IDF Hits Targets in Gaza in Response to Incendiary Balloons
For four days last week, Hamas sent incendiary and explosive balloons into Israel from Gaza, mainly toward agricultural areas. More than two dozen fires were set off in forests and farm fields, violating the fragile ceasefire agreement. In response, Israel sent in the IDF for targeted aerial attacks on Hamas’ military arm in Gaza. The fighter jets dropped bombs on a building run by Hamas, an agricultural field with underground bunkers housing rocket launchers, and a Hamas base. Palestinian media said there were no reports of civilian injuries. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts are being made via Egypt to stop any further escalation.
Please pray for a cessation of attacks on both sides.
Israel Offers Vaccines to the Palestinian Authority
Israel was planning to give the Palestinian Authority between one million and 1.4 million Pfizer vaccine doses, but the vaccines have been refused. Palestinians have not been doing well with their vaccination rollout and were ready to accept the first 100,000 doses. The Pfizer doses were set to expire the end of June but are identical to the ones that Israel has been using and are deemed safe. The rest of the vaccine supply is not due to expire until the end of July. The Palestinian Authority claims that giving a dose so close to expiration would scare people and hinder their vaccination campaign.
Currently, not even a half million people have received their first dose. Meanwhile, Israel led the world in vaccinating its population in record time with more than 70 percent already having received two doses. Under the Oslo Agreement, Israel claims that the Palestinians are responsible for immunizing their own people. Still, Israel has come under criticism over the past months for not helping their neighbors. The United States has praised Israel’s recent effort to reach out with an offer to assist with the Palestinian vaccination program. Currently, diplomatic efforts are being made to reach a fair agreement for the sake of the people.
Please pray for this delicate situation as Israel’s intention is to help the people in health and wholeness during times of uncertainty.
Israel Swears In First Deaf Member of Knesset
Israel’s new government, led by the shared leadership of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid (whose rotation as prime minister will start in two years), swore in its first disabled member of Knesset (MK). Shirley Pinto, who is deaf, was sworn in using sign language. In her office at the Knesset, flashing lights will alert her to vote instead of an audible signal, and a sign language interpreter will be at her disposal. She is the daughter of two deaf parents, and her husband is also deaf. She plans to advocate for the disabled by introducing bills to help those in need and by making public disability access easier, especially to bomb shelters.
Please pray for Shirley Pinto and other members of the Knesset to represent the people of Israel in the new government well.
Israelis Win International Awards
Selected out of 8,000 submissions, two Israeli photographers won top acclaim in the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year competition. Their photos show the beauty and serenity of God’s creation. Amos Ravid won second place for his photo of the night sky on Ogol Island in Russia. Amit Ashel received high commendation for his photo of a wild Mongolian cat in the snow. These two award winners join rhythmic gymnast, Linoy Ashram, who won a gold medal and two silver medals in the European Rhythmic Gymnasts Championship in Bulgaria, in bringing international acclaim to Israel. Ashram now plans to represent Israel at the Japan Olympics in Tokyo and is hopeful to bring home a medal for Israel.
Praise God for the talents and abilities that He endows.
A Joy to Be Reunited!
What a joy it is to welcome our old friends and new friends into our ministry center, the Mercaz, in the Ramat Gan area! We held a wonderful Sabbath dinner this past Friday, and many came. We were overjoyed to be together, to worship, and break bread. One friend was invited to the microphone to share about how the Mercaz was a special source of encouragement and fellowship throughout the year via the online programs, Bible studies, and an eager ear to listen and pray together on the phone. Despite loneliness and worry, the staff of Chosen People Ministries—Israel were ready and able to serve the community. We look forward to what God has in store!
Please pray that the Mercaz in Ramat Gan will continue to shine as a beacon of Messiah’s light for those who are searching for hope!