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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.

Findings of European Survey on Anti-Semitism are “Frightening”

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Anti-Semitic street demonstration in Europe

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 | A leading scholar of the Holocaust termed the results of a recent survey of anti-Semitism in Europe “frightening,” CNN reported Tuesday.

Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of history at Emory University and author of numerous books on the Holocaust, assessed the results of the poll of more than 7,000 Europeans in seven nations conducted on behalf of CNN.

Reacting to findings from the survey showing that more than 25% of those surveyed from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria and Sweden believed that Jews had too much influence in business and that nearly one in four believed that Jews had too much influence in wars around the world, Lipstadt said, “It is imperative to note that anti-Semitism constitutes a conspiracy theory, i.e. an irrational evidence-free perspective that attributes to all Jews—irrespective of their location, status, age, nationality, world view—the same qualities and stereotypes.” She added, “Anti-Semitism makes as much sense as attributing to all left-handed people or all blonds similar attributes and behaviors.”

The poll also found that one-third of those surveyed said that they “knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust,” according to CNN.

Lipstadt found this result disturbing, saying, “This is not something that should so easily be forgotten. It should be something about which Europeans should still be grappling. Not because of guilt—today’s Europeans are clearly not guilty of anything—but in terms of the society within which they live.”

Some European officials expressed an interest in fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism.

Felix Klein, who was appointed in April to be the first German official in charge of fighting anti-Semitism, responded to the survey by saying he would recommend that other European nations establish a position similar to his. He added that the European Union has urged all member states to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism as another step in fighting anti-Semitism.

Klein noted that Germany adopted the IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] definition in 2017, but that “our biggest challenge, however, will be to change the views people hold about Jews.” He explained further, “This is a task for all of us, and for the sake of society as a whole—because anti-Semitism is a threat for any democratic, open society.”

Other findings of the survey include that one-third of those surveyed believed that criticism of Israel is often motivated by anti-Semitism, while one-fifth did not. On the other hand, one-third of those surveyed believed that Israel used the Holocaust to justify its behavior, with one-fifth of those surveyed disagreeing. In Poland, one-half of those polled believed that Israel used the Holocaust to justify its actions.

Also, one-third of the Europeans said that the charge of anti-Semitism is used by Jews to shut down criticism of Israel. One in ten of those surveyed disagreed.

A spokesman for CRIF, a French Jewish communal organization, told CNN that the results of the poll demonstrated that anti-Semitism is “evolving as a multiform disease.”

According to the poll, while 48% of those surveyed believed that anti-Semitism is a growing problem in France, 29% know little or nothing about the Holocaust and 24% believe that Jews have too much influence over international affairs.

In response, the spokesman said, “It is astounding to read that substantial minorities blame Israel or Jews themselves for anti-Semitism.”

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project in its publication The Tower on November 27, 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/YouTube/DW Documentary

Prayer Focus
Call upon the Lord and cry out to Him for the deliverance of His people from the lies of the enemy. Pray for their protection when this hatred spills over into violent situations.

Scripture

Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.


- Psalm 27:12

The Challenges the New IDF Chief Will Have to Face

by Ron Ben Yishai

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Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi has been approved as the IDF’s next chief of staff.

Monday, 26 November 2018 | Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, who was approved Sunday as the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] next chief of staff, was the natural candidate for the job. He has operational, tactical and administrative experience, and he had a hand in shaping military strategy and policy.

He is thorough, creative and has the “temperament of an IDF chief.” Just like there’s a judicial temperament, the IDF chief also needs the ability to motivate people and earn their confidence and trust, even in difficult situations in which decisions are made fast. In addition, Maj. Gen. Kochavi knows how to communicate with the political leadership openly and without pandering, and speak to civilians at eye level.

Kochavi will enter the IDF chief’s office on January 15, 2019, two weeks after the planned retirement of Eisenkot, after the two officers asked to have a few more weeks of training.

Eisenkot is leaving Kochavi a military ready for war on two fronts—and perhaps even more—at the same time; a military that sticks to its values and is well equipped to face the challenges ahead. One can say the IDF is at one of its best positions over the past 20 years.

But Kochavi won’t be able to settle for just that, primarily because the Middle Eastern front is constantly changing. The new IDF chief will have to formulate a new policy including strategy and tactic methods to thwart Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah, as well as stop the Lebanese terror group’s efforts to make its arsenal of rockets and missile into precision-guided projectiles.

Things have changed since the Assad army accidentally shot down a Russian intelligence plane—something it blamed on Israel, whose fighter jets were attacking in the area, prompting the Syrian anti-aircraft fire—and Kochavi will have to reshape the IDF’s “war between wars” campaign, bringing a different attitude to resolving the problems and dilemmas that now emerge on the northern front.

Kochavi will also have to aid the Security Cabinet and the prime minister to shape a strategy for the southern border, which will help establish calm on the Gaza border and further deepen the effective—both militarily and diplomatically—cooperation with Egypt. On this front Kochavi has rich experience as the former commander of the Gaza Division, where he secured many achievements but also one massive failure—the capture of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. It was in this role as the Gaza Division head that Kochavi received the most criticism, but he has paid the price and learned the lessons, and it is safe to assume he is now prepared to propose new ways to handle this abscess.

It’s also safe to assume Kochavi will continue his predecessor Eisenkot’s efforts to upgrade the Ground Forces’ capabilities. He will also have to formulate a multi-annual plan to replace the one led by Eisenkot, the Gideon Plan.

As Eisenkot’s deputy, Kochavi has already started working on establishing the IDF’s Cyber Corps and on adding a significant number of surface-to-surface missiles to the IDF’s arsenal, as former defense minister Lieberman demanded with the support of the current General Staff. The latter seeks to allow the IDF to carry out attacks from the ground or the sea that it had only done from the air so far.

Kochavi will also have to lead the army through an election campaign, which at the very latest is expected in November 2019. He will have to carefully maneuver to ensure the IDF is not dragged into the political battle.

There are just a handful of the tasks on Kochavi’s desk as he enters the IDF chief’s office, and there’s no doubt he will experience some difficult times, even though there is no big war on the horizon right now.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on November 26, 2018. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Operationalcow48/wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Ask the Lord to guide and direct Maj. Gen. Kochavi as he prepares to assume command of the IDF in mid-January. Pray that he will understand what is necessary for Israel’s protection and will communicate that in a clear manner to those serving under him.

Scripture

…of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do…


- 1 Chronicles12:32a

Shin Bet Foils Hamas-Planned Bombing in Israel

by Yoav Zitun

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The Shin Bet recently foiled a Hamas plot to carry out terror attacks in Israel, similar to the bus bombing pictured above (1996).

Friday, 23 November 2018 | The Shin Bet [Israeli internal security organization] has thwarted an attempt by the heads of Hamas in Gaza to establish terror infrastructure in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] to plan and carry out bombings in Israel, the agency said on Thursday.

According to the Shin Bet, members of Hamas’s military wing recruited fighters in the West Bank, taught them how to build bombs and instructed them to find crowded places within the Green Line [the cease-fire line established in 1949 separating Israel from the Jordanian-held West Bank] to target—such as a large building, mall, restaurant, hotel, train or bus.

The Shin Bet noted this plot was at a much larger scope and posed far greater danger than similar attempts in the past, as it was directed by Hamas’s high command in Gaza and not by former Palestinian security prisoners expelled from the West Bank, as previous attempts had been.

The Hamas leadership put pressure on the militants in the West Bank to carry out the planned attacks as soon as possible in an effort to escalate the security situation in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Hamas communicated with the militants in the West Bank through messages passed on by Gaza patients allowed into Israel to undergo life-saving medical treatments, as well as other Gaza residents who had business contacts in the West Bank. The Shin Bet noted this was not the first time Hamas was exploiting humanitarian cases to carry out military operations in the West Bank.

The terror infrastructure was uncovered following the September 23 arrest of Awis Rajoub, a 25-year-old Hamas militant from Dura, near Hebron. The Shin Bet learned of Rajoub’s actions on behalf of Hamas’s military wing after he told some of his relatives and friends about it and asked for their help in purchasing materials to build bombs.

Rajoub was recruited by a Hamas militant from Gaza, who approached him close to the end of Ramadan and [invited] him to join the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the terror group’s military wing.

On August 11, Rajoub was sent to a medical warehouse in Ramallah to pick up a cell phone for his communications with his operators in Gaza.

Several days later, he met with a Gazan woman who was accompanying her sister to Israel for medical treatments. She was sent by Hamas to provide him with a password for his phone and instructions on how to use the device.

The Gaza operators sent videos to this cell phone instructing Rajoub how to build remotely-detonated bombs. Rajoub also had video chats with an explosives expert who is part of the terror infrastructure.

Rajoub recruited two Hamas members from Battir, Yazan and Sayyaf Asafra and instructed them to find suitable targets for the attack in Israel and to prepare the explosives for the bomb while he worked on the detonator.

Rajoub was ordered to finish preparing the bomb by the end of September and carry out the attack in early October but was stopped by the Shin Bet before that.

The Gazan woman who provided Rajoub with the password and instructions for his phone was identified as 53-year-old Naama Miqdad, while her sister, a cancer patient, was identified as 47-year-old Samira Smot.

The two women also met with Hamas terrorist Fuad Dar Khalil, who spent 14 years in Israeli prison for his involvement in a shooting attack and in planning other terror attacks. He was released from prison in 2016. The women gave him a suitcase containing a hidden letter from the Gaza operators.

The two women were sent by their relative Muhammad Abu Kwaik, 36, a member of Hamas’s military wing, who is known to be in contact with terrorists and assist them in their operations.

Also on Thursday, the IDF censor barred the publication of new photos Hamas released from a botched military operation last week in which Lt. Col. M. was killed and another officer was wounded. The IDF censor is concerned the new photos would be posted on social media, posing a risk to both the soldiers who took part in the mission and national security.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on November 22, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Dept. of State/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Give thanks that plans for setting up a terror network were exposed before they could be carried out. Pray that Israel’s security forces will be alert and quickly able to accurately interpret the intelligence information they receive. Thank the Lord for His covering over Israel.

Scripture

The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set traps for me. Selah… O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.


- Psalm 140:5, 7

Israel Says Take Threat “Seriously” after Moderate Iranian President Calls Israel “Cancerous Tumor”

by Joshua Spurlock

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The 30th International Islamic Unity conference in Tehran (illustrative)

Monday, 26 November 2018 | Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, considered by some in the West as a “moderate,” told the Islamic Unity Conference on Saturday what he really thinks of Israel.

“One of the most important effects of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region,” said Rouhani in an English translation of his comments posted to his office’s website. The Arabic version of the website—per a Google translation into English—clarified that Rouhani was describing Israel.

Rouhani said Israel was “deployed” into the Middle East as an entity that “completely obeys the West in regional matters.” He continued, “They formed the fake Israeli regime and killed and displaced the historical nation of Palestine.”

Following the surprising public comments, Israel warned the words are more than just empty threats.

“History has taught us that anti-Semitic threats from fanatical leaders, and exporters of terror who have hegemonic aspirations, must be taken seriously,” said Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan in Germany on Sunday.

Erdan, whose comments to the pro-Israel Deutscher Israelkongress [German Israel Congress] conference were published in a press release, encouraged Germany to “take a more aggressive stance against the Iranian regime.” He noted that Iran threatens Europe as well.

Erdan pointed out that Israel has helped uncover Iranian terrorism plots in European territory, and “Iran will not stop and continue to try to carry out terror attacks in Europe.”

Indeed, Rouhani didn’t limit his antagonistic comments to Israel in his Saturday speech. The West, and the United States in particular, were targeted as well, and Rouhani even invoked Islam in his anti-West comments.

“Submission to America and the West means betraying Islamic ideals and Muslim generations, and laying red carpet for historic criminals,” said Rouhani, according to the Iranian presidency’s website.

The strong comments from Rouhani come as the US has resumed stiff sanctions against Iran, including oil and financial sanctions, after exiting the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year. So far, Europe has resisted in following the American approach.

Erdan believes that the US goal of changing the Iranian regime’s actions via the sanctions is important not just for Israel, but Europe as well.

“Forcing a change in Iran’s behavior is necessary for the safety of the people of Israel, of the people of Iran, and of the people of Europe … Changing the behavior of the regime is what the Iranian people want, that is what the Gulf States want, and I call on Germany to join the US sanctions against Iran, and if Germany does so, other European countries will do the same.”

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also believes Rouhani’s comments highlight the importance of renewing sanctions on Iran. Netanyahu, in comments released by his office on Saturday, said, “Israel knows very well how to defend itself from the murderous Iranian regime. Rouhani’s slander, which calls for the destruction of Israel, proves yet again why the nations of the world need to join in the sanctions against the Iranian terrorist regime which threatens them.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally posted this article on November 25, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: Mohammed Amirhasani/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Intercede for those Iran has declared its enemies: Israel, the United States and nations of the West. Pray that the world will awaken to see through the smoke screen of Iran’s “moderate” talk and see its true intent—complete annihilation of its enemies.

Scripture

They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You.


- Psalm 83:4–5

IDF Induction Center Welcomes PM’s Inspection

by Edgar Asher

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PM Netanyahu eating lunch with new recruits at IDF induction center

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 | New recruits to the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] were surprised [Monday] when Prime Minister Netanyahu came by to talk to them, as well as sit down to have a mid-day meal with the new soldiers. He was questioned by some of the new soldiers as to why Israel had not launched an all-out attack on Gaza following this summer’s rocket attack. He responded that such an attack would be too costly for the country. “There is always a price to pay for military campaigns, but the price that might have been in lost Israeli lives would have been too much.”

Source: (Ashernet originally published this article on November 26, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today.)

Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Bring the soldiers of the IDF before the Lord, especially the new recruits. Pray that they will take comfort from His promises to save Israel and be their strong refuge.

Scripture

Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress.


- Psalm 71:3

Intense Diplomatic Week

by Edgar Asher

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PM Netanyahu and Czech president Milos Zeman open a Czech House just outside the Old City in Jerusalem.

Thursday, 29 November 2018 | The past days have seen serious moves on the diplomatic front that has once again moved Israel further into the international scene. Visits by overseas heads of state have had the effect of cementing relations with countries that up until now have not had diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

These overtures by countries not usually warm, or even [countries] hostile to Israel, are in part enabled by the scientific and agricultural help that Israel can offer to many nations.

In addition to all this is the fact that many countries are now comfortable with the fact that Jerusalem really is the capital of the State of Israel. This recognition manifests itself in the fact that several countries are now seriously considering following the example of the United States and moving their embassy to Jerusalem.

Currently Czech President Miloš Zeman, in the presence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, inaugurated this week a Czech House just outside the Old City walls in Jerusalem. Both President Zeman and Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed the hope that this was a precursor to moving the Czech Republic’s embassy to Jerusalem.

President Zeman indicated that he hoped his next visit to the capital will in fact be the opening of the new Czech embassy. Only the Czech opposition are holding this back at the moment.

Talks are also in an advanced stage between Israel, Greece and Cyprus concerning the huge gas reserves under the sea off the coast of Israel. The three countries want to develop this resource by building undersea pipes that will enable this gas bonanza to be exported and sold to customers all over Europe.

Another visitor this week has been the president of Chad, Idriss Déby. Déby is the first Chadian leader to officially visit the Jewish state. This visit by the leader of a predominantly Muslim state was not unexpected as Israeli technology, particularly in agriculture and water resources, is very valuable to this huge landlocked African country.

Opposition leaders in Chad denounced President Déby’s decision to visit Israel and his intention to establish diplomatic relations. They said that Chad should not restore diplomatic ties with Israel as long as it continues to occupy Palestinian territories or in the absence of a collective decision by African states to establish relations. Israel has made no diplomatic concessions to Chad in return for the developing of normal relations of diplomacy and trade.

Chad is not the first predominantly Muslim country to develop ties with the Jewish state. It is clear that more moderate predominantly Muslim states also see the negative attitude of the Palestinian leadership, combined with the terror-led Hamas leadership, as no bar for improving relations with Israel. The warming ties between Israel and the Arab world are clear. Last month Prime Minister Netanyahu made a surprise visit to the Gulf State of Oman. Later the Omani foreign minister expressed his support of including Israel as what he calls ‘a normal country in the world.’ Prime Minister Netanyahu said this week that other more moderate Arab states will soon be following Oman’s example, but he would not elaborate on which states this might be. Two of the predominantly Muslim countries thought to be developing their diplomatic ties to Israel in the near future are Sudan and Bahrain.

Most Arab countries are insistent that there must be a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians before any normalization can take place. But in recent times, attitudes have changed and Muslim countries are being more pragmatic and realize that the Palestinians are not interested in normal relations with Israel. In the meantime, there are no bilateral talks and the settlements continue to grow and prosper.

Following the visitors and apparent diplomatic realignments, the United Kingdom’s [UK] international trade secretary, Liam Fox, arrived in Jerusalem [Tuesday] to have talks with his [counterpart] in Israel. With the upcoming change of trade relations with the European Union due to Brexit, the United Kingdom’s government is keen to secure good business relations with both old and new customers as the UK faces a very uncertain future once Britain leaves the European Union.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ashernet on November 27, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: PM of Israel@IsraeliPM/twiiter.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for Israel’s leaders as they develop new global relationships. Pray that the nation of Israel would walk uprightly and look to the Lord as their shield rather than alliances with other nations.

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…


- Proverbs 2:6–7

Israel Works to Release Arab Detained by PA for Selling Lands to Jews

by Elior Levy and Yishai Porat

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Israel increasing pressure on the Palestinian Authority to release east Jerusalem resident suspected of selling land to Jews.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 | Israel has increased its pressure on the Palestinian Authority (PA) in an effort to secure the release of Issam Akel, an east Jerusalem resident with American citizenship, who was detained by the PA’s General Intelligence Service (GIS) six weeks ago on suspicion of selling lands to Jews.

On Sunday, the Israel Police arrested Adnan Rit, the governor of the Jerusalem District of the Palestinian Authority, for the third time this month on suspicion he was behind

Akel’s detention. Rit had been arrested at his home in east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, and his remand was extended until Thursday.

This move was one of a series of unusual steps the Israeli defense establishment has taken against senior officials in the PA as part of the attempts to free Akel.

Before Rit’s arrest, GOC [General Officer Commanding] Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Tamir Yadai issued an order prohibiting the Palestinian Jerusalem district governor from having direct or indirect communications with several PA officials, including the head of the GIS, Majed Faraj—who is one of the heads of the Palestinian security coordination with Israel—as well as the head of the Tanzim, Fatah’s militant faction.

In addition, Rit was barred from entering the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], including Palestinian Authority territories.

According to Rit’s arrest warrant, he “is involved in the detentions of Israeli citizens by the PA, which jeopardizes Israel and its citizens’ security.”

Israel has also issued a stay of exit order on Adnan Husseini, the PA’s minister for Jerusalem affairs, who has been involved in the persecution of Arabs for selling lands to Jews in east Jerusalem.

Lt. Col. (res.) Baruch Yedid, who served in the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, argued that Israel should take harsher measures to ensure Akel’s release.

“Israel should act against the Palestinian General Intelligence Service head, who followed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s orders to abduct (Akel). Other measures are not effective, since they do not influence the Palestinian intelligence head, nor the PA’s minister for Jerusalem affairs Adnan Husseini, who strongly opposed Akel’s release,” he said.

Over the past few days, Fatah officials have warned Israel against raiding the detention facility where the 53-year-old Akel is held.

Akel’s detention was even discussed in the Knesset [Parliament] Internal Affairs Committee last month, sparking ire among Knesset members over Israel’s restraint in the face of the abduction of an Israeli citizen.

Meanwhile, the police carried out an unusually large-scale series of arrests overnight Sunday—32 suspects from east Jerusalem who joined the ranks of the Palestinian Authority Security Services, in violation of Israeli law, were detained.

All the suspects were taken in for questioning by the police’s Central Unit in the Jerusalem District and will be brought before a judge to extend their remand.

During a search of the suspects’ homes, tens of thousands of shekels were seized along with training certificates from the Palestinian police, uniforms, military equipment and various types of ammunition.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on November 26, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel would remain a nation where all citizens, Jewish and Arab, can receive the same treatment under the law. Ask for quick resolution of the particular case of Issam Akel.

Scripture

You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.


- Leviticus 24:22

The South Blooms Green Again

by Matan Tzuri

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The Elah Valley turns a vibrant green after the rains.

Thursday, 29 November 2018 | Over the summer, the sight of blackened earth and ashes where there was once an abundance of natural greenery—until the incendiary kite and balloon terror consumed the fields and vegetation in the Gaza vicinity—was depressing. But nature has its way of rebirth, and the recent rainfall has washed away the ashes, replacing the depressing black with optimistic green.

Dozens of millimeters of rain have fallen in recent weeks and have almost completely eliminated the scars of the fires caused by the thousands of fiery kites and balloons launched into Israel by Palestinians in Gaza as part of the their “March of Return.” Thousands of dunams [acres] of agricultural land and nature reserves were destroyed.

The locations that suffered the most fire damage were the Be’eri Crater, the Be’eri woodlands, the Kissufim woodlands and Tel Gama—beautiful areas that attract many vacationers. In the Be’eri Crater, for example, more than 80% of the land was burnt and the cattle, fed by the grass, were transferred to nearby pens.

But now, after the rain, the scorched earth is carpeted with green. Cows can graze again, and they roam freely around the area, enjoying the grass. The agriculture too is recovering. Thousands of acres of wheat have been planted in recent days in the same fields that were burned last summer.

In the Gaza vicinity of the northern Negev, people know that the cease-fires are fragile, but they also note that when the land is soaked in rainwater, there is no chance of a fire, so the Palestinians do not have the option of incendiary balloon terror during this season of the year.

“The forecasts this year predict a harbinger of rain, and this is welcome, certainly in an agricultural area like ours,” said Livnat Ganzburg, a tourism coordinator in the Gaza region. “The northern Negev is undergoing a big change, from the black of the fires to green vegetation; a drastic and exciting change. The view of burnt expanses has not been pleasant but we always knew that the rain would come and wash away everything and the vegetation will grow again.

“We are opening a new chapter in our lives and this is the time to call upon the citizens of Israel to come visit this beautiful region,” she continued. “There were rumors that the fires damaged the blossoming of the anemones, this is not true, and in a few months we expect a spectacular flowering of anemones. We only hope for calm on the security front and lots of rain.”

Evyatar Kipnis of Kibbutz Be’eri, who is in charge of the kibbutz [collective community] firefighting team, said: “The big test will be this coming summer. It is true that now everything is green and beautiful, but every blade of grass that grows is a potential kindling for fires next summer. The Palestinians know this… Unfortunately, as long as there is no political solution and everything is stuck, the situation with Gaza will be the same as it was. In the summer we will have black and in the winter we will have green. Meanwhile let us enjoy the green.”

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on November 28, 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Davidbena/wikimedia.com

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Rejoice with the residents of southern Israel as they give thanks to the Lord for His gift of rain! Praise Him for the abundance of His mercy toward the land of Israel. Pray for continued rain, a gentle soaking rain that will restore the land and nourish the crops.

Scripture

For He draws up drops of water, which distill as rain from the mist, which the clouds drop down and pour abundantly on man.


- Job 36:27–28

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