Inside Israel

Victims of October 7 Attacks File Lawsuit against UNRWA

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East office sign in southern Lebanon (Source: Wikimedia Commons/RomanDeckert)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) organizes almost all the aid entering Gaza. Recently, more than 100 victims of the October 7 Hamas massacre on Israeli civilians filed a lawsuit for $1 billion in damages from UNRWA, accusing it of aiding and abetting the terrorists’ assault. The victims claim the UNRWA let Hamas use their locations to store weapons, knew Hamas was building tunnels and command centers under their locations, and created an easy access of US dollars into Hamas’ hands by paying their employees in US dollars. Ironically, Gaza uses the shekel for its currency so these dollars could not be spent in Gaza.

Instead they had to convert their cash to shekels with Hamas-run money changers who also took a 10–25 percent commission. This, in turn, would give Hamas hundreds of thousands of dollars which they used to pay smugglers for weapons, explosives, and other materials for terrorism. Finally, the suit alleges UNRWA used Hamas-approved school textbooks, which “indoctrinate children from a young age into a death-cult ideology of hatred and genocide,” continuing the cycle of recruitment and death. Gadi Kedem is one of the people involved in the suit. Hamas killed his children and grandchildren in barbaric ways in their kibbutz home. He said,

All that remains is to fight so that those responsible for strengthening Hamas are held accountable. UNRWA strengthened Hamas and transferred funds and financed the murders, while being a full partner in the growth of Hamas terrorism. UNRWA and its managers are completely complicit in the murder of my children and my family.

Please pray those who seek to kill and destroy are stopped, including all those who fund and support terror.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Israeli Court Rules Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Men Subject to Military Draft

Ultra-Orthodox Israel Defense Force soldiers finish course in 2010 (Source: Flickr/Israel Defense Forces)

The much-anticipated final decision from Israel’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of drafting Haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) men into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). There has been much debate and kick-back from the ultra-Orthodox community. They say their study of the Torah (a term often used to refer to the entire Hebrew Bible) and following God’s commandments are just as valuable to the fight for Jewish people and the land as it would be to fight in a physical battle against an enemy.

Previously they had been exempt from military service and could study with paid stipends from the government, as well as other perks. These benefits angered secular Israelis who have been fighting hard since October 7—and well before. There is a drastic need for more troops as reservists, who have served many months, need a break. The IDF must fill this shortage somehow. Now, the state will not fund yeshivas (Torah study centers) if their students do not enlist. Ultra-Orthodox leaders fear for their young men serving in the IDF because it goes against their values of modesty, food requirements, and desire to avoid secular values.

Please pray Israel’s leaders will have wisdom in dealing with this delicate issue, as Israel needs more troops, while maintaining national unity.  

Read more at YNet News . . .

United States Moves Assault Ship to Mediterranean as Tensions Mount along Israel’s Northern Border

Golan Heights, Israel (Source: Unsplash/Aviv Ben Or)

Tensions continue to mount between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Ever since October 7, the Iran-backed terrorist organization of Hezbollah has regularly launched weapons into northern Israel. Hundreds of thousands living near the border had to evacuate, and most have never been able to return. Full-scale war is an imminent concern. This past Friday, Hezbollah launched yet another barrage of rockets and drones at Israel.

Earlier in the week, the United States moved an assault ship, the USS Wasp, to the Mediterranean in a show of solidarity with Israel. One US official described the main aim for this move as “deterrence.” This ship could also help evacuate American citizens if needed. The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff also warned an Israeli attack in Lebanon would probably cause Iran to involve itself in the conflict directly, instead of merely working through its proxies like Hezbollah and Hamas.

Please pray for peace to return to northern Israel.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Chosen People Ministries—Israel Catches Glimpse of God’s Protection

Beersheva, Israel (Source: Unsplash/Levi Meir Clancy)

One of our staff members in Israel was part of a group of five families (ten adults and eighteen children!) who recently went camping. They had so much fun. This group usually goes twice a year, but the last two times they were “rocketed out,” meaning rocket sirens kept them from going. The day was unusually hot with a dry, southern wind, which was supposed to break in the night. Instead, this group noticed a sudden weather change—the sky turned green with a vicious wind and sand blowing everywhere. Their belongings scattered throughout the campsite, and a tent broke. They thought, “Oh no, we might need to leave if this keeps up,” but it stopped as quickly as it started.

Meanwhile, fifty miles away in Beersheva, the same wind swept through and emptied a very busy playground when the sand and leaves blew into the children’s eyes. They ran home. Ten minutes later, there was a siren in Beersheva, a city which has not received rockets in five months. One rocket directly hit and caused major damage to the playground which, moments earlier, was filled with children. This quick sandstorm was perfectly timed so these children were safe at home when the rocket hit. The hand of the Lord was protecting them!

Please pray for the safety of Israelis as Hamas and Hezbollah continue to target civilian areas.