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War on Children

Friday, March 29, 2024

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Every week, we post seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Hezbollah Offensive Would be ‘October 7 on Steroids’

by David Isaac ~ JNS

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A war front with Hezbollah could have devastating consequences for Israel.

Thursday, 28 March 2024 | Thousands of rockets, thousands of casualties and devastating strikes to major infrastructure, cutting off water and electricity to Israel’s citizens—this is the likely scenario of an attack by Hezbollah across the Jewish state’s northern border, experts tell JNS.

Award-winning director and producer Eli Katzoff explores the frightening question on the minds of Israelis and others. What if Hezbollah decides to go to war with Israel in the north? What will that look like, and will other regional actors get involved? Has the plan already begun, and what can Israel do about it?

Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy based in Lebanon, has the capability and the desire to strike the Jewish state, they say.

The terrorist group has already fired more than a thousand rockets at Israel in the last several months. It has forced Israel to temporarily relocate 60,000 northern residents to other parts of the country in case of an escalation.

The Alma Research and Education Center, an institute two miles from the Lebanese border that’s focused on the security challenges along Israel’s northern front, obtained a Hezbollah video in which the terrorist group laid out an almost identical plan to the one carried out on October 7 by Hamas: a rocket barrage followed by a ground invasion into Israeli towns and villages.

“All we have to do is listen to their own words, what they’re saying in Arabic, and cross it with their capabilities,” Alma Center founder Lt. Col. (res.) Sarit Zehavi told JNS.

Hezbollah’s capabilities go far beyond what Hamas brought to bear, as terrible as the October 7 attack was. Hezbollah has about 140,000 short-range rockets, 65,000 rockets that can reach Haifa, and others that can reach Jerusalem and even Israel’s southern region. It also has some 10,000 drones.

Hezbollah is the most professional and experienced of Iran’s proxy militias in the Middle East, Zehavi said.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah once pointed to a map and said his missiles could reach various places in Israel, pointing to hospitals, power stations and other infrastructure.

‘Bomb Shelters Almost All Day’

Lt. Col. (res.) Uri Ben Yaakov, a senior researcher at Reichman University’s International Institute for Counterterrorism in Herzliya, told JNS that the escalation could take “a matter of minutes.”

Once it starts, thousands of rockets will rain down not just from Lebanon, but also from Syria, Iraq and the Houthis in Yemen.

Ben Yaakov said that once Hezbollah targets electricity infrastructure it will be only days before water runs out.

Israel, which has largely solved its water problems, derives 80% of its water from energy-intensive desalination plants.

“You will find Israel’s citizens in [bomb] shelters not five minutes a day, not 10 minutes a day, not one hour a day, but almost all day,” Ben Yaakov said.

The casualties could number in the hundreds of thousands on both sides. “I believe the retaliation will be very, very high scale,” he said.

Zehavi said that Israel’s strategy until now had been containment, avoiding a large-scale confrontation and managing the situation: “We changed. We are no longer willing to sit next to these monsters because we saw that if you postpone the war, they get stronger.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 26, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Crop Media/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
As Israel faces the potential of another horrific invasion—this one from Hezbollah in the north—cry out to God for His intervention. Pray that Israel will have the manpower, the military equipment and the resolve to handle whatever is on the horizon, and pray that victory will be theirs. Pray also that all Israel will remember it is their God who will make them victorious.


Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

- Psalm 25:19–20 ESV

Biden’s UN Betrayal of Israel is a Victory for Hamas

by Jonathan S. Tobin ~ JNS

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The US abstained from vetoing a UNSC resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 | Don’t believe the Biden administration’s claim that it hasn’t changed its stance on Israel’s war on Hamas. The US abstention on the vote in the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] for an “immediate cease-fire” in Gaza isn’t just a routine political or diplomatic maneuver. It’s a fundamental betrayal of the US–Israel alliance.

Rather than merely sacrificing Israel’s security, it is also handing a major victory to both Hamas and its Iranian allies. With the UN demanding an end to the war, there is no reason for Hamas to stop trying to hold onto those parts of Gaza it still controls. Nor is there any reason for it to release the hostages it still holds captive, except for a deal that will force Israel to acquiesce to a return—in one form or another—to the pre-October 7 status quo. That will ensure that it gets away with having committed the largest mass slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust, as well as asserting its primacy over Palestinian politics in the foreseeable future.

The administration’s supposed quest for Middle East peace is a sham, since it is essentially anointing an organization pledged to Israel’s destruction and Jewish genocide as the primary voice of Palestinian nationalism. That sends a signal to world that the US is no longer interested in defeating Islamist terrorism or in keeping faith with allies.

A Two-faced Strategy

UNSC resolutions have the force of international law, and if Israel continues its operations to eliminate Hamas—as its government has rightly said it must—this resolution could be used as a basis for international sanctions against the Jewish state. Yet the Biden administration claimed that the resolution, which called for a cessation of fighting for the remaining two weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan (though the world body had nothing to say about Muslim attacks on Jewish holidays like Simchat Torah [rejoicing in the Torah], the day of the October 7 atrocities), as well as the release of the hostages and for the free flow of aid into Gaza, is “non-binding.” In this way, it continues to try and talk out of both sides of its mouth about the war: on the one hand seeking to stop Israel from winning while claiming on the other that it’s still a faithful ally.

Given that Hamas has not ceased its violence and continues to hold Israeli hostages, it can be argued that Israel has a legal right to continue its battle. But Israel’s enemies around the world—at the UN and in the US—aren’t interested in the fine points of international law. What they want is for the fighting to conclude with Hamas still standing with the ability to regroup and rearm, and make good on its promises to keep killing Jews.

While the UN vote must be considered a turning point in the history of relations between the US and Israel, it cannot be considered a surprise. President Joe Biden has been steadily walking away from his initial pledges of support for Israel after the October 7 massacre. At the time, Biden didn’t just condemn the barbaric terrorist, he [originally] agreed with Israel’s government that Hamas must be eliminated.

Letting Hamas Get Away with Murder

Ever since then, Biden and his foreign policy team have shown themselves to be more worried about conforming to a narrative in which the suffering that the Palestinians brought upon themselves by starting a war that included rape, torture and firebombing homes, in addition to killing and kidnapping, invalidates Israel’s right of self-defense or any accountability for barbaric crimes.

The notion that Israel’s counter-offensive into Gaza was “over the top,” as Biden mischaracterized it (let alone the big lie put forward by Hamas propagandists and their Western dupes that it was “genocide”) remains contrary to the facts. Though many Palestinians have died, Israel’s efforts have been more measured than those of any other modern army faced with similar issues related to urban warfare and resulted in historically low levels of civilian casualties relative to those of enemy combatants.

If Hamas is to be defeated—and it must be if justice is to be served and the security of Israelis assured—then the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] must be allowed to finish the job it started after October 7. The Israeli government is right to assert that it has a moral obligation to root it out of its remaining stronghold in Rafah, as well as guarantee that it doesn’t use its tunnel network to reassert control in other parts of Gaza.

But unlike any other war that has been waged by Western forces against Islamist terrorists, the international community appears to be unwilling to tolerate an Israeli victory if it means the elimination of Hamas. The reason why Israel is treated in this way has nothing to do with the graphic pictures of Palestinian suffering or even the inflated statistics about deaths in Gaza supplied by Hamas to its willing accomplices in the corporate media.

At the heart of this betrayal is a belief that Israel and its genocidal Islamist opponents are somehow morally equivalent. Were Biden trying to maintain the alliance with Israel, then he would have continued to assert that Hamas must be defeated before any cease-fire and that any aid going into Gaza—most of which has been stolen by Hamas for use by its remaining forces hidden in the tunnels with the hostages they are holding—must be kept out of its hands.

A morally serious American government would assert that any and all casualties in Gaza are the responsibility of Hamas, not Israel, and that the only way to save the Palestinian people from more suffering is the immediate and unconditional surrender of the terrorists. But for Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the liberal media outlets clamoring for a cease-fire are not interested in Hamas’s surrender. They insist that the impact of the war on the Palestinians is more important than ensuring that Gaza is no longer controlled by people who are intent on using it as a platform to carry on a century-old war on the Jews.

Escalating Pressure on Israel

As the New York Times reported, the abandonment of Israel in the UN is just one prong of a multifaceted plan of action being employed by the White House to force Israel to tolerate a Hamas victory in the war. It is prepared, as the Times aptly put it, to “coerce” Israel to give up the war by starting to stop weapons shipments that enable Israel to continue fighting effectively. If that doesn’t work, the article, based on calculated leaks from the administration, said that Biden will then proceed to enact sanctions on Israeli officials.

In plain terms, Biden is contemplating applying measures to Israel that it has used against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

This turn against Israel won’t help the Palestinians. Allowing the cease-fire resolution to pass will only deepen Hamas’s resolve to keep fighting and to hold onto the hostages. They deliberately created a situation in which their human shields are being killed or enduring privations precisely in order to orchestrate international pressure against Israel. The more the Palestinians are hurt by the war, the better it is for Hamas.

Nor will it speed up the release of the hostages, since the resolution encourages Hamas to refuse to give in, secure in the knowledge that support from the international community gives them the leverage to hold them in captivity indefinitely until Israel not only pays an exorbitant price in ransom but also acknowledges that Gaza will remain in Hamas’s hands.

Biden’s Political Motives

Biden and his advisers are obsessed with the idea that criticism of his early support for the war will cost him the election because left-wing activists and Arab–Americans—cheered on by liberal media—think that Israel, and not Hamas, is the villain of the war. They have tried to have it both ways for months, simultaneously genuflecting to leftist critics of Israel by validating the smears of its conduct in Gaza while maintaining both support in the UN and the flow of arms.

Biden has, at a minimum, another 10 months left in office. Which could have a devastating impact on the Jewish state’s ability to go on functioning in the world economy. This shift in policy means that if Israel is to defeat Hamas, it will have to do so alone.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 26, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Loey Felipe/UN Photo/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that God will deal with President Biden and his administration as they play politics while Israel’s very existence hangs in the balance. Beseech the Lord to reveal to the US president and his team the foolishness of their recent actions and the truth of what happens to those who curse Israel. Cry out to the Lord for a reversal in their current position and for the US to honor its commitment to stand firmly with Israel as the allies they claim to be.


Be gracious to me, O LORD! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may recount all your praises.

- Psalm 9:13–14a ESV

Three Israelis Wounded in Terror Shooting Targeting School Bus

by JNS

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Three Israelis were wounded in a Palestinian terror shooting along Route 90 in the Jordan Valley.

Thursday, 28 March 2024 | Three Israelis were wounded on Thursday morning in a terrorist attack in the Jordan Valley.

A Palestinian gunman opened fire on a school bus and several cars traveling along Route 90, near Al-Auja, which lies just north of Jericho.

The terrorist reportedly ambushed passing vehicles from the side of the road, firing at them from a standing position and then immediately fleeing the scene, according to eyewitnesses cited by local media.

The terrorist was reportedly masked and wearing clothing resembling an Israel Defense Force [IDF] uniform.

Israeli forces launched a manhunt for the perpetrator.

Magen David Adom [MDA] emergency medics treated a 30-year-old man with moderate gunshot wounds and another man in his 20s who was lightly injured. A 13-year-old boy was also lightly injured by glass shards.

The two adult victims were evacuated to Jerusalem’s Hadassah-Ein Kerem Medical Center while the teen was being treated at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital.

“We must defeat the enemy while deepening our roots in the land of our forefathers. Precisely now is the time to apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, an area whose importance is not disputed in Israeli society,” said Israeli lawmaker Dan Illouz, a member of the Knesset [parliament] Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“This would be a victory remembered for generations,” he added.

Yesha Council chairman Shlomo Ne’eman demanded that the tide be turned, saying: “The Palestinian Authority [PA] is waging a war against us, and only action with the same force as in Gaza will eliminate all threats throughout Judea and Samaria.

“We call on the government of Israel and its leader to, on the one hand, allow the development of settlements without restrictions and, on the other hand, to go to war to eliminate the vile enemy. Jewish blood will not be spilled in vain,” added Ne’eman.

On Friday, IDF Sgt. First Class Ilay David Garfinkel, 21, was killed and six other soldiers wounded in a shootout with a Palestinian terrorist in Samaria.

The attack began when the terrorist, identified as Mujahid Barakat Mansour, opened fire with a sniper rifle on an Israeli minibus traveling near Dolev, located west of Ramallah in the Binyamin region.

No one was injured in the attack, but during the ensuing manhunt Israeli forces engaged Mansour in gun battles that lasted several hours, resulting in the casualties.

The IDF deployed additional troops to the area along with aerial support, including a combat helicopter, and the terrorist was eventually killed by a missile strike.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 28, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Rescuers Without Borders/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the friends and family of Sgt. Garfinkel as they mourn the loss of their loved one and for all those wounded in these recent attacks. Ask the Lord to give Israel’s leaders great wisdom as calls mount for all-out military action in Judea and Samaria. Cry out to the Lord for strategies that will “eliminate the vile enemy” and end the violence while at the same time fighting a difficult war on other fronts.


The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers.

- Proverbs 10:20 ESV

Hamas Sustains Stinging Blow in Shifa Hospital Battle

by Yaakov Lappin ~ JNS

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IDF soldiers fight terrorists at the Shifa Hospital complex in Gaza City.

Thursday, 28 March 2024 | As more details emerge from the Israel Defense Force’s [IDF] surprise raid on Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, which began on March 19, one thing has become clear: Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] absorbed a painful setback that will have strategic reverberations on their capabilities in northern Gaza.

The IDF has categorized the raid as one of its most successful operations in the entire war, due to the number of terrorists who surrendered, the number of terrorists killed in the hospital complex, and the intelligence gleaned from those being questioned.

So far, more than 180 terrorists inside Shifa and around the compound have been killed in the battle, and more than 500 have been arrested, including a string of senior terror commanders.

These Israeli military achievements will have “a huge effect on Hamas and PIJ,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told journalists on March 25, adding that it was the most enemy combatants killed and captured in a single raid in the war, which will cause “severe damage” to terror organizations in the northern Gaza Strip.

“It concerns Hamas very much to know who are the ones that we have arrested,” said Hagari. “And the numbers, the huge numbers, concern them most of all. This is why we keep on pressing. This is our target in the war, dismantling the armed elements, to do that with the operatives and also with the leadership.”

Senior Terrorists Captured

Senior terrorists captured at Shifa include Bakr Ahmed Bakr Qanita, head of department in Hamas’s Security and Protection Unit; Radwan Younes Kamal Tafesh, head of department in the Weapon Manufacturing Unit of PIJ; and Hashem Muhammad Hasan Albatash, responsible for the financial affairs of PIJ’s Gaza City Brigade.

“These terrorists provide us with valuable intelligence during their interrogations that will lead us to further operations,” Hagari said on March 26. “And we keep on doing everything we can to kill the leadership of Hamas. And we are looking at following the intelligence … to other Hamas leaders whom we will capture or kill, I hope, in the future. This is a main effort for the IDF.”

Before launching the operation, the IDF used its intelligence units to learn how Shifa Hospital became, once again, a terror headquarters. This time, instead of the previous destruction of organized military Hamas structures in northern Gaza, the IDF took on smaller Hamas and PIJ cells that had taken over Shifa.

During questioning by the IDF Intelligence Corps’ Unit 504, captured terrorists said they returned to Shifa because they felt they’d be secure there, and because there is electricity, running water and available food.

Each terror organization took control of different hospital wards, intelligence has revealed.

Hamas also took over the offices of the Shifa Hospital director.

The IDF seized envelopes inside the hospital containing 11 million shekels [US $3 million] of terror financing.

As such, Hamas and PIJ’s hope to turn the hospital into a terrorist hornet’s nest in northern Gaza has been shattered. There is no safe place for surviving cells in the area, and this message will further demoralize Hamas.

The fight at Shifa is not over. Hundreds of terrorists have been killed and captured after they opened fire at the IDF from the hospital’s courtyard, emergency room, “Qatari Building” and maternity ward.

Firefights continued on Wednesday as terrorists barricaded themselves in sections of the hospital, firing on Israeli forces and hurling explosives at them.

Hamas’s actions have caused heavy damage to the hospital compound. Earlier in the operation, Hamas terrorists in the hospital ordered cells outside of the hospital to fire mortars at the hospital buildings to try and force the IDF to evacuate it, according to Hagari.

Remarkably, the IDF’s operation has seen no harm come to a single patient, doctor, medical staff member, or civilian seeking refuge in the hospital.

The IDF evacuated patients to a safer location where they are receiving medical treatment. The army also provided more than 1,000 types of medications, food and water to these patients, while assisting Palestinian medical teams.

The military is proceeding with caution in an effort to avoid damaging the hospital and to secure its own forces on site, which include Israel Navy commandoes and members of the 401st Brigade and the Nahal Reconnaissance Battalion, operating under the IDF’s 162nd Division, which is managing operations in northern Gaza.

Khan Yunis

On Tuesday evening, the IDF announced that it had initiated what it described as a focused operation at Khan Yunis’s Al-Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza.

The operation began following intelligence on Hamas activity in the hospital and was preceded by the safe evacuation of civilians, patients, and medical teams.

The IDF is demonstrating that not only does it have freedom of movement and access to these sites, but also that Hamas and PIJ will hijack any possible facility to try and continue to function as a terrorist threat.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 28, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: X/idfonline/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God for these successful operations and for the safe evacuation of patients and civilians. Pray that the nations will finally see that Hamas uses the ill and infirm as protection with no regard for their safety—even firing at the hospital itself—while Israel provides protection, medical care, food and safe evacuation while assisting Palestinian medical teams even as they are attempting to achieve military victory while causing minimal damage to the hospital. Beseech the Lord that Hamas and PIJ will indeed feel the weight of these IDF actions causing great “reverberations on their capabilities.”


As for the scoundrel—his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right. But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands.

- Isaiah 32:7–8 ESV

IDF Troops Hail Elderly Reservists as They Rejoin the Ranks

by Iris Lifshitz Klieger and Nina Fox ~ Ynetnews

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Reservists of all ages make their way to Israel to show their heart and support for their homeland (illustrative).

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 | Until about two years ago, Lt. Col. (Res.) Itzik Grossman, 71, was still volunteering for reserve duty. However, following the events of October 7, Grossman, a combat navigator who fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War with the 119th Squadron and also participated in the First Lebanon War, donned his uniform again and re-enlisted.

“I received a call that volunteers were needed, and immediately joined the effort,” he recounts. “In October, I completed an Air Force auxiliary officer course, and since then, I’ve been in the reserves. We, as auxiliary officers, mediate between the Air Force and ground forces that require assistance, coordinating support for them with combat aircraft or conducting rescues with helicopters. In this war, the Israeli Air Force [IAF] provides support unlike anything before.”

Grossman never imagined he’d volunteer for the army again at his ripe age and face field conditions. “Living in a tent with another hundred people and communal showers, I’ve already forgotten what that looks like. But that’s what needs to be done now, and I’m glad for the opportunity to contribute,” he says.

“I mostly serve with reservists younger than me from all walks of life,” he adds. “In the first months of the war, when we were stationed in the south, an officer approached me and said, ‘You don’t know what it does to us to see you here. When we see a person your age volunteering, we understand what we’re doing here, and it gives us motivation.'”

“I’ve been thanked many times,” says the 71-year-old reservist. “My family is very supportive and appreciative of my volunteering, and my grandchildren are very proud of me and support me.”

In his current reserves duty, Grossman also managed to close a personal circle as part of the team for the Carmeli Brigade, where his cousin, David Yeshayahu Grossman, fell in battle in Jenin during Israel’s War of Independence, whom he never got to know.

“I grew up hearing stories about him. We were in touch with the brigade and attended memorial events, and now it’s moving to serve in the same place he did,” Grossman said. “The people of the Carmeli Brigade, alongside whom I fight today, most of them are from the Golan Heights. Excellent individuals, each one of them. I salute them for their determination, dedication to the mission and readiness to continue until it is completed.”

‘I’ve Always Had a Longing for Israel’

Grossman is not the only septuagenarian enlisted for duty. Itzik Mishael, 71, arrived from Miami to Israel to join his reserve unit.

In 1966, when Mishael was 14, his family immigrated to the US. In 1973, when the Yom Kippur War broke out, Mishael was a fourth-year business administration student. Without hesitation, he left everything behind and came to Israel to enlist.

“I arrived as a lone soldier straight to basic training in Rafah,” Mishael recalled. “From there, I moved to the Julis base and later deployed to the Sinai with the 500th Brigade. I served on the front line there for eight months, and then continued to a tank commanders’ course.”

“[Today] my entire family lives in Miami,” he said. “After October 7, I felt a strong need to return to my homeland, enlist in my battalion and assist in any way possible.

“It was important for me to physically come to Israel and volunteer to assist my battalion on the Golan Heights, to be in the field with the soldiers. Fortunately, they accepted me, and there I do all sorts of logistical work. Assisting gives me great satisfaction and pride.

“Now, I plan to return for a short visit to Miami, but not to end my reserve duty. I’ll be back to enlist soon, I promise. As long as the war continues in Israel, I’ll keep coming back to contribute my small part. At the same time, when I return to Miami, I’ll continue to raise donations to purchase essential equipment for the soldiers of the battalion. Even when I return to my residence in Miami, my heart remains here.”

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on March 25, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for Lt. Col. Grossman and others like him as they join the active military because of their love for Israel, despite their ages. Pray that they will continue to be examples for countless young members of the IDF. Also ask the Lord for his special protection to surround them.


You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

- Leviticus 19:32

Thousands Attend Western Wall Prayer Service for the Hostages

by JNS

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Jews pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Friday, 22 March 2024 | Thousands of Jews converged on the Western Wall on Thursday for a prayer service in honor of the captives still being held by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

The show of solidarity was broadcast live worldwide from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The proceedings included speeches from family members of the hostages, in addition to the recitation of Psalms and a special prayer for the return of the captives. It concluded with Jews from around the world reciting the Shema prayer at the holiest site where they can pray.

“‘Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad’ [‘Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One’]”—these words are known to every Jew almost from birth. These are the words that accompany us all in moments of joy and often in times of hardship and distress,” according to a statement by the Hostage and Missing Families Forum, which represents the relatives of the captives.

The event took place on the Fast of Esther, a dawn-to-nightfall fast held before the Jewish holiday of Purim [Feast of Esther], which commemorates the events that occurred during the Jewish exile in Shushan, Persia. While the fast is generally celebrated on the day before Purim, when the holiday falls on a Sunday, the fast is moved from Shabbat to the preceding Thursday.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog participated in the event, saying: “I will also join the entire Jewish people in the Fast of Esther and in reciting ‘Shema Yisrael’ for the return of all the hostages, for the recovery of the wounded and for the safety of our soldiers and heroes, and for unity between the people of Israel in Israel and throughout the whole world.”

Thousands came out on January 10 for a prayer service at the Western Wall dedicated to the hostages and the well-being of the IDF soldiers fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The event included family members of some of the 134 hostages still being held in Gaza, those who have been wounded in the war and soldiers battling terrorists in the Palestinian enclave.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 21, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Oren Ben Hakoon/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the thousands of Israelis that attended this event and the millions more around the country who are turning to the Lord during this very dark time in their history. Intercede for the hostages and beseech the Lord to hear the cries of His people and show Himself strong on behalf of the hostages.


Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

- Jeremiah 29:12 ESV

UK Threat to Withhold Israel Arms Sales Is a Show of Western Weakness

by Col. Richard Kemp ~ Ynetnews

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British Foreign Secretary David Cameron (pictured middle) firmly stands in supporting an arms embargo across Europe against Israel.

Monday, 25 March 2024 | British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s recent threats will not directly harm or constrain Israel, but they will undoubtedly strengthen Hamas. Cameron has been striking a distinctly belligerent stance towards Israel since he came into office in November, in contrast to his predecessor James Cleverly and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Now, Cameron seems to be on the verge of making a grand gesture by cutting off weapons supplies in the midst of war as well as supporting an arms embargo across Europe. He justifies his threatened betrayal by the demand that Israel should allow the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross] access to captured Hamas terrorists, which he claims is required under International Humanitarian Law [IHL]. That may well be his opinion, but it is far from clear-cut. International legal opinions vary, and Israel claims exemption from such visits on security grounds.

Cameron now seems to be bolstering his case by the claim that Israel is deliberately and unnecessarily holding up humanitarian aid deliveries into Gaza. This is patent nonsense. I recently visited the Kerem Shalom Crossing and witnessed a highly efficient operation in which staff were working round the clock to get aid into the Strip.

That, of course, is only one part of the picture. Multiple reports, firsthand accounts and video evidence show that the blockage is not on the Israeli side but lies with an inadequate United Nations [UN] distribution system as well as extensive hijacking by Hamas strongmen who divert much of the aid for their use and sell the rest of it off at inflated prices.

Cameron’s insinuations that Israel is breaching IHL are also contradicted by his own government. On Wednesday, the prime minister’s spokesman confirmed that No. 10 continues to assess that Israel’s actions conform with international law. It’s difficult to fathom exactly what’s happening with these conflicting messages.

Or perhaps it is coordinated with No. 10 to show both of the government’s faces, one to the Israel-supporting majority in Britain and the other to the vocal minority who are opposed, with some of their number taking loudly to the streets every week.

Whatever the reasoning behind Cameron’s threat, it is extremely dangerous, even if it is not in a direct material sense for Jerusalem. Britain’s supplies to Israel are very small, less than 0.9% of its total arms imports. Of those, most are technical components, a large proportion for non-military dual use or items exported to third countries. While the effect on Israel would be negligible, a reciprocal move against Britain would be operationally more significant. Arms imports from Israel represent 2.7% of the UK total, including some extremely important systems, notably UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], anti-tank missiles and armored vehicle defenses. In the context of Cameron looking to cut off supplies in the middle of this war, it’s also worth noting that arms sales from Israel increased substantially from 2006, a time of great military need for the UK, at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cameron’s threatened support for a Europe-wide arms embargo—when he should be arguing the opposite—would have more impact, with Germany, Italy and France all larger suppliers than the UK. Nevertheless, even this would have limited direct effect, given that the combined total reflects only a small proportion of Israel’s overall capabilities.

The greater danger is that even Israel’s closest allies would be seen to turn on it at a time when its defensive operations are under such a concerted storm of worldwide vilification, including in international bodies like the UN, International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court as well as the World Health Organization. This would strengthen Hamas, whose entire strategy is based on Israel being ultimately constrained by the international community.

We have seen the IDF destroy substantial elements of the terror army in Gaza, with hundreds surrendering only at Al Shifa Hospital in the last few days. This is a time when the civilized world should be putting its energies into demoralizing Hamas, not giving them hope that Israel will be pressured into halting at the final stages of its offensive against them. It is a particularly critical moment, with delicate negotiations underway over a potential pause and hostage release. Cameron’s move—even if it only amounts to grandstanding—could, therefore, jeopardize the lives of the hostages and increase the bloodshed in Gaza. The opposite of what he thinks he is trying to do.

His threats also spell grave danger at home. There has been an unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic attacks in Britain as well as elsewhere in Europe and the West. These have been fueled by a campaign of lies and distortions, falsely accusing the IDF of multiple war crimes, including indiscriminate killing and wanton destruction. For the British government to embargo Israel, or even threaten it, will be used by the anti-Israel activists as absolute confirmation that their lies are true, and used to incite even greater Jew hate on our streets.

This show of Western weakness has wider implications beyond its immediate unintended consequence. At a time of increasing danger from the despotic axis of China, Russia and Iran, we are seen as afraid to stand by our allies when the going gets tough. What kind of message does that send to our friends and enemies?

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on March 25, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: RandomUserGuy1738/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord to silence David Cameron and others like him, whose anti-Semitic beliefs would hinder Israel’s ability to attain victory over their enemies and who are openly using their positions to spread blatant lies about Israel’s actions in Gaza. Beseech the Lord that there will be no embargo and that those European nations who have supported Israel’s need to destroy their terrorist enemies will stand by their words and maintain that support.


In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.

- Psalm 143:12 NIV

Pew: Half of US Muslims Say ‘Valid’ Hamas Reasons to Fight Israel, 21% Say October 7 Attack ‘Acceptable’

by JNS

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Supporters of the Hamas terror group at a rally before student elections at Birzeit University near Ramallah.

Friday, 22 March 2024 | Regardless of how they feel about October 7, almost half of US Muslim adults (49%) say that Hamas had “valid” reasons to fight Israel, and 21% of that demographic said that Hamas’s terror attack on October 7 was either “completely acceptable” (10%) or “somewhat acceptable” (11%).

That’s according to new data from the Pew Research Center, based on a survey of 12,693 American adults between February 13 and February 25.

“Unlike most nationally representative polling in the United States since the war began, our survey includes enough Jewish and Muslim respondents to allow their views to be analyzed separately,” Pew stated in a release. (The survey, which is oversampled for Jews and Muslims, has a margin of error of 1.5% points in either direction.)

While more than one in five American Muslim adults said that it was at least “somewhat acceptable” that Hamas—which the United States has designated a terrorist organization for 27 years—attacked the Jewish state on October 7, just about 5% of US adults overall thought that. Three percent of US Jewish adults said that Hamas’s attack was acceptable.

Nearly three in four (73%) American adults said that the way Hamas carried out its October 7 attack was unacceptable, with 66% saying Hamas’s reasons were “completely unacceptable.”

An overwhelming majority (89%) of American Jews said that Israel was justified in going to war against Hamas, compared to 18% of US Muslims. While 49% of Muslim Americans said that Hamas has valid reasons to attack Israel, just 16% of American Jews said that.

Well over half (62%) of American Jews and 5% of Muslim Americans said Israel’s war in Gaza is acceptable, while 68% of American Muslims said it was unacceptable.

American adults overwhelmingly support Washington providing humanitarian aid to Gaza (50% in favor, 19% opposed), while 36% favor the United States providing Israel with military aid and 34% do not.

Americans under the age of 30 represented the only group in which less than half (38%) said that Israel had a valid reason to fight Hamas. A similar number (34%) of those under 30 said that Hamas had valid reasons to fight Israel.

Only 3% of American adults surveyed said that it was “extremely” or “very” likely that there will be lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 21, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the minds of these Americans who have been blinded by propaganda and deceived by the lies of the enemy. Ask the Lord to reveal to them the truth of Hamas’s evil, genocidal plans to annihilate all Israelis and pray that they will have a true change of heart.


Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!

- Psalm 43:1

Al Jazeera Backtracks on Claim of IDF Rapes in Gaza Hospital

by JNS

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Employees at the Al Jazeera office in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 | The Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel has quietly removed a libelous story accusing Israeli soldiers of raping Palestinian women in Gaza, a day after it went viral on social media.

The glaring about-face from the state-run mouthpiece comes amid an intense war of narratives being played out in the global media as Israel’s war against Hamas rages for its sixth month and follows vastly underreported or ignored testimonies of Israeli women raped and otherwise sexually assaulted during the October 7 Hamas massacre.

The story, which spread like wildfire over the last 24 hours on social media in the Arab world and beyond, accused Israeli soldiers of raping Palestinian women during their ongoing military operation against hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists held up at Gaza’s main hospital.

“It was revealed through Hamas investigations that the story of the rape of women in Al Shifa Hospital was fabricated,” tweeted Al Jazeera columnist and former director Yasser Abuhilalah. “The woman who spoke about rape justified her exaggeration and incorrect talk by saying that the goal was to arouse the nation’s fervor and brotherhood.”

The original story published by Al Jazeera featured “testimony” by a Gaza woman named Jamila al-Hessi, who claimed that while she was under siege in the area of the hospital complex, she witnessed Israel Defense Forces [IDF] soldiers “raping women then killing them and burning entire families alive.”

A pro-Hamas preacher from Gaza, Jihad Khelles, also tweeted that it became evident that there was no evidence of these alleged events and that the “witness” told a story that she had heard and not witnessed.

Al-Hessi, who was interviewed live on Al Jazeera, alleged that she had witnessed women being raped, kidnapped and killed during the incursion, describing what the incident as “more than an action film.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded to the report, writing on X: “Look surprised, the Palestinians fabricate stories of rape to incite anti-Semitism. [UN Secretary General] António Guterres, I’m sure that’s sad for you to hear, but that’s the reality.”

Al Jazeera was founded with the financial backing of the Qatari royal family and has served for decades as a mouthpiece for the regime, which provides asylum for the leaders of Hamas, a group designated as a terror organization by the US, Canada, the European Union, Israel and other nations.

The Arabic-language network is notorious for its anti-Israel reporting, anti-Semitic rhetoric and Holocaust denial, even as its English outlet has sought to offer a veneer of objectivity to Western viewers through some high-profile international anchors.

Last month, the IDF exposed two Al Jazeera reporters as Hamas terrorists, after earlier disclosing that additional journalists worked as operatives for the Islamic terror group.

Israel’s government has also moved to shutter the Al Jazeera offices in Israel. However, the initiative, which is backed by Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, was never brought to the Security Cabinet, a move necessary to enact the ban.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on March 25, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that Al Jazeera removed their libelous story, but pray that their retraction will be widely disseminated and anyone who was influenced by the original article will learn the truth. Pray that the many other fabrications that have been circulated by Hamas and others will be brought to light and the truth told.


Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.

- Proverbs 12:22