Category: Israel

EZEKIEL 39: Turkey And Russia Join Forces To Divide Up Northern Syria Between Themselves As Putin And Erdogan Become New Middle East Power Players

The deal came as the five-day pause in fighting brokered by the United States expired — but Turkey now says the deal means hostilities need not resume. The Russia-Turkey 10-point plan was succinct but will have wide-reaching ramifications for the region, as well as those embroiled in this latest Syrian drama. Syrian Kurds, America’s erstwhile allies, were left waiting to hear the news of their fate from the meeting. The deal means that from midday Wednesday, Kurdish fighters will have just over six days to withdraw to no more than 20 miles from almost the entire northeastern border.

by Geoffrey Grider October 23, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spent hours poring over maps of Syria in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday, carving up Syrian territory into different geopolitical spheres of influence.

After President Trump so quickly pulled out troops from Northern Syria, Turkey jumped in faster than a squirrel in a bounce house filled with nuts. Within days, Turkey had launched a blistering campaign of attack that freed ISIS and decimated our former and never again allies the Kurd. When the smoke cleared from all that, what do we see but a grinning Erdogan and Putin putting their signatures on a deal giving Turkey and Russia joint control over Northern Syria. As Forrest Gump would say, it happened ‘just like that’. Indeed.

“And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:” Ezekiel 39:2 (KJV)

Of course, we are only interested in this because of the incredible ramifications it will have for Israel as they attempt to keep defending the Golan Heights that Trump said America recognized Israeli sovereignty over. Not any more. That proclamation has now become null and void because the United States is no longer there to enforce it. Now Russia and Turkey have both moved a giant step closer to their real target in the Middle East, Jerusalem!

This is how Putin and Erdogan have redrawn northeastern Syria

FROM NBC NEWS: The pair agreed to a deal designed to keep Kurdish forces away from the Syria-Turkey border, enforced by joint Russian and Turkish patrols starting next week. U.S. troops are continuing their journey out of Syria, headed for western Iraq.

The deal came as the five-day pause in fighting brokered by the United States expired — but Turkey now says the deal means hostilities need not resume. The Russia-Turkey 10-point plan was succinct but will have wide-reaching ramifications for the region, as well as those embroiled in this latest Syrian drama.

Syrian Kurds, America’s erstwhile allies, were left waiting to hear the news of their fate from the meeting. The deal means that from midday Wednesday, Kurdish fighters will have just over six days to withdraw to no more than 20 miles from almost the entire northeastern border.

Ankara will keep sole control of the central section of the border, between the Syrian border towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, the area from which Kurdish fighters were forced to withdraw over the past five days under the U.S.-Turkey deal.

When the new deadline elapses Oct. 29, joint Russian-Turkish troops will patrol a 6-mile-deep area to the west and east of the section of the border captured by Turkey during its invasion.

It’s another blow for Syrian Kurds who want greater self-rule and who had largely managed to achieve this during Syria’s eight-year civil war. Before the Oct. 9 invasion, the Kurds controlled about a quarter of the country — an area rich in oil, water and agriculture. It represented the largest chunk of Syria not controlled by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

But under Moscow’s and Ankara’s plan, the Kurdish fighters will have to withdraw even further out of the territory that they previously held, dealing a heavy blow to their dreams of regional autonomy and independence.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10154

Turkey Breaks Fragile Ceasefire Agreement With United States In New Attacks On Kurds In Northern Syria As Putin Steps Up Control Of Region

“Putin is the New King of Syria,” ran the op-ed headline in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. If Putin is king of Syria, it is because he was willing to pay the price in blood and treasure to keep his Russia’s toehold on the Med and save his ally Bashar Assad, who would have gone under without him. Now let’s see how Putin likes his prize.

by Geoffrey Grider October 19, 2019

Syrian forces, most probably supported by Turkey, were seen attacking several key locations still held by Kurdish forces, violating the US-led ceasefire agreement in the region.

Once again, a military move by President Trump that was panned initially in carefully engineered outrage is turning out to be not so bad after all. Yes, Trump has ordered US troops out of Syria, fulfilling yet another one of his 2016 campaign promises, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin has stepped in to take control. But what exactly is he taking control of, and what order can a weakened Russia possibly make out of all this chaos?

“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.” Ezekiel 39:1-3 (KJV)

Russia has a marginal economy at best, and a military that despite their endless bluster, is actually subpar when compared to most other nations and a joke when compared to the might of the United States. A long sustained control of the quagmire in Syria will not increase Russia’s power but will actually weaken it. Russia does not have the money to do much of anything in Syria and Putin knows it. Besides, all this posturing is merely a dress rehearsal for the ‘real thing’ which comes during the last half of the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Turkey Breaks Ceasefire Agreement With US, Attacks Northern Syria As Putin ‘takes over’

FROM THE JPOST: These forces crossed the border from Turkey into northern Syria, according to the report, and are moving towards Ras al-Ain, a village in which the fighting hasn’t ceased since Friday, even after the ceasefire was signed.

Reuters, however, reports that the “fragile” ceasefire is holding along the Syrian border, though Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is ready to continue the Syria offensive if the truce deal that was agreed upon is not implemented.

“We paused the operation for five days,” said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. “In this time, the terrorists will withdraw from the safe zone, their weapons will be collected and position destroyed. If this doesn’t happen, we will continue the operation.”

Erdogan also threatened the Kurdish forces in northern Syria, saying that they will “crush the heads” of the fighters if they do not withdraw in the 120-hour period designated by the ceasefire. He also said that he would speak about the deployment of Syrian government forces in a planned “safe zone” in northern Syria while speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10144

The days of the Ottoman Empire are over’

After years of inaction, new Foreign Ministry plan aims to stop Ankara’s efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem. Among proposed steps: outlawing Muslim Brotherhood, limiting activities of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, whose stated objective is “preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem.”

by  Ariel Kahana , Israel Hayom Staff

Last modified: 2019-10-07 09:46

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has ordered his office to draw up plans to stop the Turkish government’s efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and protect Jordan’s special status as guardian of Muslim holy sites in the city.

Katz intends to present the plan to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon, so he can authorize its implementation. Due to the sensitivity of the plan, whose implementation will almost certainly lead to a direct confrontation with Ankara, it is also expected to be raised for discussion by the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet. According to ministry officials, as the plan pertains to security matters, there is nothing preventing it from being implemented by a transition government.

The issue of Turkey’s influence on members of Jerusalem’s Arab population has weighed on security and diplomatic officials’ minds for years. As Israel Hayom has previously reported, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been buying influence over sites and prominent figures in east Jerusalem for years. Nevertheless, Jerusalem has not made any effort to challenge these efforts up until now.

The Foreign Ministry’s plan would see the Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ties to Erdoğan’s Justice and Development party, deemed an illegal association in Israel. Further ministry recommendations for thwarting Ankara’s efforts include restricting the activities of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, or TIKA, in Israel. The organization, whose stated objective is “preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem,” spends some $12 million annually on activities aimed at undermining Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem. It should be noted that these activities are personally managed by Erdoğan.

The plan’s architects propose obligating TIKA to coordinate its activities with Israel in advance and preventing the association from act unequivocally in Jerusalem. In addition, they propose Jerusalem not renew the head of TIKA in Jerusalem’s, a move that would strip the organization head of his diplomatic status in Israel and render his presence in Israel illegal.

Additional steps would include restricting communications between members of the Islamic Waqf.

In preliminary discussions, Katz said, “We will not accept a situation in which the Turkish government headed by Erdoğan acts to create centers of unrest and incitement in Jerusalem through funding and holding radical Islamic activities [inspired by] the Muslim Brotherhood and under the auspices and disguise of religious, social, cultural, and educational activities.”

Katz emphasized, “We will take all the [necessary] steps to pull the rug out from under the diplomatic basis for Turkey’s activities in east Jerusalem in order to bolster Israeli sovereignty in all parts of the city. The days of the Ottoman Empire are over.”

According to Katz, “Erdoğan’s declarations that Jerusalem belongs to all of the Muslims are unfounded and baseless. Israel is the sovereign in Jerusalem, through protecting full freedom of worship to members of all religions. We will not allow any element to harm this sovereignty.

“Beyond that,” Katz noted, “in accordance with the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan, the Jordanians have special status as far as concerns the holy places to Islam in Jerusalem, and we will not allow Erdoğan to harm Jordan’s status, as is happening today.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10132

Biblical Archaeologists In Israel Make Stunning Discovery Of 5,000 Year-Old City Of Ein Esur, Largest Ancient Settlement Ever Found in Region

“The study of this site at Ein Esur will change forever what we know about the emergence and rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.” The ancient settlement contained public and private buildings and areas, streets and alleys and was surrounded by a fortification wall.

by Geoffrey Grider October 7, 2019

A massive 5,000-year-old metropolis Ein Esur that housed some 6,000 residents has been uncovered alongside Israel’s newest city, Harish, during new roadworks.

The world of biblical archaeology in the Middle East is buzzing right now with the news of the discovery of the largest ancient settlement ever found in the region of Israel and trans-Jordan, a city called Ein Esur that was so massive in its day that archaeologists are calling it ‘Israel’s NYC’, and only partially tongue in cheek. This scope of this find is so large they really aren’t even sure exactly what they’ve found. Ein Esur dates back to the time of the very first pharaoh in Egypt, that’s how old this city is. Amazing.

“Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps.” 2 Kings 19:25 (KJV)

The article below goes on to say that they have also discovered settlements that are ‘7,000 years old’, which would be a pretty good trick considering the Bible only records a history of humans dating back around 6,000 years. Needless to say, we will be watching the developments of Ein Esur very closely and will report to you as soon as new information becomes available. But I will make one prediction right now. When they dig a little deeper, they will find artifacts that will establish a direct connection with matching accounts contained in the Holy Bible. That’s a virtual guarantee.

‘Israel’s ancient NYC’: 5,000-year-old Canaanite megalopolis Ein Esur may rewrite history

FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: The 160-acre (over 650 dunam) city is the largest Early Bronze Age settlement excavated in Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday. “It is much larger than any known site in the land of Israel — and outside the land of Israel — in the region of Jordan, Lebanon, southern Syria,” said excavation co-director Dr. Yitzhak Paz in an IAA video.

In addition, just ahead of the construction of a new interchange over the Ein Esur (Ein Asawir) archaeological site, IAA archaeologists also discovered an earlier, 7,000-year-old Chalcolithic settlement under several of the 5,000-year-old structures.

“This is a huge city – a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area… This is the Early Bronze Age New York of our region; a cosmopolitan and planned city,” said excavation directors Itai Elad, Paz and Dr. Dina Shalem in an IAA statement.

“The study of this site will change forever what we know about the emergence and rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.”

Salvage excavations have been taking place at the site for the past two and a half years, financed by Netivei Israel – the National Transport Infrastructure Company Ltd. Over 5,000 high school students and volunteers from the area have participated in them.

Due to the importance of the site, Netivei Israel has significantly increased the height of the planned interchange and will preserve the excavations through high-tech documentation and physical conservation.

The digs have revealed an Early Bronze Age (end of the 4th millennium BCE) planned city located near Wadi Ara, near two water springs, in the Haifa district of northern Israel. According to Paz, the land is fertile for agriculture and is close to important, central trade routes.

The Ein Esur ancient settlement contained public and private buildings and areas, streets and alleys and was surrounded by a fortification wall.

“The excavation at this site revealed two main settlements,” explained Shalem in an IAA video. “The earliest one is about 7,000 years old. It’s a very large agricultural settlement. Two thousand years later, another settlement became one of the first cities known in this area of the world.”

The layout of the city, said Elad, the third co-director, indicates it was very thoughtfully planned. During the excavation, the team discovered a very large public building that was unlike any of the others. It was, said Elad, most probably a temple or a shrine, inside which was found an area containing burnt animal bones, presumably for sacrifices. In the temple courtyard is large stone basin for liquids, which the archaeologists assume was also used during religious rituals.

“These findings allow us to look beyond the material into the spiritual life of the large community that lived at the site,” said the archaeologists.

For the 5,000 Israeli pupils and young adults — Jews and Arabs — who participated in the excavations, their firsthand knowledge and experiences may also change their perspective and their connection to the land of Israel. As history books are rewritten, the students were on the frontlines of early research.

“The study of this site will change forever what we know about the emergence

[and]

rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10129

Israel Is Right Now Negotiating ‘Historic Pact’ With Arab Gulf States That Will Provide ‘Peace And Safety’ In Unprecedented End Times Alliance

While Israel seeks to widen its diplomatic relations with states in the region beyond its two full peace partners Egypt and Jordan, the non-aggression pact initiative stems from Israel’s recognition that full relations with the Gulf states may not be possible unless or until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, the TV report noted. The deal would constitute a “historic” document, putting an end to the state of conflict between these Gulf states and Israel, the report said. The draft clauses reportedly include commitments to develop “friendly relations and cooperation” in accordance with the UN charter and international law; to prevent hostility or incitement to hostility against each other; and to eschew any military or security alliance with other parties against each other.

by Geoffrey Grider October 5, 2019

Israel is reportedly negotiating with several Gulf states on a “non-aggression pact” between them as they face off against an increasingly emboldened Iran.

This is obviously not the covenant that Daniel 9:27 talks about, but it could absolutely be the first step in setting the table for the final peace pact under Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble. At the very least, it’s breathtaking to see movement after so long a time of inactivity, and when you consider the scope of what such a pact would entail, the implications are far-reaching and highly prophetic in nature.

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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 5:2,3 (KJV)

When you read the article below from the Times of Israel, look carefully at the section I have broken out in quote formatting. The part that says “the non-aggression pact initiative stems from Israel’s recognition that full relations with the Gulf states may not be possible unless or until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved” shows you exactly where we are at on the Bible timeline. The only question is how much of this will we get to see come to fruition before the Rapture takes place.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 (KJV)

They are calling it an “historic peace pact” and not only is it historic, I will go one step further and say, if they can pull it off, it is prophetic as well. If they can pull this off, we will be halfway to the Daniel 9 prophecy, and a kitten’s whisker away from the fulfillment of Titus 2:13 (KJV). If you love end times Bible prophecy, the video at the bottom of this article will blow you away, especially when Katz quotes Isaiah.

Israel and Gulf states working on ‘historic pact’ to end conflict between them

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The deal, which Channel 12 news described as potentially “historic,” aims to put an end to the state of conflict between the Gulf states and Israel, and reportedly provides for friendly relations, cooperation in a variety of fields, and no war or incitement against each other.

Advancing the Israeli initiative, Foreign Minister Israel Katz met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month with several foreign ministers from Arab Gulf states, Channel 12 news reported Saturday night. There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Ministry, but Katz himself on September 23 tweeted that he had held talks with an unnamed counterpart from an Arab country with which Israel does not have formal relations, and said they discussed “ways to deal with the Iranian threat” and a process for boosting “civilian cooperation.”

Katz, who is leading the effort with the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed with his Gulf Arab interlocutors during “a series of meetings” to set up working teams to take the non-aggression pact forward, the TV report said. He presented his Gulf counterparts with a draft text of the intended pact, which was drawn up by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the TV report said. It reportedly highlights the opportunity to advance common interests in the context of the threat posed by Iran, and is drafted in accordance with principles of international law.

Katz is also reported to have discussed the intended pact with the Trump administration outgoing special envoy for the peace process, Jason Greenblatt.

While Israel seeks to widen its diplomatic relations with states in the region beyond its two full peace partners Egypt and Jordan, the non-aggression pact initiative stems from Israel’s recognition that full relations with the Gulf states may not be possible unless or until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, the TV report noted. The deal would constitute a “historic” document, putting an end to the state of conflict between these Gulf states and Israel, the report said.

The draft clauses reportedly include commitments to develop “friendly relations and cooperation” in accordance with the UN charter and international law; to prevent hostility or incitement to hostility against each other; and to eschew any military or security alliance with other parties against each other.

Among other elements, the TV report said, the draft text specifies cooperation in the fight against terror, and in advancing economic interests.

Katz attended the General Assembly on behalf of Netanyahu, who remained in Israel as he seeks to negotiate a majority coalition. The prime minister had planned to attend the UN gathering and meet on the sidelines with US President Donald Trump, who had said earlier last month that he intended to discuss a possible US-Israel Mutual Defense pact.

At the UN on September 23, Katz held what he said at the time was “a first and fascinating meeting yesterday with one of the Arab foreign ministers.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10120

While Erdogan Slammed Israel At U.N., Turkish Support For Terror Was Revealed

By Steven Emerson October 3, 2019 , 8:00 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used his United Nations General Assembly speech last week to blast Israel as the cause of “injustice” in the Middle East and vow that his country “will continue to stand by the oppressed people of Palestine as she has always done.” But a new report by Israel’s Meir Amit Intelligence and Information Center, as well as new sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury Department, make it clear that Erdogan is in no position to cast aspersions.

“Turkey turns a blind eye to Hamas’s covert operational and financial activity being carried out from its territory (which has recently been demonstrated in the American sanctions) and regularly denies its existence,” the Meir Amit center reported.

“[T]he latest American designations clearly demonstrate that Turkey continues to be used as a hub for Hamas’s operational and financial activity, even after the departure of Saleh al-Arouri,” the Meir Amit report saidArouri, a founder of the Hamas military wing and a member of the Hamas political bureau, lived in Turkey until last year.

During his time in Turkey, he helped plot Hamas terror attacks. He claimed credit on behalf of Hamas for the 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli yeshiva students. Later that year, the Shin Bet “uncovered an extensive Hamas military network which operated in Judea and Samaria. Its operatives had planted IEDs in Samaria. They [were] handled by Hamas’s headquarters in Turkey,” the Meir Amit report said. “Hamas’s military operatives who were trained abroad (in various countries, including Turkey) participated in this activity.”

For his part, Erdogan considers Hamas a “liberation movement” and denies that it is a terrorist group.

While it supports the Palestinian-Arab cause, Turkey denies autonomy to more than 15 million Kurds and even represses the use of the Kurdish language. It has bombed Kurdish civilians. It occupies much of northwestern Syria and has engaged in ethnic cleansing against the Kurds there. Turkish warplanes bombed a hospital in Afrin during its invasion of the Kurdish enclave last year, independent analysis by Bellingcat, a citizen journalism organization that focuses on war crimes and criminal activities, showed.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions on Hamas leaders and ISIS facilitators living in Turkey.

Those include Zaher Jabarin, who heads Hamas’ finance office from Turkey and manages tens of millions of dollars in Hamas money. Jabarin’s transfers of U.S. dollars “finance HAMAS’s terrorist activity,” the Treasury statement said. Like Arouri, Jabarin was one of the founders of the Hamas military wing in Judea and Samaria. Jabarin was in charge of a Hamas squad that abducted and murdered Israeli border policeman Nissim Toledano in 1992, the Meir Amit report said.

“Jabarin has served as the primary point of contact between Hamas and the [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp –Quds Force] IRGC-QF. Since 2017, his relations with them were enhanced based on Hamas operatives’ efforts to increase funding from Iran,” the report said.

Treasury also targeted the Turkey-based Redin Exchange as “a key part of the infrastructure used to transfer money” to Hamas. Redin transferred $10 million to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, in March.

Redin also facilitated a $2 million transfer last year from the IRGC-QF and Hezbollah to Hamas. Its deputy CEO, Ismail Tash, was the primary contact in numerous Iran-Hamas money transfers, the Meir Amit report found.

Erdogan’s inner circle has encouraged bloodshed between Israel and the Palestinians by providing assistance to the al-Qassam Brigades. Israel’s Shin Bet arrested two suspects last year linked to the Turkish private military company SADAT, which run by top Erdogan military adviser retired Brig. Gen. Adnan Tanriverdi. It accused them of helping Hamas’ military buildup by providing money and weapons to the terrorists. SADAT’s website calls for the use of military force against Israel. Meir Amit reported that Jabarin had recruited the men under instructions from Arouri.

“The liaison of Palestine with the globe should not be left at the mercy of Israel. This requires open support by Islamic countries. Every effort should be made, including use of force,” SADAT says on its website.

Erdogan presented Turkey as a terrorism fighter, saying Turkey killed ISIS fighters in areas of Syria it occupies. He glossed over Turkey’s clandestine support for ISIS in Syria.

 “Turkey has been the country most influenced by the [ISIS] threat; this terrorist organization has harassed our borders and targeted our cities very near the borders with suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Turkish citizens,” Erdogan said. “Turkey is the first country that has delivered the heaviest blow to the [ISIS] presence in Syria.”

Internal documents and whistleblowers tell a different story — one of a country that plays both sides when it comes to ISIS. Leaked emails from Erdogan’s son-in-law and current Turkish finance minister, Berat Albayrak, showed his connection to an ISIS oil smuggling operations.

The Treasury Department sanctions also targeted several Turkish companies that “materially assisted … or provided financial, material, or technological support” to ISIS.

Turkey’s intelligence agency, the MIT, conspired to bus ISIS jihadists across Turkish territory, leaked Turkish wiretaps show. At least 15,000 ISIS fighters entered Syria that way, Abdullah Bozkurt, former editor of Turkey’s Today’s Zaman newspaper, told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (where we both work) in February.

Turkish police were told not to arrest ISIS fighters traveling to Syria, said former Turkish National Police official Ahmet Yayla.

Turkey provided ISIS with drones and munitions, an ISIS fighter detained by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who was interviewed by the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism said. He and a Palestinian-Arab ISIS fighter held by the SDF said that Turkish hospitals provided medical assistance to wounded ISIS terrorists.

“Like me, thousands of ISIS members have been treated in Turkey. Everyone knows that Turkey is the mother of all jihadist groups,” said former ISIS fighter Islam Ahmed Muhammed Balusha. “This applies to the jihadist groups in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and even from Palestine to Afghanistan. Turkey has supported the ISIS massively.”

Erdogan’s party, the AKP, allegedly used ISIS to attack political opponents.

EU INTCEN, the European Union’s intelligence arm, reportedly suggested the AKP ordered an October 2015 ISIS suicide bombing at a peace rally in Ankara that killed 109 people.

Erdogan’s pretense of being the savior of the region’s problems belies the fact his government has become a major terrorism supporter and is guilty of everything he criticizes Israel of doing.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10112

IDF Soldiers Make Incredible Discovery Of Watchtower Dating Back To The First Temple Period In The 8th Century BC Under King Hezekiah In Judah

The tower, which was dated to the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday. The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones, some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around Ashkelon.

by Geoffrey Grider October 2, 2019

IDF soldiers recently uncovered a watchtower from the First Temple period during an archaeological dig on their base in southern Israel.

To find this watchtower dating back to the time of King Hezekiah is truly an amazing find, and yet another brick in the wall of solid, factual archaeological evidence showing both the historical connection of the Jews to the land, and to the accuracy of the Bible.

“And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.” 2 Kings 20:10,11 (KJV)

King Hezekiah was a good king over Judah and Israel, and he is a prominent figure in one of the most incredible accounts in the Bible. The king was sore sick, and lay dying, and with prayers and tears besought the Lord to heal him and extend his life. The Lord not only did that for King Hezekiah, but certified with an absolutely mind-boggling sign. Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord on behalf of King Hezekiah, and the sun was turn backwards by ten degrees! Finding this watchtower that dates back to that time is a priceless link to the rich biblical archaeological history of the Jewish people in the holy land.

Troops uncover First Temple-era observation post on training base

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The tower, which was dated to the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday.

The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones, some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around Ashkelon.

“Some 2,700 years after Sennacherib’s campaign, Israel Defense Forces soldiers uncovered a watchtower of soldiers from the Judean army, very similar to the ones the army uses today,” the statement said.

The dig was carried out by soldiers on the base as part of  an IDF initiative to encourage commanders and soldiers to be “responsible and actively involved in protecting the values of nature, the landscape and heritage in their environment.”

Some 150 soldiers undergoing basic training and their commanders took part in the project, the IAA said, and the project was overseen by IAA officials Saar Ganor and Lifshitz Vladik. Ganor and Vladik said the tower appeared to be part of the torch communications system, as described in the Hebrew Bible.

“The strategic location of the tower served as an observation point and warning [system] against the Philistine enemy, one of whose main cities was Ashkelon,” said the IAA. “The Kingdom of Judah built a system of towers and fortresses that were a communications, warning and signaling post, as a way of passing messages and field intelligence,” they added.

According to the IAA, operations at the watchtower ceased in 701 BCE, when the Assyrian King Sennacherib destroyed 46 cities and thousands of villages and farms during his military campaign in Judah. During the dig, the entrance to the tower was discovered to have been sealed, with the IAA saying the soldiers stationed there likely went to a nearby fortified city when the Assyrians invaded.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10109

State media in Iran, Russia indicate growing Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance

It’s in media coverage in these countries, particularly the narratives of Press TV, RT and Sputnik that we can see the alliance emerge.

By Seth J. Frantzman

September 26, 2019 04:53

Iran’s Press TV tweeted in English on Wednesday with a quote from Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Nuclear power should be forbidden for all or permissible for all.” Press TV included an image of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appearing to be sweating.

Iran’s message wasn’t a secret: the account tagged Erdogan and included the hashtag “#IsraelisExempt”. What is more secretive is the Iran-Turkey-Russia alliance that is emerging and illustrated via state-controlled media.

RT, a Russian television network, similarly highlights the greatness of Turkey and Iran as part of a campaign that clearly indicates Moscow’s support for the two. On Wednesday, it tweeted about Iran showcasing its drone expertise amid tensions in the Gulf. It also shared images from Erdogan’s speech in which he slammed Israel. Russian news agency Sputnik similarly highlighted comments by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday morning. “Turkey will probably never buy American aircraft again,” Sputnik noted as well.

A quick look at TRT and Al Jazeera, which reflect the views of governments in Ankara and Doha, did not reveal such strong praise for Russia and Iran. This means that in general, Tehran and Moscow appear to be using their media arms to curry favor with Turkey as part of a regional strategy aimed at a Turkey-Russia-Iran triumvirate or alliance. This alliance is positioned to upset the regional balance of power and has already been cemented through the Astana process to discuss Syria and the post-Syrian civil war era.

Initially, Russia and Iran were on one side of the Syrian civil war and Turkey on the other side, to the extent that in 2015, there were theories that they might come into conflict over Syria. But over time, things changed.

Turkey became closer to Russia – seeing a potential dealmaker that could be trusted, and finding a warm ear in Moscow when Turkey broached the subject of taking over parts of northern Syria, including Afrin. Moscow gave the green light over time, allowing Turkey to use Syria’s airspace and making sure the Syrian regime – a key ally of Russia – did not intervene. Turkey is now poised to seek to control a swath of Syria that could result in Turkish control of more than 30% of the country if Ankara gets everything it wants in eastern and northern Syria.

Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran grew closer economically, with Turkey seeking ways around US sanctions and seeking to boost trade to $30 billion from $10 billion in 2017. Turkey, Russia and Iran bond over Syria because they all oppose the US’s role. Turkey accuses the US of training terrorists in eastern Syria. Turkey, once opposed to Iran’s growing role in Iraq, has found accommodations with Tehran after an Iranian-backed Iraqi offensive into Kirkuk in the wake of the Kurdistan Regional Government referendum. Most importantly, Turkey is getting Russia’s S-400 – a deal that originated in 2017 and resulted in delivery of the system in the summer of 2019. It may go online in April 2020.

Turkey and Russia also work closely on TurkStream, the pipeline under the Black Sea that is linked to more muscular Turkish policies in the Mediterranean.

It’s in the media coverage by agencies and stations in these countries – particularly the narratives of Press TV, RT and Sputnik – that we can see the alliance emerge. These media share some basic features: criticism of the US and Israel, a clear editorial line towards praising Turkey and highlighting, with some glee, the growing divergence between Washington and Ankara.

Of course, Moscow and Tehran have different motives. Tehran wants Turkey as a market amid sanctions. It wants to use southern Syria as part of its land-bridge strategy to threaten Israel, necessitating some abeyance from Turkey. Russia wants Turkey to also smooth the way for things in northern Syria. That means that it doesn’t mind if Turkey re-settles refugees in eastern Syria, where the US and mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces are present.

This will kill two birds with one stone: it will weaken the SDF-US partnership while also moving the refugees away from Idlib. Russia’s goal is to break down the last extremist groups in Idlib. Turkey will be glad to see them go, because both Russia and Turkey want the last independent Syrian factions to evaporate, and that means defeating the SDF in the East and HTS in Idlib. It means neutralizing the last Syrian rebels by getting them to fight the SDF. Everyone gets something in this equation, except those Syrians who dared to join opposition groups.

From the Syrian regime’s perspective, this may be all a bit too much – watching its country partitioned and Moscow, Tehran and Ankara decide what is best for it. However, Syria doesn’t have much of a choice. For its part, the Syrian regime has been talking tough on the SDF more than in the past. But it must wonder if a growing Turkey-Russia-Iran alliance means permanent division of Syria into situation mirroring northern Cyprus while southern Syria is used by Iran to fight a clandestine war against Israel.

Walid Muallem, Syria’s foreign minister, says there won’t be foreign interference in Syria’s constitutional committee. Bashar al Assad met with Iran’s Ali Asghar Khaji, senior aid to Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, and told him that the US was losing in Syria. Assad asked for some details about the recent tripartite meeting of Iran, Turkey and Russia regarding Syria. He wondered what they had decided about the country he claims to be president of.

He stressed the importance of Syrian-Iranian-Russian cooperation, according to Syrian state media SANA. Khaji smiled in return.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10090

Turkey’s Erdogan: Israel was originally mostly Palestinian

“All actors of the international community and in particular the UN should provide complete support to the Palestinian people beyond more promises,” Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

By Tovah Lazaroff

September 24, 2019 21:41

3 minute read.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds up a map as he addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/CARLO ALLEGRI)

“Israel, which was almost non-existent in 1947, has continued until this day to seize Palestinian land with the aim of eliminating the state and the Deal of the Century will support those territorial ambitions,” Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

“Where are the borders of the State of Israel? Is it the 1947 borders, the 1967 borders or is there another border that we need to know of?” Erdogan asked, alluding to Netanyahu’s plan to expand Israeli sovereignty to West Bank settlements.

Erdogan held up four maps to illustrate his point, with the Palestinians in green and Israel in white, to demonstrate Israel’s changing border from 1947 to today.

Erdogan also spoke against the US recognition of Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

“How can the Golan Heights and the West Bank settlements be seized just like other occupied Palestinian territories before the eyes of the world?” Erdogan asked.

He accused the Trump administration of wanting to destroy Palestinian statehood with its unpublished plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Is the aim of the initiative to promote, as the ‘Deal of the Century,’ to entirely eliminate the presence of the state and the people of Palestine? Do you want another bloodshed?” Erdogan asked. “All actors of the international community, and in particular, the UN, should provide complete support to the Palestinian people beyond more promises.”


Erdogan did not speak of the refusal of the Arab countries to accept UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the 1947 partition plan that would have created both Jewish and Palestinian states. Nor did he speak of Jordan’s attack against Israel during the Six Day War – despite Israeli pleas to King Hussein to stay out of the fighting – in response to which Israel wrestled control of the West Bank.

“I am quite curious, what about this map of Israel? Where is Israel? Where does the land of Israel begin and end? Look at this map, where was Israel in 1947 and where is Israel now, especially between the years between 1949 and 1967?” Erdogan said.

The Turkish President then pointed to the map and said, “Look, this is 1947. The land of Palestine. There is seemingly almost no Israeli presence on this lands, the entire territory belongs to the Palestinians.”

He said that 1947 was the year that the “Palestinian land starts shrinking and Israel starts expanding” and added that “Israel is still expanding and Palestine is still shrinking.”

He called on the UN to take action and enforce its many resolutions against Israel, as “Israel is still willing to take over the remainder of the land,” according to Erdogan.

“Under this roof, we are producing resolutions without any effect, so when do you think – or where do you think – justice can prevail?” he asked.

Israel and the US, he said, were busy “intervening and attacking the historical and legal status of Jerusalem, and holy sacred lands and artifacts,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish President said he supported a two-state solution on the pre-1967 line and warned the US that any other resolution would not work.

“Any other peace plan other than this will never have a chance of being fair

[and]

just, and it will never be implemented,” Erdogan said. “Today, the Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation has become one of the most striking places of injustice.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10086

The Equinox Marked at Dawn in the Wheel of the Giants of the Bashan

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz September 22, 2019 , 2:17 pm

Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four amot wide, by the standard amah! Deuteronomy 3:11 (The Israel Bible™)

On Sunday morning, a biannual astronomical event was marked on an ancient structure in a remote section of northern Israel. The structure remains an enigma to archaeologists but some link it to Biblical giants.

Stonehenge in the Golan

After the Six-Day War in 1967, archaeologists studying an aerial map of Israel discovered a strange formation of five concentric rings of loose rock located some ten miles east of the coast of the Sea of Galilee, in the middle of a large plateau covered with hundreds of single-chamber megalithic tombs called dolmens. The formation is not recognizable from the ground, appearing as random piles of rocks, but from above it is quite impressive, with an outer ring more than nearly 520 feet wide and eight feet high. It is called Rujm el-Hiri in Arabic, meaning the “stone heap of the wild cat”, and in Hebrew as Gilgal Refaim, or Wheel of the Giants.

At its center is a mound of loose stones over 65 feet in diameter and over 16 feet tall, covering a burial chamber almost 20 feet long. The entire formation is composed of over 40,000 tons of loose basalt rocks. It was estimated that the transportation and building of the massive monument would have required more than 25,000 working days

Estimates as to when it was built vary widely but the site is believed to be between 5,000-6,000 years old. In comparison, the Egyptian Pyramids were built some 4,500 years ago and Stonehenge in England was built some 3,500 years ago. 

Og: the Giant King of the Bashan

It is interesting to note that the region is known as the Bashan, where Og the king of came out against the Israelites at the time of their entrance into the Promised Land but was vanquished in battle.  Og was an Amorite king, the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth. Biblical scholars believe that the Prophet Amos was referring to Og when he referred to a giant Amorite.

Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, Whose stature was like the cedar’s And who was stout as the oak, Destroying his boughs above And his trunk below! Amos 2:9

In Deuteronomy and later in the book of Numbers and Joshua, Og is called the last of the Rephaim, a Hebrew word that is sometimes interpreted as meaning ‘giants.’ The Hebrew name of the site, Gilgal Rephaim, hints at an ancient link to these giants. 

Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four amot wide, by the standard amah! Deuteronomy 3:11

The Biblical measurement of an amah, literally the length of a forearm, is generally considered to be 19.2 inches, which would mean that Og’s bed was over fourteen feet long and over six feet wide.

Midrash explains that the “fugitive” who warned Abraham that Lot had been captured was Og. Og had escaped the flood in the generation of Noah by clinging to the side of the Ark. 

If Og had been the leader of a nation of pre-Abrahamic giants in the region of the Golan it would certainly explain the existence of the mammoth stone structures. 

An Archaeological Enigma

There is no consensus regarding its function. Since excavations have yielded very few material remains, archaeologists theorize that the site was not a defensive position or a residential quarter but most likely a ritual center.

In 2007, the site was excavated by Yosef Garfinkel and Michael Freikman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Freikman returned in the summer of 2010 for further investigation of the site’s date and function. Freikman believes that the center area was built at the same time as the rings. 

“I wouldn’t call it a religious center,” Dr. Freikman told Breaking Israel News. “It was more of a gathering place for rituals, though not for burials.”

Dr. Freikman noted that by the time of the Bible and the Patriarchs, the site was already abandoned for several hundred years.

“They probably would have known of it as a prominent geographic feature but they would not have known what it was used for,” he said. “There are at least five other similar sites, albeit smaller, with outer circles about 60 meters in diameter and also surrounded dolmans.” 

Circles in the Ground Measuring the Sun and Stars

Dr. Freikman wrote about Gilgal Refaim in the Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University in 2017, noting the astronomical aspects of the site:

“Certain architectural elements of Rujm el-Hiri are aligned with celestial phenomena, namely with the azimuth of sunrise on specific days of the year. For instance, it was claimed that at both equinoxes a spectator standing in the geometrical centre of the complex would see the sun rising exactly in the east through the ‘gunsight’ created by two exceptionally large boulders installed in the outermost wall. Due to the precession of the earth, which gradually changes the azimuth of the sunrise, this phenomenon cannot be observed from the same spot today. However, as this is a very slow process, the spectator must move aside only slightly to witness the sunrise as the architect of Rujm el-Hiri intended.”

Archaeologists Yonathan Mizrachi and Anthony Aveni, studying the structure since the late 1980s, believe the site was used as a celestial observatory.  The entrance way to the center opens on the sunrise of the summer solstice.

The equinox, the instant of time when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun, will be taking place on Monday morning. Notches in the walls indicate the precise locations of the sunrise for both the spring and fall equinoxes. 

The walls at Rujm el-Hiri seem to have pointed to star-risings for the period, and may have been predictors of the rainy season, a crucial bit of information for the sheepherders of the Bashan plain.

Remote and Neglected

The rings of Gilgal Refaim contain more questions than answers. The site is difficult to get to and neglected by the antiquities authorities but Dr. Freikman prefers it that way. 

“If it became part of pop culture and easily accessible to the general public, it would become like Stonehenge or the Pyramids,” Dr. Freikman said. “Fast food restaurants and souvenir shops would be built around it and the crowds would destroy or steal anything worth studying. For the time being, it is good that the general public doesn’t come in droves.”

But in addition to being a science, archaelogy in Israel has political and religious connotations.

“I would like to return and study the site,” Dr. Freikman said. “There is so much to learn. But it is difficult to raise funds for sites in the Golan. Even after President Trump recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan, many people are still reluctant to archaeological research in the area.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10082