World Leaders Visit Israel
Israel welcomed many global leaders this past week who made spontaneous trips to Israel in a show of support for the war and solidarity with the people of Israel. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the first to arrive on Tuesday and said Germany “has only one place” when the Jewish state faces hard times, “and that is alongside Israel.” On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden made his visit to Israel. The president showed his deep commitment, empathy, and support for Israel. This display shows the world—and Israel’s enemies—the United States’ unwavering support for its allies. On Thursday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel. After landing, he gave a speech, saying:
Above all, I’m here to express my solidarity with the Israeli people. You have suffered an unspeakable, horrific act of terrorism and I want you to know that the United Kingdom and I stand with you. Every civilian death is a tragedy. And too many lives have been lost following Hamas’ horrific act of terror.
Other world leaders have visited, including Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. In the coming days, additional heads of state, like French President Emmanuel Macron, also plan to visit.
Please pray for these world leaders who stand with Israel and praise God for their support.
Israel Defense Forces Establish Alert Squads
Israel’s Home Front Command requested the establishment of civilian alert squads. These squads will receive training and firearms to protect their neighborhoods. Initially, these alert squads only existed in cities close to Gaza or the West Bank, but will now expand to 347 cities over the coming weeks. Most volunteering for the alert squads already have training from their service in the military. Hundreds of people have responded to the call. The presence of the alert squads will add to people’s personal security. As some schools return to in-person learning this week, the alert squads are crucial for everyone’s peace of mind.
Please pray for the protection of the volunteers in the alert squads as they put themselves at risk to help their neighborhood and community.
Empty Sabbath Dinner Table Symbolizes 200-Plus Hostages
This past Friday, the start of the Sabbath in Israel, families of the hostages Hamas took into Gaza set up 200 empty places at a dinner table to symbolize their missing loved ones. There were high chairs for babies and children’s cups at some place settings. Other cities in Israel and around the world displayed similar empty tables to show solidarity with the hostages and their families. These families have organized a global campaign to remind governments of the plight of their loved ones. For instance, volunteers mount posters in cities around the world with the names, faces, and stories of the hostages.
Please pray the hostages will be safe, unharmed, and provided for. Pray for their release, including the children taken without their families. Ask God to break the hearts of the people holding them so they will be merciful and let them go home.
Israel Evacuates Forty-two Villages along Israel’s Northern Border
So far, the Israel Defense Forces have requested the evacuation of forty-two towns along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Tensions are high in the area. Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terrorist group operating in Lebanon, continues sporadic rocket, missile, and drone attacks. Terror cells near the border are trying to infiltrate Israel. Hezbollah says it is “fully prepared” to join its Palestinian ally, Hamas, in the war against Israel. People from the towns 1.25 miles or less from the border will move to state-funded guest houses. The Israel Defense Forces have amassed a large military force on the northern border. In addition, the United States sent two aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean to deter Hezbollah and Iran from escalating the conflict.
Please pray for those who evacuated to safer places. Pray for Israeli soldiers stationed along the border with Lebanon. Please pray for a de-escalation with Hezbollah and Iran.
Fruit from the Frontlines
Since the brutal and bloody attack by Hamas terrorists in southern Israel, thousands of rockets have continued to be launched non-stop into densely populated civilian areas in Israel from both Gaza and Lebanon. Another non-stop activity, however, has also been taking place: ministry by Chosen People Ministries staff. We cannot adequately recount all the heroic stories of lives they have impacted. We are collecting them all and making them available to you. You can view our daily updates from Israel during the war at www.chosenpeople.com/war.