VFI News June 21, 2022
VFI NEWS ~ "Cows, Gas, And The Economy"
Iran Building Vast New Underground Tunnels to Hold Nuclear Enrichment Facility
Iran is constructing a vast new network of tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site that could house a massive enrichment facility that would be impervious to bunker-busting bombs and cyberattacks, a report said Thursday, June 16.
The report said that the US and Israel had been monitoring construction at the site for several months, but had refrained from commenting on it publicly, with the exception of a brief remark made last month by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
“At this very time, Iran is making an effort to complete the production and installation of 1,000 advanced IR6 centrifuges at its nuclear facilities, including a new facility being built at an underground site near Natanz,” he said, speaking at a conference at Herzliya’s Reichman University.
Gantz’s public comments surprised both US and Israeli officials, the report said. Iran did not deny the accusation, having previously said it was constructing new facilities in response to attacks at the existing Natanz site, blamed on Israel.
Sattelite images published recently by research groups show that the new facility is close to the old center at Natanz, but buried far deeper under a mountain, in a similar manner to the Fordow plant. Efforts to attack such a site would require the most advanced bunker-busters, which Israel does not yet possess. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you protect the Land and keep your people safe.”
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.
Hamas Official: We'll Fire 1,111 Rockets at Israel in Next War
Zaher Jabarin, one of Hamas' leaders, has threatened to fire over 1,000 rockets at Israel, Channel 12 News reported.
Last year, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar referenced the number 1,111 but did not detail the context.
At the time, he said, "We are confident in our ability to obtain our rights and remember the number 1,111." It was assumed then that the number was in reference to how many terrorists Hamas would demand released in the next prisoner swap.
Now, Jabarin has clarified, in Sinwar's name, that 1,111 is the number of rockets which will be fired during the first barrage on Israel in the next round of fighting.
"We are capable of increasing the number if necessary," Jabarin added.
Though Israel does not believe Hamas is capable of firing a barrage of 1,111 rockets at once, recent barrages have been relatively heavy, with the goal of overcoming the Iron Dome missile defense system by firing more rockets than it has the capacity to intercept at once. (INN / VFI News)
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. - Matthew 24:6
Israel Ready to Respond if Iran Attacks Israelis in Turkey
Israel will respond to any Iranian attacks against its citizens with force, Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned amid warnings that Iran terror cells are seeking to carry out an imminent attack to kill or kidnap Israelis visiting Turkey.
"I call on all Israelis in Turkey to obey the instructions of security forces,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Saturday night, June 11. "Israel is working to thwart Iranian attempts to carry out an attack, and is preparing to respond forcefully to any attack on Israeli citizens - anywhere."
The warning came as defense officials warned of concrete threats against Israelis in the Turkish city. An estimated 2,000 Israelis are believed to be visiting, down from 5,000 earlier in the week.
A senior security source told The Jerusalem Post that “the event is really not behind us. A great deal of caution must still be exercised.”
According to the source, while there is a “significant emphasis” on Istanbul, Israelis should “avoid reaching Turkey completely.”
On Friday afternoon, June 17, senior defense officials including Mossad chief David Barnea and the head of the National Security Council (NSC) Eyal Haluta met for a situational assessment. The NSC later issued rare and specific warnings for Israelis in the country, telling them to lock their hotel room doors and not to open them for even housekeeping.
They also warned travelers not to post on social media or go to tourist locations usually popular with Israelis and to refrain from entering cabs soliciting their business.
According to Haaretz, one of the scenarios Israel is concerned about is an Iranian cell infiltrating into a hotel in order to kidnap or kill Israeli guests while another scenario was local Turkish cell members posing as tour guides to approach Israelis in order to kidnap them. Other possible scenarios include bombings. (JPost / VFI News)
You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I break nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms; - Jeremiah 51:20
Russia said Preparing UN Resolution Condemning Israel for Damascus Airport Attack
Russia is putting together a proposal for a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel, which it blames for a recent attack on Damascus Airport that put the site out of commission for several days, the Kan public broadcaster reported Sunday, June 19.
Israeli officials confirmed to the station that Russia is working on the resolution but doubted that it would gain much support. The US also has veto power at the UNSC.
A draft memo declares that the attack was carried out against international law, undermines regional stability, and violates Syrian sovereignty as well as that of “other countries,” an apparent reference to the airspace from which the attack was launched, according to the report. Although Israel has not confirmed it was behind the strike and therefore the details remain unclear, Lebanon has in the past complained to the United Nations after Israeli jets allegedly violated its airspace to carry out an airstrike on targets in Syria.
The memo blames the attack on Israel and says it must be held responsible. It also claims that damage to the airport was a significant blow to humanitarian assistance for Syria.
However, one Israeli official noted to Kan that “Iran is continuing to use Syrian territory and the airport to smuggle weapons.”
Israeli officials have vowed to carry on the campaign to prevent Hezbollah and other groups on Israel’s northern frontier from arming themselves with advanced and accurate weapons, regardless of Russian disapproval or apparent Iranian attempts to circumvent Israel’s actions. (JPost / VFI News)
A Joyful Song | Praise & Worship with Barry & Batya
Messianic praise & worship duo Barry & Batya Segal proclaim the word of God in their music. They are one of Israel's leading Messianic recording artists, two Jewish believers who reside on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Barry plays guitar for the duo, representing a style called Mizrahi, which mixes traditional Middle Eastern sounds with modern world music. Batya writes the songs and sings in both English and Hebrew. Follow the link and subscribe to their channel to stay immersed in the meaningful music of the Land.
German Government Reports Startling 29% Increase in Antisemitic Crimes
The German government’s annual report on developments in extremism notes a nearly 29% increase in antisemitic crimes in 2021 over the previous year.
The report, released last week by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, is based on statistics reported in May by the Federal Criminal Police Office, Germany’s equivalent to the FBI.
In all, 3,027 antisemitic incidents were registered last year, up from 2,351 in 2020. The vast majority were related to right-wing extremism, but Islamic extremist antisemitism is also up, with 122 reported incidents compared to 26 the year before.
Most reported crimes relate to illegal statements and publications — Holocaust denial and other forms of hate speech are outlawed in Germany — including on the internet. But attacks on people and synagogues were also registered.
As usual, the number of incidents rose when tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were highest — in May 2021.
The most worrying trends come in the form of burgeoning conspiracy theories relating Jews to the coronavirus pandemic and measures to curb it, leaders and watchdogs said.
“Some protesters against Germany’s response to the pandemic “are blaming imaginary Jews for profiting from it and at the same time attaching Jewish stars” to their clothes, as if to say they are the new Jews, said Benjamin Steinitz, director of the Berlin-based Research and Information Center on Anti-Semitism Berlin, or RIAS. “Both antisemitic conspiracy myths and Shoah trivialization have been normalized. This is a worrisome development.”
He added that a “dark field of antisemitic incidents” go unreported in government statistics. “We have to assume that… recorded incidents are only the tip of the iceberg,” he said. (INN / VFI News)
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. - Genesis 12:-3
Six Months After Vaccination, Protection is 'Zero'
With Israeli authorities holding off on recommending a fifth vaccine dose against COVID based on their observations of its limited efficacy against the Omicron variant, a new study has confirmed their findings, showing that within half a year of vaccination, protection against symptomatic Omicron-variant coronavirus drops to zero.
The study was conducted in Qatar and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, based on data from the end of 2021 until the end of February 2022. The researchers also found that natural immunity derived from infection with coronavirus was still robust a year after infection, with half the number of previously-infected people contracting symptomatic COVID as compared to those with no previous infection.
Furthermore, after six months passed beyond vaccination, protection against symptomatic COVID was sometimes even negative, meaning that people were more likely to contract COVID than if they had never been vaccinated.
Giving a third (or booster) dose bumped protection up again, but the study only followed booster recipients for 45 days.
However, recent data from the United Kingdom following booster recipients for 20 weeks (five months) shows that protection against COVID by this point is negligible. (INN / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you heal the world from coronavirus.”
Cost of Consumer Goods Up 4.1% in Past Year, Housing Prices Keep Climbing
The cost of consumer goods in Israel rose by 0.6 percent over the course of May, with housing prices continuing to soar, data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday, June 15.
The Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, tracks the average cost of household goods. Its rise last month fell slightly below economists’ predictions of 0.7-0.8%, although inflation has continued to climb.
Inflation for the past 12 months was 4.1%, higher than the Bank of Israel’s target range of 1-3%. The bank’s interest rate is 0.75% and will be reassessed next month.
Prices are up 2.8% since the start of 2022. May’s overall increase was similar to April’s, the Central Bureau of Statistics said.
In May, the cost of fresh fruit jumped by 13.8%, clothing and footwear went up 2.2%, food besides fruits and vegetables rose 0.9% and culture and entertainment costs were up 0.8%. Fresh vegetables went down by 0.7%.
Housing prices climbed 0.9% in May, marking a slight decrease in the rate of growth in recent months, but have surged 15.4% in the past year.
Outrage over the rising cost of living has been growing, a decade after Israel last saw widespread social unrest on the matter.
Data released on Tuesday showed a sharp drop in new home sales in Israel in recent months, indicating that rising interest rates and new purchase taxes could be helping to cool off the country’s overheating property market. (TOI / VFI News)
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. - 1 Timothy 6:10
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Facing Avalanche amid Wall Street Devaluation
The stock market in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) dropped dramatically this week, in what can be defined as "mini-avalanches" to losses on Wall Street that were recorded over the weekend in the US.
The declines in leading indices, including the Nasdaq, were caused by the surge in inflation. The fear is that the US Federal Reserve will raise the interest rate by 0.75% this year.
All this indicates that the American economy might fall into a recession, which may be followed by world markets —as well as the Israeli economy.
Against this background, the leading indices on the TASE fell by more than 3.5% yesterday.
As a result, the Israeli stock market yesterday lost about 36 billion shekels of its value, especially with losses in real estate shares as well as in bank shares, which are considered "solid" but reflect the face of the economy.
The bond market also experienced price declines. The bonds for periods of ten years or more traded at yields of 3% or more. Just a year ago, government bond yields stood at about half a percent.
The erosion of financial assets will, of course, also adversely affect the value of long-term savings channels, especially enrichment, provident and pension funds. In the first five months of 2022, these funds recorded negative returns of about 5%.
Investors' eyes are now on the May index which will be published this week, in parallel with the US interest rate decision. Most likely, the Bank of Israel's interest rate will rise by 0.25% - 0.5%. The May index may be higher than expected (0.8%).
Bank Leumi chief economist Dr. Gil Befman estimated that, following US inflation, which reached 8.6% this year, the Fed will raise interest rates this week by about 0.75%. As a result, a similar increase is expected in Israel. However, he stated that inflation will begin to moderate towards the beginning of 2023. United Mizrahi Bank economist Yoni Fanning estimated that the Bank of Israel's interest rate will rise by only 0.25% at the beginning of July.
The chief economist of the Psagot Investment House, Guy Beit-Or, estimates that because of inflation and the fear of an economic slowdown, the US will raise the interest rate this week by 0.75%, and the governor of the Bank of Israel will raise the interest rate by 0.5%. (JPost / 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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