Help us bless the people of Israel.

Friday, September 4, 2020

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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.

A Historic Visit in Review

by Kate Norman

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US Senior Advisor Jared Kushner with a delegation of Israeli officials at the arrival of the El Al flight to the UAE on Monday.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 | It’s the beginning of a new era in the Middle East, as an Israeli plane—bearing the Israeli flag on the tail and the word “peace” painted over the cockpit in Arabic, English and Hebrew—left Ben Gurion airport, traveled through Saudi airspace and landed in the United Arab Emirates to a warm reception and words of friendship.

The historic visit follows a landmark new relationship of normalization between Israel and the UAE, making the Arab state only the third to establish formal ties to the Jewish state, following Egypt and Jordan. The first direct flight from Israel to Abu Dhabi—whose flight number was 971, the UAE country code—carried a delegation of Israeli and American diplomats to meet with their UAE counterparts.

“We came in daylight and openly in a plane bearing the Israeli flag together with our American friends, who had a key role in establishing the peace,” remarked Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat after disembarking the plane in Abu Dhabi.

Ben-Shabbat praised the new friendship between the Jewish and Arab states, thanking the people who had worked hard for years to make this day happen, and spoke of a bright future.

“We gaze toward a new horizon in the region, a horizon of cooperation between advanced companies, a horizon of technology, of innovation, of prosperity, of growth and of hope.”

Netanyahu said in a speech that he is pushing to sign an official peace agreement in Washington as quickly as possible.

“Because this will be a different kind of peace,” Netanyahu noted.

“This will be a warm peace because it is based on economic cooperation with an entrepreneurial economy similar to ours, with very great economic abilities and considerable funds that is also looking for investment horizons,” the prime minister said.

Whereas the peace agreements between Israel and Egypt and Jordan were based on security and other high level cooperation, the peace between Israel and the UAE will be based on interpersonal cooperation, a local Emirati told a visiting Israeli journalist.

Israeli and Emirati financial chiefs signed an agreement for financial cooperation, which will lead to mutual investment between both nations. Cooperation between the oil rich UAE and the tech-savvy Jewish start-up nation—both with dynamic economies—is sparking bright hopes for the future of the region.

“For the first time, the State of Israel, which has received investments from all over the world, is going to receive investments from the Middle East, from within the Middle East—this is a great change,” Netanyahu said. “This is a peace that will create jobs, encourage initiatives, and expand both our economy and that of the UAE. This is a peace that brings peoples together.”

A group of Israeli journalists were taken to the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, where they were shown a model of a soon-to-be-built interfaith complex in the UAE that will host a mosque, a synagogue and a church. They watched as a group of religious men from the local Jewish communities brought out the Torah (Gen.–Deut.) and said prayers in a hotel in the Emirati capital. The journalists were also treated to a grand dinner where tables were interspersed with local Emirati journalists and officials, who greeted their new Jewish friends with warm words of friendship, Israeli journalist Lahav Harkov reported for the Jerusalem Post.

“They wanted to try to make peace between people,” Harkov wrote for the Jerusalem Post. “They wanted to show us a positive view of what they are all about: their hospitality to foreigners and tolerance of other religions.”

On the historic flight from Ben Gurion to Abu Dhabi, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner was asked by an Emirati journalist whether he believed all the remaining Arab states could recognize Israel.

“100 percent,” Kushner replied. “I believe that it is logical for them to do it and I believe it is the right thing to do over time.”

Kushner and his American team did not return with the Israeli delegation to Israel but rather traveled on to Bahrain and other Gulf states in an effort to bring more Arab states aboard the peace train—or plane. And despite the lack of high-level American officials aboard El Al flight 972—Israel’s country code—the Israeli flight again traveled through Saudi airspace. It truly is the dawn of a new era in the Middle East.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 2, 2020)

Photo Credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the developing relationship between Israel and the UAE. Ask Him for great wisdom for Israel’s leaders as they proceed with plans to establish such relationships throughout the Arab world. Pray that His chosen nation will indeed be a light to the entire region.

Scripture

Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the LORD is His treasure.


- Isaiah 33:6

Hamas Eyes another Israel Fight as Gaza Teeters on Brink of Collapse

by Alex Fishman

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Road sign leading to Gaza

Thursday, 3 September 2020 | There are no understandings as far as Gaza is concerned. No agreements. No anything.

The way the latest escalation ended is nothing but an invitation to the next round, which may end up being more violent.

This can be attributed to the current leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, who’s steadily losing his grip on the Palestinian enclave his group took over in 2007.

If it were within his power, Sinwar would have gladly erased the last escalation from the collective Palestinian consciousness.

Not only did he fail to achieve any economic, national or military achievement to present to the people of the Strip, the situation in Gaza actually deteriorated.

During the three weeks Israel closed the land and ocean passageways into the Strip, the number of unemployed there jumped by no less than 10%, as thousands lost their jobs and livelihoods.

Neither Sinwar nor his people can bury these numbers with mere words. This last round of violence against Israel was a colossal failure for him and his people.

In October, Sinwar is set to run for the Hamas presidency in an election season that begins in November and ends in March.

Sinwar is stumbling to the starting line while Gaza is under full lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and while the Strip is suffering from the worst economic crisis it has known since the Hamas leader came into power.

During the latest escalation—which involved continued incendiary balloon attacks on Israeli territories adjacent the enclave—Sinwar tried to force Israel to the negotiating table in an effort to improve the life in the Strip by October.

On that count he succeeded; Israel indeed negotiated with Hamas through Egypt, Qatar and the UN.

During negotiations, Sinwar demanded conditions that were supposed to supply the residents of the Strip with a new lifeline. Only, he did not settle for the usual demand for new electricity infrastructure in order to supply Gazans with additional power.

Sinwar demanded the electricity Israel supplies to the enclave be greatly increased; the import of goods Israel categorized as contraband; more Palestinian workers granted entry into Israel; and finally, he demanded an open checkbook from Qatar instead of a monthly stipend.

On Monday, Sinwar announced a restoration of calm along the Gaza border without receiving anything significant from Israel. This calm is set to expire within two months—the time period Hamas gave to Israel before it embarks on its next escalation.

Qatar, for its part, paid what was promised—handing over [US] $30 million with no guarantees of future payments.

If it was up to the Qatari emissary, this would have been the last grant Gaza ever sees from Doha.

It seems that following Qatar’s initial reluctance to transfer the grant, Sinwar and al-Emadi held a meeting in which the Hamas leader hurled accusations against Qatar, which he claimed was trying to weaken him in order to strengthen Khaled Mashal, his political adversary in the upcoming elections.

In the end, not only did Sinwar find himself back at square one, the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] used the balloon attacks as an excuse to strike no less than 104 Hamas-affiliated targets within the enclave, thus delivering a blow to the organization’s infrastructure in the Strip.

Israel’s Fire and Rescue Service and the military were both prepared to deal with the blazes started by the balloon attacks.

The IDF also used the opportunity to test a laser-based defense system whose objective is to shoot down drones and balloon clusters. The results appeared to have been satisfactory, as the IDF’s Planning Directorate is now contemplating whether to further develop the system.

Hamas is also seeing the finishing touches to Israel’s underground barrier, a countermeasure that aims to torpedo any further attempts to tunnel into the country.

About a week ago, Gaza was hit by its own wave of coronavirus, a new development that may have pushed Sinwar to end the current round of aggression.

Given that the Strip has a sum total of 120 ventilators, it is safe to say Gaza is on the precipice of disaster.

The Strip is under complete lockdown at the moment. No movement is permitted from district to district, and schools and beaches are closed.

All exits from the Strip have been closed, except for the goods transferred from Israel into the Strip on Tuesday that were thoroughly disinfected by the Palestinians upon their entrance into the enclave.

Even if Israel wanted to throw Gaza an economic lifeline—the coronavirus has made it all but impossible. So what will Sinwar do now?

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on September 2, 2020. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our publication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: © Simon Mannweiler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will unseat Yahya Sinwar in the October election, giving Gaza a leader that is actually concerned with the welfare of the people of Gaza and who is interested in establishing peace with Israel.

Scripture

And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.


- Daniel 2:21

Saudi Arabia Greenlights Permanent Overfly Rights for Israel

by Ilse Strauss

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A screen showing the route of the El Al flight on Monday from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, crossing over Saudi airspace.

Thursday, 3 September 2020 | In yet another landmark breakthrough for warming ties between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors, Saudi Arabia announced yesterday that “all countries” would be allowed to pass through its airspace on flights heading to or from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Although Riyadh didn’t mention Jerusalem by name, it wasn’t difficult to connect the dots.

The announcement comes two days after the Saudis allowed the Israeli flag carrier El Al to pass through its airspace for the first time for the first-ever commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi—and a day after the El Al flight returned from the Emirates to Israel, again using Saudi airspace.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to hail the announcement as “another tremendous breakthrough”—for normalization between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations as well as Israeli air travel and tourism.

“For years, I have been working to open the skies between Israel and the East,” the prime minister said in a video statement. “Now there is another tremendous breakthrough: Israeli planes…will be able to fly directly from Israel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and back.”

The vast expanse of Saudi Arabia separates Israel from the Gulf states, particularly the UAE. Bypassing Saudi airspace from Tel Aviv en route to Abu Dhabi means a flight of nine-and-a-half hours. However, access to the direct path via Saudi airspace shaves six hours off the trip, cutting the flight time down to three-and-a-half hours.

“Flights will be cheaper and shorter, and it will lead to robust tourism and develop our economy,” Netanyahu said.

The boons of the new Saudi policy go beyond Israelis and Emirates traveling between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi for business or pleasure in under four hours. According to Netanyahu, it also opens a new doorway from Israel to the East.

“When you fly to Thailand or anywhere else in Asia, it will save time and money,” the prime minister highlighted.

Linking the Saudi decision to the historic peace accord between Israel and the UAE, Netanyahu said, “This is amazing news for you, the citizens of Israel. These are the benefits of a peace that is genuine.”

Netanyahu’s video message ended with a word of thanks to senior White House advisor Jared Kushner and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for their role in the Saudi decision.

“There will be a great deal more good news to come,” the prime minister promised.

Riyadh cautioned, however, that the opening of its airspace is as far as it is willing to extend its hand to Jerusalem. The Saudis have made it clear that they will not following in the UAE’s footsteps until Israel reaches a final two-state agreement with the Palestinians.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 3, 2020)

Photo Credit: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Pray for Saudi Arabia’s ongoing cooperation as Arab countries in the Middle East are opening their borders to Israeli businessmen, politicians and tourists. Pray that Israel will benefit greatly from these relationships. Ask the Lord to bless Arab visitors to Israel with revelation of the truth about His chosen people and the land He has given them.

Scripture

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!


- Psalm 46:10

Hezbollah Revenge: We’ll Kill an Israeli, Regardless of How Long it Takes

by Ilse Strauss

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Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah

Tuesday, 1 September 2020 | Hezbollah will not rest until they’ve killed an Israeli soldier. Moreover, the Lebanese terror group is willing to bide their time to achieve their bloody goal. Revenge is, after all, a dish best served cold.

“Let the Israelis understand that whenever they kill one of our mujahideen [Islamic jihad fighters], we will kill one of their soldiers,” Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Sunday during a televised speech. “We are committed to an equation.”

And according to Nasrallah, Hezbollah currently owes Israel a reckoning to restore the equation that has been imbalanced after one of the terror group’s fighters died in an Israeli air strike in Syria.

On July 20, a series of air strikes targeted several sites around Damascus, including an incoming Iranian weapons shipment bound for Hezbollah. Several Iranian and Syrian personnel died in the strike. The casualties also included Ali Kamel Mohsen, a Hezbollah militant reportedly overseeing the receipt of the state-of-the-art arms cache courtesy of the mullahs in Tehran and then facilitating its transport to southern Lebanon where the Iranian terror proxy could put them to terrible use during any future conflict with Israel.

Within a few explosive moments, Hezbollah lost their new toys of terror and a trusted fighter. Moreover, the strike dealt a crippling blow to ego and honor. A livid Hezbollah immediately pointed a finger at Israel—who has admitted to executing hundreds of strikes in Syria to keep Iranian weapons out of Hezbollah hands—and vowed bloody payback to avenge their fighter and restore their honor. In fact, in line with his so-called “equation” policy, Nasrallah reportedly told his special forces that an Israeli casualty was the only remedy to restore the imbalance.

Israel took the threats seriously and beefed up the security level on its northern border, placing troops on high alert for possible attacks. Hezbollah did make good on their vow to attack. However, every effort to breach the border, much less maim and murder, has proven a failure.

Over the past month, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has thwarted at least three Hezbollah infiltration attempts and downed a Hezbollah drone over Israeli territory. The third attempt came last week when Hezbollah snipers opened fire on Israeli soldiers, prompting the first Israeli retaliatory strikes on the terror group’s infrastructure in Lebanon since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

This means the IDF has sent Hezbollah back to Lebanon with their tail between their legs on three separate occasions—each time without coming close to inflicting an Israeli casualty and each time dealing their already wounded honor another crippling blow.

Yet Nasrallah refused to be fazed. In fact, according to the terror chief, each fruitless effort forms part of an elaborate revenge ruse. “Everything that has happened” in the weeks since the Hezbollah terrorist died in the alleged Israeli strike “is part of the punishment,” he vowed.   

“If the resistance fighters carried out 100 operations and have not killed a Zionist soldier, the attacks will continue until the equation is equal again,” Nasrallah warned.

Israeli defense officials estimate that Hezbollah is unlikely to launch a large-scale attack on the Jewish state in the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion. However, Jerusalem is not dismissing Nasrallah’s warnings as idle threats. And just because the attack is not coming in the next few days it doesn’t mean it isn’t coming eventually.

“We are not in a hurry,” Nasrallah pointed out.

Israel is well aware of that. Hezbollah isn’t going anywhere. And as long as the terror group remains a puppet of their terror masters in Tehran and continues pursuing their objective of annihilating the Jewish state, more attacks are a matter of when, not if. We pray that Israel will be ready.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 1, 2020)

Photo Credit: Khamenei.ir/wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

Prayer Focus
Pray for the Lord’s protection on Israel’s northern border, beseeching Him that Nasrallah’s threats will come to nothing. Pray that the supply chain between Iran and Hezbollah will be broken once and for all, ending Hezbollah’s existence as a constant danger.

Scripture

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.


- Psalm 23:4

Two Israelis Injured in Palestinian Terror Attack

by Elisha Ben Kimon and Yoav Zitun

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The scene of the attack

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 | An IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldier and a policeman were lightly wounded in a car-ramming attack at Tapuach Junction in the northern West Bank [Judea and Samaria], police said Wednesday morning.

According to the police, [the terrorist] approached from the direction of the Arab village of Huwara in southern Nablus and rammed his car at a police checkpoint where the two servicemen were stationed.

The driver then exited the vehicle and continued to advance toward them with a knife drawn. The injured officer opened fire and neutralized the attacker, who is in moderate condition.

Magen David Adom [Israel’s ambulance service] paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after and provided medical treatment to the two service members who sustained mild injuries. They were both transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva for further treatment.

“When we arrived at the scene, the two wounded, aged 20 and 23, were walking around the scene conscious and suffering from minor injuries,” said paramedic Aviel Mamelia. “We provided them with preliminary medical care and transferred them for further treatment at the hospital.”

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the incident is currently being investigated but is believed to be a deliberate attack.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 2, 2020. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Micky Rosenfeld/Police foreign press spokesman

Prayer Focus
Pray that the policeman and IDF soldier wounded in the car-ramming attack will experience quick and complete physical and emotional healing. Pray that the perpetrator of this attack will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for his crime. Beseech the Lord that all of Israel’s security and military forces will be blessed with supernatural awareness and response that will save lives and quickly capture the perpetrators of this and other despicable forms of terror.

Scripture

Consider my enemies, for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. Keep my soul, and deliver me; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.


- Psalm 25:19–20

Survey Ranks Israel 8th Most Powerful Country for Fourth Consecutive Year

by Ilse Strauss

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Hospital staff celebrating Israel’s 72nd Independence Day in April 2020

Friday, 28 August 2020 | Each year, US News and World Report publish a survey ranking the planet’s most powerful nations. The power ranking, which forms part of the annual “Best Countries” study, reflects influence on the world stage, dominance of news headlines and ability to shape world policy and economic patters. It also takes into account political power, military prowess and foreign policy.

This year’s power ranking features the usual power players in the top spots, with the US taking first place, followed by Russia and China in second and third place. Then came the European powerhouses: Germany, the United Kingdom and France, followed by Japan slotting in seventh.

The eighth place went to a rather unexpected candidate—a tiny desert strip of a nation, its population and land mass a fraction of its contenders, the only democracy wedged into one of the most hostile regions on earth and the world’s only Jewish state: Israel.

“For its relatively small size, the country has played a large role in global affairs,” US News reports. “The country has a strong economy, landmarks of significance to several religions and strained relationships with many of its Arab neighbors.”

Size is, however, not the only hurdle Israel had to overcome to take a top power spot. The Jewish state has fought at least one major war every decade since its rebirth, and is plagued by waves of rockets, infiltration attempts and terror, even during times of official peace. Moreover, Israel remains one of the only countries in the world whose right to exist is questioned, its borders contested, its exports boycotted and its efforts to defend itself vilified. All in all, not the perfect recipe for a power player.

Israel’s eighth place in the 2020 rankings is also no fluke, with the Jewish state holding steady in this top spot for the fourth consecutive year.         

In contrast, Israel’s immediate neighbors scored significantly lower, with Egypt coming in 25th, Jordan 33rd and Lebanon 38th. Syria failed to make the list. While Israel takes the regional lead, it is not the only Middle Eastern country making it into the top 10, with Saudi Arabia taking the 10th place.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 28, 2020)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesman/CC BY-SA 3.0/wikipedia.org

Photo License: wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Lift your voice in praise that Israel is taking its place among the nations. Thank the Lord for His continuing blessing on the country that He calls His own special treasure. Pray that as Israel’s influence grows across the globe, it will be accompanied by a recognition of the God of Israel and His love for all His creation.

Scripture

“And the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.”


- Ezekiel 36:23b

Second Alleged Israeli Air Strike in Two Days Targets Strategic Base in Syria

by Kate Norman

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An IAF fighter jet taking off from Israel (illustrative)

Thursday, 3 September 2020 | Israel allegedly conducted air strikes Wednesday night on Syria’s largest military air base—just two days after another strike on Syrian and Iranian proxy targets in Damascus and southern Syria, also blamed on Israel.

Israeli fighter jets flew into the central region of Homs and launched missiles toward the T-4 airbase—a strategic location often used by Iran and its proxy paramilitary forces—Syrian media reported.

Syrian state-affiliated SANA news agency asserted that most of the missiles were intercepted—a frequent claim that is often dismissed as a hollow attempt to save face—and that there were no casualties but only material damage.

The warplanes approached from the direction of nearby al-Tanf, a US military base in Syria, according to the SANA report.

Israel, in line with its policy of keeping quiet on its involvement in cross-border attacks, did not comment on Wednesday night’s strikes.

The Jewish state has vowed to block Iran and its proxy terror groups from entrenching in Syria and Lebanon, which would give the Islamic regime a foothold on Israel’s back door. Though Israel does not acknowledge its involvement in individual strikes, Israeli military and political leaders have revealed on several occasions over the years that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has conducted hundreds, if not thousands, of strikes on Iranian and terror targets in Syria.

On Monday night, the Israeli military allegedly struck multiple targets in Damascus and southern Syria, hitting military targets where Hezbollah members were located, according to war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Local sources differ on the number of casualties, with SANA reporting that two soldiers were killed and seven others wounded while SOHR reported five Iranian-backed fighters were killed—three of whom were not Syrian—and ten others injured.

These operations were reportedly the first time Israel has conducted air strikes in Syria since the July 20 strike in which a Hezbollah fighter was killed, prompting the terror group to vow revenge against the Jewish state for the death of one of its own and a smear on its honor. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed that his terror group will kill an Israeli soldier to even the score.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 3, 2020)

Photo Credit: Michael Shvadron, IDF Spokesperson's Film Unit/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord that the Jewish state will be effective in blocking Iran and its proxy terror groups from entrenching in Syria and Lebanon, which would ensconce Israel’s enemies literally at her own back door. Pray that their efforts to block arms shipments and destroy military installations will be so successful that it will bring Iran’s menacing presence to an end.

Scripture

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For look, they lie in wait for my life; the mighty gather against me.


- Psalm 59:1–3a

Israeli Firefighters Touch Down in California to Help Battle Blazes

by Ilse Strauss

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Israeli firefighters arrived in California yesterday to assist with fighting wildfires.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020 | A team of 10 Israeli firefighters touched down in San Francisco early Sunday morning, ready to join their American colleagues fighting the devastating wave of wildfires raging across California. 

The delegation, including officers and firefighters from Israel’s Fire and Rescue Authority as well as rescue and forest fire experts, marks the first time Israelis have been deployed to battle blazes on US soil, the Jewish News of Northern California reported.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg welcomed the Israelis via Twitter: “As a Jewish mayor, I’m particularly proud and happy to see them come to our aid,” he wrote.

Hours after landing, the team from Israel was in position alongside more than 16,000 US firefighters seeking to bring the spate of wildfires sparked by a lightning siege on August 15 under control. The nearly 14,000 lightning strikes ignited more than 900 fires—some building to the second- and third-worst on record—killing five people, burning up over 1.48 million acres, forcing more than 100,000 Californians from their homes and plunging California into a state of emergency. After more than two weeks of toil, firefighters have managed to make progress, but as of yesterday morning, 19 major fires continued to tear through California.      

According to Itzik Oz, leader of the group, the Israelis jumped at the chance to join the US aid mission. “I think most of the firefighters in Israel [volunteered],” he shared. “We are ready to do everything. Whatever [the US firefighters] need, we’ll do it.”     

Itai Bardov, a representative of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said the plan, logistics and details to send the mission on its way came together in 48 hours. “Everyone just engaged together and worked together. This was really, really quick.”

The 48-hour turnaround time is even more impressive when considering that the Israelis came prepared, carrying their own gear and provisions, including breathing apparatuses, portable radios and even food.

The Israeli delegation will remain in California for two weeks and then head home, where they will enter the mandatory two-week coronavirus quarantine period.

This is just another way in which tiny Israel continues to bless the nations of the earth in partial fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3: “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 2, 2020)

Photo Credit: Cal OES/flickr.com

Photo License: flickr.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that Israel has been able to send firefighters to the United States to help in their efforts to control disastrous fires in California. Pray again that Israel’s light will shine, helping the nations to see the God that is their Provider and Protector.

Scripture

“I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles.”


- Isaiah 42:6

Back to School: Academic Year Kicks Off amid Pandemic Fears

by Tamar Trabelsi Hadad

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Israeli police overseeing safety measures as school begins today

Tuesday, 1 September 2020 | Over 2.4 million Israeli children began a new school year on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the majority having to study remotely this year due to health restrictions.

The beginning of the school year had been clouded with uncertainty over the surging COVID-19 infection rate and a possibility that bringing children back to school will lead to another mass outbreak.

[The] coronavirus cabinet voted late on Monday that schools in 23 “red” cities and communities where the COVID-19 infection rate is exceptionally high will remain closed. The decision leaves more than 140,000 children of all ages at home. The ministers are set to hold another debate on whether to reopen schools in those areas on Thursday.

In addition, another 10,000 children will not start their school year as planned over logistical problems at their respective education facilities and parent struggles.

According to the latest statistics, some 169,000 children have begun the primary education by entering the first grade, while 132,000 have started their last year of school.

Parents have been asked to fill out a declaration of health for their [children] ahead of bringing [them] to school, which can be done either online or at the entrance to the school building.

According to the Education Ministry’s outline, kindergartens, first and second grades will operate as usual with children attending classes at least five times a week.

Third and fourth grades will be split into groups of 18 children who will be attending classes physically at least five times a week. Fifth and sixth grades will also be split into groups of 18, but the children will only be attending in-class studies twice a week and studying remotely the rest of the time.

From seventh grade and up, children will also be split into groups of 18, with in-class studies only be possible twice a week. Each student will be required to wear a mask during studies and school breaks, with only one child sitting at each desk.

Children from tenth grade and up are allowed to fill out their own declaration of health.

Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 1, 2020. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Micky Rosenfeld/Police foreign press spokesman

Prayer Focus
Cry out to God on behalf of the children in the nation of Israel. Pray that parents will have peace and grace to cooperate with the government rulings and ask the Lord for special anointing for them to handle the differing schedules and requirements that are a part of this new reality. Pray that children’s development will not be affected negatively by this new way of learning and beseech the Lord that their minds would be continually drawn to Him and His love for them.

Scripture

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.


- Psalm 127:3–5a

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