Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CHPP Daily Brief - June 1, 2010

In This Issue
• From ICEJ News
• Statement by the Embassy of Israel
• From Intercessors for Israel
• Netanyahu Cancels White House Visit
• A note from the Daily Brief staff

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

Cease from anger and forsake wrath . . . those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land." (Psalm 37: 7-9)

From ICEJ News

Gaza flotilla ends in deadly clash with worldwide repercussions

Israel finally releases footage showing troops being assaulted first

There has been widespread fall-out on Monday from this morning's violent clash at sea when Israeli commandos boarded six ships on a blockade run for Gaza and were instantly set upon by armed pro-Palestinian activists.

Nine people were killed and dozens were wounded after the initial wave of IDF forces came under intense attack from dozens of enraged passengers on the flotilla's flagship vessel, the Mavi Marmara. Footage from Turkey's NTV and other sources showed activists assaulting Israeli soldiers with clubs, metal pipes, and knives as they rappelled down one-by-one from a helicopter onto the ship's upper decks.

The Israeli military said troops only opened fire after the activists attacked them with knives and iron rods, and one activist wrested a serviceman's weapon. Two of the dead activists had fired at soldiers with pistols, the army said. Organizers included people affiliated with the International Solidarity Movement, a pro-Palestinian group that often sends international activists into battle zones, and the IHH, a Turkish aid group that Israel accuses of having terrorist links.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a press conference today that Israel regrets the loss of life resulting from a pre-dawn raid, but that responsibility for the violence rests solely with the organizers of the convoy. Barak also stressed that the 'peace activists' onboard had repeated several times that they would not resist if intercepted by the Israeli military. Activists on the other five ships in the convoy surrendered peacefully.

Barak also condemned the IHH, a Turkish Islamic aid organization which was instrumental in organizing the convoy and which was outlawed in Israel in 2008 because of its close connection with Hamas.

Earlier today, deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon called the flotilla "an armada of hate and violence" engaged in "a premeditated and outrageous

provocation." Ayalon joined other Israeli officials in emphasizing that Israel had made repeated offers to the boats to peacefully dock at the port of

Ashdod, where they could observe their cargo of humanitarian aid being unloaded and transported to the crossings into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli security forces were ordered to be on maximum alert all over the country today for rioting by Palestinians in the West Bank, as well as among Israeli Arab citizens after it was falsely reported Sheikh Raed Salah of the radical Islamic Movement in Israel was seriously injured in the melee.
For a variety of information on the Gaza flotilla, including today's press conference by deputy foreign minister Daniel Ayalon, visit the web site of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
(Source: ICEJ News, excerpt, Monday, May 31, 2010)

Statement by the Embassy of Israel

Embassy Update: Gaza Flotilla Redirected to Ashdod

May 31, 2010

Early this morning, IDF naval forces intercepted six ships attempting to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. This happened after numerous warnings from Israel and the Israel Navy that were issued prior to the action. During the interception of the ships, the demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry including knives and clubs.

In this skirmish, 10 of the demonstrators were killed and several more injured. Four members of the IDF were also injured in the fighting.

Israel deeply regrets this loss of life, and seeks to resolve any such incidents using all peaceful means possible. Israel will continue to allow the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza to help the civilian population there cope with the Hamas occupation of the territory while being mindful of its own security needs and the safety of its own civilian population living in the Southern Israel and the Western Negev who are bombarded by Hamas rockets and mortars on a daily basis.

Please see below for more information on the on going situation.

Background on the Gaza Flotilla

For several days Israel has offered to off load the contents of the six ship flotilla that was headed for Gaza in the Israeli city of Ashdod. From there the contents would be properly screened, and transferred to Gaza with the members of the flotilla being allowed to travel with it. The leadership of the flotilla repeatedly rejected this offer saying, "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege on 1.5 million Palestinians." (AFP, May 27) Read more.

Video of IDF Forces Being Attacked on Board the Flotilla

To view this video, go here.

First Hand Report from the Flotilla

YNet News reporter Ron Ben-Yishai tells his first hand account of the skirmish on board one of the boats in the flotilla. The Navy commandos descended on to the boat where they were met by 20 armed demonstrators who immediately began to assault them.

Read more from Ynet News here.

Legal Aspects of Gaza Blockade

A maritime blockade is in effect off the coast of Gaza in response to Hamas' occupation. Hamas has repeatedly fired rockets and mortars at civilian targets in Israel with weapons that have been smuggled into Gaza via the sea. Read more here.

Ongoing Humanitarian Aid Efforts to Gaza

Despite attacks by Hamas, Israel maintains an ongoing humanitarian corridor for the transfer of food and humanitarian supplies to Gaza, used by internationally recognized organizations including the United Nations and the Red Cross.

Well over a million tons of humanitarian supplies entered Gaza from Israel over the last 18 months equaling nearly a ton of aid for every man, woman and child in Gaza. Millions of dollars worth of international food aid continually flows through the Israeli humanitarian apparatus, ensuring that there is no food shortage in Gaza. Read more here.

Benjamin Sack
Director of National Initiatives
Embassy of Israel

From Intercessors for Israel

Drama at Sea - War on Israel

Prayer Strategies for the Current Crisis

Please do not be riled up by the confused reports you are getting in the media. Rather stand on the Word of God before the Lord and PRAY!

Several prayer strategies you can take:

(When you pray into God's Kingdom agenda with faith, He moves to fulfill it and removes all the obstacles to His plan along the way.)

Pray for God's full plan of salvation from Ezekiel 36-39 which includes:

• Bringing the Jews back to the land of promise
• Pouring out the Spirit upon them and cleansing them from all sin
• Reestablishing God' presence among His people (The Great Reconciliation)
• Sanctifying God's name by His wondrous work in His people
• Uniting Israel under the rulership of the Messiah
• Fighting Israel's enemies and showing His great name and authority by what He does in the midst of the Nations who defy the Lord (see Ps. 2 as well)
Pray specifically into what is happening on the ground right now
• Psalm 9
• "No weapon that is formed against you shall succeed, and you will condemn (prove to be guilty) every tongue that rises against you in judgment." (Isaiah 54:17)
• Pray for much wisdom for the IDF and the government of Israel as things unfold.
• Pray for Israel to be inspired and even prophetic in PR war (which is actually the main battle right now and not the mechanics of handling the Flotilla).
• Pray for light to be shed and cut through all the lies and misinformation that is, no doubt, being spread by Arab and western media outlets, who are hostile to Israel. Stratfor reports that. ". . . through reports broadcast by al Jazeera from the ship, the flotilla organizers appear to have been prepared to provoke the Israelis in order to gain considerable media exposure for their cause."
• Pray for the wounded on both sides.
- We need to uphold P.M. Netanyahu and the government as they will come under intense pressure to lift the blockade of Gaza.
- Let us be very alert in the Spirit to the possibility that Turkey will not only organize a new Flotilla, but will escort it with their warships. If that happens it will change the situation dramatically.
We also need to pray against a violent uprising amongst Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of Judea and Samaria.
- Let us remain alert in the dangerous and rapidly changing attack on Israel's right to self-defense.

More than ever, we need to walk with the Lord; in the knowledge of God and in His light. Ask the Lord for wisdom and understanding for the days we live in and seek His face. What we have had till now will not be enough to take us through the days just ahead.

Blessings from Jerusalem,

Ofer Amitai ( Senior Advisor to the IFI Board)

"Now also many nations have gathered against you, Who say, Let her be defiled, And let our eye look upon Zion. But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; For I will make your horn iron, And I will make your hooves bronze; You shall beat in pieces many peoples; I will consecrate their gain to the Lord and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth." (Micah 4:11-13)

Netanyahu Cancels White House Visit

Netanyahu returning early to deal with Gaza flotilla crisis

Cancels White House visit, Obama asks for answers now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Monday to forego an important visit to Washington tomorrow and return home straight from Canada to deal with the growing global fallout from today's deadly clash between IDF forces and pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-vessel aid convoy bound for Gaza. Netanyahu spoke by telephone with US President Barack Obama to explain his change of plans and the pair decided to set a new meeting at a later date.

Obama conveyed his understanding for Netanyahu's decision and expressed "deep regret at the loss of life in today's incident, and concern for the wounded, many of whom are being treated in Israeli hospitals." The White House also said it was keen to have from Israel "all the facts and
circumstances around this morning's tragic events as soon as possible."

The visit had been expected to reaffirm the strong US-Israel relationship after weeks of tension and provide a public welcome to Netanyahu after the shoddy treatment received during his last White House visit in March. Besides consultations on Iran, it was meant to push along the nascent proximity talks ahead of a visit by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the Oval Office next Tuesday. (Source: ICEJ News)