Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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

Hamas Leader Admits Marches of Return Were Staged to Avert Internal Crisis

by Elior Levy

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Violent riots along the Gaza border characterize the “March of Return.”

Wednesday, 5 September 2018 | Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar openly admitted on Tuesday that the weekly “March of Return” protests staged on the Gaza border in recent months were intended to avert an internal crisis and divert pressure onto the Israelis.

“After the reconciliation efforts (between Hamas and Fatah) reached an impasse, a number of factions planned to cause an internal explosion in the Gaza Strip, but the Marches of Return thwarted the plan,” Sinwar said during a Hamas conference in the coastal enclave.

“Palestinian officials collaborated with Israeli intelligence in order to sabotage the reconciliation efforts,” he claimed.

Sinwar also said that no arrangement has been reached with Israel to put an end to daily hostilities, despite the quiet that has prevailed on the volatile border in recent days.

“I will state clearly: so far there is no agreement and no outline for an agreement for a ceasefire with Israel,” the terror leader said.

In August, it was reported that Israel and Hamas had reached a ceasefire under Egyptian mediation, as Israelis living in the south urged the government to stem the daily launching of incendiary balloons and near-daily barrages of rockets that threatened to drag the two sides into yet another conflict.

“Gaza did not want to stand idly by when the American Embassy was transferred to Jerusalem,” Sinwar explained. “The Palestinian people succeeded in turning this provocation into an opportunity to confront the Israeli enemy.”

Telling his listeners that Hamas was not seeking war, and was instead interested in maintaining the ceasefire reached in 2014 at the end of Operation Protective Edge, Sinwar emphasized that “we are ready to fight off any aggression.”

Sinwar addressed rumors circulating about possible solutions to the crisis gripping the Gaza Strip.

“Anyone who thinks there is a discussion about an airport (in Sinai) does not know anything. The discussion at the moment is about a maritime route between the Gaza Strip and Cyprus and about finding a systematic solution to the problem of UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency],” Sinwar attempted to clarify.

Sinwar also turned to UN Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov. “Your role has changed from the United Nations envoy for the peace process to the UN envoy to prevent war,” Sinwar said.

“As the pressure on resistance increased, so did the intermediaries. Mladenov came to Gaza twice a day during the recent escalation and now he hasn’t been to Gaza in weeks,” he complained.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on 4 September 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ashernet/IDF Spokesperson's Office

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Hamas reign of terror in and around Gaza would be brought to an end. Ask the Lord to expose the heartlessness of leaders who have total disregard for the lives and wellbeing of their own people, obsessed instead with their intense hatred for Israel.

Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted.


- Psalm 140:1–2, 8

IDF Says It Bombed 200 Iranian Targets in Syria, Warns Hezbollah Next War “Will Be the Last”

by Joshua Spurlock

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Israel fights terror from above (illustrative)

Thursday, 6 September 2018 | When Israel said it intended to prevent Iran from establishing a base in Syria, they meant it—striking more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria since 2017. The Times of Israel, citing senior IDF [Israel Defense Forces] officials in a press briefing on Tuesday, reported that Israel hit the hundreds of targets—which included advanced weaponry and military bases—with 800 bombs and missiles.

One day earlier, Israeli military leveled an existential threat against Iran’s proxy terror group in Lebanon, Hezbollah. The head of the IDF Northern Command, Major General Yoel Strick, was quoted by the IDF Spokesperson Twitter feed in a series of tweets about Hezbollah, “We‘re aware of their financial situation and abilities. If they knew what we knew about them, they wouldn’t speak so confidently.”

He continued, “Their terrorist organization will feel our strength. I hope there’ll be no war, but if there is, it’ll be the last northern war.”

Past media reports had indicated that some of Israel’s strikes in Syria were meant to prevent advanced weapons from reaching Hezbollah, which already has a vast arsenal of missiles it can fire at Israel.

The Times of Israel report noted that it was unclear how many of the 202 Iranian targets mentioned by the IDF on Tuesday were part of a previous public assault on Iranian targets following the launching of Iranian missiles at Israel in May. The report noted that Israel generally does not lay credit to individual attacks in Syria.

On Wednesday, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear they would fight back against Iranian aggression against Israel, wherever it may be.

“We will not allow Iran to establish a presence in Syria,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “We will take action to thwart its intention of arming its proxies and its forces with deadly weapons to be aimed at us.

“The terror and aggression of Iran on Syrian territory, or anywhere else, will be met with the iron fist of the IDF.”

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in The Mideast Update on 5 September 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today.)

Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces

Prayer Focus
Pray that Hezbollah will take Israel’s warnings very seriously, thinking twice before instigating any confrontation with the Jewish state. Ask the Lord to protect Israel’s northern border and pray for Major General Yoel Strick as he leads the IDF Northern Command.

Scripture

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


- Proverbs 2:6–7

Russia Launches Large-scale Military Drill in Mediterranean

by Itay Blumenthal

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Russian Admiral Kuznetsof aircraft carrier

Wednesday, 5 September 2018 | A large military drill ready to be launched by Russia in the east Mediterranean Sea ahead of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s planned phased offensive to regain Idlib will affect certain aviation routes in Israel, including Ben Gurion Airport, Sde Dov Airport and the Tel Aviv area.

Dozens of warships and aircraft are taking part in the drill which will see the Russian army conduct naval and maritime maneuvers in the area.

Moscow issued a statement saying that, “The exercise is meant to improve naval communication.”

However, critics suspicious of Russia’s intentions say that Moscow is attempting to establish its presence in the Middle East in the wake of Assad’s reclaiming the last rebel-held enclave in the war-torn country.

The exercise is expected to reach its highest point of intensity on Wednesday at 6 a.m. until Thursday at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to end on Saturday.

According to Russia’s navy chief, Adm. Vladimir Korolyov, who is commanding over the exercise, 26 warships are taking part in the drill, along with two submarines and 34 aircraft.

“We announced the exercise long enough in advance to ensure that international law is honored without any violations and to guarantee peace in the region,” Korolyov said.

Navy aircraft, long-range transport planes, Tu-160 bombers, Il-38 and Tu-142MK fighter jets capable of hitting submarines and Sukhoi Su-33 and Sukhoi Su-30SM planes are also participating in the exercise.

Russia has deployed dozens of warships across the Mediterranean Sea, including the Russian cruiser Marshal Ustinov. The ships, as well as the two submarines located in the area, are equipped with Kalibr Cruise missiles.

The Kremlin says that the drill aims to prepare for scenarios in which Russia may be forced to face the US-led coalition operating in Syria. However, the military maneuvers will include the use of live missile and artillery fire.

The Caspian Sea flotilla, participating in the drill, is preparing for a maneuver that has been dubbed the “Wall.”

According to military sources, the “Wall” is a special system of building ships, tracking and attacking airports.

In addition, as part of the maneuver, the coastal zone can be armed with anti-aircraft weapons in order to increase the ability to fight low-altitude radar missions, including cruise missiles.

Using the system, the Russians plan to influence the division in and control over the region once the fighting in Syria comes to its end.

The expected drill is not the only one Russia is conducting. Western countries fear that a vast military exercise Moscow is planning to hold in the near future will be used as a preparation to invade Poland, Lithuania or the Ukraine.

Despite the fears, which were raised ever since Russia annexed the Crimea in 2014, Moscow completely denies the accusations.

The Kremlin said last week that the exercise planned to take place in Belarus would consider a completely defensive scenario, while denying accusations it would serve as preparation for invasion.

In the wake of the Zapad exercise that took place in 2017, Moscow sent 5,500 troops to Belarus that borders with Poland, Lithuania and the Ukraine to join the 7,200 Belarusian soldiers who were supposed to participate in the exercise.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in Ynetnews on 4 September 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: mil.ru/wikipedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Pray against Russian aggression and ask the Lord to intervene so that these exercises reveal weakness rather than strength. Ask Him to protect Israel’s tenuous but positive relationship with Russia.

Scripture

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. 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 2:20b–21

Reuters: Iran Transfers Ballistic Missiles to Iraqi Proxies, Threatening Israel, Saudi Arabia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Iranian-made surface-to-surface Fateh-110 missile

Monday, 3 September 2018 | Iran has transferred a number of short-range ballistic missiles to proxy forces in Iraq, which could threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia or American forces in Iraq, Reuters reported Friday, citing multiple sources.

The sources included three Iranian officials, two Iraqi and two Western intelligence sources. A number of the sources said that Iran was teaching its proxies how to manufacture the missiles on their own.

An Iranian source described the transfer as a “backup plan if Iran was attacked.” The senior official also told Reuters, “The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary.”

According to Reuters, there are locations in southern and western Iraq where the missiles would be within range of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, or Tel Aviv, Israel. The missiles reportedly transferred include the Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Zolfaqar, which have ranges between 200 kilometers (125 miles) and 700 kilometers (435 miles).

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s Quds Force, the Iranian force in charge of operations in foreign countries, according to several sources, has bases in those areas.

According to Reuters, the transfer by Iran of advanced weapons to its Iraqi proxies could “embarrass France, Germany and the United Kingdom,” who are trying to rescue the nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that Iran “cannot avoid” talks about its ballistic missile program or its aggression across the Middle East.

“But Iran cannot avoid discussions, negotiations on three other major subjects that worry us—the future of Iran’s nuclear commitments after 2025, the ballistic question and the fact there is a sort of ballistic proliferation on the part of Iran… and the role Iran plays to stabilize the whole region,” Le Drian said at a meeting of European foreign ministers in Vienna.

Bassem Qassemi, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, dismissed Le Drian’s remarks, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly declared its clear and transparent stance on unwarranted concerns rooted in some countries’ wrong perceptions and ignorance.”

The Reuters report comes at the same time that satellite photos were released that appear to show Iran building a new missile factory in Syria. The Times of Israel reported Thursday that photos released by ImageSat International show construction of a facility similar to Iran’s Parchin military base in northwestern Syria.

The base under construction is near a battery of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, considered one of the most advanced in the world.

Israel considers Iran’s military presence in Syria a red line and is believed, in recent years, to have struck numerous military sites with advanced weaponry in Syria.

Source:  (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 31 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: www.idf.il

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord would confound Iran’s every attempt to supply arms to Israel’s enemies or to teach them to produce such weapons themselves. Pray that Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States will respond to the existing threat with great wisdom and direction from the Lord.

Scripture

And the LORD confounded them before Israel.


- Joshua 10:10a (NASB)

Israel Agrees as US Halts Funding for “Irredeemably Flawed” Palestinian Refugee UN Group

by Joshua Spurlock

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

US spokesperson for the United States Department of State Heather Nauert

Monday, 3 September 2018 | Citing a failed model of operations and the failure of other nations to do their financial part, the United States [US] on Friday announced they were cutting off all funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). US spokesperson Heather Nauert said UNRWA’s considering future generations of Palestinians eligible “refugees” from the 1948 and 1967 wars, instead of just the people who actually fled those wars more than half a century ago, played a role in the US decision to start looking for other ways to financially aid the Palestinians besides UNRWA.

“Beyond the budget gap itself and failure to mobilize adequate and appropriate burden sharing, the fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years—tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries—is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years,” said Nauert in a press release from the State Department.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu heartily agreed with the US decision, contrasting Israel’s handling of Jewish refugees who were absorbed into their country with the UNRWA situation. “They created a unique institution, 70 years ago, not to absorb the refugees but to perpetuate them,” said Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office. “Therefore the US has done a very important thing by halting the financing for the refugee perpetuation agency known as UNRWA. It is finally beginning to resolve the problem. The funds must be taken and used to genuinely help rehabilitate the refugees, the true number of which is much smaller than the number reported by UNRWA.”

Significant numbers of Palestinians who fled the Israel–Arab wars in the 20th century were not made citizens of the Arab countries to which they fled. Instead, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians remain in “refugee camps” in countries such as Syria and Lebanon. There are even Palestinian “refugee” communities still in Israel, despite the existence of Palestinian cities within driving distance.

Due to future generations who were born to the original persons who fled the conflicts also being counted as refugees by the UN, there are millions of Palestinian “refugees” that the Palestinians claim have a “right of return” not to territory in a future Palestinian state in a peace deal, but to Israel. This has been a key sticking point in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Netanyahu, speaking from the Yad Binyamin community that absorbed Israelis who were forced out of their homes in the Gaza withdrawal in 2005, used that as just one example of the appropriate way to handle refugees.

“Haven’t uprooted people come to us from all kinds of countries? Holocaust survivors who were torn from their land? From communities that they had lived in, in Lithuania—for 500 years, from Poland—for 1,000 years. They were uprooted, survived and came here. Did we leave them as refugees? No, we absorbed them, from Arab countries as well. They were uprooted, from the same war [as the original Palestinian refugees], the war of liberation [in 1948],” said Netanyahu.

“Hundreds of thousands of Jews who came here as refugees without anything; they left all their property behind. We did not leave them as refugees; we turned them into equal citizens, who contribute in our state. This is not what is happening with the Palestinians.”

The US wants a healthier approach to refugee status for the Palestinians than UNRWA aid as well. “We are very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children, of the failure of UNRWA and key members of the regional and international donor community to reform and reset the UNRWA way of doing business,” said Nauert. “These children are part of the future of the Middle East. Palestinians, wherever they live, deserve better than an endlessly crisis-driven service provision model. They deserve to be able to plan for the future.”

Nauert said the US contributed $60 million to the agency earlier this year, but an insufficient number of countries stepped up their financial support in response to the US saying in January they would no longer “shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden.” Nauert said last week that the US would no longer support UNRWA’s “irredeemably flawed operation.”

However, the US may continue financial aid to the Palestinians covered by UNRWA, albeit in a different model. It may even again involve the UN.

Said Nauert, “The United States will intensify dialogue with the United Nations, host governments, and international stakeholders about new models and new approaches, which may include direct bilateral assistance from the United States and other partners, that can provide today’s Palestinian children with a more durable and dependable path towards a brighter tomorrow.”

Source: (The Mideast Update originally published this article on 2 September 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: The White House/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord that the United States has taken a hardline position against UNWRA and their adherence to a false and destructive premise regarding Palestinian “refugees.” Pray that funds can now be funneled into programs that will actually help the Palestinian people and promote true peace with Israel.

Scripture

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, “LORD, who is like You, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?


- Psalm 35:9–10

Deputy Chief of Staff: IDF Prepared for Any Scenario

by Itay Blumenthal

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Israel Defense Forces, prepared for whatever the future holds (illustrative)

Tuesday, 4 September 2018 | Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said on Sunday that the Israel Defense Forces [IDF] is prepared for any scenario and threat, whether it comes from the Gaza Strip, Lebanon or Syria.

Speaking at a ceremony in honor of the Palmach’s [underground army of the Jewish community prior to Israel’s independence in 1948] contribution to the protection of Israel, Kochavi elaborated on the threats Israel faces today and the IDF’s preparedness level.

“The Syrian army, in cooperation with the Iranians, are re-establishing themselves today along our borders. Lebanon is controlled by Hezbollah, which does not hesitate to fire missiles and rockets at our country’s citizens. The state’s borders, as well as Jerusalem—our capital for which we fought, are fortified and protected,” Kochavi explained.

“However, from the southern to the northern border, as well as in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terror is restless because the Jewish state keeps thriving and developing,” Kochavi declared.

Kochavi stressed that the security forces are constantly upgrading their capabilities in light of growing threats from Israel’s enemies.

“The IDF is prepared for every scenario. We are improving our fighting methods, filling the emergency warehouses, practicing and cultivating the value of determination we have learned from the Palmach,” he concluded.

Kochavi spoke about his exposure to the Palmach: “The spirit of the Palmach was introduced into my veins from an early age, apparently thanks to my uncle and father who wished to cultivate the legacy of the Palmach in an open as well as covert way. It is not easy to stand here across from you but it is a great privilege that I am happy to have.

“You quickly became the pillar of fire in front of the camp, which developed and created operational norms and radiated an uncompromising determination. The means were limited, but the spirit was powerful and pushed you against all odds. The land belongs first of all to the Palmach fighters who have become role models and to whom we owe the state,” Kochavi continued.

“The current generation is on guard,” added Kochavi. “With this spirit they slipped into every cellar during Operation Defensive Shield in order to uproot Palestinian terror, infiltrated nature reserves during the Second Lebanon War and destroyed rockets—and insisted on penetrating the tunnels and destroying them during Operation Protective Edge.”

The ceremony, held at the Culture Palace (Heichal Hatarbut), was also attended by President Reuven Rivlin, who honored those who fought in the Palmach.

At the beginning of the conference, Tova Ofer, a Palmach veteran, raised the Israeli flag as a symbol of heroism and courage.

President Reuven Rivlin sent a recorded message to the veterans: “It is enough to look at the list of chiefs of staff, six of whom began as Palmach fighters, and the many generals who served in the Palmach who serve as testimony to professionalism and excellence.” The general staff during the Six-Day War, headed by Yitzhak Rabin, was also composed mostly of veterans of the organization.

“We will remember all of them. I wish to thank the Palmach fighters for their contribution that will forever be etched in the history of our people and I wish you a happy new year, a year of peace, friendship and security for all,” Rivlin said.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on 2 September 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF/www.idf.il.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that He has armed Israel for battle, placing them in a position of strength. However, beseech the Lord that those who defend Israel will put their trust in Him and His power to bring peace into this seemingly impossible situation.

Scripture

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD.


- Proverbs 21:31

US Ambassador to Israel: “No Demands in Exchange for Embassy Move”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with US President Trump (illustrative)

Friday, 31 August 2018 | The United States Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, said in a conversation with the heads of the American Jewish Congress that “there is not and there never was any demand made of Israel in exchange for the United States Embassy move,” the Jewish Insider reported Wednesday.

Referring to US President Donald Trump’s statement that Israel will pay a “higher price” for moving the embassy to Jerusalem, the ambassador said, “The President feels that if the parties are lucky enough to be sitting in a room and making progress, he might say to the Israelis, ‘Look, can you do a little bit more? Look what we did for you. Is there something more that you could do?’ It’s not that he has something specific in mind.”

With regard to the peace plan—Trump’s “deal of the century”—Friedman said the date for its UN [United Nations] presentation has yet to be set.

“We haven’t scheduled a date yet. I’m hesitant to say it would happen within a month because it has shifted several times as we continue to listen and talk with people. So it’s not imminent. There are some rumors that we might present something at the UN (General Assembly). It’s not going to happen,” Friedman explained.

“Having said that, Israel has two and a half million or so Palestinians in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], and at some point, they’re going to have to make a call. You have to either let them establish an independent state or absorb them. We’d like to help them make the right decision—the right decision for them and the Palestinians—during the Trump Administration because it’s a good environment right now for them to be making progress on this. If they can’t, they can’t, but we’re not giving up,” the ambassador added.

Speaking about Trump’s popularity in Israel, Friedman said, “President Trump has the highest popularity rating in Israel than in any other country in the world.”

“In my opinion, if his popularity in the US was as in Israel, the Democrats wouldn’t have needed to choose a candidate (for the elections in 2020),” he concluded.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 30 August 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Thank the Lord for the strength of Israel’s relationship with the United States. Pray for wisdom and right decisions that are in line with the will of God as they work together on a plan for peace with the Palestinians.

Scripture

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory above all the earth; that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me.


- Psalm 108:5–6

2.3 million Israeli Kids Return to School to Begin New Year

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Prime Minister Netanyahu at Breuer Elementary School in Yad Binyamin

Monday, 3 September 2018 | 2.3 million Israeli children returned to school and kindergartens on Sunday morning after the summer vacation, as approximately 5,000 educational institutions reopened their doors across the country.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Education, around 188,000 children went to compulsory kindergartens, alongside 388,000 who made their way to pre-compulsory kindergartens.

1,048,000 students strapped on their school bags as they went to elementary school, 167,000 of whom were entering their first year.

Around 299,000 students accounted for those entering junior high school, while the number of students entering secondary high school stood at around 477,000. 131,000 of them were embarking on their final year in school.

194,000 teaching staff also concluded their weeks-long summer vacation.

According to the Education Ministry, this year’s school year will aim to encourage “Unity in Israeli Society,” and will be marked under the banner of “preserving unity, preserving uniqueness.”

“I think this is the beginning of the most calm and orderly year in years. There were exciting opening ceremonies all over the country,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on his Facebook page.

“Thanks to the principals and teaching staff who prepared for this day for long summer weeks. Good luck to students!”

“The state education system is home to all Israeli students: Jews, Arabs, Druze, Circassians, religious, secular, ultra-Orthodox. They are all my children. Every child in the State of Israel deserves an excellent education and fair opportunity. The coming school year will be held under the banner of ‘unity,'” Bennett said in a press statement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participated on Sunday morning at an annual opening ceremony at the Breuer state religious elementary school in Yad Binyamin [a community in central Israel].

“I found that the lessons are even more important than the breaks. In the lessons I learned the most important thing. First of all to read and afterwards to write, and then afterwards to learn English,” Netanyahu told the young children gazing up at him.

“But the most important thing was to read because if you can read, everything opens up before you. I loved reading very much and more than anything else, I loved reading the Bible and history,” the prime minister continued.

“This community has absorbed people who were uprooted from Gush Katif,” he said in reference to Israel’s 2005 evacuation of the Gaza Strip.

“The lives of people who were uprooted from Gush Katif could have been a tragedy, a terrible disaster. It started with terrible pain but the State of Israel and all the citizens of Israel worked together so that the people who were uprooted from Gush Katif would not be refugees in their country. We absorbed them and they resumed their lives,” he said.

“There are memories but there is the present and the future which have already changed, and this gives new life and great hope,” Netanyahu added.

President Reuven Rivlin also visited a school in Netivot in southern Israel to mark the beginning of the academic year.

“I want to tell you, boys and girls, you can be prime ministers and, of course, presidents of the country,” he said as he addressed the children.

“You can be ministers or Knesset [Parliament] members … The moment I entered school I will never forget the teacher who taught me in first grade,” Rivlin said, sharing his own experience as a youngster.

“Opening the school year is perhaps one of the happiest days of the year. It marks a new beginning for so many people: for the parents, for the teachers and especially for you, the students, who just at this very moment are entering school and are taking another step forward,” Rivlin said.

“We know that everything begins with education but we don’t always understand the educational mission that our educators carry on their shoulders every day, every hour,” he said as he furnished praise on Israel’s teaching staff.

“The boys and girls here are the future of the State of Israel. Soon, the young generation that grew up in Netivot will lead the State of Israel.”

Adir Yanko, Ahiya Raved, Itay Blumenthal, Ittai Shickman, Inbar Tvizer and Raanan Ben Zur contributed to this report.

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published in Ynetnews on 3 September 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/Benjamin Netanyahu@netanyahu

Prayer Focus
Bless the Lord for the millions of Jewish children that now live and learn in their ancient homeland. Pray that their hearts will be open to learn “the Bible and history,” as PM Netanyahu encouraged them. Ask the Lord to protect them from harm and help them to become the strong and godly next generation of Israelis as He continues to fulfill His ancient promises.

Scripture

For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, that they may dwell there and possess it. Also, the descendants of His servants shall inherit it, and those who love His name shall dwell in it.


- Psalm 69:35–36

August 2018 Ranks as Busiest Month in Ben Gurion Airport’s History

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The arrival hall of the Ben Gurion Airport

Friday, 31 August 2018 | August will end by setting a new record for the number of passengers coming and going via Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, with almost three million travelers passing through during the month, Globes reported on Tuesday. This makes it the busiest month on record for the airport.

According to the Israel Airports Authority, international passenger traffic will total 2.7 million in August—10% more than in August 2017. 2.4 million passengers passed through the airport in July, up 10.6% from July 2017.

It is estimated that September will break last year’s record as well, as it is a busy month due to the Tishrei Yomim Tovim (High Holidays) and the vacation from schools and universities. Over 2.2 million passengers on 14,000 flights are expected to arrive and take off from the airport next month—17% more than in September 2017.

Thousands of Israelis will travel to the town of Uman in Ukraine. 30,000 Hassidim are expected to travel to the city on 133 flights between the dates of September 5 to 9 ahead of Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year. Israel will be establishing a temporary consulate in Uman over the holiday. Other popular destinations include Greece, Turkey [as a stopover], France, Italy and the United States.

One of the biggest contributors to the increased passenger load has been the emergence of a low-cost flight market in Israel, spearheaded by RyanAir and Wizz Airlines.

Last year, Israeli Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said that the Open Skies policy had increased the number of flights servicing Israel by 50%.

“This is a strategic aim for us,” Katz observed. “The addition of flights is part of the consumer revolution which has greatly benefited Israelis, thanks to the increasing number of direct flights to many destinations, and especially for the reduction of cost by large percentages thanks to increased competition.”

Passenger traffic will come to a halt on the eve of Yom Kippur, September 18, with the final landing being at 1:40 p.m. (by El Al Israel Airlines Ltd.) and the last take-off at 1:55 p.m., after which Israel’s airspace will be closed. Flights will resume after Yom Kippur at 9:30 p.m. on September 19 and the first take-off will be at 11:30 p.m. the same day.

Earlier this year Ben Gurion opened a new wing and Israel’s international airport is on track to handle 25 million passengers in 2019, which would qualify it to be classified as one of the world’s busiest airports.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 30 August 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: GeorgeDement/wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikipedia

Prayer Focus
Thank God for Ben Gurion Airport, the gateway to Israel for millions of sojourners every year. Pray that He will give great wisdom to the Israel Airports Authority and supernatural protection to every flight into or out of Ben Gurion Airport. Pray that millions will continue to come and see for themselves the miracle that is Israel.

Scripture

“I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.”


- Isaiah 41:18–20

Free Weekly Israel Prayer Update & News



Prayer Updates