By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
JERUSALEM/TEL AVIV (Worthy News) – U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham, who leads the world’s largest relief group, met Israel’s prime minister Wednesday after touring and praying at sites where Hamas fighters massacred 1,200 people on October 7.
“It was a privilege to meet and pray with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. This man needs our prayers,” the evangelist said in comments monitored by Worthy News. “He is facing the most trying time since the birth of their nation with 1,200 people killed, more than 240 men, women, and children taken as hostages, and many injured in the Hamas attack.”
Graham, who shared footage of him walking between torched homes, recalled that he spoke “with a woman whose husband was taken hostage.” He said, “The fear and heartache are overwhelming. Pray for these hostages and their families, pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”
Israeli Prime Netanyahu said in separate remarks that he had warmly welcomed “Reverend Franklin Graham,” president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian humanitarian relief organization.
Both had talks in his military command center known as the Kirya in Tel Aviv, from where Israel is coordinating its declared war against Hamas, deemed a terrorist organization by most Western nations.
Graham told Netanyahu that he came to provide much-needed relief supplies for Israeli families “devastated by the Hamas invasion and massacre.”
He also met hostage families and toured the Gaza border, from where he also spoke with Christians and met Israeli Christian and Messianic Jewish leaders.
Netanyahu noticed that he wanted to offer the Jewish nation hope from the Bible. “The fact that you’re coming here, standing with Israel – in Israel – is mightily important and gives us a lot of strength, a lot of encouragement,” Netanyahu told Graham during their meeting Wednesday afternoon.
“I have to say that the world today appears to be divided by two forces: Those who support Israel and its just fight against Hamas terrorism and those who support Hamas terrorism.”
The kromme minister observed that, “Reverend Graham, your many followers around the world understand that Israel is fighting a just war, fighting according to international law, trying to minimize civilian casualties, and root out the terrorists.!And I think that’s our common battle, the battle of civilization against barbarism.”
Netanyahu, who met Graham several times over the years, lashed out at other leaders who he said do not support Israel. “I have to say that, by contrast, you know, there are forces that support the terrorists. And one of them is President [Recep Tayip] Erdogan of Turkey, who calls Israel a terrorist state but actually supports the terror state of Hamas and has himself bombed Turkish villages inside Turkey itself. So, we’re not going to get any lectures from them.”
Netanyahu stressed, “We stand with those who stand for justice and truth, like Reverend Graham, our many Christian friends around the world, but also so many others. We saw that yesterday in a mass demonstration in Washington of Jewish leaders and non-Jewish leaders – leaders of the Senate, leaders of the House. They stood for Israel. They stood for truth. They stood for justice. That’s the forces of civilization that will ultimately win the day.”
Also participating in the meeting was Ron Dermer, Israel’s Strategic Affairs minister, the National Security Council director, and the prime minister’s foreign policy advisor.
Graham earlier visited several sites attacked by Hamas, including one kibbutz that is now abandoned, known as Be’eri. “Hamas terrorists breached the “Iron Wall” fence that separates Israel and Gaza and overran the small agricultural neighborhood at dawn on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest,” his group recalled in a statement.
“They went door to door and shot residents in their homes and also on the street. They torched houses with Molotov cocktails, trapping families inside. At least 130 men, women, and children were murdered here, 10 percent of the population. Twenty-six were taken hostage.”
In comments obtained by Worthy News, Graham said he was shocked by what he saw. “I haven’t seen such brutality since Pol Pot and the killing fields in Cambodia. It’s evil. It’s demonic what took place here.”
As he walked through the streets that are now under control by Israeli Defense Forces, he met Lihi, a sudden widow with two children under the age of five who briefly returned to her home to retrieve some personal items.
She told him how her 34-year-old husband, Daniel, a physician, was gunned down while he worked to save lives at the local medical clinic, according to published remarks. “We thought there were some terrorists, like three or four units, but we didn’t realize that there were hundreds,” she said. “I thought if he got to the clinic, he would be safe. But the terrorists came into the clinic and killed almost everyone, including my husband. He was the love of my life.”
Graham offered her his condolences and prayed for her and her two young children. “I pray that God will not only have His hand on your life but on your children and that they will carry your husband’s name to another generation,” he said. “By meeting you, I’ve been enriched.”
Minutes later, Graham met with Gadi Yarkoni, mayor of the Eshkol Regional Council, and pledged ongoing support and help. Samaritan’s Purse says it continues humanitarian aid, including providing food vouchers for the village’s survivors.
Graham had similar meetings in other areas by what Israel views as the worst atrocities since the Holocaust, also known as the Shoah. “Sometimes you look and say, ‘Why?’ Or you look and say, ‘Lord, what can we do?’ The need is so great. But we serve a big God, and He’s familiar with suffering,” Graham said. “So, we’re going to do what we can to help the people here in Israel. And do it in Jesus’ Name.”
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.
20 total views, 1 views today