Archive for the ‘Weekly 5 minute update’ Category

September 13, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Uploaded on September 16. This week’s update is 43 minutes.

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current situation with the peace process and the status of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will urge the United Nations to take over from the U.S. as the Middle East’s peace broker when he speaks at the United Nations later in September. Abbas will try to shame Israel into withdrawing from the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and if it doesn’t agree to a pullout, “we will confront Israel politically all over the universe,” said Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Abbas. “We are going to ask the world to treat Israel as it did apartheid South Africa.”

Following up on a failed effort two years ago to get full UN recognition for Palestinian statehood, Shaath said Abbas will ask the UN Security Council to “intervene and take control” of peace efforts. Abbas will seek a UN-endorsed deadline of three years for an Israeli retreat from the West Bank and east Jerusalem to pressure Israel toward compromise in negotiations, Shaath said. “We are telling the U.S., your plan has not worked out. We insist that the international community looks into another plan.”

Meanwhile, head of the Arab League, Nabil el-Araby said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready for “real negotiations” with Israel. Real negotiations demand agreement on the principles established in international resolutions, such as the ’67 borders, East Jerusalem, and security for the two sides. When there is agreement on these three issues, it will be possible to reach an agreement in a week, not in a number of months.”

After speaking to the Arab League, Abbas was able to get Arab foreign ministers to support his appeal to the United Nations to set a deadline for Israel to end its control of lands captured in the 1967 war and make way for an independent Palestinian state. The Palestinian ambassador to Egypt, Jamal al-Shobaki, said that the Arab resolution calls for the Arab League chief to push the idea in the UN Security Council and other regional and international groups. Al-Shobaki said the appeal to the UN is in line with other international resolutions with regard to the establishment of a Palestinian state and the recognition of 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations. He said that an American veto is a possibility in the Security Council. If a veto happens, he said, the Palestinians will pursue their bid for joining the International Criminal Court, where they could pursue war crimes charges against Israel. “Going to the Security Council will force… the international community to do something.”

In order to rally his support for recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will ask French President Francois Hollande to recognize ‘Palestine’ as a state as part of a broader effort to drum up international support for his new political initiative. PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said that the “current political climate” was better than ever before to push forward with the demands of the Palestinian people, adding that “now, more than ever,” the world was convinced that Israel was undermining the peace process with its expanded settlement activity. As European countries were becoming more aware of the need to push the Palestinian cause to the forefront of the international debate, he said the PA was going to demand the UN take a “clear stance” to put an end to the “occupation.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry has yet to respond to the plan, said Malki, who hopes to get an answer from the administration by Sept. 24, when the UN General Assembly kicks off in New York. Malki said returning to the negotiating table with Israel would only be possible if Israel freezes its settlement building, releases the fourth, final batch of prisoners held in Israeli prisons and outlines the borders of the future Palestinian state.

Mahmoud Abbas stressed the importance of the Chinese support to recognize a PLO state at the UN Security Council. During a meeting with visiting Chinese special envoy to the Middle East, Gong Xiaosheng, Abbas said the leadership is exerting tireless efforts to rebuild war-battered Gaza Strip. Xiaosheng underscored his country’s constant support to the Palestinian rights for independence, statehood and freedom. He added that his country supports the Palestinian people in all international forums and will continue to provide humanitarian and economic support to Palestine.

Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority called for an international coalition “to end Israeli occupation.” In doing so, Abbas reiterated his promise to go to the UN to achieve his goal. “We are going to the United Nations as one of the methods to achieve our goals,” he said. Abbas predicted there would be some parties that would try to prevent the Palestinians from going to the UN and seeking membership in various international organizations, hinting at the likelihood the US would veto such a move at the UN Security Council.

The US, which has veto power, has in the past opposed solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the United Nations and its Security Council. Furthermore, in a meeting with Palestinian chief negotiator in the peace process, Saeb Erekat, US Secretary of State John Kerry threatened the PA that the US would take harsh steps against it if the Palestinians decided to seek membership in international organizations such as the International Criminal Court. “Kerry said that if we go to the UN Security Council, the US government would veto it,” a Palestinian official said. “He also stressed that there would be serious repercussions to a unilateral approach on our part to the international organizations, such as halting economic support. He asked to delay the decisions and requested to meet with Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting” to take place later this month in New York. The source said that according to Kerry, Israel’s diplomatic position in the wake of the Gaza conflict has “become even harder. It is delaying even more on security issues.”An Israeli official said that the only path to a two-state solution was through negotiations. Both Abbas and Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are expected to address the UN’s General Assembly in New York during the opening days of the 69th session, which kicks off on September 24.

Meanwhile, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed an idea that a Palestinian state be established in the Sinai adjacent to the Gaza Strip. The proposal would expand the Gaza Strip to five times its current size. According to the plan, the territory would serve as a Palestinian state under the complete control of the PA. It would be a demilitarized state. In addition to the “Greater Gaza State,” the cities currently in the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank would be under the autonomous rule of the PA. In exchange, Abbas would give up claims to a state within the pre-1967 lines. Some Israeli politicians responded enthusiastically to the report. However, the idea was rejected by Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and chief negotiator in the peace process said Israel needed to link itself to the West and to moderate Arab states by taking daring initiatives to solve the Palestinian conflict. Livni said the “struggle against terror is, among other things, an attempt to reach peace, just as reaching peace comes through the struggle against terror.” It is important to know with whom one fights and with whom one makes peace, she said. “Sometimes people get confused,” she explained. “It is clear that you fight the extremists, those engaged in terrorism, and make peace with the moderates. “There is no legitimate reason for terrorism – nothing to understand, no reason to speak to them, no reason to listen to what is bothering them,” she said unequivocally. “They are motivated by deep religious ideology; that is their roots and motivations. They are unable to accept infidels.” On the other side, she said – directing her words to “part” of Israel’s leadership – there are those who see moderates in the Palestinian camp as terrorists and “are not willing to pay the price of a diplomatic arrangement. Just as it is a mistake to try to appease the religious terrorism, it would be a mistake from Israel’s point of view to let the cruel terror in this region work against all rational thinking that obligates us to initiate and find a solution to the national conflict between us and the Palestinians,” she said. The justice minister made a clear distinction between the religious ideology motivating Hamas and what she believed was the nationalist ideology propelling the Palestinian Authority. She set up a construct whereby the world was divided into the bad – the religion-motivated leaders who use women and children as human shields and do not accept the “other” – and the good: people from different religions and nationalities who accept the “other.” Among the latter camp, she said, there could be conflict, although it was not religiously motivated, nor did it stem from an inability to accept anyone who thought differently.

Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) echoed Livni’s comments about the need for a daring diplomatic initiative, saying it was impossible to settle for a situation in which there was no “diplomatic vision. It can’t be that Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas ends with a temporary cease-fire and we will sit and wait for the next time they fire on us,” he said. “Instead of that, we have first of all to restore our relations with the United States. Lapid said that instead of fighting with the US, there was a need to go to an international conference where “we will say that Israel’s security will always be in our own hands, but that we are willing to separate from the Palestinians and be part of the coalition fighting Islamic terrorism. The diplomatic process is stuck,” he continued, adding that an international conference was the only idea on the table. Lapid and other MKs, including those from Labor and Hatnua, are pushing the idea of a regional conference that would include Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority to work out a comprehensive peace plan.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said there was a desperate need for Palestinian elections because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has lost legitimacy since the Palestinians have not held an election in over nine years. Without new elections in the Palestinian Authority, he said, any agreement signed with Abbas would be like “signing on ice.” Lieberman said he was in favor of elections in the PA even though Hamas could well win them, because “at least then we will know where we stand.” He voiced concern that if Israel would sign an agreement with Abbas now then whoever succeeded him down the line could very well say that he had no legitimacy to sign anything.

Regarding the ceasefire agreement with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hamas’s deputy leader, Mussa Abu Marzuq, said that indirect talks with Israel will resume between September 20-25. Fifty days of fighting between Israel and Hamas ended on August 26 with an open-ended truce agreement. Under terms of the deal, the parties agreed to resume Egyptian-brokered negotiations within a month to discuss key issues, including a Hamas demand for a port and an airport, a prisoner swap and Israel’s insistence on Gaza militants disarming.

UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry said that the United Nations, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reached a stop-gap deal to allow reconstruction work to begin in the Gaza Strip with UN monitoring of the use of materials.  Serry said the United Nations had brokered the deal “to enable work at the scale required in the strip, involving the private sector in Gaza and giving a lead role to the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort”. The agreement would “provide security assurances through UN monitoring that these materials will not be diverted from their entirely civilian purpose,” Serry added, alluding to Israeli demands that cement and other imports not be used to build Hamas command bunkers and cross-border attack tunnels. Egypt will host a donors’ conference on October 12 with the aim of raising reconstruction funds, and donor nations to the PA are due to convene on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week.

Hamas said the Palestinian “national consensus” government should start building an airport and seaport in the Gaza Strip. Hamas was ready to support the government and remove any obstacles facing its mission of rebuilding the Gaza Strip, he said. “There is no other government that manages the affairs and interests of the Palestinians.” In addition, Hamas warned against any plan to deploy international troops in the Gaza Strip. The Hamas response came from a report that the Israel Foreign Ministry has prepared a plan that calls for deploying such troops in the Gaza Strip. According to the report, the international troops would be tasked with supervising the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and disarmament of terror groups there. “Hamas will deal with any international troops as a new occupation force,” Hamas representative Ismail Radwan said. However, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that “there won’t be any demilitarization in Gaza.”

Nevertheless, Hamas is preparing itself for the next round of fighting with Israel, a senior Israeli diplomatic source said. Israel has detected Hamas smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip. Likewise, he said, Hamas is working to restore the terrorist tunnels in Gaza, as well as to build up its rocket manufacturing capabilities. Gaza’s rocket manufacturing capacity is currently 40 percent of what it was at the outset of Operation Protective Edge and the Palestinians were continuing to build rockets, the source said.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has stepped up its arrests of Hamas group members and supporters. Recently, PA security forces have arrested around 40 Hamas men with 30 others summoned for questioning. The detainees reportedly included released prisoners and the family members of senior Hamas officials, as well as people who have demonstrated in support of the terrorist group and even some who made statements in its favor on social media following the Gaza conflict. Furthermore, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would no longer allow Hamas to make policy decisions like signing agreements or initiating conflicts.

In addition, Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority has no intention to deploy forces in the Gaza Strip if there is not also a clear diplomatic end-game peace initiative between Israel and the PLO. Recently,  there has been several conversations between Israeli and Palestinian officials with the hopes of restarting talks, but in all of them Abbas said that it was apparent that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not intent to present his plan for the potential borders for a future Palestinian state. “Israel needs to sit with us and write a diplomatic plan that links Gaza and the West Bank, that forms a diplomatic horizon and a peace agreement,” according to a Palestinian source. “The PA doesn’t aim to send forces to the Gaza Strip or to deploy them there as a buffer force between Israel and Hamas without such a plan. We would reach a situation in which Hamas and Israel will alternately attack us. The PA has no intention to take a role in Gaza, or to police Gaza, without a diplomatic horizon.”

The Palestinians said that a firm decision has been made to not get involved in Gaza without a clear agreement from Hamas that all the weapons that are currently in the Gaza Strip become “one weapon under one authority” — that is, that Hamas concede authority to Abbas’s PA. “We won’t accept the continuation of the situation with Hamas as it is now and in this shape,” Abbas said. “There must be one authority and one regime.” Abbas accused Hamas of running its own “shadow government” in the Gaza Strip. “They have 27 directors-general of ministries and they are running the Gaza Strip,” he said. “The PLO-Hamas national consensus government can’t do anything on the ground.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas to Push for UN as Peace Broker Instead of Kerry, Aide Says
2) Arab League head: Abbas ready for real negotiations
3) Arab League backs Palestinian UN bid for state
4) Abbas to seek statehood recognition from France during Paris visit
5) Abbas Stresses China’s role in Supporting Leadership’s Upcoming Political Step
6) PA calls for international coalition ‘to end Israeli occupation’
7) Israeli politicians praise Sisi plan to give Palestinians land for a state in Sinai
8) Abbas aide denies Egypt offered Sinai tract to settle Palestinians
9) Livni tells parley: Israel needs daring diplomatic initiative
10) Lapid: I Can Stop the Right’s Takeover
11) Liberman: Elections critical now in the Palestinian Authority, but not in Israel
12) Hamas: Cairo truce talks to resume mid-September
13) UN: Israel, PA reach deal on Gaza reconstruction
14) Hamas to unity gov’t: Build Gaza airport, seaport
15) Hamas says any international force in Gaza would be considered occupation
16) Lieberman: ‘No demilitarization in Gaza’
17) ‘Hamas already rearming, preparing for next round of fighting with Israel’
18) PA said to step up Hamas arrests
19) Abbas says he won’t let Hamas make foreign policy decisions
20) PA won’t deploy forces in Gaza unless Israel presents peace plan
21) Abbas hints PA close to ending unity agreement with Hamas

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 6, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Following the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, an overwhelming majority of Palestinians believe Hamas defeated Israel in the recent Gaza war and support the continuation of rocket attacks if Israel does not remove the blockade on the Gaza. 79% of Palestinians questioned in Gaza and the West Bank said that Hamas had won the war against Israel while only 3% said Israel had won. 94% of respondents said they were satisfied with Hamas’s performance in confronting the Israeli Army. Asked whether they supported transferring Hamas’s model of armed resistance to the West Bank, 74% of respondents in Gaza and 70% in the West Bank answered in the affirmative. If elections were held today, former Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh would easily defeat Palestinian Authority President Mahmood Abbas with 61% of the popular vote versus 32%.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had an approval rating of 82% among the Israeli public at the start of the Gaza war. By agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas without militarily removing them from power, Netanyahu’s approval rating plummeted to 32%. Furthermore, 39% of the Isaeli public now considers, the leader of the Jewish Home party, Naphtali Bennett, as being the leader of the “right wing” in Israel. 28% consider Netanyahu as the leader of the “right wing”.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the ceasefire agreement “might have” presented an opportunity for a diplomatic breakthrough in the region although it was incumbent on the Palestinian Authority to “give Hamas a divorce” in order for that to become a reality. “Today there might be a new set of circumstances that enable us to act in a way that on the one hand we could advance our security interests and also launch a responsible diplomatic process on the basis of this new reality,” Netanyahu said. However, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would “have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas,” meaning that he would need to dismantle the unity government in Ramallah that has Hamas’ official backing. “If he chooses the path of peace, and I think he understands today that he needs to choose that over Hamas, which not only calls for our destruction but also wishes to topple him,” Netanyahu said. “Hamas recently tried to remove Abbas from power in the West Bank and Israel prevented it from happening. Abbas needs to choose between peace with Israel or Hamas,” Netanyahu said. “It’s one of the two. I can only hope” that Abbas “gives Hamas a divorce,” Netanyahu said.

Israel Finance Finance Minister Yair Lapid commented to Israel’s ceasefire agreement with Hamas saying, “We cannot, and will not, allow a situation whereby this ceasefire is the beginning of the countdown to the next round of fire. Hamas knows the price they have paid and they know the price they will pay if they start firing again. Israel had major military achievements and have now moved to the diplomatic front. The ceasefire is only the beginning of the next stage of the operation — the diplomatic stage that must lead to the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip – the only measure (which will) achieve a long term quiet.” In order to achieve this goal, Lapid is promoting the idea of a regional summit on the Gaza which he said “should focus on one thing, ensuring that rehabilitation (of Gaza) takes place alongside demilitarization. Lapid further noted that European and American leaders backed the idea of demilitarization during the operation and “now we need to work with them, and with the Arab world, to make that a reality. We need a regional conference, with the Egyptians, the Saudi’s, the Gulf States and of course the representatives of the Quartet. On September 22, the donor countries are scheduled to meet in New York (and) will commit aid to rebuild and rehabilitate Gaza. Israel must act before that to avoid a conference where Gaza gets support and Israel gets nothing.” Finally, Lapid urged more power be given to the PA and said such a move could help facilitate the renewal of peace talks.

Israel Justice Minster Tzipi Livni and Israel’s chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians said that Israel must either renew peace talks with the Palestinian Authority or brace for a diplomatic backlash from the international community. In this post-war reality, “either we resume negotiations with the Palestinians to reach a permanent agreement, winning the world’s support, or we will find ourselves isolated, talking about not wanting to talk to those who have an agreement with Hamas [a reference to the unity pact with the Palestinian Authority], while having an agreement with Hamas [Israel's recent ceasefire deal negotiated in Cairo]” she said. Livni criticized PA President Mahmoud Abbas, saying he was difficult to negotiate with and took actions in the international sphere she did not agree with, like threatening to join the International Criminal Court in the Hague, but stressed that if the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to engage him in talks, it would face “a diplomatic or legal intifada following this [military] operation.”

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said that he would not agree for Hamas to disarm. He said that Hamas’s arms were “sacred” and demanded that the calls for disarmament also apply to Israel. Haniyeh said that Hamas has “the right to have the necessary means to defend ourselves.” He charged that as long as Israel exists, so will fighting and the “resistance” against “the occupation.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel should topple Hamas in the Gaza Strip and cause a more moderate leadership to be in power. In addition, he said that Israel should seek a sustainable solution to the conflict.

Israel Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, indicated that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will accept a request to hold a regional diplomatic conference of Israel and moderate Arab states in an effort to bring about Middle East peace. He said: “I discussed it with the prime minister and brought it up at the cabinet meeting and there was a general feeling that this is a good idea.” Lapid expressed confidence that holding a regional peace conference could provide the framework for a wider diplomatic horizon saying,. “I’m pushing forward the regional conference. We must and we will stay on the course this government was established with – that the two state solution is the only solution. I still think we can advance it.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, have agreed on a three-phase plan that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Mashaal said, “We want a full partnership with the Palestinian Authority, and in addition, we agree to the creation of a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders,” He urged the United Nations to draw up a “timetable” for the end of the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.” The PLO will submit an application to the UN Security Council on September 15 according to Palestinian official, Nabil Sha’ath.

The plan calls for giving the United States a period of four months to draw the borders of the Palestinian state and win Israel’s recognition for a PLO state. If the two sides agree on the plan, they would launch immediate negotiations with a defined timetable during which Israel would be requested to present a map showing its own borders. If the plan is rejected, the Palestinians, together with the Arab countries, would ask the United Nations Security Council to “evict Israel from the land of Palestine.” If this move also fails, the Palestinian leadership would resort to the third option, which is joining international treaties and conventions, including the International Criminal Court, in order to file “war crime” charges against Israel. Palestinian official, Nabil Sha’ath said, “Taking the case to the ICC is conditional upon the UN Security Council response to our request.”

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that Palestine was now eligible to join the Rome Statute and file war crimes charges against Israel. Initially, the Palestinian Authority sought to join the court in May 2009. After three years of research and analysis, the ICC Prosecutor’s Office determined in April 2012 that since Palestine was an “observer entity,” it could not sign on to the Rome Statute. Several months later, in November 2012, Palestine’s status was upgraded in the United Nations to “non-member observer state,” which gives it legitimacy to join the Rome Statute, Bensouda said. Fatah official Dr. Mohammed Ashtiya said that the move to indict Israel in the International Criminal Court is “ready.”  He said,  “We are telling the Israelis and the international community that we are very serious. [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] is presenting his [plan for Palestinian statehood] to the international community and this time we will require a timetable for ending the occupation and not negotiations.” He said that the Palestinians have not set a deadline for action on the matter but believed there would be more clarity by November-December. Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Last month, Abbas said he would not make a move without the written consent of all Palestinian factions. Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader said that “Hamas has signed the paper” of support Abbas had requested. A senior Palestinian official has said Abbas likely would wait for the findings of a UN-appointed commission of inquiry into possible Gaza war crimes – due by March – before turning to the court.

Turning to the International Criminal Court became an option for Abbas in 2012, after the UN General Assembly recognized “Palestine” in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands captured by Israel in 1967, as a non-member observer state. The upgrade to a state opened the door to requesting the court’s jurisdiction in Palestine.

Palestinian leader, Mahmoud al-Habash, shared some of the details of the plan. Israel and the Palestinians would be given three months to negotiate the borders of a future Palestinian state. “The initial stage of the talks will be regarding the drawing of borders,” he said. “During this time, settlement construction will cease and the fourth round of prisoner releases, to which Israel obligated itself in March of this year, will go forward.” The Palestinian official said the peace talks would be based on UN Security Council resolutions and UN General Assembly Resolution 194, which calls for a just solution to the Palestinian refugee issue. In the second stage of talks, the parties would focus on the remaining core issues, including the future status of refugees, control of Jerusalem, the settlements, security, and water. “If Israel doesn’t agree to the allotted time frame, the Palestinians will begin to undertake unilateral diplomatic and political steps in order to force Israel to capitulate to the peace process,” al-Habash said. These steps would include joining more international treaties and organizations, including the Rome Treaty, so that the Palestinians can file “war crime” charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will seek Arab League approval of his plan to be presented to Arab League foreign ministers on September 7. “President Abbas wants Arab support so that in the future he can submit it for acceptance by the international community,” al-Habash said.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon opposed a diplomatic process with the Palestinians that would include Israel pulling out of the West Bank, saying that such a withdrawal would lead to rockets and mortar shells being fired at Israel’s Ben-Gurion A‏irport. When considering a diplomatic process, it must be remembered that every instance of the IDF withdrawing from territory led to a takeover by terrorist elements, Ya’alon said.

In any event, the United States has rejected Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s new political initiative for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a PA official said. The plan was presented by Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat when he met with US Secretary of State John Kerry recently. The United States rejected Abbas’s initiative saying it was opposed to any unilateral move that could negatively impact the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Instead, Kerry has been talking with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. However, Netanyahu did not agree to the proposal. Instead, Netanyahu insisted that Israel will not conduct peace talks with a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.

Finally, Israel chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni warned against the threats of Abbas saying that Abbas “will have to understand a Palestinian state will not be established in UN institutions. Whatever the Palestinian people can achieve, they can achieve in the negotiating room. We need a comprehensive diplomatic process,” she stated.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Support for Hamas skyrockets following war, poll shows
2) Poll: Bennett Outpaces Netanyahu as ‘Leader of the Right’
3) Gaza operation could present opening for diplomatic breakthrough, Netanyahu says
4) Lapid: Diplomacy, demilitarization of Gaza only way forward
5) Livni: Resume peace talks or brace for diplomatic intifada
6) Haniyeh rejects calls for Hamas disarmament
7) Liberman: Israel should topple Hamas, not reoccupy Gaza
8) Netanyahu hints he will agree to convene regional peace conference, Lapid says
9) Report: New UN Resolution Demands Talks Based on 1949 Lines
10) Report: Abbas, Hamas agree on plan for independent Palestinian state
11) Report: Hamas’ Mashaal agreed in Doha meeting with Abbas to Palestinian state within 1967 borders
12) Abbas, Mashaal seek UN timetable to ‘end Israeli occupation’
13) Abbas plan calls for Israeli pullout from West Bank within three years
14) Ya’alon: West Bank withdrawal will lead to rocket and mortar fire on Ben-Gurion Airport
15) US rejected Abbas’s peace plan, PA says
16) Kerry said trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
17) Israel insists it will not deal with Hamas-backed PA government
18) PA to tell UN: Force Israel out of W. Bank, or we’ll seek war crimes charges in The Hague
19) Abbas threatens to turn to ICC if no talks on ’67 lines
20) PA ‘ready’ to take Israel to international court
21) Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid
22) PM dismisses claim he agreed to state on 1967 lines
23) Livni, Lapid dismiss Abbas plan 

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 30, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Hamas started launching rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel on July 8. After 50 days of fighting, the 12th ceasefire between the two sides was agreed upon on August 26. Over the course of the conflict, Hamas fired almost 4,000 rockets at Israel including some 600 rockets launched from close to schools, mosques and other civilian facilities. The ceasefire agreement was brokered by Egypt. It is open-ended. It is very close to the proposal that Israel accepted and Hamas rejected on July 15, the eighth day of the fighting. The outline of the agreement is as follows:

Immediate steps:

• Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza halt all rocket and mortar fire into Israel.

• Israel stops all military action, including air strikes, ground operations and targeted killings.

• The Palestinian Authority will lead coordination of the reconstruction effort in Gaza with international donors, including the European Union, Qatar, Turkey and Norway. Saudi Arabia is also likely to be a major donor, with the expectation in Jerusalem being that unlike Qatar, it will take pains to ensure that its funds will not be directed to Hamas, but rather to build up the PA.

• Israel is expected to narrow the security buffer – a no-go area for Palestinians that runs along the inside of the Gaza border – reducing it from 300 meters to 100 meters if the truce holds. The move will allow Palestinians more access to farmland close to the border.

• Israel will extend the fishing limit off Gaza’s coast from 3 miles to 6 miles, with the possibility of widening it gradually if the truce holds. Ultimately, the Palestinians want to return to a full 12-mile international allowance.

• Israel agrees to open the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings to the supervised transfer of goods, including humanitarian aid and reconstruction equipment, into the Gaza Strip.

Channel 2 reported that a three-person committee made up of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, UN Mideast envoy Robert Serry and PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah will supervise the process and determine what goods are allowed in.

Israel is demanding the tight monitoring of imports of construction materials like cement and cast iron to make sure they are used to rebuild homes, not destroyed terror tunnels, as well as ensuring that weapons, ammunition and any “dual-use” goods are prevented from entering Gaza.

Longer term issues to be discussed:

• Israel will demand that the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gaza be linked to the enclave’s demilitarization, as called for under previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Jerusalem’s formula will be that the extent of building above ground in Gaza must be linked to the degree to which “underground” Gaza is dismantled.

• Hamas wants Israel to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners rounded up in Judea and Samaria following the abduction and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah in June. Among those arrested were some 60 prisoners freed in the Gilad Schalit deal, and 37 Palestinian parliamentarians, including 35 affiliated with Hamas.

• Israel will demand the return of the remains of slain IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

• Hamas wants to rebuild an airport and seaport in Gaza, as well as the transfer of funds to allow it to pay 40,000 police, government workers and other administrative staff who have largely been without salaries since late last year. The funds were frozen by the Palestinian Authority.

The ceasefire agreement was approved by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was not put to a Cabinet vote. Netanyahu explained why he decided to opt for a ceasefire with Hamas as opposed to continuing the campaign and removing Hamas from power. Netanyahu said while it is still possible that the IDF will eventually topple Hamas altogether, “today, when I look around and I see Al Qaeda on the [border] fence, and ISIS galloping into Jordan and already in Lebanon, and in Lebanon there is Hezbollah that is a little larger than Hamas, and Iran that backs it, and Iran [itself] – and I say, in the face of these combined threats, we set a goal in the Israeli Cabinet, to deal Hamas a very severe blow, and we did this, with the thousand terrorists we killed, the senior commanders, the tunnels, the rockets… I decided not to put all of our military resources into removing Hamas from power and not be able to still have military resources to fight some of Israel’s other threats in the region.” Netanyahu said that once the tunnel threat had been dealt with, Israel pulled out the IDF forces from Gaza because he didn’t want soldiers getting killed and abducted. “Why do I need to go in? If I can hit them from the air and get the effect of grinding them without risking soldiers’ lives, why should I go in?”

Netanyahu said that the US dealt with a similar situation in the past, with Fallujah in Iraq. Fallujah is one-tenth the size of Gaza, he noted, and the US fought valiantly against the Islamists there, and thousands of Iraqis were killed. But after the US pulled out of Fallujah, the Islamists took over again. In order to prevent this from happening in Gaza after Israel would have toppled Hamas, he explained, the Israeli army would have to remain in the Gaza and this would be very costly to Israel. He said that Hamas has been “ground,” it is isolated, and will not be able to rearm. He vowed that he will not allow “drizzles” of rocket fire from Gaza, and these will be answered with heavy IDF fire.

As a result of the ceasefire, several senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders appeared in public Among them was Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior member of the Hamas political wing, and senior Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi who gave a rousing victory speech to thousands of people gathered in a square in Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood. “We’re going to build our port and our airport, and if they attack the port, they attack the port. But anyone who attacks the airport will have their airport attacked again,” Zahar said. Zahar also said that in addition to rebuilding Gaza, Hamas would continue “arming itself and developing its resistance capacity.”

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that “there is no chance” that Hamas will receive a seaport in Gaza which was one of its demands as a precondition for a ceasefire. He said: ” “there is no chance that Hamas will receive a seaport – it is not in Israel’s interest, it is not an Egyptian interest, it’s not even in the interest of the Palestinian Authority.” From a military perspective the victory is clear – everything the IDF touched, it defeated the other side,” said Ya’alon, who added that the military achievements led to a ceasefire which is good for Israel and bad for Hamas, seeing as Hamas was forced to accept the Egyptian proposal over the Qatari initiative which was more favorable to Hamas.

However, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized the open-ended ceasefire deal reached between Israel and Hamas and said that Israel should not make political agreements with Hamas. He said: “As long as Hamas controls Gaza it is impossible to guarantee the safety of Israel and no accord can be reached – be it political or military. We must not and cannot trust such despicable murderers. Therefore we object to the ceasefire which offers Hamas the ability to continue to grow strong and fight future battles with Israel whenever it feels like. Israel must make sure that Hamas makes no political gains from this ceasefire.

Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that the military operation against Hamas “cannot end with a ceasefire. The operation needs to end only after Gaza has been demilitarized. We cannot limit ourselves to easy achievements. The test of leadership is to find hope in every situation and to turn into something practical. The political process (with the Palestinians) must be on the table. We need a control mechanism which will lead to an eventual disengagement (between Israel and the Palestinians), and we need it now more than ever.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that an indefinite cease-fire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas in Gaza “is an opportunity, not a certainty. We are approaching the next phase with our eyes wide open. We have been down this road before and we are all aware of the challenges ahead,” Kerry said. “Today’s agreement comes after many hours and days of intensive discussions about how a sustainable ceasefire might provide the space and the opportunity to address long-term issues.” Kerry said that “certain bedrock outcomes” are minimal requirements for such a long-term solution, including a guarantee for Israel that terrorist attacks, rocket firings, and tunnel construction will cease, as well as the establishment of full economic and social opportunities for Palestinians, and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

As a result, the US government is working toward presenting to the UN Security Council a comprehensive proposal for the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. The proposal calls for the disarmament of all militant and terror groups in the Hamas-controlled Gaza leaving the Palestinian Authority the only armed force. Under the terms of the proposal, all tunnels between the Gaza Strip and both Israel and Egypt will be destroyed as well. The proposal is set to be presented to the Security Council following negotiations over key issues between Israeli and Palestinian representatives which are scheduled for September in Cairo. The issues to be discussed include Hamas’s demands for a wider lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip — imposed by Israel and Egypt to prevent Hamas importing weaponry — as well as for a port and an airport, and the release of prisoners, as well as Israel’s calls to demilitarize Gaza.

However, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal threatened to resume fighting Israel if the Hamas demands were not met and said that Gaza will never disarm its “sacred” weapons. “The rockets and tunnels exist; if the negotiations fail and there is a need, we will return to war until we reach our goals,” he said. “The issue is not up for negotiations. No one can disarm Hamas and its resistance,” he stated.

French President Francois Hollande said that Europe needed had to play a bigger role to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and could no longer just play the role of a “bank window” for reconstruction after each war. The European Union is the biggest aid donor to the Palestinian Authority and Israel’s biggest economic partner, accounting for almost a third of its exports and imports.”For a solution to finally be reached, the United States’ role will be decisive,” Hollande said. “We have to go towards a progressive lifting of the blockade and the demilitarization of the Gaza” he said.  Hollande said that once the ceasefire was consolidated the path to peace would have to be taken as quickly as possible. “Everyone knows the conditions: a democratic and viable Palestinian state living side by side with an Israeli state living in security.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the ceasefire agreement “might have” presented an opportunity for a diplomatic breakthrough in the region although it was incumbent on the Palestinian Authority to “give Hamas a divorce” in order for that to become a reality. “Today there might be a new set of circumstances that enable us to act in a way that on the one hand we could advance our security interests and also launch a responsible diplomatic process on the basis of this new reality,” Netanyahu said. However, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would “have to choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas,” meaning that he would need to dismantle the unity government in Ramallah that has Hamas’ official backing. “If he chooses the path of peace, and I think he understands today that he needs to choose that over Hamas, which not only calls for our destruction but also wishes to topple him,” Netanyahu said. “Hamas recently tried to remove Abbas from power in the West Bank and Israel prevented it from happening. Abbas needs to choose between peace with Israel or Hamas,” Netanyahu said. “It’s one of the two. I can only hope” that Abbas “gives Hamas a divorce,” Netanyahu said.

Israel Justice Minster Tzipi Livni and Israel’s chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians said that Israel must either renew peace talks with the Palestinian Authority or brace for a diplomatic backlash from the international community. In this post-war reality, “either we resume negotiations with the Palestinians to reach a permanent agreement, winning the world’s support, or we will find ourselves isolated, talking about not wanting to talk to those who have an agreement with Hamas [a reference to the unity pact with the Palestinian Authority], while having an agreement with Hamas [Israel's recent ceasefire deal negotiated in Cairo]” she said. Livni criticized PA President Mahmoud Abbas, saying he was difficult to negotiate with and took actions in the international sphere she did not agree with, like threatening to join the International Criminal Court in the Hague, but stressed that if the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to engage him in talks, it would face “a diplomatic or legal intifada following this [military] operation.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas have agreed on a three-phase plan that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The plan calls for giving the United States a period of four months to draw the borders of the Palestinian state and win Israel’s recognition for a PLO state. If the two sides agree on the plan, they would launch immediate negotiations with a defined timetable during which Israel would be requested to present a map showing its own borders. If the plan is rejected, the Palestinians, together with the Arab countries, would ask the United Nations Security Council to “evict Israel from the land of Palestine.” If this move also fails, the Palestinian leadership would resort to the third option, which is joining international treaties and conventions, including the International Criminal Court, in order to file “war crime” charges against Israel. Abbas said he would present his initiative to US Secretary of State John Kerry during their meeting in early September.

Turning to the International Criminal Court became an option for Abbas in 2012, after the UN General Assembly recognized “Palestine” in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands captured by Israel in 1967, as a non-member observer state. The upgrade to a state opened the door to requesting the court’s jurisdiction in Palestine.

Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office denied a report suggesting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had agreed to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders and to the establishment of a Palestinian state in those territories. In an interview with Palestine TV, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that Netanyahu agreed to establish a Palestinian state on land Israel captured in the 1967 war and that the only remaining step was to set a border. Abbas said that he would demand from Israel and the US to outline specific borders for a Palestinian state. If Israel does not respond, “we will join the International Criminal Court” he said. “We are willing to wait a day, a week or a month for a Palestinian state” Abbas said, “but not 20 more years.”

According to Nabil Sha’ath, a former Palestinian Authority foreign minister and chief PLO negotiator, the PLO will submit an application to the UN Security Council on September 15 demanding a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. The Arab League will meet on September 5 to discuss how to support the Palestinian plan. If the request is turned down, the PLO will apply to join the International Criminal Court. “Taking the case to the ICC is conditional upon the UN Security Council response to our request,” Sha’ath said.

Hamas has signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. In July, Abbas said he would not make a move without the written consent of all Palestinian factions. Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas leader, said that “Hamas has signed the paper” of support Abbas had requested. A senior Palestinian official has said Abbas likely would wait for the findings of a UN-appointed commission of inquiry into possible Gaza war crimes – due by March – before turning to the court.

Finally, Israel chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni warned against the threats of Abbas saying that Abbas “will have to understand a Palestinian state will not be established in UN institutions. Whatever the Palestinian people can achieve, they can achieve in the negotiating room. We need a comprehensive diplomatic process,” she stated.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Outline of Protective Edge cease-fire agreement with Hamas
2) Netanyahu on Gaza Pullout: We Didn’t Want a Fallujah
3) Ya’alon: ‘No Chance’ Hamas will Get a Seaport
4) FM Lieberman slams Gaza truce: No accord with Hamas
5) Lapid: Gaza op not over until Gaza demilitarized
6) US reportedly pushing Gaza demilitarization at UN
7) ‘We will never disarm,’ vows Hamas chief
8) Abbas blames Hamas for prolonged battle with Israel
9) Hollande: Europe must work towards lifting blockade, demilitarizing Gaza
10) Gaza operation could present opening for diplomatic breakthrough, Netanyahu says
11) Livni: Resume peace talks or brace for diplomatic intifada
12) Report: New UN Resolution Demands Talks Based on 1949 Lines
13) Report: Abbas, Hamas agree on plan for independent Palestinian state
14) PA to tell UN: Force Israel out of W. Bank, or we’ll seek war crimes charges in The Hague
15) Abbas, Mashaal seek UN timetable to ‘end Israeli occupation’
16) Hamas backs International Criminal Court bid
17) PM dismisses claim he agreed to state on 1967 lines
18) Livni, Lapid dismiss Abbas plan

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 23, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Hamas leader Khaled Mashal confessed that Hamas militants were behind the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the Hebron area in June. He said: “Our view is that soldiers and settlers on the West Bank are aggressors, and they are illegally living in this occupied and stolen land. And the right to resist is the right of Palestinians.” This was the beginning of the summer conflict between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel which escalated when Hamas starting launching rockets at Israel on July 8. Furthermore, Jibril Rajouba, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official said that the Palestinians have made a “political decision” to support Arab terrorists “slaughtering” Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. He said: “… our political decision is resistance in the occupied territories in order to bring an end to the occupation [using] all forms of resistance” Rajoub said. Also, Fatah’s “military wing,” the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, announced a full return to terrorism, declaring “open war” on Israel. This position is consistent with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) charter of 1968, which calls for “armed struggle” and “armed revolution,” against Israel declaring “armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine,” and calling on local Arabs to “be prepared for the armed struggle.”

So far, Hamas has fired over 3,000 rockets from the Gaza into Israel. For this reason, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to fight Hamas and other Gaza terror groups until Israel was safe from the threat of missile attack. He said that the IDF campaign “will continue until we are sure that Israel’s residents have quiet.” He said that no terrorist target was off-limits, and accused Hamas’s leaders and gunmen of “hiding behind Gaza’s residents” — using them as human shields — and thus being responsible “for any harm that comes to them.” While Israel did everything to protect its citizens, he said, and had “spent billions to protect the homefront” in recent years, Gaza’s terror groups deliberately put Gazans “in harm’s way.” Israel does its utmost not to harm Gaza’s civilians while targeting the terrorists, whereas Hamas targets Israel’s civilians, he said.

Netanyahu said he had made this point in conversations with a series of world leaders, including Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin and that all the world leaders with whom he spoke understood Israel’s imperative to act. “No state would allow its citizens to be targeted without a harsh response,” he said. He also vowed that “no international pressure will prevent us from acting with all force against a terrorist organization that seeks to destroy us” and that he would take whatever action was necessary to protect Israelis. He said he had encountered “lots of good will” from world leaders, and that he had asked them, “Would you tolerate missile attacks on London, Washington, Paris, Berlin and Moscow? Of course not.” Netanyahu said Israel was “weighing all possibilities” for expanding the campaign against Hamas in Gaza, including the possibility of a major ground offensive. “We’ve prepared for all options… That’s what I told the army to do, and it has done so… My uppermost consideration is to restore quiet for all of Israel’s citizens in all of Israel’s cities. I will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. Beyond that, I cannot go into details.”

But at the same time, Israel had to ensure that “we don’t get another Gaza in Judea and Samaria” — the biblical name for the West Bank. Amid the current conflict, he elaborated, “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan” — a reference to the Jordan Valley and the West Bank — as Kerry had urged during a US-led peace effort that collapsed in April. Netanyahu said, “I told John Kerry and General Allen, the Americans’ expert: We live here, I live here, I know what we need to ensure the security of Israel’s people.”

He said the current conflict also underlined the importance of retaining territory, noting that Hamas had tunneled relentlessly under Gaza’s borders with both Egypt, for smuggling purposes, and Israel, for terrorism purposes. “If we were to pull out of Judea and Samaria, like they tell us to, there would be a possibility of thousands of tunnels” being dug by terrorists to attack Israel, he said. There were 1,200 tunnels dug in a 14-kilometer stretch between Egypt and Gaza alone, which Egypt had sealed, he noted. “Adjacent territory has huge importance,” Netanyahu said, and could be used by terrorists to dig tunnels and to fire rockets. The closer terrorists can get to Israel’s borders, he said, the more rockets they fire — as the current conflict was proving. “At present we have a problem with the territory called Gaza,” the prime minister said. But he noted that the West Bank is 20 times the size of Gaza, and vowed that he was not prepared “to create another 20 Gazas” in the West Bank.

At the height of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF called up some 86,000 reservists to fight a ground war with Hamas in the Gaza. So far, Israel has agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas over 10 times. Egypt has been holding ceasefire talks with both sides. Recently, there was a six day ceasefire. After that, Hamas launched over 130 rockets into Israel over a 24 hour period. Later, Hamas launched nearly 170 rockets in a single day. The gulf state of Qatar has been encouraging Hamas to continue its fight with Israel. Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, has been living in Qatar since 2012. An official from the Palestinian Authority said that Qatar “has no interest” in seeing Egyptian-led talks succeed and that Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood are working together to undermine Egypt.  In fact, Qatar threatened to expel Mashaal if Hamas accepted an Egyptian peace proposal for a ceasefire.

In their air strikes in the Gaza Strip, Israel has been targeting terrorist leaders. In one instance, Israel killed an Islamic Jihad brigade commander. At another time, Israel killed two very senior Hamas terrorists and one lower ranking terrorist. With information obtained by the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency], an IAF aircraft fired missiles at a building in Rafah that housed Ra’ad Atar and Muhammad Abu Shamalah, killing them both, security forces said. A third Hamas terrorist, Muhammed Barhoum, described by security sources as an abettor to the senior Hamas members, was also killed in the strike. “This strike represents a very significant intelligence achievement, and an intelligence infiltration,” a security source said. The attack came after the Shin Bet received intelligence on the location of the terrorists, security forces added, describing the targets as men who were senior and central members of Hamas’s military wing.

As a result, Hamas executed 18 Palestinians for allegedly collaborating with Israel during the Gaza war. The victims, their heads covered and hands tied, were shot dead by masked gunmen dressed in black in front of a crowd of worshippers outside a mosque after prayers. Near the scene of the execution, Hamas’ men attached a note serving as a general indictment for the ‘collaborators': “They provided the enemy with information about the whereabouts of fighters, tunnels of resistance, bombs, houses of fighters and places of rockets, and the occupation bombarded these areas killing a number of fighters… Therefore, the ruling of revolutionary justice was handed upon him.”

Nevertheless, Hamas officials remained defiant despite the assassination of three of the organization’s top commanders. “The Palestinian people have prepared themselves for hundreds of years to fight the enemy until the end,” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal said. “We won’t get tired of fighting after a month, a year or many years. There will be no return to negotiations in Egypt before we have ensured favorable circumstances that will force the enemy to meet the demands of the Palestinians.” Mashaal said that the Palestinians’ top demand was the lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was critical of Israel’s willingness to discuss ceasefire terms with Hamas in Egypt. He said, “The government policy of ‘calm will be met with calm’ is fundamentally wrong. It means that Hamas is the one that takes the initiative and the one that decides when, where, and how many rockets it fires on Israeli civilians, while we are making do with reacting. Even if our reaction is a strong one, it is still a reaction. Hamas has control over the intensity of the fighting and it fires whenever it is convenient for it to interrupt the daily routine of Israeli civilians, particularly those living in the South. We need to talk and negotiate with Hamas only when it has surrendered. We now must seek a quick and decisive end to Hamas. Israel must continue to fight Hamas “until Hamas waves the white flag.” Furthermore, Israel must aim for a complete demilitarization of the Gaza Strip. “That means Hamas would have no capability to fire missiles at Israel, no capability to manufacture missiles, and no capability to build tunnels,” Lieberman said. “The proposals we have heard thus far whereby there is no deal, no agreement, and no unequivocal commitment by the Palestinians to halt their fire means that we are in for a war of attrition which is something that the State of Israel cannot be dragged into.”

Naftali Bennett, the leader of the political party, Jewish Home, said “when you want to defeat a terror organization, you reach a decisive victory. When we hold peace talks with a terrorist organization, we get more terror. Hamas thinks that rocket fire helps them reach their goals in talks and so they fire even during a ceasefire. Rockets are not an accident as far as we’re concerned, it’s systematic.” Bennett went on to say that “Only a severe response, like any sovereign nation responds to rocket fire on its territory, will be able to stop the deterioration (of the situation). Sooner or later, Israel will need to subdue Hamas, there’s no way to avoid it.”

Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid reiterated his position that Israel must not end, ‘Operation Protective Edge’ before ensuring the disarmament of the terror infrastructure in the Gaza and before the transfer of international funds to Gaza is monitored and supervised, so Israel doesn’t find itself in another round of hostilities soon. He said: “Any future arrangement must include the dismantling of Hamas’ terror infrastructure in Gaza and complete control over the funds meant to rehabilitate the Gaza. For that to happen, I am promoting a regional conference to give a wide international cover to achieving these objectives. Without a diplomatic move, without wide international support, any attempt to reach an agreement will be the beginning of the countdown to another round of violence.”

Israel Housing Minister Uri Ariel said that “we must strike the Hamas enemy until we achieve victory. It can’t be that we’ll be responsible for halting fire while they’re responsible for firing.”

Israel Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, said: “The targeted killing of any person who deals in terror is not only legitimate but desirable in my eyes. Throughout these periods I always support the targeted killings of terror leaders.” Livni said she opposed the indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in Egypt. “I do not negotiate with Hamas. I do not believe they would agree to it, and I would not deal with them but with international officials.” She said: “the fundamental question is whether the fire causes us to pay a higher price even when it ceases; in my eyes, that’s a strategic question. We must not let them think that the fire leads Israel to pay up. We must continue to deter them and only then will they understand that they cannot achieve more by using terror – that they are losing assets.” Livni stressed that “as long as Hamas does not fundamentally change its internal ideology, we are dealing with a terror organization. There is an ideological, Islamist terror organization which does not recognize our right to exist here. I see the public is unified in the understanding of what needs to be done.”

In any event, after 50 days of intense hostilities, Israel and the Palestinians reached a framework agreement resembling the understandings reached after Operation Pillar of Defense several years ago. Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation in the Egyptian ceasefire said that a long-term ceasefire was agreed upon between Hamas and Israel on August 26. Under the agreement, there will be an immediate easing of restrictions on the two main Gaza border crossings between Israel and Gaza to allow in aid and reconstruction supplies. Significantly, construction materials needed to repair the water network, electricity grid and mobile phone networks will be allowed in along with humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies. Construction materials have in the past been used to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, and therefore earlier reports signaled they would not be allowed in until the ceasefire had proven itself for a set amount of time. All of this will take place under heavy Israeli supervision. The agreement also calls for the lifting of the Gaza blockade but with no clear timeline.

As for the Gaza fishing zone, restrictions will be lifted immediately to extend the zone to six nautical miles from the shore, to be extended later to 12 miles. Over the past eight years, Israel has set a six-nautical-mile limit for Gaza’s fishermen when tensions were lower, restricting it to three miles when hostilities have escalated.

The ceasefire deal likewise would have future discussions held about a swap of terrorists jailed in Israel for the bodies of IDF soldiers Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy”d, who were killed in the operation. Hamas wants hundreds of prisoners released. They additionally demanded the release of roughly 60 terrorists who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal and later re-arrested, some of whom quickly returned to murderous acts of terror. Hamas is also calling for the release of 37 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members, all but two of whom are Hamas members, along with the 26 terrorists promised in the fourth batch of releases as part of the Israel-PA peace talks that broke down in April. The Hamas demand for a Gaza sea and airport will be discussed in Egypt within the next month according to the agreement.

What will Israel get from all of this? The one major Israeli demand has been a demilitarization of Gaza, which has emerged as a terror haven since Israel’s withdrawal in 2005. Apparently Israel has linked the lifting of the Gaza blockade and reconstructing the area with the disarmament of the terror groups. However, the Palestinian delegation flatly refused this lone demand. Apparently Israel will raise demilitarization and the limitation on construction materials and weapons in the next stage of talks to be held in the coming month.

The Prime Minister’s Office claimed that all cabinet ministers had been informed of the developments and that there was no legal reason to bring the cabinet to a vote. However, the Cabinet appeared to be split on the deal, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Interior Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich, and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, and Communications Minister Gilad Erdan opposing the decision, and supporting further military action in the Gaza. Israel Economic Minister, Naftali Bennett, said that Israel cabinet members hadn’t been consulted about the deal. Instead, they were updated on the decision by telephone.

A senior Israeli defense source said that “Israel got what it wanted.” According to the source, “Hamas was beaten into accepting the Egyptian initiative though it opposed the plan from the start. In recent days there was tremendous pressure within Hamas to reach a ceasefire, as a result of the heavy price paid by the Gaza Strip and organization itself.” Israeli officials said that Hamas received “the worst blow in its history.” Israeli sources further noted that the IDF struck 5,200 terror targets in Gaza. The army also said that some 1,000 terrorists were killed during the operation. The operation also bolstered Israel’s international legitimacy, “because of the fact that we assented to 11 ceasefires.” It will take 10 years to rehabilitate the Gaza. Hamas was dealt a critical blow.

However, some Israel officials were critical of the deal. Israel Housing and Construction Minister, Uri Ariel, said “any agreement that doesn’t include eliminating the rocket threat on residents of Israel and demilitarizing the Gaza Strip is less than half of what is necessary. In this reality, the defense establishment will have no choice but to prepare for the next round, which will be soon,” Ariel added. According to Danny Danon, restraint in the Middle East is seen as weakness. He said: “Despite the heavy price Hamas paid, we did not defeat Hamas. Fifty days of fighting, 64 soldiers killed, five civilians killed, 82,000 reservists called up and in the end we’re back to the agreement from Operation Pillar of Defense.” Danon said a defeat was necessary to broadcast to the whole Middle East, including Hezbollah, Islamic State and Iran, that “they should not mess with the People of Israel.” “I am concerned we did not succeed enough. Now is the time for national introspection. The policy of restraint and hesitation hurt Israel’s deterrence,” he added. Israel Knesset member, Eli Yishai from the Shas political party agreed saying, “This will be time for Hamas to resupply itself with weaponry to use against Israel,” he said. “Not demilitarizing Gaza will bring Israel to another round of fighting that will be even worse.”

As a result of the ceasefire, several senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders appeared in public Among them was Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior member of the Hamas political wing, and senior Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi who gave a rousing victory speech to thousands of people gathered in a square in Gaza City’s Rimal neighborhood. “We’re going to build our port and our airport, and if they attack the port, they attack the port. But anyone who attacks the airport will have their airport attacked again,” Zahar said. Zahar also said that in addition to rebuilding Gaza, Hamas would continue “arming itself and developing its resistance capacity.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that an indefinite cease-fire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas in Gaza “is an opportunity, not a certainty. We are approaching the next phase with our eyes wide open. We have been down this road before and we are all aware of the challenges ahead,” Kerry said. “Today’s agreement comes after many hours and days of intensive discussions about how a sustainable ceasefire might provide the space and the opportunity to address long-term issues.” Kerry said that “certain bedrock outcomes” are minimal requirements for such a long-term solution, including a guarantee for Israel that terrorist attacks, rocket firings, and tunnel construction will cease, as well as the establishment of full economic and social opportunities for Palestinians, and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the Secretary of State had no plans to restart the peace process in the near future. The Israeli government has insisted on reserving the right to destroy any tunnels discovered burrowed into Israeli territory. Asked whether such a demand was reflected in the cease-fire, Psaki said that US support for that right had not changed, adding that Israel has said that all tunnels so far identified had been destroyed. The Egyptian proposal was very similar to the one that Israel accepted and Hamas rejected on July 15.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Mashal: Hamas was behind murder of three Israeli teens
2) PA Makes ‘Political Decision’ to ‘Slaughter Settlers’
3) Netanyahu: Gaza conflict proves Israel can’t relinquish control of West Bank
4) Israel, Hamas Officially Cease Cairo Talks
5) Some see Qatar’s hand in collapse of Gaza talks
6) IDF recalls 2,000 reservists as truce unravels
7) Cabinet approves call-up of 10,000 IDF reservists
8) Gaza rocket fire hits new heights: 168 launched in one day
9) IDF hits 35 Gaza targets since midnight
10) IAF kills senior Islamic Jihad commander
11) Israel kills two Hamas senior military commanders in air strike
12) Hamas executes 18 for ‘collaboration’ with Israel
13) Mashaal, Hamas defiant after assassinations
14) Hamas: We know how to make Netanyahu accept our demands
15) Israel leaders’ stubborn belief in Hamas’ desire for war’s end led the country back to war
16) ‘It’s time to abandon truce talks, reach decisive victory over Hamas’
17) Liberman says Israel’s Gaza operation should end with ‘Hamas waving white flag’
18) Liberman says Israel must take back initiative and ‘bring Hamas to submission’
19) Livni: No negotiations with Hamas
20) Gaza Ceasefire: What Did Israel Agree to?
21) Gaza truce deal: Crossings to open under Israeli supervision
22) Opposition to cease-fire comes from across political spectrum
23) Bennett calls for vote on Gaza ceasefire, says cabinet opposes deal
24) Hamas, Islamic Jihad Leaders Come Out of Hiding as Truce Begins
25) Kerry calls cease-fire ‘an opportunity, not a certainty’

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 16, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Hamas continues to fire rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel. So far, over 3,000. Regarded by members of the international community as a terrorist organization, Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority run by Mahmood Abbas of Fatah in 2007. In order to end the conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip, Egypt presented to both sides a cease-fire proposal. It including the following:

1. Palestinian fishing rights will be extended from 3 to 12 miles.
2. Israel will restore the Gaza Strip’s electrical power capacity within a year.
3. The Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah will oversee and administer all the rehabilitation operations to be performed in the Gaza Strip.
4. An international mechanism will be formed to monitor the building materials delivered to Gaza.
5. Israel will lift its financial restrictions on Gaza’s banks.
6. Israel and Hamas will begin discussing the building of a deep sea port and international airport for the Gaza Strip in a month’s time.
7. They will also embark on parallel negotiations for the release of Palestinians in Israeli security prisons.
8. An extension of the truce and cessation of hostilities between the two parties will take place.

The issue of the Gaza’s demilitarization, which Israel has demanded during Operation Protective Edge, will most likely not be included in the proposal developing in Egypt. Israel wants Gaza to be demilitarized which would essentially force Hamas to give up its large arsenal of rockets and other weapons. Netanyahu stressed that the Israeli delegation to the indirect talks in Egypt is working under “very clear directives” to stand firm on Israel’s security demands. “Only if there will be a clear answer to our security needs will we agree to any understandings,” he said. However, Hamas has flatly rejected Israel’s demilitarization demand. Israel said it would actively work to promote the issue in the international arena.

In a statement, Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh said that “the threats of Israel’s leaders only reinforce our commitment to the people’s demands, first and foremost the demand to remove the siege on Gaza.” He said that “the heavy losses of the Palestinian people do not permit us to negotiate and compromise on their demands… No permanent ceasefire agreement can be reached without the removal of the blockade on Gaza.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hamas is mistaken if it thinks that it can cover its military defeat over the last month with a diplomatic achievement. Netanyahu said Hamas suffered a harsh military blow, which included the destruction of their terror tunnels system that they spent years building, the killing of “hundreds of terrorists,” the interception of thousands of rockets, and the prevention of terror attacks from the “land, sea and air.” In an apparent response to Hamas’s threats to engage Israel in a long war of attrition if its demands are not met, Netanyahu said, “If Hamas thinks that by a continuation of a drizzle of rocket fire, we will make concession, it is mistaken. As long as the quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to absorb very hard blows,” Netanyahu said. “If Hamas thinks we cannot stand for a long period, it is mistaken. In the turbulent and unstable Middle East, it is not enough just to have more strength, you also need determination and patience,” he said. “Hamas knows that we have a lot of power, but perhaps it thinks we do not have enough determination and patience. And it is making a big mistake there as well.” Netanyahu said Israel is a “strong and determined” nation, whose citizens and soldiers showed “amazing resilience and fortitude” and which will stand “united and firm” until “quiet and security” is returned to the country’s citizens.

Only .04 of a 1% of Israeli Jews think Israel should accept Hamas’s demands in order to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip. 58% of Israeli Jews think Israel does not have to meet any Hamas demands and should continue to fight until Hamas surrenders. 41% think Israel should respond positively to Hamas’s demands that are reasonable in terms of Israel’s national security. Among Israeli Arabs, 54% think Hamas’s demands consistent with Israeli national security should be accepted, 32% think Israel should accept Hamas’s demands in order to stop the rockets, and only five percent said Israel should not accept Hamas demands and fight until their surrender. Asked whether to deal with Hamas militarily or diplomatically, 66% of the Jewish public said a combination of military and political-diplomatic efforts, 26% exclusively through military means and seven percent through exclusively political-diplomatic means. Among Israeli Arabs, 72% said Hamas should be dealt with through political-diplomatic efforts, 15% think through a combination of military and political-diplomatic means, and 3% think through exclusively military means.

The US is supporting the Israeli demand for the prevention of Hamas and other terror organization’s efforts to rearm. In addition, Israel is coordinating with the US to define the parameters of a permanent truce with Hamas. Israel and the US have secretly decided that Israel will agree to a gradual lifting of the blockade on Gaza Strip, starting with the land crossings and eventually opening up sea traffic. The blockade, which Israel says is needed to prevent arms smuggling, has hurt the economy of Gaza. Under the agreement, Israeli will not oppose the transfer of salaries to Hamas civil workers in Gaza and will allow for the rehabilitation of the Strip with the use of international assistance.

The US has agreed to take part in an international donor conference on the rehabilitation of Gaza. In the coming days, intensive diplomatic efforts are expected to occur in Israel and in Europe to assure the conference takes place. Though there has been no official American confirmation of the agreement, according to Israeli officials, Kerry and Netanyahu will announce in a joint statement that the ties between the two countries are strong, and that past disagreements between them are only on certain points. The statement would reiterate America’s commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself and to prevent rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel. As a result, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is planning to arrive in Israel next week in a show of support for Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and in order to demonstrate that the two allies’ relationship is not in crisis.

The European Union proposed to relaunch and broaden its Border Assistance Mission at Gaza’s Rafah crossing. The offer came after the body’s foreign ministers gathered for emergency talks in Brussels. “The EU is ready to support a possible international mechanism endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, including through the reactivation and possible extension in scope and mandate of its Rafah border assistance program.

However, Palestinian sources said that the “the talks with Israel have reached a dead end. “The problem in the talks is fundamental,” the sources said. “Some fundamental disagreements remain, mostly on the issue of the Gaza seaport. The Palestinian delegation demands the ceasefire agreement specifically states a seaport will be built in Gaza but the discussion on the details would be postponed for later.” Israel refused, they said, and conditioned the seaport with the disarmament of the Palestinian factions, which brought the talks to a standstill. As a result, the Palestinian sources said that the odds of reaching an agreement soon on a permanent ceasefire are very slim.

After a month of bombing from Israel in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian militant groups, Gazans are starting to be vocal in their criticism of Hamas. Hamas has “committed many mistakes,” Ziad Abu Halool, who works for the Gazan government said. “All the Palestinian factions should stop firing rockets. It’s enough. We’ve been suffering. All the people are whispering, ‘Why didn’t Hamas accept the Egyptian initiative in the beginning of the war when the casualties were still low?’ said a Palestinian journalist. The militant groups “should have accepted the cease-fire. It would have stopped the bloodshed. We are the ones affected by the war, our houses and our lives. The destruction is over on this side, not the Israeli side.” Other Gazans don’t believe that Hamas will  help in the rehabilitation of the Strip, which was heavily damaged by the IDF bombardments.

Meanwhile, the European Union is implementing a boycott of Israeli products made in the West Bank. As a result, Israel will end its export of poultry and dairy produce to the European Union from Jewish settlements considered illegal by the international community. The restrictions stem from directives issued by the European Commission in February and affect chicken and milk products from settlements in east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank. “In keeping with previous decisions, the EU no longer recognized the authority of the veterinary inspections services of Israel to approve the export of poultry and (dairy products), the origin of which are in settlements,” a European official said. The official said that during discussions over implementation of the directives, the “Israelis were asked to put in place a system of distinguishing between the origins of dairy products and poultry. If that is put in place that won’t affect poultry and dairy products exported from Israel,” the official said, noting the new directives would be effective from September 1. An Israeli official involved in the affair said that the agriculture ministry had recently issued directives to poultry and dairy manufacturers to “prepare for the EU decision and separate manufacturing lines, to enable the continued export to the Europe” without including products from settlements.

Britain’s business secretary said England would halt some arms exports to Israel if fighting resumed in Gaza. Vince Cable will cancel 12 arms export licenses to Israel, covering components for radar systems, combat aircraft and tanks, according to a statement from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. “We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza and hope that it will lead to a peaceful resolution. However, the UK government has not been able to clarify if the export license criteria are being met,” Cable said in a statement. “In light of that uncertainty, we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licenses in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.”

Furthermore, a senior Israeli official said that the US had suspended a shipment of Hellfire missiles to Israel amid worsening ties over continued fighting in the Gaza Strip. On July 23, the US Pentagon approved a transfer of arms, including 120-mm mortar shells and 40-mm illuminating rounds after receiving a request three days earlier from Israel. As was customary until that point, the White House and State Department were not informed. The decision to hold off on the transfer was most likely on grounds of increased diplomatic tension, the official said, because the US White House and State Department has been angered by a transfer of arms to Israel and had ordered greater oversight into future sales. As a result, the US government has blocked the missile shipment approved by the US Pentagon and would begin to monitor Israeli arms requests and have them subject to White House and State Department approval. The decision to evaluate every request by the Israeli military separately came after the White House and State Department discovered last month that the Pentagon was supplying Israel with arms without their knowledge. After learning of these transfers, the Obama administration, perturbed that much of the ammunition was used by the IDF in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, revised the review process in a move that is likely to limit or at least delay Israel’s requests for weapons. US-Israeli tensions are at a record high, with US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to have recently held a “particularly combative phone call” with officials on both sides resorting to name-calling. Some US administration officials consider Netanyahu and his team reckless and untrustworthy. They think that if only Benjamin Netanyahu could be weakened and eased aside, Israelis might elect a leadership more inclined to follow its thinking and consider greater territorial compromise in the peace process with the Palestinians.

For their part, Israeli officials consider the US view of the Middle East “weak and naive,” pointing to Secretary of State John Kerry’s collaboration with Qatar and Turkey on a draft ceasefire in a move that infuriated Israeli officials. Kerry was reportedly upset that the draft, which was intended for Netanyahu’s eyes and critique only, was put to a cabinet vote, and its subsequent leak to the media put a strain on his ties with the Israeli administration. An Israeli official said the tension had become “very personal,” and described it as “mistrust and a collision of different perspectives on the Middle East.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a decisive victory in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in the Gaza Strip even at the cost of the escalation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip. “The State of Israel cannot afford a war of attrition, just like any other modern country can’t. That’s why we have to reach a decisive victory, even at the cost of escalation,” he told mayors in southern Israel. “We don’t need to make any more threats, just deliver a hard blow.”

Lieberman said a decisive victory should be Israel’s main goal, as only that would prevent another round of fighting. “After three operations, I think it’s time to say ‘enough,'” he said. “One month is enough to realize that we can’t reach any agreement with this group of terrorists we’re facing. If we don’t get rid of Hamas, we wouldn’t be able to make progress on any reasonable agreement – not security-wise, nor diplomacy-wise,” the foreign minister went on to say. He criticized the willingness of some cabinet ministers to accept the long-term ceasefire deal taking shape in Egypt, saying “it can’t be that the State of Israel is unwilling or unable to defeat 26,000 terrorists who are sitting here next to us and repeatedly threatening and interrupting the peace.”

Finally, Muhammad Shtayyeh, a senior official in the Palestinian Authority, made a speech saying that the PA is ready to join the International Criminal Court in order to pursue legal cases against Israeli officials and soldiers.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Egypt presents proposal to end war in Gaza
2) Cairo draft accord may embody Israeli concessions on security in return for Hamas truce
3) EU offers to renew monitoring of Gaza border
4) Israel coordinated with US on gradual end of Gaza blockade
5) Palestinian divisions emerge in truce talks
6) Haniyeh: Long-term ceasefire only if Israel lifts siege
7) Poll finds almost no support for accepting Hamas’s demands
8) Netanyahu: Hamas will not be able to cover its military defeat with a diplomatic victory
9) Palestinian sources: Talks have reached a dead end over seaport
10) Salvo fired at south hours before Gaza ceasefire set to end
11) Rocket fire at South resumes, IDF strikes Gaza targets in response
12) Israel halts Cairo talks, hits Gaza after rockets shatter quiet
13) After month of bitter fighting, Gazans said questioning Hamas decisions
14) Israel ends export to EU of dairy, poultry produced in West Bank
15) UK to halt some arms sales to Israel if fighting resumes
16) Israeli official confirms US nixed arms shipment; pols argue over who’s to blame
17) Washington said limiting arms transfers to Israel as ties fray
18) US livid with Israel? Hamas can’t believe its luck
19) Lieberman: Only a decisive victory will prevent another operation
20) PA officials announce plans to pursue Israel at the ICC

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 9, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Israel started “Operation Protective Edge” on July 8 against the Palestinian terror organization, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets from a sophisticated network of tunnels against Israeli citizens in various parts of the land of Israel. Over the past 5 years, about 16,000 men, around 15 percent of Hamas’ fighting strength, were assigned to build the tunnel network.  Israel’s Southern Command chief, Sami Turgeman, said with the amount of concrete Hamas poured into the tunnel project, two hospitals, twenty schools, twenty healthcare centers, and 100 kindergartens could have been built, he said. For the first 10 days, Israel launched air strikes seeking to destroy those elaborate network of tunnels built by Hamas to wage war against Israel. However, in order to do the job more completely, Israel sent its army into the Gaza Strip.

Hamas started the war with about 10,000 rockets. Since the start of fighting, Hamas has fired over 3,300 rockets at Israel. Of those, 116 hit populated areas inside Israel. About 600 Hamas rockets that were fired at Israel were launched from schools, hospitals, civilian areas, cemeteries and religious sites. The Israeli military has responded with striking over 4,700 terror sites in the Gaza Strip including rocket launching sites, command and control centers, weapon storage and manufacturing facilities, training and militant compounds and militant wing government facilities. The goal of the Israeli military campaign is to restore sustained quiet to Israel’s citizens while dealing a harsh blow to Hamas terrorist infrastructure. Through targeted airstrikes, the Israeli army has destroyed about 1/3 of the Hamas rocket arsenal. Therefore, about 1/3 of the initial Hamas inventory of rockets are still in their control.  Through their efforts, the Israeli military has neutralized about 32 Hamas terror tunnels. They have targeted over 1,000 militants associated with Hamas. Israeli has used over 82,00 reserve duty personnel for the operation. 64 Israeli soldiers have been killed in combat. 463 have been wounded. Israeli has supplied over 40,000 tons of humanitarian aid to the Gaza including food and medical supplies.

In response to the initial Israel attacks upon the Gaza Strip, US President Barack Obama called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. Ultimately, Israel agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, along with UN  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, gave “assurances” to Israel that Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza had agreed to the ceasefire. However, after the humanitarian ceasefire was to have taken place, Hamas attacked and killed two Israeli soldiers. As a result, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State, John Kerry, that “Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions.” Israel will “take all necessary steps against those who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens,” Netanyahu told Kerry. After Hamas broke the ceasefire agreement, Netanyahu said that he would not accept any future ceasefire proposal that does not allow the IDF to complete the destruction of the Hamas terror tunnels. “As of now, we have neutralized dozens of terrorist tunnels and we are determined to complete this mission, with or without a ceasefire,” Netanyahu said. “Therefore I will not agree to any proposal that does not allow the IDF to complete this work which is important for the security of Israel’s citizens.”

In any event, after the initial Israel airstrikes on the Gaza and after ground troops invaded to neutralize Hamas terror tunnels, the Israeli army withdrew their forces from the Gaza Strip.  In practical terms, Israeli troops will regroup and spread out along the border as a barrier against future Hamas attempts to keep up its terror offensive by means of cross-border commando raids using undiscovered tunnels and firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Israel’s war planners believe the positioning of the Israel army outside the Gaza border is capable of repelling any Hamas assaults by means of tank and artillery fire and air force drones. A senior Israeli army official said that Israel did not take over the Gaza Strip or worked to completely destroy Hamas in order to leave an organization in power that would have to answer for terrorism in the Strip. He said that if the Israeli objective was to take down Hamas, Israel could’ve easily have taken over the Gaza Strip within 10 days, and taken another year or two to search for and destroy terror infrastructure. “This wasn’t the essence of our mission,” he said. “The objective is to change the reality from its very core, so we don’t have mutual fire in two months. We need to have a balance of hope in the Strip and a balance of security in Israel.”

After withdrawing their ground troops from the Gaza, Israel agreed to another ceasefire with Hamas. Egypt was in charge of mediation efforts. As a result, representatives of the Palestinian factions in Gaza arrived in Cairo to present a united front on negotiations for a ceasefire. According to one PLO delegation member, their draft demands include the following:

1) An Israel withdrawal from the Gaza Strip
2) End to Gaza blockade and opening of crossings for people and merchandise
3) Extend the freedom of movement for sailors to 12 nautical miles
4) Cancelling the ‘safety strip’ around the Gaza border
5) Establishment of an airport and a seaport in Gaza
6) Rehabilitation of the Strip and a promise of emergency aid with the help of an international committee of donors to be convened by the Palestinian unity government
7) The release of the fourth wave of Palestinian security detainees originally promised by Israel to PA

The Israeli proposal for an enduring ceasefire included the following:

1) Restrict Palestinian brigades in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to bearing light firearms.
2) Grant the Israeli military the freedom of action to strike a tunnel system designed for terrorist attacks and demolish plants manufacturing missiles.
3) An inspection mechanism will be set up to monitor the 1-3 km deep security belt Israel is carving out inside the Gaza Strip along the 75 kilometers of its security border fence.
4) Gaza will not be allowed to have either an airport or a deep water port, as Hamas is demanding.
5) All reconstruction work in the Gaza Strip or repairing the war damage, whether by the international community or Israel, will be channeled through the Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas.
6) All of Gaza’s border crossings will be manned and operated by Palestinian Authority security personnel. Egypt and Israel have submitted this demand with regard to both their border terminals.
7) Gaza reconstruction work will take place under international supervision.

An Egyptian security official said the Palestinian delegation’s stance had hardened after the arrival in Cairo of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders from the Gaza Strip. One of the main speakers, Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri, urged the Palestinian representatives in Egypt – “don’t come back without our conditions and demands. Work to get them with all of your might, in spite of the occupation. We support the resistance, we support the Hamas military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, we support more firing at Tel Aviv and we support the tunnels,” he said. Furthermore, Abu Obeida, spokesman of Hamas’ military wing, announced that his movement had acquired new rockets with larger warheads than the more than 3,000 fired against the Israeli population in the month-long conflict, and they would be aimed at Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport. Israel would be severed from its air transport ties with the outside world, he said.

According to the various sources, the cease-fire discussions in Egypt have thus far failed to achieve real progress. Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid, a member of the eight-person Israeli security cabinet, said the gaps between Israel and Hamas holding indirect talks in Cairo were “wide.” Lapid said that Israel was dealing “with a murderous terrorist organization that wants to kill Jews,” and it will be “impossible to move forward” unless the security of the communities in the south is secured. Furthermore, Israeli sources said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have also rejected Israel’s demand that they be disarmed as part of a cease-fire agreement.

A senior Hamas official, Mousa Abu Marzouk, said that the first ceasefire with Israel passed without achieving the demands of Hamas. As a result, this is the second and final cease-fire attempt. An Israeli official also said that there was no real progress in the talks with Hamas saying that there are wide gaps in the negotiations.  Hamas’s “military wing,” the Al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement presenting its position in the ongoing talks being held in Egypt. “The warriors in Gaza are waiting with Allah’s help to renew the fighting, or to return to planning the next campaign. There’s no escape. Either jihad or planning (for the next jihad),” declared the statement. The remarks leave no doubts that even in the case of a ceasefire, from Hamas’s perspective the lull in fighting would only be an opportunity to rearm for the next terror war against Israel. As a result, Yehya Musa, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, said that his movement was preparing for a “long battle” with Israel. Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation in Cairo said the following regarding the position of Hamas in the talks, “I’m still not sure that there’s a decision by Hamas to end this war.” Therefore, the Palestinian team is in no shape to hold practical negotiations on any sort of resolution in the Gaza because it is deeply divided two ways.

1) Hamas rejects the PA-PLO group as not fit to represent its interests because they say PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is locked onto the Egyptian side.
2) The Hamas team itself was split between the envoys from Gaza and some of their leaders from Qatar. The Gaza group want the Cairo talks to lead off by setting conditions for a prolonged ceasefire, during which their political and military demands would be negotiated. The Qatar envoys insist on reversing this order: first agreed solutions for the long term and only then a deal for extending the ceasefire.

Israel has been criticized by the international community for using disproportionate force against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.  Therefore, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained a moral justification for the way the IDF has dealt with the Hamas strategy of firing rockets at Israel, and tunneling under the Israeli border, from the heart of Palestinian residential neighborhoods in Gaza. Arguing that Israel’s battle over the past month against terrorists in Gaza using civilians as human shields, he said it would be a “moral mistake” as well as a practical one to not take action against terrorists operating from mosques, schools and other civilian areas. Netanyahu blamed Hamas for Gaza’s civilian deaths, due to its rejection of various ceasefire proposals throughout the campaign and its deliberate basing of its military infrastructure in the heart of Gaza population centers.

Palestinian sources in Gaza say that over 1,800 people were killed in the past month during Operation Protective Edge. Israel says it killed some 900 combatants and Netanyahu stressed that Israel “regrets” every civilian death. “Ninety percent of the fatalities could have been avoided had Hamas not rejected various ceasefire proposals. Hamas needs to be blamed for these deaths.” Israel’s response to the Hamas rocket and tunnel threat was “justified and proportionate” Netanyahu asserted, adding that “every civilian casualty is a tragedy — a tragedy of Hamas’s making.” It would have been “disproportionate” not to act, he reasoned, and therefore “to get our people killed.” Netanyahu stressed the need to prevent Hamas from rearming. That, he said, is the way “to prevent this conflict from bring repeated.”

The Obama administration has also been critical of Israel in the way in which it has been attacking Hamas in the Gaza Strip. In a phone call with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Netanyahu expressed his frustration with the US comments by saying that the Obama administration should  “not ever second-guess me again” and that the United States should trust his judgment on how to deal with Hamas. Then, a phone call between Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry got disconnected giving rise to media speculation on the strained relationship between the US and Israel. Tensions between the US and Israel initially rose when the US used Turkey and Qatar as mediators of a ceasefire agreement with Israel. Both Turkey and Qatar have close ties with Hamas. A ceasefire offer Kerry negotiated after talks with representatives from Qatar and Turkey was unanimously rejected by the Israeli security cabinet because it adhered to most of Hamas’s demands while ignoring Israel’s position that Hamas be demilitarized.

US President Barack Obama said that any ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas that “the short-term goal has to be to make sure that rocket launches do not resume, and that we are now in the process of helping to rebuild Gaza. Long term, there has to be a recognition that Gaza cannot sustain itself permanently closed off. The US goal right now would be to make sure that the cease-fire holds, that Gaza can begin the process of rebuilding, and that some measures are taken so that the people of Gaza feel some sense of hope and the people of Israel feel confident that they’re not going to have a repeat of the kind of rocket launches that we’ve seen over the last several weeks,” Obama said.

“I have no sympathy for Hamas. I have great sympathy for ordinary people who are struggling within Gaza. And the question then becomes, can we find a formula in which Israel has greater assurance that Gaza will not be a launching pad for further attacks, perhaps more dangerous attacks as technology develops into their country. But at the same time, ordinary Palestinians have some prospects for an opening of Gaza,” the US president added. “I have said from the beginning that no country would tolerate rockets being launched into their cities,” Obama stressed, “and as a consequence, I have consistently supported Israel’s right to defend itself. I also think it is important to remember that Hamas acts extraordinarily irresponsibly when it is deliberately sighting rocket launchers in population centers, putting populations at risk because of that particular military strategy.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that a ceasefire in Gaza must lead to broader negotiations for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians to ensure lasting peace in the region. “You have to begin to make life better for the Palestinians,” Kerry said, adding the US supports the opening of crossings to Gaza “to get food in and reconstruct, and have greater freedom, but that has to come with a greater responsibility towards Israel, which means giving up rockets and moving into a different place.” He stressed that a true solution in Gaza would only come together when there is “a bigger, broader approach to the underlying issues of two states” which would ensure the rights of Palestinians while guaranteeing Israel’s security. US President Barack Obama said that Netanyahu needs to be pressured into accepting a solution for the Israel / Palestinian conflict. Obama said, “If Netanyahu doesn’t feel some internal pressure, then it’s hard to see him being able to make some very difficult compromises, including taking on the settler movement. That’s a tough thing to do.”

Saudi Arabia, which regards itself as a leader of the Sunni Muslim world, has played only a background role in the diplomacy to end the fighting in Gaza, leaving its ally Egypt as the main Arab player pursuing a ceasefire. The kingdom’s policy towards Gaza is complicated by its mistrust of the territory’s ruling Hamas, an Islamist movement with close ideological and political links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia regards as a terrorist organization. Saudi Arabia believes the Brotherhood has a region-wide agenda to seize power from established governments, including the al-Saud dynasty, and has quarreled with Qatar over its support for the group. The Saudi foreign minister rejected Western backing of Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas rockets saying, “Israel does not have a right of self-defense as an occupier. There is no rule under international law that says an occupier has a right of self-defense. For any country to take that position shows bad intentions towards the region and bad intentions towards peace in the region. How can you say that Israel has a right to defend itself when it is the occupier and you do not give the same right to Hamas?”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority claimed it has “clear evidence” that Israel committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip. Therefore, the Palestinians are now preparing to join the International Criminal Court in order to file war crimes charges against Israel, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said. Malki met with officials of the ICC in the Netherlands to discuss the war in the Gaza Strip. The meeting was held to inquire about the legal procedures required for the “State of Palestine” to join the ICC and sign the court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, in order to take action against possible Israeli war crimes, Malki’s office said. A previous attempt by the PA to join the ICC failed because “Palestine” was not recognized as a country. In November 2012, it obtained the status of non-member observer of the UN General Assembly – a move that allows it to join the ICC and other international agencies and treaties. The Palestinian Authority has decided to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as a first step to joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). The move would allow the Palestinian Authority to file suit against Israel for “war crimes” during Operation Protective Edge, as it has repeatedly threatened to do, but it would also be exposing itself to similar allegations. “We have a decision to accede to the Rome Statute,” PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi said. “All we need to do is send the letter… If this assault continues and doesn’t stop, you can see it sooner rather than later. Actually, we’re trying to do things in an incremental way at this point. We are working on the legal aspects of cases and lawsuits, and so on,” Ashrawi said.“ She refused to state whether she considers indiscriminate rocket fire on Israeli cities as a war crime.

Various members of the Israel government have different ideas on the ultimate strategy to deal with Hamas. Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who is also Israel’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the Palestinians called for the replacement of the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip with that of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and for international initiatives to disarm the Gazan terror groups. “We have an opportunity for political change, not with Hamas, but against Hamas,” she said. Both the US and EU have released statements in past weeks backing the disarmament of Hamas.

Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid unveiled a plan he is promoting that involves the US, the EU, Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan toward the goal of demilitarizing Gaza, and eventually transferring it to Palestinian Authority control. Lapid’s plan, which has been presented to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, includes the following elements: returning the PA to the border crossings; making the PA responsible for the rehabilitation of Gaza and the sole body responsible for the rehabilitation funds; conditioning progress in rehabilitation of Gaza to Israel’s security; establishing principles to prevent the strengthening of terror organizations; ensuring the demilitarization of Gaza; and removing the threat of tunnels and rockets from Israel.

While Lapid’s plan leaned heavily on the Palestinian Authority, leader of the Jewish Home political party, Naftali Bennett said that Abbas is “a partner for terror.” Abbas, he said, is a partner in the Palestinian unity government with Hamas that has fired thousands of rockets on Israel, and “today pays Hamas terrorists in jail.” Bennett said the two-state solution is over, and “today everyone knows that a Palestinian state would destroy Israel’s economy and would mean rockets on the center of Israel.” While Lapid said there needed to be a diplomatic process, Bennett said, “I believe that in the end we will sooner or later have to defeat Hamas.”

Finally, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that getting rid of Hamas is a necessary condition for any wider diplomatic breakthrough. “In order to make a diplomatic process possible, we have to get rid of Hamas,” he said. “As long as Hamas is strong on the ground, controls Gaza, and is popular in the West Bank, a diplomatic process is simply impossible.” He also said that it would be a mistake to build any process right now based on PA President Mahmoud Abbas by saying, “Abu Mazen’s [Abbas’s] legitimacy does not exist,” he said. “After we get rid of Hamas, the next stage is elections… We have to sign an international agreement with somebody with whom there is no doubt whether he has the authority to sign an agreement with us.” Abbas does not have that legitimacy or authority, because there has not been an election in the PA since 2006, Liberman said. “First topple Hamas, then elections, then a diplomatic process,” he said. “It is important to emphasize that our conflict is not a conflict with the Palestinians. Therefore, all the attempts to solve the conflict with the Palestinians failed,” he said. The failure on the Palestinian track time after time was because of a faulty diagnosis, he stressed. Israel’s conflict is not with the Palestinians, but rather with the Arab world. “The Palestinians alone do not have the critical mass to finish a deal with Israel that will demand many difficult decisions. If they do not feel that the Arab world is with them, they will not do it.”

Liberman was not optimistic about the outcome of the cease-fire talks being held in Cairo, saying that Hamas’s minimum demands were much more than Israel could give – in both the short and long terms. In the short term, he said, Hamas will stymie Israel’s demands for disarmament of Gaza, and also the introduction of any effective supervisory mechanism to ensure that money and construction materials pouring into the Strip after the conflict will not be diverted for Hamas’s use. Furthermore, certain long-term goals of Hamas – such as a sea port – are things that Israel could never agree to. “Hamas’s ultimate demand for a sea port is designed to bypass all the supervisory mechanisms we want to set up,” Liberman noted. “It is clear that the whole idea of a sea port is to smuggle in weapons, construction materials, terrorists and advisers from Iran and other places.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Israel says Hamas launched 600 rockets from schools, other civilian facilities
2) After 2 soldiers killed, one seized during truce, Israel debates widening Gaza op
3) Netanyahu: IDF will complete tunnel destruction, with or without a truce
4) Security cabinet instructs IDF to keep hitting Hamas
5) Israeli Air Force takes out 40 mosques-cum-rocket stores, brings new drone into Gaza operation
6) Palestinian factions release demands for Gaza ceasefire
7) Israeli troop exit from Gaza without achieving all goals bodes war of attrition
8) Senior IDF official: We could’ve taken down Hamas in 10 days
9) For Cairo deal, Israel calls for ban in Gaza on all but light arms, free hand against tunnels, rocket plants
10) Hamas: If Gaza blockade isn’t lifted, we’ll renew fire Friday
11) Hamas resumes rocket attacks on Israel, after ultimatum demanding open seaport for Gaza or war
12) Gaza salvo continues: Sderot house hit after 2 wounded
13) After nearly 72-hours, Palestinians say no extension for cease-fire reached yet
14) Israel accepts midnight cease-fire proposal despite continued rocket attacks
15) Hamas official: This is second and final cease-fire with Israel
16) Hamas Clarifies Truce Would Only Be to Plan Next War
17) Fresh Gaza hostilities likely Wednesday. IDF to expand counteraction for Hamas rockets
18) Hamas says group preparing for ‘long battle,’ as three-day truce nears end
19) Netanyahu lays out Israeli case for morality of Gaza campaign
20) US must ‘never second-guess me again’ on Hamas, Netanyahu tells Shapiro
21) Obama: Netanyahu will compromise only if pressured
22) Kerry, Netanyahu call ‘cut off,’ is not renewed
23) Obama: Gaza cannot remain closed off
24) Kerry: Israel, Palestinians must solve broader issues
25) Jimmy Carter: Hamas is a legitimate political actor
26) Saudi FM: Israel’s only objective is to uproot Palestinian existence
27) PA foreign minister tells ICC there is ‘clear evidence’ of Israeli war crimes
28) PA to sign Rome Statute of ICC
29) Hamas: We’ll let the PA monitor Rafah crossing
30) Livni calls for PA control over Gaza, disarmament
31) Liberman to ‘Post': First get rid of Hamas, then hold PA elections, then pursue regional accord

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

July 26, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Israel started “Operation Protective Edge” against the Palestinian terror organization, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets against Israeli citizens in various parts of the land of Israel. In total, Hamas has fired some 1,500 rockets throughout Israel. For the first 10 days, Israel launched air strikes seeking to destroy an elaborate network of tunnels built by Hamas to wage war against Israel. Over the past 5 years, about 16,000 men, around 15 percent of Hamas’ fighting strength, were assigned to build the tunnel network. In response, Israel has hit over 3,000 targets in the Gaza. These targets have included weapons stockpiles, rocket launchers, smuggling tunnels, the homes of terrorist commanders and more. Exactly 21 militants from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organization have been arrested in the Strip and taken in for interrogation by security forces and the Shin Bet. Dozens more have been killed in skirmishes with IDF soldiers.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, explained why Israel needed to attack Hamas in the Gaza Strip saying: “When three young Israeli kids are taken and murdered, and Hamas applauds it and celebrates the fact that they were kidnapped and supported the kidnapping, and then starts rocketing Israel when they’re looking for the people who did it, that’s out of balance by any standard,” Kerry said. “And I think it’s important for people to remember the facts that led to this.”

After 10 days of aerial assaults in the Gaza Strip, on July 17, Israeli decided to send ground troops into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli cabinet agreed to the ground operation after Hamas rejected an Egyptian ceasefire proposal and afterward launched a barrage of rockets at southern and central Israel. Israeli residents living in those areas were instructed to enter bomb shelters. There are over 48,000 Israeli troops ready for combat. “We are now entering the second phase of the operation,” said an Israeli army spokesman. “We delivered a hard blow to the Hamas tunnel network with airstrikes. We attacked thousands of targets, destroyed infrastructure, hurt operatives. The ground troops will be working to locate and destroy tunnels from which Hamas launches rockets against Israel while seeking to destroy Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure in these areas. The Israeli army is also prepared for additional stages of the operation including getting all the way to the Gaza beach. However, Israel is not trying to remove Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip because such a goal would likely entail a move into densely populated Gaza City where urban warfare could prove costly to both sides. The goal of the operation is to deal a serious blow to the Hamas terrorist organization and improve the security of the Israeli civilian population” the IDF spokesman said. Breaking up the Hamas’ subterranean tunnels would take weeks.

Speaking at an emergency cabinet meeting, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel “Decided to launch the ground operation after we tried all the other ways for peace and with an understanding that without this operation the price we will have to pay later would be much higher.” Furthermore, the ground troops are needed because “there is no way to eliminate the tunnel threat only through airstrikes.” Netanyahu said the ground operation could expand. “My instructions … are to prepare for the possibility of significantly widening the ground operation and the military is preparing accordingly,” he said. Netanyahu added, “The supreme consideration guiding us is to restore security to the civilians and quiet to the state,” he said. “There is not a more moral army than the IDF, and we do not want to harm even one innocent civilian. Not even one. We are operating only against terror targets.” Netanyahu said that the terrorist organizations bear the responsibility for harm to the civilians in Gaza because they are attacking Israeli towns and cities from behind human shields.

Netanyahu said that he knows that the world will get a distorted picture of the operation, something that is “unpreventable.” The European Council issued a statement on the conflict between Israel and Hamas saying, “Israel has the right to protect its population from rocket fire from Hamas. At the same time, Israel must not respond “disproportionally”.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that “Israel will not compromise on its security and we will not accept rocket fire on the south. Hamas has already begun to pay a heavy price for its actions, and will pay even more dearly until rocket fire stops. Whoever attempts to disrupt our life will regret it. We are prepared to continue the operation as long as necessary, and, if necessary, to enlist more combat forces from the reserves until we bring quiet to the Gaza Strip,”  he said.

Israel Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel said that the goal of the beginning of the campaign is to remove the threats posed by the tunnels. Ariel said that Israel needed to take into consideration diplomatic pressure to reach a cease-fire, and for that reason needed to move quickly and not find itself under pressure it will not be able to withstand. “He said Israel needed to “go in and finish the job.” There is no choice but to move inside the Strip and “make order.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is calling for Israel to remove Hamas from power. Saying that Israel has no “good options” in the Gaza, Liberman said the “right option” is not to agree to a cease-fire before the job is completed but “to topple the Hamas government, to remove them from the region.” If Israel does not take this action now, he said, it will need to do so in another number of months, when it may face even worse conditions. An end result to the operation would see the Israel army control the Gaza,” he said. The foreign minister noted that, in leaving Gaza in 2005, Israel did what the world had asked it to do, returning to the pre-1967 lines, and handing the territory over to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. “We pulled out all the settlers; we evacuated all the settlements,” said Liberman. “We have to say to the world, you pressed us to do this. Now you have to back us in going all the way… We have to end this conflict with the IDF in control of all of Gaza… There is no other way to tackle the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror which rules Gaza.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US strongly supports Israel’s right to defend itself against threats posed by the Gaza tunnels dug into Israel and urged Israel to limit its ground operation to a precision offensive against the tunnels.

As a war tactic to rally international public support against Israel, Hamas is using hospitals as its military headquarters from which to launch rockets. The Israeli military said Hamas took over Al Wafa Hospital in Gaza City as its operational headquarters. The military said Hamas and Islamic Jihad commanders were directing operations and firing at Israel Army units from the medical facility, heavily damaged by the Israel Air Force. “The hospital was used for activating war rooms and command and control centers by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” the military said. Hamas has deployed anti-tank missiles and machine guns at the hospital. The military said the hospital’s management allowed Hamas and Islamic Jihad to use the hospital for intelligence and tunnel warfare. As a result, the Israeli army has decided to strike terrorists operating in the hospital complex.”

Meanwhile, the military wing of Fatah (PLO), the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of the West Bank, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who also serves as the “President of Palestine” and head of the PLO, has declared “open war” against the “Zionist enemy.” On July 23, three armed terrorists from the al-Aqsa brigade announced that they would not sit idly by during the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip and that they intend to bring the struggle deep into Israeli territory. “The language of blood is the only way to answer Zionist aggression”, they said, stating that international law permits them to conduct an armed struggle throughout all “Palestinian territories”. “It is open Intifada,” stated a spokesman for al-Aqsa Brigade leadership. Orders were given to all units operating within the West Bank to act against the “Zionist enemy”, with all options on the table.

US President Barack Obama is discussing the ongoing conflict with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and various Arab leaders in the region. Obama affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself while raising “serious concern about the growing number of casualties, including increasing Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers,” a statement from the White House said. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said: “Israel is under siege by a terrorist organization that has seen fit to dig tunnels and come through those tunnels with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs, prepared to try to capture Israeli citizens and take them back to hold them hostage. No country could sit by and not take steps to try to deal with people who are sending thousands of rockets your way,” he said. “While we were talking to the prime minister, sirens went off. The prime minister of Israel had to interrupt the conversation with the President of the United States to go to a shelter,” Kerry said. “This is happening to families all across Israel. Every day, they have to seek shelter.”

In continuing the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with Fox news that “Hamas had broken five cease-fires that Israel had accepted and implemented. They rejected all of them, violated all of them, including two humanitarian cease-fires in the last 24 hours,” Netanyahu said. He added that Israel’s goal in the conflict was the “demilitarization of Gaza.” saying, “The path to restoration of calm in Gaza is an ‘intertwined’ system of demilitarization of Gaza and ‘social and economic relief’ for the Palestinian people there.”  In the past, Hamas has taken the aid given to it from the international community to build tunnels to wage war against Israel rather than using the money for humanitarian aide and to build pre-schools in the Gaza Strip.

US President Barack Obama is seeking an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that would later lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza based on the 2012 ceasefire agreement reached at the end of Operation Pillar of Defense. A statement from the Obama administration said: “The President emphasizes the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority. The President stresses the US view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza,” the statement said.

In seeking to achieve a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, traveled to Paris, France to meet with representatives from Turkey and Qatar. In doing so, Turkey and Qatar were given prominent roles in US mediation between Hamas and Israel while the Palestinian Authority and Egypt were entirely marginalized. The leadership of Turkey is openly hostile toward Israel. Qatar is seen as representing the interests of Hamas. Western diplomats and Palestinian Authority officials who met  Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal in Qatar were amazed to hear him assert that Hamas was winning the war against the IDF and confident of being able to keep going for a long time. Every attempt to sway its political leader Khaled Meshaal to agree to a ceasefire with Israel ran into a blank wall. He summarily rejected invitations from Egypt and the Arab League to travel to Cairo and discuss the cessation of hostilities. Therefore, Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said that Kerry’s approach shows that “we’re a long way from a political solution.”

Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and has strong support from Turkey and Qatar. Palestinian sources said that Kerry informed Hamas via Qatar that under his proposal for a ceasefire with Israel, based on the original Egyptian initiative, that the US would guarantee the fulfillment of many of Hamas’s demands for an end to the war. These demands would include the following:  an easing of restrictions on the passage of goods from Israel to Gaza; an easing of restrictions on the passage of traders and businessmen from Gaza to Israel; expansion of the permitted Gaza fishing zone to 12 miles off the coast; the opening of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, to be manned by Palestinian Authority officials; and a promise to ensure the transfer of salaries to Gaza’s government employees.

According to the text that Kerry submitted to Israel, “the Palestinian factions” and the State of Israel would make three commitments:

a) Establish a humanitarian cease-fire, ending all hostilities in and from the Gaza Strip, beginning in 48 hours, and lasting for a period of seven days

b) Build on the Cairo cease-fire understandings of November 2012 [that were reached, through American and Egyptian mediation, following Operation Pillar of Defense]

c) Convene in Cairo, at the invitation of Egypt, within 48 hours to negotiate resolution of all issues necessary to achieve a sustainable cease-fire and enduring solution to the crisis in Gaza, including arrangements to secure the opening of crossings, allow the entry of goods and people and ensure the social and economic livelihood of the Palestinian people living in Gaza, transfer funds to Gaza for the payment of salaries for public employees, and address all security issues.

In submitting this proposal, Kerry ignored Israel’s security requirements. Rather than calling for demilitarization of Gaza or addressing the attack tunnels dug by Hamas, the proposal merely calls for a general discussion of “all security issues.” As a result, the Israel cabinet unanimously rejected the US proposal submitted to Israel. Rather than provoke an open diplomatic confrontation with the United States, the report said, the appalled ministers chose not to issue an official statement rejecting the Kerry terms. Instead, word of the decision was allowed to leak out. “Voices” from the cabinet had described Kerry as “negligent,” “lacking the ability to understand” the issues, and “incapable of handling the most basic matters.”

Egypt was deeply dissatisfied with Kerry’s tactics to speak with Turkey and Qatar. The US proposal would give supervision for the implementation of the agreement to Turkey and Qatar, both openly hostile to Israel and extremely sympathetic to Hamas, while ignoring the role of Egypt. Fatah, Abbas’s political party, has also lambasted Kerry’s apparent move to exclude it from the ceasefire negotiations accusing Kerry of trying to undermine the Egyptian ceasefire initiative endorsed by Israel and the PA but rejected by Hamas. The Palestinian source said that PA negotiators were “very close” to finalizing a ceasefire deal that would insure the lifting of the blockade over Gaza and “realize all Palestinian demands.” Palestinian sources said that Kerry had initially agreed to an Egyptian proposal for an immediate ceasefire followed by five days of negotiations between Israel and the PA, with American assurances to address some of Hamas’s demands. However, after that Kerry produced a new plan based on consultations with Qatar and Turkey and conducted between “the State of Israel” and “the Palestinian factions,” excluding the PA. A Palestinian official explained: “Kerry tried, through his latest plan, to destroy the Egyptian bid and the Palestinian remarks on it (the Abbas plan). His initiative is an alternative to ours. Kerry was in fact trying to create an alternative framework to the Egyptian initiative and our understanding of it, in a way that placates the Qataris and the Turks. Whoever wants Qatar and Turkey to represent them can emigrate and go live there. Our only legitimate representative is the PLO.”

As a result, Israel is fighting for the first time in its history with solid Arab backing from the Egyptian-Saudi-United Arab Emirates bloc. So determined are its members to obliterate the Muslim Brotherhood that they have virtually blacklisted Qatar for supporting the Hamas Muslim Brotherhood. Although they are Sunni Muslim, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE oppose the Muslim Brotherhood.

The United States strongly denied that their proposal met all of the central demands of Hamas while ignoring the security needs of Israel and criticized Israel for making the accusation claiming instead to be a strong friend of Israel.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) IDF launches major ground operation in Gaza
2) IDF sends ground troops into Gaza, calls up 18,000 reservists
3) Security cabinet decision to start ground operation was made Tuesday
4) Netanyahu: Israel would pay a greater price without a ground operation
5) Netanyahu: Gaza ground op comes after all other options exhausted
6) Ya’alon: We’re prepared to continue fighting until we bring quiet to Gaza
7) Israel says Gaza ground operation aims to restore calm, not oust Hamas
8) Amidst talk of Gaza ceasefire, Liberman repeats call for Israel to topple Hamas
9) Undermining PM, Liberman calls to retake Gaza, denounces truce efforts
10) US: Restrict Gaza operation to precise action against tunnels
11) Fatah Declares War on Israel
12) IDF ground forces attack Gaza amid air, sea and artillery pounding. Half a million Gazans told to leave. Israelis around Gaza sent to shelters
13) IDF troops hit 260 targets in Gaza; soldiers uncover 21 smuggling tunnels
14) Five IDF task forces begin driving into Gaza City. Israel draws up over-plan for control of the Gaza Strip
15) Thirteen IDF Golani soldiers killed in Gaza, at start of urban stage of Israel’s operation against Hamas
16) IDF Commanders: Time for decisive war move after IDF victories in Shejaiya, E. Rafah and Khan Younes
17) Israel: Hamas used hospital as military command and control center
18) Obama sends Kerry to Cairo to help truce efforts
19) Netanyahu calls on Hamas to accept Egyptian ceasefire proposal
20) Netanyahu: Future funds to rebuild Gaza must be linked to its demilitarization
21) Obama demands an immediate, unconditional ceasefire in Gaza
22) ‘Kerry told Hamas many of its demands would be met under ceasefire deal’
23) Leaked document confirms US ceasefire bid generous to Hamas
24) Kerry ‘completely capitulated’ to Hamas in ceasefire proposal, say Israeli sources
25) Report: Kerry truce draft ignores Israeli demands
26) Abbas fumes at Kerry over alternative ceasefire bid
27) IDF to hold fire in Gaza’s Shejaia despite Hamas breaking humanitarian truce
28) Israel working to ensure EU foreign ministers don’t mix settlements with Gaza at upcoming meeting
29) Envoy says US will work to get Abbas back ruling Gaza after conflict over

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

July 12, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip

On July 2, Hamas fired more than 30 rockets into various Israeli cities. The Hamas terror organization, which controls Gaza, claimed it can hit any city in Israel, under its slogan “all cities are close to Gaza.”  Tensions with Gaza began in mid-June after Israel began a major crackdown in the West Bank to find militants behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers, whose bodies were later found being dead. Palestinians also started rioting after the killing of the Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose initial autopsy shows that he was burned alive. Meanwhile, 135 rockets have hit Israel over the past several weeks and another 21 have been intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system.  During this same time, some half a million Israelis have spent time running to bomb shelters. Code Red alert sirens sent residents running to bomb shelters in communities throughout the South. Beersheba was targeted for the first time since 2012.

In response, “the Israeli Defence Forces have launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza to stop the terror that Israeli citizens face each day,” said an IDF spokesperson. In a later statement, Israel announced that the attack began with aerial and naval artillery strikes against 50 targets of the Islamists in Gaza, including rocket launchers, tunnels, arsenals and training centres. The Israeli army said about 200 rockets had been fired from Gaza since June 12, when Israel began a massive search for three Jewish seminar students who went missing in the West Bank and were found murdered last week. There have been almost nightly air strikes but most of the targets have been open fields used for training and only three militants have been killed, prompting calls from cabinet hardliners for a much tougher approach.

At the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the press, “We are working on several fronts simultaneously. Overnight we were active against many Hamas targets in Gaza and the goal of all of our operations is to restore quiet and security to all of Israel’s citizens, especially the residents of the south. Experience proves that at such times we must act responsibly and with equanimity, not hastily. We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security to the south. In addition, over the weekend we also took determined action against disturbances in Jerusalem and in Arab communities. We are taking a tough line against anyone who breaks the law and against inciters from whatever side. There is no place in the State of Israel for stone-throwing at police, throwing firebombs, blocking roads or destroying property, or incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel. This rope cannot be held from both ends. One cannot benefit from National Insurance payments and child allowances on the one hand and, on the other, violate the most basic laws of the State of Israel. I call on the leaders of the Arab public to show responsibility and come out against the wave of disturbances in order to restore quiet. Whoever does not abide by the law – will be arrested and punished severely. I would like to take the opportunity at this time, on behalf of the government, to send my great appreciation to the police personnel and soldiers for tirelessly dealing with the security of all Israelis.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged his cabinet to keep a cool head about how to handle growing tensions in and around the Gaza Strip saying “Experience has proved that at moments like this, we have to act responsibly and with a cool head and not with harsh words and impetuousness,” as he told cabinet ministers, who are fiercely divided over how to respond to mounting militant rocket fire on southern Israel. Meanwhile, Hamas rocket fire and Israeli reprisals have continued throughout the week, bringing calls from some within Israel to carry out a large-scale operation in Gaza.

An Israeli military source said that Israel is interested in reaching a ceasefire with Hamas. “If Hamas would stop the rocket fire, then quiet will be maintained on our part,” the official said. The official stressed that the IDF – unlike several ministers and MKs – is not rushing to launch an immediate assault on Gaza and would rather respond tit-for-tat with retaliatory airstrikes. “Even after rounds that included dozens of rockets and missiles the IDF maintains almost maximum restraint, and except for a few isolated attacks IDF prefer to maintain the truce,” the official said.

Speaking in the western Negev city of Sderot against the backdrop of rocket fire from Gaza,  Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s stance of “Quiet will be responded to with quiet is a serious mistake and we in “Yisrael Beytenu” (Liberman’s political pary) completely reject this. It’s unthinkable that after they abducted and murdered three of our youths and after two straight weeks of missiles falling that Israel’s approach be that quiet will be answered by quiet.” Liberman visited the city of Sderot where he made statements demanding action against Hamas and terror saying, “Not all terrorist targets can be destroyed from the air. Most of the rocket production sites are under schools, hospitals and mosques. We are only postponing a problem instead of dealing with it saying that Israel could not accept a reality in which Hamas controls what happens while Israel continues to respond after the fact. Liberman said that the continued threat posed by hundreds of missiles in Gaza was unsustainable, not only  for the residents of Sderot but also Tel Aviv and the country’s center. “Talk and messages that are relayed to Hamas about a cease fire are a serious mistake.” The foreign minister continued, “Even while we visit here, Hamas continues to grow stronger and produce missiles with a diameter of eight inches, that can reach Tel Aviv and all of Gush Dan, and to accept the reality that this is a mistake. Instead of dealing with the problem, we are pushing the problem under the rug. While we talk about a ceasefire, Hamas continues to develop missiles that can reach Tel-Aviv. All we are doing is postponing the problem and not finding a solution.”

Lieberman warned that the ceasefire would give Hamas time to develop its abilities. “Ignoring the problem or being afraid to deal with it will lead us to a situation in which thousands of missiles are fired at us, not hundreds,” he said. “We cannot accept a situation in which Hamas controls the pace of events and dictates when it ignites the region and all we do is respond,” he added.Lieberman called for a full reoccupation of the Gaza Strip. He also wants Israel to carry out a major operation against the territory. “We have to destroy the terrorist infrastructure and the missile production factories,” he said.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home political party, called for fierce action against Gaza, the stronghold of Hamas, whom Israel has blamed for the kidnap and murder of the three teenagers. “Restraint in the face of the execution of three boys is weakness,” he said. “We need to respond to fire on Beersheva precisely as we would respond to fire on Tel Aviv… The statement ought to be clear — zero missiles on Israeli cities.”

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Israel chief negotiator in peace talks with the Palestinians made a surprising statement regarding Israel’s security situation calling for Israel to crush Hamas in Gaza after news surfaced that 110 rockets have been fired in a four-day period. “First of all, according to the international community’s view against Hamas, we must act forcefully,” Livni said. “There is no hope for peace [with them], it is an organization that does not accept our existence here and has terror against Israeli civilians as part of its worldview. The question of ‘how much’ and ‘when’, among other things, is related to the needs and considerations of the point in time when we decide to launch an operation [in Gaza],” she added.

Livni, who has been a staunch supporter of peace talks despite Fatah’s unity pact with Hamas earlier this year, advocated an operation in Gaza to counter the terror. “Even if it will be quiet for a period of time, the struggle [against Hamas] continues,” she said. “It is the government’s job to provide security for the south and for the residents of Israel in general; we will have to see over the next few hours, over the next few days where this goes.”

Hamas rejected an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel saying Cairo did not consult the group over the deal. The military wing of Hamas, which has been responsible for most of the hundreds of rockets launched at Israel in the past week said the Egyptian plan “wasn’t worth the ink it was written with.” In doing so, after the ceasefire was scheduled to go into effect, Hamas fired 20 rockets from the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, the Israeli security cabinet endorsed Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire with Hamas.  Netanyahu, speaking at the beginning of a meeting in Tel Aviv with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that Israel “agreed to the Egyptian proposal in order to give an opportunity for the demilitarization of the Strip – from missiles, from rockets and from tunnels – through diplomatic means.” However, Israel warned that Hamas they continued to fire rockets, Israel would hit back with “all possible force.” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev warned that Israel would strike Gaza even harder if Hamas does not accept the truce. “If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal, if Hamas continues to shoot rockets at Israeli cities, we are prepared to continue our military operation and intensify it as needed to protect our people,” he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Hamas for not embracing the ceasefire and continuing to fire rockets. “I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports,” Kerry said.

US President Barack Obama called for Israelis and Palestinians alike to restrain themselves and put an end to acts of retribution. “All parties must protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution,” Obama said. “In President Abbas, Israel has a counterpart committed to a two-state solution and security cooperation with Israel,” Obama said. He offered no parallel praise for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Norway’s Foreign Minister warned against an escalation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), and also made sure to point a finger at Israel as “an occupying power”. “As the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel has a special responsibility under international law. Neither statements of its intent to step up its settlement policy in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is in violation of international law, nor major offensives against Gaza are the way forward,” he said.

As a result of Hamas continuing to fire rockets at Israel, the Israel Air Force (IAF) struck 14 targets in two waves of airstrikes. The first round of airstrikes targeted nine Hamas bases in Gaza and the second launched a few hours later hit five underground rocket launchers, Israeli security sources said. The IAF last night also struck a cell in central Gaza which was in the process of carrying out a rocket attack on Israel, killing two Palestinian militants, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said. Hamas said most of the strikes were launched at a gathering point of its members in Gaza’s southern-most town of Rafah near the Egyptian border.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing the escalating Israeli air strikes in Gaza and the rockets fired into Israel from Palestinian militant groups there, said that this latest violence shows why Israel cannot withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank as it did in 2005 from Gaza. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Netanyahu said. “Israel’s eastern security border will remain along the Jordan River,” Netanyahu said, adding that security arrangements in any future Palestinian entity would have to remain under Israeli supervision. “The evacuation of Israel’s forces would most likely lead to the collapse of the PA and the rise of radical Islamic forces, just as it did in Gaza,” the Israeli leader said. “It would also severely endanger the state of Israel.” In other words, a lesson that Netanyahu has drawn from the seven years since Israel unilaterally withdrew all of its military forces and settlers from Gaza is that they cannot do the same thing in the West Bank. As a result, Netanyahu spoke against any future peace plan by which Israel unilaterally pulls up stakes and leaves the West Bank outright.

In other news affecting the peace process, Portugal released a warning for nationals considering doing business with Israeli companies that operate outside of the Green Line. France, Germany, Britain, and the Netherlands recently issued similar warnings. “The European Union and its Member States consider that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible,” the statement from Portugal read. It continued by warning specifically against “Financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements as well as other economic activities (including in services like tourism) in Israeli settlements or benefiting Israeli settlements.”

Ten additional European countries are expected to issue similar recommendations by the end of the week. EU ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen said the warnings did not come as a surprise. “European countries are losing their patience with the settlements and the expanding construction in the West Bank. If this trend continues, more countries will join the sanctions against businesses operating in the West Bank,” the ambassador told reporters during Geneva Initiative seminar in Jerusalem. In the statement that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius published online as part of broader recommendations for travel to Israel, the government warns of traveling in the aforementioned areas, citing them as “occupied territories.” “The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights are Israeli-occupied territories since 1967. The settlements are illegal according to international law,” the statement said. The statement then goes on to warn of the “risks” associated with financial transactions or any form of economic activity in the areas. “Financial transactions, investments, purchases, sales and other economic activities carried out in the settlements or benefiting the settlements entail legal and economic risks due to the fact that, under international law, Israeli settlements are built on occupied land and are not recognized as Israeli territory,” the statement said.

Finally, Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman, leader of the Yisrael Beytenu political party announced that his party is splitting off from Likud (the political party of Benjamin Netanyahu) and will be independent from it from now on in future Israeli elections as was the case before the two factions united in 2012.

Liberman added, however, that his faction would remain loyal to the Coalition. “We are the last people who would want the Coalition dismantled,” he explained. “The establishment of the [independent] Yisrael Beytenu faction is a meaningful step for strengthening the Coalition.”

Liberman also promised that his faction would vote with the government in no-confidence votes. “It is no secret that in the recent period there are disagreements between me and the prime minister,” Liberman said. “They have become disagreements on matters of principle and substance, such that do not make it possible to continue the partnership called Likud-Beytenu. We will turn to the Knesset’s House Committee in the course of the next few days and ask to part ways and establish a separate faction, Yisrael Beytenu. The truth is that the connection did not work during the elections and after the elections, there have been many technical problems until now, but when technical problems becoime substance, there is no point anymore in hiding the matter.” Likud will now have 20 seats in the government and Israel Yisrael Beytenu will have 11.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Barrage of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza hits South, IDF soldier injured by shrapnel
2) More than 80 rockets in steady stream from Gaza to expanded targets. Sirens in Modiin, Rehovot
3) Half a Million Israelis in Shelters as Hamas Dials Up Onslaught
4) Israel launches operation ‘Protective Edge’ against Gaza
5) IAF strikes Gaza underground rocket launchers, terror tunnel amid heavy rocket fire
6) 9 militants killed in Israeli air strikes, Hamas vows revenge
7) PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at Weekly Cabinet Meeting
8) Netanyahu urges cabinet to be cool headed over Gaza
9) IDF Officials Favor Ceasefire with Hamas to Gaza Offensive
10) Obama urges restraint for Israel, Palestinians
11) Lieberman criticises Netanyahu’s effort to reach ceasefire with Gaza
12) Liberman in Sderot: Cease-Fire Talk a Serious Mistake
13) Liberman: Not all terrorist targets can be destroyed from the air
14) Tzipi Livni Advocates Deterrence Against Hamas
15) Israel okays ceasefire proposal, but Hamas says no
16) Hamas rejects Egypt truce offer, fires rockets
17) Unilateral Gaza ceasefire collapses. Israeli air strikes resume after dozens of Palestinian rockets in hours
18) Kerry condemns Hamas rocket fire ‘in face of a goodwill effort to secure ceasefire’
19) Netanyahu: This is why Israel can never unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank
20) Report: Israeli Prime Minister Backs Away From Two-State Solution
21) Norway Calls on ‘Occupier’ Israel to Show Restraint
22) Portugal warns against business beyond Israel’s Green Line
23) Liberman Announces Split with Likud

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

June 21, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Friday, June 20th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we share with you:

1) Understanding the Iraq war in the light of Bible Prophecy

In this week’s update, we share with you insights into the Iraq war in the light of Bible Prophecy. The tribulation period entails an end-time battle between Jacob and Esau. It is really a “birthright war”.  At the end of the great tribulation, the God of Israel will resolve the ancient conflict regarding who is the legitimate firstborn / birthright heir of Abraham. Is it Esau or Jacob ? The legitimate heir will be granted the prize of Judea / Samaria (West Bank) and Jerusalem. In Ezekiel 36, Esau claims that the “mountains of Israel” (West Bank and Jerusalem) is his possession. As a result, the God of Israel will judge Esau and make him desolate (Ezekiel 36:5). It is possible that before Esau confronts Jacob claiming that he deserves the birthright (during Jacob’s trouble / tribulation period) and its blessing that Ishmael and Esau are in a birthright battle between them also ? Hear the insights to this issue from our special guest in this week’s update, Kimberly Rogers, and how it relates to current events in Iraq.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Beware of history, Washington has decided Iraq’s Maliki must go
2) ISIL moving Seized U.S. Tanks, Humvees to Syria
3) Understanding the Iraq war in the light of  Bible prophecy

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

June 14, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Monday, June 16th, 2014

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

Recently, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party swore in a unity government consisting of his own Fatah party and the arch-rival Hamas who rules in the Gaza Strip. Ministers in the new administration, whom Abbas has said would be politically unaffiliated. Abbas says the new Cabinet is made up of apolitical technocrats who have no ties to Hamas. Hamas, which remains sworn to Israel’s destruction, has agreed to support the government from the outside. The swearing in of the unity government appeared to mark a significant step in repairing ties between the rival Palestinian factions which have been at odds since 2007 when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah. Abbas said that the PLO, and not the unity government, which consists of 17 ministers, would remain in charge of the negotiations with Israel. Dismissing Israeli opposition to the Fatah-Hamas unity government, Abbas said that this would make him even more determined to pursue reconciliation with Hamas. Abbas said he was presenting the unity agreement as a “gift to souls of our martyrs who fell so that Pales-tine could live.” He said it was also a gift to“heroic” Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

The signing ceremony came after Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in April to form the transitional government which is now slated to pave the way for general elections in late 2014 or early 2015. Abbas said that he would direct the Palestinian Central Elections Commission to start preparing for holding presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories. “The government’s task is to facilitate the issue of elections, which will take place within six months as agreed [between Fatah and Hamas],” Abbas said. Abbas sent a letter to the head of the Palestinian central elections committee Hanna Nasser requesting that the committee begin work to prepare for elections to be held on December 4. The United States has promised the new Fatah-Hamas unity government that it will convince Israel to allow that new government’s elections to be held in the eastern part of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Israel plans to work against the inclusion of Hamas candidates in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections. Following an emergency security cabinet meeting, the  security cabinet said that Israel would “act, including in the international arena, against the participation of terrorist organizations in elections.”

In an apparent punitive move following the swearing in of a Palestinian unity government, Israel has revoked special travel permits for all Palestinian Authority officials other than President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel was also revoking free travel rights for members of the outgoing Palestinian government who were not appointed to the Hamas-Fatah unity government and would examine restrictions on other Palestinians with VIP travel passes, said Yoav Mordechai, who heads the Israeli military unit tasked with coordinating activity in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has also notified the PA that it is considering withholding Palestinian tax revenues estimated at over $100 million a month.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in the wake of the unity agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Hamas has no intention of moderating its stance against Israel. At the end of last week, the Hamas leadership “again declared its intention to destroy the state of Israel.” and those who thought that the unity Palestinian government would moderate the Islamic movement are “mistaken,” Netanyahu said. He stressed that Israel would not negotiate with the Palestinians as long as Hamas was part of the Palestinian government. It noted that the government had already voted on April 24th to suspend these talks and that this decision still held. “The State of Israel will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that backed by Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said. The cabinet warned the Palestinian Authority that Israel would hold it responsible for “all actions that harm the security of Israel which originate in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.”Furthermore, he added, rather than the Palestinian Authority gaining control over the Gaza Strip, there are signs that the militant Islamic group is making preparations to gain more power in the West Bank. Instead of the PA taking control of Gaza, “we see more and more signs that the exact opposite will happen. That is to say, that Hamas will gain more control over Palestinian Authority areas in Judea and Samaria,” the prime minister said.

A former Hamas government spokesman said that Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had stated in private meetings he is lying in public statements about the intent of the Fatah-Hamas unity government in order to “trick the Americans.” The spokesman, Ihab al-Ghussein, said that “behind closed doors,” Abbas had said “when I go out and say that the government is my government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine – these words are meant to trick the Americans. Guys, let me (continue) saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you. What’s important is what we agree on among ourselves. …Don’t harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media,” Abbas told Hamas.

Within Netanyahu’s government, there were diverse reactions to the Fatah-Hamas unity deal. The secular political party, Yesh Atid, headed by Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid said, “The international community now knows the Palestinians are the ones who refused to make peace.” Yet in a speech at the Herzliya conference, Lapid called on Israel to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA). In his speech, Lapid said that Israel should freeze construction outside the so-called “settlement blocs” and also added that, ahead of the next stage of negotiations, Israel should “draw a map in which we define the blocs, where we have to freeze construction and where it is possible to reinforce it. There is no reason to keep avoiding the necessity of drawing out the State of Israel’s future borders,” he said. Israel, he noted, “needs to come to the next round of peace talks with detailed maps, prepared by us, that express a wide national consensus. These maps would allow us to formulate a three-part move that, at the end of which, we will be completely separated from the Palestinians and reach a wide-reaching accord with the moderate Arab states.” Detailing the three stages of his proposed plan, Lapid called them “preparations,” “trust building,” and the final stage, “agreement.” The reason these maps haven’t been drawn until now is that they entail the need to freeze construction outside the major settlement blocs. But this sort of freeze is not a threat to us, and is not a concession on our part. It is exactly what we need to do. “There’s no reason to continue building settlements in areas that won’t remain inside Israel’s borders in any future accord, and there’s no reason to invest billions in infrastructure that we would eventually give the Palestinians as a gift. I would rather invest the money to improve the lives of Israeli children, not in improving the lives of Palestinian children.” “I don’t have a problem with construction in Gush Etzion or in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, but building in isolated settlements is causing international damage that is only getting worse, and financial damage that every Israeli citizen can feel. “These settlements cost us too much. They have a bad effect on economic growth, the gross national product and our financial relations with the world. “In addition to the billions we lose by building redundant infrastructure, we’re losing billions more that we could have otherwise used to lower taxes, increase security and improve civilian services.”

Furthermore, Israel Welfare Minister Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) said that his party would be leaving the coalition government if it does not negotiate with the Hamas-Fatah unity government, regardless of the fact that Hamas is a terrorist group. “I believe that the peace talks will be renewed. It’s clear to me that will happen, and if not, we won’t be in the government,” said Cohen. “It’s clear to everyone, also Jewish Home, that it’s impossible to reach the status of a bi-national state. There’s no choice other than two states,” added Cohen.

Reacting to these comments, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Yair Lapid, “inexperienced”.  Netanyahu said, “Anyone who has political experience knows that one does not make concessions without receiving anything in return, particularly with a government which includes a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel. We have seen in Gaza what is the outcome of a unilateral withdrawal,” referring to the 2005 Israeli “Disengagement” from Gaza which resulted in endless rocket attacks on southern Israel. Netanyahu added, “we must not allow ourselves to make the same historical mistakes made by the Israeli left, which always gives away its position before talks have begun, and causes the Palestinians to demand more and more… this is not the way you conduct negotiations, certainly not in this region.” Netanyahu said that he “will continue to lead the State of Israel while maintaining the national interests of the citizens of Israel.”

According to Israel Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel of the political party, Jewish Home, said that the Hamas-Fatah agreement is a continuation of the Palestinian “sabotage” of negotiations. He said that Israel should respond by building thousands of homes in the West Bank. As a result, Israel approved building of 3,000 new homes in the West Bank. The units, which were originally to be approved with release of a fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners at the end of March that was never carried out, will include 400 units in Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem, and another 1,100 to be divided between the settlements of Efrat, Beitar Ilit, Adam and Givat Ze’ev. In addition, another 1,500 will be approved for construction in other settlements throughout the West Bank.

Israel is studying the possibility of annexing parts of the West Bank. Knesset Land of Israel Caucus leaders MKs Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) and Orit Struck (Jewish Home) said Abbas crossed a red line by cooperation with Hamas and, as such, the government should begin gradually annexing the West Bank. Jewish Home leader, Naftali Bennett presented his plan for annexing Area C in the West Bank. This is part of the West Bank still under Israeli control following the 1993 Oslo accords. Bennett said, “The sovereignty program that I proposed is the only available option today [for dealing with] the Palestinian rejection of peace [with Israel] and the [Israeli] Left’s refusal to accept this solution,” he said. The time has come to go on the offensive, rather than act defensively and “do what is good for Israel,” Bennett declared.

Under the plan, Israel will gradually annex Area C of Judea and Samaria, where 400,000 Israelis reside alongside some 70,000 Arabs, while creating an enhanced autonomy in the remaining areas with full freedom of movement. The first area to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, an idea Bennett recently brought up during a speaking appearance at Bar Ilan University. The second part of the plan includes offering Israeli citizenship to 70,000 Arab residents living in the areas to be annexed, resulting in 1.77 million Israeli Arabs instead of 1.7 million today. “With the formation of the Hamas-Fatah government, we must recognize the truth – the Oslo era is over. After 21 years of trying one way which included unilateral withdrawals, concessions, releasing terrorists, disengagement and a unilateral separation – it’s time to admit that it does not work,” said Bennett in his speech. “We discovered that when you run away from terror and throw away the keys – the terrorists come after you. We left Gaza, and thousands of rockets are falling on us today,” he continued. “It’s time to think creatively how to build a better reality here for the citizens of Israel and for the Arabs residing in Judea and Samaria,” added Bennett, referring to his annexation plan. “They’re already running their own lives. They have a parliament of their own, their own education systems, their own rule, and even elections and that will continue,” he stressed. “We have no interest in running their lives for them. Additionally, we will upgrade infrastructure and create transportation contiguity for all residents – Jews and Palestinians – who live in Judea and Samaria. It is important to remember that true peace grows from below.”

Bennett went on to attack the false hopes touted by the left for years. “I know the plan is not perfect and does not realize the utopian dream that was launched in that handshake between Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat 21 years ago in the Rose Garden at the White House,” he said, but added, “This plan gives the Palestinians an independent government and economic prosperity while giving us, the State of Israel, sovereignty, stability, security and a maintaining of our homeland.”

Yesh Atid leader, Yair Lapid, strongly attacked Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett’s plan for Israel to annex Area C in Judea and Samaria, describing it as “delusional”. He said: “Extreme rightist elements are pushing us toward delusional ideas of annexation that will lead us to a disaster known as a bi-national state,” he charged, adding, “I do not know if this is a PR stunt or a genuine intention, but we will not let that happen.” Lapid threatened to bring down the Netanyahu government  if it decides to unilaterally annex the West Bank. Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief peace negotiator, told the conference her party would also withdraw its support for the government if Netanyahu tries to annex any part of the West Bank without Palestinian agreement. Her Hatenuah party and Yesh Atid command 25 of the coalition’s 68 seats. At present, there is not enough support in the government for an annexation plan, and Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has pledged to block any such efforts. The government is not expected to make any decisions about annexation in the next six months while the focus is on Palestinian elections.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Netanyahu’s lack of coherence in the government’s proposed policies on the Palestinians attacking him for not leading his cabinet and demanding that he formulate a plan that would represent the entire coalition. “What happened recently, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance,” said Lieberman. Lieberman added that “one minister spoke of annexation, another minister spoke of deliberation, a woman minister spoke of segmentation, and the last spoke of stagnation. That is not a government policy. We need to cut down and adopt a single political plan to bind all parts of the coalition.” Lieberman called on Netanyahu to formulate a coalition policy. “We need to do this as soon as possible, because if we do not do it of our volition we will be dragged towards what we do not want and what is not in our best interest.” Lieberman said that he supported a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians, “but only as part of a package which also solves our relations with the Arab world and the issue of Israeli Arabs. It must be part of a package deal.”

On the Left, opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Labor party called for the government to be careful and responsible and wait to see how the new Palestinian government behaves and whether it accepts the Quartet’s conditions: Recognizing Israel and previous agreements and committing to stop terror. “Israel’s security interests require a stable Palestinian Authority,” he said. “I recommend that we do not have sanctions or take unilateral steps. We might regret those steps later.”

For the time being, the United States said that it would work with the Fatah-Hamas unity government. The United States said that it will work with the Palestinian Arab unity government and maintain aid, while “watching closely” to ensure it respects the principle of non-violence. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US believes Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has “formed an interim technocratic government… that does not include members affiliated with Hamas. With what we know now, we will work with this government,” Psaki said. She said the Obama administration has no intention of cutting off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, which amounts to roughly $500 million a year

Israeli ministers rebuked the US decision to work with the new Palestinian unity government. “Unfortunately, American naiveté has broken all records. Any collaboration with Hamas which kills women and children is unacceptable,” said Israel Communications Minister Gilad Erdan. “This American capitulation can only damage chances of resuming (peace) negotiations,” Erdan said. Israel Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said, “I have to say I do not understand this American announcement. You cannot present it as a Hamas government internally, then present it publicly as a government of technocrats,” he said. “If these (ministers) are people who identify with Hamas, Hamas identifies with them and appointed them, then they are representatives of Hamas. This is a Hamas government, and Hamas is a terror organization,” he said.

While the Obama administration said that it would continue aid to the Fatah-Hamas unity government, the US Congress responded to the PLO announcement of a Fatah-Hamas unity government by threatening to discontinue US aid just as the Obama administration said it would work with the new government. US financial aid to the PA through 2014 has already been appropriated by the US Congress. But the funds have not been obligated: the State Department must approve requests by the PA on how the funds will be allocated. Funding for 2015 has not yet been drafted, however, and already, members of the appropriations committees on Capitol Hill are suggesting a cut in aid because of the deal. “As long as Hamas rejects the Quartet principles and the existence of the State of Israel, United States funding for this unity government is in jeopardy,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, expressing “deep disappointment” with the development. “Hamas is no partner for peace, nor a legitimate recipient of aid,” Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement. “While the ‘unity government’ hides behind the facade of nonpartisan bureaucrats, it was only born out of support from Hamas – a terrorist organization that continues to call for Israel’s annihilation.” The American Israel Public Affairs Committee said its leadership was “greatly concerned and disappointed,” and suggested it would push for a cutoff in aid. US law is clear – no funds can be provided to a Palestinian government in which Hamas participates or has undue influence,” the AIPAC statement read. “We now urge Congress to conduct a thorough review of continued US assistance to the Palestinian Authority to ensure that the law is completely followed and implemented.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is calling on the Obama administration to suspend aid to the new Palestinian unity government forged between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization. Cantor, though, said recent conflict in the region and reports of corruption within the Palestinian Authority “raise serious doubts both about the willingness of the Palestinian Authority to forge peace with Israel and about its ability to govern in a transparent and responsive manner.” The laws of the United States prohibit assistance to terrorist organizations,” Cantor said. “The administration, in consultation with Congress, should initiate an immediate review of this new government,” he continued. “Until such time that it is determined that assistance to this so-called technocratic government is consistent with our own interests, principles, and laws it is incumbent on the administration to suspend U.S. assistance.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Palestinian unity government prepares for presidential and parliamentary elections
2) Palestinian elections to be held in 6 months
3) US Promises PLO Unity Elections in ‘East Jerusalem’
4) Israel restricts movement of Palestinian ministers
5) Hamas set to gain more control in West Bank, PM says
6) Israel: Hamas must not be allowed to run in Palestinian elections
7) Hamas Reveals: Abbas Told Us He is ‘Tricking the Americans’
8) Lapid, Ariel: Hamas-Fatah government shows Palestinians don’t want peace
9) Security cabinet reviewing action plans after Palestinian unity gov’t takes oath
10) Israel’s response to PA unity gov’t: Building 3,000 new units beyond Green Line
11) US lawmakers question aid to new Palestinian unity government
12) Cantor: Suspend US aid to Palestinians
13) Yesh Atid MK: Peace Talks with Hamas or No Coalition
14) Netanyahu to Lapid: We Saw the Results of Unilateral Moves
15) Netanyahu responds to Lapid’s slight, calling him ‘inexperienced’
16) Bennett Presents Annexation Plan: The Oslo Era is Over
17) Bennett: Annexation of Area C is the best response to Fatah-Hamas government
18) Lapid threatens to bring down gov’t that annexes West Bank
19) Bennett Dismisses Criticism: ‘Keep Talking – We Will Act’
20) Israel Minister Says Annexing West Bank ‘Only Sane Plan’
21) Lieberman slams Netanyahu’s lack of leadership

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l