It is still unclear if and when there will be a counterattack. Pray for wisdom, protection and insight.

Pray for decision-makers
We pray for Israeli government officials and military commanders to make wise and God-guided decisions.

Pray for medical care in Israel
Hospitals in Israel are flooded with injured people. Pray for the medical care, for wisdom and decisiveness among medical teams. Pray that all the wounded can be treated.

Terror and rockets
We pray that all remaining terrorists in Israel will be captured or neutralised. We pray for protection from the thousands of Hamas rockets. (Psalm 44:4-8)

Pray for protection of the Jewish community worldwide
When something happens in Israel, hatred and violence against Jews increases worldwide. Pray for God’s presence and protection of the Jewish community around the world.

Blessing for Israel
Let us pray that Christians around the world will wake up to the reality of increasing demonically inspired antisemitism. That we bless the Jewish people and pray for God’s plans for Israel to be fulfilled.

Pray for peace
We pray for the peace of Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:6)

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