VFI News January 1, 2021

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1 Killed, 3 Injured in Alleged Israeli Airstrike Near Syria-Lebanon Border

Syrian air defenses responded to an alleged Israeli airstrike near the Syria-Lebanon border on Tuesday night, which has left one soldier dead and three others wounded, according to a Syrian military source, SANA reported.

The source added that the strike targeted an air defense unit in the area.

The open-source intelligence social media account Intelli Times tweeted earlier that the strike targeted a weapons stockpile intended for Hezbollah located along a weapons-smuggling route between Syria and Lebanon.

A round-trip Fars Air Qeshm flight between Tehran and Damascus was reported by civilian flight tracking sites on Monday. The airline is suspected of being used to smuggle weapons from Iran to Syria and Lebanon. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect innocent life from all harm.”

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Iranian Official: Foreign Forces Must Leave the Region

A top Iranian security official on Monday urged foreign forces to leave the region.

"Security in the region can only be achieved through the removal of external factors" which are against the stability of the region, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, was quoted as saying.

He said that "the recent US forces’ increased mobility in the region is a show of defiance and fear."

Earlier in the day, Saeed Khatibzadeh, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said that Iran has sent messages to the United States to avoid any new "adventurism" in the region.

"We have not been looking for a tension in the region and we are not," said Khatibzadeh, adding, "We will not hesitate to defend our country...We hope the wise in Washington will defuse tensions."

Iran’s warnings come ahead of the first anniversary of the elimination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed on January 3 in a US strike in the Iraqi capital. (INN / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect those around Iran from their dangerous power games.”

Israelis Returning from Abroad Will No Longer Quarantine in Gov't Facilities

Authorities in Israel, as well as the West Bank and Gaza, are grappling with the current increase in coronavirus cases, which has prompted directives to curb its spread but also an effort to mitigate the economic consequences of the crisis.

Israel has entered a third nationwide lockdown and has severely limited the entry of foreigners into the country as cases continue to spike. Israelis returning from abroad are obligated to go into quarantine for 14 days – or 10 days if they twice test negative for COVID-19.

Israel currently has 40,929 active cases; 3,292 people have died. In the West Bank, there are 12,972 active cases and 1,120 deaths, and in Gaza 10,729 active cases and 340 deaths. (HA / VFI News)

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. - 3 John 1:2

Quality of Life Index: Kfar Saba Leads, Jerusalem Ranked Worst

Kfar Saba, Ramat Gan, and Rehovot have the highest quality of life among large cities in Israel and the Tel Aviv district has the highest quality of life compared to other districts, according to the 2019 Quality of Life Index released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Tuesday.

Large cities are defined as cities with populations of over 100,000 people.

Jerusalem, Bat Yam, and Ashdod were the lowest-ranked large cities in terms of quality of life, with Bat Yam and Ashdod ranking below average in 29 out of 42 life quality measurements each and Jerusalem ranking below average in 35 out of 42 life quality measurements.

Kfar Saba was above average in 30 out of 42 life quality measurements, leading the country in terms of life expectancy (84.8 years), job positions that match employees' fields of study (74.5%), housing density (0.68%), satisfaction with the area of residence (95.3%), satisfaction with the housing (91.8%), satisfaction with the cleanliness of the area, satisfaction with economic situation (73.2%), Internet usage (93.8%) and the lowest rate of part-time workers who don't want to be part-time workers (0.4%). (JPost / VFI News)

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. - Isaiah 12:2

12 Israeli Researchers Among World Top 50 in their Field, 333 in Top 2%

A dozen Israeli researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) were ranked among the world's top 50 in their disciplines, a new study from Stanford University has revealed.

Some 333 TAU researchers were among the top 2%, with 155 of them included in the top 1% and 74 in the top 0.5%, said the study, making TAU's achievement even more impressive.

"This is a cause for real national pride. TAU is known for its academic excellence and recognized as a leading interdisciplinary university," said the university's vice president for research Prof. Dan Peer, adding that it is ranked among the top 0.4% in the world in nanotechnology.

"It is a great honor for us that 333 of our researchers rank among the top 2% of the world's best researchers," he said. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to bless the people of Israel with gifted scientists and researchers.”

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Israel to Become Natural Gas-Independent for the First Time

Israel will rely on its own natural gas supplies without needing external suppliers, starting in 2022, the Energy Ministry has said.

Israel maintains an offshore emergency gas supply in a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) boat off the coast of Hadera. Canceling that unit will save Israelis more than NIS 250 million per year in electricity costs.

Israel operates two major natural gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea: Tamar, which has been pumping gas since 2013, and Leviathan, which began production last year. A third gas source, the Karish field, is expected to start producing gas during the coming year. At that point, the Energy Ministry maintains, there will be no need for external backups.

The existing FSRU infrastructure that was built in 2012 will be maintained in case of future need, the ministry noted. The system allows liquefied natural gas to be imported and stored, and then converted back to a gas and delivered via sea link to Israel's natural gas transmission system. (JPost / VFI News)

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. - 1 Peter 2:16

Israel to be Soon Hit by a Destructive and Deadly Earthquake

A destructive earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale is expected to hit Israel and its surrounding neighbors in the coming years, causing hundreds of deaths, a new study led by researchers from Tel Aviv University has found.

For the study, carried out under the auspices of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) and published in the Science Advances journal, a rig was placed in 2010 in the center of the Dead Sea, which began drilling to a depth of hundreds of meters, enabling an analysis of some 220,000 years of Dead-Sea geology by studying the seabed.

The researchers revealed a cyclical pattern since such devastating earthquakes seem to be hitting the region every 130 to 150 years – but there have been cases in history where the period of time between one earthquake and another was only a few decades long. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect the people of Israel and the region from this potentially devastating event.”

Jonathan Pollard, Former Jewish Spy, Lands in Israel 35 Years After Arrest

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard made aliyah (immigrated) early Wednesday morning, landing in Israel 35 years after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for passing classified US information to an ally.

He and his wife, Esther, arrived on the private jet of American billionaire Sheldon Adelson, immediately kissing the ground after coming down the steps of their plane.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the Pollards at Ben-Gurion Airport, handed Jonathan an identity card, and recited the sheheheyanu (you kept us alive) and matir asurim (freeing of prisoners) prayers with them. Netanyahu said he is glad that they are home. (JPost / VFI News)

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. - James 1:25