Updated: 4 days ago
1. ALIYAH UPDATES:
The Jewish Agency is expected to end its physical presence in Russia and is discussing how to move all of its operations from Russia to Israel. The Jewish Agency will operate all of its work on Aliyah from Israel, online or by phone. The Agency will continue to encourage Aliyah from Russia by funding local activities or send temporary educators from Israel. The agency has 200 employees in Russia and three full-time Israeli emissaries, whose contract ended during the summer and who aren't expected to return to Russia.
While we hate seeing the war between Russia and Ukraine, we thank You that since February 24th to July 31st – 18,891 Russian Jews, and 12,175 Ukrainian Jews have come home (Isa. 49:12). Continue to keep the doors open for Russian Jews to make Aliyah regardless of whether the Jewish Agency in Russia remains open or not (Acts 5:19). Protect and gather in all the remaining Jews in Ukraine, enabling many to join their families who already live in Israel (Jer. 16:15). Install a new government in Israel that will open the doors even wider for Jews and their families to immigrate and that will endeavor to make the process easier and smoother (Isa. 57:14). Sovereignly open the gates in nations where Jews are not allowed to leave freely (Psa. 5:8; 124:6-8). Expose all the lies underlying anti-Israel propaganda in the nations while also removing any fears of making Aliyah from the hearts of Your people (Josh. 1:9). Show Western Jews that now is the time to save their lives – not their lifestyles (Jer. 51:6)! For those who have had the courage to make Aliyah, bless them with a successful absorption into the nation and its society and an ability to adapt to their new life and language (Jer. 33:10-14). May every gentile believer grasp that the ingathering of Your people is tied to the sanctification of Your name, and then let them set themselves to at least pray for it (Psa. 115:1-3; Isa. 43:5-7, 21).
“I will sanctify My great name, which was profaned among the gentiles, which you profaned in their midst; and the gentiles shall know that I am YHWH…when I shall be sanctified in you [Israel] before their eyes. For I will take you from among the gentiles, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” (Ezek 36:23-24)
2. TISHA B’AV 2022:
An egalitarian prayer service at the Western Wall for the Tisha B’Av day of mourning was held uninterrupted on Saturday (Aug 6) night, despite fears that the event would be again overrun by religious extremists as it was last year. Over 100 people gathered at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, sometimes known as Ezrat Yisrael or Robinson’s Arch, for the traditional reading of the Book of Lamentations, or Eicha, on the night of the Tisha B’Av day of mourning, which commemorates the destruction of the two Jewish temples, among other tragedies. At last year’s service, a group of ultra-Orthodox zealots disrupted the reading, shouting over the worshipers and setting up a gender-segregating barrier, or mechitza, in the egalitarian area, where men and women can mix freely. (Note: The group that organized last year’s protest, the Liba Center, has since expressed a degree of regret for the incident, partly because it mostly garnered sympathy and support for non-Orthodox Jewish denominations, even resulting in some denunciations from leading Orthodox rabbis.)
The positions of the Roman army’s ballistae used in their attack on Jerusalem may have been found thanks to archaeological evidence and calculations made by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The findings come on Tisha B’av, the Jewish fast day that mourns, among other things, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans during this invasion.
2,200 Jews visit Temple Mount for Tisha B’Av
It is estimated that more than 2200 Jews visited the Old City of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Sunday (Aug 7) morning to mark the Jewish day of mourning Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of the two Jewish temples, amid deadly fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip. This is one of the largest numbers of visitors in a single day ever. The current record for most visitors in a single day was set in May on Jerusalem Day when some 2,600 Jews went up to the esplanade. (Note: By day’s end The Temple Mount Administration recorded a total of 2,041 Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Sunday (Aug 7), an impressive 20% increase over last year’s 1,679 visits to the Temple Mount. According to Tom Nisani of Har Babayit Beyadeinu, 2200 Jews ascended.)
Many Jews traditionally visit the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s Old City on Tisha B’Av, a fast day that began on Saturday night and lasts through Sunday evening, in order to mourn the destruction of the two temples in 586 BCE and 70 CE, respectively. On Tisha B’Av, the Book of Lamentations is also traditionally read, along with a number of mournful poems and songs known as Kinot.
As Islamic Jihad began to fire a barrage of rockets into Israel on Friday, ahead of the Jerusalem-focused day of mourning, Israeli analysts raised concerns that large numbers of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount could further exacerbate the situation at the flashpoint Jerusalem holy site. Despite these fears, the pilgrimages to the Temple Mount on Sunday morning passed with relatively few incidents.
According to police, a handful of Jewish visitors were detained and removed from the holy site for violating the terms of the visit — namely by prostrating themselves on the ground and loudly praying, which is forbidden for Jewish visitors to the site. In addition, a number of Muslim visitors were detained and removed for disturbing the peace, being provocative, making inciteful remarks and unsuccessfully trying to disrupt the legal movement of visitors.
3. THE AUGUST GAZA WAR UPDATES:
An Overall Summary Of The War
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist organization in Gaza on Friday (Aug 5) initiated a three-day assault of rockets on Israel which ended on Sunday night at 11:30 pm when an Egyptian brokered ceasefire was completed. The IDF countered the attack with Operation breaking Dawn.
During the three days of fighting in Gaza, Islamic Jihad fired 1,100 rockets at Israel, 200 of which landed within Gaza.
Of the 990 rockets that made it into Israel, 380 were intercepted by the Iron Dome at a 97% success rate. The other 610 landed in the sea and open spaces.
Apart from a few people who were lightly injured from debris on Saturday, no Israeli casualties were reported. The Palestinians reported 47 deaths out of which 26 were bystanders. Of the 26 bystanders, 11 were killed in Israeli airstrikes, and 15 were killed by Islamic Jihad rockets that failed to clear Gaza.
Six children and several militants- including the two top leaders Khaled Mansour and Tayseer Jabari – were among the scores of Palestinians reported to have died over the weekend.
Rocket fire was aimed primarily at Israelis living near the Gaza border, including the city of Sderot, as well as those living in Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Yavne, Holon, Bat Yam, Modi’in and Rishon Lezion. On Saturday night, the Strauss food products factory in Sderot sustained a direct hit from a rocket attack. Earlier in the day, a house in Sderot was also hit directly by rocket fire; although the family was in the home at the time, they remained safe in their built-in bomb shelter.
The PIJ ceasefire agreement was essentially an unconditional surrender for the sake of Hamas and Gaza residents. The PIJ was not obliterated; it still has the ability to cause harm both in Gaza and Judea-Samaria. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have also accumulated advanced antitank missiles as well as explosive drones. Most of this weaponry has been smuggled into Gaza through Egypt, with the vast majority paid for or manufactured by Iran.
The missiles fired by Israeli jets landed exactly where they were intended; the intelligence was flawless; and the collateral damage (i.e. innocent Gazan civilians) was kept to a minimum.
Just hours before the ceasefire on Sunday (Aug 7), at least 50 rockets were fired toward central and southern Israel, including Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport. Shortly before the ceasefire took effect, barrages of rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israeli communities near the border, as the IDF carried out airstrikes against targets in Gaza planned ahead of time for the end of the operation. The IDF destroyed 11 rocket launch sites, six military sites and eight terror cells.
Who Is The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
The terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant faction capable of immense violence, operates under the command and control of the world's top terror sponsor - the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has provided the group "tend of millions of dollars in direct funding, as well as training and weapons." PIJ's goal is to replace Israel with an Islamic theocracy.
In 1981, PIJ's founders were expelled from Egypt after the assassination of President Anwar Sadat by the related Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ). EIJ, under the leadership of Ayman al-Zawahiri, merged with al-Qaeda in 1998. Iran began funding PIJ via incentive payments for successful terror attacks in 2000.
Starting in the 1990s, PIJ became a pioneer of modern suicide bombing. During the second intifada of 2000-2005, PIJ carried out more than 400 attacks in which 134 Israelis were killed and 880 injured.
Over the years, PIJ has strengthened its military capabilities with significant assistance from Iran, with an estimated arsenal of 6,000-8,000 rockets, the majority with a range of up to 40 km.
PIJ also possesses the lethal Kornet anti-tank guided missile, which has a range up to 5.5 km. Many of the longer-range rockets deviated from their intended trajectory and fell into the sea.
PIJ likely still possesses 5,500 short-range rockets and at least several long-range rockets that can reach central Israel.
The IDF revealed Tuesday (Aug 9) that the PIJ failed in its attempt to launch a drone toward Israel's Tamar off-shore gas rig from Gaza during the recent fighting. The platform is located 14 miles off the coast of Ashkelon. (Note: During the conflict with Hamas in May 2021, the group fired dozens of rockets toward Tamar, missing the intended target.) During this past weekend, fuel was removed from the rig and it was temporarily taken offline.
PIJ is used by Iran as a pawn in a global war on free nations. After three days of fighting in Gaza, the PIJ found itself alone. The Palestinian public in Gaza does not feel part of this war and does not show solidarity. Hamas did not extend a hand, and in effect made it easier for Israel to deliver the many blows it dealt the PIJ. The elimination of the PIJ’s senior commanders and the extensive destruction of its infrastructure was undoubtedly a severe blow. Above all, Hamas has no interest in allowing Islamic Jihad to challenge its status as sovereign and define the agenda within Gaza. Faced with such a fierce foe and its dangerous patron, Israel has no choice but to defend itself.
Some Specifics Concerning The War
During the fighting in Gaza, Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah was in Tehran. Iran supports Hamas but it controls Islamic Jihad. Iran's interest is to cause Israel as much hurt as possible. After three days, Israel can point to several significant achievements.
It surprised Islamic Jihad on Friday (Aug 5) with its pinpoint strike on the safe house in Gaza City of its northern command head Tayseer al-Jabari, as well as killing at the same time Abdullah Kadoum, head of the anti-tank guided-missile section. On Saturday, Khaled Mansour, the southern command chief, was killed.
Israel also sent a message that it will continue to fight terrorism originating in Judea-Samaria by going on the offensive, by taking the battle to the enemy, and not waiting until a terrorist attack "succeeds" before going after the terrorists.
Islamic Jihad's attempts to establish new rules - whereby any IDF action in Judea-Samaria would lead to an automatic Islamic Jihad response or the threat of one that could paralyze life in Israeli communities near Gaza - would not be tolerated.
Israeli analysts largely portrayed the episode as a victory and even a warning to Israel's other enemies in the region - particularly Hezbollah - of the fate that awaits them should they also enter into full-scale combat with Israel in the near future.
Islamic Jihad was also embarrassed by videos that appeared to show its rockets malfunctioning and hitting civilian areas in Gaza.
The IDF operation against the PIJ began with a strike against senior commander Tayseer al-Jabari, who was in a 14-story building with 28 apartments. In order to minimize harm to innocent civilians in nearby apartments, the IDF used a Spice-250 bomb which penetrated an empty room in the apartment above Jabari. The bomb exploded, destroying just the floor, which brought the ceiling down on Jabari, killing him. Seconds later, Israeli jets fired seven more missiles at the rooms of the apartment from different angles to kill any other terrorists inside.
Father, we thank You that Hamas did not join in the fight against Israel in this war in Gaza, but please do not allow Israelis to be – even for a second – fooled into viewing Hamas as anything other than a deadly foe (Mic. 4:11). Use the recent conflict to set PIJ and Hamas at enmity with one another (Psa. 35:1-8). With PIJ's two main Gaza leaders killed let the group lose all cohesion and direction (Psa. 129:5). Expose and destroy all Hamas and PIJ terror cells and their leaders in Judea-Samaria – regardless of which faction or group they pledge their allegiance to (Job 12:22). Provide all that is needed so that the Israeli police's anti-terrorist units, working with the IDF, can completely accomplish that last prayer request. We praise You for answering prayers as we saw the IDF's precise strikes, the rapid response of Israel in dealing with distorted media reports, and Your overall protection of its citizens (Psa. 50:15). Continue to give Israel amazingly accurate intelligence and protect all of its sources (Job 28:11b). Thank You for keeping Israeli Arabs quiet and also for allowing thousands of Jews to ascend to the Temple Mount last Sunday on Tisha b'Av with no rioting in Jerusalem at all (Isa. 31:5).
4. ISRAEL TERROR ATTACKS UPDATES:
Terrorist Ibrahim al-Nabulsi has been high on the wanted terrorist list for a while, but he kept managing to escape capture. However, on Tuesday (Aug 9), IDF troops exchanged heavy gunfire with terrorists in Shechem (Nablus) for hours. Thirty terrorists were wounded in the exchange of gunfire, 18 were taken to hospitals for treatment, 4 in serious condition, at least 1 has subsequently died. The primary terror target, al-Nabulsi, was eliminated. Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was part of a terror cell that was mostly eliminated on February 8th of this year in Shechem. He was also involved in a shooting attack on Kever Yosef (Joseph’s Tomb) in Shechem. He was also responsible for shooting at Israeli civilians and sayeret Givati soldiers near Shechem. Al-Nabulsi reportedly sent a message to his mother that he was about to die as a Shaheed (martyr). Arab sources claim the IDF launched at least one missile into the home he was holed up in. There were no human Israeli casualties, but a K-9 dog from the YAMAM unit was killed in the crossfire.
Lord, we believe Israel will only have real security after it possesses the land which You told it to possess in Shabbat's Torah portion (Deut. 4:1, 5, 14, 21-22; 5:31; 6:1). Show today's Israelis how serious You are about giving Your land to them as they read several times in the Torah how You have sworn to give this land to their fathers (Deut. 6:10, 18-19, 23). Continue to increase the number of communities and settlers in Judea-Samaria (Isa 54:2-3). May the EU-backed illegal Palestinian building projects in Area C end up being used by Israel to lower housing costs, as well as to house new immigrants (Jer. 31:5; 32:42-44; Ezek. 36:8-10). Lord, we ask that the new defensive procedures that Israel is producing in Judea-Samaria will result in a serious decline in terrorist attacks. Thank You in advance for answering this prayer.
“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.” (Psalm 91:15)
5. ISRAEL GOVERNMENT/KNESSET UPDATES:
Russia may be angry at Israel, and certainly working against the Jewish State in the international arena, but President Putin says he is still personally committed to fighting antisemitism and commemorating the Holocaust. The Russian leader made the statement on Tuesday during a call with Israel’s President Herzog. The two leaders discussed Israeli-Russian bilateral relations, including the challenges of the Jewish People in the Diaspora. Herzog seized the opportunity during the call to elaborate on the issue of the activities of the Jewish Agency in Russia. The phone call was frank and honest. The two presidents emphasized the important areas of cooperation between Israel and Russia and agreed to remain in contact. Putin underscored his personal commitment to Holocaust commemoration and the fight against antisemitism. The phone call was initiated by President Herzog at the request of PM Lapid.
PM Lapid has requested to conduct a phone conversation with Russian President Putin to resolve the Jewish Agency crisis. Lapid is expected to implement former PM Netanyahu’s promise to Russian President Vladimir Putin to hand over the Alexander Yard in Jerusalem, which has been the subject of a dispute between two branches of the Russian church, one of which is supported by the Kremlin, and in return, Russian authorities will stop harassing the Jewish Agency which is busy trying to get Jews out of Russia while the going is good. However, in March this year, Jerusalem District Court Judge Mordechai Kaduri revoked the land registration of the Alexander Church Courtyard in the name of the Russian government, since then-PM Netanyahu stated that the compound is a sacred place, and so, the competent body to determine who owns this holy site was not an administrative body or the courts – but the Government of Israel, which is authorized to decide the issue given various religious and political considerations. Needless to say, the Russians were very irritated. Add to that Lapid’s vitriolic attacks on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and it was only a matter of time before Russia would retaliate.
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday (Aug 11) told the Jerusalem District Court that he intends to file a motion to dismiss the indictment against him in case 4000 (Bezek-Walla), which charges him with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. Netanyahu plans to claim, among other things, that the investigation against him, in this case, began before approval was received from the Attorney General, contrary to the law. Case 4000 involves the communication conglomerate Bezeq, and the investigation reviewed, among other issues, whether falsehoods were made in regards to paperwork leading to favourable business dealings for Bezeq owner Shaul Elovitch in exchange for favorable reporting to Netanyahu by the news website Walla which Elovitch owned. Netanyahu has already asked the court to drop this indictment against him over the procedural issue, but the judges postponed their decision until the end of the evidence stage. Netanyahu’s attorneys will be given the opportunity to interrogate police investigators who were involved in Case 4000 and will try to establish whether the investigation came before the AG’s approval.
The Russian embassy in Cairo on Tuesday (Aug 9) tweeted: “Compare Yair Lapid’s lies about Ukraine in April and attempts to place blame and responsibility on Russia for the deaths of people in Bucha who were brutally murdered by the Nazi Ukrainians with his calls in August for bombing and strikes on Palestinian land in the Gaza Strip. Israel considers it absurd for Russia to compare the surgical killing of two terrorist leaders and 15 rank & file Islamic Jihad fighters to the mass murder in Bucha, Ukraine, where the invading Russian forces killed at least 1,300 innocent civilians, including at least 30 children. Comparing Israel’s attack on terrorist killers who ended up killing at least 15 of their own civilians with botched rocket launches to the Bucha horrors is incomprehensible by Israel.
Israeli President Herzog on Monday (Aug 8) visited the Israeli city of Sderot, located 4 km from Gaza, and met with the mayors and council heads of the towns surrounding Sderot. He said, "I have come here in the name of all the people of Israel to say thank you to you and all the residents of the Gaza envelope and the city of Sderot. Without this area, there is no Israel. You are the entryway to Israel, and you are the wall that protects the country."
Lapid offers a new path to residents of Gaza: Livelihood, dignity and peace
In his first public statement since the close of the three-day military operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group in the Gaza Strip, PM Lapid addressed Gazans and said, “There is another way,” pointing to the Abraham Accords as a potential paradigm of peace, rather than war.
“I want to turn from here to the residents of Gaza and tell them: There is also another way. We know how to protect ourselves from anyone who threatens us, but we also know how to provide work, livelihood, and a life of dignity to anyone who wants to live in peace by our side,” Lapid said in televised remarks made from the Israel Defense Forces’ Tel Aviv headquarters.
“There is another way to live. The path of the Abraham Accords, of the Negev Summit, of innovation and economy, of regional development and joint projects. The choice is yours. Your future depends on you,” the prime minister said, in a rare appeal directly to Gazan residents, rather than to their leaders, the Hamas terror group.
His message comes at the close of Operation Breaking Dawn, which Israel initiated to address an immediate terror threat posed by Islamic Jihad against residents of Israel’s south.
Father, Thank You for the strong stance Israel's politicians took against terrorism (Rom. 13:1-4). Expose the real hearts of all politicians to Israeli voters before the elections (Jer. 17:9-10). Also expose the real policy platforms of each Israeli political party. Work in the hearts of Israelis so that on Election Day they vote in line with Your will (Prov. 16:9). Abba, in the election campaign, bring any unseen "Davids" – men and women after Your heart – out of the shadows and raise them to the positions ordained for them (1 Sam. 16:10-13; Psa. 75:6-7). Let those who honour Your Word and Your land rise to the top in the next government (1 Sam. 2:30). Lord, give Israel a governing coalition that will possess all of its territorial possessions (Obad. 1:17). Raise up, with a greater authority, leaders who will build up Judea and Samaria (Isa. 44:24-28). Give Israel leaders who prioritize dependence on You, and not on other nations (Psa. 118: 8-9). Place in office those with a genuine heart to keep Aliyah as a major priority (Jer. 32:41). Appoint ministers to portfolios based on their capabilities, and not on political favours (Prov. 29:26). Appoint ministers who view justice and righteousness in a biblical manner (Isa. 1:25-27; 56:1). Thank You for leading Israel's leaders to more closely examine its relationship with China, and now please oversee in Your wisdom and by Your guidance all Israeli/Chinese interactions (Josh. 9:14-16).
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and all that are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior Who will have all to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
6. GOLAN HEIGHTS/SYRIA/LEBANON/IRAQ/TURKEY UPDATES:
Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hasan Nasrallah has threatened to attack Israel in September for the fourth time in recent weeks, saying it “has to be ready for all options.” Speaking on Ashura Day on Tuesday (Aug 9), the terror group’s leader reiterated that on the issue of the disputed maritime border between Israel and Lebanon and the nearby gas fields, “we are waiting for the responses to Lebanese State’s requests, but I tell you that we have to be ready for all options.” The common Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary is disputed between the two countries. The issue has been under discussion for over a decade. The focus of both sides is the oil and gas discoveries in the territorial waters which are under dispute
Lord God, we praise You that in the prophetic portion You empathically declare that the nations and their leaders are as nothing before You who are the Sovereign Lord of all (Isa. 40:15, 17, 22-23). At this time in history, Lord God, arise and show all the nations whose aim is to annihilate Israel the truth of those declarations to which we just referred (Job 12:16-25; Psa. 9:19-20; 83:1-4, 16-18)? You who are a consuming fire, and a jealous God – guard over Israel today (Deut. 4:24; 5:9; 6:15) Download Your strategy to the IDF against all of its external foes (Prov. 21:31). In response to Hezbollah’s increased overt aggression against the UN observer forces in Lebanon, remove UNIFIL from the Israeli/Lebanese border area altogether (Num. 14:9b; 24:7-9). God, arise and draw Hezbollah into the trap You have already set for it (Eccl. 10:8; Ezek. 35:12). If the negotiations between Israel and Lebanon over their maritime border is part of this trap, then overrule all of Israel and Lebanon's leaders to make decisions that bring Hezbollah down (Prov. 21:1). Take away Hezbollah’s leader Nasrallah, and then let the whole organization be divided, leading to a massive civil war in its midst (Job 26:12; Matt. 12:25). Increase the animosity of the Lebanese people against the death grip Hezbollah has on their nation. Empower the Church in the Middle East to be a 5th column against the Islamic spirit (Eph. 6:10-18).
“…when the ark set forward, Moses said, 'Rise up YHWH, and let Your enemies be scattered; and let them that hate You flee before You'. And when it rested, he said, 'Return, YHWH, unto the many thousands of Israel'.” (Numbers 10: 35-36)
7. PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY UPDATES:
Muhammad Abu Katifah, an eight-year-old boy and resident of Gaza who was injured during Operation Breaking Dawn over the weekend, arrived at Makassed Hospital in eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday (Aug 10) to receive medical treatment. Upon arrival, the child was sent to the operating room. His departure from Gaza was made possible after coordination with Israel. Along with Abu Katifah, other residents from the Gaza Strip arrived for medical treatment, including a four-year-old girl who needed urgent head surgery and a 62-year-old man. Officials at the hospital upon the arrival of the wounded from Gaza, made it clear that the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health is refusing to finance the medical treatment, because they are defined as “war wounded” and are not considered “ordinary patients.” The medical staff began the urgent treatment, but according to one of the staff members, the hospital will not be able to bear the costs of the treatments for all the residents from the Gaza Strip. The residents of the Gaza Strip are paying the price of the conflict between the PA and Hamas.
Israel has begun to allow Judea-Samaria Palestinians to fly abroad via the Ramon airport outside the southern city of Eilat. The new Israeli policy, which allows Palestinians to fly to Turkey without needing to go to Amman, comes amid heavy crowding at the Judea-Samaria sole crossing with Jordan. However, it’s unclear how practical the initiative will be, with the airport a nearly three-hour drive from Judea-Samaria at its closest point. Previously, Palestinians wishing to fly abroad needed to travel to Jordan and board a flight from there, or secure a hard-to-come-by entry permit into Israel to fly from Ben Gurion Airport. Turkish companies Pegasus Airlines and AtlasGlobal plan to launch twice-a-week flights for Palestinians out of Ramon airport to Antalya and Istanbul later this month and in early September.
Lord, guide Israeli citizens in these areas as they travel and provide divine protection for them against stone throwing, car-rammings, shootings and any other terrorist attack (Psa. 121:8). Expose and confound any demonic plans to increase violence and escalation (Job 12:22). Provide Israel's intelligence services with accurate actionable intelligence and watch over the intel so that it gets to the responsible people who need to make decisions based on it (Dan. 2:22; Job 32:8). Anoint Israel to be creative and effective in its deterrence efforts against terrorism (Eccl 8:11). Let confusion and chaos reign among the top Palestinian leaders at that time (Psa. 40:14-15). Continue to provide all needed intelligence for the IDF and protect Israel from deception from the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (2 Kin. 6:12). Enable all relevant intelligence to be passed on to the correct place (Jer. 11:18; 49:10). Impart to Israel's security forces wisdom and courage to deal with violence in Israeli-Arab communities.
"YHWH discovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light." (Job 12:22)
8. THE LIGHT SHINES INTO THE DARKNESS
(This weekly commentary documents incidents where God shines his light into the darkness and exposes pending attacks, injustices and terror incidents. It also documents situations where the goodness of God breaks through into evil circumstances)
The International media showed their anti-Israel bias in several ways during their coverage of the latest war in Gaza:
Questioning the existence of terrorist targets: The sites chosen by Israel weren’t alleged terrorist targets, as a headline by ABC News implies. Rather, in response to credible intelligence of an imminent threat emanating from the PIJ in Gaza, the IDF launched a series of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip in which it targeted Palestinian Islamic Jihad members and infrastructure:
Removing Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the conflict it started: BBC, a media outlet viewed by over 400 million people every week, fails in a headline to connect the dots between PIJ’s plans to launch terror attacks against Israel, and Jerusalem’s response to that threat. The Iranian-backed group has also increased its coordination with Hamas in recent months. BBC’s poor choice of words makes it appear as if Israel’s actions in Gaza took place in a vacuum, and are thus an act of aggression:
Confusing cause with effect: The New York Times suggests that Israeli airstrikes were the cause of violence emanating out of the Gaza Strip. In reality, the coastal enclave is hub of terrorist activity. Gaza’s rulers, Hamas, have repeatedly been caught plotting to launch attacks against Israel in recent months. Regarding Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as recently as August 3 the IDF conducted a Judea-Samaria raid in order to arrest a senior PIJ commander who had previously organized numerous acts of terror:
No difference between terror groups and elected governments: A headline by the Financial Times, a leading global business publication, engages in a form of moral equivalence by not mentioning which side, Israel, was acting to prevent the other side, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, from launching a massive attack against Israeli citizens. Such a negation effectively normalizes terrorist organizations by placing them on the same moral plane as democratically-elected governments:
Israel likes making war: A Washington Post headline is especially egregious since it depicts Israel as a warlike country that enjoys inflicting harm. Someone reading this and no other part of the report would never know, for example, that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system shot down approximately 97 percent of the rockets launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Many thousands of lives, Israelis and Gazans, were saved as a result:
False equivalence: The PIJ committed a double war crime by both targeting Israeli population centers and launching its attacks from civilian structures inside Gaza. Indeed, close to one-third of the Palestinians who died in the latest outbreak of violence may have been killed by errant rockets fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. False equivalence is evident in a NBC News headline, which implies that both parties to the latest Gaza conflict are equally culpable. This, even though Operation Breaking Dawn was authorized due to an alert of an imminent attack, with the PIJ seeking to avenge the recent arrest of its Judea-Samaria leader.
At a time when roughly eight-in-ten Americans get their news from digital devices, headlines are often the first and last thing people read regardless of the story. Given the way in which news is consumed, some 8 out of 10 people read an article’s headline and get no further. Headlines are also the part of a news item that tends to be shared most on social media. Accordingly, by failing to adequately convey the facts about Israel’s latest battle against terror — especially in headlines — news organizations are warping the real situation and, as a corollary, diminishing the threat and consequences of terrorism not only to the Jewish state, but to every nation across the globe.
The nation of Honduras is mulling the possibility of moving its embassy back to Tel Aviv. The announcement came a day after Honduran Foreign Minister Enrique Reina met with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki in Bogota. The Honduran embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem a year ago by former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez. The move came after the US – a close ally of Honduras – moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem under the administration of then-President Donald Trump. But Hernandez left office in January and was succeeded by Xiomara Castro, who expressed “interest” in pulling the embassy from Jerusalem.
Lord, let Your light shine into the darkest areas of the earth. Expose all plots to harm Your people…both Jews and Christians. Thank You that there is increasing coordination between the agencies who are in charge of security and protection. We bless the security forces and police forces around the world…they have an impossible job to protect all the people all the time. Give them much wisdom and great alertness, we pray!
"YHWH discovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light." (Job 12:22)
9. ANTI-SEMITISM UPDATES:
On July 25, Miloon Kothari, a member of a United Nations (UN) commission tasked with investigating Israel’s alleged crimes, made comments widely seen as anti-Israel and antisemitic, in a podcast interview with Mondoweiss, an anti-Israel website. Though his comments were widely condemned by many UN officials, and member states, including Canada, he was defended by none other than his colleague and renowned anti-Israel activist, Navi Pillay. The fact this his defenders pose as unbiased researchers is an important story that has eluded the media.
Father, open the eyes of the Jews who remain in exile to the growth of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatred and then urge them to return to Israel as soon as possible (Jer. 16:16). Thank You for showing Israel its need to remove many of the barriers – especially bureaucratic – so that the Jews can quickly become Israeli citizens (Isa. 62:10). Let many of these obstacles be removed once and for all, crisis or no crisis (Isa. 22:22; 60:11). Yet please guard Israel's gates and forbid any from entering who are not supposed to (Josh. 9:14-15). Through Your amazing grace, grant many Jews a heart desire to seek You, for You promised to be found by those who seek for You with all their hearts (Jer. 29:13). Save millions of Jews who are still trapped in sin and in exile (Deut. 4:27-29).
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’” (Zechariah 8:7)
10. IRAN UPDATES:
The European Union on Monday put forth a “final” text to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal as four days of indirect negotiations between USA and Iranian officials wrapped up in Vienna. The EU official said no further changes could be made to the text, which has been under negotiation for 15 months, and a final decision from the parties was expected within a “very, very few weeks.” The EU added, “This text is not going to be further negotiated or changed.” However, Israeli told media on Tuesday (Aug 9), “Chances of world powers and Iran rejoining a 2015 agreement to curb Tehran's nuclear program are very slim. Israel is unfazed by the Europeans' optimism after they tabled what was called the EU's "final" text. Israel added, "It became clear very quickly this was artificial optimism whose aim was to pressure the Iranians into making a decision in hopes that they'll accept the text as-is. There is no change of strategy on the Iranians' part. They are not interested in accepting this deal...Israel is hoping that the superpowers will not allow the Iranians to continue dragging their feet and realize they are not moving toward an agreement."