Israel Military On High Alert Amid Iran Threats

“Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers; protect me from the violent who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.” Ps. 40:1-2

ISRAELI MILITARY ON HIGH ALERT AMID IRAN THREATS: Israel’s military was put on high alert amid heightened tensions along the northern border and with Iran threatening to avenge an airstrike on a Syrian air base believed to have killed 14 people, including 7 Iranian military personnel. Russia, Syria and Iran have all said Israel carried out the Monday 9 April 2018 missile barrage on the T-4 Air Base near Palmyra in central Syria. American sources also confirmed that Israel had conducted the strike and that they were notified of it in advance. Israeli officials refused to comment on the strike. Following the assault a top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened Israel: “The crimes will not remain unanswered,” Ali Akbar Velayati said during a visit to Syria. Iran’s Foreign Ministry also accused Israel of “flagrant” aggression in Syria following the attack. Israeli officials did not appear to be taking the threat of a retaliatory attack lightly — either by Iran, or its proxy, the Hezbollah terrorist group. On Tues.10 April 2018, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman appeared to allude to the strike, saying, “Accepting Iranian entrenchment in Syria would be to accept Iranians putting a chokehold on us. We cannot allow that”. (Times of Israel) The critical and growing possibility of war against Israel - being unleashed from the northern borders - is such that we continue to call on intercessors to pray that the nations who delight in war will be scattered. Ps. 68:30. Israel is bordered in the north by Syria and Lebanon, where some of Israel’s most vicious foes - including Iran and Hezbollah – are aligning, seeking to increase their military footholds, and have long-established goals to destroy the Jewish state.

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EGYPT, SAUDI ARABIA URGE HAMAS TO END ‘GREAT MARCH OF RETURN’ PROTESTS: Both Saudi Arabia and Egypt have called on terrorist organization Hamas to end the annual weekly protests it is holding for the "Great March of Return," according to an Egyptian source. An Egyptian Foreign Ministry official was quoted as saying that, in exchange for halting the protests, Egypt would ensure that the Rafah border crossing, which Egypt controls, would be regularly opened. The source said that the agreement had come under the direction of the Saudis. "The situation in Gaza is nearing an explosion towards anyone blockading the Strip," the source said, "and therefore there is a fear that Palestinian anger will turn toward Egypt in the coming weeks." Last Friday's protests marked the second week of the "Great March of Return" in Gaza. Crowds of approximately 20,000 turned out to protest on the border between Gaza and Israel. Ten Gazans were killed in the clashes, while estimates of the number of protesters injured vary. The protests are expected to continue each Friday for the next several weeks. (J.Post)

HAMAS TRAINING FIGHTERS TO KIDNAP IDF SOLDIERS: The IDF is busily preparing for further Hamas-organized disturbances on the border in coming weeks, including this Friday 13 April 2018. The past two Fridays have seen violent encounters on the border between Israeli troops and Palestinian rioters. Many of the several dozen rioters killed in recent weeks were members of terrorist organizations. Based on social media monitoring, the IDF believes the main focus of rioters this Friday 13 April 2018 will be to hurl Molotov cocktails into Israeli territory. This has raised the concern that wheat fields on the Israeli side of the border fence could be set ablaze. To prevent this, the IDF plans to use force to keep rioters out of throwing range of the border fence. (Walla)

ARABS ON SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT ISRAEL AGAINST GAZA BORDER RIOTS: Hamas knew that by sending tens of thousands of Palestinians to violently attempt to breach the Gaza security fence it would score mainstream media points against Israel, which had no choice but to defend its border with deadly force. But, while much of the Western press is apparently too thick read between the lines (or, too eager to bash Israel), many in the Arab world have put the blame precisely where it belongs, at Hamas' feet. Hamas' cynical exploitation of Palestinian civilians plays well in the Western media, but has long been reviled in the Arab world, even among those who hold little sympathy for Israel. The Israel Foreign Ministry reported that its Arabic-language social media accounts had received a surprisingly high number of messages of support following clashes between Israeli forces and the Hamas-led mobs in Gaza last Friday 6 April 2018.

From Saudi Arabia to Iraq to Jordan, many Arabs said they backed Israel in this present conflagration, while slamming Hamas for putting civilians in harm's way. One commenter posted: "My heart is with my Jewish cousins. There is no escaping the fact that Hamas' Palestinian terrorism will inevitably end." Another from Iraq urged his "Palestinian brothers to not be dragged by Hamas' terror plots, which will only harm the Palestinians." At least one Arab social media user from Jordan criticized Hamas for burning thousands of tires and creating devastating air pollution for the children of Gaza. A commenter from Saudi Arabia echoed Israel's own explanations for why peace with the Palestinians has yet to be achieved: "The war on terrorism begins with the removal of it from a conceptual point of view. There is no doubt that the Hamas terror organization is blocking any option for peace and is working to spread hatred and violence. Israel has internationally recognized sovereignty." The Palestinians are losing the support of the wider Arab world as they continue to engage in pointless and destructive confrontations with Israel. (Israel Today)

ISRAEL: UN IGNORES CHEMICAL ATTACK ON CIVILIANS IN SYRIA: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told media sources this week, "I operate out of the assumption that ultimately Israel will have to deal alone, both with the threat in the North and with the threat in the South. The USA is Israel's main strategic ally, but it has its own considerations and we live here in the Middle East." Speaking after scores of civilians were killed in a chemical attack in Syria on 7 April 2018, he noted that the UN had not condemned these deaths. "I have not heard the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speak of it. Last weekend hundreds were also killed in Yemen, but that doesn't interest anyone, while when Israel kills Palestinians in self-defense there is an immediate outcry.” (J. Post) “Arise, O Lord, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.” Ps. 9:19

RUSSIA VETOES UN RESOLUTION ON SYRIA CHEMICAL ATTACK: Russia on Tues. 10 April vetoed a USA drafted UN resolution that would have condemned last weekend's suspected gas attack near Damascus and established a new body to determine responsibility for Syrian chemical weapons attacks. The vote Tuesday afternoon in the 15-member Security Council was 12 in favor, Bolivia joining Russia in voting "no," and China abstaining. USA Ambassador Nikki Haley said the United States "went the extra mile" to get Russian support for the resolution to ensure that a new investigative body would be impartial, independent and professional — things she said would not be guaranteed by a rival Russian resolution.” Russia's UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the United States of wanting the resolution to fail "to justify the use of force against Syria." (Politico)

ISRAELI LABOR PARTY BREAKS OFF RELATIONS WITH BRITAIN’S CORBYN: Israel‘s Labor party said on 10 April 2018 it had suspended relations with British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of sanctioning anti-Semitism and showing hatred towards Israeli policies. “It is my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour party UK,” Israeli Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay wrote in a letter to Corbyn, distributed to the media. Corbyn, the British opposition leader who unexpectedly became party head in 2015, is a supporter of Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel. He has repeatedly faced accusations of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic comments in the party and among groups he supports. As Israel approaches Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day this week, we are reminded of the horrors of anti-Semitism in Europe and our commitment to combating anti-Semitism of all forms and in all places,” Gabbay’s letter said. As such, I write to inform you of the temporary suspension of all formal relations between the Israel Labor party and the leader of the Labor Party UK.” Gabbay said Corbyn had shown “very public hatred” towards Israeli government policies including those where the opposition and the ruling coalition are aligned. (Algemeiner)

ISRAEL TO OFFSET FIVE-YEAR DROUGHT WITH TWO NEW DESALINATION PLANTS: Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Water announced this week that two new desalination plants will be built to offset the deficits of an extended five-year drought that has left Israel’s sensitive water sources at their lowest levels in nearly a hundred years. Currently Israel has five active desalination plants, built over the last 13 years, to extract water suitable for drinking from the Mediterranean Sea, and distribute the desalinated water through Israel’s national water carrier. Each facility is expected to cost approximately $400 million. The plan will include the expansion of pipelines for use in agriculture, and is intended to help Israel to rehabilitate dried-up rivers. The plans may include pumping fresh water into Israel’s primary source for drinking water, the Kinneret—also known as the Sea of Galilee—which has continued to suffer receding levels. The Kinneret is also the primary feeder of Israel’s Jordan River, which runs south to the Dead Sea and is another body of water suffering severe ecological damage due to receding water levels. (Jewish News Syndicate) Intercede that Israel’s drought solutions and technology will help alleviate worsening water deficiencies in the Jewish state. Please pray throughout the hot dry months in Israel that the Lord will prepare the skies for abundant precipitation during next year’s rainy season and in the coming years.

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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