Plea for the Hostages’ Return, Israel Warns Lebanon to Stop Hezbollah
Herzog’s 2024 Message to World Leaders: Help Bring the Hostages Home: On New Year’s Eve, President Isaac Herzog posted a plea on X for world leaders to aid in the immediate return of the 133 Israeli citizens who have remained in Hamas captivity since October 7.
“As we enter 2024, I call on the entire family of nations, on all world leaders, to demand and work for the immediate, unconditional release of our 133 hostages,” Herzog wrote.
“Babies, the elderly, women, men, are being held in brutal captivity by Hamas, without vital medication or visitation from the Red Cross. Their immediate release is at the core of our battle with Hamas terrorists in Gaza. May the light dispel the darkness, and may the New Year bring peace, hope, and healing for all.”
As mentioned in Herzog’s post, the Red Cross has failed to provide medical care or visit the abducted civilians. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out a week ago over the international body’s failure to provide life-saving medication to the hostages.
“I met with the Red Cross; I handed them a box of medicine for some of the hostages shown here. Some of them really need it… I told a representative to take this box to Rafah; she said no. It was a difficult conversation,” the Prime Minister told a special Knesset session. (JPost / VFI News)
“Lord, as we step into 2024, we pray for the release of all hostages currently being held by Hamas. We continually pray for their well-being and mental health, as well as for their families. We hope that they will soon be reunited, rejoice in Your Grace, and feel safe again.”
The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.
Israeli Official Warns Time Running Out for Lebanon to Stop Hezbollah, Raising Fears of 2nd War Front: A member of Israel’s war cabinet warned on Wednesday, December 27, that the diplomatic “hourglass” was running out for Lebanon as the nation has failed to stop Hezbollah from firing rockets across the border. Israeli government minister Benny Gantz derided the barrage from the Lebanese border — raising new fears of a second front of the war opening on Israel’s northern border.
“If the world and Lebanon’s government will not work to stop the shooting at Israel and to distance Hezbollah from the border, the IDF will do so,” Gantz told reporters.
Gantz’s warning came after Hezbollah launched its most expansive assault yet on Wednesday, firing more rockets and drones at Israel than in any other single day since the assaults began.
Hezbollah, a heavily militarized terrorist organization, holds a strong grip over southern Lebanon and began firing rockets into Israel a day after Hamas’ deadly October 7 attack. The IDF’s Arabic spokesperson Avichay Adraee announced on Saturday that about 80% of Hezbollah rockets launched from Lebanon fall within Lebanese territory.
Meanwhile, according to a report from Israeli media, the IDF Central Command is currently preparing for an attempt by Hezbollah, or other pro-Iranian militias, to infiltrate the Jordanian border into nearby Israeli communities. (NYP / VFI News)
“The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” – Psalm 94:21
Iran Speeding up Transfer of Precision Weapons to Terrorist Group Hezbollah: Report: Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism and the backer of the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon is reportedly speeding up its transfer of precision weapons to Hezbollah as Israel is rumored to be preparing for a war to protect itself in the north.
According to Missile Threat, Hezbollah already has 130,000 rockets and is considered the world’s most heavily armed non-state actor. As recently as Thursday, December 28, Hezbollah launched 50 rockets and missiles at northern Israel.
A recent poll found that a huge majority of Israelis (68%) support a military operation to remove Hezbollah from the Israel-Lebanon border.
At the beginning of November, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech in which he declared that there was no outside involvement from other governments in the Hamas massacre of Israelis on October 7, calling the United States “the Great Satan,” and making the incredible claim that the Israelis themselves were the perpetrators of the horrific, gruesome actions taken by the forces of Hamas.
In regards to Iran, which funds this terrorist group as well as Hamas, Nasrallah insisted, “They do not exercise any form of authority or mandate on these factions or in their command.” (DW / VFI News)
“Lord, we pray that You protect us from all neighboring countries and terrorist entities that wish to wreak havoc on Israeli soil and harm its citizens. We ask that You enable our military to follow the best course of action in this regard to protect our borders efficiently and capture all potential terrorists.”
Reports in Gaza: Right-Hand Man of Hamas ‘Engineer’ Eliminated: Palestinian Arab sources reported on Saturday night, December 30, that senior Hamas terrorist Abdel Fattah Ma’ali was eliminated in an air strike in the Gaza Strip.
Ma’ali was the right-hand man of Yahya Ayyash, who was nicknamed “The Engineer” and who was eliminated by Israel in 1996 using an explosive-laden cellular phone. Ma’ali assisted Ayyash in carrying out his attack in 1992.
Palestinian Arab media reported that Ma’ali managed to flee the IDF for years and had moved between Syria, Yemen, and Sudan – until he settled in Gaza in 2006 and gained a senior position in Hamas.
IDF troops have also eliminated Adil Mismah, the Nukhba Company Commander of Deir al-Balah. Mismah commanded in the field Nukhba terrorists who carried out the brutal attack on Kibbutz Kissufim during Hamas’ October 7 invasion and massacre in southern Israel.
He also directed Hamas terrorists to other communities in the area near the Gaza Strip, including Kibbutz Be’eri and Kibbutz Nirim. Later, he led combat against IDF troops in Gaza. (INN / VFI News)
“When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.” – Psalm 27:2
IDF Finds, Neutralizes Explosives in Gaza Kindergarten: During searches of residences used for terrorist activity on the outskirts of Shati in Gaza, IDF troops encountered a kindergarten where terrorist infrastructure – including explosive devices – had been assembled in anticipation of the troops’ activity. The soldiers neutralized the explosive devices.
Further, IDF troops identified four terrorists who were carrying explosive devices advancing toward them. An IAF aircraft thwarted the cell. Approximately half an hour later, the troops identified four additional terrorists in the area, who were subsequently targeted in an aerial strike.
Simultaneously, a vehicle with terrorists inside was identified approaching IDF troops in southern Gaza City. An aircraft struck the cell, resulting in the elimination of the terrorists. Furthermore, an IAF fighter jet, directed by IDF troops, struck a military compound from which terrorists had detonated an explosive device at IDF soldiers.
Additionally, during an IDF operation to thwart terror activity in Beit Lahia, the troops identified three Hamas terrorists entering a framed building. The troops then directed an IAF aircraft that struck the terrorists with precision. (INN / VFI News)
“God, we ask that You bring an end to the war so that we can rest in Your peace and rebuild our lives. We pray for all the innocent civilians in Gaza who are used as pawns and whose lives are endangered daily by the terrorists, and that civilian structures will not be used by terror groups. We thank You for the targeted elimination of terrorists and we pray that all terror activity will cease in Yeshua’s name!”
Israel Building Case Against Hamas Terrorists in Eichmann-esque Trial – Report: Israel is reportedly building a significant legal case against Hamas terrorists responsible for the October 7 massacre, similar to the charges heard in the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann back in the early 1960s.
This approach aims to establish the severe punishments that will be imposed on the surviving Hamas terrorists. American media revealed that investigators in the Israel Police and prosecution lawyers are compiling one of the most significant cases against Hamas terrorists who carried out the massacre on October 7.
According to the report, Israel is collecting numerous pieces of evidence, including testimonies of severe sexual assault, rape, burning of children, and dismemberment—all perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on that fateful Saturday.
Israeli authorities estimate that the construction of such a case will allow for the imposition of severe punishments on the surviving terrorists. “The investigation by Israel is expected to yield a trial that will be the most significant in the country since the early 1960s when Israel captured, tried, and executed Adolf Eichmann for his central role in the Holocaust,” the article stated.
“Israel has never dealt with crimes and investigations on such a scale,” said former deputy attorney general Roy Schondorf. “This will be one of the most important trials to take place in Israel.” (JPost / VFI News)
Hamas Leaders Lived Like Wealthy Celebrities in Gaza Terror Reign Before October 7 Massacre: It’s been a busy last few weeks for Israeli troops battling Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. In addition to uncovering large caches of munitions and complex tunnel networks beneath hospitals, UN facilities, and schools, soldiers have located the luxury residential complexes that until recently were homes to some of Hamas’ most senior – and, apparently, most pampered – Hamas leaders.
“It’s a neighborhood of homes belonging to Hamas leaders and very wealthy people,” Col. Elad Tzuri, commander of the IDF’s 7th Brigade, told American media in a phone interview from the neighborhood of Khan Younis, roughly 2 miles from the Mediterranean coast.
The commander described the neighborhood, which also included vacation homes of other Hamas leaders, as “fancy.” “The leaders lived here in very nice homes,” he said. “In the neighborhood where I am right now, we found the home of Gaza’s deputy prime minister. It’s a big and fancy house. …. They lived a fancy life here and were not ashamed of their wealth.”
“It looks like all of Hamas’ money goes either to their leaders or to terror,” he added. Michael Nahum, chief operating officer of the Center for Peace Communications, a D.C.-based think tank, told American media, “The more lavish homes in Khan Younis belonged to Hamas stalwarts and their families, many of whom are originally from there. The corruption of Hamas’ leadership class has been an open secret for years.”
He said Moaz Haniyeh, son of Hamas political bureau chairman Isma’il Haniyeh, even had a nickname of Abu al-Aqarat — Father of Properties — for his extensive real estate holdings in Gaza made possible by his father’s influence. Haniyeh, who lives in Qatar, is said to be worth billions. (FN / VFI News)
“Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.” – Proverbs 11:28
1,800% Surge in ‘Kill Jews’ Google Searches Globally: A recent study has uncovered a 1,800% increase in global Google searches for the term “kill Jews,” highlighting a severe and growing trend in antisemitic sentiments. This alarming statistic is part of a broader analysis conducted by the digital marketing platform Semrush and reported by a Middle-Eastern journal.
The study also revealed significant increases in other disturbing queries. Searches for “Hitler was right” rose by 122%, and terms associated with antisemitic rhetoric, such as “intifada revolution,” “From the river to the sea,” and “Glory to our martyrs,” saw search frequencies skyrocketing over 10,000%.
According to the report, these Google search trends offer a mirror of societal interests and biases. The sharp increase in antisemitic searches after October 7 suggests, according to the report, a worrying escalation in negative attitudes towards Jews.
In addition, according to the report, marked increases in antisemitic search terms have been observed in countries like France, Turkey, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
The terms “Intifada” and “From the river to the sea” have seen their highest increases in the UK, with a 4,500% rise in searches. (JPost / VFI News)
“Many have become my enemies without a cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.” – Psalm 38:19
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