“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Jas. 5:16
ISRAEL REDUCING PARTICIPATION IN UNHRC: Israel has temporarily reduced its participation with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after the United States pulled out over the Council’s anti-Israel bias, media source reported Friday 22 June 2018. Several diplomats in Geneva, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel had “lowered” its participation at the council to align its stance more with the US position. Israel is not one of the council’s 47 member states, but has participated like most other countries as an observer. Ambassador Nikki Haley, in a joint press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, formally announced earlier this month that the United States is withdrawing from the UNHRC, which she described as “a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias”. Haley pointed out the Council’s blatant anti-Israel bias. “We are withdrawing from the UNHRC, an organization that is not worthy of its name,” said Haley. Israel welcomed the US decision, with PM Binyamin Netanyahu calling the UNHRC a “biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization.” (INN) Intercede that UN anti-Israel bias will be confronted and overcome in all UN branches, especially the UNHRC.
HEZBOLLAH PULLING BACK FROM ISRAEL- SYRIAN BORDER: The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing what it described as “reliable sources,” said that terrorist group Hezbollah and its allied gunmen have begun withdrawing to positions 40 km. (25 miles) away from the Israeli border, and a similar distance from the Jordanian-Syrian border. The redeployment comes in response to a request from Russia, but Iran is refusing to do the same with its forces in the area. The report said Iran is refusing to pull back its own military forces from southern Syria unless there is a corresponding evacuation of US and international coalition forces from the al-Tanf base on the Syrian-Iraqi border. (Times of Israel)
ISRAEL DEPLOYS ELECTRONIC EYE TO TRACK FIREKITES AND BALLOONS FROM GAZA: Israel has deployed a system that can spot fire-starting balloons and kites in the sky, track their progress, and then direct firefighters to their landing spots, enabling them to more rapidly extinguish the flames and reduce damage. The Sky Spotter system, built by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, has been in operation along the Gaza border for several days, Israel’s Hadashot TV reported Thursday 21 June 2018. Originally developed to counter small drones, Sky Spotter can track the balloons or kites and pinpoint their location, where they are heading, and where they are likely to land. Sky Spotter can also be used to direct defensive drones that collide in midair with the kites or balloons, bringing them down. Until now such drones have been flown by army reservists, experts in drone operation, but the system will soon be able to control the drones automatically, directing them to the threats. Testing has continued on a laser system that could be used to shoot down the kites in flight. Development is advancing and this system is expected to soon be deployed around Gaza. (Times of Israel)
MERKEL: SOLUTIONS NEEDED FOR IRAN’S ‘AGGRESSIVE TENDENCIES’: German Chancellor Angela Merkel after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman, said on 21 June 2018, “Iran’s aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions urgently.” She announced 384 million euros (US$445 million) of aid to Jordan this year. Merkel said that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen. Iran’s ballistic missile program and the agreement’s failure to address it was one of the concerns cited by Trump in choosing to leave the nuclear deal. The Islamic Republic has several times test-fired ballistic missiles in recent months, raising the ire of the West. In Syria, meanwhile, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar Al-Assad, sending some of its own forces there and backing Shi’ite militias from Lebanon and Iraq who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries also accuse Tehran of arming the Houthi group in Yemen. Merkel voiced support for Jordanian concern about Iranian activity in southwestern Syria, near its border and that of Israel, where Syria is ramping up a military operation. “You live not just with the Syria conflict, but also we see Iran’s activities with regard to Israel’s security and with regard to Jordan’s border,” she said. (INN) Intercede that Iran will be prevented in its preparations and abilities to destroy Israel and others in the Middle East and the West.
EUROPE: THREAT ‘ACUTE’ AS ISLAMIC ATTACKS DOUBLE IN 2017: Islamic terror attacks in Europe are on the rise, and authorities are warning the danger from ISIS and ISIS-tied terrorists is not subsiding. In fact, Europe’s law enforcement say the number of Islamic terror attacks doubled between 2016 and 2017. Last year, a total of 33 terror attacks were reported on the continent and Britain, 10 of which were successful – killing 62 people – while the rest were foiled. That figure compared with 13 reported attacks in 2016, of which 10 were successful leading to 135 deaths. This included the attack on London’s Westminster Bridge in March 2017 and a similar assault on London Bridge two months later when attackers simply drove vehicles into pedestrians and stabbed bystanders with knives, killing 13 people and wounding some 98 others. “As ISIS gets weaker, it has been urging its followers to carry out lone actor type attacks in their home countries,” Europol said. It also warned: “The threat of jihadist attacks in the EU remains acute, as demonstrated by the attacks which took place in 2017.” France, Germany, Spain and Belgium last week launched an initiative seeking to set up a European register to share vital counter-terrorism information, the judicial cooperation agency Eurojust said. The new register would allow information about current investigations to be passed between EU states to help build up a complete picture. (Geller report)
FRUSTRATED BY LACK OF ECONOMIC GUARANTEES, IRAN REGIME LIKELY TO EXIT NUCLEAR DEAL: A senior Iranian official said on Friday, 22 June, 2018 that the Tehran regime was likely to exit the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, in the coming weeks. Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, was speaking in Vienna following talks convened at Tehran’s request with the remaining parties to the deal — China, Russia, France, the UK and Germany. The US recently withdrew from the deal when President Donald Trump refused to renew sanctions waivers on Iran and imposed tough new sanctions instead. “I told the conference today that the JCPOA is in the intensive care unit because it has lost its balance as a result of US withdrawal from the deal,” Araghchi said in the Austrian capital. For several weeks, Iran has been demanding that the powers that remain committed to the JCPOA compensate Tehran for the new US sanctions. Because of the American measures, a number of major European corporations, including German engineering company Siemens and French oil giant Total, have abruptly pulled out of business deals with Iran that were agreed after the majority of the sanctions were lifted in 2015.
Araghchi said that Friday’s talks were intended to establish whether the remaining signatories “can provide us with a package which can give Iran the benefits of sanctions lifting.” He remarked that if the other signatories of JCPOA wanted to stabilize the deal, they had to “sacrifice more” in this respect. Separately, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) told a prestigious gathering of diplomats in Oslo that a bleak future lay in store for their countries if they failed to offset Iranian losses under the sanctions. “If the European Union and other countries supporting the JCPOA do not demonstrate their practical opposition to the US policies in due time, they will face a dreadful future and unprecedented insecurity in the region and the world because of the JCPOA’s collapse,” the AEOI’s head, Ali Akbar Salehi, remarked at the 2018 Oslo Forum. (Algemeiner)
TERRORIST ATTACKS ON ISRAELIS REACH 2.5. YEAR HIGH: May 2018 saw the highest number of terrorist attacks in 2.5 years against Israelis, following an increase of almost 40% from the 223 incidents recorded in April 2018. Of the 365 attacks recorded in May 2018, some 271 involved firebombs, the Israel Security Agency (Shabak) said in its monthly report. The increase occurred in Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, as well as along Israel’s border with Gaza. The tally for May is the highest on record since October 2015, when 620 attacks were recorded. One Israeli died as a result of attacks. Four more soldiers were injured, one in an explosion in Jerusalem and three others, as well as one civilian, from a rocket near Gaza. Hamas has organized a number of riots weekly along the border with Israel, labeling them “nonviolent events” despite the fact they feature the hurling of firebombs at troops near the fence and attempts to breach it. Gazan terrorists have now burned over two thousand acres of land near the border by sending over kites and helium balloons carrying firebombs and other explosives. (Arutz-7)
CYBER WEEK SHOWCASES ISRAEL AS LEADING CYBERPOWER: The Israel Cyber Week conference hosted 8,000 delegates from more than 66 countries. Israeli PM Netanyahu told the delegates last week: “Israel now receives 20% of the total global private investment in cybersecurity. Given that we are about one-tenth of 1% of the world’s population, we are punching at about 200 times our weight here. My goal eight years ago was to make Israel one of the five leading cyberpowers in the world, and I think we’ve reached that.” Israel’s cybersecurity industry saw exports of $3.8 billion last year and investments of $815 million. Israel has 420 native cybersecurity companies as well as 50 international research and development centers, according to figures cited by Netanyahu. (UK-Register)
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