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Explosions in Gaza

Source: (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — Many Jewish Hoosiers are reacting to the violence that has broken out in Israel between the Hamas terrorist group and Israeli military forces.

Today (Monday) marks the third straight day of intense fighting with more rocket attacks coming from Gaza into Israeli territory. The Israeli Air Force has responded with dozens of air strikes on Hamas targets within the Palestinian enclave.

Hamas militants are currently holding over 100 hostages in Gaza. So far over 1,100 people have been killed in the fighting, including the mayor of a town in Israel who recently visited Indiana.

Ophir Lipstein was killed by Hamas terrorists in his home Saturday.

“Hamas terrorists entered his home and to protect his home, he was killed,” said Helen Kurlander Goldstein, president of the board of directors for the Jewish Federation of Indianapolis. “So, this is very personal to us. As a matter of fact, we received a note from the governor, who was friends with him.”

Lipstein was the mayor of Sha’ar Hanegev, an Israeli town not far from Gaza. He had been in Indiana visiting with Gov. Holcomb as recently as three weeks ago.

Goldstein told WISH-TV her son is also in Israel is has taken shelter from the fighting.

“My son lives in Tel Aviv,” she said. “Tonight, he’s spending the night in a bomb shelter. He moved from Tel Aviv further inland because of the amount of rocket attacks that have occurred that are taking place in Tel Aviv. I think everyone here is in shock. This happened so quickly. The Israelis weren’t prepared. Of course, we weren’t prepared.”

If you are interested in donating to help people in Israel affected by the fighting you can donate at