American Embassy In Jerusalem To Expand

Aug 8, 2018

“The Lord will not reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance. Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, all the upright in heart will follow it.” Ps. 94: 14-15

HELP DISADVANTAGED ISRAELI CHILDREN START THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH CONFIDENCE: Vision for Israel has known repeatedly the great joy of blessing Israeli children with beautiful new backpacks and school supplies for the academic year. Since we began this project in 1998 we have distributed over 225,000 school packs to needy children, both Jewish and Arab, throughout the State of Israel. With each delivery we see the faces of children light up. Their glow of happiness increases as they eagerly open their brand new packs and begin to explore what is inside. Help us to prepare for Israel's new school year this coming fall. Every $25 allows us to provide another pack and supplies. Your donations are urgent and welcomed at Make your online donations today. For residents in the UK and outside North America visit our website at

AMERICAN EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM TO EXPAND: A subcommittee of the Jerusalem Municipality has approved plans to expand the American embassy in the city. According to the report, the expansion plan includes the addition of office space and the addition of service areas, and in effect includes changes that will expand the work area and activity of the embassy and thus allow more employees to operate from Jerusalem. Mayor Nir Barkat said that "this is another stage in establishing the status of the embassy in the capital of Israel, which will strengthen the connection between Israel and the USA and, in particular, provide a tailwind to President Trump's historic decision." President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and relocated the embassy to the city on 14 May 2018 - the date in 1948 on which the State of Israel was established. Guatemala and Paraguay followed suit and also relocated their embassies to the Israeli capital. The Czech Republic has likewise pledged to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem. A report at the end of July 2018 indicated that Moldova will do so as well. (Arutz-7) “Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you.” Ps 147:12-13

SENATE PASSES ISRAEL AID IN OMNIBUS DEFENSE BILL: The Senate has once again included generous security aid to Israel in its annual defense authorization package. The omnibus bill includes $500 million in anti-missile defense aid and $50 million in anti-tunnel assistance. It also authorizes a joint USA-Israeli assessment of the types of precision-guided munitions necessary for Israel to defend itself against terrorist groups, Hezbollah and Hamas, mandating rapid acquisition and deployment for such arms. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee praised passage of the legislation. "This bipartisan legislation authorizes increases in USA security assistance to Israel, and it encourages expanded weapons stockpiles and new USA-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies, cybersecurity and space," AIPAC said in a statement. The bill also calls for increased cooperation between NASA and Israel's Space Agency, extends the USA War Reserve Stockpile in Israel by five years and authorizes a joint USA-Israeli counter-drone program. (Arutz-7)

RUSSIAN FORCES JOIN UN PEACEKEEPERS ON GOLAN HEIGHTS FRONTIER: UN peacekeepers returned on Thursday 2 August 2018 to patrol the frontier between Syria and Israel in the Golan Heights. For the first time, Russian forces joined the peacekeepers. Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy of the Russian General Staff said that Russian military police accompanied the UN peacekeepers on patrol. He said Russia's military police would establish eight of its own monitoring posts at the edge of the UN disengagement zone at the frontier. Also on Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Syrian side of the border had returned to its pre-2011 state. He said Israel will have "no cause to intervene or operate in Syrian territory" if Damascus respects a 1974 disengagement agreement between the two sides - and as long as Syria doesn't become a staging ground for Iranian forces to attack Israel or transfer arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon. (Washington Post)

ISRAEL, DANON, ACCUSE UN OF IGNORING ATTACKS BY ‘FLAMING SWASTIKAS KITES’: For months, Palestinians have been sending balloons and kites rigged with incendiary devices (some bearing swastikas) over the border from the Gaza Strip to Israel -- causing devastation to land, crops and livelihoods. Now Israel is calling out the United Nations for ignoring such attacks as it focuses on Israel instead. As part of a broader effort to bring attention to the attacks, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon opened up an exhibit at UN headquarters showing the devastation from recent attacks. “We follow very carefully what's happening in Israel, and unfortunately people don’t get it at the UN when we speak about the fact they have more than 7,000 acres that have been set on fire -- that’s half the size of Manhattan,” Danon told Fox News on Thurs. 2 August, 2018.

One recent balloon landed in the yard of a kindergarten, though there were no injuries. The images on display at the UN, captured by local photographers, include one of a tractor surrounded by flames as a farmer watches his crops go up in smoke. But while the UN waxes lyrical about environmental protection and the importance of conservation, food security and non-violence, Danon says key bodies have been silent on this issue. “No one will speak about it. That's what I feel in the Security Council, in the General Assembly, so we set up this exhibition here to allow ambassadors to understand it,” Danon said. He added that he asks ambassadors who visit what they would do if 7,000 acres of their homeland were set on fire by terrorists. “I ask them, ‘What would you do if this happened in your country?’” (Fox) Continue to intercede for Israel’s southern borders and methods to end the ongoing wave of arson attacks issuing forth from the Gaza Strip. Pray according to scripture: “He makes peace in your borders, and fills you with the finest wheat.” Ps. 147:14

REPORT: IRAN LAUNCHES MAJOR NAVAL EXERCISE IN PERSIAN GULF: Iran last week carried out a major naval exercise in the Persian Gulf, a USA defense official has confirmed. According to the source, who is familiar with the latest intelligence, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps launched dozens of small vessels in the first stage of the exercise. USA officials expressed concern over the exercise before it took place; as such exercises are usually conducted later in the year. The official speculated that the exercise was held in response to recent heated rhetoric between Iran's leadership and USA President Donald Trump, and that its purpose is to demonstrate Iran's ability to disrupt international shipping routes. Captain William Urban, chief spokesman for USA Central Command, said days ago that "we are aware of the increase in Iranian naval operations within the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman. We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways". The Strait of Hormuz is a strategically critical passageway linking the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea that is crucial to international shipping and particularly for global energy supplies. Iran has threatened more than once to close the Strait of Hormuz, with the United States warning Iran in response that any attempt to close the strait would be viewed as a "red line" -- grounds for USA military action. The latest such threat came last month, when the IRGC warned it could block the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf should the USA prevent its oil exports. (INN)

PROTESTS LARGELY FUELED BY ECONOMIC FRUSTRATION TAKING PLACE ACROSS IRAN: Iran on 3 August 2018 wrapped up two days of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf -- a show of force aimed at the USA just as the Trump administration is reimposing sanctions. At the same time, protests are popping up in cities all over Iran, only this time, the anger is not directed at America. The protests are largely fueled by frustration with a failing economy. The size of the crowds in social media videos has been hard to confirm, but their chants are clear. In one clip, demonstrators in the city of Isfahan shout "death to the dictator," daring to openly defy Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They appear to set fire to police cars and throw rocks. The rallies follow larger ones that started in Dec. 2017 and flared up again in June 2018 when protesters demonstrated outside parliament and shut down Tehran's Grand Bazaar. Iranians are grappling with spiraling inflation. As economic pressure intensifies, many wealthy Iranians are leaving the country. Some Iranians say the economy is so vulnerable to USA sanctions because it's corrupt and poorly managed. In a highly unusual move, Iranian lawmakers have summoned moderate President Hassan Rouhani to account for the crisis. (CBS) Intercede for a regime change in the Islamic Republic. Also pray for the protection and continuing growth of the underground church in Iran.

ISRAELI HI-TECH COMPANIES RAISE AT LEAST $650 MILLION IN JULY: Israeli startups raised over $650 million in July 2018. This sum can be added to the more than $3.1 billion that Israeli startups raised in the first half of 2018. The country's startups have raised over $3.7 billion in the first seven months of 2018 and are on course to beat last year's record of $5.24 billion. The largest amount raised in July was $125 million by Trax Image Recognition. There were other large financing rounds including $83 million raised by insurtech company Next Insurance. $55 million was raised by advanced 3D content capture and sharing technologies Mantis Vision, and $50 million was raised by team management software provider Monday. Other major financing rounds in July included $33 million raised by cybersecurity company ObserveIT, $30 million raised by big data company Thetaray and $28 million raised by facial recognition company AnyVision. (J.Post)

UNITED TO LAUNCH TEL AVIV-WASHINGTON DC FLIGHTS: The flight to Dulles Airport will be United's fourth daily direct flight from Tel Aviv to the USA. It already flies twice a day between Tel Aviv and New York/Newark and daily between Tel Aviv and San Francisco. A roundtrip flight costs $1,000. "On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of beginning our operations in Israel, I wish to thank all our customers and employees who helped us make United the leading USA airline serving the route to Israel," said United senior country director for Israel Avi Friedman. “We expect to continue serving Israel with this new route for the benefit of our customers flying on the route between Israel and the USA capital."

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin said, "I congratulate United on the launching of another route between Israel and the USA - a direct route to the White House. The announcement of the route from Washington to Tel Aviv in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism is a wonderful way of marking 20 years of United's activity in Israel. Opening the route will further increase incoming tourism to Israel and be in addition to the extraordinary marketing effort we are making - an effort that will bring new records in incoming tourism to Israel." United Airlines' new route between Tel Aviv and Washington will generate connection flights to 70 destinations in the USA, such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Lauderdale. (Globes)

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

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