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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.

Iran Helped Fund Violent Clashes over Temple Mount

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Gifts to the Palestinians from Iran

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 | Iran helped fuel violent clashes over the installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem last month by providing food packages to demonstrators, Palestinian sources told Israel Hayom this week.

Iran distributed food and drinks along with a flyer depicting the Dome of the Rock and a quote attributed to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which read, “With the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated! Jerusalem is ours.”

According to Palestinian media reports, the food packages were handed out by an Iranian youth movement, but intelligence sources from inside the Palestinian Authority [PA] insist that the Iranian regime had its hand in the distribution of the aid.

“It is clear to us that the regime in Tehran, by means of its long arms, stands behind this catering operation,” a PA official told Israel Hayom. “We are talking about sums that reach millions of shekels, and the Iranians found a way to benefit from this and send a message to the Palestinian public right under Israel’s nose that Iran is the one that takes care of them.”

“The flyer attached to all the food packages with Khamenei’s quote made clear who stands behind these food baskets,” the official added.

Another Palestinian source told the paper that the PA failed to notify Israel of the Iranian efforts, after PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to freeze security cooperation with the Israelis over security measures put in place after three Arab Israeli gunmen killed two police officers on the Temple Mount on July 14.

Over the past several years, Iranian leaders have made numerous statements calling for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. In June, Khamenei tweeted: “There is no doubt that we will witness the demise of the Zionist entity.” In April, Iran displayed various missile systems in a military parade in Tehran, many of which were emblazoned with slogans calling for the death of Israel.

The Islamic Republic has also long funded projects and operations against Israel, mostly through its proxies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which every year receive hundreds of millions in aid from Iran, as well as weapons and training.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 01 August 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/Taha_salehi20

Prayer Focus
Beseech God to protect the nation of Israel from Iran’s camouflaged infiltration and support of violence during the Temple Mount protests. Praise God for His eternal promises that Jerusalem will be the glory of all the earth and a house of prayer for all nations. Declare Iran’s threats null and void.

Scripture

So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again.


- Joel 3:17

Israeli Man Critically Injured in Palestinian Terror Attack

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Stabbing in Yavneh

Thursday, 03 August 2017 | Authorities have released footage showing a Palestinian terrorist stabbing and critically wounding a supermarket employee in the central Israeli city of Yavneh on Wednesday.

The unnamed 43-year-old victim is seen fighting off his 19-year-old attacker, Ismail Ibrahim Ismail Abu Aram, despite sustaining stab wounds to the head, neck, and upper body, The Times of Israel reported. The victim was rushed to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot in unstable condition.

Abu Aram tried to flee the scene but was tackled and held down by civilian bystanders until police arrived. Though he had no record of previous terrorist activity, he was subsequently transferred to the Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] for further interrogation.

Abu Aram entered Israel illegally from his hometown of Yatta, near Hebron in the West Bank [Judea-Samaria]. Israeli forces searched his house following the attack, but made no arrests.

A number of recent terrorists came from Yatta, including the two Palestinian gunmen who carried out the lethal Sarona Market attack in June 2016.

According to Israeli authorities, over 50 people have been killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks—including shootings, stabbings, and car rammings—since September 2015. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs blames the wave of terror on “incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews.”

“Statements by Fatah, Hamas and [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] spokespersons have described the attacks as ‘heroic actions’ and ‘the natural response to Israel’s crimes,’” the ministry added.

Also on Wednesday, a Palestinian man from Nablus admitted to beating his pregnant Israeli girlfriend to death. Muhammad Harouf told reporters in court that he committed the crime because he “wanted to free prisoners.” While leaving the courtroom, Harouf kicked a guard and yelled, “I’ll kill all the Jews.”

That day, Israeli authorities announced the arrest of a Palestinian couple in Hebron who had stored over 200 rounds of ammunition in their children’s bedrooms.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 02 August 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Times of Israel

Prayer Focus
Bring petitions before the Lord, asking for a stop to the stabbing attacks that are the result of incitement. Pray for the complete healing of this critically injured supermarket employee. Ask God to protect the nation of Israel and to intervene to stop the ongoing incitement by radical Islam, calling for the murder of Jews.

Scripture

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.


- Exodus 14:14

Hezbollah Commander: We Hope to Fight Israel “in the Galilee Someday Soon”

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On the other side of Israel’s northern border (illustrative)

Friday, 04 August 2017 | A Hezbollah commander said that the Iranian proxy group plans to bring its war against Israel to “the Galilee someday soon,” Buzzfeed News reported Sunday.

The outlet reported on Iran’s multinational network of tens of thousands of highly trained and experienced combatants from across the Middle East, which Tehran uses to fulfill its imperial ambitions in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen.

The report was compiled through extensive research over six months comprising of interviews with analysts, officials, and militia fighters, and documented the secret Iranian military program that is threatening the entire region with further bloodshed and instability.

Under the radar of the international community, which is still transfixed on the 2015 nuclear agreement and wholly unprepared to confront Iran’s aggressive behavior, Tehran is seeking to establish a Shia Crescent reaching from the Gulf of Aden to the shores of the Mediterranean.

Ever since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Iranians have had their eyes on their Shiite-majority neighbor, with the intent to infiltrate the country’s government, commerce, and military infrastructure. Estimates suggest that no less than 65,000 Iraqi militia fighters have received training, weapons, or funding from Iran, groups that also have been party to a litany of human rights abuses and war crimes.

But Iranian dominance in Iraq is just one stepping stone for the regime in Tehran towards regional hegemony. Already in 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported on the Iranian effort to marshal Shiites from across the Middle East to protect embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Approximately 5,000 to 7,000 Hezbollah fighters are stationed in Syria at any given time and the Fatemiyoun Brigade, a unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, comprised of Afghan fighters, numbers up to 17,000 combatants.

Some of the militia fighters receive highly specialized training from Iran, including firing medium-range rockets and testing military vehicles, as well as training on Iranian Bourkan or Volcano and Zelzeleh rockets, which Hezbollah fighters have launched in the past against Israel. There have also been reports of Hezbollah fighters flying aircrafts in Syria.

In addition, US and other officials have warned of Iran’s increased meddling in the Yemeni civil war on behalf of the Shiite Houthi rebels, responsible for recent attacks on ships off the coast of Yemen that could cripple crucial sea lanes. Israeli officials are particularly concerned about what appears to be an emerging bridge between Iran’s Zagros Mountains all the way to the borders of Israel, controlled by militia groups loyal to Tehran.

“We train them [militia groups] in all kinds of street weapons,” Hoder, a Hezbollah commander, told BuzzFeed. “What we learn, we used on the ground in [southern Lebanon] against the Israelis in 2006, and in Aleppo in 2015.”

“And hopefully, in the Galilee someday soon,” Hoder added, referring to the northern part of Israel, making no secret of Tehran’s goal to use Syria in its fight against Israel.

Hoder’s assessment of the situation echoes a recent statement by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who threatened that the next war with Israel could see thousands of Shiite militia fighters join forces with Hezbollah to fight Israel. “This could open the way for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of fighters from all over the Arab and Islamic world to participate—from Iraq, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech in June.

All across the Middle East, Iran’s proxies feel emboldened by Iranian dominance. During his joint press conference with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri last week, President Donald Trump praised Lebanon for its resilience “on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hezbollah.”

But experts have warned that Trump’s encouragement of the Lebanese Armed Forces as a counter-force to Hezbollah is misplaced because Hezbollah controls Lebanon. “We are winning,” said Hoder, the Hezbollah commander. “Look who’s running Lebanon. Look who’s controlling Sanaa and Baghdad.”

The nuclear agreement has and continues to shield Iran from the consequences of its actions, but with the Trump administration taking a much tougher line on Iran than the previous administration, US officials have grown increasingly vocal about Iranian activities and are working on strategies to counter them.

“We watch Iran’s impact across the region from the militia they maintain,” said US Secretary of Defense James Mattis during a visit to Saudi Arabia in April. “Iran’s got its own military inside Syria, continuing to hold Assad in power. Everywhere you look, if there is trouble in the region, you find Iran,” he concluded.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 31 July 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/zozomo

Prayer Focus
Lift up Israel's northern border, praying for protection against Hezbollah's renewed threat of attacking Israel in the Galilee. Bring the IDF before the Lord and pray for the leadership to have wisdom in their planning and decisions. Lift up the soldiers, asking for courage, stamina and peace in their hearts as they physically prepare to protect Israel.

Scripture

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.


- Proverbs 3:5-6

Jordan Vows to Protect Jerusalem from “Judaization”

by Ilse Posselt

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Jordanian King Abdullah II

Monday, 31 July 2017 | “If you want one word to symbolize all of Jewish history, that word would be ‘Jerusalem,’” Teddy Kollek, one of Jerusalem’s former mayors said. Kollek was right. The City of Gold has been featured as the central theme of Jewish culture, history and religion for well over three millennia.

The chronicles of the Jewish people are inextricably woven into the story of Jerusalem. One tale cannot be told without the other. Jerusalem is, after all, the location where two biblical temples stood, the spot which Kind David and his son, Solomon, established as the political, cultural, religious and economic hub of the nation, the stomping ground of Hebrew prophets and patriarchs and the stage on which some of the most pivotal triumphs and tragedies in Israel’s history played out.

Yet despite the overflow of undisputed biblical, historical and scientific proof tying the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the Muslim world often peddles a popular libel known as the “Judaization of Jerusalem.” This narrative accuses Israel of actively altering the physical and demographic landscape of the City of Gold—and its holy sites—to distort its inherent Islamic character to a Jewish one.

This weekend, Jordanian King Abdullah II delivered the next installment in this false rhetoric, vowing that the Hashemite Kingdom would make every effort to prevent the “Judaization of Jerusalem’s holy sites.”

Addressing a group of local journalists on Saturday, Abdullah claimed that Jordan shoulders a historic responsibility to preserve the Islamic character of Jerusalem. The City of Gold and Jordan’s “Palestinian brothers,” he claimed, are one of Amman’s top priorities, which is why the Hashemite Kingdom continues to work tirelessly to counteract “the ramifications” of the additional security measures that Israel installed at the entrances to the Temple Mount.

The Jewish state made the call to erect metal detectors and security cameras following a terror attack launched from the holy site earlier this month. Despite the beefed up security was aimed at ensuring the safety of worshipers and visitors to the site, the decision led to an international outcry in the Muslim world and sparked the bloodiest and most consistent clashes between Israel and the Palestinians in nearly a decade. Muslim worshipers also chose to boycott the holy site, opting instead to pray in open areas outside the compound.

Following two weeks of riots and terror, Israel removed the last of the additional security measures on Thursday morning. Hours later, thousands of worshipers flooded the Temple Mount. An afternoon of consistent clashes followed, in which ten police officers and 115 Palestinians were injured. Friday’s traditional Islamic midday prayers did, however, pass peacefully and Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, speculated over the weekend that he believes that this round of Temple Mount tensions have come to an end.

According to Abdullah, Jordan prides itself on playing a pertinent part in bringing the situation to a close. “We have managed the crisis at… Haram al Sharif [Muslim name for the Temple Mount] after continuous efforts… to contain its ramifications and reopen the mosque in its entirety through our common stand with our Palestinian brethren.”

The monarch continued to share with the press that Amman would fulfill its “historic, political and legal role” of “providing cover” and protecting the holy sites in Jerusalem from “Judaization,” “despite the magnitude and difficulty of the challenges.” Abdullah added that Jordan would ensure that the status quo at the Temple Mount is maintained.

The Jordanian king’s reference to the “status quo” pertains to a status quo agreement entered into between Israel and Jerusalem’s Muslim religious authorities following the Jewish state’s Six Day War victory. Under the agreement, Israel provides security at the holy site, while the Jordan-based Waqf Islamic Trust oversees day-to-day management. The agreement also stipulates that non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site, but are forbidden from praying there.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 31 July 2017)

Photo Credit: Public domain/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out for discernment! Discernment in the nations to recognize fake news (lies that are told enough times to seem true) and the kindling of hatred against the Jewish people. Ask God to strengthen the nation of Israel and the hearts of her leaders so they will never succumb to the world’s threats but rather keep their eyes on the Lord and know His eye is upon Israel.

Scripture

A land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.


- Deuteronomy 11:12

Palestinian Terrorism: Getting Away With Murder

by Aviva Klompas and Arsen Ostrovsky

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Footage of the outbreak of violence when three Muslims brought guns onto the Temple Mount

Tuesday, 1 August 2017 | The metal detectors have come down. Since this was never about metal detectors, it comes as no surprise that tensions did not immediately subside.

In their initial reaction to the Israeli measures, Muslim leaders instructed worshipers to continue to stay away from the Temple Mount. The Waqf, the Islamic Trust that governs the compound, said it will ‘conduct a study’ about restarting visits, with Sheikh Raed Dana saying, “We as Waqf listen to the street. The street says yes and we say yes; if the street says no, we will say no.” These are the words of a religious leadership that isn’t seeking to ease tensions, but rather further inflame them.

And what of the political leadership? President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party called for a day of rage and two days later a terrorist broke into the Salomon family home in Halamish and brutally murdered three members of the family. Afterwards, Fatah praised the attack, and issued a statement declaring, “[The] campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation.”

Campaign for Jerusalem? Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are free. In fact, they are far freer to Muslims than to Jews. Any person of any religion can visit the Temple Mount, but only Muslims are permitted to pray atop the site.

To be clear, Muslims are free to worship however they please, while Jews are not afforded the same freedoms. To access the Temple Mount, non-Muslim visitors are subjected to security checks and forbidden from carrying religious items, not even prayer books or kippahs.

Let us recall that the outbreak of violence began when three Muslims brought guns onto the Temple Mount, desecrating the holy site and murdering two Israeli police officers. Let us also recall that Israel has reached out to Palestinian and Arab leaders for help in finding an alternative to metal detectors that would preserve the holiness of the site and ensure the safety of worshipers who visit.

These inconvenient truths have been conveniently overlooked by international organizations, like Human Rights Watch that have written tomes condemning Israel for purported human rights violations, but have yet to utter a word of condemnation about the Salomon massacre.

They have also been overlooked by the Quartet, which issued a non-statement statement; one that is so bland in content and context that it serves no value.  It doesn’t explicitly mention the vicious attack on the Salomon family or the irresponsible incitement that has triggered and continues to fuel the violence.

Photographs of the Salomon home show the shocking savagery of the attack. The mother of terrorist Omar al-Abed appeared in a video saying that she is “proud of her son.” In the wake of the attack, the family hosted guests and al-Abed’s mother handed out sweets.

It’s hard to fathom, but she is proud of her son’s barbarism and proud that he is now a murderer. This response is born from the rampant anti-Israel incitement that is poisoning generation after generation of Palestinian children. Palestinian society, from its political and religious leaders to its school system and media, indoctrinates its people with hatred, incites them to violence, and rewards them for the murderous consequences.

It’s not just the international organizations that are turning a blind eye; the human rights community is doing the same. Take for example, Linda Sarsour, who posted a message on Facebook praising the Palestinians’ ‘non-violent’ resistance. The claim is absurd. No honest champion of human rights can so easily dismiss the slaughter of the Salomon family, or the murder of two Israeli police officers, or the thousands of Palestinians violently rioting on the streets and chanting, “With our blood and our souls we will redeem Al-Aqsa.”

Where are the true champions of human rights and human dignity? Will there be a Women’s March for all the Israeli women, like Chaya Salomon, who have been murdered by terrorists? Will there be calls to boycott, divest, and sanction all the Arab countries that have irresponsibly fanned the flames of discontent? Of course not.

The outbreak of violence isn’t about a denial of freedoms and it’s certainly not about metal detectors. It’s about a society that has shackled its people with hatred, and an international community that literally lets them get away with murder.

Aviva Klompas is the Associate Vice President of Strategic Israel Engagement at Combined Jewish Philanthropies. Previously, she served as the Director of Speechwriting at the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations.

Arsen Ostrovsky is an international human rights lawyer and Executive Director of The Israeli-Jewish Congress (IJC).

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 25 July 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Ruptly TV

Prayer Focus
Pray that the nations will begin to realize their calling to support Israel instead of glorifying a society that believes in hatred which has resulted in countless murders of God’s people.

Scripture

How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.


- Numbers 24:5, 9

Border Police Experiences Largest Female Enlistment on Record 

by Meir Turgeman

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Female in the IDF

Tuesday, 1 August 2017 | Female enlistment to the border police is on a rise, and so the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] decided to establish a new unit for the fresh recruits and name it after what they believe is one the reasons for the increase in the branch’s popularity—the female border police officers who fell in the line of duty.

‘Hadar Company,’ named after a female border police officer Hadar Cohen who lost her life in a terrorist attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus gate on February 2016, is an all-female recruit unit established in response to the much-larger-than-usual 252 female soldiers who enlisted to the Israel Border Patrol in the draft earlier this month.

Liora Diachenko, 18, a Jerusalem resident and one of the 252 draftees, said: “Since I was in high school I volunteered in Magen David Adom [Israel’s ambulance service]. A month and a half ago I arrived with one of the ambulances to the Damascus Gate and treated Hadas Malka, the officer who was murdered there.

“I always wanted to be in the border guard, and after Hadas’ murder, the decision was bolstered: to protect my city, my home.”

Not everyone accepted her decision easily. “My mother said, ‘why not go to the intelligence corps, where you were offered to go. It’s dangerous in the border police, mainly at the Damascus Gate.’

“Everyone also tells me that I am fragile, but I promise everyone that I will finish basic training and become an exemplary border guard officer. Do not let my looks fool you.”

The human resources officer of the border police, Chief Superintendent Keren Meir, hears this and smiles. She is celebrating the largest recruitment cycle of girls in the unit’s history.

“The desire to serve in the border police now stands in line with the desire to get to the pilots’ course or to be a combat soldier in Karakal,” she explains. “Until now, there was one company of girls out of the five regiments of the recruits, and in the current recruitment cycle we were forced to open another company of girls to meet the high demand of those who want to join the border police.”

The border police explain the dramatic rise in demand with the stories of the deaths of two border police fighters in two separate attacks at the Damascus Gate: Hadar Cohen, who was killed a year and a half ago, and Hadas Malka, who was killed in June.

“My sister serves as a fighter in the Karakal, and I knew I was continuing the tradition in the family, to be a combat fighter,” said Amit Korkus from Moshav Rinatia when asked why she joined the border police. “My mother objected, wanted me far from danger, but I love action and the border police is perfect for me.

“Mom and Dad offered to buy me a car if I gave up the border police, but I’m happy to be here,” Korkus added.

“I made aliya [immigration] to Israel from Lyon, France,” says Laura Benhamu, 19, in Hebrew with a heavy French accent. “Mother saw on television in French the mess at the Temple Mount last Friday, and she knows what happened to Hadar Cohen, so she called and said to me: ‘You’re not going to the border police or to Damascus Gate. Come back home

“But I’m a Zionist. I came to defend the state and especially Jerusalem. I’m waiting to be a real fighter, in the action.”

The parents also tried to discourage Rachel Blanich, 18, from Ness Ziona.

“They asked me (to reconsider). I replied that I dream not only of being a border police fighter, but an army officer, and so the discussion ended,” Blanich said.

Basic training lasts four months, but after two months the girls will make a trip to receive their border guard uniforms. “Come and see me in four months,” Diachenko concluded. “Then you’ll meet a real border guard officer.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 28 July 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Facebook/Hervé Elbeze

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the next generation of female soldiers who have enlisted in the IDF with a desire to protect their nation Israel, amidst all the threats it faces. Ask God to encourage their hearts through the difficult training that lies ahead and also pray for physical endurance and strength.

Scripture

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.


- Isaiah 40:29

China Peddles Plan for Israeli-Palestinian Peace

by Ilse Posselt

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Chinese President Xi Jinping

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 | The People’s Republic of China this week confirmed its intention to play a leading role in future Middle Eastern affairs through efforts to bring an end to the decades of strife and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Monday, the country’s envoy to the United Nations (UN), Liu Jieyi, called on the international community to rally behind a multi-pronged plan proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that will supposedly bring peace to the troubled region, establish an independent Palestinian state and enable Israel and the Palestinians to coexist in harmony.

Speaking during a news conference, Jieyi revealed that China’s future international efforts would include a targeted focus on negotiating a Middle East peace deal based on a four-point plan that Xi introduced late last month when Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, visited Beijing.

The first of the four pillars that make up Xi’s plan is a two-state solution based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as the capital of the newly formed Palestinian state. The second pillar entails “the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security” and demands that Israel immediately cease all construction in Judea and Samaria. This pillar also calls for both sides to return to the negotiation table immediately to resume peace talks. The third pillar appeals to the international community to engage in “peace-promoting measures that entail joint participation at an early date,” while the fourth and final pillar proposes a pursuit of peace through “development and cooperation” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jieyi said that China’s plans for the coming year include hosting a seminar for Israel and Palestinian “peace activists” aimed at “contributing wisdom for the settlement of the Palestinian issue.”

He added that Beijing proposes launching a “China-Palestine-Israel tripartite dialogue mechanism in order to coordinate the implementation of major assistance programs in Palestine.”

Jieyi concluded by appealing to the global community to “respond positively to the proposals made by China because we believe these four proposals once fully implemented will really go a long way towards helping the issue to be solved through negotiations, and also contribute to stability of the relations between the two sides.”

According to Associated Press, China sees both Israel and the Palestinians as pivotal partners in its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, an enormous “Chinese-funded push to develop transport routes, including ports, railways and roads to expand trade in a vast arc of countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.”

The Chinese president met with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas this year. During Abbas’s trip to Beijing last month, Xi reassured the PA president of China’s support for a two-state solution based on 1967 borders, featuring an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Netanyahu and Xi met in March during a state visit to Beijing. The Chinese president steered clear of making similar promises of support to Netanyahu. Instead, he called for peace between Israel and the Palestinians “as soon as possible.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 02 August 2017)

Photo Credit: Public domain/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bring PM Netanyahu and President Rivlin before God, asking for foresight, insight, favor and for a breakthrough. Declare God’s scriptural promises over Israel and proclaim that God’s will be done regarding the Land He has given them, bringing to nothing the world’s desire to strike the ultimate peace deal between Israel and Abbas.

Scripture

Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.


- Genesis 17:8

Jordanian Media IDs Israeli Embassy Guard who Shot Attacker in Self-defense 

by Roi Kais and Itamar Eichner

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Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Israeli security guard

Wednesday, 02 August 2017 | Editor’s Note: Simmering tensions between Israel and neighboring Jordan nearly escalated into a diplomatic crisis after a security official in the Jewish state’s embassy in Amman shot and killed a Jordanian assailant in self-defense.

The attack occurred on Sunday, 25 July, when two Jordanian workers arrived at a residence in the Israeli embassy compound to replace furniture. One of the workers snuck up behind the Israeli security officer and stabbed him with a screwdriver. Acting in self-defense, the official shot his assailant, killing him. A third Jordanian man was hit by a stray bullet and later succumbed to his wounds.

The Hashemite Kingdom initially issued a decree that forbade the wounded Israeli official from leaving the country until a full investigation into the incident had been conducted. Yet citing diplomatic immunity, Israel refused to allow the Jordanians to question the official, leading to a standoff between Jerusalem and Amman.

The following afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that diplomatic efforts between the two countries had resolved the situation. By late Monday evening (July 26th), all the embassy employees, including the security guard, returned to Israel.

More than a week has now passed since the incident. Jordan, it seems, continues to hold the Israeli security official who acted in self-defense responsible and the streets of Amman echo with calls for retribution. The Hashemite Kingdom has barred the Israeli embassy staff from returning to their posts. And tensions between the two neighbors continue to simmer…   

The Jordanian daily Al-Rad published Sunday morning a picture and identity of the Israeli security guard [that] shot dead a Jordanian man who attacked him with a screwdriver and accidentally killed another man in Amman.

The newspaper published the guard’s name, Ziv Moyal, 28, and his diplomatic identity card, delivering a blow to Israel which has censored the publication of the guard’s details.

Last week, the Jordanians claimed it was a truck driver who stabbed the security guard, not the 17-year-old Mohammad Jawawdah who was shot dead along with the building’s landlord, who was also a doctor. But by the end of the week, their version changed and is now mostly in line with the Israeli version.

To date, Jordanian media outlets have avoided publishing details and it is quite possible that the leak stems from the severe crisis between Israel and Jordan following the incident.

The same crisis was exacerbated following the publications of photos depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hugging the embassy guard in question.

The photos led to an unprecedented attack on Netanyahu by King Abdullah II and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al Safadi, with the two of them accusing Netanyahu of trying to raise political capital at the expense of the incident that is defined as a crime in Jordan in every respect.

Jordan is not interested in allowing Ambassador Einat Schlein and her diplomatic team to return to the Israeli embassy in Amman until a serious, in-depth investigation is conducted into the guard’s conduct.

Last Friday, Jordan announced that they provided Israel a copy of the investigative report after the kingdom’s public prosecution office accused the security guard of murder and possessing a weapon without a permit.

The same day a fiery demonstration was held outside the Israeli embassy in Amman, where protestors demanded that the embassy be closed down in the wake of the incident.

Additionally, King Abdullah paid visits to the mourners, telling them that Jordan will not give up on its sons and would devote all efforts to ensure justice.

In the Jordanian media, the incident was largely portrayed as having caused a deep diplomatic crisis with Israel, with the Jordanian government demanding that the security guard stand trial.

On a more discreet level however, the incident was dealt with through diplomatic channels aimed at reducing tensions. The publication of the guard’s details therefore, also constitutes a blow to these efforts and could affect his future career.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 30 July 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray specifically for restoration of the relationship between Israel and Jordan and also for the political ties between the two nations. Pray for PM Netanyahu, asking for wisdom to resolve the current issue of the embassy guard and beseech God for favor from Jordan to accept a solution from Israel. Cry out against any further damage by the media that will instigate more animosity between the two nations.

Scripture

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, Fear not, I will help you. Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.


- Isaiah 41:13-14

Israel Builds Pipeline to Absorb Sewage from Gaza

by Matan Tzuri

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Sewage draining into the sea from Gaza (illustrative)

Monday, 31 July 2017 | After the sewage treatment facility in Gaza was shut down due to the electricity crisis, and waste water started polluting Israeli groundwater, Israel decided to once again have a pipeline connected with Gaza—after 12 years of disengagement—and help alleviate its wastewater problem.

This week, the Israel Water Authority deployed a pipeline for the absorption of wastewater in the neighborhoods of northern Gaza, Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun. Israel invested NIS 40 million in the project.

The pipeline is supposed to transport the sewage from the Gaza Strip to the sewage treatment plant in Sderot and the settlements of the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, located in the area of Kibbutz Erez.

Over the last two weeks, following the collapse of water purification facilities in Gaza and the inability to repair them due to the electricity crisis, Palestinians in the northern neighborhoods of the Gaza Strip—Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia—began to drain sewage into Nahal Hanun, which crosses Israel and empties into the sea.

As a result of the flow of wastewater, the stream was flooded, creating a large environmental hazard, which began to pollute groundwater from the coastal aquifer, from which Mekorot, a national water company, pumps drinking water.

In the last few days, the Palestinians have increased the flow of the sewage, forcing Israel to construct a dam in Nahal Hanoun, east of Nativ HaAsara near the Gaza border. Initially, the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council had attempted to pump the sewage into trucks, but the amount of accumulated sewage rendered this option unfeasible.

The closing of ground water pumping stations is an extreme step and serves to highlight the extreme humanitarian crisis currently underway in the Gaza Strip and its direct impact on Israel.

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

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/Al Jazeera English

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to God that Israel has once again come to the rescue by helping to alleviate the wastewater problem in Gaza. Pray for the Israeli governmental officials, asking for wisdom in financial budgeting to allocate funds for all these unexpected expenses to clean up an environmental hazard that directly impacts Israel.

Scripture

Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun. For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.


- Ecclesiastes 7:11-12

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Receives Life-saving Treatment in Israeli Hospital

by Ilse Posselt

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Palestinian chief negotiator and secretary general of the PLO, Saeb Erekat

Thursday, 03 August 2017 | Saeb Erekat is a staunch supporter of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In fact, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and lead negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA), has in the past accused the international community that does not actively boycott the Jewish state, its products and services of “granting immunity to Israeli crimes and systematic violations of international law.”

Yet now, the man who has carved out a reputation for himself as Israel’s foe at the negotiation table, a prominent BDS advocate and one of the most recognized anti-Israel public figures, is looking to the Jewish state to save his life.

Erekat, 62, was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a serious respiratory disease, more than a year ago. Doctors prescribed medication that seemed to treat the illness effectively. Yet a few months ago, the drugs stopped working and Erekat’s condition deteriorated significantly. Desperately ill, the once outspoken face of BDS turned to a hospital in Israel for life-saving treatment.

Despite the state-of-the-art treatment, Erekat’s doctors advised that an immediate lung transplant is required for him to survive. According to Ynetnews, the secretary-general of the PLO and the PA’s lead negotiator is now on the waiting list for the vital organ in the Jewish state and the US. His Israeli doctors are highly optimistic of his chances to make a full recovery following a transplant.

Declining health has forced Erekat to cut down on public duties significantly over the past few weeks. He does, however, continue to function in both his roles as the PLO secretary-general as well as the PA’s chief negotiator, albeit in a limited capacity. As a precaution, PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, has appointed Majed Faraj to fill Erekat’s shoes as chief negotiator should the latter’s condition deteriorate further.

The report of Erekat—a man who has made a career of denouncing, opposing and slandering Israel—now receiving the best possible care from those he sought to harm, is but one example of the Jewish state’s commitment to come to the aid of those in need, regardless of whether the person requiring help is a friend or a foe.

Moreover, it is often within the otherwise stark, sterile walls of a hospital that Israel’s compassion for all humanity comes to the fore most clearly, Annelize Williams, a Bridges for Peace staff writer argued in a recent Dispatch from Jerusalem article, entitled “Israeli Hospitals Break Down Borders.”

“Especially here in Israel, in the face of the fragility of life, differences in race and religion fade and nothing takes precedence over getting a person restored back to health,” she wrote. “Within the walls of an Israeli hospital there is but one goal uniting all—to heal the sick and to save lives—no matter where you are from.”

According to Williams, the tiny nation’s heart of compassion stems from something rooted at the very core of Jewish belief. The Hebraic understanding of tikkun olam, which literally translates to repairing the world, entails the conviction that all people carry within themselves the divine obligation to heal, to repair and to transform the world for the better and for good. It is a belief so deeply interwoven into the essence of Jewish society that when help is required, Israel responds almost instinctively, with an innate desire to help, to repair and to transform for the better. “Jewish people bear not only a responsibility for themselves, but for those around them, for those who cohabit the land with them,” Williams explains. “They strive to establish in their actions the qualities of God—mercy, justice and loving-kindness.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 03 August 2017)

Photo Credit: Facebook/Dr. Saeb Erekat

Prayer Focus
Glorify God for Israel’s opportunity to affect the personal life of a BDS activist and lead negotiator of the PA, Saeb Erekat. Ask God to leave him numb and overwhelmed by his own personal experience and to have a major positive impact in his future decisions. Praise God for the Jewish state’s commitment to save lives no matter what.

Scripture

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.


- Proverbs 25:21-22

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