Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, December 22, 2017

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


Bridges for Peace will be closed from December 25 through 31st to allow our volunteers to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Our weekly prayer update will resume on Friday, January 5, 2018.

Following Veto, US Vows to Continue Backing Israel over Jerusalem Recognition at the UN

by Ilse Posselt

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Wednesday, 20 December 2017 | On Monday night the Trump administration vetoed a resolution at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling on the US to revoke its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hours later, it emerged that the Palestinians will bring that same resolution before another United Nations (UN) body, one where the US has no vetoing power.

Tomorrow, the 193 member nations of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will gather for a special session to cast their votes on whether to back or reject US President Donald Trump’s December 6th statement regarding the status of Jerusalem. The Trump administration vowed to continue backing Israel in this forum, and although the US will be unable to veto the vote, US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that they would be “taking names” of those giving the resolution a nod of approval.

Turkey and Yemen called for tomorrow’s emergency session at the behest of Arab and Muslim countries as well as the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Ahead of the meeting, the two nations circulated a draft resolution that calls to confirm that any decisions taken around Jerusalem have no legal grounds and should thus be repealed, The Times of Israel reports.

This draft motion echoes the resolution that Egypt brought before the UNSC on Monday evening. While neither of the documents mentions Trump by name, the Egyptian text states “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.” An overwhelming majority of 14 of the 15 UNSC members voted in favor of the resolution, yet the US veto shot the measure down. Following the failed UNSC attempt, Arab and Muslim nations now pin their hopes on success at the UNGA. Such a resolution, if passed, will be non-binding, but will carry political weight.

According to Reuters, Haley sent a letter to a number of UN states on Tuesday to warn them that there would be repercussion to their decisions on Thursday. “The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those countries who voted against us. We will take note of each and every vote on this issue,” she wrote.

Haley later confirmed the US’s position on Twitter. “At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more,” she wrote on her official account. “So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names,” [sic] she warned.

For their part, the Palestinians have their sights set on a decisive victory. Palestinian UN Ambassador, Riyad Mansour, said they expected “overwhelming support” from the UNGA. “The General Assembly will say, without the fear of the veto, that the international community is refusing to accept the unilateral position of the United States.”

With a day to go before the 193 UN members sit down to vote, Israel is also making every effort to ensure that the Palestinian-backed proposal does not pass. The Times of Israel reports that the Foreign Ministry penned an official memo to its missions around the globe to instruct its diplomats to engage with their respective home countries to vote against the resolution. Envoys were requested to demonstrate to their local colleagues that the resolution is one-sided, undermines the prospects for peace and stands to spark further violence in the already troubled region.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 20 December 2017)

Photo Credit: Dwilliams/pixabay

Prayer Focus
Beseech the Lord for the member nations of the UN, praying that they would not allow themselves to be deceived or bullied. Give thanks for the strong voice of Ambassador Haley and ask the Lord to fill her with the courage to continue to stand with Israel.


For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You.

- Psalm 5: 9-10

Israeli Security Forces Thwart Two Terror Attacks over the Weekend

by Ilse Posselt

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The town of Ramallah, where one of the attacks occurred

Monday, 18 December 2017 | Israeli security forces prevented a two potential tragedies over the weekend when Border Police officers managed to thwart two terror attacks by assailants armed with explosive devices.

The first incident happened on Friday during a violent riot in Ramallah. A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a Border Police officer in the upper body, wounding him moderately. Officers at the scene responded to the attack, shooting and wounding the assailant. During the confrontation that followed, it was revealed that the terrorist was wearing an explosive belt. The belt did not detonate. A Palestinian Red Crescent Ambulance did, however, take the assailant away before the Israel Defense Force (IDF) could determine whether the bomb was real or only meant to resemble one.

“A terrorist approached Border Police officers who were responding to a riot at the Judea and Samaria Square in Ramallah, and stabbed one of them,” Israeli police said in a statement. “When the other officers saw the stabbing they opened fire that led to him being incapacitated. When the troops approached the terrorist, they identified an explosive belt…” The statement added that they were looking into the possibility that the assailant was “mingling with journalists and posing as one” as a way of getting close to the Border Police officers.

The wounded officer was treated at the scene and then taken to a Jerusalem hospital. The hospital listed him in “moderate condition with two stab wounds in the upper body.”

The Palestinian Authority health ministry identified the terrorist as 29-year-old Mohammed Aqal, adding that he died of his wounds.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to social media to laud the quick actions of the Israeli security forces. “I praise the work of the Border Police force that took out the terrorist,” he said on his official Twitter account. “Thank you to our forces who protect us around the clock. Everybody salutes you.”

The attack occurred during the second Day of Rage that the Palestinians proclaimed in response to US President Donald Trump acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While riots have broken out nearly every day since his December 6th statement and the Palestinian powers-that-be called for a renewed intifada (uprising), Palestinian riots appeared to be less violent and drawing fewer participants. The IDF revealed that some 2,500 Palestinians participated in violent riots across east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, while an additional 3,500 Palestinians in Gaza gathered along the border fence with Israel to throw stones and burn tires.

Two days later, Israeli security forces prevented the possibility of a second tragedy. On Sunday, a would-be Palestinian terrorist armed with two explosive devices was stopped as he tried to gain entrance to a military court in Samaria. Border Police officers stopped the suspect at the entrance of the Samaria military court. A security check of the terrorist yielded an explosive device strapped to his body.

As sappers worked to defuse the bomb, they found a second explosive device—this one tucked into his coat. The terrorist, a 17-year-old resident of Jenin, an Arab city in the north of Judea and Samaria, was arrested and taken for questioning.

An Israeli police spokesperson praised the quick actions of the security forces, saying that “the vigilance of the soldiers… prevented an attack.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 18 December 2017)

Photo Credit: Ralf Lotys/wikimedia

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the men and women of Israel’s security forces as they stand between violent men and the civilians they are sworn to protect. Pray that they will not succumb to weariness or boredom when they are on duty but will remain alert and vigilant.


Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloodthirsty men.

- Psalm 59:1–2

Trump Expresses Support for Israel-Palestinian Peace, Fighting Iranian Threat

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US President Donald Trump

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 | In his speech on Monday, outlining America’s national security strategy, U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated his commitments to supporting peace efforts between Israel and the Palestinians as well as fighting Iran’s “malign influence.”

The President highlighted that regional dynamics have overtaken the peace process. “For generations, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region,” Trump said. “Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems,” he added.

This observation rejects positions expressed by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, who told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic in 2008, that the Israeli-Palestinian is a “constant sore,” which “does infect all our foreign policy.”

Trump further noted that “states have increasingly found common interests with Israel,” in confronting terrorist threats in the region as evidenced by a recent delegation of Bahrainis, sent by the Gulf State’s king to bring a message of peace to Israel, and recent outreach between Israelis and Saudis.

Nonetheless, Trump also asserted that he was “committed” to achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians. His recent announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the embassy there, had no impact on the final status of Jerusalem, which remains for the parties on the ground to negotiate, nor was it a departure from the U.S.’ commitment to help negotiate two states for two people.

Regarding Iran, Trump said that the U.S. would “work with partners to deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon and neutralize Iranian malign influence.” He described the 2015 nuclear accord between the Islamic Republic and world powers an “incomprehensibly bad deal,” which would have always collapsed under its own weight.

He also called Iran “the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism” and said the country was openly calling for our destruction.” Trump further observed that Iran was threatening other nations through its proxies and warned that it was developing “more capable ballistic missiles and has the potential to resume its work on nuclear weapons.” Iran continues testing ballistic missiles and shipping arms to its allies in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.

In addition, the President vowed that “the United States also works with allies and partners to deter and disrupt other foreign terrorist groups that threaten our homeland- including Iranian-backed groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah.”

Speaking at the 2017 Reagan National Defense Forum in California, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster said that “about 80 percent of Assad fighters are Iranian proxies in Syria to establish a land bridge over into the Mediterranean,” as he warned of the “prospect of Iran having a proxy army on the borders of Israel.” Last month, Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels reportedly fired a missile at a Saudi airport and in October, Iranian-backed militias captured much of the Kurdistan Regional Government areas in Iraq.

Source: (The Israel Project originally published this article in its publication The Tower on 19 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: GageSkidmore/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for this world leader who is clearly pointing to Iran and jihadist groups as the cause of violence and instability in the Middle East. Proclaim the truth that they are really fighting against the Lord when they call for the destruction of Israel.


Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; the tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.

- Psalm 74:23

Hamas Marks 30th Anniversary, Vows to Reverse US’s Jerusalem Move

by Ilse Posselt

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At a Hamas rally (illustrative)

Friday, 15 December 2017 | More than 100,000 Palestinians flooded the streets of Gaza City yesterday for a rally to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hamas.

The Islamic terror group that rules the coastal enclave bussed in droves of men, women and children decked out in the colors of the Palestinian flag and brandishing green Hamas scarves and flags to mark the occasion alongside scores of masked gunmen. In an apparent show of military prowess, speedboats manned by heavily armed Hamas fighters streaked past the crowd on the Gazan coast, trailing Palestinian and Hamas flags in their wake.

Following a rallying performance by the Hamas military wing choir, the head of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh and the group’s chief in the Strip, Yahya Sinwar, stepped onto the raised platform to address the sea of green, red, white and black below.

Haniyeh stirred up the crowd with a spirited speech in which he denied the existence of Israel, vowed to force the US to renounce its acknowledgement of Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital, and called on Palestinians to resort to violence to achieve its objective.

As he spoke, the terror group’s political bureau chief stood etched against the backdrop of a giant poster depicting Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock mosque alongside a Hamas terrorist armed with a rifle and a Palestinian flag. The caption below the picture screamed in bold Arabic and English writing, “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”

“There is no such thing as the State of Israel, so it cannot have a capital called Jerusalem,” Haniyeh said. “We will knock down Trump’s decision… Our goal is to break the American position. No superpower is capable of offering Jerusalem to Israel, there is no Israel that it should have a capital named Jerusalem. Our souls, our blood, our sons and our homes are a sacrifice for Jerusalem. We salute the beginning of rage, intifada and revolution.”

Haniyeh proceeded to lead the crowd in a chant, “We are marching towards Jerusalem, sacrificing millions of martyrs along the way,” which echoed through the streets of Gaza City.

Yesterday’s rally follows more than a week of rocket fire emanating from the Gaza Strip aimed at Israeli civilians. A day after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Hamas called for the start of an intifada (uprising). In the eight days since, terror groups in the coastal enclave have fired 16 rockets on the Promised Land.

The latest round of attacks came on Wednesday evening, hours before the rally. Out of the four rockets fired at the south of Israel, the Iron Dome short-range missile defense system shot down two projectiles, while one landed in an open area. The fourth rocket fell short of its target and struck a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in the Gaza Strip instead. Three Israelis were lightly hurt in the attack while running for shelter. A further two were treated for shock.

Israel retaliated, striking three Hamas targets, including training camps and weapons storage compounds.

Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), posted a message in Arabic on Facebook, telling the Palestinians in Gaza, “It is important you know the rocket hit a public school in Beit Hanoun and destroyed a classroom there. Gaza terror groups are unequivocally proving what we’ve been repeatedly saying: They’re destroying the future of their children with their own hands. Just think what would’ve happened had the rocket been launched during the day, when the class would have been full with your children.”

A Decade of Suffering

While yesterday’s rally drew more than a 100,000 supporters, Hamas has little to celebrate. Ten years after seizing control of the coastal enclave in a violent coup, the abysmal situation in the Strip has forced the terror group to seek reconciliation with Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

Gaza suffers from a crippling 43% unemployment rate and is plunged into increasing periods of darkness because of a severe electricity shortage. The rulers of the Strip also struggle to supply its people with clean drinking water and an adequate waste management system.

Hamas lays the blame for Gaza’s trouble at Israel’s door. Experts have, however, pointed out that the main source of the Strip’s suffering is the fact that the terror group plows all its funds and foreign aid into fulfilling its mandate of destroying Israel by acquiring arms and constructing state-of-the-art terror tunnels, instead of investing in the future of its people.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 15 December 2017)

Photo Credit: Thephotostrand/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord, reminding Him that the insolent words spoken by Hamas’s leaders are really in defiance of Him. How long will this continue? Pray for US President Trump, that he will stand firm in the path he has chosen: recognition of God’s purpose and plan for Jerusalem.


LORD, how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked triumph? They utter speech, and speak insolent things; all the workers of iniquity boast in themselves.

- Psalm 94:3–4

Israeli Soldiers Remain Calm in the Face of Palestinian Provocation

by Elior Levy and Yoav Zitun

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Video screenshot of the young women and IDF soldiers

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 | A video has surfaced Monday showing Palestinian girls aggressively provoking IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] town of Nabi Salih. Despite the fact that the provocation became quite physical, the soldiers maintained their composure and did not respond.

In the video, which was filmed during the weekly Friday protests in Nabi Salih, two young girls are seen provoking and aggravating the soldiers, trying to hit and kick them, all the while the soldiers do their best to ignore them.

The girl hitting the soldiers is Ahed Tamimi, the daughter of one of the Nabi Salih’s prominent activists who organizes the weekly Friday protests in the town.

She is seen calling on the soldiers to leave the yard in which they are standing as another woman arrives and attempts to get in between the stoic soldiers and the girl.

It is evident that the video photographer was careful to ensure that only women and girls were in the frame thereby creating an underdog effect, assuming the soldiers would respond to the physical harassment and try to arrest the girls—a scene that would have caused quite an uproar.

The IDF is backing the actions of the soldiers and, as in any situation, is exploring whether the incident could have been handled differently.

This is not the first time a member of the Tamimi family was documented provoking soldiers. Several years ago, a video surfaced of Ahed Tamimi biting a soldier who had come to arrest her brother during disturbances at the weekly Friday protest.

In another incident she can be seen shouting at soldiers during a protest and trying to cause them to lose their composure.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 18 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Ynetnews

Prayer Focus
Pray for the young men and women of the IDF serving in Samaria, Israel’s biblical heartland. Many are just 18 years old and are called upon to exercise restraint when they are taunted by young women, endure the rock throwing of adolescents and must constantly be on the alert for violent terror attacks—all while performing their army service duties and protecting Israelis who live in the area.


The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

- Psalm 34:7–8

Bad Times for Boycotting Israel

by Julie Lenarz~The Algemeiner

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El Al provides the only nonstop flights between Miami and Tel Aviv

Monday, 18 December 2017 | It has been a bad few months for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

First, the state of Wisconsin adopted a rule in October prohibiting companies that engage in the boycott from receiving local government contracts, joining 23 other American states with similar laws. Then, Australian rocker Nick Cave declared: “I love Israel and I love Israeli people.” He said that his decision to perform in the country in November was an act of defiance against the BDS campaign, which “bullies and censors” artists. And as part of a trade delegation to Israel in December, Florida Governor Rick Scott presented El Al with a Governor’s Business Ambassador Award for its investments in the state of Florida.

For the BDS movement, the bad news keeps coming.

Last month, El Al relaunched the only nonstop flights from Miami to Tel Aviv—with three flights weekly—to meet the increased demand from business people and tourists to visit the Jewish state. Miami is the airline’s sixth North American destination, which already includes nonstop links from New York, Newark, Boston, Los Angeles, and Toronto.

The development is yet another blow to the incitement campaign waged by BDS activists against Israel, who exploit the rhetoric of human rights to advocate for economic and cultural warfare against the only Jewish state in the world, the sole democracy in the Middle East and a steadfast ally of the US.

But thanks to the successful wave of anti-boycott legislation, BDS has been weakened, with US states and companies eager to build strong and lasting business ties with the country.

Florida is a case in point. Governor Scott recently led a trade mission of nearly 70 local business and education leaders to build on Florida and Israel’s intimate and proud relationship. Israel is an important business partner for the state. For example, Israeli company StemRad recently established their US operations in Tampa—and, in return, Florida invested $1.4 million in this program. All told, the state’s economic development and trading partnership with the Jewish state exceeds $286 million a year.

Florida has recognized that the BDS movement directly harms the economies of Florida and the US. Last March, Florida signed SB 86 into law, prohibiting the state from investing in companies that boycott Israel. Governor Scott said at the time that he was “proud to sign this important bill into law and join the Florida legislature in sending this message: the State of Florida will not waver in our support of Israel, one of our greatest allies and friends. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement is fueled by anti-Semitism, and has no place in Florida or any part of the world that values freedom and democracy.”

The governor stands true to his words. Beyond economic investments, the cultural understanding between Florida and Israel is also flourishing. Last week, Governor Scott tweeted: “Honored to visit Tel Aviv Uni and accept the Friendship Award—we are proud of the strong relationship Florida shares with our friend and ally Israel.” He added: “Florida has no tolerance for anti-Semitism and we will not tolerate BDS.”

He also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Florida State University and Tel Aviv University—an agreement which will support student and staff exchange programs, and encourage academic collaboration between the two institutions. “Florida’s students are the leaders of tomorrow and these important partnerships are another way that we can provide them with every opportunity to learn and succeed,” Governor Scott said, adding, “I applaud Florida State University and Tel Aviv University for working together to support our students by providing more opportunities for research and collaboration.”

This is a vital and welcome development. As Sarah Stern recently warned in an op-ed published in JNS, the minds of America’s youngest, vulnerable and most impressionable children are being corrupted by poisonous anti-Israel sentiments that are widespread and systemic on American campuses.

Florida should be applauded for sending a strong statement against this form of hatred and bigotry, which demonstrates that the state does not support discrimination against Israel or tolerate taxpayer money being used toward the anti-Semitic agenda of the BDS movement. The founders of BDS have been nothing but honest about who they are and their intentions. They have stated openly their commitment to the destruction of Israel, and they have made it clear that no change in Israeli policy will ever appease them.

From the north to the south, with strong bipartisan support, lawmakers in 24 states have now declared BDS a virulent form of anti-Semitism that has no place in our society. This is a great accomplishment for the pro-Israel community, and a resounding defeat for the BDS campaign.

Originally published in The Algemeiner

Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 15 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Eric Salard/wikimedia

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Give thanks that the BDS movement is being shown for what it is—pure anti-Semitism and hatred of the Jewish people. Pray that support for Israel would continue to grow as people begin to see the beauty of the Lord’s people and the Land He has chosen.


How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel!…Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.

- Numbers 24:5, 9b

Israel Embarks on Project to Replenish the Sea of Galilee’s Dwindling Water Levels

by Ilse Posselt

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Satellite view of the Kinneret

Thursday, 21 December 2017 | When it comes to ample supplies of fresh, clean water, the State of Israel arguably faces some near impossible odds. Located in the semi-arid Middle East, the predominantly desert country receives limited rainfall and suffers grueling temperatures. No wonder that the Israeli powers-that-be have invested vast amounts of time, resources and talent into solving the chronic water shortage problem. As a result, the Jewish state is renowned as a world leader in water management. Now, Israel is once again applying cutting-edge techniques to solve yet another emerging water challenge in the Promised Land.

Israel’s Water Authority recently announced that it is undertaking an ambitious project to replenishing the dwindling Sea of Galilee, also known as the Kinneret, with fresh water from a filtration plant and two reservoirs some 22.5 km (14 mi) away. The project reportedly carries a price tag of $85 million.

The project was initiated after five years of drought have left Israel’s largest freshwater lake and primary water source hovering at a historic low, in danger of falling to the “lowest level ever recorded.”

The Kinneret usually supplies 30% of Israel’s water needs. However, when the lake reaches 213 meters (699 ft) below sea level, which is called the lower red line, using water from the Sea of Galilee becomes prohibited. Five consecutive winters of insufficient rainfall has left the Kinneret’s water level at an alarming 214.39 meters (703.4 ft) below sea level. The lowest recorded level in the modern State of Israel’s history was in 2001, when the Sea of Galilee dwindled to 214.87 meters (705 ft) below sea level, which is lower than the so-called black line. Once the levels fall below this critical mark, the Kinneret can suffer permanent damage to its ecosystem. With Israel’s Meteorological Service forecasting yet another dry winter, the situation is dire indeed and the Sea of Galilee’s increasingly receding shoreline requires urgent intervention.

According to Breaking Israel News, the Jewish state’s Water Authority project might provide the solution. The initiative will see desalinated water pumped into the Kinneret from the Eshkol water filtration plant and two large reservoirs.

Built in 2007, Eshkol is the fourth largest water filtration plant in the world. It was initially constructed as a hub to filter water coming from the Sea of Galilee and then to distribute it to the rest of Israel for consumption. The initiative will mark a turnaround in the initial design, with filtered water now flowing from the hub at Eshkol back to the Kinneret.

While Israel has historically faced a water shortage challenge, recent years have seen the problem escalate. According to Breaking Israel News, the average rainfall in the Promised Land has halved since the rebirth of the state in 1948, while the population has skyrocketed more than ten-fold.

The problem is now so severe that the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau recently issued a request to the public to pray for rain.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 21 December 2017)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Prayer Focus
We can give thanks to the Lord for desalination technology but we continue to cry out to Him for the natural rain which is by far superior. O Lord, cause Your people to see that You will provide for all their needs—including the rain of heaven.


For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares…

- Deuteronomy 11:10-12a

Israeli Trainers Prepare Philippine Emergency Instructors for Mass-Casualty Incidents

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A Magen David Adom ambulance, donated by Bridges for Peace

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 | A Magen David Adom (MDA) delegation recently went to the Philippines to train instructors for emergency medicine teams on dealing with mass casualty incidents. MDA, Israel’s national ambulance, blood-services and disaster-relief organization, has been collaborating for more than two years with the Philippine Red Cross in order to strengthen lifesaving capabilities and emergency response in the Asian island country.

The Philippines is prone to typhoons, volcanoes, earthquakes as well as armed conflicts, which require a high level of skilled medical and rescue forces.

“Over the past few years, the Philippines Red Cross has been able to improve, with the help of MDA’s professional trainings, their emergency response system that aims to provide response to disasters,” said Menachem Blumental, senior MDA paramedic and one of the instructors in the delegation. “During the last mission, we worked on improving preparedness and management of mass casualty incidents.”

The training was led by the Philippine Red Cross in collaboration with MDA, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines and the American Red Cross.

A mass traffic accident simulation in Batangas was led by graduates of two EMT courses taught by instructors who were trained by MDA last year. It was the first drill of its kind in the city.

“Dealing with mass casualty incidents for many years, unfortunately, has granted MDA with expertise, and we are ready to share that knowledge anywhere in the world where there’s interest in saving lives,” said MDA Director General Eli Bin. “The value of saving lives is our main mission and it has no borders.”

Source: (The Israel Project originally published this article in is publication The Tower on 18 December 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit:

Prayer Focus
Offer praise to the Lord that the Jewish people are so committed to preserving lives that they go to great lengths to share their expertise. And as they teach what they have learned from responding to violent terror attacks, something good results—they are able to give others the ability to heal and save lives.


I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…

- Deuteronomy 30:19

IDF Giving Soldiers a Brighter Future

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Friday, 15 December 2017 | Most Israelis enlist to the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] at the age of 18, after the majority of them have finished high school. There are some Israelis who enlist without a high school diploma. The IDF has developed the “High School Diploma Completion Course” (HSDCC) that allows these soldiers to earn their high school diplomas.

The course is optional, which means that the soldiers who go to the course are driven. “There are soldiers who call and ask for their diplomas so that they can be hired for specific jobs. They have a lot of motivation,” commented Lt. Michal.

The HSDCC Staff

The course requires specially trained commanders who are able to teach soldiers. As a part of the commanders’ training, they need to learn educational disciplines taught in schools and how to teach their soldiers those subjects.

The sergeants and second lieutenants are responsible for the discipline in the course. However, the person who is in charge of making sure that everything runs smoothly is the company commander. As a company commander, Lt. Michal needs to know everything that happens in her company, act as a coordinator, and build the course structure.

Advantages and Challenges

“It’s challenging taking soldiers who haven’t studied a day in their lives and putting them in a school environment every day for 11 hours a day or more. While this is quite difficult, it’s also very satisfying to take soldiers who think they can’t do it and give them the tools to succeed and get their diplomas. Suddenly, they start studying and taking an interest in learning. It’s a shock to them and it’s so satisfying for us.”

Source: (The Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson originally published this article on 28 November 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Haskala/IDFblog

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord, whose plans for the future of these young soldiers is good. Pray that as they gain confidence in their ability to learn, they will come to know their worth in the eyes of the Lord.


For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

- Jeremiah 29:11

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