Monday, October 16, 3:30 p.m. EST:
American troops may be deployed to fight for Israel.
According to Fox News:
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put in “be ready to deploy” orders for a select number of American troops should Israel need them, an official told Fox News.
It is not yet clear when or if these troops will be deployed. Additionally, the exact number of troops has not yet been confirmed, although The Wall Street Journal reported the number as being around 2,000.
This comes as Biden’s administration has moved to support Israel more and more in the past few days. In his most recent interview, the President went so far as to say that Hamas should be completely eliminated.
Monday, October 16, 9 a.m. EST:
The IDF struck dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip over the past few hours.
The post below translates as, “The IDF continues to attack in the Gaza Strip. In the last few hours, dozens of operational headquarters and mortar bomb launching positions were destroyed. In addition, the military headquarters of Ali Kachi, one of the commanders in the Najaba force of the terrorist organization Hamas, which was eliminated a few days ago, was destroyed.”
צה”ל ממשיך לתקוף ברצועת עזה.
בשעות האחרונות הושמדו עשרות מפקדות מבצעיות ועמדות שיגור של פצצות מרגמה. בנוסף, הושמדה מפקדתו הצבאית של עלי קאצ’י, אחד מהמפקדים בכוח הנח’בה של ארגון הטרור חמאס שחוסל לפני מספר ימים >> pic.twitter.com/zSJdvU7BLu
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) October 16, 2023
These strikes continue despite the presence of civilians in Gaza. Israel has called for those civilians to be evacuated, but Hamas has refused. According to The Daily Wire:
A Gaza resident of Jabalia in the Gaza Strip told Israeli operatives that Hamas confiscated personal equipment and car keys from people in a shelter where he was staying.
“This is further evidence that the terrorist organization Hamas actively prevents its citizens from evacuating and protecting themselves,” the IDF said as it waits for more people to be evacuated to southern Gaza before it launches its operations.
The Daily Wire also reports that Hamas has put up roadblocks in an effort to keep Gaza’s citizens from evacuating.
This behavior seems to be typical for Hamas. In an interview published yesterday, President Biden described the terrorist group as “cowards” who are “hiding behind the civilians.”
Israel must defend its land from Hamas. It should try, however, to keep civilians out of the crossfire as much as possible. In such a messy situation, we look to the God of Israel for divine help. Save Israel, O God!
Sunday, October 15, 2023, 7:28am EST:
From NBC News:
Documents exclusively obtained by NBC News show that Hamas created detailed plans to target elementary schools and a youth center in the Israeli kibbutz of Kfar Sa’ad, to “kill as many people as possible,” seize hostages and quickly move them into the Gaza Strip.
The attack plans, which are labeled “top secret” in Arabic, appear to be orders for two highly trained Hamas units to surround and infiltrate villages and target places where civilians, including children, gather. Israeli authorities are still determining the death toll in Kfar Sa’ad.
The documents were found on the bodies of Hamas terrorists by Israeli first responders and shared with NBC News. They include detailed maps and show that Hamas intended to kill or take hostage civilians and school children.
One page labeled “Top Secret” outlines a plan of attack for Kfar Sa’ad, saying “Combat unit 1” is directed to “contain the new Da’at school,” while “Combat unit 2” is to “collect hostages,” “search the Bnei Akiva youth center” and “search the old Da’at school.”
Another page labeled “Top Secret Maneuver” describes a plan for a Hamas unit to secure the east side of Kfar Sa’ad while a second unit controls the west. It says “kills as many as possible” and “capture hostages.” Other orders include surrounding a dining hall and holding hostages in it.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, 5:37 p.m. EST:
Just over 20 minutes ago, the IDF took out a cell of terrorists in Gaza.
The IDF located these terrorists emerging from a tunnel and acted immediately. They say they have struck several other key Hamas sites in the past few hours.
The post below translates as, “The IDF eliminated a squad of Hamas terrorists that was identified coming out of a tunnel shaft in Gaza; a combat helicopter located a building containing a number of terrorists – and eliminated them.”
— גלצ (@GLZRadio) October 14, 2023
Additionally, the situation has become even more drastic for American citizens. The U.S. State Department confirmed that 29 American citizens have been killed, and that 15 are still unaccounted for.
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, 5:00 a.m. EST:
President Isaac Herzog remarked on Wednesday that the attack had awakened a profound sense of solidarity among the Israeli people. This heartening unity is palpable across the country as citizens come together to offer unwavering support for one another. Herzog, recognizing this inspiring display of resilience, visited Sderot on Wednesday to witness these efforts firsthand and meet the brave first responders. . . .
While the attack on October 7 was undeniably traumatic – and its horrors reverberate throughout the nation and will do so for many years to come – the immediate response from Israelis was one of compassion and support for one another. Many communities have fallen silent as citizens remain at home or are called up for military duty. Yet, in the face of this adversity, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of goods and collections for the people of the southern regions. This initial response, driven by a deep-seated tradition of rallying together in times of disaster, marks the beginning of the healing process. It is this spirit that distinguishes Israel as a society where the duty to one’s compatriots is unwavering.
In this challenging time, the very best of Israel has emerged, with individuals from all corners of the nation converging on Sderot and the border areas – driven not by orders or commands – from an ingrained habit forged over years of hardship: a commitment to first respond with unity and aid in the face of terror.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! (Ps. 133:1).
Luke 21:25-26: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Eclipses are often significant signs that God uses to warn nations of coming events. Like the 2017 and 2024 total solar eclipses, this 2023 annular solar eclipse also seems to have prophetic significance for America. While there may be some different interpretations as to what the sign might mean, it very possibly ties in with the recent events of the war with Israel and Hamas and may indicate that the United States and the world in general are continuing to move toward military conflict and war which would occur in multiple places on the globe.
Because the eclipse specifically occurs over part of the United States, it seems to represent a pivot point and a forewarning of a different season the country is now coming into. And it is very possible that it is a warning that the United States could see events that are similar in nature to what Israel has recently experienced (such as terrorist attacks on the nation) which would lead to subsequent government and military actions. Notice also that the path of annularity touches all ofthe states that have land borders on the south. Could this indicate threats (like military weapons) coming across the Southern border?
Solar eclipses always occur at the time of a new moon cycle, and new moon tied to this eclipse is the indicator for the month of Cheshvan. In Judaism, Cheshvan has sometimes been called a ‘bitter’ month, because there are no scriptural Hebrew holidays celebrated in the month. It may represent that a time of bitterness is coming in America (in the sense of bitterness as representing grief because of painful circumstances).
God is still calling America as a nation to repent of sins. But because the country as a whole has not repented, additional consequences are about to manifest on the nation. As well as the fact that Jesus stated there would be birth pangs in the world before His return. And in the midst of all these things, God is still working to save souls.
Read more about the eclipse and the fascinating connection to President Eisenhower, who was a fierce defender of the Jewish people.
This WSJ article explains how terrorist groups fund their actions, skirting sanctions.
Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, 6:30 p.m. EST:
Thank God for what did not happen today during the “day of rage.”
You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
Documents left behind by Hamas indicate they were instructed to kill civilians:
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) October 13, 2023
Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, 9:30 a.m. EST:
Israel has called for evacuation of Gaza in advance of IDF ground forces moving into the area, but some reports say Hamas has demanded that residents of northern Gaza stay in their homes.
Let’s pray for a swift resolution of this war and for a minimal loss of life.
“We are fighting a terror group, not the Gazan population. We don’t want to harm civilians, but we cannot live with Hamas-ISIS rule near our border. Hamas carried out one of the most horrific acts the world has ever seen, we are conducting an effort to evacuate residents to increase our freedom of movement to deepen the damage [to Hamas], to destroy it,” said IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari.
The UN warned Israel about fighting on the ground in Gaza: “The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded, avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.”
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan offered a stern response: “The U.N.’s response to Israel’s early warning to the residents of Gaza is a disgrace! For many years, the U.N. turned a blind eye to the arming of Hamas and its use of civilian populations and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip for murder and for stockpiling its weapons. Now, instead of standing with Israel whose citizens were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists and which still tries to minimize harm to noncombatants, it preaches specifically to Israel. It would be better for the U.N. to focus now on returning the captives, condemning Hamas and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about this as well: “Our humanity — the value that we place on human life and human dignity — that’s what makes us who we are. And we count them among our greatest strengths. That’s why it’s so important to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians.”
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, 5:30 p.m. EST:
This is answered prayer. Pray that the $6 billion NEVER reaches Iran.
The United States has reached a “quiet understanding” with Qatar to put a hold on the scheduled transfer of $6 billion to Iran in exchange for five Americans released from detention on Sept. 18.
The American move comes “as the U.S. and Israel scrutinize Iran’s role in funding and training Hamas,” CBS News reports.
Also, President Erdogan of Turkey calls the Israeli response to Hamas in Gaza a “massacre.” The Turkish government has offered to mediate between Hamas and Israel.
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023, 9:45 a.m. EST:
“The message that I bring to Israel is this,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “you may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself, but as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to.”
This same statement was made by Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel in an interview with Pastor Gary Hamrick of Cornerstone Chapel, in Leesburg, Virginia. Tsarfati based his statement on the Bible, that America keeps Israel from standing alone. At some point, biblical prophecy indicates that Israel will stand alone. But praise God that that’s not just now.
Shortly after arriving in Israel, Secretary Blinken appeared in Tel Aviv, delivering a joint statement alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A Jew himself, Blinken shared his family’s history with persecution and what the war in Israel meant to him. As a member of President Biden’s cabinet, he promised that the United States would always support Israel.
You can view the whole statement below:
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 7:45 p.m. EST:
U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed reports that the Hamas terrorists beheaded children.
“It is important for Americans to see what is happening. I have been doing this for a long time. I never thought that I would see… have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children,” Biden said in remarks to American Jewish community leaders at a White House roundtable.
“Downplaying Hamas’s atrocities and blaming the Jewish people is unthinkable,” Biden said.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield offered these stirring remarks Wednesday at a community gathering in New York hosted by the American Jewish Committee :
“Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than a thousand innocent civilians, including at least 22 Americans. Reports estimate that more than 100 civilians were taken hostage. But these numbers – as shocking as they are – do not do justice to the depths of horrors, the depravity of the violence. They do not do justice to the victims and their loved ones. Human lives are not just numbers.
“We must tell the stories of those who were executed, who were raped, who were kidnapped. Entire families, children, babies, Holocaust survivors, grandparents in wheelchairs. And we must tell the stories of innocent civilians like Doron Asher Katz and her two young daughters, who were taken hostage while visiting their grandmother in southern Israel. Whose whereabouts, like so many others, are still unknown.
“To my diplomatic colleagues, this moment is a test of the international community. It is a test of our common humanity. We cannot draw false equivalencies between Hamas’ outrageous attacks and Israel’s inherent right of self-defense under the UN Charter, and we cannot issue weak condemnations that fail to unequivocally denounce Hamas by name.
“For far too long, Israel has been unfairly targeted in the UN system, and that needs to change. Now is the moment to stand in solidarity with Israel.”
Reflecting on a 2021 visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Israel, Thomas-Greenfield recalled participating in a ceremony rekindling the eternal flames at the site’s Hall of Remembrance.
“That solemn ceremony … served as a poignant reminder for me that we must live up to a sacred promise: ‘Never Again.’ ”
“ ‘Never Again,’ my friends, is now. The eyes of the world are on us. The eyes of history are on us. We must condemn this barbaric violence, and we must combat the scourge of antisemitism.
“And we must keep the memories of the victims of these attacks alive. Let us share their stories with the world. The families they built. The joy they spread. The Mitzvahs they performed. May their memories be a blessing. May we shun evil and do good. And may we seek peace. Am Yisrael Chai.”
From The Times of Israel
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 3:15 p.m. EST:
Horrors from Kibbutz Be’eri
As Israeli search-and-rescue teams go through the rubble at Kibbutz Be’eri, they’re finding evidence of this unimaginable massacre of 100 people. The body parts of children have been found, and only DNA tests will match them with their parents. Special Forces entered a home where 40 people were being held by 20 terrorists. Six Special Forces members lost their lives there.
The Lord is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.
Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
the one you teach from your law;
you grant them relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
For the Lord will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
American citizens in Israel
From The Times of Israel: White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says 17 American citizens remain unaccounted for, possibly because they are being held hostage in Gaza.
This is the first time the White House has provided a number regarding the unaccounted-for Americans.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirms that Americans are being held by Hamas.
Israel’s Channel 12 quotes Al-Arabiya in reporting that Egypt has received an assurance from Hamas that it will not harm hostages with foreign or dual citizenship.
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 1:45 p.m. EST:
Avner Boskey of David’s Tent messaged IFA:
“It turns out that there was either a cyber attack or software malfunction or human error — and the perception of a Lebanese incursion was mistaken. I have never seen this happen before.
“The Israel Home Front Command app sent a false alarm nationwide.
“This war is different in so many ways. Fear is sometimes called “false evidence appearing real.” Hamas and its “allies” create fear/terror in many ways: barbaric acts of violence; committing atrocities on the elderly and the young; bombs; bullets; and fake attacks.”
Father, we ask You to help the people of Israel defend from every kind of attack. May they cry out to You and experience Your love and care.
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 12:45 p.m. EST:
Northern residents of Israel have been urged to take shelter. Reports are coming in that Hezbollah is invading from the north. Rockets target Tel Aviv as well.
From The Times of Israel:
The Israel Defense Forces says it has not identified any impacts and there are no reports of injuries following drone infiltration alerts that sounded across northern Israel.
“IDF forces are scanning the area from the ground and from the air,” the military says, adding that it will provide further details soon.
On sirens that sounded in the Carmel region, south of Haifa, the IDF says a long-range rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip, which landed in an open area, causing no damage.
A Home Front Command officials notes that those in northern Israel being told to shelter do not need to sit in bomb shelters, but rather must simply lock themselves in their homes, recommending they also dim lights.
As the attacks ramp up, so must our prayers.
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, 9:10 a.m. EST: “It’s not a war, it’s not a battlefield. It’s a massacre. You see the babies, the mother, the father, in their bedrooms, in their protection rooms, and how the terrorists killed them,” Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv of the IDF said.
Casualties continue to rise in Israel’s brutal war against Hamas. As of late last night, the death toll had risen to 1,200, and some 3,000 more have been injured. Fourteen of those who have died were American citizens. Additionally, the terrorists have murdered at least 40 infants in southern Israel.
Meanwhile, Gaza is suffering under Israel’s assault. The region’s only power plant recently ran out of fuel, forcing the inhabitants to rely on generators.
Also, the Israeli school system has announced its intention to switch to remote learning this Sunday, a move that will probably remind many of the 2020 lockdowns.
The situation is still far from over for Israel, and the Jewish people’s enemies only grow more bloodthirsty with each passing day. Hashem Salhab, a Hezbollah official, recently said: “The Zionist soldier and the Zionist settler must begin the countdown of the remaining days of their existence.”
We pray that this will not come to pass. We pray that God will protect His people from extinction, just as He has many times before. We pray that He will use this war to guide them to Christ and leave them stronger than ever before. We pray for a swift and decisive victory for Israel.
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, 3:30 p.m. EST:
Hamas in biblical Hebrew means “violence,” “injustice,” “cruelty,” and “wrong.” Jewish rabbis often teach the law of first mention, which means the first time a word appears in scripture, particularly Torah, we must take very careful consideration, as it is far more meaningful. The first time we find this word is in Genesis 6:11. Adonai is grieved to see all of mankind was replete with hamas, so He considers using the flood to wipe out the insatiable evil.
Fox News reports that IDF found more than 40 babies killed by Hamas in one community. Some of the babies were beheaded.
Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian terrorists near the southern city of Sderot and the nearby Kibbutz Mefalsim, close to the Gaza border. The Israel Defense Forces report that 15 rockets were launched from Lebanon at northern Israel earlier today. The IDF says four projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while the rest landed in open areas, causing no damage or injuries.
Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday reduced parts of Gaza to rubble as the military massed troops on the border in response to the incursion by Hamas. Israel reports finding the bodies of over 1,500 Hamas terrorists.
Hamas called on young people in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which is partly governed by the Palestinian Authority, to confront Israeli soldiers. That opens the door to protests and possible clashes as the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip seeks to broaden the conflict. Pro-Palestinian demonstrations are happening worldwide, including in New York City’s Times Square; in London at the Israel Embassy; and in Sydney, Australia.
These attacks were funded in part through crypto currency. Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and their Lebanese ally Hezbollah received nearly $100 million in this manner.
Also today, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and called this an intifada, saying the Palestinians were “demanding an end to violations of their rights.” Putin blames the U.S. for the attacks.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday pressured Chinese President Xi Jinping to strengthen China’s statement on the attacks. Afterward, China condemned “all violence and attacks on civilians” and said “the most urgent task now is to reach a ceasefire and restore peace.”
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, 6:44 a.m. EST: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced five goals, which intercessors can pray about:
- to purge the enemy from Israeli towns and communities and repel the entry of additional enemy combatants, a battle he said is still being waged;
- to carry out a massive attack on Hamas of “unprecedented intensity”;
- to fortify the other fronts, including on the northern border against Hezbollah, in Judea and Samaria, and within Israel;
- to continue to strengthen international support “in order to preserve our field of action against our enemies”;
- and to establish unity among the people.
Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, 5:30 p.m. EST: President Biden confirmed that at least 11 Americans have been killed in the attacks on Israel, and the number of kidnapped Americans is still unknown.
The president said in a statement:
“It’s heart wrenching. These families have been torn apart by inexcusable hatred and violence. We also know that American citizens still remain unaccounted for, and we are working with Israeli officials to obtain more information as to their whereabouts. My heart goes out to every family impacted by the horrible events of the past few days. The pain these families have endured, the enormity of their loss, and the agony of those still awaiting information is unfathomable.
“The safety of American citizens — whether at home or abroad — is my top priority as president. …
“This is not some distant tragedy. The ties between Israel and the United States run deep. It is personal for so many American families who are feeling the pain of this attack, as well as the scars inflicted through millennia of antisemitism and persecution of Jewish people.”
The Biden administration also warned Hezbollah to stay out of this war.
Sources indicate that this war may have an impact on negotiations within the Israeli government between political factions.
Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, 4:30 p.m. EST: Rabbi Schneider of Discovering the Jewish Jesus is currently in Israel with his wife. We received this email from him:
Shalom my beloved friends and partners. I just wanted to reach out to you. Some of you may know that Cynthia and I are in Israel. We’ve been in Jerusalem for about two and a half weeks, and you also know by now, most of you, that yesterday morning Israel was attacked from the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea. It’s a very serious situation. I know that we hear on the news of skirmishes that Israel is having all the time with Hamas and Hezbollah, but this is different. In fact, there’s not been an attack like this in the last 50 years. It happened exactly 50 years after they were attacked on Yom Kippur in 1973.
Cynthia and I were awoken yesterday morning by the sirens going off. Fortunately, we have a bomb shelter very close to where we’re at, and we were able to get over to the bomb shelter. We were going back and forth from the bomb shelter to our apartment here. We could hear some of the bombs going off, and on a few of them the ground was literally shaking. Israel has a system, a defense system, called the Iron Dome which protects and intercepts the missiles before they hit the ground. We could hear the missiles exploding overhead.
From talking to people who have been here in the land, who have grown up here in the land, this is different than anything they have experienced before. They are shaken by it. I’m just keeping my eyes on the Lord right now. Yeshua said, in Luke 21, that when these things happen, in other words, He described the events that would be happening on planet Earth before His return, He described nation rising against nation, and just a lot of the chaos we’ve been experiencing in the world over the last several years. He said when these things happen, look up, “for your redemption draweth nigh.” So, I’m looking up, my beloved friends, I’m trusting in God’s promises that He is with us even to the end; that regardless of what happens, God is with me. We’re strong in the Lord right now.
We do appreciate your prayers for God’s glory, for His Kingdom to come, for His will to be done. Here in the land, on Earth, even as it is in heaven. We lift up both Israel, the Israeli soldiers, the IDF, and we lift up all people as well. We lift up the Palestinians. And so, we say, “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai.” Come back, we pray, Lord Jesus, and establish peace on Earth. Yeshua, You say You are “coming quickly and soon.” We say, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Love and Shalom,
Rabbi & Cynthia
Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, 11:30 a.m. EST: Iran is involved in Hamas’ attack on Israel, according to The Wall Street Journal:
“Iranian security officials helped plan Hamas’s Saturday surprise attack on Israel and gave the green light for the assault at a meeting in Beirut last Monday, according to senior members of Hamas and Hezbollah, another Iran-backed militant group.
“Officers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps had worked with Hamas since August to devise the air, land and sea incursions — the most significant breach of Israel’s borders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War — those people said.”
Iran clearly favors the Palestinians in this conflict, although Iran denies any participation in the attack. The U.S., meanwhile, seems to be withholding judgment. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said: “We have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack, but there is certainly a long relationship.”
Meanwhile, there seems to be disagreement over Iran’s involvement even among Hamas itself. While some Hamas officials claim Iran helped plan Saturday’s deadly attack, others, such as senior official Mahmoud Mirdawi, claim that the Palestinians and Hamas planned the attack by themselves.
If Iran is found to be directly responsible for this attack, though, the war is likely only to grow, in scale and in the numbers of casualties. Israel has promised to attack Iran’s leadership if Tehran is proved to be responsible.
Given that there’s so much disagreement and confusion over Iran’s role, let’s pray earnestly for divine clarity. Pray that God would expose the truth about this attack so that all who were involved may face justice.
And of course, pray for peace in Israel.
Monday, Oct. 9, 2023: The death toll is now above 700 in the Hamas attack on Israel.
Pray for the preservation of life and for life eternal among the people of the region. May God miraculously use this tragedy to open blind eyes to the Messiah — Yeshua — and to His work of salvation that is available to all.
The Israeli air force continues its air strikes in Gaza, in the hope of disabling the Hamas attack capabilities. The Times of Israel reports:
“Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs tweets: ‘The First Gaza War is planned to be the last one as well!’
“(Though there have been numerous brutal conflicts between Israel and the Strip, Fuchs appears to be signaling a different scale of battle, as Israel never before officially declared a state of war against Gaza as it has now.)
“Fuchs relates his meeting with his late grandfather after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, in which the latter told him ‘If al-Qaeda managed to carry out such an attack, they’ll take over the world.’
“ ‘I calmed him and told him it was a wake-up call and that such terror would be defeated.’ ”
Pray for the defeat of terror with a minimal loss of innocent life.
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken is working to confirm reports of American citizens kidnapped by the Hamas terrorists. From The Times of Israel:
“… Blinken told several US news outlets Sunday that the administration had information about a yet-unknown number of Americans killed or missing in Saturday’s unprecedented Hamas assault on southern Israel, which has resulted in over 600 people confirmed dead, over 2,100 injured and over 100 abducted into the Gaza Strip.
“Speaking on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ Blinken said: ‘We have reports that several Americans were killed. We are working overtime to verify that. There are reports of missing Americans.’
“Speaking later to NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ the US top diplomat said that ‘we have reports’ that several Americans are among the dead and kidnapped, but would not confirm. He added: ‘We are very actively working to verify those reports.’ ”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that the U.S. would move a carrier strike group closer to Israel and also deploy more fighter jets to the region. On X, Austin tweeted that Israel has the “ironclad” support of the U.S. Meanwhile, President Biden did speak to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu again on Sunday.
Let’s intercede for Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin, the Joint Chiefs, all their staff members, and the heads of every U.S. military branch. Pray fervently that God would direct and give them divine wisdom in every decision. Ask the Lord to give us His specific prayers from the Holy Spirit for the U.S. leadership at this critical time.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, evening: The death toll has exceeded 600. Israel National News is reporting that Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned about the future of the nation of Israel, revealing that threats were received through WhatsApp last week. In light of the threats, the invasion, and the attacks, Gantz warns that Israel may be reduced to the geographic area in the center of the nation.
The threatening messages included this:
“Continue to curse, you have no chance against Allah. Slowly slowly we are eating away at your country. We have land in the Negev that is the size of Gush Dan (central Israel -ed.), which is filled with tin shacks with little Bedouin children. What are you going to do? This is Palestinian land, essentially, and the moment a single tractor comes – we will use the leftist organizations such as ‘Peace Now’ and ‘B’tselem,’ which will turn to the real ruler of the country (the Supreme Court) to issue a cease and desist order. We will send children and youths to throw stones and barricade themselves at the scene until you run like mice from the area. …
“The Galilee, with Allah’s help, will also be ours soon. We are buying a dunam for 50,000 shekel from the Administration, while the Jews pay 1,150,000 shekel. Already today we are 85% of the Galilee’s population, and we are taking over at a fast pace, building homes in every corner without permits. Why, who will bother us? The Jews who live in the Galilee – they are all running to the center of the country. Why? They suffer from harassment, violence on the roads, extortion, shootings, thefts, and bribery.”
These messages remind us of the story in 2 Kings 18, in which Sennacherib sends threatening messages to King Hezekiah. We learn how that king responded in 2 Kings 19:1: When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. Let’s pray that the leaders of Israel will go straight to God for help and guidance.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023: The UN Security Council will meet today to discuss the war in Israel. Major airlines have canceled all flights in Israel. You can read details about the chaos and horror of the invasion here. If you would like a deep dive explanation of what Hamas is, go here.
We must continue to pray for the release of the hostages, and that they would cry out to God in their time of need.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised: “We will take mighty vengeance for this dark day.” Let’s pray for him to lead like King David at his best, looking to God for guidance and direction as well as understanding this truth from the Torah: “Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly” (Deuteronomy 32:35).
Please post your insights and prayers in the comments section.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023: In the wake of the Hamas attack, Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following statement this afternoon at a Security Cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv:
“Since this morning, the State of Israel has been at war. Our first objective is to clear out the hostile forces that infiltrated our territory and restore the security and quiet to the communities that have been attacked.
“The second objective, at the same time, is to exact an immense price from the enemy, within the Gaza Strip as well. The third objective is to reinforce other fronts so that nobody should mistakenly join this war.
“We are at war. In war, one needs to be level-headed. I call on all citizens of Israel to unite in order to achieve our highest goal — victory in the war.”
IFA brings you the following report from David’s Tent about the attack on Israel that has led that nation to declare war. Intercessors will want to know that this is the anniversary of the Yom Kippur War (and also the birthday of Russian President Vladimir Putin). Post your prayers below for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122).
From David’s Tent. At approximately 06:30 am Israeli time, on a quiet Shabbat morning, we were awakened by the repeating wailing of air raid sirens. For the past four hours the Islamist terror group Hamas has been firing rockets across southern Israel (Beersheva, Arad, Dimona, Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, etc.) and also at the Greater Tel Aviv area and at the outlying suburbs of Jerusalem.
Though the Iron Dome anti-rocket defenses have managed to stop most of the rockets, some of landed. A 60 year old woman was murdered by a direct hit; some are moderately wounded.
Simultaneously, at least ten white pickup trucks driven by Hamas suicide squad jihadis crossed into Israel (as well as some on ultra-light single-place powered parachutists) and attacked approximately 21 sites, including kibbutzim and moshavim (farms), small towns (including police stations). They have been slaughtering civilians, including mothers and children, breaking into houses and indiscriminately killing the inhabitants. We have friends who have terrorists in their house as I write.
At least five IDF soldiers have been kidnapped and spirited away to Gaza. A Hummer armored vehicle most likely belonging to them has been paraded in the streets of Gaza — shades of 2 Samuel 1:20: “Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, Or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, The daughters of the uncircumcised will celebrate.” There are sketchy details of at least 35 others kidnapped. Scores of IDF soldiers have been murdered. Over 80 casualties have been brought to Beersheva’s Soroka hospital, and other figures quote 150 wounded. The situation of the ground is quite fluid.
At the moment of this writing, there are still many active sites of military confrontation between terrorist gangs and Israeli citizens/the IDF — 21 sites was the figure Israel’s Chief of Police mentioned thirty minutes ago. Islamic Jihad has joined in the hostilities against Israel in the last hour.
(From David’s Tent reports.)
Here is a video from Tikkun Global:
A brief summary of this video:
1. Hamas is on a suicidal mission based on its apocalyptic views of the future: The terrorist organization believes there must be chaos and war so that the Mahdi (a messianic “guided one”) can come to earth and bring peace.
2. The aftermath of this war could bring disunity within the Israeli government — accusations and counteraccusations over who is at fault and why the country was caught unprepared.
3. The taking of Israeli hostages could force Israel to do a ground operation into Gaza, which could cause widespread psychological pressures among many.
4. Some say this happened because recent divisions in Israel have led enemies to believe that Israel is weak, making this a good time to attack.
5. The attack could also have been intended to disrupt recent moves toward a peace treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Such a treaty would help Saudi Arabia resist Iran and its jihadist government, which is funding Palestinian terrorists.
6. Many also see Iran’s hand in all this, because they view the attack as too big a move for Hamas to handle on its own. The Hamas terrorists are submitted to and receive funding from Tehran.
7. Above all, this crisis is spiritual: Our battle is not against flesh and blood. Tikkun Global, the video’s producer, denies being primarily political — pro-Jewish and anti-Arab. This is a spiritual battle, the ministry insists, saying:
- We pray for victory, which is more followers of Yeshua. He is not just the sacrificial lamb, but he is also the commander-in-chief of the armies of Heaven.
- Pray that the outcome of the war will be good.
- Pray correctly and strongly for good results, whether it’s people repenting, Arabs and Jews uniting, humbling ourselves. Maybe this will result in revival. Ultimate victory is not military, but people receiving life in Yeshua, both Arabs and Jews.
- Lift our Messianic Jews and our Arab Christian brothers and sisters up in prayer.
There are probably more people praying for Israel now than at any other time in its history. Let’s believe God for a good outcome.
IFA received the following from a believing friend in Israel:
Shalom, dear ones! A war has broken out in Israel. Unfortunately… From 6.30 there was shelling and terrorists entered Israeli territory. Many cities have been shelled, there have been hits, fires… Explosions, fighting in several cities: Sderot, Netivot, Ashkelon… in many small settlements… Hostages were taken, 5 military, and civilians. Civilians shot… More than 1,000 missiles have been fired since the morning. This is the official message. It is recommended that no one go outside. Because it is not known how far the terrorists could have penetrated. There are real battles in the south of Israel. My friend’s niece lives in Sderot. She sits with her 12 year old daughter in a fortified room with a knife in her hand. He hears explosions and machine gun fire… This is a believing family. Also in the same city is our friend Pastor Mikhail. I wrote to him, our pastor called him… right in front of their house, terrorists shot a family of 6 people (women and children).
We pray… There has not been such a full-scale invasion of Israel since at least the Yom Kippur War. By the way, this is the anniversary… And by the way, it’s Putin’s birthday. And Russia funds the Palestinian Authority… one can draw conclusions... We pray…
Our friends in Beersheva ask us to please pray as the Psalmist did: Arise, LORD, confront him, make him bow down; Save my soul from the wicked with Your sword (Psalm 17:13 NASB).
Intercessors, let’s pray for the defeat of the terrorists invading Israel; entreat the Lord to rescue the Israelis who are under siege and those who’ve been kidnapped; pray for the wounded and for the families of the slain; ask our God to give divine wisdom to all of Israel’s leaders; pray that IDF commanders might devise effective strategies; and implore the Lord to empower and shield the Israeli troops and to grant them victory.