Israel Update

August 3, 2013

“Those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:31

NETANYAHU: ROUHANI REVEALS HIS TRUE COLORS SOONER THAN EXPECTED: PM Binyamin Netanyahu responded Friday to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's remarks in which he was cited as saying that Israel "has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and should be removed." Rouhani made the derogatory statements against Israel after taking part in an annual “Al Quds Day” rally in Tehran on Friday. Netanyahu said that "Rouhani's true face has been revealed earlier than expected. Even if they will now rush to deny his remarks, this is what the man thinks and this is the plan of the Iranian regime." Speaking of western commentators who have referred to Rouhani as a "moderate" who could depart from the aggressive foreign policy of his predecessor, the Prime Minister cited his recent remarks as a wake up call to the world. Iranians held massive anti-Israel rallies on August 2, the last Friday of Ramadan. (Arutz-7)

HOUSE VOTES FOR NEW TOUGH SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN: The US House of Representatives voted 400-20 Wednesday to hit Iran with the toughest sanctions yet over its nuclear program, in a forceful rejection of arguments that Congress should refrain from new penalties pending international negotiations with the new Iranian government. The bill basically blocks Iran from selling any oil abroad, after a year in which its exports have already been cut in half by international sanctions. Lawmakers said they wanted to send Tehran a strong signal before the negotiations, and didn't believe statements by Iran's president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, that he wants a better relationship with the West. Iran is expected to achieve a critical capability in mid-2014, which is defined as the technical capacity to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium from its safeguarded stocks of low-enriched uranium for a nuclear explosive, without being detected. (Daily Alert) Iran’s nuclear weapons program is presently speeding ahead while many governments and the media are preoccupied with the Middle East peace talks, the Syrian upheaval and the Egyptian crisis.

NETANYAHU: US HOUSE SANCTIONS SEND CLEAR MESSAGE TO IRANIAN REGIME: PM Netanyahu on Thursday warmly welcomed a US House of Representatives decision imposing new, punishing sanctions on Iran. Netanyahu said the move sent an important message that Iran will not get a period of grace because of Hassan Rouhani’s victory in the presidential election. Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office said the congressional move was important because it was the first time an international body has stepped up the sanctions since Rouhani was elected to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June. Netanyahu has called for the world not to “let its guard down” because of the election of someone perceived by some in the West as a “moderate,” but rather to keep up intense pressure on Tehran. (J.Post)

OBAMA: ACTION ON IRAN IN RETURN FOR PEACE TALKS: US President Obama gave a commitment to PM Netanyahu, to take action “in the coming months” regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, in exchange for Israel's agreement to renew “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority, a security source has revealed. The source added that it was not clear if the commitment was given in exchange for the fact that Israel-PA negotiations are being held, or if it is conditional on their success. Netanyahu's agreement to release terrorist murderers from Israeli jails appears to derive from the same agreement. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon may have been hinting at this when he said Monday that “Perhaps, one day, the strategic considerations that stood behind the decision to free the Palestinian prisoners will be revealed.” In recent months, Obama has been dragging out the process of reaching a decision on a strike in Iran that would damage its nuclear weapons program. This indecision has affected Israel, too, since even a unilateral Israeli strike requires full cooperation from the US. (Arutz-7)

OBAMA SPEAKS TO NETANYAHU AND ABBAS ABOUT PEACE: US President Barack Obama spoke to PM Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, several days after peace talks between the sides officially restarted. Obama made separate calls to both men in an effort to keep up the momentum. (INN)

ISRAEL POSSIBLY TO LOSE 15% OF SETTLEMENT BLOCS IN FUTURE DEAL: US officials estimate that Israel will lose about 15% of “major settlement blocs” in Judea and Samaria in any final status deal worked out with the Palestinian Authority. Secretary of State John Kerry said in discussions with members of the House of Representatives that Israel’s interests are being safeguarded. Core issues were reportedly raised during the initial meetings in Washington between Israeli and PA negotiators, including the question of when to address the status of Jerusalem. Kerry said he believes approximately 85% of Israel’s largest “settlement blocs” will remain under the state’s sovereignty. Kerry’s reply to the question of whether the PA will be willing to formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state was noncommittal, however: “That’s one of my goals,” he said, “a homeland for the Jewish people.” Israel was already recognized in 1948 by the UN as a “homeland for the Jewish people,” so that point is not at all new. (Arutz-7) Pray no deception or manipulation on the part of the nations regarding Israel will delay G-d’s purposes for His land and His beloved people. “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?” 2 Chron 20:7

EGYPT WARNS MORSI SUPPORTERS TO END PROTESTS: The Egyptian authorities on Thursday warned tens of thousands of supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi to abandon their sit-ins, in what was seen as the first step toward the use of force one day after the military-backed government ordered that the protests must end. Speaking on state television, an Interior Ministry spokesman appealed to the protesters to “give priority to the interest of the homeland, to comply with the public interest and to quickly leave and evacuate.” The ministry promised “safe exit and complete protection” to all who complied. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the Egyptian army, which deposed President Mohamed Morsi, had intervened at the request of millions to protect democracy and had restored it. (INN)

MASSIVE WEAPONS DEPOT BLAST IN SYRIA KILLS 40: Rebels sent a wave of rockets slamming into regime strongholds in the central city of Homs on Thursday, triggering a succession of massive explosions in a weapons depot that killed at least 40 people and wounded dozens, an opposition group and residents said. The attack - one of the most potent against pro-government districts in the area - overshadowed a rare trip by President Bashar Assad to a former opposition bastion outside the capital, Damascus, during which he defiantly vowed in front of troops to defeat the rebels fighting to topple him. The huge explosion delivered a jolt to Assad's regime, which for weeks has been boasting of achievements against the rebels in the strategic Homs region and the suburbs of Damascus. (AP)

LEADER: 'OPEN SEASON' ON NIGERIAN CHRISTIANS BY ISLAMISTS: Christians in Nigeria are an endangered species, according to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria. Oritsejafor met this week with US lawmakers, pleading for help in combating the Islamist groups, which have mercilessly attacked Christian communities for the past several years – making Nigeria one of the most dangerous places in the world for Christians. Currently there are some 80 million Christians in the country. Many of them, especially in the north of the country, have faced terror and death at the hand of Islamist groups such as Boko Haram, whose leader, Abubaker Schekau, has personally murdered hundreds of Christians. In 2012, more than 100 Christians died on average each month in northern Nigeria, many by members of the Jihad group. Oritsejafor told legislators that Islamists have begun targeting not only churches, but also schools – shooting up classrooms with children in attendance. Islamists have declared all schools except those teaching Islam illegal, and Boko Haram is intent on enforcing that law, as well as others drawn from Sharia Islamic law. "It is open season on Nigeria's Christians," Oritesejafor told the legislators. (Arutz-7) Pray for the strength, courage and protection of increasingly persecuted Christians across Islamist-controlled lands.

TERROR THREAT PROMPTS US MIDDLE EAST EMBASSY CLOSURES: A terror threat prompted the State Department on Thursday to direct its embassies in key Middle East nations, including Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq and Kuwait, to close on Sunday. A US official called the threat "credible and serious." A senior State Department official said additional days could be added. On Friday, the United States issued a worldwide travel alert warning US citizens about the "continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa." (CNN) Pray acts of terrorism planned against US embassies and American targets overseas will be averted.

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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