VFI News April 30, 2021

COVID-19 Restrictions May End in 3 Weeks

In about three weeks Israel will be almost free of coronavirus restrictions if the epidemiological situation continues to improve, Health Ministry officials said Wednesday, as the country registered fewer than 100 new cases for the fourth day in a row.

“A week from Thursday, the green pass outline will not include any additional limits,” Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish said while addressing the Knesset plenary that convened to approve the new regulations and to extend the existing ones. “In my estimation, if the disease continues to decline, in three weeks from today we will remove the restrictions completely... and that is an amazing achievement,” he added.

Some 86 new cases were identified on Tuesday, with less than 0.3% of the 34,000 tests performed returning a positive result. The figures are in line with those from previous days. The number of serious patients and active virus carriers in the country also continued to drop, standing at 132 and 1,651 respectively. At the peak of the pandemic in January, there were 1,200 serious patients and tens of thousands of active cases. (JPost / VFI News)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy. - Psalm 103:2-4

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.

Soroka Hospital Closes Coronavirus ICU

Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba closed its novel coronavirus intensive care unit after more than a year of treating severe coronavirus cases, the hospital announced on Monday.

“I thank each and every one of the employees of the coronavirus intensive care unit for standing firm in the face of such a complex challenge and for such a long period, for the sense of security they provided, for the significant work, for the professionalism, for the humanity, for the compassion and for the saving of lives,” said Dr. Shlomi Kodesh, director of Soroka.

“This work was done continuously by the teams since the outbreak of the pandemic, with the great uncertainty that accompanied the onset of the pandemic, with the changes in the way patients are treated, under complex protection and with remote monitoring, with the close support given daily to patients’ families, and with difficult personal and team coping,” added Kodesh. (JPost / VFI News)

The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. - Psalm 41:3

Israel to Demand More Sea Territory in Lebanon Border Talks

Israel prepared to respond to increased demands from Lebanon by claiming more than double the area of the Mediterranean Sea that is currently in dispute, according to a map obtained on Monday.

The map shows what the Energy Ministry has called “Line 310,” or the red line, which extends significantly farther north than Israel’s starting negotiating position, the blue line on the map.

Israel and Lebanon began US-mediated negotiations on their maritime border in October, which were the first talks between the countries in 30 years. The countries hope that settling the border would encourage further gas exploration in the area.

Israel already pumps significant amounts of gas from the Mediterranean, but Lebanon has yet to do so. (JPost / VFI News)

The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. - Psalm 95:5

"Lord we ask that Your divine will be done in the region. Give the leaders who are involved in the negotiations wisdom so that a blessing will come out of this dispute".

Netanyahu Blinks, Finally Makes Gantz Justice Minister

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally caved in a month after opposing the reappointment of Blue and White leader Benny Gantz as justice minister in the current transitional government.

The government approved the nomination by phone-in vote midafternoon Wednesday.

Netanyahu’s U-turn came three hours before a scheduled 3:30 p.m. hearing before the High Court of Justice, where his lawyer had been harshly lectured Tuesday night over the prime minister’s conduct. The hearing was postponed until next week because the appointment of a justice minister, the main issue, was resolved.

However, Netanyahu also committed to filling all other ministerial vacancies at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, and the state must provide an update on this to the High Court by 4 p.m. on Monday. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that You guide our leaders and help them fulfill Your will in the land.”

Our Vision for Israel – Barry & Batya Segal

Vision for Israel co-founders Barry & Batya Segal sit down to talk about their work of blessing and mercy in the land of Israel—thanks to the unshakeable support of all who believe in the restorative power of Yeshua’s (Jesus’) love.

Biggest-Yet Israel-UAE Deal: Delek to Sell Stake in Tamar Gas Field for $1.1b

Israeli energy giant Delek Drilling announced Monday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to sell its entire stake in Israel’s Tamar offshore gas field to the Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Petroleum, potentially handing the United Arab Emirates a major share in one of the Jewish state’s key strategic and economic assets less than a year after the countries established diplomatic ties.

The deal for the 22 percent stake is worth $1 billion, with an additional $100 million conditioned on certain terms and goals being met, according to a notification about the agreement sent by Delek Drilling to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the Israel Securities Authority. The companies said they aim to finalize the deal by May 31.

If completed, the deal will be the biggest commercial agreement made so far since Israel and the UAE signed a normalization pact in August 2020. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for the continued progress, and ask that You continue to bless Israel with good foreign relations.”

1st Ever Woman Spiritual Leader of Orthodox Synagogue Appointed in Israel

The Shirat Tamar Synagogue in Efrat has appointed Rabbanit Shira Marili Mirvis as its sole spiritual leader and halachic [Jewish law] authority, the first woman ever to serve in such a role in Israel.

Until this week, Orthodox women have been appointed as spiritual leaders in Orthodox synagogues and in other communal positions of spiritual leadership, but always alongside a male rabbi.

The appointment of Mirvis, therefore, represents a significant landmark for Orthodoxy in Israel. The role of women in positions of spiritual and halachic leadership has been advancing for many years but has stopped short of full communal leadership until now. (JPost / VFI News)

Israeli Scholars Find Millions-Year-Old Human Traces in ‘Miracle’ Cave

A group of scholars from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Toronto has unearthed traces of human activity dating back millions of years in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert. The findings were published in the May issue of the Quaternary Science Reviews.

The cave, whose name means “miracle” in Afrikaans, offers some of the earliest evidence of the use of fire and tool production.

The new study employed paleomagnetism and burial dating to scan 2.5-meter-thick sedimentary layers containing ash and remains of animals, tools, and fires. (JPost / VFI News)

Elephants Roamed Israel 500,000 Years Ago

Elephants lived in Israel for over 1.5 million years before becoming extinct. Prehistoric humans in the region shared their habitat with them, hunting but also respecting them, Tel Aviv University Prof. Ran Barkai explained during a lecture organized by the Tel Aviv Institute for Italian Culture on Tuesday.

Barkai and Cristina Lemorini, of La Sapienza University in Rome, discussed the results of several years of ongoing research devoted to the topic of the interaction between elephants and humans in the Levant.

“Throughout hundreds of thousands of years, people were eating elephants,” Barkai said. “For this purpose, they developed specific tools.” (JPost / VFI News)