Inside Israel

Israeli Defense Minister Announces Half of Hezbollah’s Leaders Killed

Hezbollah military drill in 2023 (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Tasnim News)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, while recently visiting Israel’s northern border, said Israeli forces had killed half of Hezbollah’s top leaders in southern Lebanon. This figure means Israel has eliminated around six Hezbollah brigade-level commanders. Israeli forces have also killed an estimated thirty battalion-level commanders. Hezbollah is estimated to have between 50,000 and 100,000 soldiers, from its weak militias to its elite Radwan forces in southern Lebanon. It has a higher number of soldiers at its disposal than Hamas does. By comparison, Hamas had approximately 35,000 to 40,000 people in their armed forces before the Israel-Hamas War began.

Please pray the Israeli Defense Forces along Israel’s northern border will safely and successfully stop Hezbollah from its aggression against Israel.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Hamas Sends a Video of an Israeli Hostage

A photo of Hersh Goldberg-Polin next to a screenshot from the video released by Hamas showing him in captivity. (Source: screenshot)

Hamas recently released a video of an Israeli hostage, Hersh Goldberg-Polin (23). This video is part of Hamas’ strategy of psychological warfare, meant to cause grief and fear in the family, friends, and country. Hamas captured Hersh on October 7 at the Nova Music Festival at Re’im Kibbutz, just a short distance from the border with Gaza. He was injured by a grenade and lost his left hand. His parents, Rachel and John Goldberg-Polin, have been strong advocates for his and the other hostages’ release.

For 201 days, no one knew Hersh was still alive. The video was supposedly delivered to the Biden administration two days before Hersh’s parents received it. Hersh’s parents responded, “Hersh, if you can hear this, we heard your voice today for the first time in 201 days and if you can hear us, we are telling you, we love you, stay strong, survive.” The Hostage and Missing Families Forum made this statement after the publication of the video:

For more than 200 days, 133 hostages have been held captive by Hamas, enduring daily physical, sexual, and psychological torment. Hersh’s cry is the collective cry of all the hostages—their time is rapidly running out. With each passing day, the fear of losing more innocent lives grows stronger. We cannot afford to waste any more time; the hostages must be the top priority. All the hostages must be brought home—those alive to begin the process of rehabilitation, and those murdered for a dignified burial.

Please pray for Hersh’s release, comfort for his family, and all the hostages suffering in Gaza.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Israelis Protest for Hostage Deal

A sign calling for release of the hostages at the DC March for Israel in November 2023 (Source: Flickr/Hillel Steinberg)

Before October 7, there were weekly Saturday night protests against the Israeli government’s proposed judicial overhaul. After October 7, the protests changed to gatherings of support for the hostages in Tel Aviv’s renamed “Hostage Square.” Family and friends of hostages gathered there, and people came to show their love and support. Now, families of hostages have joined forces with anti-Netanyahu protestors as they voice frustration over the government’s inability to secure the return of the 133 people held in Gaza, either dead or alive.

These protestors are calling for new elections. Major protests were recently held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and some civil disobedience and arrests occurred. Some people stopped highway traffic and wrote “enough” on the road in Hebrew. The father of hostage Omri Miran called on Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar to “make a small step and spare bloodshed for both peoples. Show some humanity and [Israel’s] cabinet will reciprocate, I am sure of it.”

Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s government leaders who are facing hard decisions.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Chosen People Ministries—Israel Baptizes Four People!

As Israel and Jewish people finish celebrating the week-long holiday of Passover, Chosen People Ministries—Israel has some exciting news to tell you! Our team recently baptized four people! Each one has a unique and extraordinary story of coming to faith. One was into mysticism. Another is a soldier seriously affected by the trauma of the last six months. One knew the truth but kept resisting. The last one stumbled upon a BBQ hosted by believers from a local congregation—and started to attend services each week!

Some of our staff celebrated with them at the baptism, having been involved in their coming to faith and discipleship. What a special time to publicly show your faith—during the Passover season. We can see how the Lamb of God is our redemption and perfect sacrifice.

Please pray for their continued growth in their faith!