As many of you know, last night, two hostages were let go. Elana and I watched on television as one of them, Yocheved Lifshitz (85), told of being put on a motorcycle—not seated but slumped over. The wheelchair-bound Liphshitz said, “I was taken, with my legs on one side and my head on the other” of the motorcycle. The terrorists “flew through the fields” back toward Gaza. She was beaten with sticks, “not breaking my ribs” but “hurting me badly and making it hard for me to breathe.”
She was taken to Gaza and went through a maze of tunnels. While she said she was treated well in captivity, she was beaten by those who kidnapped her. Let me write it again—she is 85, and she was beaten and kidnapped.
“I went through a hell that we’d never imagined. They [Hamas terrorists] rampaged through the kibbutz,” recounted Lipshitz. She lashed out at the government for the costly border fence that came down easily as more than 1,500 drugged-up terrorists poured into Israel’s south.
Nearly half of the kibbutz’s 400 residents are dead.
Officials were not happy that she recounted that she was treated well by Hamas, but make no mistake. Once the hostages were taken, there would be no strategic advantage in harming them. Two hundred Israeli hostages are worth more than billions of dollars in aid to Hamas. They could not be in a better negotiating position if they robbed Fort Knox.
While most Israelis expected a ground invasion to begin last weekend, Hamas is using the hostages to buy time. And world leaders appear to be pressuring Netanyahu to hold off as long as possible to allow for more hostages to come home.
Meanwhile, over the past few hours, there were two massive barrages of rockets launched towards Israel. Sirens sounded all over the coastal cities. I have seen pictures of torched cars, and there were reports of a few injuries. I can hear the F-16 overhead going on bombing missions in Gaza.
The only thing keeping us from going crazy is helping others. As soon as I finish writing this, Elana and I will head to a nearby Moshav (farming neighborhood) to help feed soldiers tonight. We spent the last few days in central Israel where it is quite safe. But honestly, we both missed ministering to soldiers. Thanks to your gifts we have been able to say yes to every request! You are having a real impact on keeping our soldiers’ morale high. I have told them that there are believers around the world praying for them. And some of them wanted to send you a special thank you in the video below!
Thank you so much for your partnership at this most difficult time in Israel’s modern history. I thank God that we will be on the right side of history!
P.S. We have arrived and are helping. I never dreamed three weeks ago that I’d be chopping cucumbers with Israeli soldiers as they prepare for battle. But I’m happy to be doing it.