Israel Update

December 10, 2012

“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.” Ps 112:4

EMBOLDENED HAMAS LEADER ENDS LONG EXILE; VISITS GAZA STRIP: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal arrived in the Gaza Strip on Friday, ending 45 years of exile from the area with a visit that underscored the Islamist group's growing confidence following a recent conflict with Israel. After passing through the Egyptian border crossing, Meshaal was greeted by dozens of officials from an array of competing Palestinian factions lined up to meet him. He declared upon arrival, "This is a historic moment - a victory for both the Palestinian people and Gaza. Today it is Gaza and tomorrow it will be Ramallah, then Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa," he said, referring to Palestinian objectives to take over all of Israel. The highlight of his visit will be an open-air rally on Saturday, which Hamas will use to celebrate its self-proclaimed “victory” in its recent eight-day conflagration with Israel. A large stage has been set up in Gaza City, complete with a huge model of the homemade M75 rocket that was fired at both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in last month's war. Israel says its air strikes not only killed terrorist chief and head of Hamas’ military wing, Ahmed Jabari, but also severely depleted Hamas' weapons stockpile. However, the fighting clearly boosted Hamas' political standing in the region, winning it the support of many regional powers, such as Qatar, Turkey, and Egypt - who dispatched senior delegations to Gaza in a rare and public display of solidarity. Palestinian faction, Fatah, has accepted Hamas’ invitation to participate in celebrations in the Gaza Strip. The invitation is seen as yet another sign of rapprochement between the rival parties. The Arab Spring revolts of the last two years have brought friends of Hamas to power across the Arab world, above all Egypt's new President Mohammed Morsi, whose long-banned Muslim Brotherhood is spiritual mentor to Hamas. (News Max/ INN/Ynet)

Israel's prime minister brushed off international uproar over a planned new settlement project near Jerusalem, claiming Thursday that Israel will keep the area under any future peace deal. Israel's plans to build 3,000 new homes in the corridor east of Jerusalem triggered sharp criticism in Europe - including from Germany, traditionally one of Israel's most stalwart allies. The move came after the UN General Assembly, [illicitly undermining the Oslo accord agreements], voted to support a Palestinian statehood bid - with Germany abstaining rather than voting against. Netanyahu's tough comments were the latest sign he has no plans to step back from his plans to develop the area. Palestinians say building homes in the so-called E1 corridor would make it impossible for them to establish a viable state in the West Bank. Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said "After the decision of the UN General Assembly, every centimeter in Jerusalem and the West Bank is Palestinian land, and every Israeli settlement is illegal." Netanyahu offered no indication his government might be prepared to backtrack. The contentious corridor is small, he told reporters, and "successive governments from Yitzhak Rabin on down to my predecessor, Mr. Ehud Olmert, have also said this would be incorporated in a final peace treaty." (Yahoo) What a revealing statement is in Nabil Abu Rdeneh’s line, “After the decision of the UN General assembly, every centimeter in Jerusalem and the West Bank is Palestinian land.” This has always been, and will always be, the Palestinian agenda; not to negotiate with Israel and to share territory in peace but to utterly drive the Jewish people out of their capital Jerusalem, the surrounding cities and from every centimeter of Israel’s land from border to border. Not able to do so through terrorism and war, they are now attempting to push through their agenda by means of a mock, illegal statehood via the UN. Continue to pray for PM Netanyahu and Israel’s government to stand strong against international disapproval.

EGYPT: PROTESTERS NEARLY BREAK INTO PRESIDENTIAL PALACE: Thousands in Egypt are participating in anti-Morsi demonstrations, protesting his recent power grabs and controversial constitution. Demonstrators on Friday evening removed the barbed wire and barriers leading to the presidential palace in Cairo. The guards then formed a human chain to block crowds from reaching the palace. A number of marches had arrived in the area Friday afternoon and thousands participated. The protesters chanted slogans calling for toppling President Mohammed Morsi’s government over the sweeping powers he recently granted himself as well as over a controversial new constitution. Both Morsi's Islamist backers and the largely secular opposition have dug in their positions in the confrontation, raising the prospect of further escalation of the crisis rocking the Arab world's most populous state. Each side is depicting the conflict as an all-out fight for Egypt's future and identity. The opposition accuses Morsi and his Islamist allies of turning increasingly dictatorial to force their agenda on the country, monopolize power and turn Egypt into an Islamist state. The Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization, from which Morsi hails, and other Islamists say the opposition is trying to use the streets to overturn their victories in elections over the past year and to stifle the implementation of Islamic Shariah law. (Arutz-7/Ynet) “I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian – brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, kingdom against kingdom. The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing.” Isa 19:2

US OFFICIAL: NEW IRAN SANCTIONS TO LOCK UP OIL: The US has aggressively ramped up its use of financial sanctions this year to pressure Iran to stop pursuing nuclear weapons. A measure that takes effect in February is expected to have the most dramatic impact yet, according to a top Treasury Department official. Starting February 6, US law will prevent Iran from repatriating earnings it gets from its shrinking oil export trade, a powerful sanction that will "lock up" a substantial amount of Tehran's funds, said David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Treasury Department. "Iran's oil revenues will largely be shackled within a given country and only usable to purchase goods from that country," Cohen explained. He added that if banks transfer Iran's oil earnings beyond their borders, they will risk losing access to the US banking system. Iran's crude exports are set to drop by about a quarter in December to the lowest level since sanctions were applied this year. Oil shipments by Iran have more than halved in 2012. Sources in China said Iran may be struggling to find enough tankers to ship the crude as more and more are being used to store unsold oil. Most of the crude is scheduled for China, India, Japan and South Korea. Two top US foreign policy officials said Thursday, if the standoff over the Iranian nuclear program is not resolved diplomatically, it will be resolved militarily by the end of 2013. (J.Post)

ISRAEL KNOWS HOW TO DEAL WITH SYRIAN CHEMICAL THREAT: Lt. Col. Mordechai Kedar, a 25-year veteran of Israel’s military intelligence has assured that actions are quietly being taken to deal with the potential threat posed by Syria's chemical arsenal. The US said recently its intelligence had detected that Syrian technicians at two sites had mixed precursor chemicals for the deadly nerve gas called sarin. Sources warned the chemical may have been loaded into aerial bombs or artillery shells. A question arises, if the nerve gas is loaded into aerial bombs, and if the bombs make it on to planes and are fired, what happens if they are intercepted and explode in mid-air either by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, or by Patriot missiles? Kedar explained if an aerial bomb bearing a payload of sarin explodes in mid-air, “it is much less dangerous than if it blows up on your head. Sarin needs to be within a certain range, and at a certain concentration, in order to be effective.” He added that missiles are much faster, but they too can be dealt with. The aerial chemical weapons threat, however, is one reason Turkey has turned to NATO for assistance, Kedar noted. “This is why Turkey is deploying Patriots along the border with Syria.” The intelligence veteran said that behind the Syrian scenes, “things are being done.” But he assured that good professional people are dealing with this, who have all the information and are making decisions in accordance with the changing situation.” (J.Post)

TUNISIAN CLERIC SAYS JEWS ARE APES: A Tunisian cleric referred to Jews as “prophet slayers and apes” and prayed for Allah to annihilate them. The remarks were made in a Friday sermon in Rades, Tunisia, which was delivered by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Suhayli and aired on a local television network. They were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. (Arutz-7) “You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.” Job 5:21

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 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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