March 14, 2012
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it.” Col 4:2
ISRAEL’S SOUTHERN COMMUNITIES UNDER FIRE: Over 200 rockets have been fired at Israel's southern communities since Friday evening. Monday afternoon's preemptive strike brought the death toll in Gaza from retaliatory raids to 25. Nonetheless, Gaza terror groups say they will "not be the first to blink" and rocket fire continues unabated. PM Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the IDF would continue to operate with "great power and aggression." Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier Monday "if the rocket fire escalates, Israel will continue air strikes against terrorist targets." Minister of Strategic Affairs and Deputy PM Moshe Yaalon said, "At this point we see no need to enter Gaza, but the possibility exists." Yaalon has previously called for a major incursion into Gaza, but on Israel's terms at a time of its own choosing. Israel's top military commanders recently have said such an operation is becoming increasingly "inevitable." Meanwhile, Israel's powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee called on the government to declare a "special situation" in Israel's south in order to provide residents economic relief. (INN) The recent escalation of terrorist rocket attacks upon southern Israel requires renewed, intensive prayer from our faithful intercessors. “Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help, and the sword of your triumph! Your enemies shall come fawning to you, and you shall tread upon their backs.” Deut 33:29
SCHOOLS CLOSED IN SOUTH DUE TO ROCKETS: Some 200,000 Israeli children throughout southern Israel are hiding in bomb shelters instead of going to school as Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists continue pouring missiles and mortars into the area. Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system has managed to intercept the majority of the more dangerous Grad-type missiles, but simply cannot provide a comprehensive shield against such an onslaught. Deputy Mayor Heftzi Zohar of the large Negev city of Beersheva said the situation is unbearable, especially for children "who are living under terror." The attacks began on Friday afternoon when a handful of mortars were fired into southern Israel. Hours later, Israeli aircraft destroyed a vehicle in Gaza that was carrying two terrorist commanders. One was Popular Resistance Committee operative, Zuhir Kaisi, who intelligence had discovered was planning another major cross-border infiltration from the Egyptian Sinai into the Eilat area of southern Israel. Kaisi was also reportedly responsible for the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Following the destruction of the terrorist commanders, Palestinian rocket attacks intensified significantly. Israel responded with targeted air strikes that managed to kill 15 terrorists, some as they were preparing further rocket launches. Despite the ongoing terrorist assaults, the Israeli army ordered the two main border crossings with Gaza to remain open to allow a regular flow of Gazans into Israel and humanitarian aid into Gaza. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones) Pray fervently for the safety of Israel’s infants and children.
ROCKET HITS ASHDOD, TWO WOMEN INJURED: Gaza terrorists hit Ashdod on Monday morning despite the presence of the Iron Dome defense system. A Grad missile slammed into the center of the city, demolishing cars and damaging storefronts. Two of the rockets fired Monday exploded near Gedera, just 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. A woman and one other person sustained shrapnel wounds as a result of a grad rocket striking Ashdod, and multiple bystanders in both cities were treated for shock. That same day, Ashkelon’s Barzali Hospital moved children and mothers to bomb shelters and home, along with patients who were well enough, as the Gaza missile bombardment continued and moved northward. Additionally, as southern towns contend with the barrage of rocket fire, business in the region has dropped off by 50% during the past few days. The worst hit stores are fashion and electrical appliance chains, coffee shops and fast food outlets. Even supermarkets and pharmacies have seen sales plummet. A large part of the problem for stores has been finding employees who are willing to risk rocket attacks to come in to work. (INN/Ha’aretz)
IDF STRIKES ROCKET SQUAD – 2 TERRORISTS KILLED: IDF forces on Monday afternoon eliminated a two two-man terror squad preparing to launch a medium range rocket into Israel from northern Gaza. Pilots reported a direct hit shortly after 16:00 hours. However, non-combatants were reportedly injured in the pre-emptive strike. The IDF spokesperson's office said this case demonstrates the terrorist groups are using civilians as human shields, and open fire from the heart of population centers. Legal experts say mounting rocket strikes from civilian areas is a violation of the rules of war and the onus for civilian casualties rests with the terror groups. (INN)
IDF OFFICIAL: CURRENT ROCKET ATTACKS MORE OF A THREAT: A top IDF official said Monday that the current round of rockets being fired at Israel by Gaza Arab terrorists was noteworthy for the higher quality, longer range, and rate of attack of Israeli targets. The spokesperson said the Islamic Jihad had absorbed serious losses since the IDF began striking back against the terror group over the weekend, but the terror group insists on continuing the rocket fire against Israel. (Arutz-7)
NETANYAHU: IRAN OWNS AND OPERATES ISLAMIC JIHAD: Islamic Jihad, the Gaza based terrorist group behind the recent onslaught of rocket attacks against Israel’s southern communities, is a wholly owned Iranian subsidiary. So not only does the violence in the South not push Iran off the agenda, it instead thrusts Iran front and center, PM Binyamin Netanyahu told the Likud’s cabinet ministers on Sunday. Netanyahu’s comments came in response to suggestions that the Palestinians were now interested in a violent escalation to put them back on center stage, following Netanyahu’s trip to Washington where Iran completely overshadowed the Palestinian issue. “This is about Iran,” said Netanyahu. “If it were not for Iran, these extremists would not have their weapons, training or logistical support. Islamic Jihad, which has fired off the majority of the scores of rockets that have hit the South in recent days, is fully supported and armed by Tehran,” he said. Netanyahu added that while Hamas was not joining in the firing on Israel, the movement was also not preventing the rocket attacks, and that Israel held them ultimately responsible. (J.Post) “Scatter the nations who delight in war.” Ps 68:30
ISRAEL TO UN: CONDEMN THE ROCKET ATTACKS: Israel's deputy ambassador to the UN, Haim Waxman, sent a letter Sunday to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and members of the UN Security Council calling on them to "unequivocally condemn" the barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza and do everything in their power to stop the rocket fire that continues to rain down on Israeli civilians, in violation of every precept of international law. Waxman was quoted as writing in the letter that the constant firing dramatically affects the daily lives of more than one million Israeli citizens. He underscored the fact that many Israelis had suffered from shock and tens of thousands of children remain at home so their safety can be insured. (J. Post)
TURKEY CONDEMNS ISRAEL BUT NOT GAZA TERRORISTS: Turkey strongly condemned Israel over its air strikes in Gaza over the weekend, but conveniently forgot to condemn the Gaza terrorists for continuously hitting southern Israel with rockets and mortars. A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry noted the ministry strongly condemns what it termed the “disproportionate and indiscriminate retaliatory attacks on Gaza that cause death to Palestinian civilians.” The statement called on the international community not to remain indifferent to attacks and display necessary reaction. The Turkish statement did not at all condemn the Gaza terrorists, who continue to pummel southern Israel with rocket fire. (INN) Turkey, once Israel’s strongest ally in the Middle East, last September totally suspended connections with the Jewish state for its legal raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in 2010. Turkey’s PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly slammed Israel over its policies towards Gaza Strip Palestinians although Gaza terrorists have for years rained projectiles on Israel’s Negev communities. Unrelenting terrorist attacks have caused loss of life, destruction of property and a constant flow of stress-filled interruptions in the daily lives of Israelis, young and old, in targeted areas. Turkey, while 99% Muslim, has for decades maintained a secular government. Its powerful secular establishment, which includes generals, judges and university professors for years fought against extremist religious trends in the government. However, several of Turkey’s increasingly empowered political leaders, including PM Erdogan, have forceful Islamist agendas.
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 http://www.visionforisrael.com/
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.