Category: Islam

Iran’s Intelligence Minister Admits Christianity is Spreading in ‘Parts’ of His Country

05-05-2019

Steve Warren

Iran’s intelligence minister has admitted publicly for the first time that Christianity is spreading throughout Iran.

Iranwire.com reports Mahmoud Alavi, the Islamic Republic’s intelligence minister, was giving a speech in front of several Shia Muslim clerics when he announced “Christianity is spreading in “parts” of Iran.”  

In an apparent attempt to make light of the people are converting, Alavi said: “These converts are ordinary people whose jobs are selling sandwiches or similar things.”

The intelligence minister also told the clerics to quit bickering among themselves. 

“We had no choice but to summon them to ask them why they were converting,” said Alavi told the assembled group. “Some of them said they were looking for a religion that gives them peace. We told them that Islam is the religion of brotherhood and peace. They responded by saying that: ‘All the time we see Muslim clerics and those who preach from the pulpit talk against each other. If Islam is the religion of cordiality, then before anything else, there must be cordiality and peace among the clerics themselves.”

“It is not the job of the intelligence community to find the roots of these conversions from Islam. But it’s happening right before our eyes,” he added.

Iran is known for its mounting persecution of Christians.  The Islamic Republic is listed as number 9 among the world’s top persecutors of Christians, according to Open Doors USA. Christians in Iran are forbidden from sharing their faith with non-Christians. Consequently, church services in Persian (Iran’s national language) are not allowed. 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9795

Israeli Aircraft Strike Targets In Gaza Strip Early Thursday Morning After Palestinian Fire Balloon Attacks Ignite Fields In Eshkol Region Of Israel

Throughout the day, Palestinians launched dozens of incendiary devices, carried by balloons, into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. However, it was not immediately clear if the Eshkol fire was sparked by one of these objects.“At this point, the cause of the fire is not known. We will only know after a check by fire investigators,” a spokesperson for the Eshkol region said. The strike came after a large brushfire broke out in the Eshkol region of southern Israel on Wednesday night, with suspicions that it was caused by a balloon-borne incendiary device from the nearby Gaza Strip, officials said.

by Geoffrey Grider May 1, 2019

Israeli aircraft were striking target in the Gaza Strip early Thursday, Palestinian reports said after a wave of fire balloons were launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Fire balloons are no joke, and have done millions of dollars in damage to myriad acres of fields in southern Israel since the Gaza Strip riots began a little over a year ago. They show no signs of abating anytime soon.

In keeping with Israel’s zero tolerance policy on attacks by Palestinians in the Strip, the Israel air force launched a series of targeted strikes early Thursday. We will update this story as events progress.

Israeli aircraft said to strike targets in Gaza after wave of fire balloons

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: There was no immediate comment from the IDF. The reports said the aircraft bombed targets in northern Gaza. There were no reports of injuries. The strike came after a large brush fire broke out in the Eshkol region of southern Israel on Wednesday night, with suspicions that it was caused by a balloon-borne incendiary device from the nearby Gaza Strip, officials said.

A fire rages in the Eshkol region of southern Israel on May 1, 2019. (Tzvika Korbeshi/Eshkol)

The blaze began in a field between the Eshkol National Park and Kibbutz Urim, spreading throughout the grasslands and into a wooded area, according to Fire and Rescue Department Eli Cohen.

The fire came amid heightened tensions between Israel and terror groups in the Strip, after a rocket was launched from the coastal enclave, landing several kilometers off shore on Monday night.

Throughout the day, Palestinians launched dozens of incendiary devices, carried by balloons, into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. However, it was not immediately clear if the Eshkol fire was sparked by one of these objects.

“At this point, the cause of the fire is not known. We will only know after a check by fire investigators,” a spokesperson for the Eshkol region said.

Three teams of firefighters were working to put out the fire. In addition to the Fire and Rescue Department, firefighters from the Jewish National Fund and from the Parks Service were involved in the effort, the fire department spokesman said.

“The teams are working together to get control over the fire and prevent it from spreading,” Cohen said.

Due to the blaze’s location, the firefighters were not able to bring their trucks into the area, requiring them to use smaller, hand-held equipment to battle the flames, the fire department spokesman said.

On Tuesday, a fire broke out near Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Sha’ar Hanegev region. That blaze was caused by a balloon-borne incendiary device launched into Israel from Gaza. In recent weeks, such arson attacks have tapered off under the ceasefire brokered by Egypt last month. That fire was quickly extinguished by a team of volunteers, the fire department said.

Also Tuesday, the Israeli military deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries throughout the country, following a rocket attack from Gaza the previous night and ahead of what is expected to be a sensitive next few weeks.

The military expects the coming weeks to be particularly tense, as they will see the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the international Eurovision song competition in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Memorial and Independence days, and the first anniversary of the opening of the contentious US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Following Monday’s rocket launch, Israel scaled back the permitted Gaza fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to six until further notice. The fishing zone had previously been extended to 15 miles — a level that the coastal enclave has not seen in over a decade — as one of the first concessions by Jerusalem under an unofficial ceasefire agreement with terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday morning, the IDF said the Islamic Jihad intentionally fired the rocket from the northern Gaza Strip toward coastal Israel the day before in an effort to derail ongoing efforts to maintain the ceasefire.

While there has not been a complete cessation of violence along the Gaza border since the ceasefire went into effect last month, the situation there has been relatively calm. Terror groups in the Strip have threatened to bring back regular border riots if Israel does not abide by its side of the deal.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9783

President Trump’s ‘Deal Of The Century’ Middle East Peace Plan Would Have Palestinians Become Citizens Of Jordan And Egypt

There have been various reports on what Trump’s peace plan might include. Channel 13 News reported in January, that the deal would include a Palestinian state with 85-90% of the West Bank and the division of Jerusalem. Part of the deal would also include giving Jordanian land, Naharayim and Tzofar, to Israel. These enclaves are currently leased to Israel, but officially Jordanian land. In return, Jordan would receive land from Saudi Arabia, the report claimed.

by Geoffrey Grider April 5, 2019

President Donald Trump will push for Jordan to grant citizenship to one million Palestinian refugees as part of his “Deal of the Century,” according to the Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.

As improbable as it seems, with each passing month, President Trump and Jared Kushner are inching closer to presenting a very unique and different peace deal and one that actually might be accepted by both parties. Amazingly, it will not create a Palestinian state existing alongside with Israel. Now the question is, who will control Jerusalem.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (KJV)

The battle for control of Jerusalem goes all the way back to the first book of the bible ever written, the book of Job. Job represents in type Jews who will find themselves in the time of Jacob’s trouble in the days after the rapture of the Church takes place. Because God has proclaim over and over that Jerusalem is the place where He has place His own name, Satan wants it for himself. You cannot have peace in the Middle East without first figuring out who will control Jerusalem.

TRUMP’S PEACE PLAN: GRANT JORDANIAN CITIZENSHIP TO A MILLION PALESTINIAN REFUGEES – REPORT

FROM THE JPOST: Trump will also ask Egypt to grant citizenship to Palestinian refugees. Granting Palestinians refugees citizenship status from other countries may be a way for Trump to avoid establishing a Palestinian state. The report hints that a confederation of three states may be an option, where there would be a joint government between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority for specific and limited purposes.

According to the report, Jordanian King Abdullah II expressed opposition to the establishment of a joint confederation and told Egyptian leaders that he prefers Jordan to remain in charge of the holy sites in Jerusalem “without interfering in the details between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

If the Al Akhbar report is correct, Jordan and Egypt will receive USD $110 billion in economic aid, according to the report. It is not yet clear where this reported aid will come from. Jordan would receive USD $45 billion, and the remainder would go to Egypt. For both of the countries part of the money will be used for implementing projects on the ground.

The absorption would happen in stages, where the largest number of refugees that Jordan would have to take in at one time would be 300,000. Palestinians from Gaza who are currently in Jordan would be included in this deal.

Part of the deal would also include giving Jordanian land, Naharayim and Tzofar, to Israel. These enclaves are currently leased to Israel, but officially Jordanian land. In return, Jordan would receive land from Saudi Arabia, the report claimed.

Al Akhbar reported that Trump intends on updating Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the details of his peace plan. Trump would also propose that Lebanon absorbs a portion of their Palestinian refugees, but if the refugees accept Lebanese citizenship, they would forgo their claim to the right of return.

There have been various reports on what Trump’s peace plan might include. Channel 13 News reported in January, that the deal would include a Palestinian state with 85-90% of the West Bank and the division of Jerusalem.

The report, based on a source who took part in a briefing in Washington on the plan by a senior American official, said it calls for the annexation of the large settlements and the evacuation of settlement outposts deemed illegal under Israeli law

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9718

Saudi Nuclear Reactor Nears Completion Without Kingdom Signing Non-proliferation Agreement, Report Says

U.S. senators from both parties want further details about recent approvals for companies to share nuclear energy information with Saudi Arabia Haaretz and Reuters

Apr 04, 2019 12:50 PM Saudi Arabia has almost finished building its first nuclear reactor, according to Bloomberg’s assessment of the first satellite images of the  facility, which were published on Google Earth.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that satellite photos show a containment vessel for atomic fuel at the reactor site in Riyadh. The report notes the “ advancement is alarming to arms-control experts because Saudi Arabia has yet to sign up to the international framework of rules other nuclear powers follow to ensure that civilian atomic programs aren’t used to build weapons.”

U.S. senators from both parties on Tuesday asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry for details about recent approvals for companies to share nuclear energy information with Saudi Arabia, with the lawmakers expressing concern about possible development of atomic weapons.

Saudi Arabia has engaged in “many deeply troubling actions and statements that have provoked alarm in Congress,” Senators Bob Menendez, a Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Republican, told Perry in a letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

The senators said Congress was beginning to reevaluate the U.S.-Saudi relationship, and they believe Washington should not be providing nuclear technology or information to Saudi Arabia now.

The Trump administration has been quietly negotiating a deal that would potentially help Saudi Arabia build two reactors.

Last week news reports revealed that since November 2017, Perry has authorized so-called Part 810 approvals allowing U.S. companies to share sensitive nuclearinformation with the kingdom. The approvals were kept from the public and from Congress.

The senators asked Perry to provide them by April 10 with the names of the companies that got the 810 approvals, what was in the authorizations, and why the companies asked that the approvals be kept secret.

While 810 agreements are routine, the Obama administration made them available for the public to read at Energy Department headquarters. Lawmakers say the department is legally required to inform Congress about the approvals.

Perry approved the seven recent authorizations as the administration has tried to hash out nonproliferation standards with Saudi Arabia. Such a pact, known as a 123 agreement, would have to be agreed before U.S. companies can share physical exports of materials and equipment to build reactors.

The kingdom has resisted standards on reprocessing spent fuel and enriching uranium, two potential paths to making nuclear weapons.

The United States has been competing with South Korea, France, Russia and China on a potential deal to help build reactors in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is expected to announce the winner this year.

Lawmakers from both parties have been concerned about Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaigns in Yemen, which is on the brink of famine, and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Concern in Congress grew last year after the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS that “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclearbomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

Perry has said the 810 approvals were kept from the public for corporate proprietary reasons.

He has also said that if Saudi Arabia relies on China or Russia for building nuclear reactors those two countries don’t give a “tinker’s damn” about non-proliferation.

Many non-proliferation experts dispute the notion that a deal with China or Russia would be riskier. These people say the United States has many other levers it can pull to influence nuclear behavior.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9714

DIVIDE AND CONQUER: Pope Francis Meets With Muslim King In Morocco And Declares That Jerusalem Should Never Belong Solely To The Jews

Pope Francis joined the Moroccan monarch in declaring the city the “common patrimony” of Christians, Jews and Muslims, on the first day of a visit to the North African country. The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was invited by King Mohammed VI for the sake of “inter-religious dialogue,” according to Moroccan authorities. The statement Thursday made no mention of any Jewish link to Jerusalem.

by Geoffrey Grider March 30, 2019

Pope Francis and Moroccan King Mohammed VI called on Saturday for Jerusalem to be preserved as a symbol of peaceful coexistence where Jews, Muslims and Christians can be allowed to worship freely.

Just like everything that comes out of the mouth of the Roman pope, it was a tiny nugget of truth encompassed about with layers and layers of lies. Yes, Jerusalem is claimed by Jews, Christians and Muslims, absolutely, but of those three only the first two are mentioned in the bible as being ordained by God. The Muslims are the bastard children of Abraham, and are specifically mentioned in the Bible as have none inheritance. The children of Abraham through Hagar are to be “cast out” as we see here:

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Galatians 4:22,23,30 (KJV)

So that takes care of Lie #1 of Pope Francis, let’s move on to the second whopper he told in Morocco. This idea that Jerusalem cannot belong solely to the Jews because it “has to be shared” is another oft-repeated fact that is just not so. The bible says  that the Battle of Armageddon, seen below in Joel 3, is fought over the fact that somebody, namely Antichrist, has “parted” God’s land of Israel in general, and Jerusalem in particular. That’s right, Jerusalem belongs to God.

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:1,2 (KJV)

Isn’t it funny how whenever the Roman pontiff talks about Jerusalem, he never mentions that it is the capital of Israel and as such is not up to be shared by whoever feels like grabbing a piece of it? He speaks of Jerusalem like a commodity that can be bought and sold, and indeed it will be. By Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Pope in Morocco urges Jerusalem be protected for all religions

FROM THE TIME OF ISRAEL: Pope Francis joined the Moroccan monarch in declaring the city the “common patrimony” of Christians, Jews and Muslims, on the first day of a visit to the North African country. The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics was invited by King Mohammed VI for the sake of “inter-religious dialogue,” according to Moroccan authorities.

In a joint statement, the two leaders said Jerusalem was “common patrimony of humanity and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions,” during the pontiff’s visit to Rabat.

“The specific multi-religious character, the spiritual dimension and the particular cultural identity of Jerusalem… must be protected and promoted,” they said in the declaration released by the Vatican.

The statement contrasted sharply with a joint communique put out by Mohammed and Jordan’s King Abdullah on Thursday vowing to safeguard Jerusalem against attempts to change its Islamic or Christian identity.

The statement Thursday made no mention of any Jewish link to Jerusalem.

Improving relations with other religions has been a priority for the Argentine pontiff, whose papacy has been marred by a wave of child sex abuse allegations against clergy.

ANTICHRIST: POPE FRANCIS TELLS CATHOLICS IN ROME THAT A ‘PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP’ WITH JESUS IS ‘DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL’

Addressing thousands of Moroccans who had braved the rain to attend the welcome ceremony, Francis said it was “essential to oppose fanaticism.”

He stressed the need for “appropriate preparation of future religious guides”, ahead of meeting trainee imams later on Saturday.

Catholics are a tiny minority in the country where 99 percent of the population is Muslim. The king is revered across West Africa as “commander of the faithful.”

Speaking at the ceremony at the Tour Hassan mosque and nearby mausoleum in Rabat, Francis defended “freedom of conscience” and “religious freedom.”

“Live as brothers,” he told a crowd of around 25,000, after arriving from the airport in his Popemobile, passing rows of Moroccan and Vatican City flags.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9699

Jews Call for Synagogue on Temple Mount in Response to Muslim Takeover

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz March 5, 2019 , 1:48 pm

On that day, He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, near Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split across from east to west, and one part of the Mount shall shift to the north and the other to the south, a huge gorge. Zechariah 14:4 (The Israel Bible™)

A confrontation between the Israeli police and the Palestinians is expected as more politicians are calling for the closure of a prayer area that was opened in the area of the Sha’ar HaRachamim (the Gate of Mercy, also known as the Golden Gate).

The area was closed 16 years ago by court order after it was used as a meeting place for Hamas-related organizations. Last Friday, Arabs began protesting and broke the lock, entering the site.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the site closed but the police have yet to carry out that order. Haaretz reported that the Waqf (Muslim authority) director-general Sheikh Azzam al-Hatib requested permission from the police to bring construction materials into Sha’ar HaRachamim for renovations and according to Waqf sources, his request was not denied.

The Waqf has thus far refused to respond to summonses to appear in court and on Monday, an Israeli court ordered the area closed unless the Waqf responds. It is expected that riots will break out on Friday when the area normally fills with Muslim worshipers. On Monday, Agriculture Minister (MK) Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) ascended to the Temple Mount and attempted to enter the Sha’ar Harachamim area but was turned away by police.

 “What’s happening at the Gate of Mercy [Golden Gate] is a major breach of the status quo, and our demand is that this matter be returned to its previous status immediately. There is no reason for Netanyahu to agree to this change and certainly not when Muslims are allowed in and Jews are not,” Ariel told the Orthodox news site Kipa.

At an emergency meeting on Sunday night of all the Temple Mount movements concerning the recent Muslim takeover of Sha’ar HaRachamim. Assaf Fried, spokesman for the Temple Organizations, was at the meeting.

“We are not giving up on Sha’ar Harachamim at all,” Fried told Breaking Israel News. “We know that this is entirely the fault of this government but three mosques have been built under Netanyahu. This time there are many more Jews on site so hopefully that will prevent them from turning the site into a mosque. And indeed, the government is taking steps that they never took in the past. They have issued legal restrictions forbidding several Muslim leaders from entering the Temple Mount.”

In order to show the government that the Jews in Israel are firmly committed to the Temple Mount, the group of organizations has called for everyone who objects to the Muslims usurping the site to ascend next Thursday, March 14.

The assembly also called for the government to have the Waqf declared an illegal organization and to have it banned from the Temple Mount.

The participants at the conference also called on Israeli political parties to demand the permission of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount as a precondition for any coalition agreement after the upcoming Israeli elections.

The groups also called for the establishment of a synagogue on the Temple Mount. This project was first advocated by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, in the mid-1990s. His son, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Safed’s chief rabbi, continues to work toward that goal and in 2016, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, generally considered to be moderate in his politics as well as his religious rulings, stunned many when he said in 2016 that there was enough room on the Temple Mount for the addition of both a synagogue and church without infringing on the Muslim sites currently in existence.

In response to Rabbi Eliyahu’s call to make a synagogue in the unused underground area of Solomon’s Stables, the Waqf built the Marwani Mosque at that location capable of accommodating at least 10,000 worshippers. The construction was carried out without permits and in violation of agreements signed with Jordan. When the Waqf constructed  the underground mosque, they worked with heavy machinery, trucking away tons of dirt with total disregard for the archaeological integrity.

Part of the concern over construction at the Sha’ar HaRachamim is for for wooden beams stored at the site. The beams lay in the courtyard outside of the location under a tarpaulin, neglected and ignored. The politically volatile situation does not allow the timbers to be removed but carbon-14 dating carried out in 1984 identified them as Turkish oak and Lebanon cedar ranging in age from 1,340 years to 2,860 years old. The Waqf sold some of the wood in the 1960’s as scrap and in 2012, a group of Jews visiting the Temple Mount photographed some of the wood being burned on site.

The Muslims claim that Israel is attempting to change the status quo on the Temple Mount however, as Ariel indicated, a cursory look at the history of the site since Israel conquered it in 1967 shows that precisely the opposite is taking place. In 1967 there was one functioning mosque on the site; the silver-domed al-Aqsa.

If the Waqf succeeds in establishing a mosque in Sha’ar HaRachamim, this will be the fifth mosque on the Temple Mount. During the 1970’s, the Muslims closed two gates to non-Muslims, restricting their entrance to the Mughrabi Gate. It was also possible for non-Muslims to enter the structures on the site and that too became restricted. The hours for non-Muslim visitation have become more curtailed as time has progressed, though the number of Jews visiting the site has skyrocketed in recent years.

Yaakov Hayman, chairman of the United Temple Movements, sees the current situation as an open confrontation.

“Our holiest site is being trampled by people who have declared themselves as our enemies,” Hayman told Breaking Israel News. “We can’t blame them since they are acting precisely like enemies. This shows where we are spiritually and what we need to do. We need miracles for the Third Temple to arrive but God will only do miracles after he sees that we want it. Jews are finally waking up to the Temple Mount but we need to take it up a few notches.”

“The Arabs know all his; that Jews are waking up and that even the non-Jews are waking up. They see this in Trump and they are terrified. This is their desperate last-ditch effort.”

Not only is the site significant to the Jews as the site of the two Temples but it is prophesied to play a significant role in the end-of-days.According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through the Eastern Gate and will appear again when the Messiah arrives.

In addition, the Zohar, the seminal work of Jewish mysticism, describes an pre-Messiah war on the Temple Mount involving the descendants if Ishmael who are understood to be the Arabs.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9666

Airstrikes, Tanks Heading To The Border And Planes Shot Down – India And Pakistan Are In A State Of War

War has erupted in Asia.  India is the second largest country in the world by population, and Pakistan is the fifth largest, and they both possess large nuclear arsenals.  If this conflict continues to escalate, things could get really, really bad very quickly.  On Wednesday, military aircraft were shot down by both sides, there was shelling across the border by both armies, and in recent hours videos have been posted of Pakistani tanks and Indian tanks both heading to the border.  Once one army crosses the “Line of Control”, it is going to be very difficult to get the two sides to sit down at the negotiating table.  War is one of the elements of “the perfect storm” that I have been warning you about, and I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the conflict that we are going to see in 2019.

The Pakistani military was greatly embarrassed by the successful Indian airstrikes on Monday, and on Tuesday military aircraft from both sides were shot down

Earlier today Pakistan and India said they had shot down each other’s warplanes, in a dramatic escalation of the dangerous confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan said it downed two Indian jets in its airspace and captured two pilots, later amended to one: whom they then seemingly paraded – blindfolded and bloodied – for the camera.

On Tuesday evening, Islamabad used heavy calibre artillery to shell 12 to 15 places along the Indian side creating panic among the populace on the border where bunkers are being hastily thrown up to ease their fears.

When the Indian pilot that was shot down was discovered by locals in Pakistan, they started beating the living daylights out of him.  The following comes from the Mirror

The brief clip shows the cameraman approach a group of people huddled around the stricken pilot in what appears to be a small creek.

The pilot, whose arms are being held above his head, is struck in the face twice before being kicked in the back of the head, with someone behind him appearing to attempt to knee him.

The Pakistani military was able to rescue the pilot from the locals, and they are now holding him in a detention facility.

In addition to airstrikes, it is being reported that both armies “have been shelling across the LoC (Line of Control)”.  Needless to say, a lot of civilians that live along the border are really freaked out, and on the Indian side of the border a total of 14,000 bunkers are hastily being constructed to give concerned citizens some shelter.

Most westerners don’t really think of India and Pakistan as prominent global military powers, but the truth is that they both have very large standing armies.  And at this point India is allocating even more money than the UK toward military spending…

India, home to 1.3 billion people, has a conventional army of about 1.4 million soldiers. Pakistan, with a population of over 200 million people, has about 650,000 troops. Both countries have spent billions developing conventional arms. Last year, Pakistan spent about $11 billion or about 3.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. India meanwhile allocated about $58 billion, or 2.1 percent of its GDP on defense, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies. India’s ballooning military spending has propelled it to the world’s fifth-biggest defense spender, surpassing the United Kingdom, according to the IISS.

But the big concern is that this crisis could go nuclear.

If India and Pakistan fought a war and it stayed strictly conventional, the rest of the world would probably not be affected too much.

However, it is being reported that India and Pakistan both “possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each”, and if such weapons are actually used the global impact would be “devastating”…

Both India and Pakistan are believed to possess more than 100 nuclear warheads each and have conducted atomic weapon tests. Both countries have test-fired nuclear-capable missiles. Pakistan also has refused to renounce a first-strike option with its atomic bombs should it feel outgunned in a conventional war. It takes less than four minutes for a missile fired from Pakistan to reach India. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns that “computer models have predicted that the physical impacts of a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan, or even a single strike on a large city, would be devastating and would reverberate throughout the world.”

Approximately one out of every five people on the entire planet lives in either India or Pakistan.

So the death toll in a nuclear conflict between these two nations could result in a death toll that would be unimaginable.

And let us not forget that it looks like the U.S. is about to enter another new war as well.  In an article that I posted yesterday, I discussed the fact that Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has just accused the United States of shipping troops to Colombia and Puerto Rico in preparation for an invasion of Venezuela.  China has come out very strongly against western military intervention in Venezuela, and the Russians already have special forces there.

If someone makes the wrong move, it could end up sparking World War 3.

We are living in one of the most pivotal times in all of human history, and most people don’t even realize it.

If India backs down, Pakistan will probably be willing to go to the negotiating table.  But if India’s tanks cross the Line of Control, Pakistan may feel forced to resort to using nukes because they can’t match India’s military strength, and then all hell could break loose.

Similarly, if the U.S. backs down and doesn’t arm the opposition in Venezuela, there probably won’t be a bloody war in that nation.  But if the U.S. arms the opposition and decides to invade on top of that, it is going to unleash a series of negative consequences that we will not be able to control.

Critical decisions are being made right now that are going to greatly alter our future, and let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9659

Pakistan says it shot down 2 Indian warplanes, shut down its airspace

By Edmund DeMarche | Fox News

Tensions between two of the world’s nuclear powers were raised dramatically Wednesday after Pakistan’s air force said it shot down two Indian warplanes that crossed the disputed Kashmir border and captured each of the aircraft’s pilots.

Police officials in Indian-occupied Kashmir told Reuters two Indian pilots and a civilian on the ground died when the planes crashed. The officials did not confirm the planes were shot down by Pakistani forces.

Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, also claimed an Indian plane shot down a Pakistani fighter jet — although Pakistan denied any of its jets had been hit and photographic evidence had yet to emerge.

The Pakistani official said one of the Indian planes crashed in the Pakistani part of Kashmir and the other went down in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told the Associated Press one of the pilots was injured and was being treated in a military hospital. He did not elaborate on the pilot’s injuries. Ghafoor said the other pilot was in custody.

News sites out of Pakistan posted unconfirmed pictures and videos of one of the pilots who appeared blindfolded and with a bloody nose. Pakistan’s information ministry also tweeted out apparent footage of one of the downed Indian jets as well as a message congratulating the Pakistan Air Force.

A senior Indian police officer said earlier that an Indian Air Force plane crashed in the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. No information about injuries or deaths was immediately available.

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said later it closed its airspace to all commercial flights as tensions with India escalated.

Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month.

Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi told the Associated Press he had no information on Wednesday’s incident.

Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month. (AP)

In a televised address, Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, warned against further escalation between the two countries.

“If we let it happen, it will remain neither in my nor [Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi’s control,” he said.

Referring to air strikes by Pakistan earlier Wednesday, he said Pakistan had been obliged to respond to Tuesday’s action by India.

“Our action is just to let them know that just like they intruded into our territory, we are also capable of going into their territory.”

Sushma Swaraj, the Indian foreign minister, said India “does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.”

Residents on both sides of the de-facto frontier, the so-called Line of Control, said there were exchanges of fire between the two sides through the night. In Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, hundreds of villagers have fled border towns.

The airport in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, was closed in what was described as a “temporary and precautionary measure,” an Indian official told the Associated Press.

Asian News International reported that commercial flights between Indian and Pakistani airspace are affected. Its report said Pakistan immediately stopped domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9649

Violence Breaks Out On Temple Mount as Muslims Claim Gate Where Shechinah Dwells

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz February 24, 2019 , 10:39 am

“And Hashem said to me: This gate is to be kept shut and is not to be opened! No one shall enter by it because Hashem, the God of Yisrael, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.” Ezekiel 44:2 (The Israel Bible™)

On Friday, thousands of Palestinians stormed the Shaar HaRachamim (the gate of mercy), also known as the Golden Gate, on the Temple Mount chanting “Allahu Akhbar” (Allah is greater), breaking into the locked site. The site has been closed by court order since 2003 when it was discovered that the Islamic heritage association that operated there was associated with Hamas and the site had become a meeting place for suspected terrorists.  Illegal construction was also being carried out on site.  Palestinian officials hailed the entry of worshipers into the Golden Gate site on Friday as a “big victory.”

On Thursday night, police arrested 60 East Jerusalem residents on suspicions of incitement and rioting ahead of the Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In the video, the crowd is heard chanting, “with spirit and blood we will redeem Al-Aqsa.”

Jerusalem Police on Sunday arrested two senior officials of the Waqf (Muslim authority): the Chairman of the Wakf Department in east Jerusalem, Shiekh Abdel Azim Salhab and Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, deputy director of the Wakf. The Waqf is under Jordanian jurisdiction and earlier this month, the Jordanian government increased the Waqf council from 11 to 18 in a move that was seen to bolster the Palestinian Authority control over the Temple Mount. It is believed that this is an attempt to consolidate control over the site before the U.S. announces President Trump’s Middle-East Peace Plan.

MK Ahmad Tibi of the joint Hadash-Ta’al party visited the controversial Golden Gate site on Saturday and said its opening was “an important and significant step.” He added that Muslims and the Waqf, custodians of the holy site, “should be given full control of the mosque, without the entry of settlers and Jewish politicians from the right,” according to Army Radio.

Israel conquered the Temple Mount in the 1967 Six-Day War and in a 1988 agreement with Israel, Jordan renounced its claim to any of the territories it had illegally occupied prior to the war. The peace treaty Jordan signed with Israel in 1994 requires Israel to “respect the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem.”

According to Jewish tradition, the Shekhinah (שכינה) (Divine Presence) used to appear through the Eastern Gate and will appear again when the Messiah arrives.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9643

United Nations Warns That Billions Of Locusts Now Gathering On Both Sides Of The Red Sea Preparing To Swarm Egypt And Saudi Arabia

A locust outbreak in Sudan and Eritrea is spreading rapidly along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said. Periods of rain along the Red Sea coastal plains in Eritrea and Sudan have allowed two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms.

by Geoffrey Grider February 22, 2019

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that an infestation of desert locusts in Sudan and Eritrea is rapidly spreading along both sides of the Red Sea towards Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Even with all the gruesome weaponry that fallen man has created over the years, few things are creepier or more disturbing than when the insect world comes swarming. When God wanted to get Pharoah’s attention in the Old Testament, He sent plagues of disgusting insects and reptilian creatures. Right now, billions of locusts are descending on Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Kinda funny, though, how these swarms almost always skip right over Israel, isn’t it?

“And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” Revelation 9:3 (KJV)

But in the near future, in the days after the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church, there will be a swarm of locusts in Israel that will come up from the bottomless pit. The Bible says about that time “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” That will happen during the time of Jacob’s trouble.  In the meantime, enjoy this Tribulation preview of locusts in the Middle East.

SPEAK OF THE BIBLE: LOCUST SWARMS IMMINENT IN EGYPT, SAUDI ARABIA

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: According to an agency press release, heavy rains triggered two generations of breeding since October, leading to a substantial increase in the locust population.

“The next three months will be critical in bringing the locust situation under control before the summer breeding starts,” FAO’s Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman said.

Earlier this year, the insects evoked biblical times when they showed up at holy sites in Mecca, covering some areas in darkness and sparking a thunderstorm of hail and fire on social media.

“These locusts are normally present in low numbers in the desert and don’t cause a big problem. But following a large rainfall they can quickly multiply, eventually forming hopper bands or swarms of adults, composed of billions of individual locusts,” Cressman told The Media Line.

According to the FAO, locust swarms can extend outwards several hundred square miles, containing roughly 40-80 million adult locusts in each square mile.

What makes these insects so dangerous is their threat to food security, says Cressman.

“A desert locust adult can consume its own weight (roughly 2 grams) in food in a day. The added difficulty is they’re normally in the desert, so they’re eating the vegetation there.

“Once they get into rainfed crops on the edge of the desert, grown by poor farmers, they’re eating an entire livelihood, and then they move into the country and affect national food supplies,” he emphasized.

Therefore, a swarm of about 40 million locusts eats the same amount of food in one day as about 35,000 average people. A swarm reaching the size of Paris would eat the same quantity of food in 24 hours as half the population of France, according to the FAO.

“When a locust swarm lands, it can cause crop losses of 80-100 percent,” Dr. Arianna Cease, Director of the Global Locust Initiative at Arizona State University, told The Media Line. “This is particularly devastating for subsistence farmers who depend on their crops to feed their families.”

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