Category Archive: Israel

May 18

US, UK, Jordanian forces enter S. Syria

US special forces, together with British and Jordanian elite troops, moved into southern Syria late Sunday, May 14. They were acting to counter the Syrian-Iranian scheme to nullify the American plan for posting Jordanian forces in southeastern Syria, which timed for the days before US President Donald Trump’s trip to the Middle East.

The US-led armored force with British and Jordanian units crossed from northern Jordan through the Tanf Border-Crossing between the Hashemite Kingdom, Iraq and Syria, and took up positions capable of consolidating their control of the main road between Palmyra and Baghdad. Some of their moves were coordinated with Israel.
(See map).
This push aimed at countering the drive in the last few days by hundreds of Syrian troops, Iranian-backed Shiite militias and Hizballah’s Radwan special forces, with tanks and heavy equipment, to take over the town of Sabaa Biyar. Located in sparsely desert territory, this town lies 110km west of the Syrian-Iraqi border, 95km north of the Syrian-Jordanian border and 128km east of Damascus.

Its high strategic importance for Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah lies in its command of the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan and of Highway No. 1 which links the Jordanian capital of Amman with Baghdad.

debkafile’s military sources explain that Damascus and Tehran acted to pre-empt the US-Jordanian-Israeli military operations along the Israeli and Jordanian borders with Syria, lest they lead to the carving out of US-controlled security zones in southern Syria.

Our military sources add that Moscow too eyes the new US-led military movements with mistrust, in view of its potential impact on the Russian plan for four ceasefire zones in Syria, in cooperation with Iranian and Turkish forces. The Russians are accordingly feeding Tehran and Damascus intelligence on the US-led movements.
On Sunday, too, the Israeli Defense Forces launched a large-scale military exercise in the Galilee and Golan regions close to its borders with Syria and Lebanon. The war game may well run over its final date in order to keep a substantial military force poised on along Israel’s northern borders, in case of attempts to disrupt the Trump visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel from May 22 to May 24.

Other military movements in the region this week were taken by the Iraqi army and Iraqi Shiite militias under the command of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. Iran continued to pour additional troops into Damascus through the Baghdad-Damascus highway, on the one hand, while, on the other, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi offered Washington two of his army’s divisions, which would be sent into Syria to support US military operations in the southeast.
For the time being, the Trump administration’s plans for an offensive against the Islamic State appear to have been put on a back burner.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8550

May 15

End-of-Days Prophecy Describes Erdogan Leading Ishmael to Final War for Jerusalem

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz May 11, 2017 , 12:30 pm

“And he said: ‘Hearken ye, all Yehudah, and ye inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and thou king Yehoshafat: thus saith Hashem unto you: Fear not ye, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” II Chronicles 20:15 (The Israel Bible™)

This week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan established himself as a leader in the End-of-Days by calling for the Islam to unite for Jerusalem. Erdogan’s perplexing statement could be the cry that rallies the world of Ishmael for the prophesied third and final battle of Jerusalem preceding the Messiah.

On Monday, at the opening ceremony of the International Forum on Al-Quds Wakfs (Islamic trusts) in Istanbul, Erdogan called for hundreds of thousands of Muslims to ascend to the Temple Mount, thundering, “Each day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.”

Rabbi Berger, rabbi of the Tomb of King David on Mount Zion, believes that Erdogan’s call to Muslims was based in a Jewish prophecy that predates Islam.

“Erdogan is fulfilling a prophecy as the leader of his country,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “Just like Pharaoh in Egypt.”

The rabbi related a prophecy written in Pirkei D’Rebbe Eliezer, a collection of Biblical exegesis believed to have been compiled in the seventh century. He explained that according to the prophecy, the “sons of Ishmael”, which the rabbi identifies as Islam, will wage a war against “Edom”, which the rabbi identifies as Christianity. After this war, the sons of Ishmael will wage three wars against the Jews focused around Jerusalem.

“Rabbi Ishmael (the High Priest) said, ‘Three wars of turmoil the Sons of Ishmael are destined to wage in Israel in the end-of-days’,” the prophecy reads, citing a verse in Isaiah.

For they fled away from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. Isaiah 21:15

The prophecy continues, “And from there, the Messiah from the House of David will grow, and he will witness their destruction, and then he will come to Israel.”

Rabbi Berger explained how the prophecy, written hundreds of years before Muhammad founded Islam, related to current events.

“The war between Islam and Christianity has been going on for some time now, in Europe and America,” Rabbi Berger said.  He identified the two intifadas Israel has suffered, the first from 1987-1993 and the second from 2000-2005, as the first two wars to which the prophecy refers.

“Erdogan has just declared the third and final war for Jerusalem as foretold in the prophecy,” Rabbi Berger said.

He noted that while Erdogan might not seem the natural Arab leader to unite the Muslims, he had touched on a universal message in targeting Jerusalem which would, in a sense, ‘activate’ the need to fulfill the prophecy.

“The world of Islam is fighting among itself and Erdogan is not a major Islamic leader,” Rabbi Berger said. “But his call to unite in the fight for Jerusalem will resonate among the Muslims because it is the call they have been waiting for. It is written in their soul.”

The Islamic war for Jerusalem was also predicted in the Zohar, the foundational work of Jewish mysticism. It is written in the Zohar that in the sixth cycle of 1,000 years, “there will be a spiritual process of 70 days”, which “will return the Torah to Moses”. After that, “a great cry will go up to God from Israel from the suffering.” The Zohar (Vayera 1:119a) then predicts a multinational war for Jerusalem led by Islam, basing this prophecy on a verse in the final chapter of Zechariah.

For I will gather all nations against Yerushalayim to battle; and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity but the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Zechariah 14:2

Professor Ze’ev Maghen of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic studies (BESA) explained that Turkey has a powerful political interest in Jerusalem as well which relates to the historic ties between the two regions.

“It should be remembered that Erdogan inherited the title of leader of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled over Jerusalem and its holy places, politically and religiously, for 400 years,” Dr. Maghen told Breaking Israel News. “Erdogan is, after all, an Islamist, and Jerusalem is the third holiest city in Islam.”

The professor explained that as leader of the current incarnation of the Ottoman Empire, Erdogan sees it is his role to lead the Islamic battle for Jerusalem.

“Since Saudi Arabia as the leader of Sunni Wahabism rules over the holy city of Mecca, it is only natural that a call to war would focus on Jerusalem,” said Dr. Maghen. “For that reason, Iran has a Jerusalem Day.”

Iran instituted ‘Quds Day’ in 1979 as an annual holiday held on the last day of the Ramadan period of fasting. It was intended to be in direct opposition to Israel’s celebration of Jerusalem Day. At its inception, the Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran, declared the “liberation” of Jerusalem a religious duty to all Muslims.

Essentially, Dr. Maghen concluded, “Erdogan’s call for Islam to unify in the fight for Jerusalem dates back to Suleiman the Magnificent, leading to the 200-year battle against the Christian Crusaders.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8541

May 15

Russian monitors for Syrian Golan – not Iranians

DEBKAfile Special Report May 11, 2017, 4:23 PM (IDT)

Moscow this week responded to Israel’s concerns about posting Iranian and Turkish officers on its borders to monitor the potential “de-escalation” zones Russia is proposing for Syria. In respect of those concerns, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that Russia agreed in high-level contacts in the last few days to replace them with Russian military officers in the Mt. Hermon region and the areas where Israeli, Lebanese and Syrian borders meet. The proposal also calls for the expansion of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which supervises the cease-fire between Israel and Syria on the Golan.

(debkafile was the first publication to reveal Israel’s concerns on May 3 and May 5.)

The Russian military are preparing to establish four ceasefire safe zones in Syria. The southernmost would be located along Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan. The issue came up during Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s talks with US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington on May 11, and a day earlier, in a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford, was also involved in the exchanges on the ceasefire zones between Washington, Moscow and Jerusalem during his visit to Israel this week as the guest of the Israeli chief of staff, Lieut. Gen. Gady Eisenkott. On Tuesday, May 9, Dunford said that “Israel is concerned about the possibility of having Iranian or Iranian-backed forces, such as Hizballah, so close to its border.” Both Putin and Lavrov promised that neither Iranian, pro-Iranian, nor Turkish officers would be placed in areas close to the Israeli border.

Our military sources report that during talks between Washington, Moscow and Jerusalem on Thursday, May 11, the three sides agreed to continue to discuss the Russian proposal.

Another issue raised among them was who will deal with the ISIS forces in the Yarmouk area near the Israel-Jordan and Israel-Syria borders, including the bases established by the Khaled bin al-Walid army, which has sworn allegiance to ISIS.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8539

May 10

Turkey’s Erdogan Calls on Muslims to Ascent Temple Mount in Defiance of Jerusalem “Occupation”

By JNS May 9, 2017 , 7:30 am

“Who devise evil things in their heart; every day do they stir up wars.” Psalms 140:3 (The Israel Bible™)

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Facebook)

In an anti-Israel tirade Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for thousands of Muslims to ascend the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Erdogan made the remarks at the opening of the Al-Quds Waqf International Forum in Istanbul, saying Turkey will not allow for Muslim prayers to be silenced in Jerusalem.

“Turkey attaches great importance to the justified resistance of the Palestinians and will not yield to Israeli attempts to change the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque,” said Erdogan, Turkey’s Daily Saba newspaper reported. “We as Muslims should visit the Al-Aqsa mosque more often, every day that Jerusalem is under occupation is an insult to us.”

Erdogan also criticized Israel for its “Muezzin Bill,” which is meant to limit the volume of Muslim calls to prayer during early morning hours.

“The fact that such an issue is even coming to the agenda is shameful,” Erodgan said. “Why are you afraid of the freedom of faith if you believe in your faith? I am now reminding Israeli administrators: If you believe in your faith, then why are you afraid of the sound of our prayers?”

The Turkish leader called Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians “racist and discriminatory,” and said Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip “has no place in humanity.”

The Israeli government was swift in condemning Erdogan’s comments as “baseless slander.”

“Anyone who systemically violates human rights in their own country, should not preach about morality to the only democracy in the region,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding, “Israel strictly adheres to protecting full freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

Turkey and Israel last year agreed to normalize diplomatic ties following a six-year rift in their relationship, but Erdogan has a history of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic remarks.

In his comments at the conference in Istanbul, Erodgan also criticized promises by President Donald Trump to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying the plan is “extremely wrong” and should be “dropped from the agenda.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8533

May 09

Putin & Trump discuss Iranians on Israel’s border

DEBKAfile Special Report May 3, 2017, 7:54 PM (IDT)

Israel was seriously dismayed Wednesday, May 3, when first reports reached Jerusalem about the telephone conversation between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin Tuesday, during which Trump agreed to consider Putin’s plan for “de-escalation zones” in Syria, in place of the American security zones proposal. The Russian president’s plan includes the posting of Iranian military officers as co-monitors for those zones, one of which is to be located on the Syrian-Israeli border.

President Trump described the conversation as “Very good.”

The four “de-escalation zones” proposed would be situated at:

  1. The northwestern province of Idlib up to the Turkish border;
  2. The central Syrian province of Homs (where also the Al-Shariat air base hit by US Tomahawks last month is located);
  3. The East Ghouta suburb of Damascus (including also a big military airfield);
  4. The Southern region along Syria’s borders with Jordan and Syria.

The Russian president explained that the “guarantor countries” – i.e. Russia, Turkey and Iran – would appoint the monitors for the de-escalation zones.

debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that Israel was deeply concerned to discover that President Trump had nodded to Putin going forward with his plan, despite Iran’s active involvement. He was even ready to send a US official for the first time to the fourth round of the Syrian peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition in Astana Wednesday, although this process is jointly sponsored by Russia, Turkey and Iran. Stuart Jones, acting assistant Secretary of State, was sent to attend the meeting in the Kazakh capital as an observer, thereby elevating the former American representation from ambassador..

This development caused Israeli disquiet on a number of grounds:

  1. a) The Iranian monitors for the new zones will sit directly opposite the Israeli border. Notice has gone out to Washington and Moscow that the Israeli government will on no account countenance an Iran military presence along its border.
  2. b)  Israel also eyes with mistrust the possible deployment of Russian and Turkish offices along its border with Syria.
  3. c)  Declaring eastern Damascus a protected zone would obstruct Israel aerial operations for keeping Iranian air shipments of advanced weapons via Syria out of Hizballah’s hands. Iran would be able to renew its shipments under full protection.
  4. d)  There were also some misgivings in Israel about the way National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster characterized President Trump’s approach to foreign policy, shortly before Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas arrived at the White House on Wednesday.
    “The president is not a super-patient man,” he said. He does not have time to “debate over doctrine, and instead seeks to challenge failed policies of the past with a businessman’s results-oriented approach,” McMaster said.

The trouble is that Middle East issues, such as the Syrian conflict and Israeli security, demand patience and rather more than a businessman’s results-oriented approach, else they may lead to such potentially disastrous consequences as an Iranian military presence that is far too near and dangerous for Israel to countenance.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8527

May 04

UNESCO Makes Outrageous Move Denying Israel’s Sovereignty in Jerusalem – on Independence Day

By JNS May 3, 2017 , 8:30 am

“Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness. For they shall soon wither like the grass, and fade as the green herb.” Psalms 37:1 (The Israel Bible™)

As millions of Israeli and diaspora Jews marked Israel’s 69th Independence Day, the United Nations cultural body UNESCO voted Tuesday to adopt a resolution denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The resolution—which passed in a 22-10 vote, with 23 abstentions—states that “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”

The 10 countries voting against the resolution were the U.S., U.K., Italy, Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo and Germany. Among those voting in favor of the measure were Brazil, China, Egypt, Iran, Russia, South Africa and Sweden.

Italy was the only European Union country to publicly oppose the resolution ahead of the vote.

“Our opinion is very clear,” Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said. “UNESCO cannot be the place for a permanent ideological confrontation.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, “There is no nation in the world for whom Jerusalem is more holy than for the Jewish people,” adding that UNESCO “is trying to bury this truth. We will uphold it.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon called the resolution “distorted” and “shameful,” and said it will “not change the fact that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

Last October, UNESCO passed two separate resolutions ignoring Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem’s holy sites.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8522

May 04

New evidence Shroud dates to 1st century

Roman numismatist identifies coins covering eyes

Published: 17 hours ago

An expert on ancient Roman coins say he has identified those that cover the eyes of the Man of the Shroud, providing more evidence that the ancient burial cloth could have been used to cover the body of Jesus.

Agostino Sferrazza, a numismatist, concludes in an interview with the French-language RCF Liège, the coins were minted in in the days of Pontius Pilate in the year A.D. 29.

Images of the coins were first observed in the eye sockets of the Man of the Shroud in 1976, when 3-D projection techniques were used to evaluate it. Researchers noted the presence of small bulges on the ocular orbit bones which wouldn’t match any possible morphological particularities. The hypothesis states these might have been leptons: small coins of low value that were common in Israel during the Roman occupation.

Using advanced technologies, researchers have tried to identify drawings and inscriptions on the coins. On the disc covering the right eye, apparently a “lituus” (a curved Roman-style augural staff) can be observed. On the disc over the left eye, there is what appears to be a sacrificial cup.

Besides the drawings, researchers have managed to read the letters YKAI in the coins. This is thought to be the visible part of the word “TIBERIOY KAICAPOC,” Greek for Tiberius Caesar. This would be a strong indication that these coins are comparable with other currencies from the Roman era, and might indeed be pieces that were being used at the time of Jesus’ Passion.

In his interview with RCF Liège, Agostino Sferrazza supports the theory of the authenticity of the pieces and dates them to the time of Pontius Pilate. This theory is based on the images produced by computer scientist Nello Balossino, an associate professor at the Turin Faculty of Sciences, who succeeded in bringing out an image of the sacrificial cup on the right eye of the Man of the Shroud. According to Agostino Sferazza, there is no doubt: these pieces were indeed coined in 29 A.D

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8520

May 04

The Prophecy of Ten Jubilees :: By Daymond Duck

Published on: April 23, 2017 by RRadmin7 Category:Daymond Duck, General Articles

It is not in the Bible, but have you heard about Rabbi Judah ben Samuel’s “Prophecy of Ten Jubilees?”

I saw a reference to it in a video that someone sent to me and decided that I should check out. I discovered that it is either an incredibly accurate prophecy or a false prophecy that was written after the fact.

In the March 2008 edition of Israel Today magazine there was an article about it.

On Nov. 14, 2012, World Net Daily published an Exclusive Report about it.

Jack Van Impe, John Hagee, Perry Stone and “Prophecy in the News” have mentioned it in videos.

Understand that one Jubilee is 50 years.

Anyway, in 1215, Rabbi Judah ben Samuel was allegedly visited by the prophet Elijah who told him, “When the Ottomans (Turks) conquer Jerusalem they (the Turks) will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees (8 X 50 = 400 years).”

“Afterward (after the 400 years) Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee (50 yrs.), and then in the ninth jubilee (at the end of the ninth jubilee) it (Jerusalem) will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time.”

This is what history says:

  • In 1217, the Rabbi Judah ben Samuel died.
  • In 1517 (6 Jubilees or 6 X 50 = 300 years later), the Turks captured Jerusalem and the “Prophecy of Ten Jubilees” started.
  • In 1917 (8 Jubilees or 8 X 50 = 400 years later), the British captured Jerusalem and the rule of the Turks ended. This was exactly what the alleged prophecy said.
  • During the next 50 years, Jerusalem was no-man’s land under the control of the League of Nations, the United Nations and Jordan. This was exactly what the alleged prophecy said.
  • In 1967 (1 Jubilee or 1 X 50 = 50 years later), Israel captured East Jerusalem. This was exactly what the alleged prophecy said.
  • In 2017 (1 Jubilee or 1 X 50 = 50 years later), the Ten Jubilees will end (on Sept. 23, 2017), Israel will possess Jerusalem and the Messianic end times will begin.

I Googled “Messianic end times” and learned that it refers to the time when Elijah will appear and the age of peace will begin.

Next, I remembered that God said: “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).

Then, it occurred to me that Rabbi Judah ben Samuel allegedly said this prophecy came from Elijah.

And I don’t know what he will do, but there is the possibility that President Trump will move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem this year (in 2017).

One more thing: On Mar. 14, 2017, it was reported that Israel has budgeted $550,000 a year to research and strengthen the connection between Israel and the Temple Mount.

This means that the Israeli government has now officially recognized that the Temple Mount is a Jewish site (not a Palestinian site).

And it is interesting that this has happened in the 10th Jubilee of Rabbi Juda ben Samuel’s “Prophecy of Ten Jubilees.”

Each person should decide whether to believe this prophecy is true or a fake. But if the world is close to the great and dreadful day of the Lord, a powerful miracle-working prophet could soon appear.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8518

Apr 07

Section of 2nd Temple-era column found at Temple Mount dig

Capital topped a column that stood 41 feet high, forming part of the double colonnade that surrounded the Temple Mount plaza to provide shade for the pilgrims who visited the mount • Temple Mount Sifting Project work stops due to funding crisis.

Yori Yalon|

Photo credit:

The capital of a carefully-adorned column that stood on the Temple Mount in the time of the Second Temple has been discovered through the Temple Mount Sifting Project.

The capital, whose size indicates that the column had a circumference of 75 centimeters (30 inches) at its top, is a section of one column that formed part of the double colonnade that surrounded the Temple Mount plaza.

In his book “The War of the Jews,” Romano-Jewish historian Josephus describes the columns that surrounded the Temple Mount plaza: “All the cloisters were double, and the pillars belonging to them were 25 cubits in height, and supported the cloisters. … The natural magnificence and excellent polish and the harmony of the joints in these cloisters afforded a prospect that was very remarkable.”

Dr. Gabriel Barkay, the director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, said that “this is a capital in the Doric style, one of the characteristics of the art in the time of the Hasmonean dynasty. This appears to be the capital of a column formed part of the eastern colonnade of the Temple Mount, which Josephus and even the New Testament called ‘Solomon’s Porch.’ A column like this is impressive testimony of the immensity of the structures on the Temple Mount in the Second Temple era, and fits in well with Josephus’ narrative, which describes what he saw with his own eyes.”

Barkay explained that a 25-cubit column would have stood 12.5 meters (41 feet) high.

“The columns were erected in two parallel rows, and were topped with cedar rafters that supported the roofing. One can imagine the pilgrims arriving at the Temple Mount for the three major festivals, amazed at the immense structure that appeared before them after they passed through the gates to the Temple Mount into the plaza that surrounded the Temple. The columns around the plaza provided shade for the thousands of visitors that would be on the mount at once,” Barkay said.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project recently came to a halt due to a lack of funds. The project has been under way for more than a decade, sifting through the rubble discarded by the Islamic Movement in a major dig in 1999. On Monday, a campaign to raise funds to continue the project launched on the Giveback website.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8429

Apr 07

EU nations, Israel eye world’s longest undersea gas pipeline

Mediterranean, European countries see new gas pipeline as way to boost cooperation and boost supply.

AFP, 03/04/17 14:19

Italy, Israel, Greece and Cyprus pledged Monday to move ahead with the world’s longest undersea gas pipeline from the eastern Mediterranean to southern Europe, with support from the European Union.

If carried out as planned, the long-discussed $6.2 billion pipeline would take gas from Israel and Cyprus’s recently discovered offshore gas reserves to Europe and could help reduce the continent’s dependence on Russian energy at a time of ongoing tensions.

In a joint news conference in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv, energy ministers from the four nations, as well as the EU’s Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete, pledged their commitment to the project.

Feasibility studies had been completed, the ministers said, but work on developing it would not begin for several years – with current expectations for it to go online in 2025.

“This is going to be the longest and deepest sub-sea gas pipeline in the world,” said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud).

Gas prices have fallen, however, and the project’s financial feasibility is based on expectations they will rise again, Elio Ruggeri, chief executive of IGI Poseidon – one of the companies developing the plan – told AFP.

Both Israel and Cyprus have started to extract gas from their offshore fields in recent years, with far larger fields expected to come online in the future.

Officials from the countries have sought to market the gas to Europe as an alternative to dependence on Russian imports, and Canete admitted it would help limit reliance on the Nord Stream pipeline via Russia.

“The north stream is a pipeline (which) adds nothing to the security of supply,” said Canete. “Cyprus and Israel are very reliable suppliers.

“We highly value gas supply from the region as a vital source of our gas supply that can make a valuable contribution to our strategy to diversify sources, routes and suppliers.

“This is a pipe that unites and will have the full support of all the members of the European Union.”

The four ministers agreed to meet every six months for the coming years.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8425

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