Category: Israel

Changing Before Our Eyes’: Israel Warns Of Potential ‘Surprise War’ With Surrounding Islamic Nations

Joel 3:11-12, “Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, And gather yourselves there. Bring down, O LORD, Your mighty ones. Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations.”

The Jerusalem Post – “The threat of a conflict suddenly erupting between Israel and its enemies is very real, Israel Air Force chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel warned on Wednesday.

The advanced S-300 Russian air defense system is ‘on the way to Syria,’ he added.

The IDF chief of staff, Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz, echoed Eshel’s message. The chance of a multi-arena conflict breaking out are ‘substantial,’ he said.

Eshel, addressing a national security conference held by the Fisher Brothers Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Herzliya, said that ‘the Assad regime has invested much to achieve the best air defenses that it could buy,’ including the SA-17, SA-22, SA-24 and the S-300 platforms.

‘These systems are not only an operational threat.

They also lead to an increased sense of security that can lead states to do things they would not otherwise do. This is a totally different generation of weapons, which does not resemble anything in the past. But there’s no system that has no solution. The question is only the price,’ the air force commander said.

Syria is ‘changing before our eyes. If it collapses tomorrow, we could find its vast arsenal dispersed and pointed at us,’ he said.

The threat of a war erupting is ‘many times more relevant today. A surprise war could be born today in many forms. Lone incidents can escalate very quickly and obligate us to be prepared within hours to act to the edge of the spectrum… meaning using the full abilities of the Israel Air Force,’ Eshel said.

‘If during the Second Lebanon War [in 2006] we used only a small amount of these capabilities, in the next war we will have to give 100 percent so that our activities will be swift and very powerful,’ he warned.”

In a future war, the air force will pave a path for the ground forces by carrying out very heavy bombings that will make a ground offensive far easier and faster. The IAF must be the central component in ground maneuvers, and is spending a great deal of time preparing for this, he said.

Also on Wednesday, Gantz spoke to graduates of the IDF Command and Staff College, telling them that the military is at “a significant point on the axis of time, in light of the developing security threats and instability around us.”

The IDF is facing the substantial threat of a multi-arena conflict, he warned.

“We must work in a joined manner, coordinated, and with maximum efficiency to ensure our ability to win quickly in every confrontation, and to win every future war,” the chief of staff said.

Ground maneuvers remain “important and relevant” for the IDF’s ability to secure a victory, Gantz said, adding that “it’s clear that we must strengthen our ability for an offensive maneuver” that will be made up of components such as intelligence, firepower, logistics and teleprocessing.

These should ensure a flexible, swift, deadly ground maneuver, Gantz said.

On Tuesday, Gantz warned President Bashar Assad that he would “bear the consequences” if Syria escalated its attacks on the IDF on the Golan Heights.

The warning came hours after a Syrian army position opened fire on an IDF jeep, lightly damaging it. The IDF opened fire in response, destroying the Syrian position. Channel 2 said three Syrian soldiers were killed in the exchange.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Western governments are ready to increase support to Assad’s opponents if he rejects a political solution to Syria’s civil war.

Kerry said recent military gains by Assad’s forces were only temporary, and that if the Syrian leader believed the counteroffensives against the rebels would be decisive, “then he is miscalculating.”

Kerry was speaking in Amman before a meeting of the Friends of Syria group of nations – mainly Western and Arab opponents of Assad – trying to pave the way for a US-Russian proposed peace conference to end Syria’s twoyear conflict, in which more than 80,000 people have been killed.

The conference aims to build on last year’s international accord discussed in Geneva that set out plans for a transition of power in Syria but broke down over disagreements about Assad’s role.

“In the event that we can’t find that way forward, in the event that the Assad regime is unwilling to negotiate Geneva 1 in good faith, we will also talk about our continued support and growing support for the opposition, in order to permit them to continue to be able to fight for the freedom of their country,” Kerry told a news conference.

He said several thousand fighters from the Lebanese group Hezbollah were taking part in the Syrian conflict, with active Iranian support on the ground.

“Just last week, obviously, Hezbollah intervened very, very significantly,” Kerry said. “There are several thousands of Hezbollah militia forces on the ground in Syria who are contributing to this violence, and we condemn that.”

Also speaking at the Fisher Brothers Institute conference, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that despite recent gains against the Syrian rebels by Assad and Hezbollah forces, the regime was in decline.

Assad is “losing Syria,” Ya’alon insisted. “Even if he is projecting confidence recently, this has no link to reality.

“There is a sense that he is charging ahead because of the Russian support, but [the civil war] is not over. It could end suddenly or continue for years as a bloody civil war.

“There are those who are trying to bring weapons systems into the area that are liable to harm our aerial and naval supremacy,” Ya’alon added, “and this must be prevented in a responsible and considered manner.”

He played down the prospect of anyone on the Syrian side starting a war with Israel, “because they understand the heavy price they would pay.”

Ya’alon said the Iranian threat remained number one, adding that Iran has a [military] corps in Lebanon, a corps in Syria, a corps in South America and more… To us it’s clear that for Iran to get nuclear weapons is a nightmare for the world. This has appeared on the global agenda today, but the leadership there [in Iran] is still not convinced that there is determination to go all the way.”

The Iranians believe Israel requires America’s green light to attack, while Hezbollah is preparing itself to respond if Iran is attacked, Ya’alon said.

“This is occurring without a nuclear umbrella. We must understand what would happen if there was such an umbrella, and we’ll do everything to make sure this won’t happen.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5244

ALERT: Antichrist & False Prophet begin to lay claim to Temple Mount

False Prophet

Vatican – Israeli Covenant, Rome To Take Control Of The Temple Mount!

March 17th, 2013 by Steven Ben-DeNoon

Pope Benedict XVI resigns on the verge of one the greatest covenants ever to be initiated – The Covenant that the Vatican and Israel have been working on since 1993 when then Prime Minister Shemon Peres and Pope John Paul II laid the ground work. This historical covenant  is now interring the final stages and it is no surprise to see President Barack Obama flying to Israel just before Passover to help reignite this historic agreement between the two nations.  Bill Clinton was hoping to be the president that would officiate the great so called “Peace Deal” of the Millennium but instead the timing wasn’t right; Yasser Arafat was unwilling to allow a Third Temple to be built on the Temple Mount along side the Dome Of The Rock. Neither was either Popes Benedict XVI or John Paul II  the right man. God has been setting the stage for this great showdown and now all the right characters are falling into position.

It’s no wonder Rome was in control of Jerusalem when Jesus walked the earth and once again she is getting control of Israel at the second advent of the Messiah. At the Beginning of February the Pope was given an official seat at the last supper in Jerusalem right at King David’s Tomb, so I guess the prince that is to come really is a Roman, and of course he claims to sit in Peter seat, so how fitting for Saint Malachi’s  to see him as “Peter the Roman.” Pope Francis though has come in very subtly with his new name hidden in secrecy; Pope Francis after the patron Saint Francis of Asis. But why should we be surprised the Jesuit order is shrouded in secrecy. Oddly enough though Francis of Assisi was actually called Peter and the new Pop’s parents are both Italian born, so regardless how one sees it he is still Peter the Roman.

 I find it rather fascinating all the decoys to take attention off the Vatican, in fact the peace process with the Palestinians for a “Palestinian state” is just a smoke screen.

President Barack Obama has already demanded that Israel go back to pre-1967 borders stripping Jerusalem from their hands. Oh the Vatican’s new Pope Francis will step up as a great savior mysteriously the Temple Treasures will appear after 2000 years and he will help broker a peace deal that will give Israel their long desired Temple in exchange Jerusalem will come under united Nations control as a Universal religious city, Oh my gosh sounds like the Millennium almost! But Satan will get his desire for three and half years he will sit in the Temple of God and be worshiped as if he were the Almighty!

 Anyone with eyes to see should know we are on the verge of John’s prophecy in Revelation chapter 11 fulfilling. In part this is what John writes:  …But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. Revelation 11:2 The Gentiles tread the Holy city under foot for Three and half years. I use to think it was speaking of the Palestinians getting their state, and they will but the Gentiles refers to the Vatican taking control of the old City. Rome once again in control at the advent of Messiah’s return!

 

Vatican agreement for the Temple Mount – February 18th, 2013, 09:07 PM


Jerusalem Post

The Vatican just struck a Deal for the Hall of the Last Supper

and the Pinnacle on the Temple Mount.

The hall of the Last Supper also called the Upper Room is located in a building on Mount Zion outside the Zion Gate in the walls of the Old City Jerusalem and close to the Dormition Abbey. Traditionally this site is where Jesus ate the Last Supper (Mark 15:15) with his apostles and is the room featured in Da Vinci’s famous fresco. The Biblical event is thought to have been the Passover meal on the night Jesus was arrested, tried and convicted. It is thought that this might also have been the site where the Holy Ghost appeared and the apostle Peter delivered the sermon “And when the day of Pentecost…”

=========================================
The institution of “The Vatican” is not understood by Israelis and Jews. The
conventional wisdom you get from the spokespersons in Israeli government
ministries and the conventional Israeli media is “both sides have great
intentions to do good” and that’s about it. When it comes to Israel’s
bi-lateral affairs, nothing much gets investigated by the Israeli media.
Thus a secret deal could be done between the Vatican and the State of Israel
and nobody in Israel would ever find out about it.
In fact, that is exactly what happened.

This essay will provide the background to that deal, as well as what the
Vatican’s intentions are regarding Israel and The Old City Of Jerusalem. It
will reveal which Israeli politicians made certain commitments to The
Vatican regarding the issue of sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem.
These negotiations and meetings were all carried out in secret. During this
time period, 1992-l995, the Oslo Accords was what got all the public’s
attention. Oslo was like “throwing sand in the eyes” of the public. The
Vatican is where the real action was happening. Oslo seemed to be just the
cover story. A “red herring”, if you will.

It can’t be that the Vatican is only interested in “access to their Holy
Sites” in Jerusalem. They already have that as well as legal jurisdiction
under Israeli law for their institutions and assets in Jerusalem. Also, when
these “Holy Sites” were under the jurisdiction of the Jordanians from
l948-l967, no Pope demanded the “internationalization of Jerusalem”.
It is something else, which the Vatican wants. The Roman Catholic Church,
need to have certain versions of events be played out for them to stand in
front of mankind and proclaim: our Messiah has returned.” Of course, to the
Jews, this Messiah will be as false as the first one was supposed to be.
Don’t matter. This is the goal of the Vatican and this is what all Israelis
need to worry about.

The Vatican/Roman Catholic’s version of events is this:
They know this isn’t the end of the story that the Jewish G-d had in mind,
but that doesn’t mean they won’t try and engineer their own ending to the
story. So what if it is fraudulent. Doesn’t matter, that is their game plan
and that is what matters and that is what Israeli Jews need to be better
informed about. It is important for everyone to know what The Vatican have
up its sleeve because it directly relates to our existence and our future
destiny as an independent nation. This a very powerful force this is
scheming to get control of the Old City of Jerusalem so you better know why
and how the Vatican intends to do this. Once you have all the facts and the
chronological record you will be better informed deal with this issue and of
foreign control over Israel’s political existence and destiny.

 

The Unhived Mind – UHM

NOTE:  This is another step in the Vatican’s Plan to become the One World Religion!  —PHB

Op-Ed: Exclusive: A Seat for the Pope at King David’s Tomb

Published: Friday, February 01, 2013 11:16 AM

Israel seems to have sold Jerusalem to the Vatican.

Giulio Meotti

The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.

An historic agreement has been drafted between Israel and the Vatican. The Israeli authorities have granted the Pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and where David and Solomon, Jewish kings of Judea, are considered by some researchers, to also be buried.

It is the culmination of a long campaign by the Catholic Church to regain religious stewardship over the place where Jesus is supposed to have broken bread and drunk wine with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion.

This is an enormous issue pushed through without any public debate.

According to our sources, the agreement, which is expected to be ratified next June, gives the Pope a “special authority” over the second floor of the building, so that Christian pilgrims will be able to celebrate religious functions like Pope John Paul did in 2000.

The agreement constitutes Israel’s capitulation to the Vatican’s efforts to “Christianize” the holy site, like when a Catholic convent was built in Auschwitz.

The Catholic Church has long wanted control over part of the area on Mt. Zion so as to turn it into an international religious center for Catholics. The blueprint of the agreement reads as follows: “The Vatican hands over this use of the Cenacle to the Custody of the Holy Land which will keep the Cenacle open from 6 AM to 8 AM for the celebration of the Holy Mass”.

In the long term, the gesture will increase tensions between Jews and the large assets of the Vatican. The Church has long been working to reduce Jewish rights in Jerusalem and in the Old City. Now, after the Muslim Waqf authority expelled the Christians from the Temple Mount and turned it into a mosque, it’s the turn of the Vatican to lay its hands on the Jewish Jerusalem.

The Custody of the Holy Land, the Franciscan order who, with Vatican approval, is in charge of the holy sites, campaigns with the Arabs against Israel.

As far back as May 2000, Yasser Arafat met Islamic and Christian clergymen at the presidential offices in Ramallah to back Palestinian Arab sovereignty over Jerusalem. Among the clergymen who attended the meeting, Diodoros I, patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, Torkom II, patriarch of the Armenian Orthodox Church, Catholic Patriarch Michel Sabbah and officials from the Custody of the Holy Land.

“An official meeting took place in Ramallah, Palestine, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine”. This is the official note of the Vatican press office about the meeting between the Catholic officials and the PLO representatives which took place this week.

The Vatican is also asking that Israel hand over to the Vatican’s control dozens of sites, 19 in Judea and Samaria and 28 in Jerusalem. The Catholic Church want to discuss some properties on Mount of Olives, Har Hazeitim, which is the very history of the Jewish people. If you want to keep Jerusalem united, you have to keep Har Hazeitim. The Vatican knows that.

In 1989 charges were made by the Catholic authorities that Israel desecrated the Cenacle on Mount Zion. The charges, which appeared in the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire, said that the Israelis put a memorial plaque on the roof of the Cenacle. The plaque was put in place after the 1948 War of Independence in memory of soldiers who fell in the Old City and whose burial place was unknown. Every year, the bereaved families cleaned the plaque.

Why did the Catholic authorities complain? Last year a similar charge was made from the Catholic authorities that Israel wants to “Judaize” Mount Zion.

Should the Vatican gain sovereignty over Mount of Zion, millions of Christian pilgrims will flock to the site, and this will threaten the Israeli presence in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter and Jewish access to the Western Wall.

The Vatican wants the Jews out of the Old City and apparently Israel’s government is agreeing with them. Turning the Cenacle into an active church is also a way of desecrating the holiness of the site known as the Tomb of David.

The Vatican and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation expressed a common position in the Basic Agreement of 15 February 2000, intended to support the recognition of a special statute for the City of Jerusalem. In the memorandum, signed by Vatican officials and the PLO, an organization dedicated to the mass deportation of Israel’s Jews, the Catholic Church wants Israel relinquishing sovereignty at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. The Vatican-PLO agreement’s preamble on Jerusalem shows that the Vatican’s attitude on Israel’s capital is still stuck in the unforgivable anti-Semitic rhetoric of the 1940s.

Until 1948, Christian access to the Cenacle was severely limited, because it was used as a mosque. Since then, the State of Israel is committed to protecting the holy places of all religions, and guaranteeing the right of worship for all faiths.

But no Israeli government must tolerate any policy of division, “shared control” or “internationalization” that opens the door to a return to the Arab apartheid of Jordanian occupation between 1948 and 1967.

Jerusalem is not for sale. For thousands of years, the Cenacle area was almost always totally closed off to Jews.

Sovereignty over Mount Zion is politics, not only religion. The day after the Pope celebrated a mass on Mt. Zion in 2000, he went to Yasser Arafat headquarter to support the Palestinians’ right to return.

A few months later, the Oslo war began. And Jews were sacrified again on the altar of “peace”. It was their last supper.

This week, the Vatican in its official documents began referring to the “State of Palestine”.

(For a site on Christian attempts to gain leverage in Israel, click here)

TheUnhivedMind on February 7, 2013 at 1:09 am said:

Since 1993 the Vatican has officially controlled East Jerusalem through the signing of the Oslo Accord which Cardinal Ratzinger created and which his loyal hofjuden Shimon Peres signed in over at Washington. Shimon Peres was trained by the Jesuits in Poland as highlighted in the auto-biography of Rabin. The truth of the matter is that Jesuit trained King Juan Carlos commands Israel along with all of the Middle East and North Africa, not to mention his amazing powers over the rest of the World including South America. King Juan Carlos has divine blood and serves the Temporal Power of the Pope the Supreme Primate commanding the World for the Jesuit Order who have controlled the Papacy since 1814.

-= The Unhived Mind

 

Antichrist

 

What’s up with PM Netanyahu and the Temple Mount?

 

Something odd, and even distrubing, seems to be going on up at the Temple Mount.

 

First, we were informed of a new agreement between the PA and Jordan awarding King Abdullah II a special custodianship for the Temple Mount (based on something from 1924).

 

In the past, in 2009, we had this:-

 

    The Jordanian government on Sunday summoned Israel’s envoy to Amman for rebuke over the recent tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Ambassador Jacob Rosen was called in to Jordan’s Foreign Ministry…the second time in a week that Jordan has called in an Israeli diplomat regarding the Temple Mount tensions. In its rebuke, Jordan called Israeli activities in East Jerusalem “illegal and illegitimate,” adding that it represented a violation of Israel’s commitments to peace. 

 

 Then, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally intervened to assure MK Moshe Feiglin cannot ascend to the Temple Mount.

In the meantime, Israel has no official comment on that agreement.  Odd, since it seems to contradict the 1994 Peace Treaty.

 

 Furthermore, Israel agrees to UNESCO interference in Jerusalem:

 

     Israel has agreed to allow a mission from UNESCO to visit the Old City of Jerusalem next month…Israel announced Tuesday that it also has agreed to take part in a meeting in Paris of experts from the UN’s cultural body next month focused on the Mughrabi Bridge, a wooden walkway that leads to the Temple Mount.  In turn, the Palestinians are to drop, for now, a debate on five resolutions condemning Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

This is the same UNESCO that

 

     … has accepted the Palestinian Authority as a state, claims Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs [Me’arat Hamachpela, the Patriarch’s Cave] are not exclusively Jewish sites and also belong to Christians and Muslims. 

 

 which caused Netanyahu to slam:

 

         …world culture organization UNESCO’s decision to characterize the site of Rachel’s Tomb as a Muslim mosque.  “The attempt to separate the nation of Israel from its cultural heritage is absurd,” said the prime minister.

What is going on here?  What is developing behind-the-scenes?  What secret diplomatic activity is happening?

Will there be a new “holy basin” plan?

Let’s recall Netanyahu in January 2009:

    Netanyahu: Obama Will Try to Internationalize Jerusalem Sites

 

    Likud chairman MK Binyamin Netanyahu warns incoming US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will try to internationalize holy sites in Jerusalem.  Likud party chairman and Knesset Opposition leader MK Binyamin Netanyahu warned at the Jerusalem Conference Wednesday that the Obama administration and leftist Israeli politicians will try to internationalize holy sites in Jerusalem — and he vowed to fight the move.

 

    Netanyahu told the audience, “Some politicians are trying to blur the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jewish People by referring to it as the ‘Holy Basin.’ We, as Jews, know who built the Temple Mount.”

 

    The term “Holy Basin” refers to the area of the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, Mount Zion and a variety of Christian holy sites which the administration of former U.S. President Bill Clinton recommended be administered under a “special regime.”

 

    This raises the issue of who would administer the Temple Mount, since at present the Wakf Islamic Authority controls the site, albeit under Israeli sovereignty. Moreover, the Arab neighborhoods surrounding the Temple Mount, home to tens of thousands of Israeli Arab residents, are also a part of greater Jerusalem, and thereby fall into the same discussion.

 

So, who now is being, perhaps, lax in the guardianship of united Jerusalem and the Temple Mount?

Palestinians give King Jordon custodianship of Temple Mount

April 1,

Could this man be the key piece to the construction of the Third Jewish Temple?

A HUGE piece of the prophetic puzzle today was announced, and this one can certainly be written down in the history books. Secretly for many years, Israel and the King of Jordan have had agreements regarding the Temple Mount. But recent agreements drawn with the Catholic Church and Israel suggest that we are truly on our way to a negotiated part of Temple Mount, where the International 3rd Jewish Temple will be built….and the King of Jordan will make it happen!!

A historic agreement signed in Amman Sunday, March 31, between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II takes a new stand on Jerusalem – one of the core issues subject to negotiation with Israel – by accepting the king as Custodian of the city’s Holy Sites. The Palestinians agreed that Abdullah “will oversee and manage the Waqf (Muslim religious authority) in Jerusalem” and represent the interests of the Holy Sites “in relevant international forums… through feasible legal means.”

Where the Palestinian (Wafa) and Jordanian (Petra) versions of the same agreement differ is over the definition of “Palestinian sovereignty.”

debkafile: However, by this document, the Palestinian leader and the king have laid the foundation for a mixed Arab-Palestinian-Israeli framework for managing the shrines holy to Jews (who are not mentioned), Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem. It has opened the door to what many will be perceive as a proposal to internationalize Jerusalem’s sanctuaries, a status affirmed but never honored from 1948 to 1967.
This foundation will not only raise strong Israeli objections but also be challenged by many Palestinians and therefore will have to last a long and tortuous course to survive.
Its importance lies in that the Palestinian Authority has taken the historically momentous step of ceding to the Hashemite throne the custodianship – religious, political, legal, and security – of the Muslim shrines on Temple Mount with authority over the Palestinian Waqf.

It means that henceforth, instead of the Palestinian Authority, Israel will have to engage the Jordanian government in discussions of matters pertaining to Temple Mount, especially hyper-sensitive security arrangements.
This should not be too much of a stretch since in practice, Israeli and Jordanian intelligence have cooperated quietly on such issues for many years.

The Hashemite House comes out of the accord with Palestinian recognition for the first time as the Custodian of the Holy Places of Jerusalem, especially the Mosque of al Aqsa, a title which parallels the Saudi king’s traditional title as Guardian of the Holy Places to Islam in Mecca and Medina.
The degree of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s involvement in Jordanian-Palestinian accord is still to be determined and also whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians) were privy to its substance.

The Arab League summit meeting in Doha March 26-27, which debated the dormant Saudi Peace Plan,  was certainly not in the picture. Those rulers now have much to chew on.
It may be instructive to cite here the exclusive debkafile report published on Dec. 27, 2012:

A confederation plan for a Palestinian West Bank state and Jordan was the real subject of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent conversation with King Abdullah in Amman, debkafile’s sources reveal – not Syria. This idea has become a focal talking point in Amman, Washington and Palestinian centers. It ties in with the report from US and Jordanian sources that Israel and the Palestinians will resume talks in the spring.

The new Abbas-Abdullah accord appears to be a strong move towards bringing this plan to fruition.

That it is a practical document and not just a declaration is indicated by the detailed definition of the Custodian’s purview appearing in the Jordanian version:

“Recalling the unique religious importance to all Muslims of al-Masjid al-Aqsa with its 144 dunams including include the Qibil Mosque of al-Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground (a hint at Israeli archeological digs for the Biblical city and Temple)…”

Jordan and Palestine also pledged “all efforts to protect Jerusalem and its Holy Sites from Israeli escalatory Judaisation” – according to another clause in the Petra version.
On at least one very important point the Palestinian and Jordanian communiqués varied significantly:

According to PA Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habash, “The agreement confirmed Jordan’s historic role in caring for the religious sanctuaries. It also confirmed Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine, including East Jerusalem as its capital.”
However, Article 3:3.1 of the agreement published in full by Jordan puts it this way: “The Government of the State of Palestine, as the expression of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, shall have the right to exercise sovereignty over all parts of its territory, including Jerusalem.

While hailing their accord as a historic breakthrough, the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders will obviously need to get all parts of their act together before they face Israel.

Jordan Moves to Scrap Peace Treaty over Arrest of Jerusalem Mufti

by sheikyermami on May 9, 2013

Jewish Press:

World War III may have been close and may have been prevented on the Temple Mount, where the Jerusalem Mufti was arrested and then released for throwing chairs at Jews on Jerusalem Unification Day.

The arrest of the Jerusalem Mufti on Tuesday for throwing chairs at Jews on the Temple Mount prompted the Jordanian parliament on Wednesday to demand that King Abdullah expel the Israeli envoy. The legislators also called to start a draft for a law to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Police arrested an Arab from entering the Temple Mount, and an enraged Grand Mufti and other Arabs began throwing plastic chairs at five Jews who entered the Temple Mount under police escort. Arab media said they prostrated themselves, an act of prayer that the Waqf prohibits, except for Muslims.  (continued below)

These peace partners are a real delight:

PA Official: ‘If We Had a Nuke, We’d Use It This Morning’ (Video)

The Palestinian Authority doesn’t need rocks, firebombs, guns and suicide bombers. Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub has a better way to kill Jews: “If we had a nuke, we’d use it this very morning.”

Rajoub  is a classic example of Israel’s revolving-door policy of releasing terrorists from jail so they can return to terror, and in this case, explicitly back the annihilation of Israel with a nuclear weapon.

*******

Continued:

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Washington Post the group did not carry out any act of prayer. As usual, Palestinian Authority media exaggerated the entire scene. Arab media always report that Jews “stormed” the Temple Mount. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency reported that 50, and not five, Jews prostrated themselves.

Israeli police stepped in to end the clash before it could get out of hand and arrested the Mufti, a rare action.

It did not take much time for Jordan to hear of the altercation, and the country’s parliament unanimously agreed that the kingdom should expel the Israeli ambassador and recall its own ambassador from Tel Aviv. The parliament added its own imagination to the facts and claimed that Israel is trying to build a bridge between the Al Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem “settlements.” The parliament also called for drafting legislation to scrap the peace treaty with Israel.

Several hours later, Israel released the Mufti, which probably was not related to the Jordanian parliament’s move. The government knows full well that the Arab world will not sit passive with the Jerusalem Mufti being taken from his home for interrogation.

The U.S. State Department was asked by reporters to comment on the fuss, and assistant spokesman Patrick Ventrell told them, “We urge all sides to respect the status quo of this holy site and to exercise restraint and refrain from provocative actions.

As usual, the State Dept. does not what it is talking about.

Status quo? From when? From 1967?

The Israeli government passed the Protection of Holy Places Law on June 27, 1967.

It states:

“The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.”

The wise State Dept. does not also know much about the Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein.

In 2006, he stated that suicide bombings of Israelis were “legitimate, of course, as long as it plays a role in the resistance.”

On the other hand, one could say he simply was maintaining the status quo, which the Oslo Accords and the peace treaty with Jordan changed.

Jordan controlled the Temple Mount until the Six-Day War in 1967. Before then, Amman did not let Jews visit holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. It also prohibited Christians from most churches and holy sites in the Old City, Judea and Samaria, except for few and far between visiting foreign dignitaries.

After Jerusalem was restored to Israel in 1967, the Israeli government didn’t want to have much to do with the Temple Mount for many reasons, not the least of which was the concern of a religious war with Muslims as well as the complicated and complex issue in Jewish law of whether it is even permitted for a Jew to ascend to the site of the destroyed First and Second Temples.

The government left authority for the Temple Mount site in the hands of the Muslim Waqf site, with the stipulation that Israeli police could patrol the site and enter the mosque area, if necessary.

The “status quo” ended in 1969, when an Australian evangelical Christian tried to burn down the mosque to hasten the Second Coming, if not World War III.

Muslims began to renovate buildings on the Temple Mount and tried to minimize the presence of Israel soldiers. A plot by a Jewish underground movement to blow up he Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock to awaken Jews to a spiritual revival, or alternatively, bring on World War III.

After the First Intifada broke out, Muslims protested at the holy site over a rumor that Jews were about lay the cornerstone of the Third Temple. Israeli police killed 22 Arabs in an effort to quell it Ever since, the Palestinian Authority has increasingly taken control of the Temple Mount, and the Muslim Waqf has tried to destroy any historical evidence that the Holy Temples ever existed.

Before Jordan signed the peace treaty, it insisted on a clause gave Amman a preferred status in future Israel-Arab talks over the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian Authority last week put a crowning touch on its effort to seal the fate of the Temple Mount and keep Jews out forever.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas  cashed in the chips several weeks ago.

He and Jordan’s King Abdullah signed an agreement with the “common goal to defend” Jerusalem and prevent Israeli from trying to make United Jerusalem Jewish.

The PA considers the agreement a stepping stone to taking over the Temple Mount and establishing Jerusalem as the capital of its desired independent country.

Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud al-Habash said the agreement confirmed Jordan’s role as protector of the city’s holy sites and “Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine, including its capital East Jerusalem,” according to Ma’an.

Abbas agreed that the Jordanian king is custodian of holy site in Jerusalem because he knows Jordan can exercise more diplomatic muscle than he can when it comes to “the historical principles agreed by Jordan and Palestine to exert joint efforts to protect the city and holy sites from Israeli judaization attempts.”

The entire hullabaloo over the arrest and release of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Jordanian parliament’s echoing the Egyptian threat to tear up the peace treaty with Israel brought shivers to President Shimon Peres.

Nothing is more important to President Peres than the word “peace,” and he staged in his Jerusalem Unification Day speech Wednesday, “Jerusalem is dear to us. The peace with Jordan is dear to us…. The peace that was achieved between us is peace for all Jewish, Muslim and Christian worshipers, as one.

“The whole world knows that when we heard the voice of peace coming from Egypt and Jordan, we did not reject them. We did not hesitate and we held out our hand for peace.”

He added that Israel defends the rights of all faiths to pray at their sites. Peres was proud that in Jerusalem, one can hear the sounds of church bells, the prayer calls of the Arab muezzin and the prayers of Jews at the Western Wall.

One can also hear the sound of chairs thrown by the Jerusalem Mufti at Jews on the Temple Mount.

King of Jordan?

Posted by lamarzulli on April 2, 2013

A historic agreement signed in Amman Sunday, March 31, between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II takes a new stand on Jerusalem – one of the core issues subject to negotiation with Israel – by accepting the king as Custodian of the city’s Holy Sites. The Palestinians agreed that Abdullah “will oversee and manage the Waqf (Muslim religious authority) in Jerusalem” and represent the interests of the Holy Sites “in relevant international forums… through feasible legal means.”

I have discussed the possibility of King Abdullah II, being involved in some king of end-time scenario for the past 10 years.  With this latest news breaking it would appear that the King may indeed have some role to play.  For those of you who are not familiar with this, here’s a short back story.

Abdullah is a descendant of the Hashemite kings.  Hashem was the uncle of Mohammed, so Abdullah is a direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed.  He holds sway in both the Sunni and Shia world.  He is also responsible for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and nothing happens their without his direct approval.  So, now we see a newly formed alliance between the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas and the King, the former acknowledging the king as Custodian of the city’s Holy Sites!  

There is also something else at play here and it is this.  Jordan is already populated by about 75% “Palestinians.”  When I present this information at conferences I use quotes from Jordanian heads of state who declare, that Palestine and Jordan are one.  So let’s look at a few scenarios.

1.  War is coming to the Middle East and when it does I believe it will be the fulfillment of Psalm 83 – I interviewed Bill Salus yesterday about this, and it will air this Thursday on Acceleration Radio – and perhaps Isaiah 17, the destruction of Damascus.

2.  Nukes or chemical weapons will most likely be used.

3.  Israel will expand her borders.

4.  The King will come to the rescue, as a peace maker and offer a two-state solution by stepping down from his throne and giving Jordan to the Palestinians.

5.  He will hailed as the greatest peace-maker in the history of the world.

6.  He then will be asked to set up a constitutional monarchy in Iraq, as the country continues to be unstable and is in desperate need of a strongman.

7.  Since he controls the Temple Mount, will he then allow the Jews to rebuild their temple?

In closing todays post:  This latest development giving Abdullah control of Jerusalem’s, Holy Sites is another step giving the King more power and control. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  Right now we are on this side of prophecy being fulfilled and we all see dimly.  However when these things begin to happen it will become clear to most of us.  In the meantime we watch and are ready because in the end these events herald the return of the King!

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5230

Despite secrecy, interest builds around mysterious First Temple find outside Bethlehem

Another story that just proves that the Bible is true and is the Word of God!

 

A mysterious First Temple-era archaeological find under a Palestinian orchard near Bethlehem is increasingly gaining attention — despite attempts to keep it quiet.

In February, a tour guide leading a group through an underground tunnel in the rural West Bank, not far from Jerusalem, was surprised to stumble upon the remains of a unique carved pillar.

The pillar matched monumental construction from the 9th or 8th centuries BCE — the time of the First Temple in Jerusalem. That signaled the presence of an important and previously unknown structure from that period.

Buried under earth and rubble, the pillar was now two yards below the surface.

The guide, Binyamin Tropper, notified antiquities officials. He was surprised when they encouraged him to leave the subject and the site alone, said Tropper, who works at an educational field school at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion.

“They told me — we know about it, keep it quiet,” he said.

The remains are in the politically charged West Bank, on the outskirts of an Arab village and on land privately owned by a Palestinian — all reasons the Israeli government might deem attempting an excavation there a major political headache to be avoided.

When it became clear that antiquities officials did not intend to excavate what he believed to be a potentially huge find, Tropper went to the Hebrew press, where several reports have appeared on inside pages in recent weeks.

Tropper has kept the location secret to avoid attracting the attention of antiquities thieves.

Early this month, several prominent Israeli archaeologists were brought to inspect the site. Among them was Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeology professor from Hebrew University.

There is no doubt the remains are those of monumental construction from the time of the First Temple, Garfinkel said.

The top of the pillar, known as a capital, is of a type known as proto-aeolic, he said. That style dates to around 2,800 years ago.

The pillar marks the entrance to a carved water tunnel reaching 250 yards underground, he said, complex construction that would almost certainly have been carried out by a central government. At the time, the area was ruled by Judean kings in nearby Jerusalem.

In its scale and workmanship, Garfinkel said, the tunnel evokes another grand water project of First Temple times — the Siloam Tunnel in Jerusalem, now underneath the modern-day Arab neighborhood of Silwan. That project is believed to have been undertaken by the biblical king Hezekiah to channel water into the city ahead of an Assyrian siege in the 8th century BCE, according to an account in the biblical Book of Kings.

The existence of a large water tunnel at the new site suggests the presence nearby of a large farm or palace, Garfinkel said.

“The construction is first-rate,” he said. “There is definitely something important there from biblical times, the 9th or 8th centuries BCE.”

Archaeology in the Holy Land has long been caught up in modern-day politics. The Zionist movement always viewed unearthing remnants of the ancient past as a way of proving the depth of Jewish roots in the land. Palestinians, for their part, have increasingly taken to denying the existence of any ancient Jewish history and tend to condemn all archaeology conducted by Israel as an attempt to cement political control.

Palestinians would thus be unlikely to be sympathetic to the discovery of a new site of significance to Israel on land they claim for a future state. 

Tropper, the guide, said he hoped interest from professional archaeologists would prod the government to conduct an excavation. The site could be a source of income for the Palestinian owners and the nearby village, he suggested.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has been careful in its public responses to reports of the new finding, but did not rule out an excavation.

“This is indeed an important find, which preliminary information dates to the time of the kings of Judah,” the authority said in a statement Sunday.

“At the same time, it should be known that the subject is sensitive and requires treatment that is delicate and responsible. The Antiquities Authority, along with all other relevant authorities, has been dealing with this for some time in an attempt to bring about the complete excavation of the remains, and will continue its attempts to do so.”

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5043

Tribulation Temple Talk

Just beneath the boiling surface of seething hostility there can be sensed a moving and shaking. Talk of the building of a Jewish temple atop the Temple Mount is beginning to escape into the back-channel atmospherics of the Mid-East misery. How can such not be the case? Every direction the student of Bible prophecy looks, stage setting for the final act of this quickly decaying age is already on the scene.

God’s land is being further divided (Joel 3:2), which portends God’s bringing all nations into the Valley of Jehoshaphat─to Armageddon. The Roadmap to peace is being dusted-off and reintroduced as the blueprint for peace and safety for not only Israel and its blood-vowed enemies, but for the whole world, as insulation against the initiation of World War III.

The European Union (EU) is in turmoil. It is turmoil, however, that seems to have a smelting effect, preparing the iron of the legs, feet and toes of Daniel’s interpretation for Nebuchadnezzar — into their end of the age configuration. Technological wizardry of every description has made possible the bringing together of all peoples of planet Earth into one world─the New World Order, so desired by the globalist powers that be.

The economic upheaval experienced by most every nation cries out for a master manipulator that will institute an electronic funds transfer system in order to bring stability and order to the financial distress and perplexity that bedevils presidents, potentates and dictators. Such a man can’t be too far into the shadows of emerging world togetherness.

On the forefront of religious change is the call for a melding of every form of pathways to Heaven. The pope and Islamist Imams seem to be forging a synthesis of sorts in discovering many ways to God, a thing unheard of until very recently. Protestant America in large part seems not oppose the feelers crawling toward their forms of Christianity. So-called Chrislam is appealing to them, and ecumenism beckons with allurement at many levels.

So, with all of this and much more going on, the talk of the building of a Jewish temple should surprise none of us. It is a key ingredient in the coming Tribulation mixture within God’s cup of wrath. The talk of late on the possibility of a Jewish temple in the making revolves around the words of a Turkish TV producer, who is a Muslim. Sinem Tezyapar, as reported in The Jewish Press on March 14, said, “There is a broad expanse of land around the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The land there is quite convenient in that respect, and the temple can be placed just a little way from Qubbat As-Sakhrah, and a little ahead of Masjid el-Aqsa.”

This train of thought, of course, conforms to the long-held opinions of some within the universe of those who observe matters involving plans to build a Temple on Mount Moriah. Bible prophecy foretells, through the vision given John, God’s Hand on the Tribulation temple. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (Revelation 11:1-2).

The prophecy indicates, according to those with this view that:

1. During the Tribulation era there will definitely be a temple sitting where Solomon’s Temple sat. 2. There is more than enough room surrounding where the temple must reside for the Muslim shrines to sit.

There is a ton of chatter going on about all of this within the Bible prophecy community. Many voices within this blogosphere hold that those Muslims who seem to be letting it slip (that Israel’s Arab-Islamist enemies might be willing to talk about accommodation of a Jewish Temple) must never be trusted. It is all being done for some surreptitious evil known only to the Imams and to the master architect of their evil blueprint─Satan.

The very fact that there is talk coming from Israel’s enemies about the heretofore, unthinkable possibility of allowing a temple on Mount Moriah is significant, I think. A phony─and deadly─peace is at the center of Satan’s blueprint for usurping the throne of God on earth.

We can know this from Daniel’s account of the covenant Antichrist will confirm, assuring peace for seven years (Daniel 9:26-27). Also, Isaiah the prophet says so, (Isaiah 28:15, 18).

Satan intends to place his “messiah” right on the spot where the Holy of Holies sat, where the Ark of the Covenant resided within the Temple of Solomon’s day. So, I believe it is reasonable to look for the possibility of a rebuilt temple to become increasingly, front and center in news and blog-chatter as the age draws to a close.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5001

Israel may join defense pact with Saudi Arabia, UAE

Israel is working on joining an anti-Iran defense alliance with a number of moderate Arab states that would involve sharing Jerusalem’s newly developed anti-missile technologies, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

The plan would see Israel join with Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to create a Middle Eastern “moderate crescent,” according to the Sunday Times, which cited an unnamed Israeli official. Israel does not currently maintain formal ties with Riyadh or Abu Dhabi, and relations with Ankara have been strained since 2009.

According to the report, Israel would gain access to radar stations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and in exchange share its own early warning radar information and anti-ballistic missile defense systems, though it’s not clear in what form. The report details that Jordan would be protected by Israel’s Arrow long-range anti-missile batteries.

The so-called 4+1 plan is being brokered by Washington, and would mark a sharp shift in stated policy for the White House, which has insisted the US is not interested in containing Iran but rather stopping it before it reaches nuclear weapon capability.

The Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan are all opposed to Tehran shifting the regional power balance. Though Turkey maintains strong trade ties with Iran, it has found itself opposed to Tehran over the issue of Syria.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4998

US Senate: Will back Israeli attack on Iran

Foreign Relations Committee of the US Senate votes in favor of resolution stipulating that US will support Israel in case it was forced to take military action against Iran
Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON — Members of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee have adopted “Senate Resolution 65,” according to which the US will support Israel in case it is compelled to take military action and actualize its right to self defense in the face of an Iranian threat.

The resolution stipules that Israel will enjoy Washington’s diplomatic, economic and military aid.

According to the resolution, sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Lindsey Graham, the US’s policy is to halt Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Senate Resolution 65 has successfully gained the support of 70 of the 100 senators.

In a statement issued by AIPAC it was noted that “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sent a very clear and enormously important message of solidarity with Israel against the Iranian nuclear threat—which endangers American, Israeli, and international security.”

President Barack Obama sent his holiday wishes to Israel on its 65th Independence Day, stating: “On this date 65 years ago, the Jewish people realized their dream of the ages – to be masters of their fate in their own sovereign state.”

“The strong and prosperous Israel we see today proves Herzl’s vision – ‘if you will it, it is no dream,” the US president added.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4942

FINAL SIGN ‘PREVENTING 2ND COMING OF JESUS’

He continued: “Is it remotely possible that the Jewish temple does not belong up on top where the Dome of the Rock defiantly sits? The crushing weight of Jewish tradition refuses to allow such an inflammatory and repugnant question. But a more critical question that trumps this colossal consensus is this: Would God Himself allow for His temple to be rebuilt where it does not belong?”

Many Christians expect a temple to be rebuilt before Jesus returns to Earth, as He spoke of “the abomination of desolation” standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15), which is thought to be the inner sanctuary of the temple.

“Jerusalem and the Lost Temple of the Jews” revisits the facts of history by delving into archaeological discoveries, Bible Scripture, historical writings and eyewitness accounts.

It spends examining New Testament statements from Jesus concerning the temple, statements that may or may not have been fulfilled when the Romans leveled Jerusalem some 40 years after Jesus was executed there.

“After all the archaeological digs that have taken place in Jerusalem, not even one has unearthed any remnant of any foundation of any building from the first century. It was gone. It became just as Jesus said it would become, not one stone left standing upon another.

“But there’s a problem with the words of Jesus’ prophecy, because there are many stones left in the walls … that date back to the time of Herod. They are still standing one upon another, in fact close to 10,000 of them. So, either Jesus in His prediction wasn’t being precise in His facts, or there is something else we just do not or cannot understand.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4899

Palestinians kick off Jerusalem bid by ceding Holy Sites Custodianship to Jordan’s king

A historic agreement signed in Amman Sunday, March 31, between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II takes a new stand on Jerusalem – one of the core issues subject to negotiation with Israel – by accepting the king as Custodian of the city’s Holy Sites. The Palestinians agreed that Abdullah “will oversee and manage the Waqf (Muslim religious authority) in Jerusalem” and represent the interests of the Holy Sites “in relevant international forums… through feasible legal means.”

Where the Palestinian (Wafa) and Jordanian (Petra) versions of the same agreement differ is over the definition of “Palestinian sovereignty.”

debkafile: However, by this document, the Palestinian leader and the king have laid the foundation for a mixed Arab-Palestinian-Israeli framework for managing the shrines holy to Jews (who are not mentioned), Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem. It has opened the door to what many will be perceive as a proposal to internationalize Jerusalem’s sanctuaries, a status affirmed but never honored from 1948 to 1967.
This foundation will not only raise strong Israeli objections but also be challenged by many Palestinians and therefore will have to last a long and tortuous course to survive.
Its importance lies in that the Palestinian Authority has taken the historically momentous step of ceding to the Hashemite throne the custodianship – religious, political, legal, and security – of the Muslim shrines on Temple Mount with authority over the Palestinian Waqf.

It means that henceforth, instead of the Palestinian Authority, Israel will have to engage the Jordanian government in discussions of matters pertaining to Temple Mount, especially hyper-sensitive security arrangements.
This should not be too much of a stretch since in practice, Israeli and Jordanian intelligence have cooperated quietly on such issues for many years.

The Hashemite House comes out of the accord with Palestinian recognition for the first time as the Custodian of the Holy Places of Jerusalem, especially the Mosque of al Aqsa, a title which parallels the Saudi king’s traditional title as Guardian of the Holy Places to Islam in Mecca and Medina.
The degree of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s involvement in Jordanian-Palestinian accord is still to be determined and also whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians) were privy to its substance.

The Arab League summit meeting in Doha March 26-27, which debated the dormant Saudi Peace Plan,  was certainly not in the picture. Those rulers now have much to chew on.
It may be instructive to cite here the exclusive debkafile report published on Dec. 27, 2012:

A confederation plan for a Palestinian West Bank state and Jordan was the real subject of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent conversation with King Abdullah in Amman, debkafile’s sources reveal – not Syria. This idea has become a focal talking point in Amman, Washington and Palestinian centers. It ties in with the report from US and Jordanian sources that Israel and the Palestinians will resume talks in the spring.

The new Abbas-Abdullah accord appears to be a strong move towards bringing this plan to fruition.

That it is a practical document and not just a declaration is indicated by the detailed definition of the Custodian’s purview appearing in the Jordanian version:

“Recalling the unique religious importance to all Muslims of al-Masjid al-Aqsa with its 144 dunams including include the Qibil Mosque of al-Aqsa, the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock and all its mosques, buildings, walls, courtyards, attached areas over and beneath the ground (a hint at Israeli archeological digs for the Biblical city and Temple)…”

Jordan and Palestine also pledged “all efforts to protect Jerusalem and its Holy Sites from Israeli escalatory Judaisation” – according to another clause in the Petra version.
On at least one very important point the Palestinian and Jordanian communiqués varied significantly:

According to PA Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Habash, “The agreement confirmed Jordan’s historic role in caring for the religious sanctuaries. It also confirmed Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine, including East Jerusalem as its capital.”
However, Article 3:3.1 of the agreement published in full by Jordan puts it this way: “The Government of the State of Palestine, as the expression of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people, shall have the right to exercise sovereignty over all parts of its territory, including Jerusalem.

While hailing their accord as a historic breakthrough, the Palestinian and Jordanian leaders will obviousy need to get all parts of their act together before they face Israel.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4894

Tamar Gas Field Gives Israel Energy Independence

After four years of exploration and drilling, as well as a $3.5 billion investment, Israel announced Saturday that the Tamar offshore gas field has finally come online, a move government officials say will diminish Israel’s dependency on foreign gas imports.

Tamar is believed to have reserves of up to 238 billion cubic meters (8.4 trillion cubic feet). Discovered in 2009, the field, which lies some 130 kilometers (81 miles) west of Haifa, is jointly owned by American company Noble Energy and three Israeli firms: Delek, Isramco and Dor Alon.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Saturday that the event marked “an important day for Israel’s economy.”

The Energy and Water Resources Ministry confirmed that “natural gas is now moving from the Tamar reservoir to a new naval production rig across from Ashdod, from where it will within 24 hours reach an absorption station in Ashdod.”

Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom said, “This is Israel’s energy independence day. It is truly a historic event — Israel has received energy freedom.”

Delek Group owner Yitzhak Tshuva was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying: “This is a very proud day for all of us. Our vision has become a reality. This is a tremendous achievement for the Israeli energy market and the beginning of a new era.”

International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, who — while serving as finance minister in Netanyahu’s previous government — promoted legislation that paved the way for offshore drilling in Israel, said, “Pumping natural gas from Tamar will not only afford Israel clean and cheap energy, but it will also yield the state considerable revenue.”

The royalties the three Tamar partners will pay the state and Israel’s potential natural gas exports are expected to yield some 450 billion shekels (about $123 billion) in state revenue over the next 25 years, AFP said.

Israel generates approximately 40 percent of its electricity from natural gas and until 2012, Egypt provided much of those needs. That supply, however, was constantly interrupted in the wake of the Egyptian revolution, as the pipeline connecting the two countries was repeatedly blown up by terrorists. Cairo canceled its gas supply agreement with Israel in April 2012, claiming the terms of the deal were undermining Egypt’s interests.

Despite the fact that Tamar has come online, domestic electricity prices are not expected to drop. Israel Electric Corp. announced that its plan for a 6.5% price hike, slated for mid-April 2013, still stands. Tamar’s gas supplies are expected to affect the domestic consumers’ power bill in 2015 at the earliest.

Energy experts said that Tamar has the ability to meet Israel’s energy needs for decades and it is expected to save the market about 13 billion shekels ($3.6 billion) a year; as well as create thousands of new jobs and promote Israel’s position in the world energy market.

Israel’s second offshore gas field, Leviathan, which has yet to come online, is twice the size of Tamar, AFP said. It is believed to contain 450 billion cubic meters (some 15.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas. Once online, Leviathan has the potential to make Israel a key player in the world energy market.

The Energy and Water Resources Ministry estimated in 2012 that once Tamar and Leviathan are both fully operational, Israel would be able to export some 53% of its natural gas.

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Iran crisis: Would Israel launch an attack?

As US President Barack Obama arrives in Israel, he does so amid a growing sense of urgency among the Israeli leadership over Iran’s nuclear programme – and the possibility it will take military action to stop it.

The window in which to solve the crisis by peaceful means, estimated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN last September as this spring or summer, is closing, and the prospect of a military strike looms.

Then, the prime minister, in front of a global audience, famously produced a caricature of an Iranian “nuclear bomb” and, with a red marker pen, drew a line near the top – making crystal clear where along Iran’s path of uranium enrichment Israel would not allow it to reach.

Just days earlier, America had spurned Israeli attempts to set deadlines publicly, reiterating a preference for negotiations as “by far the best approach”.

In Mr Netanyahu’s view, discussions with Iran have served only to buy it time to finish its nuclear project, and are pointless unless coupled with a credible military threat.

The key question observers and analysts disagree over is whether this is merely a strategy by Mr Netanyahu to apply the greatest possible pressure on the US to take more robust action to get results, or whether he would actually order a strike.

“He’s not bluffing at all,” says Maj Gen (ret) Giora Eiland, a former head of Israel’s National Security Council. “He believes if, at the end of the day all other options are exhausted – and there are only two options: either get used to nuclear weapons in Iran or try to stop it by Israeli means – then he will prefer the second.”

Israeli intelligence

In fact, an Israeli investigative programme said in 2010 an order was issued by Mr Netanyahu to the Israeli military to prepare for a strike on Iran within hours if required, but that the order was cancelled due to strong opposition from Israel’s military and intelligence chiefs.

I think Israel will not attack Iran for many reasons, above all because the United States doesn’t want Israel to attack Iran – it’s as simple as that”

A flurry of reports in August 2012 also suggested Israel was preparing a strike before that November’s US presidential elections.

At that time though, previous heads of Israel’s intelligence establishment publicly declared their opposition, saying an attack on Iran would be unsuccessful and counter-productive.

Among them was former domestic intelligence agency director Yuval Diskin, who expressed the view that bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities would only lead it to accelerate its programme.

However, counter-opinion is grounded in precedent, with Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

“When we were planning Osirak, we believed the operation would put back [Iraq’s nuclear programme] by three or four years,” says Dr Shmuel Bar, Director of Studies at the Institute of Policy and Strategy in Herzliya.

“Actually it put it back by 10 years – so you never really know when you shuffle cards what the results are going to be. So from the point of view of criticism that Israel won’t do it because Israel can only do so much damage, I think that’s a misconception.”

Such a result might only be achieved, though, if Mr Netanyahu acts sooner rather than later. Former Defence Minister Ehud Barak has said Iran could reach a “zone of immunity” – the point at which fortification of its nuclear sites would render a military strike ineffective – as soon as spring.

The single most important factor though in influencing any decision to attack Iran will be Israeli intelligence reports. While the intelligence establishment has not yet countenanced an attack, its position could change at any time – if, for instance, it believes Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has decided to actually go for a nuclear bomb.

“The possibility of an Israeli strike is realistic and even probable under certain circumstances,” says Brig Gen (ret) Shlomo Brom, of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

“For example, a situation in which Israel will have credible intelligence that Iran is on the verge of breaking out to military capability”, a process which could take as little as a few weeks. This is the “final stage” Mr Netanyahu said he would never let Iran begin.

Historical outlook

In judging whether Mr Netanyahu would order an attack or not, one has to take into account the forces which shape his character, particularly the importance with which he views history and the idea of destiny.

“History will not forgive those who do not stop Iran’s nuclear programme,” he said in January.

Iraq and Syria attacks: The precedents?

In June 1981 the Israeli air force bombed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, destroying it in the process. The operation followed years of public protest by Israel towards France and Italy, both involved in the reactor’s construction.

It was eventually carried out, after 18 months of heated secret debate within the political and security echelons, despite the opposition of the heads of military intelligence and Mossad, and without any of the same kind of current public debate about what to do over Iran.

The attack which destroyed Syria’s nuclear reactor near Deir Ezzor in September 2007 has been widely attributed to Israel, though Israel has never confirmed or denied responsibility.

Like Osirak, the strike was not preceded by public debate in Israel, not least because no-one knew of the reactor’s existence.

The operation is still shrouded in secrecy, although reports afterwards said the then-Defence Minister Ehud Barak opposed the timing of the attack.

Israel did not inform the US in advance of its strike on Osirak, nor of its alleged bombing of the Syrian plant.

Time and again he has drawn parallels between the Iranian nuclear crisis and the world’s failure to prevent WWII and the Holocaust while it still had the chance.

“I don’t think Mr Netanyahu’s threats are rhetorical,” says Dr Bar. “You have to put it in an historic context of a leader of a certain age – [Netanyahu] has a tendency not only to look at politics but also at his role in history.

“There’s no doubt in his mind that Iran wants to acquire a nuclear weapon and will do so if allowed – if he’s PM and that happens, then he goes down in history as the person who allowed the existential threat to materialise, especially after having said he’s not going to allow it – so that’s tremendous pressure on any political leader to take action.”

However, Mr Netanyahu’s frequent warnings are taken by some as an indication he is not intending to act. Among the doubters is Yossi Melman, one of Israel’s leading security and intelligence journalists.

“Netanyahu’s threats are not realistic. He’s always talking about it – if you talk about it too much then I don’t believe you have intentions of doing it, because in the past when Israel and Israeli leaders wanted to do something they did it without talking,” says Mr Melman, author of Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars.

“That was the case when we destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, that was the case in 2007 with the Syrian nuclear reactor. Yes Netanyahu’s aware of history, but he is making this stupid, unnecessary comparison with the Holocaust – we are not facing a new Holocaust.

“I think Israel will not attack Iran for many reasons, above all because the United States doesn’t want Israel to attack Iran – it’s as simple as that.”

Public opinion

The position of the United States is critical to any Israeli decision to attack Iran, and is of prime importance in shaping Israeli public opinion on the issue.

Polls taken in the summer and autumn last year suggest a majority of Israelis are opposed to military action against Iran without US support.

We’ve had this war coming with Iran for more than 10 years now, but to me it’s a lot of bluff”

Dr Yehuda Ben Meir, of the Public Opinion and Security project at the National Institute for Security Studies, believes this is in large part to do with not wanting to jeopardise US support for Israel.

“It’s clear this is a very important factor in Israeli public opinion because of the tremendous importance that Israelis attach to the close relationship with United States,” he says.

“If the public does not see an attack as creating tension in Israeli-American relations, then support for it will be much higher.”

Shmuel Bar points out that Israel did not inform the US in advance of the attack on Osirak or its alleged attack on the Syrian reactor, and may take the same approach in attacking Iran, as a way of side-stepping a potential “red light” from the US altogether.

Even so, there are those who reject an attack on Iran under any circumstances.

Graphic designer Ronny Edry has harnessed some of that opposition through a movement spawned on Facebook called “Israel Loves Iran”.

It has just marked its first anniversary, notching up over 108,000 likes, a third of which come from Israelis.

“We’ve had this war coming with Iran for more than 10 years now, but to me it’s a lot of bluff,” he says, sitting in his third-floor apartment in Tel Aviv.

“I don’t think Israel will attack Iran and Iran won’t attack Israel because it would mean mutually assured destruction. But if you talk too much about war it’s really dangerous – at some point you’re going to have to prove yourself, you’re going to have to go there, so what we really need to do now is calm the situation down.”

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