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Undisclosed nuclear site, cyberattacks on Israel and more

November 19, 2020

“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. 
In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” 

(Exodus 15:13 NIV) 

As you will see below, there is a great deal in the news regarding Israel. In the U.S., there is also no shortage of significant news stories. While we stay informed about all that is going on in our world, let’s hold tight to God’s unfailing love for us and the confidence we can have knowing He guides us in His strength – not ours. 

Below you will find multiple stories about Iran – from an undisclosed nuclear site to cyberattacks on Israeli businesses. You will also read about new additions to Israel’s military – Sa’ar military ships from Germany and a one-of-a-kind F-35i stealth jet from the U.S. This jet is America’s solution to providing a qualitative military advantage to Israel over United Arab Emirates and any other Arab countries who purchase F-35s. 

As coronavirus numbers surge across the U.S., many states are implementing new restrictions. In Israel, the pandemic news is focused on vaccines and the continued easing of restriction. 

Please read more below and continue to be in prayer for Israel as well as the ministry of Jewish Voice. We appreciate your commitment.  

UN nuclear watchdog says Iran’s response regarding undeclared site “not credible” 

Last week, the nuclear watchdog for the United Nations said Iran’s explanations concerning the presence of nuclear material at an undeclared site in the country were “not credible.” 

Iranian authorities provided some information about the site, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report that “the agency informed Iran that it continues to consider Iran’s response to be not technically credible.” 

“A full and prompt explanation from Iran regarding the presence of uranium particles of anthropogenic origin … at a location in Iran not declared to the agency is needed,” the report said, according to Saudi Arabia-based Arab News. 

The report did confirm that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium is more than 12 times the limit allowed in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers: China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

The 2015 agreement has been falling apart since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018 and then re-introduced crippling economic sanctions on Iran. 

To retaliate, since May 2019, Iran has been breaking the limits on its nuclear activity detailed in the agreement. 

Recent cyberattacks targeting Israel linked to Iran 

Two ransomware attacks that have targeted companies in Israel are being traced back to Iranian threat actors, multiple sources told ZDNet, a U.S.-based business technology news website. 

The attacks began in mid-October and have increased this month, repeatedly aimed at Israeli companies of all sizes using the Pay2Key and WannaScream ransomware strains. 

Hackers broke through corporate networks, stole company data, encrypted files and requested huge payouts to deliver a decryption key. 

Islamic scholar says Iran carried out cyberattacks against Israeli desalination and power plants 

In a November 6 sermon in Iran that aired on Iranian Khorasan Shomali TV, Iranian cleric Rahim Mahdavipour said the Islamic Republic carried out at least two cyberattacks against Israel’s desalination plants and power plants. He claimed the latest one successfully targeted Israel’s power plants. 

On October 30, the Israel Electric Corporation confirmed there was a power outage in many areas across the country. They stressed it was not caused by a cyberattack. The Israeli cyber authority did not comment, according to Fox News. 

Israel Navy gears up to receive next generation of missile ships 

The Israel Navy is looking forward to receiving its Sa’ar 6-class corvette missile ships from Germany. These ships will help defend Israel’s strategic maritime assets from enemies, including Hezbollah. The first of six should arrive in early December and become operational in the next year or two. 

They “are armed with the best defensive and offensive combat systems that are at the forefront of world military technology,” said Eli Sharvit, commander of the Israeli Navy, according to The Jerusalem Post. 

The navy protects Israel’s largest strategic depth, both above and below the surface of the sea, which is almost double Israel’s land mass. It also guards strategic infrastructures, including natural gas rigs and commercial shipping lanes, which bring in 98% of Israel’s imports. 

Providing protection again Hezbollah is a priority. The terrorist organization has stockpiled an estimated arsenal of 130,000-150,000 missiles and rockets north of Israel. They are intended to strike at the civilian home front and strategic infrastructures such as gas production rigs and naval and commercial vessels in Israeli shipping lanes. 

The Sa’ar 6 ships are part of Israel Defense Force’s new multidimensional warfare strategy designed to quickly and efficiently defeat the enemy. 

Israel takes delivery of one-of-a-kind stealth jet from U.S. 

Last Wednesday, the unique, experimental F-35i fighter jet landed at Israel’s Tel Nof air base after flying in from the U.S. 

The F-35i “is the only one in the world and unique for the IAF (Israel Air Force),” a source in the Air Force recently told The Jerusalem Post. The source also said Israel wanted this plane so it could integrate and certify unique Israeli technology into it. 

Israel will be among first to get Moderna coronavirus vaccine 

On Monday, Moderna’s Israeli chief medical officer, Dr. Tal Zaks, said Israel would be among the first countries in line to receive its coronavirus vaccine. The U.S. biotechnology company had just announced initial results showing the effectiveness of the vaccine to be 94.5%. 

Zaks predicts the first doses would reach Israel early in 2021. “It’s around the corner,” he said, according to The Times of Israel. 

Netanyahu defends Pfizer deal as “very good investment” 

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended Israel’s agreement with U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer to receive eight million doses of its coronavirus vaccine. The agreement had been called into question by Israeli media, The Jerusalem Post reported. 

“This is a very good investment in the health and life of you, the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu said. He continued, saying he is confident that “if Pfizer provides vaccines to the world’s leading countries, it will provide exactly the same to us.” 

Last week, Pfizer revealed interim analysis of its Phase III study showing the vaccine is 90% effective. Last Friday, Israel signed a contract with Pfizer. 

Coronavirus cabinet approves opening of strip malls and more grades returning to school 

Israel’s coronavirus cabinet approved the reopening of strip malls throughout the country in low-infection zones, effective Tuesday, November 17. 

In addition, grades 5-6 have been approved to return to school next week and grades 11-12 the week after, according to The Times of Israel. 

Let us pray together 

Please pray with me for:  

  • The truth to be revealed concerning Iran and the presence of nuclear material at any undeclared sites 

  • Protection for Israel from cyberattacks by Iran 

  • Wisdom and protection for the people of Israel as coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted 

  • Continued success of clinical trials to produce effective vaccines and for Israel to get access to the necessary vaccines when they are available 

  • Jewish people to recognize Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah 

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