Israel Update

August 14, 2012

“Let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” 1Thess 5:6

IRAN EARTHQUAKES KILL 185 PEOPLE: The death toll in two earthquakes which hit northwest Iran on Saturday has risen to at least 185. Some 1300 people were reportedly injured. The US Geological Survey measured the first quake at a 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 37 miles northeast of the city of Tabriz. A second quake measuring 6.3 hit 30 miles northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later. According to the Iranian Fars news agency, the second quake was so intense people poured into the streets through fear. Officials urged people in the region to stay outdoors during the night for fear of aftershocks. By early evening there had been at least 10 aftershocks. Iran is straddled by several major fault lines and has suffered devastating earthquakes in recent times. The last major quake in 2003 killed more than 30,000 people. (Reuters)

NIE SAYS IRAN APPROACHING IMMUNITY ZONE: Top US officials, who are privy to the relevant intelligence shared by Israel and the US, said days ago that Tehran is rapidly approaching the "immunity zone" – the critical point after which the Islamic Republic's nuclear program will no longer be vulnerable to a military strike. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report, submitted to the White House said Iran has recently installed 5,000 "twin centrifuges" in the underground nuclear facility in Fordo, near Qom. From Israel’s prospective, introducing the centrifuges to Fordo has rendered the site partially immune against an Israeli strike, by making it difficult to ram through the fortified mountain-side facility. According to the report, the US and Israel may disagree on the time frame of a possible attack, but are in complete agreement over the latest intelligence. (Ynet)

WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT’S FOCUSING ON TALKS WITH IRAN, NO COMMENT ON NEW INTELLIGENCE REPORT: Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak, on Thursday, said US President Barack Obama had obtained the new National Intelligence Estimate update on the Iranian nuclear program – a report the US President has yet to admit receiving. The document, he said, included Israel's consensus that Iran has made significant progress toward military nuclear capability, which raises the urgency of the issue. Asked to respond to Barak's statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney said he couldn't "comment on intelligence reports the president may or may not have received." He said however the Obama Administration remains committed to preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capabilities. Carney indicated the US is still seeking to persuade Iran through sanctions and through diplomatic efforts to forego its nuclear weapons ambitions and live up to its international obligations. Earlier Thursday, stern diplomats and Israeli officials confirmed that Obama did indeed received the new National Intelligence Estimate report, which shares Israel's view the Islamic Republic has made surprising, significant progress toward military nuclear capability. This NIE report on Iran was supposed to have been submitted to Obama a few weeks ago, but was revised to include new and alarming intelligence information about military components of Tehran’s nuclear program. (Ha’aretz) Pray Israel’s leaders will hear from the Lord with clarity regarding steps to be taken pertaining to the Iranian nuclear threat. May their trust be in the G-d of Israel and not in man.

SAUDIS THREATEN TO SHOOT DOWN IRAN-BOUND ISRAELI PLANES: Saudi Arabia informed Israel last Thursday it will shoot down any Israeli planes that fly over its airspace on their way to or from Iran. IDF intelligence had identified four air routes that could be used to attack Iran – one of them over a corner of Saudi territory. Israeli officials are now concerned the southern route, if chosen, will entail a battle with the Saudi air force. Although Saudi pilots are not known for their skills, the country has a wide array of sophisticated defensive and offensive systems and weapons, thanks to massive American arms sales. Some Israeli officials were doubtful the message had been solely the idea of the Saudis, rather that it was part of ongoing pressures by US officials to prevent Israel from attacking Iran without Washington's permission. (INN)

ISRAEL NEEDS TO BE PREPARED FOR A MULTI-FRONT WAR: IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz warned days ago that despite the country’s military and intelligence ability to foil last week’s terror assault near the border with Egypt, there are no guarantees Israel would have similar security information to thwart similar attacks in the future. Gantz said the current turmoil in the region is forcing the IDF to prepare for a multi-front attack. He noted that Israel and the IDF are closely monitoring the changes taking place in Syria and Egypt, adding that the Jewish state must be prepared for the possibility of conflict in the region. “Recent events require the IDF to prepare for every scenario - even a multi-front confrontation,” he stressed. (Arutz-7) Pray Israelis from every walk of life and in every segment of society will cry out to the Lord for deliverance and protection from their enemies.

FINANCIAL SYSTEM PREPARING FOR IRAN STRIKE, SAYS FISCHER: Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer disclosed Friday the financial system is preparing for an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and for a possible downturn in the economy which may result. He said, “It is possible to describe situations of widespread war which would be very difficult to deal with. We are preparing for a major crisis and for security situation which is much worse.”  Fischer warned if Greece leaves the eurozone there may soon be a global financial crisis, similar to the one in 2008. “This will cause us problems which we can deal with if we are in the best condition possible.”  Fischer added that Israel's economy is in good condition. "It’s not in great condition, but we are handling the crisis,” he assured.  (INN)

NETANYAHU TO BAN: DON’T GO TO IRAN: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday strongly urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider his visit to Tehran this month. He reminded Ban the Iranian regime has openly and repeatedly declared its intention to destroy the Jewish state, that it wages an international terrorist campaign on five continents and arms terrorist groups Hizbullah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad enabling them to continue firing thousands of missiles on Israeli cities and citizens. He said that worst of all, in spite of decisions by the UN Security Council, harsh sanctions and repeated proposals to reach a diplomatic solution, the Iranian regime ignores the international community and races to carry out its intention of equipping itself with nuclear weapons. Addressing the UN leader Netanyahu stated, “To reward Iran for its impudence by a visit of the UN Secretary-General would be a horrible mistake. To grant legitimacy, however unintentional, to a regime that openly calls for the elimination of another UN member state will stain you and the organization you lead. Mr. Secretary-General, your place is not in Tehran,” concluded Netanyahu. (Arutz-7)

OREN’S IRAN ARTICLE GETS THUMBS UP FROM BAHRAINI FM: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al Khalifa recently tweeted an article about Iran by Israel’s US envoy Michael Oren. He openly underscored Bahrain’s shared concern over the Iranian threat. In the piece, published in the Wall Street Journal, Oren warned Iran’s progress in its nuclear program demonstrated diplomacy and sanctions have failed to end Tehran’s nuclear threat. He went on to caution that “time is dwindling and, with each passing day, the lives of eight million Israelis grow increasingly imperiled.” Gulf States such as Bahrain have long been understood to fear a nuclear-armed Iran. US diplomatic cables made available through WikiLeaks revealed Gulf leaders in some cases have called for military action to prevent an Iranian bomb. However, it is extremely rare for an Arab official to take a public position that endorses that view or backs an Israeli perspective. “It shows the Iranian nuclear program is not solely an Israel concern but one of the entire Middle East,” Ambassador Michael Oren said Thursday. (J.Post)

HIZBULLAH COULD HIT EUROPE AT ANY TIME WITH NO WARNING: US counter-terrorism coordinator Daniel Benjamin warned Friday that Iran and Hizbullah are maintaining heightened levels of terrorist activity as the US Treasury announced a fresh wave of sanctions targeting the Lebanon-based group. Hizbullah could attack Europe at any time and with little to no warning Benjamin said. He further explained that "Hizbullah maintains a presence in Europe and its recent activities demonstrate it is not constrained by concerns about collateral damage or political fallout that could result from conducting operations there."  The US Treasury imposed new sanctions on Hizbullah due to the group's continued support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Benjamin warned Hizbullah could become increasingly violent as international sanctions threaten Syria and Iran, its patron-states. (J.Post) “The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down.” Is 29:20

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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