VFI News February 22, 2022

Saudi airport drone attack

12 hurt as drone targets Saudi airport & Bahrain calls on cooperation between countries needed to tackle Iranian threat and more! join Barry to hear about it and about more news!

#Drone #Target #airport #Bahrain #iranian #Minister #Naftali #Jews

  • 00:55 - 12 hurt as drone targets Saudi airport
  • 02:50 - Unauthorized bus stop signs smearing Israel as ‘apartheid’ state appear in London
  • 04:37 - MK Mansour Abbas says that Israel is not an apartheid state
  • 05:46 - Bahrain calls on cooperation between countries needed to tackle Iranian threat
  • 08:01 - Prime Minister Naftali Bennet says that the middle east no longer should be defined by religious extremism
  • 10:25 - Iranian march calls for death to Israel, US, and the UK.
  • 11:53 - Dutch plan to force universities to reveal ties to Israel is blasted as antisemitic

Want more of what you just saw?

SUBSCRIBE TO GET NOTIFIED! https://www.youtube.com/c/VisionforIs...

Iranian Fighter Jet Crashes Near School in Tabriz, Killing Three People

An Iranian military fighter jet crashed Monday, February 21, in a residential area of the northwestern city of Tabriz.

Three people were reportedly killed in the incident — two pilots and a civilian.

An F-5 fighter jet crashed near a sports complex operated by a nearby school, which was closed at the time. Video footage of the scene of the crash shared on Twitter showed a large blaze burning as firefighters tried to contain it.

The head of the local Red Crescent said the jet smashed into a school, and that one of the dead was a resident of the neighborhood. Authorities are investigating the incident.

Iran’s air force has an assortment of US-made military aircraft purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It also has Russian-made MiG and Sukhoi planes. Decades of Western sanctions have made it hard to maintain the aging fleet.

Previous avian accidents in Iran include Tehran-based Caspian Airlines Flight 6936 that in January 2020 crashed in the middle of a highway in the city of Mahshahr. Two passengers were injured in that incident. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you protect innocent lives from violence, war, and acts of terror.”

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.

Khamenei Rejects ‘Nonsense’ Accusation Iran Seeking Atomic Bomb

Iran’s supreme leader vowed on Thursday, February 17, that his country would ramp up the development of its civilian nuclear program, as major world powers continued delicate talks in Vienna to revive Tehran’s landmark nuclear deal.

In a televised speech, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed the importance of nuclear energy for Iran, while again asserting that it had no interest in nuclear weapons, saying any claim otherwise was “nonsense.”

Khamenei’s remarks seemed clearly aimed at the countries involved in the Vienna talks.

“Enemies are making cruel moves against our nuclear energy issue, (putting) sanctions on nuclear energy that they know is peaceful,” he said. “They do not want Iran to achieve this great and significant progress.”

The accord, which former US President Donald Trump abandoned nearly four years ago, granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its atomic program. Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, tweeted late Wednesday that the parties were “closer than ever” to an agreement.

But talks have repeatedly stalled in recent months as Iranian negotiators press hardline demands, exasperating Western diplomats.

Khamenei, who so far has largely stayed silent on the ongoing negotiations, called claims that Iran was pursuing a bomb “nonsense,” saying they were meant to deprive Iran of its legitimate right to nuclear power.

“If we do not pursue (peaceful nuclear energy) today, tomorrow will be late,” he said.

Iran has long insisted its nuclear program is peaceful. But the country’s steps away from its obligations under the 2015 accord have alarmed Israel and world powers.

Tehran has since started publicly enriching uranium up to 60% purity — a short technical step from the 90% needed to make an atomic bomb, and spinning far more advanced centrifuges than those permitted under the deal.

Last year the head of the UN’ International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran’s enrichment of uranium had reached levels that only countries seeking to make atomic weapons acquire.

A US assessment earlier this month found that Iran is just “weeks” away from bomb breakout technology.

Iran is negotiating in Vienna with the remaining parties to the JCPOA — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. The US is participating indirectly through mediators.

Israel has repeatedly declared it will not allow Iran to become a nuclear-armed state and that, if necessary, it will strike Iranian nuclear facilities, regardless of the outcome of the Vienna talks to save the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (TOI / VFI News)

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10

Emergency Plan to Absorb Thousands of Jewish Immigrants from Ukraine

Government ministries, the IDF, the Jewish Agency and other bodies are preparing to receive a wave of immigration from Ukraine in light of the continuing threat of a Russian invasion of the country.

The Israel Hayom newspaper has learned that preparations were held last week, and a detailed emergency plan was formulated in case thousands of Jews and those entitled to the Law of Return decide to flee to Israel in the event of war.

The move is being led by Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White), who also chaired the emergency hearings. The meetings were also attended by Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai, Director General of the Housing Ministry Aviad Friedman, IDF Operations Division Chief Aharon Haliva, representatives of the Hotels Association, Home Front Command representatives, the Population Authority, the Airports Authority and other bodies. The Defense and Interior Ministers, Benny Gantz and Ayelet Shaked, are also participating in the planning, as is the National Security Headquarters at the Prime Minister's Office.

At this stage, Israel is not taking action to encourage immigration. However, the deployment is in case a large-scale operation is needed for the rapid evacuation and absorption of thousands of people.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry continues to call on Israeli citizens in Ukraine to leave the country immediately. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid spoke on Friday, February 18, with Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Dr. Nicu Popescu, and discussed with him the possibility that his country would help rescue Israelis and Jews from Ukraine. "Action must be taken so that Israelis understand that a late rescue can be complicated and dangerous," Lapid said.

At the same time, to help Israelis, the Foreign Ministry decided to keep Ambassador Michael Brodsky and the embassy staff in Kyiv for the time being and today to open the consular department at the embassy, to provide travel documents to citizens in need. The Foreign Ministry has decided that at this point the embassy in Kyiv will continue to operate, but the decision may change. (INN / VFI News)

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. - Leviticus 19:34

Lapid on US Sanctions on Russia: Israel Has Its Own Considerations

Israel has its own considerations to weigh when it comes to US sanctions on Russia, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday, February 21, as Israeli officials began publicly saying Jerusalem would follow Washington’s cues.

In light of Russia’s amassing of troops on Ukraine’s borders and the US threatening massive sanctions in the event of an invasion, Lapid said he told Washington and Moscow that Israel “will do the right thing according to our set of values.”

While Israel has “liberal democratic values,” Lapid said, there are other considerations as well.

Israel has its own considerations to weigh when it comes to US sanctions on Russia, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday, as Israeli officials began publicly saying Jerusalem would follow Washington’s cues.

In light of Russia’s amassing of troops on Ukraine’s borders and the US threatening massive sanctions in the event of an invasion, Lapid said he told Washington and Moscow that Israel “will do the right thing according to our set of values.”

While Israel has “liberal democratic values,” Lapid said, there are other considerations as well.

In addition, Lapid pointed out that Russia and Ukraine have large Jewish communities, and as such, asserted he has to be “more careful than any other foreign minister in the world.”

“I think there is an understanding of this,” he said. “This is where the special relationship [with the US] comes into play. They understand this because they understand us. We have a mutual vocabulary, a language that we share.”

Lapid said he thinks that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is still avoidable, and expressed hope that French President Emmanuel Macron’s mediation efforts will be fruitful.

“There is still enough room for a diplomatic effort to try to make this invasion – which looks inevitable – not happen,” he said.

Lapid asked cabinet ministers not to comment on the situation in Ukraine, when asked about it at a Yesh Atid faction meeting later Monday. (JPost / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring peace between Israel and the rest of the region. Please protect your children from harm.”

Pack to School

Every school year, our team works hard to distribute school bags stuffed with supplies for children in need throughout the country. Together, we’re helping children from all backgrounds start off strong—and we’re so thankful for your support.

Israel to Open to Unvaccinated Tourists Starting March 1

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced Sunday, February 20, a plan to ease certain COVID restrictions on travel and education, set to come into effect on March 1.

Under the new guidelines, both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists of all ages will be allowed into the country, as long as they submit a negative PCR test before boarding the flight and take another one after landing in Israel.

Israeli citizens returning to Israel will not have to take a pre-flight test, but only a PCR upon landing.

Unvaccinated Israelis will not have to quarantine after their return to Israel as long as they test negative upon landing.

The announcement came after the Health Ministry last week recommended easing COVID-19 restrictions as the fifth wave of infections fueled by the Omicron variant continues to recede.

Under the new regulations, mandatory home COVID tests for Israeli schoolchildren will be canceled as well — for middle schoolers on Thursday and elementary school students on March 10.

“We are seeing a steady decline in the morbidity data; therefore, this is the time to gradually open what we were the first in the world to close,” Bennett said after a meeting on the matter Sunday with Horowitz and Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov.

“Our indicators must be in sync with the situation on the ground. What we are telling the public must be in sync with what is expected of it,” he said. “In order to maintain the public’s trust and be certain that the citizens of Israel are implementing the directives and the government’s decision, we must open up as the situation improves – and it is improving significantly.”

“At the moment, the situation in Israel is good… At the same time, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and in the event of a new variant, we will again act quickly,” Bennett added.

The Health Ministry had originally recommended only allowing unvaccinated tourists under the age of 12 to enter the country, and only if they are accompanied by vaccinated parents. (TOI / VFI News)

Epidemiologist Estimates Nearly Half of Israeli Population Caught Omicron

The pandemic continued its retreat this week in Israel and globally after the Omicron variant caused a staggering number of infections since it emerged several months ago.

There were 2.2 million confirmed Omicron infections in Israel, but epidemiologist Eran Segal estimated on Friday, February 18, that the actual number of cases was far higher — around 4.5 million, close to half of Israel’s population of over 9 million.

Around 70 percent of Israelis have been infected with the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, or around 6 to 7 million people, Segal told Channel 12.”

The number of new cases in Israel has been falling in recent weeks, after peaking last month, and the government has begun rolling back rules put in place to contain the Omicron wave.

The Health Ministry on Friday reported 15,358 infections diagnosed the day before. At the height of the outbreak in January, there were a record 85,185 infections in a day.

There were 152,411 active infections on Friday, including 808 severe cases, the Health Ministry said.

In the past week, 249 Israelis died of the virus, bringing the toll since the start of the pandemic to 9,828.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Thursday that the Omicron wave was “breaking,” as he and top officials agreed to cease the Green Pass vaccine pass system at the end of the month. Some other restrictions will remain in place.

Globally, after a surge which lasted for three-and-a-half months, the average number of daily cases dropped for a third week in a row, falling back by 22% to 1.97 million new worldwide cases, according to an AFP tally on Thursday.

The number of daily cases dropped significantly in North America, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Africa, and remained steady in Asia and Oceania. Sweden saw the biggest drop of the week with 78% fewer cases. (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for bringing health and healing to the world.”

Azerbaijan 'Proud of Historic Relations with the Jewish People'

Israel National News spoke with Sevil Mikailova, Milli Mejlis (parliament) Member, Azerbaijan, on the occasion of her first official visit to Israel.

“From the very moment arriving in this beautiful country I felt this warmness from the people, from friends which I met. Today and tomorrow we are having events scheduled to commemorate the victims of a hotel genocide which was committed by Armenian aggressors 30 years ago in 1992 in a small town of Azerbaijan. And now it is the 30th [anniversary] of this tragedy and we will commemorate this tragic event here in Israel.”

Mikailova describes relations between Israel and Azerbaijan – there is an Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan but no Azerbaijani embassy in Israel – “as a high level because our relations are not just only between the two states but we have historic routes.”

“We are very proud of our history, we are very proud of our relations with Jewish people and even now they are equal members of the society in Azerbaijan,” Mikailova says. “We celebrate all holidays irrespective of religious tradition. Also on the ground, the Muslim citizens of Azerbaijan feel okay and the Jews feel okay with their Muslim neighbors. We have synagogues in Azerbaijan which are really one of the very sacred places for Jews and again we preserve these values and we share everything.”

Coming from a Muslim country with good relations with the Jewish people, she mentions that seeing relations between Jews and Arabs throughout the centuries being full of tension is a “sad history.”

“The news about the clashes in this area are very painful for us to hear,” she says. “But we do believe that one day durable peace will come to this land and people here will live with a full understanding and respect each other.”

On the topic of a potential war between Ukraine and Russia, Mikailova says: “I want to say that Azerbaijan supports the territorial integrity of countries. This is the fundamental right of each country as indicated in the UN Charter. It's really sad that tensions around Ukraine are arising. We do believe that political dialogue would be the better choice for the sides to come to common ground because war means victims, war is blood, and believe me that taking into account our own experience I want to say that it leads to many human casualties.”

In terms of the 2020 Azerbaijan war with Armenia, Mikailova explains that the war ended with victory for Azerbaijan, who liberated their territory from Armenian occupation. (INN / VFI News)

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13

Israeli Strawberry Wins Guinness Record as World’s Largest

A giant strawberry grown in Israel and weighing 289 grams (10.19 ounces) has been confirmed as setting a new Guinness World Record as the heaviest ever, the top feat-tracking organization said in a statement Tuesday, February 14.

The bulging fruit was discovered on the Strawberries in the Field plantation run by the Ariel family in the agricultural community Kadima-Zoran, in the central district of Israel.

It was 18 centimeters (seven inches) long, four centimeters thick, and a whopping 34 centimeters in circumference, according to the statement.

The strawberry is of the Ilan variety, which was originally bred by Nir Dai at Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization and is known for producing large berries.

Dai himself was on hand to witness the weighing of the strawberry and said that this year the strawberry season has been late due to cold weather, enabling the multiple berries to grow together into one large fruit.

The Ariel family, a father and his four sons, in fact grew four oversized strawberries this year, but only one of them beat the previous 250-gram record holder, which was weighed in Fukuoka, Japan, on January 28, 2015. (TOI / VFI News)

You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. - Psalm 65:11

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

Want to see more from VFI? Follow us on Facebook! Our official Facebook name is Vision for Israel. Follow us there and please hit “like” if you like us.