VFI News UNRWA Teacher Held Citizen Hostage Since Oct. 7, Explosives Found Inside UNRWA Bags

War May Continue for Years to Come, Warns Senior Israeli Official | VFI News

Get a comprehensive overview of Israel's current affairs in this VFI News recap. Uncover the latest on the ongoing Gaza battles, escalating tensions with Iran, and the far-reaching global impact.

Get exclusive insights into the political, economic, and military developments, issuing a warning that the current conflict may extend for years.

Stay informed with this in-depth recap of the region's dynamic situation.




Happy New Year!

With 2024 almost upon us, we would like to wish all of our readers a blessed New Year, filled with unexpected miracles and joyous occasions. May the Lord bless you and your families with good health, peace, and prosperity, and may He fill your hearts with love and happiness. We are looking forward to experiencing the new year together with you and we are humbly grateful for your consistent presence and support.

Gaza Resident Tells IDF: Hamas Has Control of UNRWA in Gaza

A resident of the Gaza Strip told the IDF that the Hamas terrorist organization directly controls the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), American media reported.

In a recording obtained by the news outlet, the man stated that “the situation is terrible because the humanitarian people, those responsible for the humanitarian aid, are thieves.” He further stated that “Hamas has their hands on UNRWA administration workers, and it manages UNRWA,” and that Hamas ensures its own operatives receive any aid first before it is distributed to the civilians of Gaza as intended.

The IDF stated that the conversation was recorded when an IDF officer was delivering warnings to civilians in Gaza where they should evacuate to escape the fighting between Israel and Hamas, and where to go to receive humanitarian aid.

UNRWA has long been criticized for its cooperation with Hamas, antisemitic incitement, and employment of Hamas terrorists. It has been revealed that a teacher employed by UNRWA held one of the hostages kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 massacre in an attic for 50 days without proper food or medical care.

On Monday, December 25, the IDF reported that dozens of explosive devices were found inside UNRWA bags during operational activity in the area of the “Al Rafaa” and “Zavaha” schools in Tuffah in the northern Gaza Strip. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we pray that the innocent Gazan civilians will receive the humanitarian aid that is intended for them and that the terrorists will leave them alone. We pray that you would stop UNRWA’s cooperation with terrorists and that no civilian cooperates with Hamas in holding hostages.”

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 Reveals: Weapons Hidden Beneath Children's Blankets

The IDF has discovered weapons hidden beneath children’s blankets and Israeli license plates found by the 931st Battalion during an operation in Daraj Tuffah, in the northern Gaza Strip.

In recent days, the 931st Battalion and the Nahal Brigade forces killed many terrorists in close-quarters combat in the Tuffah area in the northern Gaza Strip.

Due to the high number of close-quarters combat and the presence of many terrorists and weapons, the forces carried out an operation in the area. Inside a children’s bedroom in a civilian house, the forces discovered dozens of Kalachnikovs, grenades, Bazukas, RPG rocket heads, and Israeli license plates.

“The weapons found are further proof of Hamas’ attempt at hiding weapons and terror activity behind civilian population and infrastructure,” the IDF stressed.

Last week, in an operation to clear out the neighborhoods west of Gaza City, IDF soldiers from the Yiftah (11th) Brigade discovered weapons hidden in children’s dolls and under children’s beds. (INN / VFI News)

“Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.” - Psalm 55:10

Robert Kraft: Antisemitism in US Really Scary, Hate Leads to Violence

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft warned that the rise of antisemitic hate in recent months will likely lead to violence.

Speaking to American media on Monday, December 25, Kraft, who is Jewish, said: “If we don’t do a good job of controlling it, I think hate leads to violence. And what we’re seeing going on in this country now is really scary to me.”

He warned that while “most people are good, but when you start seeing hate and it starts with Jewish hate, there will be hate against all minorities.”

Kraft said that since the Hamas massacre of 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7, his Foundation to Combat Antisemitism has been combating online misinformation about the war between Israel and Hamas.

“50 percent of what’s being spread is lies and not accurate, and young people unfortunately are believing,” he said. Kraft explained that he himself has experienced antisemitism.

“I had people who didn’t want to do business with me. They thought I had horns in my head. They had never met someone from my background and it just allows you to work harder.” (INN / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray that You soften the hardened hearts of people worldwide and that You protect Jews and Israelis from hate. We wish to live in a world where love and peace prevail and in which everyone can coexist cordially. May You help all of us to love our neighbors and protect us from hateful acts and antisemitism.”

Muslim Girl Tells Rabbi Shmuley 'Go Kill Yourself' in Times Square

A Muslim girl who claimed to be eleven years old told American Orthodox Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to “kill himself” in a video that has gone viral on social media.

The incident occurred on Christmas Eve, December 24, in Times Square in New York City, as anti-Israel activists attempted to ‘cancel Christmas’ in midtown. The girl approached Rabbi Boteach and told him that if he had a problem with ‘Free Palestine,’ “go kill yourself.”

The girl’s mother supported her daughter’s antisemitism when Rabbi Boteach said that he would report the incident to the police, and the girl declared that she was “not sorry” for calling for his death.

Rabbi Boteach wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “An ‘11-year-old’ Muslim girl with her family walked over to me in Times Square and told me to kill myself because I’m a Jew. I am not making this up. You must watch this.”

“They then had their small child kick me to humiliate me while their daughter continued to say that I should kill myself. Identify who these people are. Also, other passersby yelled at me that she’s white, and I should kill myself as a Jew. All of this happened right in the middle of New York City the night before Christmas.”

The following day, a mob of about 500 anti-Israel activists gathered at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and chanted “Christmas is canceled here” and “long live the Intifada.” The protestors brought with them a mock Nativity scene colored red. (INN / VFI News)

“Rescue me from the mire, do not let me sink; deliver me from those who hate me, from the deep waters.” - Psalm 69:14

WATCH: Restoring Hope: Vision for Israel's Impactful Year in Crisis Response and Relief Efforts

Explore the remarkable achievements of Vision for Israel in 2023, a year marked by both tragedy and triumph. From strategically placed safety shelters to equipping defense squads, providing ambulances, and supporting rescue organizations, our collective efforts have touched countless lives in the face of adversity. Join us in reflecting on a year of faith, action, and unwavering support for the people of Israel, as we continue to make a difference in the lives affected by crises.

20% of Young Americans View Osama Bin Laden in a ‘Positive’ Light: Poll

Around 20% of young Americans view Osama Bin Laden — the mastermind behind the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history — in a positive light, according to a new Daily Mail poll.

The poll, which surveyed voters between 18 and 29 years old, also found that around 30% of the young Americans believe the views that guided Bin Laden were a “force for good.”

Of the 18-29-year-olds surveyed in the poll, 8% said they had a “completely positive” view of Bin Laden while another 12% said they had a “somewhat positive” view of the infamous terrorist. Among those who viewed Bin Laden positively, 8% said both his “views and actions” were good, and 23% said his views were good but his actions were bad.

Eighty-one percent of those polled overall held a negative view of Bin Laden. The poll results come a month after viral TikTok videos showed young Americans discussing Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” and sympathizing with the al-Qaeda leader after reading it.

The letter outlines Bin Laden’s justification for the 9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Terry Strada, whose husband died in the North Tower on 9/11, told the news outlet that the poll results are a “horrifying” and “disturbing” sign that terrorism is being “normalized” in the U.S. (DW / VFI News)

“God, we pray for the younger generation that they will gain discernment, critical thinking, and compassion. We ask that You allow every citizen to be adequately educated on important matters and speak from a place of empathy, without tolerating terrorism. We pray that the younger generations will condemn all its forms, and will eventually accomplish the complete eradication of terrorism.”

Israeli Chefs Bring a Taste of Home to Displaced Israelis

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war, some 200,000 Israelis from northern and southern Israel have been evacuated from their homes and are being hosted in hotels across the country. An American news outlet’s employees visited three of those hotels, where it was immediately evident that these displaced people are yearning for home comforts – especially homemade meals.

At the Ibis, the Lady Stern, and the Herbert Samuel hotels, all in West Jerusalem, the chefs are dedicated to offering menus and meals that evoke the tastes and memories of their guests’ home cuisines.

Khalil Adila, the Lady Stern Hotel’s head chef, said that among the displaced people in the hotel are many of Moroccan Jewish descent. He said he learned to prepare their comfort meals, particularly emphasizing the significance of fish made traditionally for their Friday evening meals.

Khalil said the guests showed heartfelt gratitude when they received their familiar dish. “When we made the recipe for them, they ended up clapping for us, and they felt like they were home for once. You can say they were very satisfied with the meal,” he said.

Noam Nitzan, executive chef at both Ibis hotels in West Jerusalem, explained that a hotel needed to prepare three meals a day for more than 160 displaced people.

“The base includes couscous, fish balls with oriental sauce, and shawarma,” he said. “They crave a diverse array of dishes, not fixating on one item, but schnitzel, our chicken cutlets, is a consistent favorite. It undeniably stands as their go-to comfort food.” (JPost / VFI News)

“For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” - 1 John 3:11

Investment in Israeli Tech Firms Slumps 56%, Hit by Political Upheaval and Hamas War

Fundraising by Israeli tech startups and companies plunged 56 percent this year, compared with the same period in 2022, as the sector grappled with political uncertainty around the judicial overhaul and the outbreak of the war with the Hamas terror group.

Local startups raised a total of $6.9 billion in 2023, similar to the levels recorded in 2018 and 2019, according to annual preliminary data put together by research center IVC and Leumitech, a Leumi banking arm that specializes in banking for tech companies.

The number of deals slumped 44% year-on-year, with 392 funding transactions recorded throughout 2023, marking the lowest figure since at least 2015, the data showed. Full annual data on the Israeli tech sector is expected to be released in January.

In the last quarter of the year, fundraising by Israeli startups fell 15% to $1.45 billion compared with the previous quarter before the start of the fighting. The number of deals slowed, with 75 transactions recorded during the last three months of the year, a decline of 17% versus the previous quarter.

At the same time, the Gaza war did not appear to deter foreign investors from continuing to back local tech companies. Foreign investors’ share in funding Israeli tech companies in the fourth quarter increased at a relative rate, following the trend from the beginning of the year. Against this, the participation of local investors in funding deals declined during the same period. The local tech sector relies heavily on foreign capital, largely American. (TOI / VFI News)

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” - Jeremiah 29:11

Reservists Find Perfectly Preserved, 1,500-year-old Oil Lamp

Two IDF reservists recently discovered a 1,500-year-old, well-preserved pottery oil lamp from the Byzantine period in the mud of a Gaza staging area. They handed it over to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which awarded them with a certificate for good citizenship.

Reservists Natanel Melchior and Alon Segev from the 404th battalion of the 282nd Artillery Brigade were wandering in the field when they came upon a piece of pottery stuck upside down whose round shape attracted them. “It was covered in mud,” Melchior recalled. “I cleaned it, and after I realized that it might be something special, I called the Antiquities Authority.”

According to Sara Tal, the IAA’s archaeologist in the Western Negev region, it is a pottery lamp from the Byzantine period known as a ‘sandal lamp.’ It was commonly used for light and made in a pattern typical of the lowland region and southern Israel near the Gaza Strip.

“The war has led to extraordinary situations – also on the archaeological front,” commented IAA director Eli Escuzido. “The Land of Israel, and in particular the surrounding area, is full of history and ancient findings, and we cooperate with the IDF to preserve them even in a war situation. I am happy that the ancient lamp also brought enlightenment to the soldiers, and I congratulate them for their vigilance and their show of good citizenship.”

“I remind everyone that, in the event of finding an ancient artifact, it is important to leave it in place and call the IAA staffers to come and examine it so that our researchers will be able to extract as much information as possible from the find about the site where it was discovered.” (JPost / VFI News)

“Lord, we thank you for this extraordinary archeological finding, especially at this significant time. Thank you for reminding us and the world about the presence of Your Light in the darkest places. We pray that You bring a swift end to this war and that You would continue to shine Your light in the dark places and bring our hostages home.”

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

Want to see more from VFI? Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visionforisrael and hit “like” if you like us!