Headlines from Jerusalem, 3 July 2018

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” Proverbs 14:34


IDF units stationed on the Golan Heights were on alert Tuesday as an Assad regime offensive, supported by Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias and Russian airpower, continued to make progress against rebel factions, moving to within a few kilometers of the Israeli border. The UN now estimates that 270,000 refugees have been displaced by the offensive, many near the Israeli border. Analysts have projected that if the regime offensive succeeds in cutting the rebel-held salient in half, cutting off access to the Jordanian border, Israel would come under increased pressure to allow those refugees to enter its territory.


Iranian General Accuses Israel of Weather Attacks

Gholamreza Jalali, a senior official within the Iranian armed forces, issued a statement on Monday accusing Israel of entering into a conspiracy with Iran’s regional enemies to change weather patterns in the Islamic Republic by “stealing snow” and other nefarious means. The speech came amidst ongoing demonstrations in several Iranian cities against the regime’s mismanagement of water resources and the economy which have led to severe hardship for millions of ordinary citizens.

Knesset Passes ‘Pay-to-Slay’ Law

The Israeli Knesset voted to pass legislation Monday evening which will, in practice, empower the treasury to deduct the amount of money the Palestinian Authority pays to families of convicted terrorists from the taxes Israel collects on the PA’s behalf for transit of goods and services through Israeli territory. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Tweeted that “we promised to stop terrorists from receiving salaries, and we kept our promise…an effective war on terror is also waged via the pocketbooks of the terrorists and their families.”

IDF Defeats Gaza Border Infiltration Attempt

Four Palestinian men breached the border fence between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Israel Monday night in an attempt to carry out an arson attack, drawing fire from nearby IDF units which killed one infiltrator and wounded another. One other member of the team was captured while the other managed to escape back through the fence into Gaza territory.

Prime Minister Defends Wife Against Fraud Indictment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a public statement Monday defending his wife Sara against the charges that she misallocated state funds for inappropriate uses, as outlined in an indictment by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit on 21 June. “The truth that the press ignores is that Sara is a wonderful wife and mother, and she was a terrific daughter to her parents,” Netanyahu said during a meeting of the Likud faction. “She helps grieving families, lone soldiers, children suffering from cancer, Holocaust survivors, and battered wives. When she goes to grieving families, she doesn’t do it just to write down a check-mark. She stays in touch with them for years, helping them.”


How a victorious Bashar al-Assad is changing Syria
Editorial, Economist (UK)

Iran has resisted Russia’s call for foreign forces to leave Syria. It refuses to relinquish command of 80,000 foreign Shia militiamen. Having defeated Sunni Islamists, army officers say they have no wish to succumb to Shia ones. But Assad still needs his backers. Though he rules most of the population, about 40% of Syria’s territory lies beyond his control.


Turkey’s Historic Election: What to Expect Next?

The results of the recent elections in Turkey show that President Erdogan’s populist rule has deeply unsettled and polarized the country, creating two echo chambers: one populated by those who adore him, and the other by those who detest him. These two groups live in different realities now—they do not want to understand, acknowledge, or sympathize with each other. Erdogan’s winning margin of 52 percent was starkly similar to the results of his 2017 constitutional referendum.


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The International Christian Embassy was founded in 1980 to carry out the mandate of Isaiah 40:1 to comfort the people of Israel. ICEJ Aid has responded with giving to meet social needs within Israeli society through a vast network of contacts and relationships. ICEJ AID’s vision is to build relationships, foster reconciliation and share God’s love through a wide variety of humanitarian projects that respond to the many areas of pressing social need.
Today’s news was written and compiled by Aaron Hecht.

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