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Israel Forced to Launch Ground Incursion into Gaza

iitnOn Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces began a ground incursion of the Gaza Strip with a mission to destroy underground tunnels that reach into Israel. This comes after Hamas had rejected two proposed ceasefire agreements.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• In Gaza, the death toll rises as Hamas continues to use Palestinians as human shields.
• President Obama and other U.S. officials continue to express support for Israel and Operation Protective Edge.
• Meanwhile, the Israeli military campaign has sparked violent anti-Israel protests throughout the world.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on how The Fellowship is responding to the crisis in Israel through the generous support of Christians.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 12:10 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Terrorist Rocket Attacks Now Hitting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

iitnSince July 7, more than 360 terrorist rockets from Gaza have been fired at Israel, with the threat expanding to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This has been the heaviest terrorist assault on Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israel’s sophisticated defense system, Iron Dome, is protecting citizens, who remain calm, but uneasy.
• The IDF has retaliated with a defensive military campaign called Operation Protective Edge, launching targeted airstrikes in Gaza.
• The U.S. State Department has affirmed Israel’s right to use military force to root out terrorists in Gaza.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein with an urgent plea for friends of Israel to pray for the country’s protection and an end to the senseless violence.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Israel on High Alert as Rocket Attacks from Gaza Escalate

iitnWhile Israel is still reeling from the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, it is now dealing with an escalation in rocket attacks from Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has not decided on a large-scale retaliation yet, only striking at confirmed terrorist targets in Gaza.

Also this week in Israel in the News:
• The nation of Israel is in mourning as news broke earlier this week that the bodies of the three kidnapped Israeli teens were found in an open field in the West Bank.
• Tension and violence is building between Israel and Hamas in the wake of the teens’ deaths.
• Riots erupted in East Jerusalem after the body of an Arab youth was discovered. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly denounced the crime.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein with a somber call to continue praying for the families of the slain teens.

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Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 at 2:03 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Search for Missing Teens Continues As IDF Conducts Raids

iitnThe search for the three kidnapped Israeli students continued this week. The IDF also continued its raids on Hamas, with violent clashes erupting on Thursday between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians whose homes were searched. Israel blames Hamas for the kidnapping, which Hamas both praises and denies responsibility.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Violence in Syria spills over into Israel, prompting retaliation.
• The situation in Ukraine begins to cool as Kiev proposes a ceasefire.
• A large forest fire that threatened Jerusalem is now under control, though its source remains unknown.
• Israeli officials are watching the ISIS situation in Iraq with caution.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective discusses the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s unfair and unreasonable decision to divest itself from Israel.

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Thursday, June 26th, 2014 at 3:59 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

IDF Continues Search for 3 Kidnapped Israeli Students

iitnTensions remain high in the West Bank as the massive hunt for three kidnapped Israeli students continues. Hundreds of IDF troops have been deployed with more than 200 Palestinians arrested, many of them terror suspects. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Hamas for the kidnappings.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• As part of Operation Brother’s Keeper, the IDF has carried out raids on Palestinian terrorist hideouts, resulting in numerous arrests and seizure of weapons and explosives.
• Violence in Iraq spreads as Sunni terrorists near Bagdad.
• In response to the growing crisis, President Obama is considering all options in Iraq, including possible airstrikes against Sunni militants.
• Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed a unilateral ceasefire that would allow pro-Russian rebels an opportunity to lay down their weapons and leave Ukraine.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and president, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, with a call to pray for the three kidnapped students.

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Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Israeli and Palestinian Leaders Attend Prayer Meeting at Vatican

iitnIsraeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas met last week for the first time publicly in over a year at a historic prayer meeting at the Vatican. Pope Francis watched and smiled as the two leaders chatted and embraced. The two then planted an olive tree with the Pope in the Vatican Gardens.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Reuven Rivlin, the former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, was elected this week as Israel’s new president.
• In response to the Palestinians’ new unity government, Israel has moved forward with plans to construct 1,500 new homes near the West Bank.
• During the recent D-Day commemoration in France, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talked briefly with Ukraine’s president-elect Petro Poroshenko and President Obama.
• U.S. and Iranian officials met this week in an attempt to restart negotiations aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Yael Eckstein on developing the next generation of Israel’s leaders.

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Thursday, June 12th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Israel Says New Palestinian Unity Government “Unacceptable”

iitnAfter a seven-year split, Palestinian President Abbas has sworn in a unity government of members from Fatah and Hamas. Israel has called the unification of these two groups unacceptable and has urged the world not to recognize it.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

  • Pro-Russian insurgents attack a Ukrainian border guard camp leaving at least 5 pro-Russian rebels dead.
  • Meanwhile, in Kiev, armed and masked men threatened to burn down the house of a Ukrainian rabbi.
  • An arrest has been made in the Brussels Jewish Museum shooting that killed three.
  • Iranian-based computer hackers have continued their cyber-attacks on the U.S. and Israel.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective discusses Israel’s rules of engagement and the Palestinians’ lack thereof.

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Friday, June 6th, 2014 at 10:38 AM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

Pope Francis Visits the Holy Land, Prays at Western Wall

iitnPope Francis made a historic visit to the Holy Land earlier this week, stopping to pray at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Israel. In keeping with tradition, the Pope left a prayer of his own in the tiny cracks of the ancient stones.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

  • In celebration of Jerusalem Day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will never divide its capital.
  • The global community reacted to the newly elected Ukrainian president, with President Obama saying he will meet with Ukraine’s new leader next month.
  • Meanwhile Israelis are helping Ukrainian Jews caught in the crossfire to immigrate to Israel.
  • The Nazi party has won three seats in the Greek Parliament to the disappointment of the Jewish community in Greece.
  • According to a Wall Street Journal report, President Obama is planning to expand U.S. support for moderate Syrian rebel as that conflict enters its fourth year.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas with his thoughts on Jerusalem Day.

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Thursday, May 29th, 2014 at 12:04 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

11 Killed in Deadly Attack on Ukrainian Forces

iitnPro-Russian separatists ambushed a Ukrainian military checkpoint in the Donetsk region this week, killing 11 soldiers and injuring dozens of others. It was the single deadliest day for Ukraine’s military since the crisis began in January.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Diplomatic talks between Iran and six world powers regarding the Iranian nuclear program hit a snag this week.
• Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling on the U.S. to increase its commitment to Israel.
Fellowship Founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein was awarded the prestigious Raoul Wallenberg Award in recognition of his three decades helping Jewish people in need and strengthening the state of Israel.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Ami Farkas on Rabbi Eckstein’s most recent honor.

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Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 4:50 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

7 Ukrainian Soldiers Killed by Pro-Russian Militants

iitnThe crisis in Ukraine escalated this week as at least seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an ambush by pro-Russian militants. The Ukrainian foreign ministry has called for Russia to stop supporting armed anti-Ukrainian terrorists.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• IFCJ is responding to the needs of the Jewish community in Ukraine with a second visit planned by The Fellowship’s Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.
• The U.S. has increased its commitment to Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system to nearly 900 million dollars.
• An Israeli archeologist claims to have found the legendary citadel in Jerusalem captured by King David.
• Israeli inventors develop a cell phone battery that can be recharged in seconds.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein on Rabbi Eckstein’s message of hope to the Jewish community in Ukraine.

 

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Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 4:50 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org
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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. Twenty-seven Israeli soldiers have been killed thus far during Operation Protective Edge.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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