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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

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

Fellowship-Sponsored Conference Highlights Lifesaving Medical Innovations

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Many modern medical innovations have come about during times of war. The current conflict in Gaza has been no different. The Jerusalem Post reports that this week in Jerusalem, the Fellowship-sponsored Israel Medical Conference highlighted some of the medical innovations that have been saving lives and relieving suffering during Operation Protective Edge:

A major difference between the current military operation and previous ones in Gaza and other battlefields was that IDF doctors and paramedics were on the scene within seconds or minutes to treat the wounded, instead of lesser-trained medics.

In addition, all soldiers on the front were supplied with special tourniquets that can be applied by a wounded-but-conscious soldier immediately after an incident, to reduce or halt the amount of bleeding. All regular and reserve soldiers in battle were supplied with personal tourniquets …

There was access to hemostatic dressings to stop arterial bleeding too, and reduce bleeding from deep, penetrating injuries, bullet wounds and lacerations.

When medics were not immediately available, wounded fighters’ fellow soldiers had been trained to use lifesaving equipment on the spot, said Kreiss. He commended the selected hospitals around the country who performed excellently in treating the wounded.

Capt. Dr. Sammy Gendler of the IDF Medical Corps, said that many battlefield deaths could be prevented if treated immediately …

Plasma used on the battlefield used to be frozen and difficult to use; freeze-drying makes it as simple as mixing a cold drink.

The original blood is collected from large numbers of healthy soldiers, checked more than once for infectious disease and then freeze-dried and packed.

“During the Gaza operation, we used it on over 150 wounded soldiers.”

In addition to giving fighters self-applied tourniquets, instant plasma, speedy evacuation and better preventive equipment saved lives, he said.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 8:20 AM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: IAF Strikes Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire

(Photo: USAF)

(Photo: USAF)

Despite the ceasefire still in place, rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. Arutz Sheva reports that the Israeli Air Force has struck targets in Gaza in response to the rocket attacks:

The Israeli Air Force has struck terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire this afternoon, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s order to strike back hard against the perpetrators.

An IDF spokesman said: “The IDF was prepared for this possibility and is determined to protect the security of the residents of the State of Israel.

IDF sources say the rocket fire came from the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya, where some of the fiercest fighting between the IDF and Islamist terrorists has taken place during Operation Protective Edge.

In an even more explosive development, an unnamed security source told Walla! news site the rocket attack was ordered directly by Hamas’s Qatar-based head Khaled Meshaal. The source claimed Meshaal had bypassed Hamas’s official “military wing”, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and ordered a specially-assigned unit of Hamas operatives answerable directly to him to launch the attack.

The source claimed Meshaal was aiming to sabotage negotiations for a long-term truce in Cairo, which were not going his way.

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 9:02 AM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: He Led You

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

“He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land …” (Deuteronomy 8:15)

IDF soldiers serving during Operation Protective Edge troop through Gaza, assured that God is leading His people and protecting them. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, August 15th, 2014 at 1:44 PM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Tests System to Detect Terror Tunnels

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

One of the IDF’s primary tasks during Operation Protective Edge has been to find and destroy the vast system of terror tunnels Hamas has spent years building – tunnels to be used to attack Israel and her people. While this part of the operation has proven successful, this new terrorist tactic is one that the Israeli military is still developing methods to combat. The Jerusalem Post reports on Israeli anti-terror technology, including a new system the IDF has successfully tested in order to improve its tunnel detection:

A system designed to detect infiltration tunnels proved successful in laboratory tests for the first time ever and is now being tested in the field, a senior IDF officer said Monday.

If the field test proves successful, the system can be deployed around the Gaza Strip within approximately one year, the officer added …

The officer said that the IDF is also working to improve the Iron Dome.  It is believed that, in the future, Israel’s enemies will try to overcome the rocket defense system by launching a number of missiles and rockets at the same time, including more advanced projectiles that can reach a greater height than those previously fired from Gaza. Among the improvements being worked on is giving the Iron Dome the ability to intercept rockets over enemy territory, before they enter Israel.

The officer also touted the Trophy tank defense system for its success in saving the lives of IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge.

He said the Trophy system had neutralized dozens of anti-tank missiles fired at tanks and armored personnel carriers during the operation.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 12:07 PM  | Stand For Israel

A Holocaust Survivor and IDF Veteran on Defending Israel

Israeli soldiers during Battle of Negba, 1948 (Photo: wikicommons)

Israeli soldiers during Battle of Negba, 1948 (Photo: wikicommons)

Yesterday Israel Hayom published a letter of support from an IDF soldier wounded during Operation Protective Edge. Today they present a letter from a Holocaust survivor and IDF veteran whose granddaughter currently serves in the Israeli military, the third generation of his family to defend a nation he so eloquently supports:

As an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, I felt an internal obligation to send a direct message of support to our soldiers serving on the front and their families. While Western hypocrisy about the conflict between Israel and Hamas eats away at my heart, I believe, as I always have, in the strength of Israel.

As a teenager, I survived Josef Mengele’s selection at Birkenau and a death march. During the selection, I was standing next to my grandfather, but my cousin shouted at me to go right. I was a handsome blond and Mengele decided to keep me alive. In Israel, I fought in the War of Independence and was wounded in the Battle of Negba. In recent weeks, I could not help but think of our soldiers in Gaza, fighting in sweltering heat inside armored personnel carriers or next to tunnels …

I am a disabled IDF veteran and a victim of Nazi persecution. The Holocaust is present in every thought of mine, particularly in my dreams. But unlike those who live in the shadow of the Holocaust, I always espouse the mantra “Masada shall not fall again.” Or as my son in the U.S. puts it, “Never again.”

I was unable to grieve for my relatives who died in the Holocaust because I was not with them when they perished and did not bury them. Since 1944, I have not cried. I have no tears, but I completely identify with bereaved families and feel their cries in my heart …

For the past month, my 20-year-old granddaughter Ella…

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Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF: Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

During their sweep through Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, IDF troops found a Hamas combat manual on urban warfare. Post on the IDF’s blog, the manual explains to Hamas’ terrorist operatives the importance of using civilians as human shields, as well as Israel’s moral obligation to minimize civilian casualties:

In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:

The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].

Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.

The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:

(1) Problems with opening fire
(2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward
(3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it

Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:

The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).

It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.

This finding is evidence of what the international media often neglects to mention – that the IDF acts morally, even as it battles a foe that has no problem with placing women and children in the line of fire.

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 11:10 AM  | Stand For Israel

A Letter from a Wounded IDF Soldier

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Today Israel began a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas, and this past weekend began withdrawing its troops from Gaza. In the past weeks, Operation Protective Edge has dealt a blow to the region’s terrorists, with the IDF destroying Hamas’ terror tunnels and targeting many of its members and weapons stashes. But as with any war, a toll was paid by Israel, with many of its soldiers killed in action, and many more wounded. In Israel Hayom, one of those injured in battle, Staff Sgt. Nir, writing from his hospital bed, tells of his experience and encourages his fellow soldiers:

Last Friday, on the eighth day of the IDF ground offensive, it was decided to intensify our military hold on Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. Naturally, we took on the mission with a profound sense of duty. We knew that there was a good reason for expanding the operation. As part of the mission, I entered one of the houses with other members of my team. Unfortunately, we were ambushed by Hamas operatives. It was a strange situation, but we had been coached on how to handle it. It was clear to all of us that such incidents were part of the price we would have to pay for this operation. During the clash, seven of my comrades and I were wounded by enemy fire.

As I write these words, I am already miles away from the front lines, due to my injuries. In the minutes between the outpouring of love we are receiving and the hospital visits and the donations, as I try to process the formative experiences of this operation, I want to write a few words to my friends, the fighters who are still entrenched in combat, defending the State of Israel:

Dear friends,

I think I understand what you’re going through better than anyone. I too experienced the feeling of being cut off and uncertain …

This has been a difficult war for…

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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: Do Not Be Afraid; Do Not Be Discouraged

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you” (Joshua 8:1)

A soldier serves with the IDF artillery forces in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. May God protect the brave men and women defending His people, and keep them from being afraid or discouraged. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, August 1st, 2014 at 2:28 PM  | 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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