VFI News IDF Discovers Tunnel Where Some 20 Hostages Were Held, Kills Palestinian IJ Leader

IDF Discovers Tunnels, Strikes Islamic Jihad Leader, and Alarming Rise in Antisematisim

IDF Discovers Tunnels, Strikes Islamic Jihad Leader, and Alarming Rise in Antisematisim

IDF Finds Tunnel in Khan Younis Where 20 Hostages Were Held in ‘Inhumane Conditions’

Troops of the Israel Defense Forces operating in the southern Gaza Strip recently uncovered a tunnel where Israeli hostages had been held by the Hamas terror group “in harsh and inhumane conditions,” the military revealed Saturday night, January 20.

In a press conference, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that through “precise intelligence,” soldiers had found an entrance to the vast tunnel network beneath the home of a Hamas commander in southern Gaza’s Khan Younis. He said troops battled Hamas gunmen as they first entered the tunnel, killing them.

“The tunnel was rigged with explosives and blast doors designed to protect the terrorists and prevent the advancement in finding our hostages,” Hagari said. Citing intelligence assessments, the IDF said Hamas invested millions of dollars in building the tunnel.

“After walking about a kilometer in the tunnel, at a depth of about 20 meters underground, the soldiers found a central chamber where, according to testimonies of hostages who returned from Gaza, we understand that they spent most of their time,” he said. No hostages were found in the tunnel when the troops arrived.

Some hostages previously held in the tunnel have already been released, he said, noting that the soldiers found drawings made by five-year-old Emilia Aloni, who was freed in November, among other evidence. Hagari said that further into the tunnel, troops found five narrow holding cells, each with a mattress and a toilet.

“According to the testimonies we have, about 20 hostages were held in this tunnel at different times under harsh conditions without daylight, in dense air with little oxygen, and terrible humidity that makes breathing difficult,” he said. (TOI / VFI News)

“Lord, we ask that You help our military forces retrieve all the remaining hostages currently held by Hamas. We pray continually for their overall health and well-being. We pray for an intervention that will result in all hostages returning home and reuniting with their loved ones.”

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.

IDF Strikes Islamic Jihad Leader Released in Gilad Schalit Deal

Deputy Head of Propaganda for terror organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad Wael Makin Abdallah Abu-Fanounah was targeted and killed by the IDF in an airstrike on Thursday, January 18, the military announced on Friday in a joint statement with the Israel Security Service (Shin Bet).

Fanounah was originally arrested in Israel on December 12, 1989, and was sentenced to three life sentences for his terrorist activities, but was released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Schalit prisoner deal. Fanounah then served as deputy to Khalil al-Hayya, the Northern Gaza Strip Commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Since 2017, before assuming his role as deputy head of the organization’s Propaganda Unit, Fanounah was responsible for producing terror videos related to rocket attacks on Israeli territory and creating and disseminating documentation of Israeli captives as part of the psychological warfare conducted by terror groups in Gaza against Israeli residents.

IDF ground troops and naval forces are continuing to conduct joint operational activity in the Gaza Strip, including precise airstrikes. Additionally, IDF naval forces are continuing to assist ground troops through strikes from the sea. In the central Gaza strip, IDF forces continued to conduct counterterrorism activity. (JPost / VFI News)

“And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” - Genesis 14:20

Iran Has Almost Enough Uranium for Nuclear Bomb, US Expert Reports

One of the world’s leading experts on nuclear weapons programs, American physicist David Albright, issued a report stating that Iran’s regime needs roughly a week to produce enough uranium for an atomic bomb. In his January 8 report titled “How quickly could Iran make nuclear weapons today?” Albright argues that “Iran can quickly make enough weapon-grade uranium for many nuclear weapons, something it could not do in 2003.

“Today, it would need only about a week to produce enough for its first nuclear weapon. It could have enough weapon-grade uranium for six weapons in one month, and after five months of producing weapon-grade uranium, it could have enough for twelve.”

After Albright published his article, Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the media that “Iran is the only non-nuclear weapon state which is enriching uranium at this very, very high level – very close to weapons grade.”

Also, on Thursday, January 18, he told French media that Iran is barely cooperating with his agency, which feels it is being held “hostage” to the country’s disputes with Western countries.

“It's a very frustrating situation. We continue our activities there, but at a minimum," Grossi said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “They are restricting cooperation in a very unprecedented way.” He cited as an example Iran’s rejection of inspectors because of their nationalities. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You prevent Iran from materializing its nuclear plans and potentially targeting and eliminating whole countries with its nuclear weapons. We pray that it remains unable to inflict any type of damage and that world leaders will manage to regulate the nuclear power it already possesses and stop it from increasing.”

Europe's Conditions for a Permanent Ceasefire

The European Parliament on Thursday, January 18, adopted a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas.

The non-binding, symbolic, resolution, was adopted by 312 votes in favor, 131 against, and 72 abstentions. The resolution consists of an amendment that states that the condition for the ceasefire is the dismantling of Hamas and the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages.

“Sustainable peace cannot exist as long as Hamas and other terrorist groups hijack the Palestinian cause and threaten the existence of Israel, the only democracy in the region,” Antonio López-Istúriz, an EPP lawmaker, said at the plenary.

EU lawmakers also condemned what they called Israel’s “disproportionate” response to Hamas’s massacre in which over 1200 people were murdered, expressing their “deep concern at the dire and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.”

They also voiced their support for a European initiative to resume the so-called two-state solution. (INN / VFI News)

WATCH: Joyful Gathering: Holocaust Survivors Embraced at the Millennium Center

Join us in commemorating strength and resilience at the Millennium Center, where Vision for Israel proudly honors Holocaust survivors. Despite challenging times, the event radiates joy and warmth as survivors, in their eighties and nineties, share their stories. Discover how Vision for Israel's donors' efforts provide tangible support, including winter blankets, showcasing the commitment to positively impacting the lives of these remarkable individuals. Your support makes these meaningful events possible—let's continue this journey of remembrance, hope, and celebration together.

North Korea Training, Providing Weapons to Hamas, Hezbollah, and Houthis - Report

During the war in Gaza, the IDF recovered large quantities of weapons from the Gaza Strip that apparently were produced in North Korea, as reported by the South Korean National Intelligence Service.

Since these weapons were seized, new information has been published revealing the current and historical relationship between North Korea and Hamas, as well as other terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Syria, and the Houthis, according to a study by the Stimson Research Institute.

On October 17, a senior official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed that “Hamas is believed to be directly or indirectly linked to North Korea militarily in various areas, such as the weapons trade, tactical guidance, and training.”

North Korea’s state media called the allegations that it arms Hamas “a groundless and false rumor.” It accused the US of creating the conspiracy to deflect from its own complicity in the Gaza war.

However, this statement was undermined by the North Korean F-7 rocket-propelled grenades from Hamas’s arsenal that were captured by Israeli forces. In addition, Israeli forces found North Korean Bang-122 artillery shells on the Israel-Gaza border, and a Hamas-aligned terrorist group in Gaza possesses North Korean-made 122-mm multiple rocket launchers.

North Korea has a long history of partnership with Iran and Syria, detailed in the Stimson report, and as a result, its military technology has reached Iran’s terrorist proxies, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis. (JPost / VFI News)

“The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” - Psalm 94:21

Antisemitic Incidents More than Doubled in 2023, Highest Annual Surge - Report

The Secure Community Network (SCN) has reported a record-breaking 112% increase in antisemitic incidents in North America for the year 2023, marking the highest surge in such incidents ever recorded by the organization on Thursday, January 18.

2023 witnessed a dramatic escalation in antisemitic activities, with the SCN documenting 5,404 incidents. This figure more than doubles the incidents reported in 2022, indicating a significant and concerning upward trend in hate crimes against the Jewish community.

The report reveals that December 2023 was a particularly alarming period, with the highest number of monthly incidents recorded in SCN’s history. This surge in incidents included a wave of swatting and false bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions.

Examples of this surge can also be displayed in 2024; on Monday, January 15, a video of The People’s Forum (TPF) executive director Manolo De Los Santos speaking at an event in New York went viral, “When we finally deal that final blow to destroy Israel, when the state of Israel is finally destroyed and erased from history, that will be the single most important blow we can give to destroying capitalism and imperialism in our lifetime,” De Los Santos said.

In response to this speech, Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) wrote a letter to Goldman Sachs, which has signed checks for $20 million to TPF, calling on the organization to cut ties with De Los Santos and TPF, American media reported. (JPost / VFI News)

“Many have become my enemies without cause; those who hate me without reason are numerous.” - Psalm 38:19

Second Israeli Soccer Player Detained in Turkey over Support for Hostages

Eden Kartsev was detained on Monday night, January 15, by Istanbul police after being reported for a social media post in which he showed solidarity with the hostages in Gaza. Kartsev was released after giving a statement and is expected to return to Israel.

He reposted an image from another account which marked 100 days since the hostages were taken by Hamas with the hashtag “BringThemHomeNow”, according to a Turkish state broadcaster. He plays for Istanbul’s Bashakshehir F.K., which has announced that he will be investigated for “violating the sensibilities of the country” and may receive disciplinary action.

Karsev is the second Israeli player in the Turkish league to be detained by police and vilified in Turkish media, with the event happening the same day compatriot Sagiv Yehezkel was suspended from his club, Antalyaspor, and detained by Turkish police.

This has been amplified by Turkish President Erdogan’s decision to side with Hamas against Israel, leading to a complete freezing in relations between Israel and Turkey.

Meanwhile, it has been reported by Israeli media that Israel and Qatar have included the transfer of life-saving medicine to the hostages in the Gaza Strip during a last round of talks. After more than 100 days, medications for asthma, diabetes, nearsightedness, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, and endocrine diseases are expected to be transferred and reach the hostages. (JPost / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray for the protection of the Israeli soccer players in Turkey. We ask that You help them decide on their soccer career in Turkey and bring them back to Israel safely. We also pray against any other antisemitic activity against Israelis and the Jewish people around the world and we ask for Your supernatural protection over them.”

Israeli Institute Finds New Effective Cancer Treatment Using Immune Cells

Winning on the battlefield takes a combination of determined soldiers and precise intelligence, but when it comes to the battle against cancer, the immune system’s fighters – the T cells – quickly lose their ability to kill and become exhausted, while the intelligence-providing dendritic cells (DCs) are scarce.

Now, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot have discovered a new kind of immunotherapy based on intercommunication among different immune cells. They say this technique could pave the way for innovative treatments of cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The effectiveness of this new treatment was tested in several mouse models of cancer, including aggressive breast, lung, and skin cancers. Treatment with the new antibody, as compared to the existing treatment, significantly reduced the growth rate of skin and lung cancers.

In contrast, breast tumors that did not respond to the existing treatment also failed to respond to the new antibody. Researchers believe this is because of the very small number of active dendritic cells around these tumors. Therefore, they tried combining their new antibody with an existing treatment that enhances the activity of dendritic cells around the growth.

This combined treatment was found to be more effective than the existing options. It proved that even in cancers that had not responded to immunotherapy until now, the synergy between T cells and active dendritic cells creates a powerful immune response against the tumor. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for gifting us brilliant scientists who research and develop groundbreaking technologies to heal cancer. We are extremely grateful for them, and we hope that this recent medical discovery will pave the way for the quick and painless elimination of all types of cancer and autoimmune diseases.”

The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.

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