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.
- A Turning Point in the Wave of Terrorism
- Intercepting Terrorists, 19-year-old Policewoman Murdered
- Islamic Republic of Iran Takes Receipt of $100 Billion
- Gaza Again? Hamas Pledges War, Provokes Response
- When Headlines Lie
- David’s Sling: New Technology Will Handle Multiple Threats
- Did Russia Strategically Leak Operation Anarchist?
- France’s Jews Are More Religious, Feel Less Safe
- Girl Is Saved by Collaborative Effort with Israel, PA, US
- Doctor from Iran Now in Jerusalem
A Turning Point in the Wave of Terrorism
Friday, 5 February 2016 | The terror attack at the Damascus Gate symbolizes officially, symbolically and mostly painfully the transition of the terror wave from attacks by individuals to organized attacks.
It's true, there is no organizational infrastructure—it looks like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not involved. Maybe there is a distant relationship between the attackers' families to Fatah. What exists is a virtual infrastructure: alongside the incitement and the feelings of revenge, what connects them is Facebook.
The commander of the Binyamin Brigade, Col. Israel Shomer, is convinced that "the Facebook movement" is the one that's leading the activities in the West Bank [Judea–Samaria]—not Fatah or Hamas. One of the attackers wrote a month ago to his friend who carried out an attack and was killed in the Jalame checkpoint: "Your people are coming with gunfire, "hinting about following in his footsteps.
The internet is full of similar posts, and the defense establishment, despite Intelligence Unit 8200 and the Shin Bet's technological capabilities, can't find every person that posts something like that online. However, this time, unlike in the past, it would've been logical to expect that during the month that has passed since then, that attacker would have appeared on someone's radar.
The investigation reveals that this was a terror cell of three friends who made their way from Qabatiya to Jerusalem. They decided to attack at the entrance to the Damascus Gate, but the belief is that they planned to attack something more substantial—perhaps a large group of Jews. Only the vigilance of the Border Policewomen stopped a more serious attack
The terrorists traveled a long way, and it is not clear if they traveled with the rifles and explosives or if they were picked up in Jerusalem by accomplices. But those who know the situation on the ground are not surprised—not by their easy access to weapons or the ease with which they infiltrated Israel.
We've seen this modus operandi before, in the Beit Horon attack, where the two terrorists were equipped with improvised explosives and had a clear target on their minds, while trying to carry out an attack in the heart of the settlements in an attempt to imitate previous attacks.
The geographic aspect also can't be ignored: In past attacks, the terrorists decided to target the area where they lived, but the three terrorists on Wednesday, just like the member of the Palestinian security forces who carried out the shooting attack at the Focus roadblock near Ramallah arrived from far away—the three terrorists from Jenin and the Palestinian officer from Tulkarem. The terrorist who carried out the attack in Gush Etzion also came from Jenin, and so did the terrorist who did the vehicular attack in Tapuah Junction was from Qabatiya.
As of Wednesday night, the IDF estimates are that the wave of violence will last a long time. Some in the military say it could last a year, and that is why the IDF is preparing itself with heightened alert for what is termed "increased field security"—in order to protect its forces.
The IDF and the Shin Bet have not found an operational solution, and this has to be said honestly: there is no solution on the horizon. This fact needs to concern us more than the Gaza terror tunnels threatening the communities on the Gaza border, at least the defense establishment is working on a solution - one that will take a long time and a lot of money to implement. But regarding the tunnels the direction is at least positive. The terror wave, on the other hand, there is one vector, and it is negative.
Photo Credit: Ashernet
Cry out to the Lord, asking Him to expose the hidden plans of darkness. Pray for the IDF soldiers who are stationed at checkpoints: that they will be alert, that they will notice any unusual details and discover any concealed weapons or explosives. Above all, pray that those responsible for Israel’s security—intelligence units and the IDF—would call out to the Lord and put their trust in Him to fight the battle against terrorism.
- 2 Chronicles 20:17
You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.
Intercepting Terrorists, 19-year-old Policewoman Murdered
Thursday, 4 February 2016 | Three terrorists committed a combined stabbing and shooting attack Wednesday afternoon at Jerusalem's Damascus gate, wounding two female border police officers and a young man.
One of the guards, Hadar Cohen, 19, was critically wounded and later died from her injuries while hospitalized in Hadassah Medical Center.
Cohen, a resident of Or Yehuda, was a recent recruit to the Border Police, and leaves behind her parents, brother and sister.
The other border police officer, 20, was seriously wounded and also taken to Hadassah Medical Center with multiple stab wounds, where her condition improved to moderate.
The man was lightly wounded. The three terrorists were shot dead at the scene by security forces.
Just before the attack happened, the two officers—who had recently joined the border police and were undergoing training—approached two men who were sitting on a bench next to the Damascus Gate, along with their unit commander. The officers asked them for their ID, when one of the pair got up and stabbed one of the officers, moderately wounding her. Cohen shot the stabber, killing him.
According to the other border police officer who was on the scene, another terrorist drew a Carl Gustav rifle when he was asked for his ID and started shooting.
Other border police officers on the scene also opened fire, including the moderately wounded officer, at which point the third terrorist arrived and shot Cohen at close range. A police officer who was in the area shot and killed the shooter who had fired at Cohen.
According to Palestinian sources, the attackers—Ahmed Abu Al-Roub, Mohammed Kamil and Mohammed Nasser—came from the Jenin area, and were aged between 20 and 21. Two of the attackers had been barred from entering Israel by the Shin Bet, and all three crossed over illegally.
Later on, two explosive devices were found at the scene along with two guns. The explosives were neutralized.
Hamas praised the attack, calling the terrorists "heroes" and saying that the incident proved that "the Palestinian people will persist with the intifada."
Last Sunday, three soldiers were wounded in a shooting attack at a checkpoint near Beit El in the West Bank [Judea-Samaria]. The terrorist, who arrived at the checkpoint by car from the direction of Ramallah, was shot dead by IDF [Israel Defense Forces] troops at the scene. One of the wounded soldiers, 21 years old, was taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Karem in serious condition with a gunshot wound to his neck. His condition was later defined as moderate.
Another soldier, 31, was in serious condition and taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem's Mount Scopus with gunshot wounds to his stomach and extremities. The third soldier, 20, was also taken to Hadassah in light condition after being hit in his extremities.
Photo Credit: Photo by Ashernet
Intercede for Israel’s security forces—the border police, soldiers in the IDF, all those in the front line, protecting her citizens from acts of terror. Pray that they will not be caught off guard. Ask the Lord to comfort the families whose loved ones have been killed or wounded in the line of duty.
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
Islamic Republic of Iran Takes Receipt of $100 Billion
Thursday, 4 February 2016 | Iran announced that it now has access to more than [US] $100 billion in previously frozen assets due to sanctions relief granted by the nuclear deal, The Washington Post reported on Monday. The sum claimed by Tehran is nearly twice the estimate given last month by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that Iran would have access to about $55 billion. At the time, Kerry acknowledged that some of the funds would likely be used to support terrorist groups.
Tehran also revealed that it had been accepted into the international banking network SWIFT, which according to the Post will “be a major boost for foreign firms seeking to return to the Iranian market.”
The announced windfall comes on the heels of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s trip to Italy and France, where he laid the groundwork for some $30 billion in business deals last week.
In September, Iran boosted its funding of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah in anticipation of the windfall it would receive through sanctions relief. The move came after leaders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps met with officials from both terrorist organizations in July.
That month, a week after receiving a $1 billion line of credit from Iran, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad hailed the nuclear deal as a “great victory.”
Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 2 February 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: UNVIE US Mission To International Organizations in Vienna/Flickr/thetower.org
Although Israel’s enemy Iran appears to have won a “great victory,” proclaim in faith that her deliverance belongs to the Lord.
There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD.- Proverbs 21:30–31
Gaza Again? Hamas Pledges War, Provokes Response
Tuesday, 2 February 2016 | Gaza is ramping up for another war with Israel and openly says so. Hamas leader Haniyeh is pledging to attack and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is pledging a devastating response. As a result, there is talk today in Israel that another Gaza war might be only months away.
Experts in Israel say that Hamas has as many tunnels today as it had just before it started its war with Israel in the summer of 2014. Spending upward of $140 million per year since that conflict ended a mere 20 months ago, tunnel reconstruction has been a breathtaking exercise. Literally breathtaking. Last week seven Hamas members were killed in tunnels that collapsed under heavy rains in Israel.
Speaking at the victims' combined funeral last Friday, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh, said that his party was "preparing for confrontation with the Zionist enemy."
Raising his right hand and shaking an extended index finger, he said, "Here, east of Gaza City, heroes underground are digging into the rock and building tunnels. And west of Gaza, heroes are experimenting with rockets every day." There are, he boasted, "preparations underground in tunnels and above ground, in the air, by rockets." Their purpose, he said, is "liberation for Palestine and Jerusalem and prisoners."
Known for frequent bouts of rhetorical hyperbole, it is reasonable to wonder if the threat is serious. Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff says it is.
He writes that a close look at current activities in Gaza reveals a sober and imminent intent. "Eighteen months after the last war, someone in Gaza is preparing the ground on the public level, and making preparations below ground on the military level, for large-scale escalation leading to another conflict with Israel. The question is when and under what circumstances."
Israeli families who live near Gaza take the threat seriously. Last week Times of Israel reporter Tamar Pileggi wrote that "residents of Moshav Pri Gan, a community adjacent to the Gaza border, said Thursday that tunnel digging into Israel from the Hamas-run territory has come so close to their homes that it has caused their floors to shake."
With threats from its northern border with Syria and Lebanon, a growing threat from ISIS to the south in Sinai, the last thing Israel wants this year is another war with Hamas. Still, according to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel will do what it must to protect itself.
"If we are attacked from tunnels from the Gaza Strip," he said Sunday, "we will take very strong action." Comparing that action to Israel's defensive war in 2014, he added that this time Israel's response will be "much stronger than we took in Operation Protective Edge."
With a growing sense of fatalism about the inevitability of another war, there is a slightly hopeful sign that another force might be thwarting Hamas.
Haniyeh said that Hamas was preparing to "liberate Palestine" underneath the ground and above it too. As if mocking that boast, the funeral at which he spoke was for operatives killed by a tunnel that collapsed under the weight of rain-soaked earth.
But that wasn't all.
During the corpse parade of victims from that collapse, thousands lined the streets of Gaza City. At one location dozens of devotees huddled on a rooftop anxious for a peek at the remains of comrades who perished beneath the earth. As such, they literally were Hamas above the ground. Exactly when the bodies passed by, and precisely when cameras from international media outlets were focused on that passing, the roof collapsed. Video capturing the event shows Hamas bodies literally falling from above.
The irony was rich in such a time as this.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 2 February 2016)
Photo Credit: StandWithUs/facebook.com
Pray for residents of Israel’s southern communities, asking the Lord to strengthen them in the face of Hamas’s threats. Call to the Lord’s remembrance that those who rage against Israel are really raging against Him.
But I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in, and your rage against Me. Because your rage against Me and your tumult have come up to My ears…- 2 Kings 19:27-28a
When Headlines Lie
Friday, 5 February 2016 | Mourning the murder of 19-year-old Hadar Cohen just outside Jerusalem's Old City on Wednesday afternoon, Israelis were outraged to learn how the United States' network, CBS News, headlined the breaking story.
"3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on," it read. The absence of the story's essence, that an Israeli policewoman was murdered by one of three terrorists, was appalling to readers here.
Ari Soffer, managing editor of Israel National News, called it "unreal" and "despicable bias." He further tweeted, "Isn't it funny how an Israeli policewoman just randomly died after 'killing 3 Palestinians'? @CBS can you explain?"
Across the spectrum in Israel, others concurred. Israel Hayom, a Tel Aviv-based paper said the headline signaled "the death of journalism." The Times of Israel said it turned "perpetuators into victims." In the US, only one mainstream news source, Newsweek, carried a concurring opinion, calling it "the anti-Israel bias at CBS News."
Israel's Foreign Ministry also weighed in. The Jerusalem Post reported that, according to Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon, the headline was a "biased and dishonest" display of "unparalleled chutzpah."
In a rare display of outrage at certain members of the foreign press corps credentialed by Israel's Government Press Office, Nitzan Chen, head of the agency, posted his reaction.
"We cannot ignore this. We will consider revoking the press credentials of journalists and editors who write headlines that are contrary to reality."
As expressions of indignation exploded in Israel and throughout social media, CBS News decided to change its title of the story. Ninety minutes after its original post, the new headline read, "Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian attackers."
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Nachshon, grumbled in response, "not ideal, but better."
CBS later changed the article's caption to what most Israelis believe it should have been all along: "“Palestinians kill Israeli officer, wound another before being killed.”
The CBS News debacle is just one example of headlines about terror attacks in Israel that ignore the murderous conduct of slain terrorists, making it seem that their deaths at Israeli hands were absent any cause. The lesson for consumers? Never accept a headline summary as accurate or complete. Find other reports, especially from agencies in Israel. And whenever possible, find primary sources for a story, something surprisingly doable using today's Internet resources.
When it comes to Israel, healthy skepticism of mainstream news is a must in such a time as this.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 5 February 2016)
Photo Credit: Screenshot
Beseech the Lord over the blatant anti-Israel bias in the news media today. Pray that Christians will not stand by silently when lies and distortions are published but will respond with truth.
Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long. Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries, the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.- Psalm 74:22–23 (NIV)
David’s Sling: New Technology Will Handle Multiple Threats
Thursday, 4 February 2016 | Prior to June 2014, few outside Israel were aware of the latest edition to the Jewish state’s defense arsenal. Known as the Iron Dome, Israel had deployed the air defense system to intercept and destroy short-range rockets, artillery shells and mortars to protect its civilians in 2011—with much success, if not much international fanfare.
Then came July 2014—and Operation Protective Edge. In just 50 days, Hamas militants fired nearly 5,000 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip at Israeli targets. Over the searing days of the summer conflict, the Iron Dome proved invaluable, achieving an astonishing intercept success rate of 90%, and saving countless Israeli lives.
Countless video clips of the Iron Dome in action surfaced on social media, turning the Jewish state’s short-range air defense system into an international household name. More importantly, in the heat of battle, the Iron Dome system proved its mettle in keeping Israelis safe from rockets and mortars fired from distances of up to 75 kilometers (47 miles).
Yet Israel is situated in a dangerous neighborhood, surrounded by neighbors eager to spearhead her destruction. Moreover, those who wish to annihilate the Jewish state are often well-equipped with more sophisticated weapons than those in Hamas’s arsenal and are fully capable at launching these missiles from a greater distance than 75 kilometers (47 miles).
Thanks to David’s Sling, another new edition to the Jewish state’s defense arsenal, Israel will now also be able to keep its citizens safe from medium-range missiles or other guided threats.
The revolutionary new air defense system passed its final round of interception tests in December 2015 and scored hits against various types of mid-range aerial threats, Israeli Homeland Security (iHLS) reported. Now moving towards operational status, the system will be deployed to Israel’s Air Force over the next few months.
David’s Sling was developed to function as part of a multi-layered air defense system. The Iron Dome system has already proven successful as a short-range rocket interceptor. In December 2015, Israel’s long-range ballistic air defense system, Arrow 3, also passed its final round of tests. As a medium-range interceptor, David’s Sling will fill the operational gap between the Iron Dome and the Arrow.
Whereas the Iron Dome system has a “relatively small footprint, requiring a large number of batteries to protect Israel,” iHLS reports, the David’s Sling has “a much larger footprint and a limited number of batteries can cover Israel.”
According to Ynet, David’s Sling will be able to target rockets, aircraft and low-flying cruise missiles within a range of 100 to 200 km (62 to 124 mi). As such, the air defense system has the ability to the intercept airborne threats in enemy territory away from Israeli skies, a senior official from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems told The Jerusalem Post. Rafael, an Israeli defense giant, developed the air defense system in conjunction with US defense firm Raytheon.
“David’s Sling has an interception range which ensures intercept before a threat enters Israeli territory,” Ari Sacher of Rafael’s Air Superiority Systems Division said.
“This is the first time technology of this kind has been used,” another official from Rafael told The Jerusalem Post. “It is on the verge of science fiction.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 4 February 2016)
Ask the Lord to enable the IDF to use its newest weapon, David’s Sling, to successfully protect Israel’s citizens. Pray that, more than technology, Israel will put its trust in the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord who watches over His people.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.- 2 Samuel 22:31
Did Russia Strategically Leak Operation Anarchist?
Monday, 1 February 2016 | Yesterday Israel woke up to news that the United States and the United Kingdom have conducted a massive spying program on Israel's military drone program for 18 years. They called it Operation Anarchist.
Revelations about Operation Anarchist have rattled Israel. Questions about Israel's ability to protect the nation's secret operations and the integrity of its claim as a world leader in cyber security have reverberated in the conventional press and social media.
A day later, however, more reflective questions are being asked. The story's resource documents are not new. They have been in the public domain for more than two years. So, why now? Why is the world's general public only now being told what their governments have known for some time? Is it the timing of the story's publication meaningful?
Where did the story come from?
Der Spiegel and The Lancet became famous two years ago for reporting on documents disclosed by Edward Snowden. Snowden, now a refugee living in Moscow, was an employee of the United States' National Security Agency [NSA]. On 20 May 2013, he fled the United States and simultaneously began to disclose thousands of top-secret intelligence documents that he took from the NSA.
Last Friday they issued a new report about one intelligence item in those papers. Code named Operation Anarchist, NSA documents that Snowden absconded reveal that the operation "targeted Israeli drones from a mountaintop on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus." The papers include "images from videos recorded by drone cameras" and "show location data mapping the flight paths" of the Israeli aircraft.
One of the most devastating revelations of the story is that encrypted transmissions from Israeli drones to ground control were hacked for years, an eternity in cyber-time and with apparent ease.
Snowden's Papers have been available for two and a-half years. Why is the story breaking now?
It is virtually certain that Moscow has devoted its own intelligence community to master the content in Snowden's NSA files. And so, DEBKAfile reports, disclosure now of the Anarchist operation by the UK and the US is designed to serve two Russian objectives.
One of those objectives is to serve the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] a piece of humble pie. According to DEBKAfile, disclosure of Operation Anarchist "at this time [is] intended to show Israel that its much vaunted technological superiority is a myth and highly vulnerable to US and British espionage.
Another Russian objective was to gain a negotiation advantage with Saudi Arabia. The same day this story broke, a conference began in Geneva. Its aim: find a political solution to end the war in Syria.
Saudi Arabia has been backing rebel groups that seek to overthrow Syrian President Assad, a known puppet of the Kingdom's enemy state, Iran. The word is that Saudi Arabia has advised those rebel groups to play "hard to get" in the Geneva negotiations.
And so, says DEBKAfile, Moscow used this story to let Riyadh know that it cannot count on its unofficial alliance with Israel to provide air cover in support of its goals vis-a-vis Assad and Iran.
Does the story matter?
On several levels, Operation Anarchist is not a crisis for Israel. It is virtually certain that neither the US nor the UK would have disclosed Israeli secrets to the state's enemies. Another big factor mitigating damage to Israel is that no one could have hacked Israel's most important, most secret missions. Why? Because, says DEBKAfile, these "top-secret sorties are autonomous with no ‘downlink’ or transmissions to base; their results evaluated behind closed doors after [the missions are] over."
Still, the story matters. It is a wake-up call to Israel's military, intelligence and political leadership.
Source: (Excerpts of article by Bridges for Peace, 1 February 2016)
Photo Credit: Laura Poitras / Praxis Films/wikipedia.org
Photo License: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edward_Snowden-2.jpg
Bring Israel’s leaders and government before the Lord, praying that they will seek knowledge and understanding from Him.
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…- Proverbs 2:6–7
France’s Jews Are More Religious, Feel Less Safe
Friday, 5 February 2016 | Jews in France live in fear of Islamic terror but are not prepared to hide their faith, according to a recent comprehensive survey of France's large Jewish community. Most French Jews define themselves as religious or traditional, according to the survey, and nearly 50 percent of young male Jews wear a yarmulke.
The statistics, published by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), also revealed that 53 percent of France's half a million Jews lead a religious lifestyle to some degree or other—and that the level of observance increases as their age goes down. Thus, for example, 41 percent of male Jews aged 35 and under responded that they cover their head according to tradition—a significantly higher proportion than older respondents.
According to the researchers, this points to the community's continued isolation in the face of the changing social climate in France. The older generation was more secular and identified more with the values of the French Republic, whereas the younger generation adhered more to Judaism, maintaining a religious lifestyle and sending their children to separate educational institutions.
Differences between the various groups were also, naturally, expressed in their contrasting approaches to Jewish religious holidays, but the researchers said that aliyah (immigration) to Israel was also a meaningful indicator. For example, 69 percent of religious respondents expressed readiness to leave France for Israel, compared to 29 percent of France's secular Jews.
Another section of the survey dealt with French Jews' personal safety. Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed that they do not feel safe in the country, with 40 percent saying that they see Islam as a threat (compared to 32 percent of the general population).
Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said that the increase in the number of Muslims and the activities of extreme right- and left-wing activists had created an atmosphere of racism and discrimination against Jews.
Reports from the ground back up their sense of hostility: 63 percent said that they had been insulted at least once because of their Jewishness, 51 percent had been threatened and 43 percent had been physically assaulted. In total, 87 percent are worried by the wave of Islamic terrorism that has struck France.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they had family members or friends who had left France over the last few years, most of them for Israel, and they estimate that around 30 percent of them are happier than they were before they left.
Among those who made aliyah to Israel, around half did so in order to increase their feeling of personal safety. Only nine percent moved for ideological reasons. According to researcher Dr. Dov Mimoun, "this proves that Zionism alone is no longer enough these days."
Currently around half of France's Jews—about 250,000 people—are considering emigration. Of those, about a quarter are looking to countries such as the US, Canada and the UK, and 20 percent (100,000 people) are considering Israel. Mimoun identifies in these statistics "tremendous potential for a wave of aliyah, which would be the first in history to arrive from a developed Western country.
"In order to make that happen, we must put in place a strategy that will make it easier for olim (new immigrants) to continue working in their professional fields here, and propose a package that will make it attractive for businesses to bring their centers of operation to Israel from France," Mimoun continued.
Photo Credit: FLL/wikipedia
Photo License: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Synagogue_of_Paris
Give thanks to the Lord for the fulfillment of this prophecy—French Jews are remembering Him and are not willing to hide their faith in the face of anti-Semitism. Pray that they take the next step and return to the Land of their inheritance.
I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember Me in far countries; they shall live, together with their children, and they shall return.- Zechariah 10:9
Girl Is Saved by Collaborative Effort with Israel, PA, US
Monday, 1 February 2016 | A Palestinian girl from Nablus with a rare medical condition underwent lifesaving surgery at Rambam hospital in Haifa last week, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
Jummana, 17, suffered from hypophosphatemia, a dangerous condition caused by extremely low phosphate levels that led to extreme pain in her bones. Her treatment was facilitated by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Palestinian Authority, and Rambam hospital through the international program “Bring the Patient, Bring the Surgeon.”
Prof. Dov Tiosano, an Israeli pediatric endocrinologist, understood that Jummana’s condition was related to a newly discovered hormone called FGF23. An over-secretion of the hormone was identified as the source of the girl’s ailment. While initially it was believed that the hormonal problem was genetic, as her parents are first cousins, this was later ruled out by testing and a small tumor was discovered in the roof of her mouth. The tumor, which was “consuming massive amounts of calcium and phosphorous from Jummana’s bones,” was called rare for adults and “virtually unheard of” in a teen.
Following the diagnosis, the NIH contacted Prof. John A. van Aalst, director of the plastic surgery division at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, to recommend the best hospital for the surgery. Van Aalst recommended Rambam because Jummana’s endocrine examinations had been performed there, and since he had a good working relationship with Dr. Omri Emodi, the deputy director of Rambam’s oral and maxillofacial surgery department. “Because of all the connections here, it was simpler for the family, and in the end safest, because she had a major endocrine problem that would be quite complicated to treat once the tumor was removed,” said Dr. van Aalst.
After Jummana’s doctors referred her to Rambam through the PA’s health ministry, Dr. Emodi set up the preparations for the surgery. Jummana’s doctors from Nablus sat in on the procedure so that they would be prepared for her follow-up care. The arrangement was made possible by van Aalst, who had developed close ties with Jummana’s doctors and Emodi. “Every six months, I have been going to the West Bank [Judea-Samaria] and Gaza to operate,” Van Aalst explained. “At the end of my time there, I visit Rambam to work with Omri. Three years ago I introduced the surgeons from the PA to Omri; this is now their third trip here to Rambam.”
With the tumor gone, “we hope to be able to restore the calcium and the phosphate to her bones,” Tiosano said.
Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, 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: Rambam HCC/youtube/thetower.org
Offer praise to the Lord for the cooperation in the medical community that resulted in hope for a healthy future for this young Palestinian girl. Give thanks for these actions that reflect the heart of God.
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?- Isaiah 58:6–7
Doctor from Iran Now in Jerusalem
Tuesday, 2 February 2016 | Dr. Shahab Davidfor, a 32-year-old Iranian Jew, always wanted to be a doctor.
After graduating from high school in Isfahan, Iran, he studied medicine and at the end of his internship he joined the Iranian army, serving for a year and a half. Iran is a very religious country and not a great lover of Israel, to say the least, but it turns out that the Davidfor family lives in peace with their Muslim neighbors. "The people there are very nice. Most of my friends are Muslims. However, every now and then there were those who called us dirty Jews," he recounted.
Four years ago he received a draft notice and was assigned to be a doctor at an Iranian Air Force base. The Iranians knew that his older sisters made aliyah to Israel 25 years ago, but that did not bother them. "For a year and a half I treated patients at the clinic there," said Shahab.
"They knew I was a Jew, and from time to time I would undergo investigations to make sure I was not a spy and not passing secrets to Israel," he said. "Once they even sent me to be interviewed by members of the Revolutionary Guards, and they asked me about my family in Israel and my relationship with them, but after their investigation they allowed me to continue working."
Shahab stated that the Iranian people are actually interested in making peace with Israel. "No one there believes leaders who say they want to attack Israel," he said. "Contrary to what leaders of both countries say, people want peace and to live their lives quietly."
In recent years, he and his family felt the effects of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran due to its nuclear program. "People in the lower economic brackets were actually hungry for bread. It was precisely those in power who remained very rich and did not feel the economic impact,” Shahab imparted.
Two years ago he made aliyah via Turkey. "We packed our things and went to Israel. We didn't have to hide it. Those in power knew about our aliyah. When we arrived, I decided to live in Jerusalem and began to study for licensing tests in order to be able to practice in Israel. I failed the first test due to my difficulties with the language, but I passed the second test", he related.
A week ago, he was hired by the Terem clinic in Romema, Jerusalem. He said that he was overwhelmed on the first day but he learned to get along and the doctors, nurses and patients helped him acclimate.
He misses Iran."I have many friends there, and we talk on Skype. Unfortunately I can't go back for a visit. If they catch me I could [be] executed, so I guess I'll pass on that. I'll wait for there to be peace," concluded Dr. Davidfor.
Photo Credit: StandWithUs/facebook.com
Pray for all the Jewish people who are making aliyah as Dr. Davidfor and his family have done, asking that they will be firmly planted in the Land. Pray for their success in learning Hebrew and finding meaningful work. Thank the Lord for this visible fulfillment of prophecy.
- Amos 9:15
I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,says the LORD your God.