VFI News May 17 2022

The Hidden Truth Behind Roe V. Wade - VFI News

The Hidden Truth Behind Roe V. Wade

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Initial Forensics Can't Determine Who Killed Journalist in Jenin

Israeli and Palestinian initial findings on the death of Shireen Abu Akleh have been unable to determine who shot the veteran Al-Jazeera correspondent in Jenin during clashes between armed Palestinians and IDF troops in Jenin.

An initial autopsy of her body said that she died after a bullet that was fired several meters away struck her head. Dr. Ryan al-Ali of the Pathological Institute at the a-Najah University in Nablus was quoted by al-Jarmak TV channel as saying that they could not determine who had shot her.

The IDF launched an investigation into the death on Wednesday evening, May 11. Speaking to journalists on Wednesday night, Gantz said that Israel is “committed to finding out the truth” of the incident.

Expressing his sorrow and regret over her death, the defense minister said that it will take time to get a clear picture of her death and who is at fault. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring peace to this journalist’s family.”

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.

Satellite Images Show Complete Destruction of Syrian Site Hit by Israel

Images published by Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat International (ISI) of a site allegedly struck by Israel on Friday, May 13, show its complete destruction.

According to ISI, the structures that were hit served as an entrance to underground tunnels and were completely destroyed by the airstrikes. The same structures were hit in September 2018 in another strike blamed on Israel and were rebuilt.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian civil war, said that at least eight missiles were fired toward weapons depots and sites belonging to Iranian militias.

A five-man crew of a Pantsir missile-defense system was killed after firing toward Israel Air Force jets. Another seven civilians were injured.

According to SOHR, it was the 12th Israeli attack on Syrian territory since the beginning of the year. The report by ISI said that the strikes came after the IAF struck Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) east, north and west on April 9.

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah from Tehran to Lebanon via Syria, stressing that both are red lines for the Jewish state.

Israel has been carrying out its war-between-wars campaign for close to a decade in an attempt to prevent Iran from entrenching itself in Syria and to stop Tehran from smuggling advanced weaponry. (JPost / VFI News)

He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. - Isaiah 2:4

Hezbollah and Allies Dealt a Blow in Lebanon Election, Early Results Show

Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group and its allies appear to have suffered some losses in this weekend’s parliamentary elections, with their opponents gaining more seats and some of their traditional partners not making it into the legislature, early results showed Monday, May 16.

Despite the apparent setback, Hezbollah and its main Shiite ally, the Amal group of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, are likely to retain the 27 seats allocated to the sect. The unofficial results show that independents, including those from the 2019 protest movement, made some gains by removing longtime politicians from parliament.

The closely watched elections on Sunday were the first since a devastating economic crisis erupted in Lebanon in October 2019, triggering nationwide protests against the ruling class blamed for decades of corruption and mismanagement.

The Saudi-backed Christian Lebanese Forces party, which has been among the most vocal critics of the Iran-armed Hezbollah, says it won at least 20 seats, adding five members from the 2018 vote. This would make it the largest Christian block in parliament, replacing the Free Patriotic Movement that was founded by President Michel Aoun and has been a Hezbollah ally since 2006. (TOI / VFI News)

Iran Official Says Tehran Mulling Gas Exports to Europe Amid Soaring Energy Prices

Iran is considering the possibility of exporting gas to Europe, an oil ministry official said Sunday, May 15, against the backdrop of soaring energy prices due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Iran is studying this subject but we have not reached a conclusion yet,” deputy oil minister Majid Chegeni was quoted as saying by the ministry’s official news agency, Shana. “Iran is always after the development of energy diplomacy and expansion of the market,” he added.

Though Iran boasts one of the world’s largest proven gas reserves, its industry has been hit by US sanctions that were reimposed in 2018 when Washington withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Talks aiming to revive the 2015 nuclear deal began last year in Vienna but have been on pause for weeks amid outstanding issues.

“God, we ask that you bring peace between Israel and the rest of the region. May greed and hatred be removed from your world.”

Hodu La'Adonai (Psalm 136:1)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. - Psalm 136:1

European Nations Tell Israel: Do Not Build New West Bank Housing Units

Israel must not build the more than 4,000 settler homes, plans for which were advanced this week, fourteen European nations said in a joint statement they issued on Friday, May 13.

"We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Israeli Higher Planning Council to advance plans for the construction of more than 4,000 housing units in the West Bank," the countries said. "We urge the Israeli authorities to reverse this decision," they added.

"The new housing units would constitute an additional obstacle to the two-state solution. Israeli settlements are in clear violation of international law and stand in the way of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians," they added. They also spoke out against Israeli demolitions of illegal Palestinian homes, including potentially pending evictions in an area of the South Hebron Hills known as Masafer Yatta.

The countries that signed the statement authored by France were: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden. All the countries mentioned, save for Norway, are European Union members.

The Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria met on Thursday to advance the plans. The left-wing NGO Peace Now counted the number of homes involved. It said that plans for 4,427 settler homes were advanced or approved, including two outposts, a hotel, a conservation area and two industrial parks. (JPost / VFI News)

S&P Affirms Israel’s AA- Rating

The S&P Global logo is displayed on its offices in the financial district in New York City

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has kept Israel’s favorable rating unchanged at AA- with a “stable” outlook, the Finance Ministry said Saturday evening, May 14, citing the company’s announcement released on Thursday.

The agency cited Israel’s strong economic performance in the past year, a robust economy, and fiscal outturns that helped “net general government debt fall below its pre-pandemic level more quickly,” it said in the announcement.

S&P also expressed concerns over the political and security risks in the country, given the coalition’s loss of its already razor-thin majority and the future political landscape, as well as an ongoing wave of terror attacks that has claimed the lives of 19 people in Israel and the West Bank since late March.

The agency also said that while Israel has normalized relations with a number of Muslim-majority states in the context of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, opening up significant trade and diplomatic opportunities, “Israel’s relations with several other neighboring countries remain very tense, especially with Syria and Iran.”

S&P said it expects the Israeli economy to grow at a rate of 5.5% in 2022, following growth of over 8% in 2021, which surpassed forecasts and marking the highest financial growth rate recorded in Israel in 21 years, according to data published in February by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The OECD had projected growth of roughly 6.3% in 2022 for Israel in its December 2021 Economic Outlook.

S&P noted Israel’s positive fiscal performance and a strong tech sector, which make up a resilient economy, as well as the “limited impact” of Russia’s war on Ukraine on Israel and limited further pandemic-related risks such as closures.

“The stable outlook balances elevated geopolitical and domestic political risks and the pandemic-induced deterioration of Israel’s fiscal position, against the state’s persistently resilient economy, improving budgetary performance, and strong balance of payments,” the S&P announcement read.

S&P expects an average inflation rate of 3.8% in 2022, noting that this rate is significantly lower compared to most developed countries. Inflation in the US, for example, reached a high of 8.5% in March, dropping to 8.1% in April. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you continue to bring prosperity and growth to Israel.”

Housing Prices Soar by More Than 16% in Past Year

Housing prices in Israel have surged by 16.3 percent over the past year, the biggest uptick the country has seen since 2010, according to a report released Sunday, May 15, by the Central Bureau of Statistics. February-March saw housing prices climb 1.9%, the data showed.

Northern and central Israel saw the highest increase during February and March of 2022, 2.9% and 2.4% respectively. Haifa saw an increase of 1.8%, Tel Aviv 1.5%, Jerusalem 1.3% and southern Israel 1.2%.

Prices in central Israel are up 18.5% over the past year; in Jerusalem 16.7%; in Tel Aviv 16%; in Haifa 14.9%; in northern Israel 13.8%, and in southern Israel 12.3%.

The nationwide average rent rose to NIS 4,153.6 (about $1,220) in the first quarter of this year from NIS 4,112.6 in the previous one.

Governments have promised to lower ever-climbing housing prices for more than a decade. The sky-high costs have put home ownership out of the reach of many Israelis, weakening the middle class.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said in December that housing prices would “moderate” by the end of 2022, and that he believes Israelis may even see prices drop in the coming years. (TOI / VFI News)

You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. - Deuteronomy 8:18

Serious COVID Cases in Israel Drop Below 100 for First Time in Months

The number of serious COVID cases in Israel dropped to 99, according to new data from the Health Ministry released on Monday morning, May 16, marking the first time in months the figure has dipped below 100.

The last time the caseload of seriously ill COVID patients dropped below 100 was December 31.

Out of the 99 cases, 47 patients were reported to be on ventilators and four are connected to an ECMO machine. The drop in serious cases has continued despite Israel lifting its indoor mask mandate on April 24, leaving the requirement for face coverings in place only in hospitals and old age homes and aboard aircraft.

Health Ministry statistics also showed that more than 6.7 million Israelis have received at least one vaccine dose and more than 6.1 million got both shots. Additionally, nearly 4.5 million people have been administered a booster shot, including 807,090 who received a fourth dose.

In further steps to loosen COVID-related restrictions, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is reportedly seeking to end the mask requirement for international flights, following a similar decision by the European Union.

The European Union said that it will no longer recommend medical masks be worn at airports and on planes starting Monday, though member states can still require them. (TOI / VFI News)

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. - Jeremiah 17:14

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

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