A Valley Full of Stars

“All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.  For the kingdom is the LORD’s and he is the governor among the nations.” Psalm 22:27-28

Dear Intercessors for Israel:

Greetings from Jerusalem.  Living in Israel is not for the faint hearted or for those who wish to spend their time in peaceful solitude. This is a vibrant, developing nation which enjoys a fast-paced lifestyle.  And this week, life here was no different.  The nation found itself going through another roller coaster round of warfare with Hamas followed by a governmental crisis within its own coalition. And all the while, thousands of tourists were safely visiting the holy sites within the country. 2018 has been a one of the greatest years here for tourism setting new records.

Two Days of Warfare
Last Sunday night (11/11), a failed IDF command operation deep within the Gaza strip torched off a fierce response from its Iranian supported Hamas terrorists. Over 500 rockets were fired into Israel during a two-day war. The Israeli Air Force quickly sought to counter attack this barrage by targeting over 150 military sites within the Gaza Strip. During this fray, a Kornet anti-tank missile was fired by Hamas operatives destroying an Israeli bus, seconds after 50 plus troops had disembarked. A true miracle, even though one soldier and the bus driver were injured.  Israel countered by destroying a Hamas television station after repeatedly warning its occupants to leave.

Just as quickly, Egypt intervened and a ceasefire was declared by both sides. Only one person in Israel, a Palestinian laborer and father to six children, was killed by the rocket fire.  Damages included a home blown apart while its occupants were in the bomb shelter. Yet within the Southern region of Israel, schools canceled classes, and families remained within their bomb shelters.  Business in the agriculture south of Israel ground to a stop. Within the Gaza Strip, Hamas members celebrated their victory.

Coalition Crisis
Great damage from this intense round of warfare was seen in Israel’s coalition government.  Defense minister Liberman resigned, claiming that Tuesday’s ceasefire agreement with Hamas was nothing less than capitulation to terrorism. Liberman’s six-member Yisrael Beytenu party also resigned from Prime Minister’s Netanyahu’s coalition government, leaving him with a scant 61 votes in the 120-member Knesset.

Bayit Yehudi coalition member Naftali Bennet demanded from Prime Minister Netanyahu that he be appointed Defense Minister or his party would also leave the coalition.  Bennet publicly declared that he can “make Israel win again.”  This evening (11/15), Finance Minister Kahlon vetoed Bennet’s demand. This action appeared to make early elections for Prime Minister inevitable.  PM Netanyahu reportedly told his ministers that he may not be able to hold the coalition together (www.timesofisrael.com). The election date is expected to be set between March and May. Demonstrations against PM Netanyahu’s lack of a concrete policy in dealing with Hamas’ continual bouts of terrorism/rocket fires have broken out in Tel-Aviv.  Hundreds of citizens from Israel’s southern region gathered outside the Defense Ministry in Tel-Aviv, calling on the Prime Minister to resign. Some of these residents blocked highways in protest of the latest ceasefire.

Prime Minister Netanyahu speaking at the 45th memorial for David and Paula Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker said he cannot speak in detail about Israel’s plans for the future regarding the situation in Gaza but “We will set the conditions and the right time for Israel, and for the security of our residents” (www.jpost.com). Hamas, the Prime Minister said, “begged” for a ceasefire and “they know very well why”  (www.jpost.com).

The Prime Minister also declared that “Leadership is standing up to criticism when you know things that are secret and sensitive and which you cannot share with the citizens of Israel and in this case the residents of the South whom I love and greatly appreciate” (www.jpost.com).

Please pray for this whole situation and that the LORD God whose has the government on His shoulders would direct Israel in all its ways.  Pray for wisdom and health for Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Pray for the residents of Israel’s southern communities.  May the God of Israel continue to protect them.

Pray that wicked men would no longer rule the Gaza Strip.

New Mayor for Jerusalem
Jerusalem city councilman Moshe Lion was elected the city’s new mayor in a run-off election this week.  Achieving victory, mayor elect Lion declared “I will be the mayor of all residents for Jerusalem. Those who voted for me and those who did not vote for me” (www.jpost.com).  Pray for this new mayor that he move in the wisdom and council of the LORD.

A Valley Full of Stars
The LORD God throughout His word has promised to bring back his people to this land and plant them that they will no longer be “pulled up” (Amos 9:15).  Every day one can see miracles happening where the Jewish people are rebuilding the waste cities and re-occupying their land.

One of the newest evidences for this miracle can be found in the Arab village of Silwan. This is where the ancient pool of Siloam is located. Silwan lies below the Southern Walls of the Temple Mount and the Dung Gate.  It once was a place where Yemenite Jews built there home, until Jordan captured the lands in 1948.  Yet, now, many Jewish families are moving in and regaining titles to these homes, or buying them.  These Jewish families have now united and display the Magen-David (Star of David) outside their homes.  At night the Silwan valley sparkles in large, LED lit, blue Stars of David.  It is an amazing sight, and an enduring testimony that God is bringing His people back into their land, never to be “pulled up.”

Hosting ETH&S Prayer Team
This past week, Marylois and I have had the privilege of hosting and ministering with ETH&S prayer team.  President and Vice President Sharon and Philip Buss are here as well as Pastor Mark Bristow, Eva Dooley, Claren McQueen and others. We have nightly meetings with signs and wonders manifesting.  The team will be ministering in the Galilee this weekend and in Nazareth to Arab youth. Please pray for the Word of the Lord to move freely and for His presence to be manifest in mighty ways.

Shabbat Shalom,
Gene and Marylois
House of Peace, Jerusalem

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