Israel Update

June 3, 2013

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Ps 32:7-8

: Eighteen rockets and mortar rounds from Syria slammed into Lebanon on Saturday, the largest cross-border salvo to hit a Hizbullah stronghold since Syrian rebels threatened to retaliate for the Lebanese terrorist group's armed support of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The rockets targeted the Baalbek region, the latest sign that Syria's civil war is increasingly destabilizing Lebanon. On Friday, the Lebanese parliament decided to put off general elections, originally scheduled for June, by 17 months, blaming a deteriorating security situation in the country. Lebanese security sources said on Sunday several fighters were killed in an overnight clash between Hizbullah fighters and Syrian rebel forces in Lebanon's eastern border region with Syria. The Syrian conflict, now in its third year, has taken on dark sectarian overtones. Predominantly Sunni rebels backed by Sunni states Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are fighting against a regime that relies on support from Alawites and Shiites at home, and is aided by Iran and Hizbullah. The Syria conflict is also part of a wider battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional influence. Sunni fighters from Iraq and Lebanon have crossed into Syria to help those fighting Assad, while Shiites from Iraq have joined the battle on the regime's side. (AP) “He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man and every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Gen 16:12

 Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul pulled out of Taksim square, Saturday, where the largest anti-government protests in years had been taking place. Thousands of people were gathered in the square after days of violence sparked by plans to redevelop a nearby park. Police fired tear gas and water cannons several times to break up the riots, and rioters threw rocks at police. Two people were killed and at least 1,000 were injured in the violence, including a number of individuals who lost their eyes. The clashes subsided Saturday afternoon, according to CNN, but protests spread to several other cities, including the capital Ankara. Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan admitted police may have used excessive force but said the park development will go ahead. Citizens claim the government is ignoring their appeals for it be saved. According to media correspondents, what was initially a local issue has spiraled into widespread anti-government unrest and anger over the perceived Islamization of Turkey. Anti-government demonstrators wearing handkerchiefs and surgical masks chanted "unite against fascism" and "government resign." One woman told Agence France-Presse: "They want to turn this country into an Islamist state, they want to impose their vision all the while pretending to respect democracy." According to Al Arabiya, “What started as an outcry against a local development project has snowballed into widespread anger against what critics say is the government’s increasingly abrasive and authoritarian agenda.” (Ynet/INN)Turkey, while 99% Muslim, has for decades maintained a secular government. Its powerful secular establishment, which includes generals, judges and university professors for years fought against extremist religious trends in the government.  However, several of Turkey’s increasingly empowered political leaders, including PM Erdogan, have forceful Islamist agendas. Pray such agendas will be ineffective in creating yet another Islamist stronghold in the Middle East.

IDF STUDYING SYRIA’S COMBAT, DEPLOYMENTS: Israel tracks every heavy missile fired in the Syrian civil war, keen to study Damascus' combat doctrines and deployments and ready to fend off a feared first attack on its turf, a senior Israeli military officer said days ago. Colonel Zvika Haimovich of the air defense corps said southward launches against Syrian insurgents by President Assad's forces gave Israel mere seconds in which to determine it was not the true target - a distinction that could prove crucial for warding off an unprecedented regional conflagration. "Syria's batteries are in a high state of operability, ready to fire at short notice. All it would take is a few degrees' change in the flight path to endanger us," he said in an press interview. (Reuters) Pray for ongoing alertness among all of Israel’s military and security personnel regarding surprise missile attacks upon its northern borders. Pray for G-d’s continued protection to be over Israel’s vulnerable communities and citizens.

NETANYAHU ORDERS GAS MASKS FOR ALL ISRAELIS: PM Benjamin Netanyahu last week ordered the defense establishment to urgently get gas masks and protective kits into the hands of all Israelis. Currently, only an estimated 42% of Israelis have up-to-date gas masks and protective kits. Budgetary constraints in recent years prevented both the manufacturing and distribution of enough masks to protect the entire population. But, with the probability of an unconventional attack on Israel increasing significantly in the past year, and with the recent proven use of chemical weapons in Syria, distributing gas masks to all Israelis has become essential. (Israel Today)

ISRAEL’S VALUE ADDED TAX INCREASED TO 18% - GAS PRICES UP BY 3.6%: The value-added tax in Israel increased from 17% to 18% at midnight June 1. Hundreds of people protested the tax hike all across the country on Saturday. Also at midnight Saturday, the price of 95 octane gasoline increased by 3.6 % to over $7.50 a gallon. (Ynet)

LIVNI MULLING RELEASE OF TERRORIST MURDERS: Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is considering the release of terrorist murderers and has received, for this purpose, the files of 120 Arab terror prisoners currently held in Israel. There is international pressure on Israel to carry out “gestures” toward the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a prelude to “peace talks” with it. The Almagor terror victims' organization has asked Livni to meet with its representatives before she decides on recommending the release of any terrorists. Almagor head Meir Indor voiced concern a release is becoming more likely, following an interview in which President Shimon Peres said he favors a “gesture” such as this. Indor says his group has received the list of terrorists whose release is being mulled, and that it includes many murderers. (INN) Intercede with might that jailed Palestinian terrorist murderers will not be set free to be glorified as heroes by the Palestinian Authority and that Israel will not give way to US pressure to even “mull,” the possibility.

NEW PA LAWS: CUTTING OFF THIEVES HANDS, LASHES FOR DRINKING: Hamas, the ruling terrorist group in Gaza, is lobbying for a stricter enforcement of Islamic law there - including provisions to cut off the hands of thieves, and execution of individuals who cheat on their spouses. A media report said Hamas expects the new regulations to take effect in the coming months. Existing laws mete out the death penalty to individuals convicted of murder, spying, homosexuality, or selling land to Jews. The new legislation will expand the crimes for which individuals can be executed to include having sexual relations outside the context of marriage. Other provisions of the law include chopping off the right hand of a thief (along with at least a seven year jail sentence), and lashes for a large number of “crimes,” including drinking alcoholic beverages and gambling. All the punishments are derived from sharia, Islamic law. Individuals age ten and over are considered adults under the new legislation, and are subject to the full force of the law for offenses. (Arutz-7)

BELGIAN STUDENT BODY OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORTS ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL: In a vote in April, the general counsel of the Federation of French-speaking Students in Belgium, or FEF, adopted a motion calling for “a freezing of relations with Israeli universities.” The motion was supported by 85% of voters. In an interview published Friday, FEF President David Yepez said his organization had kept the April 13 vote secret until now “to address people who would have been shocked or startled by our position.” Some 500 delegates voted, he said. FEF represents some 100,000 students from 25 institutions. Citing what it calls “violations of various international law conventions committed by Israel,” the FEF motion states “the time has come to sever ties with Israeli institutions of learning, be it through student exchanges or research.” Maurice Sosnowski, president of the CCOJB organization representing French-speaking Jews in Belgium, slammed the vote. “Preventing people from getting to know the other constitutes discrimination which runs contrary to the ethical, moral and educational role of the university,” he told the European Jewish Press. (JTA) Pray against the alarming growth of antisemitisim in Europe, and for the protections of those who are victims - or potential victims - of violent attacks and verbal slurs. According to a report published last April, 2012 saw a “considerable escalation in antisemitic manifestations, particularly violent acts against Jews,” constituting a 30% increase over 2011, according to Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.

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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