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A Year of Crisis

Friday, November 4, 2022

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Every week, we post seven to ten news stories from Israel with a suggested prayer focus and scripture for each one, guiding readers how to pray for Israel’s most urgent needs. This Prayer Update is also sent to over 18,000 subscribers every Friday by e-mail. Please contact us at intl.office@bridgesforpeace.com if you would like to receive this Prayer Update by e-mail.

The Return of Bibi

by Ilse Strauss

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats in the Knesset during the election.

Friday, 4 November 2022 | It’s official. Bibi is back.

With all the votes tallied and the seats divvied out to each political party according to the number of votes they received, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is set to return for another term at the helm.

More importantly, after nearly four years and five elections, the political deadlock appears to be broken. The implication? For the first time since December 2018 when Netanyahu dissolved the Knesset (Parliament) due to a too-narrow margin, Israel will most likely have a stable government able to serve its full term.

The final results of the November 1 vote were announced last night, with Likud, Netanyahu’s party, raking in 32 of the 120 Knesset seats. Yesh Atid, current Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s party, came in second, with 24 seats.

These results do not guarantee Netanyahu the premiership though. In Israel, national elections are, after all, merely the first step toward taking the reins.

The next step is for President Isaac Herzog to tap one of the political party leaders to form a government. In light of the final vote, it is almost a given that Herzog will pick Netanyahu, giving him 28 days to negotiate a 61-seat majority. And with Netanyahu’s religious and right-wing allies securing a total of 64 seats, Bibi’s path to the premiership seems sure.

Lapid has already conceded the race, and called Netanyahu to congratulate him on the win.

“The State of Israel is above any political considerations,” Lapid said in a statement. “I wish Netanyahu good luck for the people of Israel and the State of Israel.”

The outgoing prime minister has also told Netanyahu that he instructed all branches of his office to prepare for an orderly transfer of power.

Now, all eyes are on Herzog and Netanyahu as the president announces his pick for the next prime minister.

However, when all is said and done, we are witnessing the return of Bibi.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 4, 2022)

Photo Credit: Avi1111 dr. avishai teicher/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord on behalf of the new leadership that Israeli voters have chosen. Pray that they will have great wisdom, discernment and courage as they lead the nation during this critical time. Ask Him to grant them new and innovative solutions to long-standing problems, and pray that Israel will take its place as a leader among the nations under their direction.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 2:6–8a

Israeli Killed, Several Injured during Weekend of Terror

by Ilse Strauss

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A Magan David Adom medic was seriously injured in Saturday night’s terror attack (illustrative).

Monday, 31 October 2022 | Israel experienced yet another weekend marred by terror attacks in which one Israeli was killed and several were injured.

The most deadly attack came on Saturday night when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on Ronen and Daniel Hanania, a father and his son on a shopping trip between Hebron and the neighboring community of Kiryat Arba. The pair was making their way back to their car after exiting a convenience store when the terrorist struck, shooting them both.

The gunman then waited patiently for the first responders and security guards to arrive, opening fire on them too.

A local security officer who had reached the scene by car managed to ram the terrorist with his vehicle, after which an off-duty soldier shot and killed him.

Fifty-year-old Ronen was critically injured in the shooting and pronounced dead after his arrival at the hospital in Jerusalem. He would have turned 51 on Wednesday. His son, Daniel, suffered mild injuries.

Three other people were also injured in the attack, with one—Magan David Adom medic Ofer Ohana—in serious condition. Ohana was hit when he and his partner arrived at the scene of the attack to attend to the wounded.

Palestinian media proudly identified the terrorist as Muhammed Kamel al-Jabari, a member of the Hamas terror group that rules the Gaza Strip. Muhammed’s brother, Waal, had been serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison before he was freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal and deported to Gaza.

The news that a Jew was murdered in a terror attack prompted jubilant celebration among the local Palestinian population. Videos and images shared on social media show sweet treats being dolled out to drivers in Hebron to revel in the bloodshed, triumphant dancing and colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky.

The rest of Saturday evening passed with stone throwing and shots fired at Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops from a passing vehicle.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, a Palestinian terrorist plowed his vehicle into Israeli soldiers at two locations south of Jericho. The driver first rammed into a group of soldiers near the spot that Palestinians revere as the tomb of Moses, before speeding off and slamming into a nearby bus station. A police officer and an armed civilian fired at the attacker, incapacitating him. He was taken to hospital in Jerusalem, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Five IDF soldiers were injured in the attack, two moderately and the rest lightly.

Tensions in Judea and Samaria or the so-called West Bank have been simmering dangerously close to boiling point for a few months now, with terrorists targeting military posts, troops and civilians a frequent occurrence. The heightened tensions—and terror attacks—come against the backdrop of an anti-terror offensive launched by the IDF in the spring to crack down on a deadly terror wave in which 19 Israelis were murdered. Aimed at capturing would-be terrorists before they can strike, Operation Break the Wave has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids over nearly eight months.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 31, 2022)

Photo Credit: bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for swift and complete healing for all those injured during this weekend of terror. Ask the Lord for His comfort and peace to surround the loved ones of Ronen Hananiah, especially for Daniel, who survived the attack that took the life of his father. Cry out to God that social media images of Palestinians celebrating the deaths of Israelis will cause international outrage and pray that Israel’s anti-terror offensive will bring this violence to a quick end.

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. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.


- Psalm 71:3–4

Report: Five Israeli Universities Feature among Top Producers of Entrepreneurs

by Ilse Strauss

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An aerial view of Tel Aviv University

Wednesday, 2 November 2022 | PitchBook this week published its annual ratings for the universities that produce the most venture capital-backed entrepreneurs—with no less than five Israeli universities featuring among the top 50 and one within the top 10 for undergraduate programs, the Times of Israel reports.

Tel Aviv University was first among the five Israeli universities, coming in at 7th place, one spot up from the previous four years when it took the 8th spot. The Technion–Israel Institute of Technology placed 15th, followed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at number 31, the Reichman University at 38 and finally, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev ranked 45th.

According to the PitchBook website, “some universities have a truly exceptional track record of producing future entrepreneurs.” And each year, the company that delivers data and research covering mergers and acquisitions, VC and private equity funds tallies up the sum of alumni entrepreneurs who have founded VC-backed companies and crunches the numbers. They then come up with a university ranking of the 100 top-producing schools according to the top 100 undergraduate programs, 100 graduate programs, 50 undergrad programs for female founders and 50 graduate programs for female founders.

The PitchBook data revealed that the undergraduate programs at Tel Aviv University yielded a whopping 814 students who graduated to become founders of 677 companies, generating some US $26.5 billion between January 1, 2012 and October 21, 2022, the Times of Israel reports.

All five of the above Israeli universities also feature in the ranking of graduate programs that churn out entrepreneurs, albeit not in the top 10. Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem also made it onto the list of 50 foremost undergraduate programs for female founders, while the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology and the Weizmann Institute joined these two schools on the top 50 graduate programs for female founders.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 2, 2022)

Photo Credit: אור פ/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this recognition of the exceptional performance of Israeli universities and their entrepreneurial students. Thank Him for His faithfulness to fulfill His promises to Israel as He blesses them to be a blessing to the nations.

Scripture

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”


- Genesis 12:3

Iranian Video Threatens Drone Strikes on Israel, US Targets

by Ilse Strauss

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IRGC drones

Tuesday, 1 November 2022 | In a video posted to its official Telegram channel, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened to rain down the wrath of its drone fleet on Israeli and US targets in the Middle East.

Set to the soundtrack of rousing music building to a crescendo, the clip opens with scenes from two well-known sites in Israel—the harbor in Haifa and the beachfront in Tel Aviv—helpfully described as “Occupied Palestinian Territories” in both English and Arabic subtitles.

The scene then changes to an America flag proudly waving over what appears to be a military base somewhere in a Middle Eastern desert. The clip goes on to identify the location as “CENTCOM Terrorist Bases,” referring to the United States Central Command.

The third location is harder to pinpoint, showing an animation of a building with drawings of Iranian heroes on the side wall and a row of Iranian flags streaming on the breeze. The clip identifies it as “MEK Terrorist Group Training Camp,” which refers to an exiled Iranian dissident group, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq.

The camera then shifts again, this time showing what appears to the Iranian soldiers in front of screens displaying satellite images of the Israeli, American and MEK sites. The message is clear: these are the targets in the Iranians’ crosshairs.

As the theatrical soundtrack builds in intensity, the camera pivots to what appears to be the IRGC’s attempt to intimidate with its impressive arsenal: vast warehouses filled with row upon row of state-of-the-art drones and other weapons.

As the music reaches a climax and a dramatic silence falls, the IRGC’s threat appears onscreen in English and Arabic: “It is only our will that keeps us from firing.”

Theatrical clips boasting military prowess and barely-contained might are not a new tool in the Iranian kit. In fact, the IRGC has proven itself quite adapt at barking ferociously without the bite. However, events over the past few months have prompted Israel and her allies to take the threat of Iranian drones a bit more seriously.

In recent months, Iranian drones were used in a number of attacks on US military targets in the Middle East, the Times of Israel reports. And in recent weeks, Russia reportedly used Iranian-made “suicide” drones to attack civilians as well as energy and infrastructure sites in Ukraine, a harbinger of warming ties between Moscow and Tehran.

Then, in the aftermath of what is believed to be Iranian drones sent by Russian decision makers to rain down death of Ukrainian civilians, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei boasted that the West now had to take Tehran’s missile and drone technologies seriously. In fact, according to Khamenei, drones represent Iran’s pride.

There is no doubt that the IRGC’s video production is as dramatic and as theatrical as ever, a strategy that was easy to dismiss as bluff and buster in the past. But there is also no doubt that the powers-that-be with a stake in the Middle East are bound to pay closer attention now.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 1, 2022)

Photo Credit: Reza Dehshiri/javanonline.ir/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray that Israel and the United States will, in fact, take Iran’s missile and drone technology seriously and develop strategies to neutralize them should they be launched.

Scripture

For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us.


- Psalm 44:6–7

Maritime Border: Israel, Lebanon Sign on the Dotted Line

by Kate Norman

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A map of Lebanon showing the city of Naqoura and UNIFIL boundary

Friday, 28 October 2022 | Representatives from Israel and Lebanon yesterday met at a United Nations base on the Lebanese side of the border to ink the historic maritime agreement into existence, putting to rest months of disputing and US-brokered negotiations over the oil-rich waters off the Mediterranean coast.

Just north of the Lebanese border, in the town of Naqoura, where the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) base is headquartered, delegations from Jerusalem—led by Energy Ministry Director General Lior Schillat—and Beirut met with US envoy Amos Hochstein, who served as the broker for the deal, as well as a UN delegation to sign the agreement.

In fact, the agreement had already been signed earlier in the day by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem and Lebanese President Michel Aoun in Beirut before being sent to Hochstein in Naqoura for the final signatures.

The months of negotiations between Israel and Lebanon—two countries which are technically at war, as Lebanon does not recognize the State of Israel—sought to establish a maritime border between the two nations to divide the waters which hold several gas fields.

Israel has retained control of the Karish oil field and even began production on Wednesday before the agreement was signed. Lebanon, meanwhile, will retain control over the Qana gas field—though some of it falls on the Israeli side of the new border. As part of the agreement, Israel will receive a share of future revenue from the Qana field, which is not yet in production.

Throughout the months-long talks, Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group, which is backed by Iran, was issuing threats to act against the Jewish state if it began production on the Karish field before an agreement was reached.

Yesterday’s agreement appears to have appeased the terror group, as Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah issued a statement calling the agreement “a great and very big victory for the Lebanese for the state, the people and the resistance.” Nasrallah announced that Hezbollah will halt its mobilization against Israel, ending months of tension and high alert at Israel’s northern border.

The Israeli prime minister counted the agreement with Lebanon as the Arab state’s de facto recognition of the State of Israel.

“It is not every day that an enemy state recognizes the State of Israel, in a written agreement, in view of the entire international community,” Lapid said at the Cabinet meeting yesterday morning to vote on the agreement, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

The agreement passed through Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) for unanimous approval before it went to Lapid’s desk to be signed.

However, after Lapid’s statement, the Lebanese president issued his own contradicting statement, insisting that the new agreement “has no political dimensions or impacts that contradict Lebanon’s foreign policy,” the Times of Israel reported.

Hezbollah echoed that message, when Nasrallah said that “the demarcation file is not an international treaty and does not imply normalization with Israel, which admits that it has not obtained any security guarantees.”

The restrained tone of the signing ceremony this morning seemed to match the Lebanese insistence that this agreement does not amount to recognition of the Jewish state, as the ceremony was not photographed and the delegations from Jerusalem and Beirut did not meet.

Nonetheless, US envoy Amos Hochstein announced at the end of the ceremony: “We have a maritime border. Congratulations!” The announcement was met with applause, a Reuters reporter said after talking to an official in Naqoura.

Following the ceremony, the head of Israel’s National Communications Directorate, Lior Hayat, told the Media Line that “this agreement brings a lot of achievements to Israel, on the strategic, security and economic level. It also brings achievements to Lebanon, especially economic achievements that will make Lebanon’s economy more stable.

“Lebanon’s stability is of an interest to Israel,” Hayat added. “The stronger or more stable Lebanon will be, the less dependent they will be on Hezbollah and Iran.”

Hayat also noted in an interview with i24news that this is the first time Israel has signed an agreement with an enemy state, one in which that state officially recognizes its shared border with the Jewish state.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 28, 2022)

Photo Credit: United Nations/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise God that this historic maritime agreement has been signed, despite a great deal of opposition. Pray that it will, in fact, be of great blessing to both countries, not only stabilizing Lebanon’s economy, but also contributing to the stability of the region.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 19:21

Lapid Prioritizes Domestic Security, Doesn’t Rule out Military Aid to Ukraine

by Guy Moldavsky, Yuval Karni ~ Ynetnews

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Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid

Friday, 28 October 2022 | Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday addressed the challenges of juggling between maintaining Israel’s security interests and being on the right side of history when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine, saying that he does not rule out providing military aid to the war-ravaged country in the future.

In an interview with Ynet’s Russian-language sister outlet Vesty, the premier said that Israel “stands with the West” in supporting Ukraine, which has been embroiled in a war with Russia since February.

“Israel chose a side from the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, may no one doubt that,” said Lapid.

“We support Ukraine in every way,” he continued. “Israel is the only country that opened a field hospital there. We continue to send humanitarian aid all the time.

“On the other hand, as prime minister I must take into consideration the strategic interests of the State of Israel. This combination—maintaining the security interests of Israel and being on the right side of history—is a very complicated one, but we have to take everything into consideration.

“We carry out situational assessments every week and examine what more we can help with.”

Lapid added that Israel is very “concerned” by Iran’s alleged involvement in the war and the strengthening of relations between Russia and Iranians.

In response to remarks on Kyiv’s dissatisfaction with Israel’s alleged lack of support throughout the war, Lapid said that he “can understand” it.

“They are managing a difficult and bloody war. They are losing civilians and more and more mass graves are constantly being discovered there. They are in massive distress, and sometimes it comes off as them being angry with their friends.”

Lapid added, however, that Ukraine must be “angry with those who deserve it, and not with those who are trying to help, even if you think they aren’t helping enough.

“Every country is considering its own national security aspects. The matter of the fact is that we do not see the British Air Force bombing Russian forces.”

On the disputed matter of Israel’s recent announcement that it would not supply Ukraine with military equipment, Lapid said he “is not ruling out this option,” adding that Israel’s relations with Moscow—and the rest of the world—have taken a drastic turn.

Lapid emphasized, however, that out of all Ukrainian allies, only Israel has a border with a Russian proxy—Syria. “That’s what I meant when I said we have an interest of national security. But Russia’s relations with the Western world have changed, and not for the better. This is why we need to do everything so that this war ends and the situation doesn’t escalate.”

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on October 27, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Haim Zach/Government Press Office/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray for God’s wisdom for Israeli leaders as they continue to walk a fine line in the midst of a very complicated situation. Thank Him for the humanitarian aid that Israel continues to provide to Ukraine, and pray that they will make the right decisions regarding if, when and what kind of military aid to provide in the future.

Scripture

Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; shepherd them also, and bear them up forever.


- Psalm 28:9

Israel Warns Syria it will Step up Attacks over Iranian Weapons Transfers

by JNS

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An Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet

Friday, 28 October 2022 | Israel has warned Syria that it will step up attacks if Syria continues to help Iran send weapons to the area, Al Arabiya reported.

According to unnamed sources, Iran is sending weapons disguised as aid to Syria and Lebanon via air, land and sea.

The report came after Israel was blamed for a third strike in Syria in three days. The Israeli Air Force struck multiple targets in the Damascus area early on Thursday, according to Syrian state media.

Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) sent a massive supply of Iranian drones to its proxies in Syria, according to an October 23 report by the Syrian opposition website Euphrates Appeal Media Network (Nida Al-Furat) that was shared with JNS by the Middle East Media Research Institute’s Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced the end of his armed group’s mobilization on Thursday, following the completion of a maritime demarcation agreement brokered by the US.

In a televised speech, Nasrallah declared that the signing of the agreement was a “very big victory for Lebanon,” adding that the Lebanese government was careful not to take any steps “that even smelled of normalization” in the indirect deal with Israel, reported Reuters.

Two articles were published in Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese media on October 24 and 25, relating to strikes this month on American forces in Syria.

According to an article in the Al-Akhbar newspaper concerning rocket fire aimed against the Al-Omar base on October 23, the attack was carried out in the context of a policy stipulating that any Israeli attack on Syrian territory will be met with an attack on American forces.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 27, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the IDF as it continues its campaign to keep Iranian weapons from reaching its proxies in the region. Pray that any actions Israel may deem necessary will be successful in hindering Iran’s military supplies from reaching their intended destinations. Also cry out to the Lord for an end to Iranian influence in the region.

Scripture

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.


- Psalm 54:4–5 ESV

Abbas Deputy Admits PA Security Personnel Work with Terrorists

by JNS

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Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture

Friday, 28 October 2022 | Israeli security forces launched an anti-terror raid against the Lion’s Den terror cell, including a bomb-making factory, early Tuesday. The cell was responsible for several terrorist attacks.

In response to the terrorists’ deaths and the exposure of the factory, Fatah [leading secular Palestinian political party] Deputy Chairman Mahmoud Al-Aloul admitted that the Palestinian Authority [PA] security forces were fighting alongside terrorists—the Tanzim—against Israel (or, as he put it, “the occupation”), according to a report by Palestinian Media Watch.

He said Israeli soldiers were injured “due to the brave position of the Palestinian security forces” and that all Palestinians, including the PA security forces and Fatah’s terror faction, are “one unit.”

“We speak about all the Palestinians. All the Palestinians are one unit. The Security Forces members, the Tanzim, the public, and everyone—one unit in dealing with this occupation,” said Aloul.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas created the deputy chairman position specially for Aloul.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 27, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: PMW/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for an end to this scandalous behavior on the part of those who are supposed to be Israel’s partners for peace. Pray that such an evil and deceitful regime is replaced with leaders who truly desire peace and are willing to work in concert with Israel toward that goal.

Scripture

You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.


- Psalm 5:6

Israel Reportedly Guards the UAE Skies

by JNS

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This satellite image appears to show two Barak launch modules and an Elta EL/M-2084 radar deployed in the UAE.

Monday, 31 October 2022 | Recent satellite imagery indicates that the United Arab Emirates [UAE] has deployed an Israeli-made air defense battery, according to geopolitical and market intelligence firm Tactical Report.

The Israel Aerospace Industries [IAI] Barak battery, together with a radar system made by IAI subsidiary Elta, were deployed at Al-Dhafra air base, south of Abu Dhabi, according to the report.

The Barak family of air defense systems are designed to protect against long-, medium- and short-range missile threats, and also against Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

Breaking Defense reported on October 19 that a version of Barak had been deployed to the UAE, adding that further orders were likely.

The report cited a defense source as stating that the UAE requires several systems to protect sensitive sites, which have been struck by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In September, Reuters reported that the UAE had ordered the advanced Spyder air defense system from Israeli defense company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for a January 17 UAV and missile attack on Abu Dhabi that killed three people at a facility run by the ANDOC state oil company. Subsequent attacks followed, including one in February claimed by an Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militia.

The UAE is in possession of US-made THAAD and Patriot PAC-3 missile defense systems, though these are reportedly not the ideal solutions for dealing with smaller threats like UAVs.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 30, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Tactical Report/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for Israel’s relationship with the UAE and the Jewish state’s ability to provide defense systems to protect against long-, medium- and short-range missile threats as well as against UAVs. Pray that these systems will function with excellence, should they be needed. Also pray that Israel will continue to develop defensive systems that make the world a safer place.

Scripture

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence.”


- 2 Samuel 22:2–3

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

by IDF Blog

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An IDF Border Protection Corps officer during a military exercise

Tuesday, 1 November 2022 | Sgt. Eyal, a combat soldier in the Border Protection Corps’ Bardelas Battalion, is proof that dreams do come true.

Eyal grew up in Bat Yam and Jaffa. He and his three siblings were raised in a single-parent home by their mother, Hannah. While some kids could be found in various clubs or playing sports, Eyal was drinking alcohol and smoking with his friends on the streets. Eyal had several encounters with the law and following yet another run-in with the police, the court advised him to attend a boarding school for teens at risk. The boarding school offered him a second chance and was an alternative to incarceration. Eyal benefitted from his time at the boarding school until one of his peers stabbed a fellow student and the school shut down.

Eyal went on to attend a pre-military preparatory, also known as a Mechina. In Mechina, Eyal told his mother, “I want to draft into the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] so my siblings can see that I am something greater than myself and contributing to my country. Due to the poor choices I made, I was exempted from conscription into the IDF. This meant that my dream of becoming a combat soldier would not be achieved. Being in Mechina only strengthened my will to draft and I was not going to let my past define me. After long discussions with my mother and the Mechina, I withdrew my exemption from the IDF.”

In May 2020, Eyal was drafted to be a driver at the Havat HaShomer base. Eyal said that [during] the year and four months he was a driver, “I told everyone that my goal was to become a combat soldier.” When Eyal went to request a reposition, “Everyone told men to let it go. ‘Eyal, you are already here, face it…’ But I didn’t listen.”

After much persuasion and persistence, Eyal redrafted to the Border Protection Corps’ Bardelas Battalion. “I was finally in a position where I could contribute best.”

When asked about what gets him through the hard days, it was a no-brainer for Eyal: “My mom. She gets me through everything. No matter how difficult it is, I call my mom and she helps me understand that everything is temporary and that I can get through anything.”

“Eyal is my light,” his mother, Hannah, said with love. “I love seeing the passion in his eyes when he sets a goal for himself. He is an incredible example for the rest of his siblings and I hope they have the same devotion and passion he has.”

Eyal could have given up many times. Drafting into the IDF and serving as a combat soldier was not forced upon him. He continued to fight for his dream and Eyal feels as though “I have learned, toughened up and won. I achieved my dream.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the IDF Blog on September 19, 2022. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for this encouraging story of a young man whose life was changed for the better by his experience in the IDF. Pray for Sgt. Eyal’s safety and effectiveness as he continues his career in the Border Protection Corps. Also pray that his story will be an inspiration to other young people who need direction and purpose in their lives. Thank the Lord that the IDF is more than just a fighting force, but an organization that cultivates strength of character, provides a moral compass and prepares young people for lives of integrity and prosperity.

Scripture

God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.


- Psalm 68:6