Wednesday morning the IDF demolished an olive orchard illegally planted by a Jewish settler in Samaria, about 20 years ago. Dozens of settlers and activists protested on site as the orchard was uprooted, eventually leading to a confrontation with Border Police officers supervising the event and causing PM Netanyahu to put a temporary halt to the demolition.
Ironically, on Sunday the government moved to officially recognize 9 illegal settlements in Judea and Samaria, as well as 10,00o new housing units. The US, UK, France, Italy and Germany jointly condemned the action and confirmed their continued support for a two-state solution. The UN Security Council will also vote on a resolution condemning the recognition of the settlements.
While the issue of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria has always been touchy, the events this week appear to have heightened an apparent disagreement within the Israeli government coalition and highlighted its mixed messaging. Two far-right ministers have threatened to withdraw from the government should their demands regarding settlements not be met, while Netanyahu continues to hold a more moderate stance.
Please pray for wisdom and unity for Israeli leaders. Please pray for peace and safety for all Israelis. Lastly, please pray for understanding between Israel and her allies.
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