First Training Exercise for Israeli and German Pilots in GermanyIsraeli and German Air Forces Joint Exercise (Source: Wikimedia Commons)Though Israeli and German forces have collaborated in the past, Germany for the first time welcomed Israeli pilots to their air space for joint combat exercises. Acknowledging the deep, dark history between Germany and the Jewish people, the pilots still welcomed a chance to look toward the future and the opportunity of flying together. Germany is now one of Israel’s staunchest supporters. Ten aircraft along with approximately one hundred eighty Israeli personnel will gather in Germany for two weeks. The mission will give its pilots a chance to train in unfamiliar surroundings and will include simulated dogfights, air-to-ground battles, and missile threats. As the exercises began, the German and Israeli pilots flew over Dachau, the former concentration camp where forty thousand Jews were killed. They also flew to Munich to honor the eleven Israeli athletes who were killed during the 1972 Munich Olympics after being taken as hostages by the Palestinian terror group, Black September. After the first week of training, planes from the Hungarian air force will join the exercises.Please pray for this strategic alliance between Israel and Germany.Read more at Times of Israel…United Arab Emirates’ Jewish CommunityAbu Dhabi skyline (Source: Unsplash / Anshul Hari)There are about two thousand Jewish people living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Following last week’s peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, the Emirati Jewish community can stop keeping a low profile. The Jewish leaders of these two cities have invited Israelis to come and visit, something that was forbidden in the past because of the lack of diplomatic relations. Synagogues have been allowed to open during this past year, and the way the UAE’s leaders have perceived Jewish people has changed immensely. The agreement also lets UAE citizens visit Israel. Many people are excited for the opportunity to see Jerusalem and the Dome of the Rock.Please pray for these warming, example-setting ties.Read more at YNet… Opening the SkiesEl Al airplane (source: Wikimedia Commons)Israel has dropped the mandatory fourteen-day quarantine for Israelis returning from more than twenty different countries deemed “green” based on their current coronavirus rate of infection. Green countries are those with a low contagion rate and include Italy, Georgia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Finland, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Jordan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Rwanda, Hong Kong, Cyprus, and Greece. All passengers who leave Israel need to present a negative COVID-19 test within seventy-two hours prior to travel and complete a lot of paperwork. Only ticketed passengers will be allowed to enter the airport.Please pray that air travel in and out of Israel can continue safely since it creates a lot of job opportunities.Read more at YNet…The United Arab Emirates Leader Invited to Visit IsraelIsraeli President Reuven Rivlin (Source: Wikimedia Commons)Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has sent an invitation to the crown prince of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates. The letter, written in Arabic, extended the offer to “visit Israel and Jerusalem and be our honored guest.” Rivlin continued, “I have no doubt that future generations will appreciate the way you, the brave and wise leaders, have restarted the discourse on peace, trust, dialogue between peoples and religions, cooperation, and a promising future.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently working to establish direct flights from Israel to Dubai. This would require air travel over Saudi Arabia, which is not currently permitted since Israel does not have diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. Netanyahu believes an agreement is possible and forthcoming.Please pray for wisdom as diplomacy is working to establish formal ties and agreements with prominent countries in the Arab world.Read more at Times of Israel… Fires in Southern IsraelIncendiary balloons from Gaza (Source: Wikimedia Commons)Thirty-five fires in southern Israel were started in just one day by incendiary balloons sent over from Gaza. Different agencies and volunteers spread out to contain the blazes and prevent them from spreading to small towns and damaging local crops. A similar number of fires were started the day before. Currently, southern Israel is very hot and dry, and the brush is very vulnerable to fire attacks. Tensions between Israel and Hamas have been rising in recent weeks. In Gaza, Hamas has been launching balloons into southern Israel in breach of agreements. Some of these balloons have incendiary devices attached to them designed to ignite once they hit the ground or a building. Other balloons carry explosives designed to create more extensive damage. It is a very dangerous time for civilians.Please pray for residents of Israel’s southern border communities with Gaza, as they again endure rocket launches and fires from the balloons.Read more at Jerusalem Post… Heat and Tensions Rise—So We Lift Up Prayers to the Lord!Sunset in Jerusalem (Source: Unsplash / Tetiana Skyshkina)As the heat of the summer reaches its peak, we feel the tension rising with Hamas in Gaza. Chosen People Ministries—Israel ministers to many wonderful Holocaust survivors who live in Sderot on the Gaza border and are faced with these dangers every day. Our workers have been calling to chat and pray with them during this time. It is important for them to draw close to the Lord and know that they are held in His loving arms. Praise God for the chance to remind them of this!Please pray for peace and stability for southern Israeli citizens and for their protection. Please pray that Hamas in Gaza will cease their efforts to kill and destroy Israelis. Please pray for the Israeli government to have wisdom and patience in dealing with this aggression.