Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, April 23, 2021

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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.

Missile Hits Northern Negev in Longest-range Syrian Strike on Israel 

by Ilse Strauss

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A Russian-made Syrian missile exploded midair between Beersheva and Dimona.

Thursday, 22 April 2021 | The terrifying wail of air raid sirens screaming awakened Israelis in the northern Negev in the predawn hours of this morning, warning of a Syrian SA-5 missile streaking across the length of the country in the longest-range attack by Israel’s northern neighbor yet. Moments later, “loud explosions…shook the houses” in the area near Israel’s alleged nuclear facility, Dimona, with the booms of the blast echoing as far as Jerusalem.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), this morning’s missile does not constitute a direct attack on a target in Israel. “There was no intention of hitting the nuclear reactor in Dimona,” IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters.

Instead, the projectile was aimed at an Israeli jet in Syrian skies conducting an air strike in the Syrian Golan Heights. Jerusalem has admitted to frequent sorties in Syria to prevent Iran from gaining a military foothold on Israel’s doorstep and halt weapons shipments from the Islamic Republic via war-torn Syria to its terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The projectile—reportedly a particularly large Russian-made SA-5 surface-to-air missile weighing in at several thousand kilograms with a 200-kilogram (440-pound) warhead—missed its mark. It penetrated 300 kilometers (186 miles) into Israel where it exploded in mid-air between Beersheva and Dimona, the home of Israel’s alleged nuclear facility.

Israel responded roughly an hour later by sending its jets to Syria again to conduct a second round of strikes, this time targeting several air defense systems, including the surface-to-air battery that fired the errant missile. Syria’s state news agency claimed that its air defenses intercepted and downed the lion’s share of the Israeli strike, a frequent boast that few believe.

Pieces of the Syrian missile were located this morning in the Ramat Negev region in southern Israel, with some of the missile fragments striking uncomfortably close to the Dimona facility. Pieces of the projectile were also fished out of a community swimming pool.

This morning’s back-and-forth between Jerusalem and Damascus marks the most serious escalation between the two longtime foes in decades. And while the deadly Syrian SA-5 missile reportedly did not have a specific Israeli target in its crosshairs, commentators speculate that the incident bears Iran’s fingerprints. A close ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Asad, Iran maintains a strong military presence—including troops, state-of-the-art weapons and proxies—in Syria, viewing it as the perfect launching pad for attacks against Israel.

The question as to whether there is more to this morning’s incident than an errant Syrian missile that missed its mark is a pertinent one. The exchange of fire comes just over a week after a blackout at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility allegedly set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by nine months. Tehran blamed Israel of the alleged act of sabotage, calling it “nuclear terrorism” and vowing revenge. Talks are also ongoing in Vienna to resuscitate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which former US President Donald Trump walked away from, current US President Joe Biden is eager to rejoin and Israel opposes vehemently. It also comes as tensions between Jerusalem and Tehran threaten to boil over with increased Israeli air strikes on Iranian targets in Syria and back-and-forth strikes on Israeli and Iranian vessels in international waters that sting but ultimately cause limited damage.

This morning’s Syrian SA-5 caused no damage or injury. Life in the northern Negev has already returned to normal. But according to Seth J. Frantzman from the Jerusalem Post, the incident illustrates how dangerous the battle between Israel and Iran is. “Had it struck inside the…compound,” warns Frantzman, “Israelis would be waking up to a very different reality.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 22, 2021)

Photo Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for His protection over all the nation of Israel as the tensions with Syria and Iran escalate. Pray that there will be no further rocket attacks and a resolution will be found that will bring an end to the constant threat of war and terrorism.

Scripture

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.


- Proverbs 3:25–26

Ramadan Riots Rock Jerusalem

by Ilse Strauss

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Israeli police (illustrative)

Monday, 19 April 2021 | Last night marked the sixth consequent night of violent riots in Jerusalem since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with Israeli police and hundreds of Palestinian protesters once again coming to blows outside the Damascus Gate of the Old City, the hotspot for clashes over the past week.

According to the police, the latest bout of violence erupted when a protesting Palestinian horde hurled rocks and firecrackers at officers enforcing coronavirus restrictions in the area. The police responded by deploying water cannons and mounted officers in an attempt to disperse the mob. Three Palestinians were taken into custody for reportedly assaulting police officers on the scene, Walla news reported.

Ramadan riots in the Damascus Gate area have now rocked Jerusalem every night since April 13, the start of the Islamic holy month, which is traditionally marked by dawn-to-dusk fasting followed by mass nighttime gatherings to feast with family and friends, mosques packed to capacity and thousands of Palestinians streaming to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem for prayers.

In an ironic twist, the spark that lit the flame of discontent among the Palestinians appears to be restrictions implemented by Israel to curb the violent riots that usually erupt around the Old City during the month of Ramadan.

The restriction in question relates to an alleged tradition that sees thousands of Palestinians congregate on the steps of Damascus Gate to while away the evening after the Ramadan prayers and feast that marks the end of the dawn-to-dusk fast. However, according to Israeli police, these mass gatherings serve as a hotbed for violence, disorderly conduct and stone-throwing.

This year, in a bid to regulate the throng of pedestrian traffic streaming in and out of the Old City, keep the crowds away and prevent the annual riots, Israel police erected barriers in the area, transforming the Damascus Gate area from a make-shift pavilion into the pedestrian thoroughfare it was intended to be.

As Palestinians grumble—and riot—once again painting Israel as the big, bad wolf for restricting their festivities and sparking violence during their holy month, many see the discontent over the restrictions for what it is: a convenient scapegoat to absolve the Palestinians from all liability and conveniently cast them in the role of wronged martyr.

In theory, Muslims are required to observe Ramadan as a month filled with piety, charity, self-restraint and peace. Yet practice is often far removed from theory. Over the past few years, Ramadan has become synonymous with an upsurge in bloodshed, as religious extremists across the globe use the time as a rallying cry to sow violence. The holiest month in Islam has now turned into a month devoted to terror, a period which many in Israel and around the world anticipate with dread.

The 30-day period is usually a flashpoint for altercations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, with riots, clashes and violent protests some of the trademarks of Ramadan.

As we near the end of the first week of the holiest—and often most violent—month for the followers of Islam, with the violence tally at six out of six nights, it seems like this Ramadan may follow the same violent pattern as so many in the past.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, April 19, 2021)

Photo Credit: Israel Police/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for His intervention during the month of Ramadan. Pray that a spirit of calm will prevail, that planned gatherings will simply not materialize and that Israel will be able to maintain peace without the false accusation that they are impinging on Palestinian religious freedom.

Scripture

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles!


- Psalm 25:22

Hamas Did Not Break the Spirit of Israel’s South

by Matan Tzuri

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Rockets launched from Gaza into Sderot, a town in the south of Israel

Tuesday, 20 April 2021 | There were direct hits, some of them were especially painful. The fabric of daily life was fractured. Still, despite all of that, the communities around the border grew in strength and the resilience of civilians prevailed. You need only to visit them, those agricultural communities along the Gaza border fence, to see.

Look at the children at play, the new shopping centers full of young families building their home there, of all places, with so much war and trauma—to realize that the terror groups did not win.

Off in the distance, Gaza remained the same.

Two worlds exist on either side of the fence, which cannot be more different, and that communicate through force.

It is clear to everyone that if another violent conflict erupts, it will end as it always had, with the residents of Israel’s southern region picking up their lives while inside the Strip, there will be even more destruction.

Obviously, these cycles must end, but that day is clearly far in the future.

The Israeli government is doing all it can to prevent further escalation. It facilitates the delivery of humanitarian aid and goods into the enclave and weighs its response to rocket fire carefully.

It was exactly 20 years ago when the terror groups began firing rockets into Israel. The first one fell in an open field outside Sderot on April 16, 2001, and over the years, the city became the main target of an increasing amount of rocket fire along with the border communities.

The Gush Katif settlements inside the Strip were also bombarded by mortars until they were evacuated in the 2005 when then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled the settlers and the military out of Gaza.

The rocket sirens became a familiar soundtrack for the residents of the area.

Hamas’s grip on Gaza grew stronger, their rockets become more precise and with longer range—and the southern communities were still targeted.

The Gaza Strip was a threat to those living near it from the early years of statehood. There were periods of quiet when cooperation and commerce developed, but they never lasted very long, and terrorists often infiltrated from Gaza to attack targets inside Israel. Civilians had to adapt to the dangers to their lives and wellbeing over time.

Even on quiet days, the tension is always present—along with an understanding that the resumption of fire is only a matter of time.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 16, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ken Groat/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the courage and tenacity He has given to the residents of southern Israel. Pray that they will continue to stand strong in the face of constant threat. Ask the Lord to heal those that have been physically or emotionally wounded, the children who often suffer from PTSD and the hearts of those on the Gaza side of the fence who have been poisoned by their own leadership to believe that Israel is their enemy and that violence is the answer.

Scripture

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”


- Isaiah 41:10

Israel Signs US $5.4 Billion Defense Deal to Enhance Greece Air Force Training

by Joshua Spurlock

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The Hellenic Air Force Academy logo

Tuesday, 20 April 2021 | Israel is the reason Greece’s Hellenic Air Force will receive upgrades to its training program—including establishing an International Flight Training Center—thanks to an approximately US $5.4 billion deal in the largest defense contract ever signed between the two countries. The agreement, which spans 22 years and will engage Israel’s Elbit Systems in the plans, includes training, simulators and aircraft upgrades. The flight training center, according to an Israeli Defense Ministry press release, will be “modeled after the Israel Air Force (IAF) flight academy.”

“The strategic partnership between the Israel Ministry of Defense and Hellenic Ministry of National Defense is further cemented today, via the signing of the most expansive and one of the most significant defense agreements to date,” Israeli Directorate for International Defense Cooperation (SIBAT) Director Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Kulas said in the press release.

The press release said the deal not only includes multiple projects for Elbit Systems to enhance the Hellenic Air Force’s training program, it also noted that “in the future, the parties will also consider areas of cooperation between the Israeli flight academy and Hellenic Airforce Academy.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was quoted as saying, “This cooperation agreement rests on the excellence of Israel’s defense industry and the strong relations between the defense establishments of Greece and Israel…I am certain that [this program] will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defense, economic and political levels.”

In addition to demonstrating the good relationship between Israel and Greece, the deal also highlights the security prowess of Israel’s Elbit Systems. “We are honored to have been awarded this contract to provide such an important capability to the Hellenic Air Force,” President and CEO of Elbit Systems, Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis said in the press release.

“This contract award attests to the leading position we hold in the area of training, providing tested know-how and proven technologies that improve readiness while reducing costs.”

Gantz thanked Greek Minister of Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos for “promoting the agreement,” which had previously been discussed in a trilateral meeting held in Cyprus.

The latest regional strategic meeting, which opened last Friday, also served as a warning to Iran. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release on its website that the formerly “trilateral meeting” involved not only Israel and Greece with host Cyprus, but the United Arab Emirates joined as well.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi was quoted in the meeting press release post as saying that “Iran and Hezbollah undermine the stability of the Middle East and the possibility of achieving regional peace…Iran is working towards acquiring nuclear weapons and continues to develop long-range missiles that will pose a critical threat to Israel and its neighbors.

“Israel is determined to defend itself against any attempt to harm its sovereignty or citizens, and will do whatever it takes to prevent this radical and antisemitic regime from acquiring nuclear weapons”.

Perhaps not coincidentally, just two days after Ashkenazi’s strong words, Israel and one of the partners from that meeting had reached a historic new defense deal.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Mideast Update on April 18, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the relationship that exists between Israel and Greece and for this contract. Pray that it will continue to strengthen the bond between the two nations as multiple projects are carried out. Thank the Lord that Israel’s excellence in the areas of security, training and technology is being recognized and pray that such agreements will strengthen the entire region, serving as a deterrent to those who would foment war. Also pray that the faithfulness of the God of Israel will be revealed through this relationship.

Scripture

“For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name shall be great among the nations.”


- Malachi 1:11a (NASB)

Biden Ready to Undo Former Administration’s Work on Iran

by Majid Rafizadeh~Gatestone

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US State Department spokesman Ned Price

Friday, 16 April 2021 | A basic rule in negotiations is to keep or gain leverage against the other party. The Biden administration, mystifyingly, is doing exactly the opposite in its negotiations with the regime of Iran.

Right before heading to Vienna to negotiate rejoining the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal, which, incidentally, Iran never signed, US State Department spokesman Ned Price dropped a bombshell when he told reporters that the US is prepared to lift sanctions against Iran: “We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA. I am not in a position here to give you chapter and verse on what those might be.”

Why on earth would the administration tell the Iranian leaders before negotiations that it is ready to lift sanctions while it has not yet received anything in return from the mullahs? The Iranian regime, of course, immediately scented weakness and desperation and began increasing its demands. The Biden administration then offered [US] $1 billion to the mullahs in exchange for the regime freezing its production of 20% uranium enrichment. No, Iran wants more. Its leaders demanded [US] $30 billion for one month of freeze.

Presumably to gain additional leverage and extort more concessions, the regime announced during those negotiations that it had begun testing its newest advanced nuclear centrifuges. The Biden administration does not seem to understand that it is the Iranian regime that is desperate for the nuclear deal, not the US.

After the former administration began imposing pressure on the Iranian regime during the last few years, the mullahs saw two major uprisings.

Currently, the regime appears to be finding it extremely difficult to maintain funding for its militias and all its forces both inside and outside Iran. For the first time in more than three decades, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy designated as a terrorist organization by the US, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Arab League and Israel, among other countries, made a public statement asking people to donate money to his group.

Iran’s currency, the rial, lost more than half its value just in 2020—a decline that makes it one of the world’s most worthless currencies. As of April 10, the rial traded on unofficial markets at 25,500 to the US dollar. The ruling mullahs are also facing one of the worst budget deficits in the four decades since they seized power. Iran’s regime is currently running a [US] $200 million budget deficit per week and it is estimated that if the pressure on Tehran continues, the deficit will hit roughly [US] $10 billion by March 2021. This deficit will, in return, increase inflation and devalue the currency even further.

The regime has also signed a 25-year secret deal with China that grants China significant rights over Iran’s resources. China will reportedly be investing nearly [US] $400 billion in Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemicals industries. In return, China will receive priority to bid on any new project in Iran that is linked to these sectors. China will also deploy 5,000 members of its security forces on the ground in Iran. The deal—the terms of which have not been made public, only leaked—will apparently include discounted Iranian oil and gas for China for 25 years. The agreement, which also appears aimed at undermining US position in the region, has drawn harsh protests from the Iranian public.

At the regional level, the regime is also extremely isolated as Israel and the Arab states have become closer.

Iran’s leaders, possibly desperate, are currently attacking American bases in Iraq and Afghanistan in a seeming attempt to force the US to negotiate on their terms.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has been forging ahead with the failed “nuclear deal”—which permits Iran to become a legitimate, full-blown nuclear power in just a few years.

The US and the UN Security Council also would do well to impose sanctions on Tehran for its violation of Resolution 2231, which “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s leaders are further enriching uranium to build their nuclear bombs, fine-tuning ballistic missiles to carry them, and have continued to chant “Death to America!” and “Death to Israel!”

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US foreign policy.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Gatestone Institute on April 14, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State from United States/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will open the eyes of American leaders to the foolhardiness of the position they are taking with Iran. Pray that the many warnings that have been spoken by PM Netanyahu will be heeded, and the US will join with Israel and other world leaders to take every action necessary to put an end to Iran’s progress toward nuclear nation status.

Scripture

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’S counsel—that will stand.


- Proverbs 19:21

Report: Nearly a Dozen European Countries Fail to Meet Anti-Semitism Challenges

by Faygie Holt~JNS

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A rally against anti-Semitism in London in December 2019

Friday, 16 April 2021 | Nearly a dozen European countries are “insufficient” in their efforts to meet the challenges of anti-Semitism, a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom found.

“Sadly, 2020 was another difficult year for global anti-Semitism” between COVID-19 unleashing an “avalanche” of anti-Semitic propaganda to physical attacks on Jews worldwide, said Gary Bauer, a commissioner with the organization, as well as president of the American Values think tank.

His comments came during an hour-long briefing on the just-released “Anti-Semitism in Europe: Implications for US Policy” from the commission, a US government body established by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

“Even dead Jews were not allowed to rest in peace,” said Bauer, noting that Jewish cemeteries were frequent targets for graffiti and vandalism with headstones overturned.

The report examined anti-Semitism in 11 European countries—Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom—and sought to answer the fundamental question: “Are Jews able to live openly and freely as Jews, in whatever manner they wish?”

The sizes of the Jewish communities ranged from 1,500 in Norway to 448,000 in France. [The study] found that in 10 out of 11 of the countries featured efforts to meet the challenges of anti-Semitism remain “insufficient.”

The only country to avoid this designation and “exceed” efforts to combat anti-Semitism was Norway, which has a comprehensive national plan to combat the scourge, as well as sufficient funds for security measures to protect the Jewish community, among other positive measures.

According to Andrew Srulevitch, director of European affairs and assistant director of international affairs for the Anti-Defamation League, who worked on the report, there is “massive underreporting” of anti-Semitic acts in Europe. He pointed to a 2019 survey by the EU’s Agency for Fundamental Rights that asked members of the Jewish communities whether they had reported to the police or any other organization the “most serious” anti-Semitic incident that occurred in the last five years.

“In every country, the vast majority of victims had not reported the incident,” he said, adding that this is hugely “problematic.”

In France, for instance, which has a large Jewish community, it would seem as if they have a lower rate of anti-Semitism than other places with smaller communities, but the reason for their numbers corresponds to incidents not being reported.

According to Srulevitch, Jewish leaders are also noting a reporting “fatigue,” as the Jewish community feels their reports are often not taken or treated seriously. That, he said, leads to less reporting—a “trap we have to avoid.”

He added that the Jewish community’s lack of trust in their local authorities is another “critical” issue.

Perhaps the one place where underreporting is not the norm is in the UK, where Jewish communal leaders have stressed the importance of reporting any and all incidents and acts of anti-Semitism to the Community Security Trust, which is devoted to protecting the UK Jewish community.

 Among the report’s recommendations are that European governments wholly fund security requirements of Jewish communities, which Srulevitch noted is currently done in only Hungary, Norway and the UK; reform education to include positive portrayals of Jews and their contributions to the individual country and the world; and improve law enforcement’s handling of anti-Semitic crimes.

Acknowledging that not only Jews but all people can get “quite depressed and demoralized” at the “enduring nature of anti-Semitism,” Bauer tried to offer a bit of hope during the presentation when he noted that “it is important to take heart that the nations’ most known for their oppression of Jews are long gone.”

Source: (This article was originally by JNS on April 15, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Brian Minkoff/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that nations around the world, particularly those in Europe where anti-Semitism is dangerously on the rise, will take every recommendation found in the USCIRF report seriously. Pray for those European leaders who oppose anti-Semitism in their speeches but do not follow up with the security, education and judicial action that would make their words reality.

Scripture

Do not take me away with the wicked and with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace to their neighbors, but evil is in their hearts.


- Psalm 28:3

Arab Youths Harass Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem in New Social Media Craze

by Nir Cohen and Alexandra Lukash

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The social media platform TikTok

Thursday, 22 April 2021 | A new worrying trend appears to be gaining momentum among Arab youths in Jerusalem who videotape themselves harassing ultra-Orthodox Jews in the capital as a “challenge,” which they then upload to the social media platform TikTok.

Violence in the Arab sector in Jerusalem has escalated since the start of the holy month of Ramadan. On a daily basis, young Palestinians clash with police and harass Jewish bypassers, the latter becoming a social media phenomenon of its own.

One of the victims is 15-year-old Yedidia Epstein, who said he was pushed, beaten and slapped in the middle of a busy street in Jerusalem.

“I was filming near the Damascus Gate and at some point, [an] Arab youth came up [to] me and hit me,” Epstein told Ynet. “He slammed me hard into the ground and my camera fell. I started running away…”

Epstein said he did not provoke the attack in any way, as was the case with other similar incidents in recent days.

“There is a competition for likes and views,” said Epstein. “A video of an Arab slapping an ultra-Orthodox man will get you both, so now everyone is trying to get more likes and views.”

Epstein adds that despite the documentation of the attack and the assault happening near several police officers, the attacker still has not been arrested.

“The Arab who attacked me on Tuesday has not been arrested. I saw him again. I turned to the police and the police tried to arrest him, but he escaped. He came to me with the video and showed it to me, bragging, ‘Look how we attacked you yesterday.’”

The first known video of the disturbing trend shows a young Arab man slapping a yeshiva student on the light rail.

Three people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the incident—two of them on Tuesday—including the main suspect, a 17-year-old teen from the Shuafat neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Other videos show Arabs throwing stones and spraying tear gas at ultra-Orthodox people. Some videos also show a group of young Arabs harassing and threatening two ultra-Orthodox youths.

Since the start of disturbances last week, at least 50 Palestinians have been arrested.

Source: (Expert of an article originally published by Ynetnews on April 21, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kon Karampelas/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will bring this horrendous new social media trend to an immediate end. Pray that more arrests will be made, sending a strong message to young Palestinians that their actions will have serious consequences. And pray that the Lord’s supernatural protection of His people will become apparent to these young Arabs, causing them to examine their actions and their beliefs.

Scripture

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me.


- Psalm 108:5–6

Fearing Attacks, Israel Boosts Security for Diplomats Abroad

by Itamar Eichner

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Special precautions are being put in place to protect Israeli diplomats around the world. Pictured: the Israeli embassy in Prague (illustrative).

Wednesday, 21 April 2021 | Officials at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem said Tuesday that special precautions were being put in place to protect Israeli diplomats around the world from possible terror attacks instigated by Iran.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] head Nadav Argaman discussed the increased concerns in a meeting Monday.

In January, a bomb exploded in front of Israel’s embassy in Delhi, causing damage to vehicles but no injuries. Indian security officials said after the blast that they believed an Iranian-backed organization was behind the attack.

“We are seeing increased intelligence indicating possible targeting of Israeli emissaries abroad,” Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz said in a message to Israeli diplomats Tuesday.

“We take this information seriously and are concerned for the safety of our emissaries and their families and are taking all possible precautions,” he wrote, calling on the diplomats to be vigilant as they carry out their duties.

“We would like to stress the need for your cooperation in adhering to the security regulations,” Ushpiz said.

Meeting Sunday for the first time since February, the security cabinet held a three-hour meeting on the potential threats posed by Iran.

Senior officials said following the meeting that Iran is taking advantage of the United States’ eagerness to reinstate the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian and world powers have been meeting in Vienna to discuss a return to the agreement, three years after it was ditched by then-US President Donald Trump.

The Israeli officials noted that Iran was taking advantage of US willingness to make concessions and increasing its demands. Israel’s concerns were being heard in Washington, the officials said, but the US may not be considering those concerns while making policy decisions.

“We cannot say if we are on the verge of an uptick in Iranian aggression but will do everything possible to impact the outcome of the Vienna talks because Israel will be the target of Iranian missiles,” the officials said.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on April 20, 2021. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Jiří Sedláček/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the safety of Israel’s emissaries around the world. Ask the Lord to give them supernatural alertness, eyes to see and ears to hear impending danger. Pray that the nations where these diplomats are stationed will also recognize the dangers and become actively involved in providing security as well as arresting perpetrators and ending the threat.

Scripture

The LORD is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed. Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; shepherd them also, and bear them up forever.


- Psalm 28:8–9