VFI News Since October 7, 822 Civilians and 711 Security Personnel Have Been Killed

Hostage Situation: Hamas's Deceitful Tactics and Cruelty | VFI News

Today we explore the current Situation in Israel, the IDF Operation in Rafah, Hostage Situation, Civilian Casualties and Moral Responsibility, Humanitarian Aid and Crossings, U.S. Military Support and Public Relations, Incidents in Northern Israel, Protests and Vandalism, Economic Issues in Israel, and Positive News amidst difficult times.

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822 Civilians Murdered, 711 Security Forces Killed Since the Beginning of the War

The Defense Ministry and the National Insurance Institute of Israel said on Thursday, May 9, that since the beginning of the war on October 7, 822 civilians were murdered, and 711 soldiers, police officers, and Shin Bet personnel were killed.

The total number of fallen security personnel in Israel’s wars since the establishment of the Jewish State stands at 25,034, and the death toll of civilians from terror attacks stands at 5,100.

Following the war, 1,294 bereaved parents, 248 widows, 520 orphans, and 2,174 bereaved siblings joined the bereaved families. Those killed in enemy actions left behind 630 orphans, 177 widows, 1,355 siblings, and 693 bereaved parents.

Since the last Memorial Day, 760 soldiers, including war casualties, and 61 disabled IDF veterans have been added to the fallen.

During the Hamas terror attack on October 7, 201 civilians were abducted, not including security personnel and reservists. 106 civilians were returned from captivity in Gaza to Israel, and 30 kidnapped civilians are classified as murdered, with eight of them buried in Israel. Currently, 132 hostages remain in Hamas’s captivity, including 65 civilians. (YNet / VFI News)

“God, we pray for all the families that have been afflicted by the war, and have been grief-stricken since. We know that You are always near the needy, the oppressed, the captives, and the brokenhearted and we pray that You provide all their needs, and comfort them in Yeshua’s name. May You prevent more losses, bring back all our hostages, and help us live in the land You have given us in peace, love, and harmony.”

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

‘Israel Deeply Frustrated with US Arms Shipment Pause’: Israeli Official

An Israeli official told American media there is deep frustration in the Israeli government over the decision by the Biden Administration to halt an arms shipment destined for Israel.

The official added that tensions had already been running high after Israel felt the US allowed it to be blindsided by Hamas’ announcement earlier this week that it was accepting a version of a cease-fire proposal that was unknown to Israel beforehand.

A senior US administration official confirmed to American media on Tuesday, May 7, that the US paused a shipment of bombs to Israel last week over concerns that Israel was approaching a decision on launching a full-scale assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Further, US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he would halt shipments of American weapons to Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders a major invasion of the city of Rafah.

“Civilians have been killed in Gaza as a consequence of those bombs and other ways in which they go after population centers,” Biden said, referring to 2,000-pound bombs that Biden paused shipments of last week.

“I made it clear that if they go into Rafah – they haven’t gone in Rafah yet – if they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities – that deal with that problem.” He added that while the US would continue to provide defensive weapons to Israel, including for its Iron Dome air defense system, other shipments would end should a ground invasion of Rafah begin. (INN / VFI News)

“Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.” - Revelation 6:4

Hamas Accepted a Vastly Different Ceasefire-Hostage Deal from the One Israel Had Approved

Citing Israeli officials, American media reported that Jerusalem was caught by surprise when Hamas suddenly announced on Monday, May 6, its acceptance of a three-phase deal for a ceasefire and hostages-for-prisoners swap, from Egypt and Qatar.

The Hamas ceasefire proposal took Israel by “complete surprise,” an Israeli source told Israeli media on Tuesday. Israel was not made aware of the document nor did it see its contents until after Hamas made its announcement to the media.

An Israeli official additionally said soon after that the deal was not acceptable to Israel because the terms it had previously approved had been “softened.” Washington was aware of the new proposal presented to Hamas by Arab mediators in recent days but failed to inform Israel about it, triggering intense Israeli disappointment.

The specifics set out by Hamas on Monday differ in numerous regards from the reported terms of what the US hailed a week ago as an “extremely generous” Israeli offer.

Among the differences: The Hamas proposal would see the release of 33 Israeli hostages, alive or dead, whereas the Israeli text requires the release of 33 living hostages; the Hamas proposal removes the veto Israel demanded on the release of certain Palestinian security prisoners, and raises the number of Palestinian security prisoners to be freed; the Hamas proposal provides for the free movement of Gazans back to the north of the strip, without security checks as required by Israel to prevent Hamas gunmen returning.

The Hamas proposal also changes the timing of hostage releases within the phases and some of the specifics on Israeli troop withdrawals. It also demands the release of all Palestinian security who were freed in the 2011 Shalit prisoner deal and have since been re-arrested. (TOI / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray that You help us reach peace and get our hostages back in Yeshua’s name. We are deeply saddened to see the vast loss of human lives, as well as the plots and schemes that the terrorists utilize to obscure the truth and evade a permanent solution. May You give our leaders a sound mind to do what is best for all the people residing in our country and may You comfort them during this trying time.”

IDF Announces Soldier Killed in Hezbollah Attack on Army Post in North

An Israeli soldier was killed in a Hezbollah-claimed mortar and missile attack on an army position in the area of the northern community of Malkia on Wednesday, May 8, the military announced on Thursday.

The slain soldier was named as Staff Sgt. Haim Sabach, 20, of the Border Defense Corps’ 869th Combat Intelligence Collection Unit, from Holon. Another soldier was lightly hurt in the attack, the IDF added.

The Hezbollah terror group claimed responsibility for launching anti-tank guided missiles and mortars from Lebanon at army positions in the Malkia area. In response to the attack, the IDF said it had carried out several waves of strikes against Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah announced the death of two members and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced the deaths of three members in Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon. Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

The skirmishes on the border have resulted in nine civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 14 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we pray for the family of Staff Sgt. Haim Sabach who was killed on Wednesday. May You comfort them, give them peace, and engulf them in Your limitless Love during this tense period of grief. We also pray for all the families that have lost their loved ones due to the Hezbollah terrorists and we ask that they be delivered to justice and stop committing such heinous crimes.”

WATCH: Lecha Dodi by Barry & Batya Segal

Discover the profound beauty of 'Lecha Dodi,' a cherished Jewish tradition that invites us to embrace the sanctity of Shabbat. The refrain, 'Let us go, my beloved, to greet the bride/the Sabbath presence, let us welcome,' echoes the heartfelt request of Israel's 'beloved' (God) to unite in welcoming the 'bride' (the Sabbath). This poetic composition, originating in the 16th century by Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, draws inspiration from the Song of Songs and the Prophets, symbolizing the relationship between the Jewish people and God. Join us on a journey that culminates in a powerful call for Messianic deliverance and the celebration of the great Shabbat.

Iran Says It Will Change Nuclear Doctrine and Build Bombs If Existence Threatened

Iran will have to change its nuclear doctrine if Israel threatens its existence, an adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Sayyid Kamal Kharrazi said, raising fresh concerns about an Iranian nuclear weapon.

“We have no decision to build a nuclear bomb, but should Iran’s existence be threatened, there will be no choice but to change our military doctrine,” Kharrazi said, as reported by Iranian media on Thursday, May 9, adding that Tehran has already signaled it has the potential to build such weapons.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banned the development of nuclear weapons in a fatwa in the early 2000s, reiterating his stance in 2019 by saying: “Building and stockpiling nuclear bombs is wrong and using it is haram (religiously forbidden)… Although we have nuclear technology, Iran has firmly avoided it.”

However, Iran’s then-intelligence minister said in 2021 that Western pressure could push Tehran to seek nuclear weapons. “In the case of an attack on our nuclear facilities by the Zionist regime (Israel), our deterrence will change,” Kharrazi, who is a former foreign minister, added in the remarks published Thursday. (TOI / VFI News)

“Our Heavenly Father, we ask for Your protection against a nuclear threat. We pray in Yeshua’s name that Iran will not be able to develop nuclear weapons and that all nations that are currently in possession of such weapons will not use them for evil purposes. May You save us and all the Middle East from such a horrifying possibility according to Your Will in Heaven.”

UNRWA Caught Stealing, Selling Humanitarian Aid - UN Watch

UNRWA has been caught stealing and then selling humanitarian aid that came into Gaza that was intended to be given to Palestinian civilians, UN Watch reported on Wednesday, May 8, citing reports published by Palestinians in “an UNRWA-related chatroom.”

The Watch report also claims that those who report UNRWA’s actions with the humanitarian aid “face reprisals.” According to the report, Palestinians claimed that staff working for the UN agency “have their homes full of aid.”

Additionally, a UNRWA warehouse chief sold 50 cartons of food for $5,000. Items such as Pampers, canned sweets, and tissues were sold at a UNRWA school door. This comes amid a statement by UNRWA Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini, who was quoted in the UN Watch report saying “There is more food available… it still does not mean that the food is accessible” as he was calling countries to increase direct cash assistance to Gazans.

Former UNRWA employee Haitham al-Sayyed ran the chatroom that exposed the agency’s theft and selling of aid. The UN Watch reported that he had “created several chat rooms for staff and educators to share posts, many of which feature antisemitism, incitement to hatred and Jihadi terrorism” during the nearly two decades he worked for the agency. (JPost / VFI News)

IDF Says Kerem Shalom Crossing Reopened to Gaza Aid, Days After Attack Forced Closure

Israel on Wednesday, May 8, reopened a key crossing with the southern Gaza Strip for humanitarian aid deliveries after it was shuttered days earlier following a deadly Hamas rocket attack.

The move was made after the White House said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised President Joe Biden during a call Monday that he would reopen the Kerem Shalom Crossing. Four soldiers were killed and 10 were wounded in the rocket strike from Gaza on a staging ground near the crossing on Sunday.

The Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, which according to the Israeli military, was launched from an area near Gaza’s Rafah Crossing with Egypt.

The Defense Ministry’s COGAT (Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories) liaison unit said Kerem Shalom Crossing was reopened Wednesday morning for trucks to enter Gaza, per the “directives of the political echelon.”

COGAT said that the aid trucks, which come from Egypt, undergo Israeli inspection at Kerem Shalom before entering the Strip, as they have in recent months. (TOI / VFI News)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:43-45a

Antifa’s Pro-Palestinians Set Fire to 15 Portland Police Vehicles Targeted in May Day Attack

An Antifa anarchist movement-associated anti-Israel militant group on Monday, May 6, claimed responsibility for the arson of 15 Portland Police Bureau training vehicles in a “preemptive May Day attack” on law enforcement to protect the pro-Palestinian encampment occupying the facilities at the Portland State University (PSU).

A group calling itself Rachel Corrie’s Ghost Brigade issued a statement on the Antifa-affiliated Rose City Counter-Info blog, in which it called for an escalation in violence on behalf of Palestinians. The Rachel Corrie Foundation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“We call for more actions to avenge Palestinians and the brutalized students at PSU and beyond!” said the brigade. “Let 10 million cop cars burn!” The so-called brigade, named for a pro-Palestinian who was killed when she placed herself in the path of a D9 bulldozer in Rafah in 2003, claimed that they had committed the arson because they believed that the PSU encampment would be cleared by law enforcement.

The group said that last Thursday, they had cut through the fence of a police training facility and set 10 fires that spread to 15 vehicles. Portland Police said that some of the vehicles were destroyed and some damaged.

Thirty activists were arrested by the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) last Thursday, including at least six students, when they cleared the anti-Israel occupation of the university’s library. Portland State University Officers arrested one person and detained another for a police mental health hold.

PPB said that they were seeking 18 other activists, many of whom had been armed with makeshift shields and had fled the library after the days-long occupation. One of the activists who was arrested allegedly deployed a fire extinguisher at an officer as they navigated through the library, which was full of barricaded doors and floors made slick with soap and paint. (JPost / VFI News)

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

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