More than 100 Palestinians Injured Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to hurl stones during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces along the border  on Friday. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI

More than 100 Palestinians injured in Gaza border protests –

Aug. 23 (UPI) — More than 100 Palestinians sustained injuries — at least two critically — after clashing with Israeli troops in protests at the Gaza-Israel border Friday, Gaza health officials said.

Palestinian news agency WAFA reported 127 people were injured, 54 by live bullets and 73 by rubber bullets or tear gas. Of those injured, two were in critical condition.

The injuries came after thousands of Palestinians gathered at the border for demonstrations. Hamas urged protesters to keep the protests peaceful and Israel Defense Forces told troops to restrain use of live fire.

Some Palestinians used slingshots to hurl stones, while IDF troops fired upon the demonstrators using live and rubber bullets, and tear gas.

The demonstrators were taking part in weekly Friday protests at locations along the border. The demonstrations, named the Great March of Return, call for the return of refugees to their homes and lands from which they were displaced in 1948.

The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 300 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of thousands injured since the protests began March 30, 2018.

Violence Heats Up Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Mourners carry the body of 17-year-old Israeli Rina Shnerb, who was killed by a bomb in a terror attack while visiting a spring near Dolev in the West Bank, during her funeral in the city of Lod on August 23, 2019. (Jack Guez/AFP); inset: Rina Shnerb (Courtesy)

Deadly Friday attack shows W. Bank heating up, as Hamas senses Israeli weakness

Netanyahu government is perceived to be trying to pay off Hamas in return for calm in Gaza, and that’s emboldening the terrorists in the West Bank too

By Avi Issacharoff 23 Aug 2019, 7:26 pm

The terrorist attack at a spring near Dolev on Friday, in which Rina Shnerb was killed and her father and brother were injured, was far from a bolt from the blue given the current atmosphere among Palestinians in the West Bank. And there are growing concerns that things could get far worse.

As so often in the past, the initial reaction from some in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government focused on the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, blamed as the inciter of terrorism. Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, for instance, called for the dismantling of the PA and Israeli annexation of the West Bank, neglecting to mention that the PA has been working in coordination with the IDF to try to thwart terror attacks.

The ferment among West Bank Palestinians, the growing calls for violence and the escalation in terrorism are being stirred from Gaza by its ruling terror group, Hamas, in its ongoing face-off with Netanyahu. What Netanyahu’s bitter critic and former defense minister Avigdor Liberman described Friday as the prime minister’s “surrender” to the terrorists — his agreement to allow Qatar to distribute funds in Gaza to needy families (and in the past to Hamas employees), the easing of certain restrictions at border crossings, the improved electricity supply — amid intermittent rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, is seen on the Palestinian side as proof of weakness. Weakness to be exploited.

Israel is understood to be capitulating to Hamas demands, more than in the past, precisely when the level of violence is rising — with the rocket attacks, attempts by armed infiltrators to breach the Gaza border fence, violent demonstrations at the border and more. The Israeli government, including Minister Smotrich of course, is seen to be following a policy of seeking to pay off Hamas in return for relative calm. This is being internalized in the West Bank too, which means not only that more terrorism seems likely, but that the West Bank is generally in greater ferment, with Fatah activists also perceiving an Israeli capitulation.

The rising tension also comes after six months during which the PA — fuming that Israel was holding back part of the tax funds it collects on behalf of Ramallah, to compensate for the PA’s payments to the families of dead terrorists and to jailed terrorists and security prisoners — refused to accept any of the tax payments at all. That meant some 160,000 employees were receiving only half their salaries. This week, the PA announced that it had accepted a partial payment, of just over half a billion dollars, after reaching an agreement with Israel on the issue, in order to avert the collapse of the PA.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, meets Hamas deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, second right, and the Hamas delegation, in Tehran, Iran, July 22, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

The reduced salaries are only one factor behind the rising tensions in the West Bank. There is also the diplomatic crisis between the US and Israel on one side, and the Palestinians on the other. Even as Israel celebrates the pro-Israel declarations of the Trump administration and the growth of settlements, such moves prompt rising antipathy, and calls for violence, on the Palestinian side, including within Abbas’s Fatah faction. There are indications that we could be near to an eruption of terrorism and/or widespread protests akin to the start of the second intifada in 2000 or the so-called “stabbing intifada” in the fall of 2015.

Needless to say, Hamas is doing its utmost to exploit the bitterness in the West Bank. The Gaza leadership (even as it negotiates indirectly with Israel), and the leadership overseas headed by Saleh al-Arouri, are working relentlessly to orchestrate terror attacks in the West Bank. Most are being thwarted. But, as we saw on Friday, not all.

Nations Continue to Trample Outside the Temple Walls (Rev 11)

Palestinians protest along the Israel-Gaza border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, August 23, 2019. Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

ThousandsI of Palestinians Protest at Border, Five Wounded Seriously, Gaza Authorities Say

Palestinians report 122 wounded in protests, including five from live fire, after tense week that saw three instances of rocket fire from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli strikes

Jack KhouryYaniv Kubovich

One hundred and twenty-two Palestinians were wounded, including 50 by live fire, on Friday during protests at the Gaza-Israel border, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Twenty-six of the wounded were said to have been hospitalized, including five in serious condition.

Palestinian reports said that thousands of demonstrators gathered along the border fence.

This week’s protests come after after a week of tensions that saw three incidents of rocket fire from the Strip and retaliatory airstrikes carried out by the Israeli military.

The army was preparing for the possibility of escalations along the border but said it was likely that Hamas would be working to control the protests. The army has been instructed to exercise restraint in the use of live fire.

A senior member of the March of Return organizing committee said on Friday they have deployed inspectors in areas of friction to prevent people from approaching the fence.

The military’s Arabic-language spokesman warned Hamas in a Facebook post on Thursday that attacks on Israel by Islamic Jihad were endangering efforts to improve civilian life in the enclave. In his post, Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee urged Gaza’s rulers to keep violence in check.

Meanwhile, the army said Thursday overnight a Palestinian who was launching grenades at Israeli soldiers in northern Gaza near Israel’s border was shot by the force. His condition remains unclear.

Why Iran Will Strike Back (Revelation 6:6)

US officials confirm Israeli strike in Iraq

The Associated Press

An Israeli airstrike on an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq, confirmed by U.S. officials, is threatening to destabilize security in the volatile country that has struggled to remain neutral in the conflict between Washington and Tehran.

It would be the first known Israeli airstrike in Iraq since 1981, when Israeli warplanes destroyed a nuclear reactor being built by Saddam Hussein, and significantly expands Israel’s campaign against Iranian military involvement in the region.

The July 19 attack targeted a base belonging to Iranian-backed paramilitary forces in Amirli in the northern Salaheddin province, and killed two Iranians. The attack was followed by at least two other mysterious explosions at munitions depot near Baghdad belonging to the militias.

No one has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, which have set back security and stability in the country just as it appeared to be on the path to recovery following a devastating fight against the Islamic State group, and decades of war and conflict before that.

Earlier this week, the deputy head of the Iraqi Shiite militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces, openly accused Israeli drones of carrying out the attacks but ultimately blamed Washington for allowing it to happen and threatened strong retaliation for any future attack.

Iraq’s government, by contrast, has said it is investigating the attacks and has yet to determine who was behind them, warning against attempts to drag Iraq into any confrontation.

Security analyst Motaz Mohieh said Iraq’s weak government will not be able to announce the results of its investigation “because it will constitute an embarrassment” for it.

“These strikes will continue to target the factions associated with Iran that cause a threat to Israel and the U.S. presence,” he predicted.

The fallout could directly affect the future of thousands of American troops in Iraq, providing ammunition and pretext for hard-line factions who want them to leave.

Significantly, a leading Shiite Muslim cleric followed by some Iraqi militant factions issued a public religious edict, or fatwa, on Friday that forbids the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq following the strikes.

In his fatwa, Iran-based Grand Ayatollah Kazim al-Haeri also urged Iraq’s armed forces to “resist and confront the (U.S.) enemy,” a call that is likely to inflame tensions in Iraq.

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also weighed in, warning of a “strong response” if it is proven that Israel was behind the recent airstrikes in Iraq.

In statements issued by his office, he also said that if Israel continues to target Iraq, the country “will transform into a battle arena that drags in multiple countries, including Iran.”

U.S. forces withdrew from Iraq in 2011, but returned in 2014 at the invitation of the government to help battle IS after it seized vast areas in the north and west of the country, including the second-largest city, Mosul. A U.S.-led coalition provided crucial air support as Iraqi forces regrouped and drove IS out in a costly three-year campaign.

The U.S. maintains about 5,000 troops in Iraq, and some groups say there’s no longer a justification for them to be there now that IS has been defeated.

The comments by al-Maliki, who was prime minister for eight years and now heads a Shiite bloc in parliament, follow fiery threats to the U.S. made hours earlier by the powerful Hezbollah Brigades, an Iran-backed militia. In a statement, it held the U.S. responsible for the strikes and said any new attacks will be met with a harsh response.

“Be sure that if the confrontation between us starts, it will only end with your removal from the region once and for all,” it said.

Two U.S. officials said Israel carried out an attack on the Iranian weapons depot in July that killed two Iranian military commanders. The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

A senior official with the Shiite militias at the time told The Associated Press that the base housed advisers from Iran and Lebanon — a reference to the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group. He said the attack targeted the headquarters of the advisers and a weapons depot, causing a huge explosion and fire.

Iranian media reported a funeral the next day for Abolfazl Sarabian, identified as a “shrine defender,” which typically denotes someone fighting in Iraq and Syria.

On Aug. 12, a massive explosion killed one person and wounded 28 at the al-Saqr military base near Baghdad, shaking the capital. The base housed a weapons depot for the Iraqi federal police and the PMF. The most recent of the explosions came Tuesday night, at a munitions depot north of Baghdad.

There have been weeks of speculation in Israel that the army is attacking targets in Iraq.

The confirmation comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted strongly that his country is behind recent airstrikes on bases and munitions depot belonging to Iran-backed paramilitary forces operating in Iraq.

In an interview with a Russian-language TV station Thursday, Netanyahu indicated the speculation is true.

“I don’t give Iran immunity anywhere,” he said, accusing the Iranians of trying to establish bases “against us everywhere,” including Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

Asked whether that means Israel is operating in Iraq, Netanyahu said: “We act in many arenas against a country that desires to annihilate us. Of course I gave the security forces a free hand and the instruction to do what is needed to thwart these plans of Iran.”

The New York Times, citing Israeli and U.S. officials, reported Friday that Israel bombed an Iranian weapons depot in Iraq last month.

Israel has previously acknowledged hundreds of airstrikes on Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, primarily arms shipments believed to be destined for Iran’s Hezbollah allies.

Israel considers Iran to be its greatest enemy and has repeatedly vowed it will not allow the Iranians, who are supporting the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, to establish a permanent military presence in Syria.

To strike Iraq, Israeli warplanes could potentially travel through neighboring Syria — although that would likely require agreement from Russia, which operates in Syrian skies in support of the Syrian president. Israel and Russia maintain a hotline to prevent their air forces from clashing in Syrian airspace.

On Friday, Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to a statement from his office, the leaders discussed the situation in Syria, with emphasis on tightening the military coordination mechanisms.

The other, more complicated option would be for Israeli warplanes to travel through Turkey, a former ally that now has cool relations with Israel, or through Saudi Arabia, to carry out strikes on Iraq.

Israel and the Saudis do not have formal diplomatic relations, but are believed to have established a behind-the-scenes alliance based on their shared hostility toward Iran.


Baldor reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Zeina Karam in Beirut, Josef Federman in Jerusalem and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, contributed.


This story has been corrected to show that the last known Israeli airstrike in Iraq was in 1981, not 1980.

Israel Strikes Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

IDF strikes fresh Hamas targets after 2nd rocket fired from Gaza Strip

Latest retaliation comes hours after several ‘sea-based bases’ were targeted by air force in response to earlier rocket from Strip, which struck an open field

By TOI staffToday, 4:53 am

The latest tit-for-tat fighting between Hamas and Israel continued throughout the night Thursday with Israeli planes striking a round of fresh targets in the Gaza Strip belonging to the terror group after a second rocket was fired from the coastal enclave toward Israeli towns.

The IDF confirmed that it has struck several “terror bases” in the Strip in the second set of sites targeted by airstrikes since midnight Wednesday.

The round of raids came in response to a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel early Thursday morning, the IDF said. That attack came shortly after Israeli planes struck Hamas naval targets off the coast of the Strip, following an earlier rocket attack which landed in an open field in Israel.

The IDF said that warning sirens were activated near the Gaza border. There were no injuries in the rocket attacks.

The army said earlier that fighter jets and aircraft hit several “sea-based bases” in the north belonging to Hamas. The army said the strikes were in response to the rocket attack, as well as “continuing terror activities from the Strip.”

An army statement added, “The IDF will continue to oppose attempts to harm Israeli civilians and considers the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for what happens in and out of the Gaza Strip. ”

Emergency response personnel arrive at a home in Sderot where metal shrapnel landed following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on August 17, 2019. (Magen David Adom)

Thursday morning’s rocket attack was the sixth rocket fired at Israel from the enclave in the past week. One rocket was fired at southern Israel on Friday night, followed by three on Saturday night Saturday. Three of these projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. One rocket struck outside a home in the southern town of Sderot, causing light damage, but no physical injuries.

The Israeli military retaliated to the Friday night attack, bombing two Hamas positions in the coastal enclave. There was no military response to the Saturday night rocket attack.

The Outlook for Israel is Getting Darker

Image result for netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters)

Is the Outlook for Israel Getting Brighter or Darker?

Jim GeraghtyAugust 22, 2019 10:47 AM

If, as it appears, support for Israel in the Democratic party is becoming much more tepid and conditional, then the outlook for Israel is grim, no matter how passionately and loudly President Trump touts his support for the world’s lone Jewish state.

Are things getting better for Israel or worse? Despite its tiny size and hostile neighbors, Israel has the world’s 30th to 32nd largest economy (depending upon who’s measuring) — way ahead of neighbors Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The unemployment rate is down to 3.2 percent, and workforce participation is steadily rising. It has roughly nine million people, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

It remains the military and intelligence powerhouse of the region. Ronen Bergman’s book, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, offers an extremely detailed history of the Israeli Defense Forces, the Mossad, and the Shin Bet, but ends on a downbeat note:

Throughout their successive histories, the Mossad, AMAN, and the Shin Bet – arguably the best intelligence agencies in the world – provided Israel’s leaders sooner or later with operational responses to every focused problem they were asked to solve. But the intelligence community’s very success fostered the illusion among most of the nation’s leaders that covert operations could be a strategic and not just a tactical tool – that they could be used in place of real diplomacy to end the geographic, ethnic, religious and national disputes in which Israelis mired. Because of the phenomenal successes of Israel’s covert operations, at this stage in its history the majority of its leaders have elevated and sanctified the tactical method of combating terror and existential threats at the expense of the true vision, statesmanship, and genuine desire to reach a political solution that is necessary for peace to be attained.

Maybe you find that passage persuasive, maybe you don’t. But the general gist, that amazing intelligence and military successes haven’t really changed the dynamic of Israel being surrounded by enemies and all kinds of threats, is correct. Think of everything Israel’s comparably tiny military and spy establishment has done: capturing Adolf Eichmann, the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, Operation Entebbe, bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, bombing the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, stealing 100,000 documents and computer files about Iran’s nuclear program out of Tehran last year.

As Bergman observes, “Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world.”

Israel is feared and respected, but not accepted. Most of the states around Israel are still hostile, with peace deals on paper with Egypt and Jordan, but still considerable animosity towards Israel in those countries’ populations. Endless defeats have not prompted many Palestinians to give up the idea of wiping Israel off the map — nor the Iranians, nor the Syrians, nor much of the rest of the Arab world.  Hamas still runs the Gaza Strip; Hezbollah still carries a lot of power in Lebanon. Israeli relations with Turkey have warmed up every now and then, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still regularly bashes the country. Some of the vehement fury towards Israel is lessening among Sunni Arab nations newly worried about a nuclear-powered Iran, but this is probably an alliance of convenience that will not last long past the day Iran is no longer perceived as such a threat.

The notorious Jeremy Corbyn leads the U.K. Labour Party. The political leaders of France and Germany heartily endorsed the Iran nuclear deal that Israel so strongly opposed. The news isn’t all grim; the German parliament did vote to condemn the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, and Merkel did say that the Palestinians need to recognize Israel’s right to remain a Jewish state.

And as noted yesterday, increasing numbers of American Jews see Israelis as “distant relatives” or “not part of the family.”

Sooner or later, Trump will leave office, and his successor may not be anywhere near as strong a supporter of Israel as he is. It is not difficult to imagine that by 2021, Labour and Corybyn could be running the United Kingdom, and the United States could have a Democratic president who finds Israel’s human rights record “problematic” (Pete Buttigieg) or who calls the current status “untenable” (Elizabeth Warren) or one eager to resuscitate the deal with Iran (Biden and the rest).

Who will have Israel’s back then?

Shiites Shoot Down Another US Drone

U.S. drone shot down over Yemen: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. military MQ-9 drone was shot down in Yemen’s Dhamar governate, southeast of the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday, the second such incident in recent months.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Air Force officer passes in front of a MQ-9 Reaper drone, one of a squadron that has arrived to step up the fight against the Taliban, at the Kandahar air base, Afghanistan January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defenses had brought down a U.S. drone.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.

This is not the first time a U.S. drone has been shot down in Yemen. In June, the U.S. military said that Houthi rebels had shot down a U.S. government-operated drone with assistance from Iran.

U.S. forces have occasionally launched drone and air strikes against Yemen’s al Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The group has taken advantage of a four-year-old war between the Houthi movement and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s Saudi-backed government to try to strengthen its position in the impoverished country.

One of the officials said that it appeared that the armed military drone, made by California-based General Atomics, had been shot down by a surface-to-air missile operated by the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

“It appears to have been fired by the Houthis and enabled by Iran,” the official said, without providing details or specific evidence.

The official said that while losing a drone was expensive, it was not unprecedented and it was unlikely to lead to any major response by the United States.

The other official cautioned that it was too early to tell who was responsible for the incident.

In a statement, the U.S. military said it was investigating reports that a drone had been attacked “in authorized airspace over Yemen.”

“We have been clear that Iran’s provocative actions and support to militants and proxies, like the Iranian-backed Houthis, poses a serious threat to stability in the region and our partners,” the U.S. military’s Central Command said.

The White House said it was aware of the reports and President Donald Trump had been briefed on the matter.

“This attack is only possible because of Iran’s lethal aid to the Houthis and serves as yet another example of the regime’s relentless efforts to escalate conflict and threaten regional stability,” National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said.

Iran rejects accusations from the United States and its Gulf Arab allies that Tehran is providing military and financial support to the Houthis and blames Riyadh for the deepening crisis there.

Overnight, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saria said that the drone had been shot down.

“The rocket which hit it was developed locally and will be revealed soon at a press conference,” Saria said on Twitter.

“Our skies are no longer open to violations as they once were and the coming days will see great surprises,” he added.

The drone shoot-down comes as tensions between Iran and the United States have risen since Trump’s administration last year quit an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and began to ratchet up sanctions. Iranian officials denounced the new penalties as “economic warfare.”

In June, Iran shot down a U.S. Global Hawk drone, far larger than the MQ-9 drone, and almost led to retaliatory U.S. strikes. Trump later said he had called off the strikes because it could have killed 150 people.

Reporting by Idrees Ali. Additional reporting by Steve Holland in Washington and Lisa Barrington in Dubai; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Steve Orlofsky

More Proxy Wars in Iraq (Daniel)

Image result for israel attacks iraq

Iraq Hit By New Blasts After Israel Hints It Can Attack Iran There

By Tom O’Connor On 8/20/19 at 5:58 PM EDT

Explosions rocked once again rocked military positions in Iraq just days after the country imposed new airspace restrictions and Israel hinted it would target Iran there.

Iraq’s Civil Defense announced Tuesday that firefighters managed to contain a fire that broke out at a site in Balad, a city in Salaheddin province north of Baghdad, following a series of blasts of yet undetermined cause. Iraqi Defense Minister Najah al-Shammari also flew to the nearby Balad Air Base, an installation known to host U.S. forces and contractors, and visited the site, confirming there were no casualties and ordering his men to search the premises.

Various outlets such as Al Jazeera and BBC cited unnamed Iraqi officials who identified the site of the explosions as a base for one of the state-sponsored militias comprising the Popular Mobilization Forces, a mostly Shiite Muslim gathering with ties to Iran. Reuters cited one paramilitary official as saying the site was targeted by air.

The incident comes just over a week after another arms depot explosion killed one person and injured more than a dozen others outside of Baghdad and a month after two more explosions at sites elsewhere in Salaheddin and the Diyala province, fueling speculation that Israel had expanded its anti-Iran campaign in neighboring Syria.

Flames burn at a weapons depot near Balad Air Base in Iraq’s northern Salaheddin province following reports of blasts, August 20. The explosion is the latest in a series of mysterious such incidents to take place at sites said to be connected to the Popular Mobilization Forces. Iraqi Ministry of Defense

Since overthrowing the government in 2003, Washington has generally worked alongside Baghdad, while remaining critical of Tehran’s close ties as all three tried to tackle a growing Islamist insurgency led first by Al-Qaeda and later by the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). With the jihadis largely defeated and U.S.-Iran tensions on the rise, however, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has warned he would not let his country become a battleground for the two foes.

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS has denied its participation in the previous attacks, however, and announced Friday it would comply with new, stricter regulations announced by Iraq. The new policy canceled all previous permissions granted for Iraqi and non-Iraqi aerial forces and stated that parties much ask new permissions or be treated as “hostile aviation.” As an investigation into the most recent blasts continued, eyes were on another suspect, Israel, which has launched hundreds of attacks against alleged Iran-associated sites in Syria and has vowed to take this campaign elsewhere too.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu further fueled this speculation told reporters Thursday that “Iran has no immunity, anywhere” as quoted by The Times of Israel. He added: “We will act — and currently are acting — against them, wherever it is necessary.”

Netanyahu gave similar statements ahead of revealing Israel’s years-long campaign in Syria, where Iran has also been accused of using allied groups to set up forward bases. Like Washington, Tehran has argued the presence of its forces and those of partnered fighters were necessary to battle terrorism, though both foes accuse one another of sponsoring militant groups responsible for destabilizing the region.

Such claims led President Donald Trump’s administration last year to abandon a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that was opposed by Israel but endorsed by China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. Despite Tehran’s compliance with the agreement, Washington has slapped the Islamic Republic with strict sanctions designed to undermine its economy and leadership.

Tensions accelerated between the longtime foes in the Persian Gulf region in recent months as the U.S. accused Iran of attacking commercial vessels in the Gulf of Oman and both claimed to have downed one another’s drones in the Strait of Hormuz. The Trump administration has called for a multinational maritime security initiative to safeguard the flow of goods in the region, but so far the only participant was the U.K., which recently released a detained Iranian oil tanker despite an appeal by the U.S. not to.

Israel too has expressed interest in joining such a coalition, angering Iran and frustrating U.S. allies on the Arabian Peninsula who do not formally recognize Israel but have informally joined it in a coalition meant to isolate Iran. As he sought to muster regional opposition toward Israeli presence in the region, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami said earlier this month that such a move “could be very provocative and have disastrous consequences for the region.”

Hezbollah Tramples Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

A fire rages in a greenhouse near the Gaza border on Oct. 9, 2018. Credit: Screenshot.

Replicating terror by Hamas, Hezbollah launches arson fire in Israel’s north

The Lebanese terror group is responsible for a raging fire that almost reached an Israel Defense Forces’ base and a nearby village.

(August 20, 2019 / JNS)

A fire that raged along Israel’s border with Lebanon on Friday appears to be the work of Hezbollah operatives, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 12 news.

Strong winds spread the flames, which almost reached an Israel Defense Forces’ base and the village of Margaliot.

With the attack, Hezbollah is apparently mimicking the numerous arson attacks that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have launched against Israel in the south.

According to Channel 12, U.N. vehicles passed through the area at the time the fires were set and reportedly did nothing to stop the operatives or put out the fires.

Israel Kills 3 More Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Relatives mourn the death of Palestinian Hamas militant, Mohammad Abu Namous, 27, in the family home during his funeral in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. Gaza’s Health Ministry said Israeli troops killed three Palestinians and severely wounded a fourth near the heavily guarded perimeter fence. The Israeli military said Sunday that a helicopter and a tank fired at a group of armed suspects near the fence overnight. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops killed three Palestinians and severely wounded a fourth near Gaza Strip’s heavily guarded perimeter fence, the Gaza Health Ministry said Sunday.

The Israeli military said a helicopter and a tank fired at armed suspects near the fence overnight.

After weeks of calm, Palestinian militants have attempted a number of raids in recent days. They fired rockets into Israel on two occasions over the weekend, without wounding anyone. Israel struck Hamas targets in response, without causing casualties.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating from Gaza, which the Islamic militant group has ruled since 2007. Hamas has said recent attacks were carried out by individuals frustrated by the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed on the territory 12 years ago.

Israeli-Palestinian tensions have also risen following recent attacks in the occupied West Bank and clashes at a Jerusalem holy site.

“The killing of young people on the borders of the Gaza Strip is a continuation of the (Israeli) occupation’s crimes everywhere, in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said. “This is linked to the state of anger and pressure that Palestinian people are suffering from.”

At a funeral held for the men, the bodies were draped in the flags of different factions — Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose forces were driven out of Gaza when Hamas seized power.