A Week of Pride and Uncertainty
Israel’s Remembrance Day & Independence Day Celebrations Amid Growing Tensions & Social Unrest: In this week’s news from Israel, we cover the country’s commemoration of Remembrance Day and celebration of Independence Day, amidst a backdrop of political tensions and social discontent.
We also discuss the UN’s continued hostility towards Israel and recent moves in Texas to promote prayer and Bible reading in public schools. Stay up-to-date with the latest developments from the Middle East…
Israel’s Population Nears 10 Million, a 12-fold Increase Since State’s 1948 Founding: The population of Israel is edging toward 10 million, making it a dozen times larger than it was on the day the Jewish state was established, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday, April 24, ahead of the country’s 75th Independence Day celebrations.
9,727,000 people are living in Israel, CBS said. Of those, 7,145,000 are Jewish, or 73.5 percent, along with 2,048,000 Arabs (21%) and 534,000 members of other minorities (5.5%).
Since last year, the population grew by 216,000 people, an increase of 2.3%. There were 183,000 babies born and 79,000 new immigrants arrived, while 51,000 people died. Over a quarter of Israelis, 28%, are children aged 14 or under, while 12% are over the age of 65.
When the state was founded on May 14, 1948, 806,000 people were living in the country, meaning it has grown twelvefold over the decades.
By 2030, the population is expected to reach 11.1 million, and by 2040, 13.2 million. In Israel’s centenary year, 2048, the population is predicted to hit 15.2 million.
According to the figures, at the end of 2021, 46% of the world’s total Jewish population was living in Israel. (TOI / VFI News)
“He will bring you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.” – Deuteronomy 30:5
The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.
Jerusalem Terror Attack: Seven Wounded in Car Ramming, Terrorist Killed: Seven people were wounded in a terrorist car-ramming attack in Jerusalem on Monday, April 24. The victims include a man in his 70s who is in serious condition, a woman in her 30s and a man in his 50s in moderate condition, and two 25-year-old men who were lightly wounded.
The victims were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah University Medical Center. One of the victims was hospitalized due to shock, a Hadassah representative said.
The terrorist was identified as Hatem Abu Nijmeh, 39, of Beit Safafa in east Jerusalem. He was shot and killed by a civilian at the scene. Nijmeh was a married father of five who was unknown to security forces but reportedly had a history of mental illness.
The terrorist attack occurred in the area of Davidka Square about a block away from Mahaneh Yehuda Market. Nijmeh arrived at the intersection and sped up, deliberately hitting pedestrians, including people crossing the street, the police said. When he slowed down and then stopped, an armed civilian shot and killed him.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke at a Remembrance Day ceremony in Jerusalem minutes after the attack took place, said it “reminds us that the State of Israel was bought with great suffering.” (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we pray for the swift recovery of the seven victims from Monday’s attack. Let us all hope that from now on, terrorists will be stopped before executing their horrifying plans.”
Swastika Carved into US Jewish Teen’s Back at School; Culprits Not Found in 6 Weeks: A US Jewish boy with special needs had a swastika carved into his back last month, allegedly by fellow students in his high school in Las Vegas, according to various media reports.
The 17-year-old student has autism, is nonverbal, uses a service dog, and has a full-time staffer shadowing him, according to US and other media reports.
He was wearing a kippah during the attack, indicating he’s a religious Jew. His mother, who quickly alerted authorities to her son’s injury, has said he is the only identifiably Jewish student at Clark High School. She said she has pulled her son from the school, deeming it an “unsafe environment.”
The mother, who asked not to be identified, told Jewish media last week that in addition to the swastika-shaped injury, she found that the equipment bag carried by the boy’s service dog had been torn and resewn.
Six weeks after the incident, the culprits haven’t been found — the school doesn’t have CCTV cameras in most areas — and the FBI is reportedly involved in the antisemitic hate crime investigation. (TOI / VFI News)
“God, we ask for the protection of our youth and the enactment of justice when hate crimes against them are committed. We offer our prayers for the psychological and physical healing of the Jewish student and we trust that the culprits will soon be discovered.”
Report: Jordanian MP Caught Smuggling Guns into Israel Is a Hamas Sympathizer: Israel’s Shin Bet security agency has launched an investigation into the attempted smuggling of hundreds of firearms into Israel by a Jordanian lawmaker.
On Sunday, April 23, Jordanian MP Imad al-Adwan was arrested at the Allenby Crossing on Israel’s eastern border, after he crossed the King Hussein Bridge and was attempting to enter Israel on his parliamentary passport.
Despite reports in Jordan Sunday that al-Adwan smuggled both gold and guns, on Monday it was revealed that al-Adwan had no gold in his vehicle at the time of his arrest. Rather, the lawmaker had falsely claimed to Israeli border personnel that he was transporting a large quantity of gold.
Instead, however, al-Adwan’s vehicle was carrying hundreds of guns, including 17 M-16 assault rifles and roughly 160 pistols. Based on a tip they had received, customs inspectors at the border carefully inspected al-Adwan’s vehicle, discovering the contraband.
The MP was arrested and transferred to the Shin Bet for interrogation. The Shin Bet is currently working to determine on whose behalf al-Adwan was attempting to smuggle the weapons, and how he obtained the guns.
A member of the Jordanian Parliament’s Palestine Committee, al-Adwan has openly supported Arab terrorist groups including Hamas, Israeli media reported, while castigating the Jewish state. (INN / VFI News)
“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” – Proverbs 21:15
Celebrating Israel’s 75th Anniversary: Join us as we celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary of independence…the Jewish people’s return to the land of Israel fulfills biblical prophecy and how God’s promises for their future restoration are being fulfilled in our time.
Germany Arrests 28-year-old Syrian Over ‘Radical Islamist’ Bomb Plot: German authorities arrested a 28-year-old Syrian national on Tuesday morning, April 25, one of two brothers suspected of planning to blow up civilian targets using a homemade explosives belt for “radical Islamist and jihadist” reasons, a statement said.
Public prosecutors in the northern port city of Hamburg carried out searches as part of a joint probe with police, arresting the man whom they believed bought raw materials for bomb-making off the internet over several weeks.
His brother, who lives in the southern state of Bavaria, helped and encouraged his efforts, the statement said. Both men were unnamed and prosecutors have no indication of a specific target. A total of 250 police officers were involved.
“The two Syrian nationals are said to have planned an attack with a home-made explosive belt, out of a radical Islamist and jihadist motivation in order to carry out an attack against civilian targets,” the statement said. (JPost / VFI News)
“You, Lord, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked,” – Psalm 12:7
Chinese Foreign Minister: We’re Ready to Help Facilitate Israel-PA Peace Talks: China’s Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, told his Israeli and Palestinian Arab counterparts that his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks between the two sides, American media reports.
Qin made separate phone calls to the two officials on Monday, April 17, according to the report, in which he expressed China’s concern over intensifying tensions between Israel and Palestinian Arabs and its support for a resumption of peace talks.
Qin stressed in his talks with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that Saudi Arabia and Iran have set a good example of overcoming differences through dialogue, a statement about that phone call said.
He told Cohen that Beijing encourages Israel and the Palestinians to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks. “China is willing to provide convenience for this,” he was quoted as saying.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qin and Cohen discussed “the importance of maintaining quiet at the Temple Mount, particularly in the final days of Ramadan.” It said that Cohen conveyed “the threat that we see in Iran’s nuclear program” and called on China to help prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Qin also told Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of foreign affairs, that China is willing to play an active role in the resumption of talks, a second statement said. (INN / VFI News)
Israel Offers to Host Sudan Peace Summit, as 72-hour Truce Announced: Israel offered to host ceasefire talks between warring Sudanese factions as the United States said a temporary 72-hour truce would take effect starting Tuesday, April 25, to allow Western, Arab, and Asian nations to extract their citizens from the country.
“If there is a way in which Israel can help stop the war and violence in that country [Sudan], we would be very happy to do so,” Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said.
In announcing the truce, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “following intense negotiation over the past 48 hours, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have agreed to implement a nationwide ceasefire starting at midnight on April 24, to last for 72 hours.”
Fighting erupted between Sudan’s armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group on April 15 and killed at least 427 people, knocked out hospitals and other services, and turned residential areas into war zones.
Cohen had flown to Khartoum in February before the April outbreak of violence, to finalize Israel’s normalization deal with Sudan, a move which pulled on his past close ties with the countries and that of his director-general Ronen Levy. (JPost / VFI News)
“God, we pray for the people of Sudan, the souls that have already been lost, the injured civilians, as well as the families of the deceased. May peace be established soon, and may all wounds become healed with time.”
Erdogan Awards Certificate of Appreciation to Israeli Col. Who Led Rescue Delegation: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday, April 25, presented a certificate of appreciation to Col. (Ret.) Golan Vach, the commander of the Israeli rescue team which was dispatched to Turkey to rescue civilians following the devastating earthquakes which struck the country in February.
Erdogan held a special ceremony today in which he gave awards to the international delegations that helped Turkey in its hour of need, including Col. Vach.
The colonel was accompanied at the ceremony by Deputy Chief of the Mission of Israel to Turkey Nadav Markman.
Nearly 60,000 people were killed in the earthquakes which devastated parts of southern Turkey and northern Syria. The Israeli delegation rescued 19 people from the rubble.
During the rescue mission, Vach said: “Our goal is to save lives. We believe that life could be saved still in this time slot, the conditions and the circumstances are difficult, the weather is cold, and the destruction is severe.” (INN / VFI News)
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25
The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.