Guatemala Moves Embassy to Jerusalem

“Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.’”
Ruth 1:16

SHAVUOT 2018: This year’s Jewish festilval of Shavuot begins in Israel at sunset Sat. 19 May, and will conclude in the evening, Monday 21 May. Shavuot is the culmination of the counting of the 49 days of the Omer and marks the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Shavuot is also the celebration of the wheat harvest and ripening of the first fruits. The deeply moving Book of Ruth, a biblical story of love and covenant, is read and reflected upon during what is also known as the Feast of Weeks. Meals eaten during the holiday are traditionally based on fruit, vegetable and dairy products. We extend to all of our dear friends, near and far, joyous 2018 Shavuot greetings.

GUATEMALA MOVES EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM: Guatemala has opened its new embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to do so after the United States. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales dedicated the embassy on Wed. 16 May 2018, just two days after a high-powered American delegation also marked the transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. PM Benjamin Netanyahu says it's fitting since Guatemala also followed the USA to be the second country to recognize Israel 70 years ago. "You were always among the first," he said. "We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now." President Trump announced his decision on Jerusalem in Dec. 2017 triggering a joyous reaction from Netanyahu's government. Paraguay says it will also relocate its embassy to Jerusalem at the end of May 2018. (Fox)

YOU ARE INVITED TO A SPECIAL BIRTHDAY PARTY IN FORT MILL, SC: The time is growing short for you to sign up for the celebration of Israel’s 70th year as a modern nation! Don’t miss this joyous event for which Vision for Israel requests the pleasure of your company on 16 June 2018 at Fort Mill, SC. There will be intercession for the nation of Israel, special times of praise and worship, and excellent teaching on Israel and the fulfillment of prophecy. This will be a great opportunity to renew your love and vision for the Jewish state and God’s beloved people. All proceeds from this event will go to provide a new, fully-fitted ambulance for use in Israel. Address: The River Place, 8400 Regent Parkway, Fort Mill, SC 29715.

Worship leaders include Paul Wilbur, Barry and Batya Segal, plus Sister Sledge (for the evening concert). The list of speakers includes Dr. Michael Brown, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. "Jerry" Boykin, Sid Roth, host of It's Supernatural (recorded video message), Jonathan Cahn (recorded video message), Samuel Tyler, Mahesh & Bonnie Chavda, Peter Wyns, Rick Joyner, Al Wood, (former NBA player), Kevin Basconi, and Marcus Lamb of Daystar TV with a video-taped message. BOOK NOW by clicking on:https://www.visionforisrael.com/content/celebrating-israels-70th-fort-mill-sc View also our video promotion of this event at: https://vimeo.com/264138523. We hope to see you there!

TENSIONS WITH GAZA REMAIN HIGH AS BULLETS, TANK FIRE EXCHANGED: Six houses in the Negev town of Sderot, located less than one mile from the Gaza border, were struck by machine gun fire on Wed. afternoon 16 May 2018. One bullet shattered a window and others were lodged in walls. One of the houses belonged to former mayor of Sderot Eli Moyal. No injuries were sustained from the shooting and security forces were sent to the location for further investigation. (J.Post) Continue to pray for the protection of Israel’s southern border communities and for IDF forces fighting there to contain the massive violence originating from the Gaza Strip. Intercede for strategies to be put in place by Israel, and other nations sympathetic to Israel’s cause, to quell this ongoing Palestinian uprising, and that the Lord will heal the insanity of Hamas terrorist leaders and those who do their bidding.

UN AMBASSADOR DANON: “HAMAS WANTS DEATH OVER PEACE”: Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon demanded on Tues. 15 May 2018 that the Security Council condemn Hamas for inciting tens of thousands of Palestinians to breach the Gaza-Israel border in order to attack Jewish civilians. "Over the past month, Israel had to defend itself from the violent rioters along the security fence with Gaza," Danon told an emergency meeting of the UNSC. "These were not demonstrations, these were not protest, these were violent riots. They have repeatedly attempted to sabotage and breach the fence with the explicit goal of killing Israelis." Danon accused Hamas of wanting "death over peace," and said, "Hamas has committed war crimes not only against Israeli civilians but also against its own people - turning them into human shields for their own cynical gain. Every casualty that has resulted from the recent violence is a victim of Hamas' war crimes." (J. Post)

SECURITY COUNCIL TACKLES GAZA CRISIS: The UN Security Council met in emergency session on Tues. 15 May, 2018 to deal with the crisis in the Gaza Strip. Representatives recited the positions of their nations, with accusations and recriminations following traditional alliances ranging from angry condemnations of Israel from Arab bloc nations to strong defenses of the Israeli dilemma from both the ambassadors of Israel and the United States. Ambassador Karen Price of the UK suggested that a mass of protesters is formed by residents of the Gaza Strip who are “being exploited” by those instigating violence, a situation she called, “unacceptable.” USA Ambassador Nikki Haley stood out with her rejection of the conventional wisdom that says the violence is a reaction to the declaration of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and move of the USA Embassy to Jerusalem by President Trump. Rather, she explained, “the violence comes from those who reject the existence of the State of Israel in any location.” Haley further said that Hamas, backed by Iran, had incited the violence by urging protesters over loudspeakers to burst through the border fence. "I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council: Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has." (Medialine)

EX-AMBASSADOR: PROTESTS ON GAZA BORDER ARE “PLAY FOR MEDIA ATTENTION”: Former Israeli Ambassador to the USA Michael Oren this week called Palestinian protests on the Gaza border "a play for media attention". "Palestinians, stirred on by Hamas, burned down their own crossing, burned their own energy lines so they can cry 'humanitarian crisis' to the world and have the world blame us. I hope that this time it won't work," Oren told CNN. "As we are speaking now the Syrian army is attacking the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, they're killing hundreds, maybe thousands of Palestinians. Has CNN covered it? Has anybody covered it? Does anybody care when Syrians kill Palestinians? It's only when there's conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and Hamas knows this." (The Hill) Continue to pray that the battle will be won against highly bias media sources that misrepresent Israel’s position in every security and self-defensive measure.

ISRAEL SAYS HAMAS CURBED GAZA PROTESTS AFTER EGYPTIAN WARNING: Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border dropped off significantly on Wed. 16 May 2018, pointing to what it said were Egyptian efforts to restore calm after dozens of Palestinians were killed in the violent protests. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made a brief visit this week to Egypt, which also borders Gaza and has sought to broker between the Islamists and Israel. Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said an Egyptian intelligence chief, whom he did not name, warned Haniyeh that Cairo "knows and has proof" that Hamas was funding the protests and sending people to the border fence to serve "as living ammunition, women and children instead of shells and rockets." The Egyptian official "made unequivocally clear to him (Haniyeh) that if this continues, Israel will respond and take far harsher steps, and Egypt will stand by and will not help," Katz told Israel Radio in an interview.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum responded that "There is no mediation. The marches will continue until our people achieve their goals". At a news conference at a protest encampment on Wed, 16 May, Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, urged people to take part in mass rallies planned this coming Friday. But the start on Thurs. 17 May 2018 of the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, could limit the scale of the demonstrations. The factions said the fasting would be taken into account but that the marches would continue through early June 2018. (J.Post)

NEW WEAPON AGAINST RIOTERS: ‘THE CHOCO DRONE’: Israel’s Defense Ministry has revealed new technology for non violent riot dispersal on Gaza border: It’s a drone which releases bags of foul-smelling “chocolate.” The device is being used in context of disturbances on the Gaza border and in Judea and Samaria. This week, the drone began its operational activity in the Gaza Strip, with its operation defined as successful. With the new development, IDF forces are not required to reach a point close to the border - all operations are carried out from the air according to the decision of the commanding officer in the field. The drone is designed to carry heavy weights and is suitable for a variety of uses as well as for low-altitude flying. The ability to disperse rioters was not among its planned uses, but when the need arose, its designation was changed within a short period of time. The drone was fitted with a shell capable of holding a large quantity of bags containing foul-smelling substance - known as "chocolate." The drone has the ability to release, as needed, those bags from the air onto the ground below. The bags burst, the content disperses the rioters. It is important to note that this is a development that has been tested and is not harmful even in cases of direct contact. (INN)

TURKEY HUMILIATES ISRAELI AMBASSADOR: Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Eitan Naeh was subjected to special security checks in Istanbul Wed. 16 May 2018, after the Turkish government ordered him out of the country amid rising tensions with Israel. The previous day, Turkey announced it was expelling Naeh, following Israel’s use of force to defend the border with Gaza, after tens of thousands of rioters attempted to breach Israel’s security fence. In response, Israel likewise ordered the Turkish consul in Jerusalem, Husnu Gurcan Turkoglu, to return to his country. Turkey later ordered Israel’s consul general in Istanbul ,Yosef Levi Sfari, out of the country as well. Before Naeh boarded a plane back to Israel at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the ambassador was subjected to what Israel’s Foreign Ministry described as a “harsh” security check. Turkish media outlets were invited by the Turkish government to film Naeh during the security checks in a deliberate attempt to humiliate the Israeli ambassador. Tensions between Ankara and Jerusalem escalated following the opening of the USA embassy in Jerusalem – a move Turkey’s government strongly opposed. Earlier on Tues.15 May 2018 Erdogan accused PM Netanyahu of having blood on his hand regarding the Gaza uprisings. Netanyahu later fired back, saying, "A man who sends thousands of Turkish soldiers to hold the occupation of northern Cyprus and invades Syria will not preach to us when we defend ourselves from an attempted infiltration by Hamas.” (Ha’aretz)

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The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff