4 Israelis Killed, Another 4 Wounded by Terrorists
Four Dead in West Bank Shooting Attack, Hamas Claims Responsibility: Four Israelis were killed and another four were wounded in a shooting attack by two terrorists at a gas station outside of the West Bank settlement of Eli on Tuesday afternoon, June 20.
Two terrorists entered a restaurant next to the gas station and shot several people there before going to the gas station and shooting another person. At that point, an armed civilian shot and killed one of them and the other fled.
Shin Bet, IDF, and Border Police forces shot and killed the second terrorist after locating him and attempting to arrest him a short time later. They tracked him as he tried to escape and eventually found his car abandoned, according to a joint statement. When he was located, they attempted to arrest him, but he resisted arrest and was killed, the statement said.
The terrorist who was killed at the gas station was identified as Muhannad Shahada, from the village of Orif, near Nablus, in the West Bank.
One of the victims was identified as Elisha Antman, an 18-year-old resident of the town of Eli. Another was identified as Harel Masoud, a 21-year-old resident of Yad Binyamin. A third was later identified as Ofer Feirman, another Eli resident aged 63. The fourth was identified as Nachman Shmuel Mordoff, 17, a resident of Achiya.
Initial intelligence reports suggested a strong likelihood that the terrorists were associated with Hamas, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said. A short time later, a Hamas official said the gunmen belonged to Hamas’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam brigades. The attack was in response to the IDF operation on Monday in Jenin, he told Arabian media. (JPost /VFI News)
“God, we pray for the families of the innocent Israelis that were murdered by terrorists and we ask that You comfort them during this devastating time of mourning. We offer our sincerest condolences to them and we also ask that the wounded civilians quickly recover without enduring any long-term harmful effects.”
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7 IDF Soldiers Wounded in Jenin Ambush of Armored Vehicle: Two IDF soldiers and five Border Police officers were wounded in Jenin on Monday, June 19, during a firefight that lasted hours and included the ambush of an armored military vehicle.
The plan was to arrest two terror operatives: one from Hamas and one from Islamic Jihad. Palestinian reports said five Palestinians were killed in the clashes and 28 were wounded, some in serious conditions. The Israeli forces were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) struck their armored vehicle.
One Border Police officer was in moderate to serious condition and was evacuated to the Emek Medical Center in Afula, while the others, with wounds ranging from light to moderate, were evacuated to the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa.
Five to seven IDF vehicles were stuck in the area for several hours until they could be successfully extracted, the army said. IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said the IDF used a mix of helicopters, drones, and reinforcements to establish control over the area.
In the middle of the operation, the IDF used a helicopter to fire a missile at an open area to allow for extraction. This was the first time the IDF has fired a missile from a helicopter in the West Bank in around 20 years.
Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai, Border Police commander Amir Cohen and the commander of West Bank police district Barak Mordechai visited the wounded soldiers, “We succeeded in arresting the wanted suspects. We are determined to recover and return to operation,” the wounded officers told them. (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we pray for the quick recovery of the wounded soldiers and we thank them for the ardor with which they execute their duties. We are also humbly grateful to You Lord for protecting Israeli citizens from terrorists.”
Iran Praises Palestinian ‘Resistance’ in Meetings with Hamas, Islamic Jihad Leaders: The leaders of Palestinian terror groups Islamic Jihad and Hamas held talks Monday, June 19, with top Iranian officials in Tehran as deadly violence flared in the West Bank.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi received Islamic Jihad chief Ziad Nakhaleh while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh held talks with Ali Akbar Ahmadian, the newly-appointed secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), ahead of a meeting with other top officials.
“The most efficient way to end the more than 75 years of occupation of Palestine is resistance,” Ahmadian told Haniyeh, according to media close to the SNSC.
Nakhalah has been in Iran since last week and has met top Iranian officials, including Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On Monday, Raisi told Nakhaleh that Israel was seeking to normalize ties with more Arab and Muslim countries “to discourage young Palestinians from [seeking to] liberate the occupied territories,” the president’s office said in a statement, as he hailed Palestinian “resistance” against Israel. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask that You protect us from Iran and Palestinian terror groups that seek to destroy us and cause harm in Israel. We pray that Israel will not have to retaliate in a forceful way, and we trust You to thwart any attack that is aimed at Israel.”
Gallant: Israel’s Cutting Edge Tech Is Best Defense from Iran, Other Enemies: Israel’s cutting-edge technology is the best defense from threats from Iran and its other enemies, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Monday, June 19.
Speaking at the Paris Air Show, he said “Israel’s ability to face threats is determined by the dedicated individuals who tirelessly work to develop state-of-the-art technology. This ongoing and highly challenging battle of intellect mostly takes place behind the scenes.”
He added that “in recent years, this intellectual contest has been gaining momentum, and I can confidently affirm that Israel surpasses its adversaries in both defensive and offensive capabilities.”
Still, the defense minister warned that “Iran is closer than ever to gaining military-nuclear capabilities, and it is conducting a war of attrition against us by engaging in proxy terrorism. This clear strategy aims to destabilize not only the region but also the world.
“In response to Iran’s efforts, the Israeli defense establishment is working to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, utilizing all the resources at our disposal,” said Gallant. (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we thank You for assisting our leaders, scientists, and defense forces in ensuring Israel’s safety. We are especially thankful for our advanced technology and brilliant Israelis that work tirelessly to honor and protect our nation.”
Russia Says Regional Free Trade Pact with Iran Possible by Year-End: A free trade zone agreement between Iran, Russia, and several countries that cover the vast Eurasian region spreading from the borders of Eastern Europe to Western China is possible by the end of the year, Russian media reported on Monday, June 19.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk told Russian state media in an interview that talks between the Eurasian Economic Union – which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia – and Iran are in their final stages.
Russia started swapping oil products with Iran and in March, Tehran said it counts on “huge volumes” of both oil and gas swaps with Moscow.
“We are moving forward,” Overchuk said. “We very much hope that such an agreement can be signed by the end of the year.”
Both the region and Iran have taken on additional significance for the Kremlin after Western sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine limited Russia’s foreign trade routes and forced it to look for markets outside Europe.
However, despite tighter ties between Moscow and Tehran since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and began big purchases of Iranian-made drones to attack the country, trade between the two markets has grown only moderately. (JPost / VFI News)
“With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you.” – Psalm 83:5
‘We Cannot Cope Alone’: Ukraine’s First Lady Hopes for Medical Ties with Israel: Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska, together with her Israeli counterpart, Michal Herzog, met with a range of medical and psychological experts in Israel on Monday, June 19, as part of Zelenska’s ongoing tour of Israel.
Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has been traveling the world and meeting world leaders to draw humanitarian support for the country since the beginning of the Russian invasion in early 2022.
Israel has sent repeated waves of humanitarian and medical aid to Ukraine but has been criticized by Kyiv for not sending asked-for military assistance.
The Ukrainian first lady began her day visiting Sheba Medical Hospital, where she expressed hope for future cooperation between Ukrainian and Israeli medical experts.
“We need programs that support mental health and assist in the rehabilitation of injured citizens, including children, adults, and the elderly. Our healthcare system cannot cope alone,” she said.
“The State of Israel is a role model for us; unfortunately, you have rich experience in this area,” Zelenska said, according to a statement from the president’s office. “Nevertheless your country still succeeds to thrive and survive, even under incessant attacks. Yes, we are resilient, but resilience comes at a high psychological price.” (TOI/VFI News)
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” – Jeremiah 33:6
US Leads 27 Nations in Castigating an Anti-Israel UN Commission: The United States issued a joint statement Tuesday, June 20, on behalf of 27 countries, saying they are “deeply concerned” about a United Nations commission accused of bias against Israel and populated with members with histories of antisemitism.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is delivering its latest report to the U.N. Human Rights Council today in Geneva.
The Human Rights Council created the three-person commission in 2021 following an 11-day conflict (“Operation Guardian of the Walls”) between Israel and terrorist groups in Gaza. The commission was given a unique open-ended mandate: It is charged with investigating any Israeli human rights violations both inside and outside the country’s sovereign territory.
Michèle Taylor, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, said in the joint statement that the commission’s mandate, “with no sunset clause, end date, or clear limitations connected to the escalation in May 2021,” led to many of the council’s members expressing “fundamental concerns” when the resolution creating the commission came up for adoption.
“We believe the nature of this COI [commission of inquiry] is further demonstration of long-standing, disproportionate attention given to Israel in the council, and must stop” the statement reads.
The signatories to the joint statement include a diverse geographical group. Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Croatia, Czechia, Eswatini, Fiji, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Macedonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Togo, and the United Kingdom joined Washington in signing on. (I365N / VFI News)
Tel Aviv Ranked as World’s Happiest City: Tel Aviv is the happiest city in the world, according to a ranking by TheTravel blog published on last week.
TheTravel cited the White City’s “rich cultural heritage, kind people, and abundance of food, shopping, and learning,” noting that Tel Aviv has become “a global hot spot for spring break and vacationing as a whole.”
The travel blog also noted Tel Aviv’s progressive ideologies as a reason for its high ranking, pointing to the large LGBTQ community in the city and the draw for LGBTQ visitors.
Tel Aviv was followed by Madrid, Fremont, San Jose, Stockholm, Toronto, Amsterdam, Reykjavík, Bergen, and Copenhagen on the list.
The @Israel Twitter account run by the Foreign Ministry welcomed the ranking, tweeting “Maybe it’s the sun, maybe it’s the people (or maybe its the coffee). Who knows? In any case, Tel Aviv was chosen as the happiest city in the World. Thanks @TheTravel_com_!”
Israel ranked fourth in the 2022 World Happiness Report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, although it ranked low on some of the factors in the report, including “experiences of calmness” where it ranked second to last. (JPost /VFI News)
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.