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A Light in the Darkness in 2023

Friday, November 17, 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.

IDF Finds Weapons, Intelligence, Military Tech at Shifa Hospital

by Yaakov Lappin ~ JNS

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Israeli soldiers bring fuel to Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Thursday, 16 November 2023 | Israel Defense Forces [IDF] units operating in the Shifa Hospital area in Gaza City found weapons, military technology and intelligence information at the compound, the Israeli military stated on Wednesday.

An operational command center, weapons and technological assets were found in the MRI building of the hospital, and the material is undergoing Israeli intelligence analysis, according to Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesman.

Israeli forces continue to scan the hospital looking for more evidence, Hagari said. Hamas uniforms thrown on the hospital floor likely point to terror operatives who sought to escape by posing as civilians, he added.

‘Precise and Targeted Operation’

The IDF has sent multiple evacuation warnings to hospital management and has provided baby food and medical equipment, including incubators, Hagari said.

Shifa, Rantisi and other Gazan hospitals were “all used as terror bases by Hamas,” Hagari said, leaving proof that Hamas acted in the hospitals in violation of international law.

“IDF troops are continuing the precise and targeted operation against Hamas in the Shifa Hospital complex, in which the troops are conducting searches for Hamas terrorist infrastructure and assets,” the military said.

Entering the hospital complex, Israeli soldiers “engaged with a number of terrorists and killed them,” the IDF added. “During searches in one of the departments of the hospital, the troops located a room with technological assets, along with military and combat equipment used by the Hamas terrorist organization.”

Soldiers found “an operational command center and technological assets belonging to Hamas” in another hospital department, “indicating that the terrorist organization uses the hospital for terrorist purposes,” the military added.

On Tuesday night, the IDF began what it called a targeted operation, based on intelligence, in a specified area of the Shifa Hospital complex. IDF forces arrived with medical staff and Arabic-speaking personnel and sought to avoid harming Gazan civilians, who were used as human shields at the facility, the military said.

As members of the Israeli military entered, four terrorists opened fire. It’s not yet clear if the four emerged from the hospital or from adjacent streets.

Soldiers of the 14th Reserve Brigade secured Hamas’s Falestin outpost in the northern Gaza Strip in recent days.

Hamas used the outpost as a training base, where terrorists prepared to attack Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. At the outpost, the military uncovered terror tunnels, explosives and mines.

‘Hamas Only Understands Force’

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said earlier on Wednesday that Israel’s objective to dismantle Hamas includes eliminating the terror organization’s entire chain of command, bunkers, overground facilities, underground facilities and commanders, and as many terrorists as possible.

The IDF is also conducting every operation it can to secure the rescue of hostages, whether via ground operation or other means.

“Only through the pressure applied on them, does the issue of hostages and the missing move forward,” Gallant said.

“Hamas only understands force,” he continued. “If you do not act with force they do not understand. When you start to suddenly act with power, with everything you have to give them, and when you are willing to give them a short period of quiet, they are willing to pay for it. That’s the entire logic of this thing.”

“In other words,” he added, “you achieve both goals simultaneously.”

Gallant said Israel should repeat what it did in Gaza City in stages across the Gaza Strip.

“In the end, we cannot live with this threat next to us,” he said. “In the Gaza Strip, there will be no threat. There will be no military threat to the State of Israel. Hamas will cease to function as a military-sovereign body with capabilities and will have the full ability to act when we want if a threat emerges.”

Fulfilling the Mission

Gallant told Brett McGurk, deputy assistant to the US president and coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, on Wednesday that Israel “will not stop its operations in Gaza until our troops fulfill their missions—destroying Hamas and returning our hostages home to their families.”

Gallant expressed his appreciation to the Biden administration for its ongoing support and deep partnership on all levels, in a meeting at the Israeli Defense Ministry Headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Gallant and McGurk discussed the complexity of preparations in light of Hamas’s entrenchment within urban environments and the terror organization’s cynical use of civilian institutions, including multiple hospitals.

The Israeli minister discussed the hostage situation at length, sharing intelligence and details on the statuses of those held captive by Hamas, as well as the efforts to return them home. The two also discussed the role of the international community in enabling the increase in the delivery of urgent supplies.

Source: (Excerpt of an article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 15, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link)

Photo Credit: IDF/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God that the IDF has reached Shifa Hospital and is uncovering evidence that proves Hamas’s murderous presence in an institution that exists to save human lives. Pray that God will direct the IDF as they continue their search, exposing every area, every weapons cache, every supply of explosives and other materials of war and every tunnel that remains beneath Shifa Hospital. Pray that Hamas’s presence will be eradicated and that the terror organization will never again be able to hide behind the weak and vulnerable in Shifa and other Gazan hospitals.


Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked.

- Psalm 82:3

Six Israelis Wounded in Terror Shooting near Jerusalem

by JNS

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Six Israelis were wounded in a Palestinian shooting attack at the “tunnel road” checkpoint leading to Jerusalem, November 16, 2023.

Thursday, 16 November 2023 | Terrorists shot and wounded six Israelis near the “tunnel road” checkpoint between Gush Etzion and Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

Three Palestinian gunmen arrived at the crossing by car and opened fire on Israeli forces, who responded by shooting and killing the terrorists, authorities said.

Police said all of the wounded were members of the security forces.

The terrorists were reportedly part of a Hamas cell and planned to perpetrate a much larger attack in Jerusalem.

Magen David Adom [MDA] emergency medical personnel treated four of the victims at the scene, including a man in his 20s in critical condition, before evacuating them to the hospital. A woman in her early 20s and a man in his 30s were in moderate condition and another young man was lightly wounded.

The other two victims were in light-to-moderate condition.

Shaare Zedek and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospitals each said they were treating three victims for gunshot wounds.

Three additional people were treated for severe anxiety and stress, according to MDA.

The security forces were sweeping the area for any additional suspects.

Police sappers and sniffing dogs ruled out the possibility that an explosive device was left at the scene.

The car used by the terrorists had false license plates, police said.

“The attack proves once again that our concept has failed not only in Gaza, but also in Judea and Samaria,” said Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Thursday.

Last week, an Israeli–American Border Police officer was killed in a terror attack near the Herod’s Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City. Another officer was moderately wounded.

The slain officer was named as Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin, 20, from Kibbutz Sa’ad near the Gaza Strip. She immigrated from Atlanta in the United States in August 2021 and was drafted into the police 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.

Late last month, 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.

The attacks come amid ongoing fighting sparked by Hamas’s October 7 invasion of the Jewish state in which terrorists killed 1,200 people, wounded thousands more and took some 240 captives to the Gaza Strip.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 16, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yoav Dudkevitch/TPS/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the victims of these attacks that continue amid the ongoing war with Hamas. Pray also for the family and friends of Israeli American Border Police officer Sgt. Elisheva Rose Ida Lubin who was killed at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City. Cry out to the Lord for His protection to surround all of those who, even though they are not on the frontlines of the war in Gaza, are willing to endanger their own lives to safeguard the people of Israel.


Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.

- Psalm 138:7

UN Resolution Calls for Cease-fire; Fails to Condemn Hamas

by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

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The resolution presented by the UN calls for a cease-fire of several days in the Gaza Strip (illustrative).

Thursday, 16 November 2023 | Without inclusion of a condemnation of Hamas’s horrific massacre on October 7, the United Nations [UN] Security Council’s resolution on Wednesday called for a cease-fire of several days as well as the release of all hostages held by the Iranian proxy. While the United States was displeased at the omission of criticism for Hamas, it chose not to veto the resolution.

Mostly declarative, the resolution does require UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to supervise its implementation and report on this at the next Security Council meeting.

Malta submitted the resolution, which received wide support from the Muslim world—including the United Arab Emirates—while the United States, United Kingdom and Russia abstained. The resolution specifies “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to enable, consistent with international humanitarian law, the full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their implementing partners.”

This is the first resolution successfully passed in the Security Council regarding the war in Gaza, after no less than four failed attempts to pass one, with Russia having failed twice before to secure the requisite amount of votes, and with the United States vetoing another failed resolution promoted by Brazil.

While Israel was happy about the part that called for the unconditional release of all hostages held inside the enclave, Gilad Erdan, Israeli ambassador to the UN, found the other parts of the resolution disheartening. “Regardless of what the council decides, Israel will continue acting according to international law while the Hamas terrorists will not even read the resolution at all, let alone abide by it,” he said in a statement, labeling the resolution “disconnected from reality and meaningless.”

A spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Lior Haiat, responded to the vote. “Israel calls on the Security Council and the international community to insist on the release of all Israeli hostages quickly as the resolution stipulates,” he said.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, said he was pleased that the council is “finally acting.” However, he expressed his disappointment over its failure to demand a cease-fire. Mansour further voiced his disapproval of the council’s silence on the tragic death of civilians and humanitarian aid workers.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, laid the blame on both Hamas and Israel. “The atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups on October 7 were heinous, brutal, and shocking; they were war crimes—as is the continued holding of hostages,” he said in a statement. “The collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts also to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians.”

Acknowledging the loss of 101 UN staff members since the war started, US ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield noted, “Terrorists continue to lob bombs into Israel.”

However, since the resolution failed to condemn the actions of Hamas, Thomas-Greenfield expressed horror and shame. “What are they afraid of?” she asked.

“What is stopping them from unequivocally condemning the actions of a terrorist organization that is determined to kill Jews?”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on November 16, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: John Gillespie/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the UN will come to its senses and pass a resolution unequivocally condemning the actions of a terrorist organization that is determined to kill Jews, ending their preposterous attempts at equating Israel’s actions of self-defense with Hamas’s massacre of innocent civilians.


Let the lying lips be put to silence, which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You. In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

- Psalm 31:18–20

On 85th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, What Happened to ‘Never Again’?

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz lights a candle in memory of the Israelis murdered by Hamas, October 17, 2023.

Friday, 10 November 2023 | Marking the 85th anniversary of the Nazis’ Kristallnacht pogrom on Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to protect Germany’s Jews amid a “shameful” upsurge in anti-Semitism.

“Essentially, this is about keeping the promise given again and again in the decades since 1945 …, the promise ‘Never again,’” said Scholz as he spoke at a memorial ceremony in a Berlin synagogue that was firebombed last month in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 massacre in the northwestern Negev.

“Every form of anti-Semitism poisons our society. We will not tolerate it,” he said.

Last month, Scholz met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, amid a string of visits to Israel by world leaders in the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attacks.

“As I said last week in the Bundestag, in hard times, Germany has only one place, and it is alongside Israel,” Scholz said in his public remarks.

“It is very important to say this today here during these difficult times in Israel: Germany’s history and the responsibility it had for the Holocaust requires us to help maintain the security and existence of Israel,” he added.

Netanyahu said the attacks that began on October 7 marked “the worst crimes committed against Jews since the Holocaust.”

“Hamas are the new Nazis, Hamas is ISIS, in some instances worse than Nazis,” charged the premier.

Also last month, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish community building in central Berlin as anti-Semitic violence surged across Germany in sympathy with the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Scholz condemned the attack while visiting Egypt, saying that “we will never accept when attacks are carried out against Jewish institutions.

“It outrages me personally what some of them are shouting and doing, and I am convinced that Germany’s citizens are of the same opinion as me,” said Scholz, referring to celebrations within Germany in support of the terrorist assault on the Negev.

Germany has banned pro-Hamas and most other pro-Palestinian demonstrations of the sort that have been seen across much of Europe and in parts of the US and which often see expressions of anti-Semitism, verbal and otherwise.

Scholz said the protection of Jewish institutions would be increased.

Kristallnacht, the “The Night of Broken Glass,” was a massive assault on Jews that occurred on the night of Novmber 9-10, 1938, in Germany, Austria and the German–occupied region of Czechoslovakia.

For 48 hours, SA and SS paramilitary forces along with the Hitler Youth and German civilians destroyed synagogues and looted and vandalized Jewish businesses, homes and cemeteries.

Approximately 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes and schools were plundered, and at least 91 Jews were murdered. An additional 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

Hamas’s October 7, 2023 assault was the worst one-day loss of Jewish life since the Holocaust. Approximately 1,400 people were killed in the cross-border invasion from the Gaza Strip in which Hamas terrorists raped, tortured and butchered men, women and children in nearby Israeli communities.

In the four weeks following the massacre, German police registered some 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents linked to the war against Hamas. In response, authorities have moved to boost security around Jewish institutions.

“Israel has the right to defend itself against the barbaric terror of Hamas,” Scholz reiterated on Thursday while restating his government’s commitment to ensure the release of the approximately 240 people taken to Gaza as hostages.

The captives include at least 18 German citizens.

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

Source: JNS

Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the sobering lessons of the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht will be heeded by the nations of the world and by the Church, awakening them to the reality that Hamas is the “new Nazis” and to the critical need to keep the promise: “Never again.” Thank God for the position taken by the German government and cry out to Him that more and more nations will embrace that same commitment to support and protect the Jewish community and stand with the nation of Israel.


Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren.

- Deuteronomy 4:9

Hamas Continues to Prevent Civilians from Evacuating

by Yoav Zitun and Elisha Ben Kimon ~ Ynetnews

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Friday, 10 November 2023 |  The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] Spokesperson said on Thursday that they intercepted a conversation between two Gazan women who said Hamas terrorists were attempting to prevent civilians from leaving to the south, looting them and instructing them to return home.

“Hamas is returning anyone trying to leave to the South,” one woman said.

“Yesterday, all the people were forced to return.” The other woman asked if they people are being used as shields and was told yes. “Don’t bother going out. Not to the north and not to the south. They are being forced back and their mules taken. My God they are driving people mad.”

The military published a phone number and a dedicated telegram channel for messaging Gazans to move to the south of the Gaza Strip where they would be safe.

“You are stronger than you think. Notify us on the telegram channel is Hamas is preventing you from going,” the Arabic language IDF spokesperson said in his message.  “Yesterday we revealed the name and position of Ahmed Ziam, a Hamas commander who stopped about 1,000 people at the Alrantisi hospital from leaving.

Today we can show proof of other attempts and the call of two women who say what you already know, that Hamas is preventing people from leaving so that they could be used as human shields.

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: Rr016/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for voices of outrage to be raised among the nations as it is revealed that Hamas is actually killing Gazan civilians rather than allowing them to evacuate to the safe area that has been set up and is being protected by Israel. Pray that the Lord will protect the innocent among those in Gaza who are caught in the middle of this war and who are being forced to remain in harm’s way by their own government.


The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent.

- Psalm 10:2, 7–8a

Iran Calls for End of Israel; Hamas Terrorist Studied Hitler

by Joshua Spurlock ~ Middle East Update

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Hitler’s anti-Semitic “Mein Kampf” was found in a Gazan home (illustrative).

Monday, 13 November 2023 | On Sunday, Israel revealed that a copy of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” translated into Arabic was found in a Gaza home used as a Hamas base, just one day after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi openly called for the elimination of the State of Israel.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog, in an interview with the BBC that was separately reported in an Israeli press release, said the copy of Hilter’s anti-Semitic manifesto had notes in the margins, highlighted text and annotated sticky notes.

“This is the book that led to the Holocaust and the book that led to World War II,” Herzog was quoted as saying in the press release. “The terrorist wrote notes, marked the sections, and studied again and again, the ideology of Adolf Hitler to hate the Jews, to kill the Jews, to burn and slaughter Jews wherever they are. This is the real war we are facing.”

The discovery comes during a war that was started on October 7 when Hamas terrorists murdered 1,400 Israelis—mostly civilians—and kidnapped hundreds more. Women, children and the elderly were among those attacked by Hamas. In response, Israel launched their first official war in 50 years in an effort to decimate Hamas and recover the hostages.

With that in the background, Iran’s President told an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia on Saturday that “the sustainable solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is the creation of a single Palestinian state from “sea to river”—meaning no more State of Israel. The comments, published by the Fars News Agency in Farsi and translated by Google, indicate a vision in which the only Jewish State is gone and is replaced with a Palestinian state where Jews are allowed to live. This obliteration of Israel echoes prior calls from Iranian leadership to wipe Israel off the map and references to Israel as a cancer. Iran is a major sponsor of Hamas terrorism, and foments conflict across the Middle East.

Raisi didn’t stop there. He further called Israel the “illegitimate child of America” and said leaders of both Israel and the United States should be punished in international court for their actions. He called for the Arab nations to designate the Israel Defense Forces as a terrorist entity and said if the situation continued that “the Islamic countries should arm the Palestinian people and help them fight” against Israel.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Middle East Update on November 12, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Vrijheidsmuseum/ Ozzy Chatgris/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the words of Iran’s president will strike fear in the hearts of world leaders as they recognize the true intent of Iranian support for Hamas: the destruction of the free world and the establishment of a radical Islamist caliphate.


Thus says the LORD to you: “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

- 2 Chronical 20:15b

IDF: ‘Nasrallah Has to Choose if He Wants to Bring this On’

by Yaakov Lappin ~ JNS

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Israeli reserve soldiers at their artillery unit stationed near the southern border with Gaza on November 13, 2023.

Wednesday, 15 November 2023 | Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah must choose if he wishes to enter into a large-scale conflict with Israel, an Israel Defense Forces [IDF] spokesman said on Tuesday while noting that Israel has chosen to focus on dismantling Hamas in the Gaza Strip at this stage.

“We are seeing ongoing attacks and aggressiveness by Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies in the area, and we are responding to escalating aggression,” said IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, noting anti-tank missiles and UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] attacks from Lebanon.

Earlier on Tuesday, the IDF Aerial Defense Array intercepted a suspicious target that was identified off the coast of the city of Akko in northwest Israel. Earlier, terrorists launched anti-tank missiles and mortar shells toward IDF posts in the areas of Margaliot, Arab al-Aramshe, Yiftach, Shomera and Mattat in northern Israel. The IDF struck the sources of the launches in Lebanon.

In addition, Israeli Air Force [IAF] fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon on Tuesday, and a terrorist cell that attempted to launch anti-tank missiles from Lebanon towards the Yiftach area in northern Israel was also struck by an IDF tank.

Hezbollah has so far launched a limited assault on northern Israel and sustained damaging Israeli responses. It has been taking advantage of the fact that Israel is engaged in Gaza and seeking to distract Israel from dedicating most of its resources to defeating Hamas. The result has been the creation of a limited series of battles in the north that have the potential to ignite into a broader conflict at any time. Alternatively, Hezbollah could receive Iranian orders to escalate into a major conflict after seeing that Israel continues to invest more ground forces into Gaza.

Israel’s focus remains on Hamas, said Shefler. “Nasrallah has to choose if he wants to bring this on and bring it to the people of Lebanon and his paymasters in Iran, or to quiet down our northern border,” he explained. “We are prepared for them. I remind you that we have drafted hundreds of thousands of reservists on top of our regular military. At the same time, we focus on the Gaza Strip and on our goals to bring back the hostages and dismantle Hamas.”

The IDF appears to be working not only to destroy Hamas’s capabilities in northern Gaza and Gaza City, but also to prevent the terror group from being able to come back and set up base in a future phase of the war. Some tens of thousands of Gazans are forcibly being held by Hamas in northern Gaza and Gaza City as human shields, though many hundreds of thousands have moved south.

Shefler said on Tuesday that the IDF is making progress on the ground in Hamas, eroding Hamas’s attack capabilities and closing increasingly in on Hamas’s command and control bases from which Hamas implements its missions.

Multiple key Hamas compounds were among the 200 targets struck by the IAF in recent hours, as well as tactical Hamas commanders who are being eliminated, said Shefler.

The IDF appears also to be targeting Hamas’s tunnel system, both by blowing up the tunnel shafts and tunnels themselves while not having to enter them.

The local civilian population has lost confidence in the Hamas regime, he said, adding that more than 250,000 people evacuated to the south in line with such calls by the IDF.

Targeted humanitarian let-ups in the fighting are occurring to facilitate this movement, he added.

Alongside the military efforts, the IDF has been conducting ongoing contacts with humanitarian organizations to facilitate assistance to Gazan civilians, according to Shefler.

Field hospitals are being set up, and international organizations have been invited by the IDF to initiate new assistance programs. Around 100 assistance trucks have entered Gaza a day for the last 10 days, he said.

In Gaza, the IDF’s military campaign “seems to be apace,” he said. “The ability to surround and isolate northern Gaza is taking its effect.”

The division forces have been actively operating in Shati camp, a central Hamas center in the Gaza Strip. Inside the camp are many Hamas infrastructure and battalions, including the Shati Battalion, which took a central part in the invasion and massacre of October 7.

The forces of the 162nd Division have located more than 160 tunnel shafts and struck approximately 2,800 terrorist infrastructure targets, according to the IDF.

Hours before the ground forces entered the Shati compound, the IAF struck Hamas targets in the camp.

“We have created conditions for dismantling the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas in Gaza City,” said the commander of Division 162, Lt. Col. Itzik Cohen.

Following the IDF’s offer of humanitarian assistance to the director general of the Shifa Hospital, the IDF initiated a humanitarian effort to coordinate the transfer of infant incubators from a hospital in Israel to the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The American Angle

Eyal Hulata, former Israeli National Security Advisor, said during a video call organized by the Jerusalem Press Club on Monday evening that the number of attacks on American forces is growing in the region.

“I think it’s becoming more serious,” he said. “I’ve seen reports that [US] President [Joe] Biden is not approving aggressive measures that are presented to him for various reasons, but this will also say a lot.”

The United States could be reserving its firepower for the scenario of Iran deciding to enter the war. Iran is assessed to have some 3,000 ballistic missiles with an unknown number of those able to reach Israel. America continues to deploy military resources to the region.

With Houthis in Yemen firing ballistic missiles at unprecedented ranges and with Hezbollah increasing its fire, as well as growing attacks on US targets by terrorists in Iraq and Syria, “this can ignite,” he stated.

Israel and the United States will likely also be preparing for the potential scenario of having to deal with a full-scale broadening of the war to include both Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as Iran. In such a scenario, it seems reasonable to assume that America’s firepower would be directed at Tehran itself.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 14, 2023. 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
Pray that Israel will continue to successfully respond to escalating aggression from Iranian proxies in the region. Also beseech the Lord that both Israel and the United States will be ready should there be full-scale broadening of the war to include both Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as Iran. Pray that the Lord will bring about Israel’s soon and complete victory.


“Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.”

- Deuteronomy 20:3b–4 ESV

Israel’s Operation in Gaza Is a Triumph in Combat, a Setback in Diplomacy

by Avi Issacharoff ~ Ynetnews

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The Chief of the General Staff in a conversation with soldiers of the Artillery Corp, October 29, 2023.

Monday, 13 November 2023 | Despite receiving news on Saturday about additional casualties among the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] during ground operations in the Gaza Strip, it must be said that what began as Israel’s greatest military failure is turning into a relatively successful military operation that instills considerable confidence in the military and Shin Bet’s [Israel Security Agency] ability to deal Hamas a heavy blow

However, at the same time, it’s impossible to ignore what is increasingly becoming one of the greatest political nightmares we’ve known. Especially after such a murderous massacre of Israeli civilians, and after all the horrifying acts documented by the terrorists themselves, the majority of the world sees us, the Israelis, as terrorists, while Yahya Sinwar and his comrades leading Hamas are seen as freedom fighters receiving praise worldwide, including in the American and British public opinion and, naturally, in Arab countries.

In the days preceding the ground incursion, there were numerous voices against any action by ground forces within the Strip. It seems that the fear of a second ground operation akin to that taken in the Second Lebanon War, costing significant casualties and earning few military or diplomatic achievements, led to many voices from both right and left calling to avoid such a move.

However, the current ground offensive in Gaza specifically justifies itself: the IDF and the Shin Bet are achieving significant successes on the battlefield, the most significant among them being the successive fall of Hamas’s symbols of power.

Forces are closing in on the hospitals in Gaza City’s center, the quarter containing Hamas’ politburo offices is already under partial Israeli control, and effectively, the IDF has managed to defeat the Hamas battalions that attempted to hinder the entrance into the northern part of the Strip.

At least one of the main goals of this war, the removal of Hamas’ rule, is already within reach. One could now possibly talk about Hamas’ rule in the past tense. The organization no longer controls the Strip, and the best evidence of this is the immense flow of refugees leaving the northern part of Gaza and heading south, contrary to the organization’s desire for them to remain in their homes.

Hamas government offices aren’t operational, and the terror organization’s leadership is hiding in tunnels and bunkers under the Strip. It’s difficult to predict when they’ll see daylight again.

This success is not coincidental. It’s the result of determined and aggressive military action, with the use of firepower that Gaza has never witnessed before, along with effective tactical intelligence. Yes, the same intelligence that failed on the first day of the war.

The troops entering the Strip had information on how Hamas forces were spread out and about the tactical traps the terror organization was preparing for the soldiers: tunnels, explosives, anti-tank missiles, and more.

Commanders operating in these sectors were even equipped with a small handbook containing information obtained from interrogations of Hamas detainees by the Shin Bet. The elimination of Hamas battalions and division commanders also weakened the enemy’s resistance capability. Even the descent into what’s called Gaza’s “subterranean” level didn’t save terrorists from being targeted.

Above all of this stand the dramatic images of the Gazan civilians heading to safety: Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fleeing their homes, despite Hamas’ disapproval, carrying white flags, acknowledging that they can’t rely on the terror organization’s leadership.

This is accompanied, of course, by numerous accusations of Israeli crimes, but also by criticism of Hamas leaders abandoning the population—hiding in bunkers while the people pay the heavy prices.

After all this, it needs to be noted that the senior command of Hamas’ military wing is still operational and likely still able to communicate with some of its forces on the ground. The organization still has some rocket fire capability, albeit reduced, and Hamas isn’t rushing to surrender or even negotiate a prisoner exchange deal.

Things should be made clear: The blow to Hamas’ military ranks doesn’t bring the political success required for such a war. Yahya Sinwar, who successfully incited mixed cities in Israel in May 2021, is now accomplishing what no previous Arab leader has: he’s become a hero for the masses in Europe and even in the US.

He’s evoking unprecedented support for a murderous terror organization that operates in methods reminiscent to those of ISIS. While in the first two or three days of the war, nearly the entire world stood by Israel’s side, on Saturday, nearly half a million people demonstrated in London against Israel and in favor of Hamas.

Streets in Washington and New York are filled with pro-Palestinian protesters, and every John Doe in Europe has learned to chant “Free Palestine” without knowing where Gaza is even located on the world map.

Also on Saturday, Arab and Muslim leaders gathered for a summit in Saudi Arabia, calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, and one after the other, attacked Israel. Turkey and Qatar, alongside the Palestinian Authority, as well as our allies Egypt and Jordan, the very two who the Muslim Brotherhood so heavily threatened, are now expressing support for a cease-fire that will help the Brotherhood in Gaza, namely Hamas.

French President Emmanuel Macron also joined calls for an immediate cease-fire in the Strip, even though he initially supported Israeli steps in the war against Hamas.

Yes, the global public trend is linked to blatant anti-Semitic trends, but it’s also connected to how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has managed to depict Israel as an unruly bully unwilling to accept any diplomatic deal with the Palestinians. Or, in other words, a peace rejectionist.

Even Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah understood where the global trend is heading, refraining from assurances about joining Hamas’ war, while calling for increased pressure on the West. He already realizes that it’s precisely the public opinion in Europe and the US that might ultimately lead to a fast-approaching cease-fire.

As Tom Friedman said in the New York Times last week, Israel urgently needs international legitimacy. US President Joe Biden stood by Israel, Friedman wrote, but to gain significant international support, Israel needs to take a diplomatic initiative that addresses the Palestinians in Gaza, and help in finding a solution for the day when Hamas won’t rule the Strip.

What’s happening in recent days is one of the biggest political and public diplomacy failures Israel has ever known, maybe even the biggest considering the way in which the war started.

Source: (Excerpt of an article was originally published by Ynetnews on November 13, 2023. 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
Pray that Israel will have the necessary determination to finish what they have started in dismantling Hamas and ending its reign of terror once and for all, regardless of the diplomatic ramifications. Pray that Israel will not be seen as an “unruly bully” at war with Hamas “freedom fighters,” but rather as the lone nation willing to give their all to destroy a homicidal terrorist enemy whose goal is not just Israel’s destruction but that of the entire free world.


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

Rescuing Man’s Best Friend from War

by Amelie Botbol ~ JNS

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Volunteers gather at the Mechaltzim Ve’nehenim center in Beit Kama to care for rescued animals.

Wednesday, 15 November 2023 |  Adam Benett and his friend Yoav Ben David have rescued over 600 animals, including some 430 dogs, 200 cats, birds, fish and guinea pigs, in southern Israel since Hamas’s October 7 terror massacre.

“On October 10, I joined my friend Yoav to rescue dogs in the South. We thought we were dealing with 10 or 15. We didn’t know the scope of the crisis,” Benett, 30, from Kibbutz Kvutzat Shiller, told JNS. “I then posted on Facebook to let everyone know we were going and offer assistance to those missing a pet.”

Within a few hours, Benett had received thousands of phone calls and over 800 messages from volunteers and families seeking to retrieve their pets.

He and Ben David worked overnight to gather information, file paperwork and be ready to operate their new organization, Mechaltzim Ve’nehenim, the next day.

“We made sure to obtain permits to enter Sderot for rescue teams though terrorists were still active in the area,” Benett explained. “Some of us were escorted by the Israel Defense Forces [IDF], others waited until it was safe to enter by themselves.”

Benett opened an operations center in Beit Kama, located 30 minutes from Sderot, to receive the rescued animals. There, they are identified and hopefully reunited with their owners. Otherwise, the organization finds them foster homes or sends the animals to advanced clinics for further treatment.

Benett said that while the identification process was very straightforward since by law every pet owner in Israel must register their animal, finding and catching the pets was trickier.

“The first day, we were in the field and didn’t really know what we were doing. Then some of the volunteers that joined us were professional dog-catchers and medical staff. They were perfectly trained to be in the field,” he said.

Among the volunteers is Tami, 53, from Mishmar Ayalon, who works on the user interface of the David’s Sling, an air defense system designed to intercept missile threats.

“I volunteered every day. I stopped my activity completely and told my boss that the dogs needed me more than my workplace,” Tami told JNS.

She recounted being bitten by a terrified Pekingese which had been left to fend for itself for days in an area constantly bombarded by Hamas rockets.

Nevertheless, she says there was magic in the air whenever volunteers gathered to save the animals.

“Adam and Yoav are magicians. They deserve so much credit,” said Tami. “They helped us all come together as a team and help over 600 animals. We synchronized like we had been practicing for this forever. So much love, bliss and good came to this war zone as we started.”

While Tami says she wasn’t particularly afraid, even though terrorists were still roaming the south when she first volunteered, she recalled one evening when alerts were sounded while her team was attempting to secure a parrot flying around inside a house.

“It wasn’t even a siren, it was a voice on a megaphone asking us to seek shelter. We had a few seconds to get on the ground when a rocket landed about 100 meters [328 ft.] from us,” she said.

“Although I lived most of my life in Israel this was the first time I heard a blast so close. It really changes something in you, she said.”

Karin Ofek Burshtein, 42, from Emek Hahula, is a veterinarian who volunteers for the rescue group.

“I treated animals dealing with both physical and emotional pain. Some of the animals were hungry, dehydrated and scared, others were shot or had injuries from wandering around. We sent them to the nearest veterinarian hospital for treatment. We even had a hypothermic baby chick,” Burshtein told JNS.

“Some animals suffered from PTSD. They would either eat non-stop or refuse to feed themselves. Some barked for no reason, some even had nightmares and would cry in the middle of the night while others were lifeless,” she added.

Yair, 22, from Nahal Oz, survived Hamas’s October 7 assault. He contacted Benett to retrieve his dog.

“When Hamas terrorists launched the assault on the festival, I ran away and hid in the forest for hours,” Yair told JNS. “I then walked to Netivot and stayed there for a night before joining my family in Mishmar HaEmek in the North. The whole time I could not stop thinking about my dog, hoping she was still alive,” he said.

“She’s a rescue from Gaza, a group of people working in the fields found her near the border, she was severely traumatized,” he continued, adding: “I’ve had her since. I was worried about her mental health but she’s been much better than I expected since we reunited.”

Benett, who did not serve in the IDF, told JNS that this was his way of giving back to the nation.

“Helping my country and my people by reuniting them with the last missing member of their families is the best feeling in the world,” he said.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on November 14, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link)

Photo Credit: Courtesy/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for Mechaltzim Ve’nehenim as they move forward with their mission to reunite pets with their rightful owners. Pray for these brave volunteers who are committed to reuniting Israelis with the “last missing members of their families” and for the success of their endeavors.


The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

- Psalm 34:18 ESV