Netanyahu Seeks Immunity from Prosecution
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested immunity from prosecution amidst the political deadlock in Israel. According to Israeli law, any member of Knesset can make the request. In order for immunity to be granted, it must pass through the House Committee and then on to a vote in the 120-person Knesset. However, after two failed elections and a third scheduled for March 2, 2020, no government has been formed, and therefore there is no House Committee that can approve Netanyahu’s petition. The Prime Minister maintains that the charges brought against him are the result of an attempted coup led by the left and the media. Netanyahu vows his innocence and plans to stay in power “for many years to come.” He has led the nation since 2009. Liberman, one of his political rivals, says, “The State of Israel has become a hostage to the private, personal problems of Netanyahu.” While it is possible to form a special House Committee to address the request, it seems likely at this point that the legal process will have to wait until the results of the upcoming election.
Please keep Israel’s political stalemate in prayer, as the tensions in countries surrounding Israel rise and internal problems plaguing the country grow.
Israeli Military on High Alert
After the targeted killing of Iranian Commander Qassem Soleimani by the United States, the Israeli military has been put on high alert. Prime Minister Netanyahu defended the United States’ decision to launch the air strike that killed the man who has planned and vowed to continue attacks on American targets. Iran has threatened retaliation against the United States and Israel, and Israel is especially worried about Iran’s proxies and allies in the region, namely Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. A ski resort in the Golan near Syria was closed, but all other activities there and around the country have remained unaffected.
Please pray for peace and wisdom in the region—there are a lot of diplomatic efforts to curb a very tense situation.
Leviathan Natural Gas to Start Pumping
In an historic milestone for Israel, the Leviathan underground oil field off the coast of Haifa has begun to pump natural gas. This will allow for Israel’s autonomy in energy. The oil rig is 77 miles off the coast and the field holds an estimated 22 trillion cubic feet of gas and 500,000 barrels of oil. It was discovered in 2010 and funded by private capital, costing 3.75 billion dollars so far. There are three other smaller oil fields nearby that will begin pumping in the next few years. Israel’s annual consumption of natural gas in 2019 was 11.3 billion cubic meters. A smaller oil field that has been pumping for a few years already supplies 10 billion cubic meters so the extras from Leviathan will help bring in profit through exporting.
Praise God for this natural gas field that will help Israel with energy autonomy.
Flu Season in Israel Especially Difficult
Israel has been hit with a very aggressive strain of the flu, with 2019 doubling the amount of people hospitalized the previous two years combined. So far, more than 100 people have been hospitalized with the height of the flu season expected to hit at the end of this month. In 2018, there were 45 hospitalizations and 77 in 2017. Only 1.8 million people have been vaccinated against the flu (out of a population of more than 8 million). Now, the healthcare clinics are running out of the vaccine and people are being turned away. The government is working hard to try to obtain more of the vaccines.
Please pray for the recovery of those who are suffering because of the flu and the well-being of those around them.
Thank you for praying for our ministry and our workers in Israel! Please pray:
- for their health during this heightened flu season with the disease spreading around the country
- for their protection as Iran and her proxies are angry and have vowed revenge
- for those to whom they are ministering, that they would be comforted with news of peace and protection that can be found in Jesus in a world that seems out of control
- for open ears and listening hearts