Israeli and Palestinian Tension Continues to Build
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Over the past couple of weeks the big story in the Middle East is the downward spiral of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United States. This downward spiral started when U.S. President Joe Biden visited Israel and within twenty-four hours it was announced that 1,600 new housing units had been approved. While this set off a chain of events that has caused the worst Israeli/American political spat in over thirty-five years, it is just one of several spats that have popped up lately. The other spat involves the ongoing situation between the Israelis and Palestinians over building construction in he east Jerusalem area. In fact, the current situation is getting so bad that not only are rockets and retaliatory aircraft attacks taking place regularly, the Palestinians have become more vocal over the last few weeks about a Third Intifada. The Jerusalem Post is currently reporting:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction on Wednesday called for escalating the “popular struggle” against the security barrier and the settlements in the West Bank. The call came as Palestinians expressed skepticism about a pledge by the recent Arab League summit in Libya to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to boost the Arab presence in Jerusalem.
Veteran members of the Fatah Central Committee, including Nabil Shaath, Mahmoud al-Aloul, Muhammad Dahlan, Hussein al-Sheikh and Jibril Rajoub, said that the decision to escalate popular protests against the security fence and settlements was part of the faction’s political platform. They said the Sixth General Assembly of Fatah, which met last year in Bethlehem for the first time in over 20 years, had endorsed “popular resistance” as a means of confronting Israel’s measures in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
While there have been early calls for violent resistance in the past, the calls for a third Intifada have been mostly for a "peaceful" intifada which would consist mostly of demonstrations, protests, and perhaps minor violent exercises like stone throwing. The Palestinians for their part have refrained for calls for a continuation of past suicide bombings and other hardcore terrorist activity at this point. I am under the impression that the Palestinians want to remind the Israelis that they have the ability to provide aggressive "popular resistance" but for the time being do not want to aggravate the current political situation that finds U.S. President Hussein Obama making the all the moves for them by trying to pressure Israel into making concessions that no other Israeli government has ever made. The Palestinians seem intent on sitting back and letting Hussein Obama make their moves for them. This is truly sad to watch and in the end I do not believe that the Palestinians will achieve what they desire by following this course of action. I think the Israeli government will remain firm behind their right-wing beliefs and values which could turn out causing more friction between the U.S. and Israel.
The Jerusalem Post article went on to further report:
Rajoub, for his part, emphasized that Fatah’s decision to step up the “popular resistance” did not mean that the faction had abandoned other options – an implicit reference to the “armed struggle” choice. The former PA security chief said that Fatah was now working to develop and spread the models of the villages of Bil’in, Ni’lin and Nabi Saleh, where Palestinians and foreign activists have held weekly protests against the security fence. Shaath, a former PA foreign minister, said that peaceful protests were now a popular demand to confront Israel’s policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
“We need to strengthen and back this option in the face of the Israeli occupation’s policies,” he said. “We can’t return to the negotiations unless Israel halts all settlement construction in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.” Shaath urged the US administration to pressure Israel to stop its policy of settlement construction, which, he claimed, jeopardized US interests in the region.
As we've mentioned the goal of the protests is to work hand in hand with the tremendous pressure being applied to the Israel by the international community, primarily being the U.S. at this time. The Palestinians are hoping to use this "popular resistance" coupled with the recent tensions between the U.S./ and Israel to get Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders. The article indicated that this was the current goal of the Palestinian leadership:
The Fatah leaders expressed hope that the popular protests would erupt into a “peaceful intifada” which would eventually spark enormous international pressure on the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, during his weekly radio address to the Palestinians, voiced support for the idea of waging peaceful protests. He said that the “popular resistance” had strengthened the Palestinians’ “national program.”
Despite the claims that the Third Intifada won't be an armed aggression type of conflict, the Israelis continue to face rocket attacks coming from Gaza. This evening the IDF struck several targets in the Gaza strip in order to retaliate for the previous firing of rockets into Israel from earlier in the day. The IAF for their part has indicated that they will continue to respond to rocket attacks into Israel. The YNetNews website report:
Israeli warplanes carried out at least five missile attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip overnight Friday, Palestinian witnesses said. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Witnesses said four of the air strikes took place near the central town of Khan Younis, the site of a deadly clash last week between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen. The fifth air strike rocked Gaza City. Major Eliraz Peretz, deputy commander of the Golani Brigade's 12th Battalion and resident of the settlement of Eli, and Staff-Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky of Rishon Lezion were killed in that incident. Following the clash a senior IDF official said the army would retaliate "at the appropriate time."
The IDF struck several targets in the Gaza strip and the YNetNews article gave some information on what targets were hit. The YNetNews article further reported:
According to the Palestinian witnesses, one of the target's of Friday's assault was a group of armed lookouts near Beit Lahiya, located in the northern part of Gaza. Another strike, they said, targeted a factory in Gaza City's Sabra neighborhood. In addition, a number of missiles were fired towards open areas in the Khan Younis area, the Palestinians reported. Israeli warplanes also targeted a metal workshop in central Gaza, they said. According to the Palestinians, at least one missile was fired at a Hamas naval police outpost in Rafah.
So as we can see there continues to be flare-ups between the Israelis and Palestinians at this time that indicate that the tension remains high not just on the Israel and U.S. side, but that the ongoing Israeli and Palestinian situation continues to boil as well. While the current Jewish holiday has come and gone without any major incident, we will need to continue to keep a watchful eye on the region in case their is a sudden outbreak of violence in the region.
In another article that shows that the tension could further escalate in the Israel/Palestinian/U.S. situation, it is being reported that Israel is currently working on a list of "gestures" to give the U.S. administration in order to further advance the peace process. This list of gestures comes on the heals of a visit to the U.S. by PA Interior Minister Saeed Abu Ali. While the U.S. labels the visit as a "routine consultation" between Washington and the PA, the Israel are afraid that the PA is coming to Washington with a list of demands that they want to see placed on Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Israel has formulated a new list of potential gestures towards the Palestinians, Defense Ministry sources said Thursday, as a top Palestinian Authority minister visited Washington for talks with Obama administration officials. The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Defense Ministry recently compiled new proposals for easing restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank, according to Defense officials. The move comes amidst the most serious crisis in US-Israeli relations in years, with the US demanding that Israel do more to show a commitment towards the peace process.
Following meetings that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held last week with the top US leadership, including US President Barack Obama, the cabinet has been contemplating a package of confidence-building measures. US officials were also in contact with Palestinian representatives in the region, with PA Interior Minister Saeed Abu Ali coming to Washington this week. US State Department officials described his visit as merely “routine consultations.” The IDF sees it as a PA effort to influence the administration into upping the pressure on Israel to make a series of goodwill gestures in the West Bank.
“He is basically coming with a shopping list,” one official said of Abu Ali’s trip. “The Palestinians are interested in Israel easing restrictions and transferring territory over to their control.” The Palestinians, according to Israeli officials, are asking for a number of measures that also appear in COGAT’s list and include the transfer of security control over West Bank cities from the IDF to PA forces; the removal of additional roadblocks and the change in status over certain pieces of land that are categorized as “Area C” – meaning they are under full Israeli administrative and security control – to either Area A or B status, which would give the Palestinians administrative rights.
As we can see from the following Jerusalem Post article the Palestinians continue to run to Washington to the pro-islamic U.S. President Hussein Obama and ask for even more concessions from the Israelis. I believe their is a strong likelihood that the U.S. President will probably add these requests to his already long list of U.S. demands on Israel. and you can probably take it to the bank that Obama will not make a single demand of any kind of "confidence" building gestures towards Israel. Any gestures Obama makes to the Palestinians will be meet with resistance and of course Hussein Obama will just turn his head and look the other way essentially caving into the Islamists.
I believe the time has come for Israel to cease giving into the U.S. administration and stand firm in a fair and equitable deal in trying to solve the Middle East peace process. With one side constantly making all the concessions, there really is not a peace deal as it is more like a robbery. And that is exactly what the Obama administration and the Palestinians aim to do is steal the land from the Israelis. Only when the Israelis stand up for themselves, say enough is enough, and demand reciprocity will there ever be a fair deal. The Israelis are very united across the country on their right to build and live in the Jerusalem area, yet the world does not see Jerusalem as a Jewish city and is intent on giving it away. This situation plays right into Bible prophecy in that the Bible forewarns everyone that in the end times Jerusalem will become a "burdensome stone" that all the nations will concern themselves with, and the Lord makes it clear that those who concern themselves with Jerusalem will be cut to pieces. It is simply a matter of time now.
Let us continue to pray for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem as Bible prophecy is being literally fulfilled before out very eyes. With the rapid advancement of the end times puzzle pieces across the prophetic chess board, time is slowly but surely running out. Keep looking up, your redemption is drawing nigh!!