Israel Update



"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt 5:10

CHRISTIAN WHO SURVIVED IRAQ CHURCH MASSACRE KILLED IN TERRORIST ATTACK: A survivor of the Christian church massacre in Iraq two months ago was killed in the continuing spree of Muslim violence targeting the Christian community in the country. A Christian woman in the Karrada district of central Baghdad was shot to death at dawn on Monday while she was asleep, Iraq's interior ministry said. (RTT News)

EGYPT'S CHRISTIANS FEAR NEW ATTACK ON HOLIDAY: Egyptian Christians say they fear a repeat attack against their community on Coptic Christmas Eve, Thursday, despite authorities planning heavy security following a New Year's suicide bombing of a church in Alexandria that killed 23. The Coptic Christian minority makes up 10% of Egypt's 80 million people. (AP)

ANTI-CHRISTIAN DRUMBEAT LOUD BEFORE EGYPT ATTACK: In the weeks before the New Year's Day suicide bombing of an Egyptian church, al-Qaeda-linked websites carried a how-to manual on "destroying the cross," complete with videos on how to build a bomb and the locations of churches to target - including the one that was attacked. They may have found a receptive audience in Alexandria, where increasingly radicalized Islamic hard-liners have been holding weekly anti-Christian demonstrations. The blast, which struck Saturday as worshippers were leaving midnight Mass, killed 23 people. (AP)

US WORRIED BY RISING ANTI-CHRISTIAN ATTACKS: The Obama administration says it is "deeply concerned" by what appears to be a rising number of attacks on Christians in the Middle East and Africa. The State Department said Tuesday the US condemns religiously motivated violence and is disturbed by a recent string of attacks against Christians in Iraq, Egypt and Nigeria. Spokesman P. J. Crowley called for the governments in those countries to bring the perpetrators to justice. (Ynet)  “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” Is 40:1

NETANYAHU HECKLED BY ANGRY MOURNERS AT CARMEL FIRE MEMORIAL: Relatives and friends of those killed in the devastating Carmel fire last month refused to let Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak on Wednesday as he stood at the podium of the official state memorial ceremony to deliver a eulogy to the victims.  Netanyahu was unable to begin his address for a number of minutes, and stood surrounded on all sides by tight security. Even after he finally began to speak, the angry relatives continued to interrupt him, shouting that he was to blame for the fire that took their loved ones' lives. Some relatives have demanded the state investigate Netanyahu, Yishai, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak in particular over negligence during the fire. (Ha’aretz)

WELFARE MINISTRY: SHARP RISE IN NEEDY FAMILIES: The Welfare Ministry said Tuesday that over the past decade, there had been a sharp growth in the number of families who required services from one of Israel's social service agencies. In 1998, a Ministry report issued Tuesday said, 298,000 families needed services from such organizations, while in 2009 that number was 433,500. According to the report, in 2009 every fifth family in Israel required services. (INN) “Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.” Ps 74:21

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

SOME 63% OF TURKS SAY TIES WITH ISRAEL SHOULD BE CUT: A survey by the Metropol Educational Institution found that 63% of Turks believe Turkey's ties with Israel should be severed, while 28% called for strengthening the ties between Ankara and Jerusalem. Respondents also said they see the US, and then Israel, as the states who most threaten Turkey's sovereignty. (AFP) Pray for good relations between these former allies to be resumed and strengthened.

ISRAEL COULD BE ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING LIKE SAUDI ARABIA OR IRAN: After making a huge natural gas discovery off the coast of Israel last month, Noble Energy now faces a different challenge: figuring out what to do with it. With Israel suddenly awash in gas, the Houston-based company believes the clear answer is to export surplus gas to Europe or other parts of Asia, where it can fetch better prices. Yet, none of the options the company is studying is simple — and all would require billions more in investment. Noble said Dec. 29 that it found an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas at the Leviathan field in the Mediterranean off Israel's coast. Together with Noble's Tamar field, discovered in 2009, estimated to hold 8.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, Israel now faces potentially huge natural gas surpluses. The finds put Israel on the global energy map long dominated by oil-rich Arab nations in the Middle East and are a huge boost for Noble, an independent oil and gas company in business for nearly 80 years. (Huston Chronicle) “They shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.”  Deut 33: 19

UN REFUSES LEBANON REQUEST TO INTERVENE IN ISRAEL GAS DRILLING: Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Shami sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last Tuesday urging him to prevent Israel from exploiting Lebanon's oil and maritime wealth. He presented the UN with maps to support Lebanon's claims regarding these apparent borders. The move came just after Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. announced an estimated 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas found in a field off Israel's Mediterranean coast. But UN spokesman Martin Nesirsky said in response the international body was not prepared to intervene in the dispute. The UN demarcated the land border separating Israel and Lebanon in 2000, but there is no official naval border. (Ha’aretz)

SWINE FLU HITS ISRAEL, HOSPITALS SWAMPED: Hospitals were swamped Wednesday morning with patients seeking treatment for the swine flu, which hit Israel for the second sequential winter. The Health Ministry announced Wednesday that 14 people had been hospitalized. Central Israel was hit hardest this year with 3,043 people seeking treatment, while Jerusalem was least affected, with just 457 people seeking medical assistance. (Ynet)

ON THE LIGHT SIDE: VULTURE ARRESTED FOR SPYING FOR ISRAEL: A vulture tagged by scientists in Israel strayed into Saudi Arabian territory, where it was promptly arrested on suspicion of being a Mossad spy, Israeli and Saudi media reported Tuesday. The bird was found wearing a leg bracelet bearing the words "Tel Aviv University." Although the bird was part of a long-term research project into migration patterns, Arabic-language websites and forums claimed the "Zionists" had trained the bird for espionage. (Ha’aretz)


  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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