If you have seen any news in the last 48 hours, it's likely you know what's happening in the Middle East. There is war in our region once again. On Saturday, October 7, Hamas launched an unprecedented attack from Gaza into Israel. This violence led to the death of hundreds of Israeli citizens. The Israeli military responded to this attack swiftly and with great force with air attacks on Gaza, causing the deaths of hundreds of people in Gaza. When the fighting began, our priority was to contact our people in the region. With so much bad news in this situation, I'm glad to give you a bit of good news: all our people are accounted for and safe at this time. Many of our partners and friends in southern Israel spent significant time in bomb shelters during the fighting. They are scared, but they are okay. Our partners in the West Bank are also safe at this time, as the violence there has been much less severe up to this point due to the complete closure of the West Bank and Jerusalem. There are many logistical details of the war that I will leave to news organizations to report. Because, as you know, we are not a political but a humanitarian organization. In any conflict or challenge we face, our greatest priority is protecting and caring for the people within the communities where we work. Our hearts grieve the loss of every single person who has died and been injured on both sides of this violence. And our hearts are made heavier knowing these numbers will likely continue to increase for some time. We don't know how long this war will continue or what happens next. What we do know is that we will continue to do all we can to care for all people within our reach. Before this violence, we were already working in this region to help the innocent on both sides of this conflict. This will not change. We currently have two 40-foot containers of aid that are about to head to the region with medical supplies, clothing, blankets, and other goods to be distributed. Our other active projects in these areas have had to pause for the safety of all. As soon as we can safely deliver aid, we will. We are staying in touch with our regional staff and partners and will keep you updated. Please don't hesitate to reply to this email if you have any questions, and we will do our best to answer them. Thank you for your ongoing support and care. Please join us in continuing to pray for the peace and safety of all people in our region as we also do all we can to be the hands and feet to those prayers. In loving kindness,
Hannah Magness, Peter and Tanya Omran, and all at Heart of Mercy
All photos from AP News. The top two photos were taken in southern Israel, the bottom two from Gaza. To see the articles these photos were taken from, click here.