Israel Prayer Update

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 19,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Fill out the form on the side if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

  1. Iran’s Ballistic Missile Initiative Puts Israel in the Crosshairs
  2. Netanyahu: No Two-State Solution “Under the Current Situation”
  3. Hamas Calls on Palestinians to Blow up Israeli Buses
  4. Russia and Iran Fall Out
  5. Israel Leads Global Effort to Face Chemical Warfare
  6. Fourth Gaza Terror Tunnel Collapses
  7. Measuring an Ancient Hatred: Anti-Semitism in Social Media
  8. Israel, India to Sign Weapons Deal
  9. Israeli Technology Detects Threats Through Fog
  10. Water Drone: Israel’s New, Unmanned Sea Vessel
  1. Iran’s Ballistic Missile Initiative Puts Israel in the Crosshairs

    by Ilse Posselt

    Emad missile launch Friday, 12 February 2016 | The deal was sealed less than a month ago. After two years of negotiations, the Islamic Republic of Iran and heads of the P5+1 (US, China, France, UK, Russia and Germany) celebrated the implementation of the controversial Iran nuclear deal.

    As of 17 January 2016, the Islamic State’s once illegal nuclear plan became legal. Iran also gained immediate access to billions of US dollars in frozen cash reserves, while international sanctions prohibiting global companies from doing business with the Islamic Republic became a thing of the past. Moreover, as a number of embargoes were lifted, Tehran is once again free to participate in the global arms trade and to engage in stipulated missile technology initiatives.

    Clearly, the Islamic Republic wasted no time in pursuing the latter.

    This week, Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan announced that Tehran would unveil a state-of-the-art, upgraded ballistic missile, advancing in an initiative that had drawn sharp criticism from the United Nations (UN) and sanctions from the United States in the past. Dubbed the Emad, the long-range missile will be equipped to carry a nuclear warhead. Moreover, with a range of up to 1,700 kilometers [1056 mi], it has the ability to reach Israel.

    “We will unveil the next generation of Emad with improved precision in the next (Iranian) year (beginning March 20),” Dehghan told the Islamic Republic’s Fars news agency on Tuesday. Mass production, he added, would begin in the near future.

    With the upgraded missile’s enhanced accuracy, he explained, Emad will be an integral addition to Iran’s current arsenal, acting as a deterrent to those who wish to harm Iran.

    According to Ynet, Iran first tested the Emad missile in October 2015. At the time, the United States raised serious concerns, stating that the missile has the capacity to carry nuclear warheads and thus violated UN resolutions. Together with Britain, France and Germany, the United States called for an investigation into the test launches.

    The UN committee subsequently ruled that the tests contravened a UN Security Council resolution restricting the Islamic State from engaging in ballistic missile initiatives with the ability to carry nuclear weapons, The Times of Israel reported.

    In response, Tehran vehemently denied the allegation, claiming that the Emad was not equipped to carry nuclear warheads.  

    On Tuesday, Dehghan reiterated Iran’s claim that their initiative poses no ill intent. “The Emad missile is not a violation of the nuclear deal or any UN resolution since we will never use a nuclear warhead (on it),” he assured.

    Dehghan also used the opportunity to announce that the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system would be delivered to Iran within the next two months. The S-300 is deemed one of the most advanced anti-aircraft weapons in the world. It has the ability to track various planes at once and has an interception range of up to 200 kilometers [124 mi].

    Russia agreed to sell the missile system to the Islamic Republic late last year after the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 was struck.

    In July of last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned, “Today Iran is arming terrorist organizations with missiles. Tomorrow they will have the ability to arm them and themselves with much deadlier weapons.”

    Just over six months later, the nuclear deal was sealed. And true to Netanyahu’s warning, Tehran began arming themselves with much deadlier weapons. 

    Israel refrained from commenting on Iran’s announcement.

    Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 February 2016)

    Photo Credit: Mohammad Agah/wikipedia.org

    Photo License: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emad_missile_by_Tasnimnews_01.jpg

    Prayer Focus

    Cry out to the Lord on behalf of His people! Call on the Lord to rise up and defend Israel from the threat of Iran’s ballistic missiles. Give thanks that His word is final and He declares life and not death for Israel, His special treasure.

    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.

    - Psalm 83:3–4

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  2. Netanyahu: No Two-State Solution “Under the Current Situation”

    by Ilse Posselt

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Thursday, 11 February 2016 | In theory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not dismiss the idea of a two-state solution. Under the right circumstances, he might support the much-touted “key” to peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

    Yet present circumstances are far from right. In fact, according to Netanyahu, it is simply impossible to implement the “arrangement of two states for two people… under the current situation,” The Times of Israel reports.

    Addressing a special Knesset (government) debate on the two-state solution on Wednesday night, the Prime Minister explained that the Palestinians have still not fulfilled the government’s basic requirements to enable a final peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. As such, he said, the Jewish state is left with no choice but to maintain the status quo.

    “I have clarified what is needed to end the conflict between us and the Palestinians: acknowledgment and demilitarization,” Netanyahu explained. And unless the Palestinians both recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and agree to a demilitarized state, he said, the possibility of a two-state solution is off the table.

    Netanyahu, who officially acknowledged the idea of a two-state solution during an address in 2009, has been unwavering on the requirements of recognition and demilitarization. The two demands, he explained, are not “preconditions” but rather fundamental principles that the Palestinians must meet in order to move ahead with the peace process.

    Referring to Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, The Times of Israel quoted the Prime Minister as saying, “It’s only natural that they give us what they are asking for themselves.”

    Netanyahu’s concern over the current climate for a two-state solution has, however, only deepened in recent years, The Times of Israel reports. The wave of protests which flooded across the Arab world since 2011 as well as the shifts of radical Islam in the Middle East have cast serious doubts as to the viability of achieving a peaceful and mutually beneficial two-state solution.

    In the past, Netanyahu has characterized the Arab Spring uprisings as “anti-West, anti-liberal, anti-Israel.” Despite facing “serious criticism” for his assessments, the Prime Minister remains unapologetic.

    “My responsibility as prime minister is not to dig my head in the sand,” he explained.

    Should Israel leave Judea and Samaria as much of the international community demands, Netanyahu said, the area would be overrun by extremists, turning it into a “base of Palestinian and Islamist terror” dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

    As world leaders, the international community and the global media continue to pressure the Jewish state to compromise, to give away and to offer land in exchange for peace, the two-state solution is often touted as the key to unlock the door to peace—not only between Israel and the Palestinians, but also within the entire troubled region.

    However, at present, Netanyahu disagrees. Israel and the safety of those who call her home is, after all, his main concern.

    That is why “in the face of the incredible changes around us… in the current circumstances, we can’t implement two states for two nations,” he said.

    Source: (Bridges for Peace, 11 February 2016)

    Photo Credit: www.mfa.gov

    Prayer Focus

    Intercede for Prime Minister Netanyahu as he faces formidable international pressure to accept the “two-state solution.” Pray that he will continue to stand firmly opposed to any compromise to Israel’s security and will not agree to give away the land of her inheritance.

    Scripture

    He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham, and His oath to Isaac, and confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan as the allotment of your inheritance…

    - Psalm 105:8-11

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  3. Hamas Calls on Palestinians to Blow up Israeli Buses

    by Brian Schrauger

    Chilling terrorist video Monday, 8 February 2016 | Yesterday Hamas's official television channel, Al-Aqsa TV, publicized a new music video launched one day before on YouTube. Performed by a 10-member Lebanese band that calls itself Promise of Islamic Art, its latest release is "Roof of the Bus Blows Off." It is a six and a-half minute production that features band members performing by the burned out shell of an Egged (Israeli) bus. The bus, obviously depicting the remains of a suicide bombing, is lovingly depicted as a holy object.

    The song's central message? With rhythmic harmony in a distinctly Arabic tune, the performers intone, "Gird yourself, O most honorable of men, with an explosive belt, because nothing will satisfy the intifada except blowing up buses."

    In the video, the band's performance is interspersed with dramatic scenes that portray the planning and execution of a suicide bombing attack. Men in black are shown planning the assault. They stand around an Israeli map and use an over-sized Egged model to portray the object of their plotting. In parallel scenes, the suicide bomber is presented as a muscular, handsome father. After praying to Allah, he is shown sitting on a sofa with his young son, saying goodbye to the boy he is leaving behind. They laugh together one last time. Dad playfully puts his son's head in a headlock then reads the boy a story. The scene ends with a hug and fatherly blessing.

    In an instantaneous shift, dad-the-suicide-bomber is shown approaching a bus stop. He joins a Hasidic Jew with braided curls and wearing blue jeans beneath a black overcoat. Two other men wait with him, one with short hair and kippa, another with an undersized cowboy hat. The latter two check the time, wondering when the bus will arrive.

    Dad-the-suicide-bomber waits with the other three. He is wearing a backpack and sports ear buds as if listening to music.

    When the bus arrives, its door is adorned with an Israeli flag decal. Inside the bus, dad-the-suicide-bomber makes his way to sit. As they get underway, he looks at fellow passengers. They include a Jewish teenager with oversized glasses and the bluejeans-clad Hasidic Jew with tightly braided curls.

    Looking out his window, dad-the-suicide bomber recalls reading the Koran. His gaze, it seems, sees paradise. Patting the explosives around his waist, hidden by a hoodie sweatshirt, the song, "Roof of the bus flies off," ends as he detonates the bomb.

    The high-definition video is not quite done. It concludes with production outtakes that show actors donning keffiyeh scarves, straightening hair, practicing dance steps and taking guidance from directors.

    Released two days ago on the band's YouTube channel, wa3edband, "Roof of the Bus Blows Off" has garnered 28,000 views. The group, Promise of Islamic Art (also under the apparent acronym, wa3edband), also maintains an Arabic language Facebook Page with 128,000 fans.

    Before initiating war with Israel in 2014, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh mocked Judaism's tenet that celebrates human life as God's great gift. In contrast to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he declared in Allah's name, "We love death like our enemies love life!"

    As clarified by "Roof of the Bus Blows Off," the opposing goals of life versus death, in a battle by Allah against the God of the Jews, continues. The front lines of that war are here, today, in the land of Israel.

    Source: (Bridges for Peace, 8 February 2016)

    Photo Credit: Screenshot/youtube.com

    Prayer Focus

    As Israel’s enemies shout their love of death—specifically those of God’s chosen people—proclaim His prophecies of life. The Lord is bringing His people back from the four corners of the earth, as He promised, in fulfillment of His plans for them.

    Scripture

    Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.

    - Ezekiel 37:12, 14a

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  4. Russia and Iran Fall Out

    Iranian foreign affairs advisor Ali Akbar Velayati Tuesday, 9 February 2016 | While diplomats from 70 countries talked in London about how to raise $9 billion for projects to rehabilitate Syria’s refugees and rebuild their war-ravaged country, its future was further clouded this week by an argument that flared between the main arbiters, Russia and Iran.

    Ali Akbar Velayati, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s foreign affairs advisor, spent three days in Moscow Feb. 1-4 haranguing Russian leaders, including President Vladimir Putin, whom he saw twice, on the differences that had cropped up in their long political and military cooperation for propping up the Assad regime.

    The Iranian official went home without resolving those differences, DEBKAfile’s sources report exclusively. Left pending were not just the next stage of the war but also the fate of President Bashar Assad.

    Velayati told Iranian reporters on his plane: “We are against stopping the war,” and “The war must be continued until all (Syrian) terror cells are eradicated.”

    He did not elaborate, but DEBKAfile’s Iranian and Moscow sources point out that he was underlining Tehran’s concerns about Moscow’s reported plans for the Assad regime, in which Iran is heavily invested, and the slowdown of Russia’s air campaign against every last rebel group.

    Most of all, Iran’s leaders were troubled to find that Russia, by dint of its proactive military intervention, had maneuvered itself into position for calling the shots for Syria.

    They are particularly distrustful, according to our sources, over Moscow’s complicated deals with Washington on the Syrian question and the dialogue Russia is holding with the Persian Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia. The Iranians fear that Putin is calibrating his offensive against rebel groups according to the pace of these interchanges and may therefore scale back strikes on pro-American or “moderate” rebels, or even refrain from subduing them.

    Tehran also looks askance at the improved relations Moscow is fostering with its rivals in the region, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited the two Arab capitals to allay their concerns for the Syrian rebel groups they support. He promised the Saudis not to harm them, so long as they did not get in the way of the joint Russian-Syrian steps in their country.

    Given the Russian moves, the Syrian war looks increasingly to Tehran as unlikely to end in President Assad’s favor.

    Lavrov seemed to confirm this Iranian concern on Feb. 2 when, during his visit to Oman he said, "Russian air strikes will not cease until we truly defeat the terrorist organizations ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra, and I don't see why these air strikes should stop."

    The Iranians immediately jumped on his omission of all other rebel groups but the two Islamists as the enemy, confirming their suspicions that Moscow was now acting in Syria on its own account. This was the cause of raised tempers in Velayati’s second meeting with the Russian president in Moscow.

    The Iranian official demanded the expansion of Russian military operations to cover more inclusive rebel targets. Putin shot back that if Iran wants to ramp up war operations, it should send its own troops into the fray—and not just generals.

    He touched on a sore point: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps don’t have troops available for fighting in Syria. So, Velayati’s mission to Moscow ended on an acrimonious note.

    Source: (DEBKAfile originally published this article on 5 February 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

    Photo Credit: sayyed shahab-o- din vajedi/wikipedia.org

    Photo License: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ali_Akbar_Velayati-2013.jpg

    Prayer Focus

    Continue to pray for Israel’s leaders, that they will be like the sons of Issachar and have understanding as they seek to navigate the troubled waters around their tiny country.

    Scripture

    …the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…

    - 1 Chronicles 12:32

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  5. Israel Leads Global Effort to Face Chemical Warfare

    Emergency responders prepare to enter the site Friday, 12 February 2016 | All is calm at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheva. Suddenly, twin explosions rock the area, and dozens of visibly wounded casualties cough, crawl, and collapse on the ground. A medic arrives, and begins to call in what he sees. He also starts choking and falls to the floor. As more first responders arrive, it is clear that this is not cut-and-dry terror. This is a chemical weapons attack.

    Don’t worry—this is only a drill. In mid-January, Israel hosted the 4th IPRED (International Preparedness and Response to Emergencies and Disasters) Conference, which attracted 250 international experts from 30 different countries, from the United States to Brazil to Australia to Japan. This exercise, coordinated by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Home Front Command and the Health Ministry, is its culmination. Its scale is immense. According to Lieutenant Colonel Aviv Ohana, head of the Department of Public Health for the Home Front Command, over 800 people took part. The participants also included the IDF, the Health Ministry, the police, the fire department, Soroka Medical Center, and other emergency response teams.

    An Emergency is No Match for Our First Responders

    “The objective is to see the cooperation and activity for emergency preparedness, particularly with the healthcare system,” says Lt. Col. Ohana. While it is important to prepare for any multi-casualty attack, toxicological attacks add another layer of complication. “It raises the level of collaboration between the different emergency response groups.”

    Collaboration in Action

    This collaboration is easy to see on the ground. Hazmat-suited members of the Home Front Command, police, fire department, and Magen David Adom (MDA) weave through the casualties, dispensing antidote and bringing them to safe zones. Experts at the site collect samples to identify the chemical agent used in the attack.

    Soldiers from the canine special forces unit, Oketz, are deployed to find any casualties outside the area, while a police helicopter circles overhead. When a fire suddenly breaks out, simulating a bursting ammonia tank at the nearby train station, the teams quickly assess the situation and contain the perimeter.

    Within an hour, all of the casualties have been evacuated, all of the emergency responders have been decontaminated, and the ambulances depart for Soroka Medical Center. There, the next stage of the exercise begins, and medical professionals simulate decontaminating the victims.

    Lt. Col. Ohana stresses that international coordination is essential in emergency situations like these, and that manifests in the Home Front Command’s many emergency aid missions. Dr. Rebecca Florsheim, who came to the conference from New York City, agrees. “When there’s a mass-casualty event, there are various groups from all different countries who come together. They don’t necessarily speak the same language; they have different skill sets and have to work together to best get the job done.”

    Source: (Israel Defense Forces originally published this article on 31 January 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

    Photo Credit: www.idfblog.com

    Prayer Focus

    Pray that Israel’s expertise in responding to chemical attacks will never be needed. Give thanks that they are sharing this preparedness with others.I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent…

    Scripture

    I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent…

    - Isaiah 62:6

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  6. Fourth Gaza Terror Tunnel Collapses

    New Gaza tunnel collapse (illustrative) Thursday, 11 February 2016 | Another member of the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas was killed in a tunnel collapse, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday.

    The man was identified as 27-year-old Marwan Maarouf of Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

    Palestinian reports indicate that Maarouf was the eleventh member of Hamas to die in a tunnel collapse in recent weeks. A collapse that killed seven members of the terror group last month was attributed to flooding.

    IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot recently hinted that Israel has been employing measures to counter the threat of the terror tunnels. “We are doing a lot” in response, he said at a conference at Herzliya’s Interdisciplinary Center, “but many of [the things we do] are hidden from the public. We have dozens, if not a hundred, engineering vehicles on the Gaza border.”

    Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Saturday that Egypt had flooded a number of tunnels in coordination with Israel and said that security cooperation with Egypt was “better than ever.”

    Ha’aretz military analyst Amos Harel wrote last month that Hamas had built at least as many attack tunnels as it had before its 2014 war with Israel. Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh wrote last week that the effort and expense that Hamas has invested in rebuilding the tunnels, even as Gaza remains mired in poverty, showed that “the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”   

    Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 9 February 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.

    Photo Credit: StandWithUs/facebook.com

    Prayer Focus

    Declare the Word of the Lord: no weapon formed against Israel shall prosper! Give thanks to the Lord for the exposure and collapse of these terror tunnels. Pray for the success of the measures Israel is currently taking to counter the threat posed by the tunnels.

    Scripture

    No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me, says the LORD.

    - Isaiah 54:7

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  7. Measuring an Ancient Hatred: Anti-Semitism in Social Media

    Anti-Semitic cartoon on Fatah Movement Facebook page Wednesday, 10 February 2016 | A major new report prepared for the Global Forum to Combat Anti-Semitism, "Measuring the Hate: The State of Anti-Semitism in Social Media," highlights that not enough is being done to combat anti-Semitism in social media. The report, based on tracking over 2,000 items of anti-Semitism over the last 10 months, found that only 20% of the items were removed.

    Traditional anti-Semitism made up almost half the sample and covered content such as conspiracy theories, racial slurs, and accusations such as the blood libel. The report also outlines where each type of anti-Semitism occurs, with content promoting violence against Jews far more likely to be found on Twitter (63% on Twitter, 23% on YouTube and 14% on Facebook), while content promoting Holocaust denial was more likely to be found on YouTube (44% YouTube, 38% Twitter, 18% Facebook).

    The report highlights significant variations in the responses of the social media companies to online anti-Semitism. More significantly, the response by each company was found to vary depending on the nature of the anti-Semitism.

    Through the Internet, anti-Semitic content and messages spread across national borders, feeding not only anti-Jewish hate, but violent extremism more generally. Removing the online incitement which leads to knife attacks in Israel is part and parcel of tackling the larger problem of online incitement which has also led to a dramatic increase in attacks on refugees in Germany.  

    As 2016 starts it is clear we have reached a point where the status quo is no longer acceptable. Social media platforms are being clearly told by governments around the world that if they don't do better to combating incitement, hate and the use of their systems by violent extremists, government will look to legislate to impose increased regulation. Social media platforms are starting to respond, but some are doing more effectively than others.

    The results in this report indicate significant variation in the way anti-Semitism is treated both between companies and also within a single company across the four categories of anti-Semitism. Positive responses by the platforms remain far lower than a concerned public or the governments who represent them would expect.

    The best initial removal rates occur on Facebook for Holocaust denial where 46% is removed within 3 months. The best overall result is for incitement on Facebook with only 25% of the content remaining online. The worst case was YouTube new anti-Semitism where after 10 months 96% of the new anti-Semitism on YouTube remained online. This reflected an overall problem on YouTube with 91% of the classic anti-Semitism, 90% of the Holocaust denial, and 70% of the incitement found on YouTube remaining after 10 months. Twitter is removing content on an ongoing basis but at a slow rate.

    We hope this report sheds light on the areas where improvement is most urgently needed, and that it will encourage a closing of the gap between public expectations on how social media companies should respond to anti-Semitism and the reality of what is currently occurring.

    Source: (Excerpts of article originally published by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 3 February, 2016. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

    Photo Credit: Screenshot/facebook.com

    Prayer Focus

    Pray that the publishing of this new report will shine a spotlight on the slow response of social media to remove anti-Semitic material from their sites. Pray that the posts will be exposed for what they really are—hatred and rebellion against the Lord.

    Scripture

    Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head.

    - Psalm 83:1-2

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  8. Israel, India to Sign Weapons Deal

    by Itamar Eichner

    Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Modi Thursday, 11 February 2016 | A $3 billion weapons deal is to be signed between Israel and India ahead of a historic planned visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Holy Land.

    India is planning to buy 164 laser systems for its air force, specifically for its Sukhoi-30MKI and Jaguar planes, and 250 precision guided bunker busting bombs, according to a report in The Times of India on Tuesday.

    Additionally, negotiations have started on the acquisition of 321 Spike anti-tank systems and 8,356 missiles.

    "There have already been more than 20 meetings between the sides following disagreements in the price," said an Indian Defense Ministry official.

    "The agreement will be finalized within the next month," the official continued, "and we are attempting to bridge the gaps between the two sides."

    The Times of India also reported that the Indian military is in urgent need of 3rd generation anti-tank missiles, and needs to arm their 382 infantry divisions and 44 armored divisions. In October of 2014, India decided to acquire the Israeli made "Spike" over the American made "Javelin."

    Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India in 2014, and has been a leading force in strengthening the Israeli-India relationship.

    India was also one of only five countries to abstain from voting for the adoption of a UN [United Nations] Security Council Resolution on Gaza. It was the first time that India publicly abstained from a UN vote criticizing Israel in an international forum.

    Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 10 February 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.

    Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

    Prayer Focus

    Give thanks for the strengthening of the relationship between Israel and India. Pray that India’s support for Israel in global forums will increase.

    Scripture

    How beautiful are your tents, Jacob, your dwelling places, Israel!... May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!

    - Numbers 24:5, 9b NIV

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  9. Israeli Technology Detects Threats Through Fog

    by Yoav Zitun

    Thursday, 11 February 2016 | An Israeli company from Hod Hasharon has recently developed a device that will allow drones to identify moving objects through fog, thus allowing the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] to prevent early morning terrorist attacks.

    Over the years, the IDF reinforced its positions in sensitive areas in the early morning hours, for fear that terrorist cells would take advantage of the fog. That is what happened in hundreds of attacks, from the security zone in Lebanon and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit on the Gaza border. But now the IDF can benefit from a solution that will help troops dramatically.

    This advanced mission-specific payload, which is at the heart of the operating system of equipment such as drones, can also be used on both land and sea. It contains critical components such as radar, day and night cameras, relays and more. Its uniqueness is the SWIR (Short Range Infra Red) technology, which was recently developed and is able to see and take high quality pictures through fog. It can identify silhouettes or moving objects from a distance of several kilometers, and if necessary from up to 20 km [13 mi].

    The device in question is relatively large—about 65 kilograms [143 lbs]—and is installed on the ground on the Speed LR platform made by Controp, an Israeli company in Hod Hasharon. The first devices will be delivered by the company in a month.

    The devices can also identify suspicious targets through "distortion vapors" that the ground creates on hot days, even through the haze. Until now the military had to use radar to detect suspicious movements in fog, which reduced the level of reliability of alarms because of the multiplicity of motions detected, even that of animals on the ground which triggered false alarms. "This is an area that has become very popular in recent years", an executive from Controp explained to Ynet.

    Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 10 February 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.

    Photo Credit: böhringer friedrich/wikipedia.org

    Photo License: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oberfallenberg4.JPG

    Prayer Focus

    Offer praises to the Lord for this new technology that will accurately reveal the enemy’s presence despite the cover of fog. Pray for the young men and women of the IDF who daily put themselves in positions of danger to defend the nation.  Pray above all that they will put their trust in the Lord as their shield and defense.

    Scripture

    The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.

    - 2 Samuel 22:3

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  10. Water Drone: Israel’s New, Unmanned Sea Vessel

    by Ahiya Raved

    “Seagull” unmanned watercraft Tuesday, 9 February 2016 | An unmanned watercraft code-named the “Seagull” was unveiled by Elbit Systems on Monday afternoon in a demonstration that took place in the gulf of Haifa.

    According to Elbit, the innovative watercraft operates autonomously and can perform a number of security related tasks, including submarine detection and underwater explosive ordinance detection and removal. Additionally, the “Seagull” can be used for patrols, electronic warfare, and underwater topographical surveys.

    The vessel is 40 feet [12 m] long and has the ability to operate continuously for 96 hours, and can carry out missions in a safer and more effective manner than can be done with other manned vessels.

    A spokesperson for Elbit stated, “It is able to perform its tasks due to a variety of advanced above water and underwater sensors, thereby giving it the high levels of effectiveness and efficiency it needs to complete its missions.”

    Amongst other systems, the “Seagull” has an automated navigation system which enables it to navigate the seas autonomously and in compliance of international maritime law, radar, on board weapons systems, day and night vision, underwater robotic capabilities, and more.

    “The ‘Seagull’ can operate and accomplish a variety of missions, can be launched from a port or a landing craft, and can take the place of, or complement, manned vessels.”

    In countering the threat posed by underwater mines, the vessel is able to locate and destroy them autonomously, without the physical involvement of a live sailor, thereby negating the risk of bodily harm or death.

    “The system allows for the planning of missions in familiar and unfamiliar territory, and enables scanning, locating, and neutralizing underwater mines. It is also equipped with auxiliary accessories which enable it to detect additional underwater threats as needed.”

    Elad Ahronson, the head of the Elbit intelligence branch of which the “Seagull” division is a part, added, “As the world leaders in unmanned technology, we at Elbit are proud to unveil new our new and innovative solution to sea borne threats. As we did in the field of unmanned aerial technology, we are pleased to offer a systematic solution to threats which have until now been dealt with by expensive, manned ships.”

    Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 8 February 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

    Photo Credit: Unmanned Systems Technology/facebook.com

    Prayer Focus

    Give thanks for yet another tool that will be used to defend Israel—this one that protects against threats from the sea without putting a human life at risk. Thank our Creator God who has given His people the creativity to develop innovative solutions.

    Scripture

    He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing…He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness…Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?

    - Job 26:7, 10, 14

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