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. Violence Erupts in Jerusalem after Deadly Terror Attack
  2. Hamas Pursues Aggressive Reconstruction of Gaza Terror Tunnels
  3. Abbas: Stop Jews on Temple Mount by “All Means”
  4. PA: We're Going to the UN
  5. Palestinian Cause about Destroying Israel, Not Humanitarian Concern
  6. Iran Offers “Compromise” in Nuclear Talks; Israel Nervous
  7. Two IDF Soldiers Wounded in Attack on the Egyptian Border
  8. Turkey Sees ISIS Threat Close Up
  9. Germany Reverses Threat to Penalize Israeli via Military Sales
  10. Israel Intensifying Efforts in the Fight against Ebola
  1. Violence Erupts in Jerusalem after Deadly Terror Attack

    Masked rock throwing
    Palestinian youth (file photo)
    Violence rocked Jerusalem on Wednesday [Oct. 22] both before and after a deadly terror attack at a Light Rail station left a baby girl dead, with riots and stone throwing reported in East Jerusalem. The attack and riots have highlighted the police's struggle to deal with what some are calling a 'quiet intifada'.

    A man was lightly wounded after Palestinians pelted his car with stones near Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. Damage was also caused to the vehicle, and police were searching the area for suspects.

    Dozens of Palestinians, some masked, rioted in Isawiya and Silwan in East Jerusalem, with some throwing stones at police, who attempted to subdue the riot. No injuries were reported but residents of the Mount Scopus area reported breathing issues as tear gas from the riots reached the area.

    The incident took place after Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, 20, a resident of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], drove his car into a group of Israelis waiting at the Ammunition Hill station of Jerusalem's Light Rail.

    Throughout the day, both before and after the terror attack, stone throwing continued throughout the capital: On Tuesday night, the police arrested three Palestinian teens from Beit Hanina for their role in yet another stone throwing incident which took place that day.

    The recent two months have seen a rise in the number of attacks on the train, especially in the Palestinian parts of the city. Those using the Light Rail for their daily commute say incidents in the Shuafat and Beit Hanina stations have become routine.

    In recent days, security forces have attempted to better monitor the Shuafat neighborhood by launching a patrol blimp to view the area from the sky. In a video shot from the balloon Wednesday, police forces could be seen chasing two 10-year-old Palestinian boys suspected of throwing rocks near the station.

    Speaking after Wednesday's terror attack, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that, "the situation in Jerusalem has become unbearable and we must act unequivocally to end all violence in the capital."

    Roi Kais and Omri Efraim contributed to this report

    Source: (Excerpts of article by Noam (Dabul) Dvir, Ynetnews, October 22, 2014)

    Photo Credit: Isranet

    Prayer Focus

    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Appeal to the Father—for the violence to subside and that Palestinian leaders will stop inciting youth who are attacking and killing. Seek wisdom and guidance from above for Jerusalem’s leaders and authorities.

    Scripture

    Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.

    - Psalm 122:6–7

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  2. Hamas Pursues Aggressive Reconstruction of Gaza Terror Tunnels

    Ban Ki-Moon visiting
    Hamas terror tunnel
    One week ago today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed “shock and alarm” after visiting a Hamas terror tunnel in Gaza. Days later Hamas military commander, “Abu Khalid,” publicly announced aggressive reconstruction of tunnels destroyed by Israel in this summer's war.

    Hamas invited reporter Mahmoud Fouda on an exclusive tour of tunnel reconstruction. Fouda is a reporter for the Gaza newspaper Al-Resalah. He filed his report last Sunday.

    “Busy as bees, everyone is digging,” he wrote. Workers’ “arms grow strong and tough. Every inch brings them closer to victory. They are digging tunnels needed to defend their people and their families. Freedom fighters of the Qassam Brigades are burrowing 24/7 beneath the earth.”

    One of its commanders, using the pseudonym Abu Khalid, guided Fouda on his tour of a secret tunnel. According to Khalid, it was bombed by Israel during this summer’s war.

    “It is dangerous down there,” Khalid told Fouda. “We are working 24/7 to re-dig.”

    International response to Hamas’ terror tunnel reconstruction has been a collective yawn. Outside Israel it remains virtually unreported by mainstream media organizations.

    Israel, however, has put Ban Ki-Moon on notice. The Jerusalem Post reports that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told Moon yesterday that Israel “won't allow Gaza reconstruction if Hamas rebuilds infiltration tunnels.”

    Less than a month ago, the United Nations brokered an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In that agreement the UN accepted responsibility to develop a method to monitor reconstruction in Gaza. Its purpose: to ensure that materials and funds are not used by Hamas to rebuild terror tunnels.

    It is a mechanism that, supposedly, went into effect on 14 October, the same day Ban Ki-Moon emerged from his underground tour, condemning what he found.

    Meanwhile, according to Gazan reporter Fouda, Hamas aggressively pursues tunnel reconstruction where its workers are busy as bees, invoking Allah’s help and blessing in their efforts.

    Source: (By Brian Schrauger, Bridges for Peace, October 21, 2014)

    Photo Credit: gopo/Ashernet

    Prayer Focus

    Pray for God’s protective hand to be on Israel as tunnel repair and construction resume in Gaza. Pray that the Jewish people will truly put their trust and their hope in His Holy Name for deliverance from their enemy, Hamas.

    Scripture

    Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.

    - Psalm 33:20–22

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  3. Abbas: Stop Jews on Temple Mount by “All Means”

    Palestinian Authority
    President Abbas
    Palestinian Authority President Abbas is on a tear against Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In two days of related statements, he summoned Palestinians to “bar” Jewish visitors “by all means.” Likening Jewish pilgrims to a “herd of cattle,” he vowed prosecution in international courts to prevent future visits by Jews at the site. Meanwhile he remains silent about anti-Semitic graffiti discovered yesterday near the Dome of the Rock.

    Last Friday in Ramallah President Abbas stood to speak at a conference. Only one day earlier, just before Islam’s holy day of the week began, Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal called on Palestinians to “defend” the Temple Mount’s Islamic mosque, Al Aqsa, from an “Israeli takeover.” Israel responded by increasing its presence and restricting Islamic worshippers to the site. Only men age 50 and over were permitted.  

    Hundreds of men under the age of 50 knelt on prayer rugs outside the Temple Mount. At the same time, Islamic worshippers permitted on the site waved flags and marched in protest against “Zionist aggression.” Non-Islamic visitors, especially those visibly Jewish, were greeted with angry cries of “Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!” The well-known phrase means “Allah is greater!”

    While these events were underway, President Abbas, in Ramallah, delivered a statement. “Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours. This Noble Sanctuary is ours. They have no right to go there and desecrate it.” Palestinians, he said, must protect it “by all means.”

    In an apparent reference to visibly Jewish visitors, usually men adorned with kippas and tzitzit tassels, Abbas named the desecrating visitors, “settlers.”

    The State of Israel makes no distinction between citizens based on where they choose to live. Accordingly, Abbas’ protest regarding “settlers” visiting the Temple Mount, later likened to a “herd of cattle,” was an apparent redefinition intended to include all visibly observant Jews.

    It was the next day, Saturday, when Abbas upped his rhetorical attack, likening Jewish visitors to a “herd of cattle.”

    One day later, Sunday, graffiti was discovered on the Temple Mount. It was a Star of David followed by an equal sign and then a Nazi swastika. President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to condemn the desecration.

    Source: (By Brian Schrauger, Bridges for Peace, October 20, 2014)

    Photo Credit: Isranet

    Prayer Focus

    Pray that the righteousness the Lord Almighty seeks in His people will prevail in the conflict over the Temple Mount. Ask that PA President Abbas will recognize his duplicity of speaking for peace, yet inciting hate through name-calling and encouraging Palestinians to use “All Means” to bar Jewish people from the holy site of Abraham’s binding of Isaac.

    Scripture

    In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    - Jeremiah 23:6

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  4. PA: We're Going to the UN

    Israel with Samaria & Judea (West Bank) A PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] official says US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will not stop the Palestinians from seeking recognition for Palestine from the United Nations Security Council. He warned that if, as expected, the US vetoes the resolution, “they will have to bear the consequences of no peace and no security.”   

    The Palestinians have already circulated a draft resolution that calls for Israel to “end the occupation”, meaning a withdrawal from the entire West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem by November, 2016. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will never withdraw to the pre-1967 lines.

    Secretary Kerry has reportedly asked the Palestinians to postpone turning to the UN for one year while he tries to rekindle negotiations that would lead to an agreement. Palestinians say they refuse to hold off any longer.

    “This move (Kerry’s plan) is trying to prevent the Palestinians from going (to the UN) but it will not. We are going,” Abu Yousef told The Media Line.

    Abbas has not said when he will go to the 15-member Security Council. At least nine countries have to be in favor for a resolution to even be discussed and any of the five permanent members—the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China—can veto a resolution.  

    The US has already said it would veto any Security Council resolution, but it would prefer to avoid the negative reaction that will spark in the Arab world. The European Union has sharply criticized some of Israel’s actions, while at the same time urging the PA not to take unilateral action.

    Former Palestinian spokesperson Nour Odeh says the US and Europe have not come up with a solution that works and know that trying old and failed formulas will not work. “(By going to the UN Security Council) the Palestinians are offering them a graceful way to save face and credibility. Either they go for a way to solve this problem once and for all or they should come out and admit failure,” she said.

    Source: (Excerpts of article by Abdullah H. Erakat, The Media Line, October 19, 2014)

    Prayer Focus

    Praise the Everlasting, Covenant-keeping Father who is faithful. As the PLO’s momentum appears to be growing with plans to separate Judea and Samaria from the Promised Land, praise the Lord that His plans are far beyond any plans or schemes of mankind. Ask His protection for Israel NOW from the UN and hostile nations.

    Scripture

    Then the Lord appeared to him [Isaac] and said: …Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.

    - Genesis 26:2–3

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  5. Palestinian Cause about Destroying Israel, Not Humanitarian Concern

    George Deek, Christian Arab and Vice Ambassador George Deek is a Christian Arab from the ancient Mediterranean city of Jaffa. He is also deputy to Israeli Druze poet and academic Naim Araidi, who currently serves as Israel’s ambassador to Norway.

    Late last month, Deek addressed a gathering hosted by the Norwegian group “With Israel for Peace.” He delivered what some in that country are calling “the best speech an Israeli diplomat ever made.”

    As an Arab with a long history in the land, Deek doesn’t sugar-coat Jewish involvement in the conflict. Atrocities were committed by all involved, and Deek is not prepared to give Israel a pass on documented wrong-doing just because the years following her victory have seen the rise of a strong democratic state where minorities like Deek and his boss, Araidi, enjoy full and equal rights.

    But, Deek is left to wonder why disproportionate attention was and continues to be paid to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when far more severe crises have raged and still are raging over the same period of time.

    Only one conclusion can be reached by this clear-headed Arab diplomat: “The Nakba [Arabic meaning the Day of Catastrophe, the 1948 Palestinian exodus from Israel] has been transformed from a humanitarian disaster to a political offensive.”

    Most of those involved, either directly or indirectly, care far less about the actual welfare of the Palestinian Arabs than they do about demonizing and destroying Israel, he reasoned.

    And, in the process, Deek lamented that “the Palestinians have become slaves to the past, held captive by the chains of resentment, prisoners in the world of frustration and hate.”

    The English translation of Deek’s full speech is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the Israeli-Arab conflict and its history. Click here to check it out.

    Source: (By Israel Today, October 22, 2014)

    Photo Credit: screenshot/youtube.com

    Prayer Focus

    Thank the Lord for this Arab–Israeli diplomat who was unafraid to speak the truth about the Palestinian cause in a world which, for the most part, chooses not to see it. Ask the Lord to equip and prepare you to stand with His people in an increasingly hostile world.

    Scripture

    Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

    - Psalm 94:16

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  6. Iran Offers “Compromise” in Nuclear Talks; Israel Nervous

    Nuclear symbol As the deadline approaches for reaching a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran has offered a “compromise” that is making Israel nervous.

    In the negotiations with six major powers that are due to try to hammer out a deal by a November 24 deadline, Iranian officials said they are no longer demanding a total end to sanctions immediately in return for curtailing their nuclear program.

    Western officials said the offer was nothing new and that Iranian officials already know that all sanctions will not be lifted immediately. It also seems increasingly unlikely that a deal will be reached by the deadline and officials from the European Union have already said they are willing to extend the deadline if needed.

    In Israel, there is growing nervousness that what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called a “bad deal” will leave Iran on the nuclear threshold with thousands of centrifuges in place through which Iran can quickly make a nuclear bomb if it chooses to. Israeli officials worry that as the US becomes more involved with trying to stop Islamic State (IS), efforts to stop Iran becoming a nuclear power are falling by the wayside.

    Israel sees a nuclear Iran as a far more serious threat than IS. Recent estimates say that Iran currently has 19,000 centrifuges installed, and about 10,000 are currently spinning to produce uranium.

    Source: (By The Media Line, October 21, 2014)

    Prayer Focus

    Petition the Holy One that the six major powers negotiating with Iran will see “wisdom and declare it!” Entreat the Lord God to reveal evil and deception, so there will be understanding of Iran’s motivations. Ask for the P5+1 negotiators to be bold and courageous on behalf of the entire world.

    Scripture

    Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.

    - Job 28:27–28

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  7. Two IDF Soldiers Wounded in Attack on the Egyptian Border

    Captain Or Ben-Yehuda,
    one of the injured
    At around 2:00 PM this afternoon [Oct. 22], an anti-tank missile was fired at a vehicle on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Two Israeli soldiers were wounded and evacuated to a hospital by a helicopter. The injuries are medium to mild. The IDF is currently sending forces to the area to determine if there was an infiltration into Israel. The residents of Ezoz were told to stay in their homes.

    IDF inquiry suggests the cross border attack on [the] patrol was a violent drug smuggling attempt, foiled by Caracal Battalion forces. The perpetrators opened fire from 3 locations including from a car driving along the border. From the attack the Company Commander, Captain Or Ben-Yehuda and another soldier were wounded. IDF responded and killed at least three of the attackers. We [IDF] are continuing to review the circumstances of the incident.

    As the Sinai Peninsula suffers from political instability over the past few years, it has become home to terrorist organizations and activity. This terrorism poses a threat to the entire region, and has been directed at Israel several times in the past.

    The IDF will not let down its guard and will continue to protect the citizens of Israel from every threat.

    Source: (Excerpts of article by Israel Defense Forces, October 22, 2014)

    Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces blog

    Prayer Focus

    Pray for the IDF soldiers who protect the southern Israel border in the Sinai. Ask for their continued vigilance and for their protection from the plans of terrorists and attackers in the Sinai region.

    Scripture

    Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war.

    - Psalm 140:1–2

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  8. Turkey Sees ISIS Threat Close Up

    Kobani from Turkish-Syrian
    border, during bombardment
    The Kobani region in the Turkish-Syrian border has been a combat zone between Kurdish rebels and the terror group ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] for a while, but the ISIS threat has now managed to cross the border into Turkey. The Telegraph reported that a rebel leader from the Kobani rebels was shot and temporarily kidnapped by ISIS forces inside Turkey before smugglers helping the terrorists abandoned the plot due to an increased Turkish military presence.

    This comes as the US air [force] dropped weapons to the rebels in Kobani, a region which is sensitive for Turkey because the Turks have a history of conflict with both sides fighting there now.

    The Turks don’t trust the Kurdish rebels in Kobani, considering them to have ties to a Kurdish rebel group that has long fought Turkey, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. Because of this, Hurriyet reported, Turkey has previously refused to allow Kurdish forces to cross through Turkey to reinforce Kobani.

    However, the Hurriyet Daily News reported that that stance has changed, as Kurdish forces have begun [passing] through Turkey to Kobani. This development comes as the US airdropped weapons to the Kurds in Kobani to help them fight ISIS.

    A background briefing posted on the White House website from senior administration officials said that the weapons were donated by Kurds in Iraq and delivered by the US.

    “We are still assessing the completion of the mission, but every indication that we have is that the vast majority of those bundles were successfully delivered to Kurdish forces,” said one official.

    One of the senior officials in the briefing noted that not only does this airdrop help defend a Kurdish town from devastation at the hands of ISIS, but it also helps the overall battle with the terror group, which is also known as ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant].

    “What we’ve seen over the course of the last several days and weeks is ISIL surge its resources towards Kobani; masses of fighters and weapons and heavy weapons. That, frankly, has presented an opportunity,” said the official. “As ISIL has finite resources, we look for any opportunity to take out those resources and to degrade the organization.”

    Source: (By Joshua Spurlock, The Mideast Update, October 20, 2014)

    Photo Credit: PersianDutchNetwork/www.wikipedia.org

    Photo License: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koban%C3%AA_-_Syria_-_Oct_2014_-_Photo_by_Persian_Dutch_Network.JPG

    Prayer Focus

    Appeal to the Lord God on behalf of Christian brothers and sisters, who are under attack by ISIS, as they ravage cities and towns. Ask the Almighty for His powerful intervention in the war against the evil terrorists in Turkey and Syria.

    Scripture

    May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you...

    - Psalm 20:1

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  9. Germany Reverses Threat to Penalize Israeli via Military Sales

    Sa’ar missile boat The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel reversed its promise to penalize Israel because of its policy of building on land it acquired in the 1967 war—land claimed by the Palestinians for a state—by canceling discounts on military sales to Israel and has agreed to sell Israel new missile boats at a deep discount.

    The final arrangements for the deal—including a discount of about $380 million—are expected to be finalized imminently. The vessels are to be used to protect Israel’s growing offshore gas fields.

    The amount of the discount is about one-third of the total price of 900 million Euros. The price abatement is equal to that which Israel received for two submarines recently delivered. The deal is the result of intense diplomatic activity since Germany informed Israel there would be no discount last May.

    Source: (By The Media Line, October 19, 2014)

    Photo Credit: IDF/www.wikipedia.org

    Photo License: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Three_Sa%27ar_5_Class_Missile_Corvettes_Going_For_a_Cruise.jpg

    Prayer Focus

    Thank the Father for turning the hearts of the German decision-makers toward Israel’s need. May the discounted missile boats enable Israel to better defend the offshore gas fields that the Lord has provided. Pray that Chancellor Merkel and her government will be blessed through this decision.

    Scripture

    How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel!... Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.

    - Numbers 24:5, 9b

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  10. Israel Intensifying Efforts in the Fight against Ebola

    Ebola protective gear On Sunday, October 26, 2014, a meeting will be held at the Israel Foreign Ministry establishing the Israel Forum to Combat Ebola, in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi and under the auspices of MASHAV—Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation. The meeting will be held in cooperation with SID-Israel, the Israeli branch of the Society for International Development, a global forum of individuals and organizations working in the field of sustainable economic and social development.

    The Ebola outbreak, the largest and longest in history, has had a devastating impact on children and their families. The countries affected so far in Western Africa are Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. Eight neighboring countries are also at risk as the virus could quickly spread across borders unless there are rapid improvements to control it. Because of the seriousness of the situation, the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as governments and societies around the world are providing emergency aid to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

    MASHAV, which has already begun to provide assistance in the region, at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now preparing to intensify its efforts. The Israeli government aid includes the deployment of mobile field hospitals to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with emphasis on isolation units and protection gear to allow medical professionals to quarantine and care for their patients.

    MASHAV, in the name of the government of Israel, calls upon Israelis to join in the global effort to assist the Western African countries in combating the outbreak of the Ebola virus. In light of its importance and urgency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through MASHAV and SID-Israel, invites NGOs interested in taking part in efforts in the field and marshaling resources to take part in the inaugural meeting of the Israeli Forum to Combat Ebola sponsored by the Israeli Fund for UNICEF (IFU) and SID-Israel.

    Source: (Press release by Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 21, 2014)

    Photo Credit: Ashernet

    Prayer Focus

    Praise the King of the Universe that Israel is able to provide mobile hospitals, protective gear and isolation units to combat Ebola in West Africa. Pray for the victims’ families, those in harm’s way, and those on the front lines of the fight, so that lives will be saved and Ebola eradicated.

    Scripture

    He will spare the poor and needy, and will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence; and precious shall be their blood in His sight.

    - Psalm 72:13–14

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