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A Light in the Darkness in 2023

Friday, November 10, 2023

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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.

30 Days Later: Israel Holds a Day of Mourning

by Kate Norman

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Memorial lights in Jerusalem pierce the night sky in solidarity for each of the hostages the Hamas terrorists are still holding.

Wednesday, 8 November 2023 | Thirty days. Israel marked 30 days yesterday since the terrible Hamas massacre that left more than 1,400 people dead, injured thousands more and captured over 240 hostages.

Israelis, a people who value life, are mourning horrible death and loss. They are mourning the young people who were gunned down at a music festival. They are mourning their parents and grandparents who were shot, tortured and burned alive in sleepy kibbutzim [collective communities]. They are mourning young children whose cries from inside shelters were silenced. They are mourning babies—those inside and outside their mothers’ wombs—who were cruelly slaughtered.

They are praying for the men, women, children who were dragged into Gaza, where their fates and conditions are unknown.

All of Israel is mourning, and all around the country yesterday were signs of the 30-day commemoration.

The 30th day of mourning is significant in Judaism. It is called the Sheloshim (Hebrew for “30”), the 23 days of mourning that follow the Shiva (Hebrew for “Seven”), the first seven days in which the Jewish people mourn the death of a loved one.

In Tel Aviv at 11 a.m., Israelis marked the day with a minute of silence, eerily similar to when the nation stops for the sirens commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel Remembrance Day, marking terror victims and fallen soldiers.

After the moment of silence, many people sang Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, or “The Hope,” the Times of Israel reported.

The lyrics, translated into English, echoed across the land.

“As long as within our hearts the Jewish soul sings, as long as forward to the East, to Zion, looks the eye, our hope is not yet lost. It is 2,000 years old, to be a free people in our land, the Land of Zion and Jerusalem.”

The rest of the day was marked across the country by lowering the Israeli flag to half-mast in multiple cities and communities, lighting memorial candles and other means of remembering the lives—of civilians, soldiers, emergency responders, men, women, children, grandmothers and grandfathers—cut short and the lives still held in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military is fighting back, conducting air strikes and a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, with the declared goal of wiping Hamas, the terrorist group in control of Gaza, off the map.

Ever since the Holocaust, the motto of Jews and their supporters in Israel and around the world is “Never again.” In that spirit, the Israeli military is fighting to incapacitate the terror group and ensure that the Iran-backed threat can never again spill Jewish blood.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) posted on Twitter yesterday: “It’s been a month since the October 7 Massacre. While the world might have moved on, we don’t have that privilege. Hamas started this war—yet it’s a war we must fight. A war we must win.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 8, 2023)

Photo Credit: Jonah Cornish/Bridges for Peace

Prayer Focus
Continue to cry out to the Lord to pour out His presence, love and comfort over the wounded, mourning nation of Israel. Pray specifically for the hostages in Gaza as well as their loved ones in Israel during this terrible time of waiting for their return. Also continue to bring those who have lost loved ones before the Lord, praying for the comfort that only He can provide.


God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.

- Psalm 46:1–3

Terrorist Murders Israeli–American Police Officer in Jerusalem

by JNS

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Israel Border Police Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin was murdered in a terror attack in Jerusalem yesterday.

Tuesday, 7 November 2023 | An Israel–American Border Police officer was killed in a terror attack near Herod’s Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday. Another officer was moderately wounded in the attack.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the victims for stab wounds before evacuating them to Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus, where the female officer succumbed to her wounds.

The slain officer was named as Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin, 20, from Kibbutz Sa’ad near the Gaza border.

Police said Lubin immigrated from the United States in August 2021, and was drafted into the police force in March of the following year.

The terrorist was killed. He was identified as a 16-year-old resident of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. Police said that another suspect was detained at the scene and that his connection to the assailant and the attack were being investigated.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai arrived at the scene and was holding an assessment with Jerusalem District commander Doron Turgeman and other officers.

Fifty-nine police officers have been killed since Hamas’s October 7 invasion of southern Israel.

Last week, an Israeli policeman was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack near the Shivtei Yisrael light rail stop in Jerusalem.

On October 12, two police officers were injured in a terrorist shooting just outside Jerusalem’s Old City.

On Sunday night, Israeli police arrested 23 terror suspects in Jerusalem’s Shuafat neighborhood and the town of Anata northeast of the capital.

Alleged offenses included involvement in violent disturbances in recent weeks, including throwing stones and firebombs. Others were arrested on suspicion of publishing incitement to violence and terrorism and supporting Hamas.

One suspect was arrested for funding the riots that took place in the weeks after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, during which Palestinian death squads rampaged through western Negev communities, murdering 1,400 people, wounding thousands more and taking over 240 hostages back to Gaza.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 6, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Police/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Bring the loved ones of Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin before the Lord as they mourn this tragic loss. As Israel battles the enemy on its borders, beseech the Lord to thwart any and all plans to ignite the sparks of terror into roaring flames. Pray for peace to reign within the borders of this tiny nation.


Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul.

- Psalm 94:16, 19

IDF Braces for Multi-front War

by Yoav Zitun ~ Ynetnews

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Thousands of trucks and cars were commandeered for military use (illustrative).

Friday, 3 November 2023 | The Defense Ministry was purchasing weapons and armament in the billions of shekels [NIS] in preparation for a multi-front war, officials said on Thursday, after some 3,000 tons of equipment was sent by land and sea in over 100 cargo planes and five ships, to provide for the military needs, after the Houthi rebels in Yemen joined in with missile fire on Eilat.

About six billion shekels (US $1.5 billion) were already spent on purchases from Israel’s defense industries and from foreign nations including bombs, missiles, drones, other armament as well as ambulances and medical supplies, some already put to use on the battle field but also to provide for the defense of the home front.

The Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure in the Defense Ministry invested over three billion shekels (US $752,743.80) in development of protective measure or in pushing up existing projects. 651 industrial facilities were diverted to the war effort and 57,000 essential workers were deployed under special conscription. In addition, thousands of trucks and cars were commandeered for military use.

The ministry’s engineering wing was beginning its assessment of the damage to the border area communities effected in the Hamas attack and to the military bases overrun by the terrorists or involved in the fighting, ahead of planned rebuilding efforts. Some 100 construction companies were assigned, and 350 tons of materials prepared for infrastructure.

The Defense Ministry was also providing for 125,000 residents of the borders in the south and in the north, who were evacuated from their homes for their safety. “The mission of the ministry,” CEO Eyal Zamir said, “was to provide the military with the time and space it needs to carry out its objectives.”

Source: (This article was originally published byYnetnews on November 2, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israeli Defense Forces Spokesperson's Unit/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
As Israel prepares to ward off its enemies on multiple fronts, beseech the Lord for His supernatural wisdom, guidance and foresight. Pray that the One who watches over Israel without slumbering or sleeping (Ps. 121:4) will impart the intimate details of His perfect plan for defense and security to the human decision makers as they work for the safety of the people God calls the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8).


“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

- Deuteronomy 31:8

Video Shows Likely Proof of Gaza Civilians Trying to Evacuate Shot by Hamas

by Ynetnews

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The New York Times seemed to publish proof that Hamas slaughtered Gazan civilians trying to flee to a designated safe area (illustrative).

Monday, 6 November 2023 | A disturbing video posted on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) supposedly depicts a street in Gaza with at least 12 Palestinian civilians lying dead on the ground after Hamas opened fire at them for trying to flee from their homes in the northern Strip, the New York Post reported Friday.

Satellite images indicate that IDF [Israel Defense Forces] forces were positioned at least two kilometers [1.2 mi.] from the location where the video was filmed. An aircraft struck an ambulance in the Gaza Strip on Friday, which, according to intelligence, was being used by a specific Hamas unit closely positioned to the combat zone. On Saturday, Hamas terrorists attacked IDF soldiers who secured a humanitarian corridor on Salah al-Din Road in the Gaza Strip for the civilians of northern Gaza who haven’t yet evacuated to the Strip’s south for their safety.

In the video itself, a resident is filming himself arriving on the gruesome scene on his bicycle, mourning the loss of civilians as he focuses on the various bodies strewn on the street. The original poster argues that the civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike.

According to the New York Post, author and journalist Amjad Taha made a separate post following the video in which he reported that the victims were a few of “dozens” of Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza who were killed by Hamas snipers because they “did not want citizens to leave.”

“They want to use them as human shields and will kill anyone who attempts to leave. Hamas terrorists in Gaza will, as usual, blame #Israel because it is easy and there is media that accepts this propaganda,” Taha wrote on his X account.

In a follow-up post accompanied by the original video, Taha dismisses claims that Israeli bombardment caused the carnage, pointing out the absence of cratering or evidence of exploded ordnance in the footage.

“As you can see from the post, the usual one to blame. They said, ‘airstrikes’? Does this look like airstrikes?” he wrote.

The video comes following Israeli reports that the terrorist organization is threatening residents in Gaza and placing roadblocks on main roads along the northern Strip in an attempt to limit the movement of Palestinians from their homes to safe areas in southern Gaza.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on November 4, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Palestinian News & Information Agency (Wafa) in contract with APAimages/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
As hundreds of thousands of Gazans make their way to safety via evacuation routes, cry out to the Lord to bring to light these horrors inflicted by the evil Hamas regime on the people they are supposed to govern. Cry out for protection of the lives of the innocent. As the civilian death toll in Gaza rises, pray that He will reveal to the international community that Hamas is responsible for putting their own people in harm’s way.


When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

- Proverbs 29:2

Lebanese Terrorists Fire 20 Rockets into Israel

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Smoke rises following Israeli retaliatory attacks in Lebanon on October 9, 2023.

Wednesday, 8 November 2023 | Terrorists in Lebanon fired some 20 rockets at Israel late Tuesday afternoon, the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] said.

“Following the alert that was activated in the northern region, about 20 launches were detected that crossed from Lebanese territory into Israel,” the military announced.

Local media reported explosions near Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, with videos on social media showing interceptor missiles being fired over the Druze town.

IDF artillery forces responded by firing into Southern Lebanon.

Earlier on Tuesday, a “suspicious aerial target” was prevented from entering the Jewish state from Lebanon, according to the IDF.

The incident was reported as terrorists in Lebanon fired at an army outpost in the area of Arab al-Aramshe in the western Galilee, according to the IDF. Israel responded with artillery fire.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israeli forces attacked a Hezbollah position in Southern Lebanon, and an IDF tank targeted a terror cell preparing to launch an anti-tank missile toward Moshav Shtula.

On Monday night, Hamas terrorists in Southern Lebanon fired some 30 rockets at Israel, triggering air raid sirens in cities including Haifa, Nahariya and Akko. Several rockets were intercepted, while most fell in the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it “struck the occupied city of Nahariya and southern Haifa in northern occupied Palestine [i.e., Israel] with 16 missiles.”

On Sunday, an Israeli civilian was killed when an anti-tank missile from Lebanon hit a vehicle near Kibbutz Yiftah in upper Galilee.

In a statement, the Iran-backed Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack. Since Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel, Hezbollah has been initiating a series of exchanges of fire along the Israel–Lebanon border.

Over the past month, at least seven IDF soldiers have been killed in attacks on Israel’s northern border.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 7, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Source: JNS

Source: David Cohen/Flash90./jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray a hedge of protection over Israel’s northern border. Ask the Lord to expose and bring to nothing the plans of Israel’s enemies so that Iran, Hezbollah and the Hamas terrorists in Lebanon will realize that coming against the people of Israel means coming against the God of Israel.


Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed…He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision.

- Psalm 2:1–2, 4

Hamas Admits: Our Goal Is Perpetual War

by Ynetnews

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Hamas terrorists want the war with Israel to be permanent on all the borders (illustrative).

Thursday, 9 November 2023 | Khalil al-Hayya, a deputy of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, said the terror group launched its attack on Israel on October 7 to change the entire equation in the Middle East. “We succeeded in putting the Palestinian issue back on the table, and now no one in the region is experiencing calm,” he told the New York Times in an interview published on Wednesday.

Sinwar’s deputy said Hamas had wider goals than running Gaza. “Hamas’s goal is not to run Gaza and to bring it water and electricity and such,” said al-Hayya. “Hamas, the Qassam [armed branch of the Islamic movement] and the resistance woke the world up from its deep sleep and showed that this issue must remain on the table.”

“This battle was not because we wanted fuel or laborers,” he added. “It did not seek to improve the situation in Gaza. This battle is to completely overthrow the situation.”

According to the New York Times, which has been conducting interviews with leaders of Hamas in recent weeks as well as with Israeli and Western officials, it appears that the October 7 attack was planned and executed by a small group of Hamas leaders in Gaza who did not share the information.

According to Hamas health officials, over 10,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the war. Al-Hayya told the paper it was clear that Israel would react to the attack by bombing Gaza. “What could change the equation was a great act, and without a doubt, it was known that the reaction to this great act would be big,” Mr. al-Hayya said.

Two officials whose governments are in contact with Hamas said the aim of the October 7 attack was to take as many IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers, hostage as possible, in order to swap them with Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

One security source said Hamas expected Palestinians to rise up elsewhere after the assault and that mass demonstrations would force Arab governments and regional allies to join in the war.

“I hope that the state of war with Israel will become permanent on all the borders, and that the Arab world will stand with us,” Taher El-Nounou, a Hamas media adviser, told the Times.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on November 8, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Hadi Mohammad/Fars Media Corporation/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord to bring the true intention of Hamas to the light. Pray that He will open the eyes of those who have been taken in by the duplicity that this terror organization desires a peaceful solution. Pray that He will clearly show the dire position Israel is in and how this nations stands on the forefront of a fight against evil.


You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

- Psalm 5:6

What Was the International Media Doing at the October 7 Massacre?

by Daniel Edelson ~ Ynetnews

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HonestReporting questions how journalists were ready to capture the events on October 7 on the scene.

Thursday, 9 November 2023 | Gaza-based photojournalists employed by the world’s leading news agencies, such as the Associated Press [AP] and Reuters, captured some of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists during their deadly incursion into southern Israel on October 7 as the events were unfolding. A media watchdog report published on Wednesday sheds light on significant ethical concerns surrounding their presence at the scene.

The report, released by pro-Israeli media monitor HonestReporting, zooms in on several instances where cameramen working for prominent news outlets coincidentally arrived at the border during the early morning hours, raising questions about whether they had any foreknowledge of the attack.

“What were they doing there so early on what would ordinarily have been a quiet Saturday morning? Was it coordinated with Hamas? Did the respectable wire services, which published their photos, approve of their presence inside enemy territory, together with the terrorist infiltrators?” the report inquires.

“Did the photojournalists who freelance for other media, like CNN and the New York Times, notify these outlets? Judging from the pictures of lynching, kidnapping and storming of an Israeli kibbutz [collective community], it seems like the border has been breached not only physically, but also journalistically.”

According to HonestReporting, four names appear on AP‘s photo credits from the Israel–Gaza border area on October 7: Hassan Eslaiah, Yousef Masoud, Ali Mahmud and Hatem Ali.

Eslaiah, a freelance photographer who also works for CNN, crossed into Israel, took photos of a burning Israeli tank, and then captured Palestinian infiltrators entering Kibbutz Kfar Azza.

HonestReporting presented screenshots of Eslaiah’s now-removed X posts in which he documented himself standing in front of the Israeli tank. He did not wear a press vest or a helmet, and the Arabic caption of his tweet read: “Live from inside the Gaza Strip settlements.”

Masoud, who also works for the New York Times, was there as well. Ali Mahmud and Hatem Ali captured the abduction of Israelis into Gaza. According to HonestReporting, the credits of the photographers who were at the border were subsequently removed from some of the photos in AP‘s database.

The report points out that Reuters has published photos from Gazan photojournalists, Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa and Yasser Qudih, who also happened to be at the border when dozens of infiltrators rolled into Israel.

They both took pictures of a burning Israeli tank on the Israeli side of the border. Shockingly, Abu Mustafa also took photos of a lynch mob brutalizing the body of an Israeli soldier who was dragged out of the tank.

The report adds that while Reuters added a graphic warning to the photo caption, its editor featured the snap as one of its “Images of the Day” on their editorial database.

Former Israeli consul general in New York Asaf Zamir shared his dismay over HonestReporting‘s findings, equating the presence of photojournalists at the scene of the massacre to “Taliban or Al Qaeda tipping off a news network about the twin towers on 9/11 and instead of preventing it, they came to photograph it.”

“Do you understand how it makes us feel?” he asks in a video uploaded to social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

Following the article, CNN “decided to suspend all ties with Hassan Eslaiah.” “We are aware of the article and photo concerning Hassan Eslaiah, a freelance photojournalist who has worked with a number of international and Israeli outlets.

While we have not at this time found reason to doubt the journalistic accuracy of the work he has done for us, we have decided to suspend all ties with him.”

AP says in response: “The Associated Press had no knowledge of the October 7 attacks before they happened. The role of the AP is to gather information on breaking news events around the world, wherever they happen, even when those events are horrific and cause mass casualties.”

AP uses images taken by freelancers around the world, including in Gaza.”

Ynetnews reached out to the mentioned media outlets for a response. We will update the information as soon as we receive their responses.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on November 9, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Mostafameraji/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will shine His spotlight on this blatant evil that seeks to profit from the spilling of innocent blood. Cry out that the responsible parties and news outlets will be held accountable and that the international community will demand an answer for this complicity.


Treasures of wickedness profit nothing…The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.

- Proverbs 10:2a–3