News Update December 24th 2012
JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isa 9:6
WORLD’S SECOND-OLDEST BIBLE FRAGMENT POSTED ONLINE: The University of Cambridge posted online thousands of pages from fragile religious manuscripts. One of the documents scanned and uploaded to the Cambridge Digital Library is the Nash Papyrus, a 2,000-year-old fragment containing the Ten Commandments and part of the Shema prayer discovered in Egypt in the late 19th century. It is the world’s second oldest known manuscript containing a text from the Hebrew Bible. The oldest are the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also digitized and uploaded last week was the Cairo Geniza Collection, an assortment of manuscript fragments that were found in a storeroom in Egypt in the late 1890s and that detail life in a Cairo area Jewish community from the Dark Ages through the 19th century. Geniza’s house documents are forbidden from destruction because Jewish law deems them holy. Other texts posted include the “Codex Bezae,” a 5th century New Testament; and the “Book of Deer,” a 10th century pocket gospel book 6.2 inches tall and 4.3 inches wide. (JTA)
SEA OF GALILEE RISES BY 7 INCHES: The Sea of Galilee, rose by a whopping 7 inches in the course of Saturday, and is now only 3.21 meters short of the maximum level, at which authorities allow its water to flow southward, into the Jordan River and Dead Sea. Since Thursday, the Kinneret’s level has risen by 9.5 inches, and it is expected to rise further through the beginning of the week. The Water Authority said the rise sets a 10-year record for the month of December in the last ten years. (Arutz-7) “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. Ps 65: 9
DOZENS OF HOTELS PLANNED IN HAIFA: Haifa is restoring past glory: The northern Israeli city, which had 55 hotels in the time of the British mandate, is facing a construction boom with as many as 40 hotel projects in the planning, approval or building stages. Most projects are for boutique hotels. National Council for Planning and Construction has approved a waterfront plan that will develop the city’s neglected beach, transforming it into a center for tourism, leisure, trade, and nightlife. An average 85% occupancy rate is prompting the entrepreneurs and authorities to develop the hotel industry at a record pace. After a 7% increase in tourism over the past year, the municipality seeks to turn Haifa into northern Israel’s tourist center, from which travelers will embark on day trips to Akko, Nazareth, Tiberias and the Galilee. About a year ago, the Tourism Ministry extended the city’s status as Development Area A, promising investors a 24% grant for the establishment of hotels and tourist attractions. (Ynet)
TURKEY TO RESUME NATO COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL: Turkey has agreed to drop its ban on cooperating with Israel as a third-country NATO partner, a diplomat said Sunday. Ankara cut off such cooperation after the Israeli army raided a Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2010, leaving nine Turks dead. The decision to renew NATO links occurred at a December 4 meeting in Brussels of the 28-member alliance on a proposal by its Secretary General. The ban had “created a lack of confidence among the partners,” a diplomat said. The agreement comes after NATO agreed early this month to deploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles along the Turkish border with Syria. Turkey’s relations with its former ally deteriorated sharply after the raid on the Turkish ship in international waters in the Mediterranean. (Ynet) Pray for renewed co-operation and favorable diplomatic relations between Israel and its former ally Turkey.
NETANYAHU: ISRAEL IS PREPARING FOR DRAMATIC CHANGES IN SYRIA: PM Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel is getting ready for the downfall of President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, and the implications this will have for the regime’s chemical weapons cache. Speaking at cabinet meeting, the prime minister said Israel “is following dramatic developments in Syria, cooperating with the US and the international community, and taking the necessary steps to prepare for the possibility of radical changes to the regime with all the consequences these may hold for networks of sensitive weapons.” The most reliable evidence of Assad’s deteriorating position has been the firing of Scud missiles at rebel strongholds in Syria’s north. NATO’s Secretary-General Rasmusen said Friday the Syrian military has continued to fire Scud-type missiles against anti-government forces, describing the move as an act of desperation of a regime nearing its end. The Scud is the regime’s second to the last resource, superseded only by the use of chemical and biological weapons against the opposition forces - which have not been tried because of the stern warnings issued by the international community. US intelligence says the regime may be readying chemical weapons and could be desperate enough to use them. Both Israel and the US have also expressed concerns they could fall into terrorist hands if the regime crumbles. (Reuters)
AT LEAST 90 KILLED OUTSIDE SYRIA BAKERY: Dozens of people were reported to have been killed or wounded in an air strike Sunday by the Syrian government in the central Syrian province of Hama. The incident took place in the town of Halfaya, opposition activists said. Activists on Sunday reported there were “at least 90” people killed and the death toll was likely to rise. Most of the victims were people who had been standing in line for bread, in a crowd that was estimated at about 1,000. Some observers say the death toll could reach 200. (INN) Pray G-d will mercifully bring to an end this bitter uprising in Syria. May there be miracles of comfort and healing for this war-torn people and an emerging of responsible leaders.
TOUGHER EU SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN COME INTO FORCE: New sanctions against Iran’s banking, shipping and industrial sectors took effect on Saturday, as part of the European Union’s effort to force Tehran to scale back its nuclear program. The toughest EU measures yet, includes bans on financial transactions, sales to Iran of shipping equipment and steel, and imports of Iranian natural gas, adding to earlier bans, including on the OPEC producer’s oil. They reflect heightened concern over Iran’s nuclear goals and Israeli threats to attack Iranian atomic installations if diplomacy and other measures fail to deliver a solution. (J.Post)
AHMADINEJAD: IRAN IN A SMART WAR WITH THE WEST: Iran is engaged in a “smart economic war” with Western powers whose sanctions against its nuclear program are hurting some Iranians, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday. “Targeted sanctions, which the enemies say are supposed to be crippling, have led to a drop in our oil sales,” Ahmadinejad said, referring to an oil embargo imposed by the EU. “They do not even let us transfer the oil money,” he said. “They thought Iran’s economy would break down, but it did not. Iran is engaged in a smart economic war with the enemy,” he said. According to the International Energy Agency, Iranian exports in November were estimated at 1.3 million barrels per day, down from nearly 2.3 million last year. Ahmadinejad said his government had “so far managed to control” the effects of sanctions on the economy but admitted “heavy pressure had been exerted on some Iranians because of sanctions.” He did not elaborate on how Iran was fighting off sanctions for fear the methods would be found by Western powers trying to pressure Iran back to the negotiating table over its nuclear ambitions. (Arutz-7)
EGYPT: VOTERS APPROVE CONSTITUTION: Egypt’s new constitution, which was drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly, was approved by 64% of voters in a two-round referendum, an official in the Muslim Brotherhood said on Sunday citing the group’s unofficial tally. An official from Egypt’s main opposition group, which campaigned against the constitution saying it would deepen divisions in Egypt, also said its unofficial count indicated the document was approved. The first round of voting was held on held on Dec.15 and a second round was staged on Saturday, with roughly half Egypt’s 51 million eligible voters covered in each round. “According to our calculations, the final result of the second round is 71% voting ‘yes’ and the overall result (of the two rounds) is 63.8%,” the Brotherhood official monitoring the vote was quoted as saying. (J.Post)
HAMAS PREPARING FOR WAR AGAINST ABBAS: Hamas is preparing to duplicate its 2007 civil war in Gaza and has instructed terror cells in Judea and Samaria to get ready for a military coup to oust Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, according to Israeli intelligence sources. The orders reportedly came from Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal, who recently visited Gaza to celebrate what the terrorist organization claimed was a victory over Israel in last month’s missile war. Citing unnamed officials in the Israel Security Agency, a London newspaper reported Iran wants to have an allied militia in Judea and Samaria, parallel to Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon. Tawfik Tirawi, a senior member of Abbas’ Fatah party, disclosed, “Hamas wants intifada and will take over the West Bank. We’re on the verge of catastrophe,” he said. “Netanyahu understands the geopolitical changes in the Middle East. No way would he give up an inch of the West Bank - he is convinced the intelligence assessment about a Muslim Brotherhood [Hamas] takeover is solid.” (Sunday Times) “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” Gen 16:12
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.