December 28, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

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

On December 29, the third round of Palestinian terrorists are expected to be released by Israel. In conjunction with the release of the Palestinian terrorists, Israel has announced that it will build about 1,400 more homes. About 600 new Jewish homes will be announced for the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem. About 800 more homes will be built in the West Bank. Palestinian president Mahmood Abbas has appealed to the US to block plans by Israel to announce the new construction of the 1,400 homes. In addition, chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, threatened Israel that if they announce the new construction that the Palestinians will take Israel to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for “war crimes” and will seek membership in 63 international organizations.

Meanwhile, a senior European Union (EU) official told Israel that they will not tolerate new construction in the West Bank saying: “There will be very little understanding on the part of European governments regarding any announcement of construction in the territories now under negotiations. Israel should expect a strong reaction on the part of European governments if it is going to go in that direction.” The EU said that if the peace talks collapse following an Israeli announcement the building of new homes that Israel would be held responsible for the failure of the talks. Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said: “They keep telling us that the reason that we don’t have peace is due to our construction efforts and due to our presence in the West Bank. This is wrong,” Netanyahu stated. “The real reason is the PLO ongoing opposition to a Jewish state under any borders,” he continued. “We have the right to have a state like any other nation – or perhaps even more than any other nation.”

So far, the Israel and Palestinian peace talk negotiating teams have met more than 20 times. However, chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that Israel and the Palestinians have not had direct peace talks with each other for weeks. While both sides haven’t been talking to each other, they have been talking to the US. “There have not been talks for some time,” said Erekat. “The meetings currently taking place are between the American leadership and us on the one hand and between Israel and the American leadership on the other hand.” As a result, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter directly to US President Barack Obama about his concerns over stalled peace talks with Israel. In the letter, Abbas revealed to Obama the core Palestinian positions on the various issues with Israel. In the letter, Abbas wrote that the Palestinians and Israelis had come to agreement on a plan during Ehud Olmert’s term as prime minister that would place an international force, not the Israeli army on the Israeli-Jordanian border. The Palestinians, he said, would be agreeable to a phased withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Jordan Valley but would not tolerate an indefinite Israeli presence there. According to reports, Israel chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, supports the introduction of international forces in the Jordan Valley. Netanyahu, however, adamantly opposes international forces, insisting on an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley even within the framework of a Palestinian state. Recently, Netanyahu ordered the Israeli government to begin construction on a major upgrade of the existing security fence along the Jordanian border including the section of the border inside the West Bank.

According to Israeli government sources, US Secretary of State, John Kerry arrived in his last visit to talk with Mahmood Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu about a US proposal for a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu asked Kerry not to put any US plan on the table out of concern that a U.S. proposal could be turned into indisputable fact and potentially become another obstacle to negotiations. Therefore, Netanyahu asked Kerry not to formally present the plan but to propose its main points instead. Israeli government officials say the Palestinians will refuse to sign a framework agreement which would at the end of negotiations require them to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and require Israel to recognize the Palestinians’ need to form a nation. As long as the Palestinians refuse, Netanyahu will refuse to draw out a future Palestinian state on a map. The Israeli demand is that the framework agreement include an extension to the negotiations to mark borders and recognize the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Sbeih, secretary-general of Palestinian affairs at the Arab League, said that US Secretary of State, John Kerry will present a US plan for a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians on December 31. Sbeih called the US plan an “over-arching draft for all the core issues leading to a permanent accord.” Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said: “The Americans are determined to present an agreement by the end of December and have already chosen a location for the signing ceremony for the framework agreement.” Abbas informed the Arab League about the upcoming proposal saying it would contain US suggestions regarding the borders of the future Palestinian state. Abbas has stressed that he will refuse any temporary solution regarding core national issues, such as the status of east Jerusalem and recognizing Israel as the nation of the Jewish people. Abbas said that he would not respond to the Kerry proposal immediately but would instead present it first to Arab countries in order to come to a joint decision.

Given that April 29 is the end of the 9 month period agreed upon for the duration of the peace talks, Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat said: “If we reach a framework agreement that specifies the borders, the percentage of swaps, the security arrangements, the Jerusalem status, refugees and then that is the skeleton. We are not talking about a peace treaty on the 29th of April. We are talking about a framework agreement,” he said. He described a framework deal as a comprehensive agreement that could be turned into a detailed peace treaty in six to 12 months. According to Sbeih, Abbas told an Arab League meeting in Cairo, Egypt the PLO position on any peace agreement with Israel. It is as follows:

– Abbas would accept a Palestinian state with the entirety of eastern Jerusalem as its capital, with limited land swaps as long as the lands being traded were of equal value.

– He would accept an incremental withdrawal of Israeli troops from land that will be part of the future Palestinian state, allowing them up to three years to leave.

– He would reject the idea of any permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley, but would welcome an international peacekeeping presence.

– He would refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

– He would reject any interim agreement, calling instead for a final solution.

– He would reject any proposal that required the future Palestinian state to be demilitarized, but said he would not get involved in an “arms race.”

The PA sources claim that Abbas’s official refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state stems from “concerns” that Israeli Arabs enjoying citizenship in Israel will be included as part of a Palestinian state. Abbas has already declared no Jews will be allowed in a future “Palestine.” The proposed agreement would reportedly force Israel to obligate itself through guarantees that it will not compromise the status of Israeli Arabs, and in doing so begin “earning” PA recognition of Israel as the state of the Jews.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiating team has revealed some of contents of the secretive peace talks it has been holding with Israel through the United States. Talks are advancing with the goal of a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in January. Under the US plan, there would be a long term Israel phased withdrawal from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley over a five to ten year period. The Arab League rejected the US proposal that Israeli soldiers would remain in the Jordan Valley for a 10 year period as part of peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Nabil Al-Arabi, secretary of the Arab League said that any peace agreement leaving an Israeli presence in the “Palestinian state” would not succeed.

Regarding Jerusalem, the Old City and the Temple Mount would under international management including Israeli and PA representatives. The aids for US Secretary of State, John Kerry, have rented 50 rooms in a Jerusalem hotel for January from which they plan to mount a diplomatic “attack” on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and force him to accept the US diplomatic plan for a framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In addition to the hotel rooms, the crew  reportedly will bring computerized equipment, maps and databases to aid their efforts in dictating outcomes of the talks. This January “offensive” is timed for after the Christian holidays and is reportedly hoped by the United States to succeed by the end of the month.

In response, Israel has asked the U.S. to extend the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations by a year. If such an extension is not approved, Israel believes it is likely that the peace talks will fail. Because US Secretary of State, John Kerry wants Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a framework peace agreement, Israel has offered to sign a document stating that the two sides agree to extend the negotiations for another year to find a solution to the conflict.

It has been suggested that if Kerry outlines a US framework agreement and both Israel and the Palestinians reject it (i.e., say they cannot accept all of it), the European Union will introduce the text of the US framework agreement as a UN resolution.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Israel to build new West Bank homes, Palestinians urge US to intervene
2) PA: ‘If You Build, We’ll Sue At The Hague’
3) EU Official Warns Israel Over Planned Construction
4) Erekat: There Haven’t Been Direct Talks in Weeks
5) Abbas sends letter to Obama complaining about Kerry
6) Secret Peace Talk Contents Revealed By PA Sources
7) Abbas expects Kerry’s framework deal next week, has tough demands of his own
8.) Report: U.S. Will Present Framework Israel-PA Peace Agreement by End of Month
9) Official: Kerry to present framework peace agreement by Dec. 31
10) U.S. plan gives Jerusalem holy sites to Vatican
11) Kerry to Force Security Plan on Netanyahu
12) For first time, Palestinians back framework peace agreement
13) Arab League Rejects Israeli Jordan Valley Presence
14) PA Negotiator Rejects Any Extension of Talks
15) Israel seeks to extend peace talks by a year
16) EU warns Israel over settlement construction
17) The Kerry Negotiations
18) Abu Mazen is opposed to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state

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

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