While the world rushes to recognize the joint terrorist government formed between Hamas and the PLO, Israel’s response is to build more houses on the mountains of Israel.
Two terrorist organizations have “united” and the terrorist government has been sworn in for the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank.
Welcome to the Bible in the News.
This week disturbing news has overshadowed world events and rocketed Israel back to the front page.
Reuters reported Monday,
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a Palestinian unity government on Monday under a reconciliation deal with Hamas Islamists that led Israel to freeze U.S.-brokered peace talks with the Western-backed leader. This brings together the two sides which have been engaged in civil war for the past seven years.
Mr Abbas, who heads the mainstream Fatah movement, has said the 17-member cabinet would be comprised of unaffiliated ministers and that it would strive to pursue peace, despite Hamas's refusal to accept co-existence with Israel.
“Today and after announcing the government of national unity we declare the end of division that caused catastrophic harm to our cause,” Mr Abbas said.
Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since seizing the territory from Fatah forces in a brief civil war in 2007. Past reconciliation efforts, largely brokered by Egypt, have failed over power-sharing.
Both Hamas and the Fatah (PLO) governments are terrorist organizations. Israel was forced to deal with the Fatah through the Oslo Peace Accords, but has never recognized Hamas. The Israel times reported:
Israel, the United States and the European Union regard Hamas as a terrorist group over its refusal to recognise Israel, accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals and renounce violence.
The idea that the marriage between Fatah and Hamas will change the leopard’s spots is ridiculous. A perfect example of this is the issue that almost aborted the union before it happened. In an article published on June 2, ArutzSheva reported the following:
Hamas informed Fatah earlier on Monday that it would refuse to join the unity government being unveiled at 1 p.m. local time, unless its demands regarding the Ministry of Prisoners were met.
However in a last minute move, the two sides apparently reached a compromise by which the Ministry of Prisoners will not be cancelled….
The dividing issue was the “Ministry of Prisoners” which Hamas held Fatah hostage over. Ma’an News Agency reported:
"(The) Hamas movement won't agree to announce a unity government without a ministry and a minister of prisoners, and Fatah has already been notified of that irrevocable decision," Abu-Zuhri declared Monday.
Well, one might ask, “What on earth is the Ministry of Prisoners? When have you ever heard of such a ministry before?” The ministry of prisoners is described by ArutzSheva:
Palestinian Media Watch has documented repeatedly that according to PA law and practice, the PA does not give stipends to terrorist prisoners' families but salaries to the terrorist prisoners themselves.
Translation, the Ministry of Prisoners is the practice of paying terrorist and their families a salary while they sit in Israeli jails for crimes of terrorism. If this isn’t state sponsored terrorism, then what is? Right in its birth, the new government has embraced terrorism, rewarding those caught in the act with a salary. Not only is it sponsored, it is paid for and consequently supported. The words of Isaiah come to mind:
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; That put darkness for light, and light for darkness; That put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, And men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, And take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” (Isaiah 5:20–23)
Wickedness is rewarded by this government…. What’s worse is it is internationally endorsed.
However, the “unity is thin”, as was reported by ArutzSheva on Friday. Over 100 members of Hamas were arrested in Hevron by Fatah, and members of Fatah were arrested in Gaza. Fistfights broke out in Gaza where Fatah supporters were paid, while Hamas were not. This behavior speaks to the character of Ishmael, of whom it was prophecied:
“And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:12)
Response to the New Government
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged world leaders not to rush into recognizing the new Palestinian government, saying it would serve as a front for Hamas and "strengthen terrorism". ArutzSheva reported on Tuesday,
Both Netanyahu and the ministers agreed not to engage politically with the new government, as part of the policy not to negotiate with terrorists. Several ministers encouraged Netanyahu to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of the move, noting that both Fatah and Hamas are responsible for encouraging terror attacks against Israel and that the sanctions would press the point that Israel will not tolerate the justification of a Palestinian Arab government run by terrorists - whether the international community approves or not.
Netanyahu stated, at the end of the meeting. "[PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas said 'yes' to terror, not peace. It is the direct continuation of Abbas's policy to refuse peace, while Israel has made courageous and painful steps for the political process and remains committed to peace."
"Abbas refused to extend the negotiating framework via the US's proposal, continues to incite against Israel, joined international agencies in a set of unilateral moves, and now has formed an alliance with the Hamas terrorist organization - which is responsible for the murder of more than a thousand innocent Israelis, and has fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns.”
Netanyahu went on to warn Abbas that he is now directly responsible for the terrorism in Gaza:
"In the past several days, Hamas leaders have reiterated their commitment to terrorism and the destruction of Israel," he said. "The agreement with Hamas transfers to Abbas direct responsibility for terrorism from Gaza."
Part of the Israeli Cabinet decision, released following the emergency session, stated that Israel,
“[would] continue acting in accordance with its 24 April 2014 decision and to not negotiate with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization which calls for the destruction of Israel… [and] hold the Palestinian Authority responsible for all actions that harm the security of Israel which originate in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip”
The response from around the world has been disappointing, but expected. Israel is standing alone, once again. Perhaps the most disappointing for Israel was America’s immediate recognition of the new terrorist government.
America’s response was given by US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki:
"It appears that President Abbas has formed an interim technocratic government that does not include minsters affiliated with Hamas. Moving forward we will be judging this government by its actions. Based on what we know now we intend to work with this government but will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles that President Abbas reiterated today… But we will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government and calibrate our approach accordingly."
The US came under heavy criticism from Israel for this move, and ArutzSheva reported:
Secretary of State John Kerry defended Wednesday a US decision to work with the new Palestinian Authority "unity government", despite Israeli criticism, claiming that it does not include any Hamas ministers.
Speaking to reporters in Beirut, Kerry said Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas "made clear that this new technocratic government is committed to the principles of non violence, negotiations, recognizing the state of Israel, acceptance of the previous agreements and the Quartet principles."
"Based on what we know now about the composition of this technocratic government, which has no minister affiliated to Hamas and is committed to the principles that I describe, we will work with it as we need to, as appropriate."
However a multitude of Israeli Ministers have voiced their concerns, among them Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, as reported by ArutzSheva:
"We must ask: do they intend to ask Mahmoud Abbas and his government to publicly return to the 'principle of absolute demilitarization' that was a foundation of the Oslo Accords, and to start dismantling and destroying thousands of missiles - most of which were shipped from Iran - from Gaza?"
"If not, then all the talk about a Palestinian government 'committed to prior agreements' is nothing but self-deception," he concluded.
The article went to on to state:
The US has largely predicated its premise for suddenly announcing its willingness to 'work with' the new 'unity' government on the misnomer that the government does not actually include Hamas politicians. Despite this, Hamas announced that any "unity" government would be unequivocally subject to their approval before being established.
Israeli Communications Minister Gilad Erdan had the following to say:
“Unfortunately, the American naiveté is breaking all records. Cooperating with Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization in the U.S. and which murders women and children is unacceptable.
America’s repeated surrendering to the dictates of the Palestinians seriously harms the chances of ever resuming negotiations with the Palestinians, and Israel will take unilateral steps to protect its citizens from the terrorist government established by [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas.”
The European Union was also quick to welcome the declaration, as reported by the Jerusalem Post:
"We welcome ... the declaration by President Abbas that this new government is committed to the principle of the two state solution based on the 1967 borders, to the recognition of Israel's legitimate right to exist," the EU said in a statement.
"The EU's engagement with the new Palestinian government will be based on its adherence to these policies and commitments," it said.
The first of the EU foreign ministers to welcome the unity government agreement was Britain’s William Hague who said “reuniting the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was "a necessary condition for resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict” according to the Jerusalem Post. The paper also reported:
Hague said that the British government has made clear that its continued support for the “new interim technocratic government for the occupied Palestinian territories” rested on the latter’s commitment to the “principle of nonviolence and acceptance of all previous agreements and obligations including Israel’s legitimate right to exist.”
Hamas, however, continues to insist that it will not recognize Israel’s right to exist, that it is committed to Israel’s destruction through jihad, and that it will not disarm its military wing under the new government.
The United Nations followed suit. The Jerusalem Post also reported:
The United Nations in a statement said it was prepared to support the new government and its efforts to reunited the West Bank and Gaza.
The UN chief expressed his hope that the move would provide new opportunities to progress the peace process with Israel along the basis of a two-state solution, the recognition of Israel and a commitment to revoke violence.
“The United Nations has long underscored the need for progress towards Palestinian unity in line with existing resolutions, within the framework of the Palestinian Authority and the commitments of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” read a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson.
Russia has also been quick to recognize the Palestinian Unity government. The Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported:
Russia will “cooperate actively with the Palestinian Cabinet for further development and enhancement of traditionally friendly Russian-Palestinian relations in different spheres,” the Russian diplomatic agency said.
A Few Dissenters
The Israel Times reported of Australia:
Canberra also has not welcomed the establishment of the new Palestinian unity government, which is backed by Hamas – as the UN, the EU, and many countries have – but also has not severed ties with the PA, as Jerusalem would have liked.
Instead, it has dropped references to East Jerusalem as being occupied territories. In the same article, The Times of Israel reported Australia’s Attorney General George Brandis as stating Wednesday:
“The description of East Jerusalem as ‘occupied’ East Jerusalem is a term freighted with pejorative implications which is neither appropriate nor useful. It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgmental language.”
This has prompted outrage from the Palestinians.
Canada has adopted a “wait and see” approach. On Friday, the Ottawa Citizen reported:
“Canada has concerns about the new unity government supported by Hamas,” spokesman Adam Hodge said in a statement. “Hamas is a listed terrorist organization under Canadian law, one that is responsible for the murder of countless innocent Israelis.
“Canada will deal only with a Palestinian government that renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel’s right to exist,” Hodge added. “We will continue to watch developments closely.”
Britain and America will eventually wake up to their biblical roles as the Merchants of Tarshish, and the young lions, joining Australia and Canada and who will make a stand against Israel’s invasion in the latter days when Gog comes down:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Israel’s Counter Move: Build More
In response to all of this, Israel has decided to expand its building in the settlement areas. 3000 housing units will be built, 1500 “frozen” units have been unfrozen and 1500 more have had notices for bids to construct. The Israel Times reported Israeli housing minister Uri Ariel as stating:
“I congratulate the decision to give a proper Zionist response to the establishment of the Palestinian terror cabinet. The right and duty of the state of Israel to build across the country to lower the housing prices is unquestionable, and I believe these tenders are just the beginning.”
The article continued with PLO’s response:
The Palestine Liberation Organization said later on Thursday it would appeal to the UN Security Council over Israel's latest planned settlement construction.
"The executive committee of the PLO views this latest escalation with the utmost of seriousness," Hanan Ashrawi said in an English-language statement.
The committee "will counter it by addressing both the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly as the proper way of curbing this grave violation and ensuring accountability," she added.
The Israeli Times added,
Mahmoud Abbas' adviser Nabil Abu Rudeina said the Palestinian reaction will be "unprecedented."
The situation continues to boil up. The target is, has it has been for the past several years, the religious settlers and the Westbank - an area referred to Biblically as “The Mountains of Israel.” The crisis has pushed Israel toward fulfilling Bible prophecy. The Bible tells us the target of the Gogian invasion:
“After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:8–12)
The mountains of Israel and the midst of the land is the area called the Westbank today. This is the issue with many nations who are turning their backs on Israel. This is where the nations of the world will come down and carve up the land of Israel, distributing it amongst themselves, not the Arabs:
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, When I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, And will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (Joel 3:1–2)
The phrase “parted my land” is the Hebrew word chalaq meaning to divide, share, plunder, assign or distribute. Note that it is God’s land, He has given it to His heritage Israel, but the nations will invade to divide it up amongst themselves. This will provoke a response from Almighty God such as the nations have never witnessed, when God will “cause his mighty ones to come down” (Joel 3:11) and “judge the nations round about.”
As we anticipate the return of Christ, when Russia, Europe and the hosts aligned with it are destroyed upon the mountains of Israel, and Israel is redeemed we continue to watch the Bible in the News. This has been Jonathan Bowen joining you at bibleinthenews.com.