Israel Update

June 25, 2013

“Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.” Isa 30:18

US LEAVES 700 COMBAT-READY TROOPS IN JORDAN AFTER TRAINING EXERCISE: The US has left as many as 900 combat-equipped troops in Jordan after a training exercise there, at the request of the Jordanian government. President Barack Obama said Friday that with both countries keeping a wary eye on the civil war in Syria, the troops will remain until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed. Jordanian public official Abdullah Ensour told reporters Saturday that 200 of the personnel were experts training for how to handle a chemical attack. He said the remaining 700 are manning a Patriot missile defense system and F-16 fighter jets which Washington deployed this month in case the Syrian war worsens. Jordan is concerned its larger northern neighbor would use chemical weapons against Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and other neighboring countries, or that the stockpile may fall into the hands of al-Qaeda or other terrorists groups if President Bashar Assad loses control. (Ha’aretz/Ynet)

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz supported PM Netanyahu's latest claim that Israel has every right to defend itself against Iran, during a weekend television interview. "We will never agree to give up our right to defend ourselves," Steinitz declared. "It is in the DNA of Netanyahu and the state of Israel." Steinitz's comments came in reaction to the outcome of the recent presidential elections in Iran which saw moderate Hassan Rohani emerge as the winner. Rohani's victory has prompted cautious optimism from Western powers, an optimism which Netanyahu has strongly warned against. The former finance minister echoed Netanyahu's warning saying, "Rohani wrote a book where he explains how to be a wolf in sheep's clothing." Steinitz was referring to a 2011 book Rohani wrote discussing foreign policy doctrines. (J.Post)

BENNETT: WE WON’T ALLOW A ‘MANIACAL’ REGIME WITH NUKES: Israel’s Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday in response to a question about the Iranian threat. “I think what matters are not the words but the centrifuges. We have to be very cognizant of whether Iran continues to accelerate the pace of uranium enrichment. Over the past year, they’ve tripled the pace,” he noted. Bennett went on to explain in a Washington Post interview that while he highly respects PM Netanyahu, the two also have profound disagreements. “Netanyahu supports — and he truly does support — building a Palestinian state within Israel,” Bennett said. He explained his opposition to the idea: “What we’ve learned over the past 20 years is that each time we gave up land of ours, within a very short time frame, terrorists initiated severe attacks from that land and killed multitudes of Israelis. People don’t realize the Palestinian supposed state would be on a mountain, and narrow Israel would be right below. I’ve got four kids. I’m not about to place them right underneath this big mountain. My problem right now is that the international community is forcing upon us national suicide, because injecting, yet again, a terror state into the heart of our country is national suicide. So what am I to do — say, ‘You’re pressuring me, so I’ll commit suicide?’” (Arutz-7)

FATAH MEMBER: HAIFA, JAFFA ARE PALESTINIAN: Haifa, Jaffa and Acre are Palestinian cities and will remain so, Tawfik Tirawi, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, said Saturday. Tirawi, who previously served as commander of the PA General Intelligence Service said the Palestinians have struggled since the Balfour Declaration and would pursue their struggle “until we achieve our national goals – the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.” Tirawi, in an interview with the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily, said: “To those who consider the settlements of Beit El and Ma’aleh Adumim to be Israeli, we say to them - and to all - that Haifa, Jaffa and Acre are Palestinian and will remain Palestinian.” Tirawi said that Fatah’s “political program” has not changed since it was established more than four decades ago.” (J. Post)

PA CHAIRMAN FORCED TO ACCEPT NEW PM’s RESIGNATION: After days of trying to convince him otherwise, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced he has accepted PM Rami Hamdallah’s resignation.The move leaves the Palestinian Authority with a chairman serving beyond his official term of office, without a prime minister, and without a finance minister. The resignation came two weeks after Hamdallah accepted the post in the wake of Salam Fayyad’s resignation, who also left the position after numerous power struggles with Abbas. Both men are highly qualified economists respected by the international community. A source close to Hamdallah said in a statement on Sunday, “Hamdallah discovered the Palestinian Authority president wants him to serve as a ‘yes man’ with no powers. Abbas wanted a prime minister who would play no role and only carry out orders from the president’s office,” explained the source. (Arutz-7)

BATTLES FOR ALEPPO, DAMASCUS RAGING IN SYRIA: Syrian Army regulars and opposition forces have begun to battle in earnest for control of the northern commercial hub city of Aleppo. For weeks, President Assad’s government forces, as well as Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, and guerrilla fighters from the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist organization, have prepared for the assault on Aleppo, held largely by rebel forces. Earlier last week, the assault was launched, with loyalist forces taking control of some of the northern city’s neighborhoods back from rebel fighters. On Saturday, rebels renewed their efforts to tighten their grip on the city and retake regime-held neighborhoods in the country’s second-largest city. In a statement posted on the Internet, the main opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) announced the launch at dawn of “a battle to liberate numerous western districts” by “several revolutionary brigades and armed factions.” As the battle raged in Aleppo, Syria’s army engaged in a fierce assault on rebel forces holding areas in northern and eastern Damascus, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Syrian opposition officials say that 34 Hizbullah fighters were killed in battles near the Damascus area on Saturday. In total, over 100 people died in the war-torn country over the weekend. (J.Post/INN)

KERRY: SYRIA URGENTLY NEEDS POLITICAL SOLUTION: Unless the bloodshed in Syria stops, the region could descend into a chaotic sectarian conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday, as he called for an urgent political resolution to the war that has dragged on for two years and claimed 93,000 lives. The top US diplomat and his counterparts from 10 Arab and European nations agreed at a daylong meeting in Qatar to step up military and other assistance to the Syrian rebels. But Kerry would not disclose details of the aid, saying only that it would re-balance the fight between the rebels and President Assad's better-equipped forces that are increasingly backed by Iranian and Hizbullah fighters. "The continued bloodshed at the hands of the Assad regime and the increasing involvement of Iran and its proxy, Hizbullah, threaten the very prospects of a political settlement and of peace," Kerry said, adding that the US and other nations are not backing the rebels to seek a military victory in Syria. "We do so to find a political settlement," he said. (AP) “Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside, the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.” Isa 33:7

EGYPT’S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD BRACES FOR TROUBLE: As President Mohamed Morsi ends his first year in office, fortifications being erected at his group's headquarters suggest a looming war. Behind a reinforced wall and a five-inch thick iron gate, the Brotherhood's Cairo compound bears scars of a divisive year that has triggered frequent protests and bloodshed. There is the promise of more this month: Morsi's opponents have called for a mass rally on June 30 aimed at pushing him to resign. Earlier this month, Nearly 15 million people signed a petition to hold early presidential elections, in a campaign seeking to “remove confidence” in Egypt’s Islamist President. The controversy is a sign of its opponents' desire to turn back the clock to the days when Islamists were in jail rather than power. The opposition accuses Morsi's group of trying to entrench its rule through "Brotherhoodisation." (J.Post/INN)

EGYPT’S ARMY DELIVERS AN OMINOUS WARNING: Egypt’s army chief warned Sunday that the military is ready to intervene to stop the nation from entering a "dark tunnel" of internal conflict. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi spoke a week ahead of mass protests planned by opponents of Islamist President Morsi. There are fears the demonstrations calling for Morsi's ouster will descend into violence after some of the president's hard-line supporters vowed to "smash" them. Others declared protesters were infidels who deserve to be killed. El-Sissi's comments on the planned June 30 protests reflected the military's frustration with the rule of Morsi, who has spent his first year in office struggling with a host of problems he has failed to effectively tackle, like surging crime, rising prices, fuel shortages, power cuts and unemployment. In a thinly veiled warning to Morsi's hard-line backers, el-Sissi said: "It is not honorable that we remain silent in the face of the terrorizing and scaring of our Egyptian compatriots. There is more honor in death than watching a single Egyptian harmed while his army is standing idly by." (CBS)

THOUSANDS GATHER IN ISTANBUL’S TAKSI SQUARE: ERDOGAN SAYS PROTESTERS NOT RESPECTING ISLAM: Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan told thousands of supporters in the Black Sea city of Samsun on Saturday that weeks of often violent protests against his government had played into the hands of Turkey's enemies. As he finished speaking, around 10,000 protesters had gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square, many of them to attend a planned memorial for the four people who had been killed in the unrest. Turkish riot police fired water cannons to clear the protesters from the square, as the crowd chanted "this is just the start; the struggle will continue." The crowd quickly scattered, and water cannon trucks parked at several entry points to Taksim to prevent people from regrouping. People living around the square banged pots and pans, a sign of solidarity with protesters throughout more than three weeks of unrest in Istanbul and other cities across Turkey. Demonstrators shouted "Police, don't betray your people!" (Ynet)

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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