Compassion

Does Israel Really Need Our Help?

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Every week, we post from seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

(The Prayer Update has been posted Thursday as Friday will not be a work day for the News team in Jerusalem.)

Palestinians: Fake News and “Alternative Facts”

by Bassam Tawil ~ Gatestone

Fatah spokesman reports that Jews are “sons of apes and pigs”.

Monday, 13 March 2017 | One after another, young Palestinians continue to carry out terrorist attacks against Jews. Why? We might start at the beginning: the campaign of incitement, indoctrination and lies that Palestinian media outlets wage against Israel. This campaign has poisoned the hearts and minds of millions of Arabs and Muslims. It ought to be no surprise, then, when the poisoned Palestinian youths grab a weapon and set out to do the death-work they are taught to cherish.

The anti-Israel incitement can even be quite subtle. Those injecting the venom do not always issue a direct call for Palestinians to go out and kill Jews. It is enough, for example, to tell Palestinians that Jews are “defiling with their filthy feet” Islamic holy sites, to drive a Palestinian to go out and stab a Jew.

Or when Palestinian leaders repeatedly accuse Israel of seeking to “Judaize” Jerusalem and change its “Arab and Islamic character.” This is like urging Palestinians to “defend” their city against Israel’s “evil conspiracies.”

The vicious rhetoric and the fairy tales they feed Palestinians provide ample incentive and ideology for would-be terrorists.

While Palestinian mosque preachers, political activists, journalists and senior officials have long been preoccupied with the mission of delegitimizing Israel and demonizing Jews, other Palestinians also fabricate “news” in order to further the Israeli death count.

The epidemic of “fake news” and “alternative facts” which has recently flooded the internet is not new to Palestinian culture. In fact, “fake news” has long been an essential component of the Palestinian campaign to delegitimize Israel, demonize Jews and even to cite false claims. Historically, for example, Jordan illegally seized Jerusalem and the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] in the 1948 war and proceeded to ethnically cleanse the area of Jews; in the 1967 war, the Israelis merely took their land back.

The head of Apple, Tim Cook, was recently quoted as saying, “Fake news is killing people’s minds.”

Palestinians have long been fed fake news. It is a tried and true method for recruiting terrorists and jihadists in the fight against Israel and Jews. As, in Islam, jihad is allowed to “defend Islam,” narratives sometimes have to be provided to give the impression that Islam is being attacked.

There is no shortage of Palestinian and Arab news websites that publish hoaxes, propaganda, lies and disinformation disguised as real news. This garbage is accepted as factual by many Palestinians and other Arabs.

This is another form of incitement to which the West is deaf, largely because journalists working for Western mainstream media do not wish to understand what is being reported in Arabic, or even in English. These journalists either deliberately turn a blind eye to this indoctrination or underestimate how it deforms the hearts and minds of Palestinians.

Take, for example, a recent story published on Palestinian news websites, claiming that Israel has been spraying agricultural fields in the Gaza Strip with pesticides. According to the report, Israel uses planes to destroy Palestinian agricultural products in order to ruin the Palestinian economy and deprive farmers of their livelihood.

Last week, some Palestinian news websites came up with a story that sounds as if it were lifted straight from an action movie. What do such stories accomplish? Excuses for the murder of Jews.

The story goes as follows: “An Israeli plane dropped suspicious objects that look like candies near the Palestinian city of Jenin in the northern West Bank.” According to the report, Palestinians who examined the “candies” discovered that they contained toxic material. In other words: Israel is seeking to poison Palestinian children. Is it any wonder when a Palestinian teenager who hears such a story runs out to murder Jews, as in Petah Tikva last month, when a 19-year-old Palestinian shot and stabbed several Israelis.

Another recently resurrected old blood libel that Palestinians have been spreading against Israel claims that Israelis are flooding Palestinian communities with narcotics in order to spread moral corruption and destroy the health of Palestinian youths. This particular lie helps the Palestinians avoid responsibility for the smuggling of drugs (by Palestinians) into the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt.

At a recent seminar in the Gaza Strip, a group of Palestinian “experts” claimed that “hidden parties backed by Israel” were responsible for “drowning the Gaza Strip with various types of lethal and dangerous drugs.”

Similar false charges were made by the Palestinian police in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip last year.

Ayman Al-Batnihi, a police spokesman in Gaza City, went as far as claiming that the widespread use of narcotics was the product of an Israeli “conspiracy” to destroy Palestinian youths and prevent them from engaging in the fight against Israel. Needless to say, the spokesman, like the Palestinian news websites, never provides any evidence to back up his false claims.

The libels and lies are not coming from Hamas alone. The Palestinian Authority (PA), which relies almost solely on American and European funding, offers similar “information” to its readers. Here is a news report that appeared in the PA’s Ramallah-based Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda newspaper, claiming that Israel is “flooding” the Arab residents of Jerusalem with narcotics. The report claims that some 20,000 Arabs have fallen victim to the purported Israeli “conspiracy” and have become drug addicts. “Israel’s goal is to destroy the Arab youths of Jerusalem and empty the city of its Arab inhabitants,” the report went on to explain.

According to reports such as these, Jews also supposedly use pigs to persecute Palestinians. Palestinian news websites regularly inform their readers that Israel releases wild pigs in the West Bank to destroy Palestinian crops and drive Palestinians out of their homes. The wild pigs, the reports tell Palestinians, are brought by Jews to Palestinian villages as part of a scheme to destroy the crops and intimidate villagers (some of whom claim the wild pigs attack them). An interesting facet of this “fake news” is that the Jewish settlers accused of using pigs to wage war against Palestinians are mostly religious, the last people in the world interested in getting involved with swine.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the lies about Israelis that Palestinians are fed daily by their leaders, journalists and media outlets. This is also what Palestinians think of when they pick up a knife to thrust into the body of a Jew.

Blood libels against Jews were once thought to be part of the dark past. They are not. That leaves us with some questions: Where is the international community’s exposure of the lies that fuel the Palestinian murder of Jews? And: Will the international community once again in history fail to speak the truth about the murder of Jews?

Source: (The Gatestone Institute originally posted this article on 09 March 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/ PalWatch/ YouTube

Prayer Focus
Intercede for every person who reads or googles about Israel for discernment, eyes to see the truth, open hearts to hear God and willpower to stand against bias. Pray that we will always be alert to libels and lies that affect our mindset and belief systems. Bring the church before God to realize the importance of standing with Israel and the God of Israel.

Scripture

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.


- Genesis 12:2-3 

Action
Ask God to guide us to be exemplary ambassadors for Israel that through difficult times and situations when others do not agree or understand, that we will not cease to speak out for God’s land and people and to do it with humility, teaching others to follow.

Purim Celebrations Marred by Jerusalem Terror Attack

by Roi Yanovsky

The Lion’s Gate, near site of the stabbing attack

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 | Two 20-year-old border policemen were moderately wounded early Monday morning after being stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist—who was later identified as 25-year-old Ibrahim Mattar—near the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem.

Police have confirmed that the attacker, a resident of Jabel Mukaber, was shot dead by one of the injured officers.

MDA teams evacuated the two to Hadassah Medical Center for treatment.

Following the attack, police forces converged on the home of the terrorist in Jabel Mukaber and detained several people, including family members.

According to police, the terrorist arrived at the scene at around 4 a.m. and parked his car nearby. After noticing the two border policemen taking up positions near the gate, the terrorist followed them to their post and began stabbing them.

The two officers managed to shove the terrorist out of the guard post and one managed to shoot and kill him.

This is the first attack to have taken place in the area in three months. During the wave of terror, the landmark was one of the flashpoints of terror-related violence and stabbing attacks.

In accordance with security assessments surrounding the holiday, a general closure of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza Strip will be enforced until midnight.

Source: (Ynetnews originally posted this article on 13 March 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/ Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out for the safety of Israel! Bring all the IDF soldiers and the nation before the Lord for watchfulness to their surroundings. Ask God to especially cover and protect the IDF as they are a daily target and pray for physical and emotional healing for the stabbed soldiers.

Scripture

The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.


- Deuteronomy 31:8 NASB

Israel Busts Multiple Hamas Terror Cells in Judea and Samaria

by Joshua Spurlock

IDF Security Forces uncovering a weapons manufacturing and trade infrastructure near Nablus

Monday, 13 March 2017 | Hamas has long sought to move out of Gaza and establish a footing in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, where they could both increase their attacks on Israel and move towards re-establishing their power in the region controlled by their Palestinian political rivals, the Fatah group. That effort has taken several blows lately; however, as Israel has arrested multiple Hamas terror cells in Judea and Samaria—including one group that already launched attacks.

A press release from the Israel Security Agency (ISA) said the most active cell had been involved in a terror shooting in 2015, planted explosives and had thrown firebombs at IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] units. Members in the cell had planned additional shooting attacks, according to the ISA and that wasn’t the only shooting plot foiled by the arrests. Another terror cell had set up an elaborate plan to attack civilian and IDF vehicles by using balls on the roads to make the vehicles slow down and “become more vulnerable to attack.” A weapon was also seized in the investigation.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Bir Zeit University had several students arrested for “active” involvement in a Hamas-affiliated terror cell “pursuant to Hamas’s efforts to establish itself on the ground,” according to the ISA press release. The ISA noted that the cell had received funding from a terrorist source. The press release said, “An ISA investigation revealed significant activity,” at Bir Zeit University.

But while the Hamas terrorists have been active in spreading their network in Israel, the Israelis in recent weeks have been active in fighting back in the ongoing struggle over Judea and Samaria.

Source: (The Mideast Update originally posted this article on 12 March 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/ IDF/ YouTube

Prayer Focus
Glorify the Lord for His wisdom as He leads and guides the IDF to discover and expose possible future terror activity, weakening Hamas’s influence in Judea and Samaria as they struggle to get a foothold and increase attacks on Israel. Ask God to bring doubt into the hearts of those thinking of joining Fatah or Hamas.

Scripture

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.


- Proverbs 2:6-8

Netanyahu Meets With Trump’s Negotiations Envoy

PM Netanyahu with US President Trump’s chief negotiator for international affairs, Jason Greenblatt

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met for five hours on Monday with Jason Greenblatt, a lawyer who was appointed chief negotiator for international affairs by President Donald Trump.

According to a statement from the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu expressed his interest in working with the Trump administration to “advance a genuine and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians that strengthens the security of Israel and enhances stability in the region.”

Greenblatt reaffirmed Trump’s commitment to Israel’s security, as well as his desire to help Israel and the Palestinians achieve peace through direct negotiations.

While addressing the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC during the presidential race last year, Trump observed that “it’s really the parties that must negotiate a resolution themselves,” rather than have one imposed by third parties. He also said that his administration would be willing to serve as a “facilitator” for peace talks.

Trump also emphasized this approach in a phone call to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week, telling Abbas according to a White House readout that “a peace agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties,” and that “the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other.”

Greenblatt also told Netanyahu that Trump considered steps “enabling the growth of the Palestinian economy and improving the quality of life for Palestinians” to be very important. Netanyahu, in turn, said that he was “fully committed” to improving Palestinian prosperity as he saw it as “a means of bolstering the prospects for peace.”

Trump’s interest in boosting the Palestinian economy appears to be supported by his use of Palestinian billionaire, Adnan Mjalli, as an intermediary with Abbas.

Greenblatt met with Abbas on Tuesday, calling the exchange “positive” and “far-ranging” on Twitter. He also said that the two discussed “building the capacity of Palestinian security forces and stopping incitement.”

Nikki Haley, Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations [UN], told Palestinian Authority Ambassador Riyad Mansour last week that his government should “meet with Israel in direct negotiations rather than looking to the UN to deliver results that can only be achieved through the two parties.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 14 March 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: GPO/ Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Praise God for positive meetings between PM Netanyahu and Jason Greenblatt, and Greenblatt and Abbas. Ask God to lead and guide their future steps and decisions into God’s will, leading to direct negotiations between Abbas and PM Netanyahu. Pray that their prospects will indeed stabilize peace in the region.

Scripture

For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name’s sake, lead me and guide me.


- Psalm 31:3

UN Report Accuses Israel of Practicing Apartheid Against Palestinians

by Ilse Posselt

 

The UN General Assembly hall at the UN Headquarters, New York City

Thursday, 16 March 2017 | Reverend Doctor Kenneth Meshoe understands apartheid. As a black man born in apartheid South Africa, the President of South Africa’s African Christian Democratic Party did, after all, suffer the full extent of the system aimed at subjugation and oppression for nearly 40 years. Today, Meshoe uses that personal experience to refute claims that the Jewish state ascribes to the same system.

“There is a widespread allegation, really a slander, that Israel is an apartheid state,” Meshoe told Israel’s Channel 10 television news during a 2015 visit to the Jewish state. “Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid.”

In fact, according to Meshoe, “Those who make the accusation expose their ignorance of what apartheid really is.”

Yesterday, an agency within the United Nations (UN) charged Israel with imposing an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people. According to the report entitled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid,” published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), “Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

Commenting on the report, UN Under Secretary and Executive Secretary of the ESCWA Rima Khalaf said that it was the “first of its type” published by a body within the UN. She added that the report “clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people.”

Khalaf, a Jordanian national, is one year younger than Meshoe. Yet unlike Meshoe, she has never lived under the South African apartheid regime and does, in fact, have no personal experience of this specific system of subjugation and oppression.

The ESCWA comprises 18 Arab states. According to Khalaf, the member states requested the compilation of the report. The body claims that the findings are based on “scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid.” The ESCWA conceded, however, that only the ruling of an international tribunal could establish such a finding as “truly authoritative.”

Both Israel and the United States spoke out strongly against the report and its findings. In fact, The New York Times speculated that the document is set to exacerbate the already tense ties between the UN and the US. The Secretary General of the UN António Guterres was also quick to distance himself from the report. Moreover, UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters yesterday that the document was released without consulting the UN secretariat. “The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary-general (Antonio Guterres),” Dujarric said.

A spokesperson for Israel’s Foreign Ministry hailed the report as on the same level as Der Sturmer, a Nazi propaganda publication known for its blatant anti-Semitic content. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, slammed the report as an “attempt to sear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy.” He labeled the attempt as “despicable” and “a blatant lie.”

“It comes as no surprise that an organization headed by an individual who has called for boycotts against Israel and compared our democracy to the most terrible regimes of the twentieth century would publish such a report,” Danon continued. “We call on the Secretary General to disassociate the UN from this biased and deceitful report.”

For its part, the US also expressed strong sentiments against the report. “The United States is outraged by the report,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a statement. “The UN secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.”

“That such anti-Israel propaganda would come from a body whose membership nearly universally does not recognize Israel is unsurprising,” Haley continued.

The infamous document has two authors. The first is Virginia Tilley, an American political scientist and author of the book, “The One-state Solution.” The second is Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus known for his vehement and outspoken anti-Israel stance. According to Haley, Falk is “a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 16 March 2017)

Photo Credit: Spiff/ Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for the UN bodies and agencies that stir up lies about Israel being an apartheid state. Bring the leadership of all the UN agencies and bodies before God’s throne and ask for discernment, honorable, honest and neutral reports and decisions. Ask God to turn any anti-Israel propaganda into a blessing.

Scripture

Nevertheless the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you.


- Deuteronomy 23:5

Hamas Claims Moderate New Charter, but Still Wants to Destroy Israel

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose influence on the Hamas’s parent organization is increasing.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 | The Islamist terrorist group, Hamas, is drafting a new platform that will endorse a Palestinian state based on the 1949 armistice lines in an effort “to present a more pragmatic and cooperative face to the world,” The New York Times reported Thursday.

The group will also re-frame its enemies—defined in its 1988 charter as “Israel, Judaism and Jews”—as “occupiers.”

Though the new language appears to be more moderate, the Times noted, the terrorist group “would not recognize Israel, however, nor would it give up future claims to all of what Hamas considers Palestinian lands.”

The new charter will also omit any references to Hamas’ ties to its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, which is under increasing pressure by the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The changes being considered are “not yet final and has not yet been approved by Hamas’s governing bodies,” the Times added.

“Hamas officials and other analysts said the document seemed intended to alleviate the group’s international isolation,” the Times reported, but gave no indication that Hamas would operate any differently than it does now.

“The [1988] covenant was criticized because its language was against Jews and international law,” Ahmad Yousif, a former Hamas spokesman, told the Times. “Now we have a document that says Jews are not our enemy.”

Kobi Michael, the former head of the Palestinian desk at Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs, cautioned that Hamas is “trying to use the sort of language that will be more accepted by the international community.” However, he noted that the group “will not change their methods—the use of terror and the use of violence against Israeli citizens.”

According to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, the changes were proposed by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and his deputy Ismail Haniyeh. However, Haniyeh was replaced last month by Yahya Sinwar who was described by Neri Zilber, an adjunct fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as “an extreme hardliner even for Hamas.”

Hamas confirmed early last month that it had rejected an Israel’s offer to grant significant economic aid to the Gaza Strip which was contingent on the terrorist group releasing three Israeli hostages and the bodies of two soldiers. Less than two weeks later, Hamas rejected an offer by Israel’s defense minister to create jobs and build infrastructure in Gaza in exchange for demilitarization.

Hamas’ foreign minister told NPR in May 2011 that the terror group accepted “the state and ’67 borders. This was mentioned many times and we repeated [it] many times.” In December 2012, Meshaal vowed to never recognize Israel. “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on an inch of the land,” he told thousands of supporters at a Gaza rally.

Meshaal’s comments came weeks after Hamas fired hundreds of rockets against Israeli towns, prompting Israel to launch Operation Pillar of Defense to root out terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 13 March 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kremlin/ Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Urge the Lord to isolate Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood from the world and annul their efforts to disguise their agenda with regards to Israel, Judaism and Jews. Thank God that His promises regarding the land are superior to Hamas’s threats of no concession on an inch of the land and for Israel’s efforts of goodwill towards Gaza.

Scripture

They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.


- Psalm 83:3-4, 17-18

Israel Shuts down PA Agency Keeping Tabs on Arabs Selling Lands to Jews

by Roi Yanovsky

Palestinian neighborhood, Beit Hanina

Thursday, 16 March 2017 | A Palestinian Authority government agency secretly operating in east Jerusalem was shut down on Tuesday on the order of Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

The PA agency, operating in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, was carrying out surveillance and the registering of Arabs who sold land to Jews.

The Palestinian Authority [PA] used to have a bureau in Jerusalem that dealt with “map issues.” The bureau would perform registration and monitoring of Palestinian lands in east Jerusalem and record changes carried out by Israel as “land theft” by the Israeli government.

The Jerusalem Police Department has recently discovered the bureau had renewed its activities under the guise of a “geographic consulting firm.” It is funded by the PA and is in regular contact with PA security forces.

Police investigation also learned that the names of Arabs wishing to sell homes and land to Jews were given to security services in Ramallah. PA security services investigates any suspicion of forgery or intent to sell a home or land to Jews.

“The activities of this Palestinian Authority agency are part of a plan to undermine our sovereignty in Jerusalem and terrorize Arabs who sell real estate to Jews,” said Erdan. “We will continue to act with determination to prevent any Palestinian government foothold in Jerusalem.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally posted this article on <date14 March 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: יעקב/ Wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the safety of the Israeli Arabs whose names were given to security forces in Ramallah. Give thanks for the Jerusalem police department who sniffed out this agency operating in secret and ask God to guard Israel from any attempts from the enemy, plotting to rob from God’s Promised Land.

Scripture

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, to your descendants I will give this land. And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.


- Genesis 12:7

Palestinians Protesters Call for Abbas’s Resignation Over Cooperation with Israel

by Ilse Posselt

Central street in Ramallah

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 | Large-scale demonstrations swept through the city of Ramallah on Sunday and Monday as protestors demanded that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas step down.

The calls for his resignation were, however, not born from discontent over the rife corruption, gross mismanagement or violation of basic human rights perpetrated by the government, supposedly tasked with the welfare of the Palestinian people. According to Israeli and international media, the demonstrators’ anger over Abbas had one source: the PA’s security cooperation with Israel.

Security cooperation between Israel and the PA serves as one of the cornerstones of the Oslo Accords and has been ongoing since 1993, despite being widely unpopular among the Palestinian public. The policy which has Israeli troops and Abbas’s forces working together against Islamic militants is considered by both sides as key to stability in the Palestinian governed areas of Judea and Samaria.

This particular series of demonstrations was aimed at railing against the PA for helping Israel locate the members of a terror cell. Four of the members are currently in Israeli custody. The fifth member, Bassel al-Aaraj, was killed earlier this month in a fire fight with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops. According to the Israeli army, soldiers came to arrest al-Aaraj at his hideout on 5 March 2016. Al-Aaraj opened fire on the soldiers and was killed during the ensuing exchange.

The PA initially arrested the five-member terror cell in 2016 for planning attacks against Israel and the possession of illegal fire arms. The arrests resulted in an outcry from the Palestinian public. The five terrorists also went on a hunger strike and the PA conceded to their release, stressing that they would still stand trial for the possession of illegal weapons.

Israel subsequently arrested four of the five terror cell members while the fifth, al-Aaraj, was killed resisting arrest.

The trial for the four terror cell members started on Sunday in Ramallah, sparking large-scale protests in front of the courthouse. Palestinians view the hearing as a direct result of the security cooperation between Israel and the PA.

PA security forces reacted to the demonstrations by dispersing the protestors using tear gas, clubs and batons. A number of journalists and civilians, including al-Aaraj’s father, were injured in the violent crack-down. Video clips have also surfaced showing the PA security forces beating protestors with batons and dragging both men and women from the scene, The Times of Israel reports.

Monday’s protests were altogether more peaceful. Under the gaze of armed PA security forces, demonstrators chanted, “Security coordination is treason,” “Down with security cooperation,” and “The people want the fall of the president.”

While demonstrations against the PA policy of security cooperation with Israel happen from time-to-time, the public have rarely made the PA president their target, The Jerusalem Post reports.

Following Sunday’s violence, Abbas’s main political rival, Mohammed Dahlan, was quick to speak out against the current PA president. He called on Abbas to cease all cooperation with the Jewish state, citing Israel’s alleged continued construction in Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem growing “more and more” Jewish.

Hamas, the terror group in charge of the Gaza Strip, also commented on the events. Hamas spokesperson, Hazem Qassem, hailed the violent crackdown as a “national crime” and demanded that the perpetrators be “held accountable and punished.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 15 March 2015)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/ Wikipedia

Photo License: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Una_strada_centrale_di_Ramallah.JPG

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the cooperation between Israeli and PA forces regarding security issues which makes Judea and Samaria a safer place for both Jewish and Arab residents. Ask God to step in and end the protests which may destabilize this cooperative effort by giving a platform to those leaders who are not in favor of any cooperation with Israel.

Scripture

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.


- Proverbs 29:1-2

An IDF Soldier Shares on Treating Wounded Syrians

IDF paramedic

Monday, 13 March 2017 | Since 2013, over 2,600 Syrians wounded in their country’s six-year-long war have been treated in Israel after coming to the border for medical care. Before they’re transferred to hospitals, paramedics provide immediate care at the border. We talked to Cpl. Yoad, one of these paramedics.

 What’s the hardest part of your job?

Cpl. Yoad: The hardest thing for me is seeing wounded children. There was a whole family that was hurt—a mother, a son, and a little girl. They were all in critical condition. The mother suffered a terrible stomach injury, and so did her daughter—her intestines were sticking out. The son needed a respirator and was unconscious with a head injury. From the translator, we learned that a missile hit their home. We laid the little girl down next to her mother and brother, treated them, and the mother and daughter were sent to one hospital and the son to another.

It was so hard for them to be separated and for the little girl to see her mother in that condition. It’s not always easy to see these things, and it’s not easy to keep a clear head all the time. When the work gets to me, I talk to the other paramedics, and we lift each other up. It really helps.

How does it differ from being a first responder in Magen David Adom (MADA), Israel’s emergency medical service?

There’s a difference between seeing the wounded people that you see in MADA and the conditions that Syrian casualties arrive in. In MADA, the wounds are fresh—traffic accidents, bad falls—that’s one thing. The Syrians are traveling for miles from a warzone—treating them is completely different. In MADA, the injuries occurred ten, fifteen, twenty minutes ago, tops. With the Syrians who come for help, it could have happened two hours ago, and you’re trying to keep him alive and conscious. People come in with terrible wounds. It’s a completely different situation from MADA.

Syria and Israel are enemy countries. What would you say to people who think you’re treating your enemy?

Anyone who thinks that can go to a hospital, open a door to a room, and see an injured Syrian two-year-old. When they see the patients themselves, they start to see it differently. It’s easy to say things, but the minute they see the actual people we’re treating, it becomes another situation. These people aren’t our enemies.

How did you feel when you learned that you’d be working with Syrians?

When I got my posting on the Syrian border, I knew I would be treating wounded Syrians. In the course, we learn to treat any human being who needs help. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what they are—we give them the care that they need. We’re dealing with human beings who were caught in the middle of a conflict they didn’t do, with children who suffer terrible injuries. Like the seven-year-old girl who had a missile hit her house. She had no agenda. There’s no reason I shouldn’t help her.

How do you feel about your position now?

When you live in this country where you have so much, you really don’t realize how good you have it. The people we treat are struggling just to survive. To be able to help them really gives you a feeling of tremendous satisfaction. I don’t know how to explain it—these people are getting hurt just because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. To help them without wanting anything in return, to help them because you can, is so gratifying. It’s indescribable.

Source: (IDF originally posted this article on 09 March 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF blog

Prayer Focus
Offer thanksgiving for the incredible IDF medical soldiers who daily sacrifice to help wounded Syrians regardless of their circumstances. Pray God’s blessing over their lives and families, lift these soldiers up for strong hearts, affirmed faith for what they see and knowledge to encourage one another.

Scripture

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.


- Proverbs 3:27

Action
In Israel acts of kindness are a daily event. Ask God to help us all feed the hungry and give drink to those who thirst. Pray for humble hearts to change the world, one act of kindness at a time, one human being to another, paying it forward without expecting anything or recognition in return.

Intel to Buy Israel’s Mobileye for Record $15 Billion

A MobileEye chip used in a Hyundai Lane Guidance camera module (Photo Credit: Binarysequence/Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 | American tech giant Intel confirmed its intent on Monday to acquire the Jerusalem-based autonomous driving company Mobileye for a record $15 billion, the biggest ever exit in Israeli history.

According to the agreement, Intel will launch a tender offer to acquire all of Mobileye’s issued and outstanding ordinary shares for $63.54 per share in cash, Globes reported. The deal has an equity value of about $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion.

Intel will also move its entire automotive unit to Israel where it will be headed by Prof. Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and CTO.

Photo Credit: Noa.mobileye/ Wikipedia

The California-based chipmaker said in a statement that its acquisition of Mobileye, which develops sensors and cameras for driverless cars, will help “accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.” Intel estimates that the market for autonomous vehicles will be worth $70 billion by 2030.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

Ziv Aviram, co-founder, president and CEO of Mobileye, added that “[by] pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centers and high-performance computing platforms. Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry.”

The deal was praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who tweeted, “Congratulations to Mobileye! Israeli genius, Israeli pride.”

“Israel is a superpower in knowledge, technology and innovation,” said MK Ofir Akunis, Israel’s minister of science, technology and space.

“The fact that large international companies see potential in Israel and are seeking to acquire Israeli companies that lead their prospective fields is a source of national pride for our technological strength,” he added.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, praised Mobileye’s cutting-edge technology last year, even though the Israeli firm is competing with Google to produce the world’s first driverless car.

Mobileye is the central player in Israel’s burgeoning automotive technology sector which hosts development centers for no less than four major car companies.

Israel Fisher, global economy reporter for The Marker, said on Monday that “you can see a line of executives from all around the world coming to Israel looking for automotive technology.”

Mobileye raised a record $890 million in its initial public offering in August 2014.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 13 March 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.) 

Prayer Focus
Thank God that Israel is being recognized as a superpower in knowledge, technology and innovation. Exalt Him for the economic benefit that this brings to the nation.

Scripture

Indeed He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.


- Isaiah 49:6

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