Israel Update

August 26, 2013

“What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” Mark 13:37

KERRY: SYRIA CHEMICAL ATTACK, A ‘MORAL OBSCENITY’: The US affirmed Monday that chemical weapons had been used last week in an attack against Syrian civilians. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington was still examining evidence, but left no doubt that Bashar Assad's regime would be blamed. "What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality," he said in a televised statement. "The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity," declared Kerry. Assad's government has denied carrying out last week's chemical weapons strike on a civilian community near Damascus, which killed hundreds of people. Kerry, however, affirmed that independent reports of an atrocity were credible and said the US would be presenting more concrete evidence of its own. Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday, "there is no doubt who’s responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons attack in Syria: the Syrian regime." He signaled that the US - with its allies – was ready to act. Meanwhile the White House insists President Obama has yet to make a final decision on how to respond to what US officials characterize as the worst chemical weapons attack since former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein launched a poison gas attack that killed thousands of Kurds in 1988. According to the sources, the president continues to review options for a response. "Nothing has been decided." But a military response appears increasingly likely. (INN)

LIBERMAN: OBAMA’S CREDIBILITY IS AT STAKE OVER SYRIA SITUATION: Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday the US response to Syrian President Assad's use of chemical weapons last week is a test of US President Obama's credibility. Speaking in a radio interview, Liberman said "the region and the international community see the Syrian situation as a test for America's foreign policy and security stance." The US upholding its "red lines" on the use of chemical weapons by Assad tests "both the personal credibility of Obama and of the entire US government," said Liberman. The former foreign minister stressed the US position as the world's leading super power and Washington's ability to influence world events would be judged by whether or not it strikes Syria. He added that Israel could be dragged into the conflict if the US strikes, but said Assad and Hezbollah understand the consequences of involving Israel. (J.Post)

SYRIAN INTERVENTION COULD BEGIN AS EARLY AS THURSDAY: British and American naval vessels are currently preparing for military action against the regime of Syrian President Assad, following a chemical attack by the regime against its own civilians. Military commanders are drawing up a list of potential targets to strike, in an operation that would stop short of sending "boots on the ground" of their own. Talks between Western leaders are still ongoing, but a military intervention involving a joint air and naval attack could begin as early as Thursday, according to US government sources. France likewise announced Monday that a decision regarding a military assault on Syria will be declared in the next few days. In what might indicate the British army is preparing for an attack on Syria, warplanes and military transporters have begun arriving at Britain's Akrotiri airbase on Cyprus, less than 100 miles from the Syrian coast. If an order to strike targets in Syria is given, Cyprus is likely to be a hub of the air campaign. On Monday Israel’s National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror asked his US counterpart, Susan Rice, for early notice before an American attack on Syria. (INN/Ynet)

SYRIA AND IRAN: ISRAEL WILL BE UNDER FIRE IF THE US ATTACKS SYRIA: A member of the Syrian Ba'ath national council, Halef al-Muftah, said Monday that Israel "will come under fire" should Syria be attacked by the US. He told the American radio station Sawa: "We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel." Also on Tuesday, a senior Syrian source stated an attack on Syria would elicit a Syrian attack on Tel Aviv. According to estimates, the Syrian army has in its possession some 100,000 missiles and rockets. Several thousand of them are considered very powerful and accurate and can reach any target in Israel. Russia continues to send arms shipments to Syria and is making certain the regime in Damascus is replenished with more rockets, anti-tank missiles, small arms and ammunition. Meanwhile, in Iran the director-general of the Iranian parliament for International Affairs, Hossein Sheikholeslam, said Monday that "the Zionist regime will be the first victim of a military attack on Syria." In Lebanon, the Hezbollah terrorist organization, which is supporting Assad’s regime with fighters in Syria, holds approximately 70,000 projectiles. Dozens of them are guided missiles that can reach as far as Israel’s southern communities, but are primed for more strategic hits, such as to national power plants or important military bases. Against the background of an impending Western strike in Syria, the Israeli Defense Ministry held a special meeting in Tel Aviv with the participation of PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and an array of top IDF officers. "The State of Israel is prepared for every scenario," Netanyahu said after the meeting. "We're not part of the Syrian civil war, but if we'll spot an attempt to harm us we will respond fiercely." (INN/Ynet) The possibility must be faced that the Jewish state could become a full-scale target in the near future as plans proceed for a joint strike on Syria.

ARAB LEAGUE: SYRIA ATTACK PERPETRATORS MUST FACE JUSTICE: The Arab League squarely blamed Syrian President Assad on Tuesday for a gas attack near Damascus and urged the UN Security Council to act, providing what diplomatic sources said was political cover for a possible US strike. Western powers have told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against Assad's forces within days to punish the attack, according to sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition. The Arab League's statement, issued after an emergency meeting, made no mention of military action. But it accused Assad of genocide and demanded, in unusually strong language, that the perpetrators face justice. The Arab League holds Syria "fully responsible for the ugly crime and demands that all the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be presented for international trials," the statement said. Meanwhile, Russia one of Assad's most important international backers has stressed the need for a political solution to be found to the crisis. It has sharply condemned any possibility of Western strikes on Syria. China has joined Russia in blocking resolutions critical of Syria at the UN Security Council. It has also criticized the prospect of attacks against Syria. (J.Post) “Damascus has grown feeble; she turns to flee, and fear has seized her. Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.” Jer 49:24

IAEA SAYS IRAN ADDING TO ATOM CAPACITY: A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shows that Iran is pressing ahead with its nuclear program by further increasing its capacity to enrich uranium, diplomats disclosed Monday. They said Iran also appears to have started making fuel for a heavy-water reactor that could produce plutonium, a development that concerns the West because of its potential to be used in a nuclear weapon. On a different front, Israeli government leaders months ago confirmed Iran’s involvement in the Syrian bloodshed. “The Iranian regime is in a very concrete manner lending its support to the Syrian government’s murder of the Syrian people, and this is part of their very aggressive and dangerous behavior in the region,” one official said. PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Syria was brutally slaughtering its people “with, of course, the assistance of Iran and Hezbollah – real assistance, not just political support, but assistance in murder.” (Reuters/INN) While the media focus shifts weekly on crisis hot spots, Iran’s nuclear development program races ahead.

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


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