August 19, 2013
"Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not." Lam 3:22
EGYPT: SCORES DEAD, HUNDREDS INJURED IN BLOOD-SOAKED DAY OF RAGE: Scores are dead in Egypt as a Muslim Brotherhood-led "day of rage" turned to bloodshed on Friday. At least 80 people were killed and hundreds injured in Cairo alone, as anti-coup protesters were fired on by government forces. One protester said the crowds were shot at by men in helicopters and that others were shooting from the windows. The Muslim Brotherhood had called for the protests after Friday prayers in support of the deposed president, Mohammed Morsi and in defiance of a military crackdown on sit-in demonstrations that left more than 600 protesters dead on August 14. The Brotherhood group on Friday appealed for a week of daily nationwide protests. (Arurz-7)
EGYPT CLOSER TO CIVIL WAR AS DEATH TOLL RISES AND ISLAMISTS TAKE TO STREETS: Supporters of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood stormed and torched government buildings in Cairo on Thursday, while families tried to identify hundreds of mutilated bodies piled in a Cairo mosque a day after they were shot dead by the security forces. At least 638 people were killed and close to 4,000 wounded in the worst day of civil violence in the modern history of the most populous Arab state. Brotherhood supporters claim the death toll is far higher, with hundreds of bodies yet uncounted by the authorities, whose troops and police crushed protests seeking the return of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. In defiance of appeals for restraint, Egypt’s Interior Ministry warned protesters that police officers were authorized to use lethal force to protect themselves. The ministry also promised to punish any “terrorist actions and sabotage” after at least two government buildings were burned early Thursday. Muslim Brotherhood supporters additionally attacked a dozen police stations around the country on Wednesday, killing more than 40 police officers. US President Obama said Thursday that the US "deplores" and "strongly condemns" the bloodshed in Egypt. It has urged all citizens residing there to leave the country immediately. Governments across Europe have criticized the violence and issued strong warnings against travel to Egypt. (Ynet/Ha’aretz) "I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city and kingdom against kingdom." Isa 19:2
OPINION: GROWING PRESSURE ON EGYPTIAN ARMY LEADS TO CRACKDOWN: Egyptian Defense Minister al-Sisi had good reason to estimate that if the mass sit-ins organized by the Muslim Brotherhood persisted, the Brotherhood may regain control over the country. Moreover, there were credible reports that pro-Morsi protesters in Cairo were accumulating weapons and were also building barricades, meaning it would become harder to remove them by force and the number of casualties would have been greater. Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, said the army gave the protesters a number of weeks to end their protests or agree to a negotiated solution. Because the Brotherhood refused to be flexible in its demands, it became obvious a crackdown was coming. Mazel noted the new Egyptian government is pro-West and will have decent relations with Israel. He said the West must understand the army is in a fight with radical Islam. "The Brotherhood was building an Islamic dictatorship," and it was the army that moved in to prevent that,” Mazel asserted. (Ynet)
EGYPT’S CHURCHES AFLAME AS BROTHERHOOD TARGETS CHRISTIANS: Egypt's Coptic Christian minority has become a target for Muslim Brotherhood supporters across the country in the wake of the military's decision to clear supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi from their Cairo sit-ins. Immediately after security forces cleared encampments in two of the city's squares, Islamists began attacking Christian churches. Approximately 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters set fire to two churches south of Cairo. Angry mobs also targeted churches, monasteries and other church properties in Alexandria, Suez and a number of other cities in Upper Egypt. A total of seven Catholic Churches and fifteen Coptic Orthodox and Protestant churches have reportedly been torched by pro-Morsi mobs,including several ancient ones. Brotherhood supporters also wreaked havoc on Coptic Christian businesses and property throughout the country. Coptic priests and laymen have been killed and churches have been burned or scrawled with anti-Christian graffiti. Brotherhood supporters blame the Copts for toppling former President Morsi because Coptic Pope Tawadros II backed the military's July 3 move to oust him. (IPT News/Arutz-7) Much prayer is needed for the millions-strong believing remnant across Egypt. May there be protection, courage and comfort for those who are suffering the loss of homes, businesses and loved ones at the hands of Islamists - simply because they are Christians.
GUNMAN KILLS 10-YEAR-OLD CHRISTIAN GIRL IN EGYPT: Amid ongoing sectarian violence in Egypt, 10-year-old Jessica Boulous was murdered Tuesday after walking home from her Bible lesson with her teacher. A report by Egyptian rights activists claim that Jessica’s teacher stepped into a market and while her back was turned, Jessica was shot in the chest, the bullet pierced her heart and she died instantly. (INN)
CAR BOMB NEAR HEZBOLLAH STRONGHOLD IN BEIRUT KILLS 22, INJURES 212. At least 22 people were killed and more than 212 were injured Thursday when a car bomb went off near a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut. While a Sunni Islamist group claimed responsibility for the bombing, Hezbollah said it bore the markings of a Zionist attack. A witness said at least five nearby buildings were damaged and many cars in the area were destroyed. A Sunni Islamist group calling itself the Brigades of Aisha claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying it targeted Hezbollah. "This is the second time we have decided the place of the battle and its timing. And you will see more, God willing," said a masked man, flanked by two others brandishing rifles, in a video statement addressed to Nasrallah. Sectarian tensions have been high in Lebanon following the intervention of Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah in support of Assad against a two-year revolt led by Syria's Sunni Muslim majority. Hezbollah also fought a month-long war with Israel in 2006. Hezbollah chiefs insist the blast "has Zionist fingerprints all over it and serves Israel’s interests." Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday and warned of Hezbollah’s operations against Israel near the northern border. "Hezbollah is Iran's main weapon against Israel. This is an organization which is a state within a state," Yaalon told Ban, and presented him with a map of populated localities in southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah uses apartments to hide weapons, launch missiles at Israel and as fighting positions in a possible conflict in the future. (J.Post/Ynet)
HAMAS TERRORIST ORGANIZATION PATCHES UP TIES WITH HEZBOLLAH, IRAN: In an attempt to return to the fold of Iranian patronage, the Gaza-based terror group Hamas has been holding meetings with representatives of its Lebanon-based, Tehran-sponsored counterpart Hezbollah. According to reports, two representatives from Hamas met with Hezbollah members recently at the Iranian embassy in Beirut. The meeting focused on increasing Iranian support for Hamas. According to a Hamas source in Gaza, there have been other meetings, all of which stressed that Hamas is a strategic partner to Iran. Relations between Hamas and Iran soured over Syria’s civil war. Whereas Tehran and Hezbollah back the Assad regime, Hamas’ Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh openly called for support of the rebels. As the civil war in Syria has deepened, most of the country’s half-million Palestinians have championed the rebels. In June, Hamas scolded Hezbollah for fighting alongside the Syrian Army against the rebels and told the organization to go back to fighting Israel. “We demand of Hezbollah to withdraw its forces from Syria and called on it to leave its weapons directed only at the Zionist enemy,” read a statement by Hamas. (Times of Israel)
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 http://www.visionforisrael.com/
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.