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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.

Gazan Mob Tries to Tear Down Israeli Border Fence

by Ilse Strauss

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Gazan riots escalate

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 | Yesterday morning nearly 50,000 Gazans gathered along the border with Israel. They came armed with guns, knives, explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, rocks and every other weapon they could lay their hands on. They came because Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, rallied his people to storm the border fence, break down the barrier, swarm into Israel and massacre whoever they could find. Gaining access to Israel would not be too difficult, he promised, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were allegedly fleeing before the advancing Gazans.

There can be no doubt as to the rioters’ intent. Organizers sent instructions directing protesters to “act in accordance with the demand to bring a knife or a gun, to hide them under your clothes and not use them except where there is a need to capture… residents of Israel.” An enthusiastic Gazan told the Washington Post, “We are excited to storm and get inside. Whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.”

The stage was set.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. hundreds of violent rioters ran for the border, trying to tear down the fence. Israel responded in exactly the same way as any other country would have responded if a violent horde bent on massacring its citizens stormed its sovereign border: it stopped them.

Nearly 60 Palestinians died for Hamas’s obsession of destroying Israel. None of the rioters reached Israeli territory.

The day also saw mass tire burnings, launching burning objects such as kites with charcoal or containers with burning fuel across the border in an attempt to torch Israeli fields. Following attempts to plant an explosive device on the border fence and gunfire aimed at soldiers, IDF jets and tanks targeted a Hamas training camp.

In the aftermath of the day of violence—the worst since Operation Protective Edge in 2014—the international community heaped condemnation on Israel for the death toll. Several news outlets blame Israel outright, telling its readers and listeners that the protests were non-violent, painting pictures of a peaceful sit-in, with Israel reacting with disproportionate violence.

The reality is, however, wholly different. Israel’s position is straightforward: the Hamas terrorist organization sent violent rioters to breach Israel’s border and enter Israeli communities. Hamas planned a massacre. The attack was perpetrated by the terror organization. Israel acted in self-defense.

Yesterday’s violence comes as the month-and-a-half long “March of Return” is set to culminate in Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe—Arabs remember the day when Israel declared Independence) today. For six weeks, the Israel-Gaza border has been fraught with tension, violent clashes, Palestinian destruction of property and several attempts to breach the border.

Hours before yesterday’s violence, the IDF asked Gazans to steer clear of the fray to avoid getting hurt. Yesterday the IDF dropped leaflets in the Gaza Strip, warning residents to keep away from the border fence. One of the leaflets read in Arabic, “To the protesters, you are taking part in violent protests that are putting your life in danger. Hamas is using you to conceal its failures and is endangering you and your family members. The IDF is prepared for any scenario and will act against any attempt to target the security fence or to threaten the forces or Israel’s citizens. Hamas is using you. Don’t be its puppets. Stay away from the fence and beware terror operators and violent rioters! Take care of yourselves and work to build your future!”

Israel’s warnings were not heeded.

At first glance it would appear that Hamas’s mission failed. None of the rioters sent to infiltrate Israel managed to breach the border, while nearly 60 were killed. Yet infiltration was arguably not the terror organization’s main goal. Hamas’s agenda, it seems, was to stage a publicity production aimed at garnering international sympathy for unarmed, hapless Palestinians taking a peaceful stand against the Goliath-like IDF.

To a large extent, the international media fell for the ploy, dutifully reporting on Hamas’s staged plight to a world audience concerned with social justice. Hamas, the terror organization that rallied 50,000 supporters to storm the border with Israel to kill and kidnap civilians, stands as the suffering party in yesterday’s violence, while the IDF, which acted in self-defense to prevent a massacre, appears to be the overpowering aggressor.

Hamas failed miserably at breaching the border fence. Their attempt at damaging Israel’s reputation was unfortunately infinitely more successful.

Israel does not rejoice over the loss of life. The people of the Promised Land do not stand indifferent to the suffering of the Palestinians. On the contrary. They mourn with a people who are exploited by a government whose obsession to destroy Israel at any cost eclipses their sense of responsibility for the well-being of those they rule.

Source: Bridges for Peace, 15 May 2018

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesman

Prayer Focus
Beseech God to bring the evil deception to light. Cry out against the incorrect and biased media coverage aimed at portraying Israel in the worst way possible. Ask Him to give those who see and hear the news the wisdom to discern the lies. Bring the IDF soldiers before God, asking for protection and physical and mental well-being.

Scripture

But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), by the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above…


- Genesis 49:24-25a

US Officially Opens Israeli Embassy in Jerusalem on “Glorious” Day

by Joshua Spurlock

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PM Netanyahu at the opening ceremony of the US Embassy in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 | History and promises kept were the themes of the day as the United States officially opened their embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of many who praised US President Donald Trump for keeping his promise to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital city and recognize Jerusalem’s true place in Israel’s history and present.

“What a glorious day,” said Netanyahu in comments marking the embassy opening published by his office. “Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.”

And Jerusalem has a lengthy history. Netanyahu highlighted just some of the moments in the city’s past, including Abraham’s personal sacrifice, King David establishing it as Israel’s capital, and the two Temples. And Israel’s historic claim to the capital city leads to the present and future as well. Said Netanyahu, “We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay.”

Jason Greenblatt, an assistant to President Trump and Special Representative for International Negotiations, was part of the US delegation for the opening festivities and highlighted that the decision by Trump was morally right. Tweeted Greenblatt, “Promise made. Promise kept. @POTUS had the moral clarity and strength to do what was right. From this day forward, the U.S. Embassy to the State of Israel is located in its capital, Jerusalem, Israel.”

Also visiting Israel for the event included President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Greenblatt live tweeted Kushner’s speech at the ceremony, which said that the “United States stands with Israel because we believe, we know, that it’s the right thing to do.”

While he was not present for the big event, President Trump posted a video to the White House Twitter feed in which he said that Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital is “obvious.”

Said Trump, “Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital—yet for many years we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality, that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”

On Trump’s personal Twitter feed, he called it a “big day for Israel” in giving his congratulations.

A fact release from the White House marking the embassy opening again noted that the US decision does not prejudge a final resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict but that “recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a necessary condition for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Said the White House press release, “Announcing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is simply a recognition of reality.”

Truth and peace were additional themes of the day, and Netanyahu believes they go together.

“The truth and peace are interconnected. A peace that is built on lies will crash on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality,” said the Israeli leader. “You can only build peace on truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state.”

And the truth of Jerusalem, Netanyahu noted, has a forward-looking impact as well—one that offers hope.

“The prophet, Zechariah, declared over 2,500 years ago, ‘So said the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,’” said Netanyahu.

“May the opening of this embassy in this city spread the truth far and wide, and may the truth advance a lasting peace between Israel and all our neighbors.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 14 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the successful opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. Thank Him for maintaining peace in the city during the event. Ask God to open the eyes of many other nations to the truth so that they may follow the American example to recognize Jerusalem and move their embassies to Israel’s capital.

Scripture

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;


- Deuteronomy 30:19

Captured Gazan Rioter Admits: Hamas Uses Women, Children as Human Shields

by Elior Levy and Yoav Zitun

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Hamas-led border riots including women and children

Thursday, 17 May 2018 | A rioter who was captured by IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers after breaching the border fence and infiltrating into Israel on Tuesday said Hamas orchestrated the border demonstrations to stay in power.

“Hamas organized the demonstrations so that people would not ‘turn’ on them,” he affirmed, explaining that the humanitarian situation in the Strip has gotten so bad that Hamas planned out the March of Return protests to let people blow off steam, and did so in a way that would help their cause.

Their plan, as well as their propaganda, he said, worked.

“Hamas controls everything in the Strip. Hamas sends us messages to our Facebook accounts and to our cellphones. They come to mosques handing leaflets saying to go to the fence. When there’s electricity, and televisions can be turned on all you can see is the march. People got worn down and bored, and I’m one of those people,” he said.

The detainee also seemed to back Israel’s assertion that Hamas uses women and children as human shields in the protests.

“They tell women to go forward. They say to the woman: Go ahead, you are a woman, and the Israeli army does not shoot at women. They tell small children: Go ahead, the army does not shoot at small children. They tell a child to go ahead and he goes, it’s a little boy. They deceive him,” he laments.

While the IDF has indeed explicitly instructed not to fire at women or children, it has urged them to refrain from coming near the fence, saying they are putting themselves in harm’s way by doing so.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that sometimes harming civilians is inevitable.

“They’re (Hamas) pushing civilians, women, children into the line of fire with the hope of creating casualties,” he explained. “We try to minimize casualties. They’re trying to incur casualties in order to put pressure on Israel, which is horrible.”

A day later, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called the terror group’s leaders a “bunch of cannibals that treat their own children as armaments.”

Meanwhile, earlier Wednesday, Hamas refused to allow two IDF Technological and Logistics Directorate trucks bearing hundreds of lifesaving medical equipment items to enter Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The trucks thus returned to Israel, while six other trucks with similar medical equipment sent by UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) and the Palestinian Authority were allowed to enter.

Sixty-one people were killed in Monday’s riots, with more than 1,200 wounded. Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil told Palestinian media Wednesday that 50 of the Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip border riots Monday belonged to the terror group’s ranks.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 16 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson/Twitter

Prayer Focus
Cry out for the situation on the Gaza border, where Hamas is using women and children as human shields. Pray for the people of Gaza, as they are held hostage by a terror group with a stated goal to destroy Israel. Ask God to give them the courage to stand up to this evil regime.

Scripture

Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,


- Psalm 64:1-2

Guatemala Becomes Second Nation to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and their wives at the opening of the new Guatemalan embassy in Jerusalem.

Thursday, 17 May 2018 | Guatemala became the second country to open its embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, The Jerusalem Post reported.

At the dedication ceremony, held at Jerusalem’s Malha Technological Park, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem goes “hand in hand” with the opening of the United States embassy in Israel’s capital two days before.

In his remarks, Netanyahu highlighted the friendly relationship that both countries have shared since 1948 when Guatemala became the second country, after the US, to recognize the State of Israel.

Netanyahu mentioned that in Israel, there is a Guatemala Street “about a kilometer from here in Jerusalem” and in many Israeli cities in honor of former Guatemalan Ambassador to the United Nations Jorge Garcia Granados, who was critical in convincing Latin American countries to favorably vote for General Assembly Resolution 181 which called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and Arab state.

“We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend—then and now,” Netanyahu said.

At the ceremony, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales highlighted the friendly relationship that the US, Israel and Guatemala share: “70 years ago the US and Guatemala voted in favor of partition,” he said. “Three friends that share friendship and loyalty.”

Around 150 people attended the ceremony including US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, businessman Sheldon Adelson, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat along with several Guatemalan politicians.

Netanyahu said that he plans to visit Latin America by the end of this year and that he will stop in Guatemala.

Outgoing Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes announced a week ago that his nation will also move its embassy to Jerusalem before the month of May is over.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 16 May 2018. 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
Rejoice in the Lord for the special friendship that Guatemala shares with Israel. Pray a blessing over President Morales, his cabinet, nation and family for supporting Israel since 1948. Pray for Paraguay, as they too are planning to move their embassy to Jerusalem.

Scripture

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


- Proverbs 18:24

The New Middle East? Bahrain Defends Israel; A Qatari Royal Assails Iran

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Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa

Friday, 11 May 2018 | Recent remarks by public figures—both official and unofficial—in the Arab world signal a process of realignment in the Middle East, in which Israel is more accepted, and Iran is increasingly isolated.

In a sign of warming ties between Israel and some Arab countries, Bahrain has backed the Jewish state’s right to “defend itself” against Iranian aggression, following Israel’s military response to attempted Iranian missile strikes on an Israeli army base, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

“As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and invaded countries with its forces and missiles, so any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying sources of danger,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister said in Arabic in a statement on his official Twitter account.

Israel says Iranian rocket attacks on Israeli positions in the Golan Heights—carried out by Iranian Special Forces—prompted the overnight strikes. In response, the Israeli army carried out widespread raids against Iranian targets in Syria, in an effort to strangle Tehran’s ambition to build a permanent military presence in the country.

The Bahraini statement came alongside strong support for Israel’s right to self-defense from the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. It is, however, rare for an Arab country with no diplomatic ties to Israel to offer explicit public statements of support.

Over the past months, a split emerged between Arab countries over their relationship with Iran. In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar over the emirate’s relationship with Iran.

On Thursday, Qatar’s Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim al-Thani criticized the Qatari government over its support for Iran, following the US’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear accord.

“The Hamad regime’s alignment with Iran after the US withdrew from the nuclear deal proves that the Qatari authority is involving our people in a confused stance for the sake of Iranian interests. They’ve allowed Qatar to become a toy in the Iranian regime’s (hands),” Sheikh Sultan said in a tweet.

“Instead of standing with the Arab project to confront the Iranian threat, the Hamad regime stands with Iran against its neighbors. For how long will our country be hijacked for absurd interests?” he added.

Sheikh Sultan is the eighth child of Sheikh Suhaim bin Hamad, a brother of the former Qatari Emir Sheikh Khalifah bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 10 May 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.) 

Photo Credit: Public domain/Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for the efforts of PM Netanyahu as he continues to build relationships with Israel’s neighbors. Ask God to use the Iranian aggression in the region to raise up more Arab nations to awaken to the truth and stand with Israel.

Scripture

The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; the LORD raises those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The LORD shall reign forever—Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!


- Psalm 146:8-10

Israeli Government Passes Bill to Deduct Terror Funds from PA in First Reading

by Shahar Hay

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Chamber of the Israeli government where legislative proposals are addressed

Friday, 11 May 2018 | The Knesset [Parliament] approved in its first reading on Monday afternoon a bill proposal to deduct the funds the Palestinian Authority [PA] pays terrorists and their families from the tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

The proposal cleared the first hurdle in the legislative process with 55 MKs [Knesset members] voting in favor and 14 voting against.

The bill seeks to give the Security Cabinet the authority to order a freeze of the transfer of money to the Palestinians as well as outline clear instructions on what to do with the funds deducted.

The legislative proposal concerns “money paid to those defined as terror activists or the families of terrorists who were wounded or killed, or money paid to prisoners or other detainees for carrying out or attempting to carry out an offense that undermines state security or public safety, or to their families, as a reward for the terror attacks they carried out.”

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan presented the bill to the Knesset ahead of the vote. “Today, the State of Israel says ‘no more.’ We will fight terrorists not just by catching them and bringing them to justice, but even after they have been jailed. We will continue fighting them and their families and those who fund them and show zero tolerance to terrorism,” he said.

According to data collected by the defense establishment, the Palestinian Authority pays over NIS 1 billion [US $280 million] a year to terrorists and their families.

“Imagine how many kindergartens and schools could’ve been built with this money. Instead of investing in education and health, instead of taking care of the Gaza residents, the PA encourages terrorism,” Ben-Dahan went on to say.

Under the proposed legislation, the defense minister will present the Cabinet every year with a report on the total amount of terror-related money paid by the PA. The total sum detailed in the report would be deducted from the money being transferred to the PA.

The deducted money, according to the bill proposal, would be put in a special fund created for this purpose and used—subject to approval from the defense minister—to carry out Israeli court verdicts against the PA or against terrorists; to pay compensation to terror victims; and to carry out projects as part the fight against terrorism and the funding of terrorism.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman came out in support of the bill, saying, “We’re pulling the plug on Abbas.”

Lieberman promised to work to advance the law in second and third reading as soon as possible. “This insanity, in which we transfer money to the Palestinian Authority, which uses it to encourage terrorism against us, will be stopped,” he said.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in Ynetnews on 08 May 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.) 

Photo Credit: Itzik Edri/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Give thanks for the Taylor Force Act that paved the way for cutting humanitarian funds used for terrorism. Ask God to grant the Israeli leaders wisdom and knowledge as the bill goes forward so that can be used as a further deterrent to terror.

Scripture

There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.


- Proverbs 19:21

The Palestinians’ Self-made Nakba

by Ben-Dror Yemini

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Musa Alami was an important leader of the Palestinian Arabs under the British Mandate

Thursday, 17 May 2018 | Every Palestinian death is a pity, including those who were killed on Monday. Those were unnecessary deaths, part of the Nakba [Arabs remember the day when Israel declared independence] culture the Palestinians have been adopting for 70 years now.

There was a Nakba. Palestine’s Arabs underwent an expulsion. Tens of millions around the world, including Jews, went through a similar expulsion. But the Palestinians are the only ones who have adopted an ethos of rejectionism, self-victimization, suffering and death. They aren’t looking for their own good. They have become addicted to a Nakba which is fully self-made, from its inception to this very day.

Monday’s protest was dedicated to Jerusalem. That’s interesting. Since the occupation in the year 638, Jerusalem was—most of the time—under Muslim rule. They never built a capital there. They never celebrated the city. Nothing.

Jerusalem remained under Arab rule from 1949 to 1967. There was no occupation. But they didn’t establish the state of Palestine, and so they didn’t establish a capital either. They left Jerusalem as a marginal, neglected and forsaken city. Until Israel arrived. And then, only then, they remembered how much they care about Jerusalem.

It didn’t start on Monday. Musa Alami was one of the most important leaders of the Arabs of Palestine under the British Mandate. He studied in Britain, was a senior commander in the British Mandate, held talks with David Ben-Gurion, was close to the Nazi Haj Amin al-Husseini and was a member of the Arab Higher Committee. Like all other members of the leadership, Alami was against the Partition Plan. He invited the Jordanian army to invade Israel to thwart the existence of a Jewish state. When the Arab plot failed and the refugee problem was created, Alami called on the Arab world to start preparations for a war on the “Jewish entity.”

Alami, who came from a rich aristocratic family, also tried to build an agricultural farm near Jericho to help the desperate refugees somehow. King Abdullah allotted about 5,000 acres for the project. Alami began digging and was joined by several people. They found wells.

Alami raised funds and the initiative began taking shape. Refugees found work and a livelihood, and the agricultural crops fed the hungry. The farm began thriving. On the premises, they built a swimming pool, a clinic, a school and accommodation for hundreds of orphans who found refuge from their distress. It was meant to be a wonderful rehabilitation model, in accordance with the international community’s mandate and the mission the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) was assigned with.

The thriving farm infuriated the refugees’ public activists and the leaders of the Arab world, apart from Abdullah. Despite Alami’s radical views, they launched a propaganda campaign against him, turning him into a traitor who cooperates with Zionists. Rehabilitating refugees was perceived, even back then, as treason.

In the end of 1995, following ongoing incitement, hundreds of rioters invaded Alami’s farm, leaving it in ruins. The arrival of Jordanian policemen prevented murder and rape.

If we want to understand why the Palestinian refugees’ descendants have remained in a state of distress, and why Hamas rioters vandalized the Strip’s gas supply pipes, and why the Arab world hasn’t bothered to rehabilitate for 70 years now, and why the Palestinians failed to establish a state and had no concern for Jerusalem, we should go back to the Alami farm rioters. It’s the same logic. For 70 years now, the Nakba isn’t just a memory. The Nakba is the ethos. It’s the identity. It’s the lifetime achievement.

The Alami story, as part of the refugee saga, appears in Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf’s new book The Right of Return War, which is being published these days. The book is an indictment, not just against the international community, not just against Arab states, but against Israel as well. Because all of them together have made it possible for the monster known as the refugee problem to reach shocking dimensions.

In the exact same years that Alami’s farm was active, from 1951 to 1955, $200 million (the equivalent of nearly $2 billion those days) were allotted for refugee development and rehabilitation projects. Only $7 million were used—3.5%. They weren’t interested in rehabilitation. UNRWA, which was created to solve the refugee problem, has turned into an agency for the perpetuation of refugeeism.

Monday’s dead are the product of payments from Iran, an addiction to the self-victimization and self-deception ethos, and the fostering of the return fantasy, by UNRWA as well.

The bloodshed and the suffering can be stopped. The free world should make it clear to the Palestinians: Peace, welfare and prosperity will arrive when you stop dreaming about ruin, destruction and return. But the free world is “condemning both sides,” encouraged by part of the Left. And the Palestinians are paying the price.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 16 May 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public domain/Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the miracle of the creation of the modern State of Israel. Offer thanksgiving to the Lord for guarding over Israel and keeping her safe in the face of overwhelming enemy onslaughts. Pray that He will also guard over Israel as she faces enemy onslaughts in the form of anti-Israel narratives and slander.

Scripture

I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.


- Isaiah 45:7

Thinking Like the Enemy

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Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion simulates an attack

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 | There’s a reason people say that without tanks, you can’t go to war. They’re huge and sturdy, trample every obstacle that stands in their way, and have a tremendous amount of firepower. IDF [Israel Defense Forces] tanks overcome almost every obstacle they encounter; however, the enemy facing IDF tanks has recently undergone a significant change. The Armored Corps used to fight against enemy tanks, but now, the enemy attacks using guerrilla units on the ground, ambushes and ammunition in an attempt to damage the tanks.

In light of these changes, the Armored Corps conducted a large-scale ground exercise in northern Israel, in which it played out various combat scenarios. The exercise, which took place in cooperation with combat soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion, simulated an attack deep inside enemy territory and clashing with enemies on the other side.

Armored Corps soldiers from the 74th Battalion carried out a particularly significant part of the exercise and acted as the “enemy.” It was crucial that the “enemy” soldiers do everything they could in order to make the exercise realistic and difficult.

“Our job in acting as the enemy is to train the tanks and infantry forces, according to previous encounters that have occurred in the north,” explained Lieutenant Aviv, the company’s deputy commander in the 74th Battalion and “enemy” commander during in the exercise.

“We try to portray the enemy as realistically as possible,” he continued. “We wear similar uniforms and keffiyehs and use weapons that are identical to theirs, such as Kalashnikov automatic rifles and anti-tank missiles.”

“During the exercise, infantry forces were on the Golani Brigade’s Namer APCs and tanks filled with crews arrived in order to occupy the area where we were located,” Lt. Aviv explained. “Our goal was to get inside the enemy’s head in order to understand how to best carry out the ambush and hit the tanks with force.”

During the exercise, the soldiers could hear them approaching from a distance. “They’re here,” yelled one of the soldiers, as Lieutenant Aviv ordered the teams to split up. Some of them entered the building to set up a firetrap and others ran into the forest in order to strike the armored vehicles that entered the area.

Suddenly the “enemy” soldiers gained sight of the armored vehicles and were ready for a confrontation. A number of shots were heard in the air as the “terrorists” began to storm in the direction of the soldiers. The soldiers were very alert, exited quickly from their armed vehicles, and wiped out the enemy.

Not only did the soldiers who fought against the ”enemy” gain important experience, but those who acted the “enemy” also improved as a result of the exercise. “As soon as we thought like the enemy and put ourselves in their shoes, we understood how they move and how they would try to attack us,” Lt. Aviv said.

The soldiers who portrayed the enemy agreed that they took a lot from the experience. Corporal Amit said, “From now on I will be much smarter about choosing a hiding spot.” He explained that he now understands what’s going on in the enemy’s mind and that this will help him tremendously on the battlefield.

“They don’t say that where the tanks stop, the border will be set for no reason,” said Lt. Aviv. “As long as we have tanks, the army can stand strong against our enemy. Our brigade is prepared for every possible scenario and enemy anywhere in the country.”

Source: (The Israel Defense Forces originally published this article on 28 April 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson

Prayer Focus
Lift up the soldiers serving in the IDF for physical, mental and emotional strength as they continue to train for any possible war scenario amidst increased tensions. Pray that God would strengthen and encourage their hearts. Ask that He would give them the wisdom to devise defense strategies that would keep Israel safe.

Scripture

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.


- Joshua 1:9

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