Israel Update



“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.” Deut 31:6  

SHAVUOT 2011:   This year’s Jewish festival of Shavuot begins in Israel at sunset, Tuesday, June 7. Shavuot is the culmination of the counting of the 49 days of the Omer and marks the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Shavuot is also the celebration of the wheat harvest and ripening of the first fruits. The deeply moving Book of Ruth, a biblical story of love and covenant, is read and reflected upon during what is also known as the Feast of Weeks. Meals eaten during the holiday are traditionally based on fruit, vegetable and dairy products. We extend to all of our dear friends, near and far, joyous 2011 Shavuot greetings.

CALM RETURNED TO ISRAEL’S BORDER, AFTER A DAY OF VIOLENCE:  State run Syria TV reported 20 people killed and 325 wounded by Israel Defense Forces fire along the border in the Golan Heights, in an attempt to prevent border infiltration and break up Naksa Day rallies commemorating 44 years since the Six-Day War. Israel captured Syria's Golan Heights in that conflict, as well as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Protesters within Israel were also injured, after IDF forces fired tear gas at protesters in Majdal Shams, in response to stone throwing demonstrators. The protests on the Syrian border began Sunday morning, with a reported 500 Syrian Palestinian protesters arriving at the border. They hid from IDF fire in a ditch dug by the army after the Nakba Day protests on May 15, approximately 20 meters from the border fence. Protesters cut through strands of barbed wire that Israel placed in an area between the fence, which is located inside Israeli territory, and the Syrian frontier designated by United Nations stone markers. Israel is concerned that the border protests by unarmed demonstrators are being used by Palestinians, inspired by popular revolts in the Arab world, to draw a violent response and gain more world sympathy for their cause. (INN)

PROTESTERS FOR HIRE: Demonstrators along the Syria-Israel border were paid thousands of dollars by President Bashar Assad's regime to take part in Sunday's riots, Syrian opposition activists charge. Israeli officials later reinforced the claims, accusing the Syrian regime of encouraging protests along the northern border. Sunday’s riots were an attempt "to divert attention away from the massacre in Syria,” one official charged. "The Syrians will be held accountable for these events.” Late Sunday, Syrian officials claimed that 23 people were killed and 350 were wounded after the IDF fired at protester's aiming to rush the border fence earlier in the day. (Ynet)

WHO CAN I TRUST WITH MY DONATIONS?  Many people ask, "Where can I send my financial contributions and be sure they reach the people who need them most?"  As an employee of Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse, I have witnessed since 2006, food, clothing and household goods go out to the poor, often twice a week. Thousands of dollars of hospital equipment have been freely given to old age and care institutions that simply can't afford new beds or other medical necessities. School packs have been prepared annually for thousands of needy children. Additionally, when there have been catastrophes abroad, Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse are among the first to send necessary supplies to alleviate the distress. Your donations are needed and welcomed at  Make your online donations today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our website at   (Hannah)

40 WOUNDED IN “NAKSA DAY”: Roughly 250 Palestinians demonstrated at the Kalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday, the anniversary, on the Gregorian calendar, of the day in 1967 that the Six Day War began. The demonstrators tried to cross into Green Line Israel by foot around noon, and threw rocks, gasoline bombs and burning tires at the soldiers and border patrol. After the attempt to force Kalandiya, the rioters were pushed north about half a kilometer on the Jerusalem-Ramallah highway by soldiers using tear gas and shock grenades. According to Palestinian news reports, the checkpoint, which serves approximately 24,000 people per day, was closed to almost all traffic during the demonstrations. (J.Post)

WELL OVER A HUNDRED KILLED IN A WEEK AS SYRIAN FORCES SHELL CENTRAL TOWNS IN CONTINUED FIGHTING:  Syrian government troops pounded a central city with artillery and gunfire, killing at least 15 people in the town of Rastan Thursday. On Friday, Syrian security forces shot dead at least 34 demonstrators in Hama in one of the bloodiest incidents in their crackdown on an 11-week-old revolt against President Bashar Assad's rule. In a pattern seen every Friday since mid-March, protesters have marched out of mosques after noon prayers, to be met by security forces intent on crushing a revolt against Assad, in power in Syria for the last 11 years. Since mid-March, when protests swept Syria inspired by uprisings across the Arab world, the regime has killed close to 1,500 people, according to human rights groups, with the numbers rising daily. (Ha’aretz)

HAMAS, ISLAMIC JIHAD BREAK UNITY WITH ABBAS OVER FRENCH OFFER:  Hamas and Islamic Jihad have broken ranks with their new ‘Unity” partner Mahmoud Abbas after he accepted a French offer for talks with Israel. Mahmoud Abbas, head of the rival Fatah faction and chairman of the Palestinian Authority, said he welcomed the offer of French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe for "talks about President Obama's vision which he spoke about a (Palestinian) state with the '67 borders with borders with Israel, Egypt and Jordan." PM Binyamin Netanyahu has said there can be no negotiations with Abbas so long as Hamas remains a partner in his government. Hamas-Fatah unity is a lynchpin for any diplomatic initiative by Abbas, who cannot claim to represent Gaza without the presence of Hamas, the de facto ruler in the region. The two rival factions signed a unity deal in Egypt last month after four years of openly bitter relations following the Hamas military coup that ousted Fatah as the ruling force in Gaza. (INN)

ABBAS ADVISOR WARNS OF THIRD INTIFADA IF TALKS FAIL: Sabri Saidam, deputy speaker of the Fatah Council who is currently visiting the US, has predicted “a third intifada” if no breakthrough occurs in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Saidam also referred to Abbas’ plans to turn to the UN General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state, and said the PA has commitments from more than 150 of the 192 member states. (INN) Continue to keep PM Netanyahu and other chief Israeli leaders at the top of your prayer list. Pray for their increased biblical insight and courage to stand against the pressures of the nations to divide Israel for a false peace with Islamic terror groups or to give into their outrageous demands.

SYRIA TO TARGET GAS RIGS IN NEXT WAR, WARNS VILNAI: Minister of Home Front Defense, Matan Vilnai, described an exceedingly harsh scenario of the next war between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Speaking to the heads of vital industries, Vilnai said the next war will last at least a month and that Syria will target Israeli offshore gas fields. In the next round of fighting, he said, hundreds of missiles with half-ton warheads will strike central Israel daily. Accurate Syrian missiles will target Israeli economic interests like the offshore gas fields, he warned. “The offshore facilities are a soft underbelly. We need to prepare for a war with Syria, with Hizbullah and with Hamas,” he told the industrialists. (INN) “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’” Ps 2: 4-6

PERES URGES RUSSIA TO CEASE SALE OF ADVANCED WEAPONS TO SYRIA: Israel’s President, Shimon Peres, discussed ongoing turmoil in the Arab world with the Russian leaders last week, saying Syria was undergoing a critical time of change. "Assad has killed thousands of protesters in cold blood and I do not know what the future may hold.” In the face of such uncertainty, Peres urged his Russian counterpart to avoid selling advanced weapons systems to Syria, since "there was no way to know who would eventually hold those weapons," adding Russia must aid in stemming the flow of weapons from Syria to "terrorist groups, first and foremost Hizbullah." (Ha’aretz)

IRAN’S PARLIAMENT VOTES TO SEND AHMADINEJAD TO COURT: Iran's parliament voted last week to take Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to court over his takeover of the country's vital oil ministry, escalating the power struggle between the president and the hard-line establishment that has turned against him. The 165-1 vote was the latest salvo in the political maneuvering that began when Ahmadinejad publicly challenged Iran's supreme leader in April, only to back down. The confrontations appear to be part of a power struggle ahead of parliamentary elections next year and the vote for Ahmadinejad's successor in mid-2013. Lawmakers were infuriated when Ahmadinejad consolidated a series of ministries, fired the oil minister and named himself as the replacement. The takeover also technically puts Ahmadinejad at the helm of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, since Iran this year holds the rotating presidency. It's unclear whether Wednesday's vote in the 290-member parliament will actually be followed by charges or a lawsuit against Ahmadinejad, but it clearly pits the president against a majority of lawmakers, including parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, a leader of a rival camp within the president's conservative political bloc. If charges proceed against the president, he could well face an investigation by the judiciary, which is led by Larijani's brother. (Fox News)

PERES: WORLD NEEDS MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM AGAINST IRAN: President Shimon Peres called on Thursday for the creation of a missile defense system that would surround Iran. The US, NATO and countries in the region must join forces, Peres said in an interview with Israel Radio, adding that all countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are under Iranian missile threat. The president explained that Israel has a short-range missile defense system, whereas the US has a long-range missile defense system. Therefore, he said, a medium-range system must be implemented to deal with Iran. Peres' interview came a day after former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, said Israel would not withstand a regional conflict ignited by an Israeli strike of Iran's nuclear facilities, adding that Israel did not have the capability to stop Tehran's nuclear ambitions, just to delay them. (Ha’aretz)

DAVID’S SLING ANTI-MISSILE DEFENSE JUST A FEW YEARS AWAY: The David's Sling mid-range anti-missile system will soon undergo a full test and could become operational within the next few years, Pini Yungman of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems said at the 2011 Military and Aviation Conference on Tuesday. The David's Sling system "successfully deals with threats that no other system in the world is capable of neutralizing," Yungman explained. (INN “The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.” Ps 110:2

Blessings from Israel 

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff 


As international speakers and messengers of the Good News through music, Barry and Batya Segal are at the forefront of what God is doing in the present day nation of Israel. With strong ties in both the nations and Jerusalem, the Segals are weaving the deepest roots of our biblical heritage together with the fresh Spirit-filled worship of today to create their rich harmony of Scripture and song.

The Segals have a vast vision for God's purposes in the nations and to the people of Israel. In fact, their longing to help rebuild Israel both spiritually and physically inspired them to pioneer the non-profit charity organization, Vision for Israel and The Joseph Storehouse. This arm of their ministry focuses on assisting the poor and needy, widows and orphans, and reaching out to the new Jewish immigrants coming into the land of Israel. Vision 's most challenging project to date is "The Joseph StorehouseŽ", humanitarian aid center, located in the hills of Jerusalem. The Joseph Storehouse functions as a channel of blessing to all of Israel, Jewish and Arab, through the gathering and distribution of emergency medical supplies, food, clothing, and other basic life necessities. USA office contact info: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743, Charlotte NC 28241, 866-351-0075. The Segal's web site is


Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.    


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