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War on Children

Friday, February 16, 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.

Two Home, 134 More to Return

by Kate Norman

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The shape of Israel with the names and pictures of the 134 abductees still kept hostage by Hamas

Tuesday, 13 February 2024 | Israeli security forces rescued two hostages from the Gaza Strip in a “complex” overnight raid Monday morning.

Fernando Marman, 61, and Louis Har, 70, were rescued by Israeli forces from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and were transported to a hospital near Tel Aviv. They were declared to be in good condition and were reunited with their families after 128 days in captivity.

After months of planning the operation, undercover police counterterrorism units partnered with the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security organization. They stormed the building where the hostages were being held around 1:40 a.m.

The Israeli Air Force [IAF] launched the operation with air strikes in the nearby area to draw attention away from their true focus: rescuing the hostages, Israeli media reported.

The Israeli forces then took the Hamas terrorists in the building and adjacent buildings off guard when they breached the apartment on the second floor where the hostages were being held.

Operatives from Israel’s elite counterterrorism unit, Yamam, shielded the hostages with their bodies during the ensuing gunfight until they were taken to safety, Israel Defense Forces [IDF] Spokesperson Daniel Hagari said, as quoted by the Jerusalem Post.

“This was a complex rescue operation under fire in the heart of Rafah, based on highly sensitive and valuable intelligence from the Intelligence Directorate and the Israel Security Agency,” Hagari said, adding that they have prepared for this operation “for some time.”

The ground forces were given air cover by the IAF, as seen in footage of the operation published by the Shin Bet.

One Israeli soldier was lightly wounded during the operation.

The hostages were safely transported to Israel as the surrounding terrorists—as well as military sites and command centers—were struck with heavy fire from the Israeli Air Force, Ynetnews reported. Hamas terrorists in a vehicle tried to chase the Israeli forces as they left with the rescued hostages, but the Israeli Air Force eliminated the threat.

The operation was overseen from a Shin Bet command center, with Israel’s top brass watching. The head of the Shin Bet, the IDF chief of staff, and several IDF and police chiefs were in the room overseeing the operation, the Times of Israel reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also entered the war room to watch the rescue.

Netanyahu later met with the unit that executed the operation and praised them in a statement released by his office, calling the rescue “one of the most successful rescue operations in the history of the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu noted that in the decisive moment of the operation, “the gap between victory and tragedy is a millimeter.”

He added that the forces “eliminated the abductors, the terrorists, and made your way back without injury—a successful operation, a perfect operation.”

The hostages, Fernando Marman and Louis Har, are two Argentinians who were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak near the Gaza boundary on October 7.

Hamas terrorists kidnapped an estimated 240 people on October 7. During a weeklong truce in November, Hamas released 105 of the hostages. Four were released prior to the truce, and some 130 hostages remain, the Times of Israel reported, though some of them are believed to be dead already.

But IDF Spokesman Hagari vowed that they are not forgotten, even amidst the joy of the two rescued hostages.

“Alongside the excitement, even this morning after the successful rescue operation, we do not forget for a moment that in Gaza, 134 hostages are still being held,” Hagari said.

“I want to address you this morning: if you are listening to me, know that we are determined to bring you back home,” Hagari added. “We will not give up any opportunity to bring you back home.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, February 13, 2024)

Photo Credit: Chenspec/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the release of these two hostages! Pray for God’s healing touch as they recover from trauma and face a new reality in their lives. Pray that the IDF will continue to receive solid and trustworthy intel for more rescue operations, and cry out to the Lord for the return of every hostage.


Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

- Psalm 107:19–20 ESV

‘We Are Focusing on Being Ready for War in the North’

by Lior Ben Ari and Yoav Zitun ~ Ynetnews

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Chief of the General Staff, Herzi Halevi, stated Israel is ready for war with the North.

Thursday, 15 February 2024 | The escalation in the north on Wednesday, which culminated with the rocket barrage on the Northern Command base in Safed that claimed the life of Staff Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo and injured eight others, comes a day after reports of progress in negotiations to end the war in the north.

Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy issued a threat and told the commanders at the Lebanese border: “We are focusing on being ready for war in the north.”

In response to the barrage, the chief of staff and the commander of the Northern Command approved a series of airstrikes targeting Hezbollah.

The peak of the wave of attacks in southern Lebanon came this evening with the reports of four deaths in a significant Israeli attack. The Qatari newspaper Al-Arabi Al-Jadid reported on injuries and extensive damage in an attack on a house, stating that institutions in the town have been closed following the attacks in the area.

Later, the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that four people were killed in the attack, including a mother and her daughter. A security source in Lebanon told the Saudi newspaper that the house that was attacked belongs to a family that has no connection to Hezbollah.

In an unusual move, Hezbollah did not claim responsibility for the attack on Israel, but they did announce the deaths of three of their members. The organization has reported a total of 196 deaths among its members since the beginning of the war.

In Israel, efforts are being made with the help of various mediators to fully implement Resolution 1701. This resolution called for the deployment of UNIFIL [United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon] and Lebanese army forces in the southern area of Lebanon, south of the Litani River. However, it is uncertain whether this implementation will resolve all the disputes between Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Thirteen Points of Contention

There are disagreements between the countries regarding certain points within the resolution that could affect attempts to regulate the northern border.

It is important to remember the decision passed by the UN Security Council in 2006 effectively ended the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah. According to this decision, Hezbollah was expected to withdraw to north of the Litani River.

Lebanon contends there are 13 different points along the Blue Line, the current Israel–Lebanon border, perceived by Beirut as sovereign Lebanese territory that Israel is currently holding.  Those 13 points are all along the border, from the Rosh Hanikra lookout and eastward, all the way to the area between the Israeli town of Metula and the Lebanese village of Al-Wazzani.

One of the main points the US will surely reference is the Land Terminus point, known as B1. This border point marks the final land connection between Israel and Lebanon in the western sector along the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon seeks Israel’s withdrawal from this strategically significant area, as it holds both geographical and military importance. Moreover, this point also determines the maritime border between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah has made statements emphasizing that the Lebanese front stands in solidarity with Gaza and that dialogue will not take place until attacks in the Strip cease. Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah addressed Resolution 1701 in his recent speech, stating, “The enemy [Israel] is not in a position to dictate terms to Lebanon. They are weak and in crisis. We urge the Lebanese side to establish additional conditions while implementing Resolution 1701. Lebanon holds a position of strength and can set the terms.”

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on February 15, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

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

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for a satisfactory resolution to the situation in the north, either through diplomatic means that do not compromise Israel’s interests or through military means if necessary. Pray that Hezbollah will soon come to realize that although Israel is in crisis, Israel is not weak because the God of Israel will give them the victory.


Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.

- Deuteronomy 28:10

Does Iran Have the Capability to Assemble a Nuclear Bomb?

by Daniel Bettini ~ Ynetnews

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Mr. Aliakbar Salehi, vice-president of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Thursday, 15 February 2024 | In a troubling statement, the former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, asserted that Tehran “has all the necessary components for a nuclear bomb.”

This declaration made on Monday has raised concerns, prompting International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi to issue a warning during a diplomatic conference in Dubai.

Grossi emphasized, “Iran is not entirely transparent regarding its nuclear program, especially in light of statements from those who previously managed it, claiming they possess all the elements for a bomb.”

Grossi elaborated on his concerns. “There is a growing complexity in the Middle East due to Israel’s war in Gaza. Iran’s lack of transparency regarding its nuclear activities heightens the risks. There are increasing talks from various sources within Iran regarding nuclear weapons, particularly when a prominent figure claims they have all the necessary components. So please, show me proof.”

In an interview with Iranian television earlier this week, Salehi stated: “We possess all the nuclear science components and technology. We’ve crossed all the lines and overcome all obstacles. It’s like having all the parts to build a car: we have the chassis, the engine, the transmission, everything. Each component serves its purpose, and everything is in our hands.”

While Tehran officially claims it does not seek nuclear weapons, in the past two years, more and more senior figures in the country have been less ambiguous about their intentions, dropping various hints. For instance, as Ali Khorram, one of the advisors to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, told Al Jazeera, “Iran already has the capability to build nuclear weapons but chooses not to do so.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on February 15, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IAEA Imagebank/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that any attempts by Iran to build a nuclear bomb will fail. Cry out to the Lord for a unified resolve among the nations to take whatever action necessary to bring an end to Iranian nuclear capability.


The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.

- Psalm 2:2–4 ESV

‘Screams before Silence:’ Film Documents Hamas’s Brutal Sexual Assault

by Ynetnews

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Returned hostages have come forward with horrifying stories of sexual and physical abuse while in captivity.

Wednesday, 14 February 2024 | “Every time we talked about it, at least one of the girls said that they had suffered sexual and physical abuse,” according to former Hamas hostage Agam Goldstein-Almog, 17. Agam was released from Hamas captivity with her mother, Chen, and her younger brothers Gal, 11, and Tal, 9, after 51 days in Hamas captivity. She testifies in a new film dealing with the sex crimes of Hamas terrorists on October 7 about the horrors she was exposed to in Gaza.

“I talked to one of them [a fellow hostage] one evening and asked how they treated her, what she had been through. She started crying and I cried with her,” as she told the teen about being sexually assaulted, Agam told Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of the Meta company, who filmed in Israel the documentary film “Screams Before Silence.”

The film is intended for distribution at the beginning of April 2024 and was produced by Israel’s Kastina Communications, which is also behind the production of the film NOVA#, which made waves in Israel and the world about the massacre at the music festival in Re’im.

Last week, Sandberg completed the filming of the documentary film, which presents evidence of the acts of rape and sexual assault committed by the terrorists on Israeli women and girls. In an attempt to raise global awareness of the extent of the atrocities committed by Hamas, Sandberg came to Israel and interviewed, among others, freed hostages, ZAKA [community emergency response organization] volunteers and police officers, medical and forensic experts, and survivors of the massacre.

Agam, who has already described the enormous difficulties of captivity in Gaza several times in speeches and interviews, also discussed these with the creator of the new film. She met several women being held hostage in Gaza.  “They all talked about their kidnapping. Where she was kidnapped from, what they did to her, what she saw. Each was kidnapped from a different place. That’s when we learned that some of them were held alone. They [Hamas] said that no one was being held alone. Only in pairs. But some of them were alone for the entire time,” she said.

When asked by Sandberg what the girls she met in captivity told her, Agam replied: “I talked to one of them one evening and I asked her how they treated her, what she had been through. She started crying and I cried with her. We were crying together and then she started telling me. He told her on the last day, she was being moved to a different place. She was staying in an apartment with one guard. He told her that they have to move. ‘Go get ready. Go wash yourself at the sink.'”

“She went into the bathroom…and then he came into the bathroom and held a gun to her head. He started kissing her and she started crying. She told me, ‘You know how when you cry, your mouth is like this? This is what it was like, but he wouldn’t stop kissing me.’ He took off all her clothes and touched her all over her body. He asked her to touch his genitals in different ways and he also touched hers. She told me that she couldn’t stop crying and that he wouldn’t stop doing what he was doing. He enjoyed it. For 30 minutes the gun was pointed at her head,” according to Agam.

“She had no choice. I asked her, ‘Did you do it? Did you do what he asked you to do?’ She said, ‘What do you mean? Of course. I had no other option.’ He never put his gun away from her head. And then he told her to ‘go get dressed’ and he left the bathroom,” the teen recounted. “They went back to the living room. She told me that her ears were ringing, and she couldn’t stop crying; she was in shock. And they moved her to a different place and she never saw him again. He told her not to tell anybody.”

Filmmaker Sandberg was interviewed Monday on Jake Tapper’s show on CNN, and with teary eyes and a choked-up throat, she mentioned the conversation with Agam, who was kidnapped from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, and talked about the girl’s strength. “We should all be afraid of such cases that must not be repeated. It is impossible that a girl, a 17-year-old, anywhere in the world, should be forced to see and hear and go through such atrocities.”

The CNN host asked Sandberg why she decided to direct the film. “When the evidence began to emerge after October 7, the silence was deafening even though it was clear that acts of rape and sexual violence had been committed. We must not allow silence and cover-up of such acts anywhere in the world. People denied and refused to admit that Hamas indeed committed such acts, and therefore the film will allow them to see with their own eyes and hear with their ears from survivors about the horrors that took place and how the victims suffered in the last minutes of their lives,” Sandberg replied.

Sandberg spoke about the people she met in Israel during the filming. “The people in Israel are broken as only in Israel they can be broken, and at the same time they are strong and powerful as only Israelis can be.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on February 13, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Chenspec/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to God for these women and young girls who have suffered sexual abuse and rape at the hands of Hamas monsters. Pray that the Lord will heal their physical, psychological and emotional wounds and restore them to wholeness. Ask the Lord to give them strength and courage to face the future and to tell their stories. Also pray for an international outcry against this barbarity.


I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.

- Jeremiah 33:6b–7

Israel Proposes Plan for Rafah Ahead of Impending Ground Operation

by Ynetnews

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Prime Minister Netanyahu has not commented on the alleged evacuation plan for Gazan civilians in Rafah ahead of the alleged IDF ground operation in the city (illustrative).

Wednesday, 14 February 2024 | Israel has put forth a proposal aimed at establishing extensive tent cities within Gaza as part of an evacuation strategy, anticipating an imminent operation on the southern city within the strip that Israel identifies as the final stronghold of Hamas.

The initiative, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is set to be financed through a collaboration between the US and its Arab Gulf counterparts, and the idea was recently passed to Egypt, coinciding with warnings from the Biden administration cautioning Israel against advancing into Rafah without a comprehensive civilian protection strategy.

President Joe Biden emphasized that any military action in Rafah must be accompanied by a credible plan to ensure the safety and welfare of the over one million individuals seeking shelter in the area.

According to Egyptian officials, the Israeli evacuation proposal entails the establishment of 15 campsites, each comprising approximately 25,000 tents, across the southwestern region of the Gaza Strip. These officials stated that Egypt would oversee the setup of these campsites along with field hospitals.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to provide a comment on the proposal, while immediate comment from the Egyptian government was not available.

Cairo has indicated its readiness to suspend the 1979 peace treaty with Israel should Palestinians attempt to cross the border from Rafah to escape an Israeli military offensive.

After the publication of the report, the United Nations [UN] Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] stated that it had not received any notification from Israel regarding a plan to evacuate civilians from Rafah. “We have not received any official communication from senior Israeli officials,” an OCHA spokesperson said. “Regardless, the UN does not participate in non-consensual evacuations.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on February 13, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kremlin.ru/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that a plan can be put in place that will satisfy all parties and actually accomplish its purpose, that of protecting civilians as Israel enters its next phase in the war against Hamas. Pray that such a major initiative will be successful and accomplished in a timely fashion.


Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established…The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

- Proverbs 16:3, 9 ESV

In a Rafah Op, Israel’s Most Pressing Concern Is Egypt

by Amichai Stein ~ JNS

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Thursday, 15 February 2024 | This week, US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel cannot enter Rafah in force under current circumstances because it would lead to a “disaster.”

Netanyahu issued a short statement saying, “I gave an order for the military to prepare” for such an operation, putting the Arab states, the Europeans and the US on notice. Now, they are all rushing to influence the timing and nature of the operation.

Jacob Nagel, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former national security adviser to Netanyahu, told JNS, “Biden is not telling Israel not to attack Hamas in Rafah. He is saying: If you find solutions to the refugee problem, there will be a green light.”

A US official told JNS that, in recent days, the Biden administration has handed Israel a list of demands that must be met before any operation in Rafah. They include the establishment of a refuge for the 1.4 million Palestinians in the Rafah area and multiple access points for humanitarian aid, since the Rafah Border Crossing itself will be partially or completely closed in any Israel Defense Forces operation.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Israel has already suggested a plan to establish 15 new enclaves in southwest Gaza, composed of around 25,000 tents, to house the Gazans currently in Rafah.

Nagel told JNS, “Israel should do in Rafah what it did in the north and the center of the Strip: total elimination of Hamas, breaking the capabilities of Hamas…There’s just no other option.”

Israel’s most pressing concern regarding a Rafah operation, however, is not the US but Egypt.

Yehuda Blanga, a senior lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Bar-Ilan University, told JNS, “There is a nightmare in Egypt—the fear that hundreds of thousands of Gazans will threaten to break through the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt.”

“The Egyptians fear the Palestinians will start climbing fences because they will be in another moment of humanitarian disaster,” Blanga explained. “On the Egyptian side, there is no problem in saying, ‘Whoever crosses the border, we will shoot him.’ No one intends to allow them to settle in Sinai.”

Unnamed Egyptian officials were recently quoted warning that any Israeli operation in Rafah under current conditions would result in a suspension of Egypt’s decades-old peace treaty with Israel. Publicly, however, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has said, “The peace accord has existed for more than 40 years and we intend to keep it that way.”

“Israel should act in Rafah even if Egypt says no,” Nagel said. “The Egyptians will say that it’s offensive and that it’s against the [peace] agreement, but in the end, it will not cause a severing of ties, because Egypt needs the peace agreement as much as we do. Egypt is currently in a very difficult situation because of the economic situation. It needs US support.”

But why is there so much opposition in Egypt to what seems to be the easiest solution: Allowing some of the Gaza population to resettle in Sinai, even temporarily?

“Egypt has its own economic problems and the president is currently making efforts to restore the Egyptian economy,” Blanga explained. “The last thing they want is to worry about the refugees being an economic burden.”

“The other problem is that these refugees from Gaza are not peaceful citizens,” he added. “Hamas members cross the border in civilian clothes. There are terrorist elements there who have connections with Hamas. And there have been cases where Egyptian citizens have been killed by terrorist activities that Hamas is connected to.”

JNS asked Blanga if he foresees any scenario in which Egypt would change its mind.

“I see a very slim chance,” he replied. “But if the Americans and the Europeans make a very generous offer to Egypt, and it is clear from the start that it is something temporary and not permanent, there might be a chance to convince the Egyptians to agree to some arrangement. But this can only be done through sensitive negotiations.”

“In the end, it is in the Egyptians’ interest for Hamas to be defeated,” Blanga added. “They cannot say it publicly, because then the streets will be filled with protests. The government will be seen as an Israeli collaborator. But this is the truth.”

“Israel will have to enter Rafah,” he asserted, “where it assumes there are thousands of terrorists and tunnels. But how it’s done and when is something we will only know in the coming days.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on February 15, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the “sensitive negotiations” that will ensure Egyptian cooperation in the effort to deal with over a million displaced Gazans. Ask the Lord to protect Egypt’s treaty with Israel and pray that Hamas operatives hiding among civilians will be identified and made to face the consequences of their actions.


You will show faithfulness to Jacob and steadfast love to Abraham, as you have sworn to our fathers from the days of old.

- Micah 7:20

Hamas Base Burrowed under UNRWA Headquarters: Commissioner Denies Knowledge

by Ynetnews

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UNRWA has unapologetically supported and aided Hamas terrorists in Gaza for years (illustrative).

Monday, 12 February 2024 | UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini responded to the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] discovery of a tunnel under the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza, where a Hamas server farm was found. “UNRWA did not know what is under its headquarters in Gaza,” he wrote in a post on X.

“UNRWA staff left its headquarters in Gaza City on October 12 following the Israeli evacuation orders and as bombardment intensified in the area. We have not used that compound since we left it, nor are we aware of any activity that may have taken place there,” Lassarini wrote. “We understand, through media reporting, that the Israeli Army has deployed troops within the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza City. We are therefore unable to confirm or otherwise comment on these reports,” he wrote.

“In times of ‘no active conflict’ UNRWA inspects inside its premises every quarter. The last inspection for the UNRWA Gaza premises was completed in September 2023. UNRWA is a human development and humanitarian organization that does not have the military and security expertise nor the capacity to undertake military inspections of what is or might be under its premises. In the past, whenever suspicious cavity was found close to or under UNRWA premises, protest letters were promptly filed to parties to the conflict, including both the de facto authorities in Gaza (Hamas) and the Israeli authorities. The matter was consistently reported in annual reports presented to the General Assembly and made public,” he wrote.

He said there was no way to independently verify the claims and that UNRWA was not officially notified by Israel of the alleged tunnel uncovered.

Foreign Minister Israel Katz responded to Lazzarini’s words, writing in his X account that “the exposure of UNRWA’s Gaza headquarters’ deep involvement with Hamas, including its use for terror activities and as an access point to terror tunnels, requires immediate action. Lazzarini’s claim that he was unaware of the tunnel is not only absurd but also an affront to common sense. His prompt resignation is imperative.”

Later, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, also commented on the UNRWA commissioner’s denial in a post on X. “Lazzarini, it’s not that you didn’t know, it’s that you didn’t want to know. We exposed terror tunnels under UNRWA schools and supplied evidence that Hamas exploits UNRWA. We implored you to carry out a comprehensive search of all UNRWA facilities in Gaza. But not only did you refuse, you chose to stick your head in the sand. Take responsibility and resign today! Every day, we find more proof that in Gaza, the UN equals Hamas and vice versa. Anything the UN says or claims about Gaza cannot be trusted.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on February 11, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: ISM Palestine/Flickr/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the resignation of Commissioner-General Lazzarini and the dismantling of UNWRA. Pray that the body of evidence of UNRWA’s involvement with Hamas and their complicity in the October 7 massacre that Israel is amassing will become too comprehensive to be ignored.


The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.

- Nahum 1:2 ESV

Abbas Visits Qatar Amid Talk of Hamas Joining PA

by JNS

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Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas meets Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha.

Tuesday, 13 February 2024 | Palestinian Authority [PA] chief Mahmoud Abbas traveled to Doha on Monday at the invitation of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss ways to incorporate Hamas into a PA-led government for Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Sources told the Saudi-based Asharq News network that Abbas and Sheikh Tamim were scheduled to discuss plans to establish a “government of technocrats” whose main priority would be the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in the wake of the Israel Defense Forces’ [IDF] war against Hamas terrorists there.

The proposed government would be headed by Mohammad Mustafa, an Abbas loyalist who currently serves as the chairman of the PA’s Palestine Investment Fund, but could also include Hamas officials.

Asharq News reported that Sheikh Tamim agreed to relay Abbas’s proposal to Hamas officials following Monday’s meeting in Doha.

Qatar, which hosts Hamas leaders and has provided the terrorist group with hundreds of millions of dollars, played a large role last year in mediating the release of Israeli hostages. It has previously deflected accusations of playing a double game, saying the US requested that it open that mediation channel.

A spokesperson for Hamas told the outlet that while it welcomes cooperation with the PA, the terrorist group demands to be consulted on “every step,” including the members of the prospective government.

According to the PA’s official Wafa news agency, Abbas during the meeting called on the international community to stop what he called a “war of extermination from the Israeli killing machine” in Gaza.

The US wants the PA to assume control of Gaza after the war against Hamas ends, a move that Israel vehemently rejects because of Ramallah’s overt support for terrorism.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has insisted that an “effective and revitalized PA” should ultimately govern the Strip.

During a January 10 meeting in Ramallah, Blinken pressed Abbas on “administrative reforms, which, if implemented, would benefit the Palestinian people.” Sky News Arabia described the tête-à-tête as “tense” and marked by “arguments.”

On January 27, Abbas’s spokesman told Al Arabiya television that the PA is prepared to hand over the reins to Hamas after the conflict. Ramallah is “prepared to hold general elections, and if Hamas wins, the president will hand over the PA,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said.

The US State Department has refused to rule out Hamas retaining power in Gaza or even joining a PA-led governing body that would also have jurisdiction in Judea and Samaria.

According to Palestinian polls, 89% of Palestinians support establishing a government that includes or is led by Hamas. Only around 8.5% said they favor an authority controlled exclusively by Abbas’s Fatah faction.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on February 12, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Thaer Ghanyem/Wafa/jns.org

Prayer Focus
As the nations arrogantly “decide” what the future holds for Gaza, pray that God’s will is done. Beseech the Lord that Israel will remain unwavering in their refusal to turn the Strip over to the PA, a terrorist organization that supports Hamas. And pray that global leaders, particularly those in the US, will recognize the absurdity of putting a government in place that will recreate the situation that hundreds of Israelis are giving their lives to eliminate.


The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.

- Isaiah 2:11 ESV

Argentina’s President Calls Hamas ‘21st-century Nazism’

by Etgar Lefkovits ~ JNS

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Argentinian President Javier Milei (left) and Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the home in Kibbutz Nir Oz of the Bibas family, who are still captives in Gaza.

Friday, 9 February 2024 | Argentine President Javier Milei toured a hard-hit kibbutz [collective community] near the border with Gaza on Thursday and described the October 7 Hamas massacre as “21st-century Nazism.”

The unequivocal remarks by the Argentine leader during a visit to Kibbutz Nir Oz with President Isaac Herzog were the latest signal of a major shift in Argentina’s foreign policy towards the US and Israel after decades of backing Arab countries.

“It was the indifference of the free world that made the Nazi Holocaust possible,” Milei said. “And as President Herzog said, the free world can’t remain indifferent in this case, as we see clear examples of terrorism and anti-Semitism and what I would describe as 21st-century Nazism.”

The agricultural community, which includes many immigrants from Argentina and their families, saw a quarter of its residents killed or kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 massacre.

“We shall rebuild this place,” said Herzog. “We shall bring back the community. And we shall protect Israelis and we hopefully will create a different future for us and for our neighbors.”

The two leaders visited several houses on the kibbutz, including that of Ofelia Roitman, an Argentine immigrant who was released from Hamas captivity in November and who accompanied the group. It was the first time she had been back in her home since October 7.

Milei arrived in Israel on Tuesday reiterating his pledge to move his nation’s embassy to Jerusalem as well as to blacklist Hamas, and open a new chapter in bilateral relations. During his visit, he held meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and said a prayer at the Western Wall.

An unabashedly public philo-semite who studies with a rabbi, Milei has repeatedly pledged to move the Argentine embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, although economic woes at home—where inflation topped 140% last year—are clearly front and center on his government’s to-do list. While reiterating his commitment to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem during his visit to Israel, the Argentine leader did not cite a date for the embassy move.

His staunch support for Israel both ditches decades of unequivocal backing for Arab countries in the predominantly Catholic Latin American nation under both left- and right-wing governments and contrasts with neighboring Brazil, whose leftist leader, President Lula da Silva, has been highly critical of Israel’s war in Gaza.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on February 7, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: X/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the nations will heed the voice of President Milei when he quotes Israeli President Herzog as saying it was the indifference of the free world that made the Nazi Holocaust possible, cautioning against a repeat of that apathy today. Pray that President Milei’s strong feelings for Israel will result in the support of Argentina at the UN and the move of the Argentinian embassy to Jerusalem in the near future.


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

- Proverbs 17:17

Hamas Elite Commander Surrenders: ‘We Decided not to Fight and Waited for the IDF’

by Yoav Zitun ~ Ynetnews

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IDF units continue to capture and fight terrorists in the Gaza strip.

Friday, 9 February 2024 | The Shin Bet [Israel’s security agency] released on Thursday footage from the interrogation of a Hamas terrorist who was arrested along with two other terrorists in a tunnel in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

According to the Shin Bet, the interrogated terrorist, who is reportedly a commander in the terror organization’s elite Nukhba [military wing] unit, revealed that he and the other two terrorists chose not to fight and surrender to the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] soldiers who entered the tunnel.

The Shin Bet said that the tunnel commander and the other terrorists were apprehended deep inside Khan Younis by Shin Bet operatives and IDF soldiers while hiding behind a reinforced door, armed with anti-tank missiles and explosives. “We will continue to act and strike at Hamas terrorists from above and below ground,” the Shin Bet said.

The captured terrorist, Mohammad Nasser Suliman Abu Namer, reportedly testified that he joined Hamas’s military wing in 2009. He testified that they were armed with anti-tank missiles, explosives and demolition blocks in the tunnel, but when asked if they opened fire at IDF forces, he denied it. “We decided that we don’t want to fight and as soon as the army comes, we would surrender,” he said.

“We sat in the room, we placed all the weapons outside… and the army came and took all the weapons from outside. We sat and we waited. When the army arrived, we put up our hands and surrendered.”

When asked by the interrogator what his recommendation would be for other terrorists in tunnels, he replied, “I recommend to everyone to surrender, because your destiny is to die.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally was published by Ynetnews on February 8, 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
Pray that the fear of the Lord will fall upon every Hamas operative, and that they will not only surrender, but that many will turn to the God of Israel.


“For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”

- Joshua 2:10–11