VFI News Jun 17, 2022
VFI NEWS ~ "Cows, Gas, And The Economy"
Israel Warns Assad, Will Bomb Palaces if Iran Operations Continue
Israel has threatened to bomb Syrian President Basher Assad’s palaces if he does not cease or reduce military cooperation with Iran within his territory.
The alleged threat comes days after Israel allegedly bombed Damascus International Airport, targeting shipments of advanced Iranian weapons transported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to Syria on civilian planes.
ImageSat International (ISI) and Maxar Technologies published pictures of the impact of the attack on Friday night, June 10, hours after Syria’s Ministry of Transport announced that the airport outside the Syrian capital was suspending flights due to technical disruptions.
Syria’s state-controlled SANA news agency claimed that Israel carried out strikes against targets south of Damascus around 4:20 a.m. on Friday, wounding one person and causing material damage. (JPost / 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
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.
Israel Will Defend Citizens ‘Anywhere in World,’ Bennett Vows Amid Istanbul Jitters
Israel will not hesitate to act on foreign soil to protect its citizens, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday, June 14, amid swirling warnings of an imminent Iranian plot against Israelis.
One Israeli man in the city reportedly told authorities that he had nearly been kidnapped but managed to escape, but others defiantly said they would remain in the popular tourist hotspot or refused to cancel plans to travel there.
“In recent days, we have witnessed attempts to harm Israelis in various destinations abroad,” Bennett said during a memorial ceremony for the victims of the First Lebanon War, in his first comments on the alleged attack plot.
Israeli authorities urged citizens to leave Istanbul immediately, and reconsider non-essential travel to other parts of Turkey, warning that Iranian agents were ready to kidnap or kill Israelis there as Tehran seeks revenge for the slayings of officers blamed on Israel.
“The State of Israel’s security forces are doing everything [in their power] to thwart these attacks and to neutralize the attackers and their operators,” the prime minister said. “We will not hesitate to use the power of the State of Israel anywhere in the world, for the protection of our citizens.”
Bennett spoke hours after the IDF issued a directive ordering all soldiers in Turkey to leave immediately. The army has also canceled any future permits allowing soldiers to visit or even take a connecting flight via one of Turkey’s airports. (TOI/ VFI News)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
Iranian Hackers Hijacked Emails of High-Level Israeli, US Officials
Iranian hackers targeted the emails of senior Israeli and American officials and executives, including former foreign minister Tzipi Livni and a former US ambassador to Israel, according to the Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point.
Check Point was alerted to the hacking attempts by Livni after she received a number of suspicious emails from an email address belonging to a well-known former major general in the IDF who served in a highly sensitive position. The emails were written in somewhat broken Hebrew.
The first email contained a link to a file that the attacker asked her to open and read. When she delayed doing so, the attacker urged her several times to open the file using her email password, prompting her suspicions.
After meeting with the former major general and confirming that he had never sent any such emails to her, she asked Check Point to investigate the incident.
In another case found by Check Point, the Iranian hackers impersonated an American diplomat who had previously served as the US ambassador to Israel in order to target a chairperson of one of Israel's leading security think tanks. The emails by the hackers were also written in broken English.
The hackers created a fake URL shortener service called Litby.us in order to carry out their attacks. The fake service doesn't function and if you try to create a new short URL it asks you to register for the service and send an email. The shortened links sent to the targets were personalized for each target, leading to phishing pages – which pretend to be a trusted entity meant to trick targets into revealing sensitive information – also personalized for each target. The phishing pages asked users for their account ID followed by an SMS code verification page.
Check Point suspects that once victims enter their account ID, the phishing backend server would send a password recovery request to Yahoo and the hackers would use the authentication code to gain access to the victim's inbox.
The attackers also used the legitimate service validation.com to steal identity documents from some of the victims. Check Point's analysis found an indication that the attacker obtained the scan of the passport of a high-end target.
Check Point also found that the attackers used a Gmail account to impersonate a professor from the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS).
The Israeli cybersecurity firm linked the attack to an Iranian-backed entity because its primary targets were Israeli officials and because a comment in the source code of the phishing page included a domain that has been used by an Iranian hacker group called Phosphorus. (INN / VFI News)
“God, we ask that you defend Israeli and American officials from cyber attacks and from attacks of any kind.”
Israel Will Help Free EU from Dependence on Russian energy
Working with Israel will help reduce the EU’s dependence on Russia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during her visit to Israel on Tuesday, June 14.
“The Kremlin has used our dependency on Russian fossil fuels to blackmail us,” von der Leyen said as she received an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University. “Since the beginning of the war, Russia has deliberately cut off its gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland, and Dutch and Danish companies, in retaliation for our support to Ukraine.”
Von der Leyen added: “The Kremlin's behavior only strengthens our resolve to break free of our dependence on Russian fossil fuels. For instance, we are exploring ways to step up our energy cooperation with Israel.”
Two ways in which Europe plans to work with Israel, she said, is to lay the EuroAsia Interconnector, the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable, connecting Israel to the EU electric grid via Cyprus and Greece, and the EastMed Pipeline, meant to be the world’s longest, also from Israel to Cyprus and Greece. Neither has happened yet, but the EuroAsia Interconnector has EU funding.
“Europe needs energy fast, and Israel has natural gas in its economic waters,” Bennett said. “This is good news for Israel, Italy and Europe.” (JPost/VFI News)
“God, we ask that you provide strong, honest ties between Israel, the EU, and the nations of the world.”
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White House Announces Biden Trip to Israel, West Bank, and Saudi Arabia
The White House on Tuesday, June 14, announced the dates for US President Joe Biden’s highly anticipated first trip to the Middle East, which will include stops in Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia from July 13 to July 16.
Biden accepted an invitation to visit Israel in late April. The trip was initially planned for late June but was later delayed to July over what the White House said were scheduling issues. According to an Israeli official, those scheduling issues related to the Saudi leg of the trip, which was a later addition that exposed the president to criticism from some Democrats, who expected him to maintain a firm stance against Riyadh over its human rights record.
The trip will begin in Israel, where the president will meet with Israeli leaders, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. An Israeli official told The Times of Israel that Biden will meet with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, President Isaac Herzog, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. The official added that Biden is also slated to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and East Jerusalem. (TOI / VFI News)
Major UK Union Passes Motion Denouncing Antisemitism
One of the largest trade unions in the UK, GMB, unanimously passed a resolution that called for antisemites to “face the full force of the law.”
The motion also called out individuals out of its membership of 600,000 from a massive cross-section of industry who are found guilty of antisemitism. Motion 213, which was supported by the union’s head Gary Smith and its leadership, commits GMB to a zero-tolerance policy on antisemitic behavior.
The measure said: “This congress strongly challenges the disturbing rise in antisemitism across the UK… This unacceptable behavior and the perpetrators should be subjected to the full force of the law.”
It continued: “Where such behavior may be present from any member of GMB Union, including social media posts, our Union should take immediate action to investigate and apply appropriate measures to address this within rule.” (INN / VFI News)
“Lord, we thank you for GMB’s stand against antisemitism and we ask that you eliminate hatred and antisemitism all over the world.”
Groundbreaking Treatment for HIV/AIDS Developed by Israeli Research Team
People with AIDS might soon have the option to be treated with just a single vaccine dose, according to a new study from Tel Aviv University that shows the potential impact of a new and unique AIDS/HIV treatment.
The peer-reviewed study was led by Dr. Adi Barzel and Ph.D. student Alessio Nehmad, both from the TAU School of Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, in collaboration with additional researchers from Israel and the United States.
More than 36 million deaths have been attributed worldwide to AIDS since it was first identified. As of 2020, about 37 million people were living with the disease, primarily in eastern and southern Africa.
While the disease is no longer always fatal, and while many HIV-positive people live full and long lives, currently available treatments do not provide a permanent cure. The research team led by Dr. Barzel aims to change that.
The goal of the research team was to genetically engineer type B white blood cells inside the body of a person with AIDS. Once modified, the blood cells would be able to secrete neutralizing antibodies against the HIV virus responsible for AIDS, eradicating it from the patient’s body.
Barzel said, “We are utilizing the very cause of the disease to combat it. Based on this study we can expect that over the coming years we will be able to produce in this way a medication for AIDS, for additional infectious diseases, and for certain types of cancer caused by a virus, such as cervical cancer, head and neck cancer, and more.” (JPost / 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
Israel Expected to Become Most Crowded Western Country by 2050
The Jewish State is on the way to becoming the world’s most crowded Western country in less than three decades, veteran environmental activist and current MK Alon Tal told the Special Committee on Addictions, Drugs and the Challenges Facing Young Israelis at the Knesset on Monday, June 13.
The committee dealt with the impact of the loss of open spaces on the well-being of the younger generation in 2050. Statistics from a research report prepared by an environmental group called Zafuf [Crowded] — The Forum for Population, Environment, and Society, indicated that by 2050, the country’s population could grow to more than 17.5 million residents.
“The State of Israel will become the most crowded Western country, with over 800 people per square kilometer,” the report said. “We are familiar with the reality and know that protecting open spaces isn’t enough. I want to know what the Israel Planning Administration and the Construction and Housing Ministry are doing to translate their statements into reality. The open spaces are disappearing at a dizzying rate of 24 square kilometers per year, and the pace will increase along with the growth in population.”
Tal warned that Israel is expected to lose open spaces on a scale that is eight times the size of the city of Tel Aviv by 2050. He called upon all professional agencies to advance a strategic plan for the protection of open spaces immediately. (JPost / VFI News)
He says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth. - Isaiah 49:6
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.
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