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A Light in the Midst of Trauma

Friday, June 9, 2023

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Every week, we post 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.

Egyptian Policeman Kills Three IDF Soldiers in Border Attack

by Joshua Spurlock ~ The Mideast Update

The Nitzana border crossing between Israel and Egypt near where the attack took place

Monday, 5 June 2023 | An Egyptian policeman killed three Israeli soldiers on Saturday before IDF [Israel Defense Forces] troops killed the assailant in a firefight in the Israel–Egypt border region, concluding the tragic and extremely unusual incident that still has unanswered questions. An investigation is ongoing, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding an “exhaustive and thorough” joint review with Egypt. The two nations have had a complicated but overwhelmingly quiet peace since signing a treaty in 1979.

“The incident on the Egyptian border is severe and extraordinary and will be fully investigated,” said Netanyahu on Sunday. “This is part of the important security cooperation between us [and Egypt], which has benefited both countries over the years. We will draw all the necessary conclusions regarding our actions along the fence on the southern border, the Israeli–Egyptian border.”

According to a recap of the incident on the IDF website, two soldiers—Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun and Staff-Sgt. Yitzhak Ilouz—were killed by the Egyptian near the border early Saturday. Additional forces searched the area, identified the shooter and a firefight ensued. Staff-Sgt. Ohad Dahan was killed in the exchange and another IDF soldier wounded, while the Egyptian was also killed. The IDF website referred to the assailant as a terrorist and said additional searches were underway at the time in the event of additional terrorists.

Egypt has claimed the Egyptian policeman was chasing international drug smugglers across the border. The Egyptian Military Spokesperson Twitter feed said that during the chase the Egyptian crossed the border and exchanged fire with Israeli forces. The IDF website recap did acknowledge that drug smuggling along the border was intercepted the night before the shooting, with NIS 3 million (US $800,000) worth of drugs seized.

However, this drug operation was three kilometers (1.86 mi.) away from where the shooting occurred, and the Times of Israel reported that it was concluded three or four hours before the attack. The Times report said the first two IDF soldiers killed never fired their weapons. This is being investigated, along with why there was no alert when the Egyptian entered Israel, thought to be via an emergency gate in the border fence.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with Egyptian Minister of Defense Mohamed Zaki on Saturday and “expressed his appreciation to Minister Zaki for his commitment and cooperation in the investigation of the incident.”

In addition, Gallant “emphasized the important ties between the two countries,” before the two military leaders expressed their “commitment to maintaining ongoing communication and ensuring the cooperation between the respective establishments to prevent such events in the future.” An additional tweet posted by the Egyptian Military Spokesperson said Zaki expressed condolences to the victims of what the tweet called an “accident.” It also echoed the effort to prevent such incidents in the future.

Despite the unanswered questions, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Herzi Halevi was quoted in the IDF website press release as saying the IDF troops “fulfilled their role and prevented further damage” that could have occurred. Netanyahu noted in his Sunday comments that Israel will “reinvigorate the procedures, the modus operandi and also the means, in order to minimize smuggling and in order to ensure that tragic attacks such as these do not recur.”

He said that while the fence has been successful in reducing the entrance of illegal immigrants to Israel, smuggling still occurs and “terrorists make periodic attempts to cross the fence and attack our forces.” While terror attacks around the Egyptian border are not common, they have occurred, including a massive attack in 2011—although Egypt was not believed to have been behind that assault.

Meanwhile, Israel mourns the latest victims of Saturday’s attack. Said Netanyahu, “Our hearts and the hearts of the entire nation are with the dear families, whose worlds have been devastated. We are all with them, in their profound grief.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Mideast Update on June 4, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: כ.אלון/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
As each new week brings news of yet more attacks on Israelis, more Jewish lives taken and more families in mourning, bring this terrible loss of three young lives before the Lord. Cry out for His hope and comfort for the people of Israel who are weary of violence, but particularly for the families of the three soldiers who perished. Pray also for the investigation, that the truth will be uncovered and the guilty parties brought to justice.


Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.

- Psalm 116:15

Gallant Plays Down New Iranian Hypersonic Weapon, Says Israel Has ‘Better Response’

by Daniel Salami and Yoav Zitun ~ Ynetnews

The unveiling ceremony of Iran’s Fatah hypersonic missile on Tuesday

Wednesday, 7 June 2023 | Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday played down Iran’s announcement it has developed a new hypersonic ballistic weapon, saying that Israel possesses the capabilities to neutralize such threats.

“I hear our enemies boasting about their development of various weapons. However, we have a better response to every such threat, whether in the air, sea or land, for both defense and offense efforts,” he said during a visit to northern Israel where military forces were holding large-scale exercises.

Iranian officials showcased the new Fatah missile in a televised statement earlier Tuesday, which they claimed can travel up to 870 miles [1,400 km.] at 14 times the speed of sound, equivalent to approximately 9,320 mph [14,999 km/h], and is able to evade anti-ballistic missile systems employed by the United States and Israel.

Specifically, the report mentioned the Israeli Iron Dome air defense system, suggesting that it would be ineffective against the missile. It’s worth noting that Iron Dome is not designed to intercept long-range missiles.

However, Israel does have tools in its air defense arsenal to counter long-range missiles like the one the Islamic Republic is claiming to have developed in the form of David’s Sling and the Arrow defense systems.

During the televised press conference attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and high-ranking Revolutionary Guards officers, Iran showcased what seemed to be a replica of the missile.

Raisi stressed that his country’s missile production serves as a defensive measure against adversaries and to deter any aggression against Iran.

He highlighted that Iran’s self-sufficiency in missile development is a testament to its local scientific prowess, unaffected by external influences. Raisi further asserted that their deterrent capabilities “contribute to regional security.”

Hypersonic weapons are capable of exceeding five times the speed of sound, presenting a formidable challenge for missile defense systems owing to their exceptional velocity and advanced navigation capabilities.

In recent years, Russia declared the development of seemingly “invincible” hypersonic missiles, which were reportedly utilized for the first time during the conflict in Ukraine. Last month, Kyiv alleged it shot down several Russian Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missiles.

China and the United States are also actively engaged in the development of hypersonic missile technology. Back in November, Iran announced without evidence that it had achieved a breakthrough in hypersonic missile development, boasting maneuverability within and beyond the earth’s atmosphere.

Following the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement in 2018, Iran has ramped up uranium enrichment operations and has reportedly accrued enough enriched uranium for the production of two nuclear bombs.

Iran’s uranium stockpile has been enriched to 60%, which falls short of weapons-grade levels that require 90% enrichment. However, the process to transition from 60% to 90% enrichment is technically feasible in a relatively short amount of time.

These recent developments have led to threats from Israel, including from Gallant himself, regarding potential actions against Iran’s nuclear program.

Additionally, senior officials in Jerusalem have expressed concerns about the possibility of the Biden administration seeking a new agreement with Tehran, following the breakdown of previous talks to revive the nuclear agreement last year.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on June 6, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Tasnim News Agency/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
As Iran seems to ramp up its development and production of more advanced weapons with more advanced capabilities to sow large-scale death and destruction, cry out to the Lord to bless Israel with the insight, wisdom and ability to defend itself against any and all threats that the mullahs may have in their arsenal. Remind Him of His promise to watch over Israel as the defender of the nation and its people without slumbering or sleeping (Ps. 121:4).


“I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is His name.”

- Exodus 15:1b–3

IDF’s ‘Special in Uniform’ Band Hits 500-show Milestone

by Judy Lash Balint ~ JNS

Adi Yehuda (blue uniform, center) and the Special in Uniform band perform their 500th show in Tel Aviv.

Thursday, 8 June 2023 | Most Israeli bands and performers would be happy to land a few gigs a month, but how many have clocked 500 performances in the past 14 months? Earlier this week, the Special in Uniform (SIU) Band of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] rocked the popular Zappa Club in Tel Aviv with their 500th performance in less than two years.

The band, whose members are IDF soldiers with special needs, took to the stage of the prestigious entertainment venue in an upbeat concert that had the audience on its feet for most of the evening.

Backstage, Adi Yehuda, 21, one of the lead SIU band singers, told JNS how the rigorous schedule of rehearsals and performances enhances her life. “Being part of the band has made me the best version of myself,” she said.

“I feel comfortable on the stage, it feels like home to me. I love the music, the stage, the friends in the band,” she added. “I’m so grateful to be in uniform and to have performed for the president, the prime minister, the chief of staff and to represent Israel to audiences abroad,” she added.

But the main motivator for Adi when she gets up to perform is to demonstrate that “we are not shy about our disabilities. This is us and we want to take part in the army. People see us and see that we can be equals.”

That’s one of the major goals of the SIU program. The band is one component of a wide program to integrate young adults with disabilities into the IDF and in turn, into Israeli society.

Today, the program has 950 participants serving in units all over Israel, Maj. (Res) Tiran Attia, executive director of SIU, told JNS.

While the average Israeli 16-year-old gets a call-up notice and goes through a process of being assessed and assigned to an army unit, students in special needs programs are automatically refused.

“SIU works with individual kids to find their strengths, and together with social workers and psychologists, we make sure they have a place in the army,” Attia explained.

High-functioning students with Asperger’s syndrome may find themselves analyzing maps or becoming experts in counting the multitude of components that make up the Iron Dome Defense system, while those with other abilities will be assigned to necessary work on the base in maintenance or in the kitchen.

Attia maintains that the greatest barrier to the integration of people with disabilities is awareness on the part of regular soldiers. “The goal of this band is to increase awareness,” he said.

All young people love music, and when the band gets up and performs at a professional level, the regular soldiers admire them and see them as people they can respect and bring into their social circles, Attia explained.

Attia’s dedication to the integration of people with disabilities stems from a profound personal experience.

After an illustrious IDF career, Attia suffered a serious injury in 2006 and was hospitalized for a lengthy period, becoming despondent. The only person who was able to relate to him and pull him out of the depths was a young woman with Down syndrome.

“In the hospital, I vowed to dedicate myself to people with special needs,” he said.

That dedication means a lot to the parents of SIU band members. Eliyahu Natan is the father of Liya, 20, who has Williams syndrome, which is often marked by some physical deficiencies and learning problems, but also high sociability and outgoing personality traits.

“She’s a natural performer because of her syndrome,” Natan told JNS, “so now her whole life is music.” Because of Liya’s participation in the SIU band, she feels equal, he notes. “Her belief in herself is very different to before she was in the IDF,” he added.

Yoram Porat, another parent of a band member, shares Natan’s sentiments. Porat’s goal is to “show everyone that special needs people are different but able.” His daughter, Noa, has been exposed to people, places and experiences that have made her more independent and given her self-confidence, he said.

The two young band members are beyond excited to be sharing the stage at Zappa with renowned Israeli singers including Miki and Shira Gavrielov, Arik Sinai, Akiva and Natan Goshen, all of whom joined the band on stage pro bono, with ticket proceeds going to benefit the SIU program.

“Noa and Liya have huge photos of the stars on their walls and even have their private numbers,” said Porat.

Singer and songwriter Shira Gavrielov told JNS she wanted to take part in the SIU event since she teaches music to special needs kids. “When they’re on stage, I feel the immediate connection to how they’re feeling,” she said. Her father, veteran songwriter and singer Miki Gavrielov, added that for him it was “a special occasion for some unique soldiers and an honor to join them on stage.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 7, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Judy Lash Balint/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Bless the Lord for the beautiful way in which the Israel Defense Forces goes out of its way to draw in and embrace all its citizens, giving Israelis with special needs the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to building and defending this country. Bring each of the 950 participants in the Special in Uniform program before the Lord, asking Him to pour out His love, delight and joy over them.


“Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

- Zephaniah 3:16b–17

Terrorism Is Spreading throughout Judea and Samaria

by Yoni Ben Menachem ~ JCPA

Israeli soldiers in Jenin during Operation Break the Wave in 2022

Thursday, 8 June 2023 | The Israeli security establishment has begun intensive discussions on the possibility of conducting a widespread military operation in Judea and Samaria against Palestinian terror groups following the shooting attack on May 30, 2023, in which a 32-year-old civilian, Meir Tamari, was murdered near the community of Hermesh.

The attack was carried out by the “Rapid Reaction” unit of the “Tulkarm Battalion,” a joint terrorist body of the Islamic Jihad and [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas’s Fatah [leading secular Palestinian political party] movement. The group was founded by Seif Abu Libda from the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm, who was killed in a shootout with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] in 2022. Amir Abu Khadija, an officer in the presidential guard of PA [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas, joined the group’s leaders. The IDF killed Khadija in March 2023.

Islamic Jihad sources say that the murder of Tamari is part of the organization’s revenge response to IDF activity in Nur Shams and to the targeted killing of PIJ’s [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] military elite in Gaza in May.

The Israeli security establishment is concerned about the spread of armed terrorist groups throughout Judea and Samaria equipped with large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. There are about 20 armed terrorist groups carrying out attacks. The weapons flow through the border with Jordan, with the purchases financed by Iran.

The strategy of the armed terrorist groups is to conduct a war of attrition against the IDF in all of Judea and Samaria and to draw in as many soldiers as possible. Iran sees Judea and Samaria as another front against Israel as part of its strategy of “uniting the fronts.”

The Israel Security Agency reportedly supports conducting an extensive military operation in Judea and Samaria against the terrorist infrastructure. Security sources say it is an inevitable process to stop the expanding terrorist infrastructure from growing daily and pushing the failed PA security forces out of large areas in Judea and Samaria.

The PA Chairman Rejected the American Security Plan

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has a Palestinian security force numbering 30,000 armed men under his command. But Abbas continues the policy he started in 2021 of avoiding conflict with the armed terrorist groups as long as they do not directly threaten his Muqataa headquarters in Ramallah.

According to senior officials in the Fatah movement, Abbas rejected the security plan offered to him by the Biden administration against the new terrorist groups because it did not include guarantees that the IDF would end the entry of its forces into Area A under PA control.

The plan, prepared by US General Mike Fenzel, stipulated that several thousand new security personnel would be recruited for the PA. They would be trained in Jordan, equipped with weapons and deployed in the northern West Bank [Judea and Samaria] to fight against the armed terrorist groups.

Sources in Fatah say that the American plan was intended to eliminate the armed groups in the West Bank that have strong support on the Palestinian “street” and the support of all Palestinian factions, but Abbas rejected it because it would lead to a civil war.

Despite the security meetings in Aqaba and Sharm el-Sheikh at the initiative of the United States to strengthen the power of the PA, the American security plan was not discussed. On the contrary, a senior Fatah official says it was “stillborn.”

Akram Rajoub, the PA-appointed governor of Jenin, told Asharq Al-Awsat on May 29, 2023, that he only heard about the American security plan through the media. He accused the Israeli government of weakening the PA. Rajoub reported that the PA security forces estimate that the security situation in Judea and Samaria will only worsen.

A senior Israeli political official said that the Israeli security establishment is preparing for an escalation on the ground: “If, God forbid, there is an attack with many casualties in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli government will have no choice but to launch a major military operation despite the pressures of the Biden administration, which has so far succeeded in delaying the launch of the operation.”

Despite the increase in shooting attacks, most Palestinian residents are not interested in an armed intifada [uprising] that could cause them heavy economic damage and the cessation of work in Israel.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are finding it difficult to drag the Fatah movement into taking a public position calling for an armed intifada against Israel, in contrast to Gaza, where there is a joint headquarters of all the Palestinian factions that organize attacks against Israel. In Judea and Samaria, there is a broad division between the factions and no joint command that coordinates the terrorist activity against Israel.

Yoni Ben Menachem, a veteran Arab affairs and diplomatic commentator for Israel Radio and Television, is a senior Middle East analyst for the Jerusalem Center. He served as Director General and Chief Editor of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.    

Source: (This article was originally published by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on June 6, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord to put an end to the ongoing wave of terror washing over the biblical heartland of Israel. Beseech Him to dismantle the infrastructure that undergirds the 20 armed terrorist groups, block the supply routes and sow confusion in the enemy’s camp like He did so many times in biblical history so that these groups will disintegrate and the violence will cease.


Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD, make haste to help me! Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion who seek to destroy my life; let them be  driven backward and brought to dishonor who wish me evil.

- Psalm 40:13–14

Israel Recognizes New Natural-gas Field, its Fourth-largest

by JNS

Israel’s Leviathan gas processing rig off the coast of Israel

Monday, 5 June 2023 | Israel’s Energy Ministry has officially certified the discovery of a new maritime natural gas deposit, the country’s fourth-largest to date.

British–Greek energy company Energean can now begin drawing up plans to develop the field, named Katlan, which is entirely inside Israeli territorial waters.

Israeli Energy and Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz said in a statement on May 31 that there were potentially more reserves yet to be discovered.

“The office under my leadership will continue to develop the natural gas reserves that are in our territory and to promote the exploration and discovery of additional natural gas reserves for the sake of the energy security of the State of Israel and for ensuring a reliable, clean and affordable Israeli energy economy,” said Katz.

Katlan is Israel’s fourth largest gas reserve. Energean is already developing the Karish, Karish North and Tanin offshore reserves, as well as several blocks in the larger Tamar gas field.

“Katlan boasts approximately 68 BCM [billion cubic meters] of natural gas, and we are working diligently to develop it as efficiently as possible to create sustainable value for all our stakeholders. We believe this discovery will open new opportunities for Israeli gas supplies in both local and regional markets,” said Energean CEO Mathios Rigas.

The Israeli ministry had not certified any offshore gas discoveries since 2015.

Earlier this month, the Israeli Cabinet approved a NIS 900-million (US $246-million) project to expand natural gas exports to Egypt.

A 65-kilometer (40-mi.) pipeline will be constructed along a route between Ramat Hovav, south of Beersheva, and Nitzana, near the Sinai border via Ashalim, allowing for an additional 6 billion BCM of natural gas to be exported to Egypt each year.

The sale of the additional gas is expected to generate NIS 200 million (US $55 million) in annual revenue for Israel Natural Gas Lines and hundreds of millions of shekels each year for the government in royalties and taxes.

It will be built by Nativ, a state-owned company that is responsible for the gas system throughout Israel.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 4, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Flashgo/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God for yet another lucrative discovery with the potential to prosper the Promised Land and her people! Pray over all the details of the plans to develop this deposit for a successful outcome. Also pray that Israel will acknowledge and praise God as the source and provider of the bounty to be found in the land of Israel.


For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

- Deuteronomy 8:7–10

Israel’s Choice: Silence on Iran for Peace with Saudi Arabia?

by JNS

Then-US Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem (illustrative)

Friday, 2 June 2023 | The US seeks to silence Israeli opposition to a revived Iran nuclear deal by offering to broker a Saudi–Israeli normalization deal in exchange, Israel Hayom reported on Thursday.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi flew Wednesday to Washington for meetings with US officials about the possible Iran deal, which Israel strongly opposes, and Saudi–Israel relations, which Israel strongly supports.

Although US President Joe Biden once referred to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as “dead” on the sidelines of a November 4, 2022, mid-term election rally, recent reports suggest his administration is still working toward some kind of agreement.

White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk visited Oman on May 8 to discuss with officials there the possibility of reaching out to Iran regarding its nuclear program, Axios reported.

While the US still hopes to resolve the Iran issue through diplomatic means, a military response to Iran’s efforts to obtain nuclear bombs has never been taken off the table. Hoping to stave off an Israeli military response to Iran’s growing nuclear capability (Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in early May that Iran has enriched enough nuclear material for five bombs), the White House would throw its weight behind a Saudi–Israel deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed strong interest in such an agreement, telling JNS prior to the last election that “the big prize is peace with Saudi Arabia, which I intend to achieve if I go back into office.”

Former political officials conjecture that the Prime Minister’s Office would lean towards accepting the White House offer, Israel Hayom reported.

However, an official in Netanyahu’s office told the newspaper that “Israel has not changed its position…Israel acts in every possible way, in all channels and at all levels, against any attempt to allow Iran to reach nuclear capabilities and nuclear weapons.”

Danny Citrinowicz, a research fellow in the Iran Program of the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies, told Israel Hayom that there is little Israel can do to stop the US from making a limited deal with Iran, which could involve Iran agreeing to stop nuclear enrichment in exchange for a “certain easing of sanctions and the resulting infusion of funds into the Iranian economy.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray against any attempts to manipulate Israel as Jerusalem finds itself in a precarious situation: the existential threat of a nuclear Iran on the one hand, and a desire to live in peace with Saudi Arabia, the most influential nation in the Arab world on the other. Ask God to endow Israel’s leaders with His wisdom to make the decisions that will ultimately prosper Israel while maintaining her security.


For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

- Proverbs 2:6

Siemens Agrees to Boycott Israel for US $360 Million Turkish Deal

by JNS

Siemens headquarters in Munich, Germany

Wednesday, 7 June 2023 | Despite months of denials from the German company Siemens, the Zachor Legal Institute, an Israeli activist group, has now found the new business contract the German corporation signed with Turkey, agreeing to abide by the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Israel boycott policy.

The deal for Siemens to create high-speed trains is worth [US] $360 million. However, this decision may bump up against states that invest in Siemens.

Officials from both California and Arizona told the Washington Free Beacon that they were investigating if the deal breaks their laws. The rise of the anti-Israel BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement has inspired laws at the state level in at least 36 states to deter companies from participating, threatening the loss of government contracts for those who do.

Ron Machol, chief operating officer of Zachor, pointed out how Siemens had apologized for using forced labor during World War II, but that “this new evidence of boycotting Israel indicates that this company is still willing to prioritize profits by engaging in economic warfare, this time against the Jewish State of Israel.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 6, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Rufus46 via Wikimedia Commons/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Decry this blatant action by Siemens to boycott Israel. Pray that the leaders tasked with making this decision will ponder the organization’s anti-Semitic past and have a change of heart, taking a stand with Israel against those who seek her harm and isolation.


I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.

- Genesis 12:3a

Operation Opera—An Inside Look into One of the Most Infamous IDF Operations

by IDF Editorial Team

The pilots who took part in the operation

Thursday, 8 June 2023 | On June 7, 1981 at 4:00 p.m., 14 fighter jets departed from Etzion Airport in Israel. At approximately 5:30 p.m., they struck and destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, successfully completing their mission.

Twenty-two years before Operation Opera, Iraq—led by dictator Saddam Hussein––began building a nuclear facility. In the 1970s, Iraq made a deal with France that promised Iraq two nuclear facilities: the Tamuz 1 and 2. This was an immediate threat to Israel and it was clear that the nuclear facility had to be removed.

Lieutenant General Rafael Eitan, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] chief of the General Staff at the time, ordered the IDF to start looking into different ways in which they could eliminate the Iraqi nuclear threat.

The operation was planned to take place several times before it actually occurred. To ensure the operation’s secrecy, it was given different names each time. When the operation finally took place, the official name was set as Operation Opera.

In the early stages of the operation, the IDF planned on using F-4 fighter jets. But as time went on, the newer F-16 fighter jets became available. During the operation, eight F-16 fighter jets from squadrons 110 and 117 were used and six F-15A fighter jets were used for backup. Aside from the fighter jets, there were approximately 60 other aircraft used in this operation.

The aircraft took off from Israel in radio silence, with the radars switched off, and flew along a 1,100 kilometer [684 mi.] path. They arrived and struck the Osirak nuclear reactor, with each fighter jet bombing the facility five seconds after the other.

Operation Opera was declared a success and all of the pilots arrived back in Israel safely. The operation helped prevent a dangerous, terrorist-backing government from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Israel Defense Forces on June 7, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bless the Lord for Israel’s foresight to destroy a disastrous weapon of mass destruction from falling into the hands of an evil dictator who threatened to annihilate the Jewish state. Also bless the Lord for giving Israel success in this dangerous mission. At the same time, pray that God will continue to give Israel such foresight and success as the Jewish state once again faces a similar threat, this time from the dictators in Iran.


Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.

- Psalm 144:1

Hungary Likely to Move Embassy to Jerusalem, Foreign Minister Says

by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó

Friday, 2 June 2023 | Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó in Budapest on Wednesday and discussed Hungary’s intention to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

Foreign Ministry officials said the Hungarians were waiting to declare the move during a special event, possibly in a future meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Netanyahu has been urging Orbán to make the move for several years and sources in the Hungarian government said that the prime minister’s efforts convinced the Hungarian leader due to the close personal relationship the two share.

Should Hungary move its embassy to Jerusalem, it would be the first member of the European Union to do so and would be in contradiction with the EU’s position, which does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Cohen was in Budapest as part of his visit to four European countries: Croatia; Slovakia; Austria; and Hungary. In his meeting with his counterpart, the two discussed the Iranian threat to the Middle East and Europe and the steps that would be taken in response, the war in Ukraine and cooperation between Israel and European nations in areas of regional security, energy, trade and tourism.

Szijjártó talked about the EU’s biased stance against Israel and said that Hungary would continue to stand by Israel on the international stage.

He added that his country would turn to the International Court of Justice in Hague and support Israel’s position against Palestinian initiatives there. Szijjártó said that Hungary opposes the Palestinian Authority’s [PA] practice of paying stipends to terrorists who murdered Jews.

“Hungary has stood by Israel for years,” Cohen said during his visit. “Strengthening the pro-Israel front, together with other countries in Europe, is an important political and economic interest for Israel,” he said.

“I thanked the Hungarian Foreign Minister for his support for Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and for his firm stance against the PA’s payment to terrorists who murdered Israelis,” he added.

“The war in Ukraine has made Israel a strategic asset for European countries, both in regional security and energy. We’d be happy to stand by European countries and assist them in dealing with their new reality.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on June 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Estonian Foreign Ministry/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord to grant the Hungarian leaders the boldness and courage to break with the status quo and turn its back on the EU’s official stance to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Pray that Prime Minister Orbán will not be swayed by pressure or external influences, that he will not side with man’s plans and perceptions about Jerusalem but rather choose God’s way.


“And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces.”

- Zechariah 12:3a

Remembering Holocaust Victims, One by One

by Janet Aslin

Stolpersteine in Brussels, Belgium

Tuesday, 6 June 2023 | Gunter Demnig, a 75-year-old German artist, reached a milestone on May 26, 2023. He laid the 100,000th stolperstein in front of the former home of a victim of the Holocaust. Stolperstein means literally “stumbling stone” and by creating and placing 100,000 of them in hundreds of cities and villages across Europe, Demnig has created the largest decentralized memorial site in the world.

The Nazi regime specialized in dehumanizing their victims by replacing their names with numbers. On his website, Demnig says his goal is “to reverse the process and bring their names back to the streets and cities.” Demnig takes his inspiration from the Talmud (rabbinic commentary on Jewish tradition and the Hebrew Scriptures), which says a person is only forgotten when his or her name is forgotten.

By calling them “stumbling stones,” he wants us to stop and consider the individual who lived in a specific house on a certain street before he or she disappeared into the concentration camp. And as we do, they are not forgotten.

The first “stumbling stone” was placed in 1992, in the city of Cologne—without any kind of permission. Fifty more were placed before Berlin became the first city to grant the artist a permit, making his memorial stones legal.

Each “stumbling stone” is a concrete cube measuring 10 centimeters (3.9 in.), the size of the cobblestone it will replace. The brass plaques that top the cubes are meticulously embossed by hand, letter by letter. Each inscription begins with the words, “Here lived” and include the victim’s name, date of birth as well as when and where they were sent along with their fate. Most were murdered by the Nazis.

Although most of the stolpersteine commemorate Jewish victims, other victims of the Nazi regime, such as gypsies and political prisoners are also remembered.

In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post, Sheryl Abbey gave a first-hand account of the nine “stumbling stones” she requested to be placed in front her family’s home in the German village of Bleichenbach. “Gunter Demnig’s Stumbling Stones are more powerful than the most comprehensive museum exhibitions or the most imposing monuments. They require us to remember and enable us to heal.”

When he originally envisioned these memorial stones, Demnig had no idea that his first few illegally placed stolpersteine would eventually top six figures. As the generation of Holocaust survivors ages and global anti-Semitism increases, the importance of the “stumbling stones” grows. And Demnig, who has placed nearly all of the 100,000 “stumbling stones” himself, says he will continue the work as long as he is physically able to do so.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 6, 2023)

Photo Credit: Bella Swiatlowski photos personnelles/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for Demnig and his wonderful work to restore identity to the victims of the Holocaust before the Lord. Ask the Lord to use this tangible gesture to bring healing to the families of those who perished but also to the precious Holocaust survivors who live with the memories of the horrors that transpired. Pray also for Bridges for Peace’s efforts as we reach out to these survivors with God’s love to bring comfort and joy.


He raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the ash heap, that He may seat him with princes—with the princes of His people.

- Psalm 113:7–8

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