Close To 300 Dead, Hundreds Wounded, In Sri Lanka Explosions

Apr 22, 2019

“Weep with those who weep.”  Rom. 12:15

CLOSE TO 300 DEAD - HUNDREDS WOUNDED - IN SRI LANKA EXPLOSIONS: Close to 300 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in explosions at 3 hotels and 3 churches in Sri Lanka. The 3 hotels hit in the capital Colombo, were the Shangri-La, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand. The 3 churches hit by blasts were St Anthony’s Church in the capital, St Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, and local media has also reported a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province was hit. The six explosions took place as the Christian world celebrated Easter on Sunday 21 April 2019, and happened almost simultaneously. Sri Lanka’s defense minister announced that seven suspects had been arrested. Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the explosions, but local reports have claimed that ISIS is behind the attacks. One of the Sri Lanka terrorist bombers checked into a five-star hotel, waited in a queue for a breakfast buffet and then blew himself up. A manager at the Cinnamon Grand hotel in Colombo said the attacker had set off the horrific explosion in a packed restaurant at 8.30 am. A suicide bomber then struck when police raided a house in a northern suburb of the capital, killing at least three officers, an official told reporters.

Other blasts were reported at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa. The explosion ripped off the roof and knocked out doors and windows at St. Sebastian’s, where people carried the wounded away from blood-stained pews. Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu offered assistance to Sri Lanka immediately following the attacks and called for the world to unite against terrorism. “In the name of the citizens of Israel, it expresses deep shock at the murderous attacks against innocent civilians in Sri Lanka, and Israel is ready to assist the authorities in Sri Lanka at this difficult time. The entire world must unite in the battle against the scourge of terrorism.” The city hall in Tel Aviv lit up with the Sri Lanka flag on Sunday night 21 April 2019, in a display of solidarity with the Asian country after the horrific terror attacks. “Tonight the #TelAviv Municipality Hall lit in the colors of the Sri Lankan #flag. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of #SriLanka and all those affected by the terrible terror attack,” tweeted the municipality. (Arutz-7/J. Post/NY Post) Pray for Sri Lanka at this tragic time.  Intercede for the wounded to be quickly and miraculously healed and for the comfort of all who have lost loved ones in these heartless attacks.

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF JEWS TO VISIT HEBRON ON CHOL HAMOED PESACH: Tens of thousands of Jews are expected to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron during Chol Hamoed Pesach. [Chol Hamoed consists of the second through sixth days of the Passover holiday.] On Monday and Tuesday 22-23 April 2019, the entire cave will be open to Jews who will be guarded by Border Police, policemen, and IDF soldiers. About 25,000 people are expected to take part in a wide variety of tours of the holy sites, the Jewish neighborhoods, prayer gatherings and tours of the Tomb of the Patriarchs. During Chol Hamoed Pesach, the Tomb will be open from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Arutz-7) Please intercede throughout the week that this meaningful and happy time will not be marred by terrorist attacks or Islamic violence against Israel.

PASSOVER 2019: PLEASE HELP VISION FOR ISRAEL TO MAKE THIS A JOYFUL CELEBRATION FOR THOSE IN NEED: Passover, a seven-day commemoration of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, began this year in Israel at sunset on Friday19 April, and ends at nightfall on Friday 26 April. Families and friends across the country are gathering in homes, halls, and hotels to celebrate the annual Seder meal and week-long festivities. Together the nation is remembering in song and story the biblical deliverance, under the leadership of Moses, from the slave pits of Egypt, the ten plagues preceding it, and escapes from death because of the blood of the Passover lamb.  Every year, thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, Vision for Israel is able to help hundreds of families by providing gift cards for purchasing holiday food, so they can celebrate with dignity. This year, our team has given gift cards to terror victims, Holocaust survivors, and needy families in our communities. Throughout the holiday we hope with the help of our partners to reach 1,000 families, with a gift of approximately $150 per family. Please help us to attain this goal. Your donations are vital and appreciated at www.visionforisrael.com.

Follow our link on Facebook to learn more about what VFI is accomplishing in a fundraising drive for Passover: https://www.facebook.com/donate/697535270660682/

BORN IN THE GOLAN? USA PASSPORT WILL NOW SAY ISRAEL: The State Department updated its manual to reflect President Donald Trump’s proclamation on the Golan Heights, and it now states that “USA policy recognizes the Golan Heights as part of Israel. The POB for applicants born in the Golan Heights is Israel.” The previous version of the manual recognized the Golan as “Syrian territory.” Jason Greenblatt, Special Representative for International Negotiations, last week tweeted a picture of the updated map, with the Golan as a part of Israel. A group of ten Republican Senators sent a letter to the President on Wed. 17 April 2019, urging the administration to take necessary steps to fully implement the proclamation, such as directing the State Department to treat the Golan Heights as the State of Israel’s sovereign territory to issue passports to Americans born there. Meanwhile, Syria failed to secure a majority within the UN Security Council to condemn Trump’s proclamation, said Israeli officials. According to the officials, the Syrian delegation tried – with no success – to pass a resolution that would criticize the move right after the formal announcement. Israeli Ambassador, Danny Danon said that he is satisfied with the latest development: “This is an important moment of clarity for the Security Council and the UN. Too often, the representatives don’t realize the consequences of these resolutions, but they came to see that giving the Golan to anyone but Israel would lead to increased violence and chaos in the region.” (J.Post)

IVANKA TRUMP CONCERNED ABOUT RISING ANTI-SEMITISM: Ivanka Trump said that she is concerned about a “rise in anti-Semitism.” Trump, the Jewish daughter of President Donald Trump, also said during her visit to Africa that there now is “less support for Israel than Israel has traditionally experienced.” Trump converted to Judaism before her marriage to Jared Kushner in 2009. Both Trump and Kushner currently serve as White House senior advisers. Asked if she agreed with the president’s statements that the Democratic Party has become “anti-Jewish,” she replied that “I never make categorical statements, but certainly there are some who have said things that are not supportive of the State of Israel.” She acknowledged that her work at the White House takes a “tremendous toll” on her family life and her three young children. (Arutz-7)

UNIVERSITIES ARE FAILING TO PROTECT JEWISH STUDENTS: Israel Apartheid Week now takes place on 37 campuses around the USA, with protests, rallies, film screenings, lectures, and actions designed to promote BDS and the idea that Israel is a colonialist apartheid regime. It is increasingly funded by the schools themselves. This year, Harvard provided the Palestinian Solidarity Committee with $2,050 to host Israel Apartheid Week. IAW is not calculated to foster dialogue; it is designed as an expression of rage for the Palestinian cause and an attempt to enrage others into action. The Israeli government is out of the reach of these student activists, but Jewish students make a convenient target. As a result, we are now watching as students who are members of a group of historically oppressed minority people - who were the primary targets of the largest genocide of the 20th century - are harassed across American universities. Israel Apartheid Week is sponsored intimidation. It isn't about learning or debating; it's entirely about attacking and harassing Jews because of their Jewishness. (Tablet) Israel Apartheid week and the promotion of BDS across American campuses creates vast prejudices against Israel and the Jewish people in the minds and hearts of the USA leaders of tomorrow.  Please continue to pray against these Palestinian-backed methods of spreading more hate against the Jewish people and the state of Israel.  Also, pray for the physical protection and shielding from shame of Jewish young people studying on USA campuses.

UK LABOUR PARTY COMMEMORATES PASSOVER WITH A LOAF OF LEAVENED BREAD: The official Twitter account of UK’s Labour Party displayed ignorance of basic Jewish history on Friday 19 April 2019, when it commemorated Passover with an image featuring a loaf of leavened bread. “As Jewish people prepare for Passover,” the tweet began, “we’re wishing everyone in the Jewish community chag sameach.” Beneath the friendly greeting was an image featuring a Star of David along with a chalice of wine and a fluffy, fully-leavened bread loaf. The image concluded with the words, “Happy Passover from everyone at the Labour Party.” According to Exodus 12, Jews celebrated the first Passover as they were preparing to flee from their bondage in Egypt. Specifically, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was symbolic of the haste with which they were commanded to escape the land cursed by God for its idolatry and oppression of His people. Leaven would become a recurring symbol in Hebrew literature for the negative influence of idolatry and sin. Though quietly deleted and replaced with a tweet that did not feature leavened bread the gaffe did not go unnoticed. (Daily Caller)

NOBLE ENERGY ESTABLISHES  DORON LEARNING CENTER IN ASHDOD: Houston-based Noble Energy has inaugurated a professional training center in Ashdod to prepare employees for work on the company’s offshore Israel gas platforms. The natural gas platforms include the Leviathan rig, currently in the final stages of being built in Texas, and Tamar, which is already supplying natural gas to the Israeli market. The Doron Learning Center, located at Noble Energy’s onshore natural gas terminal close to Ashdod Port, will train employees for work in electronics, mechanics and the operation of the natural gas production platforms. The center’s facilities will simulate the nature of work and life offshore. “Noble Energy aims to train the new employees to service the Leviathan and Tamar gas rigs in the most professional manner to install the importance of maintaining strict levels of safety, even in the initial stages of training,” said Bini Zomer, Noble Energy vice president for regional affairs. “The establishment of the center reflects the continued commitment of Noble Energy to building the gas and oil industry in Israel, and its reliance on a skilled local workforce.” The center is expected to open its doors to the first intake of workers at the end of April 2019. (J.Post)

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