Articles

Palestinians Set Fire to a Biblical Heritage Site

Source: The Times of Israel

 “This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority’s occupation is no different than that of ISIS!”

Relations between Israelis and Palestinians have never been particularly kind, but since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the UN General Assembly in September, violence has escalated. This was made clear when Palestinians set fire to a Biblical Heritage Site.

When Abbas addressed the crowd, he petitioned the UN for support in their attempt to overrule the Oslo accords of 1993 and 1995 and accused Israel of sabotaging US peace negotiations in the Middle East. He even stated that Israel was specifically behind the recent conflict occurring at the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Abbas called on fellow Palestinians to rejoice as the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN headquarters in New York for the first time.  Palestinian Authority had petitioned the UN to sanction the raising of their flag along with other non-state flags such as that of the Vatican.  When it was put to a vote, only eight countries voted against the motion including Israel and her known allies, the United States and the United Kingdom. While this does not necessarily give Palestine more power, Israeli officials expressed concern that the motion would throw a spark on the already fiery conflict.

Since that day, nearly 40 Israeli and Palestinian citizens have been killed, with hundreds more wounded in stabbings and shootings attacks. BBC News has reported that the number of stabbing attacks on Israelis by Palestinians has more than tripled since September, causing Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu to increase security measures across Jerusalem. He announced this week that any Palestinians found attacking an Israeli would no longer have the right to live in Jerusalem. He also announced that police checkpoints would be placed outside of all Palestinian neighborhoods.

While the conflict originally was focused around the Temple Mount, a holy site for both Jews and Muslims, the new Israeli checkpoints have caused an even greater tension between the groups.

This tension is what drove hundreds of Palestinian rioters to gather around the site of Joseph’s tomb, located in the West Bank. This site has recently become an extremely popular pilgrimage site for religious Jews, but last night Palestinians set fire to the Biblical site. While no one was injured in the fire, Israeli citizens are outraged.

Avigdor Lieberman, former foreign minister with Benjamin Netanyahu, has stated, “This arson shows that the Palestinian Authority’s occupation is no different than that of ISIS,” with President Abbas reportedly encouraging his followers to kill Israelis and destroy sites of holy and historical significance.

Israel is increasing security around the country in response to this newest instance of violence, but it makes one wonder, what will happen next?

Would you like to know what lies ahead for Israel?       Target-Israel

Do you wonder what the Bible has to say about these events?

In Target Israel-Caught in the Crosshairs of the End Times, renowned prophecy authors Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson look at the events that are surrounding Israel today. Together they look at those events in the light of Biblical prophecies and discuss exactly what God has in store for the nation of Israel and for the world. The book covers topics such as,

  • Why Israel is at the center of so much controversy in the Middle East
  • Why the march to Armageddon has already begun
  • God’s eternal plan for both the Jewish people and Christians

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Nuclear “Jackpot” Deal for Iran

The King Is Coming - Iran Nuclear Deal

The King Is Coming - Iran Nuclear Deal

In a move of unprecedented international irresponsibility, the Obama administration has agreed to an agreement with the nation of Iran that perceivably stands to benefit only the nation of Iran. Importantly, it should be noted that the United States has entered into this agreement under the guise of what is known as “The P5+1.” This group is made up of China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (P5), plus Germany (+1). Germany was included, most likely, since it is currently the most active trading partner Iran can claim. Also, the Iranian nuclear program up to this point has been dependent upon acquiring the vast majority of its machinery and software from Germany. So, for the time being the fate of the Middle East has been called into serious question through the actions of these six countries in brokering what amounts to a “sweetheart deal” with Iran.

Iran Deal -2

In fact, it is not too great a summation to call this deal, as did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a “jackpot” deal for Iran as that nation gained nearly everything it demanded and gave up virtually nothing in return! As has been widely reported in numerous media outlets, the benefits to Iran as a result of this deal include access to 150 billion dollars currently frozen in international banks, lifting of the economic sanctions that were enacted to curtail Iran’s open support of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, the retention of all of its nuclear infrastructure; such as the ability to continue to enrich uranium and produce plutonium at the more than 19,000 centrifuges in Iran. As reported by the Israel National News, this many centrifuges working around the clock could produce a nuclear weapon within approximately six weeks. As part of this new U.S. orchestrated deal, Iran also has the right to limit access of weapons inspectors to only those facilities Iran declares as military facilities. Sadly, this deal gets even worse. Further benefits of this deal to the nation of Iran stipulate that Iran will not have to disclose any information regarding what steps it has thus far taken to develop nuclear weapons. More frighteningly, a 2006 United Nations arms embargo will be lifted allowing countries such as Russia and China to sell weapons to Iran as well as allowing Iran to openly sell weapons to other countries, such as Syria, and the terrorist groups it currently sponsors such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Additionally, the international embargo on countries selling missile technology to Iran would be lifted. This particular detail will no doubt assist Iran in the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching other areas of the Middle East and even the United States. Despite the embargos, Iran has the most diversified ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East having acquired the majority of its stockpile from foreign sources such as North Korea, Russia, and China. Thus, lifting any weapons embargo will undoubtedly only expedite and expand Iran’s quest for such weaponry.

Israel Denounces Iranian Nuclear Deal, Gains an Unlikely Ally in Saudi Arabia

The King Is Coming - Prime Minister Netanyhu

The King Is Coming - Prime Minister NetanyhuIt should come as no surprise that – given the volatile past Israel has had with Iran – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would denounce the international deal recently reached with Iran. According to CNN, Netanyahu commented “When you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result. From the initial reports, we can already conclude that this agreement is a historic mistake for the world.” The Israeli newspaper Haaretz cites Netanahu as saying “The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday” as he headed into a cabinet meeting to discuss the deal. The Times of Israel quotes Netanyahu as commenting, “The deal endangers our security, our survival even, and the security of the Middle East and the world.”

Ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Sentenced to Death

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0815PNL05

As a result of his role in a massive 2011 jailbreak, an Egyptian court recently sentenced ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and over 100 others, to death. Prior to this death sentence, Morsi was serving a 20 year sentence for his role in the 2012 death of numerous protestors outside of his presidential palace in Cairo. In that event, Morsi was officially charged with “incitement to murder and violence.” Morsi, a member of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood, was Egypt’s first freely elected president having been elected by 52% of the voters. In July 2013 he was ousted by the military after extended mass protests by Egyptians. These protests took place during the period that has come to be known as “The Arab Spring” which was a series of violent, and non-violent, anti-government protests, insurrections, and armed rebellions that spread across the Middle East.

While initially popular with the voters, Morsi’s reign, and connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, was anything but peaceful. The Guardian reports that the Muslim Brotherhood has been blamed for the majority of the unrest in Egypt, resulting in the deaths of at least 850 people. Shortly after Morsi’s removal from office, Egyptian authorities designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group in December 2013, declaring even verbal expressions of support of the group to be punishable by imprisonment. Citing Morsi’s membership in the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian prosecutors said Morsi and the other defendants repeatedly carried out espionage and seditious activity for the Muslim Brotherhood, the terrorist group Hamas, as well as the nation of Iran between 2005 and August 2013 “with the aim of perpetrating terror attacks in the country in order to spread chaos and topple the state.”

Reuters news agency reports that at a recent parade in Gaza, Hamas publicly “reaffirmed the Islamist movement’s founding charter’s pledge to destroy Israel.” Likewise, in a move reminiscent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently offered a plan calling for the annihilation of Israel. With such groups and countries as regional allies, one must be leery of Egyptian policies that leave too much control in the hands of their military.

While the ousting and trial of a despotic leader is a positive step for the nation of Egypt, they are still under a constitutionally mandated state religion of Islam. The formal constitution adopted in 2014, mandating Islam as the state religion, has also been criticized by many for allowing the military to retain far too much power. One of the dangers of such a situation is illustrative of the events surrounding the end times invasion of Israel by the enemies that surround her. Many prophetic passages of the Bible can be easily understood in light of the aggressive Arab and Islamic nations and the ease with which they could be ideologically driven to launch a major war against Israel (cf. Psalm 83; Zechariah 12; 14).

PRAY: For the Christian population of Egypt to be effective witnesses for Christ and to have influence in their country so that the nation of Egypt can continue on a path of positive reform while distancing themselves from the tyrannical rulers they have known in the past.