Report Date: April 2013
Extra: Signs of the Times
April 12, 2013
Shalom from Jerusalem,
I felt constrained to comment on the current crisis situation on the Korean peninsula and its possible implications for the world, the United States and Israel. As I wrote with my last commentary on the upcoming lunar eclipse Tetrads that coincide with Passover and Succot (see my website for that article if you missed it, www.ddolan.com) you can post, forward, print, ignore, delete, or do anything else with this one as you choose.
I sensed in prayer earlier this month that April 14th might be an important date in regards to North Korea's vow to launch a thermonuclear war upon South Korea and America, before knowing this was one day before the current leader's grandfather would have turned 101 had he still been alive. It is said to be the most important date on the regime's annual calendar, and one that has been previously connected to other regime provocations. I note that the day begins in North Korea some six hours before it does here in Israel, and 13 hours before midnight arrives along the eastern seaboard in America.
I want to thank the many people who sent reactions and/or thanks to my previous Tetrads posting. While I have not had time to personally reply to most of them, I have read them.
WORLD WAR III?
By David Dolan
I posted a note on my Facebook page on Tuesday that began with the statement that "I'm very concerned over the continuing warnings of imminent nuclear war from North Korea, the latest today for foreigners to immediately evacuate the South." Since then China, traditionally North Korea's closest ally, has closed its border, preventing Chinese businessmen and tourists from entering the Communist rogue state by land. Plus all North Korean workers have been pulled out of a border industrial zone run jointly with South Korea. I also noted that "North Korea is no paper tiger¡here is what Wikipedia says about the country: ¡®North Korea is the world's most militarized country, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the 4th largest in the world, after China, the U.S., and India. It is a nuclear-weapons state and has an active space program.¡¯" I ended my posting by urging all readers to "Keep praying¡this may be the start of WWIII."
Although the Middle East has been the focus of my journalistic work for over three decades, I want to expound a bit more on this extremely important topic, which does have an important local connection. As you know, most of the "talking head experts" being interviewed by the international mainstream media are playing down the prospect that North Korea would actually unleash the dreadful nuclear genie that has been capped since the end of World War II. It would be "illogical" say many of them, with others going further, calling it "suicidal." They are certainly correct in pointing this out. However, common people and their leaders can often act illogically (I¡¯ve done that once or twice J ) and not a few people, young and old, commit suicide.
Was it rational for Adolph Hitler to think he could establish a "Third Reich" to rule over planet earth? Was it logical for him to continue to order his country's trains to carry Jews to Nazi death camps when his generals were pleading for them to be used instead to rush badly needed troops to the crumbling Russian front? What about Japan refusing to surrender when its Axis partner Germany was finally defeated in early May, 1945, carrying on for another three months until two nuclear explosions finally ended World War II? None of these things made any logical sense, but they are historical fact. I could cite many other examples of apparently illogical and suicidal actions taken by various world leaders over the centuries.
It seems to me that most of the "experts" are overlooking, or more likely totally ignorant of, one very important factor: The Bible speaks of a spiritual battle between darkness and light that rages in the heavens and is reflected on earth. Among the biblically-stated goals of the "forces of darkness" is to thwart the Lord's overall plans and purposes and to destroy His chosen people.
I have believed for several decades that the demonic alliance which joined Germany and Japan together to launch the world's deadliest war (so far) just over 70 years ago was recreated in the 1980s, but with slightly different actors. This time it is not Hitler's European Aryan superior race creed joining up with ancient Japanese emperor worship. Instead, it is Shiite Muslim Iran, located not far from India where the Sanskrit word aryan is derived from, (Sanskrit is the liturgical language of Hinduism) locking arms with Japan's neighbor North Korea. There, the current dictator's late grandfather Kim Il Sung, who founded the Communist family dynasty in 1948, is virtually deified under the official title of "The Eternal President of the Republic." His 101st birthday will be marked this coming Monday.
World leaders have known for many years that the two rogue nations are working closely together on joint nuclear production projects. North Korean nuclear scientists were killed in a mysterious blast at an Iranian nuclear site several years ago (widely blamed on Israeli agents), as was also the case with Iran's main regional ally Syria, when its secret nuclear reactor, under construction, was destroyed by Israeli warplanes in September 2007. North Korea receives vital oil supplies from Iran. The alliance benefits both pariah nations who have few other reliable friends around the globe.
However one of the traditional friends for both countries has been China. Busy pursuing its rapid economic expansion, the world's largest country is nevertheless still ruled by the Communist party, whose creed exudes humanistic atheism at its core. This may be the key to the current situation.
NUKING THE STATES
The experts mentioned above are certainly correct in stating there is no evidence at all that North Korea has developed long-range missiles that can strike the west coast of the United States, let along Washington DC. We did learn on Thursday that a classified Pentagon spy agency report, accidentally revealed by an American Congressman, concluded for the first time that North Korea likely has nuclear bombs that can be fitted on missiles. So why is the current regime¡ªheaded by the virtually unknown Kim Jung Un, the grandson of Kim Il Sung, who is officially known as the "Supreme Leader" (I dub him Kim Ill Sicko, since that is easier for me to remember), saying that his nuclear weapons will soon destroy the American capital city, along with Los Angeles and, of all places, Austin Texas? It could be that anti-American hardliners in the Chinese government and military establishment might do the dirty deed if such attacks actually took place, but this seems extremely remote to myself and to most international security analysts since China would get massively nuked by America in response.
I believe there is another, more plausible explanation. As I wrote in my Facebook posting, there are other ways to launch nuclear attacks upon cities and nations. One is via a so-called "nuclear suitcase bomb." Here is what the Wikipedia on line dictionary says about them: A suitcase nuke (also suitcase bomb, backpack nuke, mini-nuke, and pocket nuke) is a tactical nuclear weapon which uses, or is portable enough that it could use, a suitcase as its delivery method. Thus far, only the United States and the Soviet Union are known to have possessed nuclear weapons programs developed and funded well enough to manufacture miniaturized nuclear weapons. Both the United States and the Soviet Union have acknowledged producing nuclear weapons small enough to be carried in specially-designed backpacks during the Cold War, but neither have ever made public the existence or development of weapons small enough to fit into a normal-sized suitcase or briefcase. It has also been reported that Israel has produced nuclear warheads small enough to fit into a suitcase."
What about North Korea¡ªthe world's most militarized country according to Wikipedia and other sources? And what about China, the world largest country by far and a quickly emerging economic and military superpower? It seems logical to assume that one or both of these Asian powers has indeed constructed such miniature nuclear weapons. If so, how would they be smuggled into the United States? As we know all too well, America's long border with Mexico, and even longer border with Canada, are hardly closed to penetration. In my posting, I pointed out that my family owns a plot of land right next to the border with British Columbia and it is mountainous, heavily wooded, with no border fence or security patrols in most places. Walking across such an invisible border carrying a couple of backpacks is easy to do. And we all know that many Mexicans, and others, manage to illegally enter the United States all the time. Plus, drug dealers routinely manage to smuggle their illegal goods into America via small boats landing along the US east and west coasts. Smuggling a backpack or suitcase into the country is simply not a big deal.
THE EMERGING RED GIANT
I just listened to a Sky News reporter based in Japan saying that suspicions are growing in Tokyo and other East Asian capitals that China may be behind the current flare up in regional tensions. All I can say is dah! But what would Beijing possibly have to gain by urging its North Korean ally to declare an imminent nuclear attack upon Seoul and the United States? Is it just a bluff, and if so, to what end?
I will never forget my late grandfather telling me before he passed away in the mid 1970s that he was certain China would end up being America's most potent enemy one day. This was at the height of the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union, which of course was then seen as the most likely trigger for dreaded nuclear conflict. What would China gain by unleashing nuclear bombs, either directly or more likely via its North Korean ally, upon South Korea and the United States? It is completely illogical. China would lose its biggest export customer by far if the American economy sank into the toilet, as would most certainly occur if some major US cities were gutted by nuclear explosions, even if they were not as potent as missile strikes would be (experts say a suitcase nuke would not carry near the punch of a missile warhead, but certainly enough to kill many people and send stock markets and the dollar tumbling).
Yes, China too would suffer if the USA were brought down. In the short term that is. In the long run, it would emerge as the world's greatest superpower, especially if such a nuclear assault on America could not be unambiguously traced to Beijing. China would no longer be bothered by American forces stationed in several nearby island nations like South Korea, Japan and Guam. Taiwan would be open for unopposed military conquest. China would fairly quickly make up for the market losses that nuclear attacks upon the American mainland would produce. More than this, the Communist giant would become the undisputed King of Asia, if not the world. Might this not be a tempting prospect to Beijing's current rulers who are surely tired of being lectured to by the moralistic United States?
It seems to me that it would be brilliant strategy to use North Korea as the fall guy in any nuclear assault. But would Kim Il Sung be willing to sacrifice his own people for the sake of Chinese gain? Well, he and his father and grandfather have been starving them to death for many decades. Plus take a look at his ally Syria, where the Assad regime is slaughtering its citizens even as I write. Stalin and Mao did the same, along with countless other tyrants in history. By the time North Korean rockets were launched at Seoul (which is very close to the North Korean border, meaning short range missiles could be used, not the medium and long range missiles that are currently the center of media focus), Kim and his comrades would probably be safely tucked away somewhere in China, where they would live protected lives of luxury from now on. Nuclear suitcase bombs would not have "Made in China" written on them. And even if they did, who could prove it after they explode? So while all the experts are accurately pointing out that Pyongyang does not yet have the capability to strike US mainland targets with nuclear warheads, that might not be the intended method of delivery. And it may not be the seemingly crazy young man that is actually behind this current flare up on the Korean peninsula, but his rich and powerful uncle located just across the border.
I am not saying that a nuclear attack upon US forces and their allies in East Asia and on the American mainland is imminent¡but the Communist regime in North Korea is repeatedly declaring that to be the case in no uncertain terms. Only time will tell if this is mere bluster or not, but I think it behooves the world, and especially America, to take this seriously and prepare for war as best they can. The US President says he is doing so...in between golf games and White House dinners with celebrities that is.
If I were currently in the United States, I would do what I have routinely done in Israel for several decades. Having found myself in the middle of several armed conflicts here over the years (the 1982 Lebanon War, the 1989-92 first Palestinian Uprising, the 1991 Iraqi Scud attacks on Tel Aviv and elsewhere, the second uprising that began in September 2000, the 2006 Hizbullah rocket attacks, and the 2009 Cast Iron IDF operation in the Gaza Strip), I naturally take threatened warfare quite seriously. Therefore I always keep a good supply of drinking water on hand¡ªthe most essential thing, along with air, for survival. I also keep an extra store of food around which can withstand a prolonged cut in electrical supplies, such as tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers, dried fruit, nuts etc. I would recommend that everyone on earth, but especially in America, do the same. And if things remain calm, you can consume the supplies at your leisure and replace them as you do so.
In fact, I am stocking up on such supplies at present, since it is very likely that if North Korea launches thermonuclear war in the coming days or weeks as they have vowed to do, Israel would be targeted by their close Middle East ally, Iran in its wake. With the Americans preoccupied with a new and unprecedented Asian war, and possibly internal upheaval, an attack upon Israel would most likely come via Iran's surrogate Hizbullah militia force in Lebanon. President Shimon Peres and others say the radical Shiite force, partly funded and commanded by Iran, now possesses tens of thousands of potent rockets and missiles that can strike every part of Israel. This scenario was recently discussed at an annual security conference in the coastal city of Herzliya. The experts do not dismiss the possibility that some Hizbullah missiles could be tipped by small nuclear devices. This might explain a threat issued several years by a senior Hizbullah commander that the group would "make Israel glow" when the next war takes place. This would also give weight to vows in recent years (recently repeated by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khameini and Hizbullah's Sheik Nasrallah) that both Tel Aviv and Haifa will be totally wiped out if war erupts in the region.
Again, I am not saying that such an atrocious conflict is about to engulf the Far East and the Middle East, and possibly include attacks upon mainland America. But it is obviously not far-fetched to say this is very possible. I do think it is obvious that our political and military leaders need our prayers like never before. It is in turbulent times like these I am the especially grateful that "He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalm 121:4).
April 16, 2013
JERUSALEM 2:45 PM
First of all, my prayers are with the many victims of yesterday's hideous terrorist attack in Boston and their families and friends. I have known some of the victims of similar attacks that have punctured life here in Israel during the three-plus decades that I have lived and worked here. It was only two days ago that the country was officially and personally mourning fallen Israeli soldiers and terrorist victims on the annual Memorial Day, so those memories are fresh in all minds here. Some of my Israel News Update subscribers have written today to ask whether or not I think yesterday's horrific terrorist attack in Boston was connected to my posting last Friday. So in light of the Boston attack, I am sending out another unplanned post to my email list. It will also be posted on my website, www.ddolan.com I apologize for the gremlins that appeared in my last posting wherever an apostrophe was supposed to be¡¦I am hoping they will stay away today. A clean copy is posted on my website.
THREAT OF WAR FROM NORTH KOREA
You will recall that I stated in my message sent out last Friday that I was taking the North Korean threat of an imminent nuclear attack upon South Korea and America very seriously. The evil regime has issued yet another warning of pending attack today, as reported this morning on the CNN website:
(CNN) -- North Korea is raising the temperature on its neighbors, saying in its latest threat that it would not give any advance warning before any attack on South Korea. "Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now," Pyongyang said in a statement published Tuesday by its official news agency, KCNA.
Soon after the latest verbal blast was issued in Pyongyang, news came that an American Black Hawk helicopter crashed earlier today near the North Korean border. Thankfully, none of the 12 crewmen was killed.
Before I begin to comment on the terrorist attack in Boston, I want to relate where I was last evening when news of it broke here in Israel. Just as the twin blasts were taking place, I was finishing a meal in the center of Jerusalem near Jaffa Road with my longtime friends Barry and Batya Segal and their daughter and a friend. Ironically given my last posting, we were eating Chinese food. It was the beginning of the annual Israel Independence Day, and we decided to leave the heavily policed city center to head over to my apartment to watch the scheduled 10:30 PM fireworks display from my roof.
Minutes after we arrived, I switched on my TV in order to put on some music carried by a classical cable channel. As usual, my set was tuned to a news channel, this time the BBC World Service. The attack had taken place a half hour before in Boston, and the BBC reporters were live with the details. Barry quickly phoned his brother, a surgeon who lives in Boston and often runs in local marathon races, but did not get through to him, nor to his wife in a subsequent call. We later heard that all cell phone lines had been cut in the area. Needless to say, we were not exactly in a jovial mood a few minutes later as we went up to my roof to watch the fireworks display. We assumed that Israeli security measures were being beefed up in the city as news of the heinous attack in America spread.
MANY WAYS TO CREATE TERROR
In my last message, I wrote that I felt the media focus on North Korea's apparent inability to strike the US mainland with long-range ballistic missiles was probably missing the mark. I stated that an assault could take place in the form of an internal terrorist operation, possibly involving a portable nuclear backpack or suitcase bomb that had been smuggled into America. Although I did not write the following in so many words, I meant that an attack could come in various other ways than a ballistic missile attack.
This of course means that what World Net Daily is calling the Boston massacre might have indeed been carried out by terrorist agents connected to North Korea and/or its ally Iran. Radical leaders of both of the allied nations have vowed many times to destroy the United States, which Iran terms the Great Satan. The Sunni Muslim Al Qaida movement has also issued the same vow many times, carrying out the 9/11 attacks among other horrible things. So obviously that terror group is a major suspect in the deadly Boston marathon operation. While it might have been an indigenous American attack, I highly doubt that, given that it was so cleverly planned to take place at a spot and an event where it was guaranteed to be widely photographed and instantly reported, affecting runners and observers from all over the world. The scene of many national flags fiercely blowing in the shock wave that was created by the first powerful blast was right out of a Hollywood horror flick. That the attack would leave many people leg-less who were either watching or participating in a marathon race is all the more sinister and satanic.
Analysts are already noting that yesterday's atrocity was staged in the Massachusetts capital city, meaning it may well point to an Al Qaida operation. They point out that the hijacked American airline flight 11, which crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, originated in Boston, as did United flight 175 that plowed into the South Tower.
The reported placement of ball bearings inside the Boston bombs is a longtime hallmark of Hizbullah and Hamas terror assaults. The Sunni Muslim Hamas movement is known to have links to Al Qaida. Many more Israelis have been wounded or killed by such supplemental shrapnel than by the blast of the terrorist bomb itself. I have sadly witnessed this fact firsthand here in Israel more than one time. Of course, indigenous American terrorist groups could also construct such bombs, learning as it were how to build a more effective bomb from the international masters of terrorism. Hopefully the FBI will uncover who was behind the atrocity, as President Obama has sworn will take place. However this type of attack by its very nature is often hard to indisputably pin on the responsible party, so we may never know 100% for sure who plotted, funded and carried it out.
The Boston police spokesman said this morning that a total of five explosive devices were planted in his city, although only three of them went off. This adds to my suspicion that this is just the first of many terrorist operations being planned across the country by America's enemies. Government authorities are also assuming the worst, as they must.
Whether or not North Korea and/or Iran were involved in the Boston assault, I believe the burden in my spirit that I wrote about last week, that America would indeed be imminently attacked, has at least begun to be fulfilled on the world stage. As I wrote last week, if North Korea actually launches an attack in the coming hours or days, be it nuclear or not, I expect Iran will follow that up with a rocket and missile blitz upon Israel, probably via its Hizbullah proxy force.
JUDGMENT ON AMERICA?
In my Israel news updates, I normally stay away from anything that might signal my own personal criticism or opinion of any governmental leader. That is why I did not mention the following in my last posting. However today I believe I should do so, given the dramatic news affecting America and the world.
A friend recently sent me a copy of an article in the Ministry Today magazine written by Jonathan Cahn, the author of the best-selling Harbinger book who I have personally known for many years. The article was titled A National Wake Up Call. Under a section titled National Tipping Points, Jonathan wrote that "Last year, 2012, was critical in America's trajectory away from God. He warns before judgment. The year marked the first time in U.S. history when a sitting president publicly spoke against the biblical definition of marriage. It was the year that America re-elected the first president to take such a stand, not to mention a radically activist stand on abortion."
Was the Boston atrocity the beginning of the divine judgment upon America that is the focus of Harbinger, and if so, how far will it go? Obviously no one but the Lord can say for sure. However if that is indeed the case, then we can expect many more dramatic days ahead in America, the tense Middle East, and all over the world. As I wrote last week, its behooves us to get as ready as possible for such days, especially those living in eastern Asia, the Middle East and America. Meanwhile we can declare the powerful words of comfort and strength found in Isaiah, chapter 12, verse 2: "Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust, and will not be afraid. For the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation."
April 18, 2013
THURSDAY 9:45 AM
Due to my earlier postings concerning North Korea and Iran, I am sending you a related article that was published on the WND web site yesterday. It focuses on the possible connection between Iran and the terror attack in Boston on Monday. It was written by Reza Kahlili, an Iranian who served in the CIA Directorate of Operations and as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
Today I woke up to hear about a powerful chemical explosion in Texas that occurred after midnight here in Jerusalem. As most of you will already know, it has left many people wounded and an unknown number dead. Current reports say toxic fumes are making rescue efforts difficult. Many homes have been destroyed. I suspect America might experience some sort of disaster nearly every day for now on.
U.S. was warned of terror attacks
Although it is not known yet who is responsible for Monday’s heinous bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 100 people, a source within Iranian intelligence services told WND the Islamic regime was behind them and to look for trails through Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The source said the bombs were planted near the end of the race so that the horrific images of the blasts would be captured by all the media there and be replayed over and over throughout the world. A senior commander of the Islamic regime had warned less than two months ago that terrorism was coming to America.
"If the people of America and Europe do not confront the aggressive policies of their governments, they cannot then remain far from the possible future events (terror attacks)," the regime’s armed forces deputy chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, said in a Feb. 23 interview with Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards. "Al-Qaida groups and other services which operate for the interests of America (in Syria) will soon change the region of their operations and thereafter create new problems for America and Europe." Jazayeri, objecting to U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war, warned that explosions similar to those in Syria would take place in other countries.
With information from a source in the supreme leader’s office, WND reported exclusively on Dec. 11, 2012, that a team of Quds Force terrorist leaders had infiltrated the United States to attack from within in 2013. The source said the team is to create instability in America through terrorism should the U.S. fail to accept the regime’s illicit nuclear program or increase sanctions, confront Iran militarily or intervene in the Syrian civil war.
The source said that a six-member team, including an explosives specialist, was to join 10 Quds Force commanders who already have a cell of 50 terrorists in the U.S. The source added that Iran is working with al-Qaida factions because al-Qaida attacks would not leave behind a link to Tehran. The source for today’s information blamed the Islamic regime for the Boston attack and pointed to the collaboration of the regime’s Quds Forces with Hezbollah and elements of al-Qaida with links to individuals in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He said that under Quds Force guidance, Hezbollah recruited Sunni terrorists allied with al-Qaida factions in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who then entered the U.S. for terrorist activities. The information has been shared with U.S. officials. But until the FBI and other U.S. agencies complete their investigations, all information regarding the bombings must be considered with great caution and any conclusions would be premature.
If the source is correct, however, then three individuals will likely have had a hand in planning and preparing for the attack: Mustafa Badr Al Din, the brother-in-law and cousin of the dead terrorist Imad Mugniyah, who now serves as Mugnyiah’s replacement as the military leader of Hezbollah and who also serves as the deputy of Qasem Soliemani, the head of the Islamic regime’s Quds Forces. Mohammad Ali Hamadei, on the FBI’s most-wanted list, a Hezbollah operator responsible for operation and infiltration of forces into America who was based in New Mexico with a Latin American passport and who was also seen last year in England.
Talal Hamieh, the head of Hezbollah’s External Security Organization responsible for operations outside of Lebanon. He has been in Mexico collaborating with drug cartels to raise funds for Hezbollah cells and facilitates the transfer of arms and terrorists into the U.S. Both Badr Al Din and Hamieh were designated for sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department last year for their involvement in terrorist activities throughout the world. In the aftermath of the Boston bombings, Fars News Agency put out a piece headlined, "Obama in deep trouble if Boston bombing was by Salafis (ultraconservative Sunni Muslims)." Fars said one reason that Obama has not linked the Boston bombing to al-Qaida is that his administration wants to show it has defeated al-Qaida and any mention of the terrorist group would undermine his position. It ominously mentioned that America is now allied with the Salafis and al-Qaida in confronting Syria’s Bashar Assad and that if it’s proven that the same elements were responsible for the bombings in Boston, then Obama would be severely criticized by the American public.
Fars, as with the earlier warning by Jazayeri, denounced Obama’s decision to help the opposition in Syria and hinted that the Boston attack is related to al-Qaida and the hardcore Sunnis. It concluded that Obama would likely not name them as the guilty party to save face. Although the Islamic regime has long warned that America will not be safe from its reach and that it must not only accept Iran’s nuclear program but also end its support for the opposition in Syria, there is no proven link yet between Boston and Tehran.
April 22, 2013 - A
Shalom to all,
It has been another month of dramatic news here in Israel and in the region. My latest news summary focuses on growing violence in the Palestinian territories and a series of rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilian communities. I also take a look at the latest dramatic developments related to Israel that have been taking place during the month in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iran. With all the bad news in the region and the world, at least I can report that the Promised Land has had the wettest April in many years. Israel usually does not get much, if any, precipitation from around mid-April until sometime around the Jewish New Year in the autumn, so the strong "latter rains" which are just coming to an end today are indeed very welcome, even if we had to don our winter coats for awhile after several weeks of unusual heat and dust storms.
On a more personal note connected to my mailings concerning North Korea and America, I did not share something important at the time of my first posting on Friday, April 12. I had a strong sense in my prayer time concerning the North Korean nuclear threat that some sort of terrorist backpack bombs would be detonated around the middle of the month in the United States. I felt I heard in my morning time of prayer that such an attack would lead to American casualties inside of the country. That was why I sent out my warning. However I did not sense that the attack would necessarily be connected to North Korea or include the small nuclear bombs that I wrote about. Those conjectures were connected to my concerns (which I still have) that North Korea might attempt to carry out its threatened nuclear attack upon several American cities via such backpack bombs. I am of course greatly relieved that the actual backpack bombs mid month were not nuclear, as the people of Boston, all of America and the foreign marathon guests certainly are as well! Still, many people obviously had their lives permanently and horribly altered in the conventional attack that did take place at the hands of the two young Muslim brothers from Chechnya.
TROUBLE GROWS AT HOME AND ABROAD
By David Dolan
It is rare for Israeli media reports to focus for many days on events happening outside of the country. However that was the case from the middle of April when the Boston Islamic terror attack took place, closely followed by the deadly chemical disaster in Texas. Both stories deeply resonated with the Israeli public, which has obviously been the target of many Muslim terrorist assaults and powerful blasts in the past. The fact that these horrific things were taking place inside the borders of Israel™fs closest ally, the United States, only added to Israeli interest and concern.
The escalating violence in the Palestinian territories during the month was another major focus of media attention. Fears that a new Palestinian uprising might be brewing grew as clashes took place in many locations, including parts of Jerusalem. Israeli forces arrested a number of Hamas terrorist suspects in the area during the month.
Meanwhile Palestinian rockets were once again fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Several Iranian-built Grad rockets later struck the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat. Others reportedly landed in nearby Aqaba Jordan. Israeli officials said the rockets were fired from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, which has become a haven for terrorist groups ever since Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power over two years ago. This came as unrest spread in the Arab world™fs largest country, with thousands of anti-government demonstrators calling for current President Muhammad Morsi to resign. Scores of Egyptian Coptic Christians clashed with Muslims who attacked the Coptic cathedral in the Egyptian capital city.
The chances that Hamas will reconcile with the Palestinian Authority seemed to increase after PA Prime Minister Salam Fayad resigned mid month. Strongly backed by the United States and other western powers, Fayad was known to be engaged in an increasingly bitter dispute with PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Analysts said the departure of the relatively moderate politician would seriously harm American government efforts to re-start peace talks between Israel and the PA.
Diplomatic relations between Israel and its former ally Turkey remained strained during April despite the Israeli government™fs official apology last month to Ankara over the deaths of nine Turkish Muslim militants aboard the Mavi Marmara ship. The ship was part of an international flotilla that attempted to break through the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan displayed his continuing contempt for the Jewish State by announcing he would visit the Hamas-ruled coastal zone in late May to mark the third anniversary of the incident.
The Palestinian Authority expressed opposition to the pending visit, saying it would "deepen divisions" between itself and the rival Hamas movement. An official statement went on to note that "The Gaza Strip is not an independent Palestinian state and Hamas is not the legitimate representative of the Palestinians." Meanwhile an accord was signed between the Palestinian Authority and Jordan that supposedly gives the Jordanian government "responsibility and control" over all Moslem and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.
In the north, Israeli military forces came under renewed fire from across the Golan Heights border with war-torn Syria. IDF forces returned the fire. This came soon after an Islamic rebel militia force fighting with others to topple the Syrian Assad regime announced its allegiance to the Al Qaida terrorist group. The radical Muslim group is known to be operating in territory near the Israeli border. UN peacekeeping forces that had been patrolling there for many years were ordered to stay indoors all month after rebel forces kidnapped a group of UN soldiers from the Philippines in March. Israeli officials once again warned they would not permit the massive Syrian chemical weapons arsenal to fall into rebel hands or to be transferred to Shiite Hizbullah militia forces in neighboring Lebanon. A French newspaper said armed Israeli drones have been flying nightly over Syrian skies, monitoring the situation on the ground in the blood-soaked Arab country. The report said the pilot-less surveillance aircraft enter Syrian airspace via a corridor opened over Jordan.
Fears of a possible rocket and missile attack from the Iranian-backed Hizbullah militia increased in Israel after Iran™fs longtime ally, North Korea, declared it was preparing to launch an imminent nuclear war against the United States and its East Asian allies. A former Israeli military officer warned at an annual security conference in Herzliya last month that if conflict broke out on the divided Korean Peninsula, it could quickly be followed by another round of attacks from Hizbullah. Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders are known to be operating alongside the Lebanese Shiite militia force.
On a far more positive note, natural gas from the huge Tamar field located under the Mediterranean Sea west of Haifa began to arrive at a terminal in the Israeli port city of Ashdod the last day of March. The gas is projected to meet Israel™fs domestic needs for at least the next three decades. Soon after the gas began flowing via an underwater pipeline, the Water and Energy Ministry issued a statement saying the high cost of electricity in Israel would soon decline due to the natural gas flow. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the flow, saying it will "enhance Israel's economy and benefit all it™fs citizens." However security experts warn that the large petroleum platform located above the gas flow pipeline outlet will be a major target for Israel™fs enemies. Although Israeli naval vessels have been permanently stationed near the platform, they add that Hizbullah rockets could easily be directed at it.
PALESTINIANS FIRE MORE ROCKETS AT ISRAEL
The month of April began with more Palestinian rocket attacks aimed at Israeli civilian communities near the Gaza Strip. One day after the weeklong Passover celebration ended on April 1, Palestinians fired two short-range mortar shells at Israeli targets. However both shells landed just inside the Gaza Strip border fence. A third shell later struck Israeli territory in the Eshkol region. No injuries or damage was reported in the attacks. Despite this, the Israeli Air Force was sent into action over the Gaza Strip for the first time since last November™fs "Pillar of Defense" operation ended. Despite evidence that the rockets were fired by Muslims who are not members of the large Hamas militia, several Hamas targets were bombed, but no casualties were reported. The IAF action came soon after new Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya™falon told reporters that the government "sees Hamas as being responsible for everything that is fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel. We won't allow any routine involving a drizzle of rockets at our civilians and military forces."
The following morning, two rockets landed in the frequently struck Israeli town of S™fderot. The rockets landed as local parents were dropping off their children at several area schools. Although again no damage or injuries were reported, PM Netanyahu reacted by warning Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip that, "If the quiet is violated, we will respond strongly." After calling upon Israel to "act with restraint," United Nations Middle East envoy Robert Serry denounced the Palestinian "indiscriminate firing of rockets into civilian areas." The US, Britain and France also spoke out against the rocket attacks, with the French government saying it "harshly condemns the rocket fire on the civilian population in south Israel."
The Palestinian Mujahedeen Shura Council claimed responsibility for the rocket firings. Soon afterwards, the radical Sunni Muslim group said the Hamas regime ruling the Gaza Strip had arrested two of its members charged with carrying out the attacks. However Hamas denied it had apprehended the two men, saying "Our security apparatus is part of the resistance and does not arrest anyone who resists the occupation. On the contrary, we encourage resistance."
Strongly linked to Al Qaida, The Mujahedeen Council carried out a border attack last June launched from the Sinai Peninsula upon Israeli workers constructing a new border fence in the area. The attackers detonated an improvised explosive device and also opened fire on Israeli vehicles carrying some of the workers to their jobs. A 35-year-old Arab-Israeli father of two from Haifa was killed, as were at least two of the attacking terrorists.
One week after the early April rocket and mortar attacks, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired three more rockets at Israel. This attack came on Israel™fs annual Holocaust Remembrance Day as American Secretary of State John Kerry was visiting the country. One rocket exploded in the Sha™far Ha Negav region west of Beersheva while the other two landed inside the Gaza Strip. Despite the fact that no injuries were reported from the unprovoked assault, the chief American diplomat denounced it, as did Israeli leaders. Defense Minister Ya™falon ordered the closure of several Israeli border crossing checkpoints, while allowing the civilian Erez checkpoint to remain open for Palestinians needing urgent medical care in Israeli hospitals. All of the crossings were reopened five days later. On the evening of April 18, two mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into the western Negev Desert area, again thankfully causing no casualties or damage. Another Kassam rocket landed in Israel on April 20.
DEATH SPARKS OFF PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE
The Mudahedeen Council said its latest assaults were in reaction to the April 2 death of a Palestinian convict who was being treated for throat cancer at Beersheva™fs Soroka Medical Center. The man, 64-yar-old Maysara Abuhamdia, had been sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of plotting with other Palestinians to blow up a popular cafe in the Jerusalem German Colony neighborhood in 2002. Another restaurant in the area was destroyed by a suicide bomb blast at that time as the second Palestinian uprising reached its peak. A former general in the PA security services, Abuhamdia was a member of the PA-linked Fatah movement before joining the Hamas movement. Both the PA and Hamas accused Israel of deliberately killing him. However an autopsy found he died of natural causes while receiving a chemotherapy treatment at the hospital. Before his death, the convict had accused Israeli prison authorities of medical neglect, claiming he was only being given painkillers to treat his throat cancer. Israeli officials denied the charge.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas quickly poured oil on the news that Abuhamdia had perished. "Today, we were surprised to hear about the martyrdom of prisoner Abu Hamdiyeh," he said before vowing to "continue our efforts to liberate the homeland and the prisoners." The comment helped to ignite violent protests in several Israeli prisons and the eastern half of Jerusalem and surrounding Arab communities. Clashes also broke out in Hebron and other cities and towns in the disputed territories under full PA control. Hundreds of Palestinian youths threw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers and police forces, who replied with tear gas and rubber bullets.
On April 4, two Palestinian teenagers aged 17 and 18 were killed by IDF gunfire as they were hurling homemade firebombs at soldiers manning an IDF checkpoint near the community of Einav. Another attacker was wounded in the incident, which sparked additional clashes in the tense disputed territories. More clashes occurred as many Palestinians and Israeli Arabs marked "Prisoner Day" on April 18. It was held to express "solidarity" with the approximately 4,800 convicts being held in Israeli pris
ons, many of them for terrorist related crimes. One day before, at least two Grad rockets were fired at the southern port city of Eilat from the nearby Sinai Peninsula, with two others landing in nearby Jordan. The Palestinian Mujahedeen Shura Council was thought to have been behind the attack. One rocket landed next to a home in the city. The rocket attack prompted officials to close Eilat™fs international airport for a time. Several area residents were treated for shock. An Iron Dome anti-missile battery was moved to the area to protect Eilat from future attacks.
The Jerusalem District Attorney indicted five Arab residents from the eastern half of the city on charges of conspiring to carry out terrorist shooting and kidnapping attacks against Jews near the Temple Mount. According to the April 18 indictment, Nor Hamdan decided in February to plot assaults upon Jewish worshipers near Judaism™fs holiest site on earth and against security forces in the area. Hamdan allegedly recruited the other four defendants and formed a terror cell. He then made contact with several Palestinian terror organizations in order to receive training, guidance and weapons from them. The indictment said cell members gathered several times in February and March, intending "to help enemy terror organizations in their war with Israel." The indictment added the Palestinian cell intended to kidnap an Israeli Jew in order to kill him and steal his weapon for use in future terrorist operations.
KERRY RETURNS BEFORE FAYYAD RESIGNS
Two senior American officials visited Israel during the month: John Kerry, who flew back to the country the first week of April after accompanying President Obama to Israel in March, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who came to discuss new US arms supplies to Israel and the situation in Syria and Iraq. Hagel wrapped up details of a ten billion dollar American sale of V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft to Israel, along with refueling tankers, advanced radars for IAF fighter jets and anti-aircraft missiles.
The declared intention of Kerry™fs stop this time was to put pressure on both Israeli and Palestinian officials to get back to the negotiation table. However the diplomat™fs visit appeared doomed to failure even before he arrived when Nimr Hammad, an aid to PA President Abbas, totd a French news agency on April 4 that his boss "wants to know, through a map to be presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to Kerry, what the Prime Minister™fs view of a two-state solution would be, especially the borders."
An unnamed Israeli official in Netanyahu™fs office replied that Israel "will agree to put borders on the table when we know what we are getting from the Palestinians," noting that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had "presented a generous map, and that led him nowhere." The official said a final peace accord will have to include a Palestinian pledge to waive the so-called "right of return" to family homes inside of Israel™fs current borders. He added it must also include formal PA recognition of Israel as a Jewish State, and acknowledgment that IDF forces will continue to have overall security control in the strategic Jordan Valley near the border with Jordan. Analysts said the latter condition is probably an indirect admission by Israeli leaders that Jordanian King Abdullah may eventually be toppled from his throne by Muslim militants who want to transform the kingdom into an Islamic theocratic state that annuls the country™fs current peace treaty with Israel.
Soon after the Secretary of State departed the country, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad resigned from the PA government. The April 13 resignation was quickly accepted by Abbas, who was known to be unhappy that the Western-orientated politician was being treated with more respect by world leaders than he was. Fayyad™fs departure was one of the conditions Hamas put forward in reconciliation talks with PA officials. Palestinian media reports said Abbas might hold the PM position for the time being or possibly appoint a technocrat to it. The PA constitution says the PA President has to make his selection within two weeks of any cabinet resignation. However Israeli analysts note that Abbas has ignored many other legalities ever since taking over the PA from Yasser Arafat in 2004.
Salah Bardawil, a senior Hamas official, said Ismail Haniyeh, who acts as Prime Minister of the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, should replace Fayyad. "Ismail ought to be the legitimate Prime Minister since he was granted the confidence of the Legislative Council," he said in a newspaper interview. "Fayyad, on the other hand, has been the Prime Minister of an illegitimate government. He has been cooperating with the occupation forces and his name has been associated with General Dayton." Dayton was the former American military liaison in charge of US-funded training of PA security forces.
Several Israeli analysts pointed out that despite Fayyad™fs popularity with American and other Western leaders, he was largely unable to slow the rapid downward spiral of the Palestinian economy, which is heavily reliant on foreign aid. In March, the International Monetary Fund issued a report that said "The Palestinian economy in Gaza and the West Bank is in a far more precarious situation that it was six months ago." It noted that a quarter of Palestinian workers were unemployed by the end of 2012.
An accord was signed during April between the PA and Jordan, supposedly granting the Jordanian government "responsibility and control over all the Moslem and Christian holy sites" in Jerusalem. It states that Jordanian King Abdullah enjoys the "full right to exert all legal efforts to safeguard and preserve Al Quds (Jerusalem) holy sites." In a joint statement issued by both the PA and Jordan, the accord was said to be designed to "thwart Zionist attempts to Judaize Al Quds and its holy sites." Israeli government officials made no public comments on the accord, although analysts said they definitely prefer to have Jordan declared the responsible party over the holy sites rather than the PA, even though neither Arab government has any actual control on the ground in Jerusalem.
NETANYAHU WARNS IRAN AGAIN OF POSSIBLE ATTACK
After attending the funeral of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on May 18, Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC that Israel does not need anyone™fs approval to exercise its right to self defense. He added the United States and other countries concur that Israel has the right under international law to defend itself as its leaders see fit. The PM said "Israel™fs right to defend its existence is not subject to a traffic light. We don™ft need anyone to give us the right to prevent a new Holocaust." Netanyahu added he is certain that Iran™fs Shiite Muslim leaders are determined to construct nuclear weapons and are only buying themselves more time to enrich uranium by engaging in talks with world leaders about their nuclear program. The Premier added that Israeli intelligence officials believe Iran needs to produce just 80 more kilograms of highly enriched uranium in order to construct a bomb, having already produced 170 kilograms. He said the vow that Iran™fs ally North Korea has made to launch a nuclear strike upon US forces and allies in East Asia should serve to underscore the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran.
On the same day Netanyahu was interviewed, senior diplomats stationed in Vienna told reporters the Iranian regime is increasing the number of advanced centrifuges that are rapidly enriching uranium at its Natanz underground plant. "It is clear Iran can build nuclear bombs. The question is how many and how good they are," one unidentified Western envoy was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile Iran™fs armed forces chief, Major General Ataollah Salehi, told an Iranian TV network that Israel is not capable of launching a military strike against Iran. He claimed "the Zionist regime is too weak to challenge Iran militarily. The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran will give a swift and crushing response to any aggression by enemies against our country with full preparedness."
Salehi™fs bombastic remarks came soon after both Israeli Defense Minister Ya™falon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that Israel is preparing for the possibility of a unilateral military strike upon Iran™fs nuclear program. Gantz added that, "The IDF has the ability to attack the Iranian nuclear sites without help from other nations," adding that top Israeli military and political leaders are "holding ongoing discussions" about the critical issue. In response, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi dismissed the comments as "worthless threats" since "the Zionist regime is not so unwise as to commit suicide." He boasted that his military forces are "prepared for a rapid reaction to any adventure by the Zionist regime."
Last month, supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei vowed that both Tel Aviv and Haifa would be obliterated if Israeli leaders "make the slightest mistake" against the Islamic Republic. Some Israeli analysts warn that Iran may have already moved short-range field nuclear weapons into Lebanon, controlled by Iranian Revolutionary Guards stationed with Hizbullah militia forces in the country. They say such weapons, which were positioned on both side of divided Germany during the Cold War, could have been constructed by either North Korea or Pakistan, both declared nuclear powers with ties to Iran.
Concerning the warfare in neighboring Syria, Gantz said the IDF is preparing for a possible military confrontation with both Syria and Lebanon. "We are ready, at any given time, and in an immediate manner, for a war with Syria, both on the defense and on the offense. I don™ft see it happening tomorrow morning, but despite that we are ready." In his BBC interview, PM Netanyahu also spoke of the fighting in Syria, repeating earlier statements that Israel will not allow the regime™fs large chemical weapons stockpile to fall into either the hands of Syrian rebel forces or Hizbullah. As for the question of whether or not Western nations should help arm the rebel forces, the Premier noted that "terrorist groups such as Al Qaida, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad" are all operating inside Syria alongside local fighters. He warned that if any of these groups gain control over the regime™fs chemical weapons, it could "present a terrorist threat on a worldwide scale."
In these days of increasing terror attacks, wars and rumors of wars, it is a blessing to recall the many prophecies of ultimate shalom that have come from the Father of Lights. Among them is this one found in Isaiah 62:11: "Behold, the Lord has proclaimed to the ends of the earth; say to the daughter of Zion, ™ebehold your salvation comes. And His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him."
April 22, 2013 - B
Shalom again from Jerusalem.
I just received this disturbing report from one of my email news updates, sent from a web site monitoring current events around the world. I thought it was important enough to pass along at this time.
"North Korea has moved two more short-range missile launchers to its east coast launching pads, according to a South Korean news agency. An unidentified military source said it indicates the possibility that Pyongyang is planning an imminent missile launch. Satellite imagery suggests the mobile missile launchers are designed to carry warheads on short-range Scud missiles. South Korea and its allies have been expecting a possible provocative act from Pyongyang after weeks of threats from the North Korean regime to launch a nuclear attack upon South Korea and its American and regional allies. Some analysts suggest the North Korean Communist regime may choose April 25 for a show of defiance to coincide with the 55-year anniversary of the formation of its national army in April 1948."
Keep watching and praying.
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G. Fruchtenbaum, Th.M., Ph.D.1982. Footsteps of Messiah - A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. (Second ed. 2003)
THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MESSIAH
A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events
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