Photo Friday: I Walk in the Way of Righteousness

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

I walk in the way of righteousness,
    along the paths of justice (Proverbs 8:20)

IDF soldiers in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. After Hamas broke the latest ceasefire with rocket attacks on Israel, fighting has again increased. We thank God for the brave men and women who fight the righteous and just fight, and pray that He protects them. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 2:09 PM  | Stand For Israel

Four-Year-Old Israeli Boy Killed by Mortar Attack

(Photo: twitter/ IsraelHatzolah)

(Photo: twitter/ IsraelHatzolah)

As we reported earlier, a synagogue in southern Israel was hit by a terrorist rocket, one of dozens that have been launched today. Now The Times of Israel reports that a four-year-old Israeli boy has been killed by a mortar launched from Gaza:

A four-year-old boy was killed by a mortar launched from the Gaza Strip and which landed near the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, bringing the death toll in Israel since Operation Protective Edge began to 68.

According to initial reports, the boy was critically wounded when the projectile made a direct hit in the car he he was in, and later died of his wounds.

Gaza-based terror groups have launched over 70 rockets into Israel since the morning hours on Friday.
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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 11:06 AM  | Stand For Israel

Surrounded Ukrainian City Under Near-Constant Barrage

(Photo: JDC)

(Photo: JDC)

As The Fellowship continues providing aid, shelter, and the hope of aliyah to the Jewish community of Ukraine, Stand for Israel will continue to bring you news of the conflict in that region, and how it’s affecting Ukraine’s Jews and the rest of its population. Earlier this week, we told you about the dozens of Ukrainian refugees killed while fleeing the city of Luhansk (also known as Lugansk), a city whose Jews The Fellowship has been sheltering at a refugee camp. Now Vice News provides this harrowing account of life for those stuck in Luhansk:

The rebel-held city, almost totally surrounded by Ukrainian forces, is now under a near-constant barrage of artillery, and has been without running water, electricity, and telecommunications for nearly three weeks after vital infrastructure was hit in the crossfire of the two warring sides.

The blockade around the city has also led to severe shortages of many basic foodstuffs, including flour, oil, and sugar, and prices have risen up to five-fold.

According to the United Nations, fighting in Ukraine’s east has claimed at least 2,000 lives and displaced more than 340,000 people since it broke out in mid-April. The international body has called these estimates “very conservative.”

Those residents that remain in Luhansk have become grimly accustomed to the heavy artillery war being fought in their backyards. Most try to complete all outside chores before 2PM when the relative morning lull in firing comes to a punctual end.

“You can set your watch by it, give or take 15 minutes,” Andriy, a local driver, told VICE News while tapping his wrist. “People go out in the morning and do what they have to do, then the streets empty out by the afternoon, The marshutkas [public buses] stop running at 1PM now because of the shelling, I guess we have adapted to this situation.”

With Ukraine’s Independence Day due to be celebrated on Sunday, many locals say they fear the battles will intensify as the Kiev-backed anti-terror operation forces…

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 10:46 AM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: Rocket Scores Direct Hit on Israeli Synagogue

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Arutz Sheva is reporting that a terrorist rocket fired from Gaza just struck a synagogue in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod:

A rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza has caused considerable damage to a synagogue in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.

Paramedics from the United Hatzalah and Magen David Adom emergency organizations rushed to the scene, after a massive explosion was heard. Three people were injured and have been evacuated for further medical treatment after receiving first aid.

Medical sources described two of the victims as males, aged 25 and 26, who suffered shrapnel injuries to their extremities. They have been evacuated to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

The third victim, a 40-year-old woman, suffered injuries to her torso, and has been evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

Several others were treated at the scene for shock.

The rocket strike in Ashdod is the latest in a barrage of some 40 rockets fired from Gaza Friday.

We pray for the recovery of those injured, and pray for God’s protection over all of Israel – especially the rocket-weary south – as terrorists continue their attacks.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:53 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas Terror Leaders’ Assassinations Infused Hope in Rocket-Battered Sderot

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

From the time Hamas rockets began battering Israel, the southern part of the country has received the brunt of the attacks. The southern Israeli town of Sderot has been among the worst-hit in the area, and The Fellowship has done much to help its children, elderly, and other vulnerable citizens during this time of terror and violence. With the IDF targeting Hamas’ terror leaders this week, the mayor of Sderot says that there is hope that life in his city might return to normal:

“We have patience,” Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said Thursday, of the IDF’s campaign to end rocket attacks against his struggling town … Davidi said that the IDF’s recent elimination of senior Hamas commanders brought him hope that the start of the school year in his city will be held as usual.

“My daughter asks every day, if we’re buying textbooks, if she’s going back to school soon,” he shared …

“Hamas failed, both in hostilities, and in negotiations, and so it tries to scare us in a psychological war. New families who come to settle in the city prove that it is failing,” Davidi boasted.

“Headlines that are appearing in the media the last few days make us hopeful that we can get back to normal soon, and that it will be a ‘real normalcy,’ and not an ‘ongoing emergency normalcy,’ like we’ve had over the years,” Davidi said, hopefully.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand for Israel

Like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, Hamas Is Fair Game

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

Even as the world stands up against the Islamic State for the recent swath of terror and destruction – and it should – much the same it did against al-Qaeda after the attacks of 9/11, many still doubt the evil behind Hamas. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin says that there is no difference between the Gaza-based terror organization targeting Israel and other Islamist groups who have targeted Iraq, Syria, and the West:

Though much of the Western media seems intent on sanitizing Hamas and ignoring its use of human shields, it needs no lessons in brutality from either al-Qaeda or ISIS, as the deaths of the Palestinians who have been killed for dissenting from their tyrannical rule of Gaza could attest.

As is the case with ISIS, there is no compromising with Hamas. Just as the Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Syria will not be bribed or cajoled into giving up their goal of imposing their religiously inspired nightmare vision on the world, neither will Hamas be satisfied with anything less than the eradication of Israel and the genocide of its Jewish population.

As with ISIS, there is no “political solution” to a conflict with Hamas, only a military one. So long as Hamas is allowed to remain in power in Gaza, there is no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Like Osama bin Laden and those who seek to kill Americans today, Hamas operatives are fair game for targeted assassinations. While the aim of Israeli Defense Force strikes on Hamas targets may not be any more perfect than those of their American counterparts elsewhere, they provide the only answer to an ideology that can’t be appeased.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:33 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas Violates Another Truce; Fighting Resumes

iitnEarlier this week Hamas violated yet another ceasefire, firing at least 50 rockets into Israel and prompting a swift response from the IDF. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recalled the Israeli delegation from peace talks in Cairo – it is Israel’s policy not to negotiate while being fired upon.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israel refuses to give in to Hamas’ demands for an airport and seaport, citing security risks.
• In Ukraine, civilian casualties are growing as the fighting intensifies between government and pro-Russian rebel forces.
• President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu react to the brutal beheading of a U.S. journalist by ISIS.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on the recent events in Israel.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 9:40 PM  | Stand for Israel

James Foley’s Phone Call Home

(Photo: youtube)

(Photo: youtube)

In 2011, journalist James Foley was in Libya covering the war that ultimately led to the overthrow and death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. While there, Foley was imprisoned by regime forces for 44 days, though eventually released. An alumni of Marquette University, Foley wrote this letter to his alma mater after his release, and talked about the day when, while still in a Libyan prison, he was able to make a call home to his mother:

I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

In late 2012, Foley was captured somewhere in the Middle East by ISIS terrorists who days ago beheaded him. A video of his gruesome execution was distributed on the Internet by ISIS, supposedly as a warning to the U.S. to stop air strikes in Iraq targeting the radical Islamist group.

Perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said it best: condemning the “savagery” that claimed Foley’s life, he noted, “Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas … They’re the enemies of peace, they’re the enemies of…

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 3:16 PM  | Stand For Israel

Peace of Mind for Israeli Kids in the Line of Fire

The Fellowship-sponsored Jordan River Village Camp nurtures growth and provides adventure for children with various illnesses and disabilities, and gives them an opportunity to make friends with other children in similar situations. This camp has been invaluable throughout Operation Protective Edge, allowing these children some much-needed peace of mind away from rocket fire.

Likewise, Fellowship Village offers children from rocket-riddled southern Israel the chance to escape the daily code red sirens and finally play outside without fear.

Let’s keep these young children facing so many challenges in our prayers. Thank you for allowing us to offer them a bright spot of joy this summer!

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 2:36 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Mobilizing 10,000 Reservists After Israel Targets Senior Hamas Leaders

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As we reported in today’s Daily Dispatch, the IDF killed three senior Hamas officials last night in an airstrike on the terror organization. Hamas retaliated with rocket attacks on Israel. Now The Jerusalem Post reports that 10,000 IDF reservists are being called up:

The IDF has called up 10,000 reservists, who will replace other reserve forces that are being sent home for rest.

The cabinet approved the measure after the air force carried out an overnight targeted assassination of two senior Hamas terrorists and a lower ranking terrorist in the Gaza Strip.

A total of 86,000 reserves have been called up since the beginning of the conflict this summer, and many of them replaced conscripted ground forces in the West Bank, who were rotated to the Gaza border. Some reserve units have also taken up positions around Gaza.

Meanwhile, the IAF bombed 40 terrorist targets since midnight on Thursday. Half of the targets were struck after being detected in real time by a range of electronic sensors and intelligence gathering capabilities …

The IDF stated on Thursday evening that more than 300 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since Hamas broke the cease-fire on Tuesday afternoon.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 9:58 AM  | Stand For Israel
"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Coming Together for Freedom

Renewed rocket fire not only brought an end to the most recent ceasefire, it made clear once again that Hamas does not want peace with Israel – it wants the destruction of the Jewish state. Now is the time for the free world to unite and come together in the fight for freedom, peace, and civilization as we know it.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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