The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) is calling for urgent prayer for the safe return of 3 Israeli teenagers recently abducted by Hamas terrorists. The ICEJ is urging Christians world-wide to pray for the release of the young men and their safe return to their homes and families. Many in Israel are praying for their homecoming and we want to join this effort of sustained prayer before the Lord to intervene, prevent their harm, and see them safely home. In addition, the ICEJ is calling on world leaders of goodwill to press for the safe return of these young men, including pressure on Palestinian leaders to cooperate fully in the efforts to locate the abducted teens, identify their captors and secure their release.

Operation Brother’s Keeper, the Israeli army’s massive search for the abducted Jewish teens, has intensified with IDF officials vowing they will leave no stone unturned. Col. Eliezer Toledano, the commander of the IDF’s Paratrooper Brigade, said that three full battalions are taking part in the search and rescue operation, and that every soldier is unwaveringly committed to the mission. “I am personally joining my soldiers, and despite the harsh conditions not one has asked when we are going home,” Toledano told the Israeli press. “We all believe that we will find the kidnapped youths, and it is with this faith that we march day and night.”

The Israeli army has arrested dozens more Hamas leaders and activists as it seeks out even the smallest clue as to where Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel are being held captive. “Every pool in the area is being sucked dry. Locals are being questioned – anyone who can help, who might have local intelligence. This will continue in the coming days. We are turning over every stone,” a senior military source said. At the same time, another army officer told Israel Radio that violent Palestinian resistance to the search and rescue operation is increasing. Soldiers are being attacked with stones, Molotov cocktails and explosive devices, and in some instances have faced live gunfire.

Source: International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said that Jerusalem is the heart of Israel and, as such, will never be divided again. Netanyahu made the comments in a speech he gave at the annual Jerusalem Day celebrations at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. The celebration is traditionally attended by the important figures of Religious Zionist rabbinic and political leadership. This year the dais included, among others, Cabinet ministers, Rabbis and the Mayor of Jerusalem. “I feel at home in Merkaz Harav Yeshiva”, said the Prime Minister, “it seems like home to me, because my grandfather knew Rabbi Kook well and because I knew Rabbi Shapira, father of the present dean, very well and respected him greatly.”

“Those who remember Jerusalem immediately after the Six Day War, it was not a small village, nor a large city…but today Jerusalem is a huge city,” said Netanyahu. “Jerusalem is Yad Vashem, it is Herzl’s burial place and the Mount of Olives, where my grandparents are buried, as is Menachem Begin,” he continued. “And Jerusalem is also Mount Zion and Mount Moriah and the Western Wall, Jerusalem is Israel’s eternity, it is our heart, and we are guarding our heart – the heart of the nation. We will never divide our heart,” declared Netanyahu. “I am here to rejoice with you in the joy of Jerusalem, and I’m here to strengthen your hands for your diligence in the study of Torah,” Netanyahu told the students and rabbis who were present.

This year marks the 47th year since the unification of the 3,000-year-old capital of the Jewish people, which occurred in the 1967 Six Day War and which is celebrated on Jerusalem Day. Also speaking at the celebration was Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who promised that there will be no more construction freezes in Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem. “There will be no more freezes, we will not accept delays and restrictions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and we will continue to build in all parts of our country,” said Ariel. “Jerusalem will not be divided again. Between the Jordan and the sea there will be only one state, and that is the State of Israel,” he declared.

Source: Israel Today

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Reuven Rivlin has been elected by the Knesset as Israel’s 10th president. Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Rivlin is married to his wife Nechama and has four children. Rivlin is “a scion of a rabbinical family, a descendent of the students of the Vilna Gaon, the son of Yosef Yoel Rivlin and a member of the well-known Jerusalemite Rivlin family.” He served as a Major in the Israel Defence Force (IDF) and practiced law after graduating from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After winning the election, Rivlin reportedly visited the Western Wall and the grave of his father, who is buried on the Mount of Olives. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Rivlin on being elected to the office.

Netanyahu said, “We have known each other for several decades. We are both from Jerusalem, the sons of professors—and we have much more in common—such as our football team. Joint work on behalf of all Israelis is before us. We have gone through much together and I am certain that we will now work responsibly for the future of the State of Israel.” Politically, Rivlin has voiced strong opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state and is a long-time supporter of building Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, though he claims he would not interfere in peacemaking efforts should the government choose to support a Palestinian state. Rivlin succeeds Shimon Peres who has completed a seven-year term as President.

Source: Breaking Israel News

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made news when he visited an Israeli military field hospital in the Golan Heights where wounded Syrians are being treated.  On his official Facebook page, following his visit to the hospital, the Prime Minister wrote: “On the day when talks between the major powers and Iran are being opened in Vienna, it is important that the world sees the pictures from this place, which divides the good that is in the world from the bad. The good part is that Israel is saving the lives of those who have been wounded in the daily slaughter that is being perpetrated in Syria. This is the true face of Israel. The bad part is that Iran is arming those who are carrying out the slaughter. This is the true face of Iran.

All of the children who have been injured or killed are as a result of Iran’s arming and financing the Assad regime in the massacres it is perpetrating.  I would like to tell the world, today, as talks between the major powers and Iran are taking place, that Iran has changed neither its aggressive policy nor its brutal character. Iran is continuing to support the Assad regime which is slaughtering its own people. This is the true face of Iran. The world cannot forget this.”  Mohammed Badie, a leader of Syria’s opposition told Kol Yisrael radio that Netanyahu’s support for the wounded “sends an important message to the Syrian people, particularly after the failure of recent talks in Geneva between the opposition and the regime in Damascus.”

Source: Arutz Sheva

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The Knesset has passed a law that now legally differentiates between Israeli Muslim’s and Christian Israeli Arabs.  The new law affects approximately 160,000 Christians living in Israel who have fought for years to be differentiated from Muslims. Christians in Israel will now be able to select leaders to represent the religious minority on the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity. Said Knesset MK Yariv Levin: “This is an historic law. It’s the first time there is a separate representation for Christians. We will soon expand on this and give Christians all the separate representation they deserve.” He said Christian Arabs are the “natural allies” of Israel and are different from Muslims in that Christians “do not want to destroy the state from within.”

Source: Israel News

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Brazilian worship leader Ana Bessa has led worship in concerts of up to a million people in her home country and says she strongly believes Brazil has a special destiny with Israel. “I believe the Brazilian nation is arising to pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” she said. “Many Brazilians are coming to Israel in order to pray—to pray for Israel and pray for Brazil in this nation. We have a big role in this because Brazil is in revival,” she added, “and the Holy Spirit is raising up intercession on behalf of the end times.” Describing the revival going on in Brazil, Bessa noted, “Today we have almost 40 percent of the population declaring they are born-again Christians, and the churches are full. The people are open to receive Jesus, even on the streets.”

Source: Christian News Network

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