PRAYER ALERT: Israel under fire from Gaza as 400 rockets hit the south
Pray for Israelis in southern Israel who just endured the most ever rockets fired at Israel in a single day after Palestinians launched some 400 rockets since Monday.
Israel and Hamas reached an apparent ceasefire Tuesday afternoon, but not before one person was killed and about 20 injured as rockets hit homes, buses, gas lines and shops around southern Israeli communities. Several residences were destroyed and many families were looking for places to sleep as they rebuild in the coming months.
In one attack, an anti-tank missile obliterated a bus that had been full of soldiers just minutes before. According to unconfirmed reports, the Muslim Arab bus driver said that now he knows that God loves the Jews.
“Minutes before my bus was hit, 50 Israeli soldiers de-boarded. They all would have died. It’s a miracle,” he reportedly said in news spreading through the believing community.
For a full evening and throughout the night, Israelis were running to shelters when the Red Alert system signaled incoming rockets. Barely an hour went by without several alarms sounding — the kind of attacks that wouldn’t be tolerated by other countries.
In Ashkelon, one man, a Palestinian, was killed when a rocket destroyed an apartment building 8 miles from the Gaza border. The man was found with his wife who was injured.
This escalation in violence follows months of simmering tensions and protests by Palestinians at the Gaza border with Israel. The rocket barrages began in earnest on Monday after an undercover Israeli intelligence operation in Gaza late Sunday left one Israeli officer and seven Palestinians dead.
So far Israeli casualties remain relatively low compared to the number of rockets fired. In addition to God’s protection, the Iron Dome system is credited with shooting down many incoming rockets while bomb shelters directly saved many Israeli lives in the past few months. Palestinians reported seven killed in retaliatory air strikes by the Israeli air force on Tuesday.
After meetings all day, the security cabinet ordered the IDF to “continue its strikes” against terrorists in the Strip “as needed.” But the vagueness of the statement was seen as a decision of sorts to restore calm after the rocket barrage.
Pray for wisdom for Israel’s leadership to know how to respond to the situation. Pray for the safety and protection of innocent civilians. Pray for those who must rebuild now. And pray also for Palestinian people to be free from Hamas control and to come to know the Prince of Peace.
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Looking back at Kristallnacht and the Holocaust
Paul: What is Christian Friends of Yad Vashem?
Susanna: Yad Vashem was established in 1953. The Israeli Knesset passed a special law to establish it and then in 2006 Yad Vashem decided that they needed a special programme to reach out to Christians around the world. They decided to establish the Christian Friends of Yad Vashem and the goal was for Christians who would come to visit would be given a special programme. They would be able to ask questions and have a time of reflection.
We also wanted to connect Christians to the Christian theology that was partly anti-Semitic and is the background of the Holocaust. We wanted to teach about, not just the camps, but also Jewish life in Europe before the war, how the Holocaust came to happen, and even the aftermath of the Holocaust. This is very significant now since we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel this year, which was built by the Holocaust survivors.
Paul: Today we are looking at Kristallnacht, which happened in Germany and Austria. Tell us a little bit about what happened before that event, the history and the story that built up to that terrible night.
Susanna: I think it’s very important for us to look at the 1930’s. Although the Nazi Party was established in 1919, from the beginning it had this very intense anti-Semitic agenda. They did not see the Jews as just a religious group that they could persecute, but they saw them as a genetic problem. In other words, the racial theories were added to the previously existing forms of anti-Semitism, but the problem then of course was that when you are seen as a genetic problem you cannot change it, so there was nothing they could do about it.
So when Adolph Hitler came to power in January of 1933, already by March all over Germany there were anti-Jewish riots, but at this point the regime was not openly taking responsibility. It looked like they were spontaneous acts of violence, even though we know that they were not spontaneous.
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Dov Lipman talks about the work of Innovation Africa, transforming millions of lives through providing clean water and electricity for entire villages, schools and hospitals, and ensuring that the local people take ownership of the project and maintain it.
Paul: What is Innovation Africa?
Dov: Sivan Ya’ari, an Israeli woman, nine years ago started this organisation with a very clear goal to bring electricity and water to people throughout African villages. We sit back and enjoy the most basic elements, we have electricity and we have water. There are 600 million people in Africa, 600 million who don’t have electricity, 300 million who don’t have clean water. That means limited education resources, that means minimal health services and that means no economy to speak of, no commerce at all. So Sivan had this idea of using Israeli technology, Israeli innovations and to go village by village and to provide them with these services. In nine years, in eight African countries, she has reached 162 villages, impacting the lives of over one million people who now have these most basic elements.
I always say God created the world and gave the world all the resources and now it is our job to partner together and to help tap into those resources. We have the ability to do so today using these Israeli technologies and innovations and that is exactly what we are doing.
Over one million people have been impacted, 350 thousand children have been vaccinated because they now have electricity and they now have power for refrigerators in their medical clinics. So we have accomplished a lot so far, thank God, but we have a long way to go.
Paul: These are just things we take for granted, I saw on your website it said some people had never seen a light bulb.
Dov: Exactly right, there are students studying in 2018 by kerosene lamps. You see people walking eight hours a day to try to find some kind of dirty water. This is why we have begun to use Israeli innovation and solar technology. We have water pumps to bring up clean water and we bring Israeli drip irrigations so now they have farming. By using solar panels and some other innovative elements, we have lights for their schools so they have the best teachers and they can study all day and all night. They now have medical centres which have the most basic services including electricity and that brings the greatest doctors.
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Israeli leaders hail US merger of consulate and embassy, Palestinians condemn
JERUSALEM, Israel – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced last week that it would merge its consulate and embassy in Jerusalem, a move that could have a major impact on the future of Jerusalem.
For years the US Consulate in Jerusalem has served as a de-facto embassy to the Palestinian Authority. That meant it answered directly to the State Department and bypassed the US ambassador to Israel. Pompeo’s announcement sends a signal that Jerusalem won’t be a divided city.
Now the consulate will come under the authority of US Ambassador David Friedman, which some consider a victory for him over the objections of the State Department.
Former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren hailed the decision.
In a tweet, he called the restructure a “great day,” saying it signaled US support for the Jewish state’s claim to all of Jerusalem. He said it “ends the last vestige of American support for the city’s division.” Israel, he said, “is deeply grateful.”
But Palestinian leaders condemned the US decision to downgrade the consulate, which had served as a separate channel to Washington to report Palestinian affairs with a consul general whose authority was close to that of an ambassador.
“They are dictating the ideologically committed team of President Trump to take Jerusalem off the table,” chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat said. “This to us is like another settlement outpost in occupied Jerusalem. This does not create any facts other than dismantling the two state solutions.”
Mideast analyst Pinchas Inbari says the move kills the idea of two capitals in Jerusalem.
“It meant that the consulate was for the Palestinian capital in the future and the embassy is for Israel,” Inbari told CBN News. “By uniting the two bodies in one body means that there is no partition of Jerusalem anymore and there will be no Palestinian capital in Jerusalem and Jerusalem is a united city as far as the Americans perceive it.”
The Palestinians want Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. He says while the Palestinians are shouting, no one is listening.
“If you watch around no Saudi reaction, no Egyptian reaction, very mild Jordanian reaction, the only party that is reacting is Ramallah, not even the east Jerusalemites. They don’t even care,” he explained.
The move is the latest decision by the Trump administration to change the status of Jerusalem. Last December, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and in May he moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision will make it harder in the future for Jerusalem to be the capital of two states, one Jewish and one Palestinian.
This article originally appeared on CBN News, October 22, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Chris is CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief based in Jerusalem.
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‘He is practically saying Jerusalem is for Israel’: Palestinians furious over new Trump move
JERUSALEM, Israel – The Trump administration has decided to relocate its diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, placing it under the authority of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. It means the Palestinian mission will no longer have its own separate channel to Washington.
Essentially, the US Consulate in eastern Jerusalem has been merged with the US Embassy there, and that move has pleased some while angering others.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the merge in a statement Thursday, saying it was based on “efficiency and effectiveness” and doesn’t alter US policy.
“It does not signal a change of US policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], or the Gaza Strip,” Pompeo said in a statement, adding that a new Palestinian Affairs Unit will be located inside the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
But some say it signals a downgrade of the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians. In September, the Trump administration closed the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office Washington, DC, in part for its refusal to enter peace negotiations with Israel.
“The PLO leadership has condemned a US peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the US government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert stated at the time. “As such, and reflecting congressional concerns, the administration has decided that the PLO office in Washington will close at this point.”
Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization and former chief negotiator for the PA Saeb Erekat said the move rewards “Israeli violations and crimes.”
“The Trump administration is making clear that it is working together with the Israeli government to impose Greater Israel rather than the two-state solution on the 1967 border. The US administration has fully endorsed the Israeli narrative, including on Jerusalem, refugees and settlements,” Erekat said.
Senior advisor to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Nabil Shaath called it a “very bad decision.”
“Now, he is cutting the last connection he is said to have with the Palestinian people. He is practically saying Jerusalem is for Israel,” Israel Hayom quoted Shaath as saying. “This decision has nothing to do with peace. It complicates peace and makes it impossible.”
Member of the Knesset Michael Oren, who serves as deputy minister of diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office, said Israel is “deeply grateful.”
“A great day for Israel, Jerusalem, and the United States. SoS Pompeo’s announcement closing the US consulate in Jerusalem and transferring its responsibilities to the embassy ends the last vestige of American support for the city’s division. Israel is deeply grateful,” Oren tweeted.
This article originally appeared on CBN News, October 19, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Tzippe Barrow is the CBN News Internet Producer - Jerusalem. She and her husband made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) nearly two decades ago. Barrow hopes that providing a biblical perspective of today’s events in Israel will help people in the nations to better understand the centrality of this state and the Jewish people to God’s unfolding plan of redemption for all mankind.