Israel Update

January 2, 2013

“I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob.
I will put my trust in Him.” Isa 8:17

PM: HAMAS COULD REPLACE THE PA BEFORE OR AFTER AGREEMENT: PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said Hamas could replace the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, before or after a peace agreement. Speaking at a bible study group at the Prime Minister's Residence, Netanyahu said: "Any sensible person can understand Hamas is able to replace the Palestinian Authority - before an agreement or after an agreement - as witnessed in Gaza. "In an apparent response to President Shimon Peres' call to renew talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu said that, as opposed to the "voices that I have heard recently urging me to make concessions and withdraw," he will continue to manage the diplomatic process "responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue haste." He stated that Israel must avoid allowing a "third Iranian terror base in the heart of the country," stating that peace will only come once security is assured. Netanyahu added that the Palestinian Authority regime could be shaken at any time, as witnessed in Egypt and Syria. (J.Post) Pray PM Netanyahu will continue to be strengthened in his astute judgments and decisions, regarding a false peace agreement with Israel’s avowed enemies.

HAMAS TO ABBAS: TRANSFER THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TO US, NOT NETANYAHU: Hamas terrorist officials on Monday criticized PA President Mahmoud Abbas' recent declarations that if the diplomatic stagnation continues after the Israeli election, he will dismantle the PA and return responsibility for the West Bank to the Israeli government. In a press interview Abbas said, "If there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone and call Netanyahu. I'll tell him, 'my dear friend, Mr. Netanyahu, I am inviting you to the Muqata. Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority.'" In response, Hamas deputy political bureau chief Moussa Abu Marzouk called on Abbas to hand the keys over to the Hamas terrorist organization, not to Israel. "Why give it up to Netanyahu? We are more reliable. The more effective threat would be for Abbas to hand over authority to Hamas, who has proven its steadfast opposition to the Gaza blockade and has won battles against Israel. This would strengthen efforts at reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas," Abu Marzouk stated. (Ha’aretz)

3 SOLDIERS INJURED IN UNDERCOVER STING OPERATION: Three IDF soldiers were lightly injured when riots erupted Tuesday in the Palestinian village of Tamon in the Jordan Valley. The riots broke out after an undercover unit, posing as vegetable vendors arrested a chief member of a terrorist group, sparking clashes. An official emphasized that although fighting did break out, the IDF forces completed their assignment. He also stressed that despite Palestinian media reports, only five Palestinians were wounded, all of them minor, and two IDF soldiers were lightly injured as well. On Monday, Palestinian-Arabs threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Rachel's Tomb, south of Jerusalem. No one was injured. (Arutz-7) Pray for the continued capture of terrorists and their leaders. Pray for the protection of IDF soldiers carrying out their orders to that end.

EGYPT OFFICIAL: ISRAEL WILL BE WIPED OUT IN A DECADE: Muslim Brotherhood advisor to the Egyptian president, Essam al-Aryan, has spent the past few days trying to explain what he meant when he called on Jews to return to Egypt. A London-based newspaper reported Tuesday that al-Aryan estimated the State of Israel will be wiped out within a decade. The Muslim Brotherhood official, who also serves as the Freedom and Justice Party's deputy chairman, explained that Jews must return to Egypt in order to make room for Palestinian refugees. He added that Israel is destined to collapse. "There will be no such thing as Israel, instead there will be Palestine which will be home to Jews, Muslims and Druze. " Egypt's presidential palace is trying to distance itself from al-Aryan's statements." (Ynet) “I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:15

NEW EGYPTIAN PARTY SET TO SPLIT ISLAMIST VOTE FURTHER: Leading members of Egypt's hardline Islamist movement unveiled a new political party on Tuesday, pointing to new rivalries that could split the Islamist vote in an impending parliamentary election. The creation of the al-Watan ('Homeland') Party is part of a political landscape that was dominated by a variety of Islamist parties in the last election a year ago, but is still evolving. The polls, due to begin in two months, will be defined by competition between the Islamists, many of them from the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group that propelled Mohamed Morsi to the presidency. Al-Watan's founders include the former leader of the Nour Party, a hardline Salafi Islamist group that came second to the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party in the last election. (J.Post)

SYRIA STARTS 2013 WITH AERIAL STRIKES AND CLASHES: Residents of Damascus entered 2013 to the sound of artillery hitting southern and eastern districts that form a rebel-held crescent on the outskirts of the capital, the center of which is still firmly under government control. A rebel leader said opposition forces attacked one checkpoint in the district of Berzeh early Tuesday. The previous day, mortar bombs hit the southwest suburb of Daraya, where the army launched a military offensive to retake the battered district. Assad's air force pounded Damascus's eastern suburbs, as well as rebel-held areas in the second city Aleppo, and several rural towns and villages. An estimated 45,000 people have been killed in the revolt, which started in early 2011. A resident of the central city of Homs said shells had landed on the Old City early Tuesday. Homs lies on the strategic north-south highway and parts of the ancient city have been leveled during months of clashes. The opposition-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported 160 people killed on the final day of 2012, including at least 37 government troops. The civil war in Syria has become the longest and deadliest of the conflicts that have swept through the Arab world over the past two years. (Ha’aretz)

SYRIAN REBELS BEHEAD CHRISTIAN MAN: As Western-backed Syrian rebels celebrated victories in cities across the north of the country, they also reportedly took revenge on minorities who had failed to fully side with them against embattled dictator Bashar Assad. Agnes-Mariam de la Croix, a Syrian nun, told foreign media that in one instance a taxi driver was pulled from his vehicle by rebel fighters and beheaded, his body thrown as food to stray dogs. The man's crime? His brother had been overhead complaining about the behavior of the rebel forces. Sister Agnes-Mariam says it was that, combined with the fact that the victim, Andrei Arbashe, was a Christian that made him a target for the rebels. The Syrian nun said she has been speaking out over the atrocities committed by Syrian rebels, atrocities that are being all but ignored by the mainstream media and the Western governments supporting the Free Syria Army and its satellite groups. "The uprising has been hijacked by Islamist mercenaries who are more interested in fighting a holy war than in changing the government," she said, adding, "Christians are paying a high price." In another interview, Sister Agnes-Mariam noted many of the rebel fighters are being imported from outside Syria and told that they are battling against Israeli/Zionist forces, thereby igniting their fervor to kill everything in their path. There have also been threats by rebel leaders that once they are finished toppling the Syrian regime, they plan to turn their forces loose on Israel. Sister Agnes-Mariam said she was not necessarily advocating in favor of Assad, but insisted that if the radical Muslim rebel forces succeed in taking over, there will be no future for Christians in Syria. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones) Pray for the believing remnant in Syria to be shielded from fear and violence during these terrible times. Pray for God’s comfort to be with those who have lost loved ones and property. May he mercifully raise up leaders in Syria who are interested in changing the government for the good of all.

3,OOO TREES TO BE PLANTED IN ISRAEL TO MEMORIALIZE NEWTOWN VICTIMS: More than 2,000 people have donated funds to plant a grove of more than 3,000 trees in Israel in memory of the victims of the Newtown shooting. Hadassah has raised more than $61,000 towards honoring the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The trees will be part of the Beersheva River Park, a 1,700-acre water, environmental and commercial area being constructed by the Jewish National Fund in Israel’s desert city. The idea for the Newtown grove grew from a request made by Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was the only Jewish victim of the shooting at the Connecticut school. Pozner said memorial contributions could be directed toward the planting of trees in Israel. The president of Hadassah, Marcie Natan, said her organization decided quickly that it wanted to honor all the victims of the massacre, not just Noah. “Everybody was so affected by the massacre and wanted to do something to express their solidarity with the families,” said Natan. (JTA)

ISRAEL ECONOMY BEST IN THE WEST: Israel's economy grew an estimated 3.3% in 2012, its slowest pace in three years, but it still outpaced the 1.4% average growth rate for Western nations. Growth slowed from 4.6% in 2011, mainly due to recessions in Europe, Israel's largest trading partner, weak growth in the US and slower growth in Asia. "Given the international situation, the Israeli economy is doing very well," Shlomo Yitzhaki, the government's statistician, said Monday. (Reuters)

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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