“The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” Ps. 34:7
IRAN CLAIMS TO HAVE QUADRUPLED URANIUM ENRICHMENT: An official Iranian source has claimed that the Islamic Republic has quadrupled its enrichment rate of low-enriched uranium. According to the official, Iran no longer accepts the restriction on uranium enrichment, as it was written in the nuclear agreement. Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signed a letter to the ambassadors of the signatories to the nuclear agreement saying that his country had decided to stop fulfilling some of its obligations under the nuclear agreement. The letter was delivered to the British, French, German, Russian and Chinese ambassadors. In the letter, Iran presented a two-month ultimatum to the superpowers to find solutions to the sanctions imposed by the US and declared that it would not limit the enrichment of uranium in its territory. Iranian President Hassan Rohani said that “the Zionists and AIPAC exerted pressure on the Trump government to withdraw from the nuclear agreement.” He added, “We have not withdrawn from the nuclear agreement, it is still in force, we are showing the other side of the coin today, and the agreement means that if the other parties do not fulfill commitments, we can lower our level of commitment.” (Arutz-7)
BRITAIN WARNS IRAN: DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE US: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt earlier this week warned Iran not to underestimate the resolve of the US, warning that if American interests were attacked then Washington would retaliate. “I would say to the Iranians: Do not underestimate the resolve on the US side,” Hunt told reporters on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva. “They don’t want a war with Iran. But if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate. And that is something that the Iranians need to think about very, very carefully,” he added. Hunt’s comments come amid rising tensions between Tehran and the US. Hunt added on Mon. 20 May 2019 that the UK has had discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the rising tensions. He said he hoped Iran starts to “pull back from the destabilizing activities” it conducts in the region. “We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally,” he said. (Arutz-7)
400 CONGRESS MEMBERS URGE TRUMP: SAFEGUARD ISRAEL DURING SYRIA EXIT: Nearly 400 members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump calling on him to safeguard Israel’s interests with Syria’s civil war coming to an end. The letter sent on Mon. 20 May 2019 from members of the House of Representatives and the Senate urged Trump to ensure that Israel has the support and material to maintain its qualitative military edge in the region. It also wants economic and diplomatic pressure on Russia and Iran to retreat from their support for the Assad regime, and intensifying sanctions on Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist militia that is Iran’s ally. “With the region in flux, it remains critical that we reiterate to both friend and foe in the region that we continue to support Israel’s right to defend itself,” it said. The letter was spearheaded by the top foreign policy lawmakers in each chamber. The House and Senate have a combined total of 535 lawmakers. (J. Post)
IRANIAN IRGC REPORTED TO BE IN SYRIA’S LATAKIA: Jorf News, a Syrian news site, reported that Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps began a naval combat training course in Latakia province in northern Syria. Latakia is where Russia’s Khmeimim airbase is located. A “source” told Jorf News that 100 men from the Afghan Fatemiyoun were involved in the training along with members of the Shi’ite Imam Muhammed al-Baqir brigade and also IRGC members. The report said it was the first course of its kind. It claims that the “IRGC share many positions with the Syrian regime’s forces and its officers and members wear the uniform of the regime’s soldiers and raise the Syrian flag.” According to a second source, Iran and Syria already signed a protocol for the training of naval forces in Syria. In August 2018 Iran and Syrian signed several deals for military cooperation. Iran also leased air and ground bases in July 2017. In April 2019 reports indicated Iran would lease part of Latakia port. Iran would gain access to The Mediterranean and receive a container port. Paperwork posted online showed Iranian goods arriving in Latakia in Feb. 2019. Iran has also hosted Russian aircraft at its Nojeh air base in Hamedan. (J. Post)
GREENBLATT: HISTORY WILL JUDGE PA HARSHLY FOR PASSING UP OPPORTUNITY: Jason Greenblatt, the US Special Representative for International Negotiations, has expressed his frustration over the Palestinian reaction to the economic workshop in Bahrain next month, in which the administration is set to reveal the financial part of its peace plan. “It’s difficult to understand why the Palestinian Authority would reject a workshop designed to discuss a vision with the potential to radically transform lives and put people on a path toward a brighter future,” he told media sources. “Palestinians deserve dignity, opportunity and a better way of life,” Greenblatt added. “Also, by encouraging Palestinians to reject the workshop, the PA is shamefully trying to block their path toward a better future. History will judge the Palestinian Authority harshly for passing up an opportunity that could give the Palestinians something so very different, and something so very positive, compared to what they have today.” He said that the administration’s economic plan is an “ambitious but achievable” vision, which presents an alternative path with the potential to unlock a prosperous future for the Palestinian people if they choose to follow it. On Tues. 21 May 2019, a senior PA official said: “We will boycott the Bahrain workshop”. (J. Post)
PALESTINIANS OPPOSE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY: Hebron businessman Ashraf Jabari recently announced the establishment of the new Reform and Development Party that calls for focusing on economic prosperity for Palestinians. In response, Palestinians have waged a massive smear campaign against him, with many denouncing him as a “traitor” and “collaborator” with Israel and Jews. Some have even called for his arrest or execution. The Palestinian news website Wattan called for bringing Jabari to trial for treason. In the eyes of many Palestinians, the struggle against Israel should be paramount, even if they have to eat and drink that struggle instead of the food they could buy through engaging in economic initiatives such as those proposed by Jabari. The upcoming peace plan talks about giving the Palestinians billions of dollars and raising money for them from wealthy Arab countries. Yet, as Jabari’s case makes clear, the Palestinians are less invested in gaining economic stability than they are in hating Israel. Jabari was the first to ignore the Palestinian Authority boycott on US President Trump’s June 2019 peace plan meeting in Bahrain. Earlier this week, he received and accepted an invitation to the Bahrain meeting, where Trump is to unveil economic portions of his peace plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jabari will go to as the representative of the Judea & Samaria Chamber of Commerce. (Gatestone Institute) Pray for the protection of Ashraf Jabari, his family and those who support him.
MAJOR CHRISTIAN NETWORK TV STUDIO IN JERUSALEM DESTROYED BY FIRE: CHURCHES IN JUDEA & SAMARIA VANDALIZED: The Jerusalem studio of Daystar, a large Christian television network, was firebombed last weekend, news sources reported on Mon. 20 April 2019. The facility overlooking the Mount of Olives and Mount Zion was undergoing significant renovations. An arsonist threw a firebomb at the facility starting a fire that caused severe damages. “The control room is totally devastated,” Dave Sharett, the contractor overseeing the renovations told CBN. The fire destroyed a large amount of filming equipment and furniture, as well. Daystar has pledged to rebuild the facility. On Thurs. 16 May 2019 assailants broke into the Church of God in the village of Aboud in Judea & Samaria and stole some of the contents of the church. Photos showed damaged furniture and smashed windows. Two days earlier, a similar incident took place at Saint Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem. The perpetrators cut the fence surrounding the monastery and stole some of its contents, including expensive equipment and surveillance cameras. Local Christians have expressed concern that the PA security forces are not doing enough to protect Christian holy sites in Judea & Samaria. (CBN/J. Post)
JERUSALEM RANKED AS 8TH BEST ECOSYSTEM FOR LIFE SCIENCE STARTUPS: The 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report ranked Jerusalem as the 8th best ecosystem for Life Science startups. “Jerusalem should be a light to the world from a creative and innovative perspective. It is a place where new solutions emerge that can solve real-world problems in health, automotive, and any industry that can make life better,” the report stated. In terms of Life Sciences, Jerusalem holds the title of “highest density of Life Sciences startups in the world,” along with San Diego, naming some of the most renowned companies such as BrainQ and Orcam. The Global Startup Ecosystem Report ranks cities for their contribution, promotion and success in different startup sub-sectors. (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