Skip to main content

Was assassination carried out by remote-controlled machine gun?

December 03, 2020

“The Lord gives strength to His people; 

the Lord blesses His people with peace.” 

(Psalm 29:11 NIV) 

I pray that you had a blessed Thanksgiving weekend.  

Even though we’re surrounded on every side by events and circumstances that can steal our joy, we can remain confident in God’s continued presence and blessing. 

I know that I spent time this long weekend being reminded that God is in control in circumstances that feel shaky at best, and overwhelming at times.  

I’m so thankful to count you among our friends and supporters here at Jewish Voice. As we look to the final month of the year, here are a few of the news stories of note. 

One story that has led to a wide variety of headlines over the past several days is the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist last Friday. It’s not clear who is responsible for the attack, but news outlets in Iran have reported different accounts of what transpired.  

Iranian leaders have vowed to avenge the scientist’s death and continue his work on nuclear progress for the nation. News reports say Iranian officials believe the assassination was carried out by Israel or an opposition group inside Iran. 

In coronavirus news, there is concern about the increase in patients requiring ventilators and the number of new cases in Israel. One outcome of this is Israel Defense Forces have issued a formal notice to soldiers in closed units to be prepared for another on-base lockdown for up to a month. In good news, vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are showing encouraging results in their clinical trials.  

Below you’ll find more details. With all that’s going on, let’s continue to pray for the Jewish people – please join me in praying for the Lord to give strength to His people and bless them with peace. Thank you. 

Conflicting reports on how the top Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated  

There were conflicting accounts from Iranian news agencies about how the attack on Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear scientist, was carried out. 

The semi-official Fars News Agency said he was shot by a remote-controlled machine gun operating out of another car. The agency report said the scientist was traveling with his wife in a bulletproof car with three security personnel vehicles when Fakhrizadeh heard what sounded like bullets hitting a vehicle. He then exited the car to determine what had happened.  

At that point, the remote-controlled machine gun fired from a Nissan about 160 yards away. He was hit at least three times. The agency says the Nissan exploded and the attack lasted three minutes. 

CNN could not independently confirm Fars News’ version of the events. 

The semi-official Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) also reported Fakhrizadeh’s vehicle was hit by gunfire, followed by an explosion and additional gunfire. The ISNA cited Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami as its source. 

“Based on reports received from members of his security detail, Mr. Fakhrizadeh's vehicle was initially targeted by gunfire, after which a Nissan vehicle laden with explosives was set off in close proximity to them as gunfire, targeting their vehicle, was continuing,” Hatami was quoted as saying. 

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, a state television outlet, the explosion occurred first and then gunfire by attackers. 

On Monday, Iranian news sites reported that the attack that killed Fakhrizadeh, the alleged architect of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, was carried out using an Israeli-manufactured weapon controlled by satellite. 

Iran’s English-language Press TV reported a weapon recovered from the scene of the attack bore “the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry.” No images of this alleged weapon were published, according to The Times of Israel. 

Iranian leaders blame Israel for assassination 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was among the country’s leaders who blamed Israel for the attack on Fakhrizadeh. He promised retaliation, saying during a cabinet meeting Saturday, “The think tanks and the enemies of Iran must know that the Iranian nation and the officials in charge in the country are brave and determined to respond to the murder in time.” 

The assassination, Rouhani said, was carried out at “the filthy hands of oppressors, in concert with the illegitimate Zionist regime.” 

Iran has provided no evidence of Israeli involvement. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office declined to comment to CNN on Friday. 

Iran defense minister vows revenge after killing of top nuclear scientist 

At the funeral of Fakhrizadeh, Defense Minister General Amir Hatami warned that the killing would be avenged, according to The Times of Israel. 

“The enemy knows full well that he cannot commit a crime without getting a response from the Iranian people. The martyr’s blood will be remembered forever and the enemy made a mistake with this assassination,” said Hatami, according to Hebrew-language reports. 

“The assassination of the scientist will not stop the progress of Iran’s nuclear program but will only accelerate it. The response will come with certainty,” Hatami added. 

He said Fakhrizadeh’s killing would make Iranians “more united, more determined.” 

Israel sees sharp rise in coronavirus patients requiring ventilators 

In the 24-hour period from Sunday to Monday evening, Israel’s Health Ministry says there has been an increase of 30 coronavirus patients requiring ventilator support. One of the patients is a teenager and six of them are in their 40s. 

The Coronavirus National Information and Knowledge Center reported an overall increase in the spread of the infection over the past week and says it cannot be explained simply by an increase in testing. For three straight days last week there were more than a thousand new cases reported per day, according to YNet News. 

The majority of the newly infected people appear to be from the Arab sector (50.4%), according to the Center, with 42.4% from the general sector and 7.1% from the ultra-Orthodox. 

Moderna seeks emergency approval of vaccine after successful study results 

On Monday, pharmaceutical company Moderna said it would ask U.S. and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results show the shot offers strong protection. 

Over the weekend, Moderna got final results that suggest the vaccine is more than 94% effective, according to The Times of Israel. 

Upon learning the results, Dr. Tal Zaks, Moderna’s Israeli chief medical officer, said, “I allowed myself to cry for the first time. We have already, just in the trial, have already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine.” 

Zaks told The Jerusalem Post that Israel will be among the first in line for Moderna’s vaccine. Israel’s contract with Moderna is to receive at least two million doses – enough to vaccinate one million people. The first doses are expected to arrive sometime at the beginning of 2021. 

Let us pray together 

Please pray with me for:  

  • Protection for Israel from any potential attacks by Iran in retaliation for the assassination of Fakhrizadeh – which many Iranian leaders are blaming on Israel 

  • Wisdom and protection for the people of Israel as coronavirus numbers are rising 

  • 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 and to discover the peace that can only be found in Him 

Share this article

Get the "Messenger" on all things Jewish Voice

Sign up to be on the front lines of all things Jewish Voice, from prayer to ministry updates and special opportunities to learn more about Jesus and share the Gospel with scattered Jewish people around the world! 

divider graphic
arrow-up icon