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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

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

Israeli Killed by Gaza Mortar Fire

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

While the Iron Dome has protected Israel and her people thus far, Yediot Achronot has just reported the first Israeli death since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge:

An Israeli man succumbed to his wounds after being hit by mortar fire from Gaza near the Erez border crossing. The incident marks the first Israeli death since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge.

Gaza militants launched a heavy barrage of rockets on central and southern Israel before 7 pm on Tuesday evening. Code Red sirens wailed from Netivot to Be’er Sheva, while Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over the skies of Tel Aviv. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility for four M-75 rockets fire on Tel Aviv.

We pray for God’s comfort for this man’s loved ones, as well as for His continued protection over all of Israel.

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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 12:09 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Okays Ceasefire Proposal, But Hamas Says No

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

On Monday, Egypt proposed a ceasefire to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. While Israel agreed to the ceasefire, The Times of Israel reports, Hamas did not:

Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire agreement because it would restore the status quo that preceded Operation Protective Edge but leave Hamas severely weakened, the official said.

“Hamas didn’t achieve what it had planned to achieve: not in the military campaign itself, where it was dealt a severe blow with more than 1,700 attacks, not in its efforts to harm Israeli civilians, not in its desire to carry out strategic terror attacks from the sea, the air and the ground — which were attempted but thwarted — and not in its ability to recruit the Arab world and Judea and Samaria,” the official said, referring to Palestinians in the West Bank.

Hamas also failed to accomplish anything with the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which does not include any preconditions and does not mention Hamas’s demands for the payment of salaries for its men in Gaza and the release of prisoners, the official said.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinian group rejected the proposal.

We continue to pray for the safety of the Israeli people and the brave men and women of the IDF who are defending them, as well as for peace in Israel.

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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 9:48 AM  | Stand For Israel

Christian Supporters of Israel Are Helping to Save Lives

Over $2 Million Raised to Support Israelis Under Rocket Fire; Emergency Support Center for the Elderly Launched

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein: “We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of our Christian friends during these difficult days.”

(Photo: IFCJ)

(Photo: IFCJ)

As Israel once again finds itself under attack from terrorists in the Gaza Strip, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is doing its part to support the most vulnerable members of Israeli society. With hundreds of rockets being fired at Israel over the past few days, forcing millions to seek cover in bomb shelters, The Fellowship has increased its assistance. Hundreds of Fellowship field workers and volunteers are working around the clock to provide lifesaving aid to Israeli children, elderly, and families.

In the past week alone The Fellowship has raised over $2 million in emergency aid from Christian supporters of Israel, who are once again playing a critical role in helping the people of Israel deal with terrorism. As a direct result of the funds raised, The Fellowship has announced that it is opening up a new emergency support center for the elderly and allocating more funds for bomb shelters to provide safety for the citizens of the south. The emergency center will provide a base from which our volunteers can contact the elderly in areas affected by rockets to ensure their safety, and accept incoming calls from elderly in need. Fellowship volunteers will deliver food, medication, and emotional support to the elderly in endangered areas.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Founder and President of The Fellowship said, “We have been overwhelmed by the generous support of our Christian friends during these difficult days. Thank God, over $2 million in emergency funds have been donated to help The Fellowship secure the most vulnerable people in Israeli society. During times of national crisis, Christian support for Israel is more important than ever. Through the funds raised from those with a deep and true love for Israel, we are able to help protect hundreds of thousands of Israelis from the barrage of…

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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 8:50 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Faces New Jihadist Threats on Top of Hamas

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Much of our attention since the start of Operation Protective Edge (and since the start of their terrorist rocket attacks) has been on Hamas, the reigning terror organization in Gaza and the main aggressor in the current conflict. We noted this morning that others, like Fatah and Islamic Jihad, have also taken credit for attacks. But with Hamas weakened, Sean Savage reports for JNS, these and other terrorist groups such as ISIS could pose a very real and serious threat to Israel:

For Israel, the rise of global jihadist groups in Gaza and Hamas’s isolation there creates a different set of problems … if Hamas becomes severely weakened, Salafi jihadist groups or Islamic Jihad may use the opportunity to seize control of Gaza.

“[Israeli operations] might create a vacuum where it can give rise to other jihadi groups who would be worse than Hamas,” Schanzer said …

Nevertheless, Ya’alon has said this will be a long-term operation, and that Hamas and other terror organizations “will pay a very steep price” for rocket fire on Israel.

“We are destroying arms, terrorist infrastructure, command and control systems, institutions, government buildings, terrorists’ homes, and we are killing terrorists in the organizational high command,” said the defense minister.

In the immediate future, Hamas remains the biggest game in town in Gaza for Israel, given the terror group’s tens of thousands of fighters and a substantial arsenal of rockets capable of striking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 1:31 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Allows Aid into Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ Israel21c)

(Photo: flickr/ Israel21c)

Though terrorist rockets from Gaza threaten its people, Israel shows its humanity by continuing to allow food, fuel, and other aid into Gaza, at the same time as it continues providing medical care for Palestinians:

Despite over 300 rockets hitting Israel, Israel has allowed some 200 trucks to cross into the strip, including some 200,000 liters of fuel daily, in an attempt to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the government said that over 20 Palestinians, including eight Gazan children were treated at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center …

According to Yazid Falah, the coordinator for Palestinian patients coming to Rambam, “Despite the security situation, and despite the fact that both sides are fighting, all continues as usual in the sphere of medical cooperation.”

Falah explained that “even in times of war we continue to receive patients and give them the care they need-children and adults.”

As Israel continues to provide aid to all those who need it, The Fellowship has also increased the emergency assistance it is providing for all those tragically affected by the terrorist rocket attacks.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 12:25 PM  | Stand For Israel

Why Did Hamas Provoke a War?

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s response to Hamas’ continued rocket launches, is self-explanatory – the Jewish state is protecting itself and its people from terrorist attacks. What’s not as clear – other than a long hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, and a desire to put an end to both – is why Hamas decided to pursue such a conflict at this time. Elliott Abrams, former national security adviser, lays out several reasons why the terrorist organization decided to provoke Israel:

Hamas leadership decided it had to shake things up.‎

This new battle with Israel has several benefits for Hamas … Statements from Hamas are now, once again, front ‎page news; Hamas is no longer irrelevant. Hamas is now in its eyes and those, it ‎hopes, of many Arabs, back in the front line of the struggle against Israel. It will also, ‎it must believe, be seen as the heroic victim of Israeli attacks, worthy of solidarity ‎and support — both political and financial. And this episode in its long struggle with ‎Israel allows Hamas to show its capabilities: longer range missiles that attack Tel ‎Aviv and further north, sea-based attacks by swimmers who enter Israel from the ‎beaches, tunnels that would enable the kidnapping of more hostages to exchange or ‎permit heavily armed men to reach Israeli communities and exact a high price in ‎lives, and a high volume of rockets to overwhelm Israel’s high-tech defenses like ‎Iron Dome.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 8:33 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Fires at Israeli Nuclear Reactor, Iron Dome Intercepts

(Photo: flickr/ sandiandsteve)

(Photo: flickr/ sandiandsteve)

Terrorist rockets were launched at the Israeli nuclear reactor in the southern city of Dimona, with Hamas taking credit for the attempt. The Jerusalem Post reports that the Iron Dome system once again came through, downing one of the rockets, while two others missed their mark:

Three rockets were launched at Dimona in southern Israel on Wednesday afternoon. The Iron Dome intercepted one rocket before it could land, while two other rockets landed in open areas.

Dimona is the location of Israel’s nuclear reactor. There was no indication that rockets damaged any part of the reactor.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, stating that it had been attempting to hit the nuclear reactor.

Militants from Hamas’s Qassam Brigades said they had launched long-range M-75 rockets towards Dimona.

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Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 1:31 PM  | 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. Twenty-seven Israeli soldiers have been killed thus far during Operation Protective Edge.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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