Lions LB Alex Anzalone's parents among those hoping for safe return from Israel 

ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Detroit Lions linebacker Alex Anzalone’s parents are among about 50 people affiliated with a Naples, Florida-based church that is praying for their safe return from Israel this week.

Israel has vowed an unprecedented offensive against Hamas after the Islamic militant group’s fighters broke through the border fence Saturday and stormed into the country’s south. The war between Israel and Hamas has claimed at least 2,200 lives and raged for a fifth day.

First Naples Communications Pastor Andy Wells said the church made contact with Pastor Alan Brumback, who is also on the overseas tour, on Wednesday.

“He continues to communicate that the entire team is doing well and in good spirits,” Wells said. “As of now, their return flight is on schedule. Our prayer is that they are able to return on their regularly scheduled flight and be back to us soon.”

Anzalone told The Detroit News on Sunday, after Detroit beat the Carolina Panthers, that all he has been thinking about is his parents.

“It’s hard,” Anzalone told the newspaper.

Lions coach Dan Campbell said he called Anzalone about his parents when he was informed of their plight Sunday night.

“I don’t want to elaborate on anything, but he felt they were safe,” Campbell said Wednesday. “It’s just finding a way out.

“I know it’s not easy, and I know it weighs on him heavy. That’s a tough deal out there.”

Anzalone’s parents arrived in Israel on Oct. 2 and are expected to depart via Tel Aviv on Thursday, according to The Detroit News.

“We are doing good at our hotel in Jerusalem,” Brumback posted on the church’s Facebook page. “Continue to pray for Israel and for this to be resolved as peacefully and quickly as possible.”

Anzalone tagged President Joe Biden on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sunday, calling on Biden to get his parents home. But he has since deleted the tweet.

Copyright The Associated Press 2023

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