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From our Israel Desk – March 2024

Call to prayer

I received this letter from Hanna Haustein, a Messianic believer in Yeshua, from Israel.

Dear Friends, On the human level we experience that, as this war seems to turn into a war of attrition, a sense of fatigue due to the unrelenting tension is setting in, as well as a sense of hopelessness when we look at the apparently insoluble issues we face. Just to mention a few for your prayerful consideration: Israel has to decide whether to make a deal with Hamas according to their impossible conditions for releasing the hostages; whether we should have an all-out war on our northern border with Hezbollah and how to orchestrate the governance of Gaza when the war is over. Now I better understand David’s cry in several psalms, e.g. Psalm 25:15, for the Lord to release him from the snare that has been set for him. These are several of the snares that we are caught in at the moment. All man’s advice doesn’t really give us answers. Our government is at a loss and appears indecisive about all these issues. There only remains turning to God as David said in Psalm 25: 15, “My eyes are ever on the Lord for only he will release my feet from the snare.”

Hanna Haustein

Besides our internal pressures, there are also the external ones. The demand for a two-state solution is in essence opening the door for the destruction of the Jewish state, simply cushioned in the humanistic language of the West, expressed in the noble terms of “human rights” – two states for two peoples.

However, people seem blind to the fact that turning Samaria and Judea into a Palestinian state simply creates another Gaza Strip border problem in the heartland of Israel, since the Palestinian Authority still calls for the destruction of Israel.

Both tunnels and weapons depots are already set up in Jenin, Shechem/Nablus and other Samarian towns, simulating the Hamas infrastructure in Gaza. Only now we will be much more vulnerable because this is central Israel and every city can be easily reached with rockets from such a “state”. And this is demanded by our Western ‘friends’ and ‘allies’, the USA, UK and the EU.

However, from a spiritual viewpoint, we can see clearly that Israel is in the refiner’s fire at this time. While we greatly appreciate the support and prayerful undergirding we receive from faithful believers in the nations, we also understand that the Lord is dealing with us. He needs to burn away the ‘dross’ that had accumulated over years, such as selfish political ambitions, unnecessary abortions (the worship of Molech), the disunity of baseless hatred causing factions in the nation (to name a few), increased atheism and … idolatry.

“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

“But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire כְּאֵשׁ מְצָרֵף [kǝʾēš mǝṣārēp]
And like launderers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3.1-3

As horrific as the slaughter of the 7th of October was, one cannot overlook the similarity to a biblical event described in Exodus 32, the worship of the golden calf while Moses was convening with God on Mount Sinai. At the Nova music festival, where over 300 young people were killed or taken hostage, more than three thousand young Israelis were dancing in front of a large statue of some say Buddha and some say Shiva (heathen gods). Promiscuity and drug use was rampant.

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a moulded calf.

Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”

Exodus 32.1-4

The Lord reacted as He did thousands of years ago, in His wrath allowing the Hamas disaster to take place. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The solution starts with repentance and a return to God. A national day of prayer has been held in Israel at the Western Wall and there are clear signs of Israelis turning to the Lord more than ever. The believers are planning a worldwide repentance and prayer day from 25th to 27th February.

Blood red moon over Jerusalem.
Blood red moon over Jerusalem

Our intercession will include repentance from individual sin on the first day, repentance for the sin in the Body of Christ on the second day and repentance on behalf of Israel on the third day. The Scripture that comes to mind is from Hosea 6:1-2,

Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will restore us that we may live in His presence.

Hosea 6.1-2

Another well-known verse is a clear call for restoration in 2 Chronicles 7:14,

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways and pray and seek My face, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7.14

‘The Day After’? – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and PA meet for secret talks

Secret talks in the Saudi capital of Riyadh in January involved a discussion about plans for the day after the war in Gaza, according to an Axios news media report. Axios reported that leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, along with officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA), met to discuss proposals for rehabilitating the PA so it could be allowed to participate in governing after the war ends. 

According to the report, Saudi Arabia’s National Security Advisor Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban hosted the meeting and invited the director of General Intelligence Services (GIS), Maj.-Gen. Majed Faraj. Their counterparts from Egypt and Jordan were also present. Al-Aiban reportedly told Faraj that serious reforms in the PA are necessary for it to participate in any future ‘day after’ governance. This message was echoed by the Egyptian and Jordanian security chiefs. 

One of the clear statements made by the Saudi national security advisor was that the Saudi Kingdom is still interested in normalizing relations with Israel after the war. While the U.S. Biden administration has attempted to link normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia to the creation of a Palestinian state, the Saudis are reportedly willing to move forward with normalisation efforts in exchange for firm and irrevocable steps by Israel towards the creation of a Palestinian state. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly opposed the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state throughout his terms as premier. 

While neither Israel nor the United States were invited to the meeting, Axios claimed that officials from both nations were briefed about the meeting after the fact. 

Egypt builds a wall to keep Gazans out

Egypt is building a huge wall to prevent Palestinians from crossing over into the Sinai. At the same time they are begging Israel not to enter Rafah and threatening military actions if they do. What are they afraid of? What they really want to hide is the illegal system of contraband that’s been active for decades between Rafah and Egypt. There are at least six tunnels passing under the border, one of them directly under the checkpoint. 

Everybody knows about them and the corrupt Egyptian forces are making tons of money controlling this.  It is the flow of money that they don’t want the IDF to block. Of course this is also a means for Hamas to smuggle in weapons and the means to manufacture weapons into Gaza, which is why shutting down these tunnels is vital for the success of Israel’s military operation. Don’t expect to get any information about this on the BBC or mainstream media.

Israelis internally displaced

Some 200,000 Israelis have been internally displaced in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war following the terror group’s October 7 massacre in southern Israel, and amid escalating skirmishes on the Lebanon border in the north with terror group Hezbollah and allied Palestinian factions, according to Israeli authorities. Many are living in hotel rooms across the country, which are limited in number. 

The Israel Hotels Association (IHA) said the supply of available rooms was running out and that the organisation was “scrambling for free rooms all over the country in accordance with the government’s requirements.”

France proposes peace settlement

Hezbollah has issued a fresh threat to Israel amid fears of an all-out war between the two sides. Ibrahim al-Moussawi, a Hezbollah parliamentarian, has openly warned Israel not test the power of the ‘axis of resistance’ which refers to Iran and its proxies including Hezbollah, Hamas and Houthis, and threatening to raise its ‘response to aggression to the highest level imagined by its enemies.’

Hezbollah continues to fire missiles at Israel, including rockets fired on 13 February from Lebanon which hit multiple targets in northern Israel, including the city of Safed, where at least one person was killed and several wounded. At the time of writing there are reports that Israel’s military is preparing a ‘significant response’, which may well develop into a full scale war.

At the same time, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne has submitted a fresh proposal to Lebanon to secure a ceasefire and resolve Lebanon’s border disputes with Israel. The proposal had been put to the governments of Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah. France has historical ties with Lebanon. It has 20,000 citizens in the country and some 800 troops as part of a U.N. peacekeeping force. 

The plan proposes Lebanese armed groups and Israel would cease military operations against each other, including Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon. Hezbollah should withdraw roughly ten kilometres from the Israeli border (less than it is commanded to do by UN Resolution 1701), and dismantle its military infrastructure within that zone.

Some 15,000 Lebanese army troops would be deployed in the area to ensure future compliance with the buffer zone. In response, Hezbollah said it would not comment until a ceasefire had been effected in Gaza.

Lost tribe of Menashe (Manasseh) asks to make Aliyah and join IDF

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; 

Isaiah 43.5

Hundreds of members of the Bnei Menashe community in north-eastern India gathered in Aizawl, in the Indian state of Mizoram, to show their support and solidarity with the state of Israel as it marks 100 days since the war in Gaza began. 

They marched in the streets of the city, waved Israeli flags and called on the government of Israel to allow them to make Aliyah (immigration to Israel) immediately so they could join the IDF and fight alongside other Israeli soldiers whom they call “our brothers and sisters”.

75 members of the Bnei Menashe tribe who have already made Aliyah to Israel are on active duty and currently serving as soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). An additional 140 members were called up for reserve duty.

The Bnei Menashe, or sons of Manasseh, claim descent from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who were sent into exile by the Assyrian Empire more than 27 centuries ago. Their ancestors wandered through Central Asia and the Far East for centuries, before settling in India on its borders with Burma and Bangladesh.

Throughout their sojourn in exile, the Bnei Menashe continued to practice Judaism just as their ancestors did, including observing the Shabbat, keeping kosher, celebrating the festivals, and following the laws of family purity.

Down through the generations, they nourished the dream of one day returning to the land of their ancestors, the Land of Israel. Currently, there are 5,000 Bnei Menashe awaiting their return to the Jewish homeland.

Information from Israel 365