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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.

IDF General: UN Failing to Keep Hezbollah Out of Southern Lebanon

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Southern Lebanese mosque where Hezbollah weapons were found

Thursday, 15 June 2017 | Israel’s deputy chief of staff disputed the effectiveness of the United Nations’ [UN] peacekeeping mission in Lebanon while touring the border with the force’s commander and Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations last week, Israel’s Channel Two reported.

After Maj. Gen. Michael Beary, the head of the UN’s Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), told US Ambassador Nikki Haley that Israel’s border with Lebanon was stable and needed no further intervention, IDF Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi interrupted and said that UNIFIL was not doing its job properly and failed to enter villages in southern Lebanon that are controlled by Hezbollah.

Kochavi urged Haley to help change UNIFIL’s mandate so that it would have the power to disarm Hezbollah.

UNIFIL was established in 1978 to supervise the border between Israel and Lebanon. Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, UNIFIL has also been charged with maintaining the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah. The terms of UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the war, called for UNIFIL “to ensure that no armed groups such as Hezbollah would move into” southern Lebanon.

Though an Israeli diplomatic source apologized for Kochavi’s outburst, Haley indicated that she was happy to gain a better understanding of the threats facing Israel and that his remarks would influence her work at the UN.

Last month, former Israeli ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor wrote an op-ed calling on the world community to take action against Hezbollah, which he said has grown stronger than most NATO nations. He urged the Security Council to strengthen and enforce resolution 1701, in line with Chapter 7 of the UN’s charter, which mandates peace enforcement.

According to a July 2016 report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Israeli officials believe that any future war with Hezbollah has the potential to cause “thousands of civilian deaths” in Israel. Hezbollah has, among other things, threatened to attack ammonium tanks in Haifa, which could kill tens of thousands of people.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained that month that Hezbollah’s widely-reported tactic of hiding military assets in civilian areas would lead to mass casualties. Reports emerged in 2013 that Hezbollah was offering reduced-price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to store rocket launchers in their homes. An Israeli defense official told The New York Times in May 2015 that the buildup of Hezbollah’s terror infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages meant that “civilians are living in a military compound” and that their lives were at risk. A few days later, a newspaper linked to Hezbollah bolstered the Israeli assessment.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 13 June 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to God, reminding Him of the situation on Israel’s northern border where Hezbollah forces desire to destroy Israel. Beseech God for Israel’s protection and ask Him to grant wisdom and understanding to Israel’s security forces and the IDF as they prepare for all kinds of scenarios.

Scripture

But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.


- Exodus 23:22

Hamas Terror Tunnel Discovered under UN-run School in Gaza

by Ilse Posselt

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Monday, 12 June 2017 | In the normal course of things, a school is supposed to be a place of learning, a safe, stable environment where children can focus on getting an education. Yet thanks to Hamas’s reign of terror, things are different in the Gaza Strip. Here, under the iron fist of the terror group, schools have been turned into places of horror, where young children are used as prospective human shields.

On Friday, the United Nations [UN] agency for Palestinian refugees announced that it had uncovered a Hamas terror tunnel running under two boys’ elementary schools in the Gaza Strip.

A statement by the spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Christopher Gunnes, revealed that UNRWA workers discovered the tunnel on 1 June while doing construction work to extend one of the school buildings. The tunnel is located 2 to 3 meters [7 to 10 ft] underground and runs beneath the Maghazi Preparatory Boys School and the Maghazi Elementary Boys A&B School. The schools are both situated on the same premises.

According to the statement, the tunnel runs westward into the Gaza Strip and eastward towards Israel. No entry or exit points were discovered within the school.

The UN agency expressed its horror at the Hamas terror infrastructure running beneath its facilities. “UNRWA condemns the existence of such tunnels in the strongest possible terms,” the statement said. “It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way. The construction and presence of tunnels under UN premises are incompatible with the respect of privileges and immunities owed to the United Nations under applicable international law, which provides that UN premises shall be inviolable. The sanctity and neutrality of UN premises must be preserved at all times.”

According to the statement, UNRWA has already logged an official complaint with the Hamas authorities and intends to seal the tunnel “as an immediate priority.”

Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai from Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confirmed the discovery of the tunnel on the official COGAT Facebook page. Quoting the Saudi Arabian newspaper, Okaz, the post said, “Hamas is the one leading Gaza into humanitarian disaster in that it takes over and confiscates humanitarian aid and threatens the lives of residents as it digs tunnels under schools and hospitals in order to take advantage of residents as human shields.”

Lawmakers from the Jewish state condemned the existence of such terror infrastructure harshly and submitted a letter of protest to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council. “This tunnel verifies what we have always known, that the cruelty of Hamas knows no bounds as they use the children of Gaza as human shields. Instead of UN schools serving as centers of learning and education, Hamas has turned them into terror bases for attacks on Israel,” Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said in the letter.

Danon called on the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council to intervene in the matter and asked the international body to condemn Hamas. “The UN must act immediately to ensure that their structures and institutions are not being used to harbor the terror infrastructure of Hamas.”

For his part, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting yesterday that following the discovery of the terror tunnel, he had told Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, that it was time “for the UN to reconsider the continued existence of UNRWA.”

Netanyahu continued to lambaste the terror organization responsible for the terror tunnels. “Hamas is using schoolchildren as human shields,” he held. “This is the enemy that we have been fighting against for many years, an enemy that is committing a twofold war crime. On the one hand, it first attacks innocent civilians and then hides behind children.”

Netanyahu added that he had instructed the foreign ministry director general to “file an official protest against Hamas at the UN Security Council.”

Hamas was quick to deny any knowledge of the terror tunnel running under two UN schools. In fact, the terror group “strongly condemned” UNRWA’s statement and claimed that Israel would jump at the opportunity to use the revelation to besmirch Hamas’s reputation.

Despite Hamas’s vehement denial, this would not be the first time that the terror group used UN facilities for its terror purposes. During 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, Hamas used UNRWA schools as weapons caches on a number of occasions.

An independent inquiry led by the UN a year after the war revealed that Hamas had stashed its weapons in three UN-run schools in Gaza. The report also held that terrorists in all likelihood used these facilities as launching pads to fire rockets at Israel.

Moreover, during the course of Operation Protective Edge, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers. Investigations showed that the walls of the clinic were packed with explosives and that at least a dozen terror tunnels ran beneath the UNRWA facility.

Hamas has managed to build a sophisticated network of terror tunnels running beneath Gazan towns and cities. Some of these tunnels pass under the security fence and into Israel and have been used to conduct kidnappings and launch attacks on Israeli soil. Hamas also uses these tunnels to store its arsenal of rockets and other weapons underground.

During the 50-day Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Israel destroyed some 34 tunnels, 14 of which crossed into the Jewish state. Yet during the past three years, the terror group has reportedly been hard at work reconstructing its terror network. According to the senior Israeli security official, Hamas has the ability to extend its terror tunnels by 10 kilometers [6 mi] every month.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 12 June 2017)

Photo Credit: IDF@IDFspokesman/Twitter

Prayer Focus
Bring Hamas’s continuing construction of terror tunnels before the Lord and thank Him for the recent discovery of a tunnel underneath two UN-supported schools. Pray that the UN will stop protecting terror organizations who use residents as human shields. Ask God that employees from within the UN will bring change and stand against terrorism.

Scripture

Lo, God will not reject a man of integrity, nor will He support the evildoers.  


- Job 8:20 NASB

PA Orchestrates Cut in Electricity Supply to Gaza

by Ilse Posselt

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Gaza City, part of the area that will be affected by the reduction of electricity

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 | Global media, world leaders and international aid organizations are usually quick to lay the blame for humanitarian crises plaguing the Gaza Strip at Israel’s door. Yet, in the days and weeks to come, the people who call the coastal enclave home will be plunged into darkness due to a sharp decrease in the supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip. And the man responsible for the power cut is Palestinian Authority (PA) President, Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel, who withdrew completely from Gaza in 2006 and handed the governance and control of the Strip over to Palestinians, supplies the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with some 125 megawatts or 40 million shekels [US $11.3 million] worth of electricity every month. The payment for the supply is taken from the taxes that the Jewish state collects on behalf of the PA.

Abbas requested recently that Israel cut the power supply to Gaza by 35%, as it will in future only pay 20-25 million shekels [US $5.6-7 million]. The Jewish state’s security cabinet passed a unanimous vote on Sunday to heed the request.

The PA president’s request comes amidst rising tensions between Abbas’s Fatah political party, which governs the Palestinians in parts of Judea and Samaria, and Hamas, the terror organization that rules over the Palestinian people in Gaza. The two factions have a history of bitter rivalry, which erupted more than a decade ago in a violent conflict known as the Battle of Gaza. In five days of bloody fighting, Hamas combatants seized control of the Gaza Strip, murdered a number of Fatah officials and drove the rest from the coastal enclave.

Eleven years and a number of failed reconciliation efforts later, the rift has not been mended. Moreover, while Hamas continues to try and establish a foothold in PA-governed areas of Judea and Samaria, the PA has in recent months upped the financial pressure on the terror group and has now begun cutting support payments to a trickle. Apart from forcing Hamas to foot its own electricity bill, The Times of Israel explains, the PA’s objective is to wrestle control of the Strip from the terror group.

For its part, the power struggle puts Israel in an uncomfortable position. On the one hand, Hamas remains hard at work setting up terror cells in Judea and Samaria to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. Moreover, the terror group uses the electricity paid for by the PA and supplied by the Jewish state to rebuild its network of terror tunnels and replenish its cache of rockets and missiles.

On the other, the Jewish state is concerned that the cut in electricity can destabilize Gaza even further. According to an Israeli official who was present during the security cabinet meeting where the decision to grant the PA’s request for a reduction was approved, military officials acknowledged the conditions in the coastal enclave, yet gave their nod of approval in the hope that the added pressure on Hamas would cause the terror group to desist from its policy of violence and terror.

Hamas responded to the news of the imminent reduction in their electricity supply with vows of retaliation and revenge. “Those who will bear the consequences of this decision are the Israeli enemy … and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,” said Hamas spokesperson Abdel Latif al-Qanua.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 14 June 2017)

Photo Credit: Mujaddara/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for stability in the Gaza region as its civilians will suffer greatly as a result of the power cuts during the heat of summer. Pray that Israel’s government will not get caught up in the tensions caused by rivalry between Hamas and Fatah. Lift up the media as they influence the perception the world has about Israel and pray that the truth will be told.

Scripture

A false witness shall perish, but the man who hears him will speak endlessly. A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way. There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord.


- Proverbs 21:28-31

Ramifications of Recent Terror Attack in Iran

by Jonathan Greenblatt

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Tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini

Friday, 16 June 2017 | On June 7, ISIS executed simultaneous terrorist attacks against the Iranian parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini—the spiritual and political leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. As of this writing, 12 people were killed and dozens more injured in the first major ISIS attack in Iran. This horrible attack targeting Iran is a worrying development, first because it puts another country under the threat of the terror group, but also because it can increase tensions in the region, thereby contributing to ISIS propaganda and recruiting.

Why Iran and Why Now?

ISIS rhetoric, propaganda and actions have always targeted Shia Muslims, which ISIS sees as legitimate targets because they do not see them as “true Muslims.” Moreover, as Iran is militarily involved in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the organization justifies attacks against it as it justifies attacks against the United States and other European countries.

Past incarnations of ISIS, when it was under the umbrella of Al-Qaeda, did not target Iran. The reason was that Al-Qaeda had an understanding with Iran. Today, with ISIS unaffiliated with Al-Qaeda, this arrangement is no longer valid. Important to note that this is by no means the first time ISIS has tried to target Iran, but it is the first time it succeeded in a significant way.

The timing of the attack is also not surprising. This attack happened during the month of Ramadan, when ISIS and other Jihadi groups tend to increase the frequency and lethality of their attacks. Furthermore, as ISIS is losing territory in both Iraq and Syria, the organization wants to maintain this image of “success” in targeting its enemies, and as mentioned, Tehran is a valuable target for ISIS.

Regional Implications

The ISIS attack in Tehran will likely increase tensions in the Middle East as some political players in Iran, such as the Iranian revolutionary guards (IRGC) for example, will use this attack to add more fuel to the already big fire of sectarianism in the region.

The IRGC has already blamed Saudi Arabia for this attack in a statement, although they did not present any evidence backing this statement and ISIS had already claimed responsibility. An IRGC official added that Iran will take revenge on the Kingdom and the United States.

This terrorist attack can also allow some Iranian figures to justify expanding Iran’s involvement in Syria and Iraq in order to “fight terrorism” and crack down on domestic opposition groups. Iran is already militarily involved in Syria and Iraq, but any increase in their presence will serve to further alarm regional rivals and the U.S.

ISIS, for its part, will use this attack to increase morale among its fighters, which is particularly important for the organization as it continues to lose territory. The terror group will most likely be able to use this incident to increase recruitment.

Source: (Excerpt of blog entry originally published by Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, on 07 June 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See complete article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Mahdi Kalhor/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for Israel’s government, IDF and other security forces as they strategize and prepare for the threat of Iran’s increasing military involvement in Syria and Iraq. Ask God to keep the government of Israel standing strong, with their eyes fixed on the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel.

Scripture

I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.


- Psalm 121:1-4

Abbas May Shelve Demand to Freeze Construction in Judea and Samaria

by Itamar Eichner and Elior Levy

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Construction site during Israel’s early years of statehood (illustrative)

Monday, 12 June 2017 | Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is willing to temporarily shelve his demand to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank [Judea-Samaria] as a precondition for peace talks with Israel, his financial advisor Mohammad Mustafa told Bloomberg in an interview published last week.

Abbas, Mustafa said, will also tone down his international campaign to take Israelis to The Hague for war crimes and promote resolutions at the UN [United Nations] condemning Israel.

“We have not made the settlements an up-front issue this time,” Mustafa said. “We think it’s better for all of us right now to focus on giving this new (American) administration a chance to deliver.”

Mohammad Shtayyeh, another senior Abbas aide and a member of the policy making Central Committee in the Fatah party, told Bloomberg that US President Donald Trump gained the Palestinians’ trust when he, like his predecessors, signed a temporary waiver to keep the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

“There is a new dynamic. The embassy issue is behind us,” Shtayyeh said.

He claimed that “With this administration, the White House is engaged and that’s a huge difference,” but stressed, “That doesn’t mean I’m optimistic.”

After being encouraged by Trump’s decision not to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, Abbas has reportedly expressed to the Americans willingness to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without preconditions and has shown willingness to restart peace talks.

Nevertheless, Palestinian officials have expressed concern in private conversations that the Americans are pushing too hard to resume negotiations without first studying the issue properly.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 8 June 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that Abbas will be held accountable for the things he says in English and that the true motives, if different, of the PA and Abbas will be exposed. Continue to pray for Israel to put their trust in the Lord and thank Him that they are fulfilling prophecy by building in the land God gave them as an inheritance.

Scripture

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.


- Psalm 46:1

Israel Holds Earthquake Drill in Schools, at Knesset

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Earthquake practice drill at Knesset

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 | The Home Front Command held an earthquake drill on Tuesday morning in 2,300 schools throughout Israel as well as at the Knesset and the president’s residence.

The students and teachers drilled leaving buildings quickly via escape routes to open areas.

As part of safety measures taken in the Education Ministry, earthquake-detection systems have been installed over the past year in educational institutions built before 1980. An additional 600 systems will be installed in the coming year. The system identifies ground movements caused by an earthquake and sets off an alarm at the school. The entire project cost NIS 12 million [US $3.4 million].

In addition, 59 structures in educational institutions have been fortified to better withstand earthquakes, while 200 additional institutions are in the process of similar fortification work.

The Education Ministry said 10th graders throughout the country will undergo training during the next school year on minor extraction measures in the case of an earthquake.

“The students will be trained for minor rescue missions with basic and simple measures,” the ministry said in a statement. “The training will significantly increase the number of civilians who could aid in the immediate rescue operations in the different municipalities, educational institutions, work places and more.”

In addition to Tuesday’s drill, students in the 5th-12th grades received lessons on earthquakes during February and March in an effort to increase knowledge and awareness among the students.

Education Ministry Director-General Shmuel Abuab said the education system is putting an emphasis on “the immediate evacuation of preschool- and school-aged children to safety.”

Furthermore, Abuab said, “the education system would aid rescue teams in affected cities, with psychologists, teachers-in-training and teenage volunteers, among other things.”

While in the past students were instructed to dive under their desks in case of an earthquake, this year students are called to evacuate out of the building.

“We’ve been learning about safe environments throughout the year,” said a teacher at the Yahalom School in Afula. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been drilling, watching Home Front Command instruction videos with the students, locating the safe place in any type of event—shelters, emergency exits, open areas, and more.”

As the students headed out of the school building during Tuesday’s drill, 5th grade students served as stewards, stretcher bearers and even firefighters. After all of the students evacuated the building, stewards searched the hallways to ensure no one was left inside, while teachers took attendance to account for all students.

The drill was supervised by a lieutenant colonel from the Home Front Command and a security officer from the municipality who is in charge of educational institutions.

School principal Perach Bar-Cohen said, “The goal is to teach security and safety, while preparing for any emergency. Even when a student is not at school, he’ll know what to do in any situation.”

Drilling rescue operations at the Knesset

The Knesset also participated in the drill, with the Knesset Guard working alongside Israel police forces, the Home Front Command, Magen David Adom and fire and rescue forces.

During the drill, the Knesset Guard evacuated crowds from the building out to its western parking lot and to a nearby basketball court, while triage stations were set up outside.

At the front of the Knesset building, firefighters along with the Knesset’s rescue force drilled the extraction of trapped and injured people from the fifth floor using zip lines, ropes and ladders. Later, the Knesset’s rescue force drilled extracting injured people from under wreckage at the energy center on the building’s eastern side.

Also, for the first time, rescue forces drilled the evacuation of injured people to the hospital using a MDA helicopter, which landed in the nearby Wohl Rose Park.

President Reuven Rivlin also participated in the drill. When the drill began, Rivlin and the president residence’s staff evacuated the building. They waited outside for 15 minutes, and then returned to work.

“Preparedness is the key to minimizing casualties and to acting with level headedness during emergency,” Rivlin said after the drill. “I thank all security and rescue forces for the work they do for all of us, both today and every other day, and hope we won’t have to put our training to use.”

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews Institute on 13 June 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/VINnews/YouTube

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord for the vastness of Israel’s preparations to ensure the safety of their people. Pray that the children of Israel will have level headedness to respond calmly in the event of an earthquake, and that those who have special responsibilities will fulfill them as they have been trained to do.

Scripture

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.


- Psalm 56:3

Tri-lateral Israel–Greece–Cyprus Meeting Held

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PM Netanyahu and his wife Sara upon their departure for Greece

Friday, 16 June 2017 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, prior to leaving for Thessaloniki, Greece on June 14, made the following remarks:

“As part of our efforts, which are bearing diplomatic fruit, to enhance relations between Israel and many countries in the world, I am now leaving for the annual summit that we founded between Israel, Greece and Cyprus. This year the summit will focus on innovation and it always deals with energy, security and strategic cooperation, economic matters and tourism. This year the summit will be in Thessaloniki and there is a reason for this. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and I, together with a representative of the German government, will unveil a plaque to mark the start of construction of a museum dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Greece and Thessaloniki. The German government has made a considerable contribution to this project.

I asked Moshe Ha-Elion, one of this year’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day torch lighters, who was born in Thessaloniki, to join us. He was very moved, and so was I. He simply felt unwell and therefore, I asked his daughter Rachel and his son Eliyahu to join us and represent him. My wife and I send him our best wishes for a complete recovery, he is a dear Jew. I am certain that the dedication event in Thessaloniki will warm his heart.

Today, we can also announce two pieces of good news, one from Switzerland and the other from the Netherlands. I welcome the Swiss parliament’s decision to require the Swiss government not to finance NGOs that foster hate, racism, anti-Semitism and incitement. Second, I commend the Dutch government and my friend, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, for their decision to stop financing the Palestinian terrorist NGO that extols the memory of Dalal Mughrabi and to reconsider the financing that the Netherlands provides to other NGOs. I think that here as well we are seeing that our effort is bearing fruit, and we have what to aspire to – the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway, and I am certain that additional countries will join.

Lastly, we are now going to meet with the first ultra-orthodox woman pilot. You are invited to join. She is the first, but not the last.”

Source: (The Israel Ministry of Foreign affairs originally published this press release from the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser on 14 June, 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Amos BenGershom/GPO

Prayer Focus
Glorify God for the diplomatic fruit is resulting from Israel’s quest to enhance relations between themselves and many other countries. Thank God also for the countries of Switzerland and Netherlands who took a stand against terrorism. Pray for the world to be united in peace.

Scripture

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.


- Proverbs 13:20

London Mayor Seeks Israeli Security Expertise after Wave of Terrorist Attacks

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Tributes after London Bridge terror attack

Thursday, 15 June 2017 | London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan sought Israel’s advice to “find new ways to protect ourselves” after a series of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, Jewish News reported Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with Jewish News, Khan revealed that both his office and Met police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of the counter-terrorism police, have been in touch with Israeli officials to discuss how to better combat urban terrorism.

“My office has been in contact with not only Tel Aviv but other places as well,” Khan said, adding they had learned “lots of things, things like putting in place the barriers we have done in London. There are other things and we are using the advice we receive.”

“Just like the terrorists evolve, we have to find new ways to protect ourselves,” he added.

Terrorist atrocities that are low-tech in nature—such as car rammings and knife attacks—are a relatively new occurrence in Europe, but a phenomenon Israel has been dealing with for years.

Khan also revealed that hate crime in London has risen sharply in the wake of the attacks, including crimes of an anti-Semitic nature. Police are taking a “zero tolerance” approach to all incidents of hate crime. “No hate crime will be regarded as too trivial to report,” Khan promised.

The mayor pledged to fight anti-Semitism, saying it was “unacceptable in London in 2017 and I’m determined to stamp it out.” Khan added, “I promise you I will not rest until we win this battle.”

He also admitted Labor was suffering from a trust deficit among Jewish voters, after a series of anti-Semitic scandals since Jeremy Corbyn took over as leader of the party. Khan said he would use “all his influence” to try to repair the damage and restore trust between Labor and the Jewish community.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 14 June 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Matt Brown/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for Israel’s willingness to share its expertise on how to deal with terrorism and the increase in hate crimes with the city of London. Praise God as London’s Mayor Khan has also promised to use all his influence to repair the damage and restore trust between the Labor party and the Jewish community after a series of anti-Semitic scandals.

Scripture

And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?


- Genesis 18:17-18

Senior Palestinian Official Donates Recovery Room to Israeli Hospital that Saved His Life

by Ilse Posselt

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Joseph Fishman Oncology Center at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 | A few months ago, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official came to the Rambam Medical Center to receive treatment for cancer. His stay at the hospital in the Jewish state’s northern city of Haifa did not only save his life—it also gave him an appreciation for the coexistence between Jews and Palestinians in Israel.

Last week, the PA official returned to the hospital that saved his life to donate tens of thousands of shekels “to build peace through medicine.”

While hospitalized in the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center, the official, who has chosen to remain anonymous, met a number of children—both Jews and Arabs—who are receiving treatment for various ailments at the hospital. Witnessing the coexistence in practice has motivated him to donate to “peace and health.”

“When I came to Rambam I saw a medical staff that treats Palestinian children, Israelis, Syrians and children from other countries that are receiving treatment there and need all the help they can get,” the hospital quoted the PA official in a statement. “I have decided to make this donation as an act of humanity and a sign of solidarity.”

“I decided to make a donation to help save human lives apart from any political considerations,” he said.

“Both Israeli society and Palestinian society suffer from the damage done by violence and I am trying to aim for a situation where we can all contribute to peace and to health,” the statement continued. “Where we can treat sick kids, save lives, and share knowledge in order to train Palestinian doctors at Rambam, to improve the medical care system and ability to treat Palestinians in Gaza and to encourage more Palestinians to contribute to the health and wellness between the two peoples.”

“Medicine is a bridge between peoples and my hope is that with the help of this small contribution and others like it in the future, we will all see a better tomorrow,” the statement concluded.

The PA official’s donation will be used to build a kids’ playroom in the Institute of Radiology of the Joseph Fishman Oncology Center. The room will offer a soothing and uplifting environment for children before and after chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.

According to Rambam, roughly 1,200 Palestinians from the Palestinian-governed parts of Judea and Samaria as well as the Gaza Strip visit the hospital for cancer treatment every year.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 13 June 2017)

Photo Credit: RHCC/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Offer thanksgiving for this senior official from the PA who wants to build peace through medicine. Ask the Lord for a ripple effect as a result of his actions—that others will also believe in Israel’s good intentions. Ask God to protect the donor and his family as he blessed Israel publicly.

Scripture

Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.


- Psalm 41:1-2

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