Fellowship of Christians and Jews Calls for Emergency Assistance

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in Gaza.
Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in Gaza. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

When Hamas and Islamic Jihad began to barrage southern Israel with over 600 rockets in less than 24 hours, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews immediately began to assess the effects of the attack on its program recipients and to enact their broader emergency response plan only deployed when Israel teeters on the brink of war.

"Because we understand Israeli history and because we take the Bible seriously, it never surprises us when enemies set their bullseye on the Jewish people. I want you to know that we are on the ground in all the border communities to provide direct assistance to those in harm's way and to better secure those communities," said Yael Eckstein, president of The Fellowship. "We have reallocated resources to provide eight mobile bomb shelters where they are needed the most and have reserved $100,000 to provide immediate emergency needs to the terror- struck cities in Southern Israel."

Since its inception, The Fellowship has worked to provide assistance to those in the global Jewish community who need it the most. In some circumstances, this has involved providing lifesaving food assistance or shelter. In other circumstances, The Fellowship has provided physical security and bomb shelters, and facilitated emergency evacuations from troubled areas to the safety of the state of Israel. Just last week, in response to the terrible attack on a synagogue in Poway, California, The Fellowship announced an effort to better secure every synagogue in need in the world.

"Unfortunately, now, we need emergency help to deploy more assistance in Israel. We have requests for 53 more mobile shelters for the border towns of Sdot Negev, Hof Ashkelon, Sha'ar HaNegev and Eshkol," said Eckstein. "With Iran's clandestine involvement in this conflict, the situation will likely get worse before it gets better. Israel's security forces will handle the terrorists, but friends of Israel need to make sure that not a single Israeli falls through the cracks. Right now, countless Israeli children don't have a bomb shelter to run to when the code red siren blares. We need to provide help immediately, and we must be ready if the situation escalates. We can't wait until we need it. We need our Christian friends to help us prepare for a possible war."

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Over the last two days we struck Hamas and Islamic Jihad with great force. We hit over 350 targets. We struck at terrorist leaders and operatives, and we destroyed terrorist buildings. The campaign is not over, and it demands patience."

Also on Sunday, Trump administration National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln was being repositioned to the Persian Gulf:

"In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces."

Yael Eckstein concluded, "There are inspiring moments within the darkness and fear. What was most touching to me was how throughout the night of the barrage, our wonderful Fellowship volunteers made dozens and dozens of personal phone calls to elderly Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors, whose homes were within range of the rocket fire, just to check on them and to see what they needed. They reminded these vulnerable elderly that they're not alone, and millions of Christians stand with them, through The Fellowship. This is why we have set aside a fund to meet immediate needs, but sometimes what people need the most is to know they aren't alone."

To donate to The Fellowship's efforts to protect the Jewish community around the world, please visit ifcj.org.

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