“Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.”
Psalm 5:2 (NIV)
Shalom, my friend.
Right now, we need to pray fervently.
As you’ll read below, the violence along the Gaza Strip continues to escalate as Hamas continues to bankroll protestors and rioters to lash out in violence along the border. And with the nuclear threat of Iran reaching a fever pitch, it’s no exaggeration that Israel – and the entire world – are at-risk.
So please join me and all of us here at Jewish Voice Ministries International in praying for God’s wisdom, grace, intervention and protection.
ISRAELI OFFICER SHOT BY HAMAS TERRORIST SUCCUMBS TO INJURIES WHILE GAZA RIOTS CONTINUE
Border Police officer Bar-el Shmueli died earlier this week from the gunshot wounds inflicted on him by a gunman during the Gaza border riots on Saturday, August 21.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Shmueli was shot by a Gazan gunman while he had taken up a firing position on the northern Gaza perimeter fence. Rioters had amassed on the border barrier and had flanked Shmueli’s fence firing position.
Shmueli reportedly had switched out positions with another officer before the incident happened. According to The Jerusalem Post, Officer Shmueli was a 21-year-old native of Beer Yaakov, central Israel.
The gunman that mortally wounded Shmueli has yet to be identified. And the IDF has accused Hamas of organizing the riots and has laid responsibility on the Gazan terrorist organization.
Over the last weekend, The Times of Israel reported a continued escalation of rioting along the Gaza Strip – where Officer Shmueli was shot and killed.
While the IDF increased security along the Gaza-Israeli border, hundreds of rioters were reportedly burning tires and hurling explosive devices toward the fence.
The “night confusion units,” so named by demonstrators, behind the border riots do not officially tie themselves to Hamas, though their activities could not take place without the approval of the terror group that rules the Strip, according to The Times of Israel.
The “units,” which are affiliated with various terror factions, have said that the nightly riots on the border will continue until the end of this week.
In the past, Gazans involved in such activities have burned tires, hurled explosive devices and played fake rocket alert noises to confuse Israeli residents living near the border and harassed soldiers guarding the border.
In response to Saturday’s riots, as well as two fires sparked in southern Israel by balloons carrying incendiary devices launched from Gaza, the IDF overnight Saturday-Sunday struck a Hamas military compound used for training and weapon production and the opening of a “terror tunnel.”
The Times of Israel also reported that the clashes came despite Israel on Thursday easing some of its restrictions on trade and movement, allowing additional goods and materials to enter Gaza.
IRAN IS 2-MONTHS AWAY FROM A NUCLEAR BOMB, U.S. AND ISRAELI OFFICIALS DISCUSS “PLAN B” IF PEACE TALKS FAIL
The Jerusalem Post reported a warning from Defense Minister Benny Gantz — “Iran is only two months away from acquiring the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon.”
His warning to a gathering of 60 ambassadors in Tel Aviv late last week comes as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and U.S. President Joe Biden restored intelligence ties on Monday and, according to The Times of Israel, were working to develop a “Plan B” if the stalled talks between Washington and Tehran regarding a fresh Iran nuclear deal sputter out.
While the specifics of what “Plan B” could entail haven’t been publicly outlined, The Times of Israel indicate that Israeli officials have signaled a need for a credible military threat to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons.
Gantz’s comments joined a flurry of threats by Israeli defense officials toward Iran in recent days, including Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, who told reporters last week that the military was preparing plans and funding for a potential military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“We are allocating resources in order to strengthen our ability to act against challenges in the region, chief among them Iran,” Gantz said.
ISRAELI OFFICIALS ISSUE SUPPORT FOR U.S. FOLLOWING ISIS-K SUICIDE BOMBING IN KABUL
Following ISIS-K’s claims of responsibility for the bombings near Kabul airport that killed over 70 civilians, 28 Taliban members and 13 US troops, Israeli officials announced their support for the U.S. and condolences for the tragic loss of life.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commented on the suicide bombing on Thursday night via Twitter: “On behalf of the people of Israel, I share our deep sadness over the loss of American lives in Kabul. Israel stands with the United States in these difficult times, just as America has always stood with us.”
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also offered his prayers on Twitter: “I am shocked and saddened by the horrific terror attack in Kabul. The prayers of the people of Israel are with the families of the civilians and soldiers who were murdered today. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorism.”
COVID BOOSTER AVAILABLE WHILE 4TH WAVE CONTINUES IN ISRAEL
The third coronavirus vaccine shot is available in Israel for anyone who has been fully inoculated for at least five months, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz told The Jerusalem Post at a press conference on Sunday.
According to The Jerusalem Post, two million Israelis have received the booster shot. And those who have received the booster, or have recently been vaccinated, will be exempt from isolation when they arrive from abroad.
“There is some improvement in morbidity, but it is too early to talk about the end of the fourth wave,” Horowitz said at the press conference.
“There is room for optimism, but we have no certainty that the slowdown will continue,” Horowitz continued, adding that in spite of the difficult situation, “in close cooperation with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, we are maintaining a balanced and responsible approach. We value life above all, but do not forget that restrictions and closures have very severe consequences.”
Starting on October 1, The Jerusalem Post reported, only those who have received the second dose within the last six months, who have received a third booster shot, who have recovered within the last five months or who have recovered and received one shot will be eligible for the Green Pass, which grants access to several activities and venues.
Over the past week, more than 100,000 shots were administered per day on weekdays, mostly boosters, but also first and second doses.
So far, some 5.95 million Israelis have received at least one shot, and 5.46 million have received at least two.
At last count, there were 726 coronavirus patients in serious condition on Sunday, the most since March. Last week, the number of coronavirus patients in serious condition fluctuated between 680 and 700.
ISRAELI ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNCOVER PARTS OF VILNIUS SYNAGOGUE DESTROYED BY NAZIS
According to Ynet News, after a 6-year dig, Israeli archaeologists have uncovered remains of an old synagogue in Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius destroyed by Nazi forces during World War II.
The excavation managed to unveil the Aron Kodesh (Torah Ark) and the Bimah (raised podium) that were part of the famed Great Synagogue.
Ynet News reports that the magnificent Great Synagogue of Vilna is the oldest and most significant symbol of Lithuanian Jewry. Like most of the Jewish cultural centers in Lithuania, the Great Synagogue was destroyed during the Holocaust. The remains were later demolished by the Soviet authorities, and a modern school was constructed on the site.
The archeology dig was organized by Israel Antiquities Authority's Dr. Jon Seligman who visited Vilnius a few years ago as part of a heritage trip and was inspired by the idea of revealing and discovering what was left of the compound and the synagogue.
“When we arrived to excavate the Aron Kodesh and the Bimah, from which generations of Jews read the Torah scroll for 300 consecutive years, it became clear, unfortunately, that the core of the synagogue had been greatly damaged by Soviet destruction,” Seligman noted.
Let us pray together
Please pray with me for:
- God’s protection in the hostilities currently erupting along the Gaza Strip while Hamas continues to target the Jewish people with their hatred and violence
- God’s love and grace to be with people and families who’ve lost loved ones in the violence along the Gaza Strip and in the evacuation of Afghanistan
- God’s wisdom to be evident as Israeli and U.S. officials continue peace talks to prevent nuclear weapons production in Iran that would threaten Israel, countries throughout the Middle East and the world
- Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of Israel and their enemies
- Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah