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

Netanyahu-Trump Meeting Showcases “Best Relationship… Ever” Between Israel and US

by Ilse Strauss

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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and US President Trump

Tuesday, 06 March 2018 | “We have… the best relationships right now with Israel that we ever had.”

These are the words with which US President Donald Trump welcomed his “extraordinary” friend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the Oval Office ahead of discussions between the heads of state in Washington yesterday.

The get-together marked the fifth time the two have sat down together since Trump was elected president, the second time such a meeting has taken place at the White House and the first time they have seen one another since the US recognized the City of Gold as the capital of Israel and announced its decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—in time for the Jewish state’s 70th birthday party on May 14, 2018.

Trump’s welcoming remarks went straight to the heart of the topic that has dominated international headlines for over a week. “Jerusalem was a wonderful thing,” he held. “Many presidents were discussing whether or not to make that decision, and they promised it in their campaigns but they never were able to do what they should have done.”

The US commander-in-chief further revealed that he might make the trip to Israel’s capital for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony when the Jerusalem-based facility opens its doors for the first time. Asked if he planned to attend, Trump responded, “I may. We’re looking at coming, if I can, I will.”

Moreover, even if his schedule does not allow a visit in May this year, Trump assured that the Promised Land is definitely on his itinerary in the future. “I’ll be there again. Israel is very special to me. Special country. Special people. And I look forward to being there, and I’m very proud of that decision.”

Netanyahu responded to the warm welcome in kind. He thanked Trump for his “tremendous friendship,” “hospitality” and his “historic proclamation” in December last year, followed by the “bold decision” to move the American embassy to Jerusalem by Israel’s Independence Day.

Trump’s choices in the face of overwhelming international pressure, Netanyahu held, puts him on par with some of the most prominent figures in Jewish history throughout the ages.

“[T]he Jewish people have a long memory,” the Israeli prime minister recounted. “So we remember the proclamation of King Cyrus the Great—Persian King. Twenty-five hundred years ago, he proclaimed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon can come back and rebuild our temple in Jerusalem.”

“We remember, 100 years ago, Lord Balfour, who issued the Balfour Proclamation that recognized the rights of the Jewish people in our ancestral homeland,” Netanyahu continued. “We remember seventy years ago, President Harry S. Truman was the first leader to recognize the Jewish state.”

“And we remember how a few weeks ago, President Donald J. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Mr. President, this will be remembered by our people throughout the ages… [O]thers talked about it. You did it. So I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Israel.”

Common Challenges and Opportunities

Looking to the future, Netanyahu added that he was eager to discuss with Trump the “challenges and opportunities” that Israel and the US face.

“If I had to say what is our greatest challenge in the Middle East to both our countries, to our Arab neighbors, it’s encapsulated in one word: Iran,” the Israeli prime minister highlighted. “Iran has not given up its nuclear ambitions. It came out of this nuclear deal emboldened, enriched. It’s practicing aggression everywhere, including on our own borders. And I think we have to stop this country—the chants, ‘Death to Israel,’ ‘Death to America.’ Iran must be stopped. That is our common challenge.”

The second common issue, Netanyahu continued, is the opportunity for peace between Israel and both its Arab neighbors as well as the Palestinians. The timing, he held, is highly favorable, as “[t]he Arabs have never been closer to Israel; Israel has never been closer to the Arabs. And we seek, also, to broaden that peace with the Palestinians.”

Trump echoed Netanyahu’s optimism. When asked about the framework for peace that a team from the US has been working on since November 2017 and will reportedly make public in the near future, he answered, “I think we have a very good chance.”

According to Trump, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to peace—the final status of Jerusalem—has now been “taken off the table. So this gives us a real opportunity to peace… The Palestinians, I think, are wanting to come back to the table very badly.”

Still, the US president conceded that the Palestinians have to make the choice. “If they don’t, you don’t have peace, and that’s a possibility also.”

Closer than ever

Both Netanyahu and Trump applauded the increasingly close ties between Israel and the US.

“I’ve been here for nearly four decades with talking and seeking to build the American-Israel alliance,” Netanyahu said. “Under your leadership, it’s never been stronger, and the people of Israel see your position on Jerusalem, they see your position on Iran. They see your magnificent defense of Israel and the truth in the United Nations. And I, as a Prime Minister, see something that you, as President, see, but others can’t see—the extent of our intelligence and other cooperation in matters that are vital to the security of both our peoples.”

For his part, Trump pointed out, “We are very close on trade deals. We are very, very close on military and terrorism and all of the things that we have to work together on.”

The claims of a relational heyday between Jerusalem and Washington go well beyond two world leaders paying lip service to one another. Netanyahu and Trump’s friendship marks a major shift from the “chilly relations” between the Israeli prime minister and former US President Barak Obama, reported Fox News. In fact, under Trump’s leadership, the report continues, Netanyahu is privy to “VIP treatment.” Moreover, according to The New York Times, yesterday’s meeting stands as evidence of “the closest relationship” between the Jewish state and the United States “in the seven decades since Israel declared independence.”

The former Israeli ambassador to the US and current Israeli Deputy Minister concurs with these reports. Michael Oren describes the get-together between Netanyahu and Trump as a “momentous event.” Speaking during a press briefing hosted by The Israel Project on Sunday evening, Oren said that Israel and the US “have never had such a deep confluence of interests.”

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 06 March 2018)

Photo Credit: Ashernet/Haim Zach/GPO

Prayer Focus
Thank God for strengthening the ties of friendship between Israel and the US and for the fruit it has already yielded. Pray that the Lord’s hand of protection will safeguard this relationship, especially as international pressures mount. Ask God to equip Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump with necessary wisdom to deal with the common challenges and threats both countries face.

Scripture

A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.


- Proverbs 18:24

Guatemala Follows US Lead, Announces Embassy Relocation to Jerusalem

by Ilse Strauss

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Guatemala’s Flag

Monday, 05 March 2018 | With spirits in the Jewish state still high after US President Donald Trump announced last month that the American embassy would relocate from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in time for Israel’s Independence Day on May 14, 2018, Guatemala vowed this weekend that it would follow in the US’s footsteps. Moreover, in keeping with Washington’s lead to coincide the move with Israel’s 70th birthday as a modern nation, Guatemala City plans to open its embassy doors in the City of Gold two days after the Americans.

“As a sovereign decision, we recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” declared Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales during a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual conference in the US capital last night.

“In May of this year, we will celebrate Israel’s 70th anniversary, and under my instructions two days after the US will move its embassy, Guatemala will return and permanently move its embassy to Jerusalem,” he told his audience of more than 18,000.

“This decision strongly evidences Guatemala’s continued support of Israel,” the head of the Central American nation continued. “And we are sure that many other countries will follow in our steps.”

“I would like to thank President Trump for leading the way,” said Morales. “His courageous decision has encouraged us to do what is right.”

The announcement does not come as a surprise. Following the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December last year, Morales took to social media to declare that Guatemala would follow suit. In a post on his official Facebook page, the Guatemalan president also said that he had spoken to his Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and had already instructed his foreign ministry to “initiate the process to make it possible.”

In the run-up to the announcement at AIPAC, Netanyahu and Morales sat down for a bilateral meeting in Washington yesterday morning.

“Thank you for everything you’re doing, for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” the Israeli prime minister said. “I hope soon you’ll move your embassy to Jerusalem. We hope.”

“It is an honor and it is the right thing to do,” assured the Guatemalan president.

Hours later, Morales made good on his promise.

This will not be the first time the Central American nation has its ambassador stationed in the hills of Judea. In 1959, eight years before the 1967 Six Day War that reunited Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, Guatemala was the first country to base its embassy in Jerusalem. Yet international pressure took its toll and in 1980, the official representative of Guatemala City to the Jewish state left the City of Gold and relocated to the shores of the Mediterranean in Tel Aviv.

Now, in just over two months, 28 years after it was uprooted and in time for the Jewish state’s 70th birthday, the situation will be rectified. Come 16 May 2018, the Guatemalan embassy returns to its rightful spot in the undivided capital of Israel, Jerusalem.  

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 05 March 2018)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Prayer Focus
Thank God for the countries who boldly choose to stand with Israel in defiance of popular opinion. Praise Him for the Guatemalan president’s courage to follow through on his commitment to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to ratify that recognition with the relocation of its embassy. Ask the Lord to strengthen the Guatemalan leader’s heart and remind Him of His promise to bless those who bless Israel (Gen. 12:3).

Scripture

But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.


- Exodus 23:22

Netanyahu: “We Must Stop Iran; We Will Stop Iran”

by Ilse Strauss

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Prime Minister Netanyahu addressing AIPAC

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 │ The past two days have seen the man who leads the Jewish state and its people deliver two momentous addresses. The first was on Monday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an audience-of-one with US President Donald Trump. The second came yesterday, when the Israeli prime minister took to the podium to deliver the keynote address to a crowd of over 18,000 at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) annual policy conference. His message to both audiences remained on point: applauding the unprecedented heyday in Israel-US relations and warning that Jerusalem cannot afford to allow Iran’s malicious ambitions to go unanswered.

The Israeli prime minister summed up his address of just over half an hour in a rather catchy title: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful, echoing the name of the Clint Eastwood 1966 Western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The good, Netanyahu said, signifies Israel blessing the nations of the world through its vast contributions in the spheres of agriculture, intelligence, medicine, technology, water preservation and security. The bad refers to the encroaching presence of Israel’s enemies, particularly Iran—both on the Jewish state’s doorstep and in the already troubled region. Finally, the beautiful references the “eternal bond” between Jerusalem and Washington.

Netanyahu spoke at length about “all the good things that we are doing in Israel that are helping make the world a better place.” He also spent a good bit of his 30 minutes at the podium hailing the blossoming relations between the Jewish state and the United States, thanking President Trump for the concrete shows of support, namely the “historic decisions” of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating the US embassy to the City of Gold. Yet Netanyahu devoted the lion’s share of his address to the bad. The prime minister arguably has good reason for this choice.

“The bad news is that bad things are getting worse, and they’re very bad,” he explained. “The force behind so much of what is bad is this radical tyranny in Tehran. If I have a message for you today, it’s a very simple one: We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran!”

Netanyahu recalled the last time he addressed the AIPAC annual conference in 2015, weeks before the notorious Iran nuclear accord was inked. “When I last spoke here,” he said, “I tried to warn the world about a nuclear deal that was a threat to the survival of Israel, the security of the region, the peace of the world. I warned that Iran’s regime had repeatedly lied to the international community, that it could not be trusted. I warned that the deal gives Iran a clear path towards developing a nuclear arsenal in little more than a decade. And I warned that by removing Iran’s sanctions, Iran’s regime would not become more moderate and peaceful, but more extreme and belligerent, much more dangerous. And that’s exactly what has happened.”

Despite Netanyahu’s warnings, the P5+1 countries (the US, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China and Germany) forged ahead—and are now seeking ways to rectify the deal that opened the door to a number of consequences of which the Israeli prime minister cautioned. Trump, who slated the accord made under his predecessor’s watch as the “worst deal ever,” decertified the agreement in October of last year and has issued an ultimatum: scrap the deal or amend the terms to exclude the existing sunset provisions, introduce a ban on ballistic missile testing and up the current inspection access to Iranian nuclear locations.

In the meantime, Israel faces the force of an emboldened Tehran’s growing military foothold in the Middle East. “Here is what Iran is doing today,” Netanyahu highlighted. “Darkness is descending on our region. Iran is building an aggressive empire: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen, more to come. Now Iran is seeking to build permanent military bases in Syria, seeking to create a land bridge from Tartus, from Tehran to Tartus on the Mediterranean. And in addition to moving its army, its air force, its navy to Syria to be able to attack Israel from closer hand, it’s also seeking to develop, to build precision guided missile factories in Syria and Lebanon against Israel.”

“I will not let that happen,” the prime minister vowed. “We will not let that happen. We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran. Last week, we read in the Book of Esther about an earlier Persian attempt to exterminate our people. They failed then. They’ll fail now. We will never let Iran develop nuclear weapons—not now, not in ten years, not ever.”

“President Trump has made it clear that his administration will not accept Iran’s aggression in the region,” Netanyahu continued. “He has made clear that he too will never accept a nuclear-armed Iran. That is the right policy. I salute President Trump on this. And the president has also made it clear that if the fatal flaws of the nuclear deal are not fixed, he will walk away from the deal and restore sanctions. Israel will be right there by America’s side. And let me tell you, so will other countries in the region.”

Netanyahu continued to point out the proverbial silver lining in the dark cloud of Iran’s malevolence: moderate Arab states in the region coming to the realization that “Israel is not their enemy, but their indispensable ally in confronting our common challenges and seizing our common opportunities.”

The realization, the prime minister held, promotes the prospects of a peaceful Middle East. “Israel remains committed to achieving peace with all our neighbors, including the Palestinians,” he clarified.  “President Trump has made it clear that he is committed to peace. I have made it clear that I am committed to peace… But to get peace, [Palestinian Authority] President Abbas has to embrace peace and stop supporting terror.”

“I have a message for President Abbas,” Netanyahu offered. “Stop paying terrorists. Because what message does this send to Palestinian children? It says murder Jews and get rich. And I believe President Abbas should find better use for this money—to build roads, schools, hospitals, factories. Build life, don’t pay death. Invest in life. Invest in peace.”

On a lighter note, the prime minister, who is famous for using props like pictures, cartoons and parts of a downed Iranian drone to enhance his addresses, did not disappoint yesterday’s audience. Yet instead of a traditional prop, Netanyahu had scribbled an entertaining message on the back of his notes for everybody in the crowd to see. It read: “1-800-How’s-my-speech?”

The verdict was, however, clear from the beginning. In the just over half an hour that Netanyahu spoke, the address was interrupted time-and-time again as the crowd erupted in spontaneous bouts of applause. The 18,000-strong audience seemed to agree: Netanyahu’s speech was great.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, 07 March 2018)

Photo Credit: Photo by Ashernet/Haim Zach/GPO

Prayer Focus
Thank God for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s persistence in placing the Iranian threat–to Israel, the Middle East and the world as a whole–on the international agenda. Ask Him to grant President Trump the wisdom to make righteous decisions regarding the Iran nuclear deal. Pray God’s protection over the Promised Land’s borders and thank Him for His promise to watch over Israel.

Scripture

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved! The LORD is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples.


- Psalm 99:1-2

Four Israelis Hurt in Weekend Terror Attack

by Ahiya Raved

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Driver ran over a soldier near the Acre city market

Monday, 05 March 2018 | An Arab-Israeli ran over and lightly-to-moderately wounded two soldiers, a border policeman and a pedestrian in the city of Acre on Sunday morning in what police confirmed in the afternoon was a terror attack.

Security forces were originally unsure as to the motives of the driver, with varying reports indicating that he had gone on the rampage with his vehicle after being issued an expensive parking fine. However, the security forces dispelled the rumors, stating that the attack and the parking ticket were entirely unrelated.

The driver, 51 from northern Israel, ran over a soldier near the city market, before proceeding toward the train station where he plowed his vehicle into more victims.

A wounded border policeman managed to pull off a shot at the terrorist and according to initial reports managed to neutralize him.

However, conflicting testimony was provided by eyewitnesses. Shimon Cohen said that “the policeman loaded his gun and shot but he didn’t hit him. The driver continued to drive toward the train station and hit another two. I didn’t see that part.”

Cohen, along with others, also said that the driver received a fine of NIS1,000 [US $289] for parking in a disabled spot. “He got annoyed and drove onto the sidewalk, hit some street signs and bushes and then ran over a border policeman.”

The terrorist was evacuated to hospital in moderate to serious condition.

In footage that captured the attack, the driver can be seen accelerating his SUV and plowing into a soldier, propelling him into the air and over the car.

One eyewitness told Ynet that he was standing at the train station when he suddenly heard screaming.

“After that I heard a few gun shots, I crossed the road towards the parking lot of the market, saw two soldier lying on the ground, one near the side of the station and the other near the vehicle,” he said, adding that the gun shots were fired by more than one person, likely soldiers and border policemen.

Another eyewitness said that she was on a bridge when she saw the attacking vehicle rapidly turn a corner toward the market.

“I stopped in shock, and after that I saw how the police were giving him a report. They told me he received a ticket on Yehoshafat Street and started going mad,” she said.

Magen David Adom (MDA) received reports at 11:37 a.m. that a vehicle had struck one man on Yehoshafat Street and continued driving in the direction of the train station, where he rammed into two others.

The paramedics evacuated the wounded victims, approximately 20 years old, who were lightly-moderately wounded to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on 04 March 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Ynet News

Photo License: Screenshot

Prayer Focus
Continue to cry out to the Lord to protect the people of Israel–both its citizens and its soldiers–against the onslaught of terrorists. Lift up the wounded and pray for their complete healing. Ask God to bless the courageous men and women of Israel’s medical response units, as they work to save lives and come face-to-face with the brutal reality of terror on a regular basis.

Scripture

Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.


- Nehemiah 4:7-9

Abbas Rejects US Peace Initiative in Advance, Says He Will Not End Life as a “Traitor”

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas (illustrative)

Tuesday, 06 March 2018 | Amid rumors of his deteriorating health, Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the Trump administration’s proposed peace deal and told members of the ruling Fatah party last week that he will not end his life as a “traitor.”

The Times of Israel reported that Abbas made the comment to express his strong opposition to the yet-to-be announced peace initiative of the Trump administration, which President Donald Trump has touted as the “deal of the century.”

Referring to Trump’s purported plan, Abbas stated: “I have said in the past—and afterward—that I will not end my life as a traitor. [The US] can announce the deal whenever and wherever they want, but nothing will happen against our will.”

According to Abbas, the Palestinian Authority will not agree to any arrangement that would not include a Palestinian state, with what he refers to as “East Jerusalem” as its capital, based on the pre-1967 lines. “No one in the whole world would be able to impose on us something that we don’t want,” he said.

It was not the first time that Abbas vowed not to end his political career as a traitor by signing a peace agreement with Israel, which does not meet all of the Palestinian demands.

The Fatah council rallied behind their leader and called on Palestinians to “escalate the popular resistance, in all areas, against the occupiers and their settlers.” It also proposed a new law that would ban Palestinians from working in settlements and requiring them to boycott settler products and Israeli goods.

Abbas’ ailing health has long been a source of speculation. Last month, he underwent what his aides called “routine checkups” in a US hospital. Despite his aides claiming that the results were “positive and reassuring,” other sources have indicated that his health has suffered a “major setback” in recent weeks.

In his speech to Fatah officials in Ramallah last week, Abbas hinted that this could be his “last session” with them. “No one can guarantee his life,” Abbas observed, in an apparent reference to his health.

Abbas also addressed in his speech the ongoing dispute between Fatah and the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas, which is in complete political and military control of the Gaza Strip.

He told the crowd that he was no longer sure whether Hamas “wants reconciliation or wants Iran,” its chief sponsor. It was also unclear, he said, whether Hamas “wants reconciliation or wants the PA to function as an ATM machine.”

In December of last year, a senior White House official said that Abbas’s rhetoric “has prevented peace for years.”

During the terms of Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, Abbas derailed the administration’s two biggest pushes for Israeli-Palestinian peace. And in 2015, Abbas admitted that he rejected a peace offer from then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008.

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on 05 March 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Prayer Focus
Pray for the Lord’s perfect will to be done in all future endeavors to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Praise Him for His covenantal faithfulness with Israel and declare His scriptural promises regarding the Promised Land and its people. Ask God to bring the true motives of Abbas and the Palestinian leadership to the light.

Scripture

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision.


- Psalm 2:2-4

IDF Warns: Hamas Getting Closer to Iran, Hezbollah

by Yoav Zitun

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GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 | GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir warned Monday that “Hamas in Gaza is getting closer to Iran and Hezbollah and playing a dangerous game.”

Speaking at the annual Sderot Conference for Society, Maj. Gen. Zamir stressed that “the threats on the borders haven’t been lifted. We’re committed to remain on guard and to be prepared for war. And if it breaks out, to win it.”

Addressing the situation on the Israel-Gaza border since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, Zamir said the prosperity there “is the result of a strong society that showed immense strength, and a responsible leadership that navigates in complicated conditions.”

“Alongside this prosperity, there are many challenges,” he continued, “like terror organizations who entrench in urban areas under the cover of the civilian population, above and below ground, and have semi-military abilities.”

“Israel invests much resources in building the underground and overground obstacles,” Zamir went on to say. “We will create a separation above and below ground between the citizens of Israel and the two million Gazans and terror organizations.”

“The mission continues; it is a process that takes time. At the end of the process, we’ll have unprecedented defense and will have removed the threat of tunnels from our territory. I don’t know if a war will break out in our time, but the obstacle will be built—with and without a campaign,” he stressed.

IDF [Israel Defense Forces] troops on the Gaza border work to prevent Hamas from growing stronger, he said. “The society here (in Sderot) is independent and vibrant compared to the society several hundreds of meters from here, where the Hamas leadership is harming civil rights. Hamas is investing resources in terrorism and not in the welfare of its residents,” Zamir accused.

“The situation there is difficult, no one disputes this. This is a failure of the leadership there, which doesn’t take care of its citizens. Hamas failed not just as a leadership, but cynically takes advantage of the situation of the residents—Hamas men steal electricity meant for hospitals and schools,” he continued.

“Over 40 attempts to smuggle items for terrorism through the civilian border crosses were thwarted over the past year. This puts the (Gaza) residents in danger in order to hurt Israel,” Zamir said.

Source: (Ynetnews originally published this article on 05 March 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDFSpokesperson

Prayer Focus
Ask God to continue revealing the cords of evil binding Hamas to Israel’s archenemy, Iran, and its terror proxy, Hezbollah. Lift up the IDF soldiers stationed on the Gaza border and protecting the Israeli communities there. Thank Him for equipping those who stand guard over Israel with the strength and resources needed to face any future threats.

Scripture

Ascribe strength to God; His excellence is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds. O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!


- Psalm 68:34-35

Netanyahu Expected to Visit Brazil in June, as Ties Continue to Warm

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Friday, 02 March 2018 | Following an invitation from Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, who arrived in Israel this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has conditionally accepted an invitation to visit Brazil in June, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

According to Israel’s Ambassador to Brazil Yossi Shelley, Netanyahu accepted the invitation on condition that the two nations successfully upgraded their trade agreement currently being negotiated. The negotiations are expected to be completed by June.

Netanyahu’s trip to Latin America this past September was the first by a sitting Israeli prime minister and, according to the Post, he has been talking about visiting the South American nation for months.

Israel’s ties with Brazil have improved since President Michel Temer took office in August 2016, replacing his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached and removed from office. Both Rousseff and President Luiz Inacio ‘Lula’ da Silva, who preceded her, were less friendly towards Israel.

Brazil is scheduled to have presidential election in October, and, according to Shelley, all major candidate are believed to be as favorably disposed towards Israel as Temer, so ties are expected to remain warm.

Netanyahu and Nunes discussed the growing ties between Israel and Brazil in the areas of “security, education, culture and academia.”

Nunes also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and said, “My visit is to reaffirm our friendship and cooperation in a range of issues. We could be doing so much more.” He also hailed the participation of many Israeli companies in Brazil’s economy. Noting that he had previously visited Israel, Nunes also praised Israel’s development of advanced agricultural techniques.

Source: (The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower, originally published this article on 01 March 2018. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO/Ashernet

Prayer Focus
Praise God for the many areas in which Israel serves as a light to the nations and blesses the people of the earth, according to His promises. Magnify the Lord for His faithfulness to appoint righteous heads of state who lead their nations to stand with Israel. Thank Him for the prospect of forging stronger ties between Israel and Brazil.

Scripture

For I hear the slander of many; fear is on every side; while they take counsel together against me, they scheme to take away my life. But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.


- Psalm 31:13-15

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