Category: Israel

Satellite firm says images of bombed Iraqi site indicate it was hit in airstrike

Israel’s ImageSat International releases pictures of weapons depot in southern Baghdad controlled by a pro-Iranian militia; attack has been blamed on Israel

By Judah Ari Gross and Adam Rasgon 14 August 2019, 8:01 pm 2

An Israeli satellite imaging firm on Wednesday released photos of a weapons depot in southern Baghdad controlled by a pro-Iranian militia that was hit in an alleged Israeli airstrike earlier this week.

ImageSat International said that damage characteristics identified from the photos show “it is probable that the blast was caused by an airstrike, followed by secondary explosions of the explosives stored in the depot.”

On Tuesday, a former Iraqi deputy prime minister appeared to blame Israel for the massive explosion on Monday.

 “We believe they are weapons we were holding onto for a neighboring state and they were targeted by an oppressive colonial state on the basis of a treasonous Iraqi act,” former deputy prime minister Baha al-Araji wrote on Twitter.

Satellite photo of a weapons depot in southern Baghdad controlled by a pro-Iranian militia that was hit in an alleged Israeli operation on August 12, 2019. (ImageSat International)

An unnamed security source on Wednesday told Asharq al-Awsat, an Arabic-language newspaper published in London, that Israel was behind the strike.

“All indications point to Israel, perhaps with the support of the United States, completing what it started in Syria in terms of targeting sites with Iranian forces,” the source said.

The Israel Defense Forces has not commented on the reports.

According to foreign reports, Israel has been increasingly active in carrying out airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Iraq, shifting its focus after years of reported raids aimed at keeping Tehran from gaining a foothold in Syria.

Israeli officials have identified Iraq as a likely growing base of operations for Iran-backed efforts against the Jewish state.

“It is clear that we are in the midst of a real battle between Israel and the United States against Iran and its allies in Iraq. It is clear that the two sides chose Iraq to be the place for their unannounced battle,” the unnamed security source told the Saudi-owned newspaper.

The blast occurred Monday in the Saqr military base in the southern section of the Iraqi capital, which is ordinarily used by the country’s Federal Police and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a state-sponsored umbrella group of militias, some of which are supported by Iran, according to Iraq’s Interior Minister Saad Maan.

Local media reported that the weapons storehouse was controlled by the Sayyid of Martyrs Battalions, an Iraqi Shiite militia supported by Iran.

In contrast to the opinion of the unnamed defense source, Adel al-Karawi, spokesman for the Ansar Allah al-Awfiya in the PMF, said that “the data regarding a fire breaking out at the Saqr base, near the al-Dura area south of Baghdad, indicates the base was subject to a bombardment by an American [drone] carrying missiles.”

The explosion set off some of the munitions stored on the base, sending projectiles into surrounding neighborhoods.

According to Maan, 13 people were injured in the blast, including two federal policemen and four PMF members. It was not immediately clear if the injuries were caused by the initial blast or the projectiles that were launched following the blast.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said one person was killed in the Monday incident and that civilians were also wounded. Mahdi ordered an investigation into the blast along with “integrated safety measures at all military bases and armed forces’ storage facilities to prevent it from occurring again,” he wrote on Twitter.

But the unnamed security official said the results of the investigation — as well as investigations into previous cases of bombings at pro-Iranian militia bases — would likely never be publicized as doing so “will bother the Iranians.”

“[Tehran has] adopted a strategy to not announce Israeli and American targeting of their sites in Syria and later in Iraq,” the source added.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10000

Gold Earring Discovered by Archaeologists Confirms Babylonian Conquest of Jerusalem

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 12, 2019 , 1:44 pm

“He burned the House of Hashem, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Yerushalayim; he burned down the house of every notable person.” II Kings 25:9 (The Israel Bible™)

Archaeologists from the University of North Carolina made a remarkable discovery while digging on Mount Zion in Jerusalem that is evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city in 586 BCE: a golden earring.

Dr. Rafi Lewis, co-director of the project, explained the importance of the tiny earring.

“With finds like this, there is a material value but, more importantly, there is a spiritual and emotional value,” Dr. Lewis told Breaking Israel News. “On that level, this find is quite literally priceless. We can establish the context as the destruction of the First Temple without any doubt. We have made similar finds outside of the city but this is the first time we made such finds inside the city.”

Gold Earring (courtesy: The Mount Zion Archaeological Excavations )

Lewis noted that the earring hinted at many aspects of the era.

“It gives us an idea of the richness of Jerusalem at the time,” Dr. Lewis said. “This is something aristocratic. It could have been a piece of jewelry or hung from an article of clothing or even a bigger artifact. It was clearly something important. If I had something similar, references, I would know more. But this find was really unique.”

The dig has been conducted for over a decade by the Mount Zion Archaeological Project, co-directed by UNC Charlotte professor of history Shimon Gibson, Dr. Lewis, a senior lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a fellow of Haifa University, and James Tabor, UNC Charlotte professor of religious studies.

“This is not proof of the destruction of the Temple since the dig is on Mount Zion, some distance from the Temple Mount,” Lewis said, noting that there has been no archaeological work permitted on the Temple Mount due to the political and religious sensitivity. “But this is certainly proof of the destruction of Jerusalem.”

The last time there were studies done on the Temple Mount were under Charles Warren in 1867.

The earring was found in a layer of ash that also contained bronze and iron arrowheads, Iron Age potsherds, and lamps. Lewis explained that the arrowheads were of Scythian origin. The Scythians, believed to be Eurasian nomads, were mercenary archers hired by the Babylonians. Such arrowheads have been found at other archaeological conflict sites in Israel and outside dating from the 7th and 6th centuries BCE. 

“They were like the special forces since the Scythians were the best archers of the time,” Lewis said. “Also from this, we know that this was a scene of a Babylonian battle. We can say for certain that the archaeological context of the site was the taking of Jerusalem.”

The researchers noted that the location helped identify the story behind the find.

“We know where the ancient fortification line ran,” Dr. Gibson said in a press release on Eureka Alert. “so we know we are within the city. We know that this is not some dumping area, but the south-western neighborhood of the Iron Age city—during the 8th century BCE the urban area extended from the City of David area to the south-east and as far as the Western Hill where we are digging.”

The ashen layer was a clear sign to the researchers that they were investigating the scene of a battle.

“For archaeologists, an ashen layer can mean a number of different things,” Gibson said. “It could be ashy deposits removed from ovens, or it could be localized burning of garbage. However, in this case, the combination of an ashy layer full of artifacts, mixed with arrowheads, and a very special ornament indicates some kind of devastation and destruction. Nobody abandons golden jewelry and nobody has arrowheads in their domestic refuse.”

The researchers were able to date the layer by the potsherds found. The disarray suggested that it coincided with a battle.

“It’s the kind of jumble that you would expect to find in a ruined household following a raid or battle,” Gibson said. “Household objects, lamps, broken bits from pottery which had been overturned and shattered… and arrowheads and a piece of jewelry which might have been lost and buried in the destruction.”

The lamps were identified as the typical high-based pinched lamps of the period and were typical of such sites but the jewelry, most notably the gold and silver earring, was unusual for sites that had undergone a battle.

“Frankly, jewelry is a rare find at conflict sites, because this is exactly the sort of thing that attackers will loot and later melt down,” Gibson said.

Gibson associated the site with a section of the Book of II Kings describing the destruction of Jerusalem.

He burned the House of Hashem, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Yerushalayim; he burned down the house of every notable person. II Kings 25:9

 “This spot would have been at an ideal location, situated as it is close to the western summit of the city with a good view overlooking Solomon’s Temple and Mount Moriah to the north-east,” Gibson said. “We have high expectations of finding much more of the Iron Age city in future seasons of work. “

The researchers were excited that their find was linked to an event with such historical and Biblical significance.

Dr. Lewis noted that in the field of archaeology, the Bible and science could coexist.

“The Bible is certainly one of our sources,” Dr. Lewis said. “You have to treat it respectfully. It represents something spiritual and was not written as a history book. It was written as a religious book but there is a historical base and root. But we cannot reject the Bible when studying archaeology. I would not rely on the Bible exclusively just like I would not rely on any other source exclusively. We need as many sources as possible and the Bible can be one of them.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9989

Second Israeli attack on Iranian targets in E. Iraq reported by Iraqi sources

A second Israeli attack in 10 days on Iranian Guards’ and Iraqi militia forces in eastern Iraq was claimed on Sunday, July 28 by Iraqi military sources. They described one or more Israeli Air Force jets striking Camp Ashraf in Diyala Governorate, some 80km from the Iranian border and 40km north of Baghdad. The Iraqi sources reported that the Israeli aircraft struck a consignment of ballistic missile launchers transferred a short time ago from Iran to Iraq. as well as the missiles themselves and the living quarters of Guards officers and personnel of the pro-Iranian Iraqi Badr Brigades militia. Some sources reported up to 40 dead in the attack.

Camp Ashraf is described by DEBKAfile’s military sources as one of the largest military compounds in eastern Iraq, with room to house more than 4,000 troops and their weapons systems. It also holds a big complex of subterranean facilities storing missiles, tanks and heavy artillery. Camp Ashraf is the address of the main base and command headquarters of the Badr Brigades, the largest pro-Iranian militia in Iraq, This militia has become heavily engaged in Tehran’s new drive to transform Iraq into a frontline base of operations.

Israel’s first purported target in Iraq on July 19 was another Badr Brigades facility in eastern Iraq, outside the town of Amerli in the province of Salahudin. That one housed the 52nd Brigade of the Hash Shaab militia.  

On July 24, Israel was reported by the Syrian military to have conducted a surface missile attack – this one to demolish an intelligence station just constructed by the Iranians at Tal al-Harara in southern Syria for a broad overview of northern Israel and parts of the eastern Mediterranean.

If all three Israel attacks are confirmed, it would indicate a radical escalation of its operations against Iran’s new, ongoing initiatives to set up a new front-line military presence in Iraq and southern Syria.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to the successful Arrow 3 tests in Alaska against exo-atmosphere ballistic targets at the Sunday cabinet meeting by saying: “They were successful beyond imagination, Each a perfect hit. This means that Israel could send ballistic missiles into Iran.”

Netanyahu, who also serves as defense minister, did not elaborate on this comment, but it evidently carried a message, that while Israel has the capacity to intercept and destroy the ballistic missiles that Tehran has begun transferring to Iraq and Syria, it has no defense against Israel’s long arm and its ballistic missiles.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9964

The ‘Arrow 3’ Hypersonic Missile Developed by Israel and US Successfully Tested in Alaska

By David Sidman July 28, 2019 , 11:53 am

Can two walk together Without having met? Amos 3:3 (The Israel Bible™)

The Arrow-3 (Hetz 3) air defense system, is an exoatmospheric hypersonic anti-ballistic missile that was funded, developed and produced by both Israel and the US, has passed a live interception test in Alaska, the Israeli Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

The missile was designed to be a defense mechanism against the ballistic missiles in Iran and Syria’s stockpile.

Jointly manufactured by Boeing Co, the Arrow-3 is capable of taking down missiles in space, at an altitude that would safely and effectively eliminate any non-conventional warheads. It passed its initial full interception test over the Mediterranean sea in 2015 and was deployed in Israel in 2017.

During the tests, an American AN/TPY2 radar was used and successfully displayed operational connectedness between the Israeli and American systems.

“Over 10 years of development with challenges has brought us to this moment when the Arrow 3 weapons system is conducting a series of tests,” explained Moshe Patel, director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization told the Jpost.

“The fact that the test took place in Alaska, tens of thousands of kilometers from the State of Israel, shows the ability of the Arrow 3 system to successfully withstand any threat. This is a joint and unique activity of the governments of the United States and Israel, which emphasizes the close and strategic cooperation between the countries in the field of missile defense,” he said.

Admiral Jon Hill, head of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), noted that “this successful series of tests represents a significant milestone in the development of the Arrow weapon system. Our American MDA team and industry partners are committed to helping the State of Israel upgrade its national missile defense capabilities in order to protect itself and the American forces deployed in the region from the growing threats.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9960

Patriot Missile Batteries Being Installed As Pentagon Reactivates Key Saudi Military Base Used To Stage All Previous Middle East Wars In The Gulf

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military abandoned Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, but now they are back.  Hundreds of U.S. troops are already there working hard to get the base operational, and as you will see below, a tremendous amount of new construction is planned.  The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and so it has more than enough room to serve as a central hub for a new Middle East war. 

by Geoffrey Grider July 23, 2019

The U.S. military is following many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed during our previous wars in the Middle East, and that even includes setting up shop at a key military installation Prince Sultan Air Base deep in the heart of the Arabian peninsula.

In the Bible, the nation of Iran is called Persia, is mentioned 29 times and figures prominently in end times prophecy, and at the moment it seems that the United States is preparing for war with them on a fairly large scale. The Pentagon has reactivated the Prince Sultan Air Base, and is filling it right now with hundreds of troops and massive firepower. This is the same air base that the United States has previously used in every Middle East campaign. Add to that Britain announcing plans Monday to develop and deploy a Europe-led “maritime protection mission” to safeguard shipping in the vital Strait of Hormuz, and you got the recipe for another Gulf War.

“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.” Daniel 10:1 (KJV)

At this point, it is fairly obvious that the United States and possibly the UK is about to launch strikes against Iran, with that possibly developing an all-out Gulf War. The US has sent far too many troops and too much equipment for this all to be sabre-rattling. Everything points to the US reestablishing a long-term military presence in the region, just as it did at the start of the Iraq war in 2003. The unknown factor is how much will Russia involve themselves with their ally Iran should hostilities break out, but I cannot imagine them sitting passively on the sidelines if it does.

The U.S. Is Staging Troops At A Key Saudi Military Base That It Used During All Of Our Previous Middle East Wars

FROM THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE: After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military abandoned Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, but now they are back.  Hundreds of U.S. troops are already there working hard to get the base operational, and as you will see below, a tremendous amount of new construction is planned.  The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and so it has more than enough room to serve as a central hub for a new Middle East war.  Tensions with Iran have escalated dramatically over the past few weeks, but apparently somebody anticipated that the U.S. would need to use this base even before then, because according to NBC News U.S. troops were already arriving back in June…

In June the U.S. military began moving equipment and hundreds of troops back to a military base in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. deserted more than 15 years ago, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the deployment.

Over the coming weeks the deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base, intended to counter the threat from Iran, will grow to include fighter jets and Patriot long-range missile defense systems, the officials said. The Patriots have already arrived at the base and should be operational in mid-July, while the aircraft are expected to arrive in August.

And it turns out that the U.S. military has used this base during all of our previous wars in the Middle East.

For example, according to Air Force Magazine the U.S. military first occupied Prince Sultan Air Base for a few months during Operation Desert Storm…

The US Air Force first occupied the sprawling base in two frantic months from November 1990 to January 1991, then departed. Five years later, USAF and coalition forces moved back into the base. It quickly became a massive facility, home to a state-of-the-art air operations center and serving as the hub for air activity in the region.

Then later on, the base played a key role during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.  The following comes from the Military Times

Starting with the January 1991 air war against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait the previous summer, the U.S. flew a wide range of aircraft from Prince Sultan air base, originally known as al-Kharj. Supported by an all-American array of creature comforts like fast-food restaurants and swimming pools, U.S. forces there flew and maintained Air Force fighters and other warplanes.

The base also served as a launch pad for the December 1998 bombing of Iraq, code-named Operation Desert Fox, which targeted sites believed to be associated with Iraq’s nuclear and missile programs. In 2001, the base became home to the U.S. military’s main air control organization, known as the Combined Air Operations Center, which orchestrated the air war in Afghanistan until it was relocated in 2003 to al-Udeid air base in Qatar.

But U.S. activity at the base didn’t reach a crescendo until Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  Here is more from Air Force Magazine

Other delicate negotiations came down to the wire just before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “We’ve had very productive meetings regarding military cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the event of military action against Iraq,” State Department official Richard Boucher announced Feb. 26, 2003.

That day, newspapers reported that the Saudis granted formal permission for PSAB to be used in the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom began March 19.

Once again, PSAB pulled its weight in the air campaign. Fuel was a metric showing just how far PSAB had come since 1996. Prince Sultan Air Base operated at maximum rates during major combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 19 to May 1, 2003. During that time, the 363rd Fuels Management Flight issued more than one million gallons per day. Officials had previously expanded the fuel storage capacity at Prince Sultan from two million to more than 15 million gallons.

So as you can see, every time the U.S. has decided to go to war in the Middle East, Prince Sultan Air Base has played a leading role. And now after all this time we have suddenly returned.

This time around, it appears that the U.S. is planning for a very long stay.  According to NBC News, existing roads and runways will be reinforced and expanded, and the U.S. military is even going to “build a medical facility”…

While Prince Sultan Air Base is an active facility, portions of the base will need an upgrade to accommodate the U.S. military, including reinforcing and expanding roads and runways, one U.S. official said. Base housing will also need updating, the official said, and the U.S. will build a medical facility. Many of the U.S. service members deployed there over the past few weeks are engineers preparing the base for the new mission.

Apparently whoever is in charge of making these sorts of decisions is not very optimistic about peace with Iran.

A tremendous amount of money and effort is required for a project like this, because it is basically the equivalent of putting up a small American city in the middle of nowhere.  The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and all the way back in 2002 Wolf Blitzer called it “a little sliver of America in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula”

“By the time the base complex was completed in 1999, it had cost the government of Saudi Arabia more than $1 billion and covered well over a hundred square miles,” found Air Force historian Daniel L. Haulman.

Food was also a priority. Baskin-Robbins ice cream set up shop as did other popular vendors such as Pizza Inn and Burger King. In time, the exchange provided a small haven of food, shopping, and diversion. “It’s a little sliver of America in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula,” enthused CNN’s war correspondent Wolf Blitzer, who visited the base in December 2002 as forces there prepared for intensifying action against Iraq.

I suppose that the Saudis want us to be as comfortable as possible if we are going to fight a war that will greatly benefit them.

After all, the Saudis and the Iranians have been engaged in a proxy war for many years, and so the Saudis would be absolutely thrilled to see the U.S. military bomb the living daylights out of them.

And Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs actually sounds quite eager for the action to start

“Any attack on the freedom of navigation is a violation of international law,” Adel Aljubeir said in a Twitter post.

“Iran must realise its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently the British ship, are completely unacceptable. The world community must take action to deter such behaviour,” he added.

But as I discussed in a previous article, if the American people truly understood what a war against Iran would be like, there would be millions of protesters in Washington D.C. right now trying to stop it from happening.  It would be a horrible, bloody, apocalyptic war that would set the entire Middle East ablaze, and it would set the stage for the sort of nightmare scenarios that I have been relentlessly warning about.

Unfortunately, so far only a very small portion of the U.S. population seems alarmed about any of this. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is rapidly preparing for war, and Prince Sultan Air Base is now buzzing with U.S. military activity for the very first time since the invasion of Iraq.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9953

Hezbollah Moves Troops To The Israeli Border As It Prepares To Attack If A U.S.-Iran War Breaks Out

July 21, 2019 by Michael Snyder

It has become exceedingly clear that if the U.S. and Iran go to war, the entire region is going to be set ablaze.  Iran has already threatened to hit Israel extremely hard if the U.S. attacks, and hordes of Hezbollah fighters are massing along Israel’s borders right now in anticipation of a military conflict.  As you will see below, it is estimated that Hezbollah now has 150,000 missiles of their own pointed at Israel, and one Hezbollah military officer recently warned that they “will fire the first shot this time”.  The war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 was highly destructive, but the truth is that it isn’t even worth comparing to what the next conflict will be like.  Today, Hezbollah is the most heavily armed terror organization the world has ever seen, and their forces are battle-hardened after spending many years engaged in the bloody war in Syria.  After victory after victory in that struggle, now those same fighters are being deployed along the Israeli border.  The following comes from the Daily Beast

Hezbollah’s forces, battle-hardened in the Syrian civil war, have begun redeploying toward the Israeli border, not only in Lebanon, but in Syria opposite the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights.

Hezbollah fighters who spoke to The Daily Beast say their organization is hurting from sanctions and ready to initiate hostilities—if and when Tehran deems that necessary.

All Tehran has to do is give the order and those forces are going in.

In fact, one Hezbollah commander that was interviewed by the Daily Beast is openly admitting that “we will fire the first shot this time”

“The sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front,” says “Commander Samir,” a Hezbollah officer in charge of 800 fighters on Lebanon’s border with Israel. He declines to use his real name because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “We will fire the first shot this time,” he says.

As I keep warning, we are literally on the verge of World War 3 breaking out in the Middle East.

The moment U.S. missiles start hitting Iran, the Israelis will have to go on full alert because they will be attacked.

One Hezbollah official even said that “if any missile hits Iran, it will be treated like Israel did it”.

And let there be no doubt – Hezbollah is fully capable of raining down hell on Israeli cities.  According to a report in an Israeli news source from late last year, it is estimated that Hezbollah’s arsenal of missiles and rockets has now risen to 150,000…

The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah’s arsenal of missiles and rockets has grown to 150,000, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) revealed Sunday.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies on Sunday, Erdan highlighted the increasing military presence of Iran and its allies along the Israeli border, Israel Hayom reported.

Can you imagine the devastation that would be caused by 150,000 missiles and rockets being fired into an area roughly the size of New Jersey?

Yes, the Israeli military would intercept some of them, but many would get through.

Of course Israel has even more firepower, and they would undoubtedly win the conflict.  Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised that Israel would “act with tremendous force” if a war with Hezbollah were to erupt.

Unfortunately, it probably would not be just Hezbollah that Israel would be fighting.  The Iranians have also been “providing training and support” for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  And it definitely raised eyebrows when a delegation from Hamas visited Tehran over the weekend.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

The head of the political bureau of the Hamas terrorist movement, Ismail Haniyeh said on Saturday that he hoped that a visit by a senior Hamas delegation in Tehran over the weekend would provide “important results,” according to a Hamas press release on the terror group’s website.

In the end, Israel could find itself fighting Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran simultaneously, and such a war would be unlike anything we have ever seen before.

And the violence would not just be limited to the Middle East.  In a previous article, I detailed the enormous presence that Hezbollah already has in North America, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad definitely have a presence here too.

Could you imagine the chaos that we would see if all of those terrorists were suddenly unleashed and they started destroyed “soft targets” all across America?

So the Trump administration should think very, very carefully before going to war with Iran.  Because once it starts, there will be no going back.

At this point our border security is a complete and utter joke, and conservative activists have been documenting for years that illegal immigrants can hop back and forth across the border with ease.  For highly organized terror organizations, getting operatives into the United States is not exactly a problem.  They are here, and when the right moment comes, they will strike.

I have been loudly calling for the U.S. government to secure our borders for many years, but it hasn’t happened, and now we could pay a very great price for our foolishness.

All it is going to take is one wrong move for war to erupt.  Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are all preparing to fight, and all of them would throw literally everything that they have at the United States and Israel.

We do not want to fight a war against hordes of apocalyptic terrorists that hate us with a passion that most westerners cannot even imagine.  It would be a horrible, bloody, nightmarish war, and none of our lives would ever be the same again.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9949

Archaeologist Says a Stone Pillar in the City of David is Where Abraham Met Melchizedek

07-10-2019

Chris Mitchell

JERUSALEM, Israel – An Israeli archaeologist has uncovered the remains of an altar believed to be from around the time when Abraham met the high priest Melchizedek in Jerusalem. 

Archaeologist Eli Shukron has spent much of his life looking for Bible history in the City of David.  Shukron gave CBN News an exclusive look at what he feels is one of his most important discoveries kept under lock and key that dates back 4000 years – a stone pillar.


Shukron says the pillar, found in the City of David, is just like the one described in Genesis 28 when Jacob had a dream in Bethel of a ladder reaching up to Heaven.  After the dream, Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!  Then Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.”

Shukron believes Melchizedek set a stone pillar up in Jerusalem just as Jacob did in Bethel. 

“We are in a very, very important place.  Go back to Melchizedek.  Go back to Abraham’s time.  Understand which way these people are worshipping God in the beginning,” said Shukron.

Shukron says it contrasts with ancient worship in other places. 

“If you’re going at that time to other places in the world in Egypt or Mesopotamia you can see temples, gold and idols and I don’t know pillars.  Here it’s simple.  The stone, animals, animals, sacrifice.  The stone is the house of God.  No gold and diamonds.  Everything is simple.  This is what God wants us to be, simple.  It’s fantastic.  For what? For what reason?  To connect with God.”

Shukron says the combination of the altar for sacrifice, the blood channel, the olive press for anointing oil, the place to tie up the sacrificial animals; where they divided the sacrifice that led him to believe this was the place where Melchizedek met Abraham.   

Genesis 14 describes the meeting: “ Then Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.   And he blessed him and said:  Blessed be Abram of God most high, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.  And he gave him a tithe of all.”

After Melchizedek blessed Abraham, Abraham gave him a tithe.

“Why give him a tithe?  Because he was worshipping God,” Shukron said.

The blessing of bread and wine is a tradition and way of life that continues some 4000 years later. 

“What are we doing today?  The Jewish, the Christian.  What are we doing?  We are blessing the bread and wine in a different way but blessing bread and wine,” Shukron said. “Where [did] all [of that start?] Here in the City of David in the Temple of Melchizedek.  This is the place.  This is where we are and this is amazing to understand that.”

This area is still being excavated and one day the public should be able to see for themselves where Shukron believes Abraham met Melchizedek.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9937

Netanyahu warns Iran that Israel’s F-35s can reach ‘anywhere in the Middle East’

By Judah Ari Gross, TOI staff and Agencies 9 July 2019, 5:46 pm 5

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tehran on Tuesday that Israel’s F-35 fighter jets can reach “anywhere in the Middle East,” following threats against Israel in recent weeks by senior Iranian officials.

“Lately, Iran has been threatening Israel with destruction,” Netanyahu said, standing in front of an F-35 Adir jet during a visit to the Nevatim Air Force Base in the south. “It should remember that these planes can reach every place in the Middle East, including Iran, and of course also Syria.”

The F-35 stealth jet is not believed to have an effective range to reach Iran unassisted, but it could conduct operations there with in-air refueling, a capability possessed by Israel’s air force.

Netanyahu visit to Nevatim included meetings with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, and the air force’s top command echelons.

Norkin last year said that Israel had used the fifth generation fighter jet in operations in the Middle East. At the time, Norkin did not specify in which countries the aircraft had been used.

Israel has long seen Iran as its greatest threat, while Iranian officials regularly threaten to destroy the Jewish state.

On July 1, a senior Iranian lawmaker said Israel would be destroyed rapidly if the United States attacked the Islamic Republic.

“If the US attacks us, only half an hour will remain of Israel’s lifespan,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, in comments carried by the Mehr news agency.

Similarly, in a June 20 interview on Iraq’s Alnujaba TV, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) monitoring group and posted to social media Sunday, former Iranian defense minister Gen. Hossein Dehghan said Iran’s military could destroy US military bases in the region and annihilate Israel.

“Our missiles can totally obliterate those bases,” Dehghan said. “Israel knows that Iran will erase its entity and uproot it from existence in case of a war.”

Netanyahu has issued a series of statements against Iran in recent weeks.

They follow the Islamic Republic’s decision to begin breaching some commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and attacks in the Gulf that Israel and the United States blame on Iran.

On Sunday, Netanyahu called an announcement by Iran that it would exceed the uranium enrichment cap set by the troubled accord a “very dangerous step.” He urged European countries to sanction Iran in response.

On Monday, Iran breached the enrichment cap as it seeks to press other parties into keeping their side of the bargain under the nuclear deal.

Netanyahu opposed the accord and urged US President Donald Trump to withdraw from it, which he eventually did. Despite having opposed the deal, Netanyahu is now calling on European nations to enforce its parameters as he and the United States seek to further pressure Iran.

Israel has also carried out hundreds of strikes in neighboring Syria against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah military targets. It has vowed to keep Iran, which has backed Syrian President Bashar aAssad in his country’s civil war, from entrenching itself militarily there.

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Tehran Imam threatens missile attack on Dimona nuclear power plant


By TZVI JOFFRE
07/07/2019  
Imam Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani also warned the US
against a military attack on Iran.

“If Iran decides to confront you, a missile strike on the Dimona reactor would be enough,” said Tehran’s Friday Prayer Imam Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani in a sermon addressing the United States and Israel, according to a report by Radio Farda.

Movahedi-Kermani threatened that such an attack on the nuclear reactor in Israel’s Negev desert would “plow Israel 200 times.”

“You are living in a glass house. You’d better watch out,” said the Tehran-based Imam.

He also warned the US against a military attack on Iran, saying: “Think of an attack only if you want to change the color of the Persian Gulf waters from azure to red.”

The Imam also repeated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s warning about the nuclear deal.

“From July 7, we will enrich uranium at any grade and form, and in any amount we may deem necessary,” said Movahedi-Kermani.

The Imam was one of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s representatives to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to Radio Farda.

He denied that Iran was seeking to develop a nuclear bomb.

“Iran will continue enrichment to generate electricity and conduct scientific research,” he said. “This enrichment is not for making a nuclear bomb, which Iran deems illegitimate and unnecessary.”

On Saturday night, an Iranian official told Reuters that Iran will announce on Sunday that it will raise its uranium enrichment level to 5%, a concentration above the limit set by its 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that Iranian senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi will announce more cuts in its commitments to the pact on Sunday. Tehran warned last week that such a move could take place.

Under the deal, Iran can enrich uranium to 3.67% fissile material, well below the 20% it was reaching for before the deal and the roughly 90% suitable for a nuclear weapon.

Movahedi-Karmeni also told US President Donald Trump to “compare the authority of the United States with Iran’s.”

“Iran’s authority is marked by intelligence, creativity and humanity, while the United States’ authority is an embodiment of brutality, savagery and meanness!” he.

The Tehran Imam also addressed Trump’s decision to call off a planned strike on Iran after the Islamic Republic downed a US drone, saying, “You saw the corpses of US troops before your eyes, and told yourself they have hit the drone that was flying 65,000 feet above the sea. What will they do to a ship that is just in front of them?”

Last year, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei changed his mind about appointing Karmeni as an interim chairman for the Islamic republic’s Expediency Discernment Council after a few weeks, according to Radio Farda. The Expediency Council decides arguments between the Iranian parliament and the Iranian Guardian Council, which is usually the final decision maker in most cases, according to Khamenei’s web page.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9927

Archaeologists say they found town where future King David took refuge from Saul

By Amanda Borschel-Dan Today, 10:16 am

In a finding sure to inflame the debate about the historicity of the biblical King David, an international team of archaeologists claims to have identified the lost city of Ziklag.

Based on artifacts and carbon 14 dating results of excavations since 2015, scholars proposed Monday that the archaeological site of Khirbet a-Ra‘i in the Judaean foothills is the site of the elusive Philistine town.

As attested in the books of Samuel, Ziklag, located between Kiryat Gat and Lachish, provided refuge to the future king David when he was on the run from King Saul. After his sojourn in Ziklag, David ascended the throne in Hebron.

According to a joint press release from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority, archaeologists discovered remains of a Philistine settlement from the 12-11th centuries BCE, which was followed by a rural settlement dating to the early 10th century BCE, which is in keeping with the biblical account. Carbon 14 dating supports the archaeologists’ timeline and identification, according to the press release.

As recorded in the Hebrew Bible, David settled at Ziklag for 14 months under the patronage of the Philistine King Achish of Gat, with 600 of his men and their families, and used it as a base to raid neighboring peoples.

While the then-Philistine vassal David attempted to join the army of his Philistine lord Achish to defeat Saul, retaliating Amalekites razed the town and took off with the Israelites’ women and children, along with much booty. (Spoiler: In the end, David prevailed.)

According to the press release, in addition to the cultural transition between Philistine buildings and the presumed later Israelite camp, the Davidic-era settlement shows remains of an intense fire that destroyed it.

Later in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Nehemiah, the town is mentioned again as a base for Jews who returned from Babylon.

For decades, archaeologists have sought the location of the elusive Ziklag, for which roughly a dozen sites have been suggested, without scholarly consensus. Those previous sites were largely dismissed due to lack of signs of settlement transitioning from Philistine cultural evidence to Israelite remains from the time of David, or due to lack of evidence of the widespread ruin wrought by the Amalekites, as described in the Hebrew Bible.

According to leading archaeologists Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; the IAA’s Saar Ganor; and Dr. Kyle Keimer and Dr. Gil Davis of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, the proposed site of Khirbet a-Ra‘i has all the required qualifications.

The joint IAA and Hebrew University press release said that after seven dig seasons that uncovered some 1,000 sq.m., the archaeological team found evidence of a Philistine-era settlement from the 12-11th centuries BCE, among which were massive stone structures and typical Philistine cultural artifacts, including stylized pottery in foundation deposits — good luck offerings laid beneath a building’s flooring.

Those artifacts, along with stone and metal tools, are similar to ones found in other Philistine cities, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath.

The name Ziklag is of Philistine origin and does not have roots in Semitic languages. Recently, a large scientific study of Philistine DNA matched their origins to the Aegean region, which had similar pottery styles during the 12th century BCE, the time period in which the Philistine ancestors are thought to have migrated to the Land of Israel.

At Khirbet a-Ra‘i to date, archaeologists have uncovered some 100 complete pottery vessels used for storing wine and oil, among other uses. According to Garfinkel, who led excavations at the contemporary fortified Judaean city of Sha‘arayim (Khirbet Qeiyafa), jugs and bowls decorated with a “red slipped and hand-burnished” finish are typical of the period of King David.

The excavations leading to the new proposed identification for Ziklag were funded by Joey Silver of Jerusalem, Aron Levy of New Jersey, and the Roth Family and Isaac Wakil both of Sydney.

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