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US: Tehran Can Make Nuclear Bomb in Under Two Weeks
Monday, 2 October 2023 | Iran has the infrastructure in place and the know-how to make a nuclear weapon in less than two weeks, according to the US Department of Defense’s 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction report.
“It is assessed that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at this time, but has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks,” said the report, which outlines Washington’s strategic approach to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction globally.
“Further, the United States assesses Iran to be noncompliant with its CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] obligations. For example, Iran has not submitted a complete chemical weapons production facility declaration to comply with CWC processes. The United States is also concerned that Iran is pursuing dual-use central nervous system-acting chemicals for offensive purposes,” added the report.
Last month, Iran barred International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] inspectors from overseeing its nuclear activities.
“I strongly condemn this disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure,” said IAEA Director Rafael Grossi at the time. “With today’s decision, Iran has effectively removed about one third of the core group of the agency’s most experienced inspectors designated for Iran.”
Tehran’s move came in response to a warning issued by the United States, Britain, France and Germany (the E3) at the IAEA’s Board of Governors.
The three countries warned that the Board will take further action if the Islamic Republic doesn’t comply with previous IAEA resolutions demanding that it explain highly enriched uranium particles found at various locations in Iran.
“Today, the world is seeing—and I will certainly emphasize this—that Iran is violating all of its commitments, that it brazenly lies, and that it intends both to develop nuclear weapons and continue its aggression in the region,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before his departure last month to address the UN General Assembly in New York.
Iran’s move also comes after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken signed off on sanctions waivers paving the way for international banks to unfreeze [US] $6 billion in Iranian funds.
Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi last month warned that Jerusalem will have no choice but to act if Iran enriches uranium above 60%.
“If Iran moves to enrich uranium above 60% and we identify it—and there is no possibility that we won’t, that the world would not recognize it—the result is that Israel could act out of necessity,” he said. “There would be no choice.”
Such a development would indicate that “Iran is clearly pursuing a [nuclear] bomb, as a policy, and we cannot risk our fate,” added Hanegbi, without specifying how Israel would respond.
Earlier this year, IAEA inspectors detected “particles” of uranium enriched to 83.7% at Iran’s underground nuclear site in Fordow.
At the time, reports quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Jerusalem did not consider the development a trigger for military action, because Tehran had not amassed any material “at that level.”
Iran has been enriching uranium to 60% since April 2021.
The latest IAEA report showed that Tehran has continued to amass uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels. The report pegged the Islamic Republic’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 60% at 121.6 kilograms (268 lbs.), compared to 114 kilograms (250 lbs.) in May and 87.5 kilograms (192 lbs.) in February.
Uranium enriched to 60% purity is a short technical step away from 90%, considered weapons-grade.
Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on October 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Maps/Shutterstock/jns.org
Beseech the Lord for an immediate change in US policy that will keep US $6 billion out of the hands of terrorists bent on creating nuclear weapons. Cry out to Him that US leadership will heed the report from their own Department of Defense and work with Israel to eliminate this global threat. Also pray for God’s wisdom, strength and courage to guide Israel in making a decision as to whether or not to “act out of necessity.”
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Netanyahu Convenes Top Security Chiefs Amid Elevated Threats
Tuesday, 3 October 2022 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday held a high-ranking security consultation amid ongoing terrorist threats from Judea and Samaria and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and as Iran presses forward with its nuclear program.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, IDF [Israel Defense Force] Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) Director Ronen Bar were among those attending the meeting.
The meeting comes amid heightened tensions on Israel’s borders to the north, east and west.
Gazans had until last week staged near-daily riots along the frontier, targeting Israeli forces with explosive devices and gunfire, renewing the launch of incendiary balloons into Israeli territory and setting fire to tires on the border.
Israeli authorities on Thursday reopened the Erez Crossing, the Jewish state’s sole pedestrian crossing with the Palestinian enclave, after terrorist groups agreed to halt the rioting temporarily.
The Israeli Defense Ministry body that oversees the coordination of civil affairs in Palestinian-controlled territories said that the decision was made “in accordance with security assessments and with [a view to] the preservation of stable security.”
The Hamas-affiliated Revolutionary Youth group on Sunday announced that it would resume the violence. In a statement, the group said it would “expand the scope of the confrontation and add fuel to the fire, and ignite our eastern borders with flames and the blast of our bombs.”
The group subsequently retracted its call, saying it would instead still “closely monitor” the “Zionist enemy.”
Some 17,000 Gazans have permits to enter Israel through the Erez Crossing for work.
Also last week, Israel bolstered its forces on the country’s northern border after a Lebanese “engineering vehicle” strayed a few meters into Israeli territory.
IDF troops fired stun and smoke grenades after Lebanese “engineering equipment” penetrated about 2 meters [6.5 ft.] over the Blue Line into the Mount Dov area, the military said in a statement. No Lebanese troops crossed the demarcation line and the vehicle returned to Lebanese territory.
UN cartographers created the Blue Line demarcating the 120-kilometer (75 mi.) border in 2000 to verify Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, which the UN Security Council later certified as complete. The border runs from Rosh Hanikra on the Mediterranean coast to Mount Dov, where the Israeli–Lebanese border converges with Syria.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization does not recognize the Blue Line and disputes numerous points along the border.
In July, the IDF revealed that armed Hezbollah terrorists were spotted patrolling the border in clear violation of a binding UN resolution. Two months ago, the IDF foiled an attempt by Hezbollah to damage the border fence.
In early April, Hezbollah pitched two tents a few meters on the Israeli side of the Blue Line. The position, located across from an IDF post, was reportedly manned by three to eight armed terrorists.
On March 15, a terrorist who infiltrated Israel from Lebanon planted a roadside bomb that severely wounded a motorist. Shareef ad-Din, 21, from the Israeli Arab town of Salem, was wounded when the explosive device detonated behind a road barrier near the Megiddo Junction, some 18 miles (28.9 km.) southeast of Haifa.
Judea and Samaria
Tensions also remain high in Judea and Samaria in the wake of relentless Palestinian terrorism, which Netanyahu and Gallant have charged the Islamic Republic of Iran with orchestrating.
On Wednesday, the Shin Bet announced that Israeli forces had caught a Tehran-sponsored terrorist cell plotting to carry out attacks in the Jewish state, including assassinating Ben-Gvir.
Last month, Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] Director David Barnea said that the agency, in cooperation with international allies, had so far this year foiled 27 plots by Iran to murder Israelis and Jews outside the borders of the Jewish state.
“The plots being pursued by these [terrorist] teams were orchestrated, masterminded and directed by Iran,” he said, noting that the plots took place “all over the world,” including “in Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.”
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense on Friday released a report warning that Iran has the infrastructure in place and the know-how to make a nuclear weapon in less than two weeks.
“It is assessed that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons program at
this time, but has the capacity to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear device in less than two weeks,” said the 2023 Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction report, which outlines Washington’s strategic approach to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction globally.
Sunday’s security meeting also comes as Israel is considering making concessions as part of a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia.
On Friday, US National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said Jerusalem and Riyadh have “hammered out” the contours of a possible American-mediated deal.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Netanyahu instructed his country’s leading nuclear and security specialists to work with US negotiators to find a compromise that lets Saudi Arabia enrich uranium.
Israeli officials are “quietly working” with the White House to develop a “US-run uranium-enrichment operation” in Saudi Arabia for a civilian nuclear program, a key condition of the kingdom for accepting a normalization agreement with Israel, officials from both countries told the Journal.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said that bringing the Sunni kingdom into the Abraham Accords would constitute a “quantum leap” for peace in the Middle East
Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/jns.org
Praise God that Israel’s security forces, in cooperation with international allies, are foiling terrorist plots. Pray that they will become even more efficient, have more intel and supernatural alertness and act with more strength. Pray for God’s direction and protection until these terrorist organizations—including Iran—are eliminated.
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle.
Bridges for Peace CEO Ranks among Top Christian Allies
by Kate Norman
Tuesday, 3 October 2022 | In his first year serving as the international CEO of Bridges for Peace, Rev. Peter Fast was listed among the top 50 Christian allies of Israel.
Every year in honor of the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) holiday, the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) publishes its list of “Top 50 Christian Allies.” The list compiles 50 leaders from the Christian world and includes pastors, politicians, organization leaders, celebrities, news producers and other influential people.
Among the individuals who have been true friends of Israel and a voice for the Jewish state and the Jewish people, Rev. Fast was honored as 19th on the list.
Rev. Fast is an author of two novels and a speaker who covers subjects such as Hebraic roots, historical–modern Israel, Christian anti-Semitism and early Church history. Before stepping into the role of international CEO, Fast served as the national director of Bridges for Peace’s Canada office.
Fast’s predecessor, BFP International President and CEO Rebecca J. Brimmer, who continues to serve as the international president of Bridges for Peace, was previously honored in the list for three years in a row.
This year’s list also includes former Secretary of State and CIA director Mike Pompeo, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, founder of Christians United for Israel Pastor John Hagee, American political commentator Mike Huckabee, Dr. James Dobson, actor and director Gary Sinise and other influential supporters of Israel.
The list is published around Sukkot to honor the holiday’s special meaning for Bible-believing Christians, thousands of whom travel to Israel each year to celebrate the biblical festival. As the prophet Zechariah prophesied, after the Day of the Lord, several nations will join together to attack Jerusalem but will be defeated.
The prophet then adds, “and it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zech. 14:16).
As the fall holiday season continues in Israel, Bridges for Peace celebrates Rev. Fast as well as the other Christian allies who support the Jewish state and the Jewish people.
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 3, 2023)
Photo Credit: Michio Nagata/bridgesforpeace.com
Praise the Lord for the recognition Bridges for Peace and Rev. Peter Fast have received from the Israel Allies Foundation. Pray for Peter in his role as CEO and for the work of Bridges for Peace. Cry out to the Lord for His provision on every level. Ask Him for qualified, dedicated volunteers in all of our departments and for the funds to continue our projects with excellence. Pray also for our national office teams as they work tirelessly to tell Israel’s story and raise the funds needed for our work to continue.
Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
US: ‘Basic Framework’ for Israel–Saudi Peace in Place
Monday, 2 October 2023 | Jerusalem and Riyadh have “hammered out” the contours of a possible American-mediated normalization agreement, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Friday.
“All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework for what, you know, what we might be able to drive at,” he said, amid an ongoing effort to bring the Sunni kingdom into the Abraham Accords.
The Trump administration-brokered accords normalized relations between Israel and four Arab nations: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
“As in any complex arrangement, as this will inevitably be, everybody is going to have to do something. And everybody is going to have to compromise on some things,” added Kirby.
Saudi Arabia is not conditioning a peace deal with Israel on the establishment of a Palestinian state, Reuters reported over the weekend.
As part of an agreement, the Palestinians could nonetheless receive a huge influx of Saudi aid as well as Israeli concessions that would fall short of statehood, said the report, citing three unnamed regional officials.
Last week, Tourism Minister Haim Katz became the first Israeli Cabinet minister to be granted an entry visa by the Saudi government, arriving in Riyadh to participate in a conference of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and mark World Tourism Day, celebrated annually on September 27.
Concurrently, a delegation headed by Saudi Ambassador to Jordan Nayef al-Sudairi, Riyadh’s first-ever non-resident envoy to the PA [Palestinian Authority] and consul general to Jerusalem, traveled to Ramallah for a meeting with PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.
The developments came shortly after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a rare interview with Fox News that normalization with Israel was “getting closer every day,” and that the kingdom could join the Abraham Accords “with the support from President [Joe] Biden’s administration to get to that point.”
The interview aired the same day that Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“I think that under your leadership, Mr. President, we can forge a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” said Netanyahu.
“And I think such a peace would go a long way first to advance the end of the Arab–Israeli conflict, achieve reconciliation between the Islamic world and the Jewish state, and advance a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
The Wall Street Journal reported the same week that Netanyahu instructed his country’s leading nuclear and security specialists to work with US negotiators to find a compromise that lets Saudi Arabia enrich uranium.
Israeli officials are “quietly working” with the White House to develop a “US-run, uranium-enrichment operation” in Saudi Arabia for a civilian nuclear program, a key condition of the kingdom for accepting a normalization agreement with Israel, officials from both countries told the Journal.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said that bringing Saudi Arabia into the Abraham Accords would constitute a “quantum leap” for peace in the Middle East.
In his address to the UN General Assembly, he said that a deal with Riyadh would have far-reaching implications, including encouraging other Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel.
He called the Abraham Accords “a pivot of history” and said the whole world is reaping their benefits. “All these are tremendous blessings,” said the premier.
Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 1, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Twitter/jns.org
Cry out to the Lord for His wisdom to guide Israeli negotiators in this very “complex arrangement.” Pray that any agreement will protect Israel’s interests and meet Prime Minister Netanyahu’s expectations that such a historic pact would “advance the end of the Arab–Israeli conflict, achieve reconciliation between the Islamic world and the Jewish state, and advance a genuine peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.
Some 50,000 Worshippers Stream to Western Wall for Priestly Blessing
Tuesday, 3 October 2022 | Tens of thousands participated in Birkat Kohanim (the Priestly Blessing) of Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles] on Monday morning at the Western Wall Plaza.
In keeping with tradition during the intermediate days of the festival, this year marks the 53rd year of Birkat Kohanim at the Western Wall. Hundreds of kohanim (Jewish priests in direct patrilineal descent from High Priest Aaron) bless the large congregation that streams to the Western Wall Plaza with the special priestly blessing from the Torah (Gen.–Deut.).
The blessing, a Jewish prayer recited by kohanim, is regularly performed during Chol HaMoed Pesach (the intermediate days of Passover) and in Sukkot.
The event took place in the presence of Israel’s chief rabbis, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Rabbi David Lau; Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites; Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion, rabbis, ministers, public figures, hundreds of kohanim and thousands of worshippers.
Rabbi Rabinowitz said to the tens of thousands of participants in the Birkat Kohanim service: “This year, we received more than anything the blessing of ‘And He shall give you peace.’ This is a prayer that we all carry in our hearts to our Father in Heaven, asking Him to remove baseless hatred from us and to spread the sukkah [booth] of peace over us.”
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation noted it added an additional Birkat Kohanim event this year to “alleviate the crowds and enable anyone who wishes to participate in this emotional tradition to do so.” The foundation also placed sukkot [plural of sukkah] in the Western Wall Plaza for the benefit of the general public, with four species available in one of them for public use.
Photo Credit: US Embassy Jerusalem/Flickr/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Thank the Lord that the Birkat Kohanim was recited again this year over tens of thousands of worshippers at the Western Wall Plaza. Praise Him for His protection over the event and the safety of everyone there. Also cry out to Him that Israel’s prayer for the Lord “to remove baseless hatred from us and to spread the sukkah [booth] of peace over us” will be heard and answered.
Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!
Why is Hamas Sending Palestinians to Die at the Border with Israel?
by Khaled Abu Toameh ~ Gatestone Institute
Monday, 2 October 2023 | During the past few days, the Iran-backed Palestinian terror group Hamas has again been encouraging Palestinians living under its rule in the Gaza Strip to march toward the border with Israel and attack Israelis. Similar protests in 2018, also encouraged and sponsored by Hamas, resulted in the death or injury of hundreds of Palestinians.
Those anti-Israel protests lasted for a year and ended without any noticeable achievements for Hamas. Israel agreed to ease some restrictions on the Gaza Strip, such as expanding the fishing zone 3 miles [4.8 km.] and allowing more raw material to be imported for civilian factories.
The latest attacks on Israelis by Hamas, however, appear to be less linked to Israel, which has taken a series of measures over the past two years to boost the economy and improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Those measures include issuing work permits in Israel for more than 17,000 Palestinians.
Hamas is now sending Palestinians to get killed or injured on the border with Israel because it is apparently upset with its friends in Qatar, the Gulf state that has long been supporting the Muslim Brotherhood organization, of which Hamas is an off-shoot. Hamas is evidently taken aback because Qatar has reduced the monthly financial grant it has been providing to the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip over the past five years.
Here is what is happening. An Arab country (Qatar) decides that it wants to channel fewer funds to a Palestinian terrorist group (Hamas). Hamas, instead of directing its grievances toward Qatar, responds by sending young Palestinian men to throw explosive devices, Molotov cocktails and stones at Israeli soldiers along the border with the Gaza Strip. Apparently, Hamas is hoping that the “Zionist enemy” (Israel) will come to its rescue by putting pressure on Qatar not to cut the financial grant. With many of its leaders sitting in Doha, Hamas must be rather fearful about coming out in public against Qatar.
Salama Marouf, director of the Hamas-controlled Media Office, confirmed that the Qataris have reduced the financial grant by a few million dollars. He said that in addition to Qatar’s reduction of the grant, the financial deficit in Hamas’s budget is also attributed to a decline in revenues that has exacerbated the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Although Qatar has not offered any explanation regarding its decision to reduce the financial grant, a source close to Hamas told the BBC that the move was connected to the Qataris’ dissatisfaction Hamas’s recent effort to restore its relations with President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. Shortly after the eruption of the civil war in Syria in 2011, the Syrian authorities expelled Hamas leaders and closed their offices in Damascus for failing to side with the Assad regime against the rebel groups.
Relations between Qatar and Syria have been strained since the beginning of the civil war in Syria. According to reports, Qatar allegedly provided weapons, ammunition and financial support to rebel groups, such as the Free Syrian Army and Army of Conquest.
Hamas and other terror groups have attempted to portray the renewed protests near the border with Israel as a response to Israeli “provocations,” specifically visits by Jews to the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. However, the visits, which have been taking place for several years, have not affected Muslims’ access to the holy site.
A Hamas security official in the Gaza Strip admitted that the attacks on Israeli soldiers along the border are due to differences between Hamas and Qatar regarding the Qatari grant. The official said that civil servants, including senior Hamas officials, have not received full salaries because of the reduction in the financial grant. Hamas, in other words, is admitting that the renewed violence is not linked to Jerusalem or the Temple Mount, but to its leaders’ desire to obtain more funds from Qatar.
Commenting on the renewed attacks on Israeli soldiers along the border, former Palestinian Authority peace negotiator and cabinet minister Hassan Asfour lashed out at Hamas for turning the protests into a “poisoned weapon” against the people of the Gaza Strip. Asfour accused Hamas and its leaders, “who are sitting in hotels in Doha,” of exploiting the issue of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to send young men to clash with the Israeli army.
While Hamas leaders are evidently afraid to criticize Qatar, Hamas-affiliated journalist Rajab al-Madhoun accused Qatar of joining up with Israel to maintain the relative calm that has prevailed in the Gaza Strip over the past two years. Al-Madhoun quoted unnamed Hamas sources as saying that Qatar, at the behest of Israel, was withholding the funds to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to exert pressure on them to refrain from carrying out terror attacks against Israel, especially during the Jewish holidays in September and October.
The real blackmail, however, is coming from Hamas. First, Hamas is implying that if it doesn’t get the funds, it will accuse the Qataris of collaboration with Israel, harming the Gulf state’s image in the Arab and Islamic countries. Second, Hamas is openly stating that it will continue to send Palestinians to attack Israeli soldiers near the border if the Qataris do not resume the financial aid.
The controversy surrounding the financial grant is yet another example of how Palestinian leaders (in this instance Hamas) regularly sacrifice their young people for the sake of money. The leaders of Hamas, most of whom lead comfortable lives in Qatar, Turkey and Lebanon, appear to care little about Palestinians getting killed or injured while attacking Israeli troops. What they do appear to care about is how to enrich themselves and their families and continue the jihad (holy war) to destroy Israel. They also appear not to care if thousands of Palestinian workers are unable to enter Israel every day for work because of the violence along the border.
Will the international community call out the Hamas leaders for sending young men to their deaths for the sake of the money being withheld? Based on experience: not likely. Far more likely is that we will hear loud and bitter condemnations of Israel for “opening fire” at Palestinian protesters along the border with the Gaza Strip.
Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.
Source: (This article was originally published by the Gatestone Instititue on September 26, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit photographer/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Pray that the international community will in fact call out the Hamas leaders for sending young men to their deaths for the sake of the money being withheld. Cry out for a strong reaction from the international community, whose support for Gaza could also be withheld unless these protests are stopped.
Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
Israel Inks Largest Defense Deal in its History
Friday, 29 September 2023 | Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday signed an agreement in Berlin to provide Israel’s Arrow 3 missile-defense system to Germany. At an estimated value of US $3.5 billion, the deal is the largest of its kind in Israel’s history.
The first missile battery, including radar, launch and interception management systems, is to be supplied to the Germans by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) by the fourth quarter of 2025.
Germany is the first foreign purchaser of the system.
Arrow 3 is the upper-tier layer of Israel’s missile-defense program, designed to intercept ballistic missiles during the exoatmospheric portion of their trajectory, at altitudes above 100 kilometers (62 mi.). It became operational in Israel on January 18, 2017.
In June, German lawmakers approved advanced payments of up to €560 million (US $606 million) for the system.
The primary contractor for the integration and development of the system is IAI, working with additional Israeli and American defense firms.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz initially requested the system in a meeting with then-Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in March 2022, with Israel working behind the scenes to persuade Washington to allow the sale.
The system—among the most advanced of its kind—was jointly developed by the Israeli Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency, and therefore required American approval to sell to a third party.
The US gave the green light on August 17.
The European Leadership Network (ELNET), an NGO [non-government organization] working to strengthen ties between Israel and European countries, said on Thursday that it welcomed the historic signing of the purchase agreement, which it said “brings Europe closer to Israel in the fight against similar challenges and the protection of citizens.”
ELNET was a “direct partner” in the effort, organizing a visit by a delegation of representatives of the Bundestag’s defense committee in the winter of 2022 who “were impressed for the first time by the Arrow 3 system,” according to the group.
In August, Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, told JNS that Arrow 3 “will add a very substantial element to our military relationship. It will also make it more of a two-way street, a development that began already with the German use of Israeli drone systems to protect our soldiers in foreign missions.”
Seibert said while the system will first and foremost protect Germany, ultimately the idea is “to integrate the system into European air defense, so Arrow 3 will also protect neighboring European countries.”
Source: (This article was originally published by Jewish News Syndicate on September 28, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Israeli Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office/jns.org
Thank the Lord for this deal, the largest of its kind in Israel’s history. Pray that it will strengthen the relationships Israel is building in Europe. At the same time, cry out to the Lord that this missile-defense system will never have to be put into operation
My stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.
Israel Establishes New Police Unit to Combat Smuggling on Jordanian Border
by Meir Turgeman ~ Ynetnews
Thursday, 5 October 2022 | National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced Tuesday that a new police unit will be established in the Judea and Samaria (West Bank) district. The unit, expected to consist of tens of officers and commence operations in early 2024, will monitor and prevent arms smuggling attempts at the Israel–Jordan border and will likely be named the Jordanian Border Unit.
“We must seal off our borders, especially the one with Jordan, from which illegal firearms are smuggled into Israel,” according to Ben-Gvir. This challenge has become one of the major concerns for law enforcement in Israel in recent years as the number of smuggled firearms has been steadily increasing.
According to the Israel Police’s intelligence division, most of the firearms are smuggled into Israel through the Jordanian border, which remains degraded and neglected.
Planning ahead of the new unit’s establishment has already begun, including the allocation of the required funding. The unit’s designated mission will be to gather intelligence for the purpose of preventing smuggling attempts within the district.
The unit will gather information through human intelligence (HUMINT), visual intelligence (VISINT) as well as cyber and signal intelligence (SIGINT). Using advanced technological means will form the necessary situational awareness required to prevent smuggling attempts into Israel.
The new unit will work in collaboration with other police units, including those operating on the Egyptian, Jordanian and Lebanese borders. Additionally, it will likely cooperate with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] and the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] to maximize intelligence gathering and characterize the activity patterns of these smuggling networks.
“This will mark the addition of a specialized, integral unit that will combat arms smuggling and greatly contribute to strengthening of Israel’s security and sovereignty on its eastern border. After years of neglect, we’re promoting and taking steps in line with the uncompromising policy I lead against criminal organizations and terror,” Ben-Gvir added.
Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO./jns.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Pray for the success of this unit in bolstering security on the border with Jordan and bringing arms smuggling through that border to an end. Ask the Lord for His blessing on the various types of information gathering and the technologies necessary to prevent smuggling attempts into Israel.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Report: Are Israel and Mauritania Holding Covert Talks?
by Baruch Yedid ~ JNS
Wednesday, 4 October 2022 | A pro-Iranian website reported on Monday that high-ranking Israeli and Mauritanian intelligence and security officials recently held a clandestine meeting mediated by the United Arab Emirates [UAE].
In recent months, Arab media has been rife with reports suggesting that Israel is actively pursuing normalization with countries such as Mauritania, Somalia, Niger, Indonesia and Libya with US involvement.
Mauritania and Israel had diplomatic relations from 1999 to 2010. But Nouakchott severed relations following strain over a 2009 Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Lebanon-based monthly newspaper Al-Khandak, David Meidan, a former Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] official who currently works in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, met with an adviser to Mauritania’s intelligence chief.
The meeting—held at the official residence of Emirati President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed—was also arranged with the help of Muhammad Dahlan, a former Fatah [leading secular Palestinian political party] official and rival of Palestinian Authority [PA] leader Mahmoud Abbas, according to the report.
Dahlan, a former high-level figure within Fatah, was the PA’s Gaza “strong man” when Hamas violently seized control of the Strip in 2007. He had a falling out with Abbas as he regained influence and was expelled from Fatah in 2011. Dahlan was later tried in absentia in Ramallah on charges of corruption. Dahlan, who lives in the UAE, says the charges are politically motivated.
Meidan was Israel’s emissary for negotiations related to the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. Israel released 1,027 Palestinian and Arab–Israeli security prisoners in exchange for the soldier, who was abducted by Hamas in 2006.
Mauritania’s relationship with Israel has been a tumultuous one. In 1999, the Western African nation became the third country, following Egypt and Jordan, to formally recognize Israel. Those ties were strained by the Gaza conflict of 2009, and under pressure from Iran, Nouakchott broke off relations the next year.
Despite opposition from some Muslim clerics in Mauritania in recent years against normalizing relations with Israel, Mauritania supported the Abraham Accords, in which the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco normalized relations with Israel in 2020, being joined a year later by Sudan.
Israel’s role in Mauritania has historically revolved around medicine, agriculture and communications. In recent years, Tehran has submitted a number of economic projects in Western Africa aimed at bolstering Iranian influence in the region.
Israeli officials refused to comment on the Al-Khandak report.
Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on October 3, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
Photo Credit: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO./jns.org
Pray that Israel’s efforts to normalize relations with countries such as Mauritania, Somalia, Niger, Indonesia and Libya will be successful, further strengthening Israel’s position among African nations and garnering increasing support in the international arena. Pray that Israeli technologies and innovations will provide these nations with the materials they need to increase the standard of living for their citizens and provide assistance in the areas of medicine, agriculture, communications and security.
The LORD will perfect that which concerns me.
Descendants of the Levites Reenact Ancient Temple Choir Near Western Wall
by Kate Norman
Wednesday, 4 October 2022 | Nearly 1,000 Levites congregated near the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday to reenact an ancient Levitical Temple choir some 2,000 years after the Second Temple was destroyed.
The descendants of Levi, one of the 12 sons of the patriarch Jacob, came from around the world to participate in the reenactment and sing Psalms, just as their ancient predecessors did during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
Photos and videos from the event show the Levites dressed as their ancient forefathers, playing trumpets and singing, just as they would have done more than 2,000 years ago.
The Levites became a set-apart subsect of the Jewish people when they joined Moses in punishing the ancient Israelites after they worshiped the golden calf, as seen in Genesis 32:27–29. From then on, they obtained a special status among the Children of Israel, working in the Temple and assisting the priests in their duties. They partook of eating the meat and other provisions that were brought to the Tabernacle and Temple as offerings rather than inheriting a piece of the Land as the other 11 tribes did.
Two millennia later and their posterity once again mounted the Huldah Steps—the ancient entrance to the Temple—and sang the songs and played the trumpets, singing Psalms. Levitical descendants comprise about 4% of the Jewish population, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The event included a rehearsal of the large group of Levites which turned into a performance.
It was organized by the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Post reported, alongside the Jerusalem Office and the East Jerusalem Development Company. The Jerusalem Municipality also participated in orchestrating the event.
A similar event also took place last year, according to the Jerusalem Post.
CEO Herzl Ben Ari of the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem told the Jerusalem Post: “This was a powerful event that opened our hearts, reminding us of our deep yearning for ancient days. It’s an occasion we may not have witnessed since the Temple’s destruction.”
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 4, 2023)
Photo Credit: אבישי טייכר /Wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
Praise the Lord for this remarkable event. Thank Him that the Levitical descendants can actually be identified and for this reenactment of a beautiful, ancient ritual after two millennia. Pray for God’s richest blessings on His people as they “look to the rock from which they were hewn.”
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn…Listen to Me, My people; and give ear to Me, O My nation: for law will proceed from Me, and I will make My justice rest as a light of the peoples.”
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