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What Will We Do Now?

Friday, July 8, 2022

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

In War with Iran, Political Bedlam is a Big Handicap 

by Amos Gilad ~ Ynetnews

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An Iranian satellite rocket launch

Thursday, 7 July 2022 | The news about four Iranian ships sailing the Red Sea is not a threat to Israel for the time being as it has taken place months ago. However, it is a story that encapsulates Israel’s campaign to thwart and counter the Islamic Republic’s designs. The fact that this was only made known to the public during another election period is another reason for concern on the Israeli side.

These ships are a part of the growing Iranian threat, based on the vision Iran’s mullah regime instilled decades ago: the destruction of Israel. Many doubted the Iranians were really serious about realizing this vision, but Israeli intelligence services gleaned Tehran’s true intentions to establish a regional empire and drew up a list of targets.

Iran managed to build a system that threatens the national security of both Israel and the Sunni Arab world despite being marred by social and financial woes such as economic recession, water shortages, crumbling infrastructure, corruption and steep Western sanctions which are only getting worse. Iran’s strength as a nation may be waning, but it proudly presents weapon systems it believes would serve its ambitions.

As far as Israel is concerned, Iran has made progress in three key fields. First is ballistics, ergo the ring of fire Tehran is building around Israel in failed states that waive their sovereignty and allow it to entrench itself like Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and to some extent, Iraq.

We’re talking about an astounding number of rockets—around 150,000 in Lebanon alone—that act as a major deterrent.

Second, Iran has become a nuclear threshold country, which would allow it to enrich uranium to military grade at its will. As far as we know, Iran still doesn’t have a nuclear weapon, or an operational one at the very least.

Third is terrorism and cybersecurity. Iran intermittently exerts its power through acts of terrorism and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries while developing its offensive cyber capabilities.

What should Israel do? First of all, expedite its military buildup. It must do so in a fashion that would allow it to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, as it has successfully managed to do so far.

Some downplay this achievement, but nuclear weapons in the hands of such a violent and murderous regime could become an existential threat, and kick off a nuclear arms race that will damage Israel’s powerful deterrence.

With that taken into account, Israel must move forward with developing defensive systems with the US that would give it an edge ahead of US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit.

Cooperation with the US is paramount. Even if the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] can strike in Iran alone, doing so without coordinating with Washington first isn’t an option, considering the possible ramifications of such an operation.

At the end of the day, Israel must be judged by the full scale of its actions, those it discloses and those attributed to it.

The test is simple: how close are we getting to curbing the Iranian threat?

Israel’s gallop toward another general election in the midst of political bedlam stands in complete contrast with its need for a strong government that works day and night to counter the Iranian threat.

It’s unthinkable that while Iran is politically stable, Israel is locked in ugly political infighting that saps its leaders of the energy required to deal with it.

Even more outrageous is the holdup in the appointment of the new IDF chief of staff.

The IDF needs a stable top brass that works day and night to build its military might and execute a comprehensive military plan.

The unbridled attacks on candidates and the contamination of the entire process are unquestionably weakening Israel, and we must restore stability and facilitate our military buildup while weaving a historic US-led alliance with Arab states in this opportune time.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on July 6, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Fars News Agency/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray specifically regarding the three fields where Iran has made significant progress that threaten Israel. Pray that Israel’s critical relationship with the United States will remain strong and the Jewish state will have the support of America in any actions deemed necessary. Pray that Israel will expedite its military buildup, maintaining its position as a global leader in the areas of military technology and security. But most important of all, pray that all Israel will remember that it is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is their shield and defender.

Scripture

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


- Psalm 18:2

Lapid’s Likely Priorities in the Months Ahead

by David Isaacs ~ JNS

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Prime Minister Yair Lapid leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Monday, 4 July 2022 | Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s first address to the nation as prime minister might have been brief, but the list of challenges facing the Jewish state that he presented was long. Analysts tell JNS that Lapid won’t be able to address all of those challenges in the four months before Israeli elections on November 1, and he’ll mainly be electioneering.

Lapid himself narrowed the list at his first weekly cabinet meeting as prime minister on Sunday. On the foreign policy front, he said, “The Iranians, Hamas and Hezbollah will not wait.” Domestically, he said, “The education crisis cannot wait. Budgets for hospitals cannot be postponed.”

Brig. Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi, CEO and founder of the Israel Defense and Security Forum (IDSF)—also known as the Bitchonistim—an Israeli NGO made up of thousands of former security officers, said that defense issues are the most critical, and that unexpected events frequently occur, like the drones Hezbollah sent toward an Israeli gas rig on Saturday.

“The prime minister of Israel is involved, and needs to be involved, on an everyday basis. There’s almost constant decision-making,” Avivi said of security issues.

“As a former aide-de-camp to the chief of the [IDF] General Staff, I coordinated all the operations of the IDF on his behalf. Every day, there’s something when you connect Mossad (Israeli intelligence agency), Shabak (Israeli internal security organization), army special operations…Sometimes it’s timing. Maybe there is a really dramatic operation somewhere in the Middle East. They were working on it two years and it happens to take place now,” Avivi said.

Avivi added that there are two pressing security issues that can’t wait. The first is Iran and the second is an internal security problem. Regarding the latter, he explained there is growing coordination between Arab Israelis and Arabs in Judea and Samaria on fomenting riots, illegally grabbing land and endangering the personal security of Jews. This was on full display during last year’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls” (May 10–21), when Arab Israelis in so-called “mixed cities” in Israel rioted in solidarity with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Arabs from Judea and Samaria, who rioted in Jerusalem.

“The State of Israel needs to realize that it’s in the midst of a campaign against it. This is probably a far more existential and dangerous campaign even than Iran. Internal threats are always bigger,” he said.

Avivi’s advice on both issues is to stay the course. “What I wouldn’t do is anything dramatic,” he said.

Eyal Zisser, the vice rector of Tel Aviv University and a lecturer in its Middle East history department, agreed, telling JNS that Lapid should let the defense policies that are in place continue.

“The best thing for Lapid is to do nothing; that is, to maintain and keep the situation quiet,” he said, especially because there’s “no immediate action” he can take. Lapid will be tempted to show Israelis that he can be counted on to handle security issues, but that could backfire, Zisser warned.

“He’ll want to prove to everyone that he can handle things. That’s when he’ll make a mistake that can lead to an escalation,” he said.

Zisser added that Lapid will focus on electioneering, noting that the period he’s in office is unprecedented in its brevity. “We’re talking about four months,” he noted. “There were prime ministers in office for short periods, but they were elected in a general election. People thought they would last four years.”

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 3, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for Prime Minister Yair Lapid and the overwhelming challenges he faces in his short term in office. Cry out for wisdom as he deals with dire security issues in the midst of political chaos. As you continue to pray about the Iranian situation, ask the Lord to sour the growing relationship between Israeli Arabs and Arabs in Judea and Samaria, ending their cooperation and the threat it poses to the security of the Jewish people.

Scripture

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.


- Proverbs 2:6

Another 150 Ethiopians Arrive on Aliyah Flight to Israel

by JNS

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 Ethiopian immigrants land at Ben Gurion International Airport

Thursday, 7 July 2022 | The arrival of an Ethiopian Airways jetliner at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport earlier this week set the scene for an emotional reunion between family members, some of whom who hadn’t seen their relatives for two decades.

The operation, spearheaded by Israel’s Minister of Immigrant Absorption Pnina Tamano-Shata, is designed to help the remaining community of Jews living in refugee camps in Gondar and Addis Ababa make their way back to Israel. So far, more than 5,000 people who have first-degree relatives already living in Israel have moved or are scheduled to move in the near future.

The flight consisted of 150 people.

Among the arrivals was 50-year-old Astabal, who said that he hadn’t seen his parents in 18 years since they moved to Tel Aviv. Azanu Geremay Melesa similarly hasn’t seen her mother in nearly 20 years. She lost her eldest son recently after he fell fighting in the nation’s civil war, which helped spur the family’s decision to make the journey to Israel.

“When this awful thing happened to me, I was very lonely,” she says. “My mother, who I was very close with, was not with me, and when I couldn’t share my pain with her, it made the pain even worse. Coming to Israel was always our dream, and we believe only good things are going to happen to us there. I believe we are making a great choice, and it opens up a great opportunity for our children.”

Tamano-Shata said that “to be able to unite families who have been separated by thousands of miles allows us to finally address a failure that has affected the Ethiopian community for many years. These families have been waiting for this moment for decades. We are able to witness another historic moment in Israel’s history where we have reaffirmed our commitment to do everything we can to bring our brothers and sisters home.”

Ranging in age from 6 to 50, the new immigrants will first live in five different absorption centers around the country, where they will be provided with Hebrew-language courses and other training to help them acclimate into Israeli society and join the workforce.

“The Jewish Agency will continue to lead the aliyah efforts from everywhere around the world and for every Jew who wants to move to Israel,” said chair of the World Zionist Organization and acting chair of the Jewish Agency Yaakov Hagoel. “We deeply appreciate the work of all the partners who have made this possible and know that with every new oleh who comes home our country becomes that much stronger.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 6, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv IFCJ/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the arrival of these Jews from Ethiopia who have been waiting years to make their way to their ancient homeland. Praise the Lord that so many have been able to reunite with family members they haven’t seen in decades. Pray that their absorption into Israeli society will be smooth and positive; for jobs and the right kinds of assistance; for homes and support networks; and for financial security in the midst of rising prices and economic uncertainty. Pray for the soon arrival of those who still remain in Ethiopia, and for Bridges for Peace as we work to assist these new citizens in every way we can to make Israel their home.

Scripture

So the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.


- Isaiah 51:11

Israel Bracing for Potential Terror Attacks during Biden’s Visit

by Liran Levy ~ Ynetnews

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Israeli police are preparing for potential terror attacks during Biden’s visit (illustrative).

Monday, 4 July 2022 | Israel is said to be bracing for a wave of potential terror attacks during US President Joe Biden’s visit in the Jewish state next week.

Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtaion on Sunday held a high level briefing in preparation for the visit.

Sources in the force said the police was considering the possibility that Palestinian terror groups may attempt to strike while the president was in the country, and also target events hosting thousands during the summer holidays.

Shabtai discussed the threats with commanders in a zoom conference call. He apparently told them the forces on the ground must increase their presence and maintain a high alert.

A source told Ynet that the police was aware of dozens of potential terror attacks all around the country.

“Since the last wave of terror, the police with its anti-terror unit and in cooperation with the Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization], foiled dozens of attacks that were already set to take place,” the source said.

“The anti-terror unit conducted a number of arrests over the past week, of suspects seen as ticking time bombs, some of whom were found inside major cities in Israel and already prepared to launch attacks,” he said.

“The police is prepared to foil terror squads using intelligence sources as well as boots on the ground,” the source said.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on July 3, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Autumn Groat/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for the police, the anti-terror unit and the Shin Bet in their attempts to foil terror attacks and keep Israelis safe. Cry out for calm during President Biden’s upcoming visit and safety for every member of the American delegation. Beseech the Lord for wisdom, alertness and accurate intelligence, so that any attempt at violence or terror will be discovered and quashed before terrorists are able to launch attacks.

Scripture

“I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”


- Jeremiah 15:21

Alleged Israeli Air Strike Kills Syrian Soldier 

by Kate Norman

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The alleged Israeli strike reportedly targeted the Hader region (pictured).

Thursday, 7 July 2022 | A Syrian soldier was killed yesterday near the Israeli–Syrian border in the Golan Heights in a strike that was blamed on Israel, according to Syrian media.

The Syrian man was targeted with a guided missile fired from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, according to Syria’s state-affiliated Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

He was in the town of Hader in the Quneitra region when he was struck, SANA reported, and by the time he arrived at the hospital, he had died from shrapnel wounds.

While SANA only identified the man as “a citizen of the town of Hader,” other Syrian and Lebanese media identified him as 46-year-old Farid Fouad Mustafa, a Syrian regime soldier who was working with Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah.

Mustafa’s duties included patrolling the border fence as well as planting explosives and Hezbollah squads in the local region, i24NEWS reported, citing Syrian media. I24NEWS also specified that the attack was carried out by a drone.

Israel, in keeping with its longstanding policy, did not comment on its alleged involvement in the attack. The Jewish state’s political and military leaders, have, however, acknowledged over the years conducting hundreds of strikes in Syria since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011.

Iran has capitalized on the opportunity provided by the chaos in war-torn Syria to entrench itself and its proxy terror groups, particularly Hezbollah, in the region. This places the regime right at Israel’s doorstep—something Jerusalem has vowed to prevent.

However, deteriorating relations between Israel and Russia over the latter’s invasion of Ukraine in February are spilling over into the Middle East. Russia maintains a tight grip on control over Syrian airspace, and in the past, Moscow is believed to have given the Israeli military a greenlight to conduct its strikes in Syria.

But as ties between Jerusalem and Moscow continue to cool, the light is turning from green to yellow. On Monday, Russia condemned another alleged Israeli strike in Syria that took place over the weekend.

The strike on Saturday took place near the coastal town of Tartus, where Russia maintains a naval base. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the strike was targeting a weapons shipment bound for Hezbollah.

In response, Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson issued a statement condemning “such irresponsible actions that violate the sovereignty of Syria and the basic norms of international law, and we demand their unconditional cessation.”

The bonds between Israel and Russia don’t appear to be warming anytime soon, so Israel’s military might be forced to find alternate ways of thwarting the Iranian octopus from spreading its tentacles across the region.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 7, 2022)

Photo Credit:  אורי פרקש/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the success of those actions that are necessary to keep Hezbollah from infiltrating northern Israel and stop Iran’s attempts to become further entrenched in Israel’s backyard. Pray also for the deteriorating relationship between Jerusalem and Moscow which in the past provided a green light for Israeli air strikes in Syria, an informal consent critical to Israel’s success.

Scripture

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.”


- 2 Samuel 22:2–3

Israel Presents Proof of Iranian Military Presence in Red Sea

by Yoav Zitun ~ Ynetnews

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An Iranian frigate ship

Wednesday, 6 July 2022 | Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday presented satellite images from the past months showing four Iranian warships in the Red Sea carrying advanced UAVs and long and medium missile systems.

“In the satellite images that I show here, you can see four Iranian military ships in the Red Sea. The presence of Iran’s military forces in the Red Sea in recent months is the most significant in a decade,” Gantz told the Economist conference. “It is a direct threat to trade, energy and the global economy.”

Gantz also said the Iranians have recently experimented with a satellite launch, which could be used in the development of intercontinental long-rage missiles able the reach central Europe.

Gantz also referred to the Hezbollah launch on Saturday of three UAVs at the Karish gas rig in off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea, and claimed the action was directed internally at the Lebanese.

Hezbollah’s actions, which have no operational scope, have the potential to lead to a miscalculation and to destabilization, Gantz said.

“Hezbollah’s experience shows that they do not see the reality in the region correctly,” he said.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on July 5, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: PH1 Alex Hicks/commons.wikimedia.org/

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the nations will recognize the threat to trade, energy and the global economy presented by the presence of Iranian military forces in the Red Sea. Beseech the Lord that Iran will be stopped and its ships turned back.

Scripture

“The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”


- Deuteronomy 28:7

Ice Cream War Ends with Victory for Franchise Owner and Israel

by Janet Aslin

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Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in an Israeli market

Tuesday, 5 July 2022 | Opening shots were fired last summer when Ben and Jerry’s announced its products would no longer be sold in Judea and Samaria, or what it called “Occupied Palestine.” However, Avi Zinger, owner of the Ben and Jerry’s franchise in Israel since 1987, refused to comply with the Vermont board’s decision and declared his intent to continue business as usual. The board of Ben and Jerry’s then threatened to terminate his agreement to produce and sell ice cream under their label when it expired at the end of 2022.

Did the Vermont-based board have the authority to make such threats? Well, the short answer is “yes and no.” Ben and Jerry’s is wholly owned by Unilever, a global giant which markets roughly 400 consumer products and is based in the UK. While Unilever has complete control of the operational and financial sides, as part of the sales agreement, Ben and Jerry’s board retained the right to make decisions pertaining to their social values and mission. Hence the decision to stop selling products with their brand in what they deemed “Occupied Palestine.” During the early months of the “ice cream war” Unilever did attempt to distance itself from the fray.

Economic boycotts are a tool of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement and are essentially a means of delegitimizing the State of Israel. Founded July 9, 2005, the BDS movement seeks to pressure Israel to withdraw from its biblical heartland by boycotting goods and services from that area. In the years since its inception, over 30 US states have identified these economic boycotts as anti-Semitic and have passed legislation preventing investment in companies engaging in the practice.

The measures taken to combat the Ben and Jerry’s proposed boycott took two forms. Led by Michael Ashner, the Coalition to Hold Unilever Accountable began to take action in those states that had anti-BDS laws in place. These laws require that the state governments divest themselves of investment in any company that engages in economic boycott of Israeli companies based solely on the location of their manufacturing facilities or sales. The Times of Israel reported that “at least six US states divested a total of hundreds of millions of dollars” and “New York was expected to make a determination on divesting its massive pension fund from Unilever soon.”

In March, Zinger filed suit against Unilever in a New Jersey federal court, the state in which Unilever’s US corporate headquarters are located. As a result of that lawsuit, an agreement was reached between Zinger’s company and the global giant. Unilever sold Ben and Jerry’s in Israel to Zinger, in perpetuity, for an undisclosed amount. Zinger will be allowed to make the same flavors and use similar artwork. His product will be sold using the Hebrew and Arabic, but not the English, rendition of the Ben and Jerry’s name.

This victory is about more than just where a certain brand of ice cream may or may not be sold. From the start, the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream war was a high profile news event. Then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that forcing the withdrawal of the sale of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream from certain parts of Israel would be “bad business, morally wrong and would have severe consequences.” The agreement signed on June 29 showed that Ben and Jerry’s parent company recognized those consequences and chose to withdraw from a bad situation gracefully.

The BBC ran a quote from then-Foreign Minister Yair Lapid which sums things up nicely. “The Ben & Jerry’s factory in Israel is a microcosm of the diversity of Israeli society. Today’s victory is a victory for all those who know that the struggle against BDS is, first and foremost, a struggle for partnership and dialogue, and against discrimination and hate.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 5, 2022)

Photo Credit: Uziel302/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that Israel won the ice cream war! Praise Him for the actions of those American states that drained millions of dollars from Unilever’s coffers and landed a significant blow to the BDS movement. Pray that this precedent will discourage other companies from making similar decisions to that of Unilever that proved to be very bad business.

Scripture

For the LORD will judge His people, and He will have compassion on His servants.


- Psalm 135:14

IDF: Forensic Analysis of Bullet that Killed Al Jazeera Reporter Inconclusive

by JNS

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Palestinian journalists take part in a candlelight vigil in the Gaza Strip in memory of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022 | Forensic analysis of the bullet the Palestinian Authority [PA] claims killed an Al Jazeera reporter in Jenin in May has yielded inconclusive results, the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] said in a statement on Monday.

“The physical condition of the bullet does not allow for a conclusive determination regarding the source of fire that led to the death of the journalist,” the statement said.

Palestinian authorities had handed over the bullet to United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (USSC) Lt. Gen. Michael Fenzel on Saturday for analysis. The bullet remained under his custodianship until being returned to the Palestinians on Sunday, said the IDF.

The testing was conducted in a forensic laboratory in Israel, but USSC representatives were present throughout, according to the statement.

The US State Department in its own statement concurred that the bullet was too badly damaged to yield conclusive results.

“After an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the US Security Coordinator (USSC), could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian–American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,” the statement said.

However, while the IDF noted that its own internal investigation had found that there was insufficient information to determine the source of the fire that killed Akleh, the USSC had concluded that “gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible” for her death.

“The USSC found no reason to believe that this was intentional,” the statement continued, “but rather [that it was] the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation against factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad on May 11, 2022 in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel.”

The IDF emphasized in its statement that Israel does not deliberately target journalists.

Responding to the US statement, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “Tragically, hundreds of journalists have been killed in recent years in combat zones around the world. The State of Israel recognizes the importance of freedom of the press and safeguarding journalists as they carry out their duties.”

At the same time, he continued, “The IDF will continue fighting terror whenever and wherever necessary.” As prime minister of Israel, he said, “I give full and unequivocal backing to the IDF soldiers who risk their lives to defend the citizens of Israel from terrorism and who work around the clock for the security of Israel.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz emphasized that the ultimate responsibility for Akleh’s tragic death lay with the terrorists operating within population centers.

“It is important to emphasize that during this operational event, as in many others, hundreds of bullets were fired at IDF troops, who responded with fire of their own—only in the direction of the sources of fire,” he said in a statement.

“Our troops and their commanders have the duty to defend the citizens of the State of Israel, and they have my full support to operate accordingly. At the same time, we…take all the possible measures to prevent harm to uninvolved civilians, while enabling freedom of the press,” in line with the IDF’s values, he said.

“This includes decisions regarding force build-up, operations, investigations and cooperation with partners, such as this cooperation with our US partners, in order to uncover the truth. The professional and moral truth are inseparable from our national resilience and it will always be this way,” he concluded.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on July 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the false accusation that Israel intentionally targets journalists will be proven wrong and laid to rest despite the unfortunately biased report from the USSC.

Scripture

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD.


- Isaiah 54:17a

Israel, Poland Agree to Turn over New Leaf after Diplomatic Fallout

by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

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Young Israelis traditionally travel to Poland to tour former Nazi camps and learn about the Holocaust.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022 | President Isaac Herzog and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda agreed on Monday to restore relations that had deteriorated after Warsaw introduced a law last year limiting the ability of Jews to recover property lost during the Holocaust.

As part of the rapprochement, a new Polish ambassador to Israel will be appointed and Israel’s ambassador-designate to Poland Yacov Livne will present his credentials to Duda in the coming days, according to a statement released by Herzog’s office.

Livne arrived in Poland several months ago but thus far has neither received his letters of credence nor scheduled any appointments with officials.

Poland’s parliament passed a bill in December that would block World War II property restitution claims from former Polish property owners, including Holocaust survivors and their descendants.

The bill puts at stake homes and businesses of families killed in the Holocaust and whose properties were later seized by Poland’s communist-era authorities.

Then-Foreign Minister Yair Lapid denounced the bill as “anti-Semitic and immoral”.

Monday’s talk between Herzog and Duda was coordinated by Lapid and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, after a shift in the former’s stance.

The two presidents discussed the advancement of bilateral ties and expressed “hope that any future issues between Poland and Israel will be resolved through sincere and open dialogue and in a spirit of mutual respect,” according to a statement released after the president’s call with Duda.

The two did not discuss last year’s legislation that stood at the heart of contention between the countries. They did, however, underscore the importance of Israeli Holocaust study trips to former Nazi camps scattered throughout Poland.

Duda stressed that aside from learning about the Holocaust, he wants Israeli teens to learn more about present-day Poland and Polish history.

Young Israelis traditionally travel to Poland in the summer between 11th and 12th grade to tour former Nazi camps, learn about the Holocaust and remember the victims. The trip has long been considered a milestone in Israeli education and, prior to the pandemic, some 40,000 Israeli students participated each year.

The annual trips were suspended during the pandemic and last month Israel said it was not resuming them because Poland’s right-wing government was trying to control the curriculum.

Israel agreed that the Israeli youth would meet their Polish peers, but Warsaw said this wasn’t enough. Israel also agreed to add to the itinerary a visit to a Jewish museum in Warsaw where students would be exposed to the rich history of the Jewish community in Poland. The sides have yet to finalize an agreement on the matter.

Israel’s attempt to find a middle ground was rejected and the countries found themselves hitting a dead end. The discussions are set to resume later this month.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on July 4, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Efka de~commonswiki/commons.wikimedia.org 

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God that the relations between Israel and Poland are being restored after last year’s law limiting Jews’ ability to recover property lost during the Holocaust. Pray that the relationship between the two nations will strengthen, resulting in the resumption of the annual trips for Israeli youth. Pray that disagreements over the curriculum will be overcome.

Scripture

When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.


- Proverbs 16:7

Israel and Cyprus Sign Defense Export Agreements

by JNS

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Israeli and Cypriot officials sign a government-to-government agreement.

Friday, 1 July 2022 | Israel and Cyprus signed a number of government-to-government (GTG) agreements in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Wednesday, including one for the sale of personal protective equipment and tactical equipment to the Cyprus National Guard.

The agreements were signed in the presence of Cyprus’s Defense Minister Charalambos Petrides and Defense Ministry Director-general Andreas Louka, as well as Chief of the National Guard General Staff Demokritos Zervakis.

“The agreements will provide integrated soldier systems…which include personal protective equipment, carrying equipment, and dynamic weight distribution (DWD), which will significantly improve soldier effectiveness,” according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.

During the visit, IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Brig. Gen. (res.) Yair Kulas, the head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), met with Louka, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. The two discussed the strengthening of security cooperation between the countries’ defense ministries.

“The agreements that were signed today reflect our close relations with Cyprus and indicate the joint goal to protect soldiers’ lives,” said Kulas.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 29, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Cyprus Defense Ministry/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the strong relationship that exists between Israel and Cypress. Pray that the integrated soldier systems Israel is providing will indeed save the lives of soldiers and also for the strengthening of security cooperation between the countries’ defense ministries

Scripture

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!


- Psalm 34:8