Israel Update



"His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Ps 30: 5  

REV. DAVID WILKERSON KILLED IN TX CAR CRASH:   David Wilkerson, founding pastor of Times Square Church in New York City and author of the well-known book The Cross and the Switchblade, was killed Wednesday in a head-on collision in Texas. He was 79. "It is with deepest of sadness that we have to inform you of the sudden passing of Reverend David Wilkerson, our founding pastor," Times Square Church Senior Pastor Carter Conlon said in a statement on the church website. Wilkerson's wife Gwen was also involved in the crash and rushed to the hospital in serious condition. (CBN) Staff members at Vision for Israel & The Joseph Storehouse were shocked and grieved to read of the passing of Rev. David Wilkerson. We offer deepest condolences to the family and ask that others join us in prayer for Gwen Wilkerson’s recovery.

FATAH AND TERRORIST GROUP HAMAS AGREE TO RECONCILE:  The rival Palestinian movements Fatah and terrorist group Hamas agreed Wednesday to reconcile and form an interim government ahead of elections, after a four-year feud, in what both sides hailed as a chance to start a fresh page in their national history. Israel said the accord, which was brokered in secrecy by Egypt, would not secure peace in the Middle East and urged Abbas to carry on shunning the Islamist movement, which has governed the Gaza Strip since 2007 after ousting Fatah in a brutal civil war. Forging Palestinian unity is regarded as crucial to reviving any prospect for an independent Palestinian state, but Western powers have always refused to deal with Hamas because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. "The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both," Netanyahu said in a televised statement. The White House said Hamas was "a terrorist organization" and added that any Palestinian government would have to renounce violence. A US official said it would also have to respect past peace deals and recognize Israel's right to exist. Both Hamas and Fatah, however, dismissed the US and Israel's ultimatums. (Ha’aretz) “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.” Ps 2:4 (INN)

CONGRESS SAYS IT WILL HALT US AID IF PA MERGES WITH HAMAS: Senior congressmen said Thursday that if the Palestinian Authority follows through on its intention to reconcile with Hamas, the move may jeopardize US aid to the Palestinians, and perhaps even bring it to a halt. The US Foreign Assistance Act names stipulations for such aid, which the Palestinian Authority if it forms a government with Hamas will fail to meet. The US considers Hamas a terror organization, and naturally, will halt any funds which may under gird terrorism. House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, "The reported agreement between Fatah and Hamas means that a Foreign Terrorist Organization which has called for the destruction of Israel will be part of the Palestinian Authority government. US taxpayer funds should not and must not be used to support those who threaten US security, our interests, and our vital ally, Israel. Accordi ng to existing US law, such a hybrid government cannot be a recipient of US taxpayer funds because the law stipulates the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things. By entering into this partnership with Hamas, Abu Mazen’s Palestinian leadership has shown again it is not a partner for peace." Congressman Gary Ackerman, the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, echoed the sentiment: "The purported deal, which does not require Hamas to accept Israel’s right to exist, or the binding nature of prior Palestinian commitments, or even to require Hamas to temporarily forgo violence against Israel… is a recipe for failure, mixed with violence, leading to disaster. It is a ghastly mistake that I fear will be paid for in the lives of innocent Israelis. (Ynet)

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)

BARAK: WE SHOULD RELY ONLY ON OURSELVES:  Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed on Wednesday the reconciliation agreement that was reached between Hamas and Fatah and said that “Recent events in our region have sharpened our need to rely on ourselves.” Barak added, “I can guarantee that the IDF and security forces will use a steel fist against any threat and challenge.” (INN) This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord." Jer 17:5 Pray for Israeli leaders to hear from and put their trust in the Lord.

DESPITE BRUTALITY TOWARD CIVILIANS, SYRIA TO JOIN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL:  The brutal crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad may finally be getting the attention of world leaders - but apparently not enough to stop Syria from becoming the newest member of the UN Human Rights Council. And despite calling for an independent investigation into the onslaught, which has left hundreds dead, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apparently won’t do much about blocking Syria’s path to the human rights group. A Syrian human rights activist based in Washington, called on the secretary-general "to have a greater sense of decency and courage, and to realize that his position gives him a certain moral authority and puts him exactly in the position to tell the Assads their candidacy at this stage is unwelcome." A State Department spokesman last week said the US would oppose Syria's bid to the Human Rights Council, calling it &qu ot;inappropriate and hypocritical." The US is considering sanctions against Syrian government officials to increase pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to end the crackdown. Britain, France, Germany and Portugal are asking the UN Security Council to condemn the Syrian crackdown in a draft statement being circulated in New York (Fox News)

OBAMA SILENT AS SYRIAN DEATH TOLL INCREASES; TANKS SHOOT CIVILIANS:  Human rights activists estimate that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s force have killed more than 453 protesters as tanks roar through city streets while US President Barack Obama remains relatively silent. American observers are asking out loud why the voice of President Obama, who turned his back on Mubarak, is barely heard as Assad’s tanks shoot at civilians in Daraa and prepare to enter more towns. The Obama administration, which last month called Assad a "reformer” and has tried to “engage” Syria away from Iran, has said only, “We continue to look for ways and are pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown in Syria.” However, American sanctions on Syria already have been in place for several years. Even the Washington Post, normally friendly to the presiden t but increasingly critical of his Middle East policy tactics, editorialized, “As a moral matter, the stance of the US is shameful. To stand by passively while hundreds of people seeking freedom are gunned down by their government makes a mockery of the US commitment to human rights.” (INN)

SYRIAN SOLDIERS DEPLOY IN DAMASCUS SUBURB: Syrian President Bashar Assad’s soldiers entered Douma, a suburb of Damascus, on Wednesday morning, to prevent a march on the capital, as the international community, outside of the Iranian terror axis, condemns violent suppression of protesters. Secret agents have arrested suspected opponents to the regime. A six-year-old girl and five others were killed in Daraa, and unconfirmed reports stated that some soldiers have defected and are helping local residents fight against the government. Funerals couldn’t take place because soldiers and police have been deployed in cemeteries. The Syrian government has rejected calls for an investigation of the brutal force used by Assad. (INN)

SYRIA OPPOSITION: WE WILL BREAK ASSAD’S REGIME IF IT FAILS TO DELIVER DEMOCRACY: Syrian opposition figures said Wednesday their massive grassroots revolution will break the regime unless President Bashar Assad leads a transition to democracy, even as authorities intensified their crackdown on the country's uprising. “If the Syrian president does not wish to be recorded in history as a leader of this transition period, there is no alternative left for Syrians except to move forward along the same path as did the Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans before them," the statement said. A relentless crackdown since mid-March has killed more than 453 people across Syria, with 120 dead over the weekend. That has only emboldened protesters who started their revolt with calls for modest reforms but are now increasingly demanding Assad's downfall. (Ha’aretz)

SYRIA A BIGGER HEADACHE FOR TURKEY THAN LIBYA: A Turkish citizen this week was shot in the head crossing into Jordan from Syria. As it is Assad's security forces holding the weapons, the incident may force Ankara's hand. The Turkish opposition has begun to make itself heard over the issue by accusing the ruling AKP - Justice and Development Party - of employing a double standard in terms of Syria. A column in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet complained the "government, which is eager to bash Israel on every occasion over Gaza, has very little to say in the face of the images of brutality coming out of Syria and Libya. In the meantime, no one in the party is openly accusing Gaddafi or Assad of murdering their citizen. Those pro-AKP organizations are quick to gather outside the Israeli embassy in protest but are not to be seen outside the Libyan or Syrian embassies. How could a Muslim party ignore the fate of the Muslims in these countries," questioned the columnist. He also predicted the insurgents would remember Turkey's cowardly stance when they came to power. Syria is more of an issue for Turkey than Libya because of the common border. Turkey fears that the current crackdown could stimulate tides of Syrian refugees crossing the border with Turkey. (INN)

IRAN JOINS ASSAD’S ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, US: Iran says it has found the parties responsible for the unrest in Syria: they are none other than the "great and little satans," the US and Israel. A long time partner of Syria in the Axis of Evil, Iran quoted a well known Syrian writer as saying, "Syria has paid the price for saying no to Israel and America for a long time. We are proud of belonging to Syria, the only independent state that refused to give up resistance." The word resistance is the Syrian euphemism for terrorism. It is worth recalling that going back to the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980s, Syria was the only Arab regime willing to side with Tehran. The cozy relationship continues, with Syria serving as a conduit for Iranian aid to Hizbullah and as a gateway for Islamists headed toward Iraq, to harry the American forces there. Syria's allies in Lebanon were also cited in the report. (Arutz-7)

CORRECTION TO APRIL 25 JOL: “The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.” The scripture reference was mistakenly listed as Is 33:10-12. It should have been Ps 33:10-12. We are grateful for those who inform us when an error has been made.

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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