Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, August 14, 2020

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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.

Israel and the UAE—The Road to Peace?

by Cheryl Hauer

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US President Trump announced the full normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

Friday, 14 August 2020 | The global community was rocked Thursday afternoon by the revelation of a historic peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Brokered by the United States, the announcement came in the form of a joint statement signed by US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE Deputy Supreme Commander Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed.

According to the statement, Israel and the UAE have agreed to full normalization of relations between the two countries, opening direct ties between “two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies.”

It is expected that representatives from Israel and the UAE will meet in the very near future to sign bilateral deals regarding various areas of mutual benefit, including the establishment of reciprocal embassies, investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, health care, culture and the environment.

The agreement makes the UAE only the third Arab country in history to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. The first was Egypt, which signed a landmark peace agreement in 1979, and the second Jordan, which signed a treaty in 1994. All three agreements have been brokered by the US, and all parties involved anticipate that other Arab nations will follow the lead of the UAE.

According to President Trump’s Oval Office address, the effort was led by his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, calling it a labor of love. It is being titled the “Abraham Accord,” and Twitter was alive with expressions of admiration among the parties.

“Who would have ever dreamed there would be a peace agreement with an Arab country without our returning to the 1967 borders,” Netanyahu said. “Israel and UAE are two of the most advanced countries in the world and together we can transform the region.”

The UAE’s ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, called the deal “a win for diplomacy and for the region,” as he praised all the parties for their courage and vision. He added, “It is a significant advance in Arab–Israeli relations that lowers tension and creates new energy for positive change.”

Kushner was quick to give kudos to the US president, stating that Trump had “urged [the team] to take an untraditional approach. The president tries to unite people, focusing on common interest as opposed to common grievances.”

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, tweeted: “A great day for peace! Israel commends the courage of MBZ for the historic decision of the UAE to join Egypt and Jordan in making peace with Israel. Israel deeply appreciates all President Trump has done to make this breakthrough possible. More to come!”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Israel and the UAE for the achievement, which is “a significant step forward for peace in the Middle East. Blessed are the peacemakers. Mabruk and Mazal Tov [congratulations in Arabic and Hebrew, respectively]!”

A senior Likud official praised the deal, declaring, “This is the first time in history that Prime Minister Netanyahu broke the paradigm of ‘land for peace’ and brought instead ‘peace in exchange for peace.’”

Amidst all of the back-slapping, however, there were those who were much less enthusiastic. Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi condemned the deal, saying the UAE had “come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel,” telling Prince Mohammed, “May you never be sold out by your ‘friends.’”

Palestinian TV reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called an urgent meeting of his top leadership to hammer out a response.

A spokesperson for Hamas, the terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip, called the agreement a free reward to the “occupation for its crimes and violations against the Palestinian people.”

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash, however, stated firmly the ongoing commitment of the UAE to the future of a Palestinian state and the concerns of the Palestinian people, declaring that the UAE embassy in Israel will not be in Jerusalem until final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are a reality.

David Elhayani, head of the Israeli umbrella group Yesha, representing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, reacted strongly to Netanyahu’s agreement as part of the deal to suspend extension of Israeli sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria. He accused Netanyahu of betraying some of his most loyal political supporters. “He has deceived half a million residents of the area and hundreds of thousands of voters,” Elhayani said.

Netanyahu, however, was careful to state he had “delayed” the annexation plans, not abandoned them. “Those plans remain on the table,” he stated.

The reaction of the nations is yet to be seen, as is the influence this bold move may have on the political standings of Trump and Netanyahu. Regardless, let’s hope the journey begun on Thursday leads to peace and stability in a region in desperate need of both. That’s not just good for them, it’s good for all of us.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 14, 2020)

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord as Israel and the UAE enter into this historic agreement. Beseech Him that only the very best for Israel will be accomplished, and ask for His intervention should either party attempt to step even unknowingly outside the parameters of His will. Pray that He will pour out His wisdom on Prime Minister Netanyahu and on the American team members who are brokering this deal. Pray for real peace, His peace in Israel and in the region.

Scripture

Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.


- Psalm 33:20–22

Thousands of Acres in Southern Israel Burnt Up as Wave of Incendiary Balloons Continues

by Matan Tzuri, Yoav Zitun, Ilana Curiel

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Over 20 fires broke out yesterday in Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip (illustrative).

Thursday, 13 August 2020 | Over 20 fires broke out on Wednesday in Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip, due to incendiary balloons sent into Israel from the Hamas-controlled enclave for the seventh day in a row.

The resumption of the practice by the militants in recent weeks appears to be in retaliation to Qatar’s refusal to continue its financial aid program to Gaza and as a tool to put pressure on Israel to push for more funding for the Strip.

As a result of the attacks, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has ordered to reduce the fishing area off the coast of Gaza from 15 to 8 nautical miles [27 to 15 km] starting Wednesday until further notice.

“The decision was made in the face of repeated terror acts, emanating from the Gaza Strip, against Israeli citizens in recent days,” Gantz said in a statement. “Hamas is responsible for everything that happens inside…the Gaza Strip and it will bear the consequences.”

The decision to reduce the fishing zone comes following consultation with IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi. On Tuesday, Israel closed the Kerem Shalom border crossing to all traffic except humanitarian aid and fuel.

According to the Israel Fire and Rescue Services, the fires were extinguished with cooperation from the Nature and Parks Authority, the KKL–Jewish National Fund and the IDF forces.

In addition, the defense system meant to intercept small objects such as balloons was deployed for operational use for the first time, after reaching a 90% success rate during trials.

While the system has proven reliable, it is located in one specific location of the Gaza border region and is unable to provide cover to the entire area bordering the Strip.

“We are once again appealing to the public,” said the police in a statement, “if there is anything that raises suspicion, contact the police by dialing 100 immediately.”

In the last 72 hours, there have been 45 fires in the KKL–JNF forests in the south, scorching about 850 dunams [210 acres] of land. In Kibbutz Or HaNer near Sderot, about 2,000 dunams [494 acres] caught fire. And in municipality of Netiv HaAsara, approximately 350 dunams [86 acres] were burned.

Since last week, fires have consumed close to 2,000 acres [8,093 dunams] of forest, trees and agricultural fields. No casualties were reported.

“It is the right of the Palestinian people to live with dignity on their land and to fight in order to lift the siege that has been imposed on them for the past 14 years,” said Hamas in a statement. “Israeli pressure and threats will not break our willingness to lift the siege.”

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on August 12, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: WKing/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that there have been no casualties from this latest spate of incendiary device attacks. Beseech Him for His protection over the southern regions of Israel. Ask Him to keep any further incendiary devices from reaching their intended targets, and cry out to Him for whatever preventative and fire-fighting equipment Israel might need to protect the land that He has given them.

Scripture

Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.


- Psalm 71:2–4

Israel to Start Human Trial Coronavirus Vaccine in October

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The research team at the Israel Institute for Biological Research is making progress on developing a coronavirus vaccine (illustrative).

Friday, 7 August 2020 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today spoke by videoconference with Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) Director-General Prof. Shmuel C. Shapira and the heads of the IIBR research team and congratulated them on the progress in developing a vaccine against the coronavirus ahead of the stage of human trials, which will start after the fall holidays.
 
Netanyahu said: “I am pleased to hear about the progress, and I want to congratulate you on it. Continue on this path with the maximum speed that you deem scientifically sufficient. I directed that a vaccine be developed here in Israel out of great faith in our people and our abilities as a country.”
 
Netanyahu instructed that staff work be advanced to evaluate the establishment of vaccine production in Israel.
 
Prof. Shapira said: “Six months ago, you dispatched us to bring a vaccine and antibodies to the State of Israel. We have carried out the mission, and are carrying it out in the best way possible. We have an excellent vaccine. This is the first vial of the vaccine. Since last Thursday, we have a vaccine.”
 
Netanyahu directed that the process be continued ahead of the completion of the trials and the production of the vaccine so that Israel will have safe and effective vaccines for all residents of Israel by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The IIBR’s rate of progress until now has been in keeping with the timetables determined at the outset by the National Security Council (NSC), the Defense Ministry and the Health Ministry.
 
Netanyahu also instructed that action be taken toward defining an outline to allow other countries to purchase vaccine options from Israel. The financing thus obtained will be able to assist in the establishment of production capabilities and processes.
 
IIBR activity to develop a vaccine began immediately with the State of Israel’s preparations to deal with the coronavirus. The prime minister set for the IIBR the goal of developing a vaccine or of becoming involved in efforts to develop one. Accordingly, a detailed plan was prepared, resources were allocated and efforts were made by IIBR research teams, with the assistance of the NSC, the Defense Ministry and the Health Ministry. Diplomatic steps were also taken to support some of the actions necessary to secure approval for the vaccine in order to allow for strict regulation of the experiments carried out by the IIBR.

Source: (The Prime Minister’s Office originally published this article on August 6, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: pikist.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the COVID-19 vaccine that Israel has developed! Pray that the human trials will happen quickly and go smoothly, allowing Israel to provide this level of protection for its citizens. Also beseech the Lord that Israel will be able to provide the nations with a safe and effective vaccine developed in the land of the Bible by the people of God!

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

Tensions Remain High in Lebanon and at Israeli Border after Beirut Blast

by Joshua Spurlock

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IDF soldiers patrolling the northern border with Lebanon

Monday, 10 August 2020 | Lebanon remains volatile after the massive explosion that rocked the country’s capital city of Beirut last week, as protests and unrest continued inside the country and a drone invaded Israeli airspace at the border.

On Sunday, protestors and rioters in Beirut, angry about the explosion that killed more than 150 people and wounded thousands, battled police for the second day in a row, according to a report from Lebanon’s the Daily Star. And Hezbollah hasn’t been spared that anger, even as the powerful terror group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, denies the blast was caused by weapons owned by the organization.

While Hezbollah is feeling pressure inside the country, Israel has been prepared for potential cross-border attacks from the terror group. On Friday last week, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] announced it had shot down a drone crossing the Israel–Lebanon border. “Last night, IDF troops identified, monitored, & downed a drone which infiltrated into northern Israel along the Blue Line. We are searching the area,” said a post on the IDF Twitter page. “The IDF continues to maintain a high level of readiness to defend Israel’s northern border from any threat.”

Hezbollah has so far not claimed credit for the drone. The incident comes as tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have been high following accusations that Israel killed a Hezbollah operative in Syria and Hezbollah launched a failed terror attack against Israel in response.

Israeli Maj.–Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, an expert on Hezbollah with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) and the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told the Mideast Update in an interview that in his view, “the main issue is not the drone, it is the declaration of Hezbollah that they still owe us a retaliation and they are determined to act in spite of the situation in Lebanon.”

Amidror, a Distinguished Fellow for JINSA, said that it is a “huge mistake” from a logical perspective in the aftermath of the Beirut crisis for Hezbollah to risk instigating a fight with Israel by launching a revenge attack, “but this is the Middle East and logic is in many cases not the main argument…We cannot count on their smartness.”

Meanwhile the Beirut protests have at least partly targeted Hezbollah, who may have had weapons stored at the warehouses that exploded. A life-size cardboard cutout of Nasrallah was paraded with a noose around his neck, according to a picture appearing on a Twitter post on Saturday by writer and columnist Hussain Abdul-Hussain. A similar image of Nasrallah hanged in effigy was posted by Lt.–Col. (res.) Avital Leibovich, the Israel Director of the American Jewish Committee and a former spokesperson for the IDF. Leibovich noted in her tweet: “Only when #Hezbollah will be expelled from #Lebanon, the country will have a chance to BEGIN recovery.”

In addition to venting anger at Hezbollah, the current Beirut protests have also targeted Iran, which funnels funds and weapons to Hezbollah in exchange for the group acting as Tehran’s terror proxy. Al Arabiya posted a video on Saturday showing protestors chanting “Iran get out” at the Foreign Ministry in Lebanon, as well as video showing demonstrators rushing the Lebanese Foreign Ministry office and burning pictures of Lebanese President Michel Aoun inside the Foreign Ministry building.

The same Al Arabiya report quoted Nasrallah denying Hezbollah had been storing weapons or the explosive chemical ammonium nitrate in the Beirut port where the massive explosion occurred. Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman tweeted last Tuesday that there was “uncorroborated intel” that the warehouses had held missile parts for Hezbollah, according to a senior Israeli source. Bergman, who writes for Yedioth Ahronoth, noted in the Tweet about the claims: “If so – the incident may cause serious damage to Hezbollah and Nasrallah in Lebanon.”

Amidror, a former National Security Advisor of Israel, does not believe the protests will affect real change given Hezbollah’s military strength in the country, “with all due respect to all these demonstrators.” In his comments to the Mideast Update, Amidror said, “It’s not a democracy, and [the protestors] will cross something which would be shown as a red line with Hezbollah, then Hezbollah will kill them, as simple as that. There is no real group or force in Lebanon which is strong enough to compete with Hezbollah’s cruelty and ability to kill.”

Amidror was careful to note that nothing is truly impossible, but the likelihood of the protestors transforming Lebanon is “very close to impossible.”

Outside Lebanon, the United States, in addition to offering aid and condolences following the blast, has called for an independent investigation into the incident. “We join others in the call for a thorough and transparent investigation into the cause of this explosion,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a State Department press release on Friday. “The Lebanese people deserve accountability and a government that prioritizes the safety and prosperity of its citizens.”

The European Union is also getting involved with aid and calling for an independent review into the explosion, as well as broader action to better the country.

“Local political forces should seize the opportunity and unite around a national effort to respond to the immediate needs but also more long term challenges the country is facing,” EU President Charles Michel was quoted in an EU press release as saying on Saturday following a visit to Beirut. “It’s of critical importance for Lebanon to implement the fundamental structural reforms. The Lebanese can count on the European Union in this effort—but internal unity is key.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Mideast Update on August 9, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/idf.il

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s protection on Israel’s northern border. Pray that Israel will remain alert and prepared in case of cross-border attacks, but beseech the Lord that Lebanon’s internal disputes will remain on their side of the border. Pray also that Hezbollah, who is as much an enemy to the Lebanese people as to Israel, will continue to feel the weight of the Lebanese frustration and determination to remove a government controlled by a terrorist organization that has little concern for their well-being.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war.


- Psalm 140:1–2

Iran: China’s Newest Colony?

by Dr. Majid Rafizedeh~Gatestone Institute

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China will be investing nearly US $400 billion in Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemicals industries (illustrative).

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 | A slogan in which Iran’s ruling mullahs [clerics] have taken pride since they came to power in 1979 is: “Neither East nor West.” The Iranian regime has long boasted about its independence from both Western and Eastern powers. A new secret deal with China, however, appears to be giving Beijing significant control over Iran.

The 25-year secret deal, which looks like a colonial agreement, grants China significant rights over the nation’s resources. Leaked information reveals that one of its terms is that China will be investing nearly [US] $400 billion in Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemical industries. In return, China will get priority to bid on any new project in Iran that is linked to these sectors. China will also receive a 12% discount and it can delay payments by up to two years. China will also be able to pay in any currency it chooses. It is estimated that, in total, China will receive discounts of nearly 32%.

Another secret element of the agreement has a military dimension: China will deploy 5,000 members of its security forces on the ground in Iran. These concessions are unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic. The deal is a clear win for China; the $400 billion will be invested over 25 years, which is a small amount for the second-largest economy in the world. China will also have full authority over Iran’s islands, gain access to Iran’s oil at a highly discounted rate and increase its influence and presence in almost every sector of Iranian industry, including telecommunications, energy, ports, railways and banking. China, incidentally, is the world’s largest importer of oil.

Even some of Iran’s politicians and state-owned newspapers have begun criticizing the deal. A headline in the Iranian newspaper Arman-e Melli, for example, surprisingly criticized the government: “Iran is not Kenya or Sri Lanka (to be colonized by China).”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned countries in a speech to diplomats and business leaders at the UN Economic Commission for Africa in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in February 2020 that they “should be wary of authoritarian regimes with empty promises. They breed corruption, dependency.” An article in the Iranian newspaper Hamdeli, by the Iranian journalist Shirzad Abdollahi, was published with the title, “Will Iran become a Chinese colony?”

Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash, a hard-line member of Iran’s parliament, warned on a state-run TV channel that he believes “transferring full authority of Iranian islands to China” was included in the proposed agreement.

Even former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pointed to the danger of the deal:

“It is not valid to enter into a secret agreement with foreign parties without considering the will of the Iranian nation and against the interests of the country, and the Iranian nation will not recognize it.”

Ahmadinejad told the ruling mullahs:

“Do you own the country, while auctioning the country without the knowledge of the people? We made a revolution so that no issue would be hidden from the nation, and no one would consider themselves as the owners of the nation.”

The ruling mullahs are selling off the country to China, just as some African governments did. Beijing appears more than happy to make deals with dictators, ignore their human rights abuses and plunder their nations to advance its own global hegemonic ambitions.

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. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Gatestone Institute on August 8, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: anita_starzycka/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
In the past, the Lord encouraged Israel to stand and see the power of their God as He caused their enemies to destroy one another. In a similar vein, beseech the Lord to cause these agreements between China and Iran to somehow weaken both countries. Pray that the nations of the world will be wary of this budding relationship and ask the Lord to provide the necessary means for them to protect themselves and Israel from the very real threats that lurk in these arrangements.

Scripture

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today.”


- Exodus 14:13a

In Historic First, Israeli Jets to Touch Down on German Soil

by Ilse Strauss

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Israeli Air Force fighter jets

Monday, 10 August 2020 | Less than a century ago, Germany served as the stage on which one of the biggest atrocities in modern history unfolded when some six million Jewish people perished at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators. As the dark days of carnage turned to weeks, months and then years with no end to the meticulous annihilation, the existence of the Jewish people seemed to totter on a knife edge. Yet like so many times in history, God had a plan for rescue, restoration and redemption.

Next month, Israeli fighter jets will touch down on German soil for the first time in history. The air force of the nation born from the ashes of the Holocaust will join forces with the air force of the nation where the Holocaust sparked into a raging inferno for joint aerial exercises. Notably, Israeli and German jets will fly wing to wing over the Dachau concentration camp, where 30,000 Jews were murdered, and the Olympic Village in Munich, where Palestinian terrorists massacred 9 Israeli athletes and 2 coaches during the 1972 Munich Olympics.

According to Israel’s Channel 12 news, the flyovers will honor the memory of those who perished in the two locations.

Apart from the flyovers, the Israel Air Force (IAF) and Germany’s Luftwaffe will conduct joint exercises, including air battle drills, long-range sorties and aerial refueling.

Ahead of the fighter jets taking off for German skies, IAF Commanding Officer Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin met with the loved ones of those who perished in the Munich Olympics massacre.

“We remember the lives that were lost and promise never to forget,” the Israel Defense Forces pledged on social media.

Norkin traveled to Germany last year to strengthen ties between the Israeli and Germany flying forces and to explore the possibility of collaboration.

“We meet here and remember what happened in the past and do everything possible to work together in the future,” Norkin vowed during the visit.

As Israeli jets streak through the skies over two locations marred as Jewish killing fields, it stands as a testimony that Am Yisrael Chai (the people of Israel live)—because the God of Israel lives.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 10, 2020)

Photo Credit: מינוזיג - MinoZig/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this powerful and moving opportunity for Israeli soldiers to join with their German counterparts in honoring the memory of Jews slain on German soil. Pray that the joint event will serve only to strengthen the growing bond between Israel and Germany. May they become Israel’s strongest global ally in the fight against anti-Semitism.

Scripture

LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.


- Psalm 10:17–18

Israel Thwarts Cyber Attack against Defense Industries

by Yoav Zitun

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According to the Defense Ministry, the attackers approached employees within the defense industries through LinkedIn (illustrative).

Thursday, 13 August 2020 | Israel has thwarted a cyberattack on the country’s major defense industries, security officials said Wednesday.

The Defense Ministry revealed [that the] Director of Security of the Defense Establishment along with other bodies within the defense establishment foiled a cyberattack on Israel’s major defense corporations.

According to the ministry, the attackers approached employees within the defense industries through LinkedIn—[a] business and employment-oriented online service—offering tempting job opportunities with the aim of hacking their computer networks.

The preliminary investigation shows the attempted attack was carried out by an international cyber group known as “Lazarus,” which is backed by a foreign country. Members of the organization used various techniques to entice their potential victims, including “social engineering” and impersonation.

The attackers impersonated managers, senior staff at human resources departments and representatives of international companies. They had contacted employees of Israel’s leading defense corporations in an attempt to develop a dialogue with them.

The attackers then tried to install spyware on the employees’ computers and infiltrate the networks of the companies they work for in order to collect sensitive security information. 

“The attempted attacks were identified in real time and thwarted by the Defense Ministry’s tech unit and by the defense industries’ cyber defense systems without causing any damage,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said they will “continue to act with the aim of thwarting attempts to hack the networks of our defense industries to undermine the technological superiority of the State of Israel.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on August 12, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: StockSnap/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the efficiency of the tech unit of the IDF. Thank Him for this success story and others as cyberwarfare remains a current reality in Israel and around the world. Ask the Lord for His alertness, strength and blessing on those who are keeping cyberspace safe for Israel.

Scripture

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.


- Psalm 121:1–4

August Rain Falls in Israel for Second Consecutive Day

by Ahiya Raved

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August rain in Israel (illustrative)

Tuesday, 11 August 2020 | August rain fell across large swathes of Israel on Monday, a day after residents of the northern city of Haifa had their own shower.

The rain fell in areas including in Tel Aviv, the Sharon region, Gush Dan and the north, while drizzles were reported in Haifa, the Upper Galilee and the Sea of Galilee area. In Kibbutz Kfar Giladi on the Lebanese border, 2.7 mm [.1 inch] of rain fell in the last 24 hours. 

Temperatures were unusually low for August in northern and central Israel on Monday, with cloudy weather in some regions. The height of summer in Israel is normally marked by blue skies, sweltering heat and no rain at all. 

Further south, however, the Jordan Valley, Dead Sea and the Arava region were set for higher temperatures.

According to the Meteo-tech Meteorological Service, the relatively low temperatures and cloudy skies are caused by low air pressure over the eastern Mediterranean.

The rain could make a return in the north and center of the country on Tuesday, when there will be partly cloudy skies and temperatures below average for the season.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on August 10, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Eran Menashri/pexels.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the rains that are falling! Pray that the hearts of Israelis will be turned to the Lord who bestows every blessing upon them.

Scripture

The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.


- Deuteronomy 28:12a

Israel, Colombia Launch Free Trade Agreement

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Colombian President Ivan Duque

Thursday, 13 August 2020 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Colombian President Ivan Duque yesterday in a joint videoconference launched the free trade agreement between Israel and Colombia. Prime Minister Netanyahu also commended Colombian President Duque for opening an innovation office in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “This is a historic moment in the relationship between the State of Israel and the Republic of Colombia because we celebrate two important events today. The first is the final ratification of the agreement on a free trade zone, a free trade agreement between our two countries, and in addition, the Colombian announcement…to open an innovation representative office in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

“These decisions create a platform of cooperation between us that will bring our partnership, our friendship, our brotherhood—as you said—to new political and economic levels.

“Israel is a hub of global innovation. Colombia is one of the strongest economies in Latin America. It has a strong academic base, a strong scientific base, and I think that cooperating, the cooperation between us will make both of us stronger. We also have a strong partnership on security as well. Ivan, your leadership in the fight against terrorism sets an example for the rest of Latin America.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Colombian President Duque declared the end of the ratification process for the free trade agreement between Israel and Colombia. This is a pioneering agreement with the third largest economy in Latin America. Signing the agreement will create opportunities for the Israeli economy in various fields, including agriculture, technology and medicine.

Colombian President Duque emphasized that he would open an innovation office in Jerusalem, close to the Israel Innovation Authority, and stressed that Colombia aspires to develop innovation at home inspired by the Israeli experience.

Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the ratification of the free trade agreement and the fact that Colombia was joining a series of nations that—since the US decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem—have decided to open official offices in the capital.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to work toward the goal of encouraging additional countries to open representations in Jerusalem.

Source: (This press release was originally published by the Prime Minister’s Office on August 10, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

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

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for yet another international relationship being established and nurtured. Pray for God’s blessing to be poured out on Colombia as they bless Israel with their friendship and support. And may they indeed be an example to other South American nations, encouraging them to partner with Israel as well.

Scripture

“How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.”


- Numbers 24:5a, 9b

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