JNN News Update June 24, 2017

26 June 2017 Written by  Vision for Israel
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS OWNER ROBERT KRAFT OPENS FIRST REGULATION-SIZED JERUSALEM FOOTBALL STADIUM: The new Kraft Family Sports Campus in Jerusalem was inaugurated this week and made possible by a $6 million donation earlier this year by New England Patriots owner and five-time National Football League (NFL) champion Robert Kraft. This will be Israel’s first regulation-sized American football field - which doubles as a soccer field - and will serve the country’s growing interest in the sport. Currently, there are 1,350 active football players in Israel, with dozens of teams across the country. As part of the campus opening, NFL Hall of Famers traveled with Kraft to Israel to promote football in the Jewish state. Among the players are Joe Greene, Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Mike Singletary, Eric Dickerson and Roger Staubach. During their stay, the group visited Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, as well as Christian sites near the Sea of Galilee - with several of the former players undergoing a baptism in the Jordan River. The NFL players also met with PM Netanyahu. (Algemeiner)

JERUSALEM AQUARIUM TO OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN JULY: In July 2017 the first aquarium in Israel will open to the public in Jerusalem. The only land-based aquarium in the Middle East is situated in the capital’s Biblical Zoo. The aquarium complex is laid out on 5 acres at the southern end of Jerusalem. The aquarium is 7,000 square meters and has 33 tanks. The largest tank represents the Mediterranean Sea environment and holds 1.6 million liters of water. (Janglo)

BEN GURION AIRPORT INAUGURATES ITS NEW TERMINAL 1: Ben Gurion International Airport's new Terminal 1 was inaugurated this week, allowing low-cost international airlines to begin using it. Some 1.4 million passengers per year are expected to depart the terminal. Check-in security for the expected 33 flights each day will now take place in Terminal 1, instead of Terminal 3. Airlines operating out of Terminal 1 are: Arkia Airlines, Blue Bird Airways, easyJet, EL AL, Israir Airlines, Pegasus, Ryanair, Wizz Air, and more. In addition, a new airport is expected to open near Eilat, replacing the airport currently in the city's center and allowing Eilat to grow. It will be the first international airport built in Israel since 1948. (Arutz-7)

LIBERMAN: WE WILL NOT AGREE TO THE RETURN OF A SINGLE REFUGEE: Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thur. 22 June 2017 spoke to participants at the Herzliya Conference, and addressed the renewal of negotiations with the PA. He emphasized that the return of refugees was a red line for Israel. “We will not agree to the return of a single refugee to ‘67 borders,” he said. “There will never be another prime minister who makes propositions to the Palestinians like Ehud Olmert did.” He noted that an agreement with the PA will not solve regional problems. “There shouldn’t be any delusions: An end to the conflict with the Palestinians will not solve the problems - it will make them worse. We must first reach a regional agreement with moderate Sunni states, and only then an agreement with the Palestinians,” he said. (Arutz-7) Right of Return: When Israel was created in 1948, Arab states and Arab Palestinians attacked the Jewish community in Palestine and the Jewish state, vowing to "drive the Jews into the sea." They lost the war however, and some 725,000 Arab Palestinians at the behest of Arab leaders voluntarily fled from the area. Palestinian Arabs claim any peace agreement with Israel must allow the descendants and families of these refugees, now numbering 6 million, to return to Israel. If Israel were to agree to this Jews would became a minority in their own state. Return of the refugees would put an end to the Jewish homeland.

IAF CHIEF: ISRAEL HAS 4-5 TIMES THE POWER THAN IN 2006 TO STRIKE HEZBOLLAH: Israel can now strike the Hezbollah terrorist group with four-to-five times the bombing power than was used in the 2006 war with Lebanon, said Israeli Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel. The IAF commander discussed a potential future conflict between the Jewish state and its northern neighbor, saying such an aggression would largely be fought in the air. Eshel said qualitative and quantitative improvements in the air force since the 2006 Lebanon war meant it could carry out in just two or three days the same number of bombings it mounted in those 34 days of fighting. "If war breaks out in the north, we have to open with all our strength from the start," he said, pointing to the likelihood of international pressure for a quick ceasefire before Israel can achieve all its strategic goals. In addition, Eshel warned civilians in southern Lebanon to leave their homes if war with Israel breaks out, saying that "every four out of five homes has weapons hidden in them." Since the last war with Israel, the Iranian-back Lebanese terrorist group has also reportedly stockpiled more than 100,000 projectiles capable of reaching various parts of Israel. (J.Post) Intercede that Hezbollah will refrain from carrying out war-provoking acts against the Jewish state. Pray for the safety of Israel’s Northern borders. “Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens,” Ps. 68:34.

DISABLED PROTESTERS BLOCK MAIN HIGHWAY NEAR AIRPORT THREATEN TO SET THEMSELVES ON FIRE: Dozens of disabled people and their supporters on Wed. 21 June 2017 used cars and wheelchairs to block the entrance to Ben Gurion Airport from the main Route 1 highway stepping up a battle to have disability benefits raised to the level of the minimum wage. In past weeks, protesters have held several demonstrations, blocking Tel Aviv thoroughfares after media reports that a government committee planned to recommend cutting a promised increase in allotments. Naomi Morbia, chairwoman of the protest movement, warned that participants would set themselves on fire. “We’ve blocked the entrance to Ben Gurion Airport and we’ve tied ourselves together in a chain. We’ve poured gasoline on ourselves and we’ll set ourselves on fire if our demands are not answered. We are fighting for our lives and demand benefits that are equal to the minimum wage,” she said.

In April 2017 after a slew of protests, including a hunger strike, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced a 50% increase in monthly disability benefits for the over 200,000 Israelis who receive the financial assistance. As a result of the NIS 4 billion ($1.1 billion) he allocated, those entitled to monthly disability benefits were due to receive NIS 3,800 ($1,035) a month, up from the NIS 2,342 ($640) they currently receive, phased in over a period of five years. But in May 2017 it was decided that another committee would be established. Media reports indicated the panel would recommend cutting the monthly benefit increase from NIS 1,200 ($338) NIS 500 ($140); making the criteria for eligibility much stricter and - while maintaining the NIS 4 billion budget framework - cutting the pie differently to direct more funds into helping disabled people with costs such as rent. (Times of Israel) Intercede that the disabled people of Israel will receive much needed benefit increases to survive daily life in a country where the cost of living is 13.46% higher than in the USA. Pray that that the second committee established to reduced the promised minimal decrease will be dissolved as it will only increase already snarled levels of bureaucracy and delay any benefits to the disabled. May these needy people receive much needed, promised increases deposited directly into their accounts monthly. 

The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by JNN writers and editors are based on the best information received.

Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff

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