“When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, He causes their enemies to make peace with them.””
Proverbs 16:7 NIV
Again this week, peace for Israel is one of our main topics.
Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow the Unites Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel to use their airspace, saving many travel hours and creating significant economic benefits for both countries. In addition, Israel and Hamas have reached an agreement that includes de-escalation of cross-border violence.
Unfortunately, Israel is experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus cases in the last several days. The government issued a curfew and school closures that started Tuesday for areas deemed as hotspots because of a record-breaking spike in the infection rate. This avoids a nationwide closure for now.
Here are this week’s news stories for you to read and lift up to our God in prayer.
Saudi Arabia approves UAE request to use airspace for all routes
The UAE received approval of their request to use Saudi Arabian airspace for all flights.
This significant move came just two days after an Israeli airplane carrying a delegation of Israeli and American officials heading to the UAE crossed through Saudi Arabian airspace for the first time.
The opening of Saudi skies reflects a growing willingness by Gulf Arab states to publicly recognize warming ties with Israel, according to BNN Bloomberg, a Canadian news source.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week any airline, including Israeli ones, could now fly directly to the UAE through the Saudi airspace, and that it would shave off hours on routes to Asian destinations.
Agreement reached on de-escalation of cross-border violence
Terror group Hamas announced it has reached an agreement with Israel to de-escalate violence across the border, according to YNet News.
The talks were mediated by Muhammad al-Amadi, the Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip. A statement by Hamas said that the talks “brought understanding between us and Israel to return calm to the region and prevent an escalation in violence.”
Facilitating social projects to help tackle the dire humanitarian situation and reining in the spread of COVID-19 in the Gaza Strip are also part of the agreement, according to the terror group.
Reports of the agreement were confirmed by Israeli officials.
"Further deliberations on any further demands by Hamas will continue later, as the group stopped the launch of all balloon-borne incendiary and explosive devices from the Gaza Strip," Israeli officials said.
Highest one-day number of new COVID cases in Israel since start of pandemic
On Tuesday, the Health Ministry said there were 3,425 new COVID-19 cases confirmed over the previous day. This is the largest daily increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic, according to The Times of Israel.
The nation’s virus-related death total is now at 1,031.
A record-high 139 serious coronavirus patients were in need of a ventilator, Israel’s Health Ministry said Monday evening. The previous record was 137 on April 13.
Jerusalem, with a high proportion of ultra-Orthodox residents, had 689 new cases of the virus and the predominantly ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak had 491. Other ultra-Orthodox areas have also shown rising numbers, with 385 new cases in the settlements of Modi'in Illit and 253 in Beit Shemesh. These numbers were all reported from a one week period last week. Numbers have also risen in many Israeli Arab communities.
Curfew, school closures go into effect in virus hotspots
A nightly curfew affecting dozens of Israeli cities and towns with high coronavirus infection rates was put into effect Tuesday evening.
The curfews will be every day between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. through September 15. During the curfew, residents must stay within 500 meters (approximately 550 yards) of their homes and non-essential businesses will be closed. Schools will be closed except for special needs programs.
The list of affected cities includes all of Bnei Brak, Beitar Ilit, Umm al-Fahm and Nazareth, as well as parts of Jerusalem, Ashdod and Eilat.
Initially, the government had planned to impose lockdowns on cities with especially high infection rates, but on Sunday announced the plan for nighttime curfews and school closures instead.
The lockdown plan was changed after Netanyahu received significant pressure from the ultra-Orthodox community, according to The Times of Israel.
The government says a national lockdown is still being considered, especially over the upcoming High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, at the end of September.
Let us pray together
Please pray with me for:
Continued progress on the peace agreement negotiations between Israel and the UAE and for other Arab countries to seek peace with Israel
- The de-escalation agreement between Israel and Hamas to put an end to violence in the Gaza Strip and lead to cooperation to help people living in this area
- The curfew and school closures to be effective in decreasing the number of coronavirus cases in Israel’s virus hotspots so the country can avoid a national lockdown
- The new cooperation between Israel and the UAE in battling the coronavirus to lead to new, effective treatments, more accurate and rapid testing and a vaccine
- Jewish people to recognize it is their Messiah Jesus who is ultimately responsible for any peace in the Middle East and put their trust in Him
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