Tens of Thousands of Palestinians Swarm Gaza Border
At least 16 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more were wounded by IDF gunfire along the Israel-Gaza border, Palestinian sources said Friday, as 30,000 Palestinians swarmed the security fence as part of "The Great March of Return," called for by enclave's militant Hamas rulers. The March of Return, Hamas says, is intended to be a weeks-long peaceful demonstration advocating for the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. "We will not give up and we will not bargain with the Zionist entity over even a small piece of the land of Palestine." The IDF is on high alert as it sees the march as a hostile attempt by Hamas to sabotage IDF infrastructure and the Gaza security fence, and fear it may lead to a mass breach of the border. Pray that God will make His will known in the world even as the "nations roar."
Israeli ministers on Friday hailed US President Donald Trump's choice of hardliner John Bolton as his new national security advisor, a pick denounced by a senior Palestinian official. Trump announced that Bolton, a former United Nations ambassador and arch-hawk, would be replacing embattled army general HR McMaster in the key position. Bolton is known for his strong support for Israel and his hostility to the Jewish state's key foe Iran, and once said the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dead. Pray that God will raise up leaders who will do His will in Israel and all nations.
UN Rights Council Passes 5 Anti-Israel Resolutions
The United Nations Human Rights Council ended its first and longest session of the year by adopting five resolutions critical of Israel's behaviour toward the Palestinians or throwing support behind their long, fruitless cause for statehood. Nine months ago, US Ambassador Nikki Haley stormed the United Nations' top human rights body demanding an end to what she said is its bias against Israel and raising the prospect of a US pullout if it didn't. "When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran and Syria, it is the council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name," she said. Pray that world leaders will defend the helpless and downtrodden and understand clearly who those are.
A modest Israeli company, Algatech, has built a sizeable, high-performance algae-cultivation plant in Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava Desert. Like a lustrous pearl glowing in the heart of this desolate land, Algatech has succeeded in overcoming the odds, drawing water from a rock. Stadler says that the potential of the microalgae industry and the Arava desert’s ideal conditions for microalgae cultivation can bring prosperity to barren land – and position Israel as the global capital of marine biotechnology knowledge and expertise. " Although the Negev Desert comprises nearly 60 percent of Israel’s modern-day landmass, only an estimated 8.1 percent of Israeli citizens live there. But today, a present generation of Israelis—farmers, ranchers, scientists, accountants, business owners, and more—are beginning to make a change… as the desert is literally beginning to bloom and grow. Praise the covenant-keeping God: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose…”—Isaiah 35.
Many voices were raised in the past few months to speak out against the impending expulsion of African asylum seekers, but a more recent, unexpected voice was an Orthodox one, calling on Israel to treat migrants with morality and humanity. "One of the fundamental principles of the exodus, which the Torah reiterates time and again, is the matter of 'And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt,' (from Deuteronomy 10: 19)" Rabbi Gilad said. "Our first collective memory as a people is an experience of slavery, degradation, discrimination. The Torah thus reminds us that when we come into power, we should know how to treat foreigners as equals." The government is currently planning to deport asylum seekers to Uganda and Rwanda. Pray that Israeli leaders will manage this difficult situation with compassionate wisdom.
After all the drama and discussions, the coalition factions struck a deal that saved the political system from early elections, the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party—which threatened to tear the coalition apart by refusing to approve the 2019 state budget until an amendment exempting yeshiva students from military service was passed—is conceding that it was right of them to eventually compromise. "I do not think anything will be dramatically different from what it used to be," he asserted, referring to the previous amendment they passed which was annulled by the High Court of Justice and sparked this crisis.