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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.

Stabbing Attack in Jerusalem Old City, Three Wounded

by Omri Efraim

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Scene of the stabbing incident

Thursday, 15 December 2016 | A terrorist carried out a stabbing attack at Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Wednesday afternoon, leaving two policeman lightly wounded before being neutralized.

Another 12-year-old boy from east Jerusalem claimed that he was struck in the head after the terrorist attacked him and was said to also be in a lightly wounded condition.

According to the Jerusalem Police, the terrorist arrived at the scene from the Damascus Gate and approached a number of police officers stationed in the area before suddenly producing a screwdriver and stabbing one of them in the head.

The policemen immediately opened fire and neutralized the terrorist who was subsequently evacuated to hospital as paramedics performed life-saving treatment.

On Tuesday afternoon, a female terrorist attempted to carry out a vehicular attack at the Qalandiya checkpoint, but was stopped before she could harm anyone.

Last week, a stabbing attack was thwarted at a bus stop at the Tapuach Junction in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].

An 18-year-old from Qalqilya, aroused the suspicion of security personnel after he alighted a bus and proceeded in their direction.

After Border Police soldiers called on the suspicious individual to stop, he failed to respond and continued walking toward them before pulling out a knife and attacking them.

He was shot and neutralized and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. There were no reports of injuries.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 14 December. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Police spokesperson's unit

Prayer Focus
Intercede on behalf of all the residents in Jerusalem and Israel, praying for their safety and asking the Lord to shield and help the security forces outwit terror and stabbing attacks. Pray for guidance of our footsteps and for increase in our alertness of our surroundings.

Scripture

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.


- Psalm 122:6-7

Trump Aide on Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem: ‘A Top Priority’

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The Old City of Jerusalem

Wednesday, 14 December 2016 | Though he has refrained from making many public statements on the matter since his election, US President-elect Donald Trump’s senior aide, Kellyanne Conway, reiterated his plan to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Speaking to conservative radio host, Hugh Hewitt, about moving the embassy to Jerusalem on Monday, Conway said, “That is a very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump. He made it very clear during the campaign, Hugh, and as president-elect I’ve heard him repeat it several times privately, if not publicly.”

While former US presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush reneged on their own statements to move the embassy to Israel’s capital after they had become presidents, Conway believes Trump will follow through on his promise.

“It is something that our friend in Israel, a great friend in the Middle East, would appreciate and something that a lot of Jewish-Americans have expressed their preference for,” she said. “It is a great move. It is an easy move to do based on how much he talked about that in the debates and in the sound bites.”

Trump sat down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last September to discuss US-Israel relations. During the meeting, he reportedly told Netanyahu that he intends to have Jerusalem officially seen by his administration as Israel’s capital. “Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” his campaign stated following their discussion.

The United Nations [UN] and most Western countries do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. All embassies to Israel are currently in the Tel Aviv area.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 12 December 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: freeisraelphotos

Prayer Focus
Proclaim the Lord’s love for Jerusalem. Give thanks that President-elect Trump desires to declare Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Pray for the governments of Israel and the US as plans unfold to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, in support of the Jewish state.

Scripture

When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you.


- Deuteronomy 23:21

Action
Do your speech and actions portray your love for the city of Jerusalem? Allow Bridges for Peace to be your hands and feet to bless the Jewish people.

Israel Set to Double Annual Water Supply to Parched Kingdom of Jordan

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Segment of Israel’s national water carrier near kibbutz Hukok

Friday, 16 December 2016 | Israel’s national water carrier will lay the groundwork next month for a pipeline that will double its annual supply to Jordan whose limited water resources have been under increased strain in recent years due to an influx of Syrian refugees, the Israeli financial website Globes reported on Wednesday.

Mekorot’s new pipeline will extend from Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and provide Jordan with 100 million cubic meters of water annually, roughly doubling the kingdom’s current allocation. The 5.5 km [3.41 mi] pipeline, which was approved by Israel’s Supreme Court, will mainly pass through agricultural lands in the Jordan Valley.

The arrival of over 650,000 Syrian refugees has exacerbated a severe water crisis in the Hashemite Kingdom, one of the world’s most arid countries, making the arrangement between Israel and Jordan more critical than ever. The deal is part of a broader water-sharing agreement that the neighboring countries signed in February, 2015 which also commits Jordan to building a desalination plant in Aqaba and selling Israel a portion of the potable water it generates there.

In “Jordan’s Economy Was Always Shaky, The Refugee Crisis Has Only Made Things Worse” which was published in the December 2016 issue, David Schenker explored the variety of challenges facing Israel’s eastern neighbor as it contends with the presence of Syrian refugees.

Editor’s Note: Friday, 16 December 2016 | This past week, northern Israel was blessed with almost 4 inches (10 cm) of rain! Wednesday morning saw snow on Mt. Hermon and after the storm, the water level of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) had risen an inch (3 cm). Still, continued rainfall is needed to bring water levels up another two feet (72 cm) to a healthy minimum.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 14 December 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ariel Palmon/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord with a grateful heart for answering our prayers with rainfall over the last few days. Continue to pray for more rain to fill reservoirs, streams, dams and the Sea of Galilee, which supply the farmers in the north. Thank the Lord that Israel is still willing to assist those in desperate need of water, regardless of their own shortage.

Scripture

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praises on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains. He gives to the beast its food, and to the young ravens that cry.


- Psalm 147:7-9

Iran Threatens to Destroy Israel if US Sparks War

by Ilse Posselt

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Navy of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution commandos and missile boats in Great Prophet IX Maneuver in the general area of Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 | The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been quite forthright when it comes to its desires for the future of the Jewish state and its people. Last year in September, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that Israel will cease to exist within the next 20 odd years. His predictions of annihilation come less than a year after Khamenei told his followers on social media that there was “no cure” for the “barbaric” Jewish state “but to be annihilated.” This year, an Iranian senior military commander bragged that Tehran could “raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes.” And less than two months ago, the Islamic Republic vowed to turn Israeli cities, Tel Aviv and Haifa, into dust.

Iran’s latest threat came over the weekend. The country’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan declared on Sunday that if “enemies” chose to impose war on the Islamic Republic, it would “destroy” both Israel and the smaller Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Iranian semi-official, Mehr news agency, reports.

Dehghan made the pronouncement in the context of the Iran nuclear deal and American President-elect Donald Trump’s outspoken critique thereof. The Iranian defense minister admitted that the election results have caused “unease” among Persian Gulf countries amid concerns that Trump may back out of the nuclear agreement with Tehran.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal— is arguably one of the most controversial agreements of the last few decades. One of the pact’s staunch champions, American President Barack Obama, vehemently vowed that it would halt the Islamic Republic’s push to develop atomic weapons. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, however, continuously spoken out against the plan, calling it a “bad deal” and warning that instead of blocking the path, it would rather pave Iran’s way to becoming a nuclear power. Over the weekend, Netanyahu reiterated his trepidation saying that he would work with Trump to undo the deal.

Trump and Netanyahu share similar viewpoints regarding the pact. During his election campaign, Trump dubbed the agreement a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Moreover, speaking to an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in May 2016, he pledged that dismantling the deal was his “number one priority.”

Comments such as these, Dehghan said, have caused great concern among the Iranian powers that be.

Speaking at a security conference in Tehran, the defense minister said, “Even though a businessman, the assistants that … (Trump) has chosen may map a different path for him and this has led to unease, particularly among Persian Gulf countries.”

“Considering Trump’s character and that he measures the cost of everything in dollars, it does not seem likely that he would take strong action against our country,” Mehr quoted Dehghan as saying. He continued to argue that “enemies may want to impose a war on us based on false calculations and only taking into consideration their material capabilities.”

“Such a war would mean the destruction of the Zionist regime … and will engulf the whole region and could lead to a world war,” he vowed.

“Among other consequences of the war would be the destruction of the city-states on the southern shore of the Persian Gulf because they lack popular support,” Dehghan added, referring to small Gulf states with close ties to the West, such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

With only weeks to go until America’s current commander in chief steps down, the world can but watch and wait to see which actions—if any—Trump implements regarding Iran when the new president takes office on 20 January 2017.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 13 December 2016)

Photo Credit: sayyed shahab-o- din vajedi/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Remind the Lord of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and thank Him for protecting Israel from those who threaten her. Ask the Lord to guide all Israel’s security forces, IDF and government officials in their footsteps and decisions regarding Iran wanting Israel’s destruction.

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. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.


- Psalm 17:7-9

Palestinians Head to US Hoping to Sway Obama on Peace Process

by Ilse Posselt

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US President Barack Obama and PA President Mahmoud Abbas in New York (illustrative)

Monday, 12 December 2016 | With only a few weeks left before outgoing American President Barack Obama bids the White House farewell, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is staging a last ditch effort to convince the current Commander in Chief to swing American policy in the Palestinians’ favor before he leaves office.

According to Israeli and Arab media, a high-level PA delegation embarked on a trip to Washington this week for a series of meetings that will reportedly focus on the peace process with Israel. Led by Saeb Erekat, senior Palestinian negotiator and top aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the delegation’s agenda includes participating in the first ever strategic American-Palestinian dialogue session.

However, according to Haaretz, the most important appointment on the PA’s agenda is a meeting with Secretary of State, John Kerry. The aim of the get-together, Israeli media reports, is to persuade Kerry that America should refrain from using its power to veto a United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution the Palestinians intend to table in January 2017. The resolution will allegedly condemn Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria which the Palestinians vehemently lay claim to as part of a future state.

According to The Times of Israel, the Palestinians will exhaust every avenue to have the vote on the resolution before president-elect Donald Trump takes office on 20 January, 2017. Another reason for the Palestinian haste is that Sweden, a country that already recognizes a Palestinian state, fills the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of January. Moreover, Stockholm has allegedly indicated its intent to use the presidency to push a Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Haaretz reports that the resolution is currently in non-final draft format and has already been circulated among a number of UN Security Council members in New York. Those who have read the document told Haaretz that it calls for any Israeli construction, town or community in Judea and Samaria, including east Jerusalem, to be declared illegal under international law and branded as an obstacle to peace. The draft also labels Jewish communities in these areas as a stumbling block to the establishment of a two-state solution based on 1967 borders. As such, it demands that Israel immediately cease all construction and any other activity to develop these communities.

Speaking to Haaretz, an anonymous diplomat with close ties to the Security Council admitted that the meeting between the Palestinians and Kerry this week could have a substantial influence on America’s stance towards the resolution.

For its part, the PA remains optimistic that the outgoing American president might act in its favor. “The key question will be the position of the outgoing [U.S.] administration,” Haaretz quoted a senior official in Abbas’s office as saying. “We are hoping that Obama will take one real decision on behalf of the Palestinians before he leaves the White House.”

Apart from the PA’s appointment with Kerry and its participation in the strategic American-Palestinian dialogue session, the delegation will also reportedly attempt to hold talks with representatives close to Trump.

The Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, reports that the goal of the prospective talks is to put measures in place that would prevent the deterioration of the relationship between the Palestinians and America under the Trump administration. One of these desired methods include the establishment of bilateral working committees, similar to those the Palestinians have with the European Union, aimed at managing ties with the Americans.

According to Ashraf Ajrami, a former PA minister, the Palestinians are seeking “assurances that the Trump administration will not go in the opposite direction of Obama and the previous administration. Abbas wants to keep American policy as it is now…”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 December 2016)

Photo Credit: Ashernet/GPO

Prayer Focus
Pray for the US government to yield to God’s instructions and not to succumb to political pressure to make decisions based on lies. Ask the Lord to turn the PA’s delegation’s anti-Israel resolutions and proposed international laws into a blessing.

Scripture

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. So the people answered and said: Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.


- Joshua 24:15-16

Hamas Parades Children With Machine Guns in Celebration of 29th Anniversary

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016 | The Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas, celebrated its 29th anniversary last week by parading its heavily-armed fighters next to dozens of children with machine guns, The Sun reported Sunday.

“The Gaza-based extremist group proudly showed off ‘the future of Hamas’—in a worrying echo of ISIS’s ‘cubs of the caliphate,’” the British paper wrote. Palestinian toddlers could be seen wearing military fatigues and Hamas’ distinctive green headband in the images which were posted to social media.

One image of a schoolboy with a rifle was captioned: “Hamas cubs, they are the next soldiers of Gaza and the next liberation army, god willing.”

Another picture of a toddler with a beret and gun was captioned: “Generation after generation Hamas is increasing its enthusiasm, dignity and power.”

Hamas has been celebrating the anniversary of its 1987 founding since the beginning of December with a major celebration reportedly set to take place today.

Two years ago, Hamas similarly marked its anniversary by parading its fighters through Gaza and burning an effigy of a religious Jew.

Hamas has a long history of exploiting children in its fight against Israel, including by teaching them to glorify terrorism. This past summer, Hamas turned at least one of its terror tunnels into a tourist attraction that has been frequented by children. In May, videos emerged of Gazan kindergarten children dressing up in fatigues and simulating the capture of an Israeli soldier during a school play.

The Islamist group also operates summer camps in order to indoctrinate and train thousands of elementary, middle and high school students to follow its hard-line creed.

In “At Summer Camp, Hamas Raises the Next Generation of Killers” which was published in the August 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Riley Clafton took an in-depth look at Hamas’ training camps for children.

“This summer, Mohammad Nofal’s 10-year-old son will be participating in all of the typical Gaza summer camp activities: scouting, beach games, media lessons, military training sessions and introductory programs on this year’s theme, “Jerusalem Intifada.” Other campers will spend their summer like 12-year-old Musaab learning to crawl beneath barbed wire and wield assault rifles in simulated attacks on Israeli military outposts. While parent, Alaa’ Abou Chanab, argued that he sent his child to a Hamas summer camp because “children have the right to play during summer break,” the camps in Gaza are an underestimated vehicle for perpetuating terror and hateful ideology.

“I was surprised that my 14-year-old son was trained on how to carry weapons during the summer camp organized by Hamas,” Abou Chanab told Al-Monitor. What is more surprising, however, is his surprise. The violent, militaristic camps sponsored by the terror groups of Gaza are an annual event, and the organizations behind them make no efforts to hide their agendas. “These camps are designed to prepare a generation that carries the Quran and rifle,” senior Hamas official,Khalil al-Haya, explained in a press release. “The camps show that Palestinians support the resistance and the project of liberation of Palestine. The goal is to liberate Palestine and the Aqsa Mosque [in Jerusalem].” Every year, the terror groups of Gaza bolster their numbers by reaching out to youth and every year children are trained to fire machine guns, storm military positions, perform kidnappings, plant mines and conduct first aid.

More than 50% of the population in Gaza is under the age of 18, and what these children are learning will play a decisive role in the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For anyone attending these camps, that role is unlikely to be positive. The terror groups of the strip use summertime camps for one purpose: to cultivate the next generation of Palestinian terrorists.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 12 December 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Prayer Focus
Offer petition to the Lord for these ill-fated children who are being brought up in the arms of terror. Pray that this practice never infiltrates our societies and neighborhoods. Ask God to call the children, each by name, out of a future of terrorism and give them the hope of an improved future.

Scripture

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.


- Ephesians 6:4

State-of-the-Art F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets Arrive in Israel

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F-35 Stealth fighter jet unveiling (illustrative)

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 | Two F-35 stealth fighter jets arrived in Israel on Monday, the first of 52 that it has agreed to purchase in the coming years.

The planes arrived at the Nevatim Air Force Base in the Negev Desert after a stopover in Italy and a six-hour rain delay. Among the dignitaries on hand to celebrate the arrival of the American-made jets were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

Netanyahu thanked Carter and the United States for allowing Israel to purchase the planes. “It’s a sign of your personal friendship, your personal commitment to the U.S.-Israel alliance, and…I wish to thank as well, on behalf of all the people of Israel, President Obama, the American Congress and the American people,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony, adding later: “Israel is your best and your most reliable ally in the Middle East—in my opinion beyond the Middle East—we will always remain so.”

“I want to say clearly—anybody who thinks of attacking us will be attacked,” Netanyahu proclaimed. “Only strength brings deterrence, only strength brings peace.”

Rivlin’s remarks echoed that theme. “The aircraft will change the rules of the game,” he said. “It will change the scope of our activities. Our enemies already know that it doesn’t pay to attack Israel.”

Carter noted the progress that the Israeli military has made, noting that the Israeli Air Force “began by flying leftover World War II planes and is now flying the most advanced aircraft in history.”

He also mentioned that Israel, “America’s closest friend and ally in the region,” is the only Middle Eastern country to have received the advanced fighter. It is also the only nation in the world that has been approved by the Pentagon to alter the planes’ software systems.

The Hebrew name for the F-35 will be “Adir,” meaning “mighty.” Carter said that the name was appropriate for “aircraft that represent the full force of military might.”

A senior air force official told The Times of Israel last month that the F-35 will become a central element of Israel’s air strategy. It is believed that the jets could contend with Russia’s advanced S-300 anti-aircraft batteries which have been deployed in Iran and Syria.

The first F-35 designated for Israel was unveiled in June at a ceremony at a Lockheed Martin plant in Texas. Israel has a role in the manufacture of the latest F-35 iteration: Israel Aerospace Industries signed a multi-billion dollar contract in 2014 to manufacture its wings.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 12 December 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: UnitedwithIsrael/Facebook

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will always depend on God’s might and power of protection over them while He is granting them favor to be blessed with state-of-the-art aircraft. Thank Him for the Adir, that will change Israel’s air strategy during warfare situations.

Scripture

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.


- Isaiah 40:31

 British PM Praises Israel’s “Thriving Democracy,” Denounces Boycotts as “Unacceptable”

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Prime Minister Theresa May

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 | British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday affirmed her government’s strong support for Israel and opposition to efforts to economically attack the Jewish state.

In a speech before the Conservative Friends of Israel, May quoted the Balfour Declaration issued nearly 100 years ago which pledged British support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in what is now Israel.

“It is one of the most important letters in history,” May announced. “It demonstrates Britain’s vital role in creating a homeland for the Jewish people. And it is an anniversary we will be marking with pride.” Her comments come in the wake of threats by Palestinian officials to sue Britain over the declaration.

The prime minister then reiterated her nation’s commitment to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians to be reached through bilateral negotiations “without preconditions.”

“We have, in Israel, a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance, an engine of enterprise and an example to the rest of the world for overcoming adversity and defying disadvantages,” May added. “It is only when you walk through Jerusalem or Tel Aviv that you see a country where people of all religions and sexualities are free and equal in the eyes of the law. … It is only when you meet our partners in eradicating modern slavery—one of the main reasons I visited in 2014—that you see a country committed to tackling some of the world’s most heinous practices.”

May further highlighted the extensive business ties between the UK and Israel, pointing out that Britain is Israel’s “number-one destination for investment in Europe,” with some 300 Israeli companies doing business there. She also noted that during this past year, Israel’s El Al airline chose to buy Rolls Royce engines for its fleet in a £1 billion deal, the largest ever between the two nations.

She added that these economic ties should be celebrated and that the UK “should condemn any attempt to undermine that through boycotts.”

“I couldn’t be clearer: the boycotts, divestment and sanctions movement is wrong, it is unacceptable and this party and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to it,” May said. “Our focus is the opposite—on taking our trading and investing relationship with Israel to the next level.”

May continued by listing a number of examples of “Israel at its best.

“I think of the injured Syrians appearing at night at the Israeli border and being taken in and given treatment in hospital.

“I think of the Israeli field hospital which has saved lives from Nepal to Haiti, recently being rated the best in history by the World Health Organisation.

“And I think of the project “Save a Child’s Heart” which, as you saw in that video, conducts heart operations for children who would never be able to afford the treatment.”

The UK similarly shows its commitment to the rest of the world by designating 0.7 % of its national income to foreign aid which helps save lives across the globe, May said. However, the government must be committed to ensuring that “the funds go to the right places,” she added.

“Let me be clear: no British taxpayers’ money will be used to make payments to terrorists or their families,” May emphasized, referencing an ongoing controversy over the alleged misuse of UK funds earmarked for the Palestinian Authority [PA].

May credited International Development Secretary Priti Patel for urging a review of funding to the Palestinians to ensure that “every penny is spent in the right places and in the right way.”

“She is looking at options for the UK to support co-existence projects in the region—something I know so many people in this room have called for,” May added.

The prime minister also announced the adoption of a formal definition of anti-Semitism by the government promising that anyone violating that standard “will be called out.”

“It is unacceptable that there is anti-Semitism in this country,” May declared, observing “that incidents are reportedly on the rise.”

Commentator Jonathan Sacerdoti explained that this definition will help establish “a clear line over what is and what is not legal” during a Monday interview with Sky News.

The British government’s adoption of a standard definition of anti-Semitism comes a week after Germany’s ruling party passed a resolution declaring that the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel “is nothing more than coarse anti-Semitism, as the National Socialists [Nazis] have already instrumentalized.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 12 December 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Foreign and Commonwealth Office/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Bless the Lord for British PM Theresa May as she continues the legacy of the Balfour Declaration to stand with Israel and against BDS and anti-Semitism movements. Pray for her protection as she endeavors to educate and prevent future anti-Semitic incidents.

Scripture

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.


- Psalm 1:1-3

All-time Tourist High in Israel in November

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The Bedouins livelihood depends on sheep, goats, and camels.Friday, 09 December 2016 | In November 2016, 287,900 tourists visited Israel—an increase of 38% from the preceding November and an all-time high for that month.

From January until November 2016, a total of 2.6 million tourists visited the country, which is an increase of 2% from the same period of 2015.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said, “The intensive marketing efforts that we have invested in new countries like China and India, together with campaigns focused on the winter season, have resulted in record growth of the entrance of tourists to Israel in the month of November.

“Our goal is to continue with targeted campaigns to meet the challenge of creating a continuous increase in tourist traffic. This is proof of the huge potential in the tourism sector and the fact that we are leading innovative measures yields immediate significant results in the Israeli economy.”

The minister added that revenues for the Israeli economy last month alone were over 1.5 billion shekels, some 400 million more than November 2015 and an amount nearly equal to the annual budget for tourism marketing to Israel.

November figures reflect an increase of 38% in tourism in relation to last year’s November and a rise of 31% from that of 2014. Some 254,000 tourists visited Israel by plane in November, which is a rise of 38% from the preceding November and without change from November 2014.

zealous-camelsSome 34,000 tourists entered the country by land, 28,000 of whom via Jordan and the rest via Egypt. These figures reflect increases from November 2015 by 38% and November 2014 by 10%. The number of day visitors last month was about 20,000 which is a decrease of about 20% from the two preceding Novembers.

The total number of tourists visiting Israel from January to November 2016 (2,651,400) also shows an increase of 2% in comparison to the same period of 2015 (2,602,300).

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article 08 December 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Bridges for Peace

Prayer Focus
Glorify the Lord for every person who comes to visit Israel. Ask Him that every one who walks the land will go home loving Israel even more than before, and be effective in their sphere of influence as they spread the truth of the God of Israel.

Scripture

Walk about Zion, and go all around her. Count her towers; mark well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that you may tell it to the generation following.


- Psalm 48:12-13

Action
Dust off your dream and come to visit Israel, the Land where our faith originated. If it isn’t possible to make the trip, buy Israeli products at your grocery store when you see them.

Israeli Company Reports Successful Transplant of Lab-Grown Bones

by Ilse Posselt

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news_09dec16_4_youtube

Lab-grown bones successfully used as a transplant in Israel

Friday, 9 December 2016 | The tiny Jewish state is renowned across the globe for its tremendous contribution to life-changing medical research and innovation. Now, in another world first, an Israeli biomedical company said earlier this week that it has successfully used lab-grown human bone to treat a group of patients suffering from bone loss.

In a statement released on Monday, the Bonus BioGroup explained that it injected a semi-liquid graft into the jaws of 11 people as part of phase one of a clinical trial that started earlier this year. The grafts, they announced, had successfully hardened and fused to the patients’ existing bone, thus repairing the damage in the declining jawbones. The grafts were grown from stem cells harvested from the patients’ own fat tissue.

“For the first time anywhere in the world, a quick and effective and safe bone rehabilitation using a single injection of a living, growing graft transplanted inside a human bone has been completed successfully,” Bonus BioGroup CEO, Shai Meretzki, said in the statement.

The group’s Vice President of Regulation Affairs, Ora Burger, confirmed to Reuters that the procedures were “100% successful in all 11 patients. Now we are going to conduct a clinical study in the extremities, long bones,” she added.

Speaking to Israel’s i24news, Meretzki explained that reconstruction or transplant is the only possibility for repair where a bone is injured through trauma or degenerates with age. To create grafts from the patient’s own cells traditionally requires harvesting bone samples from the pelvic chest, a procedure which Meretzki describes as “invasive, painful and expensive.”  Other options, like using synthetic substances or obtaining cells from bone banks, come with a high risk of the patient’s body rejecting the transplant.

“I was looking for a way to do it cheaper and easier for the patient and the medical system,” i24news quoted Meretzki as saying. “The idea of bone grafts is that they should be bio-compatible, functionally and structurally similar to the patient’s bone, easily transplantable and cost effective.”

“We are growing bone through small samples of fat tissue and isolating the different kinds of cells that we need to create the bone,” he shared. “Because the bone was created from the patient’s cells there is no rejection. It is a one-to-one identity between the new bone and the patient’s immune system.”

According to i24news, Bonus BioGroup is currently the only company worldwide to have achieved success in generating a bone graft from fat samples.

Over the past seven years, the group has spent some $50 million working towards this goal.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 09 December 2016)

Photo Credit: WeSpeakVideos/ YouTube

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for granting wisdom to the Israeli biomedical scientists at Bonus BioGroup who have developed a process to successfully rehabilitate bone loss. Pray for the next phase of growing long bones to be successful and in that, be able to overcome the high risk of patients’ bodies rejecting bone transplants.

Scripture

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.


- Psalm 119:105

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