JNN Newsletter - November 15, 2017

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? 
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps 27:1


IRAN-IRAQ EARTHQUAKE: DEATH TOLL RISES TO 405: Hundreds of people have been killed and over 7000 injured in Iran and Iraq after a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the border region between the two countries, sending tremors that were felt hundreds of miles away in both capitals, Tehran and Baghdad. At least 405 people have died - mainly in Iran - according to a toll published on Tues morning 14 Nov. 2017, by the semi-official Isna news agency. The powerful quake struck the country’s western provinces at 9.20pm local time on Sunday. Rescuers worked through the night to find people trapped in collapsed buildings in towns affected by the quake, which was felt as far west as Israel and south to Baghdad. The deputy governor of the Iranian border province of Kermanshah told state television that the death toll would rise. Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz offered his sympathy to the countries. “My condolences to the people of Iran and Iraq over the loss of human life caused by the earthquake,” said Katz. (UK Guardian/Times of Israel)

REPORT: IRAN BUILDING MILITARY BASES IN SYRIA: Iran is building a new military facility in Syria, located just south of Damascus. The base is one of many Tehran is believed to oversee in the country and, according to analysts, illustrates the Islamic Republic’s goal of establishing a permanent presence in Syria. Tehran has long supported the regime of President Bashar al-Assad through its Lebanese proxy Hizbullah. Iran also has its own “boots on the ground,” primarily members of the elite Quds Force, the branch of the Revolutionary Guard Corps that coordinates external military operations. The news is raising further concern in Israel, which has vowed to prevent Iran from maintaining a foothold in Syria after the war there. To this end, Jerusalem has regularly conducted air strikes in Syria and Lebanon targeting weapons manufacturing sites as well as arms convoys destined for Hizbullah.

Recently, however, the Syrian regime, emboldened by gains on the battlefield, has taken a firmer line against such action, having over the past month targeted Israeli warplanes and deliberately launched rockets into the Israeli side of the Golan Heights. On 11 Nov. 2017, Israel’s USA-made Patriot defense system intercepted an incoming unmanned aerial vehicle that was purportedly gathering intelligence for the Syrian regime; this, as forces loyal to Assad waged a major offensive in Quneitra province aimed at removing rebels from the border area. Jerusalem has sought a commitment from Russia, which holds the cards in Syria following its military intervention on behalf of the regime in 2015, to create a60 kilometer buffer along the frontier in which Iranian-backed forces would be barred from operating. President Vladimir Putin is believed to have countered with an offer of a no-go zone spanning just 10-15 km. (Medialine) The highly volatile situation on Israel’s northern borders is in constant need of intercession. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Jas 5:16

WOMAN INJURED IN STONE-THROWING ATTACK NEAR BEITAR ILLIT: At least one person was injured and multiple cars damaged Sunday night 12 Nov. 2017, in a series of stone-throwing attacks by Palestinian Authority residents on Israeli vehicles outside Beitar Illit south of Jerusalem. A general increase in the number of rock attacks in Israel has been reported with the number reaching at least 25 such murder attempts per day. Rocks hurled at a moving vehicles are murderous weapons, especially on highways, as the deaths of little Adele Bitton, teenager Amitai Kapach and Asher Palmer and his one-year-old son Yonatan prove. All these, and others, were killed because their vehicles went out of control due to a murderous barrage of rocks or a large rock hurled at them while driving. In an attack reported last week, Arabs threw stones at a bus near the town of Tekoa. There were no casualties but the vehicle was damaged. Besides this, three other attempted murders took place within the space of an hour in Judea and Samaria, including two stone-throwing attacks near the Tapuach junction and another stone-throwing attack in Gush Etzion, near Al Aruv. All attempts miraculously left no Jewish casualties, but damage was caused to a number of vehicles. (Arutz-7) Please intercede against terrorist rock throwing attacks which are potentially fatal to Israeli drivers and their passengers. Pray that those who are involved in such assaults will be identified and brought to justice.

WE NEED AND APPRECIATE YOUR FINANCIAL HELP: Vision for Israel continues to impart comfort and provision for many of the nation’s poor, including terrorist victims and their families, the elderly and Holocaust survivors, children at risk and entire households suffering from poverty. Please give generously at www.visionforisrael.com. For residents in the UK and outside N. America visit our website at www.josephstorehouse.co.uk. Thank you for your donations.

MK: GOVERNMENT EVADING COMMITMENT TO DISABLED: Chairman Yoel Hasson of the Zionist Union Knesset faction said on Sunday 12 Nov. 2017, "The government continues to evade its obligations to the disabled and continues to abandon the disabled to hunger.” He was responding to the decision of the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to postpone a Zionist Union bill to raise the allowances for the disabled by a month. Hasson added, "It is unthinkable that the government would reject the bill, which includes the full outline agreed upon by both the government and representatives of the disabled. PM Binyamin Netanyahu and Coalition Chairman David Bitan promised that the disabled would see the increase in their bank accounts as early as 1 January 2018. The Zionist Union faction will approach the Knesset House Committee to grant the bill an exemption from introduction requirements." (Arutz-7) Intercede for the disabled people of the nation, who are among the most poverty stricken of Israel’s society. Many have fought so hard this year to have their monthly allowances increased to enable the purchase of the most basic necessities of life. Now, after having seemingly won their hard battle, the government wants to postpone the promised increase. Pray that news of this intended delay will quickly go public across Israel’s media outlets, meet with a national outcry and be prevented.

ANCIENT HEBREW MANUSCRIPTS TO GO ONLINE IN ISRAEL-RUSSIAN DEAL: One of the most treasured collections of ancient Hebrew manuscripts and books will be digitized and available for public view online under an agreement by the state libraries of Russia and Israel announced last week. The digitization shelves a century-old ownership dispute. The 14,000-item Guenzburg collection of medieval books, rare works of Jewish ritual law and mysticism, prayer books and biblical commentaries was purchased by Zionist activists in 1917 for shipment to Jerusalem. But that was delayed by fighting during World War I and the collection was ultimately seized by Soviet authorities after the Russian Revolution. Thousands of new high-quality images of the ancient Hebrew texts will be integrated into the National Library of Israel's online Ktiv manuscript site. (Reuters)

NUMBER OF TURKISH JEWS IMMIGRATING TO ISRAEL MORE THAN DOUBLES: Bucking a slump in Western immigration to Israel under its law of return for Jews, movement from Russia has increased in 2017 and more than doubled from Turkey. In total, the 23,415 immigrants who have come to Israel from 1 Jan. 2017 to 30 Sept. 2017 constituted a 2% increase over the corresponding period last year, an interim report by the Jewish Agency for Israel showed. The 8% rise in immigration from the former Soviet Union, representing 13,192 individuals, helped make up for an 11% decrease from the United States, which brought 2,282 immigrants to Israel. Among the FSU figures, 5,661 immigrants came from Russia, where sanctions and a financial crisis exacerbated by low oil prices have halved the value of the ruble against the dollar since 2014. Ukraine, where the economy crashed following a revolution and territorial disputes with Russia after 2013, provided Israel with nearly 6,000 newcomers. Another noticeable increase came from Turkey, where many Jews are exploring immigration options amid political instability and allegations of state-tolerated anti-Semitism under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Islamist Justice and Development Party. This year, more than 350 Turkish Jews came, compared to 164 in the corresponding period last year. (INN) “For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.” Ezek. 36:24

FIRST PINEAPPLE FARM OPENS IN GAZA: Pineapples are being harvested in the Gaza Strip for the first time as part of efforts to help the impoverished territory work towards food self-sufficiency. The fruit, for domestic sale, is grown in a 1,000 square meter greenhouse in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis as part of a project sponsored by the Dutch government. Mussa al-Jadba, an agricultural engineer who supervised the project, said they had cultivated pineapples "for the first time in the temperate Gaza Strip after we have created the environment and climate for their growth." Two hundred and fifty plants have so far reached maturity with up to 4,000 expected to bear fruit throughout this harvest. The goal is to develop new crops to help Gazan farmers achieve self sufficiency, Jadba added. The Strip has been ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization since 2007. Hamas has diverted funds and aid meant for civilian infrastructure to its military wing, including the construction of terror tunnels into Israel. The Palestinian Authority has accused Hamas of preventing the construction of a desalination plant which would provide clean water for Gaza's residents. (Arutz-7)

ISRAELIS LIVE 10 YEARS LONGER THAN IN 1970: Thanks to a more healthful lifestyle, better economic situation, improved education and a more advanced medical system, the Israeli life expectancy has increased by 10.3 years since 1970 – from 71.8 years to 82.1 years in 2015. This has just been made public in “Health at a Glance 2017,” a comparative report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which Israel joined in 2010. It also pays to get a higher education in Israel: Men with bachelor’s degrees lived an average of 7.5 years longer than men with much less formal education, while the gap between better-educated and less-educated women was five years. According to the report, if the rates of smoking and drinking alcohol were 50% lower, life expectancy would have increased by 13 more months. (J.Post)

VFI HAS MOVED TO A NEW ADDRESS ON FACEBOOK!: Please follow our new page: 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