“He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.” Ps. 91:15-16
IDF: IRAN DETERMINED TO MAINTAIN STRIKE CAPABILITY FROM SYRIA: Iran is continuing to try “to increase their efforts and capabilities to launch rockets from Syria and establish terror cells that can penetrate into Israel and harm communities in the Golan Heights,” IDF Intelligence Directorate head Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heyman told the International Homeland Security Forum in Jerusalem last week. “The fact that they succeeded in launching rockets toward Israel, causing us to open shelters, is seen by them as a great success, even though it was a total failure operationally.” In May 2018 Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps fired a barrage of 32 Fajr-5 and Grad missiles toward Israel, leading to Israel striking more than 50 Iranian targets in Syria in response. (J.Post)
REPORT: RUSSIA DEMANDED WITHDRAWAL – HEZBOLLAH REFUSED: The Lebanese Shi’ite terror group Hezbollah has refused demands by Russia that it withdraw its forces from southwestern Syria as part of larger removal of foreign military assets from the vicinity of the Israeli border. According to a report on Thursday 14 June 2018 by the London-based anti-Assad Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), Russia has demanded that Hezbollah pull out from large parts of war-torn Syria, as part of an understanding with Israel regarding the withdrawal of non-Syrian forces from the vicinity of the Israel-Syria border. Last month, following talks with Israeli officials, Russia expressed support for the removal of non-Syrian forces from southwestern Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov endorsed the “withdrawal of all non-Syrian forces” – a long-standing Israeli demand, aimed primarily at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and its allies, including Hezbollah. Russia has sought to avoid accidental “military incidents” with Israel, and prevent a massive escalation between Israel and Iranian forces in Syria. But according to the SOHR Thursday, Hezbollah has refused Moscow’s demands, and is in fact “renewing its ranks” in western Syria in defiance of Russia’s calls for a withdrawal. Last week, Iranian officials denied claims Tehran was preparing to pull out of Syria. (Arutz-7)
HEZBOLLAH TO BE OUTLAWED IN BRITAIN: British Home Secretary Sajid Javid will take steps to ban Hezbollah later this year, a senior Conservative source has said. Hezbollah’s military wing was banned as a terror group in Britain in 2008, but a legal loophole allows supporters to fly its flags at events such as this month’s Al Quds Day rally in London because Hezbollah’s political arm is not banned. “Sajid has vowed to take decisive action on the matter. He will make this very clear over the forthcoming weeks,” the source said. Phillip Hollobone, Conservative MP for Kettering, said: “Hezbollah is an Iranian creation that sits as the crown jewel in Iran’s regional strategy of Jihadi revolutionary warfare. It is in short the most powerful armed non-state actor in the world. This is an organization which potentially is more lethal than ISIS, and it is all backed and funded by Iran.” (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
US EXPECTED TO WITHDRAW FROM UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: The US is reportedly planning to pull out of the United Nations Human Rights Council after clashes over key issues such as Israel. A source told Reuters that the move could be “imminent.” The council will begin a three-week session in Geneva on Monday 18 June 2018. Other diplomatic sources said that the withdrawal was “not a question of if but of when.” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has clashed with the council over its treatment of Israel and has repeatedly voted against UN measures that were critical of that country. Most recently, the US and Australia were the only two members to vote against a proposal to investigate Israel’s alleged use of excessive force in Gaza.
Haley has criticized the council over what she called a “chronic anti-Israel bias” and threatened last year to leave. “When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong,” said Haley. Haley has also called for other reforms to the body, including making it easier to expel member states with poor human rights records, specifically Venezuela, China and Saudi Arabia. Swiss Ambassador Valentin Zellweger said that he agrees with Haley that “not all members fulfill the criteria” for membership to the council, but expressed concern over the potential withdrawal. “The decision by the Americans will have a profound impact on the Council. If they withdraw, we can expect significant consequences.” (The Hill/Reuters) “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.” Ps. 2:10-11
SUSPECTED ISLAMIC EXTREMIST RICIN ATTACK FOILED IN GERMANY: An Islamic terrorism plot to launch a deadly attack with the toxin ricin was reportedly thwarted in Germany, prosecutors revealed Thursday 14 June 2018. Authorities said a 29-year-old Tunisian, identified only as Sief Allah H., was taken into custody after an investigation uncovered he had procured the materials needed to create ricin in mid-May and even succeeded in creating the toxin earlier this month. Investigators found the toxin after a search of his apartment in Cologne. “He procured 1,000 castor bean seeds online as well as an electronic coffee grinder,” they said. The shell of the castor bean plant seed is highly poisonous and can be used to create ricin. Prosecutors said they are still investigating exactly how the suspect planned to use the toxin, and said he was working on a “biological weapon” attack in Germany. If inhaled, ricin causes difficulty breathing and other symptoms. If ingested, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations and seizures. The suspect supposedly used instructions for the making of a ricin bomb that had been posted online by the extremist ISIS group. (Fox)
WAQF GETS RID OF PRICELESS TEMPLE ERA REMAINS: The Muslim Waqf has made use of the closure of the Temple Mount to Jews during the final week of Ramadan to get rid of large mounds of dirt containing sacred and archaeologically valuable artifacts from the times of the Jewish Temples. According to Arnon Segal writing in Makor Rishon, during the final week of the month of Ramadan, about 1,000 workers were employed to use the dirt for construction of new terraces and if possible to truck part of it out of the compound to unknown locations. The dirt was originally dug up in 1999, when the Waqf carried out large scale illegal construction on the Mount, to create a new mosque in the section of the Mount known as Solomon’s Stables. At that time, 400 truckloads of archaeologically valuable dirt were evacuated and dumped into city landfills and the Kidron stream. Eventually, the Israeli authorities intervened and the dirt that had not yet been dumped was saved. Since then, the Waqf has been planning to get rid of the mounds of dirt. This Ramadan provided the opportunity the Waqf had been waiting for. With Jews banned from the Mount for the week that includes Eid al-Fitr – it could carry out its surreptitious plans without being noticed. (Arutz-7)
LARGEST HOSPITAL IN NORTHERN ISRAEL PREPARES FOR WAR: Faced with the threat of missile attacks, northern Israel’s largest hospital prepares for a possible move underground. An emergency drill conducted 14 June 2018 at Rambam Health Care Campus rehearsed the scenario of a missile attack on the Haifa area, forcing the only referral hospital in the north to transfer operations to the Sammy Ofer Fortified Underground Emergency Hospital. This unique facility, the largest of its kind in the world, normally operates as the hospital’s parking lot, but in wartime transforms into a 2,000-bed medical center within 72 hours. In a wartime situation, this facility becomes the regional hospital for all wounded in the north. As part of the drill, the hospital practiced several scenarios, some based on lessons from the Second Lebanon War, when Rambam operated under continuous fire. That experience led to construction of the underground facility, ensuring the ability to care for patients in a safe and secure environment. In the event of an emergency situation, the underground hospital is expected to absorb hundreds of oncology patients, pregnant women, dialysis patients and more—all of whom require ongoing medical care while the region is under fire. “About five years ago, the underground hospital at Rambam was inaugurated”, said Rambam Director Professor Rafi Beyar. This facility is of strategic importance for the entire northern region. I hope we will never have to use it, but if the day comes, we will be ready for any scenario.” (J.Post) Continue to intercede for the safety of Israel’s northern borders and for the security of all who live and work in the northern part of the country.
RUSSIA HOLDS NATIONAL DAY RECEPTION IN JERUSALEM: The annual Russia Day celebration put on by the Russian embassy took on added significance on Thursday 14 June 2018, because it was held in Jerusalem, the first national day to be held in the capital by any country in recent memory. “I am delighted to be here,” said PM Netanyahu in the picturesque Sergei Courtyard in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said that he has “great respect for Russia for its contributions to civilization and for the courage of its people.” The prime minister noted the critical role the Red Army played in the defeat of Nazi Germany, saying “we never forget the sacrifice of the Russian people and the Red Army in the defeat of the Nazi monster.” Netanyahu said that the relationship between Israel and Russia is “born of common history and common interests,” including being “united in a common fight against terrorism.” Netanyahu also thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “fight against anti-Semitism.” Russia’s ambassador, Anatoly Viktorov, said that holding the reception in the Sergei Courtyard was in line with Russia’s statement last year that “we view west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” (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