Israel Update

February 20, 2012


“The Lord will vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants.” Ps 135:14

IRANIAN NAVAL SHIPS ENTER MEDITERRANEAN VIA SUEZ CANAL: Two Iranian warships passed through the Suez Canal and docked Saturday at a Syrian port, according to Iran's IRNA news agency. The vessels - a destroyer and a supply ship - are to provide maritime training to Syria's navy under an agreement between the two countries, according to the report. Tehran has no naval agreement with any country in the region other than Syria. Iran and Syria are both hostile to Israel. The Jewish state is closely observing the movement of the two ships. The Suez Canal cuts through Egypt and allows shipping to pass to and from the Middle East to Europe, without going around southern Africa. (Ha'aretz) Pray that government, military and security personnel in Israel will be fully alert to covert plans by enemy nations to carry out attacks on the Jewish state.

US TREASURY TARGETS IRANIAN INTELLIGENCE: The US on Thursday imposed sanctions on Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for supporting terrorism, abusing human rights, and fueling unrest in Syria. David Cohen, the Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the US had targeted the MOIS for abusing the basic rights of Iranian citizens and exporting its vicious practices to support the Syrian regime’s abhorrent crackdown on its own population. “In addition, we are designating the Ministry for its support to terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in Iraq, Hizbullah and Hamas, again exposing the extent of Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism as a matter of Iranian state policy,” said Cohen. Iran’s nuclear program and its support for the Hizbullah terrorist group has led Washington to issue threats of economic sanctions for a series of attacks around the globe it says Iran perpetrated. Those attacks include a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, and a series of bombings this week targeting Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia and Thailand. (INN)

DIA DIRECTOR: IRAN UNMOVED BY SANCTIONS: Defense Intelligence Agency director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess told US lawmakers Thursday that Iran is nowhere near giving up its nuclear aspirations. The DIA chief’s comments closely echoed Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu's recent statement that Iran sanctions are “not working.” Burgess told a Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz at least temporarily, and may launch missiles against US forces and its allies in the region. He added that Iran could also attempt to employ terrorist surrogates worldwide. According to Burgess, Iran has the technical, scientific and industrial capability to produce nuclear weapons. He warned that the ballistic missiles it is currently developing could reach distances across the region and as far as central Europe. The British Guardian reported on Friday that officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program, and believe the US will be left with no option but to launch an attack on Iran or watch Israel do so. (Ha'aretz/INN)

NEW POLLS CONFIRM US PERCEPTION OF IRANIAN THREAT: A Rasmussen poll showed days ago that nearly half of the American people were willing to use force to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. A week later new polls produced by the Gallup Institute and the Pew Research Center have revealed that this trend is accelerating. According to Pew, 58% of the respondents support using force to prevent Iran from getting nukes. When it came to the question of supporting an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program 62% of the Republicans favored such support as compared with 33% for Democrats and Independents. (INN)

THAILAND MANHUNT FOR IRANIAN BOMB EXPERT: Thai police Friday said they are searching for two more suspects - including an explosives expert - as their inquiry into a botched bombing plot targeting Israeli diplomats expands. Police already have three Iranian nationals in custody. Two were arrested in Bangkok, while a third who fled Thailand was arrested by authorities in Malaysia. Bangkok police commissioner Winai Thongson said police believe one of the suspects who remain at large was providing training in the use of explosives. Officials in Bangkok say the bombers were targeting Israeli diplomats, including the Israeli ambassador but denied reports that said visiting Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was the prime target. The botched Bangkok bombings came one day after terrorists in India and Georgia targeted Israeli diplomats. In Delhi, a car bomb seriously wounded the wife of Israel's defense attaché to India, her driver and two other local residents. Israel’s PM Netanyahu has blamed Iran for the attacks saying Tehran has shown its “true face,” while Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor lodged a formal complaint against Iran with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon. Israeli counterterrorism officials warned Friday that Iran and its terror confederate Hizbullah are plotting more attacks on Israelis abroad. The warning called on Israelis travelling abroad to be alert, avoid taking suspicious objects from strangers, and be responsive to local security guidelines. (Arutz-7) Pray for the prevention of all terrorist attacks against Israelis travelling abroad and for the protection of Israel’s diplomats and their families stationed in foreign lands.

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONDEMNS SYRIA: The UN on Thursday passed a resolution on Syria condemning the brutal government crackdown on dissent by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The resolution passed the General Assembly - rather than the Security Council where China and Russia have thwarted moves against Syria - with 137 nations in favor and only 12 opposed. Introduced by Egypt on behalf of 27 other countries, including Arab states, Britain and the US, the resolution condemns “systematic human rights violations” in Syria. The move, however, has been deemed unlikely to make much difference on the ground where opposition activists reported Syrian troops killed at least 63 people later Thursday and an additional 56 people on Friday. The General Assembly is expected to next demand Syria immediately adopt an Arab League blueprint to calm the uprising. Russia has warned it would block any UN resolution calling for Assad to step down over his crackdown on an 11-month uprising estimated to have killed over 5,400 people. A visit to Damascus on Friday by a top Chinese envoy was a diplomatic boost for Assad a day after the UN resolution that was opposed by China and Russia. Saturday the US began flying unmanned reconnaissance planes over Syria to monitor the regime's escalating crackdown on dissent, according to US defense officials. (CNN/INN/Ha’aretz)

US OFFICIALS TIE TERROR GROUP TO SYRIAN BOMBINGS: Top US intelligence officials pointed to al-Qaeda in Iraq on Thursday as being behind recent bombings in Syria. Though the US has called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, his fall could lead to a power vacuum that al-Qaeda or other regional extremist groups could fill, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress. (AP)

ISRAELI GIANT ACQUIRES AMERICAN STARTUP: With the new technologies and tools that Israeli tech integrator Matrix is acquiring from New Jersey-based Exzac, the company will now have the means to build a successful program designed to catch Internet fraudsters. Matrix announced this week it was acquiring 60% of Exzac, which specializes in services and software for enterprise fraud management, fraud prevention, anti-money laundering efforts, compliance with government security and finance laws, and more. Although its tools are not specifically designed to fight hackers, the technology is the same. Israeli sites such as the one from which widespread credit card information was recently stolen by a Saudi hacker will conceivably have better anti-fraud alert systems in the future and not fall victim to those hacking into Israeli databases. (INN)

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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