Friday, August 17, 2007

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it." (Zechariah 12:3)

1. Evangelical pastor told to leave Israel - Jerusalem Post

An American evangelical pastor and his wife who have been living in Israel for nearly two decades have been ordered to leave the country within two weeks, after their request for permanent residency was turned down, officials said on Thursday. Ron Cantrell, 59, and his wife Carol, 54, have run a small Jerusalem- based ministry, Shalom Shalom Jerusalem, for the past four years. Cantrell previously worked for Bridges for Peace, an evangelical organization, for 14 years. Two of the couple's children have married Israelis and have Israeli ID cards.

2. Abbas Calls for Palestinian 'National Unity' - ICEJ News

Softening could hinder US-led peace effortsIn a stakeout with reporters in Ramallah on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas softened his stand towards Hamas by calling for a "return to national unity." He added, "the split that happened [between the West Bank and Gaza] as a result of Hamas's coup is temporary and will be removed. We want a united and independent Palestinian state."

3. Iran Develops New Missiles - ICEJ News

Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander Yayha Rahim Safavi has announced the development of a missile that can penetrate the Israeli Merkava and the US M1A1 Abrams, considered the best battle tanks in the world. Furthermore, he stated that their land-to- sea missiles are now capable of hitting any ship in the Persian Gulf.

4. Israel Plans Island Airport off Tel Aviv Coast - Jerusalem Post

Israel's National Planning Committee on Tuesday approved a proposal to build a chain of artificial islands 400 m (0.25 mi) off the coast of Tel Aviv, including plans to house a new international airport on the largest island.Interior Ministry official Shamay Assif told The Jerusalem Post, "We are a growing economy. We are a small state. We need more power plants, more storage facilities for fuel, more harbor and airport facilities-things that usually take up a lot of space. It would be very irresponsible not to consider islands in the sea [for an international airport]."

5. Israel, United States sign record-high military aid deal - Ynet News
..Nicholas Burns, the US Undersecretary of state for political affairs, and Israeli Foreign Minister Director-General Aharon Abramovitz signed the memorandum of understanding on the assistance at a ceremony in Jerusalem.

The United States offered Israel on Thursday an unprecedented $30-billion military aid package, bolstering its closest Mideast ally.