“The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.” Ps. 33:10-11
IRAN TAKING ‘PRELIMINARY STEPS’ TO RESTART URANIUM ENRICHMENT: Iran is taking preliminary steps to design uranium fuel with a purity of 20 percent for reactors the country’s nuclear chief said on Sunday 13 Jan. 2019. “We have made such progress in nuclear science and industry that instead of the use of designs by others, we can design new fuel ourselves,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. “This product is different from the previous 20% fuel, and we can supply fuel to any reactor that is built like the Tehran reactor. We’re on the verge of achieving it”, he added. Under Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, Iran is allowed to enrich uranium at up to 3.67% purity, well below the 20% it was reaching before the deal.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal in May of 2018, and has since then imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran. Iran, angry over the US withdrawal from the deal, has threatened several times that it will begin uranium enrichment beyond previous levels if the remaining parties fail to uphold the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran several months ago reopened a nuclear plant that was idle for nine years as it prepared to increase uranium enrichment capacity in response to Trump leaving the 2015 agreement. The European signatories to the deal did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave the deal and have been trying to save the accord, which they see as crucial to forestalling an Iranian nuclear weapon. Tehran has demanded that Europe come up with an economic package to offset the effects of the US withdrawal but so far has found Europe’s proposals to be unsatisfactory. (Arutz-7)
IDF OPERATION ‘NORTHERN SHIELD’ ENDS WITH DISCOVERY OF SIXTH TUNNEL: The Israeli army’s mission to locate and destroy terror tunnels built from Lebanon into Israel is wrapping up according to an announcement on Sunday. The effort’s grand finale was the discovery of the sixth tunnel, this one said to have been the largest of the bunch. The tunnels were built by the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah terrorist organization, each one originating in the south Lebanon areas specifically forbidden to Hezbollah by UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 war between the Beirut-based jihadists and the Israeli army. In a briefing to military correspondents last weekend army spokesman described the final tunnel as containing “railroads to transport equipment, lighting equipment and ladders to enter Israeli territory. Stairs were built. A lot of resources were invested in this tunnel.” The army is also building a wall along the border that extends beneath the surface deep enough to prevent new tunnels. (Medialine)
ISRAEL MAY INTENSIFY AIR CAMPAIGN AGAINST IRANIAN ARMY: Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu said his country was prepared to escalate its attacks on Iranian military forces deployed in Syria, if necessary, to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in the war-torn country. Netanyahu met with IDF soldiers stationed in northern Israel on Sunday, 13 Jan 2019 as part of Operation Northern Shield, which was launched last month to locate and destroy cross-border terror tunnels built by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon into Israeli territory. During the tour Sunday, Netanyahu said the IDF was prepared to intensify its ongoing campaign against Iran’s Quds Force in Syria. “Israel struck an Iranian weapons depot at the Damascus International Airport. This is part of our policy and determined efforts to prevent Iran from establishing itself militarily in Syria. If need be, we will intensify our attacks.” Israeli forces struck several weapons depot on the outskirts of Damascus and in the al-Kissawa area late Friday night 11 Jan. 2019. Netanyahu added that while the Israeli army was completing Operation Northern Shield, the recent discovery of a sixth cross-border terror tunnel highlighted the need for continued vigilance along the northern border. “I think that everyone understands that a very serious threat was averted here. Hezbollah’s operational plan was to use the tunnels weapon to infiltrate many fighters, between 1,000-2,000 terrorists, into the Galilee, to seize communities here. Everyone understands how the war would look if Hezbollah battalions were in the Galilee, and with the Iranian army opposite the Golan Heights. We have prevented this – and will continue to prevent it.” (Arutz-7)
TRUMP THREATENS TO “DEVASTATE TURKEY ECONOMICALLY” IF IT ATTACKS KURDS: President Trump threatened Turkey on Sunday 13 Jan. 2019 with harsh economic sanctions if it attacks Kurdish forces in Syria after American troops withdraw from the country in the coming months. “We will devastate Turkey economically if they hit the Kurds,” Trump said on Twitter. “Likewise, we do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey.” A military spokesman said the US had already begun “the process of our deliberate withdrawal” from Syria. Defense officials later clarified that the military has begun moving non-essential gear out of Syria but is not withdrawing troops for now. (N.Y.Times/ Arutz-7)
MALAYSIA DENIES ENTRY TO PARALYMPIC SWIMMERS FOR OLYMPIC QUALIFIER: Malaysia will not allow Israeli swimmers to enter the country to participate in the World Championship event. The competition scheduled from 29 July to 4 August 2019 is a qualifying event for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. Hundreds of swimmers from 70 countries are expected to compete. PM Mahathir Mohamad said last week Malaysia would deny visas to Israeli swimmers. He challenged the International Paralympic Committee to sanction the country, saying “If they want to withdraw Malaysia’s right to host the championship, they can do so,” news services reported. Malaysia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Entry to Malaysia on an Israeli passport is prohibited. The IPC said it would work to “find a solution” for the Israeli swimmers. (JTA)
ISRAELI MINISTER VISITS EGYPT FOLLOWING INVITATION FROM CAIRO: Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz arrived in Cairo on Sunday, 13 Jan. 2019 to attend a regional forum on natural gas after receiving an invitation from the Egyptian government. “Here you have for the first time real economic cooperation between the axis-of-peace states – Israel, Egypt and Jordan – along with European countries,” Steinitz told news outlets. The Energy Minister was accompanied by Energy Ministry Director Udi Adiri. During the talks the ministers discussed increasing energy cooperation between Israel and Egypt, including cooperating in the field of exporting gas from Israel and Egypt to Europe. Minister Steinitz was invited to visit Egypt next May when the establishment of the Mediterranean Sea Natural Gas Organization is expected to take place with participation of Israel, Egypt, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority as well as participation of the EU Energy Commission as an observer. “I thank the Egyptian Energy Minister for the invitation to visit Cairo. This is the most significant economic cooperation between Egypt and Israel since the signing of the peace treaty between the two countries,” said Stantz. (Arutz-7)
NETANYAHU TO VISIT CHAD SOON: Israel’s PM Netanyahu is scheduled to fly to Chad for the first time, even before the elections for the 21st Knesset. Netanyahu’s visit to Chad is part of a move that is expected to lead to a declaration of renewed relations between the two countries. Chad President Idriss Deby visited Israel in Nov. 2018, where he met with Netanyahu and the two discussed advancing the relations between the two countries towards a full resumption of diplomatic relations. “President Deby and I had an opportunity to discuss the relations between our two countries and how we can cooperate for the benefit of our people and ensure peace and security,” said Netanyahu, who hosted the president at his home. He added, “Deby’s historic visit to Israel marks a new era of security, cooperation and peace.” Deby emphasized the historical dimension of his visit, saying, “This is the first visit by a leader from Chad to Israel, and it can be defined as a historic visit. This visit will allow us to open a new page, a new way in our relations.” (Arutz-7)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS OWNER ROBERT KRAFT WINS ‘JEWISH NOBEL’: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is the winner of the $1 million Genesis Prize, the so-called Jewish Nobel. Kraft, 77, will be giving the money “to initiatives combating anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice as well as attempts to de-legitimize the State of Israel,” according to a statement. Genesis Prize co-founder Stan Polovets called the Jewish-American NFL owner and businessman “one of the world’s most generous philanthropists.” Over decades, the Kraft family has given more than half a billion dollars to causes including health care, education, the Jewish community, Christian organizations and local needs. “This award amplifies my ability to raise both awareness and additional funds to fight anti-Semitism, attempts to de-legitimize Israel and other forms of prejudices,” said Kraft.He will receive the award at a gala in June 2019 in Jerusalem. (INN)
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