Headlines from Jerusalem, 22 April 2019

“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying'” Matthew 28:5-6


Jerusalem Observes Passover, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday

Several thousand Christians, mostly Arab Catholics and Greek Orthodox but also tourists from around the world and a variety of denominations, marched through the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday to mark Resurrection Sunday, while Israeli Jews were in the midst of the Passover Week holiday. On Monday, an estimated 100,000 Jewish worshippers braved the unseasonably cold and wet weather to crowd into the Western Wall plaza for the Priestly Blessing prayer service.

The holiday weekend was also marked by unexpected heavy rains, hail and snow on Mount Hermon. Meteorologists reported that Israel has had the most severe winter-style weather in many years, with the Sea of Galilee rising another 1.5 cm on Saturday, bringing the level to 211.47 meters below Sea Level.



Israel Offers Assistance to Sri Lanka

Israeli officials were among the first to offer assistance to Sri Lanka following the terrorist bombings of two churches packed with Easter worshippers and several Colombo-area hotels on Sunday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “deep shock” at the attacks and offered to help the authorities in Sri Lanka, adding “The entire world must unite in the struggle against the plague of terrorism.”

Iranian IRGC Replaces Commander

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) appointed a new commander on Sunday, replacing Major-General Mohammed Ali Jafari with General Hossein Salami, long known for his fiery speeches condemning Israel, the US and Europe and boasting of Iran’s ability to destroy its enemies whenever it sees fit to do so. In related news, internet giant Google announced over the weekend that it is blocking accounts linked to Iran’s Spanish-language “news” outlet Hispan TV which recently posted a story accusing Israel of performing medical experiments on Palestinian security prisoners.

UNDOF Commander Dies Unexpectedly in Israel

Maj.-Gen. Francis Vib-Sanziri, the Ghananian-born commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF), died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack on Friday while on a visit to the Israeli Red Sea resort city of Eilat. The Israeli military issued a statement saying that “IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, IDF officers, and soldiers are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of the UNDOF head Major General Francis Vib-Sanziri. His hard work and unwavering commitment to regional stability were truly appreciated. He will be sorely missed.”

BDS Movement Suffers Several Defeats in April

Activists in the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction BDS) Israel got some discouraging news over the weekend as the prestigious news magazine US News & World Report published a list of the world’s most influential countries, ranking the Jewish State 8th behind the US, Russia, China, Britain, Germany, France and Japan. Elsewhere, Israeli soldiers participated alongside colleagues from several other countries in the in the Allied Spirit X drills run by the US Army’s European command throughout the month of April.
In related news, United Arab Emirates business leader Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, noted for taking bold stands on a number of social and political issues, sent out a Tweet over the weekend rhetorically asking “Why do the GCC countries not sign a peace treaty with Israel?” The Tweet further challenged readers to consider deepening cooperation with Israel “in fields of technology, agriculture, even defense.”
The move was applauded by Israeli officials, including Communication Minister Ayoob Kara who posted his own Tweet inviting Al-Habtoor to Israel, saying “It is time to end the hypocrisy in the Middle East. Iran, and only it, is the enemy of the Saudi coalition and Israel, which is the true lover of peace.”


Resurrection—No Doubt About It
Tim Chaffey, Answers in Genesis

What could possibly qualify as an “infallible proof” that someone rose from the dead? Luke answers that question: Jesus was seen and heard by the apostles over the course of forty days; He even ate with them, demonstrating that He wasn’t a ghost (Luke 24:37–39).


BESA Study – Israel’s Eastern Line of Defense

This study explores the strategic-military implications of the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-June 1967 lines. Its central thesis is that the creation of such a state, on the heels of the IDF’s total withdrawal from the West Bank, will not only deprive Israel of defensible borders but will almost certainly lead to the advent of a terrorist entity like the one created in the Gaza Strip – at a stone’s throw from the Israeli hinterland.


ICEJ Aid – Blessing Israel at Passover

Passover. One of the most significant holidays in Israel’s history. A time where the whole nation remembers God’s miraculous deliverance out of Egypt and the bondage of slavery. Passover is a wonderful season for the ICEJ to bless those in need with gifts and encourage their spirits.
Today’s news was written and compiled by Aaron Hecht.

ICEJ News is a free email service providing news and comments on Middle East affairs compiled by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and supported by donations from subscribers.

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