Israel Update



“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” John 15: 19, 20

BOMB HITS EGYPT CHURCH AT NEW YEAR’S MASS, 21 DEAD: A powerful bomb exploded in front of a Coptic Christian church as a crowd of worshippers emerged from a New Years Mass early Saturday, killing at least 21 people and wounding nearly 80 in an attack that raised suspicions of an al Qaeda role. Police initially said the blast came from an explosives-packed car parked outside the Saints Church in the Mediterranean port city. But the Interior Ministry later said it was more likely from a bomber who blew himself up among the crowd. Both are hallmarks of al Qaeda. The assault came in the wake of repeated threats by al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq to attack Egypt's Christians. A direct al Qaeda hand in the bombing would be a dramatic development, as Egypt's government has long denied that the terror network has a significant presence in the country. Al Qaeda in Iraq has already been waging a campaign of violence against Christians in that country. (Fox News)

IRAQ CHRISTIANS BURY THEIR DEAD AFTER MORE ATTACKS: Iraqi Christians buried their dead on Friday after a string of apparently coordinated attacks using bombs and rockets hit their dwindling community, killing two people and injuring 13 others. At least four Christian homes in Baghdad were hit Thursday night in the first string of attacks since al-Qaida-linked terrorists last week renewed their threats of violence against Christians in Iraq. Believers there have been living in heightened fear since terrorists carried out a bloody siege of a Baghdad church that killed dozens of worshippers in October and al-Qaida announced it was waging a concentrated campaign against their community. (AP) Continue to pray for persecuted Christians in the Middle East; for deliverance from their enemies and that their faith will not fail.

WIKILEAKS: EGYPT STILL SEES ISRAEL AS MAIN ENEMY: Egypt's military, the biggest recipient of US military aid after Israel, is in decline, according to US diplomatic memos leaked this month. The US has been pressing Egypt to focus its military toward terrorism, halting cross-border smuggling and helping out in regional crises. To the dismay of the Americans, the Egyptian military continues to see Israel as its primary adversary 31 years after the two neighbors signed a peace treaty. (AP) Pray for good relations between Israel and Egypt and co-operation in the fight against terrorism.

HAMAS TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WANTS CLOSER TIES WITH JORDAN: General Muhamad Frichat, who heads the operations branch of the Jordanian army, met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza Thursday. Interviewed by a Jordanian newspaper, Haniyeh expressed hope Jordan would tighten its ties with Hamas and rejected the notion of Jordan as an alternative to an Arab state within the borders of Israel. (Arutz-7)

NETANYAHU: CONFLICT CONTINUES DUE TO REFUSAL TO ACCEPT ISRAEL: The root of the Israeli-Arab conflict is not Israel's presence in the settlements, but rather its presence in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, PM Netanyahu said Thursday. "This conflict continues because there is a refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and bring an end to the conflict." Peace will require the Palestinians to "give up their right of return, because it is impossible to have a Jewish state and in parallel to flood it with Palestinian refugees."  (J.Post)

TERROR DOWN FROM 2009: There was an overall decrease in the number of terror attacks against Israel in 2010, compared to 2009, according to the annual Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) report released Thursday. There were 798 recorded terror attacks by Arabs in 2010, down from about 1,354 in 2009 (of which 378 occurred during Gaza counter-terror strike 'Cast Lead'). Nine people were murdered by terrorists in 2010 - six less than in 2009. The number of people wounded by terrorism decreased sharply - from 234 last year to 28 this year. None of the terror attacks were "suicide bombings." (INN)

YOUR DONATIONS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED AND APPRECIATED: POVERTY UPDATE: Did you know 1.77 million of Israel's residents are needy and approximately half of Israel's poor are children – at least 850,300? To make the picture clearer: According to a Dec. 26, 2010 poverty update some 5,500 kids have resorted to stealing food over the past year, 2,500 were forced to beg and 5,000 collected food that was thrown away. Moreover, 110,000 went to school without lunch, 100,000 have cut down on school work to help provide for the family, and 260,000 walked around in torn shoes.  Approximately 480,000 children went without dental treatments. The elderly population living under the poverty line does not fare much better than the needy children. According to the report, 71% are unable to pay for medicine and medical services – a 115% increase from five years ago. Two out of three senior citizens do not leave home as result of financial hardship. General data presented in the report shows 75% of the needy have had to go without meals over the past year – a 21% increase since 2009. The biggest fear of 7% of them is dying of starvation. About 75% of Israeli organizations report that demand for food by poor individuals has risen by 27%, compared to last year. Please continue to enable us to assist children, terrorist victims and Holocaust survivors, entire households suffering from hardship, the elderly, and recent Carmel fire victims. Your donations are needed and welcomed at Make your online donation today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our newly updated website at www.josephstoreho

HEALTH MINISTRY CALLS FOR MORE EMERGENCY ROOMS ACROSS ISRAEL: Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman plans to address overcrowding and bed shortages in public hospitals across the country. A key element of the plan, which Litzman is already pushing toward implementation, involves setting up emergency rooms in towns and cities that lack full hospitals which would provide basic medical services, including blood tests and X-rays. (Ha’aretz)

FORMER ISRAELI PRESIDENT CONVICTED OF RAPE: Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav's conviction of rape, sexual assault and harassment truly is "a sad day for Israel," as PM Netanyahu noted Thursday. It is tangible proof that equality before the law is protected in Israel, regardless of one's connections. This is a testimony to the strength of Israeli democracy. (J.Post)

ISRAELI POPULATION: 7,695,000: At the end of 2010 there were 7,695,000 people residing in Israel, according to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. Some 5,802,000 (75.4%) are Jewish, 1,573,000 (20.4%) are Arab, and 320,000 (4.2%) are of other ethnicity. Officials say more than 19,000 Jewish immigrants came to Israel in 2010, a 16% increase over last year. (Ha’aretz) “The Lord your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky.” Deut 1:10

NOBLE ENERGY CONFIRMS ISRAEL’S LARGEST NATURAL GAS DISCOVERY: Noble Energy Inc. confirmed estimates that its offshore Leviathan gas reserve contains about 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it Israel's largest energy discovery ever. The discovery is thought to be large enough to meet Israel's gas needs for 100 years and could transform the country into an energy exporter, potentially lessening Europe's dependence on Russian supplies of natural gas. The field is located in 5,400 feet of water about 80 miles from the Israeli city of Haifa. (Wall Street Journal)


  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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