Overnight between Friday and Saturday, IDF forces entered the Gaza Strip as the Air Force continued to pound aerial targets. Prime Minister Netanyahu in a statement Sunday morning called the “Swords of Iron” war Israel’s “second War of Independence.” This is a heavy comparison to make, since the War of Independence was Israel’s longest war ever fought on its own territory and had one of the highest numbers of casualties.

Although the initial forces which entered Gaza were somewhat limited, the IDF already reports a successful campaign. The information available to the public is still limited, but one achievement which has been published is the destruction of terror tunnels built deep underground.

Israel has officially notified the families of 230 hostages, including 30 captives under the age of 18 and 20 who are elderly. Many of the hostages are also injured. Hamas has offered to release most of the hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, but it is crucial to remember that Hamas is a terrorist organization which would like to appear humane in the eyes of international actors.

Internationally, anti-Semitism continues to rise. In New York City, pro-Palestinian protesters temporarily shut down the Brooklyn Bridge. Turkey’s President Erdogan accused Israel of “war crimes” while ignoring the obvious war crimes of Hamas and criticizing Western powers for their support of Israel. At the end of last week, Israel called its diplomats to Turkey home saying it will reconsider its relationship with the other state.

Please pray for the success of Israel’s ground operation in Gaza. Please continue to pray for protection over Israeli soldiers and civilians in the line of fire. Lastly, please continue to pray against the rise of anti-Israel sentiment and anti-Semitism around the world.

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