JNN Newsletter - May 28, 2017

“So the nations shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth Your glory. For the Lord shall build up Zion; He shall appear in His glory,” Ps. 102: 15-16

GUNMEN KILL AT LEAST 28 COPTIC CHRISTIANS IN CENTRAL EGYPT: Gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians to mass in southern Egypt on Friday 26 May 2017, killing at least 28 people in the latest bloodshed targeting the country’s Christian minority. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but ISIS has both targeted and claimed responsibility for previous deadly attacks against Egypt’s Christians, which comprise about 10% of the population. A journalist said many of the victims appeared to be children. The ambulance authority said 40 people were riding in the bus on their way from the city of Beni Suef just south of Cairo to Minya, about 150 miles south of Egypt’s capital. Much of Egypt’s Christian population is concentrated around the center of the country near Minya and Assiut. Both places have several pilgrimage sites. Last month, twin bomb attacks rocked churches in the Mediterranean port Alexandria and the northern city of Tanta, leaving 44 dead and prompting Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to declare a state of emergency. In December, a bomb hit the main cathedral in Cairo, killing 25 people as part of what is being described as a new strategy by the ISIS to target Christians. Egypt launched six air strikes on jihadist camps in Libya on Friday night, 26 May 2017 following the terrorist attack. Israel strongly condemned the terrorist assault in Egypt, in a statement from PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s office. “There is no difference between the terror of the attack in Egypt and that of attacks in other countries. Terror will be defeated more quickly if all countries work together against it,” said the statement. (Washington Post/Arutz-7) Pray for the injured and grieving Christians in Egypt - and for their desperately needed protection from ISIS-affiliated terror groups.

REPORT: IRAN BUILDS NEW UNDERGROUND BALLISTIC MISSILE FACTORY: Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thurs. 25 May 2017 in a development likely to fuel tension with Arab neighbors and Washington. "Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards. We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully," Fars quoted the head of the Republican Guard’s airspace division, Amirali Hajizadeh, as saying. Since taking office in Jan. 2017, USA President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to Tehran's recent missile launches, putting Tehran "on notice." Iran's Sunni Gulf neighbors and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns over Tehran's ballistic missile program, seeing it as a threat to regional security. "It is natural that our enemies America and the Zionist regime [Israel] are angry with our missile program because they want Iran to be in a weak position," Hajizadeh said. In retaliation for the new USA sanctions, Iran had added nine American individuals and companies to its own list of 15 USA companies for alleged human rights violations and cooperation with Israel. (J. Post) Pray that the threat of increasing sanctions and military reprisal from Israel and other Western nations will come upon the Islamic Republic for its illegal and defiant missile programs and nuclear ambitions. Pray Western nations and allies will be unified with effective solutions to prevent Iran from moving ahead with its regionally, and globally, endangering programs.

USA PLANNING TO BOOST SANCTIONS ON IRAN: The USA Treasury is reviewing licenses for Boeing Co and Airbus to sell aircraft to Iran and will increase sanctions pressure on Iran, Syria and North Korea, department head Steven Mnuchin said on Wed. 24 May 2017. "We will use everything within our power to put additional sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea to protect American lives." Mnuchin told a Ways and Means Committee hearing that sanctions "really work" and were responsible for bringing Iran to the negotiating table ahead of the nuclear deal. The Trump administration recently imposed new sanctions on 25 individuals and companies connected to Iran's ballistic missile program and those providing support to the Revolutionary Guard Corps' Qods Force. The sanctions came in response to a ballistic missile test conducted by Iran, in violation of UN Resolution 2231, which bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and which went into effect after the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers was signed. Iran has responded angrily to the sanctions, with the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah AliKhamenei, dismissing calls from the Trump administration to cease the country’s ballistic missile tests. Iranian President Hassan Rouahni, who was just reelected for a second term in office, stressed this week that the Islamic Republic would continue its missile tests and does not require permission from anybody to do so. (INN)

‘WE WILL NOT DIVIDE THE LAND WITH OUR ENEMIES': Speaking at a traditional Jerusalem Day celebration, Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded Wed. night 24 May 2017, to a report that the USA is demanding that Israel transfer parts of northern Samaria from Area C, under Israeli rule to Area B, part of the Palestinian Authority where Israel is only in charge of security. According to the report by Israel’s Channel 10, PM Netanyahu also opposes the move, which would effectively cede control over the affected areas from Israel to the PA. Bennett said that: "the era in which we treat the Land of Israel as a mere piece of real estate - that era is over. We will not take a saw and slice off parts of our land to give to our enemies. That era is over. I come now from the march of flags to the Western Wall. The organizers and the police said that it was the largest march for Jerusalem Day ever, and the most people who have been at the Western Wall since 1967. He said that when speaking about 'united Jerusalem,' "the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the entire Old City, the City of David, Ma'aleh Hazeitim, The Mount of Olives, and Nof Zion" should also be remembered. "All of Jerusalem that will remain united under Israeli sovereignty and only under the sovereignty of Israel forever." (Arutz-7) Bravo and amen! Nations whose leaders have sought to divide the land and the people of Israel will clearly face God’s judgment. “In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land,” Joel 3:1-3

JERUSALEM’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF REUNIFICATION: SHOW YOUR LOVE WITH A GENEROUS FINANCIAL GIFT: As Israel winds up its Jerusalem Day celebrations this week, it is still a perfect occasion to shower financial blessings on the poor of Israel’s capital. Jerusalem is a blessing to the world - yet there remain vast needs among the elderly, the Holocaust survivors, children at risk, terror attack victims and needy families. Vision for Israel continues in its decades-long endeavors to aid and comfort these very people in Jerusalem and further afield. Please make this a time of added blessing to the people of Israel. Give generously today at: www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk. Your donations are deeply appreciated. “Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings,” Rom. 15:26-27

CZECH PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST UNESCO OVER ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS: The Czech Chamber of Deputies called on the nation’s government on Tues. 23 May 2017, to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to stop paying membership fees to UNESCO until the organization stops its anti-Israel bias. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, the lower chamber of the Czech Republic’s bicameral parliament passed two pro-Israel resolutions, both critical of the United Nations’ cultural and scientific agency. In an unusual step, the country’s president also sent greetings to an event hosted by the Israeli embassy in honor of Jerusalem Day. “The Chamber of Deputies calls on the government of the Czech Republic to stop all payments of membership fees to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from the state budget this year,” the nonbinding resolution read. The Czech lawmakers further resolved to urge the government to freeze payments to UNESCO in future years if it does not cease allowing itself to be politicized for an anti-Israel agenda. Israel’s ambassador to the Paris-based agency, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, welcomed the resolution. “Another blessed decision and another sane voice against the stream of delusional resolutions on the matter of Jerusalem,” he said. “This is indeed a nice present from Prague to the people of Israel on Jerusalem Day.” (Times of Israel)

STUDY: JERUSALEM RESERVOIRS USED BY PILGRIMS 2,000 YEARS AGO: The gigantic ancient pools in the Old City of Jerusalem serviced Jews making pilgrimages to the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago, according to a new research paper to be published soon. Jerusalem contains a large number of such pools. Next to the Temple Mount is a massive cistern named the Pool of Israel, which is over 360 feet long, 111 feet wide and over 78 feet deep. Between the houses of the Christian Quarter lies the Pool of Hezekiah. Jerusalem residents are familiar with the Sultan's Pool, which was converted into an open-air venue for public performances. There are also two pools located on the Church of St. Anne's property, another deep pool known from Western Wall tours, and the Shiloah Pool that was discovered under the City of David. "While residents of Jerusalem had private wells under their homes and the ruling authorities had aqueducts, another solution was needed for the masses of pilgrims. The visitors used water for drinking, cooking and other day-to-day tasks. Two of the pools were also used for ritual cleansing," said Hebrew University archaeologist, Dr. David Gurevich. These large complexes are the elephant in the room that researchers have ignored. Even though some of the pools were excavated and researchers suggested the use of individual pools, they ignored the larger picture. The question was never asked, 'What are these facilities doing specifically here?' It turns out there has never been another city on the Mediterranean coast with such a large amount of these pools of water." (Israel Hayom)

ISRAEL – 70 YEARS CELEBRATION TOUR: After a very fun and successful tour this month of May in Israel, we are already announcing next year's "Israel - 70 Years Celebration" tour for 2018. The date of arrival and beginning of the tour in Israel will be April 15 and the departure date or end of tour will be on April 23. This is a one time opportunity to celebrate with the Israeli nation 'for such a time as this' during Independence Day. 'For more information as it develops, go to www.visionforisrael.com or make sure you are receiving theJNN news and prayer updates. We also have a new VFI Facebook page at: VFI - Vision for Israel

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