Israel Update

April 9, 2012

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life.” Ps 138: 7

IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS UNLIKELY TO RESUME: Prospects for the scheduled resumption of talks on Iran's contentious nuclear energy program this week appeared to recede further Thursday, when the Iranians issued new objections to Turkey as the formerly agreed location for the talks. They also rejected alternate proposals to hold them in at least three European countries. The prime minister of Turkey criticized Iran for reneging on his country as the host and for what he described as the specious Iranian proposal of Syria and Iraq as alternate sites, knowing they would be rejected. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that the diplomatic track for dealing with Iran's nuclear program is not "infinite." Clinton's remark made Wednesday came mere days after PM Binyamin Netanyahu said the sanctions and diplomacy approach to Iran's nuclear program favored by the Obama administration was not working. Some analysts say only a credible military threat can bring Iran to the table. (INN/NY Times)

IRAN, HEZBOLLAH SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE AID TO SYRIA’S ASSAD: Iran and the Hezbollah terrorist organization have significantly stepped up support for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, Western intelligence reports have revealed. The reports say Iranian officers and Hezbollah terrorists have supplied arms to Syrian troops and trained them to aid Assad in his months-long brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests in the country. Israeli defense officials said last week the potential fall of the Assad regime prompted Iran and Hezbollah to increase their involvement in the Syrian crisis. According to the officials, even though the Iranians believe Assad will survive the uprising, they are still preparing for a scenario whereby he is toppled, in order to maximize their influence on a post-Assad Syria. Fighting continued in parts of Syria on Thursday, with clashes reported only miles from the capital. The leader of the UN said the conflict was getting worse - contradicting the Syrian government's assurances that it was complying with the cease-fire plan. Last week President Assad's troops increased their use of helicopter gunships in rebel areas near Aleppo and outside Idlib. The UN on Thursday called upon Syria to "urgently and visibly" halt its attacks on opposition targets. Some 10,000 people have been killed in clashes since the unrest began early last year. (Ha’aretz/Washington Post)

ISRAEL WARNS: WE’LL HIT HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH FOR TERROR ATTACKS: The Jewish state has issued a new warning: any terror attack on Israel will be answered with the IDF firing on Hamas and Hezbollah. The new deterrence policy was announced Thursday night by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. “The IDF is Israel's sharpened sword and protector,” Gantz explained.  “After disrupting a lethal terror attack, we endured attacks from Gaza, for which Hamas was responsible,” he noted in a reference to last month's hail of rocket attacks on the south. The IDF chief of staff added that “anyone who tries to test us, domestically or overseas, will find a sophisticated army ready to defend Israel and subdue its enemies.” Although Egypt has denied that rockets were launched from the Sinai Peninsula, it is now believed at least three missiles were fired at Eilat from the region Wednesday night. (INN) “Those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.”  Isa 41:11

IAF PREEMPTS GAZA ROCKET LAUNCH: A preemptive maneuver by Israel’s air force on Saturday averted a rocket launch from Gaza on the nation’s southern communities. Two terrorists were injured in the strike, which targeted a motorcycle in southern Gaza near Rafiah. The IAF strike marked the first such action in Gaza since last month, when terror gangs there launched more than 200 rockets into southern Israel. A Grad rocket fired from Sinai landed in Eilat early Thursday. There were no physical injuries or property damage in the attack. Security forces on Saturday discovered a second rocket, unexploded, from Thursday's attack on Eilat. (INN)

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD PRESENTING MODERATE FACE AT WHITE HOUSE: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood representatives visited Washington last week, meeting with US officials in an attempt to present a “moderate” face to American leaders. The Brotherhood’s feigned moderation is, in fact, a mask over its decades-long record of terrorist activities, intolerance of Jews and Christians, and its opposition to Western influence in the Middle East. At a meeting Tuesday, Muslim Brotherhood representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party met with several officials of the National Security Administration. The meeting was at the initiative of the Americans, who are seeking to build relationships with the new political parties in Egypt that have emerged since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. National Security Agency spokesperson Tommy Vietor said, “We believe it is in the interests of the United States to form a relationship with all political parties that are committed to democracy, and especially to non-violence. In all these meetings we stress the importance of respecting the rights of minorities and women, as well as regional security issues.”  Meanwhile, The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for Egypt's presidency, Khairat el-Shater, pledged last Wednesday to press for the implementation of sharia (strict Islamic law) if elected. Sharia stipulates punishments such as amputation of limbs for theft and stoning for adultery. Shater said putting sharia into action was "his first and final goal," reported the Legal Authority for Rights and Reform after meeting with him on Tuesday. Many Coptic Christians, who comprise about 10% of Egypt's 80-million-strong population, worry about the growing power of Islamists in the country. Secularists and liberals are also concerned. (INN/AFP) Pray that US government leaders will also be concerned about the growing political power of this wolf in sheep’s clothing.  In both Egypt and Jordan the Muslim Brotherhood has called for the dissolution of peace treaties with Israel. The Brotherhood assassinated Anwar Sadat in 1981 for making peace with the hated "Zionist entity." It glorified Osama bin Laden and mourned his death.  Hamas is a "wing of the Muslim Brotherhood," according to the Hamas Charter. The Charter calls for the murder of Jews, the "obliteration" of Israel and its replacement with an Islamist theocracy."

POLLARD RUSHED TO HOSPITAL: Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel and serving a life sentence without parole for 26 years, was rushed to a hospital emergency room near his Butner, North Carolina penitentiary early Friday after suffering from extreme pain. Ashkenazi chief rabbi Yonah Metzger called upon Jews around the world to pray during the Passover holiday for the health and freedom of Pollard. President Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet Sunday with two MKs who will hand him a letter for US President Barack Obama asking for the release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard. The letter bears the signatures of 80 Israeli lawmakers. Peres will next meet with Obama in June to formally request Pollard's release on behalf of the citizens of Israel. Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, has been serving a life sentence since 1987 for one count of conspiracy to deliver national security information to a foreign government. Pollard told Wolf Blitzer that year that he provided Israel with satellite photography of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters in Tunisia, specific capabilities of Libya's air defenses, and "the pick of US intelligence about Arab and Islamic conventional and unconventional military activity." Other's convicted of the same crime, including those who pass intelligence data to hostile nations, have been given average sentences of seven years or less in prison. (INN) Intercede for Jonathan Pollard – that he make know the One who sets the captives free. Pray for Pollard’s restored health and liberty after so many years of suffering in isolation. “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Isa 61:1

RARE FLOWER REDISCOVERED IN ISRAEL’S NORTH: An extremely rare flower was found for the first time in over 60 years in the Hanita Forest, near the Lebanese border. The Galilee fumitory (Fumaria thuretii Boiss ) was seen only once before in Israel, in the 1940s, by a botanist who died in the 1948 War of Independence. It was rediscovered during a tour by botanists and workers at the Pirhei Hagalil apiary. The bloom is so rare that most guides to flowers do not describe it accurately, if at all.  It grows in some southern European and other Mediterranean countries. The Upper Galilee marks the southern border of its habitat. (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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