Israel's prime minister is suggesting a "new model" for peace with the Palestinians that would allow them to govern themselves but maintain Israeli control over security. The Trump administration is expected to present a peace proposal to the sides that would conform closely to Israeli positions. The Palestinians, who already have limited autonomy in parts of the West Bank, are unlikely to accept such a proposal. They seek all of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza for an independent state. Pray that God will soon bring true peace to Israel.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, one of the prominent and influential leaders of religious Zionism, declared that "until there is a complete separation between men and women in the IDF—it is forbidden to enlist." Aviner, the rabbi of the settlement Beit El and the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva, is known for his controversial rulings, including his efforts to "convert" LGBTs, calls on women not to run for political office because it is immodest, and barring use of some emojis because they constitute "idolatry." Pray that all Jewish people will long for the wise rule of Messiah and seek His will while they wait.
A controversial bill, which will allow the interior minister to strike down municipal bylaws allowing some businesses to operate on Shabbat was passed with a narrow majority. Meretz leader Zehava Galon petitioned the High Court of Justice, claiming that "the law is unconstitutional as it disproportionally hurts the Israeli citizens' basic rights for freedom, freedom of religion and freedom from religion by allowing a religious minister to force his own lifestyle on the general public." Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked responded to the reservations on behalf of the government reading out parts of Israel's Declaration of Independence that deal with Israel's identity as a Jewish state. Pray for God's kingdom to come.
Palestinian Leaders Call for Suspension of Recognition of Israel
Palestinian leaders called for the suspension of recognition of Israel in a move with potentially deep implications as they met in response to US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The vote ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization to suspend its recognition of Israel until it "recognizes the state of Palestine," cancels its annexation of east Jerusalem, and stops settlement activity. Pray that God will show mercy and bring understanding and salvation to those who stand against Him and His people.
Palestinians Must Return to Talks to Receive US Aid
The United States will give the UN agency for Palestinian refugees $60 million in aid but will withhold additional aid money until the PA returns to peace talks with Israel. Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital roiled Arab nations and led the Palestinians to refuse to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to the Mideast. They also declared a new US-led peace push dead, saying Washington can no longer be trusted as an honest broker. Pray that God will give wisdom and courage to President Trump and other leaders and for the soon return of the Messiah who will finally bring about true peace in the Middle East.
Terror Victims Urge PM to Stop PA Salaries to Terrorists
Two-hundred terror victims—both those wounded in attacks and those who lost loved ones—sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to advance a bill freezing the transfer of money Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority until it halts financial aid to terrorists and their families. The proposed bill was tabled in April and passed in a preliminary Knesset reading, but has since been sluggishly advancing through the legislative process. Pray that Israel's government will act wisely as they relate to their enemies.