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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.

Israel Thwarts Potential Bloodbath in Judea and Samaria

by Ilse Posselt

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The Jewish settlement Kochav Yaakov in Judea-Samaria

Friday, 10 November 2017 | Yesterday morning Israeli security forces thwarted a terror attack in Judea and Samaria when they arrested a Palestinian man armed with a meat cleaver and two knives outside the community of Kochav Yaakov (Star of Jacob), some 15 km [9 mi] north of Jerusalem.

The potential massacre was prevented by the vigilance and quick actions of a firefighter, who spotted the “suspicious man” outside the entrance of the community, which nearly 8,000 civilians call home, and called the police to investigate.

Officers from the Israel Police’s Special Patrol Unit rushed to the scene and successfully apprehended the suspect after he attempted to flee. A routine search quickly revealed his bloody intentions, when the meat cleaver and two knives as well as a copy of the Koran were found stashed inside his backpack.

The would-be terrorist was arrested and taken for investigation. During questioning, he admitted to his part in planning a terror attack in the area. Yet the Palestinian claimed that he did not intend to commit the act himself, but was to pass on the bag and its grim contents to a third party, who had planned the ensuing bloodbath.

This is the second terror attack that Israel has thwarted in as many weeks. Last week, a Palestinian terrorist attempted to run over a group of Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers in Neve Tzuf, a community tucked into the hills of Samaria. The soldiers managed to shoot and neutralize the terrorist at the scene.

Since the start of a wave of deadly terror attacks against Israelis in September 2015, the communities of Judea and Samaria have been a prime target for Palestinian lone wolf terror attacks. While the Jewish state’s security forces have largely managed to quash the surge of violence, the past few months have seen two deadly attacks against communities in Judea and Samaria.

On 26 September 2017, a Palestinian gunman killed three security guards and wounded a fourth in Har Adar, a community bordering on Jerusalem. Two months earlier, on 21 July 2017, a Palestinian terrorist slaughtered three family members around their Shabbat table in Neve Tzuf.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 10 November 2017)

Photo Credit: Jonathan Caras/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bring the Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, and the soldiers of the IDF who protect them, before the Lord as they are the common target of various terror attacks ranging from the BDS movement to vehicle ramming and stabbings. Ask God to give them peace of mind as they never know what each new day will bring. Earnestly seek His protection over each one; their going out and coming in.

Scripture

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.


- Psalm 91:11-12

Israel’s Next Challenge: Precision-guided Missiles in Gaza

by Roi Kais

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Missile equipped with precision-guidance (illustrative)

Wednesday 08 November 2017 | The Iranian issue has recently made its way back to the top of the global agenda in general, and the Israeli agenda in particular: Starting from US President Donald Trump’s threats to walk away from the nuclear agreement, through Tehran’s involvement in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen and the warming relations with Hamas, to the growing presence of Revolutionary Guards’ representatives on the Golan Heights border.

Looking at this list as it grows longer, many Israeli defense officials believe the most significant challenge concerning Iran these days has to do with the potential for self-production of precision-guided weapons—converting simple rockets, through wingtip devices and other components, into missiles that are capable of hitting their target with an accuracy of some tens of meters. In light of the tight connection to Hezbollah and the improving relations with Hamas, this a very troubling weapon as far as Israel is concerned.

The knowledge required for upgrading the missiles already exists, and Iran’s military industry factories are advanced in this field. In addition to its expansion in the region, Iran intends to produce rockets in Syria too and set up a factory in Lebanon to perform the conversion into precision-guided missiles.

This plan isn’t limited to the Lebanese-Syrian arena. Iran wants to build similar factories in Yemen for its allies, the Houthi rebels, who still control different areas, including the capital of Sanaa, and are in a war against the Saudi-led coalition and the forces of Yemen’s official president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Against this background, Israel is watching the Gaza Strip with a great amount of concern: As part of the warming relations with Hamas, Iran will likely seek to produce precision-guided missiles in Gaza too. Only recently, during a visit by senior organization members to Tehran, the Iranian foreign minister’s advisor, Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, promised that “Iran will give Hamas whatever Hamas asks for and Iran can comply with.”

At the moment, there is no concrete operation taking place in Lebanon, Yemen or Gaza, but the planning and thought do exist. According to foreign sources, the Israel Air Force occasionally strikes in Syria to prevent the transfer of components and weapons aimed at helping in Hezbollah and Iran’s effort.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on 25 October 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Stahlkocher/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
With complex situations and the growing strength of Israel’s enemies, lift up the land of Israel to God, asking for His protection against precision-guided missiles and other weapons. Beseech God to thwart all the plans Iran is devising to annihilate Israel.

Scripture

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me.


- Psalm 138:7

Netanyahu Expresses Hope for US Peace Push in Middle East

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PM Netanyahu with British PM Theresa May in London

Monday 06 November 2017 | Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participated in a Q&A session at the London-based Chatham House think-tank on Friday, where he professed his hope that a US peace initiative would work and praised President Donald Trump for taking a fresh approach to bringing the Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations.

Asked during a visit to London to commemorate the 1917 British declaration of support for a Jewish homeland if he felt now was the moment for peace in the region, noting Trump’s involvement in peace efforts, he said: “Hope so.”

“What’s being discussed now is an American initiative. Obviously we make our interests and our concerns known to Mr. Trump. He’s coming with a sort of refreshing ‘can-do’ thing… they’re trying to think out of the box,” Netanyahu said at the Chatham House Q&A.

“The reason I draw hope from the moment is because of the larger shift in Arab-Israeli relations with the countries of the region. I cannot emphasize how dramatic that is,” he said.

Netanyahu also maintained his stance against the current Iran nuclear deal, going on to detail the process of attaining a nuclear weapon: a launch system, a missile to contain the nuclear material, and the enriched uranium that fill it.

He further explained that producing the enriched uranium is the most difficult part in the process, and that so far, the only thing preventing Iran from doing so have been the international sanctions placed on it, “which I had something to do with.”

Nevertheless, Netanyahu stressed, as he did on Thursday, when he met with British Prime Minister Theresa May, that he would not work to cancel the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, but rather seek to improve and fix it.

“The goal that I have in mind is not keeping or eliminating the deal; it’s improving the deal and correcting its main flaws,” Netanyahu said during the two leaders’ meeting at 10 Downing Street. “And I think those who want to keep the deal should cooperate in correcting the deal.

Netanyahu also attended an economic event at the London Stock Exchange, following which he opened trade at the exchange. He later met with the heads of Britain’s economic corporations.

Netanyahu will conclude his UK trip with a meeting with Britain’s chief rabbi and heads of the British Jewish community on Sunday morning.

According to the prime minister, his meeting with May saw “us becoming closer in attempting to change things in the agreement, especially as it relates to oversight on missiles and the sanctions article. We’re in the midst of a war and I’ve recently spoken with (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and May and will soon be speaking with (French President Emmanuel) Macron.”

Netanyahu stressed to May the Iranians are interested in limiting oversight, especially on military bases in which they can push nuclear activities forward and manufacture ballistic missiles, which may then be fitted with nuclear warheads.

“Ballistic missiles are also not included in the agreement’s purview and we aim to convince the six powers to change that. We say Iran should be prevented from achieving nuclear bomb capabilities while also hindering its ability to launch it using ballistic missiles,” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu has been a steadfast supporter of canceling the Iranian nuclear deal altogether, but the British prime minister is a staunch supporter of it, a position which she expressed after President Trump’s “Iran speech.”

According to Netanyahu, big changes are afoot in the Middle East. “Since many Arab countries now view Israel not as an enemy but as essential ally in fighting radical Islam. The threat we all perceive is Iran’s rise, a country determined to not only accede to regional hegemony but to also develop nuclear weapons,” he said.

According to sources close to the Israeli prime minister’s party, his meeting with May saw a shift towards amending the agreement. The prime minister cautioned that should the international community stand idly by and do nothing, Iran would reach the ability to develop multiple nuclear bombs within a few years’ time.

Netanyahu added now things were up to President Trump. “The greater danger lies in Iran following the agreement but still reaching a nuclear bomb,” he cautioned.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 03 November 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Prayer Focus
Lift up PM Netanyahu and the other parties who are involved in warning global leaders about the strength and military capability of Iran which indeed threatens the whole world. Ask God to guide every step and decision of the Israeli government and its leaders. Pray that the new initiative of amending the Iran agreement will be accomplished.

Scripture

Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.


- Psalm 27:11

Israel Filibusters Palestinian UNESCO Denouncement Decision

by Itamar Eichner

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Tuesday 07 November 2017 | Following a US-backed Israeli filibuster that lasted almost four hours, the Palestinian delegation and other Arab states failed Thursday in passing a resolution denouncing Israel during the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s 39th General Conference in Paris.

Discussion at UNESCO’s education committee was slated to commence at 3 pm, with the expectation being the measure would be approved within minutes by general consensus and without going to a vote, as has been the case in the organization since 2009.

The resolution dealt with denouncing Israel over the state of education in the West Bank [Judea–Samaria], the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The Palestinian delegation clearly had a majority to pass the resolution, and the Israeli mission to UNESCO therefore forwent any attempt to drum up votes from countries to vote alongside it.

Instead, Israel—with American support—endeavored to make use of every conceivable article in UNESCO regulations to stall for time, for example by asking for a roll-call vote of all of the organization’s 196 member countries.

When the session opened, the Kenyan chairman presiding said the resolution was to be approved with neither debate nor a vote. While Israel and the US were not permitted to vote, as they have failed to pay their membership dues to the organization for the past six years, regulations still stipulate they are entitled to seek a stay in passing the resolution until the next general conference, in two years’ time. When Arab countries voiced their objections, Israel moved to a vote on each of the resolution’s 11 articles.

The committee’s chairman and other representatives were certain the vote would be conducted with a show of hands, in which case it would have concluded with a resounding Palestinian victory, but Israel persisted in its sabotaging efforts and asked for a roll-call vote, a request necessitating the support of one other country. The US lent its support to the Israeli request, and a vote commenced that lasted more than an hour with one country voting after another.

After the roll-call, Israel objected to the Palestinian request to not hold a discussion but instead move immediately to approving the resolution, once again operating on an article in the regulations and seeking another roll-call vote on not debating the resolution.

The second roll-call vote lasted more than an hour once again and the representatives of the countries participating in the debate started showing signs of nervousness as the session was to conclude at 6 pm with many of them setting appointments and expecting to attend receptions afterwards.

At some point, the deputy Palestinian envoy to UNESCO lost his cool. Along with his Arab compatriots, he appealed to the Kenyan chairman and stressed him to block the Israeli-American filibuster. “The Israeli envoy is trying to take this plenum hostage. Don’t let him get away with this,” he exhorted.

All told, the various votes lasted until 7 pm with several surprises noted during the proceedings, such as China abstaining on the vote on the Israeli postponement request, marking the first time the Communist juggernaut did not automatically support the Palestinians.

Mexico also voted in Israel’s favor for the first time, instead of abstaining, with a possible reason being Israeli humanitarian efforts following the devastating earthquake to hit the country.

The Palestinians are expected to attempt to pass two additional anti-Israeli resolutions in the coming days. The resolutions will invariably eventually pass, but Israel has been adamant to send its message of protest to the international community.

“We have made it clear that the days are over when anti-Israel resolutions can be passed in five minutes. This obsession against Israel will come with a price tag. The organization and world countries will need to devote dozens of hours, to add additional days for debate and to sit through long sessions. Maybe then they will start wondering whether it is worth their time invested in resolutions that are political, aimless, and have nothing to do with education, culture or science,” said Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s envoy to UNESCO.

“The filibuster communicates Israel’s message of protest effectively and, under certain circumstances, may lead to resolutions not being adopted. One thing is certain: these resolutions will cease being perceived as natural and obvious as the sun shining in the morning,” Shama-Hacohen added.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 03 November 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Prayer Focus
Praise God for guiding Israel’s UNESCO representative as he successfully stalled yet another resolution against Israel. Pray for additional strategies that will continue to expose the anti-Israel agenda at this UN body. Thank God for His faithfulness and promises of hope to the nation of Israel.

Scripture

For the LORD’s portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye.


- Deuteronomy 32:9-10

Russia Sees Iran as Strategic Partner

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Russian President Putin and Iranian President Rouhani

Tuesday 07 November 2017 | Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Iran as a “strategic partner” to Russia which is “not good news for Israel,” a Russian expert told Ben Cohen of The Algemeiner on Wednesday.

Discussing the significance of Putin’s trip to Iran and his meetings with top Iranian officials, Anna Borshchevskaya, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that Russia supports the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which is called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and won’t likely agree to any changes because “they wanted the JCPOA, they wanted Iran to get sanctions relief so they could trade, and they saw the agreement as a victory for their own diplomacy.”

Borshchevskaya didn’t see Russia objecting to a greater Iranian presence in Syria, even on Israel’s border.

“The Iranians may not have identical strategic goals to the Russians, but these don’t necessarily conflict,” she added. Moreover, the Russian-Iranian alliance is that “they have a common enemy in America, and that brings them together more than anything else.”

While Israel has ties with Russia and has maintained freedom to act against threats emanating from Syria, Borshchevskaya said that the emerging partnership between Russia and Iran should of great concern to Israel.

“Israel should have no illusions that Russia is going to be an honest broker, or a voice of reason or moderation,” she warned, adding, “Putin’s primary interest is in having Iran as a strategic partner, and that’s not good news for Israel.”

“He is very good at balancing all these relationships—Kurds, Iranians, Saudis, Israelis,” Borshchevskaya, said, noting the Putin has recently hosted both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Saudi Arabian King Salman, “but his main priority is Iran.”

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

Photo Credit: Hamed Malekpour/TNA/Wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Bring Israel’s leadership and their relationship with Russia before the Lord in wake of Russia’s determination to partner with Iran. Pray for receptive hearts and minds to receive God’s instruction to guide the nation of Israel forward in safety.

Scripture

Receive, please, instruction from His mouth, and lay up His words in your heart.


- Job 22:22

Israeli Defense Official Warns of Menace Worse than Hamas Looming in Gaza

by Ilse Posselt

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COGAT Major General Yoav Mordechai claims Gaza’s youth could be more extreme than Hamas.

Thursday 9 November 2017 | Hamas, the terror group ruling the Gaza strip, has never been shy when it comes to its ambitions regarding the Jewish state. The Hamas charter, which outlines the founding identity, and aims of the terror group, does, after all, include the destruction of Israel as one of its highlighted objectives. Moreover, it advocates violent means, such as terror attacks, rocket fire aimed at civilians and all-out war as its chosen means to achieve its goal.

While the threat that Hamas poses to Israel and its people continues to escalate, with a growing network of terror tunnels that aims to breach the Gaza border into the Promised Land, and the warming ties between Hamas and Iran giving the terror group access to state-of-the-art, precision-guided missiles, a high-ranking Israeli defense official warned of a much graver prospect than Hamas facing the Jewish state in the coastal enclave.

According to Major General Yoav Mordechai, head of Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit that acts as coordinator between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), the Strip runs the risk of being overrun by desperate, militarized Gazan youth even more extreme than Gaza’s current government.

In an essay published late last month in the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Mordechai explains that the looming menace on Israel’s southern border is the result of the abysmal living standards and lack of hope to which Hamas continues to subject its citizens, coupled with a decade of indoctrination that upholds violence as the only way to achieve results.

Mordechai writes that since the terror group’s military takeover of the Strip in 2007, Hamas has failed to lift “the Gaza population from the confines of poverty and neglect that they have long endured.” Instead, it has funneled all its finances, resources and efforts into devising means to destroy Israel. As a result, the United Nations estimates that the living condition in the coastal enclave will become uninhabitable by 2020.

Mordechai further explains that the current Gazan youth received a much more advanced education than past generations, yet now face the dismal prospect of the worst employment expectations in over ten years.

Mordechai concludes “that if something is not done that will bring about a genuine change in the Gazans’ bleak perception of reality, a situation may well arise whereby far more extremist entities, even compared to the Hamas movement, might overthrow the government in Gaza.”

According to Mordechai, even Hamas is aware that Gazan youth, desperate for a better future, may spearhead a violent uprising aimed at unseating the terror group at any time.

The solution, Mordechai holds, is an initiative akin to a “Marshall Plan for the Gaza Strip,” which would entail the international community investing in the improvement of the Gazan economy. The Marshall Plan, officially known as the European Recovery Program, saw the US give billions of dollars to rebuild Western European economies following the Second World War.

Mordechai was quick to add that the plan must take Hamas’s security threats to Israel and the region as a whole into account and should thus include measures to halt the terror group’s military growth.

“The plan,” he wrote, “should include extensive international initiatives and investments that will enable rehabilitation and authentic change in Gaza—in terms of mindset and economics alike—without Hamas being able to oppose or obstruct the plan.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 09 November 2017)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson/wikimedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for the people of Gaza, who are suffering under the leadership of Hamas as it determinedly seeks to destroy Israel rather than care for their own citizens. Pray that the Gazan residents, and especially the militarized youth, would come to know and understand the heart of Israel’s God.

Scripture

Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.


- Zechariah 9:10-11

Lebanese Prime Minister’s Resignation a “Wake Up” Call

by Ilse Posselt

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Lebanon PM Saad Hariri, resigned, aware of Hezbollah plots to “target his life.”

Monday 06 November 2017 | Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Israel’s northern neighbor, Lebanon, stepped down from his post on Saturday in a surprise move that threatens to throw his already unstable country and a volatile Middle East into further turmoil.

His reason for the unexpected resignation? Hariri cited Iran’s increasing stranglehold in his country and the region, as well as the growing grip of power and influence that Tehran’s terror proxy, Hezbollah, wields in Lebanon. Hariri added that if he remained leader, he feared that he would soon suffer the same fate as his father, a former Lebanese prime minister who was assassinated in a 2005 car bomb, reportedly perpetrated by Hezbollah.

Hariri made the announcement in a televised address broadcast from the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, where he arrived on Friday. “We are living in a climate similar to the atmosphere that prevailed before the assassination of martyr Rafik Hariri [Hariri’s late father]. I am aware of what is being plotted to target my life.”

“Wherever Iran settles, it sows discord, devastation and destruction, proven by its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries,” Hariri explained his decision.

Iran, he warned, “has a desire to destroy the Arab world and has boasted of its control of the decisions in all the Arab capitals.”

According to Hariri, Hezbollah has “imposed a reality in Lebanon through force of arms, and their intervention causes us big problems with all our Arab allies.” Referring to Tehran’s backing and support of the terror group, he said, “Hezbollah is Iran’s arm not just in Lebanon but in other Arab countries too. In recent years, Hezbollah has used the power of its weapons to impose a fait accompli… They have built a state within a state.”

The encroaching menace and resulting danger that Iran and Hezbollah pose to both his country and himself personally, Hariri concluded, left him with no choice but to hand over the reins as Lebanon’s leader.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, in the months leading up to Hariri stepping down, grown increasingly vocal regarding the devastating consequences that these two particular threats hold for Israel and its neighbors. Following Hariri’s resignation on Saturday, Netanyahu made yet another appeal to the international community to heed the threats before the proverbial writing is on the wall.

Tweeting from London, where the prime minister was for the centenary celebrations of the Balfour Declaration, Netanyahu commented from his official Twitter account, “The resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hariri and his remarks [on Iran] are a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression, which is turning Syria into a second Lebanon.”

“This aggression endangers not only Israel, but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and stand against this aggression.”

Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, also took to Twitter to warn that Lebanon now runs the risk of becoming like Iran. “Lebanon = Hezbollah. Hezbollah = Iran. Lebanon = Iran. Iran is a danger to the world. Saad Hariri proved this today. Period.”

Hariri served as Lebanese prime minister for less than a year. The leader of Lebanon’s main Sunni Muslim political block, he took office in late 2016 to lead a 30-member national unity cabinet that grouped together nearly all of the country’s main parties, including the Shiite terror group, Hezbollah.

The population of Lebanon is sharply divided, with one camp loyal to Hariri’s Sunni block, while the other backs the Iranian interests represented by Hezbollah.

While Hariri’s resignation came as a shock to even his own government, Times of Israel veteran Middle East analyst, Avi Issacharoff, argues that, in light of the circumstances, the move is anything but surprising.

“Lebanon became an Iranian protectorate a number of years ago,” Issacharoff explains, “a client state for all intents and purposes controlled by Iran through Hezbollah, the most powerful terror group in the entire Middle East.”

“Hariri knew full well who was responsible for the murder of his father and that his own life was in danger if he did not do as Hezbollah said,” Issacharoff continues. “He also understood that the Shiite terror group controls nearly every aspect of the Lebanese state and that his own political camp, the March 14 Alliance, was becoming a persecuted minority within a system entirely dependent on Iran’s grace.”

For its part, Israel is fully cognizant of the treat that Hezbollah—the enemy perched on its doorstep with a reported 100,000 state-of-the-art rockets aimed at Israeli towns, cities and infrastructure at the ready—poses. According to the Jewish state’s Institute for National Security Studies, Hezbollah now stands as the greatest threat to the Jewish state. IDF Chief of Staff, Gadi Eizenkot, agrees. Speaking during the 11th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War in June this year, Eizenkot, highlighted that “the northern front” and Hezbollah “remain the IDF’s highest priority.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 06 November 2017)

Photo Credit: www.kremlin.ru/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: OCHA/wikipedia

Photo License: Wikipedia-map

Prayer Focus
As the situation on Israel’s northern border becomes more volatile, pray for the IDF and all her security forces. Pray for accurate and timely intelligence information and the knowledge of how to act on that information. Above all, strengthen their hearts in the knowledge that the battle is the Lord’s.

Scripture

And he shall say to them, Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.


- Deuteronomy 20:3-4

Israeli President in Spain: ‘We must not surrender to anti-Semitism’

by Itamar Eichner

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A sea of ‘alto cincos’ (high fives) at Ibn Gvirol School greet President Rivlin

Tuesday 07 November 2017 | President Reuven Rivlin warned of rising anti-Semitism in Spain on Sunday during a meeting with leaders of Spain’s Jewish community.

Rivlin attended a special event at Madrid’s Ibn Gavriol School hosted by the head of the Jewish community in the Spanish capital, David Hatchwell, and the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, Isaac Querub.

“Today’s community is a magnificent one, with tens of thousands of members of all ages,” said Rivlin in his address. “Jewish life on the Iberian Peninsula, which was cut off more than five hundred years ago, is now full of life, and this is a great joy. This is a great victory for history and the spirit of the Jewish people.”

Rivlin cited the reported spike in recent anti-Semitic activity in Spain and Portugal. “According to the Spanish Interior Minister’s report on anti-Semitism, in recent years there has been a rise of hundreds of percent in manifestations of anti-Semitism in Spain,” he said, adding that “we must not surrender to anti-Semitism, we must fight it. I am pleased that the Spanish government is taking steps in legislation and enforcement against this ugly phenomenon.”

“We must not be ashamed of or hide our identity,” the president continued. “We must not be ashamed of the connection between the State of Israel and the Jewish people. I know that there are concerns, and fears of terrorism against Jews, and of anti-Semitism, which poses as criticism against Israel. We will fight these challenges together.”

Rivlin went on to address current anti-Israeli BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement, as well as anti-Semitic rhetoric around the globe. “The State of Israel today operates an extensive network to combat anti-Semitism disguised as the delegitimization of Israel, to fight hatred of Jews disguised as a criticism of Israeli government policy: these bodies are at your disposal, they are also here for you.” He added that the BDS movement in general is “an expression of anti-Semitism.”

During the ceremony, Rivlin unveiled a plaque to be affixed to the entrance of the school, commemorating his state visit to Spain and marking 100 years since the reestablishment of the Jewish community in the country since the expulsion in 1492.

Spain’s Jewish community includes some 40,000 people, with 14,000 of them living in Madrid.

“We are brothers,” concluded Rivlin as he addressed the local Jewish community. “Let us stand together.”

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on 06 November 2017. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Haim Tzach/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Rejoice in the Lord for those who will agree with President Rivlin and say: We are not ashamed to be recognized standing with Israel through thick and thin. Cry out against anti-Semitism in all its forms against God’s beloved people living abroad. Specifically, pray that God will shelter the Jewish people in Spain and Madrid.

Scripture

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.


- Psalm 22:27

Israel Sends Aid to Plague-Stricken Madagascar

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The Magen David Adom is partnering with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide relief to Madagascar.

Thursday 9 November 2017 | Israel is sending emergency aid to plague-stricken Madagascar, as the Indian Ocean island state faces its worst “Black Death” outbreak in 50 years, The Algemeiner reported Tuesday.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with Magen David Adom (Israel’s national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service) in South Africa, have joined forces in the fight against the devastating disease that has engulfed Madagascar since October.

“We expect all packages to be delivered to the International Red Cross in Madagascar in the next few days,” Deputy Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Ayellet Black, told the African News Agency (ANA). She added, “The delivery of different medical equipment such as gloves to carry out medical procedures is being coordinated between Israel’s honorary consul in Madagascar, Benjamin Memmi, and Madagascar’s Bureau for Natural Disasters.”

Black further stressed that “Israel has a long-standing tradition of offering humanitarian assistance and coordinating relief to alleviate disease, hunger and poverty.” Black continued. “We have experience in helping countries going through natural and man-made disasters and will always provide assistance to help those in need.”

When disaster strikes, Israel’s government, army, and aid agencies are always among the first to send material and expert assistance, whether it’s earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal, tsunamis in Sri Lanka and Japan, typhoons in the Philippines, or other mass disasters in Turkey, India, Mexico, El Salvador, Greece, Rwanda, Armenia, Indonesia, and New Guinea.

Recently, an emergency response team from Israeli NGO IsraAID arrived in Puerto Rico, after Hurricane Maria devastated the country and other islands in the Caribbean. Israel also dispatched aid experts to Texas to provide vital relief and psychosocial support to the thousands of people who have lost everything in the catastrophic hurricane, Harvey.

So far, at least 1,800 people in Madagascar have been infected with the plague and 127 have died. The “Black Death” epidemic has reached a crisis point, after the disease had spread by 37 percent in just five days, according to official figures released by the World Health Organization last week. The World Bank has granted an extra $5 million in emergency assistance to support Madagascar.

Source: (The Israel Project originally published this article in its publication The Tower on 08 November 2017. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Peter Fast/bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Give thanks, once again, as Israel responds with compassion and blessing to a people in need. Pray that, through these actions, the world will come to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Scripture

The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy.


- Psalm 145:8

Red Carpet Welcome for Israel’s Three Millionth Tourist this Year

by Edgar Asher

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Tourism officials welcome, Ioana Isac, the three millionth tourist to Israel at Ben Gurion Airport.

Wednesday 08 November 2017 | Tuesday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin was on hand to welcome to Israel the three millionth tourist to have arrived this year. Ioana Isac from Romania was accompanied by her partner, Mihai Georgescu, and [he] became tourist number 3,000,001. This number is a new all-time record for incoming tourism in Israel.

In a short speech of welcome to the very much surprised visitors Levin said tourism has added millions of dollars to the Israeli economy as well as providing thousands of extra jobs.

The minister told the couple in the arrival hall, “This is a special day and an historic milestone as we break the 3-million-tourist barrier and set a new all-time record. We are set to end the year with an amazing achievement, the likes of which have never been reached since the establishment of the State. I am excited to welcome the three-millionth tourist today and I am happy with the achievements that we in the Tourism Ministry are seeing.  This is as a result of the huge investment that we are making in marketing Israel around the world and our exceptional collaborations with airlines and the connections that we maintain and strengthen with tour operators.”

After presenting the surprised couple with a certificate to mark the occasion, the couple were accompanied to a waiting limousine and set off for an extra special holiday experience with several options offered them by the Tourism Ministry.

Among other things during their vacation, they will enjoy a hotel upgrade, a ride in a limousine, a helicopter tour over Israel, a trip to the Dead Sea, a sunset tour of the Tel Aviv promenade and a private dinner prepared by one of Israel’s top chefs.

Source: (Ashernet originally published this article on 07 November 2017. Time-related language was modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Praise God for His goodness and faithfulness to the house of Israel! Thank Him for drawing people to come, visit and experience Israel. Pray for patience among the tourists and Israelis as the feet roaming the streets of Israel are many. May each and every one be blessed and go home with changed hearts, loving Israel even more than before.

Scripture

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!


- Psalm 84:11-12

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