“Let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just.” Ps 7:9
MEMBER OF ROYAL FAMILY TO MAKE FIRST OFFICIAL STATE VISIT TO ISRAEL: A member of the United Kingdom’s royal family is reportedly expected to visit Israel this year, in what would be an historic first for the Jewish state. It remains unclear which British royal will visit Israel, but it has been speculated that it will likely be Prince Charles of Wales, heir to the throne. The report added that Queen Elizabeth would likely skip the trip due to her advanced age and health concerns. The royal family has traditionally shunned Israeli invitations for official state visits, but members of the family have visited in personal capacities and to attend dignitaries’ funerals. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin extended an invitation to the British royal family during his recent meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in Jerusalem. Rivlin proposed that the visit coincide with celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which established British support for the creation of a Jewish state in the Middle East. “This is a very important year in the history of the relations between Israel and the United Kingdom,” Rivlin said. (Algemeiner)
NAHARAYIM MASSACRE KILLER RELEASED FROM JORDANIAN PRISON: Ahmad Daqamseh, who murdered seven Israeli girls in a massacre at the Island of Peace site in Naharayim in 1997, was released from Jordanian prison early Sunday 12 March 2017 after having served a 20-year sentence. In 1997, Daqamseh – who at the time was a 26-year-old soldier in the Jordanian army -opened fire at a group of 7th and 8th grade schoolgirls from the AMIT Fuerst School in Beit Shemesh, who were on a class field trip. Seven girls were murdered in the attack and six others were wounded. A military court deemed him mentally unstable and sentenced him to life in prison, which in Jordan typically means 25 years. Recently, Jordanian government Spokesman Mohammad Al Momani confirmed that Daqamseh was to be released when he had finished serving his sentence. Monday 13 March 2017 marks 20 years since the mass murder. One of the Jordanian news sites posted photos from Daqamseh’s release, showing celebrations in his hometown, the city of Irbid in northern Jordan. “My father was released and he is now with us,” Daqamseh’s son, Sif, told the Jordanian site. His wife declared that “my happiness is unlike any other happiness” at her husband’s release. (Ynet) Pray that this brutal murderer will not return to his former.
THE AMALEK OF TODAY: Yaffa Shoukroun, an Israeli seriously injured in the Jordanian terrorist Ahmed Daqamseh’s murderous attack, referred in an Israeli media interview to the terrorist’s release. “I heard this morning about the release and I feel that they ruined our Purim celebrations,” she said. “The Jordanian government did not coordinate with us the decision to release him,” said an indignant Shoukroun. “In the past there were attempts to free him but we made a fight so that the terrorist would never again see the light of day. I never imagined that one day this terrorist would be set free. He should have served a sentence for every pupil he murdered, he didn’t even serve a sentence for one and was released after 20 years.” Shoukroun was seriously injured in the attack, suffered four bullet wounds and underwent extensive rehabilitation. Three of the seven pupils murdered in the attack studied in her class. “This week we commemorated twenty years since the murder of the seven girls. For me and for the families and all those who were present there it is all still fresh as if it happened yesterday. Every morning when I come to school I see the pictures of those murdered and they accompany me every day and every hour. We do numerous things in memory of the girls and recently we established scholarships in their name. Today on Purim we remember Amalek of then and the Amalek of now. I appeal from here and hope that the Israeli government will demand that he be returned to jail for the rest of his life.” (Arutz-7) Amalek was the first to make war against Israel, attacking the rear guard of the Israelites on their deliverance from Egypt. Jewish tradition holds the Amalekites are the undying foe of the Jews. “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, ‘Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation’” Ex. 17:15-16
ISRAEL FEARS ISIS CHEMICAL ATTACK IN EUROPE: The National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau is concerned that ISIS terrorists might be plotting to carry out chemical attacks in Europe in the coming months. The bureau intends to issue a travel advisory to the tens of thousands of Israelis who are planning to vacation in Europe over the upcoming Passover holiday. The bureau is said to be particularly concerned with the possibility that, due to losses ISIS is sustaining in Iraq and Syria, foreign fighters there will return to their homes in Europe and carry out attacks along the lines of the truck attack in Berlin in December that killed 12 people, including Dalia Elyakim, an Israeli tourist, and wounded 56 others. The bureau was specifically concerned with the possibility that ISIS would try to carry out a mass casualty chemical attack in a main European city. The bomb could be made using over-the-counter ingredients available in supermarkets and home improvement supply stores. Last week, the US State Department issued a worldwide warning, urging American travelers to be vigilant while traveling overseas. “Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds, including the use of edged weapons, pistols and vehicles as weapons,” the State Department said in its statement. (J.Post)
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO HOST 68-NATION MEETING ON WAY TO ‘ACCELERATE’ DESTRUCTION OF ISIS: The Trump administration will gather 68 foreign ministers from around the globe this month to figure out a more efficient strategy for decimating the ISIS terrorist group. The State Department confirmed late last week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and US allies will meet March 22-23, 2017 to “accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates and networks.” Coalition forces will also discuss ways to handle the ongoing humanitarian crisis playing out in Syria and Iraq as a result of the terror group’s presence in the region. The meeting will take place less than one month after President Trump told a joint session of Congress that he would take “strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism. As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS -a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs,” Mr. Trump said. “We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.” (Washington Post) “My prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.” Ps 141:5
ISRAEL CONCERNED BY PENDING DEAL BETWEEN IRAN AND ASSAD REGIME THAT WOULD SEE IRAN BUILD MILITARY BASE AT MEDITERRANEAN PORT OF LATAKIA: Iran is on the verge of reaching a deal with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad to build a military base at the port of Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, an Israeli diplomatic official told media sources on 10 March, 2017. According to the report, this would be Assad’s way of paying Iran back for the extensive military and financial support it has provided to the Assad regime since the outbreak of the ongoing war in Syria six years ago. The Jewish state, the report said, views the establishment of an Iranian military presence on the Mediterranean Sea as an “extreme step” that would “foster instability in the region and promote terrorism against Israel.” Among other things, it would bolster the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group and increase the threat to the Israeli home front. Latakia is located less than 200 miles up the coast from Israel’s northern port of Haifa.
After his meeting with Russian President Putin in Moscow last week, Israeli PM Netanyahu said in a statement, “I made it clear that regarding Syria, while Israel is not opposed that there should be an agreement there, we strongly oppose the possibility that Iran and its proxies will be left with a military presence in Syria under such an agreement. Days ago, Sarah Fainberg – a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv with expertise on Russia – said that Israel was seeking to become an integral part in the talks about the future redesign of Syria. “Israel needs to enter that conversation because the threat to Israel is not only a few missiles crossing the border into the Golan Heights, but the establishment of a permanent ‘Hezbollah-stan’ on its northeastern border,” she said. (Algemeiner)
2016, ‘ONE OF ISRAELI ECONOMY’S BEST YEARS’: Minister Moshe Kahlon praised his country’s economic advances late last week, saying, “It is safe to say that 2016 will be remembered as one of Israeli economy’s best years.” Israel’s economy grew 4 percent in 2016, exceeding the average growth rate of 1.7% recorded by other member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to new data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel’s gross national product stood at 2.5% in 2015 and 3.2 % in 2014. The country’s business sector experienced 4.2% growth in 2016 compared to 2.3% in 2015, the bureau said. (Algemeiner) “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Ps 1:3
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: ISRAEL CONTINUES TO SHOCK THE WORLD, BEATS CUBA 4-1: Team Israel continued to shock the world and defeated a well-regarded Cuba 4-1 on Sunday 12 March 2017 in the first quarterfinal game of the World Baseball Classic at the Tokyo Dome. The win brings Israel’s record in the tournament to 4-0. Israel next faces the Netherlands at 12:00 P.M. Monday 13 March 2017. (Israel time). Cuba, with its rich baseball history and a national team that has won medals in all five Olympic baseball tournaments, was first on the board, after slugger Alfredo Despaigne drove a solo home run to left-center in the second inning. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway, awarded MVP for Pool A last week, dug Israel out from behind the 1-0 deficit in the fourth after driving Ike Davis home with an RBI double. Israel added two more runs in the sixth and finally sealed the deal with a run in the bottom of the eighth. The win over Cuba gives Israel a strong mental boost ahead of games against the Netherlands and host Japan to advance in the quarterfinal round, which is played as a round robin. One win in those two games could be enough to bring Israel to Dodger Stadium for the semifinals. Israel’s success to date, a national team representing a country that has little national baseball culture, sweeping its bracket in the last round has surprised many. (Ha’aretz)
COLOSSUS PROBABLY DEPICTING PHARAOH OF EXODUS FOUND: Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany have found a massive eight-meter statue submerged in ground water in a Cairo slum that they say probably depicts Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. The discovery, hailed by the Antiquities Ministry as one of the most important ever, was made near the ruins of Ramses II’s temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis, located in the eastern part of modern-day Cairo. The most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt, the pharaoh also known as Ramses the Great was the third of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt and ruled from 1279 to 1213 B.C. He led several military expeditions, including reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan, and expanded the Egyptian Empire to stretch from Syria in the east to Nubia in the south. Ramses II is often mentioned in popular culture as a candidate to be the pharaoh of the Exodus. On Thurs. 9 March 2017, archaeologists, officials, local residents, and members of the news media looked on as a massive forklift pulled the statue’s head out of the water. If the colossus is proven to depict Ramses II, it will be moved to the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, set to open in 2018. ( J.Post)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff