Greetings Tree of Life Family and Beyond!

We have an update on the Saturday Israel attack from Amir Tsarfati, who lives in Israel. We encourage you to read and pray with us, for our brothers and sisters in Israel, and God's people and Nation.

Amir’s letter update below in full:

It was 6:30 AM on a beautiful Saturday Sabbath morning. All over Israel, people were sleeping in on this final day of Sukkot, the joyous Feast of Tabernacles. In southern Israel, just five kilometers from the border with Gaza, an all-night rave with more than 1000 young people attending was just starting to wind down. Little did these people know that into the serenity of this day, the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas was about to launch a multi-level, comprehensive attack using capabilities that had never been employed against Israel before.

Drones were launched that dropped bombs on the Israeli military outposts along the border fence, immediately neutralizing the ground level chain of command along Gaza. Thus, there was no one left to report to the higher levels of leadership what was taking place. At the same time, rockets began to fire from Gaza into Israel, first hundreds, then thousands. The firing of rockets was not unusual. What was atypical was the huge number of missiles that made it past the Iron Dome defense system.

All this was taking place to mask the third prong of attack, one that has never before occurred from Gaza. The border fence was breached and, in places, completely torn down. More than a thousand terrorists began pouring through the holes, some in cars and trucks, many on motorcycles. They came to hunt Jews.

One of the first groups they found were the young people at the rave. The terrorists surrounded the partygoers and opened fire. More than 260 were slaughtered. Others were rounded up and taken back into Gaza as hostages. Meanwhile, in the towns and kibbutzim along the border, families were waking up to pounding on their doors. When they answered, they were murdered in cold blood. Once again, many others were kidnapped back across the border.

Once the gunfire began, the first responders were police, firefighters, and EMTs. Many of them were killed as they tried to defend the innocent civilians. Where was the military response? First, as we saw earlier, the border echelon of communication was severed. Second, when rockets were fired in the past, it was often a ruse to mask terrorists attempted to cross into Israel from Lebanon in the north. Thus, many of the special military units were heading in the wrong direction.

It took four hours for the military to mount a concerted response, which was eventually dubbed Operation Iron Sword. By that time, the carnage was devastating. Bodies of Jewish civilians littered the streets. A still unknown number were kidnapped and taken hostage into Gaza. Women, children, the elderly, no one was spared the violence of these Palestinian criminals. Not since the Holocaust have we seen so many Jews rounded up, beaten, and humiliated in public. And never before has it happened within the borders of modern Israel. Eventually, once the tide of battle had turned, the terrorists fled back into Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) followed them in. Hamas members, from the top leaders down to the soldiers, were targeted, as were their headquarters, warehouses, and homes. This is all part of a three-level response by the Israeli military. The first level is to purify Israel of all terrorists. Anyone who crossed the border as part of this attack and is still in Israel needs to either be arrested or killed. The second level is to take from Hamas and other terrorist organizations that threaten Israel all their military capabilities. To accomplish this, Israel’s government has invoked Article 40 of the Basic Laws, which amounts to a declaration of war. Last time Article 40 was used was in 1973 for the Yom Kippur War. This will allow the IDF to use all air, ground, and naval forces to accomplish this feat.

The third level of Israel’s response is to hold accountable the countries that assisted Hamas in this attack. Hamas is neither equipped nor sophisticated enough to have pulled this off alone. Most automatically look to Iran, but U.S. intelligence says the ayatollahs were not involved. The question we have to ask is who has jamming equipment advanced enough to nullify the protection of the Iron Dome? Also, what country has effectively used drones to drop bombs on targets? The answer is Russia. The relationship between Moscow and Jerusalem has been souring due to Israel’s expanding exports of natural gas and Russia’s deepening relationships with Israel’s enemies, like Iran, Syria, and Lebanon. My latest novel, Out of the Far North, goes deep into this growing international breach.

To know how to effectively ensure this doesn’t happen again, we must understand what led to this attack and what must happen to guarantee it doesn’t happen again. This terrorist action was not about past grievances or land or any other excuse that liberal politicians and media will come up with. This is purely religious in nature, evidenced by the name they gave to their attack – Amaliyyat Tufan al-Aqsa, or Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. A record number of Jews visited (or flooded) the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, otherwise known as the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem over the holy days surrounding Yom Kippur and Sukkot. The radical Muslims called it provocation, despite it being legal and orderly, and the Jews neither worshipped on the Temple Mount or disturbed the Islamic worship.

But the hatred of the Jews has gone on long before last week. If there is one thing that both radical Shiite and Sunni Muslims can agree upon is that the Jews in Israel must be exterminated. This is not about land, it is about religious-based genocide fueled by Iran and a radical jihadist agenda. If you want to learn more about the origins of this hatred, watch my video, “The Final Jihad”. Because the origin of this and other terrorist attacks against Israel is based on religion and ethnicity rather than actions, we know that there is nothing that we can do as Jews to stop them from wanting to come at us again. All we can do is take away their ability to do so.

Moving forward, Israel must restore deterrence, whether it’s based on respect for the strength of our military or the personal fear of each potential terrorist as they consider what might happen to them, their family, and their home if they join in with the jihadists. Along with that, Israel must eliminate Hamas. To do so, the IDF must stop caring what the world will say and what the media will say. The gloves must come off.

Next, there must be a lot of questions answered. What happened at the border? With our incredibly sophisticated equipment and sensors, how could we not see this attack coming? How did we miss the tearing down of the fence and the pouring in of hundreds of vehicles through the breach? How could we not know of their new communications network that was beyond our access? With our intelligence services being among the best in the world, the bottom-line questions are, first, how could we possibly not know about this attack? And, second, if we did know about this, then who stopped the information? These are the questions that are in every Israeli’s mind. I am not among the many conspiracy theorists that have popped up, but I one hundred percent agree that there are some very difficult questions that must be answered.

Saturday was Israel’s 9/11. Already more than 700 Israeli bodies have been found. I expect the number to reach at least 1000 in the coming days. More than 2000 are wounded, many of them critically. My prayer is that this horrific event will somehow bring unity to my very fractured country. I also hope that as other nations surround us and support us, it will bring greater peace to Israel. But, because I know Scripture, I understand that any strides forward will be short-lived. Israel is bound to face growing violence as the days progress.

What we just experienced is the first phase of the attacks on Israel. One relatively small terror organization wreaking havoc on the Jewish civilian population. Next will come phase two, when numerous terror organizations will band together for a multi-front attack. Hezbollah will join with other Iranian proxies to bring down Israel. Even the terrorist group that Nir Tavor went up against in Operation Joktan, Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, has voiced threats against Israel and the U.S. following Saturday’s attack. The third phase will be when nations will join other nations to come against Israel. That is the Ezekiel 38 War. I understand that there are those tying this attack to Ezekiel 38. That cannot be for three reasons. First, the scale is much too small compared to Ezekiel 38. Second, not all of the players of that war were involved in this one. Third, the fact that the U.S. is sending to the region the USS Gerald Ford strike group with around 110 Tomahawk missiles nullifies this from being Ezekiel 38. In that scenario, there will be no one who comes to Israel’s aid.

Pray for Israel. Pray for the families who have lost loved ones. Pray for the captives and the wounded. They will all have incredible trauma that they will have to process through in the months and years to come. Pray for wisdom for Prime Minister Netanyahu and the government as they mete out their response against Hamas and evaluate the steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Most of all, pray that God is glorified somehow through this.

My heart is broken for my nation and my people. It is times like this that the only place in which I can find comfort is the Scriptures.

“All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. Panic and pitfall have befallen us, devastation and destruction; my eyes run down with streams of water because of the destruction of the daughter of my people. My eyes pour down unceasingly, without stopping, until the LORD looks down and sees from heaven.... I called on Your name, O LORD, out of the lowest pit. You have heard my voice, do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help. You drew near when I called on You; You said, ‘Do not fear!’”  (Lam 3:46-50, 55-57)

Awaiting His Return,

Ahava B'Shem Yeshua

"Love In The Name of Jesus"