Inside Israel News Report March 2017
Israeli Southern Reservists Called Up For Dril
Archive photo: Surprise exercise on southern border (Photo: Barel Efraim)
Since February, there have been five rockets that have fallen in Israel, sent from Gaza. Code Red sirens have been sounded and all the rockets have fallen in unpopulated areas. Despite this, Israel has called up its Southern Command reservists for a surprise drill. The reservists will practice operational procedures in preparation for more aggressive activity from Gaza. Under terms and conditions from the end of Operation Protective Edge, the war with Hamas in 2014, there are to be no rockets fired at Israel. The Israeli Air Force has gone in and retaliated after these five rockets were fired from Gaza.
Please pray for Israel’s soldiers, serving on many volatile fronts.
The Sea of Galilee Low Water Levels
Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)Mendy Hechtman/ Flash90
This is the first time in the past decade that at the end of winter, the Sea of Galilee has measured below both red lines. The red lines help indicate drought conditions and urgent drought conditions. Usually the water levels are above the lower red line after a wet winter and snow run off from Mt Hermon. This is the fourth year in a row that the Water Authority has ordered an almost complete stop of drawing water from the Sea of Galilee. Some water stations have experienced a decrease in water such has not been seen since the 1920s. The drought will worsen during the summer months when Israel does not usually get rain from March/April until October/November.
Please pray for one final rain before the dry summer months and a great snow water run-off from Mt Hermon into the Sea of Galilee.
Israel Soared at the World Baseball Classic
At the World Baseball Classic, Israel (ranked 41st in the world), surprised everyone by winning its first three games against South Korea (ranked third in the world), Taiwan (ranked fourth) and Netherlands (ranked ninth) and advanced to the second round before being defeated. The team was made up of mainly major and minor league Jewish American players. It was the final country to qualify for the tournament, but it was an unexpectedly successful run for its first appearance at the World Baseball Classic. When the national anthem played, the Israeli team took off their caps and underneath, everyone was wearing a kippah or yalmulke. Baseball is not a popular sport in Israel and is mainly played by North American Israelis.
China and Israel Discuss Partnerships
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds a welcome ceremony for visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, March 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
Prime Minister Netanyahu recently paid an official visit to China, at Premier Li’s invitation, to talk about their countries’ relations. He wanted to increase China’s cooperation with Israel in the areas of basic science, modern agriculture, clean energy and biomedicine. Israel appreciates China’s constructive role in the Middle East Peace Process. Israel is looking forward to accelerated negotiations for bi-lateral free trade agreements.
Please pray for healthy trade deals and innovation between these two countries.
Joined Forces to Combat PTSD
An IDF soldier (photo credit:IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
Israel and the United States have joined forces to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in their militaries. While the USA has a vast unit for helping those through the disorder, Israel does not have a specific unit to deal with its veterans but provides services to those who need mental health treatments and to injured soldiers and their families. Israel developed a computerized psychological training technique which seemed to reduce the risk to combat soldiers with PTSD by 70%. The technique trains participants to better pay attention to potential threats in their surroundings and to better prepare the soldiers for battle. It’s been found that soldiers who do not correctly process their surroundings and threats are more likely to develop PTSD.
Please pray for soldiers who are struggling with mental issues after facing harsh battlefield conditions.
Passover in Israel
Please pray for Chosen People Ministries’ Israeli workers as they prepare for the busy Passover season. In Israel, Passover is a much loved and anticipated holiday full of cleaning, cooking, friendly invitations and sitting down to eat the Seder together. The whole week is set apart and reserved to give thanks to God for all His faithfulness. It’s a wonderful time to share about Jesus the Messiah and his perfect sacrifice for us. Please pray that many open conversations around the dinner table, in the street, in the grocery stores happen through our faithful workers in Israel.