Israel Update

February 4, 2013

“The Lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.” Job 4:10

REGION’S ARMIES ALL ON HIGH ALERT: The armies of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan are all on high alert, a Lebanese newspaper claimed Sunday. The report in A-Diar said the alerts were due to Israel's strikes on a Syrian missile transport and on a sensitive Syrian military installation.The Syrian army has instructed its units to break up into smaller groups, “similar to what Hizbullah has done in south Lebanon,” reported A-Diar. The strategy is designed to protect troops in the wake of another possible Israeli assault. The report added that Syrian troops had joined Hizbullah terrorists in several areas of south Lebanon. According to the report, Syrian and Hizbullah forces were stationed very close to the Israeli border, in the area of Har Dov (also known as “Sheba Farms”). The Lebanese and Jordanian armies are also on high alert over the possibility of a clash between Israel and Syria in the area. (INN)

REPORT: IAF WARPLANES SEEN FLYING THE SKIES OF LEBANON: Lebanese media reported Sunday afternoon that Israeli war planes were spotted in the skies above southern Lebanon. It appeared the pilots were rehearsing attacks on targets in the region, local sources told media outlets. Both Syria and Lebanon accused Israel of carrying out air strikes on a convoy last Wednesday that was transporting Russian-made surface-to-air missiles from Damascus towards the border with Lebanon. The two countries also accused Israel of bombing the Jamraya military research center, where chemical weapons were being processed. At least two people died in the attack, and a number of others were wounded. Among the casualties were alleged members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak this weekend obliquely acknowledged that indeed, Israel had carried out the strike. “We say that we don’t think Syria should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon,” he told top international diplomats and defense officials at a conference Sunday. “This is another proof that when we say something we mean it." Barak added that in his view, “Hizbullah from Lebanon and the Iranians are the only allies that Assad has left.” He said the region has not been this unstable since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Assad’s fall could come at any time, Barak added, noting “this will be a major blow to the Iranians and to Hizbullah.” (Arutz-7) Intercessory prayer vigils are called for as the unstable situation on Israel’s northern borders becomes increasingly dangerous. Pray for the protection of Israel’s communities against surprise attacks and for maximum preparedness of all of Israel’s security and military personnel.

TENSIONS IN TOWNS ALONG NORTHERN BORDER: Civilians in Israel's northern communities are carrying on with their daily routines, but there is tension following the attack on a Syrian chemical weapons factory and ensuing threats from Iran and Syria. Kiryat Shmona, Israel's northernmost city, is preparing its bomb shelters. The IDF has rolled out its Iron Dome anti-missile defenses in the North, deploying one battery in the Haifa area and the second near Tzfat. Kiryat Shmona's mayor, Rabbi Nissim Malka, hopes things will remain quiet. "All of the news in the press has had its effect, and people are not calm," he said. "The shelters are ready and so is the War Room. All the forces have been briefed but right now we are continuing in routine mode. There were jets circling in the air yesterday and this morning," Malka said. "People keep asking me what is happening, should we send the children to school, should we go to work, and I tell them to remain calm. Our PA system is online and if anything does happen, G-d forbid, we will have several seconds' alert." (INN) Pray residents of Israel’s northern towns will be prepared for enemy assaults but remain shielded from fear.

ASSAD SAYS HIS FORCES READY TO CONFRONT ANY AGGRESSION: Syrian President Assad commented for the first time Sunday on the recent airstrike in his country, blaming Israel and saying the attack was aimed at weakening and destabilizing Syria. Assad made the remarks in a meeting with Saeed Jalili, Iran's national security council secretary, at the Syrian capital. Assad added that his military was capable of confronting any "aggression" targeting the country and the Syrian people. Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, Israeli leaders have repeatedly expressed fears that if Syria were to disintegrate, President Bashar Assad could lose control of his chemical weapons and other arms. On Saturday night, Netanyahu, who is in the process of forming a ruling coalition, said his new government would have to deal with weapons "being stockpiled near us and threatening our cities and civilians." (Ynet) Meanwhile Sunday, at least 13 Syrian civilians were killed in a missile attack by the Syrian army on a rebel-held neighborhood in the embattled northern city of Aleppo. January 2013 UN reports unveiled that more than 60,000 Syrians have been killed overall in the process of Assad’s brutal crackdown on rebel forces. Figures include woman and children who have in many cases been tortured. It is Assad’s own hand that is “weakening and destabilizing Syria.” His army, not Israel, is the greatest threat to the Syrian people.

TURKEY: WHY DIDN’T ASSAD RETALIATE AGAINST ISRAELI AIR STRIKE? Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu slammed Israel's strike in Syria, urging Damascus to retaliate, according to news agency reports. "Why didn't Assad even throw a pebble when Israeli jets were flying over his palace and playing with the dignity of his country?" Davutoglu said Syria should “do whatever a country that comes under attack should do.” Meanwhile, Syrian opposition leaders and rebels on Friday slammed Assad for not responding to the airstrike, calling it proof of his weakness and acquiescence to the Jewish State. (Last week rebel groups were demanding recognition for at least one of the hits attributed to Israel.) The chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards said in remarks Sunday that Tehran also hopes Syria will retaliate against Israel for the airstrike on its territory. (Ynet)

IRAN PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR SYRIA AGAINST ‘ARROGANT’ WEST: A senior Iranian security official pledged on Saturday the full support of Tehran for the Syrian regime, its close ally, Syrian state television said. "We will give all our support so that Syria remains firm and able to face all the arrogant (Western powers') conspiracies," said Saeed Jalili, who heads the Supreme National Security Council and who is visiting Damascus. "The Israeli aggression and arrogant international forces have tried to take revenge by attacking the resisting Syrian people." Jalili was referring to an Israeli air strike on Wednesday that hit targets near the Syrian capital. (Arutz-7)

IRAN ESCALATING EFFORTS TO DESTABILIZE REGION SAYS PANETTA: Outgoing US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week accused Iran of an intensified campaign to destabilize the Middle East by smuggling anti-aircraft weapons to terrorist allies. "There is no question when you start passing MANPADS around, that becomes a threat, not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft," Panetta said in a press interview. MANPADS are shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Western officials have worried about the spread of such weapons and the risk they pose to airline passengers as well as to military helicopters and jets. Yemeni forces intercepted a ship on Jan. 23 carrying a large cache of weapons - including surface-to-air missiles - that US officials suspect were being smuggled from Iran and destined for Yemeni insurgents. "It is one of the first times we have seen it," Panetta said, referring to the seizure of MANPADS. Yemen's government said the arms intercepted aboard the ship off the country's coast also included military-grade explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and bomb-making equipment. Panetta said the US was stepping up efforts to counter the Iranian threat. (Ha’aretz) “My prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers.” Ps 141:5

GOP SENATORS INTRODUCED LEGISLATION BANNING ARMS SALES TO EGYPT: Two US Republican senators introduced legislation on Thursday to halt arms sales to Egypt. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, proposed a bill prohibiting the sale of F-16 aircraft, tanks and other advanced weapons to Egypt’s Muslim-Brotherhood. “I think it is a blunder of the first proportion to send sophisticated weapons to a country that allowed a mob to attack our embassy and to burn our flag,” Paul said on the Senate floor. “I find it objectionable to send weapons, F-16s and tanks, to a country that allowed a mob chanting ‘death to America’ to threaten our American diplomats.” Anti-American sentiments in Egypt reached new levels this year when Muslim protesters stormed the US embassy in Cairo, burning the American flag and spraying graffiti on the compound's walls. Republican Sen. James Inhofe from Oklahoma introduced similar legislation. (Arutz-7)

EGYPT: CLASHES NEAR PRESIDENTIAL PALACE: Protesters and security forces clashed at the Egyptian presidential palace on Friday, as thousands of people rallied in cities across the country against President Mohammed Morsi. Demonstrators hurled petrol bombs over the palace walls and security forces responded with water cannon and tear gas and troops fired warning shots into the night. Protesters also attempted to enter the palace grounds. Police then advanced in armored vehicles, firing tear gas. People took to the streets in a show of opposition to Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, after a wave of deadly unrest swept the country last week in the worst violence since Morsi was elected president last June. Protesters marched through rainfall towards the capital's iconic Tahrir Square and the presidential palace, chanting "Freedom!" and "Morsi is illegitimate!" Thousands of people protested in the canal city on Friday calling for Morsi's removal, unfazed by a strong military presence, and similar marches also took place in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria. A coalition of mainly liberal and leftist groups demanded on Friday a unity government and amendment of the Islamist-drafted constitution which polarized the nation when it was passed in December. The opposition accuses Morsi of betraying the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak two years ago and took him to the presidency. The opposition National Salvation Front warned that Egyptians would demonstrate nationwide against "a regime that seeks to impose its will on the people and is managing the country in the interest of the Brotherhood." (INN)

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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