“Hamas is Not a Terrorist Group!”

Yes, I know we are celebrating the festive Hanukkah season, but unfortunately ridiculous news in the Middle East does not take a holiday!

The UN General Assembly is scheduled to vote today on a resolution condemning Hamas for firing rockets at Israeli citizens, demanding an end to the incessant violence.  However, according to Palestinian Authority Leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, “Hamas is not a terrorist group!”

What is interesting here is that Fatah and Hamas have been fighting one another for years over joint control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  The two organizations are fierce adversaries…unless, of course, Israel is involved.  In that case, they team up like long lost allies!

The Fatah spokesman went on to say that rather than condemning Hamas, Israel, “which is the true face of state-sponsored terrorism,” should be condemned.  

Another Fatah spokesman, Abbas Zaki, managed to cram his foot further in the Fatah-Hamas mouth when he said:

“If Hamas, which is practicing resistance, is labeled a terrorist movement, this would mean that all Palestinians practice terrorism. Hamas belongs to us and we belong to Hamas. We can’t leave Hamas to fight alone.”

Hamas is recognized by virtually the entire free world as an unquestionable terrorist organization.  Per Fatah’s assessment, it seems Hamas is not alone.

The resolution was drafted by the US and is reportedly supported by all EU nations.  Friends, please pray today that UN delegates from around the world will vote truthfully, and that a resolution condemning Hamas’ violence will finally be issued.

PS: We’ll return to our Hanukkah celebration tomorrow morning, so stay tuned!

The Latest from Hamas, Iran and Syria

Significant developments continue to unfold in the Middle East. Hamas and Fatah have resumed their on-again-off-again relationship, leaders of Hamas have visited Tehran, and Israel has responded to rockets launched from Syria into Israeli territory.  Steadily, the world marches toward a showdown known as the War of Gog and Magog (described in Ezekiel 38-39).  Here is the latest:

  • Just over a week ago Hamas and Fatah once again declared a unity government, uniting the West Bank, ruled by the Palestinian Authority (under the party name of Fatah), and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.  This is not the first crack at creating a unity government (see here), and only time will tell if it stands up this time.  However, specific Israeli stipulations for entering peace negotiations are that Hamas disarms, acknowledges Israel’s right to exist and severs ties with Iran.  Don’t look for successful peace negotiations any time soon!
  • On Friday, Hamas officials visited Tehran to discuss the Palestinian unity government, Israel and bilateral relations between Hamas and Iran (despite Israel’s conditions for negotiations).  New Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, blatantly stated Hamas’s intentions when he said:

“Over is the time Hamas spent discussing recognizing Israel. Now Hamas will discuss when we will wipe out Israel.”
~The Times of Israel, October 19, 2017

  • This morning, the IDF (Israel Defense Force) responded to 5 rockets fired into Israel from Syria by taking out 3 Syrian launch sites.  Couple that with a similar incident on Thursday, and Israel is on high alert.  Through an IDF spokesperson, the state of Israel issued this statement:

“Even if this is just spillover, this is an exceptional incident and the continuance of such events will be met with a more fierce Israeli response. The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its residents and views the Syrian regime as responsible for what is happening in its territory.”
~Behold Israel, October 21, 2017

Isaiah 17:1 warns of a day when Damascus Syria will cease to exist.  Today, civil war has decimated the city and rogue regimes are striving to control the arms (including WMD’s) known to exist in and around Damascus.  Israel, sensing threats from those who may get their hands on weapons, may be forced to take action to defend herself, which could trigger destructive actions by any of the above.

As we’ve discussed previously, the fall of Damascus leaves the pathway wide open for the Gog and Magog coalition to advance from the north, fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy in chapters 38-39.

We stand on the precipice of significant Biblical end time prophecies.  Now is the time to forsake worldly ambitions and be about our Father’s business.  Let’s be ready for the return of our Bridegroom!

Terror Strikes in the West Bank

My heart was heavy when I heard news of the Tuesday morning terror attack upon Israeli security and police officers in the West Bank.  I was especially burdened because I was in the West Bank (Biblical Judea and Samaria) only a couple weeks ago and was so encouraged by what I saw and experienced there.

Our special trip on that day was into Samaria where I witnessed with my own eyes an incredible place where Jews and Palestinians work happily every day side-by-side in a cooperative effort we don’t often hear about in the media.  (Take time to read Into the West Bank and Jews and Arabs Side-by-Side…Despite BDS.)

I’m not so naive to think that, because I saw the “good” side of life in the West Bank, that terrorism doesn’t occur.  In fact, we went to an overlook, towering above Nablus, a terrorist haven.  So, we were vividly reminded that life in the West Bank can get messy, as it did Tuesday morning.

But the report still stunned me.  Partly because I simply can’t imagine why, when the Israelis extend the hand of peace and friendship to such a great degree, there are those who attack without provocation and for no known reason.  Please don’t misunderstand me.  Israel is not perfect…they have issues just like the rest of us.  But the reality is that many Palestinians are given decent, better paying jobs in Israeli-owned and operated companies than they would ever find in territories controlled by the Palestinians.  In fact, most prefer to work for Israeli companies where they are typically treated much better and paid much better.

Image result for har adar shootingIn this case, 37-year-old Nimr Mahmoud Ahmad al-Jamal possessed a legal work permit, but instead of making his way to work that morning, he pulled a gun out of  his clothing and randomly opened fire on Israeli security and police officers near Har Adar, killing three before being shot dead himself.  (That is the typical ending to a Palestinian attack.  One would think the payoff isn’t worth it, but the twisted mindset of those bent on terror is not easily understood.)

We did not travel through Har Adar that day, but the images of the cities and villages that we saw are still etched in my mind, as is the vivid remembrance of touring a factory where Jews and Palestinians were joyfully working together.  I’m saddened by this event, as it will almost certainly have an impact on the ease in which Palestinians are able to obtain work permits.

Image result for har adar shootingIt also heightens animosity on both sides.  While the Jewish nation mourns the loss of three brave servicemen (and another wounded), Fatah and Hamas, the ruling parties in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, applaud the attacks.  Islamic Jihad does likewise.

I am so glad I was there to witness cooperation between Jews and Palestinians, because news like this taints the reality that there are Palestinians who likely feel “stuck” in the clutches of oppressive tyranny.  It is confirmation to me of why the Bible tells us to pray for Israel.  Will you join me in turning this weekend’s Yom Kippur commemoration into a time of pleading on behalf of Jews AND Palestinians, that repentance will come, and that SOMEHOW the grace of God which has appeared, bringing salvation to ALL men (Titus 2:11), will grip the hearts and minds of Jews and Palestinians alike?

This week has been filled with debate over whether spoiled men playing a child’s game should stand or kneel.  Christian friends, let’s get on with what counts for eternity…will you kneel in prayer to the King of Kings on behalf of His chosen people and their neighbors?

Palestinians and Hamas to Meet in Russia to Promote Reconciliation

News reports are indicating Hamas (in control in the Gaza Strip) and Fatah (ruling party in the West Bank) will meet in Russia about the same time as the Paris Middle East peace conference.  In Paris, world leaders are expected to attempt to implement the “peace plan” laid out by John Kerry in his infamous speech just before Christmas.  In short, the plan is to force Israel into giving up land to the Palestinians.  There is little to no obligation on the part of the Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah, rival rogue regimes, have danced this dance before.  In 2014 they formed a unity government in hopes of drawing support for a united Palestinian state.  The dance ended following Operation Protective Edge (IDF’s response to rockets launched into Israel) in 2015 due to Hamas reportedly carrying out indirect talks with Israel.

Beyond the evil of Fatah and Hamas, can we really trust Russia when it comes to reconciliation, particularly when Israel’s security is at stake?

Read more in the Jerusalem Post report here.

Pray for world leaders and for the Spirit of the Lord to move in the midst of these meetings.  Pray that evil intent will be revealed and thwarted, and that enemy plans will be turned against them.