Israel Update



“When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” Ex 12:23  

PASSOVER 2011:   Passover, an eight day commemoration of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, begins this year in Israel at sundown April 18. Families and friends across the country will gather in homes, halls and hotels to celebrate the annual Seder meal. Together the nation will recall in song and story the biblical deliverance, under the leadership of Moses, from the slave pits of Egypt, the ten plagues preceding it, and escapes from death because of the blood of the Passover lamb. Unleavened bread called matzos will be eaten throughout the holiday, and sweets made with matzo, corn and potato flour will accompany daily meals. Vison for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse team extends warmest holiday greetings to our friends near and far.

TWO ARAB TERRORISTS CONFESS TO FOGEL MASSACRE WITHOUT REGRET:  Security forces arrested two residents of the village of Awarta near Itamar, who have confessed to murdering the Fogel family last month. They acted out of Arab nationalist motives and have not expressed regret for their crime. Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) lifted a gag order on the investigation of the massacre at noon Sunday. The terrorists were identified as Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad 18, residents of Awarta, an Arab village neighboring the Jewish community of Itamar, where the Fogel family lived. The teenage terrorists were assisted by at least six others, four of them from Awad’s family. The massacre of the Fogels took place on Friday night (Sabbath), March 11. The terrorists climbed over the fence surrounding Itamar, a Samaria community, and entered the Fogel family's home. They stabbed to death Rabbi Ehud Fogel, his wife Ruth, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad and three-month-old Hadas. Two sons of the family - Roi, 8, and Shai, 2 - were not spotted by the terrorists, and remained unhurt. A daughter, Tamar, 12, was not at home when the rest of her family was murdered. In an unusual decision, the family agreed to release graphic photographs of the aftermath of the murder, in order to explain Israel's situation in the face of Arab barbarism. Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, the mourning father of Ruth Fogel, said the grandparents of the orphans will take upon themselves the difficult task of raising them, in order to "pave for them the path so that life will be victorious." (INN) Continue to pray for the comforting and strength of the remaining members of the Fogel family and that all elements of the terrorists pack that carried out the brutal murders of parents and children will be brought to justice.

PALESTINIANS WANT A STATE BY SEPTEMBER:  Israelis are growing anxious over the international community’s renewed rush to impose a peace settlement on Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. And the world’s impatience is being fueled by Palestinian threats to unilaterally declare statehood in September, even in the absence of a final status peace deal. Palestinian leaders have publicly announced they will declare independence in September and seek UN recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state. The UN itself declared Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority is capable and ready to function as an independent state, and is only being held back by the “Israeli occupation.” At a donors meeting in Brussels a day later, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, together with representatives of nations that regularly finance the Palestinian Authority, agreed with the UN. They urged the Palestinians to achieve independence via a peace deal with Israel, but signaled they will not oppose a unilateral declaration of independence. With that kind of backing, Israeli officials estimate even America won’t be able to prevent the birth of Palestine in the halls of the UN later this year. “Obama wants a Palestinian state and although the US is not interested in a unilateral declaration, it would be hard for it to stand alone in the General Assembly and vote against it,” an Israeli official was quoted as saying. Another official noted the US had blocked previous attempts to advance a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence, but that it had only slowed down what has now become an unstoppable trend. Meanwhile, the Palestinians see all of this and know they can now play hardball and stick to even their most outrageous demands. Compromise is off the table as far, as they are concerned. (Israel Today/Ryan Jones) “The hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants and his indignation to his enemies. Is 66:14

HAMAS FIRES 2 GRADS, SETS SCENE BY CHARGING ISRAEL WITH ARRIGONI MURDER: Hours after Hamas accused Israel of engineering the murder of the abducted Italian pacifist Vittorio Arrigoni in the Gaza Strip Friday, April 15, two Grad missiles exploded in the port-towns of Ashdod and Ashkelon - just five days after Israel agreed to the Palestinian extremists' plea for a ceasefire. Counter-terror sources report that the Hamas seized the opportunity to exploit the Italian's kidnap and murder by Al Qaeda's Al-Tahwir Al-Jihad to go back to its missile barrage. Arrigoni had been living in the Gaza Strip for three years after arriving aboard one of the pro-Palestinian, anti-blockade vessels. The Al Qaeda group, suspecting him of spying for the West, is believed to have tortured him to death. Shortly after his body was found in a derelict building near Gaza city Friday, Hamas spokesmen came up with the charge that Israel had engineered his murder in order to deter more pro-Palestinian flotillas in whose organization Arrigoni was involved in setting out for Gaza. (DEBKA)

WHO CAN I TRUST WITH MY DONATIONS?  Many people ask, "Where can I send my financial contributions and be sure they reach the people who need them most?"  As an employee of Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse, I have witnessed since 2006, food, clothing and household goods go out to the poor, often twice a week. Thousands of dollars of hospital equipment have been freely given to old age and care institutions that simply can't afford new beds or other medical necessities. School packs have been prepared annually for thousands of needy children. Additionally, when there have been catastrophes abroad, Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse are among the first to send necessary supplies to alleviate the distress. Your donations are needed and welcomed at  Make your online donations today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our website at   (Hannah)

LULL IN GAZA ROCKET FIRE SEEN AS TEMPORARY:  Most analysts predict the current lull in rocket fire on Israel is no more than a temporary truce, noting that Hamas and Hizbullah are Iranian-backed Islamists, ideologically driven to fighting the Jewish state. "They are not going to let it rest," said Richard Kemp, a retired British army colonel and former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan. "If this new [Iron Dome missile defense] system is seen to be effective, then Hamas and other extremist groups will do what they can to find other modes of attack." (Reuters)

WIKILEAKS: IRAN MANUFACTURES TUNNEL-FRIENDLY MISSILES FOR HAMAS:  Iran is manufacturing special missiles for Hamas that can be smuggled through tunnels into Gaza, according to a WikiLeaks report of a conversation between IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Harel and US Ambassador to Israel James Cunningham on February 19, 2009. Harel noted the Iranian version of the 122 mm rocket "was designed specifically for Hamas, as it came in four pieces that could fit through narrow tunnels and be reassembled in Gaza." Harel also said, cooperation against smuggling was better with former Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman than it is with Egyptian Military Commander Field Marshal Tantawi who is now head of the military council ruling Egypt. (Ha’aretz)

AHMADINEJAD: IMPERIALISTS SOWING REGIONAL DISSENT:  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad days ago accused Israel and the US of "sowing discord" in the Persian Gulf. He said a new Middle East will emerge without the presence of the US and the Zionist regime and their allies in the near future. He also denounced "US imperialism" in the region, saying, "Regional governments and nations should remain vigilant to overcome US plots and to not play in the US court." He continued that Israel is harried and near its end. The Iranian people and regional nations are unhappy with the existence of the Zionist regime (Israel) and are against it, Ahmadinejad repeated. "They will continue their fight until the defeat of the US and Zionist regime in the region." (INN) “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies.” Gen 22:27

KERRY SLAMS OBAMA OVER SETTLEMENT FREEZE RHETORIC: Senator John Kerry (D) slammed President Barack Obama last week for his focus on forcing Israel into a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria. Kerry, the Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told attendees at a Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy conference Obama had "wasted" more than half of his presidential term by publicly demanding that Israel suspend all settlement expansion. He also said Obama's mantra was essentially "putting the cart before the horses." Instead, Kerry proposed, the key to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict was reaching an agreement that clearly addresses security issues and borders. Kerry qualified his position saying he did not believe a final status agreement could be achieved at this point in time. Kerry added, however, he was confident that Washington would try to jump-start stalled Israeli-PA negotiations in the near future. The Palestinian Authority intends to bring before the Assembly in September a proposal calling for UN recognition of a Palestinian state delineated by the 1948 Armistice lines. Kerry said the PA bid to unilaterally force the issue was "a mistake." He further warned PA President Mahmoud Abbas such a move would be perilous. The US, he concluded, will make a true effort to stop things from spinning out of control. (Arutz-7)

SYRIA SHOOTS SOLDIERS WHO REFUSE TO FIRE ON PROTESTERS:   Syrian security forces are shooting soldiers who refuse to fire on protesters, a journalist in Damascus reported. The US has condemned repression in Syria after more than 200 were killed. Syria sent its soldiers, armed with automatic rifles, into the village of Banias as the uprising spread despite the murder of more than 200 people over the past month. Marsh quoted human rights groups as saying that at least five people were killed in Banias so far this week and that hundreds of people have been arrested. The regime of President Bashar Assad is known to be one of the most brutal in the Muslim world, and his secret police keeps a close watch on citizens while restricting Internet access. (INN) “They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear.” Ps 62:4

PAKISTANI MUSLIM DESECRATES BIBLE IN FRONT OF CHURCH:  A 24-year-old Muslim man desecrated the Bible at the gates of Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church in Lahore on Friday in order to “avenge” extremist American preacher Terry Jones’ desecration of the Quran in Florida last month. Police arrested the man, identified as Akhtar Hussain, a resident of the neighboring district of Kasur. According to police sources, Hussain had first tried to force entry into the church where a large number of Christians were attending a special mass, whereupon security guards at the gates stopped him and asked for identification. The sources said guards denied Hussain entry into the church when he told them that he wanted to burn the Bible in the church just as Terry Jones and his fellow preacher Wayne Sapp had conducted a trial of the Quran in their church. The Muslim man then suddenly took out the Christian holy book he had hidden inside his clothes and proceeded to tear it apart. He police investigators he had been “very tense” since he heard the news of the sacrilege and wanted to do something to get even. Dr. Tahira Saleem, chairperson of Shekinah Ministries Pakistan, said Pakistan was increasingly becoming an intolerant society. “We don’t know why our countrymen hold Christians responsible for every action taken in the West,” she said, adding that the entire Christian community had voiced their protest against the incident in Florida “but Friday’s incident shows the resentment in the Muslims.” (Jihad Watch)

Blessings from Israel

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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