Rockets Launched at Israel
In the early morning of Sunday, November 15, 2020, two rockets were fired from Gaza at civilians in coastal Israel. No one was injured and no damage was reported. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued warnings to Hamas that “the price of continued aggression will be heavy, very heavy.” The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group in Gaza had threatened attacks as a reprisal for Israel’s killing of one of its key commanders, Baha Abu al-Ata. November 12 marks the one-year anniversary of al-Ata’s death. As a precaution, the Iron Dome missile defense systems had been brought out and set up in a few key areas in southern and coastal Israel. In the end, Hamas claimed that the rainstorm, accompanied by thunder and lightning, had triggered the launch of the rockets. Lightning has been blamed several times for rockets being launched into Israel in the past. These rockets, however, had been pre-emptively armed and aimed at civilian populations.
Please pray for peace and safety for Israel’s civilians.
Senior Palestinian Official Dies in Israeli Hospital
Dr. Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator and official, died recently of multiple organ failure resulting from COVID-19. He had been living in Jericho when he contracted the virus. His daughter was caring for him at home until his condition deteriorated and home care was no longer possible. He was escorted by the Israeli army to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem where he was evaluated and placed on a ventilator. His treatment was made more complicated because of a previous lung transplant in 2017. He was well educated in the West and was extremely articulate in English, earning respect from Americans and Israelis alike. His life’s ambition was to bring about Palestinian statehood and was one of the main architects of the Oslo Accords. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning for Dr. Erekat.
Please pray for Dr Erekat’s family, who are mourning his loss, and for peace and negotiations to follow between Jewish people and Palestinians.
Bad Weather Requires Help from Saudi Arabia
As a result of bad weather, an Israir Airlines flight from Tel Aviv to India was forced to make a detour into Saudi airspace. Although Saudi Arabia has not normalized ties with Israel as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have, they have recently allowed Israeli flights to use their airspace. The detour took this particular flight, guided by Saudi Arabian air traffic controllers, very close to Jeddah and Mecca.
Please pray for more negotiations and relations to be established with additional Gulf nations.
Israel’s Unemployment Rates
Currently, an estimated 19 percent of Israel’s labor force—around 750,000 people—remain unemployed or on unpaid leave because of the coronavirus pandemic. When Israel recorded the first case of COVID-19 in February, the unemployment rate was only 3 percent. Many Israelis are now in the midst of changing professions, taking online courses, and working towards their new goals and dreams instead of sitting home collecting unemployment money. Those taking on new careers view the changes as very positive, and see the pandemic as a motivating factor. Israel’s national parks have added 500 new employees. Cyber security and computer technology—two prominent fields in Israel—have also seen an increase due to people changing careers.
Please pray for those who are struggling to make ends meet even while taking new courses and changing career paths.
Lots of Conversations
Please pray for our workers in Israel as they continue their individual conversations with friends—new and old. Over these many months, our workers have started conversations about the Lord with many people, either through follow-up with those who have ordered Isaiah 53 Explained books, through our ministry Facebook pages and online events, and as they simply follow up or chat with friends on social media. It is amazing what a simple, “Hi, how are you today?” can do for someone’s well-being. We have taken time to pray with people, encourage them, read Scripture with them, and listen to them. We are grateful for the simple ways to spread the love of the Messiah with people all around us during these times of uncertainty and upheaval.
Thank you for praying with us for the salvation of the Jewish people!