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Firm through the Trials

Thursday, September 7, 2023

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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.

Please note that the Bridges for Peace offices will be closed tomorrow, September 8. We will resume normal operations, including news, on Monday, September 11.

IDF Enters Jenin during Daylight Hours in First since July Operation

by Kate Norman

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Scene from the IDF’s July 2023 operation in Jenin (illustrative)

Tuesday, 5 September 2023 | Israeli soldiers and security forces entered Jenin—a flashpoint of violence between the Israeli military and Palestinian terrorists—Sunday during broad daylight, the first time since a two-day operation in July.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization) and the Border Police entered Jenin and arrested three operatives from the Hamas terrorist group, according to a joint statement by the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Border Police. The arrests took place following “precise” IDF and Shin Bet intelligence, the statement said.

The statement named the three Hamas operatives as Abdallah Hassan Muhammad Zubah, Vered Asherif and Mutazben Jaitza.

Zubah, a senior Hamas official, is a resident of Burqin, an Arab city on the outskirts of Jenin, who was wanted for his involvement in attacks involving shootings, improvised explosive devices and rockets, according to the statement.

Asherif, a Jenin native, was also involved in shooting attacks and other terrorist activity.

The three operatives “were recently involved in extensive terrorist activity,” the IDF and Shin Bet said. “They were involved in shooting and explosive device attacks, as well as advancing additional terrorist attacks.”

They were arrested and taken to the Shin Bet for questioning, the statement said. The Israeli forces also confiscated an M-16 rifle which belonged to one of the men.

No Israeli forces were reported injured during the counterterror raid.

The Israeli forces were met with gunfire and rocks and responded with live fire, according to the statement. The Israeli forces reported seeing wanted terrorists fleeing the building and opened fire. The statement said that “hits were identified” but provided no further information on the condition of the fleeing gunmen.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) health ministry reported that four people were being treated in nearby hospitals for light wounds.

One of them was helicoptered to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where he was being treated for a serious leg wound, the Times of Israel reported, citing the IDF.

The IDF announced on Sunday that it was entering Jenin just before 11 a.m., the first time Israeli forces entered the terror hotbed since the military launched a surprise two-day operation on July 3.

During the July operation, Israeli forces entered Jenin with 1,000 ground troops and air force, including helicopters and drones. They targeted terror cells and infrastructure, uncovering and destroying at least eight weapons storage sites, the Times of Israel reported, six labs for production of explosives that contained hundreds of live devices, three war rooms used to spy on Israeli forces, and other terror sites.

The IDF entered Jenin again in a predawn raid on July 31 to arrest two wanted Hamas operatives, but otherwise has largely stayed out of Jenin since then, rather leaving it under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

Israel and the PA coordinate on certain issues, particularly security issues. In fact, sometimes the PA arrests terrorists hiding in PA territory for the Israeli military, particularly terrorists belonging to rival groups such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 5, 2023)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord that Israel was able to arrest these three Hamas operatives with no loss of life. Pray that God will continue His protection of Israel’s security forces as they are so often in life-threatening situations. Also pray that He will help strengthen the cooperative relationship between the IDF and the PA on matters of security.


“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

- Deuteronomy 31:6

PA Issues List of Demands for Saudi-Israel Deal

by JNS

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.

Friday, 1 September 2023 | The Palestinian Authority [PA] wants more control over areas of Judea and Samaria, the reopening of the US consulate in Jerusalem and the resumption of Saudi financial support in return for supporting a Saudi-Israel normalization deal.

“Senior [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas adviser Hussein al-Sheikh, who is leading the consultations on the issue with Riyadh, gave Saudi national security adviser Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban the list of possible deliverables three months ago,” Axios reported on Wednesday.


Riyadh has already proposed resuming financial assistance to the PA, according to Saudi officials and former Palestinian officials. Earlier this month, Riyadh appointed its first-ever non-resident envoy to the PA, who will double as consul general to Jerusalem.

The list of demands suggests Palestinian leaders are taking a more practical approach to Saudi-Israel normalization than it did in 2020 to the Abraham Accords. It described that deal between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people.”

This time, the PA appears ready to accept a pact in return for concrete gains. It seeks to expand its footprint in Judea and Samaria by demanding more control in Areas B and C. Judea and Samaria is divided into three administrative zones under the Oslo Accords. Only Area A is under full PA civil and security control.

Its request for a reopening of the US consulate in Jerusalem will strengthen its claim to part of Israel’s capital. The US consulate had acted as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians before the Trump administration shuttered it in March 2019.

A resumption of Saudi funding will help shore up the PA economy, which is in shambles. Saudi Arabia had contributed billions to Palestinian causes until cutting off funding in 2016 over PA corruption. Aid dropped from [USD] $174 million a year in 2019 to zero in 2021.

Saudi officials for their part are eager to secure Abbas’s support. The kingdom is sensitive to allegations it is sacrificing the Palestinian quest for a state for its own goals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Even though Saudi Arabia occupies a leading position among Muslims due to its control over Islam’s holiest sites, it must tread carefully to avoid antagonizing Muslims for whom the Palestinian cause is a central issue.

Meanwhile, Israel has concerns about Saudi Arabia’s own demands regarding a normalization agreement. Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met on Wednesday with Brett McGurk, US National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, to request clarification regarding the kingdom’s demand for US assistance in building out its civilian nuclear program.

Specifically, Israel has questions about the fuel cycle, which could potentially allow the Saudis to enrich uranium independently, Hebrew media reported.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on August 31, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Flash90/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord for wisdom and great insight as negotiations continue for a Israel–Saudi normalization deal among parties who are each very focused on how they can use such an agreement to further their own goals. Pray that no agreement will be formally entered into that in any way weakens Israel’s position or threatens Israel’s safety.


“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.”

- Daniel 2:20b ESV

‘A Milestone Moment’: Papua New Guinea Opens Embassy in Jerusalem

by Etgar Lefkovits ~ JNS

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape unveil a plaque at the new PNG embassy.

Wednesday, 6 September 2023 | The Oceana nation of Papua New Guinea inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem on Tuesday, becoming the fifth country to maintain a diplomatic mission in Israel’s capital city.

The move by the strongly Christian Pacific nation north of Australia—the fruition of faith-based diplomacy with an eye on Israeli investment—comes as both Paraguay and Sierra Leone announced their intention to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, while Hungary and Fiji are expected to publicize such plans later this month.

“Today is a milestone moment for my country to give respect to the People of Israel to the fullest,” Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape said at the evening ceremony. “It entrenches our relationship deeper and elevates our relationship higher.”

“As Christians, paying respect to God would not be complete without recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” he added.

“This [move] will not only cherish the past but seize the future,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The fact that you have an embassy here will help us realize our potential,” he continued, voicing the hope that Israeli entrepreneurs and tourists alike visit Papua New Guinea.

The event, which began with the unveiling of the embassy plaque and the singing of the two countries’ national anthems, was attended by a delegation of senior government and business officials from both countries, including Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion, as well as Rachael Marape, wife of the leader of Papua New Guinea.

The embassy will be located on the 12th floor in a modern office building in Jerusalem’s southern Malcha neighborhood near the city’s largest mall, which previously housed an Israeli government ministry.

Faith-based (and Trade, too)

“This is both a direct manifestation from the Psalms about brothers coming together in unity,” said Douveri Henao, a prominent Papua New Guinea businessman who traveled to Israel for the ceremony in a telephone interview with JNS. “It also transcends faith as the place where our nation needs to have its embassy to indicate our personal relationship with the Land of Israel and its people.”

Henao, a Messianic who serves as chairman of the Papua New Guinea Israel Jewish Council, and his 10-member private delegation dedicated a Jerusalem-made Torah to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, which will be transported across the ocean in celebration of Judeo-Christian tradition.

“The fundamental basis of our relationship is unshaken because of the Judeo-Christian values that we share,” he said.

The council has also said that a close relationship with Israel was “essential” for the largely underdeveloped country’s economic goals in agriculture, health and technology.

The two countries established ties in 1978, just three years after the island nation gained its independence from Australia.

Israel’s relations with Papua New Guinea, which regularly votes with Israel at the United Nations, are handled by its embassy in Australia. The Papua New Guinea premier voiced the hope that Israel would now open an embassy in his country as well.

The Select Five

Four other countries have their embassies in Jerusalem: the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Kosovo.

The remainder of the 175 countries that have ties with Israel still maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.

The landmark decision by then-President Donald Trump to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in 2018 set the stage for additional countries to follow suit in the following years.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on September 5, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: GPO/Haim Zach/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise God for this move by Papua New Guinea and the message it sends. Pray for Paraguay, Sierra Leone, Hungary and Fiji as each of these countries plan a similar move. Pray for God’s blessing on these nations who are standing with Israel and cry out to the Lord that they will all become part of a growing body of pro-Israel voices in the international arena, particularly at the UN.


“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”

- Genesis 12:3a

Netanyahu Welcomes US House Democrats to Jerusalem

by JNS

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US lawmakers at his office in Jerusalem, Sept. 3, 2023.

Monday, 4 September 2023 | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted a delegation of Democratic members of the US Congress at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The premier said at the start of the meeting that it was an “opportunity to cement our relationship which is always based on a bipartisan relationship between Israel and both sides of the House and both sides of the Senate,” according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

“It’s very important for us, and I view this meeting as an important building block in this relationship,” Netanyahu continued, calling US support for Israel “vitally important” and thanking the lawmakers “from the heart and mind.”

Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia is leading the AIPAC-organized [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] trip to Israel.

Attending the meeting were the Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, National Public Diplomacy Directorate head Moshe Aviv and the prime minister’s foreign policy adviser.

Last month, Netanyahu and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) discussed the fight against Iran and its terrorist proxies across the Middle East, particularly the threat posed by Lebanon-based Hezbollah, during a meeting in Jerusalem.

“Israel is one of the United States’ most important and cherished allies,” Rachel Dumke, the senator’s deputy communications director, told JNS after the meeting.

Daines heard firsthand about the challenges Israel faces and thanked Netanyahu for his “steadfast leadership,” according to Dumke.

The senator also reaffirmed “our commitment to stand in solidarity with Israel” and discussed “how our nations can further strengthen their partnership in countering the world’s leading sponsor of terror in Iran and achieving energy security,” Dumke said.

Netanyahu earlier in August welcomed a delegation of 24 Democrats from the US House of Representatives to his Jerusalem office led by House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York and previous House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

“The Democratic Party in the House of Representatives will continue to stand with Israel in lifting up the special relationship between our two countries and in support of Israel’s right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people and as a Jewish democratic state. Period. Full stop,” Jeffries said.

The Democrat added that his party will “continue to stand behind that ironclad commitment to provide for Israel’s safety and security.”

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on September 3, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Courtesy/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this diplomatic mission to Israel. Pray that it will serve as a reinforcement of America’s “iron-clad” position in support of Israel on both sides of the political aisle. Thank God for the strong statements of support made by the various politicians and pray that this critical relationship will go from strength to strength.


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

- Psalm 133:1

Israel’s New Iron Beam Laser Defense System to Become Operational Next Year

by Kate Norman

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Friday, 1 September 2023 | The Jewish state will have partial laser defenses a year from now with its new Iron Beam system, the chairman of an Israeli defense technology company told Army Radio on Sunday.

“One year from now—Israel will be the first country to have partial laser protection,” Rafael Advanced Defense Systems chairman Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio. “In two years there may be complete protection—against missiles, shells, rockets or anything else. This will protect us both in the south and in the north.”

More than 100 engineers at Rafael are working on the Iron Beam, dubbed the Magen Or (“Light Shield”) in Hebrew.

This powerful laser will shield the Israeli skies from threats such as drones, rockets, anti-tank missiles, mortars and other aerial threats.

Initially the Iron Beam will partner with Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, which has been operational for 12 years. But the Iron Dome is expensive, as every interceptor missile it launches costs about US $50,000.

The Iron Beam, on the other hand, will be much more cost effective, as it only depends of the cost of the electricity to generate the laser.

However, the Iron Dome’s missile tracking system will still be in use, as it can detect an incoming missile, calculate its exact trajectory and decide whether to launch an interception missile or allow the projectile to land safely in an open space—all within milliseconds.

Israel will still use this top-notch missile tracking system from the Iron Dome, but next year will launch the Iron Beam, operating at the speed of light, rather than Iron Dome batteries to intercept if necessary.

Rafael is an Israeli defense technology company headquartered in Haifa. The company develops advanced weapons and military technology for Israel’s Ministry of Defense.

This advance in Israel’s defenses comes at a key time, as the Jewish state faces growing threats on multiple borders, including from the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza and multiple terrorist groups in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 1, 2023)

Photo Credit: Ricardo Pereira/flickr.com

Photo License: Flickr

Prayer Focus
Thank God for this remarkable advancement in Israel’s defense technology and pray that it will function beyond expectations. Pray that it is rolled out in record time and is quickly and successfully integrated into Israel’s overall defense strategy.


Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge.

- Psalm 144:1–2a

PA Building Neighborhood on Joshua’s Altar Site

by JNS

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Joshua’s Altar on Mt. Ebal

Tuesday, 5 September 2023 | The Palestinian Authority [PA] has begun building a neighborhood on the site of Joshua’s Altar on Mount Ebal in northern Samaria, Channel 12 reported.

An inspector from the Samaria Regional Council’s Lands Department on Sunday discovered that the PA has started paving roads as part of a project for 32 housing units on the ruins of the historic site, which is mentioned in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua in the Hebrew Bible.

Following the revelation, Israel’s Civil Administration said that the construction vehicle operating on the site had been confiscated and that the archaeologist in charge of antiquities affairs in Judea and Samaria had opened an investigation.

The site, near Shechem (Nablus), is in Area B of Judea and Samaria per the Oslo Accords, which falls under PA administrative control and joint PA-Israeli security control.

The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, demanded that the Civil Administration intervene to stop the work immediately.

“No barbarian will be allowed to destroy this [site] of the people of Israel and human history. A disaster of heritage and history,” said Dagan.

“It is a real disaster. It is impossible that in the days of the sovereign state of Israel we will allow under our noses damage to the only historical site that proves the status of the entry of the people of Israel into its land in the days of Joshua,” he continued.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in January that Israel would not allow Palestinians to damage the archaeological site.

In a letter sent to Knesset member Limor Son Har-Melech (Otzma Yehudit), Gallant wrote that he had instructed the IDF [Israel Defense Force] to carry out frequent patrols in the area, and to prevent any activity which could damage the site.

Moshe Gutman, chairman of the “Keepers of the Eternal,” a coalition of organizations for the protection, preservation and development of antiquities and heritage sites in Judea and Samaria, said that Gallant had broken his promise to protect the site from Palestinian intrusion.

“The Palestinians recognized Israel’s weakness and it was decided to destroy Israel’s most valuable heritage asset in Samaria. If the country does not come to its senses now, the altar and its surroundings will be destroyed and lost forever. I call on the prime minister and ministers of the Israeli government to address the issue immediately,” said Gutman.

Israeli officials said in March that Palestinian road construction had damaged the ancient town of Sebastia, one of the major archaeological sites of the Holy Land, which served as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel nearly three millennia ago.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on September 4, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: zstadler/Wikipedia.org

Prayer Focus
Cry out to the Lord that Israel will be able to put a stop to this “disaster of heritage and history.” Pray that the government will recognize the importance of this as the only historical site that “proves the status of the entry of the people of Israel into its land in the days of Joshua,” and will take whatever measures are necessary to protect the site from Palestinian intrusion.


“Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.”

- Isaiah 51:1 ESV

Calls to Attend Lone Soldier’s Funeral Spreading like Wildfire

by Korin Elbaz-Alush ~ Ynet

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Grieving family members at IDF soldier’s funeral (illustrative)

Tuesday, 5 September 2023 | Sergeant Maxim Mulchanov, a Lone Soldier [a soldier in the IDF with no family in Israel to support him or her] who was murdered in a terror attack last week, will be buried in Tel Aviv’s military cemetery on Tuesday. Calls are being made on social networks, urging people to show up and attend his final journey.

His parents will be arriving from Ukraine, joined by other family members and friends but the public is urged to attend in posts including from retired Colonel Kobi Marom, who shared a message with his “comrades in arms and superiors”.

He wrote, “Tomorrow, we will say our goodbyes to IDF soldier Maxim Mulchanov. The journey of his life stands as an inspiration and a beacon for all of us, exemplifying selflessness, volunteering and social unity—and highlighting the IDF’s role as our collective shield. It’s a spirit that’s notably missing in these times. I urge you all to join in paying respects to Maxim on his final journey and to salute his life and his journey—I will be there”.

This post, much like others, has been widely shared, garnering dozens of reposts. The local government of Herzliya, the city where Maxim resided and where his family will settle, also put out a post detailing the funeral arrangements along with a call: “Let’s come together to pay our final respects, alongside a few of his family members who will be arriving in the country.” Calls to attend the funeral have been circulated across various groups, some of which have hundreds of thousands of members.

Plans were underway by both serving and former Lone Soldiers to be present at Maxim’s funeral as a symbol of unity with him. Some were volunteers at the “Big Brother for Lone Soldiers” organization and had known and supported Maxim prior to his military service. They remained by his side throughout his recruitment process, basic training, and his tenure as a combatant.

Yigor Levits (28), a former Lone Soldier who mentored Maxim personally, is one of them. “In my life, I’ve encountered few people who were as authentic and true to themselves and their environment as he was,” Levits said. “We sat together before his enlistment, considering which military units might be a good fit and what his interests were.

“But one principle was clear—’I’ll go and serve wherever the army thinks it needs me’. I learned humility and hard work from him. Every weekend when he left the base, he would work to save money, to plan, and to build his future in Israel. Whether at work, in the army, or any area he dedicated himself to, he saw success and embraced it with extraordinary humility. His character and persona will continue to inspire all who knew him.”

It’s important to mention that this isn’t the first instance of such an outpouring of support for the funerals of Lone Soldiers. In the past, online calls have been made for people to attend and be with them on their final journey, so that they “won’t be left alone”.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on September 4, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s photographer/Wikimedia.org

Photo License: Wikimedia

Prayer Focus
Continue to pray for the friends and family of Sergeant Maxim Mulchanov as they deal with the tragic loss of this remarkable young man. Cry out to the Lord for the countless others across the nation of Israel who mourn loved ones lost to war and terror. Beseech the Lord for an end to the senseless violence that continues to shatter the nation and rob so many of their futures.


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…Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men.

- Psalm 140:1–2, 4a

Moroccan Parliamentary Leader to Pay Historic Visit to Israel

by JNS

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Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana (left) and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita meet in Rabat.

Monday, 4 September 2023 | The president of Morocco’s House of Councillors, Enaam Mayara, will visit Israel on Thursday, according to an announcement from his office.

It will mark the first time that a Moroccan leader has set foot in Israel’s parliament in an official capacity.

The visit reciprocates Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana’s visit to Morocco in June.

“This is a precedent visit that testifies to the new era created in Israel–Morocco relations,” said Ohana, who invited Mayara.

“In the past, one could only dream of the arrival of a symbol of Moroccan rule for a state visit to Israel. Today it is a reality full of hope, which has something to teach us about the possibilities for expanding the circles of peace in the Middle East,” he added.

Protocol for Mayara’s visit will include the Knesset displaying the Moroccan flag and playing the Moroccan national anthem for the first time.

The House of Councillors is the upper house of Morocco’s parliament.

Ohana, of the ruling Likud Party, is the son of Moroccan Jews who immigrated to Israel in the 1950s.

Israel and Morocco normalized relations in December 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. In July, Israel recognized Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara, which has paved the way for Morocco to upgrade its liaison office in Tel Aviv to an embassy. Israel is reportedly considering opening a consulate in the Western Sahara city of Dakhla.

In July, King Mohammed VI of Morocco invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit the North African country. The invitation came shortly after Israel’s official recognition of Moroccan claims to Western Sahara.

An estimated one million Israelis are either from Morocco or are of Moroccan Jewish descent. Approximately 3,000 Jews currently live in the North African country.

More than 200,000 Israelis visited Morocco in 2022, as coronavirus travel restrictions came to an end.

Source: (This article was originally published by the Jewish News Syndicate on September 3, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Twitter/jns.org

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for the landmark visit of Enaam Mayara, the first ever state visit by a Moroccan leader to the Israeli Knesset. Pray for the relationship between these two countries, both homes to large numbers of Moroccan Jews and both committed to strong diplomatic ties. Ask the Lord to bless Morocco as the nation proves to be a true friend of Israel.


When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

- Proverbs 16:7

Integrity of Western Wall Stones Examined Ahead of High Holidays

by Ynet

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A close-up of the Western Wall stones

Hundreds of thousands of worshippers and tourists are expected to visit the Western Wall Plaza during the upcoming High Holidays. To ensure their safety at the site of the ancient wall, the foundation that oversees the holy site on Tuesday [August 29] held what it called a “routine examination” of the integrity of the Western Wall stones.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation conducts what it calls a “comprehensive and meticulous examination” of all the Western Wall stones twice a year, on the eve of Passover and on the eve of Rosh Hashanah [Jewish New Year]. The examination is done manually, and a thorough maintenance of the Western Wall stones is carried out, according to the Foundation. “This is to ensure the safety of the thousands of worshippers who visit the holy site throughout the year, especially during the Jewish holidays,” the Foundation said in a statement.

The extensive examination on August 29 assessed the stability of the Western Wall stones. A team of engineers examined the durability and level of maintenance of each and every stone, using an organized process that updates and documents each inspection, according to the Foundation.

This inspection was carried out under the supervision of the rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, alongside the Israel Antiquities Authority and engineers from the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, in accordance with the established halachic [Jewish religious law] guidelines, to ensure that it adheres to the tenets of Jewish law.

In July 2018, a large stone was dislodged from the Western Wall and fell onto the egalitarian prayer platform near Robinson’s Arch, south of the main Western Wall Plaza. The stone did not cause any injuries, though it fell near a woman who was visiting the site.

Source: (This article was originally published by Ynetnews on August 29, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Daniel Johnson/Bridgesforpeace.com

Prayer Focus
Praise the Lord for this commitment to the safety of worshippers at the Western Wall, particularly as thousands will soon gather there for the High Holidays. Pray for the stability of the Wall, which is such an historic and religious treasure, and for those who will worship there in the coming weeks.


Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy.

- Psalm 99:9