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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 Calls on World to Take Action after Iran Ballistic Missile Test

by Ilse Posselt

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PM Netanyahu at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day Event at Yad Vashem

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 | On the eve of International Holocaust Memorial Day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the world continues to be plagued by “the hatred and intolerance that drove [the Holocaust]”. Yet today, he stated, the greatest hatred for the Jewish people and Israel comes from Iran where “the ayatollah regime” continues to fan the “flames and calling outright for the destruction of the Jewish state.”

Two days after Netanyahu issued his warning, the Islamic Republic conducted a medium-range ballistic missile test in direct violation of the United Nations (UN) resolutions put in place following the Iran nuclear deal. The missile in question, the Khorramshahr, is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and with a range of 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) is “capable of reaching Israel.”

The missile test which took place on Sunday proved unsuccessful with the Khorramshahr flying only 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) before exploding mid-air. Regardless of the outcome, the test itself is in violation of UN Resolution 2231 which prohibits Iran from conducting such tests for a period of eight years.

Commenting on the test, Netanyahu hailed it as a “flagrant breach” of UN resolutions and called for the reinstatement of sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The prime minister who is set to meet with American President Donald Trump on February 15, also vowed to discuss with Trump the “entire failed nuclear accord” that Iran signed with the Obama administration and the rest of the P5+1 countries in 2015.

The Islamic Republic has conducted a number of similar missile test launches since the nuclear deal relaxed sanctions against the country. Iran has always defended these tests claiming that the development of weapons was solely for self-defense purposes. True to form, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed yesterday that “Iran will never use missiles produced in Iran to attack any other country.”

Yet Netanyahu was quick to point out the holes in Zarif’s defense. Taking to Twitter, the prime minister posted to his official account showing pictures of a missile test Iran conducted in March 2016. The missiles launched during the test were inscribed with a message in bold blue Hebrew and Arabic script stating, “Israel must be destroyed.” The text above the two pictures in Netanyahu’s tweet questions Iran’s motives: “Iran’s foreign minister says Iran will never use its missiles to attack any other country. Really? Recently Iran tested a missile with the inscription, ‘Israel must be destroyed.’”

On Monday, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, highlighted a reality that many would rather not contemplate. “This aggression [from Iran] is not only directed towards Israel, it is directed towards the entire Western world.”

Danon makes a pertinent point. Although Iran has made no bones about its ambition to annihilate Israel—to which it refers as “the little Satan”—the Jewish state is clearly not the only country on the Islamic Republic’s hit list. Iran also routinely calls for the destruction of America, also hailed as “the big Satan.” Moreover, the range of the Khorramshahr is reported to be 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles). With Jerusalem and Tehran located less than 2,000 kilometers (1,250) apart, one can only wonder who else Iran has in its crosshairs.

Danon’s statement certainly elicited reaction. The UN Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled for an emergency meeting to discuss the test. The United States reportedly requested the emergency meeting.

According to Israel’s Channel 10 television news, the test was clearly aimed at “testing Trump.” The newly sworn-in American president is an outspoken critic of the nuclear deal clinched under the previous administration. In fact, one of his campaign pledges was to dismantle the accord which he hailed as “disastrous” and “one of the dumbest deals” he has ever seen.

Trump appears to see eye-to-eye with Netanyahu when it comes to Iran’s nuclear future and the role that the accord could play in it. The prime minister believes the agreement to be “a bad deal” that paves instead of blocks Iran’s way to nuclear status.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 01 February 2017)

Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prayer Focus
Urge God to foil each and every attempt by Iran to achieve the ability to launch nuclear warheads to any location in the world. Pray for a fruitful emergency meeting in the UN resulting in action with serious consequences against those wanting to take lives and cause devastation around the globe.

Scripture

Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted. Selah


- Psalm 140:8

Netanyahu and Trump to Meet on 15 February

by Ilse Posselt

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PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 | The date is set. In roughly two weeks’ time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will leave for the United States for a meeting with President Donald Trump on February 15, 2017.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced the visit yesterday saying, “Our relationship with the only democracy in the Middle East is crucial to the security of both our nations, and the president looks forward to discussing continued strategic, technological, military and intelligence cooperation with the prime minister.”

“I think that with respect to Israel and the Jewish people specifically, there has been no better friend than Donald Trump when it comes to protecting Israel, building a better friendship with Israel,” Spicer continued.

For his part, Netanyahu vowed yesterday that the “entire failed nuclear accord” with Iran will be one of the agenda items for his meeting with Trump. The announcement comes after a US official announced on Sunday that the Islamic Republic conducted a test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile. The missile reportedly exploded after 1,000 kilometers (630 miles). The anonymous official added that the last time this type of missile was tested was in July 2016.

Netanyahu took to his official Facebook page to denounce the test. “Over the weekend,” the prime minister wrote in Hebrew, “Iran launched another ballistic missile. This is a blatant violation of the [United Nations] Security Council’s decision. I will be meeting with President Trump in Washington soon. I will bring up the need for renewing the sanctions against Iran, sanctions against ballistic missiles and sanctions against terrorism, in addition to handling this whole failed agreement.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 31 January 2017)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO

Prayer Focus
Bring the meeting between President Trump and PM Netanyahu before the Lord for wise counsel as they discuss nuclear missiles, possible sanctions against Iran and terrorism. Pray for a long-term cooperation between the two leaders in strategy, technology, military and intelligence aspects of both nations.

Scripture

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.


- Psalm 73:28

IDF: Hamas Back to Full Military Capabilities after 2014 War

by Ilse Posselt

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Capabilities of Hamas rockets during Operation Protective Edge in 2014

Thursday, 02 February 2017 | The summer of 2014 was a terrible one for the people of Israel. The screeching wail of air raid sirens became an all too familiar sound echoing through the scorching days as June turned into July and Hamas continued to rain its arsenal of rockets and missiles on civilian populations in the Jewish state.

On 7 July 2014, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) launched Operation Protective Edge in a bid to put a halt to the incessant rocket fire. Then, ten days and numerous terrorist assaults on Israel from the land, air and sea later, the IDF embarked the ground phase of the operation. Thousands of young Israelis marched into yet another war Israel did not want— to protect the people and land they love against those who wish to bring annihilation.

Operation Protective Edge ended seven weeks later when the IDF had achieved its aim of restoring security to Israeli civilians living under Hamas rocket fire and dismantling the Hamas terror tunnel network used to infiltrate Israel. The IDF had targeted more than 5,000 terror targets in Gaza, destroyed nearly 35 known terror tunnels and Hamas’s 10,000-rocket arsenal dwindled by two-thirds.

The bone-chilling wail of air raid sirens that sent Israelis scurrying for the safety of bomb shelters grew silent and for over two years, a sense of relative peace returned to the Jewish state’s southern communities. Yet history has taught the people of Israel that Hamas would not use the time of quiet to build its communities, empower its citizens and prosper its people. Instead of preparing the Palestinians under their rule for life and a future, the terror organization set about preparing for the next round of war with Israel.

Now, roughly 30 months after the smoke of Operation Protective Edge had settled, a senior IDF official told Israel’s Channel 2 news that Hamas has succeeded in rebuilding its military capabilities to the level prior to the 2014 war. The official explained that the Islamist terror group had replenished its arsenal of weapons, including their stockpile of rockets and rebuilt their terror tunnel network.

According to the report, a large part of the arsenal comprises self-made weapons fashioned inside the Gaza Strip. However, a thaw in the frosty relations between Hamas and Egypt in recent weeks has raised concerns that more sophisticated materials and weapons are making their way into Gaza via the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing.

Ties between Hamas and Egypt became strained after Egypt’s former Islamist president and close Hamas ally, Mohammad Morsi, was overthrown in 2013. The relations soured further when former military leader, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi came into power. Under al-Sisi’s directive, Egypt imposed a large-scale lockdown of the border with Gaza and destroyed numerous illegal trade tunnels.

Israel also maintains a limited blockade of the Gaza Strip as an essential security buffer that aims to prevent weapons, fighters and explosives from reaching the Hamas terror organization. The partial blockade was initiated in 2006 when Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. A year later the Jewish state was forced to strengthen the blockade as the Islamist terror organization seized control of the coastal enclave, turning Gaza into a launching pad for rocket and terror attacks against Israeli civilians.

Since 2008, Israel and Hamas have faced each other in war three times. Yet despite the evidence of Hamas strengthening its military capabilities, the IDF believes that the terror organization will not engage Israel in a fourth confrontation in the near future, the senior officer told Channel 2.

While on tour of the Gaza border area on Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed the report when he warned that “Hamas and the rest of the groups in Gaza have not abandoned their desire to destroy Israel and to harm us.” Yet according to Lieberman, the Gaza terror groups are well aware that “the balance of power is not in their favor and if they act against us, they will pay a very heavy price.”

Hamas also spoke out on Tuesday with Abu Ubaida, spokesperson for its military wing, threatening that “the Zionist enemy will pay the price” for the assassination of a Hamas drone expert in Tunisia last month for which the terror organization blames Israel.

Ubaida continued, claiming that the Jewish state’s concern over the terror group’s tunnel network served as proof of Hamas’s success during the 2014 war. Referring to the 67 IDF soldiers who died defending Israel during Operation Protective Edge, Ubaida concluded his statement with a sinister threat, “In the near future, there will be an even larger force that will fall.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 02 February 2017)

Photo Credit: IDFblog.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for the nation of Israel to be strong and confident in the Lord and His promises. Cry out for the people living near the Gaza strip—the mothers, the elderly, sick and all the children asking God for protection, sound minds and the faith to overcome any situation.

Scripture

‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’


- Haggai 2:4-5

David’s Sling Nearing Operational Readiness

by Udi Etsion

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David’s Sling test launch

Monday, 30 January 2017 | The joint Israeli-US missile defense system known as David’s Sling—part of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense program—is nearing operational readiness and has been cleared to be presented to potential customers abroad, such as Poland.

David’s Sling is part of Israel’s anti-missile defense program and is meant to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired at ranges of 40km [25 mi] to 300km [186 mi].

 The system recently passed a series of comprehensive tests and trials in the past week in which advanced missiles fired from F-15s were successfully intercepted over the Mediterranean Sea.

Joint US/Israeli cooperation

David’s Sling is the result of cooperation between Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and American defense contractor, Raytheon, which produces the Patriot missile system.

The Israeli and American governments collaborated closely on the development of the system for which the US government provided $600 million. Additionally, members of the American Missile Defense Agency at the Pentagon regularly attended technical and administrative meetings.

According to a Rafael official identified as Shlomo, “Raytheon is our strategic partner and is creating jobs and employing hundreds of small and medium sized manufacturers in the US. After our recent round of tests, we received heartwarming messages from our friends at Raytheon and there is a very high level of mutual respect between our two companies and countries.”

Other Israeli defense contractors contributed components such as Israel Areospace Industries (IAI) which developed the system’s radar and Elbit Systems which developed the command and control mechanisms.

Future prospects

The system has passed several tests and trials in the past, including the ability to destroy heavy salvos of long-range rockets and short-range ballistic missiles.

While system components have already been integrated into IAF facilities, the air force is expected to declare the system operational soon and has already drafted a large corps of soldiers to be trained on the new system.

With the system set to be operational in the very near future, the Israeli government is already vetting potential customers along with the US government.

“We have already received licenses from both governments to show it to potential customers, such as Poland. The intercept capabilities are higher quality and significantly cheaper than competing systems which will help with tenders. I hope we will see significant progress this year towards exporting the system and its components,” said Shlomo, an official with Rafael.

Fred Goldberg contributed to this report.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 29 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ministry of Defense

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the successful testing of David’s Sling and that it will soon be operational. Thank Him that through this jointly developed defensive weapon many lives will be saved in a war environment.

Scripture

For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.


- Proverbs 2:6-8

Jerusalem Renewal on the Way

by Hila Tziyon

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Chords Bridge located near the entrance to Jerusalem

Thursday, 02 February 2017 | The Central Planning Committee has recently approved plans for the construction of a new prime minister’s office and residence in Jerusalem to the tune of NIS 650 million [US $175 million]. The plan will see a joint compound comprising of the two buildings and will be between five to eight stories tall.

However, this won’t be the only new construction happening in the capital of the Jewish state.

One of the more ambitious projects approved will be for the entrance of the city which is expected to turn into a new, well designed business district. The cost of the new construction will be more than a billion shekels [US $266 million].

According to the plans, 2,000 hotel rooms are to be added in the area, along with business and tourism offices. It will all be housed in 24 towers, each reaching up to 36 stories in height.

The new business district will also become a major transportation hub, and will incorporate the new high speed rail set to link Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, two light rail stations, bus and private vehicle lanes and bike paths. City planners expect 100,000 people to travel to and from the district every day.

Additionally, a new rail line is expected to connect the city of Modiin to this new business district. Construction on this line is expected to begin in 2019.

Work on the district has already begun. The first stage of construction includes building a five story underground parking structure which will be able to hold 1,300 vehicles.

1,800 apartments and a hi-tech park

Another project which has been approved for construction will be to build a roof over the Menachem Begin Expressway. As is set to be done on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, plans were approved to build 1,800 apartments on top of the roof, along with a 78 dunam [19 acres] park. A hi-tech district will be built on the roof as well, and is set to be constructed close to where the expressway turns towards Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus.

Other plans which have been approved include a new sports district, expanding Teddy Stadium to hold 31,000 spectators, a new ice skating rink and more tennis courts, among others.

Finally, plans were approved to build a mega-campus for vocational training along with one for art, theater and film school.

Source: (Ynetnews originally posted this article on 27 February 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Prayer Focus
Magnify the Lord as the city of the great king is preparing for tourism and new residents with more efficient transportation and so much more. Bring all the construction workers before the Lord, praying for strong bodies and good health to successfully transform Jerusalem.

Scripture

Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the peoples!


- Isaiah 62:10

Israel to Deepen Ties with India and China

by Itamar Eichner

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Wednesday, 01 February 2017 | Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi is scheduled to make an historic visit to Israel in 2017.

India’s ambassador to Israel, Pavan Kapoor, made the announcement Monday night in an exclusive interview with Ynet marking the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and India.

Prime Minister Modi’s visit will mark the first time in history an Indian prime minister will visit Israel. Modi’s visit is a sign of an upgrade in relations on all levels.

In the last two years, there have been two high-profile visits between officials. In 2015, President of India Pranab Mukherjee visited Israel and in 2016, President Rivlin visited India in return.

In January, Prime Minister Modi also met with Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel who was in India to finalize an upgrade in agricultural relations between the two nations.

Ambassador Kapoor also addressed a plan he had for direct flights from Delhi to Tel Aviv. Currently, only El Al operates direct flights from Tel Aviv to Mumbai. The Indian embassy is currently in talks with Air India to operate a direct line between the two nations.

Currently, between 35,000-40,000 Israelis visit India annually and vice versa. The two nations are interested in significantly upgrading the number of tourists per annum.

Another issue which concerns Ambassador Kapoor is that of Indian food in Israel which, according to Kapoor, is not satisfactory enough. However, the demand for Indian food in Israel is quite high. The problem is that Israel does not give visas to Indian cooks and sous-chefs, but only to expert Indian chefs whose wages can only be paid by large hotels.

“If Indian cooks and sous-chefs are allowed to come, it will allow for a boom in Indian restaurants which will benefit everyone. There is a big demand for this,” said Kapoor.

The government has discussed developing relations with India and China in recent weeks in honor of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the two regional giants.

Mark Sofer, Deputy Director of Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign Ministry, and Hagai Shagrir, Deputy Head of the Asia Division, presented ministers the central issues on the agendas of both countries.

Shagrir said that the platforms between the governments of China and Israel are very good and there is a significant push from the Chinese to do business with Israel. Shagrir further noted that trade between the two countries stands at $11 billion of which only $3 billion is export.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that exports are extremely low and said, “We must break this trend. This is a massive market and a strategic step for the Israeli economy.”

A free-trade agreement between the two countries is currently being negotiated and is expected to significantly increase trade.

Mark Sofer emphasized that “there is a window of opportunity with India and China. We must take advantage of it and it is critical for us. These are two important countries and their desire to trade with Israel is unique.”

Source: (Ynetnews  originally published this article on 31 January 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: MFA

Prayer Focus
As Israel celebrates a milestone in its relationships with India and China, ask the Lord to bless and strengthen these relationships, both diplomatically and economically. Pray God’s protection over all these historic visits among the statesmen.

Scripture

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.


- Genesis 12:3

Israelis Seek to Comfort Holocaust’s Loneliest Survivors

by Aron Heller

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Some 130,000 elderly survivors remain in Israel.

Monday, 30 January 2017 | Surrounded by more than 100 fellow Holocaust survivors and young volunteers, a blind Ernest Weiner sat in his wheelchair with a puffy crown on his head as the crowd sang happy birthday and showered him with hugs and greetings.

The widowed and childless 92-year-old Weiner lives on his own and the cheerful gathering offered him one of life’s most valuable commodities—company.

As home to the world’s largest survivor community, Israel is grappling to serve the needs of thousands of people like Weiner who are living out their final days alone. Various government bodies and private organizations chip in to offer material, psychological and medical support to the survivors, still scarred by the horrors they experienced 70 years ago. But all agree that the greatest burden late in their lives is loneliness.

“It’s not pleasant to be alone,” Weiner said in his apartment south of Tel Aviv. “It gives a good feeling” to have people visit.

Some 160,000 elderly survivors remain in Israel with a similar number worldwide. In Israel, about half receive special government stipends, but a third still live under the poverty line, well above the national 20% poverty rate.

That’s where the nonprofit sector gets involved. The Association for Immediate Help for Holocaust Survivors was established nine years ago for the purpose of aiding survivors anywhere in Israel, at a moment’s notice. Run solely on donations, it currently has some 8,000 volunteers around the country.

They help survivors with everything from legal assistance to paying their bills, buying their groceries to driving them to doctor appointments. Several times a year, they throw parties that become a highlight on survivors’ calendars.

The care continues even after death. The association’s modest office currently houses a number of orphaned dogs and cats left behind by their owners.

“Morally, not just as Jews but as people of the world, we must help them finish their life in dignity without them having to beg for warm food,” said Tamara More, the association’s voluntary CEO. “These are people whose lives were robbed from them because of the world’s silence, and we all have an obligation to give them something back in the little time they have left.”

Six million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust wiping out a third of world Jewry. Israel’s main Holocaust memorial day is in the spring—marking the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising—while the United Nations designated Jan. 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in 1945.

As the senior adviser to former Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Naama Schultz, spearheaded the ministry’s efforts to boost previously paltry funding to those who survived camps and ghettos. Besides a monthly stipend, the state also provides expanded health care, free medication and discounts on various living expenses.

But Schultz said money couldn’t address their emotional needs. Many survivors kept their pasts to themselves for decades, often alienating even the people closest to them due to their trauma. Only in their final years are many finally ready to open up and often then there is no one around.

“There is always more you can give them, but what they really want most is someone to just be with them,” she said.

Plenty of organizations try to answer that need by matching soldiers and students with survivors. One highly publicized initiative offered university students rent-free accommodations in return for living with lonely survivors and keeping them company.

Noga Rotman, a 32-year-old computer science student, said she decided to get involved several years ago when her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, became ill.

“I couldn’t help but think about those who didn’t have that,” she said, amid the balloons and flowers at Weiner’s party which was attended by dozens who were inspired to come by a Facebook post. “Anytime we have something like this, you just see how much it means to them.”

Weiner said he especially appreciated the company of youngsters. As for fellow survivors, he had mixed feelings.

“On the one hand, it feels good to have all these people. On the other hand it reminds you of such tough times,” he said. “Happy it can’t be because it was not happy times, but it is nice to have someone listen.”

When the Nazis invaded his native Austria, Weiner and his sister fled to Holland while their parents stayed behind and died of illness. The rest of the family perished.

After the Nazis occupied Holland, they were placed in the Westerbork transit camp from where his sister was sent to her death in Auschwitz.

Thanks to his work as an electrician, Weiner got to know the camp well and estimates he escaped deportation about 15 times, once after he was placed on a train for Auschwitz. But the harsh conditions took their toll. In the course of his work, he got so many electric shocks that it caused heart damage, and an accident blinded his right eye. Diabetes later deprived him of sight in his left eye and confined him to a wheelchair.

Now that his wife is gone, Weiner has a caregiver who stays with him and another who visits daily. But the volunteers who arrive several times a week provide most of the conversation.

At the party, children handed him drawings. Soldiers and scouts gave gifts, and there was even a surprise visit from Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli—who heard Weiner was a fan and stopped by to snap some pictures with him.

But the most moving moment was when a Dutch-speaking volunteer whom he has grown close to leaned in to let him know she was there. He teared up, and then she did to.

“The fact that he is glad that brings me joy,” said Liel Van Aalderink, 22. “I don’t do really much extraordinary. I just give him attention and talk to him because he is alone in the world.”

Editor’s Note: Each month Bridges for Peace reaches out to hundreds of Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem and Karmiel, delivering food and bringing comfort. Please consider joining us with a donation to our Food Program. (Click here)

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 27 January 2107. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Isranet

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the lonely Holocaust survivors, praying that they will experience God’s comfort. Pray for compassionate “neighborhood” people who will notice the needs and desires of those who are silent.

Scripture

You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.


- Leviticus 19:32

Action
I once met an old lady in a shop tearing up as the background music playing reminded her of her children that she had not seen or heard from in many years. As God’s children we are commanded to care for the aged. When last did you visit your parents? Or, a lonely person in the old age home? Adopt an elderly person and make a difference.

UN Chief Confirms: Jerusalem Temple Mount was Home to Jewish Temple

by Ilse Posselt

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The Temple Mount looking from the Mt. of Olives (Photo Credit: Public Domain/ Pixabay.com)

Tuesday, 31 January 2017 | The new chief of the United Nations (UN) has no doubt in his mind that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was the spot that housed the ancient Jewish Temple. According to UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, it is “clear as the sun is clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple.”

Speaking to Israel Radio last week, Guterres, who took over the responsibility of heading up the UN from Ban Ki-moon on January 1, 2017, added that “no one can deny the fact that Jerusalem is holy to three religions today,” namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres (Photo Credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development/ Wikipedia)

Guterres’s statement comes amidst a campaign headed by the Palestinians to erase all traces of Jewish—and Christian—history from Jerusalem. Moreover, the Palestinians have repeatedly employed the UN as a podium from which to push their anti-Israel and anti-Semitic agenda.

During 2016 alone, various bodies within the UN, including the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), adopted a number of resolutions denying Jewish and Christian historical ties with the City of Gold, thus ultimately proclaiming Jerusalem a Muslim city and the Temple Mount an exclusively Islamic site. Moreover, last month the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution that condemns all Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, including east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, as “a flagrant violation under international law.”

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely lauded Guterres for his comments. “I praise the UN Secretary General for standing up for the historical truth regarding the Temple Mount and the Jewish people’s historical connection to Jerusalem,” Hotovely said. “You cannot cut off the deep 3,000-year connection between the people of Israel and Jerusalem.”

For its part, the Palestinian camp reacted to Guterres’s statement with outraged indignation demanding that the UN chief apologize for referring to the Jews’ historic link to Jerusalem.

Adnan al-Huseini, the Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, told China’s Xinhua news agency that “he [Guterres] neglected the UNESCO resolutions which clearly said that the al-Aqsa Mosque is purely an Islamic heritage.”

Al-Huseini continued, saying that Guterres’s statement is “a violation to all human, diplomatic and legal rules and laws and a violation to his position as the Secretary General. He [Guterres] should apologize to the Palestinian people,” al-Huseini demanded.

Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization and an advisor to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas told Xinhua that Guterres’s statement “undermines the trustworthiness of the UN as a body.”

“It appears that the Secretary General of the United Nations lacks culture and knowledge in his own specialization,” Majdalani added, calling on Guterres to clarify his position “that gives a green light to Israel to undertake more measures against Jerusalem.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 31 January 2017)

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that the truth can never be denied. Offer thanksgiving for answered prayer as the new UN Secretary General has publicly acknowledged the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. Continue to pray for this global organization, asking that more members would have their eyes opened to accept the truth of Israel’s role in God’s sovereign plan.

Scripture

Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.


- Psalm 25:5

Israeli Tech Helps Syrian Refugees Regain Normalcy

by Eitan Goldstein

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HomeBiogas “digester tank”

Thursday, 02 February 2017 | Israeli green-tech companies are building cultural bridges to help provide Syrian refugees in Jordan with clean, free cooking gas.

One of these firms, HomeBiogas, co-sponsored two HomeBiogas systems to be set up in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The Zaatari Refugee Camp hosts around 80,000 people who fled Syria in the wake of the civil war going on there.

The HomeBiogas system provides cooking fuel by taking organic kitchen waste or animal waste and putting it into a “digester tank.” Bacteria in the “digester tank” then break-down the waste in a process called anaerobic digestion, thus creating biogas, such as methane. The gas is then funneled to a kitchen stove via a pipe, providing a clean, free, renewable way to cook food.

This helps to replace the dangerous and unsanitary cooking fires which the refugees have been using to cook on in the camp. These cooking fires have already caused deadly fires to break out in the cramped refugee camp several times.

Additionally, HomeBiogas has installed biogas conversion systems in Bedouin villages in Israel as well as in underserved communities in the West Bank [Judea–Samaria] as part of a project with the Peres Center for Peace.

Source: (Ynetnews originally posted this article on 29 January 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Home Biogas / Facebook

Prayer Focus
Praise God for Israel’s technology saving the environment and improving the standard of living in several different ways. Thank Him for the green-tech companies that are taking the initiative to help the Syrian refugees stranded in poor conditions. Ask God to bless those building cultural bridges.

Scripture

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.


- Proverbs 19:17

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