The History of Earth­quakes In New York Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The History of Earth­quakes In New YorkBy Meteorologist Michael Gouldrick New York State PUBLISHED 6:30 AM ET Sep. 09, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:30 AM EDT Sep. 09, 2020New York State has a long history of earthquakes. Since the early to mid 1700s there have been over 550 recorded earthquakes that have been centered within the state’s boundary. New York has also been shaken by strong earthquakes that occurred in southeast Canada and the Mid-Atlantic states.

Courtesy of Northeast States Emergency ConsortiumThe largest earthquake that occurred within New York’s borders happened on September 5th, 1944. It was a magnitude 5.9 and did major damage in the town of Massena.A school gymnasium suffered major damage, some 90% of chimneys toppled over and house foundations were cracked. Windows broke and plumbing was damaged. This earthquake was felt from Maine to Michigan to Maryland.Another strong quake occurred near Attica on August 12th, 1929. Chimneys took the biggest hit, foundations were also cracked and store shelves toppled their goods.In more recent memory some of the strongest quakes occurred On April 20th, 2002 when a 5.0 rattled the state and was centered on Au Sable Forks area near Plattsburg, NY.Strong earthquakes outside of New York’s boundary have also shaken the state. On February 5th, 1663 near Charlevoix, Quebec, an estimated magnitude of 7.5 occurred. A 6.2 tremor was reported in Western Quebec on November 1st in 1935. A 6.2 earthquake occurred in the same area on March 1st 1925. Many in the state also reported shaking on August 23rd, 2011 from a 5.9 earthquake near Mineral, Virginia.

Earthquakes in the northeast U.S. and southeast Canada are not as intense as those found in other parts of the world but can be felt over a much larger area. The reason for this is the makeup of the ground. In our part of the world, the ground is like a jigsaw puzzle that has been put together. If one piece shakes, the whole puzzle shakes.In the Western U.S., the ground is more like a puzzle that hasn’t been fully put together yet. One piece can shake violently, but only the the pieces next to it are affected while the rest of the puzzle doesn’t move.In Rochester, New York, the most recent earthquake was reported on March 29th, 2020. It was a 2.6 magnitude shake centered under Lake Ontario. While most did not feel it, there were 54 reports of the ground shaking.So next time you are wondering why the dishes rattled, or you thought you felt the ground move, it certainly could have been an earthquake in New York.Here is a website from the USGS (United Sates Geologic Society) of current earthquakes greater than 2.5 during the past day around the world. As you can see, the Earth is a geologically active planet!Another great website of earthquakes that have occurred locally can be found here.To learn more about the science behind earthquakes, check out this website from the USGS.

New York,Earthquake,Nuclear,Sixth Seal,new jersey,revelation 6,nyc,andrewtheprophet,indian point,Andrew the Prophet,

The Threat of the Russian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

NSDC – Possible deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Crimea to endanger whole Europe — UNIAN

The so-called Feodosia-13 facility could be used to store nuclear arms / Photo from decence.ru

Politics Updated 19:58, 15 November 2020

The Security Council explained that Russia has capacities for storying and deploying nuclear weapons on the territory of occupied Crimea.

The possible deployment of nuclear weapons by Russia on the territory of occupied Crimea could pose a threat to any part of Europe.

Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Serhiy Kryvonos announced in a comment for Apostrophe Live.

Read alsoRussia may soon deploy nuclear weapons in occupied Crimea – NSDC secretaryHe explained that the Russian Federation has considerable capacities for storying and deploying nuclear weapons on the territory of occupied Crimea.

“Since the Soviet times, there have been several facilities that were used to store nuclear weapons. One of the facilities is the so-called Feodosia-13 facility, now it is the village of Krasnokamyanka.

In the Crimean Tatar language, this is Kyzyltash, where the large-scale construction of a storage base had been carried out for six years since the beginning of the 1950s. This is the former 12th Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Defense, which was in charge of nuclear weapons. The facility was in use until 1996, and the last weapon was removed from there in the middle of the 1990s,” Kryvonos said.

This military facility consists of tunnels that have dimensions of a subway and are more than 30 km in length. It was partially mothballed and partially dismantled, he said.

“According to our information, after the annexation of Crimea, Russia began to carry out certain work at the facility,” Kryvonos said.

He also named the second facility on the territory of Crimea, where nuclear weapons could be deployed. This is Balaklava, where the Russian submarines are based.

“They have built additional tunnels for submarines – and this is verified information,” Kryvonos said.

He noted that the weapons deployed by Russia on the occupied peninsula pose a threat to European countries.

“For example, when Tu-22M3 bombers are based in Crimea, they can threaten even Great Britain … It is difficult to say what type of nuclear weapons they are deploying there, new or old ones. But all this creates a great danger to any part of Europe,” Kryvonos said.

Russia may deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea: NSDC warnings

• Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said that Russia could soon deploy nuclear weapons in occupied Crimea.

• According to Danilov, the deployment of nuclear weapons in Crimea depends on many factors.

Author: UNIAN

Even Trump Couldn’t Stop the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program

The president was dissuaded from moving ahead with a strike by advisers who warned that it could escalate into a broader conflict in his last weeks in office.

By Eric Schmitt, Maggie Haberman, David E. Sanger, Helene Cooper and Lara Jakes

Nov. 16, 2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said on Monday.

A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Any strike — whether by missile or cyber — would almost certainly be focused on Natanz, where the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Wednesday that Iran’s uranium stockpile was now 12 times larger than permitted under the nuclear accord that Mr. Trump abandoned in 2018. The agency also noted that Iran had not allowed it access to another suspected site where there was evidence of past nuclear activity.

Mr. Trump asked his top national security aides what options were available and how to respond, officials said.

After Mr. Pompeo and General Milley described the potential risks of military escalation, officials left the meeting believing a missile attack inside Iran was off the table, according to administration officials with knowledge of the meeting.

Mr. Trump might still be looking at ways to strike Iranian assets and allies, including militias in Iraq, officials said. A smaller group of national security aides had met late Wednesday to discuss Iran, the day before the meeting with the president.

White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The episode underscored how Mr. Trump still faces an array of global threats in his final weeks in office. A strike on Iran may not play well to his base, which is largely opposed to a deeper American conflict in the Middle East, but it could poison relations with Tehran so that it would be much harder for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, as he has promised to do.

Since Mr. Trump dismissed Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other top Pentagon aides last week, Defense Department and other national security officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries at the end of his term.

The events of the past few days are not the first time that Iran policy has emerged in the final days of a departing administration. During the last days of the Bush administration in 2008, Israeli officials, concerned that the incoming Obama administration would seek to block it from striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, sought bunker-busting bombs, bombers and intelligence assistance from the United States for an Israeli-led strike.

Vice President Dick Cheney later wrote in his memoir that he supported the idea. President George W. Bush did not, but the result was a far closer collaboration with Israel on a cyberstrike against the Natanz facility, which took out about 1,000 of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.

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Ever since, the Pentagon has revised its strike plans multiple times. It now has traditional military as well as cyberoptions, and some that combine the two. Some involve direct action by Israel.

A satellite image of the Natanz facility, where the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran’s uranium stockpile was now 12 times larger than permitted under the nuclear accord that Mr. Trump abandoned in 2018.Maxar Technologies/Reuters

The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran now had a stockpile of more than 2,442 kilograms, or over 5,385 pounds, of low-enriched uranium. That is enough to produce about two nuclear weapons, according to an analysis of the report by the Institute for Science and International Security. But it would require several months of additional processing to enrich the uranium to bomb-grade material, meaning that Iran would not be close to a bomb until late spring at the earliest — well after Mr. Trump would have left office.

While the amount is concerning, it is far below the amount of fuel Iran possessed before President Barack Obama reached a nuclear accord with Tehran in July 2015. Late that year, under the terms of the accord, Iran shipped about 97 percent of its fuel stockpile to Russia — about 25,000 pounds — leaving it with less than it would need to build a single weapon.

The Iranians stuck to those limits even after Mr. Trump scrapped U.S. participation in the Iran accord in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. The Iranians began to slowly edge out of those limits last year, declaring that if Mr. Trump felt free to violate its terms, they would not continue to abide by them.

But the Iranians have hardly raced to produce new material: Their advances have been slow and steady, and they have denied seeking to build a weapon — though evidence stolen from the country several years ago by Israel made clear that was the plan before 2003.

Mr. Trump has argued since the 2016 campaign that Iran was hiding some of its actions and cheating on its commitments; the inspectors’ report last week gave him the first partial evidence to support that view. The report criticized Iran for not answering a series of questions about a warehouse in Tehran where inspectors found uranium particles, leading to suspicion that it had once been some kind of nuclear-processing facility. The report said Iran’s answers were “not technically credible.”

The Winds of God’s Wrath Destroys Nicaragua: Jeremiah 23

Hurricane Iota Live Updates: Landslide Warning as Storm Hits Nicaragua

17 minutes ago

The storm is barreling across parts of Central America that are still reeling from Hurricane Eta’s impact earlier this month.

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Hurricane Iota is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday afternoon, the national hurricane center said.

Iota weakens, but risk of landslides and flooding remains high.

The hurricane is barreling across parts of Central America that are still reeling from Hurricane Eta’s impact earlier this month.

Image by Delmer Martinez/Associated Press

Stretches of Central America braced for heavy rain, strong winds and flooding on Tuesday morning as Hurricane Iota bore down on the region, the second hurricane to strike the area in less than two weeks.

Even as Iota weakened after making landfall overnight, the National Hurricane Center warned that it could have an outsized impact as it batters areas still recovering from Hurricane Eta this month, including portions of Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

There could be “life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides” across parts of Central America, the center warned.

Iota, which became a hurricane on Sunday, is expected to produce up to 30 inches of rain as it moves further inland across northern Nicaragua and into southern Honduras overnight into Wednesday. The storm is forecast to dissipate over Central America early Wednesday.

The threat of flooding and landslides loomed over the region as Colombia reported the storm’s first casualty on the island of Providencia, where Hurricane Iota struck as a catastrophic Category 5 overnight before weakening as it approached Nicaragua.

Iota made landfall in northeastern Nicaragua at 10:40 p.m. Eastern time on Monday as a Category 4 storm, with wind speeds up to about 155 miles per hour, according to the hurricane center. With waters rising in the northeastern Nicaraguan city of Puerto Cabezas, hundreds of families evacuated from coastal communities as the storm ripped roofs from homes and hotels.

By Tuesday morning, Iota’s maximum wind speed had decreased to 75 miles an hour and the storm had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane, although the hurricane center still warned of the storm’s danger.

No major incidents or loss of life had been reported by the Nicaraguan authorities as of early Tuesday, though infrastructure was damaged in some locations. Iota was expected to weaken to a tropical storm by Tuesday afternoon.

Aid workers struggled to reach communities that were cut off by washed-out bridges, downed trees and flooded roads left by Hurricane Eta, which made landfall this month about 15 miles from where Iota struck.

Iota was expected to move inland across Nicaragua during the morning and across southern Honduras by the evening. On Tuesday morning, the storm’s eye was about 135 miles east of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Philip Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University, said on Twitter that Iota was the strongest November hurricane on record to make landfall in Nicaragua.

Even before Iota made landfall, its winds blew the roof off a makeshift hospital in Puerto Cabezas that had been set up to treat people affected by Hurricane Eta.

Dozens of Indigenous communities were evacuated over the weekend in Nicaragua and Honduras, where the military shared pictures on Twitter of soldiers helping people out of stilted wooden homes and carrying them to safety. One soldier stood in knee-deep water, holding a resident’s pink backpack in the same arm as his service weapon.

Colombia reports first casualty of storm.

Villagers repairing the roof of a house damaged by Hurricane Iota on Monday in San Andrés Island, Colombia.Getty Images

Colombia reported the first casualty of the hurricane on Tuesday morning, with authorities saying that at least one person died and one went missing overnight when the hurricane struck the island of Providencia as a catastrophic Category 5.

President Iván Duque of Colombia said the island had sustained severe material damage that affected 98 percent of its infrastructure. Mr. Duque arrived at the nearby island of San Andrés on Tuesday morning after flying over Providencia to assess the damage.

“Today Colombia is united to address this calamity,” Mr. Duque said at a news conference in Cartagena on Monday night. “Never in the history of our country have we faced a Category 5 hurricane.”

Mr. Duque also said ships from the Colombian navy were anchored off the coast of Providencia and waiting for weather conditions to improve to deliver aid to the island.

Mr. Duque said that the mayor of Providencia was working to clear debris from the runway of the island’s airport.

On Monday. Mr. Duque said that communication with Providencia had been “very bad” because of failures in the telecommunications network, and that the Colombian military was among the agencies helping with the relief effort.

Video footage from Cartagena, a city on the country’s Caribbean coast, showed people wading cautiously through flooded streets alongside half-submerged boats.

Heavy rain caused by Hurricane Iota flooded streets in Cartagena, Colombia, after intensifying on Sunday.

Image by Ricardo Maldonado Rozo/EPA, via Shutterstock

Before sweeping into Nicaragua, Hurricane Iota clipped two Colombian islands that lie east of Central America’s coastline.

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Photos taken on the islands, San Andrés and Providencia, showed trees bending under fierce winds. Colombian officials and news reports said that both islands had suffered electricity blackouts.

In Nicaragua, relief that the hurricane weakened gives way to sorrow.

When Nicaragua awoke on Tuesday after a night of relentless winds and heavy rains, much of the nation clung to a small victory: Hurricane Iota had not yet claimed any lives, the authorities said. The storm, once a catastrophic Category 5, had weakened to a less dangerous Category 1.

But in a poor nation battered by two hurricanes in two weeks, the storm’s impact was still severe. As Iota slammed into Nicaragua’s coast late on Monday, its winds flattened palm trees, ripped off roofs, flooded buildings and downed electricity poles. Heavy flooding inundated roads and homes in the city of Rivas, near the border with Costa Rica, after three rivers overflowed, according to reports on local news and social media.

About 40,000 people were evacuated into shelters, the government said. Residents in the port city of Puerto Cabezas, which bore the brunt of the hurricane’s arrival, spent the night in terror, crammed with their extended families into homes and shelters.

Daisy George West, 61, took shelter with her husband, two siblings and 94-year-old father in the same room in the middle of her house where the family had weathered Hurricane Eta two weeks earlier.

“It’s destroying everything,” she said. “We’re asking the Lord for mercy — mercy, that’s all we have left.”

Dozens of patients in a makeshift hospital set up in Puerto Cabezas for people affected by Hurricane Eta had been evacuated overnight, including three intensive-care patients and three women in labor, Vice President Rosario Murillo said.

Yader Tejada, a 24-year-old student in Puerto Cabezas, took shelter with his family and said the storm had felt like “a nightmare from which I can’t escape.” The hurricane took off part of their roof, which, like most of the homes in the area, is made of flimsy corrugated metal sheets.

“The gusts are like whip lashes, the zinc sheets don’t stop ringing, the trees hit the walls,” Mr. Tejada said. “We haven’t been able to sleep.”

Several of his family members’ homes were destroyed by the storm. “It’s an awful, sad and very painful experience,” he said. “I feel tired, scared, but I’m waiting for this to end soon.”

The storm is hitting a region still reeling from Hurricane Eta.

Soldiers unloading food and humanitarian aid last week in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, which was badly hit by Hurricane Eta.Esteban Biba/EPA, via Shutterstock

Forecasters have warned that Hurricane Iota could compound the destruction caused by Hurricane Eta, which killed at least 140 people throughout Central America after making landfall as a Category 4 storm in Nicaragua.

In Puerto Cabezas, a Nicaraguan city where houses are cobbled together by wood, nails and zinc sheets, families have been sleeping amid the rubble left from the earlier storm. As waters rose on Monday evening, hundreds of families were evacuated. On the eastern side of the city, high winds blew the roofs off some structures.

One resident, Maria Williams, 64, said that after Eta reduced her modest home to rubble, her children improvised a shelter in the same spot. But it was practically on the beach and directly in Hurricane Iota’s line of fire. So she evacuated again, walking through debris left by the last storm to reach her sister’s home.

“This Hurricane Iota is a monster,” Ms. Williams said. “I no longer think I can survive if I stay in this house. I am afraid for myself and my grandchildren.”

Another resident, Rodolfo Altunes, said that he had planned to stay put while Iota hit, but that he and his wife had decided on Monday night to evacuate, with their children in tow, because the wind and storm surges were so powerful.

Two hours after leaving, he learned that his home had been destroyed.

“I am fortunate,” he said. “God loved me.”

The storm complicates efforts to combat the coronavirus.

The responses to Hurricane Iota, and Hurricane Eta before it, have been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic as people fleeing unsafe conditions made their way into crowded shelters where the disease can easily spread.

While outbreaks in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras — the countries expected to be the hardest hit by the storm — have been smaller than those elsewhere in the region, the hurricane could lead to an uptick in transmission. Natural disasters, paired with the ongoing pandemic response, have proved challenging elsewhere this year, and the impact could be more severe in underserved rural communities.

Sofía Letona, the director of Antigua to the Rescue, an aid group in Guatemala that has distributed food and medicine to hundreds of people displaced by Eta, said that her group had set up makeshift clinics in remote areas. But aid workers found widespread illness among those who had fled their homes, including gastritis, fungal infections and infected mosquito bites. Some said they had headaches, a cough and flulike symptoms — all possible signs of the coronavirus.

The hurricanes may intensify the spread of the virus as people crowd into shelters and interact for the first time with aid workers and others from outside their isolated villages. The government provided masks in some shelters, aid workers said, but many others offered no form of protection against the virus.

“More than a risk, it’s a certainty that there will be some kind of massive contagion in rural shelters,” Ms. Letona said.

As Iota moves inland, communities scramble to prepare.

Crossing the Ulua river to evacuate before the arrival of Hurricane Iota on Monday in Santa Barbara, Honduras.Yoseph Amaya/Getty Images

Iota is expected to produce up to 30 inches of rain in some areas of Nicaragua and Honduras through Friday, and intense rainfall could lead to significant flash flooding and mudslides in higher elevations.

As the storm moved west on Tuesday, patches of both nations’ coastlines were under tropical storm warnings.

President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras said on Monday that soldiers were among many personnel in the country, including firefighters and police officers, who had been activated to prepare for Iota’s arrival. He added that people in the storm’s path would receive cellphone messages advising them of risks and evacuation plans.

“The first and most important thing is to save lives,” he said.

The most active hurricane season on record is not over yet.

A view of the ocean Monday from a home along the Nicaraguan coast.Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which is set to end on Nov. 30, has had 30 named storms, 13 of them hurricanes. And six of those hurricanes were considered “major”— Eta and Iota among them — meaning Category 3 or higher.

Meteorologists, having exhausted the 21-name list prepared for each hurricane season, turned to the Greek alphabet to name the further new systems. The last time the Greek alphabet was used was in 2005, when 28 storms were strong enough to be named.

This year, storms began two weeks before the Atlantic hurricane season officially kicked off, with the formation of Tropical Storm Albert in mid-May.

In August, midway through the season, scientists upgraded their outlook to say that 2020 would be “one of the most active seasons” and that they expected up to 25 named storms by the time it was over.

By November, even that upgraded expectation was exceeded.

Before Iota hit Nicaragua on Monday, there was Theta, the season’s 29th named storm. It broke the annual record set in 2005, the year that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.

Reporting was contributed by Alfonso Flores Bermúdez, Natalie Kitroeff, Yubelka Mendoza, Oscar Lopez, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Mike Ives and Megan Specia.

The Iranian Horn Continues to Fund Terrorism

Iran’s Khamenei funds terrorism over COVID-19 aid workers

U.S. Embassy Tbilisi

Mourners pray over the body of a victim who died from COVID-19 in Babol, Iran, on April 30. (© Ebrahim Noroozi/AP Images)

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has prioritized funding the Iranian regime’s terrorist proxies and security forces over paying health care workers fighting COVID-19.

Khamenei, in March, pledged to pull 1 billion euros from Iran’s National Development Fund to fight COVID-19, yet Iran’s Health Ministry has received only 27 percent of those funds and cannot pay health care workers’ salaries, IranWire reports, citing local news sources in Iran.

“A billion dollars has been withdrawn from the fund but has been spent somewhere else,” Hossein Ali Shahriari, chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Health Committee, told local news, IranWire says. “The government must come clean and respond to the just demands of health workers.”

(State Dept./B. Insley)

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo says, Khamenei has continued to increase spending on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which aids the regime’s terrorist proxies abroad, and its Basij, a paramilitary force within the IRGC, which killed around 1,500 Iranians in a November 2019 crackdown on protests.

In March, Khamenei increased funding for the IRGC, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, by 33 percent more than President Hassan Rouhani requested, according to a U.S. Department of State fact sheet. Also, Khamenei more than doubled the budget for the Basij, which uses child soldiers to export terror and crack down on domestic dissent.

“While the Health Ministry was pleading for resources to protect the Iranian people from the outbreak, Khamenei instead increased funding for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, by a third, and doubled the funding for the regime’s Basij forces that terrorize the Iranian people every single day,” Pompeo said in an October 8 statement.

(State Dept./B. Insley)

While boosting funding for terrorism and brutality, Khamenei also allocated $400 million from the National Development fund to increase the salaries of government officials.

Iran’s regime has long spent money slated for the Iranian people on terrorism. In 2018 and early 2019, Iran’s Central Bank siphoned several billions of U.S. dollars and euros from the National Development Fund to the IRGC’s Quds Force, which sows violence abroad.

The United States uses economic sanctions to compel Iran’s regime to stop funding terrorism and spend resources at home. On October 8, the United States sanctioned 18 Iranian banks to deprive the regime of money used to support terrorism and advance its nuclear program.

“Our sanctions are directed at the regime and its corrupt officials that have used the wealth of the Iranian people to fuel a radical, revolutionary cause that has brought untold suffering across the Middle East and beyond,” Pompeo said.

By | 16 November, 2020 | Topics: News, News from Washington | Tags: COVID-19, Iran, Terrorism

UN agency chief fears ‘disaster’ outside the Temple Walls as funding runs dry: Revelation 11

UN agency chief fears ‘disaster’ in Gaza as funding runs dry

16/11/2020 – 12:30

A child next to a sack of flour as people come to receive food aid from the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees in the Khan Yunis camp in the southern Gaza Strip SAID KHATIB AFP/File

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

The “worst financial crisis” ever faced by the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees could lead to “disaster” in the Gaza Strip no non and insecurity in Lebanon, the organisation’s chief has warned.

Founded in 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) runs schools and provides health services as well as other humanitarian aid to an estimated 5.7 million Palestinians with refugee status.

“It is in the interest of no one to see schools suddenly suspended… health services being suspended (in Gaza), at a time when people are hit by the (coronavirus) pandemic,” the agency’s chief Philippe Lazzarini told AFP.

“It would be a total disaster,” he added, in an interview conducted by videoconference on Sunday.

Last week, Lazzarini announced that UNRWA faced a $70 million funding shortfall that has jeopardised its ability to pay staff full salaries in November and December.

The shortfall affects 28,000 staffers — mostly refugees themselves — across the Israeli-occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Jordan.

The situation is particularly critical in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave of two million people where the unemployment rate is over 50 percent and where the novel coronavirus crisis has led authorities to slash public sector salaries.

– ‘New source of insecurity’ –

After the local authorities, UNRWA, with some 13,000 people on staff, is the main employer in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Islamist group Hamas and under blockade by Israel.

“This population is entirely dependent on international assistance,” Lazzarini said, warning that the suspension of UNRWA programmes could have a “devastating” economic and security impact.

The agency chief expressed fear that “the same could very easily happen with the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.”

Around 180,000 Palestinian refugees reside in Lebanon, out of 470,000 registered in the country, according to UNRWA planning data. Their right to work and own property is restricted.

Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war, with soaring unemployment and poverty rates.

And while the situation is dire across Lebanon, “it is even worse for the Palestinian refugees,” Lazzarini said, adding that some 80-90 percent of them rely on UNRWA for assistance.

The suspension of the agency’s aid programmes there could represent a “new source of insecurity” for Lebanon, he warned.

“We are at a time when people expect UNRWA to deliver more,” Lazzarini said.

But it “is also the time where the organisation is facing its worst financial crisis,” he added.

– Pinning hopes on Biden –

Lazzarini was appointed to head the agency in March, after a predecessor was forced to resign late last year amid accusations of mismanagement that led key donors to snap shut their purses.

The developments only added to the agency’s financial woes, coming after US President Donald Trump terminated US contributions to UNRWA in 2018.

Washington had until then been providing the agency with more than $300 million a year.

Around 40 countries initially helped fill the gap, but contributions have since diminished and the novel coronavirus pandemic has also taken a financial toll on donor countries.

Gaza itself registered 490 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, a daily record for the enclave.

Some Palestinians and humanitarian workers are pinning their hopes on US President-elect Joe Biden reinjecting funds into UNRWA’s coffers.

“All the messages indicate that there would be a willingness to restore a long-standing partnership between the US administration and the UNRWA,” Lazzarini said.

But how or when this could translate into concrete actions would need to be discussed once the next US administration is in place, he said.

Until that happens in January, UNRWA will be trying to convince fatigued donors to cover the shortfall up to the end of the year. “We are on the edge of a cliff,” Lazzarini warned.

© 2020 AFP

Israeli army strikes outside the Temple Walls overnight: Revelation 11

Israeli army strikes Gaza Strip overnight

The air and land attack took place shortly after the first anniversary of the assassination of an Islamic Jihad leader

The Israeli army said it struck Hamas positions in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday morning.

On Twitter, the army said it had “struck Hamas underground infrastructure & military posts in Gaza”. An army source told AFP in a WhatsApp message that fighter jets, helicopters and tanks were deployed.

The air strikes reportedly occurred after two rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip late on Saturday, the Israeli army said, although there were no immediate reports of any damage or wounded. No group has claimed responsibility for the rockets.

Security sources in Gaza said there were a number of strikes overnight, including in Khan Younis, Rafah and Beit Hanoun, without reporting any casualties.

The air strikes came days after the anniversary of the assassination of senior Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu al-Atta, the group’s commander in the northern Gaza Strip, and his wife Asmaa, in a strike on their home in Gaza City on 12 November last year.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli-led siege since 2007.