TWO ROCKETS FIRED AT TEL AVIV

Just after 9pm Israeli time, two rockets were fired on Thursday, March 14, from Gaza toward Tel Aviv, fifty miles away. It came as a shock to many, since this was the first attack like it since 2014. A third missile was reported to have been launched, but misfired. The missiles sent everyone to shelter in safe rooms or stairwells, and travellers on the road sought additional protection outside of their cars. No Israeli casualties were reported. The IDF responded by attacking more than one hundred targets in Gaza overnight. No casualties were reported in Gaza, either. Sites targeted included a Hamas rocket manufacturing plant, a center for drone production, and an office complex. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group took power in 2007; however, there have only been small flare-ups since 2014.

Read more YNET

IDF attacks in the Gaza Strip (Source: YNET)

Please pray for a de-escalation during this sensitive time.


NEW TERMINOLOGYISRAELI-CONTROLLED’ GOLAN HEIGHTS

The State Department of the United States changed some significant terminology regarding Israel in its annual human rights report. Although an official at the State Department said that the change was made due to the fact that the report does not refer to legal issues, but rather to human rights issues, the modification reflects a three-year trend. Until recently, the report contained statements such as “Israel and the Occupied Territories.” Last year, that was changed to “Israel, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza.” This year, the Golan Heights will be referred to as “Israeli-controlled” instead of “Israeli-occupied.” Israel recaptured the Golan Heights in 1967 during the Six-Day War.

Read more YNET

L-R: Sen. Lindsey Graham, Benjamin Netanyahu and David Friedman on the GoIan Heights on Monday (Photo: GPO)

Please pray for continued peace in Israel’s Golan Heights and neighboring Syria.


ORGAN TRANSPLANT FOR THE FIRST LADY

The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, recently saw his wife through a lung transplant after they got a sudden call that a lung had become available. Nechama Rivlin, who is 73, has suffered from pulmonary fibrosis for many years, requiring her to receive supplemental oxygen at all times. A young man drowned in Eilat on March 13 in a tragic diving accident, and his organs were donated, including his lungs. Even in their grief, the donor’s family was happy to be able to help others. His sister said, “It was simply important for us to save lives.” The First Lady, despite her condition and permanent oxygen tank, has been able to continue her philanthropic activities in the community gardens in Jerusalem, as well as her work with children with disabilities. She is currently recuperating in the hospital, where she will likely remain for at least another week.

Read more YNET

Yair Yechezkel Halbali (Source: YNET)

Please pray for a quick recovery for Nechama Rivlin.


ISRAEL PLACES EIGHTH IN WORLD FOR EXPORTING WEAPONS

Israel has become the eighth largest arms exporter in the world, with the United States, Russia, France, Germany, and China making up the top five. Over the past decade, Israel has seen a 60 percent increase in arms exports. This is compared to America, who saw an increase of 30 percent, and Russia, who experienced a 17 percent decrease. In 2017, Israel brought in 9.2 billion dollars through the exportation of arms, bolstered by a deal with India that brought in two billion dollars. Three Israeli weapons manufacturers are among the top one hundred Nasdaq-listed companies selling arms.

Read more CTECH

Please pray for peace! That these weapons would not need to be used!


THE CELEBRATION OF PURIM – OUR WEEK AHEAD

This week, the people of Israel will celebrate Purim! This festival remembers the historical account found in the Book of Esther. Esther, a Jewish girl (also known as Hadassah), became queen in the palace of the Persian king for “such a time as this.” As a result of her trust in God, faithfulness, and a bit of daring, she spoke to the king about plans she had uncovered to kill her and all the Jews of Persia. When the king heard about it, he was outraged. Instead of allowing the Jewish people to die, the man behind this plan, Haman, was killed. Today, children and adults celebrate by dressing up in fun costumes, sharing gift baskets of goodies (called Mishloach Manot), and throwing parties. Chosen People Ministries is hosting a number of Purim parties for young and old throughout the country this week.

Hamentaschen cookies are traditionally eaten during Purim!

Please pray for all those who come, that they would understand there is a God who loves them and will always watch out for them, especially in light of the recent rocket attacks!