Israel Update

July 23, 2012

“When your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” Isa 26:9

SYRIAN FORCES FIGHT BACK AFTER REBELS SURGE INTO CAPITAL: Syrian government forces pounded rebels in Damascus Friday night, battling to reverse opposition gains in the aftermath of the assassination of President Bashar Assad's security chiefs. Army helicopters and tanks aimed rockets, machine guns and mortars at pockets of rebel fighters who infiltrated the capital last week in an operation they call "Damascus Volcano." Lightly-armed oppositionists have been moving through the streets on foot and attacking security installations and roadblocks. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 240 people had been killed across Syria on Friday and 310 on Thursday. Figures included as many as 93 government troops and 217 civilians among the dead. At the time of this report, the Observatory's combined death toll since Wednesday was an estimated 550 people making it the bloodiest 48 hour period of the 16-month-old uprising against Assad. (J.Post)

ONGOING DEATH AND CHAOS IN DAMASCUS AND THROUGHOUT SYRIA: Media reports confirmed Friday that Syria's intelligence chief, Hisham Bekhtyar, had died of wounds suffered in a bombing on Wednesday which killed three of President Bashar Assad's top security officials. Also on Friday, UN refugee agency UNHCR said up to 30,000 Syrian refugees may have streamed into Lebanon since last Wednesday to escape fighting in their country. "We have reports we are trying to verify that thousands of Syrians overnight and yesterday crossed into Lebanon. So far reports vary between 8,500 and 30,000 people may have done so in the past 48 hours," said Melissa Fleming, UNHCR's chief spokeswoman. "Borders remain open...people continue to flood into Lebanon." One million Syrians are also believed to be internally displaced within the country as of last week, she told a news briefing in Geneva. (Ha’aretz) In addition to the extreme crisis of thousands of Syrian people and families forced to escape their homes and country, the situation represents a looming security threat for the Jewish state. Israel’s military and security officials are deeply concerned Syrian refugees may attempt to breach Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and stream into the country. This would endanger Israel's safety, as well as create a refugee dilemma: Syrians collectively, from the government and religious levels to the street, hate Israel. Breached borders could equip terrorist groups and individuals with open doors to the Jewish state with weapons, including chemical weapons, to use against innocent civilians. Urgent prayer is needed for all of Israel’s government, intelligence and military leaders to prevent this scenario from developing.

MASS DEFECTION OF ASSAD TROOPS: Syrian opposition sources have reported mass defections of Syrian Army soldiers in the wake of Wednesday's bombing that killed top Assad ministers. The Local Coordination Committees said 60 soldiers defected in Homs and 50 Special Forces troops abandoned their posts in Damascus. Additional defections were reported across Syria. The loss of President Bashar al-Assad's key security aides in Wednesday's explosion close to Assad's own residence dealt a potent blow to the Syrian government. It targeted the very cabinet ministers and intelligence chiefs who have coordinated the government's iron-fisted approach to the uprising. The bombing pierced the psychological advantage that Assad's superior military strength has provided in preserving the loyalty of his forces. (Times of Israel/NY Times)

UN SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS BULGARIA ATTACK: Members of the UN Security Council unanimously condemned on Thursday the deadly terrorist attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. “Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. All acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, no matter the motives for them, where, when and by whom they are carried out,” the statement said. The Middle East Quartet – the UN, the European Union, Russia and the US – also condemned the attack, calling it an act of cowardice against innocent people, including children. The Quartet offered its condolences and sympathies to the families and friends of the Israelis and others killed or injured in the attack. (Arutz-7)

HIZBULLAH BEHIND ATTACK ON ISRAELI TOURISTS IN BULGARIA: US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, commented Friday on the terror attack in Bulgaria, which claimed the lives of five Israelis and left dozens injured, saying Israel has the right of self-defense. Shapiro conveyed Washington's condolences to the families of the victims, adding the US is cooperating with Israel and Bulgaria on the investigation, so to ensure those responsible will be brought to justice. US officials on Thursday identified the suicide bomber responsible for a deadly attack on Israeli vacationers in Bulgaria as a member of a Hizbullah terrorist cell that was operating in the country. A senior Israeli leader said the assault was part of an intensive wave of terrorist attacks around the world carried out by the Iranian Quds Force as well as by Hizbullah. "They work together when necessary, and separately when not necessary," the Israeli official said. Bulgarian authorities released a security video Thursday showing the suspect wandering into the arrivals hall at the airport, for all appearances just a tourist in his plaid shorts, Adidas T-shirt and baseball hat. But it is his oddly bulky, oversized backpack that, in terrible hindsight, stands out the most. (Ynet/Daily Alert)

NETANYAHU: WE’LL CONTINUE TO FIGHT TERRORISTS: PM Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the media on Thursday, condemning Wednesday’s terror assault against Israelis in Bulgaria. “This attack was part of a global campaign of terror carried out by Iran and Hizbullah. This terror campaign has reached a dozen countries on five continents. The world's leading powers should make it clear that Iran is the country that stands behind this terror campaign.” He added that Iran must be exposed by the international community as the primary terrorist-supporting state that it is. “Everything should be done to prevent Iran, the world's most dangerous regime, from developing the world's most dangerous weapons. We'll continue to fight against terrorists and to exact a heavy price from those who support them,” said Netanyahu. Vice PM Moshe Yaalon said Friday that every Israeli who leaves the country needs to assume he is a target, and to be particularly alert. Speaking of the attack in Bulgaria, Yaalon said, “We have no doubt that Iran and its emissaries are behind this terrorist assault, as part of their recent attempt to hurt Israeli targets.” (INN) “O righteous God, who searches the minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked….” Ps 7: 9

PLANE WITH VICTIMS’ COFFINS LEAVES BULGARIA: A plane belonging to the Israeli Air Force and carrying the coffins of the five victims of the terror attack in Bulgaria took off towards the Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday evening. After the craft landed in Israel, a special state observance took place as the coffins were brought down from the plane. Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, presiding over ceremony declared the victims' only crime was that of being Israeli and being Jewish. "We stand before these five caskets and our heart is broken," he said. In addition to the tragic deaths of those killed in the terrorist attack in Bulgaria, 34 Israelis were injured. (INN)

TRAGIC LOSS OF ISRAELIS MURDERED IN BURGAS ATTACK: Before boarding a flight to Bulgaria on Wednesday, Kochava Shriki, 42, received a call from her doctor with the good news that after many unsuccessful attempts, she was finally pregnant. As she stood in Ben-Gurion Airport, she called her sister, Yael Morad, to tell her how happy she was. She ended the conversation by stating, “I’m getting on the plane in five minutes.” Yael’s last words to her sibling were, “Take care of yourself.” Just one day later, Morad stood outside of Ben-Gurion’s Terminal 1, knowing her sister was among the five Israelis killed when a suicide bomber boarded her bus in Bulgaria. In another tragic case, Itzik and Gilat Kolangi were on their first holiday since their daughter, Noya, was born four months ago. The two had gone on holiday with another couple, their good friends Amir and Natali Menashe. Amir and Itzik were both killed in the terrorist attack. The men were placing the bags in the luggage compartment when the bomb went off. Amir married Natali 18 months ago. Ten months ago, a son was born to them. (Arutz 7-JTA) Continue to pray for those who have suffered such heartbreaking loss of family and friends in the Burgas terrorist attack. Pray that those who, even now, are planning future acts of murder and violence against Israel and the Jewish people will be exposed and prevented.

MOST WANTED NAZI IS ARRESTED, INDICTED: Authorities in Hungary have arrested Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary, 97, the world’s most wanted Nazi war criminal after decades in hiding. He is accused of sending nearly 16,000 Jews to the Auschwitz death camp while serving as the police commander in charge of a Jewish ghetto. He “was known to be a sadist, he had a determination to round all Jews up and forcibly deport them to Poland,” said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Wiesenthal Center. He tortured and beat the Jews under his command, and shot anyone who tried to escape on sight. (UK Sun)

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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