“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense, he has become my salvation.”
Isaiah 12:2 (NIV)
Shalom, my friend.
Thank you for being committed and sharing my love for Israel and the Jewish people. You are concerned about what is happening in Israel and that’s why I’m glad to be writing to you with the most recent news updates and prayer requests for this week.
COVID-19 is again making the headlines in Israel due to an increase in new cases and deaths. Let us pray for protection for Israel as they face a wave of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Let's pray especially for those who are immune-compromised. Please join me in praying that God would draw His people to Him through this latest challenge and the others the country and people are facing.
Let’s pray for the Jewish people to turn to Jesus the Messiah so they will know Him as their strength, their defense and their salvation. When we put our trust in the Lord, we have no reason to be afraid.
ISRAEL ROLLS OUT COVID-19 BOOSTERS FOR SOME AT-RISK CITIZENS
As the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads quickly in Israel, the Health Ministry approved giving a third dose booster of the Pfizer vaccine, which is the one the majority of Israelis have received. This makes Israel the first country in the world to begin distributing a booster dose of the vaccine.
This third dose is for adults with impaired immune systems based on “accumulating evidence” that they aren’t well enough protected after their initial doses, The Times of Israel reported.
Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital, invited dozens of its heart transplant patients for boosters on Monday.
Due to the rise in Delta variant cases, Israel returned to required mask wearing indoors and there has been an increase in voluntary mask wearing outdoors.
ISRAEL SEES INCREASE IN NEW COVID-19 CASES, REPORTS FIRST DEATHS IN TWO WEEKS
On Monday, 423 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Israel. Of those infected, 47 were in serious condition and 17 were on ventilators, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Last week, two deaths due to complications from COVID-19 were reported – the first fatalities from the coronavirus in more than two weeks, according to The Times of Israel. One victim was an unvaccinated 48-year-old man. The other was an 86-year-old man who had received both vaccine doses.
ISRAEL BEGINS SEIZING BITCOIN AND OTHER CRYPTOCURRENCY ACCOUNTS USED BY HAMAS
Last week, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered security forces to seize cryptocurrency accounts being used by the Palestinian Hamas terror group. The stockpile of accounts being operated from the Gaza Strip were part of Hamas’ efforts to raise funds from abroad for its military.
The terror group accelerated its online campaign to raise donations after the 11-day conflict with Israel in May.
“The intelligence, technological and legal tools that enable us to get our hands on terrorists’ money around the world constitute an operational breakthrough,” Gantz was quoted as saying, according to YNet News.
Last year, the U.S. Justice Department said it seized millions of dollars from cryptocurrency accounts used by militant groups, including al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. These accounts served to finance their organizations.
One prong of the U.S. investigation targeted the military wing of Hamas. Law enforcement officials seized more than 150 cryptocurrency accounts that they say laundered funds to and from accounts operated by the group.
Hamas, which seized Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007, is considered a terrorist group by Israel and Western countries. They have had four significant conflicts with Israel during that time.
UAE OPENS ISRAEL EMBASSY IN TEL AVIV
On Wednesday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) opened its embassy in Israel. It is located in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building.
The ceremony was hosted by UAE’s ambassador to Israel, Mohammad al Khaja.
In late June, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid traveled to Dubai to officially inaugurate Israel’s embassy.
The two countries announced that they would normalize diplomatic relations nearly a year ago, in August 2020.
Let us pray together
Please pray with me for:
- Protection of Israelis from the Delta coronavirus variant, especially those with compromised immune systems
- Wisdom for Israel in dealing with Iran, Hamas and other terror groups
- Additional countries in the Middle East to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel and work together for peace
- Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah