Inside Israel

El Al Sends Cargo Shipments and a Message of Hope

El Al plane (Source: Unsplash/Adi Sagi)

El Al, Israel’s national airline, has been making special flights recently from the United States, filling the cargo hold with supplies for the war effort. So far, they have brought more than thirty tons of donated medical equipment and personal effects for soldiers and civilians worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

One flight early last week included a beautiful gesture of hope. To each passenger seat, El Al staff taped a picture of one of the hostages or someone still missing from the Hamas terror attack on October 7. The image included their name in Hebrew and in English, their age, and the simple statement, bring him or her home now! While the photos filled the seats, thermal clothes for soldiers and supplies for displaced Israeli families filled the belly of the plane, along with essential medical equipment like first aid kits, tourniquets, bandages, and stretchers.

El Al has provided support for the war since the beginning, when all other airlines canceled their flights in and out of the country. The airline has brought more than 200,000 passengers to Israel, many of whom were reservists in the Israel Defense Forces returning home to join their units to fight. The airline has flown an estimated 1,400 flights, with many of those being added to their regular flight schedule to accommodate the need for Israelis returning home.

Please pray for the pilots and air traffic controllers who monitor the flights as rockets are being launched from Gaza. Please pray for the safety of all the travelers.

Read more about the hostage photos displayed in an El Al plane . . .

Read more about the El Al cargo flights . . .

Farmers across the Country Save Israel’s Dairy Industry from the Impact of War

Cattle (Illustrative/Source: Unsplash/Fudo Jahic)

Israel’s agriculture and dairy industries are in jeopardy. Dairy farmers from all over the country traveled to the south to take care of the cows left unattended since Kibbutz Mefalsim came under attack by Hamas terrorists. The cows are suffering as a result of the loud noises and rocket explosions. Most of the farms are five miles or less from the Gaza border, an extremely unsafe area. However, the cows had not been milked for days, which is dangerous for the cows. Since most of Israel’s dairy industry is in the south, the country will feel the consequences of decreased milk production.

The war has also seriously impacted agricultural farmers. Workers are difficult to find, as many of the foreign helpers have left the country. The farmers have relied lately on thousands of volunteers to come and harvest avocado, pineapple, potato, lettuce, and mushroom crops.  Without the volunteers, the crops would be left to rot. For these volunteers, many farms lie in unsafe areas. The farmers wonder if they will be able to lay the seed for the next crop and future harvest. The Gaza region in the south accounts for 75 percent of the vegetables grown in Israel. As a result, a lot of the crops are at risk. The longer the conflict, the bigger the impact on the food sector will be, not just for now but for the future as well.

Please pray for the farmers and volunteers who are working tirelessly and in unsafe areas. May their efforts provide food for the country.

Read more about the farmers saving cattle in Gaza border towns . . .

Read more about Israel’s projected crop production during this time of war . . .

Squad of Female Soldiers Defeats Hamas Terrorists

In a spectacular feat of heroism and bravery, a squad of female fighters from the Caracal Tank Battalion single-handedly took out one hundred Hamas terrorists after their surprise attack on Saturday morning, October 7. When she realized a major infiltration of heavily armed terrorists was underway, battalion commander Lt.-Col. Or Ben Yehuda rallied her troops. She knew the terrorists had also entered their base. She told her troops, “We are going to eliminate terrorists.  Infiltration into Israel is happening, and it’s spreading. Stay alert. We might cross paths. We are a strong squad.”  While positioning themselves around a corner building where they knew the terrorists were hiding, they also held off convoys of additional terrorists trying to enter the base.  The fighting was intense, and it lasted for hours until a Navy team arrived with drones to help them. After fourteen hours, and with only a few of her soldiers wounded and evacuated, Ben Yehuda secured her base. She hopes this proves there should not be any doubt about female combat soldiers. “Their training and performance on the battlefield have erased any doubts.  They have fought bravely, saved lives, and emerged as heroes,” she said. Interestingly, the caracal is a cat of the lynx family characterized by the difficulty in telling the males and females apart.[1]

Please pray for the safety, perseverance, and bravery of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Read more at The Jerusalem Post . . .

[1] Chava Brownfield-Stein, “Gender and Visual Representations of Women Combatants,” in The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military, ed. Rachel Woodward and Claire Duncanson (London: Springer, 2017), 480.

Fruit from the Frontlines

Besides the dangers of the war itself, like the continuing rockets constantly bombarding Israel from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, one of the biggest troubles facing Israel is the displacement of half a million Israeli civilians evacuated from more than 103 cities, villages, and kibbutzim. Although some stay in hotels or find accommodations with family and friends, many are homeless without basic conveniences or supplies. Evacuees include the elderly, families with children, orphaned children, and adults.

Thanks to the Lord, your donations, and our dedicated staff and volunteers, we can provide aid as needed. Our staff has provided thousands of cooked meals, packages of food staples, hygiene products, toys, and even some washers, dryers, and refrigerators to multiple evacuee sites. One day last week, we packed 1,000 boxes full of non-perishable food supplies to deliver to evacuees in several areas. We are very thankful for the opportunity to help people, and we are grateful for your prayers and contributions to make this happen.

Our Chosen People Ministries—Israel staff are diligently continuing their work, including assisting seniors who had to stay at a nursing home in Ashkelon because their current health prohibited their evacuation. We prayed, talked, and sang with each person—and brought smiles to their faces for the first time in more than two weeks. We also brought 120 donuts for a sweet treat, and our friends brought their therapy dog to help. The nurses and staff were surprised by our love and generosity and asked many genuine questions about what we believe.

Please pray for each of the evacuees we have been able to help since October 7. Although the numbers keep growing, we know God sees each individual and cares for their souls, minds, and bodies.

Pray for our staff in this vital yet unrelenting work of providing physical, emotional, and spiritual aid at a time when the need is extreme. May Messiah be lifted up and His people find hope in Him!

Joy Turned to Sorrow: The Beginnings of the Iron Swords War 2023

The horrific attack waged on southern Israel on October 7, 2023, represented a long time of meticulous planning and training. Hamas’ strategy included the execution of the attack at a time when the nation should have been resting and celebrating. Terrorists took Israel by surprise, not unlike the circumstances surrounding the Yom Kippur War, which marked its fiftieth anniversary on the same day. Here is a brief look at how what is now being called the Second War of Independence began.

Read the full article here . . .