“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Shalom, my friend.

God is in control . . . and thankfully we can cling to His promises and trust that He has a plan, though we may not see it or even understand it.

I pray you cling to this promise – as you navigate your own challenges and circumstances.

Thank you for your partnership in this ministry. Please remember Jewish Voice in your prayers this week – praying for God’s continual protection for our partners on the ground in Ukraine, in Israel and around the world. And for the salvation of the Jewish people.

ISRAEL TO PROVIDE KIEV WITH PROTECTIVE GEAR FOR RESCUE AND EMERGENCY ORGANIZATIONS

The Jerusalem Post reported late last week that Israel’s Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, and has agreed to provide protective gear such as helmets and vests.

The request from Kiev comes eight weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Following the agreement, Israel’s Defense Ministry released the following statement:

“This is part of Israel’s extensive effort to provide humanitarian aid, which includes the establishment of a field hospital, the absorption of refugees and immigrants, the provision of food and medical assistance, and more.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, Israel has been trying to strike a balance between Russia and Ukraine. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is said to have declined in February to sell weapons after he was asked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

As part of Israel’s aid to the embattled country, Jerusalem has set up a field hospital in Lviv and has donated several armored ambulances via the Magen David Adom rescue services.

Saying that he appreciates Israel’s efforts to bring an end to the war, Ukraine’s Defense Minister Korniychuk told Israeli reporters that the war “for us is genocide, not unlike your situation in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a much stronger adversary and many more casualties, so thank you for your mediation attempts.”

PUTIN CLAIMS MARIUPOL “LIBERATED” AFTER AN ALMOST 2-MONTH SIEGE

According to YnetNews, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed victory in the biggest battle of the Ukraine war late last week, declaring the port of Mariupol “liberated,” despite hundreds of defenders still holding out inside a giant steelworks plant.

In a televised meeting with his Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, inside the Kremlin, Putin is reported to have said that there was no need for a final confrontation with the last defenders who were boxed in after surviving nearly two months of Russia's siege.

“I consider the proposed storming of the industrial zone unnecessary,” Putin said. “I order you to cancel it. There's no need to climb into these catacombs and crawl underground through these industrial facilities. Block off this industrial area so that not even a fly can get through.”

According to YnetNews, Russia’s Defense Ministry estimates that 2,000 Ukrainian fighters remained inside the plant. Putin called on them to lay down their weapons and surrender, saying Russia would treat them with respect.

Putin’s “declaration of victory” lets him claim his first big prize since his forces were driven out of northern Ukraine last month after failing to capture the capital, Kiev.

YnetNews reports that Ukraine officials estimate that tens of thousands of civilians have died in Mariupol. It says some have been buried in mass graves, others removed from the streets by Russian forces using mobile cremation trucks to incinerate bodies. The United Nations and Red Cross say the civilian toll is still unknowable but is at least in the thousands.

The intensified Russian campaign to seize large swathes of eastern Ukraine has further diminished the prospects of stop-start peace talks producing any rapid agreement to end the war.

UKRAINE RECEIVES WARPLANES FROM UNIDENTIFIED SOURCE

The Times of Israel reported late last week that Ukraine received fighter jets to help resist the Russian invasion, as Moscow intensified its offensive in the east.

According to the Pentagon, as reported by The Times of Israel, Ukraine recently received fighter planes and parts to bolster its air force. But the Pentagon declined to specify the number of aircraft and their origin.

Kiev has asked its Western partners, according to The Times of Israel, to provide MiG-29s, which its pilots already know how to fly, and a handful of Eastern European countries have. The fresh weapons for Kiev would also push to increase “Moscow’s international isolation.”

The request came because of Russia’s renewed push to gain control of Donbas and the besieged southern port of Mariupol — both would allow Moscow to create a southern corridor to the Crimean Peninsula that it annexed in 2014, depriving Ukraine of much of its coastline.

LET US PRAY TOGETHER

Please pray with me for:

  • God to bring peace and safety to the situation in Ukraine, protecting the lives that could potentially be at risk
  • God to move in the hearts of world leaders and give wisdom to address the global threat of a nuclear Iran
  • God’s protection to be upon His people in Israel, who are constantly facing threats and violence from surrounding enemies
  • Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and their enemies
  • Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah

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