WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Israeli skies were filled with rockets Saturday morning causing explosions above, and explosive emotions on Israel soil down below – also reaching the hearts of the rest of the world all the way to us here in the Ohio Valley. 

”It’s truly horrifying to see the effects when people choose to be evil.”

Rabbi Joshua Lief – Temple Shalom, Wheeling

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially declared war on Hamas after nearly 2,500 rockets were launched from Gaza in a surprise attack on the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War. 

He stated in a video posted online that the enemy would pay the price. 

Hamas fighters have breached the barrier, and crowds of men have flooded Israel and infiltrated the country on land, air, and sea to spark gun battles throughout communities. 

Armed Hamas fighters had one goal and one goal only. 

”They went for grandmothers, children, babies. This event is still unfolding. The numbers are unprecedented.” 

Lt. Col. Richard Hecht – IDF spokesman

It is estimated that over 100 Israelis are now in Hamas’ custody at the Gaza strip with hundreds more dead – 11 of those being confirmed Americans among other Israelis and Palestinians. 

”Their goal was to murder Jews for being Jewish and to try to bring about the destruction of the state of Israel. They murdered people in their homes while they slept. They beheaded folks. They kidnaped children. They forced women to march naked through the streets. They put toddlers into cages and are throwing garbage at them and torturing them. This is horrific.”

Rabbi Joshua Lief – Temple Shalom, Wheeling

President Joe Biden stated in a phone call to the Prime Minister that the United States stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults – and illuminated the White House with Israeli flag blue and white to represent the 75-year relationship. 

”This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage. The world is watching.”

President Joe Biden

Rabbi Lief is hosting an interfaith service at Temple Shalom to allow people from all over to stand together, and “bring justice to those who believe in evil and hatred.” 

”An attack on people because of their faith anywhere is an attack on all people of faith everywhere. All of us who believe in freedom are under attack right now, not just Israel.”

Rabbi Joshua Lief – Temple Shalom, Wheeling

Temple Shalom’s interfaith service is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10th, featuring clergy from across the Ohio Valley faith community. Everyone from the public is welcome to attend.