Uploaded. This week’s update is 53 minutes.
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
According to Reyad al-Malki, the minister of foreign affairs in the Palestinian National Authority, the Palestinians agreed to resume direct peace talks with Israel because the United States submitted written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership backing the establishment of a Palestinian state while declaring Israeli settlements illegal. As a result, al-Malki said: “The American Administration, which presented the written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership, is fully responsible for Israel’s attempts to fail the direct peace negotiations and continue settlement construction which violates the two-state solution.” He explained that the Palestinians agreed to resume the talks not only due to the Israeli approval to release prisoners, “but because the United States had submitted to the Palestinian side written assurances that it considers settlement activities illegal and backs a Palestinian state.” “It is still too early to speak about evaluating the rounds of talks that were held during the last four weeks,” al-Malki said, adding “all that I can say is that the ongoing Israeli settlement activities overshadowed the meetings which were conducted under the U.S. sponsorship.” “The Palestinian side is expecting more U.S. pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction, because no one else is able to do so,” said al-Malki, who revealed that the Palestinians are contacting the U.S. administration and other international parties to intensify pressure on Israel. “We had repeatedly informed the Americans and the international community that they are fully responsible for the situation … Everyone, including the Palestinians, consider the talks a last opportunity for peace,” said al-Malki.
Regarding formation of sub-negotiation committees on permanent status issues of Jerusalem, settlement, refugees, water, security, borders and release of prisoners, the official said it is still too early to speak about such groups. When asked about the options the Palestinians have in case the peace talks fail, al-Malki said “even if we have other options, we won’t unveil them now,” noting that “we bear in mind the nine- month ultimatum to finalize the talks and we hope we will succeed and reach our goals.” Regarding the direct peace talks, fighting broke out between Palestinians and the Israeli soldiers in the West Bank following a funeral for three Palestinians who were killed in a confrontation with Israeli Border Police earlier in the day. As a result, it was initially reported that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that were scheduled that day were cancelled. However, a Palestinian official said that the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams met in the house of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jericho.
The Palestinians continue to insist that they will not give up on the “right of return”. Palestinian spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said in a statement that “the main goal of the negotiations with Israel is to establish an independent Palestinian state within the [pre-]1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital with a return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with resolutions by international institutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.” He reiterated that Jewish settlements “is an obstacle to reaching a just peace based on the rights of the Palestinian people that cannot be canceled.”
Meanwhile, there are rumors that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning a second “Bar Ilan Speech,” in October in which he will lay out Israel’s “red lines” and reiterate his willingness to allow the establishment of a Palestinian Authority-run state in the West Bank. A report in an Israeli newspaper said that Netanyahu was planning to offer the Palestinian Authority a temporary deal, in which Israel would surrender more land to the PA. The offer would be Israel’s response to PA demands that Israel withdraw from all of the West Bank and most of Jerusalem. Netanyahu is likely to offer the PA nearly all the land outside the large settlement blocs, withdrawing IDF troops from many areas where Jews live, especially in the Binyamin area of the West Bank. The religious Zionist party, Jewish Home, opposes the possible speech saying, “During these times, when the Middle East is being rocked by war, the deaths of children with chemical weapons, and dictators that are being deposed, Israel must finally understand and accept that a Palestinian state will do nothing but bring more terror and mourning to Israelis,” Jewish Home said, adding “we will continue to be the only party in the government that opposes withdrawals and sees the Zionist future as one of building, development, and settlement. We hope there will be no additional Bar Ilan-type speeches.”
As a result, members of the Jewish Home party as well as several members within Benjamin Netanyahu’s own party, Likud, have announced that they are preparing in case of new developments in Israel-PA talks. Among them being, Likud MKs Zev Elkin, Ofir Akunis, Danny Danon, Tzipi Hotovely and Yariv Levin. Likud Party MK and Israeli Deputy Transport Minister Tzipi Hotovely has suggested that the solution to the Israel-Palestine problem is the annexation of the West Bank and creation of a Palestinian State in the Gaza Strip. Arab citizens of Israel, would she claims, be granted equal rights in the extended state. The aim of annexation, added the deputy minister, would be to boost the number of Jews migrating to Israel, which would “solve the demographic problem” for Israel as a supposedly “Jewish state”. Furthermore, Likud Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said that Israel will not accept a Palestinian demand to return to the 1967 lines as part of renewed peace talks. Sa’ar also addressed the issue of potential settlement evacuation and said, “We do not believe in uprooting Jewish communities and do not believe that this will lead to peace.” Sa’ar further stated, “We shall insist on keeping a united and undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” He added that Israel cannot refuse to enter into negotiations because of national responsibility and a need to safeguard all of Israel’s interests.
At least five European nations have recently began warning companies and businessmen against engaging in business activity in Israeli settlements as they risk breaking local and international law, according to reports received by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. The countries mentioned by Israeli ambassadors include Britain, Germany, Denmark, Holland and Sweden. According to one report, one country’s foreign office told a company involved in trade beyond the 1967 borders that its actions are in violation of local law and international law which stipulates that settlements are illegal. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the EU settlement guidelines which put into writing EU policy restricting any EU financial cooperation with Israeli entities beyond the 1967 borders and calling for Israel to sign a territorial clause limiting the scope of any future agreement with the EU to the pre-1967 lines, was not a change from EU policies and was meant to signal that there were ramifications for continued settlement policy, he indicated.
After meeting Netanyahu, the French Foreign Minister Fabius said that the Palestinian / Israel conflict was the root cause of Mideast instability. Netanyahu disagreed with him saying, “The Palestinian / Israeli conflict is not the root cause of instability in the Middle East. Instead, it is one of the results. If Israel makes peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease,” he said.
It is being reported by an Israeli newspaper that Benjamin Netanyahu is losing trust in the performance of Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator, in peace talks with the Palestinians, amid suggestions that she is offering too many concessions. Netanyahu is said to be unhappy that Livni has “strayed from the official line” during the first two sessions of the recently revived talks. His discontent has been increased by reports that she has offered compromises and territorial concessions in informal talks with Palestinian and U.S. mediators that have taken place away from the main negotiation sessions. Gaps have also emerged between Livni, the most dovish member of the Israeli cabinet who also serves as justice minister, and Netanyahu’s lawyer, Yitzhak Molcho. While Livni favours “large working teams” that would seek to reach a historic “final-status agreement” at the end of the nine months allotted to the talks, Molcho – representing the views of his boss – believes that to be unrealistic. He favors an “agreement in principle” on the core issues that can be consolidated into a formal pact at a later stage. However, the two seem to be more divided by more fundamental issues. “The problem Molcho has with Livni is far deeper and pertains to the question of how much trust Netanyahu has in Livni as the head of the Israeli negotiating team with the Palestinians,” says the Israeli newspaper. Netanyahu is reported to be upset Livni offered to compromise on Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital. She has also spoken of withdrawing from the West Bank, where around 350,000 Israeli settlers live, and dismantling settlements.
So who is Tzipi Livni. What is her family and political background. What life events shape her world view? In the last part of our update on the current status of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process, we will share with you some of this information.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) U.S. backs Palestinian state, considers Israeli settlement illegal: Palestinian official
2) Peace talks on the rocks amid clashes in Qalandiya
3) Report: Israeli, Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho
4) Bayit Yehudi: No Need for a Second ‘Bar-Ilan Speech’
5) Likud’s Nationalist Camp Prepares for ‘Developments’
6) Likud solution is to annex West Bank and establish Palestinian state in Gaza
7) Minister Sa’ar: Israel won’t return to 1967 lines
8.) European nations: Don’t do business in settlements
9) French FM questions details of EU settlement guidelines
10) Israel ‘to continue settlement building during peace talks’
11) Netanyahu disputes Fabius diagnosis that Israeli-Palestinian issue is region’s central concern
12) Fatah Stresses: We’re Not Giving Up ‘Right of Return’
13) Netanyahu having doubts over peace negotiator
14) The Believer: Tzipi Livni still thinks that peace is possible
On August 21, Western countries including the United States claims that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. As a result, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a speech where he stated the following, “In the past week, President Obama and his entire national security team have been reviewing the situation in Syria. As a result, I want to provide an update on our efforts as we consider our response to the use of chemical weapons. What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable. So I also want to underscore that while investigators are gathering additional evidence on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience and guided by common sense. We have additional information about this attack, and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead.”
Then, on Thursday, the Obama administration gave American lawmakers what it called fresh evidence that Syria’s government was behind a chemical weapons attack. US officials told members of Congress there was “no doubt” that chemical weapons were used in Syria last week. Obama aides cited intercepted communications of Syrian officials and evidence of movements by Syria’s military around Damascus before the attack that killed more than 300 people, said US Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The administration’s 90-minute briefing on Syria for senior members of Congress was conducted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other high-ranking US officials.
Meanwhile, Syrian official Halef al-Muftah said that Syria views Israel as “behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire” should Syria be attacked by the United States. He said, “We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel.” Al-Muftah stressed that the US’s threats will not influence the Syrain regime and added that “If the US or Israel err through aggression and exploit the chemical issue, the region will go up in endless flames, affecting not only the area’s security, but the world’s.”
Meanwhile, Russia warned Western powers against any military intervention in Syria, saying the use of force without a UN mandate would be a grave violation of international law. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no plans to be drawn into a military conflict over the civil war in Syria and that the US and its allies would be repeating “past mistakes” if they intervened in Syria. He said, “If anybody thinks that bombing and destroying the Syrian military infrastructure, and leaving the battlefield for the opponents of the regime to win, would end everything – that is an illusion”.
In a UN Security Council meeting held on the Syrian issue on August 28, Russian and Chinese officials walked out of the meeting after US Representative Samantha Power called for immediate action in Syria. Meanwhile, , Russia has sent at least 12 warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Tartous, Syria. This move by Russia represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War.
On August 28, a US official said that the United States has ruled out unilateral military action against Syria and is conferring with allies on potential punitive strikes that could last for more than a day. However, an ally of the United States and military intervention in Syria, Great Britain backed out of being military involvement when the British parliament voted against military intervention in Syria. French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar Assad’s government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians. Despite the vote, French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Syria. Asked if France could take action without Britain, Hollande replied: “Yes. Each country is sovereign to participate or not in an operation. That is valid for Britain as it is for France.”
Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he still supported taking “firm” punitive action over an attack he said had caused “irreparable” harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France’s allies. However, Germany’s foreign minister said that Germany would not participate in a military strike in Syria. ruling out his country’s participation in a military strike in Syria. Meanwhile because of the British vote, the US has changed its mind and has stated that it is now willing to unilaterally strike Syria. Obama, officials said, is basing his case for action against Syria to safeguarde international standards against the use of chemical weapons and on the threat to America’s national interests posed by Syria’s use of those weapons. US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said: “The ongoing deliberations in Washington are not around the question of whether chemical weapons were used or whether the regime was responsible. The deliberations are about what the appropriate response will be and there will be a response.” The United States said that their response to Syria will be “very discrete and limited” and not open-ended. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “When the president reaches a determination about the appropriate response … and a legal justification is required to substantiate or to back up that decision, we will respond.”
Fearing an attack by the US upon Syria, UN inspectors looking for chemical weapons use left Syria for Lebanon on Friday, August 30. The team of experts was ordered out of the country by UN chief Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.
A senior official in the Syrian army warned the United States and its partners that waging a full-scale war on Syria would be reciprocated with an immediate attack on Tel Aviv. “If Damascus comes under attack, Tel Aviv will be targeted too and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a license for attacking Israel,” the Syrian army source told the Iranian Fars news agency. “Rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors,” he added. According to various reports, Syria has its Scud, M-600 and other missiles targeted on Israel and the Syrian military has already been instructed to launch “an intensive response” to any U.S. strike. It is being reported that Syria has 500 Scud missiles targeted at Israel. Furthermore, Hezbollah also threatened to strike Israel should Syria come under attack. Lebanese media quoted a senior, unnamed official in the Shiite terror group as saying that Hezbollah operatives had been placed on high alert and that the organization was gearing up for a possible armed conflict with Israel. “Hezbollah will not be able to sit idly by and see how aggressive attempts are made to topple Syria’s legitimate government,” the official said.
Israel responded by saying that if it is attacked by Syria that it will respond fiercely. Netanyahu said: “We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But I would like to reiterate, if anyone tries to harm Israel’s citizens, the IDF will respond with great strength.”
A war with Syria where Damascus is destroyed (Isaiah 17) is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles is as follows:
1) Text of Kerry’s Statement on Chemical Weapons in Syria
2) White House gives Congress new evidence of chemical arms use in Syria
3) Syrian official: Israel ‘will come under fire’ if Syria attacked
4) Russia, China walk out of UN Security Council meeting after US call for immediate action in Syria
5) Russia sends at least 12 warships to Syria
6) US rules out unilateral military action in Syria: official
7) British parliament votes against military intervention in Syria
8.) France: UK vote does not change will to act on Syria
9) UN inspectors leave Syria amid fears of US attack
10) Aides: Obama willing to pursue solo Syria strikes
11) US ambassador: There will be a US response to gas attack
12) White House: Syria Intervention Will be Limited
13) Syrian Official: If Damascus is Attacked, Tel Aviv Will Burn
14) ‘Syria has missiles trained on strategic facilities in Israel’
15) 500 Syrian Scud Missiles Have Been Aimed At Israel
16) Netanyahu, Gantz pound home Syria message: Israel not involved, but will respond severely if drawn in
Iran has installed about 1,000 advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges and is set to test them says a report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. The report also said that Iran has started making fuel assemblies for a reactor which the West fears could yield nuclear bomb material. Iran and the UN nuclear agency have agreed to restart talks on September 27. The goal of the IAEA is to get Iran to agree to allow them to gain access to a section of a military site. It will be the first time that Iran and the IAEA has met since the most recent Iranian elections. Before talks between Iran and the IAEA was suspended earlier this year, they met 10 times over 18 months without any concrete results.
The link to these articles is as follows:
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