SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — They originally planned their volunteer mission to Israel long before Hamas attacked Israel this month.

So did Felix Thau and Martin Brill consider changing their plans?

“No,” Brill said. “Just the opposite. We thought it was important to be there at a time when our people really needed us, a time of urgent problems and needs. So we redoubled our efforts to make sure we could get there.”

That involved switching flights after their original flights were canceled — now they’re flying to Tel Aviv nonstop from Newark on El Al, Israel’s national airline. Thau and Brill know some people wonder if they’re accidentally flying in the wrong direction. Their answer?

“I’ve been asked, am I scared?” Thau said. “No, I’m not. I’m not scared. I can’t wait to get on the plane and get over there and help out. And I think our presence also encourages the Israelis. They’re happy to see us and to know that there are people outside the country that care enough to do something like this.”

Thau and Brill will spend two weeks in Israel. They’re part of a longstanding program called Volunteers for Israel.

Both said they ultimately want what most people in the world want.

“We all want some kind of peace,” Thau said. “It’s not particularly pleasing to me to hear about people dying — innocent people dying on either side.”