Terrorist Opens Fire in Tel Aviv
On Thursday night, another terrorist opened fire in the middle of Tel Aviv. He killed two young men who were childhood friends from a nearby city. The attack also critically injured fourteen people. Thursday night is a busy night out for many, so the area was crowded. Police quickly put up roadblocks as it seemed the terrorist had escaped. For hours, elite police and military forces scoured the area. They searched buildings and asked the public to lock their doors and remain inside. Many could not return to their homes and instead needed to stay at their friend’s homes overnight.
The twenty-eight-year-old terrorist was from the West Bank. Authorities found him in Jaffa and asked him to surrender. Instead, he opened fire on the police, who responded in kind and killed him. Israel is mourning the deaths of Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini, both age twenty-seven. Barak Lufan, age thirty-five and the father of three, succumbed to his wounds the next day.
Please pray for the family and friends of the three young men who were murdered. Also pray that those injured in the attack will recover both physically and emotionally.
A Blow to Israel’s Coalition Government
Yamina Member of Knesset Idit Silman has suddenly decided to leave her party, which Prime Minister Bennett heads. Her leaving breaks the thin majority the coalition government has over its opposition, led by Likud. She told reporters she was leaving due to the “erosion of Jewish identity” within the government. Her departure came on the heels of the Health Minister’s insistence to allow for leavened products in hospitals before the Passover holiday. Some think she was wooed into the Likud party and promised a high position. Her resignation caught Bennett and alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid by surprise. It has also brought on the possibility of another Israeli election.
Bennett’s government is hovering on the brink of collapse, holding just 60 out of 120 seats. Now, Bennett and Lapid are working frantically to make sure there are no other defectors. In the meantime, the coalition government can still govern Israel. It just will not be a majority and cannot pass any bills. When the time comes to pass the annual budget later in the year, the government would dissolve. New elections will be called as each year a budget must be passed.
Please pray for Israel’s stability and wisdom for its leaders to govern and lead.
Second-Ever Israeli Astronaut Launches into Space
Israel launched its second-ever astronaut, Eytan Stibbe, to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Dragon Capsule. The first astronaut was Ilan Ramon. He died tragically in 2003 when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon return to earth. Ramon’s family was present at the take-off of the SpaceX Dragon. All astronauts on the flight are privately funded. Still, Stibbe will conduct thirty-five experiments for companies and research institutions. Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital, is sending an entire miniature space lab for six experiments. Stibbe will explore whether microgravity can help treat Alzheimer’s by analyzing its effects on vascular function in the brain.
Another experiment will use sensors to monitor the astronauts’ well-being. They will measure their vital signs, sleep, cognitive function, visual-auditory performance, and emotional skills. This experiment researches how astronauts manage stressful situations. Finally, Stibbe will also take the smallest Bible in existence—a 0.5-square-millimeter silicon nano-chip on which 1.2 million letters are etched.
Please keep Eytan Stibbe and the crew in your prayers as they use their time in space for research and experiments in health.