Israel Update

May 29, 2013

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it.” Col 4:2

IRAN CLAIMS IT HAS NEW LONG-RANGE MISSILE LAUNCHERS: Iranian Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Vahidi claimed Sunday that Iran’s Defense Ministry has developed a long-range surface-to-surface missile launcher. Vahidi said the device is for defensive purposes and would serve as a strong response to any aggression, making the enemy regret its attack. Vahidi also claimed the advance was part of Iran’s larger goal of becoming self-sufficient for crucial weapons systems. The new weapon would allow for firing large numbers of missiles at the enemy, according to Iran’s Mehr News. Iran has a habit of triumphantly boasting of technological achievements that many Western analysts find doubtful, but there is little way to check if the newly declared technology works. (J.Post)

IS THE US RECEDING TO A CONTAINMENT POLICY ON IRAN: In March 2012, US President Barack Obama affirmed unequivocally that his policy regarding Iran's nuclear advances was a policy of prevention, not containment. Since his visit to Israel in March of this year, another round of negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran has failed, and the latest IAEA report on Iran - released May 22, 2013 - indicates Iran's uranium enrichment and plutonium programs are creeping slowly but surely toward a situation that will soon be unstoppable. It is blatantly apparent that the "diplomatic" route for solving the Iran conundrum has failed, even though the US administration has yet to admit this. In considering the next stage, can the US depend on the fact it will obtain reliable information that an Iranian decision to develop nuclear weapons has been taken? If it does, will it be at a stage when there is still a realistic option of employing military force in a manner that will reverse the current trajectory toward a military nuclear capability? And most importantly, will the US ultimately be willing to employ force in dealing with Iran? (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University)

US EYING NO-FLY ZONE OVER SYRIA AS WEST APPLIES MORE PRESSURE ON ASSAD: US President Obama instructed the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the US and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told the news website,The Daily Beast, on Tuesday. Sources also said the US was considering arming "vetted and moderate elements of the Syrian opposition, such as the free Syrian army" and officially recognizing the rebel council as the state's government. This would essentially mean the US would no longer recognize the Assad regime as the lawful government of Syria. The two officials said Obama is pursuing a "dual-track strategy" of making efforts towards a political solution to the two-year-old uprising in Syria while simultaneously preparing for more direct US military involvement. “The White House is still in contemplation mode but the planning is moving forward and it’s more advanced than it’s ever been,” said one administration official. (Daily Beast/Ha’aretz)

ISRAEL’S NEW NEIGHBOR IS SYRIAN AL-QAEDA REBEL GROUP: In recent months, there has been a shakeout among the various Syrian rebel factions, and one of the dominant ones that has emerged is Jabhat al-Nusra, closely identified with al-Qaeda. Now the troops have taken up positions close to Syria's border with Israel, adjacent to the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. In a video released on Youtube, the group's soldiers are seen conducting training exercises right next to the Heights. The video provides evidence of a well-trained, motivated fighting force, according to military experts. The group is clearly better equipped and trained than the other rebel factions, they said. They are also seen singing Arabic songs in praise of terror, and swearing revenge on the “unbelievers” - the Alawite faction that runs Syria. While the group says that putting the “Syrian house in order” is its first business, it says it eventually plans to deal with the “Zionist enemy” and end the “occupation,” first of the Golan, and then of the “rest of Palestine.” (INN)

RUSSIA STILL SET TO SELL ADVANCED MISSILES TO SYRIA: Despite earlier reports to the contrary, Israeli officials this week said Russia has not struck a deal with Jerusalem that would halt the sale of advanced Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Israeli sources said that a meeting last week between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli PM Netanyahu had resulted in a cancellation of the planned sale. In return for the cancellation, Russia had reportedly elicited Israel's promise to not carry out any more air strikes inside Syria. But another unnamed senior Israeli official said the report was a "fairy tale," and that the sale of Russia's S-300 anti-aircraft system to Syria had not been canceled. Meanwhile, Israeli Middle East expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar warned that if and when Assad's downfall becomes inevitable, the Syrian leader might seek to secure his place in the history books. "It could be that Assad, when he sees that everything is finished, will fire whatever he can in all directions - toward Turkey, maybe to Lebanon, maybe here as well," said Kedar.  Syria has already aimed the bulk of its considerable ballistic missile arsenal at Israel. (Israel Today)

ISRAELIS FLOCK TO GET GAS MASKS: The reports of missiles launched at northern Israel in recent days has caused a significant increase in requests for gas mask kits, reported the Israel Post Office, which distributes the kits. Until approximately two weeks ago, around 2,000 kits were distributed daily; on Sunday, 4,730 were distributed, a record number for one day. The Post Office said that so far, 4,800,000 mask kits have been distributed in total. The apparent trigger for Sunday's bumper day of mask distribution was a report over the weekend that a rocket had been fired into Israel, by either Syria or Hizbullah. Lebanese media reported the rocket had hit within Israel and a loud explosion had been heard on both sides of the border. IDF officials said a search of the area had not yielded any evidence of rocket-fire into Israel. (INN)

FIREFIGHTERS UNDER ARAB ATTACK A SECOND TIME: Once again, Jerusalem firefighters who endangered their lives in order to prevent a blaze from reaching the homes of Arabs were greeted by those they sought to help with stones and firebombs. A similar attack happened last week, in which one firefighter was injured as a crew tried to prevent a large fire from reaching Arab homes. In the latest incident Monday, an Arab mob threw stones and firebombs at a firefighting crew dealing with a brush fire that broke out in the Atarot Industrial Zone in northern Jerusalem. The Industrial Zone is adjacent to a large Arab neighborhood. Had the crew not put out the fire, it is likely a major blaze would have been set off in the residential area. The firefighters found themselves under heavy attack, and were only able to leave the area under the protection of border guards. (INN) Pray for the safety of Israel’s firefighters, police and military personnel when carrying out responsibilities in and around Arab neighborhoods. Pray against ongoing Arab rock attacks against Israeli civilians.

CHIEF OF STAFF TELLS SETTLERS: WE’RE IN A DIFFICULT TIME: IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said this week the responsibility for making the roads of Judea and Samaria safe rests with him and the rest of the IDF command, but also asked residents of Judea and Samaria to brace for "difficult times." Lt. Gen. Gantz visited the Etzion Bloc following the recent deterioration in the security situation in Judea and Samaria, especially on the roads. Etzion Bloc Regional Council Head Davidi Perl met with the Chief of Staff and told him: “The situation is unbearable. Residents are afraid to go out onto the roads. We have to absorb damage to property and even physical injuries on an hourly basis. There are many residents and soldiers who are hurt by the rocks.” Perl said the situation makes living a normal life's routine impossible. Gantz said he is visiting the area in order to learn about the situation from up close. He asked Perl to understand that "we are in a difficult time" and said the residents of Judea and Samaria "must prepare for this," but added that the IDF would do what was possible to bring the level of security to what it once was. (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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