Iran confronting Israel directly
For years, Iran has indirectly targeted Israel through terrorist proxies including Hamas and Hezbollah. The first direct confrontation between the two nations occurred on February 10. That’s when an Iranian drone penetrated Israeli airspace from Syria and was shot down by an Israel Defense Forces attack helicopter. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said on April 13 that “the aircraft was carrying explosives” to conduct “an act of sabotage in Israeli territory.”
“This is the first time we saw Iran do something against Israel—not by proxy,” a senior Israeli military official told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “This opened a new period” (April 15). David Horovitz wrote in the Times of Israel that the event shows that the Iranian regime is “now sufficiently emboldened as to directly attack Israel” (April 14).
Four days before Manelis’s announcement, the IDF bombed the T4 military base, striking the drone operations center that had launched the February 10 drone and killing seven Iranians. According to Israeli military sources, Iran had been building it into a fully functional air base with the ability to launch surface-to-air missiles at Israeli targets.
“We are facing a new reality,” said Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. “[T]he Lebanese Army, in cooperation with Hezbollah, the Syrian Army, the Shiite militias in Syria and above them Iran—are all becoming a single front against the State of Israel.”
The Bible indicates that Iran, the end-time “king of the south” of Daniel 11:40, will soon trigger a severe crisis in Israel—indirectly via the Palestinians and possibly directly. Read about it in Jerusalem in Prophecy.
March of Return
For six weeks, thousands of Palestinians protested on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel during what Hamas called the “Great March of Return.”
The protests began March 30 and ended on May 15, which is known by Arabs as Nakba Day (“Catastrophe Day”). It is the anniversary of the day following the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. During their demonstrations, Palestinian rioters flung stones, rolled burning tires and flew kites with incendiary attachments and tried to cross the border into Israeli territory.
Israeli security forces killed more than 100 protesters and injured more than 7,000 others. Most of these protesters were not defenseless or innocent; they were terrorists or Hamas operatives and Palestinians who agreed with the goals of Hamas or were coerced by Hamas to the front lines of the riots.
“World events from today to the end of this age are going to revolve around Jerusalem,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his August 2012 article “Watch Jerusalem!” “This city is going to be the very epicenter of all major events in the future.” The Bible prophesies that half of Jerusalem will fall to the Arabs. When that happens, Mr. Flurry wrote, “it will be like dominoes falling one after the other: one biblically prophesied event after another. This is all going to happen very fast and very violently, so you need to watch Jerusalem.”
During a televised address from Israel Defense Forces headquarters on April 30, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a captured Iranian “atomic archive” of nuclear weapons information showing just how close Iran is to creating weapons of mass destruction.
According to Netanyahu, Israeli intelligence captured the stash of 100,000 files from a hidden warehouse in Tehran. He said the archive proved the following: “First, Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program. … Second, even after the deal, Iran continued to preserve and expand its nuclear weapons know-how for future use. Why would a terrorist regime hide and meticulously catalogue its secret nuclear files, if not to use them at a later date? Third, Iran lied again in 2015 when it didn’t come clean to the [International Atomic Energy Agency], as required by the nuclear deal. And finally, the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] nuclear deal, is based on lies … Iranian lies and Iranian deception.”
Netanyahu also warned about Iran’s ballistic missiles and secret nuclear weapons programs, which the JCPOA did not address.
Netanyahu’s exposé was not entirely surprising: Negotiators of the deal obliquely acknowledged that Iran constantly lies about its nuclear ambitions when they conceded that the JCPOA was “not based on trust.” What most of them fail to acknowledge is how devoted Iran’s top leaders are to a clash of civilizations.
In his September 2015 article “Negotiating Human Survival,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “Though many don’t realize it yet, the Western world—and especially America—has been humiliated through this deal. … Instead of trusting people based on what they say, the Bible says we should ‘know them by their fruits’ (Matthew 7:16). Iran’s fruits show it will violate this next agreement. But this time, the stakes are much higher. … No words will stop this king of terror [Iran] because he believes he has a religious duty to bring upon the world a nuclear cataclysm so his messiah can return.”