Update No. 20

While writing an Update about the Lebanon border, I received new details on what is happening on the northern border.

Until today (Dec. 21, 2023), there have been fairly heavy explosions all the time, and Israel has returned fire directly to the sources of the shelling, with a mission of not escalating the fighting.

By way of background, it should be emphasized that Hezbollah is not a ragtag group of terrorist fighters; they are a professional terrorist army using precision missiles and other high-quality weaponry supplied by Iran. They have years of experience in shedding innocent blood and terrorizing civilians both in Israel and Lebanon. They are also responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of civilians in Syria. Hezbollah forces are entrenched in the mountainous region just beyond Israel’s northern border, with a network of tunnels that are better protected than those built by Hamas in Gaza.

In addition, Hezbollah has been joined by Hamas, which sent fighters to attack Israeli civilians and homes from Lebanese soil. Together they use the terrorist tactic of hiding among civilians. Their tunnels and missiles are deliberately placed in and under Lebanese villages.

For this reason, Israel has been trying to avoid hitting the civilian population in Lebanon, so that the conflict will not intensify. But as of today, the shooting from Lebanon has sharply increased anyway.

Since this afternoon, it has been almost impossible to even use many of the roads both in the Galilee and on the Golan Heights. The evil terrorists are firing missiles at any point of light they can spot in the nighttime darkness. They also have access to Iranian-made drones, which they are using to drop explosives on Israeli towns.

The USA and France are trying to defuse the violence on the Lebanese side. According to an agreement formalized between Lebanon and Israel years ago, after the Lebanon War, Hezbollah was required to evacuate to the other side of the Litany River (20 km / 12 miles north of the Israeli border). Being the lawless group that it is, Hezbollah disregarded that order, and the Lebanese government was powerless to enforce it. So were the so-called peacekeeping forces of UNIFIL, which are ignored by Hezbollah.

Israel has no illusions that any international efforts will succeed. Hezbollah takes orders only from Iran, just like Hamas in Gaza, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Houthis are a new enemy. Although they were never interested in the Palestinian cause, they are threatening to send thousands of their soldiers to fight against Israel in “solidarity with Gaza”. For now, however, they are content to “only” fire Iranian-made missiles – sometimes towards Eilat (a distance of 2000 km / 1240 miles), but mostly at commercial ships trying to pass Yemen on their way to the Suez Canal. It’s noteworthy that they aren’t just attacking ships destined for Israel, but also any Western vessel headed for Europe or North America. The Houthis are carrying out Iran’s goal to disrupt the global economy, using Israel’s war as the pretext.

The situation for Israelis was already stressful as it was. Besides the 120,000 Israelis evacuated from the south near Gaza, there are 60,000 northern residents, including children, women and the elderly, who were forced to leave their homes and scatter to various cities and towns across Israel. The children of course have had their education disrupted, and despite attempts to organize classes for them, they are robbed of the sense of stability that children need.

Because of the missile attacks, most northern farmers are unable to tend their fields, orchards, vineyards, and greenhouses. Those farms that have livestock (cows, sheep, chickens, and more) are in worse shape. One of the most urgent needs has been to gather eggs every day from the laying hens. Yesterday evening, I was approached with a request to find volunteers for this task.

The agricultural laborers, most of whom are foreigners who came to Israel for the economic opportunities, understandably don’t want to work in these areas. The Israeli youth, who would have been willing to volunteer on the farms, have largely been called up for IDF duty. Thus, some of the farmers have refused to leave, preferring to risk death or injury in order to keep things going. And quite a few have been injured by the explosions while trying to work.

Yet with all the suffering caused by the displacement, the residents of the North are determined not to return to their homes until Hezbollah is eliminated. They know full well that otherwise, the horrific massacre of October 7 that took place on the Gaza border could someday happen to them.


And what of Israel’s ancient and modern heartland? Even before October 7, there were increasing security problems in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. Since that awful day, the situation in the central region has become more complex. Since many of the Israeli men have been sent to fight on the northern and southern fronts, the defense of the communities in Judea and Samaria for the last two months has fallen to the women (who are also caring for their children alone) and the men who are too old to be drafted. The IDF has raided known Hamas centers like Jenin, arresting the leaders in an effort to prevent another battle front from forming. But Hamas is strongly supported by the Palestinian civilians, with Mahmoud Abbas openly declaring Hamas to be an essential partner of the Palestinian Authority. Accordingly, Israeli soldiers are conducting drills in Judea-Samaria, modeled after the October 7 attacks.

Worldwide Antisemitism

The anti-Semitic hatred in the world is steadily increasing, be it in the self-important universities or the “refined” circles of influence. It’s discouraging and shocking, given that this ugly attitude is taking over many intellectuals and blinding them with hate. Many of the believers in the Creator are falling for rumors that many of these haters are changing their minds and becoming lovers of the GOD of Israel; this is a deliberate deception. The believers must unite and stand firm against the evil.

In short, the picture is worrying in every direction. But – GOD!! We are likely approaching the End of Days, and it remains to be seen how He will respond to “all My wicked neighbors who do harm to the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel.” (Jer. 12:14) He has promised to punish and humiliate those “who appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with contempt of soul, in order to make its pastureland plunder.” (Ezek. 36:5) If this is part of “the time of Jacob’s distress,” then the LORD of all the earth will save Israel from it (Jer. 30:7).

Every believer who knows the Word of GOD recognizes these promises that were given to the people of Israel. Every believer needs to convince another believing friend to stand by Israel’s side in prayer and practical support.

That help, which is so important right now, requires giving with the hands and with the heart. Let us learn from what Judah said to Joseph, which proved that the brothers had changed: “For your servant accepted responsibility for the boy [Benjamin]…” (Gen. 44:32) The Hebrew word meant that he “became a guarantee” for his youngest brother. The Creator is watching all of us who believe in Him – hoping to see not just unity, but personal responsibility.

This is a time to stand together with the Sabra Fund on behalf of Israel. Please join the circle of support, and help to enlarge it.

May the blessings of the Most High be upon you, your family, and your congregation.

From the land of Zion and the city of Jerusalem, Your brother in faith,


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