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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 Drills for Possible Hezbollah Attack on Lebanon Border

by Yoav Zitun

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IDF commanders at northern border (illustrative)

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 | The IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] Northern Command completed an extensive surprise drill on Monday meant to test the Galilee Division’s readiness to combat a large-scale Hezbollah attack at a short intelligence notice.

Thousands of soldiers from the Northern Command’s conscript divisions were called in for the drill, which began Sunday morning and ended Monday afternoon.

Among the troops participating in the exercise were soldiers from the Golani Brigade and the special operations Oz Brigade, which has been dubbed the Commando Brigade. In addition, troops from the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps and other Special Forces took part.

The troops only had a few hours to leave their assigned posts and head to the northern border.

Unlike drills conducted by other divisions, during which reserve forces are also called up, this time the IDF sought to test the ability and flexibility of the conscript forces to arrive at the Lebanese border quickly to counter a large-scale, surprise ground attack by Hezbollah forces.

A senior IDF officer said the drill helped the army learn more about the Galilee Division’s ability to command reinforcements sent to its area, the use of the Commando Brigade in such a scenario on the northern border, and the issue of communications between the forces.

“The more we’re seen training and preparing, the more the threat decreases,” the senior officer said.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot watched the drill on Sunday along with GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yoel Strik and the Galilee Division Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Baram.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 06 June 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/people/45644610@N03/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Continue to lift up the IDF, praying for God’s guidance and wisdom as the current situation on the northern border requires vigilance and readiness for surprise attacks. Pray for sound minds, clear instructions and swift reactions from all the special forces involved in the training exercises.

Scripture

He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip.


- Psalm 18:34-36

Hamas Assembles Army of 27,000 Men in Preparation for Next War against Israel

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Hamas terror tunnel (illustrative)

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 | Hamas has amassed an army of 27,000 men in preparation for its next war with Israel, including an elite unit dedicated to attacking civilians by land, sea, and air, Avi Issacharoff reported Monday in The Times of Israel.

“Hamas is built like an army in every way,” Issacharoff reported, fighters broken up into six regional brigades, 25 battalions, and 106 companies. The elite Nubha unit consists of 2,500 men, a third of whom have trained to infiltrate Israel by sea, by air via drones or motorized gliders, or by land via terror tunnels.

The cross-border tunnels, which were designed to allow terrorists to kidnap and kill soldiers and civilians, are the primary focus of Hamas’s military buildup.

According to Issacharoff, Hamas has created a virtual city underground, where it safeguards its rocket operation as well as command and control structure.

Reports earlier this year showed that Hamas is preparing for a new war against Israel. In April, an IDF [Israel Defense Forces] unit that monitors the border with Gaza told The Times of Israel that it observed Hamas “rearming on every level on the sea-front—systems, weapons and trainings.” In March, it was reported that Hamas had developed powerful new rockets that could threaten Israeli border towns.

A senior IDF official told Israel’s Channel 2 in February that Hamas had rebuilt its tunnel infrastructure and rocket arsenal to the levels it maintained before its 2014 war against Israel.

Hamas spends some $40 million of its $100 million military budget on tunnel construction, according to Israeli and Palestinian sources. An Israeli official estimated last July that Hamas digs some six miles of tunnels every month.

Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh pointed out last year that Hamas has prioritized building up its terror infrastructure over rebuilding Gazan homes, writing that “the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly the head of the research division of Israeli military intelligence and later the director general of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, told reporters last May that Hamas is investing “a lot in making the necessary preparations so that in the next round, when they decide to start it, they will be able to inflict the heaviest damage on Israel.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 06 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.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that the senior leadership of the IDF will not be shaken by the statistics nor the preparations of Hamas. Pray that they will continue to do what they do best and that’s to protect the nation of Israel. Pray that they will keep their hearts and eyes fixed on God in everything they do, from the youngest to the oldest soldier.

Scripture

Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your precepts. Make Your face shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.


- Psalm 119:133-135

Netanyahu Doubles Down on Construction in Judea and Samaria

by Amihai Attali and Elisha Ben Kimon

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Ariel, fourth-largest community in Judea-Samaria

Friday, 09 June 2017 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has iterated his support for the settlement enterprise, saying, “I have the right, after decades, to be the first prime minister to build a new community in Judea and Samaria.”

Speaking at a ceremony Tuesday commemorating the Six Day War and settlement in the West Bank [Judea-Samaria], Netanyahu referred to the two most pressing issues for settlers—the building taking place today and the possibility that they could be evacuated from their homes as part of an agreement with the Palestinians.

“No one will be uprooted from their home, I’m doing everything to protect the settlement enterprise,” said Netanyahu, adding, “We decided to build in all parts of Judea and Samaria and we are building both inside and outside the settlements.”

Netanyahu’s statements on building inside and outside of settlements echo a plan put forward by Minister of Housing and Construction, Yoav Galant (Kulanu), who proposed 67,000 apartments in the West Bank in order to deal with the real estate crisis in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

A call by the settler leadership for massive construction in the West Bank in response to the real estate crisis in the center of the country is nothing new, but the plan presented Tuesday in the Knesset was put together in cooperation with Galant, who was thoroughly involved in planning the details.

As part of the plan, the Yesha Council commissioned a panel of experts to map out the total amount of vacant land available for construction in the area between Karnei Shomron in the north, through the city of Ariel and up to Modi’in.

The panel ultimately determined that the western area of the West Bank could immediately accommodate the construction of some 67,000 housing units, in which no less than 340,000 people could live.

The new plan claims that the target price for a four-room apartment in the same area will be NIS 1.2 million [US $340,000].

Proponents of the plan hope the construction in the “eastern Dan region” will lead to a drop in demand and price in the “real” Dan region.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 07 June 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Salonmor/wikipedia.org

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the plans to build 67, 000 housing units in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria which will ease housing shortages and make space for new immigrants. Give thanks for the fulfillment of biblical prophecy as the people of God take root in the land of their inheritance.

Scripture

“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 9:15

US Envoy to UN Slams Human Rights Council for Anti-Israel Bias

by Ilse Posselt

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United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Nikki Haley

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 | Days before Nikki Haley is set to arrive in the Promised Land, the US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) penned an open letter in the Washington Post in which she takes the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to task for its anti-Israel bias and unfair judgments against the Jewish state.

“The council must end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism,” Haley wrote. “When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong.”

Haley is scheduled to make a stop in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the council today before making her way to the Jewish state on Wednesday morning. Her Washington Post op-ed lists a number of grievances that she would like to lay before the UNHRC during this address.

Haley will be the first US Ambassador to the UN to address the council. According to The Jerusalem Post, she is also scheduled to make a speech at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, where she is expected to discuss the US’s future involvement in the UNHRC.

Last week, Haley said that Washington might withdraw from the council unless the body agrees to a number of reforms. These reforms, she explained, include ceasing its “anti-Israel bias.”

Israel is the only fixed item on the council’s agenda. Since its establishment in 1996, the UNHRC has condemned Israel more often than any of the 192 UN states. Over the past 21 years, the council has leveled a whopping 78 criticisms and decisions against the only democracy in the Middle East. In comparison, the council felt that Syria deserved 29 resolutions, North Korea nine and Iran a mere seven. Moreover, to date the UNHRC has made no mention of human rights violations against Saudi Arabia or China.

According to Haley, the US will make their decision whether to walk away from the UN’s human rights arm when the UNHRC’s three-week session in Geneva comes to a close at the end of this month.

The UN’s blatant bias against the Jewish state has been hauled into the international spotlight on a number of occasions since Haley’s appointment as the US ambassador to the world body in January 2017. Over the past five months she has earned a reputation as a staunch supporter of the Jewish state and has made a number of public speeches and declarations regarding the UN’s bias treatment towards Israel.

Her latest declaration in favor of the Jewish state comes days before she is set to arrive in Israel for a three-day visit. Haley’s first trip to the Promised Land since taking office starts on Wednesday morning. The itinerary for her stay comprises meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin as well as a number of Palestinian officials, including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. Haley is scheduled to visit Jerusalem’s Old City, including the Western Wall, Tel Aviv and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum. She will also take a helicopter ride to Israel’s northern borders with Lebanon and Syria as well as the southern border with Gaza for security and military briefings.

“We are happy to host in our country a true friend of Israel,” said Danny Danon, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, who will accompany Haley through most of her visit. “Haley has been standing with Israel for many years now, and especially since she arrived at the UN. Her important visit is an opportunity to present to her our country and the joint challenges that stand before us.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 06 June 2017)

Photo Credit: Office of the President-elect/wikipedia.org

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who continues to act fearlessly in the face of anti-Israel resolutions. Pray that she will remain focused and strong, and that her visit to Israel will revitalize her love and motives as she stands with God’s chosen people.

Scripture

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands.


- Psalm 138:8

Sea of Galilee at its Lowest Level in 97 Years

by Ahiya Raved

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Sea of Galilee

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 | The Sea of Galilee’s water level was recorded last May as the lowest it has been in almost a century, according to a report released by the Water Authority. A statement put out by the authority said that last May’s recording showed the lowest water level since May 1920, when official measurements of the Sea of Galilee were first recorded.

During the month of May 2017, the lake lost 15 cm [5.9 in] of its water level, with its amount of water decreasing by 9 million cubic meters [318 million cubic ft].

The Water Authority added that the amount of water available—which is calculated by adding rain, stream and spring water that flows into the Sea of Galilee while subtracting water evaporation—stands at 9 million cubic meters [318 million cubic ft], an all-time recorded low.

The Sea of Galilee’s dire condition was made worse in recent years, due to a rare, four-year sequence of droughts in the north, which have caused water pumping from the Sea of Galilee to almost completely stop. The water level throughout May remained relatively stable due to steady water flows into it from the Jordan River.

Water Authority Spokesman Uri Shor noted that although summer has not fully begun, the decline in water level started earlier this year, at a rate of approximately half a centimeter [0.2 in] a day. At the height of the summer, the Sea of Galilee evaporates at a rate of about one centimeter [0.4 in] per day.

According to hydrologists at the Water Authority, the Sea of Galilee’s water level is expected to go down by another meter [3 ft] by the beginning of the next rainy season, expected to start around next November, at which time it is due to be 214 centimeters  [7 ft] below sea level.

The Water Authority added that such a low water level “will lead to further withdrawal of water from the shores of the Sea of Galilee and to various environmental and ecological phenomena.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 06 June 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: vblinov/Shutterstock.com

Prayer Focus
The Sea of Galilee is a special place for many of us and therefore we urge you to passionately pray that the next rainy season will significantly impact the streams flowing into the Sea and eliminate the drought in the north. Ask the Lord to impart wisdom to the scientists who are dealing with the environmental and ecological challenges.

Scripture

God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.


- Job 37:5-6

Netanyahu Meets with Ten African Heads of State at Economic Summit

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PM Netanyahu addressing the ECOWAS Africa-Israel
Summit in Liberia

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday met personally with ten African heads of state in Liberia, where he was the first non-African to deliver the keynote speech at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit.

Among the leaders Netanyahu met were Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. While Mali is an Islamic nation that does not currently have diplomatic ties with Israel, both Netanyahu and Keita committed to improving the relationship between their two countries.

Prior to the ECOWAS summit, Netanyahu mended fences with the president of Senegal, whose decision to sponsor an anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution in December prompted Israel to withdraw from a number of joint projects. Israel will return its ambassador to Senegal and Senegal will back Israel’s efforts to become an observer at the African Union.

Israeli expertise in counter-terrorism, technology and agriculture have led to a strengthening of ties with ECOWAS member states, Herb Keinon, diplomatic correspondent for The Jerusalem Post explained on Monday.

Keinon observed that while King Mohammed VI of Morocco chose to forego his nation’s campaign to join ECOWAS due to Netanyahu’s address, ECOWAS still chose to invite Netanyahu.

“If you are the president of Liberia, which hosted Sunday’s conference, and you have rampant poverty, little electricity and huge challenges in everything from health to security, which country is a more important partner: Israel or Morocco? Over the years, Netanyahu has done a tremendous job marketing Israel’s technological prowess and convincing the world that it needs Israeli expertise in the fields of agriculture, water technology, cyber security and anti-terrorism. And it’s not a bluff. It’s real. Israel does have a tremendous amount to offer in these areas.

“And it is because of all that Israel has to offer that much of Africa is excited and interested in ties.”

Netanyahu focused on the potential benefits that cooperation with Israel can bring to ECOWAS nations and all of Africa during his keynote speech.

“At the UN last year, I met with many African leaders. It was a spectacular visit, because young Israelis showed what they’re doing in Africa. Not what they will be doing, but what they are already doing. And one of the leaders said something that I’ll never forget. He said to me, ‘We have problems; you have solutions.’

“A young woman there, a young Israeli technologist, comes to the podium and she shows how they’ve solved the problem of an African village, where a typical woman would go eight hours to get a gallon of water. And they solved it by making water out of thin air. And another showed how they make energy out of the sun, out of the air too. And another showed how they’re working to stop the spread of AIDS with miraculous results. In every field our technology is there; it’s ready to work with you to provide solutions to some of the most pressing problems of Africa. We want to help your soil become more fertile, your water reusable, your cities safer, your air cleaner.”

To successfully expand its diplomatic ties in Africa, Israel will have to increase the number of embassies and ambassadors it has on the continent, Keinon noted.

In a separate development, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin received Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Monday. Rivlin thanked Desalegn for attending the funeral of former president of Israel Shimon Peres last year, adding, “we are very anxious to get back to the connection that we have had with Africa, and we ask you to be our sponsors in Africa in order to let us be once again able to attend all the meetings and conferences of Africa.”

Desalegn responded, “the African-Israel relationship truly is a gateway; we will do everything at our disposal to make the Israeli-Africa relationship to grow and Ethiopia will take leadership in this regard. … We have a lot of desire to benefit from Israeli science and technology, and harness the potential, we can benefit from your support in this regard. We have to fight terrorism, extremism, climate change, which are common problems to all of us.”

Netanyahu embarked on a historic tour of East Africa in July [2016] and restored diplomatic ties with the Muslim-majority nation of Guinea. He also met with 15 African heads of state and ambassadors at the United Nations General Assembly in September. A separate group of African diplomats toured the Old City of Jerusalem in November.

“Israel is coming back to Africa; Africa is coming back to Israel,” Netanyahu said last March. “It’s happening in a big way. It’s happening now, but it should have happened a long time ago. It’s happening now because it’s so clear that this is good for Africa and it’s good for Israel. We face a multitude of challenges and opportunities.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 05 June 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prayer Focus
Glorify God for the African nations who are recognizing that Israel has a lot to offer in the areas of counter terrorism, technology and agriculture. Ask God to guide the steps of PM Netanyahu as he face challenges and opportunities in restoring solid relationships between African countries and Israel. Thank Him for mended ties with Senegal.

Scripture

Indeed He says, It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.


- Isaiah 49:6

The Qatar Diplomatic Affair: What it Means for Israel

by Ilse Posselt

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Doha, Qatar skyline

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 | On Monday morning the Middle East awoke to the news of shakings in the region. Bahrain was the first to make a formal announcement. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt soon followed suit. Then came Yemen and the Maldives. By Monday afternoon, six Arab countries had declared that they were cutting ties with the State of Qatar. The reason for the breakdown in diplomatic relations, they claim, is the active role that the emirate plays in supporting terrorism and destabilizing the already troubled neighborhood.

Qatar’s involvement with a number of terrorist and extremist sectarian groups in the region includes funding Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group perched on Israel’s northern border, as well as Hamas, the terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip. According to the six Arab states that ceased diplomatic relations with Doha, the country also backs, amongst others, the Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest radical Islamic movement. Moreover, Qatar enjoys close ties with the world’s foremost state sponsor or terrorism, Iran, and by default, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia made the decision to sever ties with Qatar to protect its “national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” Riyadh then proceeded to close its borders with neighboring Qatar and promptly terminated all land, sea and air contact. The UAE, Bahrain and Egypt implemented similar measures, closing land, air and sea passage to traffic to and from the emirate.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir yesterday called on the powers that be in Doha to “change their politics” and cease backing “extremists groups” in the region. Support for terror organizations like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Jubeir said, served to undermine others in the region, including Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. “Qatar has to choose whether it must move in one direction or another direction.”

While Israel strictly has no direct involvement in the Qatar affair, the events of the past two days do have an impact on the Jewish state. The Middle East is, after all, a neighborhood where even seemingly isolated incidents have a ripple effect that influences all those who call the region home.

Given Qatar’s ties to terror organizations that publicly call for the annihilation of the Jewish state, Israel has welcomed the six Arab states giving Doha the cold shoulder. Moreover, according to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the diplomatic freeze creates an opportunity for the Jewish state to forge closer ties with its neighbors to present a united front against Islamic terror.

Speaking on Monday afternoon during a question time session at the Knesset (Israeli government), Liberman said, “Even Arab states understand that the risk to this region is not Israel but rather terrorism. There is no doubt this opens many possibilities for collaboration in the fight against terror.”

While Doha has in the past taken a more moderate stance towards the Jewish state by maintaining trade relations and even hosting Israeli officials, the emirate is also a known haven and generous sponsor of the Hamas terror group.

In fact, according to Eli Avidar, a former Israeli emissary to Qatar, Doha served as a crucial lifeline for Hamas and its terror activities against the Jewish state. “Hamas would not be able to survive in the Gaza Strip and fund its wars with Israel without Qatari funding,” Avidar told Israel’s 103 FM.

In an article for The Jerusalem Post, Seth Frantzman explains that the emirate has supported Hamas for the past ten years and that former Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, has even called Doha home for the last five years. Moreover, in 2012, Frantzman writes, the Qatari Emir took a trip to the Gaza Strip and made a pledge of support totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. “Qatar therefore provided Hamas with not only a home in Doha but financial support and diplomatic succor,” he explains.

The current diplomatic pressure, Frantzman continues, has Qatar rethinking its relationship with Hamas, which may result in the terror group losing one of its vital financial and diplomatic allies. He warns, however, that this might cause Hamas to lash out against Israel.

Over and above cutting off the vital lifeline to one of the terror groups committed to Israel’s destruction, Frantzman argues that the Qatar affair may hold another boon for the Jewish state.

According to Frantzman, Israel shares a common goal with the Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen—namely opposing Iran. “Because Qatar has supported Hamas,” he argues, “the new crisis encourages those states that oppose Qatar to see Israel as a partner against Hamas and Iran.” The bottom line, Frantzman holds, is that it brings the Jewish state closer to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 07 June 2017)

Photo Credit: Francisco Anzola/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bring the Middle East before God who is able to do the impossible and ask that the Arab countries outwardly opposing extremism and radicalism will truly do so and keep their word. Pray for the guidance of Israel’s leaders as they take this opportunity to forge closer ties with those countries and collaborate in the fight against terrorism.

Scripture

And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. Then the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest all around.


- 2 Chronicles 20:29-30

Iran to Resume Funding for Hamas, Report Says

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Hamas supporters (illustrative)

Tuesday, 06 June 2017 | Iran has agreed to resume its financial support for the terrorist organization Hamas, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported Tuesday.

The deal to restore Hamas’s funding came after top Hamas officials recently met in Lebanon with senior members of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, is expected to visit Tehran in the near future to bridge gaps between the two parties and put old disagreements to rest in light of Hamas’s worsening financial crisis, according to Palestinian sources.

In the past, the Islamic Republic has bankrolled Hamas with tens of millions of dollars to help restock its weapons arsenal and reconstruct tunnels used by the group in its terror operations against Israel. Iran has also pledged financial rewards to the families of Palestinian terrorists at the height of the terror wave that erupted in Israel in October 2015.

Relations between Hamas and Tehran began to deteriorate in 2012, after the wave of Arab Spring revolutions reached Syria, where the two parties found each other in opposite camps. Hamas is supporting the Sunni-led opposition against the regime of Bashar al Assad, while Iran and Hezbollah are firmly aligned with the regime.

The report said that as part of the agreement to restore payments, the Iranians dropped their earlier demand for Hamas to take Iran’s side in the power struggle between the Islamic Republic and Saudi Arabia.

During his recent trip to Riyadh, US President Trump singled out Iran as a major sponsor of international terrorism and, together with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, called for the isolation of the Islamic Republic.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 02 June 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Hoheit/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Beseech God to reveal the truth of Iran’s desire to annihilate Israel as it indirectly finances Hamas, contributing to terrorism and Israel’s destruction. Intercede for the leadership of Israel, praying for discernment, unity and strategy as they protect their inheritance, trusting God and alerting other nations to the true sources of terrorism.

Scripture

How lovely are your tents, O Jacob! Your dwellings, O Israel! He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? Blessed is he who blesses you, and cursed is he who curses you.


- Numbers 24:5, 9

Action
Bridges for Peace is a Christian organization that supports Israel and builds relationships between Jews and Christians in Israel and around the world. We focus on educating the church to support Israel and providing practical help to new immigrants. You can be an ambassador for Israel from your home by hosting a prayer group for Israel or sharing our teaching letters. Pray for your family, friends and church to experience God’s blessing as they support of Israel, counteracting the world’s desire to annihilate Israel.

Report on 2016 Aliyah Figures

by Omri Efraim

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New immigrants with their new Israeli documents.

Friday, 09 June, 2017 | Since the establishment of the State of Israel, 3.2 million immigrants have immigrated to Israel, about 43% of them since 1990. This emerges from data published Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. In the past year, there has been a decline in the number of immigrants compared to the previous year: in 2016, 25,977 immigrants arrived in Israel compared to 27,908 in 2015—a seven percent decrease. The most significant decline was among immigrants from France—a 36% drop.

In 2016, the largest number of immigrants arriving in Israel came from the European continent (77% of all immigrants). The remaining immigrants arrived from the Americas and Oceania (17% of all immigrants), Asia (4%) and Africa (1%).

That same year, the largest number of immigrants came from Russia (27% of all immigrants in 2016), followed by Ukraine (23%), France (17%) and the United States (11%). The number of immigrants from France recorded a relatively large decline (36%), and the Ukraine saw a smaller decrease (12%) than in the previous year.

In 2016, immigration continued to be composed of a majority of women (51%). The ratio of men to women was 945 men to 1,000 women. The median age of women was slightly higher than that of men (33.0 years and 32.4 years, respectively).

A survey of the choice of residence by the immigrants shows that most of the immigrants preferred to settle in large cities, where they probably have relatives or more veteran communities from their country of origin. Of the total number of immigrants who arrived in 2016, Jerusalem absorbed the largest number of immigrants (12% of all immigrants), followed by Tel Aviv-Jaffa(11%), Netanya (9%), Haifa (8%), Ashdod and Bat Yam (5% each) and Ra’anana (3%).

Immigration in 2016, as in previous years, was characterized by a relatively high percentage of academic professionals prior to immigration to Israel.

The level of education of immigrants who arrived in 2015 is relatively high—72% of them had 13 or more years of education, half of them (about 52%) had 16 years of schooling or more.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 06 June 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Eic413/talk/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Rejoice as God is calling His people back to their homeland. Ask that others will heed to His guidance in returning and will be successfully integrated into Israeli society. Pray for the Israeli government as it prepares infrastructure, educational programs and other necessary assistance to welcome new olim (immigrants) to their inheritance.

Scripture

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.


- Jeremiah 31:10

Action
Bridges for Peace has several programs that actively assist new immigrants. Through our Adoption Program (one-year commitment), you can sponsor a family or young adult who has come to the Land on his or her own. Or, you could give a one-time gift to our New Immigrant Fund. Consider becoming involved today!

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