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We are your hands blessing the Jewish people

Friday, January 13, 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.

Christians Cannot Let Israel Stand Alone Against the Nations

by Rev. Cheryl L. Hauer

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Thursday, 12 January 2017 | Israel is facing very real and imminent danger to her very existence; if ever the intercession of her Christian friends was critical it is at this very moment in history. This Sunday, January 15, 2017, has the frightening potential to join the ranks of those historic days that are known as “dates that will live in infamy,” specific anniversaries of events that altered the course of history with often disastrous results. Representatives from 70 nations will convene in France to “breathe new life into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

However, Israel, her Christian friends and her allies in the US Congress view the event as a sham forum whose purpose is to force Israel to accept a two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority. Coming on the heels of UN Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli “settlement” activity as illegal, and demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” there is little likelihood of any outcome other than the vilification of Israel and global support for the formation of two states based on pre-1967 “borders.” The US Congress has passed its own resolution, by an overwhelming majority of both parties, demanding the revocation of 2334.

There has been much speculation that lame duck US President Barack Obama and his administration were the force behind Resolution 2334, and in a staggering change in policy, the US abstained rather than voting against it at the UN Security Council. Out-going US Secretary of State John Kerry will not only be present at Sunday’s conference, but is making the diplomatic rounds, meeting with leaders of the UK, Germany and Switzerland. In a speech a few days after the passage of the anti-settlement resolution, Kerry outlined again his plan for Mideast peace which Israeli leaders have called “an absolute disaster for Israel.” The speech served only to further inflame the already seething distrust between the soon-to-be-gone US administration and Israel.

There is further concern that the outcome of the Paris initiative will become another resolution to be brought to the UN Security Council next week, potentially securing international support for the implementation of Kerry’s plan just a few short days before President-elect Donald Trump, and his very pro-Israel team, takes office. The results of such an outcome would be devastating, not just for Israel but for the entire world.

Many Christians and Jews worldwide think it no coincidence that there are 70 nations on the guest list for Sunday’s event. Seventy has long been the number that represents all the nations of the earth, based on the lineage of Noah in the Torah (Gen.–Deut.). Thus, they say, we may well be seeing the fulfillment of yet another prophecy as “all nations” are coming out against Israel.

As those who call upon the name of the Lord, we have been set apart as watchmen on the wall for Jerusalem, as those who would fight for Israel in the heavenly realms. As Israel faces the wrath of the nations, it is critical that Christians unite in prayer, calling upon the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to deliver His people from this evil attempt to destroy them. For decades, many Christians have been reaching out to Israel and the Jewish people, working to build relationships of sincerity and respect. We have acknowledged that the Church failed in its mandate to support God’s chosen people during the Holocaust, turning a blind eye to the horror that was befalling them and there are 6 million reminders of that failure. Let us not make that same mistake again! We have promised our Jewish friends that they can count us. Let’s make good on that promise. Pray as often as possible and with great diligence between now and Sunday evening. Join with us and a powerful global army of believers as we storm the gates of heaven, trusting our God to deliver His people once again.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 January 2017)

Prayer Focus
Pray as the Lord leads.

Scripture

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Behold, all those who were incensed against you shall be ashamed and disgraced; they shall be as nothing, and those who strive with you shall perish.


- Isaiah 41:10-11

Abbas Tells Trump: US Embassy Move to Jerusalem will be “Disastrous”

by Ilse Posselt

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US Consulate building in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 | If President-elect Donald Trump decides to move the United States (US) embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel to Jerusalem, the Middle East will experience a “crisis no one will be able to overcome,” Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas, threatened.

According to the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, Abbas sent Trump an official letter yesterday to urge the incoming American Commander-in-Chief against such a move.

Trump vowed during his election campaign that he would move the US embassy in Israel from its current location in Tel Aviv to the City of Gold should he be chosen as the next American president. Since his election two months ago, speculations have been rife that Trump might make good on the promise with a top aide even revealing that the move is a “top priority.”

Abbas certainly appears to view Trump’s intentions as serious and not simply a fleeting campaign promise. In yesterday’s letter, the PA President urged the President-elect to reconsider his stance and listed what he believes to be the implications of such a decision. The move, Abbas argued, would “likely have a disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region.”

The PA President does, however, not pin all his hopes on Trump. According to Wafa, Abbas also sent letters to the heads of Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the President of the Non-aligned Movement and the Secretary General of the Arab League. In the missives, Abbas requests assistance and asks the leaders “to spare no effort in preventing the US embassy from moving to Jerusalem.”

On Friday, Abbas also invited Trump to visit so-called Palestine, especially Bethlehem, but added that “any statement or position that will disrupt or alter the status of Jerusalem is a red line that we will not accept.”

Abbas’s statement comes days after senior Fatah officials threatened that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would unleash a “new violent uprising” amongst Palestinians. For his part, the PA’s supreme Sharia judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, also said that such a move would be seen as “a declaration of war” on all Muslims.

Up until 1967, Judea and Samaria, including east Jerusalem and the Old City, were under Jordanian control. During The Six Day War, Israel recaptured the area, reunifying the City of Gold and proclaiming Jerusalem as the undivided, eternal capital of the Jewish people. Various UN nations, including the US, refuse to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and thus maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv. In fact, the city’s status has been one of the key issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians claim Judea and Samaria as lands designated for their prospective state and hails east Jerusalem as its intended capital. Should Trump decide to move the embassy to Jerusalem, it would signify that the US accepts the City of Gold as Israel’s capital.

Last month, a resolution by the United Nations Security Council labeled Judea and Samaria, including east Jerusalem, occupied Palestinian land. The US failed to veto the vote and thus allowed the resolution to pass, a move which Trump criticized.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 10 January 2017)

Photo Credit: Magister/wiki

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Glorify the Lord for His faithfulness and promises of protection to the house of Israel. Pray that President-elect Trump will not be intimidated by Abbas’s threats to plunge the Middle East into a crisis that cannot be overcome if the US embassy is moved.

Scripture

For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.


- Malachi 3:6

UN Resolution Leads to Spike in Palestinian Violence

by Ilse Posselt

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Rioters in Jerusalem (illustrative)

Thursday, 12 January 2017 | When the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed the infamous anti-Israel resolution on December 23, 2016, calling all east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria “occupied Palestinian land,” many warned of the adverse effects of such a statement. The resolution, some cautioned, harmed the chances for lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians through bilateral negotiations, while others pointed to the Jewish state becoming more isolated on the world stage.

Now it seems like the resolution has created yet another perilous situation. According to Israeli defense officials, there has been a sharp rise in Palestinian violence, especially rock-throwing attacks, in Judea and Samaria in the weeks since the UNSC gave the statement their nod of approval.

The figures speak for themselves. September 2016 saw 346 rock-throwing attacks, October 2016, 275, November 2016, 420 and December, 344. According to The Times of Israel, the majority of the December attacks took place in the last week of the month. Moreover, 169 rock-throwing attacks were recorded in the first week of January 2017 alone. If the pattern continues, the tally at the end of the month would top 700 attacks.

The Times of Israel reports that a number of other factors might also contribute to the upsurge. Israeli security officials say that rock-throwing attacks usually increase over the exam season in Palestinian high schools, but added that this year’s escalation is much larger than over the same period last year.

Another contributing factor is a series of anniversaries the Palestinians find significant being celebrated within this timeframe. These include the first terror attack perpetrated by Fatah, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s political party and the ruling faction in the PA, on January 1, 1965 and the death of Yahya Ayyash, terror group Hamas’s chief bomb expert, on January 5, 1996.

 The Times of Israel argues that the political background does, however, play a pertinent role. Apart from the resolution passed on December 23, 2016, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, delivered a fiery address five days later, pointing a finger at construction in Judea and Samaria as one of the main obstacles for peace. Moreover, Palestinians have also expressed their displeasure with the possibility of President-elect moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus signaling their acceptance of the City of Gold as the capital of the Jewish state.

The Israel Project quotes award-winning Palestinian journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh, who argues that the PA is using the UNSC’s anti-Israel resolution “to promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.” Abu Toameh also reports that a former Palestinian peace negotiator and associate of Abbas used the resolution as a platform to call on Palestinians to “bolster the popular resistance” against the Jewish state. “Popular resistance,” Abu Toameh clarifies, is “code for throwing stones and firebombs and carrying out stabbing and car-ramming attacks against Israelis.”

“The resolution,” Abu Toameh concludes, “has also encouraged the Palestinians to pursue their narrative that Jews have no historical, religious or emotional attachment to Jerusalem or any other part of Israel.”

According to Breitbart, the statistics raises the question of whether Sunday’s terror attack in which four Israelis were murdered was sparked by the UNSC resolution and Kerry’s address against construction in Judea and Samaria as well as east Jerusalem. The attack took place in Armon Hanatziv, a neighbourhood located and in so-called east Jerusalem. Both Fatah and Hamas, the two main Palestinian political role-players, praised the attack.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 January 2017)

Photo Credit: Isranet

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the nation of Israel’s safety and specifically for the IDF and other security forces who deal with terror crimes. Pray for their protection; both physical and emotional.

Scripture

Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.


- Psalm 34:14

Palestinian Terrorist Plows Truck into Israeli Soldiers, Killing Four

by Ilse Posselt

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Scene from the aftermath of the terror attack in Jerusalem

Monday, 09 January 2017 | They call it “Cultural Sundays,” a day designed to treat soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) with outings to significant historical and national landmarks around the Promised Land. Yesterday was no different, as a group of IDF officers and officer cadets set out to explore the City of Gold. One of their stops included the Haas-Sherover Promenade, a popular tourist spot offering a panoramic view over Jerusalem and the Old City. The group was exiting the bus at around 1:30 p.m. when terror struck: a Palestinian terrorist driving a large flatbed truck plowed into the soldiers, killing four.

The IDF confirmed yesterday afternoon that three female soldiers and one male soldier were declared dead at the scene. The four victims were all in their early twenties. Seventeen more officers and cadets were injured, two seriously. According to a Magan David Adom paramedic on the scene, a number of victims were caught under the truck.

Aftermath of Jerusalem truck ramming terror attack

Police reports indicate that the terrorist accelerated as he struck the group of Israelis. Eyewitnesses who saw the gruesome attack also told the media that after striking the pedestrians, the terrorist shifted the truck into reverse to run over them a second time. Armed civilians and two soldiers shot and killed the terrorist.

Eitan Rund, the tour guide leading the group, told reporters about the attack. “In a fraction of a second during which I was speaking with one of the officers, I saw the truck plowing into us. After a few rolls on the grass, I saw the truck start to reverse and then I already understood that this was not an accident. He went in reverse and again drove over the injured.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visited the scene of the attack yesterday afternoon. Netanyahu told reporters that all signs pointed to the terrorist being a supporter of the Islamic State. He added that there might be links between yesterday’s attack and other similar attacks recently in Berlin, Germany and Nice, France.

“We are fighting this plague and will defeat it,” Netanyahu vowed. “We will overcome this terrorism, just as we overcame other attacks. There are a number of actions that we will not specify at this time which we will have to take to ensure that incidents such as these do not recur.”

For his part, Liberman told the media that the attack was the direct consequence of incitement against Jews in the Promise Land. “This brutal attack is obviously not because of any other reason but one: because we are Jews and we live here in Israel,” he said.

“There was no other reason, and no need to look for an excuse—not Jewish settlements and negotiations, but an attack inspired by ISIS,” Liberman continued. “We saw it in France, we saw it in Berlin and unfortunately, we saw it today in Jerusalem. We will fight this terrorism with all tools at our disposal, and I am sure that we will win.”

The terrorist was identified as 28- year-old Fadi Ahmad Al-Qunbar from Jabel Mukaber, a neighborhood in east Jerusalem close to the site of the attack. Family members describe him as a “devoutly religious man, married with four children.”

While foreign dignitaries from around the world were quick to express their horror and condemnation, the reaction from large sections of the Palestinian society was one of joyous celebration over the bloodshed and loss of life.

Hamas, the terror group ruling over the Gaza Strip, lauded the attack as “heroic.” Hamas spokesman, Hazem Qassem, praised the murder on his Facebook page, saying “These operations demonstrate that all attempts to bypass the resistance or to thwart it will fail every time.” The terror group also took to Twitter in an attempt to get the phrase #TruckIntifada trending on the social media site. Thousands of Hamas activists and supporters also took to the streets of Gaza last night in a celebration rally, chanting anti-Israel slogans and handing out sweets to passersby.

Moreover, upon learning of the attack, the terrorist’s sister sang her brother’s praises saying, “Praise be to God that he became a martyr. It is the most beautiful martyrdom.”

Yesterday’s attack marks the deadliest to occur in Jerusalem since the start of the wave of terror in September 2015. Over the past 16 months, 46 people have been murdered in 333 terror attacks across the country.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 09 January 2017)

Photo Credit: Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Declare peace in Jerusalem and that the horrific terror attacks against the IDF and the Jewish nation will stop. Ask the Lord to comfort those who are bereaved and bring healing to the injured.

Scripture

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say: Peace be within you.


- Psalm 122:6-8

Behind the Deceptive Calm on Israel’s Southern Border

by Yoav Zitun

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Looking at Gaza from the Israeli side of the border

Thursday, 12 January 2017 | Behind the misleading image of a calm in southern Israel, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] and Hamas are already preparing for the next war.

The Israeli side is focusing on locating Hamas’ strengths and optimizing the selection of targets.

Hamas, on the other side of the fence, is preparing for the use of naval commandos and mini remotely-piloted vehicles, setting off daily sirens in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and bringing thousands of fighters into the network of subterranean tunnels.

Standing several meters from the fence of Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the northern Gaza vicinity, one can easily see Hamas’ arms race and recovery taking place. Palestinian tractors and trucks load construction material which has been recycled from what was left of the homes in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood are a common site. The residents have not returned to the homes overlooking the fields and houses of Nahal Oz and Kibbutz Kfar Aza, and Gaza’s eastern neighborhood has turned into the largest concrete factory in the strip.

Meanwhile, Hamas posts are springing up like mushrooms after rain between the Palestinian villages and towns and the Israeli border. Under the fertile agricultural land on both sides of the border fence, the land is rustling with the sounds of diggings.

The sounds of Hamas’ combat training, the shooting ranges and fitness exercises can be heard clearly on the Israeli side, even in the middle of the night. Two and a half years after Operation Protective Edge, it seems that quite a lot has changed in the approach of both Hamas and the IDF.

“We plan to turn the enemy’s tunnels into death traps, into something that will stand in their way,” Colonel Yuval Ben-Dov, commander of the Southern Commands Fire Control Center, told Ynet. “The next battle won’t be just over aerial fire, and fire alone will not win the next war.”

The Southern Command is preparing for another conflict in Gaza, this time more accurate and less scattered in terms of munition volumes and explosives.

All these preparations are subject to the defense minister’s unequivocal policy to end the next war with a defeat to Hamas rather than buying two or three more years of calm.

Until that happens, every few months the IDF targets strategic assets built by Hamas using exceptional offensive planes that drop tons of ammunition from the air.

On paper, these sporadic strikes are carried out in response to a rocket fired at an Israeli community. In reality, they are launched in an effort to exploit the opportunity to weaken the recovery of Hamas’ military wing.

A conversation with Southern Command officers outlines the change in the IDF’s perception of strikes against Hamas, focusing on efficiency and speed.

IDF officials are realizing that the economic distress which includes a drop in electricity and water supply and a high unemployment rate, along with sewer flooding and a population growth in a small and crowded area, are turning into a time bomb.

A source in the Southern Command told Ynet that “95% of the strip’s budget comes from the outside. Hamas understands that and is acting sensibly.”

In recent months, Hamas has arrested more than 30 rebellious activists who disobeyed its orders and fired rockets at Israel. It is taking other organizations in the Strip, such as former Hamas or Islamic Jihad members, under its wings and helping them with training and money. Hamas will place importance on kidnapping and murdering Israelis

In conversation with commanders for the Southern Command, it is clear that Hamas, like the IDF, will endeavor to fight in a more focused fashion in the next round. The terror organization is planning to carry out simultaneous surprise underground infiltrations via tunnel from which dozens of armed terrorists will emerge from the areas surrounding the Gaza Strip with the sole intent of murdering and kidnapping Israelis.

The emphasis placed on such a tactic is designed to create the impression of victory from the first day of fighting and show that the IDF is unprepared for the battle.

Hamas intends to allocate the majority of its fighting force to the underground sphere to which it wants to lure Israeli soldiers—a sphere which is growing every day.

Moreover, the organization is rearming and improving its rocket capabilities, placing particular priority on firing range as part of its overall strategy of ensuring that residents of the Tel Aviv area receive no respite from the sounds of the sirens, indifferent to the interceptions of the Iron Dome.

But in addition to Hamas’s thirst to wreak havoc on Israeli citizens by way of sound, it is also working to do so by pound—that is, by increasing the explosive impact of their rockets. Short-distanced mortars too are expected to cause greater damage which will be earmarked for communities near Gaza and areas containing IDF concentrations.

Drone attacks, coordinated from within the tunnels, are also expected to be carried out in the next round, as well as amphibious assaults from commando units launched from the sea. The overall strategy is to take the fight to Israel, rather than defend on home turf.

The strategies were already employed, with partial success, by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Whether they will be put to more effective use next time remains to be seen.

Source:  (Ynetnews originally published this article on 11 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Michio Nagata/Bridges for Peace

Prayer Focus
Offer petition to the Lord for the IDF as they prepare themselves and develop strategies for defense of the southern border. Ask God to remind them that when they come in the name of God they will have the victory of David.

Scripture

Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.


- 1 Samuel 17:45-46a

Israeli Satellite Discovers Russian Ground-to-ground Missiles in Syria

by Ron Ben Yishai & Yoav Zitun

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Russian Iskander missiles on the 9P78-1 Transporter erector launcher (illustrative)

Monday, 09 January 2017 | The Eros B satellite operated by the Israel based ImageSat International (ISI) has located two long range Russian ground to ground SS-26 Iskandar missile launchers in the Syrian Latakia air base. The base is also used by the Russian Air Force.

Experts from ISI say that the launchers are hidden under camouflage nets the majority of the time, but the heavy rains seen across the region over the past several weeks forced the Russians to move the launchers out from underneath the nets, thus exposing them to the satellite.

Two other vehicles were seen in the area, and it seems as if they are also part of the SS-26 Iskander system.

The Iskander ground to ground missiles are able to be shot 400-500 kilometers [250- 310 miles]. They are accurate to within 5 meters [3 feet], and can carry a warhead weighing half a ton. Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa are all within range of these missiles.

The Russians used the SS-26 during their conflict with Georgia in 2008, and their effectiveness was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The missiles have also seen action in Syria on several occasions.

The Assad regime and the Iranians have both asked the Russians to sell them the missile systems but have thus far refused their requests at Israel’s insistence. However, this request hasn’t kept the Russians from using the missiles themselves against ISIS and Fatah Jabhat al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra).

Israel is worried that some of the missiles might be stolen from the Russians in Syria and given to Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the West is worried about the missiles’ presence in Syria in general, mainly due to the heavy warhead they carry.

It seems as if the Russians have put the missiles in western Syria as a deterrence to the West, especially in light of European nations increasing spending on anti-ballistic missile systems, along with Western nations carrying out war games in Baltic countries bordering Russia.

Interestingly, Russia announced on Friday its intention to bring back its aircraft carrier and to draw down its troop presence in Syria. The aircraft carrier and the various advanced missiles the Russians brought with them to Syria were believed to be used as deterrence against Western intervention.

A high ranking IDF [Israel Defense Forces] official said that Syria has the best non-Western air defense in the world, including S-400, SA-3 and SA-17 surface to air missiles. Foreign sources have reported that these advanced surface to air systems have made their way to Hezbollah and that some were allegedly blown up by Israel while the missile were en route to the Lebanese terror group.

The Russians are still worried that the US will try to attack their Syrian ally, specifically because of US President Barack Obama’s repeated claims that the Syrian regime fights using chemical weapons.

However, with the election of Donald Trump to the Whitehouse, the Russians may believe that there is less of a chance of US military intervention and are therefore more willing to draw down their troop presence.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in Ynetnews on 05 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: A.Savin/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel’s leaders, both military and political, will have the accurate intelligence they need to defend the nation and that God will give them the understanding to know how to use it.

Scripture

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.


- Proverbs 3:5-6

Pope Francis to Meet with Abbas Over the Weekend

by Ilse Posselt

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Pope Francis

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 | Over the weekend, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), will head to the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis on Saturday afternoon.

The weekend’s get-together marks the third encounter between the head of the Catholic Church and the PA president. Abbas and the pope met for the first time three years ago during the pontiff’s trip to Israel. The second meeting occurred in 2015 when the Palestinian leader visited the Vatican to attend the canonization ceremony for two Palestinian nuns.

Relations between the Palestinian people and the Holy See were strengthened in 2013 when the Vatican officially recognized a Palestinian state. Two years later saw another upgrade in relations with the signing of an accord that is bound to result in the establishment of a Palestinian embassy in the Vatican as early as this year.

Israel criticized the accord and relations between the Palestinian Authority and the Holy See and relations with Israel were strained even further when the pope described Abbas as an “angel of peace” during the PA president’s 2015 visit.

The Vatican later tried to explain the statement arguing that the reference was mistranslated and that the pope merely meant to encourage Abbas to be an “angel of peace” and pursue reconciliation with Israel.

Saturday’s meeting comes at a particularly pivotal time. According to Israel National News, the motivation for the get-together was probably the Palestinian leaders’ concern over President-elect, Donald Trump, possibly moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus signaling that the US acknowledges the City of Gold as Israel’s capital.

Last week, Abbas warned Trump against such a move, saying that it would be a “red line” that could jeopardize peace in the entire region. The PA president also sent a letter to Trump as well as to a number of other leaders to curry support against the move.

Moreover, the meeting between Abbas and the pope also takes place on the eve of the infamous Paris peace conference. Some 70 countries are expected to attend the international forum to discuss the situation and way forward for Israel and the Palestinians. The Jewish state fears that it will be used as a podium to push an external agenda for peace instead of seeking a solution through bilateral negotiations without pre-conditions.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 11 January 2017)

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Bruno/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord that the result of this meeting between the pope and Abbas will reflect His will and not cause further strife against God’s land and His people.

Scripture

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.


- Proverbs 21:1

Israeli Flag Illuminates Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate

by Ayala Goshen

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Brandenberg Gate, Berlin

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 | Brandenburg Gate in the German capital of Berlin was lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag on Monday, in a symbolic act of solidarity with Israel, following Sunday’s deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem which killed four.

“I got goosebumps, especially when I know who marched there 75 years ago,” said Avital Direktor Barber to Ynet, an Israeli who lives in Berlin.

Just hours after the deadly vehicular attack in Israel’s capital, activists began requesting from the Berlin Municipality to illuminate the gate up in blue and white and by Monday evening, their efforts had yielded results.

The German Foreign Ministry explained why it had chosen to adorn the pillars with the Israeli flag on its Twitter account: “The gate is lit up with the colors of the Israeli flag as a sign of solidarity with the victims of the terror attack that took place in Jerusalem.”

Avital Direktor Barber added that witnessing the colors illuminate the German landmark provided a sense of revenge or at least victory. “A victory that says: ‘here we are, with all the disasters that befall us and with all your attempts to destroy us, here is the beautiful flag in the world just a few meters from Hitler’s bunker.’”

Visiting the site, Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, the rabbi of the Berlin Jewish community, said: “Of all places, here in the city of Berlin, in which just two weeks ago there was another vehicular attack, we stand and say to the people in the Holy Land that we stand together with you. We express our solidarity with the families of those killed and those wounded.”

“The aim of terrorists is to instill fear but they will fail, both in Jerusalem and in Berlin,” he said.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 10 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot YouTube video/Daily News

Photo License: Youtube

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord as Berlin chose to stand with Israel against terrorism. Ask God to raise up intercessors to stand against terror recruitment and global terror attacks. Pray for our children, the next generation to be protected.

Scripture

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in You.


- Psalm 55:22-23

Reported Threats to American Jewish Institutions

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New York City, home to the majority of America’s Jewish population

Friday, 13 January 2017 | The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed deep concern about reports of bomb threats at several Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) across the United States today, and has been working closely with the Jewish community and law enforcement to respond.

Bomb threats were reported in Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Maryland, South Carolina, and Delaware. Law enforcement [groups] are investigating the incidents, which may have originated from the same phone number. So far, no explosives have been found.

“Unfortunately, such threats are not new to the Jewish community,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “While each of these threats must be taken seriously, and excellent preparation is key to a good response, bomb threats are most often not credible and are usually used as scare tactics in order to disrupt an institution’s operations, and to cause fear and panic. At this juncture, none of these threats appear to be credible.”

Mr. Greenblatt added, “We have also been in touch with Jewish institutions across the country to notify them of these threats and urge them to take this opportunity to always ‘think security’ by reviewing their security policies and procedures.”

The League reached out to the Jewish Community Center Association to express its support, and has been in touch with local law enforcement to commend them on their swift investigation of these incidents.

ADL regional offices also have been sharing security resources, including its security manual Protecting Your Jewish Institution, to help communities prepare for and respond to potential threats.

Source: (Press release by the American Defamation League, 09 January 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Dschwen/wikipedia

Photo License: wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord to awaken a recognition within His people of the increasing dangers in the Diaspora. Pray that they will allow themselves to be gathered up from among the Gentiles.

Scripture

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.


- Psalm 106:47

Israeli Paramedics Save Life of Palestinian Youth

by Joshua Spurlock

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Friday, 13 January 2017 | The Israeli military is regularly attacked by Palestinian terrorists who despise their presence, and yet when a Palestinian youth was electrocuted and unconscious, his parents rushed to take him to… an IDF base. A paramedic at the IDF crossing started to treat the young person until the Israeli Magen David Adom (MDA) group could arrive, and thanks to the joined efforts by the Israelis, the boy survived—albeit after a great scare.

The MDA, in a press release, said that their team arrived at the scene and “found a young teen in a severe state.” MDA paramedic Roman Belman, in a video interview produced by the MDA, said the boy had burn marks and no pulse when they arrived. They took over the resuscitation efforts from the IDF paramedic at the scene. “The parents were hysterical and crying, but did not disturb us from doing our work,” said Berman in the video. “After approximately 10 minutes, an amazing thing happened and the pulse returned.”

With the Palestinian youth showing vital signs again, the MDA press release said their paramedics realized that they needed a helicopter to quickly get him to hospital care. To cut down on the transport time even further, they drove towards the helicopter.

The press release quoted the boy’s father as saying, “I thank the helicopter crew who brought my son to the hospital and saved his life.”

MDA Director General Eli Bin said in the press release that “Magen David Adom’s premier value is human life. Our teams treat everyone in need, regardless of their gender, race or faith.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 08 January, 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez, Bridges for Peace

Prayer Focus
Praise God for Israel’s example of showing God’s love in treating anybody that is hurt regardless of their gender, faith or race. Ask God to protect this family and for them to shine Israel’s light to many others. Pray for a speedy recovery of their son.

Scripture

O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.


- Psalm 30:2

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