For Second Time, Rockets Found at U.N. School in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ ismpalestine)

(Photo: flickr/ ismpalestine)

Both last week and in yesterday’s Daily Dispatch, Stand for Israel brought you news of terrorist rockets found hidden in Gaza schools. Today, The Times of Israel reports that rockets were again uncovered in a school operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA):

Israeli officials reacted furiously to the discovery. “How many more schools will have to be abused by Hamas missile squads before the international community will intervene,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “How many times can it turn its head the other way and pretend that it just doesn’t see?”

Another senior official pointed out that UNRWA has a history of letting Hamas use its facilities for its terrorist activities. “Time and again, over the years, UNRWA has been abused by gunmen from different terrorist factions who are using UN facilities to stockpile weapons, to fire rockets from, to steal UNRWA humanitarian equipment and to cause damage and fire in UNRWA’s hangars,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told The Times of Israel.

“Against all evidence, UNRWA refuses to acknowledge reality and pathetically attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas, pretending that nothing serious has happened,” the senior official said. “This is a classic case of beaten-wife syndrome, which we have been witnessing for years from UNRWA. The people of Gaza, and indeed taxpayers from countries who contribute to UNRWA’s budget — including Israel — deserve better.”

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 3:57 PM  | Stand For Israel

U.S. Suspends Flights to Israel

(Photo: flickr/nico_)

(Photo: flickr/nico_)

Due to the continued rocket attacks from Gaza – including one where shrapnel damaged a home near Ben Gurion Airport – the United States has suspended flights for at least 24 hours, with some airlines putting flights on hold indefinitely:

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration barred flights to Israel Tuesday evening for 24 hours, citing security concerns.

The notice came after U.S. airline Delta said it was indefinitely suspending flights between the United States and Israel.

 U.S. Airways also announced it was suspending flights, but only until Thursday.

The moves were announced hours after shrapnel from a rocket damaged a home in the central Israeli town of Yehud, which abuts Israel’s main international airport.

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 12:07 PM  | Stand For Israel

A Stubborn Status Quo in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ patrik.herogame)

(Photo: flickr/ patrik.herogame)

As the count of Israeli soldiers killed in action rises, and as Gazans lose their lives during the IDF’s operation against Gaza-based terrorists, there is but one party at fault for all of the losses. Writing at Commentary, Max Boot places the blame squarely on Hamas, stating that the disproportionate death toll does not mean that Israel is the aggressor, but is the result of Hamas’ insistence on attacking Israel and its refusal to care about the Palestinian people in Gaza:

In a sense both sides are the victims of Hamas’s leaders who refuse to recognize Israel’s existence or to give up their armed struggle against it. If only the Hamas leaders had done what normal democratic politicians would have done when Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005: which is to say, if only they had focused on economic development, then none of this would have happened. Israel would have happily cooperated in boosting living conditions in Gaza; it only instituted a blockade on Gaza, with exceptions for humanitarian supplies, when it became clear that it was becoming an armed base for an attack on Israel. In fact wealthy Jewish donors even gave the Palestinians 3,000 greenhouses left behind by settlers. But instead of growing flowers, Hamas prefers to harvest hatred. The greenhouses were looted and covert rocket factories were constructed …

… the odds are heavy that Hamas will remain in charge after Israel’s operation ends–and Palestinians will continue to pay the price for its extremism time and again.

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 9:08 AM  | Stand For Israel

Thousands Pay Their Respects at Funeral of Lone Soldier

(Photo: facebook/ Sean Carmeli)

(Photo: facebook/ Sean Carmeli)

Yesterday we reported on the two American IDF soldiers who were killed during weekend fighting in Gaza. Nissim Sean Carmeli, from Texas, was one of the two. At The Times of Israel, Jessica Steinberg writes about the life of this “lone soldier” and the outpouring of support shown by Israelis who mourned his death:

Carmeli was buried in Haifa’s Neve David cemetery on Monday night. Tens of thousands of people attended the funeral, with some estimates putting the number at a staggering 20,000.

There had been concerns that the lone soldier, who split his time between Ra’anana and South Padre Island, Texas, where his Israeli parents live, wouldn’t have enough people paying their final respects at his funeral …

“There were people from all walks of life … Religious, secular, Chabad, a Ra’anana crew, a lot of people from Haifa. Soldiers from the navy, air force and infantries. It was really impressive to see it. And there were a lot of people walking around wearing flags, Israeli flags.”

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 8:51 AM  | Stand For Israel

Seven IDF Soldiers Killed on Monday

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Seven IDF soldiers were killed fighting Hamas terrorists on Monday, bringing the number of Israeli dead to 25. Four were killed during Hamas’ attempt to infiltrate Israel disguised as friendly soldiers. The head of the IDF’s operation in the area noted that their sacrifice helped avert greater tragedy:

Four of the seven were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade, fired by Hamas gunmen who emerged from a tunnel dug from Gaza into Israel near Kibbutz Nir Am. The Hamas cell, clad in IDF uniforms, emerged from the tunnel, and waited for an approaching IDF jeep before opening fire, killing the IDF officer and the three other soldiers in the vehicle …

Troops from the Nahal Brigade converged and killed 10 of the Hamas gunmen. Two of the gunmen may have escaped back into Gaza …

“We paid a heavy price, but we averted a grave disaster,” said Sami Turgeman, the general in charge of the IDF’s Southern Command. “There is no Iron Dome protection against tunnel infiltration.”

Again, we ask that you, our friends who stand with Israel during peaceful times and troubled ones such as these, pray for God’s comfort on the families of those lost in battle, and for His protection on those who continue to protect the Holy Land.

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 1:54 PM  | Stand For Israel

Terrorists Wearing IDF Uniforms Try to Infiltrate Israel

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

Hamas terrorists tried to infiltrate Israel today. Yediot Achronot reports that while the attack was stopped by Israel’s military, the attackers sneaked in wearing correct IDF uniforms:

The terrorists, 9 of which had been killed, were carrying army bullet-proof vests, wore IDF boots with rubber bands to keep pants from snagging at anything, as well as helmets with camouflage covers very similar to the ones used by the army.

The terrorists crossed the border fence from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and came across an IDF force near kibbutz Nir Am.

Observation units identified the terrorists in the bushes, but the army did not open fire at them at first because they were wearing correct IDF uniforms, and the troops feared these were IDF soldiers, since many different units operate in the area.

The troops were ordered to open fire only after the terrorists started firing at them with AK-47s.

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 12:17 PM  | Stand For Israel

2 U.S. Citizens Among 13 Dead Golani Brigade Soldiers

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

Yesterday, 13 members of the IDF’s Golani Brigade were killed while fighting terrorists in Gaza. Israel Hayom reports that two of these soldiers were Americans:

Two U.S. citizens, 24-year-old Max Steinberg and 21-year-old Staff Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli, were among the 13 IDF soldiers killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip early Sunday morning.

Steinberg, whose family lives in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, was a sharpshooter in the Golani Brigade. His father, Stuart Steinberg, said Max visited Israel for the first time in June 2012 on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip, which helped him realize where he belonged. After the trip was over, he told his parents that he was planning to return to Israel and join the Israel Defense Forces …

“He was completely dedicated and committed to serving the country of Israel,” Stuart Steinberg said. “He was focused, he was clear in what the mission was, and he was dedicated to the work he needed to be doing.”

Stuart Steinberg last spoke to his son at 4 a.m. (Los Angeles time, 2 p.m. in Israel) Saturday. Max Steinberg called his father to tell him that his group had been injured when two of their tanks collided, and had returned to Israel for treatment. Some soldiers had broken bones, and Max had sprained his back, his father said.

“He called me up at 4 a.m. and said he’d be returning to Gaza, back to combat, to be with his friends,” Stuart Steinberg said …

Nissim Sean Carmeli, who also served in the Golani Brigade, was the son of Israelis who moved to the U.S. many years ago. His parents, Alon and Dalia, left their home in South Padre Island in Texas on Sunday to travel to Israel to bury their son.

Rabbi Asher Hecht of Chabad of the Rio Grande Valley, a friend of the Carmeli family, said Nissim Sean Carmeli had “great energy” and “a kind and gentle soul.”

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 10:46 AM  | Stand For Israel

Anti-Semitic Violence in France, Across Europe

(Photo: flickr/ looking4poetry)

(Photo: flickr/ looking4poetry)

As Israel battles terrorists in Gaza, worldwide anti-Semitism is on the rise. Anti-Israel protests outside Paris this weekend turned into riots against local Jewish businesses and synagogues, The Independent reports, with more such anti-Semitic hatred violence likely:

Riot police held back a mob of youths who tried to attacks two synagogues in the town of Sarcelles in the northern Paris suburbs.

A pro-Gaza demonstration in a town with a large Jewish population began peacefully but degenerated into attacks on Jewish and Chaldean businesses and four hours of running battles between youths and police.

Several cars were burned. Three shops, including a Kosher grocery, were burned and pillaged. A railway station was severely damaged.

The interior minister, Bernard Cazeneve said today: “When you menace synagogues and when you burn a grocery because it is  Jewish-owned, you are committing anti-semitic acts …”

The Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, warned at the weekend that France faced “a new form of anti-semitism”, fomented by the hard left and by political activists like the comedian Dieudonne who blame “Jews” for all the world’s ills.

While we pray for the Jewish people of Israel, that they will prevail in their battle against terror, we also ask God to protect His children all over the world, keeping them safe in the face of this increasing anti-Semitism, such as the violence being called for by this German imam:

Gazans were facing “the strongest war machine, the Zionist Jews, these criminals, these slayers of prophets, those who shed blood, those who kill children, those who turn women into widows.”

The film clip then jumps to another part of his sermon. “Oh Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews. They are no challenge for you,” the subtitles read. “Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them. Shake the ground beneath their feet. Make them suffer terribly.”

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 9:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hushed, Determined Israel in a War “for Our Home”

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

The brave men and women of the IDF continue their ground operation against terrorists in Gaza, finding the many terrorist tunnels leading into Israel. Sadly, 13 soldiers were killed this weekend in a firefight with Hamas terrorists. David Horovitz writes at The Times of Israel that as each of these soldiers has a personal connection with those they defend, Israel remains hushed but determined to win this war for their home:

In our small country, with its people’s army — where most of our children are conscripted, and many people are in the reserves through their 20s, 30s, and 40s — the bad news we all now brace for is highly personal as well. Which is why, along with the TV, the radio and the internet, we’re also all glued to our phones, worried when they ring, worried when they don’t.

I say the news is almost unremittingly grim. What isn’t grim is the relative unity of fragmented Israel right now, and the motivation of our soldiers. We are joined in common horror at the evidence of Hamas’s war-to-the-death strategy, and in the realization of the extent of the danger …

When Netanyahu said last night that Israel is in “a war for our home,” it sounded anything but demagogic. When he said that Hamas had expected Tel Aviv to be in “ruins” by now, thanks to its rockets, we knew this was true. When he said Hamas had invested “years of work, and immense capital” in the tunnels, aiming to “carry out mega terror attacks and kidnappings,” and that the planned assaults “on kindergartens, dining halls” would have been “catastrophic,” there was no doubting him …

For all that the news is grim, Hamas is encountering far more failure than success. The rockets that were intended to reduce much of Israel to rubble have proved largely ineffective — though nobody should doubt that Hamas is working feverishly to outwit Iron Dome. Infiltrations from the sea have failed. Most of the attack…

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 8:49 AM  | Stand For Israel

Leaving Home, Missing Home

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As terrorist rockets continue to bombard Israel, and as the IDF continue their battle against those who would do Israel and her people harm, Yael Eckstein talks about how hard it is to leave for a trip when her beloved country is in peril. Lamenting the horrors the war has brought, Yael rejoices at the wonderful moments she has witnessed, as well:

The past few weeks of this war have brought about some terrible moments, yet awesome beauty as well:

-Soldiers covering children with their own bodies, as code red sirens wail

-Children staying up late at night to bake cookies for soldiers

-Singing “Am Yisrael Chai” – “The Nation of Israel Lives” – while huddled in a bomb shelter

-Families in northern Israel opening up their living room and couches to war torn families from the south

-Anonymous pizza deliveries to soldiers on the border.

-Countless volunteers working tirelessly at Fellowship emergency projects in cities under fire

But these are not the only things that have inspired me. Millions of Christians and Jews around the world have been sending their support, love, and prayers to the people of Israel during this difficult time.

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Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 8:29 AM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Seeking Prayers for Safety and Comfort in a Time of Crisis

The news from Israel continues to grieve me deeply. Yesterday 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in Gaza and scores were injured during Operation Protective Edge.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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