Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, March 20, 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.

More Tightened Measures: Israel Closes Borders to Foreigners

by Kate Norman

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Deserted baggage claim at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel

Thursday, 19 March 2020 | Every day Israel’s leadership introduces new restrictions in order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic within the Jewish state, whose number of confirmed cases spiked to over 500 overnight. On Wednesday night, the Health Ministry announced Israel will be barring entry to all foreign nationals, except for long-term residents, effective immediately.

Israel’s previous policy was to allow all Israeli citizens as well as foreigners who could prove they were able to enter into the required 14-day self-quarantine after arriving in the Jewish state from abroad.

As of Thursday morning, the Health Ministry confirmed 529 cases in Israel, Ynetnews reported. The number of cases has spiked dramatically over the past few days after Netanyahu announced that Israel will test more people, aiming to test between 3,000 and 5,000 people every day.

Israeli officials have urged residents to stay indoors except for necessary errands: to buy groceries, go to the pharmacy, go to work or to receive medical attention. All schools and universities in Israel have been shut down, and the Health Ministry ordered private businesses to send 70% of their employees home to work remotely or on leave.

All nonessential businesses, including malls, theaters, gyms, cafes and other public leisure services have been shut down. Most restaurants have closed as well, except for those who offer take-out or delivery options. Groups of 10 people or more are banned.

The Health Ministry has also required that everyone maintain strict personal hygiene and a distance of 2 meters (6.5 ft) from each other, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders have scolded the public for not taking the restriction seriously enough.

“This is not child’s play. This is not a vacation,” Netanyahu warned in a statement on Tuesday night. “This is a matter of life and death.”

So far, there have been no virus-related deaths in Israel, though Netanyahu warned “this will not continue.”

Of the cases in Israel so far, most are reportedly in mild condition or displaying no symptoms at all. Six people are in critical condition, but 12 have been successfully treated for the disease and sent home.

Netanyahu announced new measures on Tuesday night to combat the spread of the virus within Israel that include testing more people every day for the virus, digitally tracking people who have come into contact with an infected person and ordering them into quarantine, preparing hospitals for a higher influx of patients and encouraging people to be responsible and practice social distancing.

Worldwide the virus has infected nearly 208,000 people in 166 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with more than 8,600 deaths. The numbers continue to rise daily. The countries with the most cases are China, Italy, Iran, Spain and Korea, the WHO reports.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 19, 2020)

Photo Credit: Henry Strauss/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel will quickly have victory over the coronavirus. Pray that the people will take seriously the measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus and beseech the Lord that there will, in fact, be no deaths in Israel as a result of this insidious illness.

Scripture

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more.


- Psalm 121:5–8

Israel’s 23rd Knesset Sworn in amidst Continuing Political Stalemate, Coronavirus Threat

by Ilse Strauss

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The Knesset/Parliament building in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 17 March 2020 | In what Israeli media called a “surreal scene,” the Jewish state’s 23rd Knesset (Parliament) was sworn in late yesterday afternoon, with the 120 chosen lawmakers taking their oath to serve and govern three by three in adherence to the Health Ministry’s guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Usually, the halls of the Knesset are teeming with beaming lawmakers, proud family members and the press on swearing-in day, yet as President Reuven Rivlin stepped up to the podium to open the ceremony, he addressed a near-empty plenum. Rivlin did, however, have an audience of three: current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his main rival Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz and Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein, the first three lawmakers to be sworn in.

After three national elections in less than a year, Rivlin said, politics have “exhausted” the Israeli society.

The president appealed to the political leaders to set their differences aside, compromise and continue the coalition talks between Gantz’s Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud parties that started on Sunday night. The goal of these talks is to form a unity government and resolve the political stalemate that has left the country without a fully functioning government for over a year.

“Politics is far from perfect,” Rivlin conceded. “But politics is meant to be the art of the possible. Often, politics needs to be the art of compromise…At the heart of democracy lies the understanding that what often creates the requirement for compromise, to make deep and painful concessions, is the will of the people itself.”

Referring to the coronavirus cloud casting a shadow over everyday life both in Israel and around the world, Rivlin said, “We are looking forward to the day-to-day, the routine, when we will all return to what we have in common, our shared fate that is expressed so clearly in the current crisis.”

Rivlin concluded his address with an impassioned plea to his audience of three. “The political crisis is very deep and divides us in half, but we have no other state and no other nation. I have only one request of you: Give the people a government.”

Edelstein was the first to take his oath. During his address, he echoed Rivlin’s plea for a unity government, offering his assistance in the negotiation process. “The plenum is empty, but with us are the millions of citizens who badly need an emergency government.”

Netanyahu and Gantz were sworn in next, after which the remaining 117 lawmakers passed through three at a time in alphabetical order under the watchful eye of a Knesset guard administering fever checks.

Hours before the swearing in ceremony, Rivlin gave Gantz the first shot at trying to form a government after the Blue and White chairman on Sunday received the backing of 61 of the 120 MKs (Members of Knesset)—including the entire Joint List of mostly Arab Parties and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu—giving him a razor thin majority. Netanyahu received the backing of 58 lawmakers, giving Gantz a 3-seat advantage.

In a ceremony handing Gantz the mandate to form the government in Jerusalem yesterday, Rivlin reminded the Blue and White chairman of the tremendous responsibility on his shoulders. “A fourth round of elections are not possible and the keys to forming a government in Israel are currently in your hands and those of all elected officials from all parties,” the president said.

Gantz pledged to “do all in my ability to establish within a few days as broad and patriotic a government as possible.”

Starting today, the Blue and White chairman has 28 days to stitch together a 61-seat coalition, a task which proved impossible for both him and Netanyahu following the previous two elections.

Although Gantz received the nod of approval from 61 lawmakers, his path to a stable coalition seems equally difficult because of the deep-seated divisions among his backing parties, France24 reports. In fact, according to the Times of Israel, it remains unclear whether Gantz can form a government without Netanyahu’s backing.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 17, 2020)

Photo Credit: xiquinhosilva/flickr.com

Source: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for the establishment of a government based on a coalition of those who will lead with integrity, strength, courage and commitment to do what is best for God’s chosen nation and people. Pray for PM Netanyahu and Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz as they continue in their efforts to form a unity government.

Scripture

For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.


- Proverbs 2:6–8

Jerusalem Prepares for Mass Closure against Coronavirus, Says Mayor

by Yael Friedson

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Jerusalem’s streets empty due to the restrictions.

Thursday, 19 March 2020 | Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon announced Wednesday he estimates that the government will announce a mass national closure in the coming days to fight the spread of coronavirus, and that his city is prepared for such an eventuality.

Leon said it was not a matter of additional guidelines, but a mere expansion on the guidelines already in place telling residents they should stay indoors, and a ban on opening businesses or mass gatherings.

Leon added that all of the capital’s supermarkets and essential services will still be available, and that his municipality is increasing visits to its 21 senior citizens’ homes.

The mayor also said that the Health Ministry is working to build the city a “drive-in” coronavirus testing center, similar to the one set up in Tel Aviv, that will likely be located at Teddy Stadium, the city’s sports arena.

“We are in regular contact with the Ministry of Health and I hope that by tomorrow we will be able to set up the ‘drive-in’,” he said.

“I had a meeting this morning with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Home Front Command and the community administrators to know what the closure means. Certainly, if there is a closure, and I believe it will be in the next two days, the police will be called to enforce it. They are supposed to walk around the streets asking people why they’re out. I do not find a big difference to existing guidelines. We just need to make sure they are enforced.”

Yesterday the border crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were closed off on both sides, excluding the residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shuafat and Kfar Aqab.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published in Ynetnews on March 18, 2020. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Sophie Smithies/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel’s leaders will have wisdom as they put measures in place to deal with Covid-19. Pray again that Jerusalemites will take seriously their responsibility to live within those guidelines at this time. Pray that such a closure will have minimal economic impact on Jerusalem as well as on the nation as a whole.

Scripture

Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the court of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.


- Psalm 92:13–15

Is Netanyahu’s Reign Over?

by Joshua Spurlock

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Likud demonstrators outside the President’s Residence in Jerusalem

Monday, 16 March 2020 |The longest-serving tenure of a prime minister in Israel’s history looks likely to end, as a slim majority of Israeli lawmakers have nominated Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz to replace multi-term Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Israeli President Reuben Rivlin has still called for an emergency unity government in the face of the coronavirus situation, Rivlin—who is authorized in his role to nominate the prime minister—announced he currently intends to task Gantz as Israel’s leader on Monday.

The decision could evolve if the two main parties, Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud party, reach a unity government deal, but otherwise Gantz will get the first opportunity to form a government. With a unity government in mind, Netanyahu and Gantz met with Rivlin on Sunday, and according to an Israeli press release, “the two sides agreed that the negotiating teams of the two parties will continue the discussions.”

The announcement follows the recommendation of Gantz by 61 members of Israel’s 120-person Knesset (Parliament). Fifty-eight members backed Netanyahu, while one Knesset member abstained, according to an Israeli press release.

Those backing Gantz included the entire Joint List Arab faction, who The Times of Israel expects would back a Gantz minority government from the outside—essentially acting as a veto to prevent the other parties from toppling the government with a no-confidence vote despite not officially joining the Gantz coalition. While some members of the Joint List backed Gantz in the last election in September, this is the first time he received the entire bloc’s support.

It turned out to be critical. With Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition falling just three seats short of a 61-seat majority, it looked like Gantz too might miss out on a majority as Knesset member Orly Levy-Abekasis of the Labour-Meretz-Gesher faction decided to support no one for the head post.

That dropped Gantz to the bare minimum of a majority of 61 endorsements, requiring all of the Arab Joint List to back him in order to pass the leadership threshold—and unlike the last election, they did.

The last hope for Netanyahu for now, therefore, is that a unity government is reached in which he can share power with Gantz. On Twitter on Sunday, a Google translation of a post from Netanyahu laid out a proposal in which a short-term emergency government for six months would exist with Netanyahu as prime minister and the ministerial seats “distributed evenly” with Blue and White, with Netanyahu unable to fire any of the Blue and White party ministers during the timeframe.

Alternatively, Netanyahu offered a rotational unity government in which he would hold the prime minister’s office for two years with Gantz as the deputy, and then Gantz would take over for two years.

Rivlin, for his part, is pushing for the sides to reach a deal while recognizing the key part the government will generally play in the current situation. In a tweet, the Israeli president said, “Emergencies have never damaged Israeli democracy, but strengthened it and made the State of Israel more resilient. We are committed, more than ever with the urgent need for a government, to hold essential democratic processes even in a time of crisis.”

Of course, at this time, it is Gantz and his Blue and White party who hold the cards—he becomes prime minister if he can maintain his support, whether he reaches a unity deal with Netanyahu or not. Yet Gantz was given an opportunity to form a government as prime minister following the last election as well, and failed. A government this time, even with the Joint List support from outside the coalition, would stay in power by the narrowest of margins and likely struggle to pass legislation with just 46 of the 120 Knesset members in the coalition itself.

All that to say, the final decision for Israel’s next leader could still go either way. But for the first time since 2009, the odds are against the next leader being Benjamin Netanyahu.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by The Mideast Update on March 15, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Autumn Groat/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the service of PM Netanyahu. Pray that regardless of the outcome of the current political stalemate, the incredible international and domestic advances made under his leadership will remain intact. Pray for him and for his family as he faces an uncertain future. Pray also for God’s supernatural intervention in the ongoing process of establishing a government.

Scripture

Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly.


- Psalm 108:12–13a

Israeli Teen Badly Wounded in Judea and Samaria Attack

by Elisha Ben Kimon

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Meir Medical Center, where the boy was first taken after the attack.

Friday, 13 March 2020 | A 14-year-old Israeli boy was seriously wounded overnight Wednesday after Palestinian attackers hurled a rock at his head near the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] village of Huwara.

The boy was initially taken to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba and later moved to Schneider Children’s Medical Center, where he was placed under an induced coma with respiratory support in a severe but stable condition.

The initial investigation shows that the attack occurred after a vehicle carrying several Jews stopped at the Huwara intersection, on the main road leading to the settlements of Yitzhar, Itamar, and Elon Moreh.

At the time, the youth and his brother were dancing to the sound of Purim [Feast of Esther] music, when a vehicle carrying several Palestinian youths passed near them and started confronting them.

According to the Israelis’ version, they tried to escape the scene when a rock hit the boy on the head from a short distance away. They continued driving to the central Yitzhar Junction, where they met IDF [Israel Defense Forces] forces who provided first aid to the youth.

The Palestinians claimed that one of them was lightly injured during the incident.

Police and military forces took testimonies from the involved parties at the scene.

Also on Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said that a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager succumbed to wounds sustained in clashes with IDF forces south of Nablus in the West Bank.

According to the ministry’s statement, the teen was shot in the head by a live bullet during confrontations with IDF soldiers in the village of Beita and died in a hospital shortly after.

An IDF spokesperson said that the troops responded to a violent riot of some 500 Palestinians, many of whom hurled rocks at the soldiers and set tires on fire. The incident is being reviewed.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on March 11, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ranbar/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s healing touch on this young boy as he lies injured in the hospital, as well as for others who are suffering injuries from current incidents. Pray that the guilty parties will be brought to justice and beseech the Lord for an end to the violence.

Scripture

The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.


- Proverbs 10:29

Will the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Quiet the Gaza Strip?

by Yoni Ben Menachem

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Hamas has called on residents of the Gaza Strip who have recently returned to Gaza through the Rafah Crossing (pictured) to maintain home isolation.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 | Last week, Israel provided 200 kits to the Gaza Strip to test for the coronavirus.

IDF [Israel Defense Forces] Maj. Kamil Abu Rokon, Commander for Israel’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced: “Preventing the spread of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip and preventing an outbreak in the Judea and Samaria territories are of foremost Israeli interest.”

While PA [Palestinian Authority] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas took the emergence of the coronavirus in Bethlehem seriously and announced a month-long “emergency situation” in the PA, Hamas, the controlling power in the Gaza Strip, initially treated the idea of a coronavirus breakout in the area with contempt and quickly announced that the Gaza Strip was “clean” of the virus.

Hamas also did not order the checking of Egyptians for the disease as they entered into the Gaza Strip via the Rafah [border] crossing.

However, following pressure from residents, the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip stated on March 14, 2020, that the Strip was “clean” of the coronavirus. Hamas said they had already tested 19 cases of suspected coronavirus infection in the past few days, and the tests had all come back negative.

Hamas called on the 2,667 residents of the Gaza Strip who have recently returned to Gaza through the Rafah crossing to maintain home isolation.

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, is maintaining a low-profile. His deputy, Khalil al-Hayya, held a press conference with representatives of the different factions and medical personnel in Gaza to announce the closure of the crossings into Egypt and Israel (Rafah and Erez crossings) and the closure of kindergartens and schools. Gatherings or assembly of more than 100 people was also banned.

The political rift between Hamas and the PA and the split between the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and the Gaza Strip preclude the necessary cooperation in the war against the coronavirus.

However, in recent days, since the coronavirus was discovered in the PA and Israel, there has been relative quiet on the Gaza border with Israel regarding the launching of explosive balloons, mortars and rockets.

Sources in the Gaza Strip say that the quiet is related to the Hamas leadership’s fear of the spread of the coronavirus in the Gaza Strip and the resulting dependence on Israel and Egypt in dealing with the pandemic.

Hamas’ medical abilities in the Gaza Strip are minimal, and in the event of the spread of the coronavirus in Gaza, it will be tough to deal with the situation by itself. Hamas understands that in such a scenario, it will not be a choice but rather a necessity to receive assistance from Egypt and Israel to deal with the pandemic.

The refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, with their high population density, overcrowding and lack of sanitation and hygiene, all have a high potential for the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

According to Hamas sources, the Hamas leadership understands this very well. It will, therefore, keep the borders calm with Israel for the near future, until the situation with regard to the coronavirus pandemic becomes clear.

Palestinian journalist Faiz Abu Shamala, on March 14, 2020, called on the joint military command of the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip to announce their organizations’ commitment to calm with Israel in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus and the necessity to cope with this virus.

“We must ensure that no incendiary balloons are launched throughout this humanitarian battle with the coronavirus, and we must demand that the Israeli enemy meet their obligations of calm. The Palestinians are not terrorists but seek to return to their homeland. As long as the enemy is hurt by the coronavirus, we must show mercy to them and maintain the ceasefire, according to Arab customs,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

One of the issues that will require a decision by the various terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip is the “Land Day” event that took place annually on March 31.

According to the original plan, March 31 was supposed to be the date when the “March of Return” against Israel would resume at the border of the Gaza Strip.

However, officials in the Gaza Strip believe that with the spread of the coronavirus and the possibility of it reaching Gaza, the resumption of demonstrations on the Gaza border is likely to be postponed to another date.

Source: (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs originally published this article on March 15, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Gigi Ibrahim/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Thank God for this period of calm on the Gaza border and beseech the Lord that it will continue. Pray that He will protect the citizens of southern Israel from harm, including the corona virus, as they already face lockdown restrictions and social distance guidelines.

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.


- Psalm 140:1–2

Palestinians Revive Blood Libels as Israel Saves Their Lives

by Khaled Abu Toameh~Gatestone Institute

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A street in Bethlehem

Monday, 16 March 2020 | Israel is making a massive effort to help the Palestinians contain a coronavirus outbreak after several Palestinians in Bethlehem tested positive for the disease. In return, the Palestinians are continuing to spread blood libels against Israel and the Jews.

On March 5, the Israeli Defense Ministry announced that it has been working in the past two weeks to assist the Palestinian Authority in “curbing and preventing a coronavirus outbreak” in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza Strip.

Israeli authorities have transferred 250 coronavirus test kits from Israel to the Palestinians. Furthermore, joint training sessions for Israeli and Palestinian medical personnel were organized for the professional study of the virus, the protection of medical personnel, and the testing of patients suspected of being virus carriers.

“We will continue working to help the Palestinian authorities curb the spread of the virus, both as an Israeli interest and for humanitarian reasons,” said Israeli Civil Administration Health Coordinator Dalia Basa. “We will expand medical training to Palestinian personnel as much as possible, as well as the transfer of medical equipment to the Palestinian healthcare system.”

Earlier, the Israeli authorities announced that they had facilitated 105,495 humanitarian crossings for Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel during the last week of February.

Yet, rather than showing gratitude toward the Israeli authorities for their assistance, the Palestinian Authority and its media outlets and officials are continuing their campaign of incitement against Israel. They are also continuing to incite Palestinians against Israel by spreading lies about Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers. The incitement and lies promote anti-Semitism and even endanger the lives of Jews around the world.

As Israeli medical professionals were offering help to their Palestinian colleagues, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly condemning Israel for demolishing the houses of two Palestinian terrorists involved in the murder of Israeli teenager Rina Shnerb in the West Bank in August 2019. The Palestinians, in other words, are worried about the human rights of the terrorists and their families, and not those of the 17-year-old Jewish girl who was murdered during a family picnic for only one reason: being a Jew.

The ministry also denounced Israel’s “ongoing assault” on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem—a reference to a decision by Israeli authorities to ban a number of Palestinian activists involved in anti-Israel incitement from entering the holy site for one week.

The Israeli move comes in the context of efforts to stop Palestinian incitement against Jews who visit the Temple Mount. Palestinian officials and activists have been waging a campaign against the visits by claiming, falsely, an old blood libel begun by the former Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, an ally of Adolf Hitler: that the Jews are “violently storming” Al-Aqsa Mosque under protection from the Israeli Police. This incitement has led to several stabbing and shooting attacks against Israelis in the past few years.

On March 7, as Israel was helping dozens of foreign tourist groups leave Bethlehem after the discovery of 19 coronavirus cases in the city, the Palestinians revived yet another one of their old blood libels against Israel and Jews: the one claiming Israel uses wild boars to drive Palestinians out of their agricultural fields.

The blood libel appeared in the Palestinian daily Al-Quds under the title: “Herds of Wild Boars: The Settlers’ New Tool For Seizing Agricultural Lands.”

The report claimed that Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers have been releasing wild boars in parts of the West Bank to destroy Palestinian crops and intimidate Palestinian villagers and farmers.

One of the farmers, Fadel Tamimi, is quoted as saying, “Several residents saw trucks with Israeli license plates transferring wild boars to lands near the village of Der Nizam. Then the animals destroy our crops and cause physical harm to villagers.”

Another farmer, Munal Zeidan, said that the use of wild boars was part of a “scheme” by Jewish settlers.

Murad Ishtawi, head of the Palestinian Commission for Resisting the Wall (Israel’s security fence) and Settlements in the Northern West Bank, said, “Jewish settlers are waging a war of wild boars against [Palestinian] residents. They brought the wild boars here and released them in our fields to drive farmers away. This is a form of war.”

Needless to say, none of the Palestinians interviewed for the report managed to provide evidence that Israeli soldiers or settlers were behind the spread of wild boars in the West Bank. It is hard to find one Palestinian who does not carry a smartphone that he or she could use to document the alleged practices of the soldiers and settlers. It is worth noting that Palestinian villagers regularly document the actions of Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank as part of a campaign to incite hatred against Israel.

Additionally, dozens of Palestinian and foreign photographers roam the streets of the West Bank every day to record various events there. If, as the Palestinians claim, the Jews have been using wild boars for the past two decades, why has no one snapped even one photo of an Israeli truck carrying the animals into Palestinian villages?

What about the hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the West Bank? How come they too have not been attacked by wild boars? And how are these wild boars able to distinguish between Arabs and Jews?

Another old Palestinian-made blood libel concerns rats in Jerusalem. In 2008, the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, Wafa, claimed that Jewish settlers have been using rats to drive Arabs out of their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the report, “dozens of settlers have been converging on the alleyways and streets of the Old City carrying iron cages full of rats. They release the rats in the Old City.”

The Palestinian Government Press Office even held a press conference in Ramallah that year to further spread the fake story about the rats. At the press conference, Palestinian officials claimed the release of the rats in the Old City of Jerusalem was aimed at “increasing the suffering of the residents, turning their lives into a real tragedy and forcing them to leave their homes and city.”

The Palestinian officials forgot to mention that there are hundreds of Jewish families living in different parts of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Jewish Quarter, the Muslim Quarter and the Christian Quarter. Again, one wonders how these rats miraculously managed to target only Arabs.

By continuing to spread false reports and blood libels against Israel and Jews, particularly while Israel is working around the clock to save Palestinian lives from the coronavirus, the Palestinians are once again demonstrating how they repay those who assist them. Notably, it is this type of incitement that drives Palestinians to launch terror attacks against Israelis almost on a daily basis.

Israel is training Palestinian medical professionals to combat the spread of a dangerous disease at the very moment that Palestinian leaders are continuing to poison the hearts and minds of their people against the very people working to help them. While this sort of perverse Palestinian payback is nothing new, it nonetheless ought to interest anyone in the international community who is considering contributing to the Palestinian cause.

Source: (The Gatestone Institute originally published this article on March 9, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Soman/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that these ridiculous accusations and vicious lies will be exposed for what they are: anti-Semitic propaganda and incitement to violence. Pray that the Lord will speak truth to the Palestinian people who are victimized by their leadership’s constant brainwashing.

Scripture

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue. Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions.


- Psalm 5:9–10a

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