Israel Update

July 22, 2013

“The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.” Ps 33:10

ISRAEL, PALESTINIANS STILL AT ODDS OVER BORDERS AHEAD OF TALKS: Israel will not bow to the Palestinians' demand on the borders of their future state before peace talks begin but will meet their request for the release of some prisoners, Israeli officials said on Saturday. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Israel and the Palestinians had laid the groundwork to resume talks after an almost three-year stalemate, but that the deal was not final and required more diplomacy. Remarks made Saturday by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz suggest the sides still face major stumbling blocks before negotiations can move ahead. The Palestinians say the talks must be about establishing a future state in Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, with borders that existed before Israel captured those territories in a 1967 war. Steinitz said, "There is no chance we will agree to enter any negotiations that begin with defining territorial borders or concessions by Israel, nor a construction freeze." Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the apparent progress but did not indicate what steps Israel would take to ensure the talks resume, if any. "The resumption of the peace process is a vital strategic interest of the state of Israel," Netanyahu said in a statement. (Reuters/Arutz-7) Pray government leaders in the US, Israel (and worldwide) will not seek to "divide the land," for the sake of a false peace that will never endure.

NETANYAHU: PALESTINIANS WILL NEED TO MAKE CONCESSIONS: The Palestinians will need to make concessions during negotiations that will enable Israel to ensure its security and protect its vital national interests, PM Netanyahu said at the opening of Sunday's cabinet meeting. The prime minister stressed that any agreement would be brought to the nation in the form of a referendum for its approval. Netanyahu reiterated that in his mind restarting the diplomatic process was a "vital" Israeli strategic interest, and that he would be guided by two principles: to thwart the creation of a bi-national state, and to prevent the establishment of another Iranian-backed terrorist state on Israel's borders. "We will need to find the balance between those two things," he said, adding that to do this the Palestinians would need to make concessions. (J.Post) Over the years, the Palestinians have not been willing to make one tiny concession, or a single good will gesture, towards peace with the Jewish state.

STEINITZ: ISRAEL TO FREE PALESTINIAN PRISONERS IN PEACE TALKS RENEWAL: Israel has agreed to a long-standing Palestinian demand to release Palestinian prisoners in order to resume peace talks, but will not yield on other central issues, International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday. "There will be some release of prisoners," Steinitz told Israel Radio. "I don't want to give numbers but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for dozens of years. It will not be simple, but we will make that gesture." There are about 100 pre-Oslo prisoners in Israeli jails. Steinitz added there is no chance Israel will agree to “enter any negotiations that begin with defining territorial borders or concessions by Israel, or a construction freeze." (J.Post)

BENNETT: BAYIT YEHUDI OPPOSITION TO ’67 LINES PAID OFF: Israel’s Likud Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi politicians warned against releasing prisoners and freezing settlement construction Saturday night. Party spokespersons waited until after the Sabbath to respond to US Secretary of State John Kerry's Friday-night announcement that peace talks will be renewed. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said his party's standing up for its principles – that it will not sit in a government that will negotiate on pre-'67 lines – proved itself. "When we insist, we can hold negotiations without preconditions, without a freeze, and certainly without the bizarre demand to base them on '67 lines," he said. "As negotiations open, we will make sure to continue regular life and construction in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem." Bennett also said he will not agree for the EU to take part in the negotiation, since their directive against funding in Judea and Samaria proved they are not an unbiased party. (J.Post) Pray for the Lord’s favor and strength to be upon political leaders who, against all odds and pressures, refuse to divide the land of Israel.

ELKIN: TIME TO STOP ALL GESTURES TO PA: Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin said Friday it is time to halt all “gestures” toward the Palestinian Authority (PA), and added that Israel has “no reason to allow the Europeans to act vis-a-vis the Palestinians in all kinds of projects they are promoting.” He was reacting to an EU directive to halt cooperation with Israeli projects in the Golan, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. “This is a scandalous decision, which shows the Europeans are behaving like a bull in a china shop,” he said. “It tries not only to determine where the European money goes – which is their right, even if we do not like it – but also tries to dictate to us where the Israeli money will go in joint plans with Europe, and this most certainly is unacceptable to us. It also most certainly causes Palestinians to toughen their positions, because if Europeans support the Palestinians even when they are the ones refusing to negotiate, then they have no reason to return to the negotiating table with the Israelis. Israel’s Foreign Ministry last week summoned the ambassadors of Britain and France and the deputy ambassador of Germany to discuss the new EU ban. The envoys were warned of a serious crisis between the EU and Israel over the move. (INN/Ha’aretz) “Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed.” Is 10:1

PA HOLDS MILITARY FUNERAL FOR TERRORIST WHO MURDERED 14 ISRAELIS: The Palestinian Authority days ago held a military funeral for Ahmed Abu al-Sukkar, a former Fatah terrorist who was involved in a 1975 bombing in Jerusalem's Zion Square that killed 14 and injured more than 60. Abu al-Sukkar died of a heart attack at age 78. PA President Mahmoud Abbas published a statement mourning the death of Abu al- Sukkar, whom he described as one faithful to the struggle for freedom and the Palestinian cause. (J.Post)

HAMAS REELING FROM EGYPTIAN CRACKDOWN ON GAZA SMUGGLING TUNNELS: Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are reeling from another devastating blockade, but this time they are blaming Egypt, the neighboring Arab power they once hoped would end their isolation, rather than their old foe Israel. In a few weeks of digging, dynamiting and drenching, Cairo's troops have destroyed many of the smuggling tunnels that ran under the Egypt-Gaza border and which had provided the coastal enclave with commercial goods as well as weaponry. The Islamist Hamas government, which taxes much of the traffic through the underground passages, has been hit hard by the losses. Hamas’ economy minister says tunnel closures since June have cost Gaza around $230 million. (J.Post)

ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNCOVER KING DAVID’S PALACE: A joint excavation led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authorities discovered two of the largest structures ever uncovered from the Kingdom of Judea, the Israel Antiquities Authorities announced Thursday. Researchers identified one of the structures as a palace of King David, and the other as a large storage facility for the kingdom. The excavation, which lasted seven years, gives evidence to state building and administrative organization during the time of King David. The site, named 'Khirbet Qeiyafa' is located 19 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The importance of the biblical discovery has led the Israel Antiquities Authority in collaboration with the Natural Parks Authority to reject a proposal to build a new neighborhood close to the site, declaring the area and its surroundings a national park. (J.Post)

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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