Monday, October 24, 2016
ARCHEOLOGISTS FIND BATTLE SITE WERE ROMANS BREACHED JERUSALEMS WALLS.AND UN BODYS WORLD HERITAGE COMMITTEE SET TO APROVE ANOTHER TEXT ERASING JEWISH TIES TO JERUSALEM.
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Josephus: 'The beginning of the third wall was at the tower Hippicus, whence it reached as far as the north quarter of the city'-Archaeologists find battle site where Romans breached Jerusalem walls-Discovery confirms Josephus’s account of the conflict that saw destruction of Second Temple nearly 2,000 years ago, says Israeli Antiquities Authority-By Gavin Rabinowitz October 20, 2016, 5:02 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Israeli archaeologists found the site of a fierce battle where the Roman army bombarded and breached the walls of Jerusalem before conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple almost 2,000 years ago, officials said Thursday.They said that the discovery, made last winter during an excavation of a construction site for the new campus of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design outside the Old City, also finally confirmed the description of the wall that was breached provided by the historian Josephus Flavius.During the dig, the archaeologists found the remains of a tower surrounded by scores of stones and boulders fired by Roman catapults at the Jewish forces guarding the wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.“This is a fascinating testimony of the intensive bombardment by the Roman army, led by Titus, on their way to conquering the city and destroying the Second Temple,” the statement said.“The bombardment was intended to attack the sentries guarding the wall and provide cover for the Roman forces so they could approach the wall with battering rams and thereby breach the city’s defenses,” it said.The part of the wall that was breached was known as the Third Wall. It was found in the area of modern Jerusalem known as the Russian Compound. According to accounts by Josephus, this part of the wall was designed to protect a new quarter of the city that developed outside the other two existing walls.For much of the 20th century, scholars have been debating the route of this Third Wall and “the question concerning Jerusalem’s boundaries on the eve of the Roman onslaught,” the statement said. “It seems that the new discovery in the Russian Compound is proof of the wall’s existence in this area.”In his “The War of the Jews,” Josephus describes the wall as follows: “… the beginning of the third wall was at the tower Hippicus, whence it reached as far as the north quarter of the city, and the tower Psephinus …It was Agrippa who encompassed the parts added to the old city with this wall, which had been all naked before.”The Third Wall had been completed as part of preparations by the Jews for the Great Revolt against Rome that began in 66 CE and ended in 70 CE when the Romans breached the walls of Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed, and the rout heralded the start of nearly two thousand years of exile.The excavation findings will be presented in a conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem later this month.News of the discovery comes during a week in which Israel has been engaged in a fierce diplomatic spat with UNESCO, over a decision by the United Nations cultural body that Israel says ignores Jewish and Christian historical ties to Jerusalem’s holiest sites.The resolution, passed last Thursday in the committee stage at UNESCO, referred to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemned Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both sites. The resolution was confirmed by UNESCO’s executive on Tuesday.
Oren Hazan is latest right-wing MK to reject coalition chair’s anti-B’Tselem bill-Lawmakers from across the political spectrum slam David Bitan’s proposal to ban Israeli groups from criticizing the Jewish State abroad-By Raoul Wootliff and Times of Israel staff October 23, 2016, 5:22 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Likud Knesset member Oren Hazan was the latest legislator Sunday to join the chorus of condemnation of Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud), after the latter said he planned to propose a bill banning Israeli citizens from criticizing Israel at international forums, and stripping citizenship from those that do.“I will not support this non-democratic law,” Hazan wrote on Twitter. “I am a Knesset member from the Likud, not North Korea!”Bitan’s proposed law came after B’Tselem Director Hagai El-Ad earlier this month appeared before the UN Security Council and called for action against Israel over West Bank settlements. After being advised that there was no legal basis for such action, Bitan said he would initiate a bill that would revoke the citizenship of Israelis pursue sanctions against the Jewish state at international bodies capable of imposing them.Bitan has since been criticized by legislators from the left and right.Likud MK Yehuda Glick tweeted on Saturday: “Stripping the citizenship from B’Tselem’s director? Why don’t we just hang him in the city square? Far simpler and more efficient! Hello? Have we gone mad? Calm down friends! There are limits.”— yehudah glick (@YehudahGlick) October 22, 2016-Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich also expressed his opposition tweeting that, “There will be no revocation of citizenship for Hagai El-Ad!” Smotrich wrote that El-Ad “crossed a red line, even for a democracy, but there’s serious distance between that and revoking citizenship. Balance is the key.”Bitan’s proposal was also met with scorn on the left, with several lawmakers warning that such proposals could do more to isolate Israel than any speech by a watchdog group.Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union said that “”Even if they don’t evolve into legislation, such toxic talk and ideas are destructive to Israel from within and without…the damage these initiatives cause to Israel’s image abroad is worse than any caused by [B’Tselem].”Opposition head Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) vowed to “fiercely” battle such a bill if it were ever brought before the Knesset.MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Union) said the government was “causing unprecedented international damage to the country, and could yet bring about the sanctioning of Israel.” She added that by floating such propositions, members of the government “in their great ignorance and short-sightedness give weapons to Israel’s enemies.”El-Ad sparked fury in Israel last week when he spoke at the UN Security Council and denounced the “invisible, bureaucratic daily violence” that dominates Palestinian life “from cradle to grave,” including Israeli control over entrance and exit from the territories, and farming rights.The NGO director’s remarks drew fierce denunciations from Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed he would bar national service volunteers from working with the left-wing human rights organization.
ISRAEL SATAN COMES AGAINST
1 CHRONICLES 21:1
1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I (GOD) will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee,(ISRAELIS) and curse (DESTROY) him that curseth thee:(DESTROY THEM) and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee (ISRAEL) shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing;(DESTROYED) and they that strive with thee shall perish.(ISRAEL HATERS WILL BE TOTALLY DESTROYED)
7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble;(ISRAEL) but he shall be saved out of it.
1 And at that time shall Michael(ISRAELS WAR ANGEL) stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:(ISRAEL) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation(May 14,48) even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,(WORLD TRAVEL,IMMIGRATION) and knowledge shall be increased.(COMPUTERS,CHIP IMPLANTS ETC)
Netanyahu blasts NGO ‘silence’ after PA arrests Palestinians who visited sukkah-In Facebook post, PM says human rights groups are hypocritical for highlighting only alleged violations by Israel, calls on world to press for men’s release-By Times of Israel staff October 23, 2016, 7:12 pm
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday castigated human rights groups for remaining silent amid reports that several Palestinians who met with Jewish settlers as a holiday goodwill gesture have been placed under arrest by Palestinian police.The four men were arrested Thursday after they joined several dozen other Palestinians living near Efrat in visiting a sukkah in the settlement, along with about 30 Jewish Israelis, as part of a peace event. Four days later, the four are believed to still be in custody.Netanyahu, in a Facebook post Sunday, noted that “According to senior PA officials, they will be sentenced and jailed for the crime of ‘normalization with Israel.’“Where is the outrage of human rights organizations? There is none. To their great shame, they are silent,” he wrote.But the premier claimed that silence was “neither new nor surprising” and was part of a pattern that ignores Palestinian transgressions while singling out Israel.“These organizations are silent when the Palestinian leadership pays salaries to the families of terrorists, glorifies murderers and calls streets and city-centers after them,” he said. “These organizations prove again and against that they are not actually interested in human rights, but only in shaming Israel and libeling it around the world.”He urged the international community to press for the men’s release.A senior Palestinian security official said Sunday that “any Palestinian cooperation with settlers is viewed as violating the law, as he cooperates with the enemy.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter.It is a Jewish tradition to host friends and associates in the temporary structures that are used during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) to recall the booths erected in the desert by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.The mayor of Efrat, Oded Revivi, has also called for the men’s release saying “It is absurd that having coffee with Jews is considered a crime by the Palestinian Authority.“Initiatives that seek to foster cooperation and peace between people should be encouraged, not silenced,” he said.After images of the Palestinians at the event circulated on social media, the four were summoned by Palestinian intelligence and asked about their meeting with “the murderers of babies” — a possible reference to an accident six weeks ago in which an Efrat resident ran over and killed a six-year-old Palestinian girl. The girl’s parents were also at the sukkah gathering, Channel 2 News said.Netanyahu’s post comes just days after a UN Security Council session in which the chairman of human rights group B’Tselem, Hagai El-Ad criticized the Israeli government for its West Bank policies. Netanyahu later called El-Ad’s organization shoddy and unhinged, and vowed to bar national service volunteers from working with the organization.Coalition Chairman David Bitan later called to strip El-Ad of his citizenship, and said he would seek a bill to limit Israeli speech at international forums, though his propositions received blowback even from his own party members.In late May Netanyahu expressed regret over a Facebook post against rights groups which, the prime minister then claimed, had failed to condemn an alleged gang rape of a disabled Jewish woman by three Arab men.The prime minister initially wrote that one “can only imagine” the outcry if an Arab woman were raped by Jewish men. Netanyahu later wrote that he should have waited for a police investigation before posting the criticism.AP contributed to this report.
4 days later, PA still detaining Palestinians for visiting settler leader’s sukkah-‘It is absurd that having coffee with Jews is considered a crime,’ Efrat mayor says; calls for release of 4 Palestinians held for attending festive peace event-By JTA and Times of Israel staff October 23, 2016, 1:41 pm
The mayor of the West Bank settlement of Efrat called Sunday for the release of four local Palestinians who remained in Palestinian Authority police custody four days after they were arrested for visiting his sukkah.The four men were arrested Thursday after they joined several dozen other Palestinians living near Efrat in visiting the sukkah, along with about 30 Jewish Israelis, as part of a peace event.It is a Jewish tradition to host friends and associates in the temporary structure that are used during Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) to recall the booths erected in the desert by the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.Mayor Oded Revivi said it is unacceptable the men were targeted for taking part in the event and slammed their reported continued incarceration.“I call upon the Palestinian Authority to immediately release my Sukkot guests. It is absurd that having coffee with Jews is considered a crime by the Palestinian Authority. Initiatives that seek to foster cooperation and peace between people should be encouraged, not silenced. It’s time the Palestinian Authority asks itself whether it would prefer to fan the flames of conflict instead of working to bring people together,” Revivi said in a statement.Also at the gathering were senior settler figures and officials in the Israeli security services — among them the head of the IDF Central Command Nitzan Alon, as well as members of the police and Civil Administration (the Israeli government’s representative body in the West Bank).After images of the Palestinians at the event circulated on social media, the four were summoned by Palestinian intelligence and asked about their meeting with “the murderers of babies” — a possible reference to an accident six weeks ago in which an Efrat resident ran over and killed a six-year-old Palestinian girl. The girl’s parents were also at the sukkah gathering, Channel 2 said.Khaled Tafish, a parliamentarian in the Palestinian Legislative Council, said on Palestinian television, according to The Jerusalem Post, “If they knew that there would be a punishment and that they will be pursued for doing that, then the incident would not have happened.”PA Deputy Governor of Bethlehem Muhammad Taha said, according to The Jerusalem Post, that the incident was under investigation and that the men would be held accountable under Palestinian law. He also said that Palestinians “condemn” the visit and that “visiting settlers is completely unacceptable.”
South Korea may rent Israeli satellite to spy on North — report-Orbit path of Ofek 11 makes it useful to Seoul for monitoring its nuclear-armed, missile-brandishing neighbor-By Stuart Winer October 23, 2016, 8:35 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
South Korea is reportedly considering using an Israeli spy satellite to peek at North Korea’s military and nuclear facilities as it ramps up its defense capabilities in response to threats from Pyongyang.A South Korean Ministry of National Defense official said last week the country was looking to foreign intelligence agencies to provide information on North Korean activities, as it will take several years for the country to develop its own surveillance satellites, the Yonhap News Agency reported.Seoul has become increasingly concerned after North Korea conducted five nuclear tests in the last ten years, several recently, and a series of missile tests, including of intermediate-range ballistic missiles.According to a report on the Ynet news website on Saturday, Israel’s Ofek 11 spy satellite could be in position to provide information on North Korea.Israel and South Korea lie on similar latitudes, between 30 and 40 degrees north of the equator. The orbit trajectory of Ofek 11, which was launched in September and experienced some initial technical difficulties, carries it over the Korean region where its sophisticated monitoring equipment could be directed at North Korean facilities.“The military is expected to have its own surveillance satellites as early as 2023 that will allow Seoul to closely monitor military activities in North Korea,” the South Korean official said.“It is years behind the defense ministry’s original schedule to deploy five surveillance satellites between 2021 and 2022 as part of the country’s ‘kill chain’ strike system to deal with missile threats from the North,” the official added.South Korea currently relies on US satellites for information about North Korean nuclear and missile sites.Aside from its spying capabilities, the Israel satellite would also offer images of sites from different angles than those provided by the US orbiters, boosting the intelligence value of the information, the report said.South Korea was also looking to buy German-made KEPD-350K cruise missiles which have a range of 500 kilometers, putting the North Korean capital within striking distance.In August 2014, a top defense official told Israel’s Army Radio that South Korea is one of several countries interested in purchasing the Iron Dome missile defense system.Yedidia Yaari, CEO of Iron Dome manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., said that the system’s high success rate had piqued foreign interest, Reuters reported at the time.The short-range missile defense system, developed with American funding, had been highly effective in the 2014 round of violence between Israel and Hamas, intercepting hundreds of rockets headed toward major population centers in Israel.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
UN body's World Heritage Committee set to approve another text erasing Jewish ties to Jerusalem-Ahead of new vote, UNESCO chief vows to combat ‘distorted visions’ of history-In letter to education minister, who severed ties with UN agency over Jerusalem resolution, Irina Bokova says she’ll fight denial of Israel’s right to exist-By Stuart Winer and Times of Israel staff October 23, 2016, 12:07 pm
Ahead of a new UNESCO vote on a resolution that erases Jewish ties to Jerusalem, the head of the UN cultural agency vowed to combat efforts to undermine Israel’s right to exist, “including those drawing on partial or distorted visions of culture and history.”In a letter dated October 18, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova responded to Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s suspension of ties with the organization over a controversial resolution passed by its member states and ratified last week, which ignored Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount.The body’s World Heritage Committee is set to vote later this week on a similar text omitting Jewish connections to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.“Allow me to reassure you of my absolute commitment to continue all efforts in countering all forms of anti-Semitism, including those drawing on partial or distorted visions of culture and history, as well as those that seek to challenge the existence of Israel,” Bokova wrote in the letter, a copy of which was distributed by Bennett’s office on Sunday.“I am determined to continue working towards this objective and to redouble efforts to build trust on the basis of respect and mutual understanding, which are the guiding principle of the organization.”Bokova noted that UNESCO decisions are taken by its member states rather than by the director-general of the organization and stressed she had in the past urged UNESCO members against exacerbating tensions with Jerusalem.Following the controversial Temple Mount vote last week, Bennett announced he would end cooperation with UNESCO, saying the motion was a denial of history that “gives a boost to terrorism.”The UNESCO resolution approved last week, which was sponsored by several Arab countries, referred to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemned Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both places. As the site of the two Biblical temples, the mount is the holiest place in Judaism.Israelis and many Jews around the world viewed the move as the latest example of an ingrained anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.In her letter Bokova noted a statement she published after the approval of the October 13 UNESCO resolution on the Temple Mount in which she rebuked member states for the vote.She also pointed out that in the past she had “appealed to the UNESCO Executive Board to take actions that do not further inflame tensions on the ground and that encourage respect for the sanctity of the Holy Sites.”In what she said was an example of UNESCO’s commitment to peace and dialogue, Bokova highlighted a 2014 international UN exhibit on the history of the Jewish people’s ties to the Land of Israel — the opening of which had been delayed for six months due to pressure from Arab states that sought to cancel the event altogether.The exhibit, entitled “People, Book, Land: The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land,” was authored by Israeli historian Robert Wistrich for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which partnered with UNESCO on the initiative.The exhibition was originally scheduled to open on January 20 that year, but due to pressure from Arab UNESCO delegates, who argued it would disturb Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the event was postponed.Following intense criticism of UNESCO’s decision, including by senior United States officials, the organization quickly rescheduled the exhibition for June 11, 2014.AFP contributed to this report.
Police arrest 19 East Jerusalem residents for Yom Kippur riots-In overnight raids, army also picks up 2 Palestinians in West Bank, seizes alleged terror funds-By Judah Ari Gross October 23, 2016, 1:08 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Police arrested 19 residents of East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods on Saturday night and early Sunday morning for throwing rocks and rioting over the Jewish High Holidays, a police spokesperson said.In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces and Border Police also arrested two Palestinians in separate overnight raids and confiscated money that was suspected of being “designated for terror activities,” the army said.The 19 people, including five minors, arrested in East Jerusalem were “suspected of taking part in riots that were carried out during the holidays, with an emphasis on the riots during Yom Kippur,” the police said.During the Yom Kippur holiday on October 12, which came two days after a deadly Jerusalem shooting attack in which a 60-year-old woman and a police officer were killed, residents of the terrorists’ neighborhood of Silwan clashed with security forces.During the violent protest, Israeli forces shot dead a 20-year-old Palestinian man, Ali Shiouki, Palestinian officials said.Israeli authorities acknowledged they had shot at a man who was part of a group that threw Molotov cocktails at them “while greatly endangering the soldiers’ lives.”Saturday night and Sunday morning, police officers raided Jabel Mukaber, Issawiya, the Shuafat refugee camp and Silwan “in order to locate and arrest the rioters who threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, set fire to trash cans and blockaded streets,” according to a police statement.“This planned operation was based on exact and high-quality intelligence,” police said.At the same time, the IDF, along with the Border Police’s undercover unit and the Shin Bet security service, picked up two Palestinians.One suspect was arrested in Fasayil, near Jericho in the Jordan Valley, on an unspecified charge.The other — named by Arabic media as Qusay Abu Shehab — was picked up in Azzun, outside Hebron. He is suspected of being a member of the Hamas terrorist group, the army said.During Abu Shehab’s arrest, security forces also confiscated an undisclosed amount of money they said was going to be used to fund terrorist activities.Ahead of the upcoming Simhat Torah holiday, which starts Sunday at sundown, the IDF closed off the West Bank and Gaza to Palestinian travel for 48 hours.The closure went into effect on Saturday at 11:59 p.m., and the checkpoints and crossings are expected to re-open on Monday at 11:59 p.m., dependent upon a “situational assessment,” the army said in a statement.Exceptions would be made for medical emergencies and other “humanitarian cases,” dependent upon the approval of the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the IDF said.Security has been tight for this year’s Jewish High Holiday season, which began in early October, with fears of a new surge in violence.
Pentagon chief urges ‘isolation operation’ for IS-held Raqqa-Carter says simultaneous assaults on Mosul and Raqqa have ‘been part of our planning for quite a while’-By AFP October 23, 2016, 7:29 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
ARBIL, Iraq — US defense chief Ashton Carter said Sunday that an operation to isolate the Islamic State group in Syria’s Raqqa should begin in conjunction with the assault on the jihadists’ Iraqi bastion Mosul.“We want to see an isolation operation begin around Raqqa as soon as possible,” Carter said during a visit to Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan to review an ongoing offensive to retake Mosul from IS.“We are working with our partners there (in Syria) to do that,” the US secretary of defense said, adding: “There will be some simultaneity to these two operations.”Iraqi forces launched a huge operation last week to retake Mosul, the last major city in Iraq under IS control.The United States leads a 60-nation coalition that has provided key support in the form of thousands of air strikes, training to Iraqi forces and advisers on the ground.The loss of Mosul would leave Raqqa — the de facto capital of the jihadists’ self-declared “caliphate” — the only major city still under IS control.Carter said the idea of simultaneous operations against Mosul and Raqqa “has been part of our planning for quite a while.”In Iraq, the coalition is allied with both federal forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters in the Mosul battle.But in Syria, the issue of which ground forces would be involved in an operation to retake Raqqa would be far more complicated.The United States has given support to Syrian rebels and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who have battled IS. But President Bashar Assad’s forces, backed by Russia and Iran, are also fighting the jihadists.
Iraqi forces launch new advance northeast of Mosul-Offensive may last weeks or even months; Iraq angered at presence of Turkish forces, says they entered country without permission-By Qassim Abdul-Zahra October 23, 2016, 5:03 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
KHAZER, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched a new offensive Sunday on a town near Mosul as part of a massive operation aimed at retaking the country’s second largest city from the Islamic State group.The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, said they launched a dawn offensive on two fronts to the northeast of Mosul, near the town of Bashiqa.Maj. Gen. Haider Fadhil, of Iraq’s special forces, said they had also launched an assault on Bashiqa, surrounding it and seizing parts of the town. He said the Kurds had captured two villages near Bashiqa and a small Shiite shrine in the area.Over the last week, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been battling IS in a belt of mostly uninhabited towns and villages around Mosul, contending with roadside bombs, snipers and suicide truck bombs.The Mosul offensive involves more than 25,000 Iraqi ground forces as well as US-led coalition aircraft and advisers. It is expected to take weeks, if not months, to drive IS from Mosul, which is home to more than a million civilians.Bashiqa is close to a military base of the same name where some 500 Turkish troops are training Sunni and Kurdish fighters for the Mosul offensive.The presence of the Turkish troops has angered Iraq, which says it never gave them permission to enter the country and has called on them to withdraw. Turkey has refused the demand, insisting that it play a role in retaking Mosul from IS.US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has visited both countries in recent days, and arrived in the Kurdish regional capital Irbil on Sunday, where he was expected to discuss the issue with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani.After meeting with Turkey’s leaders, Carter had announced an “agreement in principle” for Turkey to have a role in the operation.But Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appeared to bat that idea down when he met with Carter on Saturday, insisting that Mosul was an “Iraqi battle.”“I know that the Turks want to participate, we tell them thank you, this is something the Iraqis will handle and the Iraqis will liberate Mosul and the rest of the territories,” he said.The forces taking part in the Mosul offensive include Iraqi troops, the peshmerga, Sunni tribal fighters and state-sanctioned Shiite militias. Many fear the operation could heighten tensions between Iraq’s different communities, which are allied against IS but divided over a host of other issues, including the fate of territories near mostly Sunni Mosul that are claimed by the largely autonomous Kurdish region and the central government.The UN agency for children meanwhile expressed concern over the more than 4,000 people it says have fled from areas around Mosul since the operation began.UNICEF’s Iraq representative, Peter Hawkins, said that in at least one refugee camp the conditions for children were “very, very poor.” He said UNICEF teams delivered water, sanitation and other supplies expected to last seven days.They also provided immunizations against polio and measles, which he said had not been available during the more than two years that the people lived under IS rule. UNICEF has plans to assist more than 784,000 people, including up to 500,000 children.Hawkins says children in and around Mosul are at risk of death or injury from the fighting, as well as sexual violence, kidnapping and recruitment by armed groups.
Egyptian air force hammers Sinai jihadists, 70 said killed-Pre-dawn strikes on Islamic State-aligned group injure another 70, destroy vehicles-By Stuart Winer October 23, 2016, 12:48 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The Egyptian Air Force Sunday pounded jihadist groups in the Sinai Peninsula, reportedly killing 70 fighters and injuring another 70, the day after an Egyptian general was shot dead outside his home in the capital Cairo.In a series of predawn raids, jets targeted the Islamic State-aligned Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group in the village of Bolus between Sheikh Zuwaid and the city of Rafah in northern Sinai, the British Sky News Arabic website reported.Several SUV vehicles and motorcycles used by the militants were also destroyed.Security forces told Sky News that Egyptian soldiers also thwarted a terror attack by uncovering four bombs planted at a communications site in the area.The raids, among the most extensive carried out by the Egyptian military in its ongoing campaign against jihadists in the restive peninsula, followed the gunning down of Brigadier General Adel Ragaei. Ragaei, who commanded an armored division deployed in Sinai, died in a hail of bullets as he left his home in the Obour City suburb, a family member told AFP.Jihadists loyal to the Islamic State group are waging a fierce insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip.They have also claimed attacks in or near Cairo, including the abduction and murder of a Croatian oil worker and the bombing of the Italian consulate in 2015.Other lesser-known groups have also conducted attacks since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his supporters.AFP contributed to this report.
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