Israel Update

May 18, 2013

“He will bring justice to the poor of the people; He will save the children of the needy, and will break in pieces the oppressor.” Ps 72:4

REPORT: RUSSIA SENDS WARSHIPS TO SYRIAN COAST: Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that US and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria's devastating civil war, according to reports on Friday. On Thursday, Syria's official news agency SANA reported that five Russian warships had crossed the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean Sea. A Russian Navy spokesperson said this was the first time in decades that Russian warships sail in the area. The Russian defense minister said: "The Russian Defense Ministry started setting up a special force of warships in the Mediterranean in order to protect Russia's interests in the region." Meanwhile, the New York Times disclosed Russia has sent advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria. The missiles are an improved version of the Yakhonts, which Russia has previously provided to Syria and have been outfitted with advanced radar that makes them more effective. (Ynet) Be alert in prayer to the ever-increasing military threats against Israel resulting from the spiraling Syrian crisis.

RUSSIA CONTINUES WITH PLANS TO SELL S-300 TO ASSAD: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Thursday that Russia would remain committed to previously signed arms deals "regarding agreements pertaining to aerial defense weapons." Despite the fact that PM Benjamin Netanyahu flew for a lightning visit to Russia with the clear intent of preventing the sale of S-300 missiles to Assad's regime, the Russians reiterated two days later that they refused to budge from their contracts. According to Lavrov, Russia will not sign any new deals with the Syrian government, but is nonetheless obligated to previous commitments. “We do not want to break any international law, but also do not want to hurt our good name as arms suppliers." Sources in Jerusalem said what counts is actions and not statements, noting that implementation of the 2010 agreement between Russia and Syria has been delayed a number of times. They said Israel has already expressed its message, that new weapons in Syria undermine the area and there's a danger they will be transferred to Hizbullah.(Ynet/INN)

US WARNS RUSSIAN MISSILES MAY PROLONG SYRIAN CONFLICT: A Russian shipment of anti-ship missiles to Syria could strengthen President Bashar Assad's forces and extend the conflict, the top US military officer said on Friday. "It's at the very least a regrettable decision that will embolden the regime and prolong the suffering, so it's ill-timed and very unfortunate," said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dempsey was referring specifically to the anti-ship missiles sent by Russia. The missiles, called Yakhonts, are equipped with advanced radar that renders them more effective. Also on Friday, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon voiced disappointment over Syria's refusal to let UN inspectors enter the country to check reports about the use of chemical weapons. (Ha’aretz)

TERROR GROUP: ROCKET FIRE ON THE GOLAN NOT AN ACCIDENT: A Syrian group took responsibility for firing two mortars at Israel Thursday. The rockets were fired at the Hermon ski site. No one was injured. This is the first time since the beginning of the civil war in Syria that the Hermon was targeted. The upper section of the Hermon has been closed to visitors, but the lower section was still open, officials said. The IDF has increased its patrols and surveillance in the area. There have been several recent incidents of mortar shells fired from Syria hitting different areas of the Golan. Until now, it was thought those shells were fired by accident, but the notification by the “Shahid Brigades” – a part of another terror group called “Free Palestine Movement” - has triggered a reevaluation of those incidents by defense officials. The group apparently works in coordination with the Syrian government, which declared recently it would encourage terror attacks against Israel, in the wake of the bombing of convoys that were transporting chemical weapons from Syria to Hizbullah terrorists. In a video message, the group said that it fired the rockets on the occasion of “Nakba Day,” the date Arabs have chosen to mourn their defeat when Israel was established in 1948. “We tell the Zionists that we are opening a campaign of revenge.” (Arutz-7) “Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight.” Ps 9:19

ISRAEL HINTS: WE’LL STRIKE SYRIA AGAIN: A senior Israeli official signaled this week that Israel was considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamist Hizbullah – and warned President Assad against any kind of retaliation against the Jewish state. He said, “Israel is determined to continue to prevent the hand-over of advanced arms to Hizbullah. The transfer of such weapons to Hizbullah will destabilize and endanger the entire region. If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for we will retaliate. Israel has so far refrained from intervening in Syria’s civil war and will maintain this policy as long as Assad refrains from attacking Israel directly or indirectly,” the official added. (INN/Ha’aretz) Pray that Israel’s warning to Syria will be recognized and heeded. Pray for the continued exposure and obstruction of advanced weapons transfers to the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist group and other rouge terrorist entities.

LAPID: WELFARE DOESN’T END POVERTY, WORK DOES: Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said the answer to poverty is work, not government welfare support. Responding to criticism of his recently approved budget, which cut child allowances, and an OECD report that pegged Israel’s poverty level in 2010 as the highest among developed countries, Lapid told Israel Radio, “Allowances don't take people out of poverty, they keep people in poverty. Work brings people out of poverty." Lapid pointed out that in Israel, two groups contributed to overall poverty more than any other: the ultra-Orthodox and the Arabs. “It is already sad that there are groups that are predefined as poor," he said, arguing that his budget and upcoming reforms would push those populations into the workforce in greater numbers. (J.Post)

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF HAREIDIM PROTEST ENLISTMENT: An estimated 30,000 hareidi Jews took part Thursday in a Jerusalem protest against plans to conscript hareidi men into the military. The multitudes gathered next to the IDF's Jerusalem enlistment center. Protesters set garbage cans on fire, threw rocks, glass bottles and other objects at police, injuring at least eight officers, two of whom were hospitalized with moderate wounds. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said he was appalled by the protesters' violence and vowed the rioters would be punished. He stressed that "Criminal behavior, illegal protests and assault of officers will not change the equal share of the burden law and the government's firm stand on the issue." Police said all eight arrested during the violence will be prosecuted. (J.Post/Ynet) Pray Israel’s hareidi sector will be willing to shoulder its part in the temporal responsibilities of the nation. This can be achieved by doing stretches of national service in lieu of active military duty, and working like others – a biblical injunction - rather than insisting on special government benefits or resorting to welfare in order to support large families, while men study Torah. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work.” Exod 20:9,10

BOSTON MARATHON SUSPECT: MY BROTHER BECAME A MARTYR: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is being held on suspicion of last month's bombing and shooting attacks in the Boston area, wrote on the wall of the boat where he hid from police that the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon was revenge for the killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to sources cited Thursday. He wrote, "When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims," and referred to the Boston victims as "collateral damage." Tsarnaev wrote that he did not mourn his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, calling him a martyr. (Arutz-7)

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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