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What Will We Do Now?

Friday, June 17, 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.

Bennett Warns Iran Close to Bomb as Nuclear Talks Remain at Impasse

by David Isaac ~ JNS

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Uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran

Monday, 13 June 2022 | If the West does not stop Iran’s nuclear program in its tracks, then the mullahs will soon get the bomb, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the Telegraph in an interview on June 11.

So, where do negotiations stand and how close is Iran to crossing the nuclear threshold?

In March, efforts to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal—from which the Trump administration withdrew in 2018—appeared within reach. “Our view is that we are close. We have been close for some time now,” then-White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on March 10.

Then negotiations stalled. On April 4, Iran announced it would not send representatives back to Vienna to continue talks with counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and, indirectly, the United States.

Efforts to revitalize the process hit a low point when, on June 8, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) condemned Iran over its failure to explain traces of uranium at three undisclosed sites.

The next day, Iran denounced the resolution as “political” and “unconstructive,” and IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi revealed that Iran had removed 27 of the UN watchdog group’s surveillance cameras from nuclear sites around the country (about 40 remain in place). Grossi said at a June 9 press conference that Iran’s move posed a “serious challenge” and could constitute a “fatal blow” to the prospect of resuming negotiations.

Grossi also informed IAEA members that Iran intends to install two new IR-6 cascades (a series of linked centrifuges that enrich uranium) at its Natanz nuclear facility. “An IR-6 centrifuge spins uranium 10 times as fast as the first-generation centrifuges that Iran was once limited to under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers,” according to the Associated Press. Iran has already been operating nearly 100 IR-6s at its Fordo underground nuclear facility, the IAEA reported.

Some Israeli officials believe the West has given up on an agreement. Eytan Gilboa, professor of political science and a senior fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS), told JNS: “The West concluded that Iran is not interested in a deal and that the negotiations, as some of them suspected, were designed just to buy time in order for Iran to continue with its nuclear project at an accelerated speed.”

Others are less confident that negotiations are at an endpoint. Eyal Zisser, vice rector of Tel Aviv University and a lecturer at its Middle East History department, said that the IAEA resolution should not be interpreted as a sign that the West has given up on talks. “I would argue that there is no immediate connection,” he told JNS.

“The IAEA is a professional organization. These are not politicians. It could be they’re trying to put pressure on Iran, or they’ve come to a point where they can’t handle it and figure it’s better to leave it to the UN Security Council or the United States,” Zisser said.

He said it’s impossible to know whether recent events signal a disintegration of negotiations or simply an effort by both sides to gain leverage. “The negotiations are not new, we’re speaking about the last decade. Iranians leaving and then coming back—it’s part of their tactics,” Zisser said.

Eyal Pinko, an expert on Israeli national security and intelligence and a researcher and lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, is convinced Iran is playing the long game. “In every negotiation, you want to create some crisis in order to get better results,” he said.

Pinko told JNS he believes that Iran and the West will reach an agreement because both sides are keen for a deal. The Europeans want access to Iranian oil and to penetrate Iranian markets and Iran wants to free itself from economic sanctions. “Europe sees a lot of opportunities in Iran and Iran is losing a lot of opportunities in Europe and with other economies. The population in Iran is starting to feel hungry and they’re protesting, and the Iranian leadership has a lot of internal problems as a result,” Pinko said.

“Europe is pretty much occupied with the Ukrainian war,” he added, “but in the next few months, one to three months, they will go back and revive the negotiations with Iran.”

Iran considers itself in an excellent position, Pinko said, as it views Europe as “desperately” in need of fossil fuels and the US as vacillating. “In Muslim culture, if you’re not demonstrating power, you’re weak,” he said, providing several recent examples of America’s failure to act. He noted, for example, the five Iranian oil tankers sent to Venezuela despite US warnings. The tankers arrived without interference and unloaded some US $45 million in oil and other products between May and June of last year.

“America did nothing. It’s like the Biden administration is threatening via Twitter. Iran, the Russians and the Chinese are seeing this as a source of weakness,” Pinko said.

How Close to a Bomb?

Israel has been advocating for concerted action against Iran for years, warning of the danger of a nuclear armed Islamic Republic to the entire world. Other countries in the region share that view, including the United Arab Emirates, whose leader invited Bennett to his country for a meeting on June 9 that observers say was driven by concern over events surrounding Iran.

Most recently, Bennett told the Telegraph, “Without pressure from the West, the Islamic regime in Iran could get their hands on a nuclear bomb very soon. The world must take a firm stance…Iran’s nuclear program won’t stop until it’s stopped.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on May 17 confirmed that Iran has 60 kilograms [132 lbs.] of uranium enriched to 60%, about double the 33 kilograms [72.7 lbs.] the IAEA reported in March. According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran would need about 40 kilograms [88 lbs.] of 60%-enriched uranium “to produce enough weapons-grade nuclear fuel for a weapon.”

“It can take Iran 12 weeks to three months once it makes the decision,” University of Tel Aviv’s Zisser said of Iran’s current position.

Pinko agrees that Iran already has the capacity to build a nuclear weapon, especially when considering an IAEA report from May 2021. “It said that they have the full capabilities for enrichment to a military degree,” he said.

Noting that Iran is receiving help from China and North Korea, Pinko postulated that “they have the full capacity for the bomb, including the missiles to carry it and the weapon system to operate the nuclear warhead. They’ve had it for at least one year. This is my assessment.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 12, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Intercede for the nation of Israel and for the world as the threat of a nuclear Iran comes closer to reality every day. Pray that the plans of Iran’s leadership to destroy the Jewish people would not prevail and that the world would know there is a God in Israel.

Scripture

Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight.


- Psalm 9:19

Government Teeters on Brink as another Israeli Lawmaker Leaves

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Yamina Party Knesset member Nir Orbach announced that he would stop voting with the government.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022 | Yamina Knesset [Parliament] member Nir Orbach said he would stop voting with the government until it passes the extension of  West Bank [Judea and Samaria] emergency regulations, Israeli media reported on Monday night.

Orbach said he told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that because of the situation, he no longer is part of the coalition.

However, the Yamina MK [Member of Knesset] said he would not now support the dissolution of the Knesset and the holding of new elections.

Last week, a vote to extend the West Bank law failed when two Arab MKs that are part of the coalition voted against the bill.

Orbach follows Yamina Party MKs Amichai Chikli and Idit Silman in abandoning the party.

Bennett of Yamina is left with only four mandates from his own party. As such, the government’s survival is becoming increasingly in doubt.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 13, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for Israel’s elected representatives—both members of the coalition and members of the opposition—to look to God rather than their own agendas. Pray that each will fully grasp the truth that counsel, sound wisdom, understanding and strength needed for leadership come from God alone.

Scripture

Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice.


- Proverbs 8:14–15

“Little Israel Becomes Major Player in Global Energy Market”

by Ilse Strauss

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The Noa natural gas field off the shore of Ashkelon

Thursday, 16 June 2022 | Thursday, 16 June 2022 | Israel, Egypt and the European Union (EU) inked a landmark export deal yesterday in Cairo that will see natural gas flow from the Jewish state via Egypt and on to the block states for the first time.

Yesterday’s historic agreement comes as the EU turned to Israel as an alternative gas source to fill the position previously occupied by the Russians.

The EU previously looked to Moscow as its main gas supplier, importing up to 40% of its gas from Russia. But the Ukrainian invasion signaled an end to the free flow. In the aftermath of the Russian tanks rolling into its sovereign neighbor, the EU imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow, and has been facing energy difficulties ever since.

“It is known that the Russian war against Ukraine has exposed our European dependency on Russian fossil fuels, and we want to get rid of this dependency,” European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen said during a joint news conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The terms of the agreement stipulate that Israel will send its gas to Egypt, which has the facilities to liquefy it before shipping the energy source on to the EU.

According to Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar, the memorandum of understanding cements Israel’s role on the global energy stage.

“This is a tremendous moment in which little Israel is becoming a significant player in the global energy market,” Elharrar said.

“The memorandum of understanding will allow Israel to export Israeli natural gas to Europe for the first time, and it is even more impressive when one looks at the string of significant agreements we have signed in the past year, positioning Israel and the Israeli energy and water economy as a key player in the world.”

The “historic” nature of the deal goes beyond Israel’s giant leap forward in the international energy arena. According to Elharrar, the close cooperation between onetime arch enemies Israel and Egypt add to the prominence of the agreement.

“This is a statement to those who see in our region only negative forces such as division and conflict. This [Memorandum of Understanding] shows us that we are paving a new path of partnership, solidarity and sustainability.”

Channel 12 news reported that the agreement means an initial annual income of US $290 million or NIS 1 billion for Israel.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 16, 2022)

Photo Credit: רן ארדה/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for this new agreement between Egypt and Israel which also has the potential to bring stability to Europe’s energy needs. Pray that Israelis will continue to recognize that their peace and safety come from God alone.

Scripture

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.


- Psalm 4:8

Russia Summons Israeli Envoy on Damascus Airport Strike

by Itamar Eichner ~ Ynetnews

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Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alexander Ben Zvi

Thursday, 16 June 2022 | Israeli Ambassador to Russia Alexander Ben Zvi was summoned on Wednesday by the country’s foreign ministry to provide clarifications on a strike on Damascus International Airport last week that was widely attributed to the Jewish state.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had expressed to Ben Zvi Moscow’s deep concern regarding the attack, which the Russians said had damaged the airport’s runway, navigation systems and buildings, and caused damage to international air traffic.

The ministry also stated that the attack had disrupted the inflow of humanitarian aid from the United Nations to millions of Syrians in the country ravaged by over a decade of civil war.

Bogdanov told Ben Zvi that the explanations Jerusalem provided so far did not satisfy the Kremlin and that Moscow would not allow Syria to become a “battlefield” for other countries as it helps in fighting terrorism across the region.

Syrian state media reported Wednesday that Transport Minister Zouhair Khazim had visited the airport in the Syrian capital and inspected its reconstruction works. It is not yet clear when flights to or from the airport will resume.

Before Ben Zvi’s summoning, Moscow issued a strong condemnation of the attack that Syria has attributed to Israel.

Satellite images published last week by Israeli intelligence and imagery firm ImageSat International (ISI) shed light on the extent of the damage, with three craters visible on each of the airport’s two runways.

According to a report by the firm, one runway serves the civilian section of the airport, while the other serves its military section.

Last Sunday, Syria released new images from the Damascus airport as part of Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous’s visit to the site to inspect the reconstruction work.

The images show heavy machinery near the runways, as well as damage inside one of the buildings serving the airport.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Syrian opposition group based in the United Kingdom, reported the damaged building was a terminal used by senior military personnel from Iran and Hezbollah traveling to Syria.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on June 15, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Пресс служба Кремля/kremlin.ru/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
In these dangerous times and in this particular situation, beseech the Lord that Israel’s leaders will acknowledge their need and pray like King Jehoshaphat did millennia ago. Pray specifically for Foreign Minister Lapid, Defense Minister Gantz and IDF Chief of Staff Kochavi.

Scripture

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.


- 2 Chronicles 20:12

Twenty-one Countries Stand Up for Israel at UN

by Mike Wagenheim ~ JNS

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The UN headquarters in New York City

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 | While an official UN Commission of Inquiry seeks Israel’s diplomatic isolation, 21 nations came out in support of the Jewish state on Monday, expressing concern about the commission’s uncommonly broad mandate and the UN Human Rights Council’s [UNHRC] irregular targeting of Israel.

In Geneva, the three members of a UN Commission of Inquiry [COI]—all of whom have a history of anti-Israel activity and rhetoric—addressed the UNHRC and the press in the wake of their first report released last week.

On Tuesday, commission chair Navi Pillay, who has a documented record of lobbying governments to sanction Israel, blamed Israel for every facet of the long-running conflict with the Palestinians.

Formed in the wake of Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip last May, the commission is unique among the 33 commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions or other investigative bodies created by the world body’s Human Rights Council [HRC]. Its mandate has no end date and its scope is not limited to any defined time period. Instead, it covers any and all allegations of human rights abuses related to the conflict, dating back to the process of Israel’s founding.

The extensive mandate, along with an annual budget of approximately US $5 million granted to the commission by an HRC, which is already notorious for an obsessive focus on Israel, concerned some UN member states, and the commission’s first report did little to nothing to alleviate those worries. In response, the US led an international effort to push back on the commission’s findings.

“We believe the nature of the COI established last May is further demonstration of disproportionate attention given to Israel that has carried over from the founding of this Council and must stop,” read a statement delivered by US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Michèle Taylor and signed by the US, Israel and 20 other partners.

“We continue to believe that this long-standing disproportionate scrutiny should end and that the council should address all human rights concerns, regardless of country, in an even-handed manner. Regrettably, we are concerned that the Commission of Inquiry will further contribute to the polarization of a situation about which so many of us are concerned,” the statement added, noting that no country is above scrutiny and accountability, but rather, on the basis of consistent and universally applied standards.

The document was signed by a coalition of world powers, island nations and countries representing Africa, Latin America and Europe. Signatories include Austria, Bulgaria, Brazil, Canada, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Eswatini, Germany, Guatemala, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Macedonia, Palau, Togo, the UK and the US.

Most of those countries are not UNHRC members, but the commission’s report is set to be delivered late this year to the UN General Assembly, where all countries will likely vote on the commission’s recommendations.

‘The Clear Message Delivered by this Statement’

The Israeli government, which has refused to participate in the commission’s work, expressed gratitude for the support.

“Today is a day of change at the Human Rights Council. A day on which morality is overcoming hypocrisy. Enough with the bias. Enough with the obsession with Israel. I want to thank the United States and my friend, Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken, for leading this important and necessary step, and every one of the countries signed on this statement,” wrote Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid.

“I hope the Human Rights Council will understand the clear message delivered by this statement and cancel the [COI], which was born in sin, and will start dealing with human rights as it was supposed to from the day of its establishment,” he added.

Pillay stated that her commission’s work thus far confirmed “the asymmetrical nature of the conflict,” casting Israel as the aggressor despite its acceptance of multiple peace proposals put forth by the international community. She also issued a warning of sorts to Israel’s diplomatic and military partners, telling the council that third-state parties can be culpable in the breaking of international law in their dealings with Israel.

“This includes, but is not limited to, the transfer of arms when there is a clear risk that they might be used to commit or facilitate serious violations or abuses of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law,” declared Pillay.

She went so far as to hold Israel responsible for the Palestinians’ own human rights abuses and political corruption.

“Israeli actions have created an atmosphere of impunity that has also emboldened the Palestinian duty bearer to commit human rights abuses among their own people, including the Palestinian Authority’s [PA] failure to hold legislative and presidential elections,” she said.

In retaliation for the US-led statement on the commission’s work and mandate, and the State Department’s 25% cut of the commission’s budget, PA Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ibrahim Khraishi called for the UN General Assembly to suspend America’s membership at the HRC, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 14, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Giorgio Caracciolo/Shutterstock/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the 21 countries who recently supported Israel in the face of the UN Human Rights Council’s biased COI report will stand firm in that support. Pray that other UN member nations will also choose God’s truth rather than much of the world’s anti-Israel position.

Scripture

I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me.


- Psalm 119:30

Report: Israeli Narrowly Escaped Iranian Kidnap Attempt in Turkey

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Turkish police in Diyarbakır, Turkey

Thursday, 16 June 2022 | An Israeli tourist narrowly avoided an Iranian kidnapping attempt in Turkey in recent days, according to Israeli media.

The kidnappers made physical contact with their intended victim, who resisted them, according to Channel 12. The full details of the incident cannot yet be publicized, the report on Tuesday stated.

The incident comes after Channel 13 reported on Monday that a group of Israeli tourists in Istanbul had been whisked to safety by Israeli security forces, narrowly avoiding an Iranian hit squad. The tourists received a telephone call from an Israeli security official warning them not to return to their hotel, where the Iranian cell was waiting for them, according to the report.

The intended victims were evacuated to the airport in a bulletproof vehicle, and put directly onto a flight back to Israel. Their luggage remained behind.

Iranian cells remain at large in Turkey, and a special task force comprising the Israel Security Agency, the Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] and Israel’s National Security Council is working around the clock in coordination with Turkey’s security forces to contain the threat, according to Channel 12’s report. Turkish police have also deployed in unprecedented numbers to protect Israeli tourists.

Some 1,000 Israeli tourists in Turkey have received warning calls from Israeli security forces, according to the report.

“We will not hesitate to activate Israel’s power in any place in the world in order to safeguard our civilians,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday that if Iran “wants to respond to Israel’s operations, we will provide our answer in the [right] place and not in a third country,” Channel 12 reported.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 15, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Mahmut Bozarslan/Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons/JNS.org

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for the cooperation between Israeli and Turkish security forces that led to the capture of the terrorist team from Iran. Pray that intelligence information will surface quickly so that the second team can also be captured.

Scripture

And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.


- Ecclesiastes 4:12

US Envoy Seeks Progress in Israel–Lebanon Maritime Border Talks

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Buoys marking the Israel–Lebanon border

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 | The President of Lebanon Michel Aoun presented Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser for energy security at the US State Department, with suggestions about how to continue negotiations over the Israel–Lebanese maritime border.

The Israeli-born American Hochstein spoke with senior Lebanese officials and looked at ways to advance negotiations with Israel amid rising tensions between Hezbollah and Israel, reported the AP.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened last week to attack a gas rig at Karish if work starts before an agreement is reached.

Hochstein arrived in Beirut on Monday and met with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other officials.

He said that resolving the dispute over the maritime border would help the suffering Lebanese economy, where more than 75% are in poverty.

During Hochstein’s visit in February, he gave the Lebanese government an Israeli proposal to offer more than half of the disputed area to Lebanon. Still, it did not respond to the offer.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 14, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Chadica/Flickr/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Proclaim the Lord’s sovereignty over the earth He created—the sea and the land as well. Ask the Lord to reign over these discussions about the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon. Pray that Israel’s leaders will remain firm in the face of the violence Hezbollah is threatening.

Scripture

O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever? You divided the sea by Your strength… You have set all the borders of the earth…


- Psalm 74:10, 13a, 17a

Israel Condemns Norwegian Decision to Label Goods from Judea and Samaria

by JNS

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Karnei Shomron, a Jewish town in Judea and Samaria

Monday, 13 June 2022 | Israel’s Foreign Ministry has condemned a decision by the government of Norway to label food products from Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, saying it could have a negative effect on relations between the two countries.

“The decision will not contribute to the promotion of [good] relations between Israel and the Palestinians,” and would also negatively affect Norway’s ability to influence Israeli–Palestinian relations, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Israel had attempted to prevent the Norwegian decision, but those efforts proved unsuccessful, Ynet reported on Saturday. The report cited Israeli diplomatic sources as saying that the Norwegian decision is politically motivated, and that other countries are not expected to follow Oslo’s path.

Norway said its decision was in line with a 2019 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, although the country is not a member of the European Union and the court’s decision is not binding.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 12, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Sraya Diamant/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out against the political decision to label products made in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria as coming from an “occupied territory.” Give thanks that God is not caught off guard or unaware and ask Him to preserve the farmers and small business owners from any economic harm caused by the “ways of man.”

Scripture

For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps.


- Job 24:21

Israel, Italy to Hold First Government-to-government Meeting in Almost a Decade

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Italian PM Mario Draghi with Israeli PM Naftali Bennett

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 | Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and visiting Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi have agreed to hold a full government-to-government meeting in Israel for the first time in almost a decade, Bennett announced during a joint press conference with Draghi in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The two leaders met privately before holding a larger meeting with the involvement of Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharrar.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Italian Prime Minister Draghi traveled to Israel on Monday as the European Union seeks to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports.

During his joint appearance with the Italian premier, Bennett also addressed ongoing tensions with Lebanon over maritime borders and rights to drill an offshore gas field, saying that he waited for the day when Lebanon would decide that it’s ready to benefit from its underwater natural resources, instead of being engaged in internal and external feuds.

Bennett stated that the Italian and Israeli peoples are both examples of modern independence that was renewed in ancient lands, and that both nations inherited principles and ideas from their ancient forefathers who founded their nations. Both nations also contributed greatly to the advancement of civilization and open societies, he noted.

Draghi is on his first Middle East trip since taking office last year, with energy and food security being key items on his agenda, according to AFP.

He also made a stop in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] city of Ramallah, and was greeted by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 14, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/POOL/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that this government-to-government meeting will bring a deeper level of understanding in the relations between these two countries. Ask the Lord to grant wisdom to Israel’s leaders when meeting with other nations.

Scripture

Her [wisdom’s] ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.


- Proverbs 3:17

Scientists in Israel See Test Results that May Lead to a Cure for HIV

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Israeli researchers may soon have a cure for HIV.

Tuesday, 14 June 2022 | Researchers at Tel Aviv University have published encouraging test results of a procedure that could lead to a onetime treatment for patients with HIV.

The study was led by Adi Barzel, Ph.D., and Ph.D. student Alessio Nehmad of the school of neurobiology, biochemistry and biophysics at the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences and the Dotan Center for Advanced Therapies, in collaboration with Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, and additional researchers in Israel and the United States.

The treatment involves the use of the CRISPR system to cut and edit the genetics of white blood cells to create type-B white blood cells that are responsible for generating antibodies against viruses.

The CRISPR system is used to locate viral sequences and cut them to disable them, in this case, genetically engineering type-B blood cells inside a patient’s body to secrete neutralizing antibodies against the HIV virus.

“Until now, only a few scientists—we among them—had been able to engineer B cells outside of the body. And in this study, we were the first to do this in the body and make these cells generate desired antibodies,” Barzel said in a news release. “The genetic engineering is done with viral carriers derived from viruses that were engineered so as not to cause damage but only to bring the gene coding for the antibody into the B cells in the body.”

“Additionally, in this case, we have been able to accurately introduce the antibodies into a desired site in the B cell genome,” he continued. “All model animals who had been administered the treatment responded and had high quantities of the desired antibody in their blood. We produced the antibody from the blood and made sure it was actually effective in neutralizing the HIV virus in the lab dish.”

The study was published in the science journal, Nature, and is a potential long-sought-after solution to curing HIV.

According to Barzel, based on the study, researchers expect that over the coming years, they would be able to use the method to produce medication for AIDS and other infectious diseases, including certain types of cancer caused by a virus, such as cervical, neck and head cancer.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on June 13, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Pixabay/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Give thanks to the Lord, the Source of all healing, for this new discovery that could lead to a cure for HIV.

Scripture

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am weak; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are troubled.


- Psalm 6:2