Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, June 26, 2020

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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.

US: Applying Sovereignty over Judea and Samaria Israel’s Decision

by Kate Norman

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Elon Moreh, a Jewish community in Samaria

Thursday, 25 June 2020 | One of the question marks looming over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government moving forward with applying Israeli law over the contested region of Judea and Samaria by July 1 was whether the US would give its nod of approval.

Though President Donald Trump has yet to officially weigh in—but is expected to do so soon—a top US official gave an indication of what’s ahead.

“Decisions about Israelis extending sovereignty to those places are decisions for the Israelis to make,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters just minutes after a United Nations Security Council meeting in which international representatives piled on condemnations against the Jewish state.

Netanyahu has been pushing to begin the process of applying Israeli law over Jewish communities in the contested region, the so-called West Bank, beginning July 1. The move falls in line under Trump’s “Deal of the Century” peace plan that would see Israel take control of 30% of the biblical heartland alongside a demilitarized Palestinian state.

Trump and other US officials were hesitant to give Israel the go-ahead to begin July 1, sources told Reuters, fearing that it would drive the Palestinian Authority (PA) and neighboring Arab states away. They were also reportedly waiting on Israel’s leadership, who has been divided on the issue, to come to an agreement on moving forward.

Regarding the first contingency point, the PA has already given no indication that it would consider negotiating Israeli sovereignty in any part of the contested region, especially under Trump’s peace plan, which the Palestinian leadership rejected before the plan was even published.

To test the waters, many Israeli and US officials have hinted at the possibility of Israel applying sovereignty over smaller blocs in the beginning and adding more over time.

The PA has vehemently opposed any Israeli sovereignty in the contested region, no matter how much land is involved. “There is no such thing as a big or small annexation,” said PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh at a meeting between the top Palestinian factions on Wednesday. “We are against any annexation.”

The Palestinian leadership has waged diplomatic warfare inside and outside of Israel, calling on international bodies such as the UN and the EU—who have been more than happy to oblige—to condemn Israel and seek punitive measures. Fatah, the leading Palestinian political party in the so-called West Bank, organized an anti-annexation rally in Jericho on Monday that was attended by hundreds of Palestinians as well as foreign dignitaries, including representatives from the UN and EU.

International bodies joined together to condemn Israel’s plan at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.

The secretary–general of the Arab League warned that such a move “will destroy any prospect of peace in the future” and could even spark “a religious war in and beyond our region.”

Trump’s confidant and counselor Kellyanne Conway wrote off the warnings, pointing out that similar threats were issued in 2018 when Trump moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

“There is always this scare tactic,” Conway said, but nothing came of the threats and warnings of violent reprisal.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 25, 2020)

Photo Credit: Sarah Yoder/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s wisdom and direction in making these incredibly important decisions. Beseech the Lord that Israel’s leaders will hear His voice and act according to His will, regardless of the pressure they may have from other global leaders or the Arab world.

Scripture

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man.


- Psalm 31:19–20a

Israel Reports Highest Coronavirus Daily Tally in Months

by Yaron Druckman and Adir Yanko

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Lab technicians testing for coronavirus (illustrative)

Thursday, 25 June 2020 | The Health Ministry overnight reported 473 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest number of daily virus diagnoses since April 9.

There were 5,796 Israelis battling the deadly pathogen, 46 of which were in serious condition, among them 28 patients on ventilators, an increase of 1 since Tuesday night. Another 41 Israelis were in moderate condition and the rest displayed only mild or no symptoms at all.

However, the number of hospitalizations continued its downward trend of recent days and stood at 189 patients. So far 15,940 Israelis have made a full recovery.

Health authorities reported that 16,990 tests had been conducted on Wednesday, with 2.6% of them returning positive. This is the highest rate of positive diagnoses in the passing week, despite an already high increase in coronavirus illness.

There were no new fatalities recorded in the passing day, and the number of Israelis who succumbed to COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, remained at 308.

The southern city of Ashdod recorded a steep hike in new virus cases, with 34 people testing positive. Other coronavirus hotspots included Jerusalem, with 39 new cases, and Tel Aviv, with 28 new cases. The town of Elad, which has been put under lockdown due to a sharp rise in coronavirus illness, recorded four new cases.

Since the beginning of the week, 1,392 new infections were reported, more than the number of infections recorded during the entire month of May. Since the beginning of June, 4,972 patients have been tested positive for coronavirus in total.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on June 25, 2020. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: fernandozhiminaicela/pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the 15,940 people who have fully recovered from COVID-19. Pray for complete healing for those who remain ill. Beseech the Lord that there will be no further deaths, and ask Him to stem the tide of the virus.

Scripture

“For I am the LORD who heals you.”


- Exodus 15:26b

Israel Readies for Post-Pandemic Wave of Immigration

by Ilse Strauss

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A new group of Jewish immigrants arrive at Ben Gurion airport (illustrative)

Thursday, 25 June 2020 | The ripple effects of COVID-19 are being felt in nearly every corner of the world, with the fallout of the pathogen clearly evident in crippled economies, decimated industries and skyrocketing unemployment figures. According to AFP, there is another more unexpected effect of the global health pandemic: a wave of “post-coronavirus” immigration that will see tens of thousands of Diaspora Jews coming home to Israel.  

Immigration Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata told the Knesset (Parliament) last week to expect 90,000 new immigrants or olim to Israel by the end of 2021, nearly tripling the 35,463 who returned to the Jewish state in 2019.

This week, Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that helps Jews in North America and the UK make aliyah (immigrate) to Israel, announced an unprecedented upsurge in interest among US Jews to make Israel their home. A staggering 900 aliyah applications were filed during the first half of June alone, the organization said, more than double the 399 who submitted similar applications throughout the course of June 2019. In fact, Nefesh B’Nefesh recorded the highest number of aliyah applications since its founding nearly two decades ago.

To facilitate the rise in numbers, Nefesh B’Nefesh in conjunction with the Jewish Agency for Israel signed a contract with El Al Airlines to schedule 14 special group aliyah flights from New York to Tel Aviv over the next three months.

The situation is similar in France, home to the world’s third largest Jewish population after the US and Israel. According to Shay Felber of the Jewish Agency, there has been “three times the number of requests for aliyah from France” since the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Jewish Agency in France opened 700 immigration files in May 2020, a staggering climb from the 130 cases in May 2019.

The agency expects that the post-pandemic aliyah numbers could surpass the previous record of 7,900 requests filed in 2015, when 146 people, including 4 hostages in a Jewish supermarket, perished in a series of terror attacks in and around Paris.

But why does COVID-19 serve as such a strong motivating factor for many Diaspora Jews to make the move? Experts suggest two reasons.

Firstly, Diaspora Jews are drawing comparisons between how their government and Israel handled the spread of the pandemic, the Times of Israel reports. In France, a country of 65 million, 29,000 people perished. The Jewish community was particularly hard hit. Israel, a country with a population of 9 million, had only 300 fatalities and largely managed to stop the spread of the disease. The conclusion? When the going gets tough in future, Israel may be the best option.

Secondly, many Diaspora Jews viewed Israel as a safe haven that would offer them sanctuary in the event that anti-Semitism, terror, war, religious persecution or economic collapse drive them from the countries of their birth. According to the Times of Israel, the Jewish state closing its borders all but citizens served as a wake-up call and prompted many to consider aliyah.   

“We always considered leaving for Israel, but the crisis created a new situation of not being able to travel,” Dan Bocobza, a French Jew told the Times of Israel. “That was a real blow to me.”

“France’s mismanagement of COVID-19 played a role,” admits the father of seven, “but above all it was feeling that suddenly the doors were closed.” 

The coronavirus has certainly devastated lives, livelihoods, economies, industries and nations. The terrible ripple effect will likely continue to reverberate through all spheres of society for some time to come. Yet God still works good out of evil. And perhaps one of the legacies of COVID-19 is that God will use it to draw many Jewish people home to the land He promised to their Fathers—just like He promised He would.

Editor’s note: You too can play a part in the Jewish people coming home in fulfilment of prophecy. Through our Immigrant Welcome Gifts program, we help make the homecoming and settling into a new country as smooth as possible by providing generous gift packages, including kitchen sets, blankets, school kits for the children and a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures. Your generous financial donation will offer a warm “welcome home.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 25, 2020)

Photo Credit: Michio Nagata/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the unexpected upsurge in aliyah. Pray that the thousands will come in fulfillment of His ancient promises, but also pray that the economy of the nation will be strengthened and stabilized, making it possible for Israel to absorb all of those who desire to come. Also ask the Lord that Christians will continue to generously support Bridges for Peace, helping us to not just bring the Jewish people back to the Land, but to help them settle and make Israel their home.

Scripture

“I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God.


- Amos 9:14–15

IDF Chief: Iran Is the “Most Dangerous Country in the Middle East”

by Ilse Strauss

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IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi

Monday, 22 June 2020 | The Middle East is arguably one of the most explosive neighborhoods on earth, perpetually embroiled in anything from violent altercations to all-out war among tribes, cultures, belief systems and nations. Amid the battling extremist factions, terror regimes and genocidal dictators—many of whom hold Israel firmly in their crosshairs—one antagonist stands out.

According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, the Islamic Republic of Iran is now the most precarious role-player in the region—and the Jewish state’s most formidable foe.

Kochavi ascribed Tehran’s top spot as “the most dangerous country in the Middle East” to the mullah’s “significant progress with its nuclear program,” extensive arsenal of “conventional weapons” and leading role in terror activities against Israel.

He warned that despite the considerable distance between Israel and Iran, the Islamic Republic finances groups operating on Jerusalem’s doorstep and has thus entrenched itself within easy striking distance. Referring to the three circles of direct threats against Israel—the first, smaller terror groups perched on the Jewish state’s borders like Hamas and Islamic Jihad; the second, larger threats like Hezbollah and the armies of neighboring enemy nations; and the third, hostile countries that do not share a border with Israel like Iran and Yemen—Kochavi conceded, “True, it is in the third circle, but it is most influential in the first and second circles.”

Israel has made every effort to stymie Iran’s effect on terror groups in the first and second circles. Jerusalem last year admitted to conducting hundreds of airstrikes to prevent the entrenchment of Iranian militia in war-torn Syria and thwart the transfer of advanced weapons from Tehran to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Kochavi spoke yesterday at the army headquarters in Tel Aviv during a ceremony appointing Maj.–Gen. Tal Kalman as the first head of the newly formed IDF Planning Directorate.

The directorate will focus primarily on countering the threat of Iran and other third circle countries. The rationale behind its formation is tasking a major general with the primary mission of keeping Israel safe from Iran in the same way as there is a major general leading the fight against Hezbollah and another leading the fight against Hamas, the Times of Israel reports.

“The reality of recent years has changed significantly—the global and regional environment are very dynamic,” Kalman said. “Faced with these challenges, the IDF is required to operate in a variety of arenas and dimensions.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 22, 2020)

Photo Credit: Operationalcow48/wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for Maj.–Gen. Tal Kalman in his new role as the first head of the newly formed IDF Planning Directorate. Ask the Lord to give him supernatural wisdom and insight as he helps the nation develop and implement strategies that will protect them against the threats posed by the Iranian regime and other third circle hostile countries whose stated goal is Israel’s destruction.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to make my steps stumble.


- Psalm 140:1–2, 4

Video Footage Shows Palestinian Terrorist Ramming Car into Border Police

by Elisha Ben Kimon and Elior Levy

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Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat accused Israel of killing the terrorist in cold blood.

Thursday, 25 June 2020 | A day after Border Police officers shot dead a Palestinian man they said rammed his car into a West Bank [Judea and Samaria] checkpoint near the village of Abu Dis, police footage released yesterday shows the man apparently deliberately turning his vehicle as he waited in line and driving straight at the troops. 

The incident, which occurred on Tuesday around 4 p.m., left one Border Police officer in hospital and the driver shot dead by troops at the Kiosk checkpoint near Abu Dis.

According to the account of the troops present, a Border Police officer signaled to the vehicle to stop but it then veered off the road, hitting the inspection post.

The officer sustained light wounds as a result of the impact, but can be clearly seen in the video as she is thrown backwards by the force of the car’s impact.

The driver, later named as 26-year-old Ahmed Erekat, then got out of the vehicle and started heading towards the troops.

Two Border Police officers who were at the checkpoint fired a number of bullets at him, neutralizing him. Medical teams pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The Border Police said in a statement that the officer reacted as required in such incidents.

This is the second car-ramming attempt at the checkpoint near Abu Dis within two months.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat, a relative of the driver, on Tuesday accused Israel of killing the driver “in cold blood” and said that he had been due [to] get married soon.

The incident, the veteran politician said, had also taken place on the wedding day of the driver’s sister, making it impossible for him to have carried out an attack. 

But Ynet yesterday obtained a video made by the attacker in which he claimed to have “never betrayed the nation” and denied being a spy, probably after being suspected of collaborating with Israel.

Erekat says in the video that a rumor claiming he is a spy working with Israel had spread online and caused his family great shame, making him slip into depression as a result.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on June 24, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Alan Kotok/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that the physical injuries to the Border Police officer were minimal. Pray that He will continue to strengthen every member of Israel’s security services and military emotionally and spiritually as they face the uncertainty of terror every day. Beseech Him for an end to car rammings and other forms of radicalism currently being employed against Israelis.

Scripture

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.


- Psalm 91:7–8

Israel–EU “Open Skies” Agreement Ratified by the European Parliament

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The European Parliament in session

Friday, 19 June 2020 | Following extensive diplomatic efforts, The European Union [EU] has officially ratified the “Open Skies” agreement between Israel and the EU.

The EU voted 437 to 102 on Wednesday night to ratify the agreement, which has been in place since 2013. The “Open Skies” agreement has led to a substantial decrease in air fares, alongside a significant increase in the number of tourists visiting Israel. It has also provided opportunities for Israeli tourists to fly to an increased variety of European destinations. Yesterday’s final ratification guarantees the continuation of competition in the aviation sector and low air fares.

Yesterday’s confirmation by the EU Parliament was made possible by ongoing and intensive diplomatic work, led by Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, Ronny Leshno-Yaar, along with other Israeli ambassadors based in Europe as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Wednesday night’s vote took place after a 7-year process, during which each individual state’s parliament voted in favor of ratifying the agreement. This is a diplomatic achievement with significant economic impact on the State of Israel. 

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said, “The final ratification of this agreement is an important expression of the relationship Israel has with the EU, particularly regarding trade, R&D and tourism. The ratification of this agreement will contribute significantly to the rehabilitation of Israel’s tourism and aviation sectors. This is especially important now as Israel faces an economic crisis, caused by the coronavirus outbreak, and looks to restart flights and tourism. I would like to thank Israel’s Ambassador to the EU, Mr. Ronny Leshno-Yaar and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem for their thorough and professional work which has led to this significant achievement. I thank Finance Minister Israel Katz, who began the process that has been completed today.”

Source: (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs originally published this article on June 18, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the “Open Skies” agreement. Pray that it will have a significant impact as Israel works to invigorate its tourist industry and strengthen its economy in other sectors as well.

Scripture

The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.


- Psalm 121:8

Israel Accused of Striking Iranian Targets in Syria

by Ilse Strauss

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A military source in Syria reported that several hostile missiles were fired at their military positions (illustrative).

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 | Two days after Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi described Iran as “the most dangerous country in the Middle East” and Jerusalem’s most formidable foe, Syria accused the Jewish state of carrying out three series of air strikes against Iranian targets overnight Tuesday in the war-torn country. According to the state-controlled SANA news agency, seven people—two Syrian soldiers and five pro-Iranian militia members—were killed in the strikes.

Reports from various outlets pieced together fragments of the events.

A military source told SANA that the first two series of strikes occurred concurrently, one in the southeastern part of the country near the city of Sweida and the other in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor near the Iraqi border. The strike near Sweida “result[ed] in the death of two martyrs and the wounding of four other soldiers,” SANA quoted the source as saying.

According to SANA, the third set of strikes occurred in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday morning near Hama.

While SANA did not directly blame Israel for the strikes, foreign reports did.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) attributed to the strikes to Israel, describing the targets as “Iranian militia positions.” The Britain-based war monitor added that the strike in Deir Ezzor targeted a “military center” and killed five Iranian-backed fighters, critically wounded several others and caused “widespread damage” to communications towers. SOHR confirmed that militias with ties to Iran have been operating in the area. 

Al-Arabiya also reported that Jerusalem was behind the strikes, adding that four Israeli warplanes participated. According to the Saudi news station, an Iranian weapons shipment arrived in the Sweida region Tuesday morning.

Israel usually refrains from commenting on alleged operations conducted outside its borders and has remained mum on last night’s strikes. However, military and political powers-that-be have over the last two years broken with the no comment policy, acknowledging that Jerusalem has conducted hundreds of strikes to dislodge Iranian targets from Syria and thwart the transfer of advanced weapons from Tehran to its terror proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Last night’s wave of raids was the fourth alleged Israeli strike in Syria over the past month.

Iran has invested significant human resources, funds and time into turning war-torn Syria into an Iranian military outpost, manufacturing base for advanced weaponry and convenient offset point to funnel advanced precision-guided missiles to upgrade Hezbollah’s arsenal. For its part, Israel has made every effort to prevent Iran from reaching this goal and has admitted to conducting hundreds of strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, many of whom were reported to be involved in smuggling advanced weapons to Lebanon.

According to Yaakov Lapin, the Israeli effort—known as the Shadow War or the War Between Wars—“is based on the strategic objective of convincing the Islamic Republic that its investment in a war machine is going to waste. Iran has so far chosen to weather the strikes and shift tactics without abandoning its Syria project.”

The former head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate Maj.–Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin concurs, saying that instead of packing up its gear and heading back to Tehran, the Islamic Republic is burrowing deeper into Syria.

Yadlin also warned that Iran is likely to hit back to avenge the wave of Israeli strikes over the past month: “After failing in the past to respond with rocket fire, they have recently tried responding through cyber ‎attacks. We must be prepared for the entire scope of possible responses…”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, June 24, 2020)

Photo Credit: Carmel Horowitz/Israel Defense Forces/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that the actions Israel deems necessary to stop Iran from turning war-torn Syria into an Iranian military outpost will be successful. Pray that those manufacturing bases for advanced weaponry that have already been established will be eradicated and that delivery of advanced precision-guided missiles to Hezbollah will come to an end. Beseech the Lord that Iran will realize the futility of its actions and retreat to its own borders.

Scripture

Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.


- Psalm 144:1–2

Travesty of Justice at the International Criminal Court?

by Michel Calvo~Gatestone Institute

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The International Criminal Court building in the Netherlands

Friday, 19 June 2020 | The International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor’s Response makes an abstraction of history; misleadingly refers to Judea and Samaria as the “West Bank” of the Jordan River (which includes Israel), and falsely called “Occupied Palestinian Territories” that were liberated in 1967 from Jordanian occupation.

The Prosecutor’s Response seems to create new international law where nonbinding resolutions can change legally binding agreements in order to prosecute Israeli leaders and Israeli Jews for war crimes and deprive the Jews of their rights as the indigenous people of this land. The Prosecutor’s Response endorses the legal/political agenda of the Muslim/Arab and the so-called human rights NGOs.

According to the Prosecutor, the West Bank/Gaza is the land of the “Palestinian state,” although these lands are in legally binding agreements (the Oslo Accords) considered to be a disputed territory under Israeli control. Nothing in the Oslo Accords bars “Palestine” from accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC, although the same Accords prohibit the Palestinian Authority [PA] from engaging in foreign relations and limit its jurisdiction.

As it is not possible in this context to analyze every paragraph of the Prosecutor’s Response, we selected three of them.

1. Several Resolutions of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) consider that Palestine is a state and that Jewish settlements are illegal (par. 39, 43, 47, 80). Other resolutions of the UN Security Council (UNSC) also consider them illegal (par. 47, 80, 89).

The resolutions of the UN General Assembly are no more than recommendations. They were imposed by 57 Muslim and Arab States and their friends in common interest. These resolutions are not binding under international law. 

The Jewish cities and villages of Judea and Samaria are not illegal, and “Palestine” is not a state, according to the International Court of Justice [ICJ].

2. The Prosecutor stated that the International Court of Justice has deemed Israel’s settlement policy and the construction of the [security] barrier and its associated regime to be in violation of international law (par. 49, 77, 84).

Israel’s security barrier was in conformity with international law. Regulation 43 of the Hague Regulations (public order and security) authorizes the military commander to take all necessary action to preserve security. The ICJ advisory opinion is an opinion that has no legal force, as mentioned in the decision itself.

3. The “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is not terra nullius[“nobody’s land”], nor can they be considered as sovereign territory of another state (par. 53–55).

The Jewish residents settled in Judea and Samaria voluntarily. None of them were “deported” or “transferred” forcibly by any Israeli government (the “Occupying Power”) into the territory it “occupies” (Palestine/Judea and Samaria). Art. 8-2-b-viii of the Rome Statute cannot apply, as there is no crime and no case for the Prosecutor to investigate those who returned to their ancestral land and who are the indigenous people. Judea and Samaria are not occupied territories.

The “Dictionary of Public International Law” reads: “Occupation aims at the de facto presence of military forces of one state on the territory of another state.” There is no occupation by Israel of the territory of another state. There was no “Palestinian” state before 1967. Israel liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordan after a war of aggression, in which Jordan attacked Israel in 1967—for the second time (the first time being in 1948). Jordan finally abandoned all claims to the territory in 1988. In 2004, the ICJ stated that there is no (“Palestinian”) state.

Jews lived in the land that the ancient Romans—and in the 20th century, the British—called Palestine before 1948. Jews also lived in east Jerusalem, but “only Jews were called ‘Palestinians.’” The other inhabitants were called Arabs. Jews were expelled or killed during Jordan’s 1948 aggression and their houses were taken by Arabs. “Palestine” is the Jewish home as codified in international law. It is not a terra nullius [“nobody’s land”]. It belongs to the Jewish people. The “Arabs” of Judea Samaria are the colonizers.

CONCLUSION

The ICC cannot be a forum for the diversion of international law and for a travesty of justice. The Response of the Prosecutor follows a political agenda and is based on law created by the Prosecutor to enable the prosecution of Israeli Jews/leaders for crimes they never committed. Fatou Bensouda’s [ICC chief prosecutor] impartiality can reasonably be doubted, and she should be disqualified.

In addition, in an interview with Bensouda in 2011 entitled “ICC’s New Prosecutor on Arab Conflicts, How Islam Plays a Role in Guiding Her and Her Vision for the International Court”, Al-Arabiya reported:

“On whether her religion plays any role in helping her do the job that she has been elected to do, she said: “Absolutely, definitely. Islam, as you know, is a religion of peace, and it gives you this inner strength, this inner ability and a sense of justice. Together with my experience, this will help a lot.”

Bensouda, like any person in civilized countries, is free to follow any religion she chooses. That is not the point.

The expression of her religious opinion on Al-Arabiya adversely affects her required impartiality and is an additional ground for disqualification.

Dr. Michael Calvo, born in Tunis, Tunisia, is an expert in International Law. He was a member of the International Court of Arbitration. He is the author of “The Middle East and World War III—Why No Peace?”.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published in Gatestone Institute on June 17, 2020. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Greger Ravik/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that there will be a growing international reaction to the travesty of justice being committed by the ICC and its prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. Thank the Lord for those nations that have already voiced their objections, and pray that the international community will apply enough pressure to the court to bring this idiocy to an abrupt halt.

Scripture

Arise, O God, plead Your own cause; remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily. Do not forget the voice of Your enemies; the tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.


- Psalm 74:22–23

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