Largest Tunnel Found from Gaza into Israel
Israeli security forces have uncovered the largest tunnel yet discovered leading from Gaza into southern Israel. This tunnel, the fourth discovered in the past eighteen months, reaches hundreds of meters into Israeli territory and is up to twenty meters underground at some points. Tunnels such as this one have been used to smuggle weapons into Israel, as well as enabling people bent on violence and destruction to be able to enter the country. (Jerusalem Post)
Praise God that the Israeli Defense Forces found the tunnel and can prevent it from being used for future acts of violence and aggression against Israel's citizens.
Israel's Embassies Close for Global Strike
Workers at Israeli embassies and consulates have gone on a global strike after a two-year dispute for better wages and working conditions. This means that Israel will not be represented in any global gatherings or forums, its ambassadors in 102 countries will not be working, visas will not be issued, new immigrants will not be processed, and employers who wish to bring in foreign workers will not be able to do so. High-profile visits from leaders might be cancelled as well, such as Netanyahu's major visit to South America and the Pope’s visit in May.
Pray for a quick and fair resolution to the issue of compensation for Israel's diplomatic workers.
Connections Made at Banquet for Holocaust Survivors
A short-term missions team recently came to serve with Chosen People Ministries' staff in Israel. A banquet was organized for sixty Holocaust survivors, most of whom are atheists, although they knew that our staff and volunteers are believers. The short-term missions team greeted the guests, talked with them at their tables, and led an uplifting time of music - both Jewish traditional melodies and songs about the Lord. Even though many on the team did not speak Russian or Hebrew and the Holocaust survivors knew only a precious few words in English, it was an amazing evening of ministry. Holocaust survivors are becoming older and frailer, so Chosen People Ministries seizes every opportunity to share with them about the Messiah.
Abbas Says "No" to Peace Talks
During a recent meeting with President Obama, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas openly rejected Secretary of State John Kerry's framework for continued peace talks. He said "no" to three core issues that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says are crucial for peace - "no" to recognizing a Jewish State of Israel, "no" to a Palestinian Right of Return that would drastically alter Israel's demographic balance by allowing in millions of those who claim to be descendants, and "no" to seeing a commitment to the end of the conflict and an end to the Palestinians' demands of Israel. Israel has refused to release the fourth and final set of terrorists held in Israeli jails, which was a previously agreed-upon condition for starting the peace talks, unless Abbas agrees to extend the talks further. (Times of Israel)
Please pray for these leaders, who need the Lord's wisdom and direction.
Arab League Denounces Israel
After a two-day summit of the Arab League in Kuwait, Arab leaders stated that they will never recognize Israel as a Jewish State. They also blamed Israel for the lack of progress in the Middle East Peace Process. The League's announcement directly rejects one of Prime Minister Netanyahu's key points in the peace talks; Netanyahu believes there cannot be peace without such a recognition. Netanyahu has performed goodwill gestures for the peace process by releasing many known Palestinian criminals and terrorists, although he has not stopped the controversial building of settlements in the West Bank. (Haaretz)
Please pray for divine wisdom and clarity in this complicated situation regarding the peace talks.
Palestinian Authority Budgets Support for Terrorism
Despite having a massive debt of 4.8 billion dollars, the Palestinian Authority has promised to continue financially supporting terrorism by helping the families of terrorists. Families of terrorist "martyrs" will receive part of 74 million dollars that was pledged towards the cause by an official of the Palestinian government. Families of those killed in the course of carrying out attacks on Israel and their supporters abroad will receive full financial support. Due to the Palestinian Authority's considerable debt, it is speculated that international monetary aid is being used to support terrorists' families. (Israel National News)
Please pray against such incentives for terrorism, which reward those who seek to harm and kill others.
Record-Breaking Shabbat Dinner Planned
In an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record, a free Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner for 1,000 people is being planned. The dinner will be for Israelis, new immigrants and public figures. The aim of the group organizing the event is to bring spirituality to Tel Aviv, which is a very secular city and the center of economic and cultural happenings in Israel. The largest Passover Seder on record was held in Nepal with over 1,000 Israelis. (Israel National News)
Please pray for more than spirituality... pray for people to move towards belief in Jesus the Messiah!
Israel to Provide Security Drones to Brazil
An Israeli firm has won the contract to provide 900 security drones for the World Cup soccer games in Brazil this summer. These unmanned drones are highly advanced and will provide intelligence gathering for the police. The firm has provided such drones for other highly-attended international events, as well as to the U.S. Navy. (Israeli National News)
Praise God that Israel has developed this cutting-edge technology for protection and safety.