Monday, April 17, 2017
CHRISTIAN MARK EASTER AT JERUSALEM SITE OF JESUS' RESURRECTION.
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
Christians mark Easter at Jerusalem site of Jesus’s resurrection-Large crowds flock to Church of the Holy Sepulchre for holiday, which was held at site for first time since renovation to Jesus’ tomb-By AFP April 16, 2017, 6:03 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Thousands of Christians marked Jesus’s resurrection on Easter Sunday at the Jerusalem site where they believe the miracle occurred, with some prostrating themselves over his tomb and leaving in tears.Visitors and worshippers filed through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where tradition says Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.It was the first Easter since the unveiling in March of renovations to the ornate, 19th-century shrine covering Jesus’s tomb following a $3.7 million project that restored its stones to their original reddish-yellow and reinforced the heavily visited site.This year’s holiday also fell on the same date for both Western and Eastern Christians, an irregular occurrence since they follow different calendars.Masses were staggered throughout the day for the various denominations that co-exist, often uneasily, in the church in Jerusalem’s Old City.As mass was underway, visits continued, with pilgrims rubbing clothing, veils and even pictures on mobile phones against the shrine over the tomb and the stone where Jesus’s body was anointed after his crucifixion.Visits underground to the tomb itself were however off limits during masses.“It’s beautiful,” Michael Hanna, 64, a Coptic Christian originally from Egypt but who has lived in Australia since 1980, said of his visit.“You can’t imagine the feeling touching the places where Jesus touched. I can’t describe the feeling,” the postal worker said.Hanna also lamented the fate of Coptic Christians in Egypt, where two Islamic State group suicide bombers struck two churches on April 9, killing 45 people in the worst attack on Copts in recent memory.-‘Soulful and peaceful’-Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, entered through the church’s heavy wooden doors to lead mass, stopping to kneel before the stone where Jesus’s body was anointed, then splashing holy water on the crowds.Tin Nguyen, a 24-year-old from Vietnam working as an intern at an agricultural center in southern Israel, recorded the mass with a mobile phone and a selfie stick for friends back home since they may never have a chance to visit.“The spirit here, and the way people come here and gather together in (Jesus’s) name,” he said. “It’s soulful and peaceful.”Wajeeh Nusseibeh, 67, a member of one of the two Muslim families who traditionally hold the key and guard the church, said this year there seemed to be fewer people visiting than in the past.He blamed tough economic times and conflict, with Middle Eastern Christians under threat in countries such as Iraq and Syria.At the same time, Jerusalem also remains the focal point of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Holy Sepulchre is located in East Jerusalem, which was obtained by Israel from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later de facto annexed.Nusseibeh, dressed in a dark suit with a red and black tie, however was keeping the faith.“We hope to have peace next year,” he said as he sat before the entrance’s towering wooden doors, keeping an eye on those who entered. “And everyone accepts the other.”
Trump-Abbas White House summit said set for May 3-Fatah official says Palestinian leader will be preceded in Washington by a preparatory PA delegation on April 23-By Times of Israel staff April 16, 2017, 10:04 am
A Palestinian official said Sunday that the much-touted first meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump will take place on May 3 in the White House.Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad also told the Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad that a Palestinian delegation will head to Washington on April 23 for preliminary meetings with the administration.There was no immediate confirmation of the date from the White House or the Palestinian Authority.“President Abbas will go to discuss the vital political and economic issue, with an emphasis on confirming the two-state solution, completely ending settlement construction and the occupation, and establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with occupied Jerusalem as its capital,” al-Ahmad said.Trump spoke to Abbas for the first time over the phone in March and invited him to the White House.Abbas later told US special peace envoy Jason Greenblatt that he believed a “historic” peace deal with Israel was possible with Trump in office.Greenblatt told Arab foreign ministers in late March that Trump was committed to reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that would “reverberate” throughout the Middle East and the world.In contrast, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said Saturday that the Israeli right had penetrated the American administration.“We used to say there were settlers in the Israeli coalition born of the far right that detests Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. But today we say there are settlers inside the White House,” she said, in comments reported by the Ynet news website.“The administration has adopted the extreme Israeli position to the right of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that supports the settlements.”Greenblatt has made two trips to the region since Trump assumed the presidency in January in an effort to jumpstart the long-dormant peace negotiations.During those visits, he met with multiple stakeholders in the conflict, including Netanyahu and Abbas. Trump hosted Netanyahu at the White House in February.
Minister warns of summer conflict with Hamas-Yoav Galant, a former IDF general, says Israel’s efforts to neutralize cross-border tunnels could put pressure on Gaza rulers-By Stuart Winer April 16, 2017, 12:19 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Construction Minister Yoav Galant predicted Sunday that Israel was likely to be drawn into another conflict with Hamas over the summer due to its successful efforts to overcome one of the terror group’s assets — the cross-border tunnels from the Gaza Strip.“We need to be ready for a confrontation with Hamas from [the start of] the coming summer,” Galant warned. “It is a sensitive period, and we need to be alert and to take actions to prevent it.”Hamas used tunnels to launch deadly attacks inside Israeli territory during the most recent war in the Strip, in summer 2014.Galant, a former head of the IDF’s Southern Command, which handles Gaza operations, said it was becoming clear that a massive barrier Israel is constructing along its border with Gaza will significantly hamper Hamas efforts to dig into Israel.As a result, the terror group, which seized control of Gaza in 2007, will feel pressured, he assessed.The structure is set to include a wall deep below ground as well as a fence above ground. Some parts of the roughly 60-kilometer (40-mile) border will also be flooded.“When you change something that is seen as being of strategic value to the other side, you need to keep a finger on the trigger and an eye on the binoculars, ready for action,” Galant said, although he would not specify when he thought the next war would break out.“If you want peace then prepare for war,” he added, citing an ancient Roman adage.Galant has been known to forecast wars with Hamas. In April 2016, also in an interview with Army Radio, the minister predicted a war in Gaza that summer as well, but no such conflict occurred.Reports of Hamas tunnels running into Israel have persisted despite ongoing Israeli efforts to eradicate the threats. In March, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman denied a report saying there were 15 such tunnels from the Gaza Strip.At the time, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told the Knesset’s State Control Committee that while the tunnels were a serious concern, they were not a “strategic or existential threat.”Eisenkot was called in by the panel in order to discuss a scathing report by the State Comptroller’s Office about the 2014 Gaza war that accused the military of being insufficiently prepared to face the Hamas tunnel threat.Eisenkot told the lawmakers that the military has thus far invested over NIS 4 billion ($1.1 billion) in shoring up Israel’s underground defenses.He said that reprisal attacks launched by Israel in response to rocket fire from Gaza were not targeting “sand dunes and empty bunkers” but rather were actively thwarting the tunnels, admitting for the first time that the army has the technology to do so. Details of efforts to thwart the tunnels are still mostly kept secret.Israel has fought three major rounds of conflict with Hamas since the terror group seized control of Gaza from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah in 2007.The most recent such conflict, Operation Protective Edge, saw 50 days of fighting, including a ground offensive.During the operation, the army found and damaged 34 Hamas tunnels, 14 of them crossing into Israel. The rest were inside Gaza, for use as bunkers and means of transportation around the Strip.Hamas has reportedly invested considerable resources rehabilitating its network of attack tunnels over the past few years. The IDF has also sought to improve its ability to counter the threat since the 2014 conflict.Judah Ari Gross and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Hamas leader hints prisoner exchange deal in the works-Khaled Mashaal says group working ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure all Palestinian prisoners are freed from Israeli jails-By Times of Israel staff April 15, 2017, 8:37 pm
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal indicated Saturday that members of the terror organization imprisoned in Israel will soon be released as a result of behind the scenes efforts by the group to secure their release.“The release of all the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons [will take place] soon,” Hebrew media reports quoted him as saying at a conference on the issue.“Not all of the efforts on the issue of prisoners are public. The efforts that Hamas has invested behind the scenes will be seen in the future,” he said.“We have set for ourselves a goal of cleaning all the Israeli prisons of Palestinians,” he added, according to the Haaretz daily.In February, Hamas confirmed that it was engaged in talks through third-party mediators over a possible prisoner exchange with Israel, but said a deal had been rejected for not meeting their minimum demands.Hamas’s confirmation of the talks followed Israeli media reports that Israel was seeking to reach a deal with the rulers of the Gaza Strip to secure the release of three Israeli men who crossed into the coastal territory of their own accord: Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, as well as Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima, whose presence in Gaza is unconfirmed.Hamas, an Islamist terror group that seeks to destroy Israel, also holds the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who the army determined were killed in action in the 2014 Gaza war.A senior Hamas source told The Times of Israel at the time that it wanted Israel to release 60 members of the terror group arrested after being freed in an earlier exchange.Hamas demands that Israel release all prisoners from the 2011 exchange for Gilad Shalit who were rearrested in 2014 when three Israeli teens were abducted in the West Bank (it later emerged that they had been killed almost immediately) before any advancement in negotiations between the parties can take place.In his reported remarks Saturday Mashaal did not say what conditions had changed since February that would allow for a deal to now take place.Mashaal also reiterated on Saturday the terror group’s demand that its members who were rearrested as part of the Shalit deal be released as a condition for negotiations over a prisoner exchange.“If Israel does not fulfill its obligations from the Shalit deal how will it fulfill [them] in (another) deal,” he said, according to Channel 10.“For any information concerning the captured Israelis there will be a price, Israel’s threats don’t scare the Hamas movement.”Despite the reports of a deal for a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas being negotiated by mediators — Egypt or Qatar, or both — senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said last month that the recent assassination of one of the terror group’s military commanders, Mazen Faqha, which it blames on Israel, would impede the negotiations for a prisoner exchange with the Jewish state.Faqha, a former prisoner in Israel who oversaw Hamas’s efforts to instigate terror attacks in the West Bank, was killed in his home in Tel el-Hawa, a neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, on Friday. Hamas leaders have pointed to the stealthy and professional quality of the killing as evidence that it was carried out by members of an Israeli spy agency. Israel has not commented on Faqha’s death.Faqha hailed from the northern West Bank town of Tubas, where he was arrested in 2002 for terrorism during the Second Intifada. He was serving multiple life terms for orchestrating a 2002 suicide bombing in which nine Israelis were killed. He was released in October 2011 in the prisoner swap for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, and expelled to Gaza.Avi Issacharoff contributed to this report.
Gaza’s sole power plant runs out of fuel-Crisis a result of ‘dispute’ with West Bank Palestinian authorities; Gaza Health Ministry warns of impending humanitarian crisis-By Times of Israel staff and AFP April 16, 2017, 4:22 pm
The Gaza Strip’s only functioning power plant was not functioning Sunday after running out of fuel, the head of the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave’s electricity provider told AFP.Samir Metir said that all the plant’s fuel, purchased with funding from Qatar and Turkey, had been used up.He said it was not clear when the Palestinian territory would receive more, owing to a “dispute” between the electricity authority in Gaza and Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.The Gaza Health Ministry warned of a humanitarian crisis as a result.The terror group Hamas seized power in Gaza in a violent coup in 2007 from the Ramallah-based Fatah organization of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Israel and Egypt then initiated a security blockade meant to prevent the terror group, avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel, from importing weaponry and materiel into Gaza.Fuel supply for the Strip’s two million inhabitants has been a long-running source of dispute, with most homes in Gaza receiving two eight-hour periods of electricity a day even when the plant is operating normally.Protests broke out in January over the power shortages, which the Gaza Health Ministry warned could have “dangerous consequences” for patients.As things stand, residents can expect two six-hour periods of electricity, Metir said, “including electricity bought from Israel and Egypt.”Israel last week warned of the upcoming fuel crisis, warning Hamas that it must pay for the diesel fuel it consumes, which is supplied by Israeli energy company Dor.In mid-September, Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement to resolve the Palestinians’ outstanding debt of almost NIS 2 billion ($530 million) to the Israel Electric Corporation.The agreement was signed by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Yoav Mordechai, Palestinian Authority Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheik, Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Israel’s Ministry of Finance Director-General Shai Babad.The IEC began to scale back the electricity flow to West Bank Palestinian cities in late May and early April due to the debt. Power supplies to Jericho and Bethlehem were limited, causing some blackouts, and the company threatened to do the same in other West Bank areas.The agreement with the IEC from September did not affect the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Pence: North Korea ‘provocation’ shows the risk to military-Visiting Seoul at start of Asian tour, vice president speaks of dangers faced by US and South Korean armies-By Ken Thomas April 16, 2017, 3:19 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — US Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that North Korea’s “provocation” underscored the risks faced by American and South Korean service members, hours after the North conducted a failed missile launch shortly before Pence’s arrival.Pence landed in South Korea at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia and was quickly confronted with the stakes facing the United States as Pyongyang seeks to flex its muscles around the birth anniversary of the country’s late founder and advance the regime’s nuclear and missile capabilities.While Pence was aboard Air Force Two flying over the Bering Sea, a North Korean missile exploded during launch on Sunday, US and South Korean officials said, representing a high-profile failure that came as a powerful US aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula.After arriving in Seoul, the vice president placed a wreath at Seoul National Cemetery and then worshiped with military personnel at an Easter church service at the US Army Garrison Yongsan. During a fellowship meal after the services, he said the tensions on the Korean peninsula had put into sharp focus the importance of the joint US-South Korean mission.“This morning’s provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world,” said Pence, who was introduced by Army Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of US Forces Korea. “Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires the nation and inspires the world.”Pence told the military members that he had spoken twice with President Donald Trump during the day.Pence said that under Trump’s leadership, “our resolve has never been stronger, our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger and with your help and God’s help, freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula.”Trump has suggested that the US will take a tougher stance against North Korea, telling reporters last week: “North Korea is a problem. The problem will be taken care of.” He has repeatedly said if China, North Korea’s dominant trading partner, is unwilling to do more to pressure the North, the US might take the matter into its own hands.Along with the deployment of the Naval aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula, thousands of US and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were also deployed last month in their biggest-ever joint military exercises. That led North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rivals if they show signs of aggression.A White House foreign policy adviser told reporters aboard Air Force Two that the type of missile that North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and that it exploded about 4 to 5 seconds after it was launched.According to the adviser, the test had been expected and the US had good intelligence both before and after the launch. The adviser, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s initial understanding of the launch, said there was no expected response from the Trump administration because there was no need for the US to reinforce the failure.The official said that had it been a nuclear test, “other actions would have been taken by the US.”North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, including two last year. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time.Despite North Korea’s provocations, US officials have said that the US doesn’t intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.After a two-month policy review, officials settled on a policy dubbed “maximum pressure and engagement,” US officials said Friday. The administration’s immediate emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of Beijing.The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the results of the policy review and requested anonymity.Pence will be tasked with explaining the policy in meetings with leaders in South Korea and Japan at the start of his trip, which will also include stops in Indonesia and Australia. He will also aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the US will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.Pence’s first trip to South Korea carries personal meaning as well. He noted to the soldiers that his late father, Edward, served in the US Army during the Korean War and was awarded the Bronze Star on April 15, 1953 — 64 years to the day of the vice president’s departure for South Korea. Pence displays in his office his father’s Bronze Star and a photograph of his father receiving the honor.
Trump: 'He is doing the wrong thing. He's making a big mistake'-Kim aide warns of possible ‘all-out war’ and ‘nuclear attacks’-As tensions mount with Washington, North Korean dictator oversees display of military strength-By Sebastien BERGER April 15, 2017, 6:50 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AFP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un Saturday saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware paraded in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambitions.After inspecting an honor guard, Kim, in a black suit, watched the parade pour into Kim Il-Sung Square, accompanied by top military and party leaders, state television showed in a live broadcast.Led by rows of military bands, columns of troops toting rifles and a troupe of sword-wielding female soldiers marched into the vast square in the heart of the city which was festooned in the national colors of blue, white and red.“Today’s parade will provide a chance to display our powerful military might,” a male voiceover said on the TV broadcast.Ostensibly the event is to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim’s grandfather, the North’s founder Kim Il-Sung -– a date known as the “Day of the Sun” in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name.But it is also intended to send an unmistakable message to Washington about the isolated, nuclear-armed North’s military might.Kim did not address the rally, but his close aide Choe Ryong-Hae gave a defiant speech saying that Pyongyang would react in kind to any provocation — nuclear or otherwise.“We’re prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and we are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks,” Choe said.Pyongyang is under multiple sets of United Nations sanctions over its atomic and ballistic missile programs, and has ambitions to build a rocket capable of delivering a warhead to the US mainland -– something US President Donald Trump has vowed “won’t happen.”It has carried out five nuclear tests –- two of them last year -– and multiple missile launches, one of which saw three rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.Speculation that it could conduct a sixth blast in the coming days to coincide with the anniversary has reached fever pitch, with specialist US website 38North describing its Punggye-ri test site as “primed and ready” and White House officials saying military options were “already being assessed.”Trump has dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and an accompanying battle group to the Korean peninsula.“We are sending an armada. Very powerful,” Trump told the Fox Business Network. “He is doing the wrong thing,” he added of Kim. “He’s making a big mistake.”China, the North’s sole major ally, and Russia have both urged restraint, with Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warning Friday that “conflict could break out at any moment.”North Korea’s army vowed Friday a “merciless” response to any US provocation but diplomats in Pyongyang are more sanguine, pointing out that the North raises its rhetoric every spring, when Washington and Seoul hold annual joint exercises that it views as preparations for invasion.None of the North’s five previous nuclear tests has taken place in the month of April.-Tough message-The hardware displayed Saturday included what appeared to be a new ICBM and a submarine-launched ballistic missile, which Pyongyang successfully test-fired last August, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.Military specialists keep a close eye on Pyongyang’s military parades for clues about developments in the North’s capabilities.The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and Pyongyang says that it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against a possible US invasion.The US cruise missile strike on Syria vindicated its stance, it said last weekend.Pyongyang could use the parade as a show of strength in preference to a nuclear test, analysts said.It wanted to send “a tough message to the United States in response to the Trump administration’s recent rhetoric and the military steps the United States has taken”, said Evans Revere of the Brookings Institution in Washington.Another missile launch or nuclear test “can’t be ruled out”, he said, but the Syria strike and Washington’s implied threats “may give Pyongyang some pause”.“A parade is a highly visible but non-kinetic way of showing off capabilities,” he told AFP.The North is aiming its message at China as well as the US, analysts say.Beijing has made clear its frustration with Pyongyang’s stubbornness but its priority remains preventing any instability on its doorstep, and it has been unnerved by the sabre-rattling.Pyongyang was “upset with all of its neighbors,” said Bruce Bennett of the Rand Organisation and Kim needs to “demonstrate defiance.”
Assad retains hundreds of tons of chemical weapons, says defected general-Regime hid deadly agents from international inspectors, reports Zaher al-Sakat, who himself was ordered to use the weapons against civilians-By Times of Israel staff and AFP April 15, 2017, 10:04 am
Syrian President Bashar Assad still possesses hundreds of tons of chemical agents which he hid from the international community, a former Syrian general who specialized in chemical warfare told the Telegraph Friday.Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat, who defected from Assad’s forces in 2013 and currently resides in an undisclosed European country, told the newspaper the Syrian leader had deceived United Nations inspectors sent into the country to destroy his chemical stockpiles.Assad had agreed to turn in his entire chemical weapons inventory in 2013 when the US threatened military action after hundreds were killed in a deadly chemical attack on opposition-held suburbs of Damascus.But Sakat, who was head of chemical warfare in the Syrian army’s Fifth Division, has long claimed that Assad secretly held on to much of his stash. And after an April 4 suspected chemical attack killed at least 87 people, the defector has said the regime still has hundreds of tons of chemicals at hand.“They admitted only to 1,300 tons, but we knew in reality they had nearly double that,” Sakat told the Telegraph. “They had at least 2,000 tons. At least.”Sakat said that according to his contacts inside Syria, Assad has not manufactured new weapons since 2014, but “they don’t need any more, they have all they need already.”Sakat has said in the past that he himself was ordered to carry out chemical strikes on three different occasions before he defected. In those instances he switched out the deadly agents in the bombs for harmless chemicals.“I couldn’t believe at the beginning that Assad would use these weapons on his people,” he said. “I could not stand and watch the genocide. I couldn’t hurt my own people.”Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the former commander of the UK’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regimen, said Sakat’s claims of Assad’s retained stockpiles were “plausible.”He told the Telegraph that the recent alleged chemical strike on the town of Khan Sheikhoun appeared to use old sarin gas.“Eighty-six people were killed in the attack, which is not a lot for sarin,” he said. “Sarin degrades fairly quickly and becomes less toxic over time, so we could be looking at an attack using old sarin.”Assad this week said the reports on the recent chemical strike were “a “fabrication” to justify a US strike on his forces.The Syrian president insisted his forces had turned over all their chemical weapons stocks years ago and would never use the banned arms.“Definitely, 100 percent for us, it’s fabrication,” he said of the incident.Assad said evidence for the attack came only from “a branch of Al-Qaeda,” referring to a former jihadist affiliate that is among the groups that control Idlib province, where Khan Sheikhoun is located.Images of the aftermath, showing victims convulsing and foaming at the mouth, sent shockwaves around the world.But Assad insisted it was “not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video? You have a lot of fake videos now.”“We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhoun. Were they dead at all?”He said Khan Sheikhoun had no strategic value and was not currently a battle front.“This story is not convincing by any means.”The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun an investigation into the alleged attack, but Russia on Wednesday blocked a UN Security Council resolution demanding Syria cooperate with the probe.And Assad said he could “only allow any investigation when it’s impartial, when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won’t use it for politicized purposes.”He insisted several times that his forces had turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013. “There was no order to make any attack, we don’t have any chemical weapons, we gave up our arsenal a few years ago,” he said.“Even if we have them, we wouldn’t use them, and we have never used our chemical arsenal in our history.”The OPCW has blamed Assad’s government for at least two attacks in 2014 and 2015 involving the use of chlorine.The Khan Sheikhoun incident prompted the first direct US military action against Assad’s government since the war began, with 59 cruise missiles hitting the Shayrat airbase three days after the suspected chemical attack.
MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
Rouhani: Iran does not need ‘permission to build missiles’-Iranian president says country’s weapons development solely for ‘deterrent power’ against US and ‘cancerous tumor’ Israel-By Alexander Fulbright April 15, 2017, 11:16 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iran does not need “permission to build missiles,” in an apparent response to recent sanctions by the United States on the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program.“Iran will ask no soul’s permission to build missiles,” the state-run Press TV quoted him as saying.Speaking at a defense ministry event to show off new Iranian-made weapons, Rouhani claimed that the country’s development of ballistic missiles and other advanced arms is strictly for defensive purposes.“We have repeatedly declared that strengthening the defensive prowess of Iran’s Armed Forces is only aimed at defending the country and will never be used against another country,” he said.Despite Rouhani’s claim that Iran’s development of weapons is for strictly peaceful purposes, Israel and the US have accused the Islamic Republic with arming a number of terror groups and Shiite militias in the region engaged in offense operations, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen and the Taliban in Afghanistan.In his remarks Saturday, Rouhani also said that Iran’s development of ballistic missiles was necessary to prevent “the crimes and acts of aggression” of the US and other regional powers.“Even if our region were completely secure and major powers were not present there, a country still needs deterrent power and the region requires balance,” he said.He also warned than any attempt to upset the regional balance of power would lead to problems, which he said has long been undermined by the “powers’ intervention and the cancerous tumor of Israel,” Press TV reported.After Iran test-fired a ballistic missile in January, the US imposed sanctions on a number of entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, and US President Donald Trump warned the Islamic Republic it had been “put on notice.”Although Iran maintains that the testing of ballistic missiles is not banned by the 2015 nuclear deal designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, the US said that the sanctions were imposed for Iran’s violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2331, which calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”Since January’s test-firing of a ballistic missile, Iran has carried out a number of other tests of ballistic, cruise and submarine-based missiles, while in March state television said Iran successfully tested the S-300 missile defense system delivered to it by Russia following the 2015 nuclear deal after years of delay.In addition to disagreements over Iran’s missile program, tensions between the two countries were further ratcheted up after the US struck an airfield with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles belonging to the Syrian regime — of which Iran has lang been a key backer — in response to a chemical weapons strike carried out by the Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces earlier this month, with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei labeling the US strike as a “strategic mistake.”
Russia, Iran and Syria issue warning to US-Countries warn of ‘grave consequences’ if Washington carries out further missile strikes against Assad regime-By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV April 15, 2017, 4:00 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia, Syria and Iran strongly warned the United States Friday against launching new strikes on Syria and called for an international investigation of the chemical weapons attack there that killed nearly 90 people.Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who hosted his Iranian and Syrian counterparts in Moscow, denounced the US missile strikes on Syria as a “flagrant violation” of international law. Additional such actions would entail “grave consequences not only for regional but global security,” Lavrov said.Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the meeting sent a “strong message” to Washington. Iran’s Mohammad Javad Zarif emphasized that the participants agreed that unilateral actions by the US were unacceptable.The US accuses the Syrian government of deliberately launching the deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4. Russia has alleged that the victims were killed by toxic agents from a rebel chemical arsenal hit by Syrian war planes.Moscow has warned against putting the blame on Damascus until an independent inquiry is conducted and vetoed a proposed UN resolution on the attack, saying it failed to mention the need to inspect the affected area.Lavrov on Friday expressed skepticism about a preliminary investigation conducted by the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog. He alleged that its experts failed to visit the site and said it was unclear to Russia where evidence was taken and how it was-In Russia’s view, the probe conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should be widened to include experts from many nations, he said.“If our US colleagues and some European nations believe that their version is right, they have no reason to fear the creation of such an independent group,” Lavrov added. “The investigation into this high-profile incident must be transparent and leave no doubt that someone is trying to hide something.”Lavrov said the US strike on the Syrian base has undermined peace efforts in Syria and reflected Washington’s focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.“Such attempts won’t succeed,” he said.The three ministers also discussed the beefing up of US forces on Jordan’s border with Syria, Moallem said. He added that Russia, Iran and Syria have “common procedures against any aggression,” but wouldn’t offer specifics.Lavrov said Moscow has asked Washington about the purpose of the buildup and received assurances that the US troops were deployed there to cut supply lines between the Islamic State group factions in Syria and Iraq.“We will keep monitoring the issue, since the only possible reason for using military force on the territory of Syria is to fight terrorism,” Lavrov said.Russia has staunchly backed Assad’s government throughout Syria’s six-year civil war. It has conducted an air campaign in Syria since September 2015, saving Assad’s government from imminent collapse and helping to reverse the Syrian military’s fortunes.
What would a hardline new president mean for Iran and the world?-Ebrahim Raisi, leading challenger to incumbent Hassan Rouhani, could leave Tehran’s tenuous opening to the West in jeopardy-By Eric RANDOLPH and Ali Noorani April 15, 2017, 8:14 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
TEHRAN (AFP) — Ebrahim Raisi, the leading candidate for Iran’s hardliners in next month’s presidential election, has left many wondering whether the country’s fragile opening to the West could be under threat.The 56-year-old judge and cleric registered on Friday for the May 19 vote and his candidacy is being closely watched by foreign investors and diplomats who fear the return of a hardline administration that could threaten the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and efforts to open up trade.So far, Raisi has given little indication of his views on foreign policy, keeping his comments vague and predictable.“Our relations will be ongoing with every country — except the occupying regime of Israel — but on condition of respect,” he said Friday.Analysts describe Raisi as utterly loyal to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meaning he would likely remain deeply suspicious of engagement with the West but unlikely to backtrack on the nuclear deal, which had the boss’s tacit consent.“He has no experience in foreign policy, so at least initially he will have to follow the system’s grand strategy of preserving the nuclear deal and shifting any blame of undermining it to the US,” said Ali Vaez, Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group.Raisi is entrenched in the conservative establishment, having served as attorney general, supervisor of state broadcaster IRIB and prosecutor in the Special Court for Clerics.Press reports indicate he has recently been elevated to the status of “ayatollah.”His father-in-law leads Friday prayers in Mashhad and both have seats on the Assembly of Experts that will choose the next supreme leader — a position for which Raisi himself is often rumoured to be in the running.There is little chance he will ease social restrictions or release opposition leaders held under house arrest since the 2009 protest movement, known to conservatives as “the sedition.”“The Islamic System has treated the heads of the sedition with mercy. Those who sympathize with the heads of sedition must know that the great nation of Iran will never forgive this great injustice,” he said in 2014.Crucially, Khamenei picked him in March 2016 to head Astan Qods Razavi — the centuries-old foundation that looks after the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad — placing him at the intersection of political, religious and economic power.The foundation hosts 20 million pilgrims a year at the shrine, and has also developed into a sprawling, multi-billion-dollar conglomerate that runs everything from farms and power plants to brokerages and IT firms.One big question is why Raisi would risk a run for the presidency if he has ambitions to become supreme leader as many speculate.“If he loses, his status will be damaged, so it seems like a big risk,” said a Western diplomat on condition of anonymity.“Moreover, all presidents end up facing criticism from the supreme leader — that’s how the system is set up — so why put himself in that position?”The presidency could provide a stepping stone to the top — as it was for Khamenei in the 1980s.“But if he loses to the incumbent, who has no rivals in his own camp and has remarkable executive credentials, Raisi’s future rise to the peak will be in question,” said Vaez.For now, Raisi has focused on domestic economic issues, playing to the conservative base among poorer, more religious voters.“Despite four decades of the Islamic system and many promising achievements, people are still suffering chronic problems,” he said when announcing his bid last week.The 12 percent jobless rate and slow trickle down of benefits from the nuclear deal are seen as Rouhani’s weak spots.“Raisi’s lifestyle is modest and he regularly stays with the poor sections of society, while Mr. Rouhani has more of an aristocratic, comfort-seeking spirit,” said Hamid Reza Taraghi, a member of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party.His opponents are unimpressed.“Mr. Raisi has absolutely no plan to manage the country. Even (former hardline president Mahmud) Ahmadinejad had more experience and he was disastrous for the economy,” said reformist Tehran-based economist Saeed Laylaz.Ahmadinejad, of course, is also running for president.
Links to this post: