JNN Newsletter - November 22, 2017

“Be glad, people of Zion. Rejoice in the Lord your God, 
for He has given you the autumn rains because He is faithful. 
He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.” Joel 2:23


ISRAEL TO SEE RAINFALL, POSSIBLE FLOODING, THROUGHOUT THE WEEK: Providing hope for the Kinneret's (Sea of Galilee) seriously decreasing water level, Israel's weather forecast for this week includes both rainfall and possible flooding. Monday's 20 Nov. 2017, weather was cloudy, with a slight drop in temperatures. Local rains were expected along the coast and in Israel's north. On Monday evening heavier rains fell in Israel's north and center, accompanied by isolated thunderstorms. Tuesday was expected to see intermittent rainfall in Israel's north and center, as well as isolated thunderstorms with a chance of flooding along the coast, as well as in the Jordan Valley, the Judean Desert, and the Dead Sea. Temperatures will drop throughout the week and conditions will be cloudy, with a chance of light local rainfall from Israel's north to the northern Negev. Temperatures will remain lower than seasonal average. Thursday will be cloudy, with a chance of light local rains. (Arutz-7) Please intercede for a much needed abundant rainy season in Israel but with limited damage to homes, property and agriculture.

ISRAELI MINISTER REVEALS COVERT CONTACTS WITH SAUDI ARABIA: An Israeli cabinet minister said on 19 Nov. 2017 that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior Israeli official of such contacts. In an interview on Army Radio, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz was asked why Israel was hiding its ties with Saudi Arabia. Steinitz replied: "We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually we are the party that is not ashamed. It's the other side that is interested in keeping the ties quiet. With us there is no problem, but we respect the other side's wish, when ties are developing, whether it's with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries, and there is much more ... but we keep it secret." (J.Post)

SAUDI ARABIA VOWS TO TAKE ON IRAN AMID WARNINGS REGION IN A ‘DANGEROUS ABYSS’: Arabia has warned it will not hesitate to defend itself against Iran amid warnings the region is being pushed into a “dangerous abyss”. Fears of World War 3 have increased in recent weeks amid spiraling fallout between the Saudi monarchy and Tehran. It came following the surprise resignation of Lebanese PM Saad al-Hariri, a close ally of Riyadh. At an emergency meeting in Cairo this week, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir stepped up his rhetoric against the Islamic regime. Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers criticized Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah at the emergency meeting warning they would not stand by in the face of Iranian interference in Arab affairs. Hariri resigned on 4 Nov. 2017 accusing Iran and Hezbollah of spreading chaos in the region. Saudi Arabia also accuses Hezbollah of a role in the launch of a missile towards Riyadh from Yemen this month. This week’s emergency Arab foreign ministers' meeting was called at the request of Saudi Arabia with support from the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait to discuss ways of confronting Iran. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit told ministers that Arab nations would raise the matter with international organizations, including the UN Security Council. He said: ”Iranian threats have gone beyond all limits and pushed the region into a dangerous abyss.” (Drudge)

ARAB LEAGUE: HEZBOLLAH IS A TERROR GROUP: Arab foreign ministers on 19 Nov. 2017 described the Lebanese Hezbollah organization as a "terrorist organization" and announced their intention to turn to the UN Security Council to discuss Iran's intervention in the region. Speaking at a press conference in Cairo following a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that there was a consensus among Arab states against Iranian policy in the region. "We are not declaring war on Iran at this stage and we are taking gradual steps," stressed Aboul Gheit. "I hope that the message will reach Iran and that it will change its behavior in the region." He accused Iran of being responsible for the firing of missiles from Yemen towards Saudi cities in an attempt to harm Saudi Arabia's national security, of interfering in the internal affairs of Arab countries and of spreading destruction and hatred. Sunday’s meeting of the Arab League was held at the request of Saudi Arabia, amid growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, its regional rival. The tensions increased after Lebanese PM Hariri announced his resignation citing the influence of Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah as one of the reasons for his decision. (Arutz-7)

IDF FIRES AT SYRIAN ARMY POSITION IN GOLAN: Israeli tank units in the Golan Heights fired a warning shot at a Syrian army position inside a no-man’s land along the Israeli-Syrian frontier Sunday evening 19 Nov. 2017. The Syrian position was illegally occupied inside the slender buffer zone which separates the Israeli and Syrian-held portions of the Golan Heights. The buffer zone was created as part of the cease-fire agreement which ended the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In 1974, the two powers signed the Agreement on Disengagement between Israel and Syria, creating a narrow slice of neutral territory where both sides were prohibited to station military forces. A United Nations force, the UN Disengagement Observer Force, was charged with monitoring the buffer zone. Following the illegal establishment of the Syrian foothold in the buffer zone, an IDF tank unit in the Golan fired at the Syrian position to deter further provocations by the Syrian government. It is unclear if any damage or casualties resulted from the IDF tank fire. “In the last few hours,” an IDF spokesperson said, “the Syrian Armed Forces violated the 1974 ceasefire by strengthening a military post in the demilitarized zone between Syria & Israel. In response, an IDF tank fired a warning shot towards the area.” (INN) Continue to intercede that the escalating gathering of hostile forces, including Iran and Hezbollah in Syria - endangering Israel – will be contained and controlled. “Scatter the nations who delight in war.” Ps.68:30

IRAN COMPLETING ITS LAND BRIDGE TO ISRAELI BORDER: Regime forces in eastern Syria are 2 km. from the strategic border town of Abu Kamal - the last link in the Iranian "land bridge" from the Iraq-Iran border to the Mediterranean Sea and the border with Israel - while the USA-supported, mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) remain 25 km. north of the town. Control of the border crossing at al-Qaim/Abu Kamal and of the roads leading west from it will enable the Iran-led alliance to transport fighters and weaponry in both directions. This means that in a future confrontation with Hezbollah, Israel could see its enemies reinforced by supplies and volunteers from other Iranian clients. Tehran is presently pressing forward. As the Iranians continue to solidify and extend their gains in Syria, the likelihood will grow of direct friction with Israel's enforcement of redlines. (J.Post)

USA THREATENS TO CLOSE PALESTINIAN OFFICE IN WASHINGTON: The Trump administration put the Palestine Liberation Organization on notice over the weekend that it will close the group's office in Washington if the Palestinians don't get serious about peace talks with Israel, State Department officials said. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has determined the Palestinians violated a USA law that calls for the closure of the PLO mission if they act against Israel in the International Criminal Court. In a speech to the UN General Assembly in Sept. 2017 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ran afoul of the law when he called on the ICC to investigate and prosecute Israel for war crimes against the Palestinians. The 2015 law requires shuttering the PLO mission if the Palestinians seek to "influence a determination by the ICC to initiate a judicially authorized investigation, or to actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians." (CNN)

DISABLED ISRAELIS THREATEN TO ‘SHUT DOWN’ COUNTRY IF DEAL WITH GOVERNMENT ISN’T IMPLEMENTED: Nearly two months after signing a deal with the government to improve their living conditions, disabled Israelis warned on Sunday 19 Nov. 2017 they will "shut down the country" unless the legislation is begun by the end of Nov. 2017. "Coalition Chairmen David Bitan promised that the law will be passed by the end of November in order for it to be presented to the committee and the Knesset assembly," read a statement by representatives of the disabled community. "Not only has a memo not been issued yet, nobody seems to know where the matter stands. We will resume our protest at full power," the statement continued. "All the thousands of headquarters members, NGOs and organizations which support our cause will stand beside us. This time we will completely shut down the country." (Koenig) Pray for Israel’s government: “Defend the weak… uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy.” Ps 82:3-4

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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