“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.” Ps. 118:6-7
IT’S NOT OVER YET: CEASE-FIRE CONTINUES TO BE VIOLATED BY HAMAS, ISLAMIC JIHAD: Over the weekend, a fragile quiet was jolted between the Gaza Strip and Israel after Israel said that it had ended airstrikes on Islamic Jihad targets. On Friday 15 Nov. 2019 the IDF said it hit a military compound, a rocket-manufacturing site, and an Islamic Jihad headquarters in Khan Yunis overnight and that airstrikes would not resume as long the Palestinian group holds its fire. The Israeli attacks were in response to Islamic Jihad’s launching of a barrage of rockets into Israel on Thursday night 14 Nov. 2019. The terrorist group, Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, canceled weekly protests on Friday along the territory’s border with Israel, apparently to preserve calm. The Egyptian-brokered cease-fire began early Thursday after the sides exchanged fire for several days following Israel’s killing of the Islamic Jihad’s commander in Gaza and its targeting of an official of the Iran-backed group at his Damascus home. On Saturday 16 Nov. 2019 Palestinian terrorists fired two rockets deep into southern Israel from Gaza and the Israeli military responded with a number of airstrikes on terrorist targets, shaking an already tenuous truce. Sirens sounded in the middle of the night in Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, some 18 miles from the Gaza border, warning of incoming fire. The military said its missile defenses intercepted the two rockets. This is far from the first time that the terrorists who rule Gaza have broken a ceasefire. Still, it came as a complete surprise to many residents of Beersheva, where public bomb shelters had already been closed. Needless to say, the sudden rocket attack caused a lot of stress and anxiety. A few hours later, Israeli aircraft struck a number of terrorist outposts belonging to Hamas. No injuries were reported. (JNN)
TERRORIST LAUNCH HUNDREDS OF ROCKETS INTO ISRAEL: MAJORITY OF 2020 DEMOCRATIC CONTENDERS MAKE NO COMMENT: Over the past week Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East, has endured a barrage of rockets from the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza, resulting in the closing of Tel Aviv schools for the first time since 1990. Businesses and schools across the southern and middle parts of the country were also shut down, in some cases, for several days. Transportation was disrupted and hundreds of people repeatedly needed to run to nearby bomb shelters. Many of these people were later treated for light injuries and stress reactions. In the early hours of Tuesday morning 12 Nov. 2019, in Gaza City, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) assassinated Baha Abu al-Ata, a top commander of the Gaza terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a strike which has resulted in violent retaliatory measures against Israel on the part of the Iranian-backed terrorist group. Yet, despite the hundreds of rockets launched at civilian centers throughout the southern part of Israel, only four of the top ten 2020 Democratic contenders bothered to comment—former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Notably absent were frontrunners Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). (JNN)
NETANYAHU: “WE WILL ATTACK ALL THOSE WHO ATTACK US:” PM Binyamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s 17 Nov. 2019 government meeting, concluding several days of fighting in Gaza. “I wish to, firstly, praise the security forces who took part in operation ‘Black Belt.’ I also would like to thank the members of the cabinet who agreed, as one, to authorize this operation. All goals were achieved. Again, I would like to stress, Israel has not obligated itself to anything. The security policy has not changed. We are keeping open all possible operational possibilities. We will attack those who try to attack us.” Netanyahu responded to the rocket fire the previous night, “on Saturday night, Hamas fired at Be’er Sheva, I directed the IDF to fire on Hamas positions. We are prepared for every situation, we will do everything to protect the state of Israel and ensure its’ security.” (Arutz-7)
ISRAELI MUSICIANS ENTERTAIN THOSE STUCK IN SHELTERS NEAR GAZA: Several of Israel’s most popular musicians donated their time and talent to entertaining those stuck in shelters during the recent rocket attacks by Islamic Jihad. Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai made a surprise visit to a wedding in Beersheba and sang to the couple. Singer/songwriter Natan Goshen and Eurovision contestant Harel Skaat performed in shelters in Netivot. (J. Post)
NO ISRAELI GOVERNMENT – EVEN TRUMP LOSES PATIENCE WITH COMRADE IN ARMS, NETANYAHU: At a number of recent public appearances, US President Donald Trump has jokingly expressed his frustration over the fact that two national elections this year notwithstanding, Israel still doesn’t have a government. “What kind of a system is it over there? They are all fighting and fighting. We have different kinds of fights. At least we know who the boss is. They keep having elections and nobody is elected,” quipped the president during a rant to an Orthodox Jewish group in New York. One official told media sources that the Americans are “frustrated and in despair due to Israeli politics and the political crisis, which has been preventing them for many months from presenting the diplomatic part of the ‘deal of the century.’” Not much has changed as of the beginning of this week. If Benny Gantz is unable to form a coalition government by Wed. 20 Nov 2019 he will return the mandate given to him by President Reuven Rivlin, and the Knesset will require a 61- member majority to back any other candidate. Failing that, new elections will be called, which would be most likely held in March 2020. (JNN)
MASS PROTESTS IN IRAN FOLLOWING FUEL HIKES: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced fuel price hikes for Iran on Friday 15 Nov. 2019 and the following day, mass protests broke out in Tehran and other Iranian cities. Official sources say one protester was killed but reports on social media claim there have been additional deaths. As a result, authorities have closed down much of the country’s internet services. Videos over the weekend showed protesters burning banks across the country. Videos from Shiraz showed hundreds of men rioting. Protesters have shouted against Iranian involvement abroad, even condemning the regime for involvement in supporting Islamic Jihad in Gaza over the recent flare-up with Israel. Some protesters argue that the regime has increased prices to fund Hezbollah in Lebanon and other foreign adventures. They have also shouted “down with the dictator,” in Tehran. In some areas, security forces retreated in the face of protests. In Urmia, the Kurdish region people chanted “the enemy is here,” a reference to the regime. Posters of the supreme leader were torn down in other cities. (JNN) Pray for the Iranian people.
“PLEASE PUT DOWN YOUR CELL PHONE!” Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich opened ‘Road Safety Week’ at a government meeting on Sunday, 17 Nov. 2019. Among other comments, Smotrich implored the citizens of Israel: “I ask and plead with the citizens of Israel, put your cell phones aside while driving, be vigilant, pay attention to the pedestrians, take a foot off the gas, keep a distance, drive carefully. These are not clichés; it is life itself, a matter of life and death.” How true it is that no matter what circle of fellow travelers one may be sharing a car with, in Israel, it doesn’t take long before the topic of “crazy Israeli drivers,” surfaces. It’s a wonder that more instances of road-rage do not occur when habitually there’s a person behind your vehicle that honks three seconds before the light turns green, or you’re already going ten miles over the speed limit and the car in the rear-view mirror looks as though it’s ready to climb in your trunk. The driver then flicks his brights off and on in case you’re not getting the message. The modern-day road habit, however, that is of major concern to so many of us in Israel is that of texting while driving. It happens all the time. According to Rachel Tevet-Wiesel, the head of the National Road Safety Authority, when you text while driving, it increases your chances of dying in a car accident by tenfold. But people keep texting. Tragically, since the start of 2019, there have been more deaths on the roads in Israel than there were for the whole year before. Since the start of 2019, 275 people have died on Israel’s roads.
When Tevet-Wiesel was asked in a media interview how does Israeli driver differ from the European driver? Her response was, “They are less disciplined, less patient, less courteous and messing with their phones constantly. When asked if the Israeli driver is dangerous, she said, “Not dangerous, but reckless. A driver needs to follow the law and take responsibility for themselves and their kids.” In finality, “dangerous” and “reckless” are synonyms when it comes to the enemies of road safety. In spite of the fact that Israel has state of the art roads; it hasn’t helped decrease the number of casualties. Many of us who are praying people here have agreed that we never get into a car these days without sending up a prayer for protection on the road from the impatient, the distracted, those who text and drive and the intoxicated. (JNN)
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