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.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

FOR US CHRISTIAN TOURISTS-TRUMPS JERUSALEM MOVE HAS BIBLICAL IMPLICATIONS.

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)

UPDATE 2:40PM TUE JAN 23,18
WELL ISN'T THIS AN INTERESTING BREAKING NEWS. COMEY WAS INTERVIEWED BY MULLER. I WONDER WHY NOW MULLER WOULD INTERVIEW COMEY. WHEN MULLER AND COMEY WAS INVOLVED IN THE LATEST OBSTRUCTION CASE IN THE SO CALLED RUSSIAN COLLUSION CASE. AND NOW THE MISSING THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF TEXTS BY THE 2 FBI LOVE BIRD ADULTERERS. AND NOW THAT THE REPUBLICANS WILL BE RELEASING THE 4 PAGES OF COVERUP-TRUMP HATE. AND BIAS AND CONSPIRACIES TO STOP TRUMP FROM BECOMING PRESIDENT. MAYBE NOW WE KNOW THE REAL REASON MULLER WANTED TO GET COMEY INTO HIS OFFICE. TO TALK ABOUT HOW THEIR GONNA GET THERE WAY OUT OF THIS ONION UNPEALING COVERUP. WERE COMEY AND MULLER WERE BOTH INVOLVED. IN THE CONSPIRACY INTAGLEMENT WITH THE 2 ADULTEROUS FBI AGENTS THAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE FOUND OUT ABOUT. THE MADE UP DOSSIER TO SPY ON TRUMPS PEOPLE. AND THE LIBERAL BIAS TO GET HITLARY 2ND ROTEN CLINTON IN AS PRESIDENT INSTEAD OF TRUMP. SO YES WE NOW KNOW WHY MULLER HAD TO SO CALLED INTERVIEW COMEY IN THIS SO CALLED TRUMP RUSSIAN COLLUSION WITCH HUNT. AT THIS PRESENT TIME RUSH. JUST AS ALL HELL WILL BE BREAKING LOOSE ON COMEY-MULLER-THE FBI AND DOJ OVER THE MISSING TEXTS AND THE 4 PAGES OF MEMOS TO BE RELEASED TO THE AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE NEXT 2 OR SO WEEKS.  

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

For US Christian tourists, Trump’s Jerusalem move has biblical implications-Some evangelicals believe shoring up Israel's claim to the city and establishing a new temple there could herald a Second Coming-By AFP and TOI staff-JAN 22,18

Near the olive grove where Christians believe Jesus agonized before his crucifixion, an American visitor spoke of a decision by US President Donald Trump some believe also holds spiritual importance.Phillip Dunn, the 37-year-old pastor of an evangelical Christian church in the US state of South Carolina, said he saw Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month as part of biblical prophecy.“Certainly this holds a lot of significance for people in that way. We believe Christ is going to return,” Dunn, part of a group of around 50 American Southern Baptists visiting Jerusalem holy sites over the weekend, said before climbing back aboard a tour bus.Trump’s controversial declaration on December 6 will be back in the spotlight over the coming days with Vice President Mike Pence arriving Sunday night for talks with Israeli officials in Jerusalem.Dunn and his fellow believers are key backers of Trump’s move in the United States and part of the Christian evangelical community there that has become an important pillar of support for his Republican party.Pence, who stood behind Trump as he made his Jerusalem announcement, is himself an evangelical Christian.Dunn and others on the Jerusalem tour, planned before Trump’s announcement, said they were pleased with his declaration because they consider it important to support Israel and affirm its claim that the entire city is its eternal capital.But there were also otherworldly considerations among the group.Some evangelicals believe, based on interpretations of scripture, that firmly establishing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and establishing a new temple there could help lead to the second coming of Jesus.Dunn and others on the trip said interpretations of Jerusalem’s place in biblical prophecy vary too widely to provide a simple answer such as that one.-‘A lot of mystery’ Brett Burleson, a pastor at a church in Alabama, said, “There’s a lot of mystery to that, so I don’t claim to know how it’s all going to play out.”“We do recognize that this is a place where we believe the Lord Jesus himself will return and bring a peaceful end to human history,” the 47-year-old said.Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as the capital of their future state. Trump stressed in his speech that recognizing the city as Israel’s capital did not indicate a position its final boundaries, which he said should be decided in peace talks between the sides — a message Pence has been echoing in this visit to the region. Still, the president later said his declaration had taken Jerusalem off the negotiating table.Trump’s declaration deeply angered the Palestinians, with PA President Mahmoud Abbas canceling plans to meet Pence during his visit, which had been set for late December before being postponed.The declaration was partly the result of a long political debate in the United States, with a law passed calling for the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 1995.The legislation, however, allowed presidents to sign a waiver every six months to prevent the embassy move for national security reasons. Trump again signed the waiver when declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital last month, but stressed he intended to move the embassy.He also said Jerusalem’s final borders and status would have to be negotiated, but Palestinians were unconvinced. ‘Probably not’ David Parsons, vice president of the International Christian Embassy based in Jerusalem, said he helped draft an earlier version of the embassy legislation while working for a pro-Israel lobbying firm in the United States.“We have a large, broad movement worldwide that supports Israel on various motivations,” Parsons said of the primarily evangelical Christian embassy.“Some are motivated by biblical prophecy, but there’s a broad array of views on biblical prophecy.”Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, said Sunday that Israel has long reached out to US Christian groups for support.Specifically mentioning evangelicals, Shoval said “we may not agree with everything anybody says about the future of Israel or the future of the country.”Some evangelicals believe Jews would eventually have to convert to Christianity.“But we must look at the present situation,” he told journalists.“The present situation is that there is a very important body of people in America who believe — honestly and genuinely believe — in the future of the Jewish people and its place in the Jewish country in Israel,” Shoval said.Lewis Richerson, 37, a pastor from Louisiana on the Jerusalem tour, may be among those he had in mind.His support for Trump’s declaration was “primarily political” since backing Israel in part helps “promote democracy and freedom around the world.”Richerson said of the declaration: “Is that some type of biblical prophecy? Probably not.”

Jordan urges Pence to ‘rebuild trust’ after Jerusalem pivot-Vice president responds that 'the United States of America remains committed, if the parties agree, to a two-state solution'-By Ken Thomas-TOI-JAN 22,18

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan’s king appealed Sunday to US Vice President Mike Pence to “rebuild trust and confidence” in the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, following fallout from the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.Pence, in turn, tried to reassure the King Abdullah II that the Trump administration remains committed to restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and views Jordan as a central player.The vice president also said that “the United States of America remains committed, if the parties agree, to a two-state solution.” Such a caveat deviates from longstanding US support for a two-state solution as the only possible outcome of any peace deal.Trump’s pivot on Jerusalem last month infuriated the Palestinians, who seek the Israeli-annexed eastern sector of the city as a future capital. They accused the US of siding with Israel and said Washington can no longer serve as a mediator.US President Donald Trump, in his December 6 address on Jerusalem, said that recognizing it as the capital of Israel was merely an acknowledgement of reality, and made clear that he was not prejudging the city’s final borders nor intending any change to the status quo of the religious sites in the city.Jerusalem is the emotional centerpiece of the long-running conflict, and Trump’s policy shift set off protests and condemnation across Arab and Muslim countries.It posed a dilemma for Abdullah, who is a staunch US ally, but also derives his political legitimacy in part from the Hashemite dynasty’s role as guardian of a key Muslim site in Jerusalem. Any perceived threat to Muslim claims in the city is seen as a challenge to Jordan, where a large segment of the population is of Palestinian origin.Pence told Jordan’s monarch on Sunday that Trump made it clear in his announcement on Jerusalem “that we are committed to continue to respect Jordan’s role as the custodian of holy sites, that we take no position on boundaries and final status.”He said Jordan would continue to play a central role in any future peace efforts.The vice president also praised Jordan’s contribution to a US-led military campaign against Islamic State extremists who in recent months were pushed back from large areas in Iraq and Syria, both neighbors of Jordan.Abdullah expressed concerns about the regional fallout from the Jerusalem decision.“Today we have a major challenge to overcome, especially with some of the rising frustrations,” he said. He described the Pence visit as a mission “to rebuild trust and confidence” in getting to a two-state solution, in which a state of Palestine would be established in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War.Another cause of concern for Jordan is the Trump administration’s decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Jordan vehemently opposes such a move if taken ahead of an Israeli-Palestinian partition deal.Israel views Jerusalem as its unified capital.A longstanding international consensus holds that the city’s final status should be decided through negotiations, which was also US policy going back decades.Palestinians view Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a blatantly one-sided move.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not meet with Trump administration officials and called off a meeting with Pence that had been scheduled for mid-December.In a new expression of that snub, Abbas overlapped with Pence in Jordan from Saturday evening to midday Sunday, when the Palestinian leader flew to Brussels for a meeting with EU foreign ministers Monday. There, Abbas is expected to urge EU member states to recognize a state of Palestine in the pre-1967 lines, and to step up involvement in mediation.Nabil Abu Rudeineh, an Abbas adviser, reiterated Sunday that “the US is no longer acceptable as a mediator.”“Any plan from any side should be based on the basic references, which are the UN resolutions on the establishment of a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as a capital, and the Arab Peace Initiative, which addresses many issues, including the issue of refugees,” he said.“Any plan that is not based on the international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative will not be acceptable, neither by the Palestinians nor the Arabs.”Pence was also expected to meet with US troops in the region on Sunday and then depart for Israel, where he’s scheduled to hold meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, deliver an address to the Knesset and visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Ahead of Pence visit, PM says no progress on peace without American involvement-Netanyahu says calls by Arab MKs to boycott the US vice president's address to the Knesset are a 'disgrace'-By Gavin Rabinowitz-JAN 21,18-TOI

Speaking ahead of the arrival of US Vice President Mike Pence in Israel on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there can be no progress toward peace in the region without the US playing a leading role.His comments come with the Palestinians and other prominent Arabs refusing to meet with US officials in anger over President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.“This evening a great friend of the State of Israel, a true friend, US Vice President Mike Pence, will arrive in Israel,” Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting.“We shall discuss efforts by the Trump administration to hinder Iran’s aggression and the Iranian nuclear program, and of course to promote security and peace in the region,” Netanyahu said. “Anyone who truly strives to achieve those goals knows there is no alternative to the leadership of the US.”Highlights from Pence’s trip will include visits to the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, as well as a speech at a special plenary session in the Knesset which Arab lawmakers have said they will boycott.Netanyahu called the boycott plans a “disgrace.”“I see it as a disgrace that Knesset members are intending to boycott this important visit in the Knesset and even plan to disrupt it. We will all be there and will pay Vice President Pence the great respect he deserves,” he said.On Saturday Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh said MKs in his party would not attend Pence’s Knesset speech due to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.In a Twitter post Saturday, Odeh said his party would fulfill an earlier promise to skip Pence’s address to the Knesset plenum.“[Pence] is a dangerous man with a messianic vision that includes the destruction of the entire region,” he also said.Odeh also attacked Trump, saying he was “even more dangerous” than Pence and a “political pyromaniac” and a “racist” woman-hater. He slammed the US president’s Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts and said Trump “must not have a [political] road map for the region.”The Arab lawmaker said after Trump’s December 6 Jerusalem announcement that the US “has lost its place as the exclusive mediator of negotiations,” echoing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has struck out strongly at the Trump administration since the announcement on Jerusalem.The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as the capital of their future state. Trump stressed in his speech that recognizing the city as Israel’s capital did not indicate a position its final boundaries, which he said should be decided in peace talks between the sides — a message Pence has been echoing in this visit to the region.In addition to the boycott by Arab MKs, Pence is also being shunned by the PA and will not travel to Ramallah or meet with Palestinian leaders. The PA said it would not meet with any US officials regarding the peace process following Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem.Pence’s visit to the region comes as Abbas has been ramping up his criticism of Trump and his peacemaking efforts. In a speech last Sunday, the PA leader called a peace plan being formulated by Trump the “slap of the century” and claimed Israel was a European “colonial project.”In response to Abbas’s refusal to engage in American-brokered peace talks, the US has frozen tens of millions of dollars in aid to UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, although the State Department said the second installment of funds was being held up due to the need for “reform” at the organization.Pence comes to Israel following meetings in Jordan and Egypt where he has been trying to reassure Arab allies who are uneasy about Trump’s move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.In a meeting Saturday with Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, he emphasized the US commitment to the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.Pence said he assured Sissi the US was committed to “preserving the status quo with regard to holy sites in Jerusalem,” and boundaries and other issues would be negotiated between the parties.“The United States of America is deeply committed to restarting the peace process in the Middle East,” Pence said before departing for Jordan. He said he would be “delivering that message in Jordan, delivering that message in Israel, as well.”

Thousands of police deploy ahead of Pence’s visit to Israel-Roads in Jerusalem to be blocked during US vice president's stay, with US security services also involved in preparations-By Michael Bachner and Agencies-TOI-JAN 21,18

Israel is bracing for US Vice President Mike Pence’s two-day visit, with thousands of police officers taking part in special security operations and residents preparing for wide-scale traffic disruptions, particularly in Jerusalem where his visit will focus.Pence is set to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday evening from Jordan, marking the first visit to Israel of a senior American official since the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month.Israel police have completed security preparations for the visit, the police said in a statement, adding that Israel’s Border Police, counter-terror units and US security services are also involved in the efforts.“The security operation includes thousands of policemen and officers carrying out security measures during the vice president’s visit and police units will be in all areas where the vice president will be visiting,” the statement said.Police have also set up a phone number, 110, “for the public to be in touch with us if assistance and information is required.”Heightened security measures will continue until Tuesday.Highlights from Pence’s trip will include visits to the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum, as well as a speech at a special plenary session in the Knesset which Arab lawmakers have said they will boycott.Ahead of his arrival, Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh said MKs in his party would not attend Pence’s Knesset speech due to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.In a Twitter post Saturday, Odeh said his party would go through with an earlier promise to skip Pence’s address to the Knesset plenum.“[Pence] is a dangerous man with a messianic vision that includes the destruction of the entire region,” he also said.Odeh also attacked Trump, saying he was “even more dangerous” than Pence and a “political pyromaniac” and a “racist” woman-hater. He slammed the US president’s Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts and said Trump “must not have a [political] road map for the region.”The Arab lawmaker said after Trump’s December 6 Jerusalem announcement that the US “has lost its place as the exclusive mediator of negotiations,” echoing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who has struck out strongly at the Trump administration since the announcement on Jerusalem.The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as the capital of their future state. Trump stressed in his speech that recognizing the city as Israel’s capital did not indicate a position its final boundaries, which he said should be decided in peace talks between the sides — a message Pence has been echoing in this visit to the region.In addition to being boycotted by Arab MKs, Pence is also being shunned by the PA and will not travel to Ramallah or meet with Palestinian leaders. The PA said it would not meet with any US officials regarding the peace process following Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem.Pence’s visit to the region comes as Abbas has been ramping up his criticism of Trump and his peacemaking efforts. In a speech last Sunday, the PA leader called a peace plan being formulated by Trump the “slap of the century” and claimed Israel was a European “colonial project.”In response to Abbas’s refusal to engage in American-brokered peace talks, the US has frozen tens of millions of dollars in aid to UNRWA, the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, although the State Department said the second installment of funds was being held up due to the need for “reform” at the organization.Pence comes to Israel following meetings in Jordan and Egypt where he has been trying to reassure Arab allies who are uneasy about Trump’s move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel.In a meeting Saturday with Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, he emphasized the US commitment to the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.Pence said he assured Sissi the US was committed to “preserving the status quo with regard to holy sites in Jerusalem,” and boundaries and other issues would be negotiated between the parties.“The United States of America is deeply committed to restarting the peace process in the Middle East,” Pence said before departing for Jordan. He said he would be “delivering that message in Jordan, delivering that message in Israel, as well.”Raoul Wootliff contributed to this report.

Netanyahu says Africans slated for deportation ‘not refugees’-PM rejects widespread criticism of plan to send asylum seekers to third-party countries, says it is 'perfectly in line with international law'-By Michael Bachner and TOI staff-JAN 22,18

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed criticism of his government’s controversial plan to deport thousands of African asylum seekers from Israel to a third-party country, arguing that the people slated for deportation are not actual refugees.“We are not taking action against refugees,” said Netanyahu at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We are taking action against illegal immigrants who come here for work purposes. Israel will continue to be a shelter for true refugees and will eject illegal infiltrators.”Last month, the Knesset approved an amendment to the so-called Infiltrator’s Law mandating the closure of the Holot detention facility and the forced deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers starting in March. Netanyahu announced deals to send the migrants to third-party countries in Africa, but has refused to specify the countries, though reports have named them as Uganda and Rwanda.However, last week both Rwandan and Ugandan politicians denied that their countries would accept asylum seekers forcibly deported from Israel.Last week, two American Jewish organizations expressed “grave concerns” over Israel’s planned deportations, telling Netanyahu the plan betrayed Jewish values.“The sweeping nature of this deportation scheme, coupled with the extreme difficulty to access the Israeli asylum system, is having a devastating impact on the refugee community in Israel and betrays the core values that we, as Jews, share,” said the letter sent by the heads of the Anti-Defamation League and the leading Jewish immigration advocacy group, HIAS.Netanyahu said Sunday that he had “heard the many claims,” but that the arrangements “guarantee personal safety for those who exit Israel. They receive approvals allowing them to live, work and integrate into the country. If they want, they can also return to their home countries. They are receiving significant financial aid from us.”“Don’t forget that Israel has been investing a fortune in them during their stay, and will do so also while they travel to the third-party country to continue their lives,” he added.“The arrangements I describe here are approved by the justice system and are continuously supervised by officials from Israel and the third country. I have approved additional funds to accelerate the examination of requests for asylum in Israel. This policy is perfectly in line with the Supreme Court’s orders and with international law, and therefore the claims voiced against us are baseless.”Israel tacitly recognizes that Sudanese and Eritreans cannot return to their dangerous homelands, so it has signed deals with third-party countries that agree to accept departing migrants on the condition that they consent to the arrangement, according to activists.Israel’s Population Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA) has already started filling approximately 100 new positions to start carrying out the deportations in March, with some salaries as high as NIS 30,000 ($8,800) per month for a two-year contract. PIBA estimated that the deportation will cost an estimated NIS 300 million ($86 million), including an “exit grant” of $3,500 to each migrant and asylum seeker who leaves and, in the cases of migrants destined for Rwanda, a reported payout of $5,000 per head to the Rwandan government.Rwanda and Uganda have already accepted about 4,000 migrants and asylum seekers who signed a document saying they had “willingly left” Israel, but the countries so far have not accepted any forcibly deported migrants.In August 2017, the High Court of Justice ruled that the policy was legal, but also said that Israeli authorities had to first ensure that the countries to which migrants were being deported were safe.There are approximately 38,000 African migrants and asylum seekers in Israel, according to the Interior Ministry. About 72 percent are Eritrean and 20% are Sudanese, and the vast majority arrived between 2006 and 2012. Many live in south Tel Aviv, where some residents and activists have blamed them for rising crime rates and lobbied the government for deportation.Africans who are in Israel currently hold short-term residence visas that must be renewed every two months.

Settler growth rate declines for sixth straight year-But Jewish population in West Bank still increasing at faster pace than among other Israelis-By Jacob Magid-JAN 22,18

The growth rate among Israeli settlers in the West Bank declined last year for the sixth consecutive year, but remained above the national average, according to government statistics seen by The Times of Israel on Sunday.The number of Israelis living over the Green Line increased by 14,299, or 3.4 percent, in 2017, demographics information gathered by the Interior Ministry’s Population Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) showed.In 2016, the population increased by 15,765 or 3.9%.The figures do not cover Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, which Israel, as opposed to the international community, does not consider settlements.While the growth rate among Israeli settlers has not risen since 2012, the 3.4% figure from 2017 was still higher than the national average, which stood at 2% in the past year.PIBA gathered population numbers from over 150 West Bank settlements and illegal outposts, where 435,708 Israelis are said to live. Some 2.75 million Palestinians currently live over the Green Line, according to the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit.The figures showed a largely even distribution of ultra-Orthodox, national religious and secular Israelis living in the West Bank.Responding to the numbers on Sunday, the Yesha settlement umbrella council expressed “restrained joy” over the relative growth.But the group blamed the slight decline in the growth rate on a “quiet freeze” in settlement construction, claiming that the vast majority of homes that had received final government approval in the past year had yet to be built.“The media reports constantly talk about the approved housing units, but the reality is completely different,” Yesha said in a statement.Statistics from the Peace Now settlement watchdog confirmed the grievance, saying construction has begun for just 46 of roughly 3,000 homes that gained final approval in 2017.The Yesha statement suggested the construction slowdown was an issue of bureaucracy rather than politics.However, the group called for “serious government action to  remove the barriers to construction and increase the supply of housing” over the Green Line, arguing that doing so would lower prices throughout the rest of country.

At least 18 dead as Taliban attack on Afghan hotel ends after 13 hours-14 foreigners among fatalities, with casualty toll expected to rise; more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, rescued-By Rahim Faiez-JAN 22,18-TOI

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan’s capital killed at least 18 people, including 14 foreigners, and pinned security forces down for more than 13 hours before the last attacker was killed on Sunday, with the casualty toll expected to rise.The heavily guarded luxury hotel is popular among foreigners and Afghan officials. Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the 18 killed included 14 foreigners and a telecommunications official from the western Farah province who was attending a conference.“Eleven of the 14 foreigners killed were employees of KamAir, a private Afghan airline,” said Danish. KamAir put out an announcement saying some of its flights were disrupted because of the attack.Ukraine says one of its citizens was killed in the attack. Vasyl Kyrylych, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, announced the death of the Ukrainian citizen in a brief statement on Twitter, without providing further details. Afghan officials did not identify the foreigner killed in the attack.Ten other people, including six from the security forces, were reported wounded and more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners, were rescued from the hotel, Danish said.The Taliban claimed the attack, which began around 9 p.m. Saturday, saying five gunmen armed with suicide vests targeted foreigners and Afghan officials.Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents initially planned to attack the hotel Thursday night but postponed the assault because there was a wedding underway and they wanted to avoid civilian casualties.The attack unfolded almost six years after Taliban insurgents launched a similar assault on the property, which is not part of the Intercontinental chain of worldwide hotels.The Interior Ministry said a private firm assumed responsibility for securing the hotel around three weeks ago. The ministry says it is investigating how the attackers managed to enter the building.During a press conference, Danish said that early investigations show that six insurgents entered the hotel from the northern side and stormed its kitchen. Two attackers were killed by Special Forces on the 6th floor of the hotel.“We need to complete our investigation, but our initial reports show that the attackers were moved in to the hotel,” said Danish.Mumtaz Ahmad, a provincial telecommunications employee for Helmand province, who survived the attack, said, “I was on my way from my room toward the reception, when the elevator door opened. I saw two armed suicide bombers. People were escaping and the attackers were firing at them.”Afghan security officials confirmed that 34 provincial officials were gathered at the hotel to participate in a conference organized by the Telecommunications Ministry.A fire broke out at the hotel as the fighting raged, and the sound of explosions could be heard throughout the standoff. Live TV footage showed people trying to escape through windows on the upper stories.Capt. Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in a statement that Afghan forces were leading the response efforts. He said that according to initial reports, no foreign troops were hurt in the attack.Neighboring Pakistan condemned the “brutal terrorist attack” and called for greater cooperation against militants. Afghanistan and Pakistan routinely accuse each other of failing to combat extremists along their long and porous border.Afghan forces have struggled to combat the Taliban since the US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. They have also had to contend with a growing Islamic State affiliate that has carried out a number of massive attacks in recent years.In the northern Balkh province, insurgents burst into a home where several members of a local pro-government militia were gathered late Saturday, leading them outside and killing 18 of them, said Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy provincial police chief. Among those killed was a tribal leader who served as the local police commander, he said.In the western Farah province, a roadside bomb killed a deputy provincial police chief and wounded four other police early Sunday, according to Gen. Mahruf Folad, the provincial police chief.The Taliban claimed both attacks.In the western Herat province, a roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying 13 civilians, killing all but one of them, said Abdul Ahad Walizada, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. No one immediately claimed the attack, but Walizada blamed Taliban insurgents, who often plant roadside bombs to target Afghan security forces.

Turkey presses Syria offensive as rockets hit border town-10 said killed in initial strikes as Turkish military bears down on Kurdish-controlled Afrin region in Syria's north-By Bulent Kilic and Stuart Williams-TOI-JAN 22,18

HASSA, Turkey (AFP) — Turkish forces and their Syrian allies on Sunday pressed a cross-border offensive against a Kurdish militia for a second day, as rocket fire hit a border town in apparent retaliation.Turkey on Saturday launched operation “Olive Branch” seeking to oust from the Afrin region of northern Syria the People’s Protection Units (YPG) which Ankara considers a terror group.But the campaign risks further increasing tensions with Turkey’s NATO ally the United States — which has supported the YPG in the fight against Islamic State jihadists — and also needs at least the tacit support of Russia to succeed.Turkish artillery pounded YPG targets around Afrin Sunday after the first strikes the previous day saw 72 Turkish aircraft hit a total of 108 targets inside Syria, according to the army.Meanwhile pro-Turkey Syrian rebels who Ankara calls the Free Syrian Army (FSA) were engaged in a “comprehensive” ground operation on Afrin against the YPG, the state-run Andadolu news agency said.Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had raised the prospect that Turkish ground forces would also join the fight later on Sunday.An AFP correspondent on the southwestern edge of the Afrin region saw a warplane bombing the western outskirts of the area early on Sunday.A small unit from a Turkish-backed rebel group was manning a monitoring point on a hilltop overlooking several Kurdish-controlled villages below. ‘Time of triumph’ The operation is Turkey’s second major incursion into Syria during the seven-year civil war after the August 2016-March 2017 Euphrates Shield campaign in an area to the east of Afrin against both the YPG and IS.The army emphasized that IS was also being targeted in this operation although it no longer has any major presence in the Afrin area.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had repeatedly vowed that Turkey would root out the “nests of terror” in Syria of the YPG, which Ankara accuses of being the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).The PKK, which has waged a rebellion in the Turkish southeast for more than three decades, is regarded as a terror group not just by Ankara and but also its Western allies.Afrin is an enclave of YPG control, cut off from the longer strip of northern Syria that the group controls to the east extending to the Iraqi border. Turkey wants the YPG to retreat east of the Euphrates River.The YPG said that after the first strikes on Sunday, 10 people were killed, seven civilians, including a child, two female fighters and one male fighter.The Turkish army said there were casualties but insisted they were all members either of the YPG or the PKK.“Now is the time of triumph” headlined the pro-government Yeni Safak daily.In a sign of the risks to Turkey, four rockets fired by the YPG hit a town in southern Turkey on the Syrian border early Sunday without causing loss of life, local officials said.There was damage to one building that caught fire and one woman was slightly injured in the rocket fire on the town of Kilis, the Dogan news agency said.“No one lost their life,” Kilis’s governor Mehmet Tekinarslan said, quoted by Dogan. “They can fire one rocket at us and we will fire 100 back. There is no need to worry,” he said. ‘Russian green light?’ Turkey risks entering a diplomatic minefield with the offensive and the foreign ministry lost no time in inviting the ambassadors of all major powers to be briefed on the offensive.The ministry said it had even informed Damascus through its Istanbul consulate. But the Syrian regime, which is at odds with Turkey, strongly denied this, denouncing the operation as a “brutal Turkish aggression.”There was no immediate comment from the United States on the offensive but ahead of its launch a senior State Department official had raised concerns it risked being harmful for security in the region.But even more crucial is the attitude of Russia, which has a military presence in the area and is also working with Turkey on a drive to end the civil war.The Russian foreign ministry said it was concerned and urged Turkey to show restraint. But the Russian defense ministry said its troops were withdrawing from the Afrin area to prevent any “provocation” and ensure the security of its troops.Timur Akhmetov, Ankara-based researcher at the Russian International Affairs Council, told AFP that Russia appeared to have given the “green light” to the operation but made clear it should not lead to destabilization elsewhere.“I don’t think Russia will agree to let Turkey occupy the whole Afrin region and insists on keeping the Syrian government in charge,” he added.

EU to host a ‘key figure’ in Iran’s violent crackdown on protests-Israeli lawmakers and Jewish groups call on European Parliament panel to cancel meeting with senior MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi-By Raphael Ahren-TOI-JAN 22,18
The European Parliament is set to host a senior Iranian official said to have been involved in a violent crackdown on protesters, prompting criticism from Iranian opposition groups and Israeli politicians.Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who chairs the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of Iran’s parliament, known as the Majlis, is to be hosted by the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee on Tuesday for an “exchange of views.” On Wednesday, Boroujerdi is scheduled to participate in a seminar about bilateral Iran-EU relations.A strong supporter of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Boroujerdi is said to have been instrumental in organizing the regime’s violent response to the recent protests across the country, which left 21 people dead.Anders Primdahl Visitsen, the co-chair of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, called Boroujerdi a “key figure of violent crackdown on peaceful protests” and lambasted the committee for holding “a counter-terrorism seminar with biggest sponsor of terror in region & against own people! SHOCKING – Next week EP 1) will give floor to Chair Foreign Affairs & National Security Committee at Iranian Majlis – key figure of violent crack down on peaceful protests 2) holds counter-terrorism seminar with biggest sponsor of terror in region & against own people! #eudk pic.twitter.com/KCx9XdnjR1— Anders Vistisen MEP (@MEPvistisen) January 18, 2018-In Israel, both coalition and opposition MKs slammed the EU for hosting Boroujerdi.“The European Parliament’s decision to host a senior official of the Iranian regime that brutally suppressed Iranians demonstrating for freedom shows, once again, Europe’s preference for profits over human rights,” Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren said Sunday. “And by hosting an anti-Semite who denies the Holocaust and routinely calls for Israel’s destruction, the parliament shows that Europe has learned nothing.”MK Yair Lapid, who leads the opposition Yesh Atid party, called on the European Parliament to cancel Boroujerdi’s appearance in Brussels.“The European Union must cancel the invitation for a man who supported the violent crackdown against peaceful protesters, is a central voice in the aggressive foreign policy of Iran — which exports terror and calls for the destruction of Israel — and who represents the antithesis of Western values,” he told The Times of Israel on Sunday.“The European Union preaches human rights and democracy to the world but those words are empty and meaningless if they welcome Alaeddin Boroujerdi with open arms,” Lapid said.Iranian opposition groups pointed to Boroujerdi’s strong links to Iran’s supreme leader, saying he was a close relative.The American Jewish Committee also expressed concern over the EU’s warm welcome for Boroujerdi.“At the very least, Europe’s lawmakers ought to use this occasion to publicly condemn the regime’s shameful acts and demand answers on Iran’s plots in Germany and possibly other EU countries,” said Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of the AJC’s EU office.On January 11, the EU hosted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at its Brussels headquarters.

New Orleans mayor-elect disavows BDS-backed resolution she authored-Claims her city is one of biggest to support Israel boycott 'totally inaccurate' and do 'not reflect' its values, says LaToya Cantrell-By JTA-TOI-JAN 22,18

New Orleans Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell has walked back her support for a resolution she authored and supported that lends support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.The resolution to boycott investments with human rights violators, which passed the New Orleans City Council on January 11, with all five members present voting in support, mentions neither Israel nor the Palestinian territories, but BDS and anti-Israel activists claimed the passage as a victory for their cause.Cantrell was not present for the vote on the resolution, which she wrote and introduced as part of her Welcoming Cities initiative, reportedly in collaboration with the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee.In a statement issued on Saturday, Cantrell said she would support the council in its plans to reconsider and withdraw the resolution.On Wednesday City Council President Jason Williams called for reconsideration of the resolution, saying he was not aware of the boycott movement or its mission when he and the council voted, the New Orleans Advocate reported. Other council members have told the local media that they will move to reconsider the resolution at their next council meeting.“After extensive discussion and deliberation about the impact of this resolution, I can say that the unintended impact does not reflect my commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and respect and support for civil rights, human rights and freedoms of all New Orleanians,” Cantrell, who takes office in four months, said in her statement.She noted that the resolution introduced at the last minute was taken up at the end of a nearly six-hour meeting after a suspension of the rules, “needlessly denying interested parties notice, transparency and open discourse.”Cantrell said in the statement that she regrets that the council’s passage of the resolution has encouraged outsiders to claim that New Orleans is one of the largest US cities to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.“This is totally inaccurate, untruthful and does not reflect the values of New Orleans. We are a city that is welcoming, and open to all. Well intentioned actions can be taken out of context by others for their own political benefit, with negative connotations that overshadow any original motives; I believe that is what happened with this resolution,” according to the statement.The mayor-elect reiterated her support of the Jewish community and Israel. “While I will continue to examine issues of civil rights and fair contracting, I want to unequivocally reiterate that I am neither supportive of the BDS movement nor in any way hostile to the Jewish community or the State of Israel. Nor was it my intention to commit the City of New Orleans to such positions,” she said.

Netanyahu turns down meeting with Russian cybersecurity head linked to US hack-Citing schedule restraints, Prime Minister's Office says premier 'must decline' Eugene Kaspersky's request for sit-down at Davos World Economic Forum this week-By Raoul Wootliff-TOI-JAN 22,18

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned down a personal request for a meeting by the CEO of Russian firm Kaspersky Lab, three months after Israel was named as the source of explosive intel that the cybersecurity firm’s software was used to steal classified information from the United States.In a message sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, seen by The Times of Israel, Eugene Kaspersky offered to meet Netanyahu on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum later this week in Switzerland.“Personally and on behalf of Kaspersky Lab, I would be honored to meet you in Davos,” he wrote. “Considering my role as chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, the leading cybersecurity vendor, I believe there are numerous and relevant topics of discussion for us.”In his January 10 request, Kaspersky said that “Israel is one of the leaders of the international technological development and I would be glad to discuss the cyber security landscape and ways to mitigate current risks in your country.”But responding last week on behalf of Netanyahu, the PMO said that “regrettably, due to the heavy demands of his schedule, he must decline your kind invitation.” The prime minister is scheduled to be in Davos for the annual forum from Tuesday to Friday.Kaspersky Lab’s anti-virus program has over 400 million global users, of which 270,000 are corporate clients using its services and technologies to protect their businesses and infrastructures. In June last year, the firm opened an R&D center in Jerusalem which it said would be focused on protecting the Internet of Things and industrial control systems.The security software firm has become the focal point in an escalating conflict in cyberspace between the United States and Russia after it was accused of being a vehicle for hackers to steal security secrets from the US National Security Agency, and was banned by all American government agencies last year.In October 2017, US media outlets reported that Israeli intelligence officials were behind a US decision to remove all Kaspersky Lab software from government servers after they alerted their American counterparts to Russian hackers using the anti-virus software to steal classified information.Over a two-year operation, Israeli intelligence agencies hacked into Kaspersky’s network and discovered that the software used globally by some 400 million people had been breached by Russian hackers who were using the program to find code names of US intelligence programs, according to The New York Times, which first broke the story.Sources who were briefed on the developments said the Israelis provided the US National Security Agency with “solid evidence” of the Kremlin’s work based on a two-year hacking operation begun in 2014, the newspaper said. Among the information the Israelis allegedly gleaned from hacking Kasperksy were passwords, screenshots, emails and documents.After receiving the Israeli report, the US Department of Homeland Security banned federal agencies from using any computer software supplied by Kaspersky Lab and ordered the products removed within 90 days.Kaspersky Lab confirmed that it had taken source code for a secret American hacking tool via its antivirus software but denied knowledge of Russian hackers using its software.Kaspersky discovered the Israeli hack of its system in 2015, which it then publicly reported in June of that year, without fingering Israel as the culprit.Among the clues pointing to Israel that Kaspersky researchers noted was that the hack was very similar to an earlier attack known as Duqu, which they blamed on the same nations responsible for the Stuxnet cyberweapon, a joint US-Israeli virus that was used in 2010 to attack Iran’s Natanz nuclear site, destroying about 20 percent of the facility’s uranium enrichment centrifuges.Kaspersky Lab also pointed out that the hack on its systems, which it labeled Duqu 2.0, was used against other targets of interest to Israel, including hotels and conference centers where United Nations Security Council members held closed-door meetings about a nuclear deal with Iran, talks to which Israel was not included. Since some of the targets were in the US, the researchers suggested it was solely an Israeli operation without American cooperation.Eugene Kaspersky is a mathematical engineer who attended a KGB-sponsored school and once worked for Russia’s Ministry of Defense. His critics say it’s unlikely that his company could operate independently in Russia, where the economy is dominated by state-owned companies and the power of spy agencies has expanded dramatically under President Vladimir Putin.The New York Times said it was not clear whether Eugene Kaspersky was involved in the Kremlin hack, or if any of his employees were cooperating with the Kremlin.Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

Trump claims victory as Congress votes to end shutdown, reopen government-Democrats agree to drop opposition to federal funding bill after securing assurance from Republican's on holding key immigration vote-By Andrew BEATTY-TOI-JAN 22,18

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Congress put the US government back in business Monday by voting to end a three-day shutdown, as President Donald Trump claimed victory in his standoff with Democrats in Washington.The House voted 266 to 150 to extend federal funding, hours after Senate Democrats dropped their opposition to the plan after winning Republican assurances of a vote on immigration in the coming weeks.Trump signed the measure into law Monday night, allowing government operations to begin to return to normal on Tuesday.“I know there’s great relief that this episode is coming to an end,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told colleagues. “But this is not a moment to pat ourselves on the back. Not even close.”The stalemate consumed Washington for the better part of a week, as lawmakers and the White House feuded over immigration policy and the nation’s two main political parties exchanged bitter barbs before finally reaching a deal.“I am pleased Democrats in Congress have come to their senses,” Trump said in a defiant statement, as lawmakers moved to get hundreds of thousands of federal government employees back to work.Ahead of the deal, Trump had goaded Democrats from the sidelines, accusing them of shutting down the government to win concessions on immigration, in service of “their far left base.” Dealmaker on the sidelines -Democrats decided to end the three-day shutdown after making progress with ruling Republicans toward securing the fate of hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers” brought to America as children, many of them illegally. With Democratic support, a bill keeping the government funded until February 8 easily passed the Senate, where different versions of the funding had languished for days.Word of the compromise deal struck in Washington sent US stocks surging to new highs.But the White House appeared in no mood for bipartisanship or magnanimity after a shutdown that overshadowed Trump’s first anniversary in office. Trump moved to undercut Democrats, saying he would only accept a comprehensive immigration reform — one that notably addresses his demands for a border wall with Mexico as well as the fate of the “Dreamers.”“We will make a long-term deal on immigration if, and only if, it is good for our country,” he said.Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer earlier announced his party would vote with Republicans to end the shutdown, but in a sign of the poisoned politics of Washington he pilloried Trump in the process.“The White House refused to engage in negotiations over the weekend. The great deal-making president sat on the sidelines,” Schumer said.Trump spent the weekend stewing at the White House when he had planned to be among friends and family at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida for his anniversary bash. And with the fundamental row on immigration and funding of Trump’s border wall unresolved, Republicans and Democrats may very well find themselves back in a similar stalemate come February 9.-High-profile holdouts-Schumer told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he expected Republicans to make good on a pledge to address Democrats’ concerns over the Deferred Action on Child Arrivals (DACA) program that shields immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation, which expires on March 5.There are an estimated 700,000 “Dreamers” whose fates are up in the air.“If he does not, of course, and I expect he will, he will have breached the trust of not only the Democratic senators but members of his own party as well,” Schumer said.Trump has staked his political fortunes on taking a hard line on immigrants, painting them as criminals and scroungers.Senator Tim Kaine summed up the view of the more optimistic Democrats: “We got a commitment that I feel very, very good about.”But if no progress is made on an immigration bill, Molly Reynolds of the Brookings Institution warned, “Democrats still have the ability to potentially force another shutdown over the issue.”The House is under no obligation to pass any Senate bill generated as a result of McConnell’s pledge to cooperate with Democrats — although Speaker Ryan did say his chamber needs to “move forward in good faith” on DACA and immigration.Notably, many of the Senate Democrats who voted against the funding agreement included a litany of potential 2020 presidential candidates, including Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren.

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