SINCE THE RAPTURE OCCURS BEFORE THE FUTURE 7 YR TREATY IS SIGNED, I WONT BE AROUND TO HAVE THE ACTUAL TREATY SIGNING. BUT UNTIL THEN THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE BEGININGS OF THE ISRAELI / ARAB PEACE PROCESS. AND AS CLOSE TO THE 7 YEAR SIGNING THAT WE GET BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE SAVED TO HEAVEN. UNTIL WE MEET JESUS IN THE CLOUDS BODILY, AND COME TO EARTH 7 YRS LATER.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ARAB LEADER, NO PEACE TILL ARABS STEAL JERUSALEM BACK FROM ISRAEL AND TRUMP.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
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.)

JOEL 2:3,30
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)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
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)

EZEKIEL 20:47
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.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
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.

MALACHI 4:1
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

Erekat: No peace talks until US revokes Jerusalem recognition-Palestinian negotiator says Washington's position is 'unacceptable'; top Abbas aide says US VP Mike Pence is still unwelcome in Ramallah-By Dov Lieber-JAN 9,18

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Tuesday said the Palestinians would reject all United States-sponsored peace talks until Washington rescinded its December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.“The continued American talk about deals to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or calling for negotiations or talks is unacceptable to the Palestinian leadership, as long as Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not revoked,” Erekat told the official Voice of Palestine radio station, according to the official PA news site Wafa.When US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, he “removed Jerusalem from any negotiations,” said Erekat.Tensions between the US and Palestinians flared after Trump’s December 6 announcement, with the Palestinian leadership declaring that it would no longer accept Washington as a peace broker.Following the US president’s declaration, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US had relinquished its traditional role as the mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He has also refused to meet with American officials on the peace process.In his December 6 speech, Trump said his decision merely recognized the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and wasn’t meant to prejudge the final borders of the city. He called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites. The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum.In a series of tweets published on January 3, however, the US leader said he had taken Jerusalem “off the table.”“They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” Trump said of the Palestinians. “We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more,” Trump wrote, without elaborating on the planned Israeli concessions.Washington was paying the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars a year “for nothing,” Trump added on Twitter, complaining that the US received “no appreciation or respect” in return.“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace,” the US president went on, “why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”In his comments on Tuesday, Erekat emphasized the importance of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, saying, “There is no Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital.”Erekat also accused the US of imposing “dictates” on the Palestinian leadership by threatening to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.Abbas’s top foreign affairs adviser, Nabil Shaath, said on Tuesday in a press statement that the PA would still refuse to welcome US Vice President Mike Pence, who will visit the region later this month, to Ramallah.“Our position has not changed up to this moment, and it will not change as long as the behavior of the US administration continues to be biased in favor of Israel,” Shaath said, in statements published by the Palestinian news site al-Watan Voice.Pence postponed his visit to Israel and Egypt in mid-December due to a Senate vote on Trump’s tax overhaul.The White House announced Monday that Pence will travel to the region January 19-23, starting with a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Pence will also confer with King Abdullah II of Jordan and then hold two days of meetings and events in Israel.Agencies and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Netanyahu hints Israel has stopped hijacked planes crashing into European cities-PM tells NATO ambassadors that Israeli intel has thwarted 'several dozen major terrorist attacks,' some involving civil aviation-By Raphael Ahren-JAN 9,18

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday indicated that Israel has prevented hijacked airplanes from crashing into European cities.“We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries,” he told foreign diplomats in Jerusalem.“Some of these could have been mass attacks, of the worst kind that you have experienced on the soil of Europe and even worse, because they involve civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives,” Netanyahu said, apparently referring to plane hijackings.He did not provide specific details about the attacks Israel helped prevent. The Prime Minister’s Office declined to elaborate.At a meeting of Israel-based ambassadors to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Netanyahu said Jerusalem contributes to the security of every single member of the Western defense alliance, in that it fights both Sunni and Shiite strands of radical Islam.Besides fighting Islamic State terrorism aimed at European cities, Israel is also preventing the group from creating a second stronghold in Egypt, he said.“ISIS is being destroyed in Iraq and Syria, but it is trying to establish an alternative territorial base in the Sinai. Israel is contributing to preventing that in myriad ways,” Netanyahu said. “In general, I would say that Israel is the most powerful indigenous force in the Middle East that fights radical Islam.”Israel further helps NATO by fighting Iran, the dominant Shiite power, the prime minister went on. The Jewish state does not only seek to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is also “absolutely committed to preventing Iran from establishing a military base in Syria. And we back our words with action,” he added, likely hinting at various airstrikes on weapon convoys and factories allegedly carried out by Israel.Furthermore, Iran plans to import 100,000 Shiite fighters to Syria as part of its quest to dominate and eventually “conquer” the Middle East, he charged.If Tehran were successful in its efforts, radical Sunni and Shiite forces would clash in Syria, sending millions of refugees to European shores, the prime minister warned.“Where will the spillover [of a Sunni-Shiite clash in Syria] happen? In Europe. Where will the human flow go? To Europe. Who’s preventing that right now? Israel? Right now, Israel alone. But I maintain that it’s a common interest that we have,” he told the NATO ambassadors during the public part of the event.Israel and NATO have cooperated on security matters for decades but recently upgraded their ties significantly. Last year, Israel opened its first office at NATO headquarters in Brussels.Israeli officials have repeatedly said that the Jewish state opposes the presence of Iran and its proxies, notably Hezbollah, in southern Syria and Lebanon.Israel has been negotiating with the United States and Russia, the main brokers in Syria, to keep Iran-backed Shiite militias and the Hezbollah terrorist group away from the border.Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and others have all said that Israel’s policy is to target shipments of advanced weaponry, including accurate long-range missiles, that are heading to or in the possession of Hezbollah.In late December, Assad’s troops, accompanied by Iranian-backed fighters, recaptured the Syrian Golan from rebels, allowing President Bashar Assad to reassert control over a small portion of the area adjacent to the Israeli border. Still, much of the area along the border, around the city of Quneitra, remains under rebel control.Last week, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said the most serious immediate threat to Israel was posed by Hezbollah, followed by other jihadist groups supported by Tehran positioned on the Syrian border.Describing Iran as a “multidimensional threat,” the army chief said the most worrying aspect is the Islamic Republic’s desire to obtain nuclear capabilities, followed by its efforts to achieve hegemony in the region.

Iran’s supreme leader: Anti-regime rallies a US, Zionist ‘plot’-Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says mass protests held across country funded by Gulf states, carried out by outlawed opposition group-By AFP-JAN 9,18

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday praised a “massive movement of the people against the plots of the enemies,” accusing the United States and Israel of inciting anti-government demonstrations.Pro-government rallies have been held across the country since late December, according to Iranian state media, following several days of opposition protests which sparked violence that left 21 dead.Such a “popular mobilization against the enemy’s plots targeting the regime… doesn’t exist anywhere (else) in the world,” Khamenei said in a speech broadcast by Iranian media.He accused the United States and “the Zionists” of spending months preparing demonstrations in small towns in the hope that they would spread to the capital.“This will not go unanswered,” he said.“The money came from the rich governments of the Persian Gulf and the perpetrators were the criminal Monafeghin group,” he added.Monafeghin (“hypocrites” in Persian) is a label Iranian authorities use for the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, an outlawed opposition group.The anti-government protests had used the slogan “no to high living costs,” which “pleases everyone,” he said.“But the people, who were not very many, quickly dissociated themselves (from the movement) when they realized the real objectives” of the instigators, he said.Khamenei said there was a distinction between “the just demands of the people and the wild and destructive actions of this group.”He said protests for rights had nothing to do with “burning the Koran, insulting Islam, insulting the flag and burning mosques.”The anti-government demonstrations were the biggest such movement in the tightly controlled country since protests over a disputed election in 2009.

Mossad chief: Protests unlikely to topple Iran regime-Yossi Cohen says Islamic Republic pouring more cash into security, intelligence and 'galloping into the Middle East without hindrance'-By TOI staff and Agencies-JAN 9,18

The head of Israel’s spy agency said Tuesday that the current protests in Iran were unlikely to topple the regime and warned that massive Iranian-backed forces were “galloping into the Middle East without hindrance” to spread the Islamic Republic’s vision of Islam.“We have eyes and ears and more, even in Iran,” Mossad chief Yossi Cohen told a Finance Ministry convention in Jerusalem.“Iranian citizens went out to demonstrate because of the economic situation and the expectation that President Hassan Rouhani would improve the economy,” he said. “That’s what brought them out on the streets. There’s no need for great expectations, even though I would be very happy to see a social revolution in Iran. Maybe it will happen in the future.”Cohen went on to say that Iran’s arming of Shiite organizations, both inside and outside of the republic, with precision weapons was “a growing concern for the well-being of the entire Middle East,” and that worry was mounting among Sunni leaders, as it was in Israel.Iran’s economy was growing, he said, and internal financial figures showed that more cash was being spent on security, intelligence and Iranian expansion “into the Middle East and beyond.”Iran’s penetration into the region was creating a virtual “air and land corridor, which is pouring fighters into the area to put into practice [the Iranian regime’s] vision.”Cohen added that huge forces stood in the way of any who tried to defy the Iranian regime.“We experienced it in the Green Revolution, which died out in 2009, and we’re seeing it now,” he said.On Tuesday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, tweeted that “those who seek to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran from abroad” had “failed, and you will fail in the future, too.”His comments followed an announcement Sunday by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that the nation and its security forces had ended the wave of unrest linked to anti-government protests that erupted last month.In a statement on its website, the Guard blamed the unrest on the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as on an exiled opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, and supporters of the monarchy that was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.An Iranian reformist lawmaker said Tuesday that some 3,700 people had been arrested in the days of protests and unrest — a far higher number than authorities previously released.At least 21 people were killed in the unrest surrounding the protests.The official news website of the Iranian parliament, icana.ir, quoted Mahmoud Sadeghi of Tehran as saying that various security and intelligence forces detained the protesters, making it difficult to know the exact number of detainees. He did not elaborate, nor did he say where he got the figure.Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli has said about 42,000 people at most took part in the week of protests.Sadeghi’s figure for those arrested would mean more than ten percent of those who demonstrated were arrested.Iranian authorities have said that the protests are waning. In recent days, government supporters have held several mass rallies across the country to protest the unrest.The United States and Israel have expressed support for the protests, which began on December 28 in Iran’s second largest city, Mashhad, but deny Iranian government allegations that they fomented them.The protests were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, and some demonstrators called for the overthrow of the government.

Soldiers arrest Palestinian girl with a knife, bottle of gasoline-Suspect first spotted by Israeli civilian in West Bank who drew his pistol and subdued her until security forces arrived-By Judah Ari Gross-JAN 9,18
Israeli security forces arrested on Tuesday a Palestinian teenage girl who was found in possession of a utility knife and a bottle of gasoline at a bus stop in the central West Bank, the army said.An Israeli civilian spotted the teenager behaving suspiciously at the Shiloh Junction, north of Ramallah. He drew his pistol and called on her to halt.The girl then took out and threw away the knife that she had in her possession, an army spokesperson said.A short while later, Israel Defense Forces soldiers arrived on the scene and placed her under arrest. During a search of her bag, they found the plastic bottle full of gasoline, the IDF said.“She is now being questioned,” the spokesperson said.There were no injuries reported.Last week, soldiers also arrested a Palestinian teenager who was holding a knife and walking toward their jeep in the central West Bank.Officials who were at the scene last Monday said the 19-year-old man approached the vehicle at the Beit Anun Junction, near Hebron, and dropped a knife on the ground. The soldiers in the jeep then subdued him without firing their weapons, the army said. Searching him, the soldiers found a second knife in his possession.The man was placed under arrest and interrogated briefly at the scene, before being handed over to law enforcement for further questioning, the army said. No soldiers were injured in the incident.

Egypt says its forces killed 8 suspected jihadists in Sinai-Firefight breaks out during raid on suspected hideout in el-Arish city; weapons seized from group planning attack on security forces, according to Interior Ministry-By Agencies-JAN 9,18

CAIRO — Egypt says security forces have killed eight suspected jihadists in a shootout in the northern Sinai Peninsula.The Interior Ministry said Tuesday the firefight broke out when the forces raided a suspected hideout in el-Arish city. It said the militants were planning attacks targeting security forces, and were in possession of explosives, rifles and ammunition.Egypt has been battling militants in the northern part of Sinai Peninsula for years, but the insurgency became far more deadly after the 2013 military ouster of Mohammed Morsi, an elected but divisive Islamist president.An Islamic State affiliate based in the Sinai has carried out a number of high-profile attacks in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and Egypt’s Christian minority.On December 28 a roadside bomb planted by Islamic militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula hit a military vehicle on Thursday, killing six people, including a senior army officer.The bomb struck a military convoy that was patrolling an area just outside the town of Bir al-Abd in northern Sinai.Bir al-Abd, near el-Arish, was the scene of the deadliest terrorist attack against civilians in Egypt’s modern history, when militants killed 311 worshipers in a mosque on November 24.

Defense Ministry drafts bill to cut PA funds over terrorist stipends-Proposal would deduct cash payouts to relatives of Palestinian prisoners and their families from Israeli tax revenues heading to Ramallah-By Marissa Newman-JAN 9,18

The Defense Ministry on Tuesday publicized a draft bill that would deduct welfare payments paid out by the Palestinian Authority to Palestinian prisoners and their families from the tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the PA.“The Palestinian Authority pays over a billion shekels a year to terrorists and their relatives, thereby encouraging and perpetuating terrorism,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said in a statement. “The moment the payments are set based on the severity of the crime and the prison sentence, namely that those who murder and are sentenced to life receive a lot more, this is [tantamount to] funding terror attacks against Israelis.”The bill, which targets cash payments by the PA to jailed or injured terrorists and their relatives, will also apply to Palestinians who committed other crimes for which they are being compensated by the PA, the ministry said in a statement.The Palestine Liberation Organization gives monthly payments to all Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, no matter the reason for their incarceration, and also to families of so-called “martyrs” — a term used by the PLO to refer to anyone killed by an Israeli, whether the person was killed attacking Israelis or an innocent bystander.A recent report published by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli Defense Ministry agency responsible for administering civilian affairs in the West Bank and the crossings with Gaza, said that around one-third of the Palestinian prisoners are “directly responsible for the murder of Israelis.”According to the Defense Ministry, the Palestinian Authority in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.Palestinian security prisoners serving 20-30 year sentences for carrying out terror attacks are eligible for a lifetime NIS 10,000 ($1,900) monthly stipend, the Defense Ministry said, citing PA figures. Those prisoners who receive a 3-5 year sentence get a monthly wage of NIS 2,000 ($580). Palestinian prisoners who are married, have children, live in Jerusalem, or hold Israeli citizenship receive additional payments.“For illustrative purposes, the average salary in the West Bank stands at just over NIS 2,000 ($580) a month,” the Defense Ministry said.According to the proposed legislation, each year the defense minister will convene a ministerial panel to tally the deductions from the tax funds gathered for the PA. Under an economic agreement signed in 1994, Israel transfers to the PA tens of millions of dollars each year in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.The Defense Ministry announcement came a week after US President Donald Trump threatened aid cuts to the PA, asking why Washington should make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians were “no longer willing to talk peace.” The US envoy to the United Nations had earlier floated the option of reducing funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.US lawmakers have also been advancing the Taylor Force Act — named for a US national killed in a Tel Aviv stabbing terror attack — which would cut US funding to the PA unless it discontinued its practice of paying monthly stipends to the families of terrorists who kill Israelis.Monday’s bill, the Israeli equivalent of the US Taylor Force Act, was drafted after months of deliberations by a special task force from the Defense Ministry, Justice Ministry, and security agencies. It will be brought to the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation in the coming months, the ministry said.A similar proposal by Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern passed its preliminary reading last year and has since been under review by the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.The PA has refused to cease the payments to Palestinian prisoners.In June, Abbas, in a speech read by his foreign affairs adviser Nabil Shaath, argued that “payments to support the families are a social responsibility to look after innocent people affected by the incarceration or killing of their loved ones.“It’s quite frankly racist rhetoric to call all our political prisoners terrorists. They are, in effect, the victims of the occupation, not the creators of the occupation,” Abbas said.Dov Lieber contributed to this report.

Sweden warns against cutting US aid to Palestinian refugee agency-Stockholm says reducing support for UNRWA over Palestinian rejection of peace talks 'would be destabilizing for the region'-By AFP-JAN 9,18

UNITED NATIONS — Sweden, a big donor country that has recognized a Palestinian state, warned Tuesday that any US decision to withdraw funds to the UN agency for Palestinians would be destabilizing for the Middle East.Sweden’s UN Ambassador Olof Skoog said he had raised his concerns with US Ambassador Nikki Haley following reports that the US administration had withheld $125 million in funds due on January 1 for the United Nations’ refugee agency for Palestinians, known as UNRWA.“My concern is that as we talk about regional stability, withdrawing funding for UNRWA would be very negative, both in terms of humanitarian needs of over five million people but also of course it would be destabilizing for the region,” Skoog told reporters at UN headquarters.The Swedish ambassador said he did not rule out raising the issue at the Security Council, which is scheduled to hold its regular meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 25.US President Donald Trump earlier this month threatened to cut US aid to the Palestinians, saying on Twitter that Washington gets “no appreciation or respect” from the Palestinians.“We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” Trump tweeted on January 2.“With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”In Washington, a senior State Department official said Monday that “contrary to reports that we have halted funding to UNRWA, the decision is under review.”“There are still deliberations taking place, and we have missed no deadline,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.Sweden was the first EU country to recognize a Palestinian state in 2014 and is among the top 10 donors to UNRWA along with the United States, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Britain.US Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East next week, with stops scheduled in Egypt, Jordan and Israel.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he would like to see UNRWA shut down but called for the US to withdraw its support for the agency gradually.Netanyahu’s comments at the weekly cabinet meeting confirmed earlier reports that Israel was cautiously supporting the anticipated US funding cut, but is aiming to minimize possible harm to the Palestinians and prevent a serious humanitarian crisis from developing as a result, especially in the Gaza Strip.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Netanyahu: Israel acts to keep game-changing arms away from Hezbollah-After reported airstrikes on targets in Syria, PM and Mossad chief warn against advanced Iranian munitions reaching terror groups-By Judah Ari Gross-JAN 9,18

Following reports of an Israeli airstrike on a weapons depot in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel is prepared to take action to prevent advanced munitions from reaching the Hezbollah terrorist group.“We have a longstanding policy to prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah in Syrian territory. This policy has not changed. We back it up, if necessary, with action,” he said at an event with NATO officials in Jerusalem.However, the prime minister did not confirm that the Israel Defense Forces conducted the predawn strike, which the Syrian military claimed hit the military base of al-Qutayfah, outside Damascus.The Israeli military would not comment on the alleged strike.Separately, Yossi Cohen, the head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, said the proliferation of accurate Iranian missiles is a “growing concern to the peace of the entire Middle East.”Speaking at a Finance Ministry event in Jerusalem, Cohen said, “We hear the concerns from Sunni leaders about Iran are growing, just as they are in Israel. We are hearing it from everywhere.”On Tuesday morning, the Syrian military said that Israel conducted a series of three airstrikes on a base in al-Qutayfah, northeast of Damascus, which is home to its 155th Artillery Regiment. Syrian opposition media reported that the base was used to store weapons, specifically long-range missiles.In a statement, the Syrian military reported that the strikes occurred over the course of several hours — at 2:40 a.m., 3:04 a.m. and 4:15 a.m. — and were carried out by both aircraft and surface-to-surface missiles.“Our air defenses responded to three Israeli missile attacks on military positions in the al-Qutayfah countryside,” official Syrian state media quoted military officials as saying.Syrian military officials said the country’s air defenses intercepted three of the missiles fired and hit one of the Israeli aircraft. The claim could not be immediately confirmed.According to Ronen Solomon, an Israeli freelance intelligence analyst who tracks Syria’s weapons development programs for his blog Intelli Times, the 155th Artillery Regiment operates Scud missile launchers and “has been known since 2010 as the regiment that hosts Hezbollah’s advanced Scud missile base.”Loud explosions could be heard throughout the area following the alleged strike, according to local media. Ahead of the strike, Lebanese media reported that Israeli jets were seen flying over the country.The alleged airstrike came as senior Israeli ministers and defense officials have reportedly been holding high-level talks about the situation in Syria and Lebanon, specifically regarding Iranian entrenchment in the region.“The Middle East is raging around us, and what concerns us the most are Iranian efforts to establish military bases in Syria,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio Monday after being asked about reports that the high-level security cabinet has been holding a series of “extremely significant” meetings on the threats from the northern border.“The prime minister is leading a multifaceted campaign to stop this entrenchment,” Steinitz said, declining to comment specifically on the content of the meetings.Last month, Israel allegedly fired missiles at a suspected Iranian base in Syria, reportedly killing 12 Iranian military personnel and destroying several buildings.Israeli officials have repeatedly said that the Jewish state opposes the presence of Iran and its proxies, notably Hezbollah, in southern Syria and Lebanon.Israel has been negotiating with the United States and Russia, the main brokers in Syria, to keep Iran-backed Shiite militias and the Hezbollah terrorist group away from the border.Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and others have all said that Israel’s policy is to target shipments of advanced weaponry, including accurate long-range missiles, that are heading to or in the possession of Hezbollah.In late December, Assad’s troops, accompanied by Iranian-backed fighters, recaptured the Syrian Golan from rebels, allowing President Bashar Assad to reassert control over a small portion of the area adjacent to the Israeli border. Still, much of the area along the border, around the city of Quneitra, remains under rebel control.Last week, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said the most serious immediate threat to Israel was posed by Hezbollah, followed by other jihadist groups supported by Tehran positioned on the Syrian border.Describing Iran as a “multidimensional threat,” the army chief said the most worrying aspect is the Islamic Republic’s desire to obtain nuclear capabilities, followed by its efforts to achieve hegemony in the region.He noted the over $1 billion that the country invests in its proxies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and — increasingly — Palestinian terrorist groups in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.According to Eisenkot, each year Iran sends between $700 million and $1 billion to Hezbollah each year, $100 million each to Shiite militias in Syria, Shiite militias in Iraq, rebels in Yemen and to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups.The army chief did not provide the source for those figures.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Minister mulls renaming city in tribute to Rabbi Steinman-Rabbis ask Aryeh Deri to name ultra-Orthodox city of Elad 'Ayelet Hashahar' after top spiritual leader's pen name-By Michael Bachner-JAN 9,18

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is considering renaming a central Israeli city after Rabbi Aharon Yehudah Leib Steinman, the 104-year-old leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, who died last month.Senior rabbis in the Degel Hatorah faction of the United Torah Judaism party asked Deri, leader of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox party Shas, to rename the Haredi city of Elad “Ayelet Hashahar,” according to the ultra-Orthodox news website Kikar Hashabbat.“The request has been received and it will be checked with the professional authorities,” said Deri on Tuesday, confirming the report.“Ayelet Hashahar” is the title of a series of twelve books penned by Rabbi Shteinman on the Talmud. He published the work anonymously under the pseudonym “Ayelet Hashahar” which alludes to his initials and those of his wife, Tamar [AYeLeT = Aharon Yehuda Leib Tamar] in Hebrew, as well as Hebrew for the “morning star” mentioned in Psalms 22.“It is only appropriate that a religious city like Elad proudly bear the name of the yeshiva leader, who always saw improving the prestige of the Torah and yeshiva world as his top priority,” the rabbis wrote to Deri, according to the report.However, the move could be delayed until after municipal elections in October, the report added, due to the Interior Ministry’s policy of refraining from implementing major changes in local councils before elections.It is not clear if the name change will be possible, given that Ayelet Hashahar is already the name of a kibbutz in the Upper Galilee.During the month since his death and mass funeral, several buildings and neighborhoods have been named after Shteinman. These include a yeshiva complex in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Nazareth Illit, and a yeshiva in the neighborhood of Har Nof in Jerusalem.Hundreds of thousands of people attended the funeral for Steinman. In his will, which was read at the ceremony, the rabbi instructed his followers not to give eulogies at the burial and that his grave be simply marked. He also said no praise should be publicized about him in the press and said children should not be named in his honor.

Jerusalem-Tel Aviv fast train to launch by Passover, minister says-Train line under construction since 2001 and cost some NIS 7b; travel along route will be free of charge for first three months By TOI staff-JAN 9,18

5:43 pm-Sweden warns against cutting US aid to Palestinians-Sweden, a major donor country that has recognized Palestine as a state, warns Tuesday that any US decision to withdraw funds to the UN agency for Palestinians would be destabilizing for the Middle East.Sweden’s UN Ambassador Olof Skoog says he has raised his concerns with US Ambassador Nikki Haley following reports that the US administration had withheld $125 million in funds due on January 1 for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinians.“My concern is that as we talk about regional stability, withdrawing funding for UNRWA would be very negative, both in terms of humanitarian needs of over five million people but also of course it would be destabilizing for the region,” Skoog tells reporters at UN headquarters.The Swedish ambassador says he did not rule out raising the issue at the Security Council, which is scheduled to hold its regular meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 25.US President Donald Trump earlier this month threatened to cut US aid to the Palestinians, saying on Twitter that Washington gets “no appreciation or respect” from the Palestinians.— AFP-5:20 pm-Transportation minister says Jerusalem-Tel Aviv fast train to launch by Passover-Transportation Minister Israel Katz says the much-anticipated fast train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is slated to open around the start of the Passover holiday, which begins on the evening of March 30.For its first three months, travel on the route will be free of charge, Hadashot TV reports.Under construction since 2001 and with a price tag in excess of 7 billion shekels, the line is expected to enable travel between Israel’s capital and its commercial hub in as little as 28 minutes.5:01 pm-Canadian Holocaust denier arrested in Germany-A Holocaust denier from Canada has been arrested in Germany and is under investigation for crimes related to incitement of hate, a spokesperson for the Bavarian State Public Prosecutor in Munich confirms to JTA.News of the arrest of Monika Schaefer first broke in the Canada-based online news agency Fitzhugh. Schaefer is known for posting a YouTube video in 2016 in which she called the Holocaust the most “persistent lie in all of history.”Though prohibited by German law from revealing the name of a suspect under investigation, spokesperson Andrea Mayer confirms that a woman fitting her description had been recognized in the public audience at a trial in Munich of another person charged with incitement to hate, Sylvia Stolz, a former lawyer in Germany who already has been convicted of Holocaust denial. Stolz represented Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel, who died in 2017.— JTA-4:33 pm-Palestinian teen said caught carrying knife, firebomb in West Bank-Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian teenage girl who is found in possession of a utility knife and a bottle of gasoline at a bus stop at the Shilo Junction in the central West Bank, the army says.An Israeli civilian spotted the teenager behaving strangely, drew his pistol and called for her to halt. The girl then took out and threw away the knife that she had in her possession, an army spokesperson says.Soldiers arrived on the scene a short while later and placed her under arrest. During a search of her bag, they found the gasoline, the army says.“She is now being questioned,” the spokesperson says.There are no injuries reported.— Judah Ari Gross-3:59 pm--Greece to limit sharia law after European Court challenge-ATHENS, Greece — Lawmakers in Greece are set to limit the powers of Islamic courts operating in a border region that is home to a 100,000-strong Muslim minority.Backed by parliament’s largest political parties, the draft law is set to be voted on later Tuesday. The proposal aims to scrap rules dating back more than 90 years ago and which refer many civil cases involving members of the Muslim community to Sharia law courts. The new legislation will give Greek courts priority in all cases.The changes — considered long overdue by many Greek legal experts — follow a complaint to the Council of Europe’s Court of Human Rights over an inheritance dispute by a Muslim woman who lives in the northeastern Greek city of Komotini.— AP-3:34 pm-Kurdish soccer player in ‘safe place’ after Germany attackA German-Turkish soccer player whose car was shot at on a German highway is in a “safe place” and receiving police protection after the apparent assassination attempt, his lawyer says.Deniz Naki, who plays in Turkey and is known for his pro-Kurdish views, was unharmed in the shooting late Sunday which he believes was linked to his criticism of the Turkish government.The 28-year-old tells German media his SUV came under fire from a black van on the A4 motorway near the western town of Dueren, leaving two bullets lodged in his car.“I was afraid for my life,” says German-born Naki, who plays for the third-tier club Amedspor in the majority-Kurdish city of Diyarbakir. “I am a walking target in Turkey because of my pro-Kurdish stance,” he is quoted as saying.German prosecutors have opened an investigation into attempted murder, and police officers have since taken Naki to “a hidden location” as a precaution, his lawyer Soran Haldi Mizrak tells the DPA news agency.— AFP-3:07 pm-Iran’s Khamenei hails rallies against US, Zionist ‘plot’TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praises a “massive movement of the people against the plots of the enemies,” accusing the United States and Israel of inciting anti-government demonstrations.Pro-government rallies have been held across the country since late December, according to Iranian state media, following several days of opposition protests which sparked violence that left 21 dead.Such a “popular mobilization against the enemy’s plots targeting the regime… doesn’t exist anywhere (else) in the world,” Khamenei says in a speech broadcast by Iranian media.He accuses the United States and “the Zionists” of spending months preparing demonstrations in small towns in the hope that they would spread to the capital.“This will not go unanswered,” he says.The anti-government demonstrations were the biggest such movement in the tightly controlled country since protests over a disputed election in 2009.— AFP-2:52 pm-Egypt says its forces kill 8 suspected jihadists in Sinai-CAIRO — Egypt says its security forces have killed eight suspected jihadists in a shootout in the northern Sinai Peninsula.The Interior Ministry says the firefight broke out when the forces raided a suspected hideout in el-Arish city. It says the jihadists were planning attacks targeting security forces, and were in possession of explosives, rifles and ammunition.Egypt has been battling Islamist insurgents in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula for years, but the insurgency became far more deadly after the 2013 military ouster of Mohammed Morsi.An Islamic State affiliate based in the Sinai has carried out a number of high-profile attacks in recent years, mainly targeting security forces and Egypt’s Christian minority.— Agencies-2:48 pm--Deri considers renaming ultra-Orthodox city in honor of late Rabbi Shteinman-Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is said to be considering changing the name of the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad to Ayelet Hashahar in honor of the late Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, a top Haredi rabbi in Israel until his death last month at the age of 104.Rabbis affiliated with the Degel Hatorah political party, part of the United Torah Judaism faction in the Knesset, spoke with Deri about the possibility in recent days, according the ultra-Orthodox news website Kikar Hashabbat.Ayelet Hashahar is Shteinman’s pen name in his extensive published commentaries on the Bible and Talmud.It is not clear if the name change will be possible given that Ayelet Hashahar is already the name of a kibbutz in the Upper Galilee.2:35 pm-Israel has stopped terrorists from crashing planes into Europe’s cities — PM-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday suggests that Israel has prevented terrorists from hijacking airplanes and crashing them into European cities.“We have, through our intelligence services, provided information that has stopped several dozen major terrorist attacks, many of them in European countries,” he tells foreign diplomats at a NATO gathering in Jerusalem.“Some of these could have been massive attacks, of the worst kind that have ever been experienced on the soil of Europe — and even worse, because they involved civil aviation. Israel has prevented that, and thereby helped save many European lives.”He does not provide more details about the nature of the attacks.— Raphael Ahren-1:56 pm-Jerusalem police prevent gathering of Palestinian terror group-Jerusalem Police chief Yoram Halevy issues an order preventing a planned gathering in East Jerusalem of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Palestinian terror group.The event was slated to take place Tuesday, but officers arrive at the scene and prevent it from taking place, according to Hebrew media reports.Three organizers are taken for questioning.The DFLP has been relatively inactive in recent years, but was once a prominent terror group. It carried out the infamous Ma’alot massacre in 1974 in which 25 people, most of them Israeli schoolchildren, were murdered.1:55 pm-Some 3,700 Iranians arrested during protests, unrest, lawmaker says-TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian reformist lawmaker says some 3,700 people were arrested in the days of protests and unrest that roiled Iran over the past two weeks, offering a far higher number than authorities previously released.The protests, which vented anger at high unemployment and official corruption, were the largest seen in Iran since the disputed 2009 presidential election, and some demonstrators called for the overthrow of the government. At least 21 people have been killed in the unrest surrounding the protests.The official news website of the Iranian parliament, icana.ir, quotes Mahmoud Sadeghi of Tehran as saying that different security and intelligence forces detained the protesters, making it difficult to know the exact number of detainees. He did not elaborate, nor did he say where he got the figure.Previously, authorities have said “hundreds” were arrested in Tehran alone, not offering a total figure for arrests as the demonstrations spread into the Iranian countryside, including small towns.Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli has said about 42,000 people at most took part in the anti-government protests. Sadeghi’s figure of arrested offered Tuesday would mean nearly nine percent of those who demonstrated were arrested.— AP.

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