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A Light in the Midst of Trauma

Friday, April 14, 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.

A Passover of Terror, Tension and Grief

by Kate Norman

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Four people were murdered in terror attacks over Passover.

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | The Passover holiday and the Feast of Unleavened Bread came to an end last night at sundown, as Jewish people in Israel and around the world celebrated the miracle of their epic Exodus out of slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. Yet this year’s celebration was marked by violence and sorrow amid terror attacks, rocket barrages from the nations surrounding the Jewish state and rioting on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Terror Attacks

Four people were killed during the Passover holiday in two separate terror attacks on Friday.

Lucy Dee and her two daughters, 20-year-old Maia Dee and 15-year-old Rina Dee, were traveling in their car through the Jordan Valley on Friday morning when Palestinian terrorists pointed a Kalashnikov rifle at their vehicle and opened fire, causing the car to crash.

Rabbi Leo Dee, father of the two girls and Lucy’s husband, was traveling in a separate car with the couple’s three other children. The family was heading to Tiberias for a family trip.

After causing the car to crash, the terrorists then opened fire on the three women. The two daughters died immediately, while their mother was transferred to a Jerusalem hospital in critical condition.

Maia and Rina Dee were laid to rest on Sunday afternoon in a ceremony attended by thousands of people. The next day, their mother succumbed to her wounds, leaving Rabbi Dee bereaved of his wife and two of his daughters, and the remaining three children without a mother and two of their sisters.

Lucy Dee’s organs were donated and saved the lives of five patients, providing a heart transplant, a lung transplant, a liver transplant and both kidneys.

The terrorists are still on the run and were reportedly last seen fleeing in the direction of Nablus (Arab name for biblical Shechem).

On Friday night, another terror attack in downtown Tel Aviv saw the murder of an Italian tourist, 35-year-old Alessandro Parini. An additional seven people, including tourists from Italy and the United Kindom, were wounded.

The terrorist rammed his vehicle into a group of people on the Charles Clore Promenade before droving onto the bike path and losing control of the vehicle, which flipped over. Police then shot the terrorist as he was reaching for what appeared to be a gun in his vehicle.

The terrorist was identified as 45-year-old Yousef Abu Jaber, an Arab Israeli. Jaber had no previous criminal record, and until a year ago, had worked as a janitor at a school on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

Rockets, Riots and Cross-Border Tension

The terror attacks came amid a backdrop of tension between Israel and surrounding terror groups backed by Iran, as the Passover holiday this year again coincided with the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan (one of the Five Pillars of Islam when stringent disciplines are observed), a time that often sees an uptick of terror attacks and violence.

The past few weeks have been rife with tension, as terrorists have targeted Israeli security forces, without claiming any casualties so far.

Last Tuesday, terrorists in Gaza launched four rockets toward Israel, setting off sirens in Israeli communities bordering the terror enclave and sparking tit-for-tat strikes between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Gazan terrorists.

Last Thursday, some 35 rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel. Most of the rockets were intercepted by the Israeli military, the IDF announced, though a few fell within the Jewish state’s territory. Shortly after, the IDF announced that it was striking Hamas terror targets in southern Lebanon.

“The IDF will not allow the Hamas terrorist organization to operate from within Lebanon and hold[s] the state of Lebanon responsible for every direct fire emanating from its territory” the military announced.

Two days later, three more rockets came from Syria, two of which entered Israeli territory. The IDF later announced that it had launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into Syria to strike the launchers that were used to fire the rockets.

As Israel faced rockets from multiple fronts, tensions also broiled in the heart of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, the spot where the First and the Second Temple once stood and where the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands. As hundreds of Jews were allowed to ascend the Temple Mount for the Passover holiday, Palestinians on the mount began rioting, barricading themselves inside the mosque and setting off fireworks within their holy site.

As the volatile holiday season wraps up with Passover already having ended and Ramadan ending in a week, the besieged Jewish state and Jewish people are hoping to see the season end with peace and quiet, unlike how the holidays began—with a bang.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 13, 2023)

Photo Credit: Sid/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord on behalf of the nation of Israel and the Dee family as the entire country mourns the death of Lucy Dee and her two young daughters. Cry out to Him for peace to envelop this country, for an end to violence and for the capture and punishment of those responsible for this heinous crime. Pray that God in His mercy will bring comfort to Rabbi Leo Dee and his remaining three children. Also thank God for the generosity of the Dee family to donate Lucy’s organs so that the lives of others could be saved.


The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.

- Psalm 34:17–18

Lawyer Group Calls for UN to Fire ‘Special Rapporteur’ Francesca Albanese

by JNS

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A prominent legal group is calling for the removal of Francesca Albanese, a UN special rapporteur on the so-called occupied Palestinian territories.

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | Israel suffered a spate of deadly terror attacks at the end of last week: Two young Jewish sisters and their mother were shot on April 7, the second day of Passover, and an Italian tourist was hit by a car in Tel Aviv. While many worldwide mourned in response, Francesca Albanese—herself Italian—took to Twitter to politicize the deadly events.

“The loss of life in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel is devastating, especially at a time that should be of peace for all, Christians, Jews, Muslims,” Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, tweeted on April 8.

She added that “Israel has a right to defend itself, but can’t claim it when it comes to the people it oppresses,” whose “lands it colonizes.”

Albanese has a reputation for such comments. In January, a bipartisan group of nearly a dozen members of Congress called for her to be fired. The unrepentant UN official has compared Israelis to Nazis and said during an event attended by senior members of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad—both terrorist groups according to the United States and the European Union: “You have a right to resist this occupation.”

On April 11, the International Legal Forum and Italian lawyer Barbara Pontecorvo sent a letter to António Guterres and Volker Türk, UN secretary-general and high commissioner for human rights, respectively, calling for Albanese to be fired.

“Furthermore, we called to abolish her entire mandate altogether and suggested the UN would be far better served by replacing it with a special rapporteur for combating anti-Semitism instead,” Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum, told JNS.

Ostrovsky and Pontecorvo cited the UN code of conduct for special rapporteurs, which directs them to be guided by “impartiality and objectivity.” With Albanese, who displays “persistent, ongoing and blind bias and hostility,” there “is not even the pretext of these values,” the two wrote. “How much longer can the United Nations tolerate this?”

“António Guterres and the UN leadership repeatedly claim that combating all forms of racial hatred and intolerance are sacrosanct goals of the UN, yet Jew-hatred at the Human Rights Council is the one type of hatred that continues unabated,” Ostrovsky told JNS.

“As long as the UN allows Albanese to continue in this role and her irredeemably one-sided mandate to continue, they are legitimizing anti-Semitism and endorsing violence against Jews,” he added.

Albanese is evidently aware of the press coverage her remarks have received. She took to Twitter again to say that she is “disheartened” to see her words misrepresented and decontextualized.

She then used language that questions the elasticity of “impartiality and objectivity,” again referring to Israeli “military occupation” and “denying Palestinians their rights for 56 years,” in addition to Israeli actions serving to “stoke the flames of violence, perpetuating a cycle of needless suffering for both sides.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 11, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Entreat the Lord for an end to Francesca Albanese’s anti-Semitic campaign against Israel. Pray that she will indeed be fired and her mandate removed in response to her vitriolic hate speech, which is, in fact, incitement. Ask the Lord to reveal to her the racial hatred in her own heart and in His mercy, bring her to repentance.


For after I turned back, I repented; and after I was instructed, I slapped my thigh; I was ashamed and also humiliated because I bore the shame of my youth.

- Jeremiah 31:19 NASB

Young Iranians Increasingly Emboldened to Talk with Israelis on Social Media

by Karmel Melamend ~ JNS

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Social media app icons on a smartphone screen

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | Some 30 years ago, Homayoun and his classmates at his Tehran school stood daily before class and, following directions from teachers, chanted loudly, “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!” At the time, Homayoun—an alias to protect his identity—couldn’t locate either county on a map, and he didn’t understand why he was told to hate them.

Today, Homayoun—one of several sources living in Iran who spoke in Persian with JNS on the condition of anonymity because Iran bans citizens from contacting foreign news outlets—still lives and works in Tehran. Not only does he not hate Israel, but he is in near daily contact on social media with many Israelis he calls friends. In recent years, he and many other young Iranians are engaging with Israelis via social media over their government’s strict prohibition on its usage.

“There was a long history of warm relations between both peoples before the Islamic Revolution” in 1979, Jason Brodsky, policy director of the nonprofit United Against Nuclear Iran, told JNS. “What we see now are both Israelis and Iranians reaching out to develop common understandings to bypass the Iranian system’s dangerously warped ideology.”

Iranian American activists told JNS the online dialogue between Iranians in Iran and Israelis began between 10 and 12 years ago, when social media platforms first became popular in Iran. Curiosity and desire for accurate information have driven many Iranians to connect with Israelis, the activists said.

“When social media came along, the propaganda the Islamic Republic in Iran had put out about Israel all came crumbing down for millions of Iranians, who could see for themselves how terrorists like Hamas attacked innocent Israelis for no reason,” Ahmed Batebi, an Iranian American activist and journalist in Washington, DC, told JNS.

“Iranians could directly communicate with people in Israel and receive friendly feedback from them,” he added.

A younger generation is leading a revolution that defies Islamist and nationalist authority, Reza Parchizadeh, an Iranian American activist in Maryland and an editor at Al Arabiya, told JNS.

“These kids have been raised on Western music, computer games and movies. They connect to each other and the wider world through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” said Parchizadeh. “They don’t perceive the world through the morbid mindset of the mullahs and belligerent attitude of the Revolutionary Guards.”

She was referring to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a brutal multi-service primary branch of the Iran Armed Forces.

‘We Will Take the Israeli Friendship’

Iran experts said widespread protests in Iran in recent years—and the full-blown revolution that erupted there six months ago—have increased social media conversation between young people in Iran and Israelis, as the latter have been voicing strong support of freedom for Iranians.

The current uprising in Iran began last September after the regime’s morality police arrested Mahsa Amini in Tehran for not properly wearing the required Islamic head covering. The officers reportedly beat the 22-year-old to death while in custody, and photographs of her body circulated on social media, enraging Iranians with the brutality. The protests have grown across the country, and security forces have reportedly responded violently.

Although people in Iran are cautious about discussing Israel publicly, many do so freely among close friends, anonymously or under false names on social media, according to Homayoun.

“Discussions about Israel are everywhere, especially on social media. People also talk in person whenever the issue arises among friends that they know,” he said. “We are careful because being in contact with anyone from Israel is still dangerous.”

The regime, which can easily claim someone it doesn’t like is working for the Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency], creates problems for those who aren’t careful, he added.

Ali, a 20-something man living in Tehran, said Israelis’ overwhelming support for Iranians protesting for freedom has intensified Iranians’ desire to express their friendship with Israelis on social media.

“The people of Iran have well understood that they do not have better friends and allies than the people of Israel in the region, and they are trying to separate themselves from the regime,” he said. “Despite all the dangers, they still send out their messages of peace and friendship to the people of Israel.”

Iranians are finding ways around the filters the regime places online, blocking communication with Israelis and outside information, according to Hasan, another young Tehran resident.

“Average Iranians know the regime has its cyber police who may be monitoring their online activity, but it has gotten to the point where we don’t give a damn anymore because our lives are already miserable with the lack of food, lack of economic opportunities and lack of freedoms,” said Hasan.

“So we communicate with Israelis. Big deal! They’re the only ones in the world supporting us right now in our struggle against this brutal regime—not the Americans, not the French, not the Palestinians,” he added. “We will take the Israeli friendship and never forget it.”

Ali said the Iranian regime cites spying for Israel as a pretext to arrest and imprison political opponents, regardless of whether they communicated with Israelis or Westerners on social media.

Iran experts say there is evidence of growing admiration towards Israel in Iran. In recent years, videos uploaded to social media show Iranians avoiding stepping on Israeli flags placed on the ground outside universities and buildings. Others show Iranians rejecting the regime’s anti-Israel policy by chanting at protests: “Not Lebanon, not Gaza, I only sacrifice my life for Iran!”

When Hamas terrorists shot rockets into Israel over the course of two weeks in May 2021, many in Iran took to social media to send support to Israelis. An account identified as “Mamadou Archives,” which has since been deleted and appeared to be based in Iran, hosted a live gathering in May 2021. More than 25,000 participants—many of whom seemed to be Iranian—sent out nearly 100,000 tweets during the course of seven hours.

Israelis have extended warm messages to Iranians on Twitter and Instagram. Hananya Naftali, who has more than 188,000 followers on Twitter, is one such person. The pro-Israel activist told JNS he has posted messages in English and Persian and directed short videos at Iranians since 2019.

Social media platforms right now are the only safe option for us to have a real dialogue with them about how we can help one another in the future when this radical Islamic regime is gone,” said Naftali.

He has received overwhelmingly positive responses from Iranians in Iran on social media. He has also received death threats and threats of violence from Islamic regime loyalists, he told JNS.

“They obviously see the tremendous, positive feedback I receive from people inside Iran, and they’re frightened of it,” he said.

‘The Fight for Freedom in Iran Is Important’

Emily Schrader is another prominent Israeli activist who regularly interacts with Iranians on social media in English and Persian. She told JNS that she began communicating with Iranians after they thanked her for her news reporting on the murder of Amini.

“It’s heartwarming to see that there are millions of people who understand the very real threat of Iran-backed terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, which threaten us in Israel on a daily basis,” said Schrader. “It’s something that’s difficult to explain to the West, but sadly, the people of Iran understand exactly what’s happening because the Islamic regime is responsible.”

Schrader told JNS she has received thousands of threats and violent, misogynistic messages from “pro-regime thugs, many of which were from accounts that appear to be fake.”

“It is very obvious that the regime is watching my content and is concerned about the alliance growing between the people of Iran and the people of Israel,” she said. “They should be because we both stand on the side of justice and truth, and the Islamic regime stands for the greatest evil in the world today.”

The threats won’t dissuade her, insisted Schrader.

“The fight for freedom in Iran is important because Iran is responsible for the majority of the world’s problems in the region today,” she said. “The real motivation for me is that I as a woman cannot remain silent in the face of such a vile, gender apartheid regime that systematically oppresses women.”

Ben Sabti, who researches Iranian social networks at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, and was a founder of the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] Persian spokesperson’s office, told JNS he is surprised by the courage of the young Iranians with whom he frequently interacts on social media.

“I was very surprised that they are brave and really want to have direct contact with Israel,” he said. “This did not exist when I was a teenager in Iran, and everyone was afraid of the regime and afraid to have contact with the West and Israel.”

Iranian American activists told JNS they are confident that there will be strong business and social ties between Iranians and Israelis after the current Islamic regime loses power.

“We Iranians have an ancient friendship with the Jewish people,” said Batebi, “and I have no doubt that the day this current regime in Iran is gone, you will see an unbelievable alliance between Iran and Israel formed because both nations’ people have formed their new friendships.”

Source: (This article was originally posted by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 11, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Thomas Ulrich via Pixabay/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the growing communication and appreciation between young Iranians and their Israeli counterparts. Pray that He will protect this movement from the current regime and cry out to Him that there will soon be a new regime in Iran, one that is committed to peace and building “strong business and social ties between Iranians and Israelis.”


He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.

- Daniel 2:21 ESV

Greek Crowds Attack Israeli Fans, Players in Athens Basketball Game

by Efrat Amoraban ~ Ynet

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The charred remains of an Israeli flag (illustrative)

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | Israeli basketball players and their fans came under attack from Greek crowds in Athens during the FIBA [Federation of International Basketball] Champions League quarterfinal series in Athens on Wednesday. The Greek crowd burned the Israeli flag, threw firecrackers onto the court and hurled rocks at the Israeli fans in the stands.

Hapoel Jerusalem played Greece’s AEK, which ultimately won in a 94–78 victory.

The crowds held banners with pro-Palestinian messages and carried Palestinian and Hezbollah flags.

The Israeli team issued a statement after the match calling the chaos nothing less than a terror attack on Israeli fans who were there to support their team.

“At half time, we considered removing our players and fans but were unable to because the Greek fans had surrounded the stadium and the danger was real,” the team said.

“We also considered stopping the game but were warned by our security detail that such a move would release even more violence and put lives at risk,” the statement read, adding that a complaint would be filed with the international body governing the games.

Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikly condemned the events and said he would demand an investigation and that the culprits be severely punished.

“We are again witnessing a sharp increase in the number of violent anti-Semitic incidents, especially in Europe,” Chikli said in a letter to the Greek ambassador to Israel. “We demand a governmental condemnation of the criminal and anti-Semitic acts,” he said.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 12, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: 27zapata / Imanol Epelde Pagola/palestina askatu! 007/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr

Prayer Focus
Pray for an immediate, positive response to Diaspora Minister Chikly’s demand for a governmental condemnation of this shocking incident and an investigation that leads to the arrest and punishment of the perpetrators. Thank God that the Israeli team and fans were not injured and pray that He will heal the trauma that many of them are surely experiencing. Pray for an international outcry against this weaponizing of sports, activities that should bring unity and not hatred and division.


Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.

- Proverbs 24:24–25 ESV

Hezbollah Chief Meets with Hamas Leaders amid Uptick in Violence

by Daniel Salami ~ Ynet

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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah during a discussion with an Iranian official

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | Lebanese media reported that the leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Hassan Nasrallah, met in Beirut with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and his deputy, Saleh al-Arouri, to discuss recent events in “occupied Palestine.”

The meeting took place at the same time that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Quds Force chief Esmail Qaani was on a visit to Damascus.

According to the reports, Nasrallah and the Hamas leaders also discussed regional developments and the violent clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan [one of the Five Pillars of Islam when stringent disciplines are observed] prayers.

Head of Lebanon’s caretaker government Najib Mikati in his first reaction to the launching of rockets from his territory and the Israeli attacks in response, said those who fired at Israel were not Lebanese. “The launches were in reaction to events at Al-Aqsa,” he said. “We oppose any military escalation and any act that could further destabilize Lebanon,” he said.

On Thursday, dozens of rockets were fired at northern Israel by Hamas operatives based in southern Lebanon, prompting Israeli air raids on Palestinian targets around the southern city of Tyre.

Israeli military sources confirmed that Israel avoided targeting Hezbollah and Lebanese military bases and saw the Hamas terror group as responsible for the rocket fire. Hezbollah issued a statement at the time, distancing itself from the fire.

On Friday, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] took down a drone that had crossed the border from Lebanon, the second such aircraft in a week.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 9, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Khameini.ir/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the IDF will be successful in crippling the operations of any and all terrorist groups in Lebanon and Syria who are responsible for attacks on Israel. Pray for an end to Hamas’s presence on Israel’s northern border and beseech the Lord that there will be no further rocket fire from the north.


When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

- Psalm 27:2–3 ESV

Social-media Users Post Israeli Flags for ‘Dees Day’

by JNS

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Rabbi Leo Dee urged social media users to post flags of Israel in memory of his wife and two daughters, who were shot and killed in a terror attack, as part of the declaration of Dees Day on April 10, 2023.

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | They started popping up on social media one after another on Monday afternoon. Israeli flags blowing in the wind. Israeli flags with pictures of families hugging each other. Israeli flags with the image of a mother and her two daughters smiling, with the words “Am Yisrael chai”—Hebrew for “The nation of Israel lives.”

On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the images were posted within hours of Rabbi Leo Dee’s plea to post photos of Israeli flags to honor the memory of his wife, Lucy, and daughters Maia and Rina. The 20-year-old and 15-year-old were shot and killed by a terrorist during a car attack on April 7 during the holiday of Passover.

“If you feel that it was wrong to shoot dead, at close range, three beautiful, innocent young ladies in the prime of their lives, then please post a picture of you, or your spouse, or your children with an Israeli flag,” he said in a press conference three days later, on April 10, the day his 48-year-old wife succumbed to her wounds. “Or just post a picture of an Israeli flag and share it on Facebook, Instagram or whatever social-media app you use.”

The Israel-education organization StandWithUs was among those heeding Dee’s call. “We are standing with the Dee family, who lost their beloved wife and mother, Lucy, and teenage daughters, Maia and Rina, to Palestinian terrorism,” the nonprofit, nonpartisan group tweeted. “We’re joining Rabbi Leo Dee’s call and asking our supporters—share and post an Israeli flag in their memory.”

The Twitter handle @Israel, which Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains, also highlighted the campaign and asked followers to post photos of themselves with an Israeli flag. “We hope you join us and use #DeesDay,” it posted.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on April 10, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God that Rabbi Leo Dee’s request for people to honor the memory of his loved ones by making a statement against terrorism has been met with such significant response. Pray that the campaign will continue to gain momentum as a blessing to the Dee family, but also as a means of making a declaration to Israel’s friends and foes alike: Am Israel chai (the people of Israel live)!


I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them, says the LORD your God.

- Amos 9:15

Deadly Winter Storm Hits Israel

by Ilana Curiel, Daniel Salami, Lior El-Hai and Roy Rubinstein ~ Ynet

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Floods in the Judean Desert are often deadly (illustrative).

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat was virtually cut off from the rest of the country on Wednesday after floods over the holiday, killing at least two and cutting off roads.

Brother and sister, Ma’ayan (17) and Shahar Assor (24) from Tiberias, were found dead on Tuesday by rescue teams after they went missing when their car was carried away by a flash flood in the south a day earlier. A third woman who was with them survived the event.

The two were driving south when the winter storm hit in its first lethal wave late on Monday. Floods continued throughout the night and resumed again on Wednesday.

Vacationers in Eilat and in the Sinai Desert across the border in Egypt were informed they would only be able to drive north. The road did open for part of the way, the police said as they continued efforts to keep travelers safe.

Arkia Airlines said they would schedule an additional flight from Eilat to the Ben Gurion Airport late on Wednesday and more flights as needed on Thursday, although the road connecting the new Ramon International Airport to the city also suffered heavy damage and local authorities were clearing a safe route.

The northern city of Haifa received the most rain in the past 24 hours with some 40 millimeters [1.57 in.] reported. A wall holding up a road in the center of town collapsed and mud slid down into the streets below, but no injuries were reported.

Snow fell on the peaks of Mount Hermon as temperatures there and in the Galilee dropped below 0°C (32° F).

Rain and wind were forecast to continue until Thursday afternoon before the skies will begin to clear. On Friday, temperatures are expected to rise.

Source: (This story was originally published by Ynetnews on April 12, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Heritage Conservation Outside The City via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the relatives of Ma'ayan and Shahar Assor, another family grieving the loss of loved ones, and for their passenger who survived the accident. Pray that as winter gives way to spring, the transition will be a mild one. Pray for only gentle rains that will water the earth and no storms, damaging winds or flooding.


As raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass.

- Deuteronomy 32:2b

Palestinian Telegram Group Teaches How to Stab Soldiers, Make Explosives

by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynet

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The symbol for instant messaging app Telegram

Thursday, 13 April 2023 | An online anti-Semitism monitor managed to infiltrate a closed Telegram group ostensibly used to promote terrorist activity against Jews and IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers, as it revealed that hundreds of users exchange “tips” for carrying out terrorist attacks, including “how to stab a soldier and grab his weapon.”

A member of Fighting Online Anti-Semitism (FOA) says that terrorist elements are using instant messaging app Telegram as a platform to teach potential terrorists how to avoid detection prior to conducting attacks.

Additionally, the group provides guidance on creating improvised explosive devices, stealing weapons from soldiers and using them against the troops, as well as suggesting various methods to further obscure and conceal their identity on Telegram, in addition to other precautions.

FOA chief Tomer Aldubi said that “the special team we have established is based on volunteer activity and deals with monitoring online anti-Semitic groups and Islamic terrorist organizations and gathering intelligence on their operations, with an emphasis on the Telegram network. The team constantly monitors their online presence and communications with users.”

Aldubi added that “we are expanding our activities in other groups and scenes, with the help of activists from all over the world in order to shut down every such group.”

He noted that Telegram has become a hotbed for illicit activities due to its advanced security features, lack of regulation and the ability of users to remain anonymous.

“Thanks to our activities, Telegram has begun to close down anti-Semitic groups and block users who spread hateful content against Jews. However, we call on Telegram to immediately remove these groups that encourage terrorism,” he said.

FOA is an Israeli nonprofit organization that monitors and reports online anti-Semitic content and Holocaust denial.

The movement is one of the few organizations in the world that report on these issues daily and hourly in multiple languages and on various social media platforms, with the help of hundreds of volunteers from Israel and around the world. The movement also works to raise awareness of online hate speech through educational activities for children and youth.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 10, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: geralt/pixabay.com

Photo License: pixabay

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for FOA and for the hundreds of volunteers worldwide that are committed to bringing an end to anti-Semitism and shutting down terrorist groups on social media. Pray that Telegram will respond to FOA’s call by immediately removing those groups who are inciting violence and promoting terrorist activities. Pray also that their educational programs for children and youth will have a major impact, making the next generation aware of the dangers of hate speech and equipping them to deal with what they will surely encounter online.


There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

- Proverbs 12:18 ESV