.; A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to ..praying .. for the restoration of Israel
David’s Comment: The Drums of War are Beating Again
Joel 2:20 I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his rear part toward the western sea ……
I actually decided on the title for this week’s comment last Friday afternoon, before the incident with the Iranian drone and the shooting down of the Israeli Air force jet in the early hours of Saturday morning. Our apartment on Mt. Carmel is only a few kilometers from the Meggido Valley (Armageddon) where the Israeli Air Force’s northern base is located, and Josie heard the air force jets flying at about 5.30 am. We knew that if the air force is flying on the Sabbath, something was happening, but we didn’t know the details until a friend sent us a SMS message a couple of hours later and we
immediately turned the news on. Incoming missile alerts were coming every few minutes, even in the town of Acco just 20 kms from where we live. On realising the seriousness of the situation, and the possibility of the incident escalating into a full blown conflict with Syria, Lebanon and even Iran, I sent out a prayer request on Facebook, WhatsApp and Weechat and the response was wonderful.
With in a few hours the situation de-escalated and the northern border has been quiet since Saturday morning.
Hours before the above incident began I had typed the title into the email to remind me what I was going to write about this week. The decision to write about this subject was prompted by reports I had received over the last 2 weeks about what was going on at the northern border with Hezbollah in Lebanon and ISIS and other terror groups operating very close to Israel’s border with Syria, and what has been happening in with the Hamas terror organistation in Gaza. All of these terror groups are funded and supplied by Iran. We have been hearing for some time now that Iran is constructing a number of military bases and missile storage production factories inside Lebanon and Syria. Israel’s PM Netanyahu has publicly stated on many occasions that these enemy bases and factories are something that Israel will not tolerate and the Israeli Air Force has bombed areas where intelligence indicated that these installations are being established.
There is no doubt that rogue Islamic Iran is behind much of the current terror attacks, and future plans for attacks against Israel, and surely the Israel hating Iranian religious leadership is becoming more incensed against Israel every time that Iranian interests in Lebanon and Syria are damaged or destroyed when Israel retaliates. The other reason behind this week’s title is that President Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city, and the fact that the USA will move its embassy back to Jerusalem, must have poured even more fuel on the fire of Iranian hatred of Israel. Iran and its proxies must be getting desperate to destroy the State of Israel.
Since the drone incident on Saturday morning, the situation on the northern border has been quiet, however the Israeli military remains on high alert and has moved extra units to the north in readiness to respond to another attempt by Iran to penetrate Israel;s defenses. Many military and political commentators are saying that a serious war conflict between Israel and Iran is not a matter of if, but when and unfortunately I have to agree with that assessment. I say unfortunately because that is not an eventuality that we want to even consider – such a horror happening in the place we where live, where our children and our grandchildren live, and the place where the LORD has led us to invest our lives into for the last 25 years.
To make matters worse the corruption case against PM Netanyahu is about to be decided. If the police decide to indite him, his position as Prime Minister will be in jeopardy. The last thing the country needs is right now is that kind of political turmoil at a time when the government must be focused on dealing with the nation’s security in the face of the Iranian/ Syrian / Hezbollah threat.
I have written this week’s comment in the hope that many of our readers and ministry partners will comprehend the seriousness of the situation facing the nation and the people of Israel, which will dramatically increase your prayer for Israel. The opening verse is a good one to pray and also Psalm 83. There are many other verses in the Bible that you can pray and the Holy Spirit can lead you how best to pray if you ask Him. Your prayers for Israel, now and until the Lord returns are extremely important, and every prayer you pray will be heard by the LORD and will make a difference.
The LORD bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray Divine protection for all of the soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom …… David & Josie
This Weeks News Items
1. Tension on the Northern Border Escalates Times of Israel News Feb 10th
Iran and Syria on Saturday denied that an unmanned drone Israel said it shot down violated the Jewish state?s airspace, calling Israeli allegations ?lies? and saying the drone was on a regular mission gathering intelligence on Islamic State. The drone incident led to a barrage of Israeli airstrikes on Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria. Syria responded with heavy anti-aircraft fire that set off multiple warning sirens in Israel and to shoot down an Israeli Air Force F16 fighter jet over Israeli territory, seriously wounding one of the two pilots. A spokesman for Iran?s Supreme National Security Council said the Syrian response was ?a clear warning to Israel. The era of Israeli strikes on Syria is over.? He vowed a ?relentless response? to ?all further aggression.? A Syrian statement said Israeli jets targeted a drone base in central Syria whose mission is to gather intelligence on IS in the area. It said the station was hit while drones were on regular missions in the country?s desert in Homs province. The statement said it was ?a lie and misleading? to say the drone had entered Israel?s airspace. A statement on Central Military Media, which is allied with the Syrian military, called Israel?s attack on the drone site a ?terrorist act,? warning of ?a tough and serious response.? According to the Israeli military, the confrontation began with the drone entering Israeli airspace before being intercepted by a combat helicopter near the Jordanian border. Israeli military called the infiltration a ?severe and irregular violation of Israeli sovereignty? and said Iran would be held responsible for its outcome, marking a dramatic escalation in tensions along Israel?s northern border. Please pray that peace holds on the all of Israel’s borders and pray for healing for both pilots.
2. PM Netanyahu: Israel Prepared to Strike Again if Necessary The Algemiener Feb 11th
The IDF?s decisive military response to Iranian violation of Israeli sovereignty over the weekend should compel the Tehran regime to think again before escalating any conflict, says a leading Israeli military analyst. PM Netanyahu affirmed on Saturday that Israel would ?defend itself against any aggression and any attempt to violate its sovereignty,? in phone calls with Russian President Putin and the US Secretary of State that followed Saturday?s attacks on Iranian positions in Syria. The exchange of fire ? the most extensive attack on Syrian air defenses since the Lebanon War of 1982, according to the Israeli Air Force Staff Commander Brigadier General was provoked by an Iranian drone that infiltrated Israeli airspace in the early hours of Saturday morning. Iran had ?violated our sovereignty, and infiltrated its drone into Israeli airspace from Syria,? PM Netanyahu declared. The drone had been sighted taking off from a base in Syria, and was intercepted after it crossed into Israeli territory. The IDF later released footage of what it said was the drone?s control vehicle in Syria being destroyed. Israeli jets responded to the incursion with two powerful waves of strikes on Iranian positions in Syria. One Israeli F-16 jet was downed in the first wave of strikes, with the wreckage landing in northern Israel. The two pilots ejected to safety, although one is reported to have been seriously injured. Israel?s decisive military response would compel the Tehran regime to think again before escalating any conflict, said a leading Israeli military analyst. Pray that Israel maintains a strong hand over the security of the northern and Gaza borders
3. Iran: We Will Open the Gates of Hell for Israel and Attack American Bases World Israel News Feb 11th
Revolutionary Guards deputy chief warned Iran would ?open the gates of hell over the Zionist regime? and had the military power to destroy all American bases in the region. These threats came from Brigadier General Hossein Salami were Tehran?s first response to the downing by Israel of the Iranian drone. The foreign ministry in Tehran said Israel lied about the intrusion and its claims were ridiculous. Turning to the Americans, he said ?It would be better for them to leave the region before their defeat.? The Syrian anti-air missiles which hit the Israeli F-16 are part of a system operated with and commanded by the Russians from their Kheimim air base. Pray that the LORD Himself will deal with the Israel hating Iranian leadership
4. Heavy Clashes as IDF Searched for Killer of Rabbi World Israel News Feb 9th
On Tuesday night last week IDF units continued their operation to locate and arrest the terrorist who stabbed Rabbi ben Gal to death the night before. The IDF stated that during the manhunt for the terrorist in the city of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria they encountered some 500 Arab rioters who threw rocks, firebombs and explosive charges and shot at the IDF troops. The IDF responded by firing in the air and using crowd dispersal measures to counter the violent rioting. PA sources report that one rioter was killed and several others were wounded during the clashes. The IDF said it was looking into the reports. The IDF arrested seven suspects during the sweep. However, the terrorist, an Arab with Israeli citizenship named Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, from Jaffa, is still at large.
The clashes died down after the army left the city. A day before the attack, the killer was detained by IDF soldiers in a confrontation at the site of the bus stop and was then released. He reportedly verbally assaulted IDF soldiers securing the bus station, who detained him for a short period, saw his Israeli ID card and released him. He was later kiiled as he resisted arreast. In related news, IDF forces carried out counter-terrorism operations throughout Judea and Samaria Tuesday night, during which they arrested a total of 17 Arabs for their connection to terrorism. Please pray that the family of Rabbi ben Gal come to faith in Yeshua
5. Israeli Soldiers Attacked After Entering Jenin by Mistake Israel Today News Feb 13th
Two Israeli soldiers, a male and female, accidentally drove into the PA town of Jenin in northern Samaria on Monday. They nearly paid for the mistake with their lives. Just minutes after the marked IDF vehicle entered Jenin, it was surrounded by an angry and violent mob. The Arab rioters smashed the truck’s windows with stones and attempted to pull the female soldier out of the vehicle. Failing that, they took her unloaded M16 assault rifle. Fortunately for the terrified pair, PA police officers quickly arrived at the scene and escorted the Israelis out of town and to the nearest IDF installation.
PA security also later recovered the stolen M16 and returned it to the IDF. Both soldiers suffered light injuries. Photos of the female soldier with a bloodied face were featured on Tuesday’s front pages, infuriating most Israelis. Writing in Israel’s best-selling daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, columnist Shlomo Pyutrekovsky accused the government of responding too weakly to such incidents, and thereby putting the lives of our young soldiers at even greater risk. He wrote: “The Jenin rioters who attacked the soldiers are not afraid of what will happen to them. Please pray that Israel get tougher in dealing with violence against its soldiers and civilians.
6. Allies of PM Netanyahu Rally to Depend Him World Israel News Feb 15th
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?s allies from his Likud party and other coalition members rallied to his defense on Wednesday, after police recommended the attorney general indict him on bribery charges. Likud party lawmaker David Amsalem, the coalition whip, dismissed the police recommendations. He said that police had committed ?an illegitimate act here to attempt a coup d?etat in Israel,? adding ?there are things that are forbidden to do in a democratic government and this is one of them.? Culture Minister Miri Regev said the gifts Netanyahu received from American billionaire Arnon Milchan that were cited in the bribery charge were merely ?relations between friends.? Regev said in an interview with Israel Radio: ?You are allowed to receive presents from friends. To talk about bribery, you?ve got to point to something that was really done, not just words.? She said there was no need for Netanyahu to step down. Please pray that the truth be revealed and that Benjamin Netanyahu remains the Prime Minister of Israel.
7. P.A. Upset by Israel Hosting Arab Guests Israel News Feb 12th
Israel?s Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week hosted ?special guests? from the Arab world in Jerusalem ? a delegation of nine Moroccan, Lebanese, Syrian, Kurdish and Yemeni journalists who came in order to ?get to know Israel, its history and its society from up close,? the ministry said. In response, the Palestinian Authority (PA) denounced the journalists? visit and called for their blacklisting. The PA Ministry of Information called on the Arab Journalists Union to take ?punitive and deterring measures? against the visitors and their media outlets, Times of Israel reported.?Siding with Israel and its terrorism marks a departure from the Arab rank and the decisions of the Council of Arab Ministers of Information,? the PA ministry said, calling the visit an ?inexcusable and unjustified disgrace.? The visit, the statement added, ?constitutes a departure from the official and popular Arab position that considers Israel a state of occupation, racism, ethnic cleansing, and extremism. We will continue hosting journalists from all over the world and let them form their own impressions of Israel,? Nahshon pledged. Seeking to expose the truth about the reality in Israel and the region, Israel periodically hosts journalists and opinion shapers from Arab and Muslim countries and enables them to experience the Jewish state in an unbiased and unfiltered fashion. Pray that the PA becomes irrelevant in world politics.
8. Christian Oil Company Strikes Oil in Israel Israel Today News Feb 14th
Zion Oil & Gas several months ago began drilling at its new license in the Jezreel Valley, following the vision of company founder John Brown, who believes vast amounts of oil will be found in the Holy Land to the benefit and blessing of Israel. The Dallas-based Christian-run company announced on Tuesday that it has found clear evidence of oil at the well. During operations to clean the well bore, Zion reports that it it encountered “free-flowing” oil while circulating the drilling mud. This is a big breakthrough, and offers more than a little hope that there are, indeed, substantial oil deposits in the Promised Land. In a statement released by the company, Zion’s President and Chief Operations Officer said that this “is obviously very exciting news and as a result, we have decided to continue to drill up to another 70 meters (about 230 feet). We expect that to take a couple of days, and barring any operational difficulties, we will continue with our open hole logs immediately thereafter.” Zion CEO Victor Carrillo cautioned that the company cannot yet “comment on the commerciality or ability to successfully produce the well,” and urged backers and shareholders to “continue to pray for safe and successful drilling…and for God’s wisdom for management as we make key decisions in the following days and weeks.” Please pray that this field yields a great blessing ofr Israel and the Zion Oil & Gas company.