VFI News Fri, May 26 — Iran Creates New Impenetrable Nuclear Site while More Declared Terrorists Rise within Its Leadership| VFI News
Unveiling the Riches of Shavuot
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Gain deep insights into the historical and spiritual aspects of Shavuot, including its connection to the giving of the Torah and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
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Happy Shavuot from the VFI News Team
With Shavuot upon us, we would like to wish all of our readers Chag Sameach and a joyous celebration. May you delight in the festivities with your loved ones and may the Lord’s blessings fill your home and keep you safe.
Iran’s Latest Subterranean Nuclear Site Likely Impenetrable to US Bunker Busters
Near a peak of the Zagros Mountains in central Iran, workers are building a nuclear facility so deep in the earth that it is likely beyond the range of a last-ditch US weapon designed to destroy such sites, according to experts and satellite imagery analyzed by American media.
The photos and videos from Planet Labs PBC show Iran has been digging tunnels in the mountain near the Natanz nuclear site, which has come under repeated sabotage attacks amid Tehran’s standoff with the West over its atomic program.
Completion of such a facility “would be a nightmare scenario that risks igniting a new escalatory spiral,” warned Kelsey Davenport, the director of nonproliferation policy at the Washington-based Arms Control Association.
“Given how close Iran is to a bomb, it has very little room to ratchet up its program without tripping US and Israeli red lines. So at this point, any further escalation increases the risk of conflict.”
Experts say the size of the construction project indicates Iran likely would be able to use the underground facility to enrich uranium as well — not just to build centrifuges. Those tube-shaped centrifuges, arranged in large cascades of dozens of machines, rapidly spin uranium gas to enrich it. Additional cascades spinning would allow Iran to quickly enrich uranium under the mountain’s protection. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we pray for the permanent inhibition of the Iranian nuclear deal, as well as for the elimination of every possibility for Iran to produce weapons-grade level uranium for itself. We trust that nuclear war will be prevented and most countries will act accordingly towards this cause.”
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.
Top Iranian Security Chief Shamkhani Replaced with IRGC Official
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi appointed Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Commander Ali Akbar Ahmadian to head the Supreme National Security Council on Monday, May 22, causing a major shake-up in the country’s top leadership. This is a top security position and is important for Iran’s internal and regional policies. Ahmadian is replacing Ali Shamkhani, a former admiral who has held the post for a decade.
An Iranian media outlet that is considered close to the IRGC, said Ahmadian “is the head of the Revolutionary Guards Strategic Center and a member of the Expediency Council, and from 1976 to 1979 he was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Navy and from 1979 to 1986 the head of the Joint Staff of the Revolutionary Guards.”
According to Iran Watch, he was “designated by the UN Security Council on March 24, 2007, pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), as a person linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps; subsequently designated by UN Security Council resolution 2231 (2015).
Ahmadian is considered a terrorist by the US and also has been sanctioned by Japan and Australia, according to reports. He played a key role in developing Iran’s forces, American media reported in 2012.
Ahmadian has a background in the IRGC’s navy and also in conducting operations near Bandar Abbas, as well as extensive experience in these naval operations, which likely means he has been involved in operations harassing shipping and targeting US forces at sea in the Gulf.
The appointment of Ahmadian brings another key IRGC military figure to the top of Iran’s leadership. Raisi has promoted IRGC members throughout its ranks. The bureaucracy essentially leads them to take over the state. (JPost / VFI News)
“For the power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous.” - Psalm 37:17
3 Palestinian Gunmen Killed during IDF Operation near Nablus in West Bank
At least three Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli fire during an overnight raid in a northern West Bank refugee camp, east of Nablus, Palestinian health authorities said early Monday, May 22.
The al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade terror group later released a statement saying the three had been members of the organization. It said they were killed while battling Israeli forces. Another six Palestinians were injured, including one person in critical condition, the health ministry said.
The IDF said during the operation, Palestinian suspects threw explosives and rocks at soldiers, and the troops responded with fire. While it did not confirm the number of Palestinian deaths and injuries, the military said that “hits were detected.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hailed the raid, saying it had prevented several terror attacks being carried out against Israelis.
“In two successful operations carried out by the security forces overnight in Jenin and Nablus, terrorists who opened fire on our forces were eliminated and those planning terror attacks against Israeli citizens were arrested,” Gallant tweeted. “We will hunt down and reach our enemies.”
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces later announced that an officer had been lightly wounded during the raid. The officer was treated for a shrapnel wound and released from hospital. (TOI / VFI News)
How Israel Exposed and Destroyed Islamic Jihad Rocket Production Sites in Gaza
As soon as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fired rockets from Gaza about three weeks ago towards Sderot, as a sign of solidarity with the death of security prisoner Khader Adnan, the IDF's OC Southern Command Col. Liron Batito was asked to pull out the secret attack plan: "Black Cloak" — a booklet of dozens of pages that included quality targets for the attack including photos on PIJ senior officials and terrorist infrastructures.
"About a hundred rockets in the middle of the day in Sderot? The sheer scope surprised us," said an IDF senior officer, adding that "with Hamas, we were quite upset with Islamic Jihad because they did not live up to their commitment. It was clear that Israel could not be complacent and that a different kind of response was required."
The Military Intelligence Directorate stated that not only did Hamas have no part in the rocket barrages, but that the senior Hamas leaders in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, had no intention of taking part in the escalation if it erupted, and therefore the IDF had focused only on Islamic Jihad commanders.
Every operation has many critical moments, and one of them is the stage for choosing targets to attack. After recommendations were drawn up at the Southern Command, they were examined by senior Shin Bet Intelligence Division officials.
Unlike Operation Breaking Dawn, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi decided to open with Israel severely damaging Islamic Jihad's weapons development, production, and storage infrastructure to create a huge shock effect on an organization that receives full funding from Iran. (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we thank You for granting us the ability to defend ourselves and for providing us with competent leaders that prioritize the wellbeing of Israeli citizens. We are also sincerely grateful for our efficient intelligence agents and defense personnel that execute any plans delivered to them by our leaders.”
WATCH: The Meaning of Shavuot | Vision for Israel
Batya and Barry reflect on the deep meaning behind this important holiday in the Jewish calendar—Shavuot—also called the Feast of Weeks and many other names. Explore its biblical founding and the many layers of significance that have been added over the centuries to this rich and meaningful celebration of God’s covenant with His people.
Netanyahu Hits Back at Abbas' Lies that Jews Have No History in Jerusalem
The Jewish people have been in Jerusalem for thousands of years and will remain for thousands more, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, May 21, responding to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s recent claim that Israel is lying about its historical ties to the city.
“Abbas said days ago at the UN that the Jewish people have no connection to the Temple Mount and that east Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian Authority,” Netanyahu said.
“Well, it should be brought to his attention that we are holding a special cabinet meeting in honor of Jerusalem at the foot of the Temple Mount, on which King Solomon built the First Temple of the Jewish people, and again, it should be brought to Abbas’s attention, the heart of the historical state of Israel, the City of David, was here 3,000 years ago.”
Netanyahu made the remarks in a cabinet meeting at the Western Wall Tunnels honoring Jerusalem Day, celebrated last Thursday to mark Israel’s reunification of the city and liberation of the Old City in 1967.
The cabinet approved close to a NIS 60 million budget increase for the Western Wall over the next five years, to upgrade infrastructure and encourage visits to the holy site, as well as archaeology and educational activities. (JPost / VFI News)
The Lord gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: “Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you.” - Deuteronomy 31:23
Iraqi Team Withdraws from Fencing Tournament to Avoid Israelis
Iraq's national fencing team withdrew from the World Fencing Championship in Istanbul after being pitted against the Israeli national team, Iraqi media reported on Friday, May 19.
"The Iraqi national team withdrew from the individual races in the World Cup fencing championship, which is taking place in Istanbul, and qualifies for the Paris Olympics after the lottery pitted it against the team of the 'occupying Israeli entity,'" said the Iraqi Fencing Federation, according to the report.
"The decision to withdraw came in compliance with the law criminalizing normalization approved by the Iraqi parliament, in rejection of the occupying Israeli entity, and in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.”
Last year, the Iraqi parliament passed legislation criminalizing any form of "normalization" with Israel, banning all Iraqi citizens from having any political, economic, cultural, or any other form of communication with Israeli citizens, even through social media. The punishment set for such interactions with Israelis is the death sentence or imprisonment.
Most of Iraq's Jews fled the country after violent riots, known as the Farhud, which targeted Jewish citizens in 1941, killing as many as 180 and injuring hundreds. By 1951, about 124,000 out of the 135,000 Jews in the country had immigrated to Israel; those who remained suffered persecution for decades. (JPost / 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. I am forced to restore what I did not steal.” - Psalm 69:4
Israel Accuses Elon Musk of Stoking Antisemitism on Twitter after Anti-Soros Remark
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, May 16, accused Twitter owner Elon Musk of driving up antisemitic rhetoric on his social media platform in the wake of a remark he made against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.
Musk tweeted a day earlier that Soros “hates humanity,” and wrote that the billionaire and progressive megadonor “reminds me of Magneto,” a comic book villain who features in Marvel’s X-Men series.
“The phrase ‘The Jews’ spiked today on the list of topics trending on Twitter following a tweet with antisemitic overtones by none other than the owner and CEO of the social network, Elon Musk,” the Foreign Ministry tweeted on its official account. It said that Musk’s tweet “immediately led to antisemitic conspiracy theories on Twitter.”
CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt called Musk’s remark “dangerous” and encouraging to anti-Jewish extremists. “Soros often is held up by the far-right, using antisemitic tropes, as the source of the world’s problems,” Greenblatt tweeted.
“To see Elon Musk, regardless of his intent, feed this segment — comparing him to a Jewish supervillain, claiming Soros ‘hates humanity’ — is not just distressing, it’s dangerous: it will embolden extremists who already contrive anti-Jewish conspiracies and have tried to attack Soros and Jewish communities as a result.” (TOI / VFI News)
Bank of Israel Raises Interest Rate to 4.75%, Highest since 2006
The Bank of Israel on Monday, May 22, raised the interest rate from 0.25% to 4.75% in an effort to curb inflation. The tenth consecutive hike in just over a year brought the interest rate to its highest level since 2006.
Various components of the Consumer Price Index have experienced significant inflationary pressures, indicating a need for urgent action. Last month, the central bank raised the interest rate of 0.25% to 4.50%.
“Economic activity in Israel is at a high level and is accompanied by a tight labor market, although there is some moderation in a number of indicators. Inflation is broad and remains high,” the Bank of Israel said in a statement.
It also said that inflation in Israel over the last year, at 5%, was well over its 1%-3% target range, although the rate of growth is lower than last year.
“GDP grew by 2.5% in annual terms in the first quarter, a relatively high pace once the temporary effects of changes in vehicle taxation are omitted. The labor market remains tight and in a full-employment environment, but the job vacancy rate is in a downward trend,” the Bank of Israel said.
While the central bank’s rate hikes are intended to stabilize the economy, they also affect thousands of mortgage holders. (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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