Israel Update

January 18, 2012


Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." Ps 144:1

RUSSIA PROTECTING IRAN FROM WEST: Russia reached out to protect Iran from the West on Wednesday, warning that sanctions would "stifle" the Iranian economy. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at a news conference that Western nations should instead return to focusing their efforts on reviving talks with Iran. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak earlier in the day said any decision on an Israeli attack on Iran was "very far off." It has been speculated he made the statement under pressure from the US in order allay recent media hints that Israel is mulling a military strike to cripple Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Jewish state considers a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to its survival. Israel and the US on Sunday postponed a massive joint defense exercise, which was expected to be carried out soon, in order to avoid an escalation with Iran. Last week at this time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned publicly that a military action against Iran would be a "grave mistake, a flagrant error." It’s no secret that Iran is one of Russia's most important trading partners. Can it be mere coincidence that the day following Ryabkov’s slap on the hand to Israel and the West, a Russian space probe designed to boost the nation's pride on a bold mission to a moon of Mars came down in flames showering fragments into the south Pacific west of Chile's coast?  Or is it once again G-d’s word being swiftly carried out against those who attempt to pit their might against His people? “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.” Gen 12:3

ISRAELI OFFICIAL SLAMS OBAMA’S RETICENT IRAN STANCE: Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon this week voiced concern saying "election-year considerations" lay behind the Obama administration's reticence to impose the tough Iran sanctions sought by US legislators. "In the United States the Senate passed a resolution, by a majority of 100-to-one, to impose these sanctions, and in the US administration there is hesitation for fear of oil prices rising this year, out of election-year considerations," Yaalon told Israel Radio. While officials in Washington have been talking tough about Iran's nuclear ambitions and threat to block the strategically vital Strait of Hormuz, US sanctions adopted on December 31 allow President Barak Obama leeway on the scope of penalties on the Iranian central bank and oil exports. Yaalon contrasted Obama's posture to that of France and Britain, which he said "are taking a very firm stand and understand sanctions must be imposed immediately." (Arutz-7) Pray for this year’s coming elections both in the US and in Israel. May the coming political leaders of both countries be those who will further—not set back or delay—G-d’s prophetic plan for Israel and the nations. 

IDF OFFICIAL SAYS NUCLEAR IRAN WILL LIMIT ISRAEL’S ABILITY TO PROTECT ITS BORDERS: A nuclear-armed Iran could deter Israel from going to war against Tehran's terrorist allies in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli general Amir Eshel said on Tuesday. Israel has concerns that Syria and Lebanon's Hizbullah terrorist militia, as well as Palestinian Hamas Islamists who rule Gaza, could one day find reassurance in an Iranian bomb and dare to do things they presently would not dare to do. Eshel emphasized this would bring about a shift in Israel's strategic posture, because if the government and military are forced to carry out major operations in Gaza or Lebanon - under an Iranian nuclear umbrella - it will be more threatening and complicated. Israel waged offensives in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip in 2006 and 2008-2009, coming under short-range rocket attacks by Hizbullah and Hamas, both of which are supported by Iran. Eshel said there are now some 100,000 rockets and missiles that could be fired at Israel by both terrorist groups, combined with Iran and its ally Syria. Last week Military Intelligence Chief Major General Aviv Kochavi said Iran and Hizbullah are strengthening their efforts to ensure the survival of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria. A recent visit by the commander of Iran's elite Quds force to Damascus is the strongest sign yet that Iran is supplying weapons to aid Bashar Assad's crackdown on the Syrian people, a senior Obama administration official said Tuesday. It is a concrete example of direct high-level cooperation between Iran and Syria. (Ha’aretz/Fox) “The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people.” Ps 68:35

LEBANESE PRESIDENT TARGETS HIZBULLAH’S ARSENAL: Lebanese president Michel Sleiman vowed Tuesday to resume all-party talks on terrorist group Hizbullah's arms stockpiles. Earlier this week, Hizbullah rejected a UN demand that it disarm. Hizbullah's arsenal and terror militias have led to bitter infighting between the Hizbullah-dominated government of PM Najib Mikati and opposition leaders. The terrorist organization maintains it will retain its arms in order "to defend Lebanese territory" in the absence of a strong military force in Lebanon. However, opposition leaders have repeatedly charged Hizbullah with using its arms to undermine the sovereign will of the Lebanese people and exercising undue political influence. (Arutz-7)

SINAI BEDOUIN SMUGGLING THOUSANDS OF MISSILES TO GAZA: Sinai Bedouin tribes have reportedly smuggled “thousands” of shoulder-launched missiles into Hamas-controlled Gaza. Smugglers transport advanced weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, into Gaza through underground tunnels, but the amount claimed by the Bedouin source indicates Hamas and allied terrorists possess far more weapons than the IDF has publicly announced. Military sources have warned since the end of the Operation Cast Lead counter-terrorist campaign three years ago that it is only a matter of time before Hamas escalates its war on Israel and uses medium-range missiles that can reach metropolitan Tel Aviv. (INN)

IDF PREPARING FOR MAJOR GAZA ACTION: The IDF General Staff has ordered the Southern Command to prepare for a possible large Gaza operation in the next few months. Senior officers said such a maneuver could be significantly larger than Operation Cast Lead, launched in late 2008. "Gaza has changed and the weaponry in Hamas' and Islamic Jihad's hands has significantly grown in quantity and quality," a senior officer explained. Hamas is believed to have a fighting force number of over 20,000 armed men, as well as anti-tank missiles, mortars and rockets, and anti-aircraft missiles. In 2011, 680 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel, including 80 longer-range Grad-model Katyusha rockets, compared to just 2 Grads in 2010. (J. Post) “The ruthless will vanish, the mockers disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down.”  Isa 29:20

PMW YOUTUBE ACCOUNT FROZEN AFTER REVEALING PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY DOUBLE TALK: Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported this week that YouTube froze its account after it posted a video which shows the principal PA religious leader, the Mufti Muhammad Hussein, presenting the killing of Jews by Muslims as a religious Islamic goal. He cited the Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad) saying “the Hour of Resurrection will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” The Mufti is appointed by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The ceremony was broadcast on official PA TV, and PMW translated it and presented the video with English subtitles. The video was flagged by YouTube as violating its Terms of Service. (INN)

ISRAELI HACKERS HIT SAUDI STOCK EXCHANGE: Israeli hackers claimed Tuesday to have hacked and brought down the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) website, in retaliation for Monday's cyber assault on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, El Al and First International Bank of Israel's websites. "Since hackers from Saudi Arabia decided to hack into Israeli websites, like the El Al site and banks' websites, we decided to hack the Saudi stock exchange," the group, which calls itself "IDF Team" wrote in a post on the PasteBin website. The group said "if the Saudi hackers' attacks continue, we will move on to the next phase – downing websites for a longer period of time – weeks and even months.” Earlier Monday the Hamas terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip welcomed the latest in a string of hacking attacks against Israeli websites, calling it a blow against the Jewish state which it refuses to recognize. “This is a new field of resistance against the Occupation and we urge Arab youth to develop their methods in electronic warfare in the face of Israel's crimes,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in Gaza. (Ynet/MailOnline)

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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