JNN Newsletter - February 16, 2017

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word. My eyes stay open through the watches of the night that I may meditate on your promises.” Ps 119: 147-148

HAMAS ELECTS NEW RADICAL LEADER IN GAZA: Yahya Sinwar has been elected to lead Hamas in the Gaza Strip after internal elections were held for the organization's institutional and leadership positions. Sinwar was one of the most senior officials released by Israel in the Shalit deal in which hundreds of terrorists and political prisoners were released in exchange for the return of captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. He has developed a reputation as being among the most radical in Hamas, calling since his release for further kidnappings of IDF soldiers, and is thought of as the link between the military and political wing of the terror organization. With his ascent to power, Sinwar will take the reins to rule the Strip from Khaled Mashal. (Ynet) Terrorist murderers released in prisoner swap deals notoriously return to their terrorist occupations despite signing promises to refrain from doing so. They receive the status of Palestinians heroes, and, as in the case of Yahya Sinwar, rise to the ranks of elected Palestinian leaders. As such, it is a reflection of the values of the society and officials who put such men into power. Pray there will be growing numbers of Palestinians who weary of terrorist leaders and their focus on destruction of Israel, rather than on building better lives for their own citizens.

LAWMAKERS SAY THAT ELECTING SINWAR REVEALS HAMAS’ INTENTIONS TO START A NEW ROUND OF VIOLENCE: Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman and also a former Shin Bet director, MK Avi Dichter (Likud), said that Hamas elected a leader, Yahya Sinwar, in Gaza who is a murderer by all means. "Even when he was in prison he continued his activities – he lives for killing," said Dichter. "This appearance that Hamas has a political branch and a military branch was always wrong and today it's officially gone." Dichter added that "Hamas leadership sees the world through the rockets, the tunnels and the attacks on Israel. This is what they wish for." Dr. Kobi Michael, former Deputy Director General at Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said Sinwar "represents the most radical and extreme line of Hamas," and is affiliated with, and favors support from, Iran. Describing Sinwar as a "bitter enemy" of Egypt, Michael said Sinwar also favored cooperation with ISIS affiliates fighting the Egyptian Army in Sinai. (J.Post)

BEREAVED FATHER: ‘WE WARNED YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN’: Ron Karman, the father of Tal Karman who was murdered in 2003 by a suicide bomber on a bus in Haifa, spoke with media sources about the appointment of Yiahya Sinwar to Hamas leadership. Sinwar was released from Israeli jail as a result of the Shalit deal in October 2011. He had been given four life sentences for murdering Palestinian policemen and was also involved in the capture and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman in 1994. “We fought against the release of terrorists and warned that more would join the ranks of the bereaved, and now another graduate of Israeli jails is becoming a leader of Hamas,” Karman said. “It hurts to say, ‘We told you so’ every time, but we thought that there were other ways to get Gilad Shalit back to Israel.” Karman pointed out the heavy price that terror victims pay. “In a number of days, on March 3, it will be 14 years since Tal was murdered along with 17 others. Imagine what it’s like to hold a memorial service and have to coordinate with so many other bereaved families, all going to the gravesite. We need to coordinate among ourselves the memorial service times so that they don’t overlap, it’s a painful reality which, unfortunately, is the lot of many terror victims in the country,” the bereaved father said. (Arutz-7)

TWO PALESTINIANS KILLED IN GAZA TUNNELS: Hamas said on 13 Feb. 2017 that one of its fighters, Ahmad Asaad Shihada al-Barim, 22, from Khan Yunis, was killed when a "resistance tunnel" collapsed. The term "resistance tunnel" generally indicates terrorist tunnels between Gaza and Israel. Separately, the Palestinian Information Center said the same day that Mumin Abu Hamid was killed when Egyptian forces flooded a smuggling tunnel between Gaza and Egypt. (Ma'an News-PA) “He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made.” Ps 7:14-15

‘SECRETARY OF STATE TILLERSON, STOP FUNDING TERROR!’: A new investigation by the Israeli organization "Shurat Hadin", an Israel-based civil rights organization and world leader in combating terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them, has revealed that the grant funds transferred by the American administration to Gaza in the last few years to promote reconstruction were instead diverted to terror activity and to sources that identify with Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The investigation demonstrated that through an organization posing as a Palestinian humanitarian aid agency, millions of dollars were transferred over the last few years to educational and welfare institutions identified with Hamas, which is considered a terror organization by the USA. In the wake of the latest revelations, Shurat Hadin appealed to the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, demanding a cessation of funding to the aid agencies that effectively aid terror organizations by providing funds for Jihadist educational and welfare activities. In 2015 the bogus organization received grants of $28 million USA and in 2016, $24 million USA. Additionally, Shurat Hadin demands that the Secretary of State require the organization to be transparent about its funding activities. (Arutz-7)

ISRAEL QUIETLY WITHDRAWS AMBASSADOR FROM EGYPT ‘OVER SECURITY CONCERNS’: Israel quietly withdrew its ambassador from Egypt several weeks ago, according to Israeli officials. Sources in Egypt said Ambassador David Govrin was pulled out of the country at the end of last year over concerns about his security. The ambassador is currently working from Jerusalem and the Israeli government hopes that he will be able to return to his post soon. It is not clear what the security concerns were but Egypt has been wracked by a series of terror attacks in the last year. The case highlights the difficulties Israel faces in carrying out diplomatic work in Egypt, which along with Jordan is the only Arab country to have diplomatic ties to the Jewish state. Israel and Egypt established diplomatic relations in 1980 after thirty years of war but the relationship is sometimes referred to as “a cold peace”. While the two governments cooperate closely on security issues their citizens rarely visit each other’s countries and anti-Israeli sentiments still run high in Egypt. (UK Telegraph)

LE PEN: ‘IF ELECTED, FRENCH JEWS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RETAIN ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP’: French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, from the far-right Front National party said that if she is elected, people holding dual French and Israeli citizenship would have to give up one of their nationalities. The remark was made during an interview with French media sources last week, where the candidate said that she would not allow French citizens to hold dual citizenship in non-European countries, adding that "Israel is not a European Union country.” Le Pen noted that such a policy would not be about Jews but rather about French Israelis, "to whom I ask to choose their nationality." Former MK Shmuel Plato Sharon, reported that conversations with Jews in France reveal that should Le Pen be elected to the high office, they will leave France. Sharon notes that the Le Pen family has been immersed in French politics for fifty years, and that Marine's father is nothing but a fascist who not only does not like Jews, but "hates Jews". “In contrast to her father,” says Sharon, “the daughter maintains a policy of smiles and announces that she has nothing against Jews, but in reality conducts a policy that emanates from her father's worldview. There are six-hundred-thousand Jews in France, and many of them are well-situated. If she wins I can guarantee that within a year, three-hundred-thousand of them will be here.” (J.Post)

PM TO DEMAND POLLARD BE ALLOWED TO COME TO ISRAEL: Israel’s PM Netanyahu is presently in Washington scheduled for meetings with USA President Donald Trump. Among other issues the two leaders will be addressing, Netanyahu will ask Trump to be more lenient with Jonathan Pollard's parole conditions. Pollard, who is living in New York after serving a heavy 30-year sentence in an American jail, was forbidden to immigrate to Israel. In November 2015 Pollard was released with restrictive conditions for the first five years after his release, including a prohibition on leaving a certain part of New York City, an electronic chip monitoring his whereabouts at all times, nighttime house arrest, continuous monitoring of his computer at work and at home, and a prohibition on contacting the media. (INN) Imprisoned for 30 years for having passed information to Israel about terrorist activity, Pollard's sentence is viewed by many as harsh. He was sentenced to life in prison on one charge of passing classified information to a friendly nation, a crime generally punished with a 2 to 4-year prison term. Pray for the easing of Pollard’s restrictive conditions and that he and his wife may to be able to come to Israel - and to live here if they desire.

WINTER RETURNS TO ISRAEL: Tens of millimeters of precipitation rained down on Israel early Monday morning, 13 Feb, 2017, with rain, hail, and even snowfall in north and center of the country. Parts of northern and central Israel, particularly along the coast, were hit by waves of hail, leaving a carpet of white ice. Snow fell overnight and early Monday morning on Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights. Stormy conditions continued through Tuesday. The rainy weather will persist across the country through Wednesday and Thursday, with continuing snowfall expected in the Hermon and other mountains in northern Israel. (INN) When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses. Jer. 51:16

JOIN US MAY 7 – 17, 2017 FOR THE MILLENNIUM TOUR AND CENTER DEDICATION WITH BARRY & BATYA SEGAL: This spring Israel will be celebrating the year of Jubilee for Jerusalem’s reunification! Join us for this exciting time. In addition to touring, sightseeing and stimulating insights into Israel, we will be dedicating The Millennium Center on May 14, 2017. Explore the beautiful port city of Jaffa, see the breathtaking view from the Mount of Beatitudes, enjoy a boat ride along the Sea of Galilee, take in the Historical fortress of Masada, visit all around Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea, pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and prepare to enjoy so much more. Those joining us from the USA will depart on May 7, arrive in Israel on May 8 and remain until May 17. The package price for flights, hotels, even all tips included will be $3,650 per person sharing a double room. The UK dates will be May 8-16 with the package price per person sharing a double room, plus flights, hotels and all tips will be £2,040. Make your reservations now by clicking on one of the following links depending on your location. USA: http://vfiusa.com/MillenniumUSA.pdf or
UK: http://vfiusa.com/MillenniumUK.pdf

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