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Every week, we post from seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

Trump: Israel will Pay “Higher Price” for His Jerusalem Recognition

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Entrance to the US Embassy in Jerusalem

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 | US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Israel would “have to pay a higher price” in negotiations with the Palestinians in return for his December recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Addressing crowds at a campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia, President Trump received rapturous applause from his supporters as he reminded the audience of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and to move the US Embassy to the city in May this year.

While claiming that he had “taken Jerusalem off the table” despite being “inundated with calls” from foreign leaders urging him not to make his expected declaration, Trump made clear that the Israelis would be expected to make heavy compromises in future negotiations.

“And if there’s ever going to be peace—remember I said it—with the Palestinians it was a good thing to have done because we took it off the table because every time there were peace talks, they never got past Jerusalem becoming their capital, so I said let’s take it off the table,” Trump said, explaining his strategy.

“And you know what, in the negotiation, Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing, but I took it off the table,” he continued.

Repeating several times that he had removed Jerusalem from becoming an obstacle to successful negotiations, Trump stated that the Palestinians would soon reap the benefits of the move.

“But they’ll get something very good because it’s their turn next. Let’s see what happens.”

The president also criticized his predecessors for failing to deliver campaign promises to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

“And I understand now what happened. Because every president—many, many presidents—they said ‘we’re going to do it. We’re going to move our embassy to Jerusalem. It’s going to be the capital of Israel. We’re going to do it, we’re going to do it’ and then they don’t do it. Politicians, they don’t do it. So I said I’m going to do it,” the president said.

Trump further described the pressure that world leaders attempt to apply ahead of his declaration.

“And I now understand why many presidents before me said they were going to do it and didn’t do it. Because I was inundated with calls from foreign leaders. Every country: ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, please don’t do it, don’t do it!’

“So actually what I did, I was about five days off I stopped taking calls I said I’ll call you back next week. Because I knew what they were going to ask me.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 22 August 2018. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that any discussions between Israeli and Palestinian leadership will be conducted solely according to God’s will. Ask the Lord to protect Israel from being forced to make concessions that are not in the best interests of the people of Israel.

Scripture

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.


- Psalm 138:7

IDF’s War Plans for Facing Hezbollah

by Yoav Zitun

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The IDF training in preparation for a possible war with Hezbollah (illustrative).

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 | For the very first time, the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] ground forces are implementing a four-dimensional “combined battle” strategy in preparation for a possible war with Hezbollah.

Over the past few days, the IDF has been carrying out the most extensive training exercises conducted by the 36th Armored Division, including the 7th Armored Brigade.

The “Gideon” battlegroup—a combat brigade that includes thousands of IDF soldiers—is training in the Golan Heights for a possible confrontation with the modern Hezbollah terror group. Militarily, the Lebanon-based group is an army in every sense. It is advanced, fast, mobile and combative.

Hassan Nasrallah’s organization, bruised and bleeding from the Syrian civil war in which thousands of Hezbollah fighters were killed and wounded, is slowly returning to Lebanon. Hezbollah also faces internal problems as well as a reduction in the annual Iranian support budget.

Nevertheless, the organization has a high operational self-confidence and has gained rich experience from four years of fighting.

Hezbollah now has new military capabilities, such as the ability to maneuver forces into enemy territory, drafting large forces in rapid speed and more.

The organization, recently described by a senior officer in the Northern Command as “the strongest army in the Middle East after the IDF,” has received a new arsenal of weapons: special and high-quality night vision devices, electronic combat weapons, and hundreds of drones and UAVs, along with mortars carrying half a ton of explosives, and heavy rockets.

Meanwhile, IDF ground forces are undergoing a major facelift that will be implemented in the coming years by additional standing army brigades, under the guidance of the four-dimensional “combined battle” strategy.

The IDF will practice fighting in the underground, cyber warfare and shooting from rooftops or from high-rise building windows.

In addition, the Gideon battlegroup will implement an invisible network on the battlefield that includes 24 intelligence planes that can detect anything that emits a signal. Once a signal is detected and decoded, an exact location is found, and the “smart trigger” system turns it into a target in a matter of seconds or minutes.

During training in the Golan Heights, the Golani Brigade’s 13th Battalion fighters fired the first precision-guided mortar shell that has flight control capabilities and a five-meter [16.4 ft.] margin of error accuracy.

Next year a similar conversion of artillery shells is expected. “Our goal is to convert 50% of the land-based ammunition stockpiles into precise weaponry,” said a senior official from the ground forces.

Following incidents such as the Kfar Giladi disaster in the Second Lebanon War, and the fighting in Shuja’iyya in Operation Protective Edge, each ground maneuver unit will be provided with an air defense battery to combat heavy mortar and suicide bombers threats, similar to the old antiaircraft batteries that protected IDF ground maneuver forces in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The battleground will include dozens of aircraft—the air force’s rescue and evacuation helicopters, logistic drones, observation drones and more.

“Each air maneuver unit in the air force will have a small airport with an air control team that will manage everything that happens up to 1,000 feet,” a source in ground forces explained.

The ground forces, together with the air force, will cover the aerial territory above 1,000 feet, while the area above 3,000 feet would be covered by the air force alone.

In one of the drills performed by the IDF, a helicopter landed without the inference of drones and UAVs. In fact, recent events in Gaza helped with this type of training.

According to a senior officer in the ground forces, “this is not a fantasy, we are looking ahead… each division will have its own communications and logistical capabilities.”

A revolution on the ground will also change the engineering capabilities of the brigades: an engineering battalion will include a special unit for handling enemy tunnels.

The elite Yahalom unit will join each battalion and will cover difficult targets and situations such as penetrating bunkers. In addition, within a year, the IDF will be able to receive real-time intelligence from intelligence corps.

“We are training the forces against the most updated and relevant enemy,” said a senior officer in the ground forces.

“We set up a special battalion that includes about 400 fighters, and deployed them throughout the Golan Heights in order to simulate the capabilities Hezbollah has today,” the officer added.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 17 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: www.idf.il

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for Israel’s comprehensive preparation for war with Hezbollah, but also beseech Him for His protection over that northern border. Pray that He will cause peace to reign so that Israel’s strategies will never have to be implemented.

Scripture

He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.”


- 1 Samuel 2:9

Netanyahu Meets with US National Security Advisor

by Itamar Eichner

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with US National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Monday, 20 August 2018 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton Sunday evening, over dinner at the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. The meeting was also attended by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israel Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.

At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu turned to the American adviser and said: “I look forward to discussing with you a whole array of topics, but the most important one is how to continue to roll back Iran’s aggression in the region and to make sure that they never have nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu complimented Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, and a right-wing member of the Trump administration, who pushed Trump to cancel the nuclear deal with Iran: “Ambassador Bolton, John, it’s a pleasure to see you.”

“We’ve been friends for many years, and I can testify that in and out of office, you’ve been a tremendous friend—tremendous friend of Israel, tremendous champion of the American–Israel alliance,” he said.

“It’s particularly momentous to welcome you here, after the momentous decisions of President Trump, to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and get out of the terrible Iran deal,” the prime minister added.

US National Security Adviser Bolton replied that, “it’s a great honor to be here. It’s great to see you again and talk about the US–Israel relationship.”

“It’s been an exciting year and a half in the Trump administration with some of the things you’ve mentioned. Obviously we’ve got great challenges, for Israel, for the United States and the whole world,” said Bolton.

“The Iran nuclear weapons program, the ballistic missile programs are right at the top of the list. So I’m delighted to be here, and look forward to our discussions,” Bolton added.

Source: (Ynet originally published this article on 19 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will give supernatural wisdom to Prime Minister Netanyahu, Security Advisor Bolton and others as they consider how to deal with the threat that Iran poses to Israel, the Middle East and the world. Ask the Lord to give these leaders a sound strategy to halt the Iranian nuclear program and to bring Iran’s aggression in the region to an end.

Scripture

For they intended evil against You; they devised a plot which they are not able to perform. Therefore, You will make them turn their back; You will make ready your arrows on Your string toward their faces. Be exalted, O LORD, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.


- Psalm 21:11–13

Israeli Police Foil Terror Attack in Jerusalem’s Old City  

by Yishai Porat

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The Old City of Jerusalem where a Palestinian terrorist attempted to stab an Israeli police officer.

Monday, 20 August 2018 | According to the police, Ahmad Muhammad Mahamid, 30, tried to stab a policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday. The attack took place on HaGai Street, near the Damascus Gate. The assailant was shot and killed by policemen. No one was hurt by the stabbing, except for a policewoman who is suffering from anxiety. A new video shows the terrorist took advantage of the officer’s lack of attention when he jumped at him and tried to stab him.

The police released the documentation of the attempted attack on Friday which shows the policeman looking at his cell phone and whispering, when the terrorist approaches him.

The terrorist walked slowly, and when he recognized the policeman, he took the knife out of his pocket and tried to stab the officer. He did not succeed, and was soon shot and killed by the police.

Following the attack, the police issued a statement saying that “a suspicious person arrived at a police station in the Old City and apparently tried to stab one of the policemen. The terrorist was neutralized by police officers.”

According to the police, the terrorist was a 30-year-old Israeli from Umm al-Fahm, and had no previous security charges filed against him. His relatives were questioned by the police and Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] on Friday evening.

The terrorist left the Council Gate at the Temple Mount at about 5:30 p.m. He then noticed a group of policemen stationed a few meters away, and tried to stab one of them with the knife he was holding. After a fight between the police and the suspect, he was shot and killed by police officers at the scene.

The police responded to the incident by blocking the alleys surrounding the crime scene and opening an investigation into the identity of the terrorist.

Under the guidance of the commander of the Jerusalem District, Major General Yoram Halevy, a search was conducted throughout the Temple Mount area, and police removed people from the area.

Last week, police officers foiled another stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. The officers arrested a 26-year-old Palestinian from Hebron who planned to stab Israeli civilians or security forces in the city.

The Palestinian aroused the officers’ suspicion and they detained him for questioning. During a search, police found a knife and a tear gas canister in his possession.

His remand was extended by five days to allow police to complete the investigation.

“There’s no doubt the arrest of the suspect and revealing his intentions prevented an attempt to carry out an attack in the Jerusalem area, the results of which could’ve been serious,” the police said.

“The efforts to locate, prevent and thwart attempts by attackers and terror organizations to carry out terror attacks continue at all times in the Jerusalem area and in the nearby crossings,” police added.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 18 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Twitter/Israel Police

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that this attempt to take the life of an Israeli policeman was not successful. Thank Him that recently, security forces have been able to intervene and keep other such attacks from being carried out. Pray that all of those who are tasked with protecting Israel will remain alert and protected under the shadow of the Almighty.

Scripture

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them.


- Psalm 17:7

Report: Hamas–Israel Ceasefire Deal to Last a Year 

by Itamar Eichner

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Head of Hamas political bureau Ismail Haniyeh

Friday, 17 August 2018 | An anticipated ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas will include a year-long cessation of hostilities and the creation of a maritime route between the Gaza Strip and Cyprus under Israeli security supervision, according to a Thursday report in the Al Mayadeen news channel.

The Hezbollah-affiliated pan-Arabist satellite channel in Lebanon claimed that the next 48 hours will prove crucial in the much-sought truce between Israel and the Gaza-ruling terror group.

In addition, the report said that Qatar will pay the salaries of officials in Gaza together with the Egyptians, and will also pay the electricity bills in the Strip in cooperation with Israel.

The report comes on the heels of another report by Al-Hayat newspaper that the head of the Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel, met with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv on Wednesday in order to finalize the details of a long-term ceasefire deal.

Al-Hayat cited a Palestinian official as saying that the final accord could be announced on Friday.

“A possible deal will be signed [today] in the presence of all the Gaza factions,” a Palestinian official said.

One of the core issues under discussion is the future negotiation with Hamas for the release of captive Israeli civilians and the remains of fallen soldiers in exchange for several humanitarian projects in Gaza.

Palestinian officials told Al-Hayat that Kamel discussed with Israel the final details of the ceasefire agreement before making his way to Ramallah for further talks

Kamel’s visit follows two Hamas and Islamic Jihad expeditions to Cairo that discussed the agreement’s details. Other Gaza officials are to travel to Cairo on Thursday in order to further discuss the details.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, criticized the Israel–Hamas deal and called it “a betrayal of the Palestinian people and its national aspirations.”

In his interview with a Palestinian radio station al-Ahmad added that “what is happening is not negotiations but rather a resolution festival,” and stated that “our government has no time for futile celebrations, not all factions participated in the talks and we were surprised to discover the names of some movements that did participate.”

On Wednesday, during a PLO central council meeting, [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas attacked the US government, denouncing its members as “liars.”

“How come the Americans have all of a sudden remembered the humanitarian situation in Gaza? Where have all these humanitarian projects come from?” Abbas said.

“We will continue to fight against Trump’s ‘deal of the century’—until it is canceled,” he added, emphasizing the American policy is aimed at putting Gaza at the central stage.

On Monday, it was reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had secretly met with the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, but no confirmation was given by Netanyahu’s office.

Ten News reported that the meeting between the two took place in Egypt, on May 22. Netanyahu flew to the meeting with only a handful of advisors and security personnel. He participated in a Ramadan Iftar dinner and returned to Israel after a few hours, late at night.

According to the report, government ministers knew nothing of the Netanyahu–al-Sisi meeting.

A Palestinian official involved in the diplomatic channels involving Israel, Hamas and Egypt said that the discussions, dubbed “quiet on condition of quiet,” were held between Netanyahu and al-Sisi in Cairo.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 16 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: متجول/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that agreements will be reached that will actually end the ongoing violence in southern Israel. Pray that Israeli citizens will have respite from the constant threat of rocket attacks and ask the Lord to make sure that any monies given to Hamas for humanitarian relief will actually reach their intended destination and not end up funding weapons to be used against Israel.

Scripture

I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.


- Psalm 18:3

Israel to Launch #No2Antisemitism Campaign at UN

by Itamar Eichner

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Israeli ambassador Danny Danon speaking at an anti-Semitism forum

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 | Presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors and ministers will be asked to participate in an online campaign against anti-Semitism which is being initiated by the Israeli delegation to the United Nations [UN].

The 73rd United Nations General Assembly meeting is scheduled to take place in New York next month, between September 25–28, where the Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon will launch an online campaign against anti-Semitism.

The campaign will include slogans such as: “United against anti-Semitism,” “Anti-Semitism has no place in our world,” “We were not born to hate,” and “Make your voice heard against anti-Semitism.”

A kiosk will be erected at the entrance to the UN building and Ambassador Danon will ask world leaders to stop by and be photographed or videoed next to one of the campaign’s slogans on display.

The photos and videos will be publicized on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag: #No2Antisemitism. World leaders will also be able to share the media on their own social network profiles.

The Israeli delegation enlisted the US, Canada and the EU [European Union] countries to participate in the campaign and issued a general invitation for all UN member states to attend. An invitation was also sent to UN Secretary General António Guterres and world leaders.

“Israel and the Jews are still a target of anti-Semitism under the guise of anti-Zionism,” said Ambassador Danon. “We must act with all our resources to combat modern anti-Semitism in order to guarantee the security of the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora [the Jewish population outside of Israel].

“The campaign is part of Israeli hasbara [public relation] efforts in the world and allows world leaders to convey an important message against anti-Semitism to their millions of social media followers.”

Alongside the campaign, an event discussing combating anti-Semitism will also take place at the UN with the participation of the secretary general and French president Emmanuel Macron.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 21 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Twitter/Ambassador Danon@dannydanon

Prayer Focus
Pray that this program will be successful in bringing awareness of the anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism connection to world leaders. Pray that they in turn will help citizens of their nations understand how this insidious, irrational hatred of Jewish people is currently active in the world through a socially acceptable anti-Israel bias. Pray that hearts will be stirred to stand against anti-Semitism in all its forms.

Scripture

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!


- Psalm 43:1

“Mr. Secretary General, Have You Heard of Code Red?”

by Itamar Eichner

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In recent weeks, hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 | Uriah Hatzroni, 15, from Moshav Yated near the Gaza border, wrote a moving letter to UN [United Nations] Secretary General António  Guterres, describing what life is like for him under the threat of rockets from the Strip.

“It is now (the) summer holidays, when children like myself should be playing, enjoying games, being with friends. Instead, we have been in shelters and inside, afraid to go out in case a rocket is fired or an incendiary kite sent towards us. Mr. Secretary-General, children deserve to be outside playing, not in bomb shelters!” Uriah wrote.

“In recent months, my family and I had no (quiet) day and no (quiet) night! Just ‘Code Red.’ Mr. Secretary-General, have you heard of ‘Code Red’? This is the warning we receive when rockets & mortars are fired at us. Did you know that we have 15 seconds (!!) sometimes even less to find shelter? Fifteen seconds separating life and death!”

In a letter sent for Youth Day, which the UN marks on August 12, Uriah noted that “My friends and I, thousands of children and teenagers, living in the communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, have lived in protected areas for years.”

“Not the ones that the UN resolution refers to, but those that are meant to protect me and save my life from rocket attacks, mortar shells, terrorist tunnels, and recently balloons and firebombs launched from Gaza, which is controlled by the internationally recognized terrorist organization Hamas,” he went on to say.

“Often, the protected space, which (is) supposed to make you feel safe, becomes the exact place where deep fears and anxiety are floating,” Uriah wrote.

He explained that, “While you are huddled with your family or friends in the protected space, listening to the horrifying sound of the rocket hits or the siren searing through the air, your mind can not stop [wondering] about members of your family or friends who may not (have) found a hiding place and are in danger. You wonder about what the missile might destroy when it will hit the ground. You pray with all your heart for luck.”

“Mr. Secretary-General,” the teenager wrote in his letter, “in the last (few) months—in fact even years—this has become routine for thousands of children like myself living in the south of Israel, with the terrible fear that at any given moment the silence may be disturbed by the shelling of missiles. The sense of anxiety and deep insecurity permeates even the strongest of us.”

Uriah stressed that “what hurts no less is the fact that we, children of Israel, feel that the world, including the UN, (has) abandoned us, as if our rights, our future, is somehow less worthy or not important.”

The teen concluded his letter with a hope for a better future. “My friends and I will continue to believe and dream that the day will come when the walls of hatred will become bridges of friendship and coexistence, in which the children of the entire region, Israeli and Palestinian, will experience a beautiful, good and safe childhood,” he wrote.

A copy of the letter was also sent to Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and to UN Special Envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov.

Source: (Ynet originally published this article on 19 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/IDF@IDFSpokesperson

Prayer Focus
Pray for the thousands of Israeli children living in the area around the Gaza Strip who are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other anxiety disorders brought on by the ongoing barrage of rockets that are strategically timed to keep them awake at night and living in constant fear. Ask the Lord to bring comfort to their hearts and to put an end to the terror.

Scripture

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.


- Psalm 46:1–3

Israeli Hospital to Start Treating Tumors by Freezing Them

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Illustration of IceCure Medical’s tumor freezing technology

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 | A private Israeli hospital in Haifa will start implementing IceCure Medical Ltd’s tumor freezing technology within the next few months for eliminating benign breast tumors and cancerous kidney tumors by freezing them without the need for surgery, Globes reported Wednesday.

The medical device company was founded in 2006 and uses the ProSense system developed at the Elisha Private Hospital in Haifa. Commercial distribution in Israel will be carried out by Duke Medical Solutions.

Treatment is performed using ultrasound or CT imaging to insert a thin hollow needle into the tumor. The ProSense system then uses liquid nitrogen to create extremely cold temperatures to destroy the tumor, while protecting the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor and eradicating the entire affected cell.

The procedure lasts 20–40 minutes, without surgery or hospitalization, and allows for a quick return to day-to-day activities of the patient.

The procedure joins the “successful commercial treatment that has already been performed with our technology in Japan, the US, Hong Kong and Europe for various indications including breast, lung, bone, kidney and liver cancers,” said IceCure’s CEO Eyal Shamir.

The company said a recent large trial showed promising results for breast cancer, with a very low percentage of recurrence of cancer after treatment with ProSense in which out of 146 patients, only one showed recurrence of cancer.

The start of commercial treatment in Israel “represents acknowledgement by the medical establishment in Israel that our technology is an alternative that makes unnecessary the need for surgery and cutting open the breast,” Shamir added.

Treatment of the breast will be performed by Dr. Rafi Klein—Head of Breast Surgery at Elisha Hospital and Rambam Medical Center—in the clinic for patients with fibroadenoma-type benign tumors. The hospital hopes that in the future it can perform these treatments on patients with cancerous breast tumors. Treatment of the kidneys will be performed by Prof. Ofer Nativ, Head of the Urological Department at the Bnai Zion Medical Center and Elisha Hospital and by Dr. Robert Sachner, Head of Interventional Radiology at the Bnai Zion Medical Center and Elisha Hospital.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 17 August 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/hezihimelfarb

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this incredible step forward in the fight against cancer. Thank God for Israeli innovation and the Jewish state again stepping to the forefront with lifesaving technology that will be a blessing to all people, even those nations who hate Israel.

Scripture

That they may know that this is Your hand—that you, LORD, have done it! Let them curse, but You bless.


- Psalm 109:27–28a

SodaStream CEO: Sale to PepsiCo Victory over Anti-Israel Boycotters

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SodaStream will partner with PepsiCo.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 | SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum, who sealed a $3.2 billion agreement with beverage giant PepsiCo on Monday, hailed the deal as a victory over the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which advocates for the destruction of the Jewish state, The Times of Israel reported.

SodaStream had become a target of the boycotts campaign over the location of its factory in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], before moving to a location inside the Green Line several years ago. In an interview with Channel 10 news hours after the deal was signed, Birmbaum said, “I think they have learned not to meddle with us. Look at what happened to SodaStream that they targeted, and what has happened to them.”

In October 2014, SodaStream announced it would close its West Bank factory in Ma’ale Adumim due to financial considerations. At the time, the company accused the boycotts movement of anti-Semitic motives and hurting the interests of the Palestinian workers they claim to protect. Palestinian workers at the factory criticized the boycotts    movement for destroying their jobs and livelihood of their families.

The boycotts movement asserted that SodaStream discriminated against Palestinian workers and paid them less than their Israeli counterparts. Employees at the factory, however, said wages for Palestinians and Israeli workers were commensurate, and that Palestinian workers had been given pay and benefits far higher than anything else they could find in the West Bank.

The partnership with PepsiCo, Birnbaum said, means SodaStream will now have “access to resources we may not have had until today.” This includes access to people, technology, R&D capabilities and distribution channels, as well as to retailers.

“They are in many more stores than we are. We will have access to new markets, new countries, we’ll have unlimited budget, cash for marketing, investments, for growth, capital to expand our factory, so everything that it takes to grow a business will now be greater,” Birnbaum observed.

PepsiCo’s commitment is to keep the business in Israel, and the factory in Rahat, “at the current scale for at least 15 years,” Birnbaum added.

According to him, this means that “the amount of employees that work there, which is about 2,000,” will be maintained for at least that period of time. In addition, SodaStream is building a new factory, next to the one in Rahat, that will employ another few hundred people. In total, SodaStream employs some 3,000 workers, 2,500 of whom are in Israel, Birnbaum explained.

Israel-based Sodastream makes a machine and refillable cylinders allowing users to make their own carbonated drinks. The deal will see PepsiCo pay $144 per share for SodaStream’s outstanding stock, a 32% premium over its average price of the past 30 days.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 21 August 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Twitter/Soda Stream USA

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this incredible partnership that will not only secure the jobs of thousands of Israelis but is also a huge setback for the BDS movement. Pray that the influence of the BDS anti-Semitic crusade will wane as its vicious propaganda is exposed and people begin to understand that its goal is not the protection of Palestinians but rather the destruction of Israel.

Scripture

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity… Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble.


- Psalm 10:7, 12

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