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A Light in the Darkness in 2023

Friday, October 27, 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 Conducts Targeted Raid Inside Gaza Strip, Biggest Since War Began

by JNS

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IDF troops not far from the Israeli–Gaza border

Thursday, 26 October 2023 | Israeli tanks rolled into the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday night in a pinpoint raid “as part of preparations for the next stages of combat,” according to the Israel Defense Forces [IDF].

Under the command of the Givati Brigade [an IDF infantry unit], Israeli forces struck terrorists along with terror infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts and “operated to prepare the battlefield,” afterward returning to Israeli territory.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that the raid was more extensive than the other ground activities carried out in Gaza in the two weeks since the start of “Operation Swords of Iron.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a prime-time televised speech on Wednesday night that the IDF is preparing for a ground operation in Gaza, adding that the war cabinet and military establishment had unanimously agreed on the timing.

“We are working around the clock in order to execute the goals of our war until victory, and we do so without political considerations,” said Netanyahu.

Israel has reportedly acceded to an American request to hold off on its planned ground invasion of Gaza so that US forces can position air defenses to protect troops in the region.

Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported on Thursday that the Israeli Defense Ministry is set to extend the evacuation order of communities located along the Gaza and Lebanese borders until December 31.

Some 200,000 Israelis are currently displaced internally due to the ongoing war with Hamas in the south and rising tensions along the northern border due to Hezbollah.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 26, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the success of Israel’s pinpoint raids as the nation prepares for a ground incursion. Ask the Lord to protect every member of the IDF who faces death during these raids and pray there will be no fatalities among them. But also beseech the Lord that innocent civilians will be able to get out of the way and will not become casualties of war because Hamas refused to let them evacuate.


Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings…from my deadly enemies who surround me.

- Psalm 17:7–8, 9b

More than 20 Israeli Children Orphaned in Hamas Attack

by Hadar Gil-Ad ~ Ynetnews

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A notice penned by the daughters of Einav and Mathias, who Hamas kidnapped on October 7.

Monday, 23 October 2023 | The October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas has left 21 children from 13 families orphaned, the Welfare Ministry reported on Sunday. One of the orphans is a four-year-old girl who was abducted to the Gaza Strip after both her parents were murdered in the attack. Another girl lost her mother, while her father was taken to Gaza.

Since the onset of hostilities, the ministry’s social workers and local authorities have been locating children who lost their parents and establishing contact with the families where these children are now living.

Expert teams will offer them a holistic care package, encompassing emotional, psychological and material support, as well as assistance in claiming rights from other authorities. Furthermore, the ministry is working to stabilize the families’ situation for a three-month period, during which the children and families’ conditions will be assessed and needs that arise will be addressed.

According to the ministry’s data, 16 children lost both parents in the terror attack. Two children are now orphaned after their single mothers were murdered. One child lost a parent, while the other was abducted. Additionally, two children are left with one deceased parent, while the other is listed as missing.

Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi said that the fact that so many children have become victims of the terror attack is stomach-churning.

“I have directed the relevant professionals in the ministry to streamline every process and expedite the provision of assistance to both the children and the foster families caring for them at this time,” he said.

“The Welfare Ministry is prepared to provide long-term, trauma-focused care to every boy and girl affected by this horrific attack, especially to those who have been orphaned. The State of Israel will be their mother and father, and will care for them throughout their whole lives. We will spare no effort or resources to help them recover.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on October 23, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Lizzy Shaanan/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to God for these children who have lost their families and have been robbed of their innocence. Pray that He will erase from their minds the atrocities that they witnessed and heal their trauma quickly. Pray that the system will be expedited so that each child will find a loving home where they will receive the help, care and resources they need to recover. Also pray that they will know that God has not deserted them but still loves them and is watching over them.


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you.

- Jeremiah 1:5a

Prayers Held at Western Wall for Safe Return of Hostages

by JNS

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Jews pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem (illustrative)

Friday, 20 October 2023 | A special prayer session was held on Thursday evening at the Western Wall for the safe return of hostages held in the Gaza Strip and for the success of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] and Israeli security forces in the war against Hamas.

Avichai Brodtz, whose wife and three children were abducted and taken to Gaza, and Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall, participated in the event, which included the recitation of Psalms and prayers for the welfare.

Such gatherings at the Jerusalem holy site are held during times of national emergency.

The IDF said on Thursday that 203 hostages are being held in Gaza.

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the families have been notified and stressed that the number will likely rise, as the military receives new information.

Some of the notifications were made with high confidence and others with moderate to low confidence, per Hagari. Other families of missing Israelis have been told that their loved ones are not hostages.

Nearly two weeks after Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel’s Gaza border communities, many Israelis remain unaccounted for. The IDF is continuing to search near the border, and forensic experts are working around the clock to identify bodies.

More than 1,400 Israelis were killed and as many as 4,600 others wounded in the attacks.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 19, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for an awakening in the nations that will cause a powerful international outcry and a demand for the release of the hostages. Pray for every kind of international pressure to be applied until all the hostages are safely returned to Israel. Also cry out to the Lord for their healing from the horrific trauma they have experienced. Pray also for their families who are agonizing over their loved ones.


For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the LORD viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, to declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem.

- Psalm 102:19–21

Israel Slams UN Chief for Saying Hamas Attack ‘Did not Occur in Vacuum’

by Akiva van Koningsveld ~ JNS

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UN Secretary-general António Guterres

Wednesday, 25 October 2023 | Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen blasted UN [United Nations] Secretary-General António Guterres on Tuesday for remarks in which he appeared to justify Hamas’s October 7 murder rampage in the western Negev.

“It is important also to recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,” Guterres had told the UN Security Council on Tuesday, claiming that “the Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.

“They have seen their land steadily devoured by settlements and plagued by violence; their economy stifled; their people displaced; and their homes demolished. Their hopes for a political solution to their plight have been vanishing,” added the Portuguese diplomat.

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,500 in a massive offensive launched from Gaza on October 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

“Mr. Secretary-General, in what world do you live?” Cohen rebutted as he addressed the Security Council. “Definitely, this is not our world.”

Cohen canceled a private meeting with Guterres, subsequently announcing on X (formerly Twitter). “I will not meet the UN secretary-general. After October 7, there is no place for a balanced approach. Hamas must be erased from the world,” wrote the top diplomat.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan also denounced the secretary-general’s speech, noting in a post on X that Guterres spoke as Hamas bombarded central Israel with rockets.

“The shocking speech by the UN secretary-general at the Security Council meeting…proved conclusively, beyond any doubt, that the secretary-general is completely disconnected from the reality in our region and that he views the massacre committed by Nazi Hamas terrorists in a distorted and immoral manner,” said Erdan.

“His statement that ‘the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum,’ expressed an understanding of terrorism and murder. It’s really unfathomable. It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views,” the ambassador said.

Erdan urged Guterres to resign “immediately,” while sharing a post that called on the Jewish state to “rethink its relationship” with the international organization.

‘Legitimizing and Justifying the Gruesome Massacre’

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Tuesday night that Erdan refused a visa request from UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths, who had planned to visit the region.

Erdan will recommend additional retaliatory measures to be taken by Jerusalem, the report claimed, including the deportation of UN officials in the country.

Israeli Minister (without portfolio) Benny Gantz said, “Terror apologists cannot speak on behalf of the world.”

“Days when the UN secretary-general supports terrorism are dark days for the world. Absolutely nothing can justify the slaughter of innocent civilians. Now is the time to stand on the right side of history, or be judged by it,” Gantz wrote on X.

“By saying this, he [Guterres] is wrongfully legitimizing and justifying the gruesome massacre of men, women, children, babies and the savage kidnapping of over 222 innocent babies, children and civilians who Hamas is still holding,” charged Danny Danon, a member of the Israeli Knesset [Parliament] and former Israeli ambassador to the UN.

“The UN secretary-general should be ashamed of himself. I call upon him to retract his abhorrent statement or step down now and resign from his position,” Danon said, according to a statement from his office.

“You have lost any last shred of dignity and moral clarity. You have brought disgrace upon the institution you’re leading,” said Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana in an X post.

Ohana called on Guterres to “apologize to the Israeli victims and families who experienced a modern Holocaust” on October 7. “They are still being targeted by the Hamas killing machine as you spew your vile anti-Semitic speech,” added the lawmaker.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 24, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Truba7113/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord that Guterres will indeed be removed from his position as UN secretary-general and will be held accountable for his outrageously anti-Semitic remarks that only contributes to growing anti-Israel sentiment in the nations.


A righteous person hates a false statement, but a wicked person acts disgustingly and shamefully.

- Proverbs 13:5 (NASB)

Hamas Planned to Deploy Chemical Weapons during Attack

by JNS

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog showcases a Hamas booklet found on the body of one of the terrorists.

Monday, 23 October 2023 | Israeli security forces found instructions for producing cyanide gas on the body of one of the Hamas terrorists who participated in the October 7 attacks, Israeli President Isaac Herzog revealed on Sunday.

Speaking with Sky News, Herzog said that troops found a USB flash drive with instructions for preparing a device to disperse the poisonous gas, once used for mass murder in Nazi gas chambers

“This is material which was found on the body of one of those sadistic villains. It’s Al-Qaeda material, official Al-Qaeda material,” Herzog told the British TV network.

“When dealing with ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Hamas, this is what we’re dealing with,” added the Israeli head of state.

Late last week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation department informed embassies around the world of “Hamas’s intention to use chemical weapons” in a classified cable, according to Axios.

The cable reportedly instructed ambassadors to share the file with their host governments privately. “This discovery indicates that Hamas intended to use chemical warfare agents as part of its series of terrorist operations against the civilian population,” read the missive.

Hamas terrorists killed 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 5,400 in a massive offensive launched from the Gaza Strip on October 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

As of Sunday, 302 people remained hospitalized, of whom 43 were seriously wounded, 172 moderately wounded and 87 lightly wounded, according to Health Ministry data.

Herzog first revealed a disturbing Hamas booklet found on a Palestinian terrorist’s corpse in one of the
Gaza-area communities on October 15.

“This booklet is an operating manual, how to enter citizens’ yards, kibbutz (collective community), city, how to break in there. And first—and what do you do when you find the citizens? You torture them. This is the booklet that says exactly how to torture them, how to kidnap them,” Herzog told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

In a copy of the guide provided for the press, the manual—titled “The Warrior’s Guide: Jihadi [fight against the enemies of Islam] Version”—outlines tactics that include creating chaos, intimidating captives, applying electric shocks and carrying out executions.

The eight-page guide instructs the terrorists to use captives as human shields if attacked, regardless of their religion, race or gender. The hostages should be “killed when necessary,” especially if there is any sign of revolt among them, it says, while instructing terrorists to document their actions live.

“The story is not Israel versus the Palestinians or Judaism versus Islam. The story is about where humanity should stand: Are we with the good or the evil?” said Herzog.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 23, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God that Hamas terrorists were not able to follow through on their plans to release cyanide gas during their attacks. Pray that chemical warfare will not become an issue as the war progresses. Also cry out to the Lord that the discovery of a handbook on how to poison, torture and murder innocent people will be further evidence of the gruesome reality that Israel faces.


The LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge for His people, and a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

- Joel 3:16 (NASB)

Hamas, Hostages and Psychological Warfare

by Kate Norman

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A girl holds a poster as part of a demonstration for the release of hostages being held in Gaza

Wednesday, 25 October 2023 | Hamas released two elderly women late Monday night who were being held hostage in Gaza after the terror group’s brutal attack on October 7 that has left over 1,400 dead and more than 220 held hostage in the Strip.

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and Nurit Cooper, 79, were released from their 17-day captivity in the terror enclave after being kidnapped from their homes in Kibbutz Nir Oz, a tiny Jewish community near the boundary fence with Gaza.

They were released into Egypt “for humanitarian reasons,” according to Hamas, and taken back to Israel to be reunited with their families.

Lifshitz described her ordeal to the media.

“I went through a hell that I didn’t think I would survive,” the survivor said, as quoted by Ynetnews. “I didn’t think we would get here.”

She said she was held in a tunnel in Gaza with other hostages and that they were given medical treatment by doctors as well as food.

Lifshitz told Ynetnews that when she was kidnapped, she was placed “sideways on a motorcycle so I wouldn’t fall, with one terrorist holding me from the front and another from behind.”

She said she was taken across the boundary fence into Gaza and slept on a mattress in the tunnel, which was one of a series of underground tunnels that looked like “spider webs.”

Both women were reported to be in good health.

Hamas also released a video of the two women just before their release with several Hamas operatives who were leading the two fragile captives by the hand, feeding them coffee and sweets.

It would have looked like loving grandsons were escorting the women—if the grandsons were carrying guns, had their faces covered in black masks and were in bulletproof vests and uniforms.

At first glance, the release seems like reason to rejoice. However, the women’s husbands, 84-year-old Amiram Cooper and 83-year-old Oded Lifshitz, are both still being held captive in Gaza.

These two women are the third and fourth hostages to be released from Gaza. The first two were 59-year-old Judith Raanan and her daughter, 17-year-old Natalie, who were released on Friday night, also for “humanitarian reasons.”

But after their release, Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari issued an important reminder to the world.

“Hamas is presenting itself to the world at this hour as one that releases hostages for humanitarian reasons, but in reality, we are talking about a murderous terror group, which at this hour is holding babies, children, women and elderly captive.”

Let’s put things in perspective. Yes, four hostages were released. But nearly 220 remain in captivity in Gaza. This includes the two elderly women’s husbands, who were being held separately from the women, which means their health and condition is unknown.

Among the hostages are also a nine-month-old baby and numerous other children, including a little boy named Ohad Monder, who just turned nine years old. His family “celebrated” his birthday without him on Monday while he was still being held in captivity in order to raise awareness.

Hebrew media recently reported that negotiations are in the works for Hamas to release some 50 hostages who hold dual or foreign citizenship.

If true, this is well and good news. We rejoice with them and with their loved ones who are awaiting their safe return.

But what about those who don’t hold foreign passports or dual citizenship? Are their lives worth less simply because their passport bears the emblem of Israel?

As Hagari said, Israel does not differentiate between “who has what passport, what race, gender or religion they are” while trying to bring them home.

The Israeli Police and the Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization) recently released a video of Hamas operatives who were captured during their attack on Israel and kept for interrogation.

In the film, six operatives shared in a detached, calculated manner how they carried out the attack, following orders to kill the young men of the kibbutzim (collective communities) and kidnap children, women and the elderly.

One of them revealed that Hamas has a policy of rewarding any terrorist who brings a hostage back to Gaza with US $10,000 and an apartment.

This is not a war. This is terrorism and psychological warfare.

Don’t applaud Hamas for releasing four people and forget about the other 200+ people still living in an underground dungeon somewhere in Gaza.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 25, 2023)

Photo Credit: Lizzy Shaanan Pikiwiki Israel/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that people will not be taken in by Hamas’s mind games. Pray for physical, psychological and emotional healing for these two traumatized elderly women. Cry out to the Lord for the release of their elderly husbands and every other hostage still in captivity.


Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.

- Isaiah 46:4

Terror Trio: Hamas, PIJ and Hezbollah Leaders Meet in Lebanon

by Kate Norman

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The PIJ flag hoisted alongside the Palestinian flag in solidarity with the terror group

Thursday, 26 October 2023 | Senior Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] leaders met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon yesterday amid the war between Israel and Hamas following the terror group’s brutal attack on the Jewish state earlier this month.

Nasrallah hosted Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri and PIJ chief Ziad al-Nakhaleh in Beirut as the war between Israel and Hamas entered its third week following the latter’s unprovoked slaughter of over 1,400 people in Israel.

The three terror chiefs issued a statement that their goal is to achieve “a real victory for the resistance in Gaza and Palestine” and to stop Israel’s “treacherous and brutal aggression against our oppressed and steadfast people in Gaza and the West Bank [Judea and Samaria],” according to Lebanese and Hezbollah–affiliated media.

While Hamas and PIJ are both Sunni and Hezbollah is Shiite, two things draw the groups together: their shared goal to wipe Israel off the map and the fact that they are all funded and backed by Iran. Hezbollah, in fact, takes its orders directly from Tehran and was founded, funded and trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

While Israel continues conducting strikes in Gaza in the south in its stated attempt to wipe out Hamas once and for all, the Israeli military is also engaged on its northern borders, trying to maintain calm while exchanging fire with Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

Hezbollah terrorists have been launching rockets and opening fire on Israeli communities near the border, some of which have since been evacuated. Six Israeli soldiers and one civilian have been killed in the north, the Israel Defense Forces reported, while dozens of Hezbollah fighters have been killed, according to the terror group.

Israel is known to be planning a ground operation in Gaza to wipe out Hamas, the terror group that has maintained control of the enclave since 2007.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against Hezbollah trying to stir the pot on Israel’s northern border.

“We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine, and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state [will be] devastating,” Netanyahu said on Sunday during a trip to the Lebanese border.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 26, 2023)

Photo Credit: PeaceSeekers/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the unholy alliance among these three terrorist organizations will crumble. Ask the Lord to create such chaos in their camp that they turn on one another. Also pray that Hezbollah will heed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warning and end their shelling from the northern border.


“The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”

- Deuteronomy 28:7

Iran Trained 500 Hamas, PIJ Fighters Prior to October 7 Terror Attack

by JNS

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A rally in Tehran with the picture of, among others, assassinated IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani

Thursday, 26 October 2023 | As many as 500 men affiliated with the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ] terrorist organizations based in the Gaza Strip trained in Iran leading up to the October 7 attacks on Israel.

Iranian-sponsored exercises took place in September, at which time terrorists received specialized combat training, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Quds Force, the branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) responsible for foreign operations, oversaw the training.

Iranian Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who heads the Quds Force, attended, according to senior Palestinian figures. Ghaani took over after Qassem Soleimani, the former commander who was assassinated by US forces in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.

On October 7, Hamas terrorists murdered 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 5,300. They also took roughly 200 civilians captive, dragging them back to Gaza and hiding them in underground tunnels. The terrorists used drones, paragliders and motorcycles to do so—the last mode of transport standard to Iranian paramilitary groups but not used by Hamas until October 7, noted the Journal.

‘Something We’ll Look Closely At’

Israel has underscored Iranian involvement in the attack.

On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that Iran is assisting Hamas by supplying it with intelligence and also boosting anti-Israel incitement worldwide.

Iran also helped Hamas with training, weapons, funding and technological knowledge, said Hagari.

Senior Hamas operatives have publicly thanked Iran for its support. “Hezbollah and Iran supported us with weapons, expertise and technology,” Khaled Meshaal, a leading Hamas official, told Al Arabiya.

US officials, however, have been reluctant to blame the Islamic Republic, saying it has no information that Iran conducted training specifically for October 7.

“The information that we have does not show a direct connection to the Hamas attacks on October 7 as it relates to Iran. Again, that’s something that we’ll continue to look closely at,” Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week, the Journal reported.

Saeid Golkar, an IRGC expert at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, told the paper: “This sort of operation is very difficult to do without Hezbollah and IRGC support. Hamas does not have the capability to do that.”

Meanwhile, Israel’s Channel 12 News on Wednesday night aired footage showing a large convoy of Hamas terrorists patrolling the border with Israel about a month before the attack.

According to the broadcaster, the terrorists stopped at one point to observe the border fence.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 25, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Source: Saeediex/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the fear of the almighty God will come upon Iran’s leadership as they recognize it is with Him that their proxies are fighting and that His power to destroy Israel’s enemies is limitless. Pray that their supply routes to Hamas will be cut off and their ability to provide training, weapons, funding and technological knowledge will come to an abrupt end. Pray that they will be held accountable by the international community for their part in the atrocities of October 7 and the loss of innocent life in Gaza.


Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You: O my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, so pursue them with Your tempest, and frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

- Psalm 83:1–5, 14–18

PA Officials Express ‘Great Joy’ over Hamas Atrocities

by Akiva van Koningsveld ~ JNS

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PA leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses a rally (illustrative)

Wednesday, 25 October 2023 | An Israeli NGO [non–governmental organization] has released a video compilation of senior Palestinian Authority [PA] officials expressing their support for Hamas’s October 7 massacre in southern Israel.

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,500 in a savage cross-border attack from the Gaza Strip, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

During the attack, at least 222 people were taken to Gaza as hostages.

Titled “PA and Hamas: What’s the difference,” the two–minute compilation by NGO Regavim highlights recent comments by five Fatah [leading Palestinian secular political party, led by PA President Mahmoud Abbas] officials in Judea and Samaria, as well as by an official PA reporter in Gaza.

“We were wishing that something similar to what happened in the Gaza envelope would happen, but we thought this was only wishful thinking,” says Fatah Revolutionary Council member Jamal al–Huwail. “Inshallah [God willing], we may see similar scenes in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria],” he adds.

Fatah Tulkarem Branch Secretary Iyad Jarrad declares that Hamas’s actions are “a source of pride, heroism and honor for the Palestinian people,” and that Palestinian leaders in Ramallah “stand alongside our brothers and sisters in the Gaza Strip.”

Said Abbas Zaki, a veteran member of the Fatah Central Committee: “After October 7, there has been a Palestinian revival. We thank [Hamas’s] Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades for making these preparations. Once they set out, they knew how to finish the job, without relinquishing our goals.

“The ruse by Hamas, how it prepared [for the attack] and how it accomplished this victory—I believe that people will emulate this,” added Zaki, a loyalist of PA chief Abbas and a former PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] representative in Lebanon.

Regavim spokesperson Tamar Sikurel commented, “The statements in the video by senior PA officials prove what we have long contended: The PA is not different from Hamas in any way; it pursues precisely the same goal of eradicating the Jewish people.

“The PA and those it represents celebrate the incineration of innocents in their homes, horrific acts of rape, kidnapping and murder, butchering of women and babies and the destruction of flourishing communities in southern Israel as a ‘dream come true,’ ‘miraculous victory’ and a ‘source of great joy.’”

On October 15, reportedly under pressure from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Abbas released a statement noting that “Hamas’s policy and actions do not represent the Palestinian people.”

The missive distanced the PA “from Hamas’s atrocities but was not even close to a condemnation,” noted Palestinian Media Watch, an Israel-based media watchdog group. The same day, Abbas amended the statement, removing the word “Hamas” and instead referring to “any other organization.”

“Even that mild distancing was too much for the PA,” stated Palestinian Media Watch.

On Saturday, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh explicitly refused to condemn Hamas’s crimes against humanity, telling CNN‘s Becky Anderson that “what has happened yesterday is yesterday.”

“Israel is not under existential threat…The Israeli government policy has to be held responsible for all what has happened,” said Shtayyeh. “[The] Palestinian story does not start on October 7. Palestinian catastrophes have been there for 75 years and we have been crying loud and we have been shouting loud and clear.”

Meanwhile, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a US-designated terror group affiliated with Abbas’s Fatah faction, claimed that its “fighters” joined Hamas terrorists on October 7 and carried out attacks “behind enemy lines” in Israel.

“The Al–Aqsa [Martyrs] Brigades…carried out several operations [terror attacks] behind enemy lines as part of the ‘Al–Aqsa Flood’ battle, which constituted a crossroads in the history of our struggle with the occupier, praise Allah, we killed and took captive occupation soldiers,” the terror group’s spokesman said on October 9.

In propaganda videos distributed on social media, the Brigades claimed to have taken at least one “Zionist” hostage. The footage appears to show a blood-soaked civilian being taken to Gaza by an armed terrorist wearing a Fatah headband.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 25, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that Regavim’s video will be widely seen and will engender much support in the international community as they realize that this is not a war over territory or to end “oppression.” Pray for a revelation that Israel faces multiple enemies on multiple fronts who are bent on their total annihilation and is thus fighting for the very existence of the Jewish people.


The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind…The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them…He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support.

- Psalm 18:5b–10,13–14,16–18