Israel Update

December 30, 2012

“Then the Lord spoke to me again and asked, ‘What do you see now?’
And I replied, ‘I see a pot of boiling water, spilling from the north.’” Jer 1:13

NETANYAHU AND JORDAN’S KING DISCUSS SYRIA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS: PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Syrian pilots were using against their own people weapons forbidden under an international convention, and warned that Israel would act if necessary against any threat. Earlier this week, Netanyahu made a secret trip to Amman, where he met with Jordan's King Abdullah. According to the report, Netanyahu and King Abdullah discussed their mutual apprehensions over use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad. The US and its allies, including Israel, have repeatedly expressed concern that Syria's stockpile, believed to be one of the biggest in the world, could be stolen and fall into extremist hands or be transferred to the Hizbullah terror group by a crumbling Syrian regime. At this week's Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel's defense establishment is continuing to monitor events in Syria, “where there are dramatic developments almost daily.” Israel, he said, is cooperating with the US and the rest of the international community on making preparations should Assad fall. The prospect includes the possibility Syria's chemical weapons arsenal could be transferred to terrorist control, be used against rebel forces, or be fired in an attack on Syria's neighbors, including Israel. Al Jazeera reported this week that Assad had dropped bombs containing toxic gases, killing six people and blinding others in Homs. Opposition forces released a video showing a victim struggling to breathe after the attack. Doctors have said Assad’s forces are probably also using “Agent 15,” which causes paralysis. On Friday, CNN confirmed the Syrian government has used Iranian-made Fateh A-110 missiles against rebels in the country on at least two occasions this week. (Arutz-7/CNN)

YAALON: US PREPARING TO INTERVENE IN SYRIA: Israel’s government minister Moshe Yaalon this week disclosed the US was preparing to intervene in Syria. He said the final decision on intervention will come should the Syrian army start using chemical weapons against its own citizens. Meanwhile, reports Wednesday said the head of Syria's military police had defected to the rebel side. Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz al-Shallal, the chief of the Syrian military police and the top general responsible for preventing defections within the military, made a daring four-hour sprint by motorcycle across the border into Turkey, insurgents said Wednesday. The general said the Syrian military had deviated from its mission to protect the country, and had transformed into "a gang for killing and destruction." (INN/NYTimes)

SYRIAN MODERATES FEAR BEING EDGED OUT OF UPRISING: Abdul Rahman leads a collection of moderate Free Syrian Army battalions in Aleppo. He says, "The moderates are the majority of people here in Syria, but now they are decreasing without any support. If it continues like it is now, extremist groups will have a lot of influence after the Assad government falls." Many Syrians say that conservative Islamist groups are gaining the most ground inside Syria right now. Throughout Aleppo, a number of civilians are also calling for a post-Assad government to be based on sharia, or Islamic law. (Christian Science Monitor)

ASSAD TRAPPED IN SYRIA? Turkey confirmed Wednesday that Syrian President Assad has asked Venezuela for asylum for his family as opposition forces continue to make military gains on the ground. A Damascus-based diplomat said Assad, despite official denials, is "totally aware" he must leave and is looking for a way out. "More importantly, powerful people in the upper circle in Damascus are feeling an exit must be found." According to Russian analysts, however, even if Assad wants to flee it is unclear if the top generals will let him out alive since they fear if they lay down arms they - and their families - will die in vengeance killings. More than 45,000 people have been killed in Syria since the outbreak in March 2011 of an anti-regime revolt. (Ynet/NYTimes)

SENIOR HAMAS LEADER: RENEW SUICIDE BOMBINGS AGAINST ISRAEL: A senior Hamas leader has called for a third intifada. Ahmed Halabiyeh, director of the Jerusalem Department in Hamas said Tuesday that Palestinians should resort to martyrdom operations in Israel, including suicide bus bombings. He urged Palestinians to "ignite a third intifada to save the Aksa Mosque and Jerusalem."  He additionally accused Israel of working to undermine the foundations of the Aksa Mosque to bring about its collapse. Also on Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a conference that Israel is "on the verge of a third intifada." (J. Post/JTA) Pray Israel’s crippling blow dealt to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, during last month’s defensive war against terrorist rocket-fire operatives, will suffice to keep Palestinian leaders from seriously thinking about risking another intifada against the Jewish state.

HAMAS PUTS BAN ON WORKING WITH ‘HOSTILE’ ISRAELI MEDIA: The Hamas terrorist organization operating out of Gaza Strip released a statement Tuesday forbidding local journalists from working with "hostile" Israeli media. The weekly cabinet meeting decided "to ban work with all Zionist media and journalists," and to declare Israeli media "hostile." The statement mentioned Israeli media and television stations which operate in Gaza through local Palestinian-Arab production companies, working with Arab journalists. This was the first time Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2006, has issued such an edict. (INN)

NETANYAHU: I’LL STRENGTHEN SETTLEMENTS DURING NEXT FOUR YEARS: PM Binyamin Netanyahu this week promised to continue strengthening the settlement enterprise in the West Bank, kicking off his campaign ahead of national elections on January 22. Netanyahu commented that while Israel is reaching out to the Palestinians in order to achieve a true and mutual peace agreement, his party will continue to safeguard the security interests of the people of Israel "despite international pressure." Israel has come under intense pressure overseas for recent announcements of construction activity beyond the Green Line. The criticism didn't stop the Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee from giving their final approval Monday to around 1,200 apartments in the neighborhood of Gilo. Turning to domestic issues, Netanyahu committed himself to lowering housing prices if he is re-elected. He also promised to continue working to halt Tehran's illicit nuclear program. (J.Post) Pray for Israel’s January 22 elections: Intercede particularly that politicians favoring a division of Jerusalem, or land exchange for a false peace with the Palestinians will not be voted into positions of influence or sway.

POLL: ECONOMIC, SOCIAL ISSUES TOP SECURITY CONCERNS FOR VOTERS: A poll newly released, indicates Israelis are far more concerned with economic and social issues in the current elections than they are with defense matters. Survey results indicate this is the first national election campaign in decades that did not focus on national security. The poll showed 57% of Israelis were more anxious about social-economic problems than those connected with national defense, as opposed to 28% who will vote based on concerns for national security. Fifty-two percent of respondents said the high cost of living was their number one concern. In a question verifying the voters' stance, 48% of respondents said that on election-day they would be chiefly considering social-economic issues, while 35% said that security would matter most. Some 600 people participated in the poll. Teleseker said the participants were selected as an accurate cross-section of the Israeli public. (INN)

EGYPT’S MORSI SIGNS ISLAMIST CONSTITUTION INTO LAW: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has signed into law a new Islamist-drafted constitution he says will help end political turmoil. Results of a national referendum announced Tuesday showed Egyptians had approved the text with an overwhelming 63.8%. Although the approval of the constitution gives Morsi and his Egyptian Brotherhood a reason to celebrate, Morsi cannot sideline the bitter aspect of this victory. The Islamist-backed constitution has divided the Arab’s most populous nation into two camps. While Morsi’s affirmation of the constitution rests on the premise the draft would end a prolonged period of turmoil that has broken down the economy, the opponents are crying foul on the draft due to the apprehension the new charter stifles basic human rights, hinders women’s liberty, alienates religious minorities and provides too much leeway to conservative clerics in matters of administering the country. In addition to alienating a large section of liberals and religious groups, the prolonged period of violence and protests has battered the Egyptian economy. An economic crisis has gripped Egypt in the last two weeks. Many Egyptians removed their saving from banks, which led authorities to impose new currency restrictions to reduce capital flight. (J.Post)

RARE FIND OF TEMPLE ERA ARTIFACTS NEAR JERUSALEM: The archaeological site is known as Tel Motza, at the Motza turnoff less than five miles west of Jerusalem. "The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple," according to directors of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “The uniqueness of the structure is even more remarkable because of the vicinity of the site's proximity to the capital city of Jerusalem, which acted as the Kingdom's main sacred center at the time,” they added. Tel Motza and the surrounding region are renowned for their archaeological importance. The site's archaeologists proposed identifying the site with the Biblical settlement "Mozah" mentioned in the Book of Joshua, a town in the tribal lands of Benjamin bordering on Judaea. (INN) “Surely your servants find pleasure in her stones and feel pity for her dust. So the nations will fear the name of the Lord and all the kings of the earth your glory.” Ps 102:14-15

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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