Israel Sending Wheat to Sudan
Following last week’s agreement between Israel and Sudan to establish formal diplomatic relations, Israel has announced plans to help Sudan’s crippled economy by sending a large crop of wheat. “We are looking forward to a warm peace and are sending $5 million worth of wheat immediately to our new friends in Sudan,” the prime minister’s office tweeted. The deal with Sudan will include more aid and investment from Israel, particularly in technology and agriculture. Additionally, flights from Israel may now use Sudan’s airspace when travelling to South America. These accords with Sudan are of particular historic significance. In 1967, Sudan hosted the Arab League Summit at which the “three no’s” were announced, which have guided Arab-Israeli relations ever since: No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. However, a new Sudanese government has been formed and is trying to move forward democratically. As a result, both countries are now looking forward to a peaceful future together.
Please pray for this new relationship between Israel and Sudan, and that other countries will seek peace with Israel.
Israel vaccinated the first two people in Phase I clinical trials against COVID-19. Both volunteers, ages thirty-four and twenty-six, were healthy and ready for the vaccination. Both volunteers will stay in the hospital for twenty-four hours to be monitored before being sent home. The first phase of clinical trials will vaccinate 80 people ages 18–55 over the next month, with one in four subjects receiving a placebo. The next four volunteers will arrive in hospitals on Tuesday. Phase II, scheduled to begin in December, will enroll 1,000 people to receive the vaccination, ages 18–85, and those with pre-existing conditions can be included. If this group responds well, the third phase will begin in April or May 2021, with 30,000 volunteers. If there are no significant side effects, the vaccine will be approved for general use. Although approval would not be possible until the conclusion of the Phase III study, Israel Institute for Biological Research is already beginning production of the vaccine in anticipation of approval next year, with 15 million doses expected to be ready by July. As a backup, Israel is trying to produce its own vaccine despite agreements with companies from the United States, Russia, and China to obtain their vaccines if they are effective. The vaccine is called Brilife, which is a combination of the Hebrew word for health (bri’ut) and life. The name also contains the abbreviation for Israel, IL, as well as the letters that make up the abbreviation of the laboratory name, IIBR.
Please pray for research and development of the COVID-19 vaccine as countries race to find an effective prevention for the illness. Please Lord, help us!
Israel Defense Forces Complete Massive Military Drill
On Thursday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) finished their largest military drill of the year, simulating, among other scenarios, a large-scale war in the north with Hezbollah. Called “Lethal Arrow,” the maneuvers were designed to improve the IDF’s offensive capabilities, to work on coordination and cooperation up the chain of command through its different branches, and to test the use of new elements to help during a battle. The military drill even brought in reservists but was significantly smaller than originally planned because of COVID-19. In addition to combat soldiers from land, sea, and air units, there were also units trained in cyber defense, logistics, and communications who participated in the exercise.
Please pray for the Israeli Defense Forces who serve to protect the nation of Israel from war and cyber warfare.
Small Gatherings, Small Beginnings
Recently, with restrictions eased, our dedicated team of workers who serve and minister to Holocaust survivors was able to gather a very small group, socially distanced, for a picnic outside. Everyone enjoyed the time together, played games, ate their food, and listened to encouragement from the Scriptures. They were starved for fellowship and companionship and eager to laugh and be around other people.
Please pray for future small gatherings and for those who will attend.
Praise God for the small gatherings that have already taken place and for those who were brought out of their loneliness and felt the company of believers. May we continue to bring hope and light in these trying times.