- SAUDIS REGARD CONGRESS AS HOSTILE
- QATAR DEFENDS U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE
- AHMADINEJAD VOWS IRAN WILL "RESIST TO THE END"
- N. KOREA MISSES DEADLINE TO SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR REACTOR
- IRAN "IS SEEKING NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR EXPERTISE"
- SYRIA CONTAINS AT LEAST 3 MAJOR MISSILE SITES
- AL QAIDA REACHES TOP LEVEL OF ALGERIAN REGIME
- GATES: DIPLOMACY WILL THWART IRAN'S NUCLEAR EFFORTS
- OLMERT BACKS ARMS FOR P.A.; U.S. INVOLVED
- NETANYAHU GOING INTO ACTION TO TOPPLE OLMERT
1. SAUDIS REGARD CONGRESS AS HOSTILE
Saudi Arabia regards Congress as a leading enemy of the Arab kingdom. Leading Saudi officials have asserted that the Democratic-controlled Congress was preventing U.S. weapons sales and military assistance to the Gulf Arab state. They said Congress has been mulling plans to impose sanctions amid allegations of Saudi violations of human and religious freedom. "The reasons for that are many, the first of which is the Zionist lobby in the United States," Prince Turki Al Faisal, a former Saudi ambassador to the United States, said.
In an address on April 10 to the Saudi Association for Media and Communications, Turki said Congress has become "the center of hostility" toward Saudi Arabia. A former longtime intelligence chief, Turki blamed the influence of pro-Israeli supporters, whom he termed a powerful lobby. (Middle East Newsline; MENL)
· Father, we thank you and offer up our praises for this news. At a time when we tend to think nothing makes sense - we see that Your Hand is still righteous, and Your arm is still long enough to watch over Israel. . . · "According to Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness." (Psalm 48:10 )
2. QATAR DEFENDS U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE
Qatar has defended the presence of the U.S. military, but said the emirate would not participate in any American-led attack on Iran. A senior Qatari official addressed the presence of U.S. Central Command in the Gulf Cooperation Council state. Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al Thani defended the presence of an estimated 5,000 U.S. personnel, and did not suggest that they would leave soon.
In a television program on April 14, Hamad, who is also Qatar's foreign minister, said the U.S. military presence does not threaten the emirate. He said Qatar has full control over facilities used by Central Command, which established a presence around Doha in the 1990s. "We should remember how the American base came to Qatar," Hamad said. "It was the result of the Kuwaiti invasion [by Iraq in 1990]. Earlier, there was no base in Qatar, but rather in neighboring countries." (MENL)
· Heavenly Father, Holy God - sometimes we forget the magnitude of Your presence, and Your ability to work out Your plans and Your purposes. Qatar has been our ally because You determined they would be. Your mission WILL be accomplished in this world; not ours, and not that of the world leaders with evil intent. Qatar will remain our ally for as long as You determine, and through the missions that You decide; and THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL SUCCEED. · "Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? The LORD's chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians. I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission." (Isaiah 48:14-15)
3. AHMADINEJAD VOWS IRAN WILL "RESIST TO THE END"
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday vowed in a public speech that Iran would 'resist to the end' in defending its rights over the country's controversial nuclear drive. "The Iranian people are standing firm until the end on acquiring their right and will not shift an inch," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the southern city of Shiraz broadcast live on state television. "The Iranian nation will not be dissuaded in its drive, and the Iranian nation stands united on this," he said. "On the nuclear issue, the Iranian people will stand firm to acquire all their rights, will continue solidly to reach the summits of perfection and will raise their fists to insist on their rights." (SpaceWar.com)
· Lord God, the leader of Iran may "resist to the end", but it will do him no good. You, oh God, will watch over Israel and the friends of Israel. We stand firmly in our belief and trust in Your Word - knowing that the "record" was written so that we would never forget. Ahmadinejad is just another pharaoh, and YOU ARE GOD! · "But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt." (Deuteronomy 7:18 )
4. NORTH KOREA MISSES DEADLINE TO SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR REACTOR
"The four-year-old process to get North Korea to begin dismantling its nuclear programs remained stalled Saturday. North Korea failed to shut down its main reactor at Yongbyon, because it has yet to receive any of the $25 million that was unfrozen at a bank in Macau. The transfer of the funds, which were in North Korean accounts, has been delayed by what officials describe as banking technicalities.
Christopher Hill, the United States envoy to the six- nation nuclear negotiations, met with Chinese officials Saturday to discuss the next step. Hill said the momentum of the disarmament process has slipped, and he planned to return to Washington on Sunday. However, Hill did not suggest the process has been derailed. He said all participants in the negotiations, - the two Koreas, Japan, and Russia - will remain in close contact. Hill said officials of China, the host of the negotiations, urged patience. "The Chinese were not discouraged by this process, and do believe there's some progress being achieved," he said. (Voice of America News)
· It is encouraging that the Chinese are encouraged by these talks! This demonstrates the unusual patience offen demonstrated by the Asian people. Ask our Lord to grant us similar patience and fortitude as these negotiations continue to develop. Ask, too, for divine intervention in this process so that North Korea's leaders are more inclined to work with the West in ceasing nuclear development. · "Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)
5. IRAN "IS SEEKING NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR EXPERTISE"
Iran and North Korea have appointed high-level delegations to deepen co-operation between the two countries on nuclear weapons technology, according to diplomatic sources in Beijing. The two countries are keen to seal a deal before North Korea starts to closes its controversial Yongbyon reactor under the terms of an agreement with the United States and regional powers in February. The Feb 13 accord was negotiated after North Korea conducted a successful test of a nuclear warhead at the end of last year. Following the international outcry that greeted the test, Pyongyang agreed to close the reactor in return for aid.
But the North Koreans missed the weekend's deadline to start shutting down the reactor, claiming that the United States was refusing to release £15 million of North Korean funds frozen in bank accounts in Macau.The US State Department has demanded that North Korea should 'immediately' invite the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to begin sealing the facility. South Korea said yesterday that it was considering delaying rice aid to North Korea because of Pyongyang's failure to comply with the agreement.
Iran has taken advantage of the delay to intensify attempts to negotiate a deal that would give Teheran access to the nuclear expertise North Korea acquired during last year's atom bomb test. Iranian scientists have already been invited to Pyongyang to study data collected from the test. Under the terms of the February agreement, North Korea has agreed to shut the Yongbyon reactor - which provided the fissile material for the nuclear test - the agreement puts no limits on North Korea to export the expertise it acquired from the test. (The London Daily Telegraph)
· How shrewd are the Iranians - to take advantage of the negotiated agreement to gain more nuclear power technology for themselves. No wonder North Korea jumped on the banking delay to work a deal with Iran. No doubt money is involved. Ask the Lord again to intervene in this cooperation between the two bullying countries so that their plans and schemes fail and disintegrate. · "When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall." (Proverbs 29:16)
6. SYRIA CONTAINS AT LEAST 3 MAJOR MISSILE SITES
Syria contains at least three major ballistic missile sites. Satellite images released in the United States disclosed three major missile sites in Syria. The sites, photographed in 2004, were located in Hama, Homs, and the Golan Heights. Hama was said to be the center of Syria's missile program. The center was described by missile experts as the 'Cape Canaveral' of Syria and contained testing facilities.
Analysts said the images, broadcast by the U.S.- based Christian Broadcasting Network, showed that Hama also contained a missile operations center. The center, established with help from Iran, was said to direct Syria's arsenal of Scud C and Scud D missiles. (Middle East Newsline)
· The work of the wicked is never done. How busy the Iranians have been to establish nuclear and missile sites wherever possible in the world. Also, how interesting that CBN, not a commercial TV network, published the news of these missile sites established by Syria. Praise the Lord for ever-watchful eyes over the work of the enemy. Pray for the protection of the citizens of Syria, who have little knowledge of the work of their leaders. Continue in prayer for the protection of Israel from these Syrian missile sites. · "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." (Isaiah 17:1)
7. AL QAIDA REACHES TOP LEVEL OF ALGERIAN REGIME
Al Qaida has succeeded in targeting the top level of the Algerian regime.Al Qaida claimed responsibility for bombing the Algerian prime minister's office as well as the barracks of an elite security unit. The car bombings on Wednesday killed at least 30 people and injured about 220 in the bloodiest attacks in the North African country in at least a decade.
Hours later, the Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the attacks, the latest in a series of bombings around the capital in 2007. An Al Qaida-aligned website displayed the photographs of three suicide car bombers, identifying them as Muadh Bin Jabal, Al Zubair Abu Sajda and Abu Dajana. (Middle East Newsline)
· Our minds cannot fathom the desire to create terror and to kill, as seems to control the thinking of Al Qaida members. Pray for the families of these three suicide bombers, so that the families can come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Pray for peace in Algeria and for a falling away from the religion of Islam throughout the country. Algeria is ready for the Gospel. · "For God hath not give us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
8. GATES: DIPLOMACY WILL THWART IRAN'S NUCLEAR EFFORTS
Diplomatic efforts to resolve a standoff with Iran are working, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said at a press conference with Defense Minister Amir Peretz in Tel Aviv on Wednesday [April 18]. The United States has been one of the leading powers demanding that sanctions be imposed on Iran. Gates said he believes that the issue can be resolved through diplomacy.
"The international community is united in telling Iran what it needs to do with respect to its nuclear program," Gates said. He said he believes that the preferable course is diplomacy. Peretz said he believes 2007 will be a critical year for thwarting the Iranian nuclear plan. Peretz said that while he welcomes the diplomatic efforts being made, other options cannot be ruled out.
"Iran presents a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire free world," he said. "This problem is of concern to all of us, and we are certain that the world will not stand aside." Peretz says that Israel expects the US and the entire world to support Israel's position and "stand by us." It is the first time in eight years that the US Secretary of Defense has visited Israel.
(By Margot Dudkevitch, Infolive.tv. April 18, 2007)
[Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Pray that the decision to trust diplomatic processes will be blessed. Pray that the Lord will bring Iran to account for its repeated declarations of hate and incitement against Israel. · "My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men who are set on fire, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all the earth." (Psalm 57:4- 5)
9. OLMERT BACKS ARMS FOR PA HAMAS-FATAH MILITIA MERGER
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's agreement on Sunday [April 15] to the US plan to provide weapons and training to expanded numbers of Fatah militia members in the Palestinian Authority [PA] comes at the same time the PA is uniting Hamas and Fatah militia forces. The United States will transfer weapons and funds for Fatah forces, which will be trained by foreign Arabs and possibly Americans at US-built facilities.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen] offered in return a new scheme to put a halt to weapons smuggling and terror attacks that have plagued Israel despite the Gaza cease-fire that he and Olmert announced in late November. However, this time the two leaders agreed to allow the newly armed Fatah gangs to patrol the smuggling route along the Egyptian border. Along this route, a huge arsenal of advanced weapons has been smuggled from Egypt to the same Fatah and Hamas terrorist groups under the noses of Egyptian soldiers.
The US plan to arm the PA's Fatah gangs is nicknamed the "Dayton Plan" after Washington's security coordinator to the PA, Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton, who helped devise it. It includes further Israeli concessions such as increased Arab traffic through the Karni checkpoint, a central Gaza crossing into pre- 1967 Israel. A new, modern facility will be built there at a cost of over US $25 million. The Dayton Plan, if implemented in full, is expected to cost US taxpayers a total of about US $59 million.
Frequent intelligence reports, including those heard at US congressional hearings earlier this year, have revealed that a large number of Fatah militia men are also members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the hearings, which resulted in a scale down of the amount of aid to Fatah, that she could not guarantee the money would not reach "the wrong hands."
(Excerpts from an article by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu and Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Arutz Sheva, April 16, 2007)
[Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Pray that the Lord will guide the decision-making in Israel, which seeks to supply arms and ammunition to PA militia. Pray that His promise to protect Israel and the Jewish people will supercede decisions made for political purposes. · "I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. God shall send forth His mercy and His truth." (Psalm 57:2-3)
10. NETANYAHU GOING INTO ACTION TO TOPPLE OLMERT
Likud Chairman and head of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to abandon his wait-and-see strategy and to launch a public campaign for toppling Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government. In a rally Tuesday [April 17] at Likud headquarters building "Metzudat Ze'ev" in Tel Aviv, he reportedly told his supporters, "This government has to go home, and we need to start acting to make this happen." Netanyahu told them to begin holding weekly protest vigils every Friday in busy intersections throughout Israel as well as street demonstrations. "The slogan is simple," he said: "You've Failed-Go Home." According to NRG [online edition of Hebrew daily Maariv], the meeting was attended by dozens of Likud branch chairmen and other central activists from all parts of Israel. Netanyahu informed them of a working plan for countrywide protest vigils with the intention of creating an atmosphere conducive to bringing down the government. He assured the activists that he would be joining the protests on a regular basis.
Netanyahu's move appears to be timed with precision, as the date of release of the interim report by the Winograd Commission approaches. The commission was appointed to investigate failures in the conduct of the Second Lebanon War last summer and is expected to have harsh criticism for the government and its heads. Olmert has received record-setting low marks of support in the polls, one of which recently gave him an amazingly low 3% support level-less than the margin of error. The polls also predict the Likud will receive 30 to 35 Knesset [Parliament] seats compared to its present representation of 12 MKs [members of Knesset].
(By Gil Ronan, Arutz Sheva, April 19, 2007)
[Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
· Let us pray that any shifts in Israel's government are God-ordained. · "Daniel answered and said: 'Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.'" (Daniel 2:20-21)