“And I will send out hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.” Exodus 23:28

“Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” Isaiah 28:17

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

Last week, February 10, was a Saturday and a Shabbat.  This day was supposed to be observed as a day of rest in Israel.  Nowhere else in the world will you find a whole nation shutting down, except for its military and emergency services.  People stay home, businesses are closed and public transportation ceases.  The religious attend synagogues, while the non-religious pursue recreational activities.  And yet before the sun rose, a brief war became a reality.  A sudden fight between Israel and its arch nemesis Iran exploded.

“I will send hornets”
In the early morning hours, Iran deliberately sent a stealth drone, copied from a captured U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel into Israeli territory, either to gather information or to launch an attack. The Iranian Shaheed 171 was able to infiltrate Israel for approximately 90 seconds before being intercepted near the Northern Israeli town of Beit Shean.  Its launch, flight path, and presence had been detected earlier by Israeli monitors.

The IDF high command issued an immediate alert to its bases.  Soon an Apache AH-64H Longbow helicopter from Israel’s 113 Squadron was directed to intercept and destroy the Iranian drone.  This Squadron is also known as Ha’Tsira’a, which means hornet or wasp.  The very same morning (Feb 10, 2018) Jews in every synagogue around the world were reading a passage from the weekly Torah portion Parashat Mishpatim, where it says, “And I will send hornets (Hebr. Ha’Tsira’a) before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you.” (Ex 23:28).  Only God could have orchestrated this event.  Truly He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps! (www.thewatchman.se/epa )

In response, Israeli jets were ordered to attack Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria. The Syrians responded back by firing some 25 Surface to Air missiles (SAM) against eight attacking IAF aircraft.  One SAM acquired an IAF “target” and exploded, causing an IAF F-16i aircraft to crash in the Jezreel Valley. The two pilots were hurt, one seriously.  Israel then proceeded to attack 12 targets in Syria, including the operations sites for the launching of the Iranian drone.  The Syrians and Iranian forces responded with more heavy SAM missile launches. Syrians and their Iranian advisors have been in possession of numerous SA-5/S200 missiles for decades and their range, which covers most of Northern Israel, is well known. These SAM missiles are designed to hit targets flying at long distances and high altitudes.

Air raid sirens went off in large parts of the Galilee, the Golan Heights and the northern Jordan Valley. Remnants of spent Syrian missiles landed in Israel, near houses and fields.  The deputy commander of Israel’s air force, Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar, said Saturday that Israel’s aerial reprisal was “the biggest and most significant attack the air force has conducted against Syrian air defenses” since the 1982 Lebanon War.  IDF sources reported that nearly half of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air defenses were destroyed (www.haaretz.com).

The fact that a Syrian anti-aircraft missile, fired from deep within Syria, managed to hit an Israeli jet flying over Israeli territory calls for the Israeli Air Force to modify its offensive tactics and its flight profile in certain instances, even while flying over Israeli airspace.   The Russian made S200/SA-5 SAM can reach speeds up to Mach 4 (Above 5000mph) and its ranges from 81 to 160 miles.  Ben Gurion airport was suddenly closed Saturday morning because of the potential threat of incoming SAM missiles.  Russia is “upgrading” Syria’s air defenses now with even more powerful S400 SAM missiles (www.timesofisrael.com ).

Saturday’s incidents signal the dawn of a new state of affairs in which the Iranians and Syrians coordinate offensive actions against Israel. Until now, the Syrians and Iranians have responded to Israeli attacks through diplomatic channels or with anti-aircraft fire during or after Israeli attacks.  What Israelis will remember from this brief skirmish is that a F-16i Sufa (Storm) was downed in Israeli territory, the first loss in 36 years of aerial warfare.  Israel’s newest weapon is a squadron of stealth F-35 aircraft, but with Syria and Iran promising even more “surprises,” they may not be enough alone to achieve aerial superiority. Russia is deploying S400 /SA21 SAM missiles in Syria which can reach speeds exceeding Mach 6 and a range of 250 miles.

Israel’s senior IDF officers are warning of the possibility of a greater warfare by Iran and Syria.  The whole Middle East is a tinder box, with numerous nations engaged in open warfare including the United States, Turkey, Russia, Israel and Iran. Over 200 Russian advisers were killed last week in fighting with U.S. backed Kurdish forces as well as a Turkish helicopter which was destroyed in Syria (www.debka.com).  A Russian Su25 fighter Jet was also shot down.

Please Pray:
Pray that the God of Israel would continue to send the hornets after the enemies of Israel.

Pray for Israel that “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their righteousness is of me saith the LORD” (Is. 54:17).

Pray that “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders but thou shall call thy walls Salvation and thy gates praise” (Is. 60:18).  Pray against an escalation of warfare.

Pray safekeeping for the people of Israel, especially those who live on the Northern borders.

Pray for the safekeeping of Israel’s Armed Forces, especially its Air Force as they seek to defend Israel.

Netanyahu Indicted for Bribery and Breach of Trust
For more than a year, it has been widely reported that police were investigating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  In the so-called Case 1000, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are suspected of receiving illicit gifts from billionaire benefactors, reportedly including hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of cigars and champagne from the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and James Packer.

The Police last Tuesday formally charged Prime Minister Netanyahu with one count of bribery and another charged for breach of trust.  The central favor they believe Netanyahu provided both Milchan and Packer, tax exemptions, in exchange for gifts totaling NIS 1 million (NIS 750,000 shekels from Milchan and NIS 250,000 from Packer).  Central to the police case is a legal interpretation of Amendment 168, a piece of legislation meant to encourage Aliyah (immigration to Israel) by Jews living abroad. Amendment 168 to the Income Tax Ordinance was signed into law in September 2008 by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

The law as it stands now allows the transfers of a large amount of funds which could be interpreted as being nothing less but an attempt at international money laundering.  Each year for the past several years the finance minister has tried to abrogate it. But each year the effort to cancel it is scuttled, putting Israel in danger of being placed on international sanctions lists.  Amendment 168 grants a 10-year tax exemption on income earned abroad to new immigrants as well as to returning residents who have lived abroad for at least 10 years. In addition, the amendment gives those eligible a 10-year exemption on reporting earnings abroad.  Police now believe, based on the testimony of former finance minister Yair Lapid, that Netanyahu sought unsuccessfully to extend the exemption to 20 years, on behalf of Milchan and Packer.

Case 2000
The Police have also charged PM Netanyahu in another case labeled 2000.  Here they accuse Netanyahu and newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth owner and publisher Arnon Mozes of discussing mutual ways to promote one another’s interests during private meetings that began in 2009 and lasted for several years.  As part of these talks, the two allegedly discussed the possibility of Mozes helping Netanyahu establish himself as prime minister through positive and favorable coverage in Yedioth Ahronoth. In return, the prime minister would aid Mozes to promote Yedioth’s financial interests by initiating and supporting moves to weaken rival newspaper Israel Hayom.

“Full of Holes, Like Swiss Cheese”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at these accusers in a nationwide address last Tuesday night.  Netanyahu called the recommendation ugly, extremist, and full of holes, like Swiss cheese. He said the recommendations failed to take into account his 20 years of friendship with Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan which included gifts going both ways over the years, and exaggerated the value of the gifts from Milchan.

“The police ignored the facts I gave them on how I actually acted against the interests of Milchan,” Netanyahu said. “I broke his monopoly on importing auto parts, which was worth a huge amount. I worked to close Channel 10, which would make his stock in the channel worth nothing. I work for the Israeli economy and society. I am working against Milchan, not for him.”

Netanyahu received backing from his coalition partners following the publication of the police recommendations. Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon released a statement after the passage of the 2019 state budget late Tuesday night saying that only the attorney-general can decide on an indictment. “Until then, I will continue to lead and navigate the economy for the welfare of the citizens of Israel,” Kahlon said. “I call upon everyone – Right and Left – to refrain from attacking the police, the legal system, which should be allowed to work without pressure from the Right or Left.”  Netanyahu also received backing from United Torah Judaism, whose leader, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, attacked the central witness of the police against the prime minister, Yair Lapid.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has been in Office for over eight years, this term and over eleven years total as leader of the nation.  He is popular with the general public, who still stand by and respect him as Prime Minster.  Netanyahu also has many political enemies who seek to push him from office that they may attain this high position themselves

Please pray “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.”  Lord let every lie be exposed, Let your truth be revealed. Pray that those who act like the wicked treasurer Shebna in Isaiah be exposed and removed.  Pray that the Eliakim’s arise (Is. 22:15-20). Pray that Prime Minister Netanyahu be vindicated.  Pray that he can escape the snare of the fowler, which has been set against him. Pray that the Israeli Attorney General Mendelblit be given wisdom to discern light from darkness in this matter. Pray that he makes a just decision. Pray for Israel in this time of crisis that her enemies would not start a surprise war. Pray that every lie, false accusation and deceitful allegation be uncovered. Pray that blood of Yeshua would be brought to bear in this matter.

Israel Prayer Assignment 2018
Come and be a part of ETH’s Israel Prayer Assignment for 2018, March 21st to April 1st.  There is still an opportunity to join Sharon and Philip Buss and Gene and Marylois Little.

Our assignment includes:

  1. Contending for the Covenants
  2. Three days of worship in the Galilee
  3. Alon Moreh, Shechem, Mt. Ebal, Bethel, and Shiloh
  4. Hebron
  5. Jerusalem
  6. The Temple Mount
  7. Seder Dinner at the House of Peace
  8. Resurrection Sunrise service at the Garden Tomb

Bring your anointing and giftings and make an impact on this land.  As we flow in intercession and worship, God will move on Israel’s behalf.  We invite you to apply now by emailing tours@eth-s.org or calling the ETH Office at 870-446-2252.  The cost for the land portion only is $1850.  You will make your own flight reservations.  There is still room for YOU!

Shabbat Shalom,
Gene and Marylois / House of Peace