Israeli Warplanes Strike Several Posts Outside the Temple Walls (Rev 11)

Israeli warplanes strike several posts in Gaza

KHAN YOUNIS, Sunday, February 16, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli warplanes and drones last night carried out multiple airstrikes targeting several posts in the besieged Gaza Strip, causing damage to the sites bombed but no human casualties, said WAFA correspondent.

Fighter jets struck with several missiles a post west of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip, causing huge damage there and partial damages to neighboring homes and facilities. There were no reports of casualties.

Israeli air-force also bombed another post west of Khan Yunis city, in the south of the region, causing significant damage there and partial damages to neighboring homes.

The Israeli occupation military claimed that the strikes came in response to the firing of two projectiles from Gaza into Israeli military outposts and settlements adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

Israeli military also announced reducing the zone allowed for Palestinian fishermen to sail off Gaza shore to 10 instead of 15 nautical miles, allegedly in response to the firing of the two projectiles.

M.N

Israeli Air Force Attacks Hamas Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

An Israeli Apache helicopter shoots a missile over the Gaza Strip. (archive)

Israeli Air Force Attacks Hamas After Rocket Fire Again Sends Israelis to Bomb Shelters

Hana Levi Julian

21 Shevat 5780 – February 16, 2020

Photo Credit: Edi Israel / Flash 90

Israeli fighter pilots attacked terrorist targets in Gaza late Saturday night after two rockets launched at Jewish communities across the border sent hundreds of families again racing for cover in a sadly familiar routine.

2 Rockets Launched from Gaza

In response to the rocket fire, combat helicopters and fighter jets attacked a number of Hamas targets in central Gaza, including a military compound. “This attack was focused on hampering the ability of the Hamas terror organization to intensify,” the IDF said.

“The IDF will continue to act as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli citizens,” a military spokesperson added.

Earlier, the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement that in the wake of the evening’s rocket fire, “the civilian measures planned for Gaza – expanding the fishing zone, returning the 500 commercial entry permits and resuming permission for import of cement – are hereby canceled. The continuation of the policy will be determined solely by the action on the ground.

“Hamas is responsible for everything that is happening in and out of Gaza. Unless the peace is maintained, the State of Israel will act accordingly,” the IDF said.

Explosive Balloon From Outside the Temple Walls Detonates Over School in Southern Israel

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launch balloons loaded with flammable material toward Israel. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

An explosives-laden balloon blew up over an elementary school in the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Thursday.

The incident came amid a wave of such attacks from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

According to the Israeli news site Mako, the school’s students had been evacuated to a secure area, and there were no injuries in the explosion.

Several children, however, suffered panic attacks.

The Algemeiner reported on Tuesday that Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups had agreed to stop balloon attacks, after a visit from an Egyptian delegation that urged such a step.

A Hamas official told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds that the cessation of balloon attacks would occur in exchange for Israel easing its blockade of Gaza. The Israeli offer to do so was said to have been conveyed to Hamas by the Egyptians.

The balloon launches, however, continued. One landed in Ashkelon shortly after the Al-Quds report, and several fell in the Eshkol Regional Council and the Sdot Negev Regional Council.

Nations Threaten Each Other Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

PM threatens Hamas with dire ‘surprise’; Gaza answers with fresh rocket attack

Israel’s response to wave of rocket, balloon attacks ‘will be different from anything that came before,’ Netanyahu warns in TV interview; no injuries in attack

By TOI staff and Judah Ari Gross

12 Feb 2020, 12:40 am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday threatened Hamas leaders with “the surprise of their lives” if a spate of attacks from the Gaza Strip didn’t come to an end. Minutes later, yet another rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel’s south.

“I’m telling you as prime minister, I don’t rush to war,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Channel 20 on Tuesday night. “I don’t puff out my chest, bang drums and blow trumpets. But we’re preparing for Hamas the surprise of their lives. I won’t say what it is, but it will be different from anything that came before.”

Whether Israel carries out its “surprise,” he added, “is entirely up to them. If they don’t come to their senses with the rockets and don’t stop the balloons, it’s only a matter of time before we deploy it. Remember what I’m telling you,” he said.

The last several weeks have seen a marked uptick in rocket and incendiary balloon attacks from the Strip, raising tensions and threatening fragile truce talks.

Shortly after Netanyahu finished speaking, the IDF reported a mortar shell had been fired from Gaza and landed in an open area in Israel’s south. No one was hurt in the attack.

Netanyahu’s was the latest in a series of warnings from Israeli leaders that rocket and incendiary balloon attacks from Gaza would be met with a dramatic military escalation. Thus far Israel has made do with tit-for-tat airstrikes on usually empty Hamas posts.

On Sunday, Netanyahu warned Gazan terror groups that Israel was prepared to take “crushing action.”

“I want to make this clear: We won’t accept any aggression from Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, we took out the top commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and I suggest that Islamic Jihad and Hamas refresh their memories,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem.

“I won’t lay out in detail all our actions and plans in the media, but we’re prepared for crushing action against the terror groups in Gaza. Our actions are powerful, and they’re not finished yet, to put it mildly.”

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett similarly issued a warning to Hamas leaders in Gaza, warning on Sunday that Israel would take “lethal action against them” if their “irresponsible behavior” didn’t cease.

He warned that Israeli military action would be “unbearable” for Hamas.

Screen capture of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett from a video he produced in which he warns of an Israeli response to Gaza rocket and incendiary balloon attacks, February 9, 2020. (Channel 12 screen capture)

“We won’t announce when or where. This action will be very different from those taken in the past. No one will be immune. Hamas faces a choice: choose life and economic prosperity, or choose terror and pay an unbearable price. Their actions will determine [which it will be].”

Observers see the return of rocket fire after several months of calm as an attempt by Gazans to press their demands that Israel ease or lift its blockade of the enclave in exchange for calm. Both sides insist they are not seeking a return to war.

An Egyptian security delegation that visited the Gaza Strip on Monday conveyed a message from Netanyahu to Hamas in which he demanded “a return to calm,” the Lebanese pro-Hezbollah Al-Akhbar newspaper reported, citing unnamed Palestinian sources.

Netanyahu’s message, which the Egyptian delegation received from Israeli security officials in Tel Aviv on Sunday, included a threat that Israel would “deliver a major blow to Hamas with American and international cover” if calm does not resume, the sources told the daily.

Hamas officials told the Egyptian delegation in response to Netanyahu’s message that it “does not seek an escalation,” but “the economic pressure that Gazans are experiencing and the failure to implement calming understandings will create greater pressure on the border region,” the sources said.

A spokesman for the armed wing of Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group talks to the press in the town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, November 11, 2019. (AP Photo/ Hatem Moussa)

“There will be no free calm as long as there is procrastination, delay and tightening [of restrictions],” the sources also quoted the Hamas officials as saying.

Since the second half of 2018, Egypt, alongside the United Nations and Qatar, has played a key role in brokering informal ceasefire understandings between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Israel.

The understandings have largely entailed Israel lifting restrictions on the movement of goods and people into and out of Gaza, in exchange for Hamas maintaining relative quiet in the border region between the Strip and the Jewish state.

The Hamas officials also told the Egyptians that “the occupation doing anything stupid or assassinating resistance leaders would unleash a major war that would significantly impact the occupation’s state and leaders,” the sources added.

Illustrative: An Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome missile defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, is seen above Gaza City on November 13, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip began flying explosive and incendiary devices into Israel using clusters of balloons and kites beginning in 2018. The practice has waxed and waned over time, but has picked up considerably in recent weeks, with dozens of these balloon-borne bombs landing in towns and farming communities adjacent to the Palestinian enclave.

The Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command on Friday released a poem for children warning them against the dangers of the balloon-borne bombs flown from Gaza.

IDF Wipes out Hamas Military Compound Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

IDF Wipes out Hamas Military Compound After Rocket Attacks Hit Southern Israel

February 10, 2020

The Israel Defense Forces continued on Monday to implement its policy of striking back when the Jewish State is attacked from the Gaza Strip.

“Air-raid sirens sounding in southern Israel,” the IDF tweeted on Sunday night.

“One rocket was just fired from Gaza into Israel,” it posted soon thereafter.

Later, within hours, the military followed up and announced that in response to the “projectile…launched from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory,” Israeli “aircraft and fighter jets targeted a number of Hamas terror targets in the southern Gaza Strip.”

The IDF said that the targets struck in the retaliatory raid included “a training compound and military infrastructures used by the Hamas terror organization,” adding that by attacking the target, Israel was impeding the “future abilities” of the terrorists.

“The IDF views any kind of terror activity aimed at Israeli territory with great severity and is highly prepared for various scenarios,” said one of the statements issued Sunday night and early Monday morning.

“The Hamas terror organization is responsible for events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it and will bear the consequences for its actions against Israeli civilians,” said the military, repeating the longstanding Israeli position that as ruler of the Gaza Strip, Hamas is the prime target of the Israeli strikes even if it claims that other terror groups carried out the attack on Israel.

Israeli warplanes pound sites outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli warplanes pound sites in Gaza

GAZA, Monday, February 10, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli warplanes early Monday pounded sites in Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah cities in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, according to WAFA correspondent.

He said that Israeli warplanes fired some ten missiles towards a site to the northwest of Khan Younis, completely destroying it and causing fires to break out.

Warplanes also targeted a site to the west of Deir al Balah with three missiles, completely destroying it and causing damages to nearby civilian properties.

Meanwhile, Israeli artillery fired three shells towards a site to the east of the Gaza Strip, destroying it totally and causing damages to close properties and agricultural lands.

No human casualties were reported, however.

Israel claimed that the attack on the war-battered strip came in retaliation to a rocket fire from the coastal enclave.

Fourteen years following the Israeli “disengagement” from Gaza, Israel has not actually disengaged from Gaza; it still maintains control of its land borders, access to the sea and airspace.

Two million Palestinians live the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a punishing and crippling Israeli blockade for 12 years and repeated onslaughts that have heavily damaged much of the enclave’s infrastructure.

Gaza’s 2-million population remains under “remote control” occupation and a strict siege, which has destroyed the local economy, strangled Palestinian livelihoods, plunged them into unprecedented rates of unemployment and poverty, and cut off from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories and the wider world.

Gaza remains occupied territory, having no control over its borders, territorial waters or airspace. Meanwhile, Israel upholds very few of its responsibilities as the occupying power, failing to provide for the basic needs of Palestinian civilians living in the territory.

Every two in three Palestinians in Gaza is a refugee from lands inside what is now Israel. That government forbids them from exercising their right to return as enshrined in international law because they are not Jews.

K.T./ K.F.

Netanyahu Threatens ‘Crushing Action’ Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Netanyahu threatens ‘crushing action’ if Gaza attacks continue

Amid wave of rocket, balloon attacks, defense minister warns of ‘lethal action’ against Hamas leaders: ‘No one will be immune’

By TOI staff and Judah Ari Gross

9 Feb 2020, 2:49 pm

Amid escalating rocket and incendiary balloon attacks from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gazan terror groups that Israel was prepared to take “crushing action” if the attacks continued.

“I want to make this clear: We won’t accept any aggression from Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, we took out the top commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and I suggest that Islamic Jihad and Hamas refresh their memories,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday.

“I won’t lay out in detail all our actions and plans in the media, but we’re prepared for crushing action against the terror groups in Gaza. Our actions are powerful, and they’re not finished yet, to put it mildly.”

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett similarly issued a warning to Hamas leaders in Gaza, warning that Israel would take “lethal action against them” if their “irresponsible behavior” didn’t cease.

“Israel does not want a war with Hamas in Gaza, but we are committed to the safety of the residents of the south. The irresponsible behavior of Hamas’s leadership is bringing us closer to taking lethal action against them,” Bennett warned in a Hebrew-language video released following his visit to the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in the Gaza region on Sunday.

He warned that Israeli military action would be “unbearable” for Hamas.

“We won’t announce when or where. This action will be very different from those taken in the past. No one will be immune. Hamas faces a choice: choose life and economic prosperity, or choose terror and pay an unbearable price. Their actions will determine [which it will be].”

The comments came after Bennett made similar threats in a Saturday speech, saying he would aim to avoid sending Israeli troops into Gaza in a future war, but Israel’s airstrikes and other responses to terror attacks from Gaza would escalate. He said Israeli strikes following attacks from Gaza were now targeting rocket factories and other Hamas military infrastructure not only in response to rocket launches, but also in reaction to the launches of balloons attached to incendiary devices.

Screen capture of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett from a video he produced in which he warns of an Israeli response to Gaza rocket and incendiary balloon attacks, February 9, 2020. (Channel 12 screen capture)

He said he was not interested in more two- or three-day rounds of violence with Hamas. Instead, he was working on plans for a “significant” offensive to be initiated at a time picked by Israel that would fundamentally change the current situation, without elaborating.

If there is no other choice, he added, he would also launch military operations in the more immediate future, from which “nobody in the Hamas leadership will be immune.”

The warnings from Israeli leaders come after yet another round of rocket and balloon attacks from Gaza over the weekend, with Palestinian terror groups firing at least one rocket into southern Israel on Saturday night that struck an open field, after which the IDF shelled two Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip in retaliation.

According to the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, the projectile caused neither injury nor damage. As the rocket was not heading toward a populated area, it did not trigger sirens in Israeli communities. However, the IDF said, it set off alerts on cellphones in the area.

Earlier on Saturday, a suspected explosive device attached to a cluster of balloons that was apparently launched from Gaza was found in a field in the Merhavim Regional Council. A group of foreign workers who were reportedly not aware the object could be a bomb picked up the balloons, but the device did not explode.

Illustrative: An Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome missile defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, is seen above Gaza City on November 13, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

The day before, at least six suspected airborne explosive device launched from Gaza were found in the south, including what appeared to be the warhead from a rocket-propelled grenade attached to balloons discovered in a field near Kibbutz Ruhama, northwest of Gaza, which police sappers were called to disarm.

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip began flying explosive and incendiary devices into Israel using clusters of balloons and kites beginning in 2018. The practice has waxed and waned over time, but has picked up considerably in recent weeks, with dozens of these balloon-borne bombs landing in towns and farming communities adjacent to the Palestinian enclave.

The Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command on Friday released a poem for children warning them against the dangers of the balloon-borne bombs flown from Gaza.

חדשות 13

@newsisrael13

מתיחות בדרום | ראש נפץ של RPG מחובר לבלונים נחת בשדות של קיבוץ רוחמה שבמועצה אזורית שער הנגב. מדובר בצרור בלוני הנפץ השישי שנחת היום בעוטף @bokeralmog

(צילום: יובל קניגספלד)

In addition to being attached to colorful balloons, some of the explosive devices have been disguised as other child-friendly objects such as books and soccer balls.

Few injuries have been caused by these airborne attacks, but they have caused extensive damage to Israeli agricultural fields, parks and forests, especially during the country’s dry summer months.

On Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said the military would take a tougher stand against these airborne attacks, along with other types of terrorist activities.

Israeli defense officials believe that the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group is trying to increase pressure on Israel in a bid to extract greater concessions in ongoing ceasefire negotiations.

Fears have also mounted in recent days of an escalation of violence in Gaza and the West Bank following the release last month of a US peace plan that is seen as heavily favoring Israel.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

The Increasing Risk of War Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Raises Fears of Broader Military Conflict

Published February 7th, 2020 – 08:59 GMT

Highlights

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Tuesday said Hamas had launched balloons and rockets to pressure Israel to ease its blockade as part of the truce.

Strikes by Israeli aircraft on Hamas positions in Gaza early on Thursday have raised fears of a broader military confrontation as anger grows over the Trump peace plan.

Israel carried out limited airstrikes after Palestinians in the enclave fired missiles and launched explosive balloons across the border about 10 days ago. Palestinian security sources reported hits on targets north of a refugee camp near Gaza City and a Hamas facility in the southern Gaza Strip.

The escalation in hostilities brought warnings from Israeli and Palestinian observers that the cease-fire arrangements brokered by Egypt a few months ago could collapse and the situation spin out of control toward a military confrontation.

Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz on Tuesday said Hamas had launched balloons and rockets to pressure Israel to ease its blockade as part of the truce.

In response, Israel has halted steps to ease the blockade imposed 13 years ago, reducing the permits it gives to merchants, stopping the supply of cement and preventing the export of agricultural products.

“The resistance forces in Gaza are in contact with the Egyptian mediator to pressure Israel to implement its obligations related to easing the blockade,” an Islamic Jihad movement leader, Ahmed Al-Mudallal, said.

“We do not want our people to go to war, and the effects of the last war (2014) still remain. But the resistance cannot remain idle in the face of the tight and suffocating siege and Israel stalling in the implementation of its obligations,” he said.

Al-Mudallal warned Israel that any failure to meet its obligations could lead to “an explosion.” However, Hamza Abu Shanab, a political analyst affiliated with Hamas, said imminent war in Gaza is unlikely.

“The conditions are not ripe for a wide military confrontation, and every party, whether Hamas or Israel, knows that the price of this confrontation will be great and painful,” he said.

According to Abu Shanab, Hamas is trying to take advantage of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s preoccupation with elections early next month, and build pressure to improve life in Gaza, without entering into a war.

“Netanyahu is practicing a balanced policy, as he does not want the understanding in Gaza to collapse,” he said.

Abu Shanab believes the chances of a large-scale military confrontation in the near future remain slim.

“Netanyahu does not want to gamble, and Hamas does not want to lose the improvements since the cease-fire deal was reached,” he said.

Political scientist Prof. Tayseer Muheisen agrees that Netanyahu’s strategy is based on achieving gains in Gaza and the region without war since any military confrontation will threaten his political life.

On the other hand, “Hamas relies on slow pressure to achieve gains related to easing the suffocating siege imposed on Gaza without bearing the consequences and losses of the war,” Muheisen said.

He said that factions in Gaza have only limited options to put pressure on Netanyahu, but would resort to conflict only in the event that Israel continues to evade its obligations under the cease-fire.

“The situation in Gaza will remain the same. There will not be a major development and each party will maintain its deliberate responses,” he said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

Via SyndiGate.info

Copyright: Arab News © 2020 All rights reserved.

Trump’s “peace plan” is unwittingly uniting Palestinians against it (Revelation 11)

US peace plan may unwittingly unite Palestinians against it

Fatah and Hamas are working to put aside their differences to foil the “deal of the century,” which the White House unveiled Jan. 28. All n”Palestinians, including the two long-divided movements, denounced the peace plan, which Palestinians say heavily favors Israel.

Palestinians are evaluating the negative implications of the deal, as well as its potential to turn the page on the Palestinian division. Their similar take on the peace plan stirs talk about how determined they are to achieve reconciliation and refuse the deal in one united voice. They are discussing the remaining points of contention between them, a possible meeting between their leaders — be it in Gaza or outside of it — and their demands from each other to achieve reconciliation.

In a rare step following the deal’s introduction, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on most Palestinian faction leaders, including Hamas leaders in the West Bank, to come to the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. Hamas figures responded to the invitation, including several former ministers and members of the Palestinian Legislative Council such as Nasser al-Din al-Shaer, Samir Abu Aisha, Ayman Daraghmeh, Omar Abdul Razak and Ahmed Atoun.

Also that day, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called Abbas and stressed his rejection of the deal, the importance of national unity, and Hamas’ readiness to work jointly with Fatah politically and in the field to thwart the US plan.

Mahmoud Mardawi, a member of Hamas’ National Relations Office, told Al-Monitor, “The declaration of the deal and the stances of several Arab states have disappointed Palestinians who are leaning toward clearing the air internally and restoring chances for Hamas and Fatah to work together and beef up their cooperation to foil the deal. But the strategic decision is in the hands of Abbas, who should take serious action regarding the reconciliation, rather than [uttering] the usual platitudes. The bilateral meetings between Fatah and Hamas should not be part of a public relations campaign … that would soon fade away. Otherwise, we would be committing a strategic error that would play against the Palestinian cause for future generations.”

At a special meeting held Feb. 3 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss the US peace plan, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation announced it rejects the deal and called on member states not to deal or cooperate with the US administration for its implementation.

The Arab League as a whole unanimously rejected the deal Feb. 1, saying it does not meet the minimum rights of the Palestinian people and it violates the principles of the peace process. Yet despite the official stance, the positions of individual ministers there varied. In his speech at the meeting, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi warned against the repercussions of the plan. But his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah bin Faisal Al Saud, stressed in his speech that military approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have not achieved peace or security.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah expressed his country’s appreciation for the US effort to find a solution to the Palestinian cause. For his part, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa called for considering the peace plan as a way to begin negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, saying Israel is moving forward with peace. Meanwhile, Anwar Gargash, United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, stressed his country’s support for efforts aimed at reaching a solution through direct talks between Israel and Palestinians. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stressed the importance of achieving a comprehensive settlement in the region to prevent terrorists and extremists from highjacking the Palestinian cause.

Despite Hamas’ political action against the US plan, it seems the movement was unable to win over some major Arab countries. In light of those positions, Hamas sought to draw on some other Arab and Islamic countries that rejected the deal. On Feb. 1, Haniyeh met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, where they discussed the deal and its consequences.

On Feb. 4, Haniyeh also discussed the deal in a call to Moroccan Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othmani. The same day, Haniyeh called Lebanon’s parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, to stress the need to consolidate rejection of the deal.

A delegation of Palestinian factions plans to head to Gaza to prepare for Abbas’ ultimate visit there, after receiving an invitation from Haniyeh, Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad announced in a Jan. 29 press statement. Ahmad did not specify when the visits will take place, but he explained they will herald meetings to end the rift and find ways to confront the US peace plan. Haniyeh said he welcomes the visit and considers it a steppingstone for a new phase of the national dialogue.

Fayez Abu Aita, deputy secretary-general of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council, told Al-Monitor, “The deal of the century sabotages the Palestinian cause, and Fatah and Hamas should put forth a serious plan that they both agree on to outline their next steps. … They should expedite their endeavors to end the rift.” He said the upcoming meetings can “set the foundations for a new phase.”

Saeb Erekat, a member of the PLO’s Legislative Committee, told Al Jazeera on Jan. 29 that the first steps to defy the deal will be to tackle Palestinian weak spots, including the division. He said the reconciliation will happen, and the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip will end. Also that day, Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem emphasized to Arabi21 news the importance of setting a national strategy against the US proposal.

Ahmed Youssef, director of the House of Wisdom for Consultation and Conflict Resolution in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “If the Palestinian Authority (PA) remains opposed to the deal of the century and resists US and Arab pressure to accept it, the chances of reconciliation with Hamas will increase. Gaza is a suitable place to hold the reconciliation meetings between Fatah and Hamas because it is almost totally free from Israel. Hamas might be more inclined toward the PA’s stance of rejecting the deal with peaceful tools and diplomatic action rather than armed attacks. After Trump slammed Hamas during the announcement of the deal, the movement will be more cautious in using arms.”

Trump noted the “essentials” for Palestinians include “stopping the malign activities of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other enemies of peace, [and] ending the incitement of hatred against Israel. Also during the announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted the plan calls for Hamas to be disarmed and for Gaza to be demilitarized.

Fatah and Hamas have repeatedly tried and failed to reconcile since the Palestinian split in 2007. Likewise, Fatah leaders have tried to mend their internal disputes. In a Jan. 28 Facebook post, dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan called on his rival Abbas to take decisive action to unite the Palestinian position regarding the deal.

Emad Mohsen, spokesperson for the Dahlan-led Democratic Reformist Current, told Al-Monitor, “The deal of the century is pushing Palestinian forces toward unity, ending the rift and restoring the Palestinian militancy project that was weakened and drained due to internal bickering. All Palestinian forces are invited to take the initiative to reject the deal, which has trampled on the two-state solution and the complete liberation of Palestinian territories. The national unity meeting should be held without further ado to put an end to the Oslo Accords.”

Izzadeen Ibrahim, a Palestinian journalist who writes for several news websites, told Al-Monitor, “The catastrophic situation the Palestinian cause has reached due to the rift is making it more difficult to confront the deal. The PA is unable to take real action to address the deal, and Abbas is just making threats that have no real impact. Hamas is in an unenviable situation, as it is besieged in Gaza, and its hands are tied in the West Bank. Any calls for a new uprising without a clear, agreed-upon strategy will be fleeting and will only throw Palestinian generations into a new cycle of frustration.”

Despite the potential rapport building between Fatah and Hamas, PA security has not stopped arresting Hamas members in the West Bank. This casts doubt over the PA’s seriousness in reconciling with Hamas and gives the impression that rapprochement is a tactic rather than a strategic decision.

Some Hamas circles in the West Bank believe Abbas could have asked his security apparatus to release dozens of Hamas detainees to prove his good intentions when he invited Hamas leaders to meet with him. Without real action, reconciliation calls will remain propaganda slogans rather than serious and tangible steps for Palestinians.

Iran Pushes For Jihad Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Right from Wrong: Iran’s panicky push for Palestinian jihad

By RUTHIE BLUM

Whenever Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launches into a rant against the United States and Israel you know his regime is in a panic. His angry oration on Wednesday was no exception.

Nor was the timing of his diatribe coincidental. Not only did it take place as the mullahs and their puppets marked the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution that ousted the Shah of Iran and ushered in the reign of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, but it came a day after US President Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.

The contrast between the two speeches could not have been greater. While Trump’s was uplifting and cheerful – conveying an optimistic message to the American people about successfully striving for and achieving success – Khamenei’s was vitriolic and aimed at encouraging Palestinians to escalate their efforts to eradicate Israel.

“You saw that the US bullies and hooligans unveiled the so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’” he bellowed, referring to Trump’s announcement the previous week of his much-touted, long-awaited “Peace to Prosperity” plan. “They have wishfully chosen a big name for it so that it may be realized, but [it] is stupid, a sign of viciousness and has been detrimental to them since day one.”

Khamenei went on: “The American plot of the ‘Deal of the Century’ will die before Trump dies… [It] is foolish, because it will definitely not have any result. It is foolish to come and sit, spend money, invite, create uproar and unveil a plan that is doomed to failure.

Moreover, this plan is indicative of the US’s viciousness and manipulation. They [the Americans] have come to negotiate with the Zionists over what belongs to the Palestinians! Palestine belongs to the Palestinians… The arrogant powers have tried to make Palestine forgotten. But their efforts [yielded] the opposite results… Now the world is talking about Palestine and the rights of its oppressed people.”

He warned his audience – described by the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization-owned Mehrs New Agency as “people from all walks of life” – not to be fooled by the “few traitorous Arab heads of state” who expressed support for the plan. “They are incompetent and have no respect among their own nation,” he said.

Asserting the Americans “will try to further their plot with bribes, weapons and enticements,” Khamenei offered a remedy: “bold resistance by the Palestinian nation and groups to force out the Zionist enemy and the US through jihad, [which] all Muslim nations and the world of Islam must support.”

Iran, he concluded, “considers it its duty to support Palestinian groups and will help them in any way it can.”

KHAMENEI’S TYPICAL battle cry against the “Great Satan,” America, and the “Small Satan,” Israel, may be reverberating among Iran’s terrorist proxies in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, which receive funding, training and weapons from Tehran. But it’s a sign that the aging ayatollah is either out of touch with, or purposely ignoring, the focus of his people’s mass protests.

Indeed, Iranians of “all walks of life” have been putting their lives in danger to demonstrate against a repressive regime whose coffers – ever-shrinking as a result of increased Trump-imposed sanctions – are spent on lining leaders’ pockets and paying terrorists around the globe to commit mass murder. One can only imagine how Khamenei’s vow to aid and abet the Palestinians while obfuscating his own people’s oppression and misery was received at home.

This is not to say that the aging ayatollah is stupid or crazy. On the contrary, there is method to his madness; certainly to his propaganda. Take, for example, a news feature on the Iranian Jewish community broadcast on Wednesday by the pan-Arab, pro-Hezbollah media network, Al Mayadeen. According to the report, Jews in the Islamic Republic not only enjoy complete religious freedom but hate Israel with a passion.

The item shows a congregation at one of Tehran’s 13 synagogues reading from a Torah scroll, while the reporter/narrator states that their first loyalty is to their homeland in the Islamic Republic. He also avers that all Iranian Jews view Israel as an enemy that needs defeating – one that cloaks itself in religion for the sake of occupying lands and killing another people.

To back up this claim, the reporter uses an interview with Iranian-Jewish community head Homayoun Abadi, who praises the Islamic Republic and denounces Israel as a “political Zionist regime that true Jews do not recognize.”

Obviously, Abadi was reading from the script expected of him. Like a hostage telling the world how well-treated he is by his captors, he spewed the text out of self-preservation. It is clear that this is the case, since nobody in Iran is the least bit free. All live in fear of the concrete possibility of arrest, imprisonment, torture and death for real or perceived regime-determined infringements, large and small. Just ask the protesters who are so fed up that they have been braving Basij bullets to march around the country calling for “death to the dictator” and refraining from stomping on American and Israeli flags.

THE PALESTINIANS, too, live in a repressive society, shackled and brainwashed by the honchos in Ramallah and Gaza. They also spout slogans against the US and Israel. However, like the members of the Iranian regime, Fatah and Hamas leaders did not need Trump’s election or the “Deal of the Century” to terrorize their underlings and incite them to engage in jihad. Trump merely gave them the latest excuse to launch rocket, car-ramming, rock-throwing, Molotov cocktail-hurling and stabbing attacks – which they have been doing with enhanced vengeance, of course, since the US president stood next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on January 28 and revealed the outline of his plan for Palestinian self-determination: a demilitarized statelet that would be granted multi-billions of dollars for economic and societal advancement. If it would only agree to live alongside the Jewish state in peace, that is. Oh, and when it stops trying to eliminate Israel by any means at its disposal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ballistic reaction was anticipated. After all, he rejected Trump’s deal well before knowing what it contained, because he figured – based on White House moves up until then – that it was going to deprive him of the ability to annihilate the Jewish state and expose his pretense of merely seeking Palestinian independence.

Not that anyone except for fellow jihadists and their left-wing apologists in academia and the UN has been buying his lies of late. Repeated failed peace processes that included Israeli territorial withdrawals and gallons of spilled Jewish blood will do that. So will constant calls for “martyrdom in the name of Allah” emanating from PA minarets and in the PA-controlled press.

As Palestinian Media Watch reported on Sunday, Fatah’s official Facebook page promoted the following message on January 30, accompanied by a photo of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: “#Down with the deal of the century. Palestine is not a homeland that is sold and purchased, but rather a piece of the Koran that we will defend with [our] blood and souls.”

To illustrate that they mean business, Palestinians in Judea, Samaria and Gaza have been making Khamenei proud to be using them in his grander scheme of global Shi’ite Islamist hegemony. For days on end, balloon bouquets laden with explosives have been flying over and landing near kindergartens in southern Israel, begging to be picked up by children enticed by their bright colors. IDF vehicles and soldiers have been set on fire. And a group of Golani soldiers touring Jerusalem before a ceremony at the Kotel on Wednesday night were brutally run down by a terrorist whose weapon of choice was a white Kia.

What Abbas didn’t bother to tell the driver of the South Korean sedan – or Khamenei, for that matter – is that his grandiose threats to sever all ties with America and Israel, and reconcile with his Hamas rivals, were uttered for propaganda purposes at home and abroad. Indeed, as Khaled Abu Toameh reported in these pages on Tuesday, it’s business as usual where security cooperation between the PA and Israel is concerned.

Yes, Abbas is behaving in character: putting his people in harm’s way while donning fancy suits to attend meetings, preferably in Europe, with sympathetic Western diplomats. In Khamenei fashion, though the public he supposedly serves is welcome to become cannon fodder, he himself intends to die of old age in bed between satin sheets.