VFI News December 7, 2021

Iran’s Nuclear Blackmail & Tel Aviv Most Expensive City in the World to Live - VFI News

Bennet urges world powers to resist Iran's blackmail and Australia declares all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization! Barry gets down to business with this Hanukkah edition of VFI News!

#israel #themiddleast #israelipolitics #iran #proisrael #telaviv #Hezbollah #history

  • 04:03 Iran now using centrifuges to enrich uranium
  • 04:34 Bennet urges world powers to resist Iran's blackmail
  • 05:14 Australia declares all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization
  • 06:21 Malaysia Squash tournament canceled
  • 07:20 Tel Aviv most expensive city in the world to live
  • 07:08 Check out Pesi story

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Israel Orders High Alert at All West Bank Crossings after Overnight Ramming

Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered checkpoints across the West Bank to go on high alert on Monday, December 6, following a ramming attack earlier in the morning in which a security guard was seriously wounded, his office said.

The development comes amid a surge in so-called “lone-wolf” Palestinian attacks against Israelis and a general increase in tensions.

“The defense minister ordered a comprehensive investigation, that the lessons be learned and level of alertness and readiness be raised in all crossings in the area of Judea and Samaria,” Gantz’s office said, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Monday, a Palestinian teenager drove his car at high speed into the Te’enim Crossing near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, striking a security officer, said the Defense Ministry, which runs the checkpoint.

Other guards at the checkpoint opened fire at the driver, fatally wounding him. He was taken to Kfar Saba’s Meir Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The wounded officer was taken to Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv and a few hours later his condition improved to moderate. Magen David Adom medics said the guard, 34, sustained head and chest injuries and was conscious.

Palestinian media identified the assailant as Muhammad Nidal Younis. According to the Defense Ministry, he was 16 years old from the Palestinian city of Nablus.

Palestinian news outlets reported that Israeli security forces raided Younis’s home in Nablus following the attack. (TOI / VFI News)

"Lord, we pray for the recovery of the officer. We also pray that You would stop these terror attacks against Israelis.”

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.

Iran Backtracked on All Compromises, Preparing for No Deal

A US official said Saturday, December 4, that Iran had backed away from all its previous compromises on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal and that the US would not allow Iran to “slow walk” the international negotiations while at the same time ramping up its atomic activities.

The warning came a day after Washington hit out at Iran, saying talks with world powers on a return to the 2015 nuclear accord had stalled because Tehran “does not seem to be serious.”

“We can’t accept a situation in which Iran accelerates its nuclear program and slow walks its nuclear diplomacy,” said a senior US administration official — echoing a recent warning by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Speaking to reporters after returning from the Austrian capital, the official said Washington was not yet planning to walk away from the indirect talks that it resumed with Tehran last week in Vienna, but hoped Iran would return “with a serious attitude.”

In this week’s talks, said the official, Iran backtracked on all the compromises it had made in months of previous talks on reviving the accord while retaining the compromises made by others and seeking more.

Iran came to Vienna “with proposals that walked back anything – any of the compromises Iran had floated here in the six rounds of talks, pocket all of the compromises that others, and the US in particular, had made, and then asked for more”, the senior official was quoted saying by Reuters.

He said it was not clear when the talks would resume, and that Washington was “preparing for a world in which there is no return to the JCPOA,” a reference to the deal’s official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Russia and China “also were quite taken aback by the degree to which Iran had walked back its own compromises and then doubled down on the requests that it (made),” he said. “They do share a sense of disappointment, to put it diplomatically.”

“Iran did not show the posture of a country that is seriously thinking of a rapid return” to the accord aimed at putting curbs on its nuclear program, said the official. (TOI / VFI News)

“God we pray that You would stop Iran’s evil plans and protect Your people from nuclear danger.”

Israel Will Act Against Iran Alone if Necessary

Israel will act against Iran on its own should the international community fail to thwart Tehran’s nuclear ambitions through diplomatic means, President Isaac Herzog warned the United States on Sunday, December 5.

“If the international community does not take a vigorous stance on this issue, Israel will do so,” Herzog told US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides. “Israel will protect itself.”

The two men, who met during a small ceremony in which Herzog accepted the American diplomat’s credentials, came two days after the seventh round of indirect talks between the US and Tehran to revive the 2015 Iran deal appeared to end in failure.

Iran and the European Union have spoken of renewed talks next week, but the US has been uncertain these negotiations will take place in the near future.

“We are closely following the international community’s recent negotiations with Iran,” Herzog said.

Israel has opposed the deal and warned the US to halt the talks. Herzog clarified that Israel would “welcome a comprehensive, diplomatic solution that permanently solves the Iranian nuclear threat.”

He stressed, however, “in the case of a failure to achieve such a solution, Israel is keeping all options on the table.”

Nides told Herzog the US was committed to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

“We will continue to collaborate closely to advance peace and stability, and to counter the threat Iran poses to Israel and the region,” Nides said. “As President [Joe] Biden has made it very, very, clear, the United States is committed to ensuring that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon.”

Israel and the US are at odds over the Iran talks, with Israel opposing a return to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal and the Biden administration supporting it. (JPost / VFI News)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:12

Meta Removes Over 140 Facebook Accounts Linked to Hamas

Over 140 Facebook accounts, 79 pages, 13 groups and 21 Instagram accounts linked to the Hamas terrorist group were removed by Meta in November for "coordinated inauthentic behavior" (CIB), the company announced on Wednesday, December 1.

The relevant accounts, pages and groups were being operated from the Gaza Strip and primarily targeted people in the Palestinian territories, and to a lesser extent in Egypt and Israel. The pages and groups were managed by fake accounts.

Meta describes CIB as "coordinated efforts to manipulate public debate for a strategic goal where fake accounts are central to the operation." When such efforts are discovered, the company removes both inauthentic and authentic accounts, pages and groups directly involved in the activity.

According to Meta, some of the pages claimed to be operated by news entities and communities from the West Bank, Israel and Sinai Peninsula, while others claimed to be independent news pages in the Palestinian territories.

The accounts primarily posted news stories, cartoons and memes in Arabic about current events in the region, including the postponed Palestinian election, criticism of Israeli defense policy, Fatah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and supportive commentary about Hamas.

About 407,000 accounts followed at least one of the pages, around 2,000 people joined at least one of the groups and about 6,000 accounts followed at least one of the Instagram accounts. About $21,000 was spent on Facebook and Instagram ads, primarily paid for in US dollars, according to the report.

The report included a few sample posts, including one cautioning against alleged attempts by Israel to impersonate charities in order to gather information for operations and a post from the Palestine 21 News Network.

The report also discussed how Meta had removed CIB networks from Poland, Belarus and China which had featured fake accounts talking about issues such as migrants, criticism of Poland and COVID-19. (JPost / VFI News)

“Lord, we thank you for exposing terror groups and stopping their activity on social media. We pray that you would continue to stop acts of terror whether online or in reality.”

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Schoolkids Instructed to Present Negative COVID Test after Hanukkah Break

Ministers on Sunday, December 5, approved a plan to require school students to present a negative rapid antigen test for COVID-19 when returning to school after the Hanukkah vacation this week.

Under the terms of the government plan, children in preschools and grades 1-6 will have to present a statement signed by their parents proclaiming that they tested negative for coronavirus before being allowed to enter their schools on Tuesday, December 7.

Schoolchildren were similarly requested to show a negative coronavirus test after the summer vacation and following the break in September for the High Holidays.

Most students in Israel have been on vacation for the entire Hanukkah holiday, which began last Sunday, November 28, and are due to return to the classroom on Tuesday.

The government’s approval of the testing requirement came amid continued concerns over the new Omicron variant, with a television report saying that Israel will consider offering a fourth COVID booster vaccine dose to immunocompromised people after the United Kingdom did so last week. (TOI / 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

Bahraini Ambassador to Israel Lights Hanukkah Candles at Sheba

Sheba Medical Center hosted a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony on Sunday night, December 5, with the Bahraini Ambassador to Israel H.E. Khaled Yusuf Al Jalahma to celebrate the Abraham Accords and the collaborations that have resulted from them.

This was the first candle-lighting celebration and public event with the new Bahraini ambassador.

The Abraham Accords were signed in August 2020. Even before their signing, Sheba had been working in various low-key capacities with some countries in the Gulf region. Since then, it has signed multiple deals to work together with Bahraini and Emirati medical partners.

“Healthcare is the most powerful engine of growth in life,” said Sheba director-general Prof. Yitshak Kreiss. “Fueled by the notion that healthcare is a non-political issue with no barriers in terms of what can be shared in health, together with the government of Bahrain, we devised the ‘Prosperity Through Healthcare’ initiative to change the future of the Middle East.

“I am excited to see this friendship and partnership grow,” he said.

“I am honored to celebrate Hanukkah with Sheba Medical Center, who have become great partners to the Kingdom of Bahrain in a very short period of time, becoming instrumental for building people-to-people relations between our two countries,” the ambassador said, adding that the collaboration between Sheba and two of the country’s government hospitals will lead to the creation of an exchange program, fellowships and training courses. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for friendships and partnerships that happen in Your name."

Bus Full of UK Jewish Teens Celebrating Hanukkah Attacked by Angry Mob

A bus full of Jewish teens celebrating Hanukkah in London, UK was attacked by a mob of violent youths who attempted to smash its windows while others made Nazi salutes.

According to the UK Jewish News, police are investigating the incident. Video footage shows the young men yelling anti-Semitic abuse and threats at the open-top bus, while also attempting to smash its windows and spitting at it.

Some of them also took off a shoe and hit the bus with it, which is an insult in Arab culture, as the bottom of the shoe is considered unclean.

They can also be seen raising their arm in the air in what appears to be a Nazi salute.

The attack happened Monday evening, November 29, on Oxford Street. It was reported to the Community Security Trust, the organization tasked with providing security to the British Jewish community.

Reportedly, a Chabad group was celebrating the first night of Hanukkah on the bus, with music, dancing and handing out food outside the bus.

After the incident occurred, police were called and arrived at the scene. All of the Chabad teens then returned to the bus.

“We are appalled by the horrifying footage of Jewish people targeted on Oxford Street,” Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies, said in a statement. “We note that besides attempts to spit at them, at least one of the perpetrators appears to be performing a Nazi salute. We hope the police will swiftly identify and arrest those involved in this disgusting incident.” (INN / VFI News)

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. - Matthew 5:44

Beating Forecasts, Israel Sees Strong Economic Rebound in 2021

The OECD said that the Israeli economy rebounded strongly in 2021, beating forecasts, citing the country’s ongoing booster vaccination campaign, a recovering labor market, and a booming local tech sector.

“Economic activity rebounded strongly in 2021 and GDP is projected to grow robustly by 6.3% in 2021, 4.9% in 2022 and 4% in 2023,” the OECD said in its December 2021 Economic Outlook report published Wednesday.

Israel’s recovery “could be slower if the health situation deteriorates again, or the increase in inflation is stronger or more persistent than assumed in the projections,” the OECD warned.

Israel weathered the fourth wave of the pandemic well this summer, quickly tightening some restrictions and launching a booster vaccination campaign that has seen over 4 million people get a third dose of the shot, according to Health Ministry figures. Last week, Israel began offering vaccines to children ages 5-11, with initial figures from health providers indicating they are being inoculated at a faster pace than when shots were okayed for kids between 12 and 15.

In response to the discovery of the Omicron variant last week, the country reimposed an entry ban on tourists via air travel on Sunday, November 28, for the next two weeks, at least. The move dealt another blow to the ailing tourism industry, which was devastated by the pandemic and didn’t have time to bounce back.

The OECD said Israel’s labor market was recovering but the number of unemployed workers remains significantly above pre-pandemic levels. The unemployment rate in Israel dropped to 7% in October, from 7.9% a month earlier, the Central Bureau of Statistics said last week. Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate stood at about 3.5%.

The withdrawal of government support “should be gradual, given still substantial uncertainties about the outlook and high unemployment,” the report noted. “Stepping up retraining and job-search support can help the unemployed transition to new jobs and avoid unemployment becoming structural.”

The OECD projected that the unemployment rate will stay above pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2023, which will affect wage growth.

Meanwhile, consumer price inflation accelerated to 2.3% in October 2021, mainly on the back of rising energy, food, and housing expenditure prices. The Bank of Israel said last week that the country’s inflation expectations were within its target range of 1-3%.

The report said the Israeli government has enjoyed “strong revenue growth, driven by buoyant activity in the high-tech and real estate sectors,” as well as the phasing out of most COVID-19 emergency support measures, and that authorities now target a central government budget deficit of 3.9% in 2022, down from around 11.6% in 2020. (TOI / VFI News)

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

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