Israel Update

October 24, 2011 


“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” Psalm 130: 7-8

A RECORD 3.3 MILLION ISRAELIS WATCHED SHALIT’S RETURN ON TV: More than 70% of the country tuned in to see Gilad Shalit's release last Tuesday, a record for Israel, said Dr. Yifat Segev, head of the Israel Audience Research Board. On Tuesday morning, 50% of all televisions were tuned into a channel reporting on Shalit; by prime time, 70% were watching, or 3.3 million people. Viewership was up, starting at 7 AM that day when the prisoner exchange with Hamas got underway. The number of those viewing was high by international standards, too - 20 million of Britain's 60 million citizens watched Prince William get married this year, which is only 33%. (Ha’aretz) “When the Lord returned the captives to Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then said they among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’” Ps 125:1-2

FOREST FIRES ERUPT IN ISRAEL, TERRORIST ARSON SUSPECTED: Israeli firefighters over the weekend battled no fewer than 38 wildfires in northern Israel. Police suspect that nearly all of the fires were started by Arab arsonists with nationalistic motives. One of the fires crept dangerously close to two towns near Israel's northern Mediterranean coast. Four people were treated for smoke inhalation and at least one neighborhood was evacuated. Over 100 acres of forests were lost in the various fires. Arson has in recent years become a favorite tactic of Israeli Arab nationalists who identify with the Palestinian Arab cause. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones) Pray against forest fires in the Jewish state, whether they are ignited as the result of arson or years of drought and dry foliage. Intercede for an abundant rainy season this year in Israel. Water shortage is a major concern in the entire Middle-East region.

JEWISH TEEN STABBED IN JERUSALEM TERROR ATTACK: A Jewish teen was stabbed in Jerusalem by an assailant from a nearby Palestinian village. Yehuda Ne'emad, 17, was sitting with a friend in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot when the Palestinian reportedly approached him and stabbed him twice before fleeing to the nearby Palestinian village of Kfar Ikssa. Ne'emad was taken to Hadassah Medical Center, where his condition has been upgraded to moderate but stable after initially being listed as serious. A group that represents terror victims attributed the attack to the swap last week that brought home captured soldier Gilad Shalit after five years in Hamas' captivity in exchange for 477 Palestinian prisoners and another 550 in two months. Construction on the security fence between Israel and the West Bank in the area where the stabbing occurred is expected to begin at the end of 2012. Also, in a recent terrorist attempt, a Palestinian woman in her 20s arrived at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, pulled out a knife and charged at Israeli soldiers and civilians shouting "God is great" and "Death to the Jews." The woman was arrested. (JTA) Pray for the protection of all Israeli citizens and residents during this exceedingly sensitive time surrounding the freeing of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists from Israel’s prisons in exchange for the return of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit to his home and family. Shalit spent more than five years in terror group Hamas’ captivity.

RIGHTIST MKs: NETANYAHU’S SURRENDER TO HAMAS WILL BRING WAVE OF TERROR: Israeli right-wing political parties said on Saturday the stabbing in Jerusalem, as well as the suspected arson in the northern Israel and the attempted terrorist attack in Gush Etzion were all the result of Israel's "surrender" to Hamas, which saw the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in return for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Among many other similar statements from Israel’s right-wing politicians, Likud MK Danny Danon said on Sunday that the stabbing which took place in northern Jerusalem "is an example of the Palestinians' culture of terrorism. The terrorist should be found and his house demolished; only aggressive action will prevent such events in the future." Danon added that "after the generosity Israel showed in the Shalit deal, it is time for firmness in uprooting terrorism.” (Ha’aretz)

ARAB ISRAELIS CALL TO KIDNAP SOLDIERS: Dozens of Arab citizens of Israel held a recent demonstration in which they called to kidnap IDF soldiers in order to free more of the terrorists in Israel’s prisons. The protest took place outside Sharon prison. Several Israeli Arab terrorists were among hundreds of jailed Palestinian prisoners released last week in exchange for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Their release was controversial due in part to fears that releasing Israeli Arabs in a deal with Hamas would lead more of Israel’s Arab citizens to see Hamas as representing their interests. At least one of the freed Israeli Arab terrorists was convicted in previous kidnappings of IDF soldiers. MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) slammed the protest and said those who had called to kidnap soldiers should have their citizenship revoked and should be deported. “The calls to kidnap soldiers emphasize yet again that we need to link citizenship to loyalty. These inciters are not worthy to be part of Israeli society,” he proclaimed.  (INN)

ABBAS USES MORE FOREIGN AID TO PAY FREED TERRORISTS: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has bested Hamas’ generosity and is honoring freed terrorists with a $5,000 grant, partially funded by the US and the European Union. Meanwhile, Hamas urges more kidnappings. A PA law states that salaries "will be implemented on the basis of available sources of funding." Abbas warned earlier this month that Washington's decision to suspend financial aid to the PA damages the “peace process.” Palestinian Media Watch noted at the time that “it is the contributions by the US and other foreign donors to the PA general budget that facilitates the payment of monthly salaries to the terrorist prisoners.” Palestinian Authority Prisoners Affairs Minister Issa Qaraqi stated days ago that Abbas would pay to hundreds of the freed terrorists and security prisoners, more than the $2000 grant announced by de facto Gaza PM Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Israel state radio reports had estimated it at more than the usual amount of double the $860 monthly salaries paid to military personnel. Abbas has frequently stated that the PA cannot pay monthly salaries without foreign aid. The grants to terrorists also contradict Abbas' commitments not to encourage terror. Meanwhile, Hamas continues to urge more kidnappings of Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips to force the freeing of approximately 5,000 Arab security prisoners and terrorists still in Israeli prisons. (INN)

OBAMA REMOVES REFERENCES OF ISLAM FROM TERROR TRAINING MATERIALS: Deputy US Attorney General James Cole days ago confirmed the Obama administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam that some Muslim groups have claimed are offensive. The move comes after complaints from advocacy organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and others identified as Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the 2004 Holy Land Foundation terror fundraising trial. Last week Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) president Salam al-Marayati threatened the FBI with a total cutoff of cooperation between American Muslims and law enforcement if the agency failed to revise its law enforcement training materials. (VTA)

GALLUP POLL: OBAMA SCORES AMONG THE LOWEST APPROVAL RATINGS OF ANY PRESIDENT SINCE JIMMY CARTER: According to a new Gallup poll, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to an all-time low of 41% - the lowest of his administration. Apparently, only one other elected president in history since Dwight D. Eisenhower had a lower 11th quarter approval rating. That man was President Jimmy Carter, who garnered roughly 31% during the same quarter, according to Gallup. (The Blaze)

SAUDI CROWN PRINCE SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ DEAD AT 86: Abdulaziz, who also served as the Saudi defense minister, died Friday of colon cancer at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His death was announced Saturday on Saudi state television. Next in line for the position is former Interior Minister Prince Nayef, who has served as Second Deputy PM since 2009. Nayef is a half-brother to King Abdullah and is age 78. A statement released by the royal court said, "King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud mourns the death of his brother and his Crown Prince." Abdullah is himself still in the hospital in Riyadh after surgery for a herniated disc. Last month the Saudi king announced that Saudi women would receive the right to run as candidates in municipal elections, and to vote in the next election. Saudi women are still unable to obtain a driver's license, however. (INN)

RUGBY/ISRAEL BEATS AUSTRIA 28-26: Israel's national rugby team increased its chances of being promoted to the B2 division in Europe after a 28-26 victory in Austria. Israel leads the C2 division of the European Nations Cup with four victories and one loss, against Denmark. Israel is favored to win its home fixture next week against Norway, and plays Denmark again in May in what may be the group's deciding fixture. (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.    


All active news articles