Israel Update

June 18, 2013

“Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations. Scatter the nations who delight in war.” Ps 68:30

IRAN SENDING 4,000 TROOPS TO AID ASSAD: Iran will send 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops to Syria to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, according to press reports Sunday. The decision to send soldiers to Syria was made last week prior to Friday's Iranian presidential election. Pro-Iranian sources were quoted as saying that Iran has proposed to open up a front against Israel on the Golan Heights as part of efforts to preserve Assad's regime in Syria. The report comes after the US announced on Thursday it will begin to arm the Syrian opposition in the face of evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against rebels on multiple occasions. (J.Post)

SYRIAN FORCES TRAINING TO STORM ISRAEL’S BORDER: Thousands of Syrians are currently training in Iran to serve as a force ready to storm Israel’s northern Golan Heights, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials. The officials said between 3,000 and 5,000 Syrian men were being trained in the event Syrian President Assad decides to open a front against the Golan Heights, which borders Syria. The training is being overseen by the Al Quds Force, the elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard responsible for the country’s extraterritorial operations, the sources said. The Syrian forces are slated to return to their country next month, the sources added. This is not the first report of Iran aiding Syria in preparations for ground attacks against Israel. (WND) “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” Prov 21:31

IRAN’S NEW PRESIDENT: Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani won Iran's presidential election on Saturday, scoring a surprising victory over conservative hardliners. Rowhani secured just over 50% of the ballot based on a 72% turnout of 50 million voters. The outcome will not soon transform Iran's long tense relations with the West, call into question its disputed pursuit of nuclear power or lessen its support of Syria's president in the civil war there - matters of national security that remain the domain of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But Rowhani's rise could offer latitude for a thaw in Iran's foreign relations and more social freedoms at home after eight years of repression under hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Meanwhile, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has called for tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, regardless of its new president. Unimpressed by Iran polls Yaalon said Saturday, “make this country understand the military option remains on the table.” (Ha’aretz/INN) Ongoing prayer is needed that world leaders will not relax pressure on the Islamic Republic to halt its nuclear weapons program - even though Iran’s recent elections mistakenly suggest a more moderate president might reduce the Iranian nuclear threat.

ISRAEL: KHAMENEI DECIDES ON NUKES, NO ONE ELSE: Israel issued an unusually blunt reaction to the election of Iran's new president on Saturday: "Iran's nuclear program has so far been determined by Khamenei, and not by Iran's president," the foreign ministry said after Hassan Rowhani was voted in to succeed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "Following the election, Iran will continue to be judged by its acts, in the nuclear field as well as that of terrorism," the statement said. "Iran must conform to the demands of the international community and stop its nuclear program and cease spreading terrorism in the world." Israel's foreign ministry has questioned the moderation attributed to Iran's president-elect. "The president of Iran was chosen by Ayatollah Khamenei, who disqualified the candidates who did not conform to his extremist views," said ministry officials. (INN)

JOINT US-ISRAELI CONTINGENCY PLAN: ‘18 CHEMICAL TARGETS IN SYRIA’: While the US prepares to arm rebels and after its confirmation the Syrian army has used chemical weapons, a detailed account has been published of how and when the US and Israel plan to destroy President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons stockpile. The two countries have reportedly formed a number of contingency plans in case Assad's regime falls or rebels near the weapon caches, mandating a speedy Western response, in an attempt to prevent Syria's weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands. If Assad's regime should collapse, the two states would consider launching a targeted attack on 18 different weapon stockpiles where chemical weapons are known to be stored. In addition, search operations would also be enacted to locate and destroy any such arms which might have already reached radical al-Qaeda affiliated rebels. Israeli official stressed it has yet to be decided whether Israel or the US would conduct the assault. What is clear is the US plans called for deploying forces on the ground as well as waves of airstrikes, to assure the chemical and biological components are neutralized, according to Israeli officials.” (Ynet/INN) Continue to pray that Israel will look to the Lord as its ultimate Defender in every threatening circumstance. Pray for discernment and wisdom on behalf of Israel’s leaders and its citizens in terms of all things avowed, suggested and intended by the nations.

ABDULLAH: JORDAN READY TO FIGHT THREATS FROM SYRIA: Jordan's King Abdullah said Sunday the kingdom was ready to fight to protect itself against any threat to its security from the escalating civil war in neighboring Syria. He was speaking as Jordanian and US forces proceeded with joint military exercises with the participation of 17 other countries. Diplomats say the exercises, which entered their second week, aim to send a strong message to Syrian President Assad. "If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the measures to protect the country and the interest of our people," King Abdullah told military cadets in southern Jordan. He also saluted members of his country's armed forces who helped over the last year undertake a massive humanitarian relief operation to bring across the border hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing bombardment in their communities and seeking a safe haven. (J.Post)

MORSI CUTS EGYPT’S SYRIA TIES, CONDEMNS HIZBULLAH: Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and demanded Hizbullah leave Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state more firmly against President Assad. Addressing a gathering of Muslim clerics, the Islamist head of state said: "We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime." He also warned Assad's allies in the Iranian-backed, Lebanese terrorist organization to pull back from fighting in Syria: "We stand against Hizbullah in its aggression against the Syrian people," Morsi said. "Hizbullah must leave Syria - these are serious words.” He further urged world powers not to hesitate to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria. On Sunday, Syria harshly criticized Cairo's decision to sever diplomatic relations with Damascus, accusing Egypt's Morsi of joining a US and Israel-led conspiracy against Syria. (Ynet/J.Post)

OVER 70 SYRIAN OFFICERS DEFECT TO TURKEY: As many as 73 Syrian military officers defected from the Syrian army and have crossed the border into Turkey with their families, news sources reported Friday. The 73 officers included seven generals and 20 colonels. They were part of a group totaling 202 Syrians who arrived in the border town of Reyhanli. They were taken to a Turkish refugee camp that houses military officers who have defected from the Syrian army. This is one of the largest, if not the largest, defections from Assad’s army since the start of the popular uprising against him in March 2011, which has turned into a civil war that has killed more than 90,000 people. (INN)

THOUSANDS GATHER AROUND ISTANBUL SQUARE AFTER POLICE RAID: Thousands of people took to the streets and began building barricades on a main avenue to Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saturday night after police firing tear gas raided an adjoining park to evict anti-government protesters. Police fired tear gas canisters into back streets around the square for several hours after the raid to try and prevent crowds from regrouping. Hours earlier, riot police fired water cannons and tear gas as they drove protesters out of Istanbul's Taksim Square and neighboring Gezi Park, an intervention that came shortly after the prime minister warned that security forces "know how to clear" the area. Within a half-hour, the sweep by white-helmeted riot police had emptied the park, leaving a series of abandoned tents behind. Angry clashes between protesters and police continued on Sunday. (Reuters/Ynet)

ERDOGAN STRUGGLES TO RECOVER FROM CRACKDOWN: Facing a backlash over his government’s attempt to brutally put down protests that began two weeks ago over the development of a park in Istanbul, Turkish PM Recep Erdogan is now trying to negotiate a settlement with anti-government demonstrators. Reaching an agreement with the protesters will be difficult, however, since it is clear from their demands for Erdogan’s resignation the protests go beyond plans to pave over a park and represent a deep-seated opposition to the prime minister and his harsh policies. (Lignet) Could it be PM Erdogan is reaping some ill-effects of his harsh, rude and shaming behavior towards Israel before the world? “For he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.” Zech 2:8

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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