You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process
2) The current status of the situation with Syria
3) The current status of the situation with Iran
In order to agree to restart direct peace talks with Israel, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has given the following demands:
1) Israel must present the Palestinians with a map for a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
2) Israel must stop building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem
3) Israel must transfer parts of Area C in the West Bank which is under full Israeli control to the Palestinians.
4) Israel must agree to refrain from withholding in the future any monthly Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel
5) Israel must immediately release Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails
However, Israel has refused to meet these preconditions saying that doing so would weaken its negotiation position. In any agreement with the Palestinians, Israel insists that it includes the following:
1) A demilitarized Palestinian state
2) A waive of the Palestinian right of return
3) PLO recognition of a Jewish state
4) The meeting of Israel’s security needs including military control over the Jordan Valley
In an effort to improve Palestinian economic conditions in the West Bank to create an environment in which Israel and the Palestinians would agree to renew direct peace talks, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has gotten approval in principle from Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmod Abbas to a multi-billion dollar economic plan that would bring international businesses and major infrastructure projects to the West Bank including investments in high-tech, transportation, tourism, telecommunications and major infrastructure projects in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. However, Netanyahu is reportedly against aspects of the plan that would require Israel to release Area C land (currently under full Israeli control), such as a proposed tourist center in the Dead Sea, to the Palestinian Authority. Other proposals nixed by Netanyahu include exploitation of natural gas fields off the coast of Gaza, and the opening of an international airport controlled by the Palestinians. Kerry has tried to assure the Palestinians that the economic projects would not come at the expense of diplomatic issues, like determining final borders for a Palestinian state.
Furthermore, unidentified sources in the United States said that the Obama administration is planning a Middle East summit in Washington in June to push the Israeli-Palestinian peace process forward. U.S. President Barack Obama will preside over the meeting in which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah will participate. These sources told an Israeli newspaper that it is possible Egyptian and Turkish leaders will be invited, as well as leaders of other Arab countries. However, the Obama administration did not confirm this report. Neither has Israel or the Palestinians.
According to a recent poll taken in Israel, 80 percent of Israelis support the idea of Israeli sovereignty over all or part of the West Bank. 33% support full Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. In order for this to become a reality, Israel would have to annex all or part of the West Bank.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
Israel’s top military intelligence official, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, said that Syria President Bashar Assad’s regime has used chemical weapons multiple times against the Syrian rebels. In response to this claim, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the Obama administration has “not come to that conclusion,” that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons. Carney said that the claim needs to be investigated and verified. He reiterated Obama’s stance that use or transfer of chemical weapons remains “unacceptable.” Carney added, ‘If the claims are verified, I cannot say what action the US will take. what action will we take. That’s speculating and I won’t be doing that.” Syria has rejected a request by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to allow inspectors into the country to investigate the claims that Syria is using chemical weapons. Last month, US President Barack Obama said that Syrian used of chemical weapons would be a “game changer.” US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that chemical weapon use by Syria would cross a “red line” and that the US had contingency plans to deal with it. Hagel admitted that Syria has likely used chemical weapons on a “small scale” against the opposition. The US believes that Syria has used the chemical agent, Sarin. Hagel added that the use of chemical weapons “violates every convention of warfare.” US Secretary of State John Kerry said NATO must consider its role in the Syrian conflict, including how it will respond to any potential use of chemical weapons.
Meanwhile, British and French diplomats told the United Nations that there is evidence based upon soil samples and eyewitness accounts that Syria’s government forces used chemical weapons in several areas around the cities of Homs, Aleppo and even Damascus.
Israel Deputy Foreign Minister, Zev Elkin, said that the way the US responds to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons will send a signal to Iran, regarding its nuclear program. Elkin added that if the U.S. does not act to destroy chemical weapons in Syria, it will signal a reluctance to take action in Iran as well. Elkin said, “If the US doesn’t act on something they defined as a ‘red line’ then the Iranians will learn that the red lines the West sets are very flexible, and will continue their nuclear program. However, if the United States and the international community are able to take action and to take control of the chemical weapons reserves in Syria, the concerns over its use will not be relevant. It could be that as soon as the international community understands that red lines have been crossed, it will realize that there is no choice but to take action.”
A war with Syria where Damascus is destroyed (Isaiah 17) is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles is as follows:
1) Israel official: Syria has used chemical weapons
2) Evidence exists that Syria used chemical weapons, Britain and France tell U.N.
3) West has ‘hard evidence’ of Syria chemical weapons: envoy
4) Kerry: NATO Needs Plan for Chemical Weapons in Syria
5) US, Britain now believe Assad used chemical weapons
6) Elkin: Iran Watching U.S. Response on Syria
The US and Israel have agreed to a $10 billion dollar weapons deal. US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, said that the US is selling Israel a set of advanced new military capabilities … including anti-radiation missiles and advanced radars for fighter jets, KC135 refueling aircraft, and most significantly the V-22 Osprey. However, the US did not sell Israel any Bunker-Buster bombs that Israel would need if it attacked Iran’s deepest and best-protected nuclear sites without the support of the US. What Israel wants most from the US is a giant bunker-busting bomb designed to penetrate earth and reinforced concrete to destroy deeply buried Iranian nuclear sites. According to both American and Israeli analysts, it is the only weapon that would have a chance of destroying the Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment center at Fordo, which is buried more than 200 feet under a mountain outside the holy city of Qum.
The weapon, called a Massive Ordnance Penetrator, weighs about 30,000 pounds — so much that Israel does not have any aircraft capable of carrying it. To do so, Israel would need a B-2 bomber, the stealth aircraft that the United States flew nonstop recently from Missouri to the Korean Peninsula to underscore to North Korea that it could reach its nuclear sites. The Obama administration has been reluctant to even discuss selling such capability to the Israelis.
In public, the US is saying that Israel had the right to decide by itself if it needs to attack Iran to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb. However, a close adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the fundamental difference of views on how much risk we can take with Iran is re-emerging.”
Former Israel Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin said Iran has crossed the nuclear red line set by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a speech the United Nations last fall. Yadlin further said, “If Iran continues to enrich uranium at its current rate, toward the end of this year it will cross the red line in a clear manner.” Netanyahu has defined Israel’s red line regarding Iran as the possession of 250 kg. of uranium enriched to the 20 percent level, known as medium-enriched uranium.“By the summer, Iran will be a month or two away from a decision about building a bomb,” Yadlin said adding that the decision whether to advance beyond that will be made after Iran’s presidential elections in June. Once Iran amasses sufficient enriched uranium, “it will be very hard to stop,” Yadlin said. “If the US, Iran and Israel all stand behind their announcements, then we are on a collision course toward the end of the year.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that more patience is needed before tougher sanctions are imposed over Iran’s nuclear ambitions saying that there is uncertainty in Iran two months before its June 14 election. Kerry said, “I do think timing and the choice of when we might do something is critical. We need to cooperate together on that,” he said, adding that President Barack Obama’s administration is monitoring the situation closely and working with US allies in the region including Israel. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that economic sanctions and diplomacy must be exhausted before the United States and Israel contemplate any military action to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Ron Dermer, a senior Netanyahu adviser and Israel’s next ambassador to Washington, told a group of American Jewish leaders that the time for action against Iran’s capacity to build a bomb – which he termed an existential threat to Israel – must be counted in months.
The link to these articles is as follows:
1) Israel, US finalize $10 billion arms deal
2) No Bunker-Buster Bomb in Israel’s Weapons Deal With U.S.
3) Yadlin: Iranian nuclear program crossed ‘red line’
4) Kerry asks for patience on U.S. Iran sanctions before election
5) Hagel says Iran sanctions need to be exhausted first
6) Tehran and Assad slide past US and Israeli red lines – nuclear and chemical
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,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l