Inside Israel

Twenty Cross-Border Tunnels Found and Destroyed in Rafah

Troops of the 401st Armored Brigade in southern Gaza’s Rafah, in a handout image published May 29, 2024. (Source: Israel Defense Forces)

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the Israeli military has operational control of the important “Philadelphi Route,” which runs parallel to the Gaza-Egypt border. The IDF discovered dozens of rocket launchers there and, so far, twenty cross-border smuggling tunnels and eighty-two shafts leading into the tunnels. The “Philadelphi Route” runs for almost nine miles and was Hamas’ pipeline for receiving their weapons. Hamas placed some of their rocket launchers extremely close to the Egyptian border, intending to discourage an Israeli airstrike for fear it could miss and explode in Egypt, souring Israel’s ties with Egypt. Hamas launched seventy rockets from Rafah toward Israeli civilian centers, including a massive barrage sent to the center of the country last week. The IDF says Rafah is Hamas’ last major stronghold with an intact brigade, weapons stockpile, and potentially many of the remaining hostages holed up. The goal of disarming Rafah and dismantling its brigade is part of Israel’s national mission for the completion of this war.

Please keep the IDF soldiers in prayer as they seek out tunnels, weapons caches, and terrorists. Please pray for their safety and the safety of Israel’s hostages in Gaza.

Read more at The Times of Israel . . .

Tensions Mount along the Northern Border

IDF soldiers accompanied a journalist during a tour of the Blue Line on Israel’s northern border (Source: Flickr/Israel Defense Forces)

Israel’s northern border has become its new primary front after Hezbollah launched numerous rockets at civilian communities over the last few days. Over the past ten months, the Gazan front has taken all the focus. However, the northern front is extremely precarious as Hezbollah launched new longer-range rockets reaching deeper into Israel. So far, Hezbollah has launched 340 short-range missiles, which carry between 220 and 1,100 pounds of explosives. Over the weekend, the IDF carried out more than forty strikes on important Hezbollah military sites and infrastructure. Since the war began, 330 Hezbollah terrorists have been killed.

With the potential deal presented to Hamas, Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s leader, said the end of the war with Gaza will mean Hezbollah will stop its aggression against Israel. Many believe, however, if Hamas does not receive this new deal, diplomacy and mediation will not resolve the northern hostilities. The IDF will need to increase its military pressure, most likely resulting in a ground incursion. This escalation would mean northern residents, businesses, schools, and tourism will not return to the north for many more months.

Please pray for peace along the northern border. Please pray the residents can return home and live in peace. Please pray for a few of Chosen People Ministries’ workers who live in the north—for their testimony and strength during these challenging times.

Read more at YNet News . . .

United States Helps Draft Proposed Hostage and Ceasefire Deal

(Source: PICRYL)

Israel has agreed to a serious and real ceasefire deal drawn up by President Biden’s team. The world is now waiting for Hamas’ response. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief foreign policy adviser, Ophir Falk, said there are still details to discuss. “It’s not a good deal but we dearly want the hostages released, all of them,” Falk said. In the first phase, there would be a six-week ceasefire accompanied by the release of women, children, and the elderly and wounded hostages. Israeli forces would withdraw from heavily populated areas in Gaza. Humanitarian aid would drastically increase. During this phase, Israel and Hamas would negotiate terms to reach phase two, which would be discussed during phase one. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu is feeling the backlash from his far-right ministers in his coalition, who are threatening to leave the coalition, breaking its majority and sending Israel to elections. The far-right ministers do not want a deal allowing Hamas to have any power or voice.

Please pray for wisdom for Israel’s leaders as they make critical decisions. Please pray for the hostages’ families who see the return of their loved ones at hand. Please pray for IDF soldiers who are trying to fend off Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

Chosen People Ministries—Israel Staff Serves Soldiers in Northern Israel

One of our staff members in Israel ministers to Israel Defense Forces soldiers

A note from one of our staff members living in northern Israel:

We live seven miles from the border with Lebanon and seven miles from Syria. We are far enough away from the ‘hot areas’ not to need to evacuate. Instead, we have a life and testimony in our small village, and we pray the Lord will use us. Throughout the year, I serve in pastoral care, counseling people and serving my best coffee to young soldiers needing rest and encouragement. Please pray for them! Many have served for more than three months and need some help returning to their ‘normal lives.’ Recently, we arranged a meeting for a time of fellowship and refreshment for all those to whom we have been ministering over the past eight months. It was so wonderful to gather everyone together. The time was so valuable and special.

Please pray for these special people who have been protecting the nation of Israel!