VFI News Tues., March 21 — Terrorism Is Not Tolerated in Israel | VFI News

Israel Protests Judicial Reform: What You Need to Know

Discover the latest updates on the ongoing protests in Israel against the proposed judicial reform in this must-watch video.

In addition, the video also covers the recent developments in Saudi Arabia and Iran's relations under the auspices of China, as well as Netanyahu's visit to Germany.

Stay informed and get a comprehensive understanding of these significant events in the region.

IDF Suspects Hezbollah Behind Bombing Attack on Northern Highway; Terrorist Killed

On Monday morning, March 13, a bomb planted on the side of the Route 65 highway near the Megiddo Junction exploded, seriously wounding Shareef ad-Din, 21, from the Arab village of Salem.

The Israeli military suspects that the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group is behind the blast in northern Israel, the Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency said Wednesday.

The alleged terrorist was shot dead on the Lebanese border several hours after the attack on Monday. He was armed with an explosives belt at the time. “The assessment is that neutralizing the terrorist prevented another attack,” the IDF said.

The military said the suspected terrorist crossed into Israel from Lebanon overnight between Saturday and Sunday and planted the bomb, possibly on behalf of the Iran-backed Hezbollah.

The IDF stated that there were no other known terrorists who had infiltrated Israel with the suspect, who is believed to have been alone during the attack.

The bomb itself was considered unusual according to the IDF, and did not appear to be similar to explosive devices used by Palestinians in recent months. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for gifting us highly alert and competent soldiers who are able to act quickly and deal with the culprits of vile acts. We pray for the injured, that he will heal quickly, and that terror attacks are stopped in the land of Israel.”

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.

Islamic Jihad, Hamas Commanders Killed in Clashes with Israeli Forces in Jenin

Two commanders of local branches of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups were killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin on Thursday, March 16.

The two killed were identified as Nidal Hazem, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement's al-Quds Brigades and the commander of the Baha Force unit, and Youssef Shreim, a member of Hamas's al-Qassam Brigades.

A third individual, identified as Omar Awadin, and a fourth individual were killed amid the clashes, as well and 20 others were wounded.

The IDF, Shin Bet, and Border Police announced after the raid that they had assassinated Hazem and an additional member of the Islamic Jihad movement named Youssef Abu Ashrin.

Abu Ashrin has not been reported as one of those killed in Palestinian reports and it is unclear if Youssef Shreim is the same individual. According to the IDF, Hazem was involved in "significant terrorist activity" and Abu Ashrin was involved in producing explosives and firing at IDF soldiers, among other terrorist activities.

Hazem and Shreim were reportedly commanders in their respective terrorist groups. Hazem was also the nephew of Fathi Hazem, the father of the terrorist who carried out the Dizengoff shooting attack last year. (JPost / VFI News)

“Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.” - Proverbs 24:6

Netanyahu: We'll Get the Terrorists Wherever They Are

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly Cabinet meeting that the State of Israel is currently engaged in "three struggles: Against the Iranian nuclear program, against terrorism, and against anarchy."

"First, the diplomatic struggle. The Government of Israel is continuing the struggle against the Iranian nuclear program. Last week I met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. I stood together with the Chancellor on the platform in Berlin from which Jews were sent to the death camps," Netanyahu said.

He said that unlike during the Holocaust, the Jewish people have a state to defend themselves from regimes like the Iranian rulers who threaten to obliterate them. "We do everything necessary to defend ourselves. Like I say to world leaders and as I told Chancellor Scholz, the Jewish state will not allow another Holocaust."

"The great turning point in the fate of our people found prominent expression during my visit in the discussions that we held on providing Israel's Arrow 3 system to Germany. In the Holocaust, the Jews were defenseless against Nazi Germany. Eighty years later, Germany is seeking to acquire defensive systems from the Jewish state. "

"Now, regarding the struggle against terrorism, our forces are active around the clock in order to settle accounts with the terrorists and thwart terrorist infrastructure. Dozens of terrorists have been eliminated in the past month; many others have been arrested."

"I reiterate: Whoever tries to harm Israeli citizens will pay the price. We will find the terrorists and the architects of terrorism everywhere.” (INN / VFI News)

“I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” - Psalm 120:7

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Responsible for German Synagogue Shooting, Officials Say

After a century-old synagogue in Essen, Germany, was struck by two bullets last November, news reports connected it to the shooting at a synagogue in Halle three years earlier that had been perpetrated by a far-right German extremist.

But authorities quickly connected the Essen shooting to a different kind of perpetrator: Ramin Yektaparast, a biker gang leader wanted on suspicion of murder in Germany, who now lives in Iran and is accused of directing anti-Semitic attacks from there.

German intelligence officials revealed in December that they believed the Essen shooting and two other synagogue attacks at the same time had ties to Iran.

Two weeks ago, American media quoted anonymous German and US intelligence sources who named Yektaparast as a suspect, and as an alleged asset of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. The United States considers the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, though Germany does not.

Matthew Levitt, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said Iranian agents have seen high-level assassination plans foiled and now are turning to “softer” targets in their efforts to sow terror and harm their country’s enemies. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that there will be no more hate crimes and terrorist actions against Jewish people. We pray that we will all be able to worship You in peace, live in safety and prosper.”

WATCH: Purim Party Highlights: Vision for Israel's Heartwarming Blessing to Victims of Terror Attacks

Join us for an unforgettable Purim party as we highlight the joy and generosity that filled the room as Vision for Israel hosted an event for victims of terror attacks. Watch as guests come together to celebrate the holiday while spreading hope and healing to those in need. Witness firsthand the powerful impact of giving back and bringing light into the darkness. Don't miss out on this uplifting and inspiring event

US Anti-Jewish Incidents Jumped Nearly 20% in 2021, FBI Finds in Updated Report

A new FBI report found that anti-Jewish incidents in the United States increased nearly 20% in 2021 relative to 2020, but decreased relative to prior years.

The updated FBI statistics released Monday, March 13, counted 817 anti-Jewish criminal offenses reported by local law enforcement agencies in 2021, up from 683 in 2020 — a year when people largely stayed off the streets for a substantial period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 numbers, however, represent a 15% decline from 2019, when the FBI reported 963 hate crimes, as well as a slight decline from 2018 when FBI statistics show 847 hate crimes.

Overall, the report showed a total of more than 10,800 total hate crimes — the highest number in decades. As in previous years, anti-Jewish incidents comprised the majority of the 1,590 hate crimes based on religion.

The updated data released on Monday still has significant gaps. Data reported from Chicago, for example, represents only two quarters of 2021. The ADL called on Congress to mandate that state and local law enforcement agencies report hate crime data to the FBI in order to receive federal funding. (TOI / VFI News)

“Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me...” - Psalm 69:4

Herzog: 'Israel Is at Edge of Abyss,' Civil War Is A Real Threat

“Those who think that a real civil war, with lives lost, is a line we will not cross, have no idea. Precisely now, 75 years into Israel’s existence, the abyss is at our fingertips,” President Isaac Herzog said in an introduction speech to what he called the “People’s Directive,” a comprehensive document intended to end the current conflict in Israel over the government’s proposed reforms of Israel’s judicial system.

The president did not present the directive itself, choosing instead to make an impassioned speech, during which the document was published online and on social media.

“The last few weeks have been tearing us apart,” the president began. “They are harming Israel’s economy, security, political ties, and especially Israeli cohesion. The family Shabbat meals have become an arena of struggle, friends and neighbors have become rivals. The conflicts are getting worse; The worries, the fears, the anxieties – they are all more tangible than ever,” Herzog said.

The president, however, said that the crisis was also an opportunity. “I truly believe with all my heart that today, we are also facing a major, historic opportunity. An opportunity for balanced, smart, and agreed-upon constitutional regulation of the relations of the branches of government in our Jewish and democratic country.”

Approximately half an hour after the speech ended, the Likud expressed its disapproval. “An attempt to reach an agreement is appropriate, but during the weeks that the coalition representatives held negotiations with the president, the opposition representatives refused to hold any negotiations,” Education Minister Yoav Kisch said in a statement on behalf of the party.

“The outline presented by the president does deal with issues in the reform, but unfortunately it includes key clauses that only perpetuate the existing situation and do not create the necessary minimum balance between the government branches,” Kisch said. (JPost / VFI News)

Palestinians Throw Animal Carcasses into Graves at Biblical Site

The ancient town of Sebastia, one of the major archaeological sites of the Holy Land which served as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel nearly three millennia ago, has been damaged by Palestinian road construction, Israeli officials said Tuesday, March 14.

The destruction at the site highlights the lawlessness in the area and the need for the preservation, upkeep, and safeguarding of Israeli archaeological sites in Palestinian-controlled areas after decades of neglect, damage, and disrepair.

The damage to the site was made public by Shomrim Al Hanetzach (Protecting Eternity), an NGO that seeks to preserve Jewish heritage sites in Judea and Samaria. It discovered that a road had been paved in the heart of the archaeological site, said Moshe Gutman, the group’s chairman.

During the construction work, a wall dating back to the Herodian times (37 BCE-73 CE) was destroyed and burial caves dating back to the Second Temple period (586 BCE-70 CE) were smashed, looted, and obliterated, he said. In addition, carcasses of wild boars were found thrown into the ancient graves.

“This is an attempt to systematically and decisively destroy any connection between the State of Israel and the Jewish people, and one of our most important cultural and historic sites,” Yossi Dagan, Samaria Regional Council head, said. (I365N / VFI News)

“Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.” - Job 17:2

Jerusalem's Tower of David Named One of 'World's Greatest Places' by TIME

Ahead of the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum’s grand reopening in June 2023, TIME Magazine revealed that the institution has earned a spot on its third annual list of World’s Greatest Places.

“The locations must be enthralling, exciting, and often new or advanced to meet the criteria for TIME.” The historic Jerusalem icon boasts a 360-degree view of the city and has been listed as one of the 50 important places to explore around the world.

This prestigious title comes at an exciting time for the museum, given that it will re-open to the public on June 1, 2023, after a three-year, $50 million renewal and conservation project that has greatly transformed each visitor’s experience.

10 new exhibition galleries, with a combination of state-of-the-art technology and ancient artifacts to share ancient tales of Jerusalem, have been added.

A new multi-level entrance pavilion will be set up to welcome visitors at the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City, complete with a coffee shop. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we thank You for continually uplifting your people and helping them achieve multiple successes. We trust that even more accomplishments are in store for Israel and its citizens.”

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

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