Compassion

Hope for a future

Friday, January 12, 2018

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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

Netanyahu: Israel Committed to Keeping “Game-changing” Weapons out of Hezbollah’s Hands

by Ilse Posselt

Hezbollah’s flag

Thursday, 11 January 2018 | Israel is not prepared to see state-of-the-art ammunition reaching Hezbollah and will do what it takes to ensure that the Lebanese-based terror group has no opportunity to stock its arsenals with advanced weapons, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday.

Addressing Israel-based North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ambassadors at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, the prime minister stressed, “We have a longstanding policy to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah in Syrian territory. This policy has not changed. We back it up, if necessary, with action.”

Netanyahu’s message is not new. In fact, the prime minister and a number of other high-ranking Israeli officials have made similar statements in the past. Yet his words on Tuesday arguably carried additional weight, given the events of the days that preceded his address.

Over the weekend, Israel’s Channel 10 reported that the security cabinet had convened for several “extremely significant” meetings to discuss military developments and persistent threats along its northern border. One of the main issues discussed was the so-called “day-after” scenario––preparing for the day after Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, emerges from the war as the victor and establishes full military control of the country.

Israel’s main concern––during the seven-year civil war and now that the fighting is winding down––is Iran’s growing military presence mere kilometers from Israel’s border. Also concerning is the Islamic Republic using the chaos of civil war to smuggle state-of-the-art weapons from Tehran via Damascus and then on to the waiting hands of Hezbollah.      

Days later––and mere hours before Netanyahu took to the podium to address the NATO ambassadors––Syria accused Israel of striking a weapons depot just outside Damascus overnight Monday.

In a statement carried on state television, the Syrian army charged the Jewish state with carrying out a series of three aerial and ground-to-ground strikes, allegedly targeting a military base northeast of the capital. Syrian opposition media was, however, quick to clarify that the military base serves as a weapons cache, where long-range missiles in particular are stored.

According to The Times of Israel, Ronen Solomon, an Israeli freelance intelligence analyst and author of the blog Intelli Times, revealed that the particular base is home to the 155th Artillery Regiment, which operates Scud missile launchers and “has been known since 2010 as the regiment that hosts Hezbollah’s advanced Scud missile base.”

The Syrian army said that Israeli jets fired missiles at the al-Qutaifa base from inside Lebanese airspace at 2:40 on Tuesday morning. Just over 20 minutes later, the Jewish state supposedly targeted the base again, this time from the Golan Heights, using ground-to-ground missiles. These were reportedly intercepted by the Syrian defense system. Over an hour later, Israeli jets fired a final round of four rockets from Israeli airspace, one of which the Syrians supposedly brought down.

While the prime minister’s statement on Tuesday to the NATO ambassadors comes at a particularly pertinent time, Netanyahu did not confirm that the Jewish state is responsible for the strike. The Israeli army also refrained from commenting on the incident.

Since the start of the bloody Syrian Civil War in 2011, Israel has taken great care to steer clear of the hostilities raging on its border. The only red line, mentioned by both Netanyahu and Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, is Israel’s commitment to prevent Iran from capitalizing on the war to send its terror proxy, Hezbollah, weapons to be used in the next round of fighting against Israel.

As it is, Hezbollah has a reported 100,000 state-of-the-art rockets aimed at Israeli towns, cities and infrastructure at the ready. According to the Jewish state’s Institute for National Security Studies, Hezbollah now stands as the greatest threat to the Jewish state. IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Chief of Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, agrees. Speaking during the 11th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War in June this year, Eizenkot, highlighted that “the northern front” and Hezbollah “remain the IDF’s highest priority.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 11 January 2018)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for peace and solutions to the threat of looming war on Israel’s northern border. Intercede for the IDF and intelligence units stationed on those borders and at observation posts. Pray for trustworthy informers and knowledge of how to thwart weapon smuggling attempts and to destroy weapon depots to reach the appropriate personnel on the Israeli side. Cry out for the world to recognize the seriousness of an armed Hezbollah.

Scripture

O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth will no longer cause terror.


- Psalm 10:17-18 NASB

Israel Uncovers Iranian-backed Terror Ring in Judea and Samaria

Mohammed (left) and Bachar Makharmeh

Friday, 05 January 2018 | The Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, revealed this week that it had uncovered an Iranian military intelligence cell operating from near Hebron in Judea and Samaria. The cell’s objective, the security service said, was to launch terror attacks on Israelis and gather intelligence for Tehran.

According to the Shin Bet, the terror ring had been operational in Judea and Samaria for over two years. In November, the security service arrested three cell members and indictments were filed against them in a military court earlier this week, The Times of Israel reports.

The local head of the terror cell is 29-year-old Mahmoud Makharmeh, a computer engineering student from Hebron. His cousin, Bakhar Makharmeh, a native from Hebron who now lives in South Africa, recruited Mahmoud to terrorize and spy on behalf of Iran. According to the Shin Bet, Mahmoud visited Bakhar in South Africa in 2015, where the latter recruited him and introduced him to a number of Iranian intelligence agents, some of whom made the trip from Tehran to Pretoria specifically to meet and instruct their latest recruit.

Mahmoud reportedly received a number of specific tasks from his Iranian handlers in order to plan and execute terror attacks against Israelis. His assignments included recruiting suicide bombers as well as terrorists to carry out shooting attacks. According to Haaretz, Mahmoud was further instructed to open a computer store to act as an intelligence gathering hub for the Iranians. He is also charged with undergoing explosives training and recruiting Israeli Arabs to take pictures inside Israel that would then be passed on to the Iranians.

Upon his return to Israel, Mahmoud managed to recruit two Palestinians from Hebron to join the terror ring. In return for his efforts, his Iranian handlers rewarded him with $8,000. The cell subsequently operated and functioned on instructions from Tehran.

The Islamic Republic has vowed Israel’s destruction on numerous occasions. According to the Shin Bet, the terror ring in Judea and Samaria highlights the lengths Tehran will go to in order to fulfill its aim. “The operation demonstrates the Iranian involvement in encouraging terror attacks against Israel and also shows the forces being sent by Iran to countries around the world, in order to advance enemy activities against Israel,” the security service said in a statement.

Moreover, investigation revealed that Iran was using South Africa as a “significant front for finding, enlisting and deploying agents to Israel and the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the Shin Bet’s sentiments. Commenting on the operation and the arrest, the prime minister pointed out that Iran is actively involved in terrorism against the Jewish state. “This is not the first time,” he held. “They try in different ways there and in other places to target the State of Israel. I wish to stress to you that Iran is employing terrorism against Israel, not just by assisting terror organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also through attempts to organize terror attacks inside Israeli territory.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 05 January 2018)

Photo Credit: Courtesy Shin Bet

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord as Iran has infiltrated Israel with terror cell groups to advance enemy activities and launch terror attacks, specifically shooting against Jews. Give thanks for the entire Shin-Bet organization and their outstanding results. Pray that the Lord will guide and protect these men and women and also pray for the protection of Israeli families living in Judea and Samaria.

Scripture

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.


- Psalm 23:4

Israeli Security Cabinet Convenes for “Extremely Significant” Meetings on Northern Threats

by Ilse Posselt

A view of Syria from Israel’s Golan Heights on the northern border

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 | Israel’s security cabinet convened for several “extremely significant” meetings over the past few days to discuss military developments and persistent threats along its northern border, Israel’s Channel 10 news said over the weekend.

According to the report, the political powers-that-be in the Promised Land are increasingly concerned over Iran’s encroaching presence on its doorstep and have arranged the meetings to discuss ways of preventing both Syria and Lebanon from turning into permanent bases for the Islamic Republic, a proverbial stone’s throw from Israel.

Barak Ravid, Channel 10’s diplomatic correspondent, said that he refrained from sharing the full details of what transpired during the meetings due to the sensitivity of the topic. He did, however, emphasize the importance of the get-togethers. “[A]fter more than a decade of covering the security cabinet, I can judge that the discussions over the last few days about the northern front were extremely significant,” he held.

 The meetings, Ravid said, centered on the developing situation on Israel’s northern front, where Syrian forces, aided by Russian airpower and Iranian-backed forces, have managed to beat back rebel forces from 70% of the country, including the Syrian Golan heights on Israel’s border.

 Among the issues discussed, he continued, was the so-called “day-after” scenario, which allows Israel to plan and prepare for the day after Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, emerges from the seven-year Syrian Civil War as the victor and his fighting force establishes full military control of the country.

 Israel’s main concern—during the seven bloody years of civil war and now that the hostilities are winding down—is Iran, a country dedicated to the destruction of the Jewish state, which continues to strengthen its military presence mere kilometers from Israel’s border. In addition, the Islamic Republic is using the chaos of civil war to smuggle state-of-the-art weapons from Tehran via Damascus and then on to the waiting hands of Hezbollah, the terror organization entrenched in the south of Lebanon.  

 Apart from the security cabinet meetings, Ravid says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also made efforts to ensure that the growing menace on Israel’s doorstep is brought to international attention. According to Channel 10, the prime minister has recently telephoned a number of world leaders to detail the danger of Tehran’s growing foothold in both Syria and Lebanon by means of its terror proxy, Hezbollah, as well as other Shi’ite militias operating in the troubled area.

 Ravid cited Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who warned in October 2017 that Israel’s next war in the north will be a battle fought on two fronts—both Syria and Lebanon. “We are supposed to prepare for every possible scenario, and the new reality also prepares new challenges for us. If we once talked about the Lebanese sector, then there is no more such a sector, there is a northern sector in every development.”

 Ravid also referred to comments made by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen., Gadi Eisenkot, highlighting a multi-dimensional threat posed by Iran as Israel’s biggest challenge. The first threat, he held, is Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The second is the Islamic Republic’s “tremendous effort” to establish a Shi’ite crescent from Iran to Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and on to the Gaza Strip.

According to Eisenkot, Iran currently supports an estimated 10,000 Shi’ite militia fighters as well as 80,000 Hezbollah terrorists operating in Syria. Moreover, Tehran fills the Lebanese terror organization’s coffers with $700 million per year and supplies an additional $100 million to other Shi’ite militias.

Over 2,000 Hezbollah terrorists have been killed fighting in Syria, he continued. The civil war has, however, provided the terror group with valuable practical experience on the battlefield that might be used against Israel. Hezbollah’s backing, Eisenkot held, served to bolster Assad’s confidence and ultimately played a role in the Syrian president gaining the upper hand in the conflict.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 09 January 2018)

Photo Credit: Masterpjz9/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Beseech God’s guidance for Israel’s government and security cabinet members as they brainstorm defense strategies to protect the northern border against Iran’s growing expertise and increased threat to the Jewish state. Pray for the IDF soldiers and new recruits to have courage, strength in body and spirit as they, too, face their fears. Pray for peace in the land of Israel.

Scripture

I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.


- Psalm 34:4

Mossad Chief: We have Eyes, Ears and More in Iran

by Itamar Eichner

Mossad Director Yossi Cohen

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 | Mossad Director Yossi Cohen said in rare comment Tuesday, “We have eyes, ears and more than that in Iran.”

Speaking at a Finance Ministry conference in Jerusalem, Cohen added that despite the fact that the Iranian economy was doing well since the nuclear agreement, this did not mean it affected the lives of Iranian citizens who have been protesting on the streets.

“We need not be too expectant, although I would be glad to see a significant revolution,” he said.

“Citizens there are crying out in light of their disappointing economic situation,” he said, as they had expected President Hassan Rouhani to improve the economic situation of both the individual and the society.

“They are faced by forces that making a massive effort, without protecting human rights, to act against anyone who tries to raise his head in Iran. We experienced it in the green revolution that died down. There were many casualties.

He said the nuclear agreement, which he defined as “a bad agreement which shouldn’t have been signed,” improved Iran’s economic situation.

“The economy had reached a low point due to the harsh sanctions. From an inferior economy, it has become a thriving economy. This doesn’t necessarily serve the citizen, which is why they have taken to the streets.”

Addressing recent developments in the region, the Mossad chief said “a newly created aerial and land corridor is spilling Shiite fighters of different kinds into the Middle East. Together with the Shiites on our northern border, highly alarming small coalitions have been created.”

He also referred to the concerns voiced by leaders in the Sunni world about an Iranian expansion and the arming of Shiite organizations with precision-guided weapons.

Cohen further added that “there are dramatic changes in the American understanding of the strategic threats and the concern for world peace due to the dramatic aspirations in Iran, and its willingness and desire to use forces and terror. This change acts in our favor.”

The Mossad chief concluded by saying he was working to promote equal opportunity, especially gender-related, in the organization.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 09 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Lift up the secret agents in Iran and call upon the Lord to guide their every step, assign angels for their protection, grant peace in their hearts and give them focused minds. Pray also for their families as they are risking their lives to report from the inside. Bring the whole situation of Iran: the Shiite fighters; small, strong coalitions on Israel’s northern border; increased and precise weaponry before God. Pray that Israel will keep their hearts and eyes focused on the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for guidance and solutions.

Scripture

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.


- Psalm 91:1-2

Israeli Murdered in Drive-by Shooting Terror Attack in Judea and Samaria

by Elisha Ben Kimon, Yoav Zitun, Eli Senyor and Rotem Elizera

Vehicle damaged in terrorist shooting attack (illustrative)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 | A man was killed on Tuesday evening after being shot in the neck when at least one terrorist opened fire on his car from a moving vehicle near Havat Gilad in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].

The victim, who was later identified as 35-year-old Raziel Shevah, was rushed to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba and was originally said to have sustained extremely serious wounds but was pronounced dead shortly after.

Upon arriving at the scene, security forces and paramedics discovered the wounded man on Route 60 inside the car, the windshield of which had been riddled with bullets.

The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] immediately launched an investigation, scouring the area, closing off roads and setting up roadblocks in the Nablus area in pursuit of the shooter or shooters.

Speaking before her husband’s fate was confirmed, his wife said while rushing to the hospital: “He called me and said ‘they have shot me. Order an ambulance.’ I’m still horrified by the ease with which they shoot us like this. We’re on the way to the hospital and we still don’t know what his situation is. I ask everyone to pray for him.”

Shevah, a father of 6, including an 8-month old baby, worked as a shohet (who performs the ritual Jewish slaughter of animals for food) and as a mohel (who performs the circumcision of babies) and also volunteered for Magen David Adom [MDA] paramedics.

One of his close friends, Yehudah Hass, described him as “an extremely special person.”

“I knew him for many years. We volunteered together in MDA. Only a short while ago he was given a certificate for distinction for his job in the service. He is effectively the rabbi of Havat Gilad. Raziel was a family man and always wanted to help,” Hass said.

Itay Zar, who founded Havat Gilad, said: “On my way home I heard about the incident. I am shocked. It’s a very serious incident and we are praying for the welfare of the wounded man,” he said.

“We are sick of Arabs drinking a cup of coffee, getting into their cars and shooting at us and then returning to Nablus,” he added. “We’re sick of being ducks in a shooting range. We need a deterrent.”

Yehudah Cohen, who witnessed the shooting recalled the incident: “We got to the area and saw a load of bullet casings on the road. The man was conscious but lapsed into unconsciousness while he was being spoken to,” he said.

Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, bemoaned the fact that “terrorists feel comfortable shooting at innocent civilians.

“I want to send a clear message to our enemies. We will not surrender to terror. We choose life. I want to thank the security forces and rescue teams for their service,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the shooting, expressing his condolences to the family.

“My deepest sympathy and condolences go out to the family of Raziel Shevah, who was murdered by a lowly terrorist. Security forces will do everything in their power to locate the heinous killer and the State of Israel will bring him to justice,” he said.

Hamas’s military wing released a statement following the attack, saying: “The Nablus attack is the first practical response with fire to remind the enemy’s leaders that what you feared has now come. The West Bank will remain a knife in your body.”

The political wing of Hamas also praised the shooting. “We welcome this heroic action that came as a result of Israel’s crimes against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli government is responsible for the ramifications of its extremist racist policy,” the statement read.

The attack comes just over a month after 19-year-old Sgt. Ron Kokia, who was waiting for the bus in Arad, was stabbed to death outside the mall in the city.

Around a fortnight earlier, a Palestinian stabbed an Israel Border Policeman in the West Bank Square near Ramallah, leaving him moderately wounded before being shot by security forces.

The spasmodic instances of violence had already showed signs of once again picking up pace when five days earlier a 46-year-old security guard was stabbed in his upper body and seriously wounded by a terrorist on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Street, outside the city’s central bus station.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on 09 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson Unit/MFA

Prayer Focus
Bring the latest threats of the enemy—shooting attacks—before the Lord and urge Him to confuse their plans and even stop them from happening by causing their guns to malfunction. We can only lift up all the Israeli citizens in Israel, Judea and Samaria for God’s protection. May God bless the memory of Rabbi Shevah and pray for comfort for his family and children.

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 54:17

US Ambassador to Israel: Palestinian Reactions to Terror Killing Show Why There’s No Peace

David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel

Thursday, 11 January 2018 | United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said in a post on social media on Wednesday that those wondering why no peace can be achieved between Israelis and Palestinians should look no further than Tuesday night’s murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach and the Palestinian reaction to it, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists. Hamas praises the killers and PA [Palestinian Authority] laws will provide them financial rewards,” Friedman wrote on his Twitter account. “Look no further to why there is no peace. Praying for the bereaved Shevach family,” he added.

Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a father of six children and resident of Havat Gilad, was shot multiple times in his neck and upper body in a drive-by attack carried out by a Palestinian terrorist in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria]. Shevach was evacuated in critical condition to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, where he was later pronounced dead.

In response to the murder, Hamas issued a statement praising the attack. “We bless the heroic Nablus operation which comes as a result of the Zionist occupation’s violations and crimes at the expense of our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Fatah, the party headed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, posted a message on Facebook boasting of “a killed settler.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, responded to Ambassador Friedman’s tweet, thanking the United States for standing with Israel and for trying to bring an end to the Palestinian Authority’s sponsorship of terrorism.

“Dear Ambassador Friedman, we deeply appreciate your solidarity with Israel,” said Hotovely, adding that “We value your partnership in the fight against terror and your understanding that the Palestinian Authority’s support of terrorists lies at the root of the problem.”

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, also condemned the attack on social media. “There is no justification for terror and those who condone it, praise it or glorify it. This is not the path to peace! The perpetrators of yesterday’s attack must be brought to justice,” he wrote.

Tuesday’s attack comes at a time when a report by the Israeli Ministry of Defense revealed that terrorists and their families are handsomely rewarded for their crimes by the Palestinian Authority. Last year, they paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club––some 7 percent of its overall budget.

The Trump administration has reportedly been frustrated by Abbas’s refusal to denounce terror against Israel. In a public appearance with Abbas in May of last year, President Donald Trump told the PA’s leader that “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”

Source: (The Israel Project originally published this article in its publication The Tower on 10 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Intercede for Israel and the USA’s leaders, praying for encouragement and inspiration to deal with obstacles to the peace process. Thank God for His scriptural promises for Israel and the fact that He is in control! Pray for His will regarding the Land to be accomplished as Hamas and the PA (Palestinian Authority) make it so evident that they are not interested in the peace process.

Scripture

Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 


- Psalm 27:11

Netanyahu Calls for Shuttering of Palestinian UN Agency, Backs Trump’s Critique

by Joshua Spurlock

 

130-page report by UN Watch finds UNRWA schools remain a hotbed of extremism

Monday, 08 January 2018 | The United Nations have had a special refugee organization specifically dedicated to Palestinians for 70 years, despite the fact that Palestinians haven’t had new refugees for decades. But that organization’s time, or at least its funding, may finally be limited. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) should be shut down and its funding diverted to helping real refugees, following critiques of UNRWA by the Trump administration.

In particular, Netanyahu slammed the “refugee” status of the Palestinians covered by UNRWA. That status implies they have rights to land in Israel from which they fled during conflicts more than 50 years ago, rights which Palestinians call the “right of return,” which believes that Palestinians should be allowed to retake territory in Israel even after being granted a Palestinian state on additional lands controlled by Israel.

“UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem. It also perpetuates the narrative of the right-of-return, as it were, in order to eliminate the State of Israel; therefore, UNRWA needs to pass from the world,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “…Of course this creates a situation in which there are great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees but who are cared for by UNRWA, and another 70 years will pass and those great-grandchildren will have great-grandchildren and therefore, this absurdity needs to stop.”

United States ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley last week said that President Donald Trump wanted to nix American funding of UNRWA, according to a report by Haaretz. Meanwhile, a separate report from The Times of Israel a few days later reported that the US had not yet decided whether or not to cut off UNRWA funding.

Haaretz reported that the US gives UNRWA more than $300 million annually. Netanyahu said he agrees “completely” with Trump’s critique of UNRWA.

Israeli Housing Minister Naftali Bennet issued his own criticism of UNRWA on Twitter, saying that “UNRWA is supporting terrorism.” Facilities belonging to the UN agency have been used by terrorists in Gaza, although in the most recent occasion last June the UN body condemned the construction of tunnels that ran under two UNRWA schools and emphasized their own neutrality.

The United Nations actually has a separate refugee organization aside from UNRWA that covers general refugee issues, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Netanyahu believes that agency is the solution for the dissolution for UNRWA.

“I have made a simple proposal: UNRWA support funds need to be gradually shifted to the UNHCR, with clear criteria for supporting genuine refugees, not fictitious refugees as happens today under UNRWA,” said Netanyahu.

“I have brought this position to the attention of the US. This is how to rid the world of UNRWA and deal with genuine refugee problems, to the extent that such remain.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 07 January, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: UN Watch

Prayer Focus
Thank God for PM Netanyahu, Pres. Trump and Nikki Haley, world leaders who have the boldness to stand against the force of lies and deceit, facing the enemy and telling the truth. Intercede for them, praying for wisdom, strength and relaxation. Pray that governments will be convicted of their stewardship over tax payer’s money. Continue to pray that the UN body will decide to act according to their original purpose.

Scripture

Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. 


- Proverbs 21:6

Introducing: Digital Warfare through the IDF’s New Intelligence Unit

by Yoav Zitun

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 | An application that recommends to a company commander the safest route to a Hamas target and software that displays for a battalion commander bird’s-eye satellite footage of the village he is preparing to enter in southern Lebanon. These are just some of the technological advances that are being developed by the IDF’s new Unit 3060—a development unit attached to the Military Intelligence Directorate that was unveiled for the first time Wednesday.

Around 400 soldiers serve in the new secret unit—covertly formed in 2014—most of whom are programmers, software testers and graduates of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences degrees.

The “products” produced by the unit constitute a significant leap in making real-time intelligence easily accessible to military commanders, in bolstering security on the borders and in facilitating more efficient ground maneuvers based on the fusion of information, image processing, the use of artificial intelligence, swiftly displaying information using combined intelligence sources including drones and satellites, human espionage, recording, listening or tracking devices planted on enemy units and openly available intel taken from social media or newspaper outlets.

Take, for example, the unit’s “Broadcast Researcher” system that enables a commander who needs to operate in a specific neighborhood in Gaza, south Lebanon or Syria to tap an aerial picture of the field he is preparing to enter and view a specific street or building, as well as receive an instant video stream of the site.

Another system that was unveiled by officers of the unit Wednesday is an application dubbed “The King’s Way,” capable of calculating the quickest routes during a ground maneuver into enemy territory.

The program calculates distances of different available routes, estimated times of arrival, vehicle journey times for armored vehicles, and displays slopes en route that are hazardous for Armored Personnel Carriers, while considering weather conditions and their effect on the ground, as well as providing analysis and detection of areas in which the force may be exposed to the enemy’s observation or weapon fire located at nearby potential control points.

Furthermore, the software is updated in real time and even considers changes to the topography that occurred as recent as hours or even minutes prior, such as an aerial bombardment that changed the area’s terrain.

A previous and less advanced incarnation of this program has already proved itself in Operation Protective Edge when—during a maneuver of the Nahal Brigade and the 401 Armored Brigade in the northern Gaza Strip Al-Atatra neighborhood—the forces chose a path of progress that prevented them from walking into an ambush and even aided them with clearing buildings booby-trapped by Hamas forces.

The software and applications developed by the unit are more suited to the rank of brigade commander and division commander, while the intelligence officer of these units could analyze the data from the systems for the commander, acting as a sort of mediator.

In contrast to similar applications already available for ground forces, products being developed by this new unit include nearly limitless intelligence depth of the highest classification levels, as well as smart algorithims enabling to construct a plan of attack in real-time or understanding the enemy’s movements in a better and faster fashion.

Similarly to civilian apps, the unit’s programs will also receive regular updates, sometimes during actual operational activity, with the persons providing support and maintenance on the apps for the commanders in the field being the heads of the teams that developed them.

‘A civilian startup’s culture’

“During the large drill in the north held earlier this year, one of the division heads entered my office and said the operational end-user for one of the apps will call in to report a malfunction in two hours’ time, because he was capable of monitoring, identifying and fixing such problems before they are felt in the field,” a senior officer at Unit 3060 said Wednesday.

“We’re working based on products rather than projects, three months at a time, with a civilian startup’s culture,” the officer revealed.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 05 January 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord for blessing us with human intelligence and for this secret IDF unit that used their knowledge to develop special products and software for the soldiers on the battlefield. Praise God for the real-time information that will give the IDF soldiers an advantage over their enemy and protect and save lives.

Scripture

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.


- Proverbs 24:3-6

Report: Israel Stopped “Major Terrorist Attacks” in Europe Involving Hijacked Planes, Says Netanyahu

by Ilse Posselt

One of the two towers on September 11, 2001

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 | 11 September 2001 marked one of the darkest days in America’s history. On the morning of what would later be known as 9/11, terrorists slammed hijacked commercial planes into the World Trade Center in the heart of New York, the Pentagon and an open field in Pennsylvania. Three thousand people died in the deadliest terror attack on US soil. For the first time, America was forced to confront the terrible phenomenon of radical Islamic terrorism on domestic soil.

According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel may well have prevented European centers from suffering a similar fate by passing on warnings of radical jihadist threats gathered by the country’s formidable intelligence services. Although Netanyahu did not give details as to the specific threats thwarted, he hinted that they may have involved hijacked planes crashing into buildings in Europe in possible September 11-type attacks, The Times of Israel reports.

Speaking during a joint press conference with Israel-based North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ambassadors at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem yesterday, the prime minister highlighted two particular areas where Israel “contributes to the security of every single NATO country.” Both these areas, he explained, involve “radical Islam.”

According to Netanyahu, the first area pertains to the prevention of large-scale terror. “We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries,” the prime minister said. “Some of these could have been massive attacks, of the worst kind that have ever been experienced on the soil of Europe—and even worse, because they involved civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives.” 

Apart from thwarting specific attacks, Netanyahu also told his audience that Israel continues to play a significant role in the safety of Western countries by stopping jihadist Sunni and Shiite factions from gaining a foothold in the area.    

“ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] is being destroyed in Iraq and Syria, but it is trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai,” he pointed out. “Israel is contributing to preventing that in myriad ways. In general, I would say that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that fights radical Islam.”

Turning his attention to Iran, Netanyahu held that the Jewish state serves as a security buffer for NATO countries against this dominant Shiite power. What makes the Islamic Republic so dangerous, he argued, is that it is a cause, not a country. “And the cause is worldwide domination under their brand of Islamic militancy.” 

Netanyahu explained that Iran’s radical ideology seeks to acquire nuclear weapons. First and foremost, he said, Israel’s task would thus be to prevent Tehran from reaching this goal.

Apart from its nuclear ambitions, Netanyahu also warned that Iran is “trying to establish an empire, a territorial empire from Tehran to Tartus in the Mediterranean, enveloping the Middle East also from the south through Yemen, eventually conquering the Middle East. This is what Iran is about.”

Israel, the prime minister assured his audience, could not afford to allow such an empire on its doorstep and remains “absolutely committed to preventing Iran from establishing a military base in Syria. And we back our words with action.”

Netanyahu pointed out that Tehran’s territorial aggression was not only a Middle Eastern concern. “This is dangerous for you too because the conquest of the Middle East by Iran would eventually effect [sic] all of your interests.” The Islamic Republic, he held, plans to send a force of 100,000 Shiite fighters to Syria to “conquer” the area. Should the Iranians’ ambitions be realized, the resultant clash between Sunni and Shiite forces in Syria would send a flood of refugees to Europe.   

“Where will the spillover [of a Sunni-Shiite clash in Syria] happen?” he challenged. “In Europe. Where will the human flow go? To Europe. Who’s preventing that right now? Israel? Right now, Israel alone. But I maintain that it’s a common interest that we have.”

The Jewish state and NATO have long since collaborated on various matters of safety. Hailing the history of cooperation as “great,” Netanyahu lauded the recent strengthening of security ties, with Israel opening its first office at NATO headquarters in Brussels in December 2016.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 10 January 2018)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for PM Netanyahu as he perseveres to educate leaders and nations about the real threat of radical Islam being a cause and not a country. Earnestly seek the Lord’s help for nations to heed to Israel’s call and join hands with them to prevent Iran from establishing a military base in Syria. Praise God for all the lives that Israel saves behind the scenes around the globe with their expertise and information.

Scripture

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.


- Philippians 2:4 NKJV

Israel to Reenact Declaration of Independence for Jubilee

by Itamar Eichner

David Ben Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence in 1948 in Independence Hall

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 | The State of Israel’s declaration of independence will be reenacted in full this coming Independence Day, marking the country’s 70th—or platinum—jubilee, including actors portraying the original’s ceremony’s participants, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned.

This undertaking marks the flagship project of the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) for the country’s 70th Independence Day. The plan as it stands is to reenact the independence declaration event, which took place May 14, 1948, in Independence Hall—situated in Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard.

Therefore, exactly as it transpired during the actual event, an actor portraying future first prime minister David Ben Gurion will inaugurate the final meeting of the People’s Council, soon to become the Provisional State Council.

The ceremony will kick off with a rousing rendition of HaTikvah, Israel’s future national anthem, after which “Ben Gurion” will read from the Declaration of Independence itself.

When the declaration concludes, an actor playing Rabbi Yehuda Leib Maimon will recite the Shehecheyanu blessing, recited during momentous or special occasions.

The 25 members of the People’s Council will then do the honors of signing their names to the bottom of the parchment containing the declaration—first Ben Gurion and then the rest of the council’s members alphabetically. In order to remain close to the historical script, the meeting will then conclude with another singing of HaTikvah.

According to the plan—which has already been approved, budgeted and launched—the Israeli public will be called to arrive en masse to Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Street, which will be dressed up for the occasion.

The entire street will be closed to traffic, decked out in festive flags and affixed with enormous screens showing the reenactment. The identity of the actors portraying Ben Gurion and the rest of the council’s members has yet to be decided.

In addition, Minister Ze’ev Elkin, whose ministry spearheaded the reenactment, will speak at the ceremony. The ministry also intends to invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak.

Unlike the original event, however, this time Israelis will not have to remain glued to their radios to take in the announcement, as the entire reenactment will be streamed live on Facebook, so that not only Israelis may watch it but every supporter of Zionism anywhere in the world may do so as well.

The above was not the sole reenactment planned by the ministry and the WZO for Israel’s 70th, however, as reenactments of the construction of a Homa u’migdal (“wall and tower”) community and the docking of an “immigrant ship,” from which the British Mandate-era refugees will disembark.

“Reenactment is an immense tool allowing us to involve the public and allow it to share the experience, especially as it pertains to the younger generation,” said Vice Chairman of the WZO Yaakov Hagoel.

Minister Elkin added, “We’ve created the event to allow Israel’s citizens to experience the enormity of that historic event and the ambiance in the country on the day of the Jewish state’s birth. Preserving and disseminating the legacy of Zionism is one of our generation’s most important undertakings.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 30 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Glorify God for the establishment of the State of Israel! Ask God to draw many other nations and individuals to the “land of milk and honey” to join hands with the Jewish state and support them. Pray for the security setup during this huge event to ensure the safety of all who participate and celebrate Israel’s remarkable history.

Scripture

Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; for thus says the LORD: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the gentiles like a flowing stream. Then you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees.


- Isaiah 66:10, 12

Free Weekly Israel Prayer Update & News



Prayer Updates

X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -