Israel Update

November 26, 2012

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Mt: 11:28

MORSI CALLED A NEW PHARAOH AFTER ASSUMING SWEEPING POWERS: Critics of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi branded him a “new pharaoh” after he assumed sweeping new powers. The move is a blow to the pro-democracy movement that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak and raises concerns Islamists will be further ensconced in power, the report noted. "The president can issue any decision or measure to protect the revolution," according to a decree read out on television by presidential spokesman Yasser Ali. "The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal," he added. Morsi also stated no judicial body can dissolve the upper house of parliament or the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly that is writing a new constitution and which has been criticized by the secular-minded opposition for failing to represent all segments of society. The declaration is aimed at "cleansing state institutions" and "destroying the infrastructure of the old regime," the president's spokesman said. (AFP)

JEWISH AGENCY TAKES CHILDREN FROM SOUTH ON DAY OF FUN: In hopes of providing residents of the South with a degree of solace from the recent barrage of rocket attacks from terrorists in the nearby Gaza Strip, the Jewish Agency for Israel took 9,000 children and teenagers out for a day of fun. The children and their families enjoyed a range of activities Thursday, as they remained hopeful the ceasefire agreement would remain intact. The Mayor of Sderot, David Buskila, said the trips were “life altering for the participants.” The event was held the day after a ceasefire agreement went into effect Wednesday night between Israel and Hamas. Nearly 30,000 children were taken for rest and respite out of rocket range this week by the Jewish Agency. (Arutz-7) Years of broken promises and peace agreements on the part of Gaza Palestinians and other terrorist run enclaves make us skeptical the recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will hold for more than a matter of days or weeks. However, we must continue to pray in hope that hard lessons have been learned by Hamas and that relief will be long-lasting. Pray for full emotional and physical recovery for young and old in Israel’s southern communities who have suffered so much trauma and loss.

STUDENTS RETURN TO CLASS: While kids in Gaza vicinity communities remained at home, students in most southern cities headed back to school on Friday after spending over a week in the shelters avoiding rocket fire. Less than two days after the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, residents of Ashkelon resumed their daily routine, with students and teachers returning to the classrooms. For several hundred attending and teaching at two city schools, this means coming face to face with the rocket damage the facilities had incurred. "It is sad seeing a closed classroom, and even worse to see one that a rocket has penetrated," said head of Ashkelon's education department, Moshe Yannai. "Some of the school's eighth graders won't be able to return to their classroom in the upcoming days," he added. One eighth grader, Liran, said, "It will be hard leaving the classroom we have been studying in for the last two years. On the other hand, I saw the damage to the classroom in a picture and I'm glad not to have to learn there. I am glad things are returning to normal, and would very much like it if the new classroom would bring with it a period of peace and quiet. (Ynet) Pray for the protection and peace of children, teachers and schools within all of Israel's rocket besieged communities.

RESERVIST WOUNDED BY A ROCKET ON WEDNESDAY DIES OF INJURIES: IDF reserve officer Lt. Boris Yarmulnik, 28, died Thursday of wounds he suffered from a terrorist rocket fired by Gazans a day earlier. The rocket was launched at the Eshkol area in the early afternoon, before the "ceasefire" with the terrorists went into effect. Lt. Yarmulnik, a resident of Netanya, was laid to rest on Friday afternoon at the military cemetery there. He is the second IDF soldier killed in Operation Pillar of Defense. (Arutz-7) Pray for the comforting of Boris Yarmulnik’s loved ones. Pray also for a full recovery of those yet in hospitals who are victims of terrorist attacks and rocket fire.

SURVEY: 70% OF ISRAELIS OPPOSED HALTING GAZA OPERATION: A survey conducted a few hours prior to the announcement of the volatile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas found 70 percent of Israelis responded "No" to the question of whether Israel should agree to a ceasefire, with 24% replying in the affirmative and 6% responding "Don’t know." The respondents were further asked whether they believed the ceasefire agreement would hold, and if so, for how long? 64% responded by saying it would hold for only a short time; 24% said it would not hold at all; 7% said it would last for a long time; and 5% responded "Don't know." A similar survey which had been reported after the ceasefire went into effect, found 59% of the public opposed the ceasefire, while only 33% said they supported it. (INN)

GANTZ: THE OTHER SIDE WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED TO IT: Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Friday visited Israelis who had been hurt by recent Gaza rocket attacks and were hospitalized in Be’er Sheva. During the visit, Gantz assured the desired results in the Gaza operation were achieved. He added that "with every passing day the other side will understand what really happened to it." We do not need to be alarmed and frustrated by all sorts of demonstrations in different places," he said, stressing "the results will speak for themselves." Gantz said during Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel "acted in a planned and controlled manner, and right now we are also working to ensure the security in the south will improve - just as we intended to do." The Chief of Staff went on to praise the IDF and the strength of the Israeli home front during the recent escalation. Israel’s leaders, particularly PM Netanyahu, have been criticized over the ceasefire with Hamas that ended the Pillar of Defense counter-terror operation." (Arutz-7)

LIEBERMAN: POWER IS ALSO ABOUT HOLDING BACK: Israel’s power is rooted not just in its ability to strike but also in its ability to hold back when necessary, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday about the decision to call a ceasefire in Gaza rather than choosing to launch a ground assault. "It is obvious a majority of the population was in favor of continuing the operation," Lieberman added, but power is not only about hitting but also about holding back." At the same time he expressed skepticism as to whether the ceasefire would last. "I definitely think it is not over and done with. We will have to topple the Hamas regime over time. However, under the current circumstances, we made the best decision when opting for a ceasefire." Lieberman then added, "We had many misgivings and not all of them can be shared with the public. This was not a strategic operation. We explicitly said there are three goals: stopping the rocket fire, restoring deterrence and destroying Hamas’s stockpiles of long-range Fajr missiles. We achieved all those goals." Asked why Israel did not utilize Operation Pillar of Defense to topple Hamas, he answered, "Our weak spot is our value for human life. Entering Gaza means fighting from house to house in Khan Yunis, Gaza and Rafiah. Eradicating Hamas will not take two or three months, not even four months, " said Lieberman. "At this time it was not appropriate to make decisions like that, so there was no misleading of the public. We did our best." (INN)

SON OF HAMAS SAYS ISRAEL MADE A MISTAKE WITH CEASEFIRE: Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of the founders of the Hamas terrorist organization and author of the book “Son of Hamas,” said Friday that Israel made a mistake by agreeing to a ceasefire with Gaza’s terrorist rulers. Yousef has spent a number of years abroad following a decade in which he risked his life working undercover as an agent for the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). "What is important is that at the moment there is a ceasefire, and I think we need to look at things and digest all of what happened," Yousef said in a special interview. "I believe the Shin Bet did its best," he added. "Let's not forget that our enemy is a barbaric one which uses women and children as human shields, and in these situations we are very limited, because we care about the lives of innocent citizens." Asked about the likelihood of an Israeli ground operation in Gaza, Yousef responded that "it may be that it was not the best timing for action of this kind - but I'm sure it's a possibility that Israel will consider for the future. Speaking about the possibility that Israel would have to work towards toppling the Hamas regime in Gaza, the former Shin Bet agent said, "This is necessary, not only for Israel but for the benefit of humanity. Hamas was born to destroy. It cannot build.” He praised the State of Israel, saying, "Israel helps the Palestinian people more than anyone else: Every day it provides electricity and even the salaries paid to employees come from banks in Israel. There is also humanitarian aid that enters Gaza." (INN) “Then the Lord will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord God will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.” Zech 9: 14

VENEZUELA: DOZENS ATTACK SYNAGOGUE OVER GAZA CONFLICT: Leaders of the Jewish community in Venezuela said about 50 people protested Israel’s airstrikes in the Gaza Strip outside the largest synagogue in Caracas on Thursday. The Venezuelan Confederation of Israelite Associations said the demonstrators hurled fireworks inside the synagogue, disrupting activities and causing panic. The organization said the unidentified people shouted antisemitic slogans condemning Jews for the violence in the Middle East. The organization called on the government to guarantee security at places of worship. The protest came a day after Israel and the Hamas terrorist group agreed to a ceasefire to end eight days of rocket attacks and airstrikes. (Times of Israel)

Blessings from Jerusalem,

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 Storehouse?", 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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