Be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” 1 Pet 4: 7
US WITHDRAWS FROM UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced the move late Tuesday, 19 June 2018. Earlier this year Ambassador Haley issued a statement after the UNHRC adopted five resolutions condemning Israel while adopting only one resolution each against North Korea, Iran, and Syria. “This has become an annual ritual, as every March, the Council sets aside only two sessions to debate human rights violations and abuses in all countries and another entire session just to debate a single country, Israel. When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the Council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name,” said the American Ambassador. “It is time for the countries who know better to demand changes. Many countries agree that the Council’s agenda is grossly biased against Israel, but too few are willing to fight it. When that happens, as it did today, the Council fails to fulfill its duty to uphold human rights around the world,” she added. Haley also condemned the council after it voted to establish a commission of inquiry to examine possible war crimes committed by Israel during the recent confrontations on the Gaza border. On Monday 18 June 2018 Britain also condemned the UN Human Rights Council’s anti-Israel bias and called for change. (Arutz-7)
ISRAEL WELCOMES US ANNOUNCEMENT OF WITHDRAWAL FROM UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Wed. 20 June 2018: “Israel thanks President Trump, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley for their courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council. For years, the UNHRC has proven to be a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights. Instead of dealing with regimes that systematically violate human rights, the UNHRC obsessively focuses on Israel, the one genuine democracy in the Middle East. The USA decision to leave this prejudiced body is an unequivocal statement that enough is enough. Israel welcomes the American announcement.” (Prime Minister’s Office)
PM NETANYAHU: WE ARE PREPARED FOR WAR WITH HAMAS-RULED GAZA STRIP: Israeli PM Netanyahu has reiterated that the military is prepared for any eventuality in the Gaza Strip and warned that Jerusalem’s response to months of protests along the border will escalate “as necessary.” The comments come amid reports of discord within the Israeli security cabinet over how to deal with the growing incidence of “Terror Kites” being launched from the Palestinian enclave into Israel. Along with the flaming kites, incendiary objects ranging from helium balloons—some containing explosive devices—to rigged condoms have wreaked havoc on southern Israel, destroying thousands of acres of fields, crops and nature reserves. According to media accounts, more hardline ministers are advocating for a policy of targeting those launching the primitive weapons, effectively blurring any distinction between them and terrorists firing rockets; whereas others are arguing that such an approach would result in tremendous international fall-out, especially in cases involving Palestinian youths. Meanwhile, tensions with Hamas-ruled Gaza continue to soar to the highest levels since the 2014 war, as more than 45 mortars and rockets were fired from the enclave into Israel overnight Tues. 19 June, 2018. In response, the IDF struck more than two dozen Hamas targets. (Medialine) Pray for His shield of defense to surround Israel’s southern communities. Intercede also for the Gaza Strip to be brought under control without another war with Hamas and other terrorist operatives.
‘IDF READY FOR GROUND WAR IN GAZA IF HAMAS CONTINUES ATTACKS’: Israel is prepared for a major ground operation in the Gaza Strip, security officials said Wed. 20 June, 2018 if Hamas continues to escalate tensions along the border. Overnight, Tuesday, terrorists operating out of the Strip fired 45 rockets and mortars at Israeli towns in the western Negev. At least three of the rockets exploded in Israeli towns near the border. While there were no reports of injuries, several buildings sustained damage in the attacks. One of the rockets landed next to an Israeli kindergarten. The attacks escalated an already tense situation along the Israel-Gaza border. From March 30th through early June 2018, thousands of rioters gathered almost daily opposite the Israeli security fence, clashing with Israeli soldiers and attempting to breach the border. In recent weeks, the rioters have shifted from direct clashes with IDF personnel to arson attacks using “terror kites” and incendiary balloons armed with improvised explosive devices and firebombs. Terrorists in the Gaza Strip have launched thousands of the balloons and kites into Israeli territory, causing millions of dollars in property damage. Overnight, Israel Air Force fighter jets struck Hamas targets across the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the recent attacks and wave of arsons. Senior IDF officials say Israel is prepared for further escalations, including a possible ground operation inside of Gaza, if Hamas continues the attacks. (INN)
15 FIRES SWEEP SOUTH AS KITE TERROR CONTINUES: Fifteen fires broke out in the western Negev on Thursday afternoon, 21 June 2018 after a group in Gaza flew across the border incendiary kites and balloons, setting ablaze trees in the Shokeda Forest and the Be’eri Forest as firefighters scrambled to contain the flames. The IDF confirmed Palestinian media reports earlier in the afternoon that Israeli jets shot at a group of incendiary kite and balloon flyers east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. No one was injured in attack. The latest fires add to the hundreds that have already swept through thousands of acres of Israeli landscape as tensions between the Hamas-ruled enclave and the IDF show little sign of waning. (Ynet) Pray for the wisdom and strategy of Israel’s government and military.
TRUMPS MIDEAST TEAM GETS CLOSE-UP VIEW OF PEACE OBSTACLES: On their current Mideast tour, senior Trump administration officials are getting a close-up view of some of the towering obstacles to their yet-to-be-released blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Blockaded Gaza – a likely focal point of any future US-endorsed Palestinian entity – has been sinking deeper into a humanitarian crisis in recent months, while cross-border violence between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel flared again this week. Meanwhile, Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas, the Judea & Samaria-based Palestinian leader, has hardened his rejection of any US proposals, including large-scale Gaza aid projects meant to stabilize the territory. Jared Kushner and envoy Jason Greenblatt issued vague statements, saying they are talking about the “humanitarian situation in Gaza” and US efforts to “facilitate peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” but didn’t even release an itinerary. In the meantime, the envoys are trying to raise up to $1 billion from Gulf countries for economic projects in Gaza. PA chief Abbas fears that any investments pouring into Gaza will inadvertently help Hamas stay in power. He has stepped up financial pressure against Hamas in recent months, sharply reducing salary and welfare payments that had helped sustain Gaza’s economy. For years, Hamas’ tight grip on Gaza has vexed Mideast mediators. Abbas couldn’t really claim to represent all Palestinians while terrorists controlled a large area sought for a Palestinian state. (Fox)
HAMAS LEADER PAID GAZAN FAMILY TO LIE ABOUT BABY’S DEATH: Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar paid a Gazan family to lie about eight-month-old Leila al-Ghandour dying from tear gas inhalation rather than from a pre-existing medical condition during the border riots last month, according to an indictment filed with the Beersheba District Court on Thursday, 21 June 2018. Ghandour’s death sparked global criticism, but the Hamas Health Ministry in Gaza later crossed the baby’s name off the official list of people killed during deadly border riots, pending further investigation. A 20-year-old Gaza resident Mahmoud Omar, who was arrested during the “March of Return” riots last month, said he had arrived at the border fence with other al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and tried to vandalize one of the border crossing’s gates. At some point, he received a phone call from his mother, informing him that his niece had died. When Omar got home, the indictment says, he found out that the baby had died from a blood disease, which was similar to a disease that caused the death of her brother, Salim al-Ghandour, who had died in 2017 when he was only a few months old. He then discovered that the baby’s parents had told the media that Leila had died after inhaling tear gas fired by the IDF during the border protests. Omar told his investigators that Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, had paid the family about $2,200 to lie and say that Leila had died of tear gas inhalation. (Ynet)
ISRAELI RESEARCHERS DISCOVER BREAKTHROUGH IN FINDING ALS TREATMENT: Researchers at Tel Aviv University recently conducted a study that led to the discovery of a previously unknown mechanism involved in the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is believed that this discovery could lead to a treatment for the fatal disease. The team of researchers found that the motor neurons of ALS patients are destroyed due to toxins excreted from the muscle. The study’s results led the team to conclude that the foundation for a future treatment for the disease could be a specific microRNA molecule that blocks the genes that cause the toxin dissemination. “We believe that our discovery constitutes a genuine breakthrough on the path to developing effective treatments for ALS and maybe also for other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which destroy different nerves,” a research source explained. ALS, also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that destroys the neurons that control the voluntary muscles in the patient’s body, which leads to permanent disabilities. At the moment, there is no cure for the disease. (Koenig)
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