Israel Update

March 15, 2013

"The Lord builds up Jerusalem. He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Ps 147: 2-3

ISRAELI INFANT CRITICALLY WOUNDED DUE TO STONE-THROWING PALESTINIANS: A two-year-old Israeli infant is in critical condition, and her mother and two sisters sustained moderate to serious injuries on Thursday evening in a West Bank traffic accident caused by stones thrown by Palestinians at passing vehicles. The accident happened near Ariel at around 6:30 P.M. Police and medical crews rushed to the scene and evacuated the injured to a hospital in Petah Tikvah, where surgeons are currently laboring to save the infant's life. According to eyewitness reports, the car in which the family was traveling crashed into the truck in front of it. The truck driver said he braked when a rock hit his vehicle. Prior to the collision, Palestinians had been throwing rocks at other passing vehicles, hitting two buses and injuring a driver and two passengers. By Friday morning soldiers had arrested 10 suspects, all of whom live in the area in which the attacks were committed. In a separate incident, Arab youths threw rocks Friday morning at vehicles approaching Ariel, where rocks were blamed for Thursday-evening accidents that caused serious injuries. PM Netanyahu has ordered security forces to crack down on assaults by PA residents against Israelis in Judea and Samaria. Thursday night’s attack led to calls for a harsher approach to rock attacks among top government officials. Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman said the IDF should instruct soldiers to open fire at rock-throwing terrorists. Rock attacks have caused deaths and serious injuries on Israel’s roads for decades, he said. (Arutz-7) Pray earnestly for the life and full recovery of the baby girl hurt in Thursday night’s attack. Pray also for the healing and comforting of family members and other Israelis injured in the same rock-throwing incident.

ISRAEL’S SECURITY AGENCY SAYS HAMAS IS INCREASING TERRORIST EFFORTS: Hamas in Gaza has increased efforts to set up terrorist cells in the West Bank. The terrorist organization has ordered new recruits to create and fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank, to kidnap and kill a soldier, and prepare suicide bombings, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said Wednesday. On the surface, the four-month truce between Israel and Hamas appears to be holding since the cessation of last year's eight day conflict, but behind the scenes, senior Hamas officials in Gaza are increasing their efforts to carry out deadly attacks on Israelis, the Shin Bet added. The intelligence came partly from the questioning of security suspects who have been arrested days before planning to act. Sources named Hamas interior minister in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, as a figure behind many of the efforts to carry out atrocities. (J.Post) Pray all efforts to increase terrorist attacks against Israelis will be exposed, averted and perpetrators brought to justice.

HAMAS CALLS FOR DAILY CONFRONTATIONS AHEAD OF OBAMA’S VISIT: In an article titled, "Receive Obama the Way Sharon Was Received," published this week on Hamas' news website, columnist Mustafa Sawwaf wrote: "Palestinians everywhere should begin their activities with direct confrontation with the Zionists in preparation for Obama's visit, even if this entails martyrs and injuries until the ominous day of the visit. That should be the day of battle, the great day of mobilization worthy of the American president." Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank demanded on Tuesday that President Obama coordinate his Jerusalem tour with the PA, since the city, it claimed, is "occupied territory." (Times of Israel) "Thus says the Lord: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.’" Zech 8:3

FRENCH TOWN HONORS KILLER OF ISRAELI MINISTER: A French mayor whose municipality recently honored the Palestinian murderer of an Israeli minister defended the move and accused critics of "hatred" and "complicity in occupation." Mayor Dominique Lesparre of the Paris suburb of Bezons said this week his municipality’s recent vote to name Majdi Al-Rimawi an honorary resident was part of a "tradition of peace, solidarity and cooperation with the Palestinian people." An Israeli court convicted Rimawi, a member of the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, for the murder of Knesset member Rehavam Ze'evi in Jerusalem in 2001, along with three other shooters. Ze'evi was Israel's minister of tourism. The decision to honor Rimawi, who is imprisoned in Israel, was made known in the city’s official newsletter in an article which said his only crime was to strive toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. The article did not mention the murder. It triggered strong-worded condemnations from the Israeli government, the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, and the European Jewish Congress, whose president Moshe Kantor called the move "outrageous and horrific." Lesparre called these reactions "hateful," adding: "It strengthens our resolve to defend the noble and just Palestinian cause." (JTA) "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness!" Isa 5:20

VOLUNTEER WHO OPPOSED DUTCH HITLER ADMIRERS IN HIDING: The Dutch daily NRC writes that Mehmet Sahin, a doctoral student, has had to go into hiding with his family. The Mayor of Arnhem, Pauline Krikke, advised him to do so after he received death threats. Sahin is a volunteer who tries to re-educate street youths in Arnhem. A few weeks ago, he interviewed several Dutch-Turkish youngsters on the Nederland 2 TV station. They said they admired Hitler and the Holocaust. The youth added that "Hitler had done a good job" and that the murder of women and babies was good because they were Jews. Sahin reprimanded them. Apparently, people in the neighborhood where he lives are collecting signatures to make Sahin leave the area. The municipality has announced that the prosecution is investigating the matter. (INN) Pray for the safety of Mehmet Sahin and his family. May they find a peaceful dwelling place, if they choose to leave their neighborhood, and be rewarded for their stand against antisemitism.

NORWAY ADMITS IT MAY BE FUNDING PA TERRORISTS: FM Espen Barth Eide told parliamentarians this week that his predecessor, Jonas Gahr Støre, misled them in 2011 and 2012, when he assured them Norway has control of where financial support to Palestinian Authority prisoners in Israeli jails ends up. "The direct support of Palestinian prisoners goes to cover canteen expenses," then-Minister Støre told the MPs. Minister Eide now admits that Parliament was led astray. In a new reply to the Parliament, Eide wrote: "It is unfortunate that in retrospect, the information that was first communicated to the Parliament was imprecise." The Foreign Ministry will now investigate the question of where the money really goes, according to the report. Norway supports the Palestinian Authority with several hundred million Kroner annually. Opposition MPs found the reply lacking. One spokesperson said, "The answers to Parliament have been based on half-answers and excuses. This is a serious matter. We have clear indications that people convicted of terrorism were actually rewarded with funding from Norway. How can there be peace and reconciliation if the very opposite is rewarded?" (INN)

LOCUSTS COULD HARASS ISRAEL DURING PASSOVER: The Agriculture Ministry redoubled its efforts to battle new swarms of locusts that descended within Israel this week, with the grim prospect that maybe millions more are on the way. The latest swarm, which like the others crossed the border into the country from Egypt, numbered in the tens of thousands. Thursday morning at dawn the Agriculture Ministry sprayed locust swarms from the air and on the ground in the Ramat Negev Regional Council. The ministry also deployed a pesticide crop dusting run at dawn Wednesday within three regions in southern Israel. Officials have become increasingly concerned millions more of the insects could be on the way from the Sinai Peninsula, where they have already stripped the fields. Indeed, additional swarms of millions of locusts were spotted in the Sinai, east of El Arish earlier this week. Meanwhile, Israel is taking whatever measures possible to control the insects once they land in the Jewish State. (INN)

NEWLY ELECTED POPE WELCOMED BY ISRAEL AND JEWISH LEADERS ABROAD: The Roman College of Cardinals on Monday evening elected Jorge Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, as its new Pope. Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis I for his office, is the first Pope to be chosen from outside of Europe. Bergoglio is said to have had good relations with Argentinean Jews. He was praised by local and US Jewish community leaders for his sympathetic and supportive response to the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association. Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee said the new pope is a "warm and sweet and modest man." In Israel, the Chief Rabbinate in a statement said: "The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is confident Pope Francis, whose good relations with the Jewish People are well known, will keep the same spirit, and strengthen and develop the Roman Catholic Church’s connections with the State of Israel and the Jewish People." President Shimon Peres on Thursday welcomed the announcement of the new pontiff, saying "Pope Francis will be welcomed in the Holy Land with love and appreciation." (J.Post)

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.    


All active news articles