Monday, June 12, 2017
ISRAEL PROTESTS TO UN AFTER HAMAS TUNNEL FOUND UNDER UNRWA SCHOOLS IN GAZA.
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
Qatari FM insists Hamas ‘a legitimate resistance movement’-Under pressure for its support of terrorists, Doha’s top diplomat claims it does not specifically back Gaza’s Islamist rulers but all Palestinians-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies June 10, 2017, 6:58 pm
As Qatar faces increasing pressure from its Arab neighbors to cut ties to jihadist groups, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani insisted Saturday that Palestinian terror group Hamas is “a legitimate resistance movement.”Al-Thani, during a visit to Russia to discuss the crisis, said: “The US sees Hamas as a terror organization, but to the rest of the Arab nations it is a legitimate resistance movement. We do not support Hamas, we support the Palestinian people.”“We cooperate with the Palestinian Authority,” he said, adding however, that Doha saw Palestinian reconciliation between Hamas and the PA’s Fatah as a duty. “Hamas’s presence in Qatar doesn’t mean there’s support for Hamas in Qatar. Hamas’s presence is a political representation of the Hamas movement.”Al-Thani noted that the movement’s leadership “is currently in Palestine” and no longer in his country, since Khaled Mashaal was replaced by Gazan Ismail Haniyeh as head of the group’s political bureau.Despite Al-Thani statement’s Arab media has reported that Qatar ordered several senior Hamas members to leave its territory recently in response to outside pressure, including Salah al-Arouri, the terror chief who orchestrated the 2014 kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens.Hamas welcomed Al-Thani’s statements with spokesman Fawzi Barhoum saying they “expressed the noble Arab character” and Qatar’s support of “the Palestinian people and its legitimate resistance.”Al-Thani on Thursday denied that his country funded extremists. He said Qatar, as an independent nation, also had the right to support groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that its neighbors outlawed the Sunni Islamist organization.Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and other countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this week and cut off air, sea and land travel to the peninsular nation.Russia called on Saturday for dialogue between Qatar and its neighbors in the Gulf, promising help in mediating the crisis.“We have observed with concern the news of this escalation,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during his meeting with Al-Thani in Moscow. “We cannot be happy in a situation when the relations between our partners are worsening. We are in favor of resolving any disagreements through… dialogue.”With Doha under pressure to cut ties with Islamist groups and Hamas fearing a possible loss of its main source of international support, a senior Hamas official said Saturday that a delegation headed by the group’s leader Haniyeh would visit Iran in the near future.According to the official, Osama Hamdan, the delegation will visit several other countries as well, though he did not provide details, the Hebrew language Walla news site reported.If Qatar does sever ties, the result could be disastrous for Hamas-ruled Gaza.Qatar has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in roads, housing and a major hospital in the tiny territory. Its infrastructure projects are one of the few job-creators in a beleaguered economy.A Hamas source told Israel Radio on Saturday that the organization’s leadership was also concerned the Qatari diplomatic crisis would harm recent efforts at reconciliation between the organization and the Egyptian government.The two had been at loggerheads over Hamas support from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who were deposed from power by the military.Gaza already suffers from an Israeli-Egyptian blockade — imposed to prevent the group from importing weaponry — economic misery and chronic electricity shortages. For Hamas, Qatar’s money pumping into the economy is a vital lifeline bolstering its rule.Closer ties between Hamas and Iran are hardly likely to mollify the Gulf states and Egypt. One of the main factors driving the crisis is Qatar’s close ties to Tehran and fears of expanding Iranian influence further destabilizing the region.Hamas expressed shock on Wednesday over Saudi Arabia’s demand that Qatar end its support.Saudi Arabia and its allies cut off ties with Qatar on Monday after accusing the gas-rich state of supporting extremism across the region.On Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that to rebuild relations, Doha must cut its support for “extremist” groups, including Hamas.He said Qatar-supported Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, “undermines the Palestinian Authority.”In a statement on its website, Hamas said the party felt “deep regret and disapproval” at the Saudi statement.“These statements are a shock to our Palestinian people and to our Arab and Islamic nation, which considers the Palestinian cause its central cause,” the statement said.
Israel protests to UN after Hamas tunnel found under UNRWA schools in Gaza-Ambassador Danny Danon urges Security Council to unequivocally condemn terror group’s abuse of civilian infrastructure-By Times of Israel staff and AFP June 10, 2017, 2:07 pm
Israel has protested to the United Nations Security Council after a terror tunnel was discovered under two UN-run schools in the Gaza Strip, appealing to the world body to condemn Hamas and prevent its facilities being exploited by the terror group, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday.Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon submitted the letter of protest to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council.“The latest finding verifies once again that Hamas’s cruelty knows no limits, including endangering centers of learning and education, and using children as human shields,” Danon wrote.The tunnel was discovered by workers of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on June 1 under two schools in the Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip near the city of Deir al-Balah.“I call on the Security Council to strongly and unequivocally condemn Hamas and its repeated abuse of civilian infrastructure, and designate this group as a terrorist organization,” Danon continued.“It is of the utmost importance that the Council ensures that all UN-affiliated agencies, and especially UNRWA, remain neutral and safeguarded from abuse by terrorist organizations.”Following discovery of two Hamas #terror tunnels built under @UNRWA elementary schools in #Gaza, Israel submits letter of protest to #UNSC. pic.twitter.com/s3gF1iymdL— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) June 10, 2017-The tunnel, between two and three meters underground, passes under the Maghazi Elementary Boys A&B School and the Maghazi Preparatory Boys School, and was built both westward into the Palestinian enclave and eastward toward the security fence with Israel, according to UNRWA.UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness said Friday that the tunnel “has no entry or exit points on the premises nor is it connected to the schools or other buildings in any way.”“UNRWA condemns the existence of such tunnels in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way,” he said.Gunness said the agency had “robustly intervened and protested to Hamas in Gaza”.He said UNRWA will seal the tunnel, which was discovered while the schools were empty during the summer holiday.Hamas, for its part, denied that it or any other terror group built a tunnel under the two UN schools. The organization on Friday “strongly condemned” the UNRWA revelation, saying it would be exploited by Israel to “justify its crimes.”The terror group denied it built the tunnel and said it had clarified the issue “with all factions and resistance forces, who clearly stated they had no actions related to the resistance in the said location,” the movement said, adding that it respected UNRWA’s work.Over the years, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have built a labyrinth of tunnels, some passing under the border into Israel which they used to launch attacks during their last conflict in 2014. Hamas also built a vast network of tunnels under Gaza’s border with Egypt to smuggle goods and weapons.The Israeli army found and destroyed several tunnels during the 2014 war.UNRWA has long been criticized by Israel for aspects of its handling of relations with Hamas, and Israel has claimed that some of UNRWA’s Palestinian employees support terrorist activities and spread anti-Semitism online.In February, a UN watchdog group released a report showing screenshots from the Facebook pages of 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and other parts of the Mideast that it said “incite to Jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”In April, the agency said a Gaza staffer suspected of having been elected to Hamas’s leadership no longer works for it but declined to clarify whether he was fired or resigned after Israel voiced its objections.An independent UN inquiry found in 2015 that Palestinian armed groups hid weapons in three empty UN-run schools in Gaza and that in at least two cases terrorists “probably” fired rockets at Israel from the facilities during the summer war in 2014 between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
Hamas denies it built tunnel under UN schools in Gaza-Terror group slams UNRWA for revelation, says Israel will use the news to ‘justify its crimes’-By AFP and Times of Israel staff June 10, 2017, 10:25 am
Hamas denied that it or any other terror group built a tunnel under two UN schools in Gaza after its discovery drew a strong UN protest.Over the years, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have built a labyrinth of tunnels, some passing under the border into Israel which they used to launch attacks during their last conflict in 2014.On June 1, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) found “part of a tunnel that passes under two adjacent agency schools in the Maghazi camp” during construction work, spokesman Christopher Gunness said on Friday.Hamas late Friday “strongly condemned” the UNRWA revelation, saying it would be exploited by Israel to “justify its crimes”.The terror group denied it built the tunnel and said it had clarified the issue “with all factions and resistance forces, who clearly stated they had no actions related to the resistance in the said location,” the movement said, adding that it respected UNRWA’s work.Gunness said that the tunnel “has no entry or exit points on the premises nor is it connected to the schools or other buildings in any way”.“UNRWA condemns the existence of such tunnels in the strongest possible terms. It is unacceptable that students and staff are placed at risk in such a way,” he said.Gunness said the agency had “robustly intervened and protested to Hamas in Gaza”.He said UNRWA will seal the tunnel, which was discovered while the schools were empty during the summer holiday.Attack tunnels were a key weapon for Hamas during the 2014 Gaza war.Hamas also built a vast network of tunnels under Gaza’s border with Egypt to smuggle goods and weapons.The Israeli army found and destroyed several tunnels during the 2014 war.UNRWA has long been criticized by Israel for aspects of its handling of relations with Hamas, and Israel has claimed that some of UNRWA’s Palestinian employees support terrorist activities and spread anti-Semitism online.In February, a UN watchdog group released a report showing screenshots from the Facebook pages of 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and other parts of the Mideast that it said “incite to Jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler.”In April, the agency said a Gaza staffer suspected of having been elected to Hamas’s leadership no longer works for it but declined to clarify whether he was fired or resigned after Israel voiced its objections.An independent UN inquiry found in 2015 that Palestinian armed groups hid weapons in three empty UN-run schools in Gaza and that in at least two cases terrorists “probably” fired rockets at Israel from the facilities during the summer war in 2014 between Israel and the Gaza Strip.Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement Friday “that the cruelty of Hamas knows no bounds as they use the children of Gaza as human shields. Instead of UN schools serving as centers of learning and education, Hamas has turned them into terror bases for attacks on Israel.”He called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council to ensure strict oversight over the UN body. “The UN must act immediately to ensure that their structures and institutions are not being used to harbor the terror infrastructure of Hamas,” Danon said.
Amid pressure for Qatar to cut ties, Hamas delegation to visit Iran-Gaza’s terrorist rulers also fear crisis will harm their efforts at reconciliation with Egypt, which controls Strip’s southern border-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies June 10, 2017, 11:41 am
A senior Hamas official said Saturday that a delegation headed by the group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh would visit Iran in the near future as the terror group struggles with a possible loss of its main source of international supportAccording to the official, Osama Hamdan, the delegation will visit several other countries as well, though he did not provide details, the Hebrew language Walla news site reported.Hamadan’s statement on Iran came as Qatar, one of the few foreign backers of Hamas, faces massive pressure from its Gulf neighbors to cut ties with the Islamic terror group. If it does, the result could be disastrous for Hamas-ruled Gaza.Qatar has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in roads, housing and a major hospital in the tiny territory. Its infrastructure projects are one of the few job-creators in a beleaguered economy.A Hamas source told Israel Radio on Saturday that the organization’s leadership was also concerned the Qatari diplomatic crisis would harm recent efforts at reconciliation between the organization and the Egyptian government.The two had been at loggerheads over Hamas support from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who were deposed from power by the military.Gaza already suffers from an Israeli-Egyptian blockade — imposed to prevent the group from importing weaponry — economic misery and chronic electricity shortages. For Hamas, Qatar’s money pumping into the economy is a vital lifeline bolstering its rule.Closer ties between Hamas and Iran are hardly likely to mollify the Gulf states and Egypt. One of the main factors driving the crisis is Qatar’s close ties to Tehran and fears of expanding Iranian influence further destabilizing the region.Hamas expressed shock on Wednesday over Saudi Arabia’s demand that Qatar end its support.Saudi Arabia and its allies cut off ties with Qatar on Monday after accusing the gas-rich state of supporting extremism across the region.On Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that to rebuild relations, Doha must cut its support for “extremist” groups, including Hamas.He said Qatar-supported Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, “undermines the Palestinian Authority.”In a statement on its website, Hamas said the party felt “deep regret and disapproval” at the Saudi statement.“These statements are a shock to our Palestinian people and to our Arab and Islamic nation, which considers the Palestinian cause its central cause,” the statement said.The Islamist terror group seized Gaza in a near civil war with forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007. The two factions have been at loggerheads ever since.Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, tunneling under the border and firing thousands of rockets into Israel, and is avowedly committed to destroying the Jewish state. Israel maintains a security blockade on Gaza, designed to prevent the terror group from importing weapons.
US busts Hezbollah plot to attack Israelis in New York, Panama-Two men arrested in the Bronx and Michigan were allegedly planning to target embassy in Central America and Israeli military personnel in US-By Agencies and Times of Israel staff June 8, 2017, 11:15 pm
NEW YORK — The US Justice Department Thursday said it arrested two men tied to Hezbollah who had been plotting attacks against Americans and Israelis in the US and Panama.On June 1, Samer El Debek was arrested in Livonia, Michigan, while Ali Kourani was arrested in the Bronx. Both men are being held in New York City.A statement from US authorities claims that the men tried to provide support to “Hezbollah’s Islamic Jihad organization” after receiving weapons and bomb-making training from the group in Lebanon.El Debek allegedly looked for potential targets in Panama, including US and Israeli embassies, while Kourani surveilled American targets, including Israeli military personnel and US military and law enforcement facilities in New York City.“Pre-operational surveillance is one of the hallmarks of Hezbollah in planning for future attacks,” New York Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said.Defense lawyers did not immediately comment.William F. Sweeney Jr., head of the New York FBI office, said the charges “reveal once again that the New York City region remains a focus of many adversaries, demonstrated as alleged in this instance by followers of a sophisticated and determined organization with a long history of coordinating violent activities on behalf of Hezbollah.”O’Neill noted that Kourani, who was born in Lebanon, received sophisticated military training overseas on at least two occasions, including the use of a rocket-propelled grenade. He said El Debek also was charged with possessing extensive bomb-making training from Hezbollah.Authorities said Kourani attended Hezbollah-sponsored weapons training in Lebanon in 2000 when he was 16. They said he lawfully entered the US in 2003, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering in 2009 and a master’s in business administration in 2013. They said he was in Lebanon in 2006 when his family home was destroyed in Israel’s war with Hezbollah.Authorities said El Debek, a naturalized US citizen, was first recruited by Hezbollah in late 2007 or early 2008. They said he received military training from the group from 2008 through 2014, including instruction on the use of explosives similar to those used in the 2012 Burgas, Bulgaria bus bombing in which six Israelis and a local bus driver were killed.On Wednesday, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said that although the Hezbollah terrorist organization suffered a massive blow during its conflict with Israel in 2006 and in the years since, the group remained Israel’s top security challenge.“Israel’s northern border and Hezbollah are our top priorities,” Eisenkot said, speaking at an event marking 11 years since the Second Lebanon War.
Thousands protest police killing, rampant crime in Arab town-Days after local man was killed during riot in Kafr Qassem, demonstrators rail against authorities’ conduct-By Times of Israel staff June 10, 2017, 8:01 pm
Thousands of people demonstrated in the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qassem Saturday to protest the killing of a man by a police security guard earlier this week, as well as police’s failure to tackle violent crime in the town.Mohammed Taha, 27, was shot dead by a private security guard outside the town’s police station in the early hours of Tuesday morning as rioters attacked the station.Local Arab leaders have long accused the police of neglecting their communities and allowing crime to flourish unchecked.The riot on Tuesday erupted when officers detained a man hired by locals to provide private security in the crime-ridden town. Police said rioters set police cars on fire and pelted cops with stones.The guard who shot Taha, who has not been named in media, was questioned by police and then allowed to go home. Taha’s father, Mahmoud, accused the guard who killed his son of murder.At Taha’s funeral mourners, including several Arab Israeli politicians, decried what they called authorities’ reliance on deadly force when it comes to dealing with Arab protesters.“There is only one collective in Israel that if it goes out to demonstrate is in danger of being shot and killed: Arab civilians,” said MK Ahmed Tibi of the Joint (Arab) List.Tibi said that the anger in Kafr Qassem comes “against a backdrop of incompetence by police in dealing with rising crime in the community and in the Arab society in general.”Another Joint List lawmaker, Jamal Zahalka, charged that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich have failed to address the increasing crime rates in Arab communities.“The police are abandoning Arab citizens to gangs of criminal organizations, and there is no rule of law,” Zahalka said in a statement.He said Israel has successfully tackled organized crime in Jewish-majority cites, leaving Arab towns and cities more vulnerable to criminal activities.“Arab cities suffer from severe discrimination, violent crime in Arab society is 50 percent, while police only allocate 5% of their overall budget to fight crime in Arab communities,” he said. No wonder the disparity is so stark, he added.Erdan has acknowledged the “decades-old problem” and said he was working to rectify it with a proposed increase in budget for Arab towns, as well as efforts to recruit Muslim officers in the communities. He noted that police data showed reductions in crime in the Arab population in recent years.But the minister, speaking to Army Radio Tuesday, also blamed the lack of law enforcement on “some in the Arab population who seek to terrorize anyone who would help police increase their presence in the communities.”Police chief Alsheich and President Reuven Rivlin met Wednesday with Kafr Qassem Mayor Adel Badir. The three discussed ways of restoring calm in the town.They agreed to continue with efforts to boost law enforcement in Arab towns and villages throughout the country.In the meeting, the sides agreed that “such activity requires full cooperation [from the community], led by Arab leaders, which will enable the return of law and order to the streets,” the President’s Residence said in a statement.The statement also said that a work meeting would be scheduled in the near future at the President’s Residence between senior police officials and heads of Arab local authorities.Stuart Winer contributed to this report.
Israel said set to start work on barrier against Gaza tunnels-IDF preparing for Hamas attempts to disrupt construction, which is slated to take a year and cost NIS 3 billion, TV report says-By Times of Israel staff June 9, 2017, 12:23 am
Israel is reportedly set to start work on a barrier designed to prevent the terror group Hamas from digging cross-border attack tunnels into Israel from Gaza.Hundreds of diggers and other heavy machinery are being moved to the border with the Gaza Strip, where they will begin work in about three weeks’ time, Channel 2 News reported Thursday.The Israel Defense Forces expects Hamas will try to prevent the barrier from being built by employing a variety of tactics to disrupt the construction, which is expected to take a year, the report said.Some have criticized the barrier, which will cost some NIS three billion ($850,000), as unnecessary.The IDF is also employing other techniques to deal with the threat of tunnels, which were used by Hamas to attack Israeli positions on several occasions during the 2014 Gaza war. Israel destroyed over a dozen such underground systems over the course of the operation.Several units have been training specifically to fight against combatants in tunnels.Last September, a senior Israeli military official said that a massive underground barrier along the Gaza border could be completed in a matter of months.The Southern Command official said that the structure will include a wall deep below the ground as well as a fence above ground. Some parts of the roughly 60-kilometer (40-mile) border will also be flooded.“If the budget comes at the right rate, then the barrier will be built in a matter of months,” the officer said.The official, speaking on condition of anonymity under military briefing regulations, said the goal is to turn the underground network into a “death trap” for Hamas.“We’re putting a lot of effort into that,” he said.Hamas, and several leaders of other Palestinian terror groups in Gaza, has vowed to strike Israel should an underground barrier be built along the border.Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan told a Hamas-affiliated news site in June 2016 that the project indicated Israel’s “failure to face the tunnels.” He stressed that the wall would “not limit the resistance’s ability to defend our people.”On Thursday US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley toured the south and surveyed a Hamas-dug attack tunnel near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. She also visited with residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, which suffered from Hamas attacks during the war, and toured the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the main crossing through which goods are transferred from Israel to the Strip.AP contributed to this report.
Iranian company finalizes $3b deal with Boeing for 30 jets-Agreement between Aseman Airlines and US aerospace giant could be scuppered by Trump if he reimposes sanctions on Tehran-By AFP June 10, 2017, 7:37 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
TEHRAN — Iran’s Aseman Airlines has finalized an agreement to buy 30 Boeing 737 MAX jets for $3 billion, the company said Saturday, with an option to buy 30 more.The deal, announced in April, was signed at a ceremony in Tehran and the first 30 planes are due for delivery between 2022 and 2024.“I’m glad that we can… upgrade the air fleet in an appropriate manner so they can take over regional markets,” said Labor Minister Ali Rabii at the signing, according to the ISNA news agency.However, the deal could be scuppered if US President Donald Trump goes ahead with threats to reimpose sanctions on Iran.The White House is in the midst of a 90-day review to decide if it will stick by the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers, in which Tehran agreed curb on its nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.Washington must renew sanctions waivers every few months to keep the deal alive, and another set of renewals is due in the coming days.Even if Trump sticks by the nuclear deal, the Boeing sale must be cleared by the US Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC).“We have finalized the deal and now we are waiting for OFAC permission within the next month,” Aseman spokesman Amir Reza Mostafavi told AFP.He said Aseman would pay five percent of the contract in cash, with the remainder paid through a financing deal organised by Boeing.Boeing, which is also building 80 planes for national carrier Iran Air, faces heavy criticism from US lawmakers who say Iranian airlines have been used to ship weapons and troops to Syria and other conflict zones.The aerospace giant has therefore emphasized the employment potential of the deals, saying in April that the Aseman contract “creates or sustains approximately 18,000 jobs in the United States.”Iran has been desperate to renew its ageing fleet of planes, but was largely blocked from dealing with major aircraft manufacturers until the 2015 nuclear accord.The US has maintained its own sanctions, which block almost all trade with Iran, but plane manufacturers were given a specific exemption under the nuclear deal.OFAC approved the sale of the 80 Boeing as well as 100 Airbus planes to Iran Air. The first few Airbus jets have already arrived in Tehran.Aseman currently has a fleet of 36 planes — half of them the 105-seat Dutch Fokker 100s.Its three Boeing 727-200s are almost as old as the Islamic revolution, having made their first flight in 1980.
In ancient mass graves, archaeologists find child slaves of biblical Egypt-New findings at Amarna, the capital of an eccentric ‘monotheistic’ king, indicate a disposable juvenile labor force. Could there be a connection to the Hebrews?-By Amanda Borschel-Dan June 9, 2017, 11:54 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
While the archaeological record may not shore up the biblical account of the Exodus from Egypt, in light of recent finds one could be forgiven for speculating whether those Hebrew sons who weren’t thrown into the Nile were rather conscripted as slaves. Those finds, at the ongoing excavation of the ancient Egyptian capital city Amarna, shed light on the treatment of ancient slaves — whoever they may have been — and their children.The city, in an isolated desert bay some 10 kilometers from the Nile, was the seat of power of Egypt’s “monotheistic” Pharaoh Akhenaten. Called a “heretic” by his own people, Akhenaten ruled a mere 17 years until his death in 1332 BC. The discovery of workmen’s burial plots — built and deserted within 15 years — provide a window into his brief reign and the mores of the time.Archaeologist Mary Shepperson, who previously dug with the Amarna Project, reported in The Guardian this week on the discovery of “the simple desert graves of the ordinary Egyptians who lived and worked in Akhenaten’s city and never got to leave.”“They paint a picture of poverty, hard work, poor diet, ill-health, frequent injury and relatively early death,” she wrote, describing two main workmen’s burial grounds: the South Tombs Cemetery, which is filled with the remains of a mix of genders and ages, and the North Tombs Cemetery, which held surprises.“As we started to get the first skeletons out of the ground it was immediately clear that the burials were even simpler than at the South Tombs Cemetery, with almost no grave goods provided for the dead and only rough matting used to wrap the bodies,” Shepperson said of the excavation, which began in 2015.“As the season progressed, an even weirder trend started to become clear to the excavators. Almost all the skeletons we exhumed were immature; children, teenagers and young adults, but we weren’t really finding any infants or older adults… This certainly was unusual and not a little bit creepy,” she continued.Initial analysis concluded that the remains were of youths aged 7-25, the bulk of whom are thought to have been under 15 when they died. Additionally, wrote Shepperson, the majority of 15- to 25-year-olds had suffered some kind of traumatic injury, and 16 percent of the under-15-year-olds were found to have spinal fractures and other injuries usually associated with heavy workloads.“Essentially, this is a burial place for adolescents,” she said.‘Essentially, this is a burial place for adolescents’The physical trauma, the proliferation of multiple burials in a single grave, and the lack of grave goods buried with them all indicate the children were of extremely low status or slaves. Who they were, however, remains a mystery.“Corvée-style labor, enforced and unpaid, was frequently used in ancient Egypt on major projects,” wrote Shepperson, opening up the possibility of them being either Egyptians or the progeny of non-Egyptian slaves.“A further suggestion is that the North Tombs Cemetery may represent a captured or deported population brought to Amarna for labor. This is perfectly possible and would account for the lack of family contact and the apparent disregard shown for young life,” she wrote. “We hope that future DNA analysis of the bones might clarify the geographical origins of the North Tombs Cemetery skeletons.”When it comes to the question of whether they could have been the children of ancient Hebrew slaves, academics generally have little doubt the answer is no.-Tenuous biblical ties-Famously, Sigmund Freud was among those tantalized by the prospect of finding a connection between Moses and the eccentric “monotheistic” King Akhenaten. Interestingly his capital, Amarna, was named after the Beni Amran tribe of Arabs that eventually settled in the area. (Could there be a link to Amram, Moses’s father?)“Since Akhenaton’s worship of Aton as ‘sole god’ is earlier than the date commonly ascribed to Moses (ca. 1280 BC), historians have puzzled over possible relationships between the monotheism of Akhenaton and the Biblical concept of one God. Sigmund Freud in his ‘Moses and Monotheism’ sought to trace the Hebrew-Christian faith to the Amarna revolt of Akhenaton,” wrote Central Michigan University’s Prof. Charles F. Pfeiffer, in his 1963 “Tell El-Amarna and the Bible.”According to Pfeiffer, the term “monotheist” has a different connotation when used regarding Akhenaten, who worshiped the sun god Aton and proclaimed himself his living descendant.“Still his meditation upon the Aton bringing blessing to all man has within it the seeds of something that finds its highest expression in the prophetic spokesmen of ancient Israel,” he wrote.“It’s important to realize that the cultural milieu of both Egyptian and Israelite religious beliefs were entirely different and far from compatible,” wrote Brian Fagan, emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “There were two experiments in monotheism — the Egyptian one, which vanished, and the more abstract Israelite version that ensued and survived.”Yet, the chronological overlap of proto-Israelite culture and the Egyptian dynasties is evident in a vast record of archaeological artifacts and correspondence. The bureaucrats of the Egyptian New Kingdom, which ruled over Canaan in the Late Bronze Age (circa 1500-1150 BCE), were prolific letter writers.Much of the extant correspondence between Egypt and its Canaanite vassals was found in the form of cuneiform tablets at Amarna. Beginning in 1887, Egyptian tomb raiders began digging up and selling the tablets, which were written primarily in the era’s diplomatic language, Akkadian.Mentioned on the tablets is a people labeled the “‘Apiru” or “Habiru.” According to Pfeiffer and other scholars, the term, although similar sounding to the word “Hebrew,” was more of a social class descriptor for groups of lawless, landless people who live outside of cities and attempt to raid them.Throwing a bucket of cold water on any possible Habiru-Hebrew connection, the late Tel Aviv University professor of Semitic linguistics Anson Rainey once said, “The plethora of attempts to relate apiru (Habiru) to the gentilic ibri are all nothing but wishful thinking.”Undaunted by the academic consensus, The Times of Israel queried the Amarna Project for its views on whether the adolescent mass graves may in fact be the final resting places of Hebrew slave children.The director of the Amarna Project and chairman of the Amarna Trust, English archaeologist and Egyptologist Prof. Barry Kemp, responded promptly via email.“I am afraid that I do not accept the Old Testament narrative as a historical record, and therefore that there is any connection between Amarna and ‘Hebrew slaves,'” he wrote.“The current study of the bones by conventional means points to a heterogeneous population with links to various outside groups, which is what one would expect from a capital city which drew in people from many areas at a time of very active international contacts,” Kemp added.However, perhaps throwing this reporter a bone, he concluded, “The mention of DNA analysis is a hopeful pointer to what might be possible one day, when suitable facilities can be accessed in Cairo.”
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