Screenshot 2023-10-09 at 7.09.19 PM

The deadly conflict in Gaza has seen 1,100 dead from both sides as at press time. Screenshot from a CNA news report online.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore has issued a travel advisory to Singaporeans to avoid all non-essential travel to Israel in view of the ongoing conflict.

Singaporeans travelling to or residing in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to leave as soon as possible.

Please see the full advisory here.

At 8am on Saturday, October 7, Singaporean Kenny Lim, 47, his wife, Susan, and their five-month-old baby, Joshua, were awoken by the piercing screams of rocket sirens.

It was the first time the family had heard sirens since they moved to Jerusalem in 2014.

“That morning, a total of nine rockets were fired into Jerusalem, and we had to rush to the bomb shelter nine times.”

“Grabbing my baby, my wife and I rushed to the bomb shelter in our apartment,” Kenny, a clergyman, told Salt&Light.

“In Israel, depending on the area, there is a range of timing to find a bomb shelter once the siren is heard. In Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – 1.5 mins; in Sederot, a border town near the Gaza Strip – 15 seconds. 

“That morning, a total of nine rockets were fired into Jerusalem, and we had to rush to the bomb shelter nine times.”

When the ninth rocket fell silent, Kenny thought the crisis had passed. But in his words: “This was when the horror began to unfold.”

The deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas militants over the past three days, involving a terrifying nightmare of air strikes, abductions and spiralling violence, have taken more than 1,100 lives on both sides at press time, triggering global condemnation, international emergencies and fears of a new Middle East war.

Heartbreak and grief

On the ground in Israel, everyone is on uneasy alert, with many rallying to help the hurt and the displaced.

Alex*, 33, a Singaporean pastor based in Israel, told Salt&Light: “There is no normalcy as schools are closed, roads are blocked, and only essential businesses are open.

“Everyone knows people who have been killed, abducted, injured. Churches are interceding.”

“Here in the north, we hear a lot of fighter jets flying above us through the day and at ungodly hours throughout the night. We read a lot of the news of what is happening, reaching out to friends to ask if their loved ones are affected. We mourn with those who mourn at this hour. We look anxiously at news of developments on the northern front, praying that Hezbollah will not join in.

“Everyone is heartbroken, shocked. Those who have lost loved ones are grieving. Those who have loved ones on the frontline are uneasy and anxious.

“People are gathering daily supplies for the soldiers on the frontline – care packages with dry shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, fresh socks, deodorant and more. Communities in the north are opening their homes to host people in the south who are distressed or displaced.

“Blood donation stations have been set up across the country so people can give blood to injured people. Families from border towns have been evacuated and sent to towns all over Israel.”

Choon*, another Singaporean working in Tel Aviv, told Salt&Light: “People are working from home or have been called up for military service. Some shops are open, in typical Israeli resilience. Some food was out yesterday. People are glued to the TV, playing endless nightmarish videos on loop.

“Israelis have come out en masse to donate blood and supplies for people in the south affected. Everyone knows people who have been killed, abducted, injured. Churches are interceding.”

Rise in prayer and unity

“I believe that every church in Israel is doing all it can,” said Kenny.

Alex’s church has organised prayer meetings throughout the day.

“Everyone is looking out for each other, sending messages of love and concern, praying for sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and fathers on the frontline. Though now is one of the darkest hours in Israel’s history, this is the brightest time for His love and glory to shine. This is the time for the body of Christ to rise in unity and love,” said Alex.

“We are pressing into God’s heart for His purposes in this season. He is sovereign.”

Kenny’s church in Jerusalem is helping to bring food, hygiene products, clothes and children’s toys to families who have been displaced from their homes in the south.

“At the time of sending this email, our first delivery of supplies has left for residents of the Be’eri village, a village that had parts of it held hostage by Hamas militants until early this morning.

“We are also working with congregations and communities in the south of Israel to open our guesthouses to host families who cannot return to their homes, or want to get out of conflict areas.

“Our online ministry in Arabic is working to stay in touch with contacts in the Gaza Strip, many of whom are new disciples. They are living in fear and are reaching out to our staff members over the phone and social media. Unfortunately, we are unable to bring them supplies and practical aid, but there are currently 13 families with whom we are in regular, hourly contact, praying for them and offering counselling and encouragement.”

Those who would like to donate to the humanitarian aid arm of Kenny’s church can do so via their Mercy Fund here.

Added Alex: “We are pressing into God’s heart for His purposes in this season. He is sovereign. God has a purpose and plan even in this war’s atrocities, brutality and suffering. Pray for all hearts to be softened through all that is happening in this season. Pray for His Kingdom to come. Remember that Jesus is the King of Israel. The land belongs to Him first and foremost.”


*Names have been changed for reasons of security.

Would you pray?

Churches around the world, including Singapore, are interceding for all those involved in the conflict. Would you join them in urgent prayer? Kenny, in Jerusalem, sends this plea for prayer. Pray for:

  • Peace and a de-escalation of violence.
  • The protection and swift release of hostages.
  • The response of officials to be founded on God’s wisdom rather than human judgement.
  • The families of those who have been hurt or killed.
  • Those serving in the military and emergency services.
  • The residents in and around Gaza who are fearful and vulnerable.
  • The salvation of civilians and soldiers on both sides, even in the midst of this terrible crisis.
About the author


Salt&Light is an independent, non-profit Christian news and devotional website with a passion for kingdom unity, and a vision of inspiring faith to arise in the marketplace.