This Week’s News Items

1. Israel has Evidence that Iran was Behind Recent Gaza Crisis    Israel Today News   Nov 22nd

Information released this week and comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during an address to the Israeli public on Sunday shed new light on the mini-war between the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) at the beginning of last week and the Israeli decision not to launch a ground offensive. PM Netanyahu said during his address to the nation, which was meant to save his coalition after Defense Minister Liberman resigned, that as leader of Israel he sometimes had ?to hide crucial considerations that must be concealed from the enemy and hinted that there were plans for a military operation in the future. “I can not elaborate on our plans for the future but we will determine the right conditions and the right times for the State of Israel, those which are optimal for the security of our citizens,? the Israeli PM earlier told participants in a state memorial service commemorating the 45th anniversary of the passing away of former Israeli PM David Ben Gurion. Some understood this as a hint to a future ground operation against the terror organizations in Gaza after Netanyahu decided to enter into a ceasefire with them on Tuesday last week. Pray that the LORD will give the timing and the strategy for any planned attack on Iran

2. Iran Planned to Build 5 Nuclear Weapons    United With Israel News   Nov 23rd

The Institute for Science and International Security published a paper last Tuesday containing new details about Iran?s nuclear weapons program and demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ensure that Iran?s nuclear weapons program is ?ended in an irretrievable permanent manner.? The latest report ? authored by David Albright, a former weapons inspector and president of the institute; Olli Heinonen, former deputy director general of the IAEA; and Andrea Stricker, a senior policy analyst at the institute ? follows up on previous reports based on information contained in the Iranian nuclear program archive smuggled out from Tehran earlier this year. According to the report, Iranian documents show that Iran had specific plans to build five 10-kiloton nuclear devices by 2003. The plans from the archive show that Iran?s planning for these weapons was very detailed, including expected costs and a timetable. Iran was preparing to conduct an underground test of a nuclear weapon, with the end goal of having tested, deliverable nuclear weapons. Contrary to the assertions of the IAEA in late 2015, prior to the implementation of the nuclear deal, Albright, Heinonen, and Stricker write that Iran ?had achieved much more than feasibility and scientific studies relating to nuclear weapons.? In fact, they continued, ?Iran preserved an extensive amount of this nuclear weapons-related equipment, material, software, and other information in an archive and warehouse, the former the contents of which were partially seized by Israel, and the latter which Israel later identified.? Pray that the US and other nations keep pressure on Iran to close down their nuclear weapons program

3. IDF Drill Prepares to Fight Hamas & Hezbollah    Times of Israel News  Nov 24th

The Israeli military?s Commando Brigade launched a large-scale exercise this week to practice fighting the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip and the Hezbollah terrorist militia in Lebanon simultaneously, the army said Saturday. The drill is continuing into this week. In the past, Israeli defense analysts have speculated that concerns over the prospect of a two-front war prevented the military from launching a major campaign in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the coastal enclave. The exercise, and the Israel Defense Forces? publicity of it, appeared to serve as a message to the two terrorist groups that Israel was prepared for such an eventuality. Pray that the Israeli military will be fully prepared for any combined attack by Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north

4. Israel to Export Gas to Europe  World News Israel   Nov 25th

After two years of negotiations, Israel has signed an agreement with Italy, Greece, and Cyprus to lay the longest gas pipeline in history. The pipeline will traverse a distance of 1,242 miles and lie at a depth of between 1.8-to-3 miles. It will provide gas to Europe from Israel?s offshore fields. The EastMed Pipeline Project is projected to begin in a few months? time, starting about 170 km off Cyprus? southern coast and reaching Otranto, Italy via Crete and the Greek mainland. Up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas is expected to flow to Europe annually, thereby diversifying its supply of this energy source, which is now heavily dependent on Russia. The pipeline could be more than a direct boost to Israel?s economy, Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz told Hadashot TV.  ?For decades, we have complained about the Arab influence in Europe due to oil and gas. The export of gas to Europe will moderate this influence to a certain extent and be a counterweight to Arab power,? he explained. The agreement has been some two years in the works, with the four countries? energy czars signing a memorandum of understanding regarding the pipeline in December 2017. It is considered a technically difficult project to complete not only because of the depth of the undersea route, but also because it will have to pass through a volcanic area in the ocean bottom between Cyprus and Greece. Other long-term deals for Israeli gas have been signed with Egypt and Jordan to the tune of billions of dollars, with deliveries set to begin next year.
Pray that Israel continues to discover more gas and oil reserves

5. Another Record Year for Israel Tourism    Israel 21c News   Nov 26th

The Ministry of Tourism expects that by the end of 2018, at least 4 million tourists will have visited Israel. The all-time 2017 record for incoming tourism was broken earlier this month by surpassing 3.6 million tourists. This new milestone follows an October that saw the highest monthly number of incoming tourists ever registered in Israel ? nearly half a million. The Minister of Tourism said an increase of tens of percentage points in incoming tourism over the past two years has placed Israel among the world?s fastest-growing countries in tourism. The two peak months of 2018 so far were April (408,449) and October (485,500). October?s grand total was 516,500 counting day visitors from cruise ships docking in Haifa. Europeans accounted for the majority of tourists to Israel this year, with the largest numbers coming from the Russian Federation, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Among Asian countries, the highest number of tourists to Israel in 2018 came from China, with India in second place. Since January, the tourism industry is estimated to have contributed more than NIS 18 billion ($4.8 billion) to the Israeli economy. Let’s pray that the tourism figures continue to increase every year, bringing much needed finances into the country.

6. PM Netanyahu’s Next Hurdle    Israel Today News   Nov 26th

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government survived the resignation of the Defense Minister and the withdrawal of his Yisrael Beiteinu party from the ruling coalition. But now, PM Netanyahu governs with the slimmest of majorities, and there are some big votes coming up in the Knesset. This week, the Knesset will vote on Culture Minister Miri Regev’s controversial “cultural loyalty law” that would strip state funding from any cultural bodies that work to slander the Jewish state or its institutions. Not all coalition members are enthusiastic about the bill, many calling it a violation of free speech. With just 61 out of 120 Knesset seats on his side, and such challenging votes ahead, Finance Minister Kahlon doesn’t believe PM Netanyahu’s government can survive for very long. “A majority of just 61 seats is a problem,” Kahlon said in a radio interview. “It will be very difficult to push through laws. You can’t get everyone to agree on every detail of a controversial law.” Earlier, Kahlon, who heads the centrist Kulanu party, had urged PM Netanyahu to call early elections, insisting that “while I don’t want the government to fall, our job is to act, not only to survive. A government that is fighting only for survival cannot effectively govern.” Pray that the present government of PM Netanyahu will remain in place until the next scheduled elections

7. Muslim Leader Renews Diplomatic Ties With Israel    Israel Today News  Nov 26th

In a historic visit to Israel, President of Chad Idriss Deby told reporters on Sunday during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu that he ?wants to renew ties between the two countries, and that doing so would not eliminate the Palestinian problem.? During the press conference PM Netanyahu said that he had spoken with Pres.Deby ?about the changes that are taking place in the Arab world with regard to Israel, and this is reflected in the meeting with Sultan Qaboos in Oman, and there will be more visits to Arab countries soon.? The Chadian president said that dialogue and communication ?are the basis for everything. ?We need to put the differences and disagreements aside in order to talk for the good of the peoples,? he said, adding that Israel and Chad ?have a common struggle in this century that is marred with terrorism ?Humanity must get rid of this thing, cooperation in this sense is a cure for this,? he said. ?I am happy to be in your beautiful country on an official visit,? he said. PM Netanyahu expounded on this saying that it was important to ?give the peoples what they deserved; food, security, medicine?and technology.?  During the press conference, Deby also highlighted that despite ?diplomatic relations being severed in the 1970s, it did not prevent good relations between us, which continued all the time.? The Israeli prime minister also thanked Deby for ?this important step.? Later in the evening, Deby also met with Israeli President Rivlin. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in 1972. Chad is a Muslim-majority nation in north-central Africa, which at this stage, does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Pray that more Muslim leaders follow the lead of the President of Chad and work to re-establish diplomatic ties with Israel.

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