Services Planned to Pray for Israel Amid Outbreak of War Along Gaza Strip

City News Service

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A Riverside synagogue will convene special prayer services Monday evening in honor of the hundreds of Israelis killed, injured and abducted during the Hamas cross-border attack that some observers are calling the worst breach of Israel’s defenses in 50 years.

“Israel at War–We Unite” is the theme of the Chabad Jewish Community Center’s service, scheduled from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the synagogue, located near the intersection of Canyon Crest and North University drives.

“The Jewish community comes together … for an evening to unite, to pray and show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel,” according to a Chabad statement.

Rabbi Shmuel Fuss will lead the service, which will also be available via social media.

On Saturday, large numbers of heavily armed Hamas insurgents raided Israel via the Palestinian-governed Gaza Strip, storming towns and kibbutzim, massacring upwards of 700, injuring more than 2,500 and taking perhaps over 50 hostages, including children, according to Israeli authorities and published reports.

Some observers likened the surprise attack, which occurred on the Sabbath and at the end of the celebration of Sukkot, also known as the autumn festival, to the outset of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when Arab states launched a coordinated military campaign that caught Israeli Defense Forces off balance, nearly leading to the Jewish State’s defeat.

Hamas is among Palestinian political factions that does not believe in Israel’s right to exist.

Israel has since inaugurated a targeted missile and bombing campaign throughout Gaza. Casualties stemming from the retaliatory strikes haven’t been confirmed.

“As throughout its 75-year history, another battle within Israel’s borders is now joined,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Temecula, said over the weekend. “America will stand with its friend, ally and partner in every way and see Israel through another fight for its survival.”

Rep. Ken Calvert called the Hamas incursion a “sickening unprovoked act of war.”

“The U.S. stands with Israel and supports its efforts to secure peace for its citizens,” he said. “I will be keeping the victims and their families in my prayers.”

Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, was quick to “condemn the surprise attack on Israel,” pledging that “I fully support Israel in its right to defend itself against such violence.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Indio, also denounced the carnage and damage caused by “Hamas militants.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with those families and individuals who have been affected by these horrific attacks,” Ruiz said. “Instead of celebrating (Sukkot), families are left heartbroken and mourning their loved ones. This is appalling.”

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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