America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/08/11/22/2B4727DF00000578-3194241-image-m-12_1439326939787.jpg

New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events

The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.

“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal. “Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”

Among the findings:

  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina

“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”

Frightening Results From New Study

The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.

New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis

Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:

    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.

“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.

Others agree.

“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.

This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

The Great Risk of Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi leaves after a statement during the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

Pakistan: Risk of ‘accidental war’ with India over Kashmir

Sep 10, 2019 / 11:47 AM EDT

by: JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press

Posted

: / Updated: Sep 10, 2019 / 12:28 PM EDT

GENEVA (AP) — Pakistan’s foreign minister warned Tuesday that India’s “illegal occupation” of Muslim-majority Kashmir could drive the nuclear-armed countries “into an accidental war.”

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi accused India at a session of the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council of turning Kashmir “into the largest prison on this planet.” He alleged some Kashmiris were tortured and raped in the region claimed by both Pakistan and India.

“I shudder to mention the word ‘genocide’ here, but I must,” Qureshi said.

Tensions between Pakistan and its southeastern neighbor have been heightened since Aug. 5, when India’s government changed the status of Indian-administered Kashmir.

The Indian government imposed a security lockdown and communications blackout that has since been partially lifted in most of Jammu and Kashmir, which India’s Parliament voted last month to downgrade from a state into two federally administered territories.

“Once the curfew is lifted, the reality comes out, the world will wake up to the catastrophe that is underway right now,” Qureshi told reporters.

Pakistan also issued a statement on behalf of about 60 nations calling for respect of human rights, an end to the curfew and communications shutdown in Kashmir and “unhindered access” for international media and human rights groups in Kashmir.

India’s envoy, Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Vijay Thakur Singh, later lashed out against “one delegation” at the Human Rights Council for giving “a running commentary with offensive rhetoric, of false allegations and concocted charges against my country.”

She did not mention Pakistan by name.

“The world is aware that this fabricated narrative comes from the epicenter of global terrorism, where ringleaders are sheltered for years,” she said, alluding to Pakistan.

“This country conducts cross-border terrorism as a form of alternate diplomacy,” she added, without addressing Qureshi’s allegations specifically.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim rights to all of it.The nuclear-armed rivals have fought two wars over the region’s control.

Pakistan alleges that India could attack the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir by stage-managing an attack in the India-controlled part to divert international attention from human rights violations.

“India is acting irresponsibly. They’re being belligerent,” Qureshi said. “And if there is a false-flag operation, which we fear, and they use it as a pretext and carry out some misadventure against Pakistan, we will respond.”

“We will respond with force,” he added. “And, you never know, we could be into an accidental war.”

He noted that U.S. President Trump had offered to mediate.

“We welcomed it,” Qureshi said. “And India said, ‘No, no, no, no. Don’t worry, we’re going to resolve things on our own.’ They cannot be resolved. That cannot be resolved bilaterally.”

___

This article corrects a previous version that misidentified the gender of Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh.

The Growing Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

A satellite image time series shows the development of the site at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology where Saudi Arabia is building its first nuclear reactor.

Saudi Arabia Flags Plan To Enrich Uranium As U.S. Seeks Nuclear Pact

September 09, 2019

Reuters

ABU DHABI, Sept 9 (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia wants to enrich uranium for its nuclear power program, its energy minister said on Monday, potentially complicating talks with Washington on an atomic pact and the role of U.S. companies.

Uranium enrichment has been a sticking point with the United States, especially after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in 2018 that the Sunni Muslim kingdom would develop nuclear arms if regional rival Shi’ite Muslim Iran did.

The world’s top oil exporter says it wants to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix, but enrichment also opens up the possibility of military uses of uranium.

“We are proceeding with it cautiously … we are experimenting with two nuclear reactors,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said, referring to a plan to issue a tender for the Gulf Arab state’s first two nuclear power reactors.

Ultimately the kingdom wanted to go ahead with the full cycle of the nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel, he told an energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

The tender is expected in 2020, with U.S., Russian, South Korean, Chinese and French firms involved in preliminary talks about the multi-billion-dollar project.

Although atomic reactors need uranium enriched to around 5% purity, the same technology can also be used to enrich the heavy metal to higher, weapons-grade levels.

Saudi Arabia has backed President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran after he withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear pact that curbed Iran’s disputed nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

In order for U.S. companies to compete for Saudi Arabia’s project, Riyadh would normally need to sign an accord on the peaceful use of nuclear technology with Washington.

The United States would like to sign this pact, known as a 123 agreement, a senior U.S. official said at the conference.

“It’s important for us, with regards to U.S. technology, we’re going to pursue a 123 agreement,” Dan Brouillette, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, said.

“We would like to see a 123 agreement accompany any agreement to transfer U.S. technology or use U.S. technology in Saudi or any other place,” he added.

Reuters has reported that progress on the discussions has been difficult because Saudi Arabia does not want to sign a deal that would rule out the possibility of enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel – both potential paths to a bomb.

International concerns about the dual technology helped lead to the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and global powers. Under the deal Iran can enrich uranium to around the normal level needed for commercial power production.

But in response to U.S. sanctions imposed since Washington withdrew from the deal in May last year, Iran has been breaching the limits it imposed on its atomic activities step by step.

Another Israeli Strike on Iran

Unmanned aerial vehicle reportedly destroys a weapons depot belonging to pro-Iranian Shiite militias in the country’s west, less than 24 hours after a mysterious airstrike killed 18 pro-Iranian militants on the Syria-Iraq border. Syrian official claims Israeli planes used Jordanian airspace in that attack and were “aided” by US forces stationed in Syria. “We hold the Americans and Israelis responsible for these acts of aggression which cross the red lines,” said the official.Media outlets in Iraq reported early Tuesday morning that an unmanned aerial vehicle struck a weapons depot belonging to pro-Iranian Shiite militias in the country’s west, less than 24 hours after a mysterious airstrike killed 18 pro-Iranian militants on the Syria-Iraq border.

According to reports, the weapons depot targeted overnight Monday was located near the Iraqi city of Hit, in the country’s western Anbar province that borders Syria.

Some of the reports said that ambulances arrived at the facility but there were no confirmed reports of casualties as a result of the strike.

Several nearby villages were apparently also affected by the blast, Sky News Arabia reported.

Sunday’s overnight strikes, as stated, killed at least 18 pro-Iranian militants and apparently targeted the Popular Mobilization Unit, an Iraqi Shiite militia, as well as an Iraqi arm of Hezbollah, at a base in the Syrian border town Al-Bukamal, according to sources who spoke with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya newspaper.

A Syrian security official cited by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said the Israeli planes targeted a military camp that was being set up by the Syrian army and its allies. It said the structure was deserted at the time and the strike did not cause any casualties, contrary to the reports.

The official claimed the planes used Jordanian airspace and were “aided” by US forces stationed at the Tanf garrison, near Syria’s eastern border with Jordan. “We hold the Americans and Israelis responsible for these acts of aggression which cross the red lines,” said the official, who was not named.

An official with an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq also blamed Israel for the airstrikes.

The IDF had no comment on the airstrike overnight Sunday but said that rockets launched from Syria on Monday fell short and did not land in Israel. The IDF said the rockets were launched from the outskirts of Damascus by Shiite militants operating under the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The army said it holds the Syrian government responsible for the attempted attack.

The attacks come amid rising tensions in the Middle East and the crisis between Iran and the US in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

Israel frequently attacks Iranian targets in Syria and is believed to have recently crash-landed drones in southern Beirut in a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist group.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that Iran has no immunity anywhere and that the Israeli military forces “will act – and currently are acting – against them.”

Also Monday, Lebanon’s Hezbollah said it shot down an Israeli drone over southern Lebanon, shortly after it crossed from Israel amid rising tensions along the border between the two countries in recent weeks.

A Hezbollah statement said the drone was downed with “suitable weapons” over the village of Ramieh and that the terrorist group now has it. The statement did not elaborate further.

The IDF said a “drone on a routine mission in northern Israel fell,” without elaborating on what it was doing or how it was downed. It said that the drone was “simple” and that there was no risk of a breach of information if it fell into enemy hands. The military said the drone went down Sunday, not Monday, and the reason for the discrepancy was not clear.

Last month, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said his group would confront and shoot down any Israeli drones that enter Lebanese airspace, raising the potential for conflict amid heightened tensions.

Bolton’s Damage is Already Done

Trump ousts National Security Adviser John Bolton, says they ‘disagreed strongly’ on policy

By Brooke Singman | Fox News

President Trump announced Tuesday that he has fired National Security Adviser John Bolton, saying he “disagreed strongly” with his suggestions on a range of issues.

“I informed John Bolton last night that his services are no longer needed at the White House,” Trump tweeted.

“I disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions, as did others in the Administration, and therefore I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning,” he continued. “I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week.”

While Bolton swiftly challenged Trump’s version of events — saying he offered to resign — the two have had well-known disagreements on a range of hot-button national security issues, perhaps most significantly on plans for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

BOLTON: A ‘LOT AT STAKE’ IN VENEZUELA

Bolton’s removal comes after the hawkish adviser was reportedly sidelined from high-level discussions about military involvement in Afghanistan, after opposing diplomatic efforts in the region.

“Simply put, many of Bolton’s policy priorities did not align with POTUS,” a White House official told Fox News on Tuesday.

While Trump announced a 4,000-troop increase in 2017 as part of an effort to break the stalemate in the country, he has been moving toward agreeing to a phased withdrawal of troops. Some 14,000 U.S. troops have remained in Afghanistan, advising and assisting Afghan forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.

Inside the administration, Bolton also advocated caution on Trump’s strategy with North Korea and against Trump’s decision last year to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Bolton also led a quiet effort inside the administration and with allies abroad to convince the president to keep U.S. forces in Syria to counter ISIS and Iranian influence in the region.

Bolton became Trump’s third national security adviser in April 2018, replacing H.R. McMaster, who had been appointed earlier in the administration to replace Michael Flynn.

TRUMP CONFIRMS AFGHANISTAN DRAWDOWN IN WORKS

Bolton fired back Tuesday, tweeting moments after the president’s announcement that he offered his resignation on Monday evening, saying it was not immediately accepted by Trump.

“I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow,’ Bolton tweeted.

Bolton also told Fox News on Tuesday that he and the president were discussing Afghanistan on Monday evening, when he offered to resign.

“I offered to resign last night,” he told Fox News in a text message. “There was no request for a resignation.”

A source also told Fox News that Bolton sent his resignation letter late Tuesday morning, after which Trump tweeted on Bolton’s removal.

“My priority has always been policies that make America secure,” Bolton later told Fox News. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

Bolton, who previously served as a Fox News contributor, worked in the administrations of former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and served as a Bush’s lawyer during the 2000 Florida recount. Bolton also served as a U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006, and as an undersecretary of state for arms control and international security from 2001 to 2005.

One source told Fox News that many in the White House learned of Bolton’s firing from the president’s tweet Tuesday.

Prior to the president’s tweets Tuesday morning, Bolton had been expected to join a national security briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

At that briefing, meant to discuss a new executive order strengthening the government’s ability to sanction those with terror ties, Pompeo and Mnuchin defended the president.

“The president is entitled to the staff he wants,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo went on to say there were “many times” he and Bolton disagreed but added “that’s true of a lot of people I interacted with.”

Asked if they had been blindsided by Bolton’s departure, Pompeo replied: “I am never surprised.”

Mnuchin reiterated that, while Bolton may be gone, the administration intends to keep going with its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran. However, he also stated that Trump is prepared to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at this month’s U.N. General Assembly without preconditions.

Fox News’ John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kashmir and the Impending Nuclear Holocaust

Kashmir and Impending Nuclear Holocaust – Daily Times

The former US President Bill Clinton described Kashmir as “nuclear flashpoint” after the Kargil mini-war between Pakistan and India. It happened at a time when both India and Pakistan had become declared Nuclear Weapons States (NWS). It was unprecedented in the post-World War-II global scenario that the two nuclear powers directly challenged each other in such a dangerous manner, except for the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. The danger of war between India and Pakistan looms large even today as unresolved disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir, continue to haunt both the states and any miscalculation on either side may spell disaster not only for the two countries but the entire world.

The moot question is that after becoming NWS both India and Pakistan have been lagging behind in launching awareness campaigns amongst the masses about the dangers of nuclear weapons and the devastation those weapons could cause if used accidentally or deliberately. Similarly, governments in both the countries have not taken any measures to secure the people once a nuclear calamity is upon their heads. There are no safe shelters although one would be lucky to reach those shelters once they are caught under the mushroom cloud.

Just imagine the devastation caused by the American nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 74 years ago while those nuclear bombs were of a rudimentary class and lethality. Even then it caused over 200000 deaths in both cities while subsequent devastation as a result of radiation affected the equal number. Those who survived had to face the trauma throughout their lives including thousands of birth deformities. Talking of devastation in present day and age, the nuclear scientists are of the opinion that in terms of lethality today’s nuclear bombs are 100-to-1000 times greater than Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore, the United States Catholic Conference held on 13th May 1983 was right in observing: “…we may be the first generation since Genesis with the capacity to destroy God’s Creation”.

Pakistan’s proposals of bilateral agreement of shunning nuclear weapons or declaring South Asia as a nuclear weapons free zone (NWFZ) were rejected by India on the pretext that India’s nuclear programme was not Pakistan-specific

With regard to South Asia, India cannot absolve itself of the responsibility of plunging the region in a dangerous situation after becoming a NWS. Historically, Pakistan has been a reluctant client for the nuclear weapons which was evident since 1974 when India first detonated a nuclear device in the name of “peaceful nuclear explosion (PNE)”. Pakistan’s proposals of bilateral agreement of shunning nuclear weapons or declaring South Asia as a nuclear weapons free zone (NWFZ) were rejected by India on the pretext that India’s nuclear programme was not Pakistan-specific.

Fast forward, the present dispensation in India has a history of bigotry. In an excellent scholarly book entitled “South Asia on a Short Fuse” Praful Bidwai and Achin Venaik state that the BJP (or its earlier incarnations) is the only political party which officially said it wanted India to be a nuclear weapons power. It has been saying this consistently since 1951, well before there was any issue of the Pakistan and Chinese bombs. The classic statement of Hindutva from virtually the birth of the RSS in 1925 has been “Unite Hindus and Militarize Hinduism”. Therefore, it was not surprising when the BJP government under AB Vajpai declared India as a nuclear weapons state in May 1998 and again after gaining absolute majority in the parliamentary elections this year, the BJP government led by Mr. Narendra Modi is rescinding from its self-professed “No First Use (NFU)” policy.

Had Pakistan entertained nuclear ambitions, it would have pursued this route much earlier when it became part of President Dwight D Eisenhower’s “Atom for Peace” initiative which he launched in 1953 during his address at the UN General Assembly. However, it did not go for the weaponization pursuit till India detonated its nuclear device in 1974 and subsequently rejected Pakistan’s proposals of avoiding nuclear route. Even while Pakistan attained the nuclear weapons capability its declaratory policy was not to weaponize the nuclear programme. However, given the bitter experience in the past with India’s double speak, Pakistan could not trust the Indian assurances that its nuclear weapons were not intended against Pakistan. For Pakistan knew that it had to enhance its capabilities in the nuclear field as Indian intentions could change any time. Undoubtedly, Pakistan’s decision was correct. Soon after nuclear explosions in 1998 the then Home Minister Mr. LK Advani arrogantly boasted that “Now we will bring Pakistan to its knees”.

In the present scenario, India has indulged in a dangerous game of creating “new normal” after the Pulwama by attacking Balakot on the pretext that through the element of surprise and in the name of “surgical strikes” it would getaway with its actions. In doing so the Indian policy makers, certainly under the guidance of Hindutva elite, have been entertaining the skewed notion of containing the conflict to the local level. Secondly, Indian policy makers believe that they can capture a territory in the AJK and force Pakistan to bargain. All these scenarios run the risk of escalation from tactical to strategic levels to which no side would have control and no side would be a winner.

Recent statements emanating from the Indian political elite and military establishment have enhanced the dangers of a war between Pakistan and India. Indian threats are a sequel to the Hindutva agenda aimed at creating an environment of fear psychosis in the country by suppressing the minorities, especially Muslims, and raise tensions in the region to justify its occupation in Jammu and Kashmir.By raising the temperature along the Line of Control (LOC), India is flexing muscles to a bigger conflagration. Ironically if war breaks out, common people in both the countries are completely unaware of the impending dangers and horrors of a nuclear war and the accompanying devastation once a nuclear bomb is used. Shouldn’t the governments and civil societies of both the countries inform their citizens about the horrors of a nuclear war? Isn’t it the right of citizens of India and Pakistan to know what an atomic bomb would mean for their lives and existence? And at the governmental level shouldn’t there be clarity from moral and humanitarian point of view about the ownership of death and destruction of innocent people likely to be killed for no fault of theirs except that they would be present at the point of impact at a wrong time?

The above questions are not for the academic purposes but call for practical steps to protect the lives of innocent people who have no say in policymaking. Similarly, innocent Kashmiris are facing complete lockdown over a month now with no fault of theirs. They are being suppressed for raising voice for the right to self-determination, an inalienable right granted to them under UN Security Council’s resolutions. The Hindutva leadership is certainly following a suicidal course in the conduct of relations with Pakistan without realizing that a war would not be a one-sided affair as was evident when Pakistan retaliated immediately and decisively after Indian attack at Balakot. It is time for leaders on both sides to reflect and save their people from the devastations of war.

The writer is former ambassador of Pakistan to Iran and UAE

The Nations Trample Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Members of the Jihad Islamic attend the funeral of 42-year-old Palestinian Mu’in al-Attar, who was killed in an internal explosion at an Islamic Jihad site in Gaza on Sept. 8, 2019. Photo by Hassan Jedi/Flash90.

Prompted by Iran, Palestinian Islamic Jihad plays lead role in Gaza escalation – JNS.org

(September 9, 2019 / JNS)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the second-largest armed terror faction in Gaza, has in recent days taken a lead role in the latest escalation with Israel. PIJ, which is funded and orchestrated by Iran, has an interest in inflaming the security situation and  destabilizing the region.

Unlike Hamas, PIJ has no responsibility for Gaza’s estimated 2 million people.

PIJ is challenging Hamas, which for the most part is not interested in an escalation or full-out war with Israel at this time, and is instead interested in reaching an arrangement to prevent an economic collapse of the Gaza Strip and avoid the risk of a popular rebellion against its Islamist militant regime.

It is therefore safe to assume that PIJ fired five rockets into southern Israel on Friday night, narrowly missing an Israeli family fleeing into a safe room in Sderot.

In retaliation, the Israel Air Force struck Hamas military targets in northern Gaza as part of Israel’s policy of holding Gaza’s ruling entity responsible for what occurs in its territory.

It also seems safe to assume that PIJ is the organization behind the armed drone attack on an IDF Humvee vehicle on Saturday, which caused light damage, but no injuries..

The drone dropped an explosive device on the border before flying back into Gaza. In response, the IAF targeted the squad, though apparently did not hit it. Later on Saturday, the IAF hit Hamas military targets, including naval attack bases, and Hamas’s “aerial array” (a reference to its drone program) in northern and central Gaza.

The latest escalation comes after some 6,200 Gazan rioters descended on the Israeli-Gazan border fence on Friday afternoon. They hurled explosive devices, grenades and firebombs at security forces. The IDF described that event as “especially violent,” adding that security fence sustained damage in several locations. Two Gazan youths were killed in Israeli fire, as the Israel Defense Forces sought to prevent any intrusions that would endanger southern villages and towns.

In the meantime, Israeli-government officials issued warnings about what would happen if the current violence continues. “The next round will be a general [broad conflict] round, and we are trying to prevent it. In this [next] round, the top terrorist leadership will be destroyed,” vowed Foreign Minister Israel Katz, as told to Kan Radio. “Hamas and PIJ are bringing their end closer, by linking up to Iran and [Quds Force commander Qassem] Soleimani, and by turning into an Iranian tool.” His statement comes as many southern Israeli civilians have expressed despair over the ongoing war of attrition that Gazan terrorists have been subjecting them to for more than 18 months.

PIJ has attempted to cover up the fact that it is doing Iran’s bidding in the region and denies placing Gazans at risk on behalf of a foreign, radical power.

Khader Habib, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official, stated in an interview to the Palestinian news website Donia al-Watan on Aug. 27 that his organization “does not take orders from Iran, but only support and makes decision independently,” according a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Habib was responding to accusations from Israel last month that pointed fingers to his organization for firing rockets from Gaza on Aug. 25, as part PIJ’s response to Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria.

Such denials are hollow, and are designed to alleviate pressure from Gazans and Hamas.

However, some observers in Israel also believe that even if Hamas isn’t directly behind the latest attacks, it’s not very motivated to stop them either.

A rise in ‘controlled violence’

Col. (ret.) Reuven Erlich, director of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, told JNS on Sunday that although Hamas did not take a decision to escalate things into war, “it is not trying its best” to stop border attacks.

August saw four attempts by armed terror squads—none of them officially affiliated with any organizations—to infiltrate Israel, before being stopped by the IDF. Several members of the squad were killed in firefights and IDF strikes.

As for the ITIC’s assessment, it noted that at the present time, Hamas is not overly motivated to carry out effective measures to prevent the attempted penetrations because they are popular among the public. Moreover, Hamas considers them as a tool for exerting pressure for the lull ceasefire agreement.

We call this controlled violence. It rises and falls. We’re seeing a rise now,” said Erlich. “Clearly, this is brinkmanship that can lead to a deterioration.”

Hamas hasn’t stopped contacts with Egypt, which is acting as an intermediary in seeking an arrangement, he explained, “but it is playing a dangerous game and not trying to prevent what others are doing.”

“Iran and the PIJ have a different agenda from Hamas—we’ve seen this in the past. Yet Hamas knows how to confront PIJ when it wants to. After ‘Operation Protective Edge’ [in 2014], we experienced three years of relative calm. PIJ has a separate agenda, but Hamas has the ability to force its strategy and policy on PIJ,” argued Erlich. “The question is: What is its level of motivation?”