VFI News Iran Laughs at the US, Israel Warns Iran Before Rosh Hashanah

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Happy Rosh Hashanah

As Rosh Hashana, the new Jewish year, begins today at sundown, we would like to wish all of our readers Shana Tova u'Metuka. May you experience happiness during these festive days and may the Lord bless you with a prosperous New Year, filled with health, joy, and love.

Israeli Population Nearing 10 Million People Ahead of Jewish New Year

About 9.8 million people were living in Israel ahead of Rosh Hashanah, with the country's population expected to reach 10 million people by the end of next year, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday, September 13.

By the end of 2048, Israel's population is expected to reach 15 million people. Of the 9.8 million people living in Israel, 7.2 million (73%) are Jews and about 2.1 million (21%) are Arabs. Another 549,000 were from other sectors.

Israel's population grew by about 194,000 people this past year, marking a 2% growth. 172,000 new babies were born and about 70,000 people moved to the country, including about 66,000 new immigrants. (JPost / VFI News)

“But You have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’” - Genesis 12:13

The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.

Israel Will Act Against Iranian Nuclear Pursuit, Uranium Enrichment

Israel will act against Iran’s enrichment of uranium at above 60% because that means it was admitting pursuit of nuclear weapons, National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi told the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya on Monday morning, September 11.

“If Iran enriches uranium at above 60% as an action that we would identify — and there is no chance that we would not, that the world and the International Atomic Energy Agency would not recognize it — the result is that Israel would have to act,” Hanegbi said. “There would not be any choice” but to act, he stated.

Passing over the 60% threshold would mean that “we have reached the moment when Iran is clearly telling the world that it is going for a [nuclear] bomb,” Hanegbi explained.

“It would mean that this is now Iranian policy.” Hanegbi noted that recently Iran had hit the 83.7 mark on uranium enrichment, but had hastened to explain that this was a mistake. Such steps are never accidental, he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has explained this to world leaders including the United States and the E3 — Germany, France, and Italy. IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi also warned on Monday that there is a "routinization" process underway of Iran's many nuclear violations. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You stop Iran from pursuing its nuclear plans and that the international community will soon commit entirely to this cause as well. We would also like to thank You and our leaders for constantly defending our country and not staying silent on such important issues. Let us pray that the world will not experience a nuclear war.”

Iranian President Laughs at the Biden Administration by Saying He'll Use $6 Billion from 'Hostage' Deal on Whatever He Wants

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi says his country will use $6 billion in unlocked funds 'wherever we need it' – rejecting a limitation in negotiations with the U.S. that limits the money to 'humanitarian purposes.' Raisi's comments come a day after the Biden administration announced the extraordinary deal that would free five detained Americans while unlocking the funding for Tehran.

'This money belongs to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and naturally, we will decide – the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide – to spend it wherever we need it. How to spend our money, of course, it is under the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran,' he said.

Pressed by journalist Lester Holt that it could be used for 'more than humanitarian purposes,' he underlined: 'Humanitarian means whatever the Iranian people need, so this money will be budgeted for those needs. And the needs of the Iranian people will be decided and determined by the Iranian government.'

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken provided a waiver for Tehran to gain access to $6 billion in oil revenues that had been blocked by South Korean banks amid sanctions, amid the prisoner exchange. The U.S. says a Qatari bank will oversee funds to ensure they go to humanitarian purposes. (DM / VFI News)

“God, we pray that our allies do not become deceived and provide funds that will be allocated to finance terrorist activities. We urge world leaders to take an austere stance and we hope that no one will suffer because of this hostage deal.”

Two Israelis Wounded in Judea and Samaria Terror Shooting Near Huwara

Two people were wounded in a shooting attack near Huwara in northern Judea and Samaria on Tuesday evening, September 12, according to Magen David Adom.

The two suffered from injuries caused by shards of glass. Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan was in the area at the time of the attack and helped treat those wounded.

Shortly after the attack, the al-Fajr Brigade terrorist group claimed responsibility for the shooting. The terrorist group said it committed the attack in response to alleged attacks on Palestinian women in Jerusalem and Hebron. Hamas spokesperson Muhammad Hamadeh also welcomed the attack.

Last week, the al-Fajr Brigade claimed responsibility for a shooting attack in the Jordan Valley in which a Border Police officer was moderately injured.

For the first time ever, an armed guard will be stationed outside each synagogue in Jerusalem, as part of preparations for the upcoming High Holidays and amid concerns over the recent terrorist attacks. According to reports in Israeli media, there have been 19 terrorist attacks in Jerusalem since the beginning of the year, with 31 other incidents successfully thwarted. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we pray for the quick recovery of the victims of Tuesday’s terrorist attack. We ask for Your help so we can prevent such attacks, and we urge members of the international community to condemn the terrorist organizations that pride themselves in harming Israeli citizens.”

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Israel Arrests Three Palestinians Amid Riots on Gaza Border

Three Palestinians were arrested during riots along the border of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening, September 12, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit. According to Palestinian reports, the rioters burned tires and set off explosives near the border fence. The three arrested suspects were transferred for questioning.

The riots were being conducted as part of protests against restrictions that National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir intends to implement against Palestinian prisoners.

Ben-Gvir announced a decision to restrict the visits of families of Palestinian prisoners to once every two months, with Netanyahu stating shortly afterward that no such decision was made. Ben-Gvir subsequently claimed that he was simply enforcing the law and that the decision would be implemented regardless.

Last week, the Supreme Emergency Committee for Palestinian Prisoners announced that the prisoners intend to launch a hunger strike starting this Thursday. The committee has downplayed the decisions by Netanyahu to push off the issue, stating that they still intend to move forward with the hunger strike.

The committee and the Palestinian factions called for Palestinians to gather at demonstrations in support of the prisoners throughout Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip on Tuesday evening, with protests held in a number of cities. (JPost / VFI News)

“Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.” - Deuteronomy 16:20

Morocco Rescuers Race to Find Survivors as Earthquake Toll Reaches 2,900

Rescuers on Monday searched villages reduced to rubble for any survivors of Morocco's deadliest earthquake in more than six decades, in a desperate race against time as the death toll rose to 2,901 and the scale of destruction became clearer.

Search teams from Spain, Britain, and Qatar were joining efforts to find people buried under debris after the 6.8 magnitude quake struck late on Friday night, September 8, in the High Atlas Mountains, with the epicenter 72 km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech.

Many survivors spent a third night outside, their homes destroyed or rendered unsafe. State television reported that the death toll was now 2,901, while the number of people injured more than doubled to 5,530.

Survivors struggling to find shelter and supplies have described the government response as slow, though it appeared to be speeding up on Monday. In a televised statement on Sunday, government spokesperson Mustapha Baytas said every effort was being made on the ground.

Neither King Mohammed VI nor Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch have addressed the nation since the disaster. Morocco had accepted offers of aid from Spain, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. The European Union also said it was releasing an initial 1 million euros ($1.07 million) to non-governmental aid organizations in Morocco. (JPost / VFI News)

Afghanistan Now World’s Fastest-growing Meth Manufacturer Despite Taliban Ban on Narcotics

Afghanistan is the world’s fastest-growing maker of methamphetamine, a report from the United Nations drug agency said Sunday, September 10. The country is also a major opium producer and heroin source, even though the Taliban declared war on narcotics after they returned to power in August 2021.

The United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crimes, which published the report, said meth in Afghanistan is mostly made from legally available substances or extracted from the ephedra plant, which grows in the wild.

The report called Afghanistan’s meth manufacturing a growing threat to national and regional health and security because it could disrupt the synthetic drug market and fuel addiction. It said seizures of meth suspected to have come from Afghanistan have been reported from the European Union and East Africa.

Annual meth seizure totals from inside the country rose from less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in 2019 to nearly 2,700 kilograms (6,000 pounds) in 2021, suggesting increased production, the report said.

Authorities have already destroyed 644 factories and around 12,000 acres of land where prohibited narcotics were cultivated, processed, or produced. There have been more than 5,000 raids in which 6,000 people have been arrested. (NYP / VFI News)

Iran's Jews Warned Against Rosh Hashanah Gatherings Amid Tensions

The Tehran Jewish community urged its members to refrain from publicly celebrating Rosh Hashanah, following escalating tensions in the Iranian capital.

"Worshipers are strongly requested to refrain from stopping and gathering in the streets during Rosh Hashanah and after performing religious duties in synagogues for any reason," the community leaders announced on Telegram.

This comes after the community's announcement of its collaboration with the Greater Tehran police force to ensure the safe observance of Rosh Hashanah against the backdrop of the upcoming one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Iranian woman.

According to a message sent to members of the community, in the official Telegram channel, the community members were urged not to participate in the demonstrations in memory of Amini.

Furthermore, in a statement from the Tehran Kilimian Association's public relations team, they expressed gratitude towards the police force for their unwavering support. They remain confident that with collective vigilance and divine assistance, the Rosh Hashanah ceremonies will conclude successfully and without incident. (JPost / VFI News)

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” - Psalm 133:1

The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.

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