Israel Update



“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”  Isa 40:29

PALMER REPORT TO SAY GAZA BLOCKADE IS LEGAL:   The Palmer report on the 2010 Gaza flotilla will say Israel’s naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is legal. The report will also praise the Turkel Commission, the Israeli committee that probed last year’s clash with the Mavi Marmara, for acting independently. The Palmer committee is expected to be sharply critical of the IHH organization for sending the Marmara to Gaza and also of the Turkish government for its involvement in organizing the flotilla. The Palmer committee is also expected to criticize the governmental committee set up by Turkey to probe the flotilla. Although the report is expected to determine that Israel acted according to international law with regards to the blockade on the Gaza Strip, it will also say the Israeli Navy’s takeover of the Marmara was carried out too early and with too much force. (INN) The IHH is a Turkish humanitarian relief fund with a radical Islamic anti-Western orientation. It supports extremist Islamic networks, including Hamas, and even global jihad elements. The Gaza flotilla raid was a military operation by Israel against six ships of the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" on May 31, 2010 in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the IHH, was carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. On May 31, 2010, 13 Israeli naval commandos boarded the ships to escort the ships to the Israeli port of Ashdod for inspection. On the passenger ship Mavi Marmara, clashes broke out after activists violently resisted, attacking the Israelis with baseball bats and steel bars, and allegedly with live fire. Israeli commandos used both non-lethal weaponry and live fire to suppress the resistance and to protect themselves. Nine activists were killed, and dozens of activists and seven Israeli commandos were wounded. The incident is one of several that has severely strained former good relations between Israel and Turkey.

FLOTILLA ACTIVISTS TOSS IN THE TOWEL:  The activists of Freedom Flotilla II are fading away towards home. Many of the Americans who had boarded the Audacity of Hope in New York have already left Greece, where the vessel was detained after attempting an unauthorized run to Gaza. Likewise Canadians have departed from the ship Tahrir, named for the Cairo square where the Arab Spring uprising ended the 31-year regime of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Norwegian activists on Friday morning announced their decision to return home. Greece has made it impossible for ships that use its port to sail to the terrorist-run region, which would be a violation of Israeli law. (INN)

ISRAEL QUESTIONS DOZENS OF PRO-PALESTINIAN “FLY-IN” ACTIVISTS: Security forces have questioned 25 pro-Palestinian activists attempting to enter Israel via Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday as part of an attempt to stymie an influx of activists into the country. Another 30 activists are still being questioned. Ten of the activists arrived on an EasyJet flight, while another 20 came on an Alitalia flight. The rest entered on other airlines. The flights landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday afternoon. When it became clear that there were activists on board, the planes were diverted to an area away from the main terminal and the activists were detained by police. Israel has thus far been successful in preventing the entry of 200 passengers wishing to come to the Jewish state as part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign, which had organized a "fly-in" to the Middle East for solidarity visits in the Palestinian territories. The 200 activists were on a list of 342 blacklisted passengers scheduled to arrive in Israel on Thursday and Friday, submitted by the Transportation Ministry to foreign airlines on Thursday. In spite of security efforts, some pro-Palestinian activists have evaded the police and reached the PA territories. Palestinian sources claim 50 foreign activists who landed in Israel on Friday have already entered the West Bank. They are expected to travel to the village of Bilin and the Qalandiya Checkpoint in a bid to reach Jerusalem. They are expected to join 50 other activists who had already entered the West Bank over the past week. (Ha’aretz/Ynet) “They run to and fro in the city, they run on the wall; they climb into the houses, they enter at the windows like a thief.” Joel 2:9

AIRLINES FULLY BOOKED, UNABLE TO RETURN ACTIVISTS WHO WERE REFUSED ENTRY: The foreign airlines operating in Israel say they will have a hard time flying large groups of people who were refused entry into the country back to their destinations of origin. "We're talking about the peak of summer traveling season and the flights are full. We'll have to make different preparations, but first of all, we'll have to receive instructions from the head of the aviation authority in Israel for the deportation of the activists," a senior official said. "At present, we are unprepared to deal with this, in terms of human resources and in terms of amount of planes," the airline official added. (Ha’aretz)

PRO-PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY “FLY-IN” STYMIED IN EUROPE:    European authorities prevented some pro-Palestinian Authority Arab sympathizers from participating in the “fly-in” to Israel, at Jerusalem's request. Eight activists were stopped from boarding a Malev flight from Paris to Budapest, where they intended to pick up a connecting flight to Israel. Two Dutch journalists were prevented from boarding an El Al flight from Amsterdam although they claimed that they only wanted to cover the fly-in. France also issued warnings about Israel taking steps to protect its security. In preparation for the international “fly-in” planned by European and American anarchists at BGIA Thursday night and Friday, Israel updated and dispatched a new “no fly” list to international carriers. The list carried 300 names of anarchists. According to international aviation regulations, airlines are not allowed to board passengers who are not welcome to enter a country due to passport, visa or other issues. (Arutz-7/ Ha’aretz)

MASS PROTESTS IN EGYPT DEMAND REFORMS, SPEEDIER TRIALS: “Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested across the nation on Friday to demand political reforms and speedier trials for police and former government officials charged with killing hundreds of demonstrators during the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. The protests highlighted months of seething anger over fears that the early gains of the revolution were slipping away under the ruling military council. Many Egyptians, weary of demonstrations and street clashes, crave quiet and stability. But activists and opposition leaders say the military and the interim government only react to demands when people take to the streets and face down riot police. (LA Times)

SYRIAN FORCES STORM DAMASCUS SUBURB: Near a half million protesters jammed the streets of Hama in an anti-Syria government rally on Friday, as the US ambassador traveled there to show American solidarity with protesters. Rights activists said crowds in Hama topped more than 450,000 - one of the largest gatherings since the uprising began four months ago. Activists in Syria also say security forces have raided a Damascus suburb to quell an overnight protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Security forces reportedly fired bullets at civilians participating in the demonstration. At least four have been reported dead in the siege and numerous injuries took place. (Reuters)

IRAN HEADING FOR RECORD YEAR OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: Iran has reportedly executed at least 183 people during the first six months of 2011, with reports of an additional 130 executions that have gone unacknowledged. Those figures, according to Amnesty International, have put Iran on course for a record year of enforcing capital punishment. Up to 300 additional people are also believed to have been killed. (Fox News)

SHOCKING REPORT OF NORWAY’S ANTISEMITISM:   Last month’s publication of a study ordered by the Oslo municipality on racism and antisemitism among students of the 8th through 10th grades in the town’s schools came as a shock. The study found that 33% of the Jewish students regularly experience bullying at school. The study also rendered it difficult to blame antisemitism exclusively on Muslim children, as it became evident that Norwegians are also heavily involved. (Arutz-7)

LAKE KINNERET WATER LEVEL DROPS 20 CENTIMETERS: The water in Lake Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) has dropped 20 centimeters in the past month. At present, the water level stands only 43 centimeters above the red line. Officials said the level is expected to continue to drop over the course of the summer, and is likely to fall below the red line. The “red line” 213 meters below sea level is a recommended level at which water should no longer be drawn from the lake. Earlier this year, it seemed as though Israel might manage to surpass the red line, but not enough winter rains came to make it a reality. The six-year drought in Israel has nevertheless forced government officials to ignore warnings not to draw water from the lake. (INN) Pray according to G-d’s promise: “He will cause the rain to come down for you, the former rain and the latter rain.” Joel 2:23

ISRAELI SPECIAL OLYMPIC ATHLETES RETURN HOME WITH A HAUL OF MEDALS: The 85-strong Israeli delegation to the Special Olympics in Athens returned home this week with an impressive haul of 51 medals including 17 golds, 18 silvers and 16 bronzes. Around 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from dozens of countries competed in 21 events. The Israeli athletes competed in 11 sports, accompanied by a team of caregivers. After the unprecedented achievement, President Shimon Peres telephoned Athens to congratulate the Israeli delegation. Peres told them their achievement was not only a personal triumph, but proved that determination and effort can help overcome many difficulties. (Ha’aretz)

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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