“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:18-19

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God.” John 3:20-21

“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.”
John 8:12

“While ye have light believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.” John 12:36a

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

Greetings from Jerusalem.  Since our last prayer letter, Israel entered into what has been named “the weekend war.” Israel fought a nasty two-and a half day military battle with Islamic factions in the Gaza Strip (May 3-5th).  Over 700 rockets were fired into Southern Israel, damaging fields, property, and sending thousands of Israelis into their safe rooms.  These unguided missiles exploded in a kindergarten, numerous homes, synagogues, factories, also damaging the main hospital in Ashkelon. These missiles targeted Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Beersheva, as well as countless other smaller towns along the Gaza border.  Four Israelis were killed while 25 Gazans were causalities.  Israel’s Airforce responded with some 120 strikes, targeting Hamas positions, military stores, missile sites, and Hamas headquarters.

After two days and nights of intense warfare, Egypt was able to “broker” a peace early Sunday, May 5th.  Israel, in order to “achieve peace” agreed to allow the nation of Qatar to contribute up to $430 million dollars to Gazans. This week, $30 million was delivered which was distributed “to the poor”, although Hamas probably got a good portion.  Israel also made other secret agreements, such as refraining from targeted assassinations.  The rockets stopped, and a fragile peace is in force.  Hamas got “its day in the sun,” i.e.  world-wide publicity and sympathy.

Israel is in many ways “war weary.”  Often the mood here is to “give them what they want, and they will go away.”  I also understand the wisdom and reluctance of Israel’s leaders to enter into a full-fledged war where many IDF soldiers would lose their lives.

Israel made this agreement so it could have a peaceful “Independence Day” and to be able to host the “Eurovision song contest” without waging war.  Hamas knew that.  Israel, by avoiding conflict in the south, may also may have avoided a potential war with its northern enemies, Hezbollah, who remain a constant threat with their 120,000 missiles.  Israel, in the thinking here, bought a short-term peace, while realizing a greater war with its enemies awaits in the near future.

Pray “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).

Hamas Threatens: “The Day of Your Slaughter…”
In a speech at the border area, senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad, known for his fiery rhetoric, warned Israel this week  that “The day of your slaughter, extermination, and demise is approaching. We came to tell the Zionist enemy, its men, army, government and Knesset: ‘Go away from us,’” he said. “All of you should look for a place in Europe…hell, the sea, the ocean or the Bermuda Triangle. There is no place for all of you in Palestine. There is no place for you in the land of Jerusalem. There is no place for you in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre or any place”(www.timesofisrael.com).

Hamad was spewing this incitement during Hamas’ and the Palestinian Authority’s observation of Nakba Day (The Catastrophe) which refers to the establishment of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948.  It also commemorates the so called “Arab refugees” who left their homes during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948-1949 (when five Arab armies invaded Israel).

Pray for this man and all the dark souls in Gaza.  Pray: “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of they feet; and they shall call thee  The city of the LORD, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (Is. 60:14).

Pray for Hamas’s leadership as they are “men(who) love darkness rather than light for their deeds were evil” (Jn. 3:19).  May the Lord give them a space to repent.

Pray for Israel: “Sing O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem, The LORD has taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy” (Zep. 3:14-15).

Palestinian Authority Announces Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is Illegal
Israel and the United States celebrated this week the one-year anniversary of the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Special celebrations and speakers were held.

In protest, Riyad Malki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “foreign minister”, submitted a request to The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) for legal action against the US over the relocation of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. P.A. officials speaking from Ramallah claimed the US relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem was “in clear violation of international law”, reported the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

“One year after the Trump administration carried out its provocative and illegal action, the State of Palestine continues to seek justice and accountability through the tools and mechanisms available to law-abiding and respecting states within the international system,” Malki said in a statement.  Malki said that seeking “justice” through the Hague, is aimed at “defending [Palestine’s] rights and interests against illegal actions by the US; to protect the city of Jerusalem; and to reject all illegal and unilateral measures practiced by the current US administration” (www.israelnationalnews.com).

Eurovision 2019
Israel is hosting representatives from 41 countries this week in Tel-Aviv for Europe’s annual song festival.  Last year, Israel won the contest and thus was awarded being host nation. Organizers are somewhat disappointed because attendance is down from the expected 20,000 attendees to only 5,000.  Some have placed the blame on high ticket prices, while others blame boycotts or the threat of war.  Singer Madonna is highlighting the show.  Large screen televisions are broadcasting this event in Jerusalem’s first station.

Pray for Tel-Aviv and all those who are attending this event.  Pray that they who dwell in darkness may see a great light. Pray for opportunities for the “children of light” to share Jesus and that he is truly “the light of the world.” Pray for souls.

Netanyahu Coalition Woes
A month into coalition negotiations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his potential partners in the next government are asking for too much. “The factions are asking for impossible demands,” said Netanyahu (www.jpost.com).  Netanyahu also announced that coalition negotiations are “a mission that seems absurd” and that he “prefers to be here more than in the coalition negotiations, and all the factions demand demands that clash with each other.” “One faction asked for four positions for each of its four MKs. The budgetary requests are reasonable, if we had a budget like the US. We don’t have that, and we can’t collapse Israel’s economy,” he stressed (www.israelnationalnews.com).

Netanyahu asked for an extension to form his new government and was given another two weeks by Israel’s President Rivlin.  If he cannot assemble the required 61 seat majority in the Knesset, then the next largest opposition party (The Blue and White party) may be asked to form a coalition or another election could be held.

Pray for Israel’s leaders that a working government can be formed quickly.  Let all quarreling and arguing and senseless demands be stopped.

Good Neighbors
Abba Richman and Elisheva Itel, MDA volunteers who are residents of Efrat, were called last week, to the gate of the community to take care of an Arab girl who fell in her yard and injured her face. The girl’s parents brought her to Efrat to receive medical treatment, but the head of the council says that Efrat residents help the Arabs in the area who need medical attention almost every day.

“Almost every day it happens, almost always it goes untold,” said council head Oded Revivi. “In the framework of the relations with the surrounding villages, they know that Efrat has volunteers in Magen David Adom and even an emergency room where only six months ago, resident doctors saved the life of a Palestinian.”

“This time the treatment was given immediately at the gate and from there the girl was referred to a hospital. We believe that from such small actions we will be able to build a life side by side one another,” Revivi concluded (www.israelnatinalnews.com).

The Treasures of the Earth
I am constantly amazed at how God continues to prosper this tiny nation.  The latest discovery involves finding a mineral harder than diamonds. While working in the Zevulun Valley, close to Mount Carmel, an Israeli diamond exploration mining company Shefa Yamim (Bounty of the Seas) found a new mineral never before discovered on earth.  The new mineral loosely resembles allendeite, a mineral previously seen on the Allende meteorite that fell to earth in February of 1969. However, this is the first time that such a substance has been found to naturally occur in rock on Earth itself.

The CEO of Shefa Yamim, Abraham Taub, when interviewed said that the mineral had been named carmeltazite, after the place of its discovery and the minerals contained within its structure: titanium, aluminum and zirconium.  This strange new mineral was found embedded in cracks within sapphire, the second hardest mineral (after diamonds) found to occur naturally on earth.  Carmeltazite closely resembles sapphire and ruby in its chemical composition, and is found in black, blue-green, or orange-brown colors, with a metallic hue.

The firm has been mining for about a decade along the steep hills and fertile valleys that surround the city of Haifa. Shefa Yamim, the first and only diamond explorer in Israel, says it also has found strong signs that significant diamond deposits are indeed hidden in Israel, surprising many who had dismissed the mission as a dream. Shefa Yamim has until now been focusing most on alluvial mining, which is shallower along the riverbed in the valley. It will need a significant injection of capital if it is to dig deeper to discover diamonds  (www.bbc.com, www.reuters.com, www.mining.com).

Ask for Israel
Thursday, May 16, Lou Engle held a one day prayer and fasting event in Ariel, a growing city just beyond the old “Green Line.”  Ariel (Lion of God, and another name for Jerusalem) is located in central Samaria.  We gathered together to pray, intercede, and fast for God’s breakthrough among His people.  We prayed for the sons of Ishmael, that they might live (Gen. 17:18). We declared His praises and decreed His decrees.  It was a glorious event and my soul is refreshed and a shining light for Zion.  God is moving in Samaria and in Ariel.  Pray for this growing city.

Kumi ori
Ki va orech
U’ch’vod Adonai alayich zarach

Arise, shine
For your light is come
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you

Shabbat Shalom,
Gene and Marylois
House of Peace, Jerusalem