Inside Israel

Israel Launches Retaliatory Strike Against Iran

Israel air force during Iranian strikes on Israel (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Israel Defense Forces)

After last week’s direct firing of 300 missiles, rockets, and drones launched from Iran to Israel, Israel launched a retaliatory strike against Iran. No changes were made for civilian conduct in Israel, and Washington was notified of the attack only a few hours before the launch. Explosions were heard in Iraq and Iranian airbases—notably, a major airbase in Isfahan and a base in Iraq housing pro-Iranian militia. As a warning to Tehran, the attack is largely being downplayed; all the while, Israel’s attack shows it can bypass Iranian air defense systems to find targets deep within the country.

Please pray for a de-escalation of tensions in the Middle East.

Read more at YNet News . . .

Insufficient Bomb Shelters in Jerusalem

A bomb shelter at a bus station sign in Tel Aviv (Source: Unsplash/Levi Meir Clancy)

The recent Iranian aerial assault on Israel raised heightened concerns about insufficient availability of bomb shelters for Jerusalem residents. Even though 99% of Iran’s assault did not enter Israeli air space, the few that did and were neutralized in the air brought serious threat from their falling shrapnel on the people below. One Bedouin girl in Israel’s Negev was severely injured from shrapnel, mainly because their nomadic community did not have a bomb shelter.

During a regular rocket alert, civilians take shelter in public safe rooms (normally closed, but opened since October 7th), their apartment safe room, or if none, the stairwell. Most old buildings do not have a safe room, and the stairwell does not offer proper protection. Residents would need to run a minute and a half down the street to the public shelter. Schools and parking garages have become safer, although they are not the ultimate solution as the spaces need to be used for regular operations. Of Jerusalem’s one million residents, almost half (48%) do not have access to a safe room. There are safe rooms built into new apartment buildings, but the majority of residents in Jerusalem cannot afford its rental prices.

The Jerusalem municipality is trying to fix this problem, but the solutions are not simple. With the recent Iranian assault, the warning came hours before and the citizens were able to prepare.  Next time, people might not have warning or enough time to prepare.

Please pray for quick solutions for the safety and security of Israel’s citizens.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Israelis Grapple with the Passover Seder During War

As Passover begins Monday night, Israelis are grappling with how to celebrate the holiday, given that one of its themes is how the Lord redeemed his people from Egypt and brought them to the Holy Land. However, most of the country is dealing with various forms of trauma from the horrific events of October 7. Over 1,200 civilians were brutally murdered, hundreds of soldiers, police, and paramedics have been killed in their service to safekeep the country. Thousands are still evacuated from their homes. Hundreds of soldiers have been injured, many of them with life altering injuries. There remains 134 hostages in Gaza, many of them dead and their bodies held by Hamas.

Passover is the pinnacle of the year as families and friends gather around the table for the Seder meal. The Seder reminds us of God’s miracles, redemption, provision, and new life as the children of Israel were brought out of slavery in Egypt to the Land of Promise. For many, this year is very hard to celebrate. The Hostage and Missing Families Forum have asked for every Seder table to “have an extra chair and place setting set, as a symbol and expression of hope for the hostages.” People are being advised to print out a picture and name of a hostage so they can be individually remembered.

Please pray for those mourning and missing loved ones during the Passover season, a time that is not joyous for many.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Chosen People Ministries Israeli Staff Celebrate Passover

Please pray for the Chosen People Ministries staff in Israel during this special Passover season. On Monday night, all our staff will gather around family tables with guests and friends to celebrate the retelling to the Passover through the Seder. Many of these friends and family members will be not-yet-believers. Please pray that their hearts and minds would be opened to the clear message of Jesus, the Passover Lamb whose image and redemptive work can be seen through the Seder elements. We thank God for our redemption!

Our Tel Aviv Ministry Center will host 70 people for a Seder dinner. We pray it will be a joyous night! Please pray for all who will gather to celebrate the Lamb of God. Pray their faith and joy in the Lord is built up during these hard times.

Thank you for praying for Israel during this time, as the Jewish people sit and reflect on the freedom we have been given. As believers, we know we have been set free because of the blood of the Lamb!