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.

Friday, February 02, 2018

US PUTS HAMAS LEADER ON TERRORIST BLACKLIST.

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

TRUMPS FULL STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH TUESDAY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YpDLpWECBA

US troops arrive for drill simulating massive missile attack on Israel-Biennial Juniper Cobra exercise, involving thousands of soldiers, to take place amid escalating Israel-Hezbollah tensions-By TOI staff and AP-FEB 1,18

US forces are deploying in Israel ahead of a large-scale joint Israel-US military exercise, due to start next week, which will simulate a major conflict in which Israel is attacked with thousands of missiles.The biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise, which is being held for the ninth time, will take place amid an escalation of rhetoric between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist group in southern Lebanon, which is believed to have an arsenal of between 100,000 and 150,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and a fighting force of some 50,000 soldiers, including reservists.The Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which seeks Israel’s destruction, has reportedly been threatening to open fire at IDF soldiers if Israel does not halt the construction of a barrier it is building along the Israel-Lebanon border.Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday that should war erupt again with Lebanon, Beirut would “pay the full price” for Iran’s entrenchment in the country, and that if the citizens of Tel Aviv are forced into bomb shelters “all of Beirut will be in bomb shelters.”The drill set to start next week will simulate thousands of missiles, launched from several fronts, being fired into the Israeli homefront, a Channel 10 news report said Wednesday.Some 3,200 soldiers from the IDF and United State’s European Command (EUCOM) took part in the February 2016 drill. It was America’s “premier exercise in this region and EUCOM’s highest priority exercise in 2016,” Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, head of the US Third Air Force, said at the time. “This exercise increases our military readiness, but just as importantly it also signals our resolve to support Israel.”Speaking at an annual conference held by Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, Liberman said that Lebanon will be held to account in a future war because, led by the terrorist Hezbollah group, it has “sacrificed its national interests by subjugating fully to Iran.”“Lebanon’s army and Hezbollah are the same — they will all pay the full price in the event of an escalation,” Liberman said. “If a conflict does break out in the north, ‘boots on the ground’ remains an option. We won’t allow scenes like in 2006, where we saw citizens of Beirut on the beach while Israelis in Tel Aviv sat in shelters… If people in Tel Aviv will be in bomb shelters, all of Beirut will be in bomb shelters.”Liberman was referring to the Second Lebanon War, during which dozens of Israelis were killed in the north in rocket attacks — though Tel Aviv did not come under attack.Over the past year, Israel has often warned of a growing Iranian influence in Lebanon, with Liberman telling United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in August that Iran is “working to set up factories to manufacture accurate weapons within Lebanon itself.”In a rare Arabic op-ed published Sunday in Lebanese news outlets, the IDF spokesman accused Iran of turning Lebanon into “one big missile factory.” In the piece, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Iran’s extensive support for Hezbollah had turned the country into a “branch” of the Islamic Republic.“It is no longer just the transfer of weapons, money and advice. Iran has de facto opened a new branch — ‘the Lebanon Branch.’ Iran is here,” Manelis wrote.In his Wednesday speech, the defense minister said that this time, as opposed to 2006, a war with Lebanon would also likely involve Syria.“Israel’s northern front extends to Syria; it is not just Lebanon. I am not sure that the Syrian government can resist Hezbollah’s attempts to drag them into a war with Israel,” he said.Hezbollah has committed much of its fighting force in support of the Syrian government in its ongoing war with rebel groups.On Monday, Israel’s Hadashot TV news reported that Hezbollah has threatened to open fire at IDF soldiers if Israel does not halt the construction of its barrier along the Israel-Lebanon border.Israel has been building the obstacle — made up of a collection of berms, cliffs and concrete barriers — for a long time, but it has only now reportedly angered the Lebanese terror group, which last fought Israel in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.The message was delivered to Jerusalem via the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the report said. The UN force, fearing a possible escalation, passed the message on to the US and French ambassadors, who updated the Prime Minister’s Office on the matter.However, the Israeli government was unimpressed, and responded with a threatening message of its own, the report said. Israel said it was acting in its own sovereign territory in accordance with a Security Council resolution adopted after Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.Israel does not intend to halt the construction, Jerusalem said, and Hezbollah will “pay dearly” if it tries to inflame tensions. “Israel’s reaction will be strong and painful,” sources in Israel’s security establishment were quoted as saying.

B’nai B’rith honors Guatemalan president for embassy move to Jerusalem-Jimmy Morales receives human rights award from international Jewish rights group, says relocating mission to capital is historically and legally right-By JTA-TOI-FEB 1,18

RIO DE JANEIRO — The president of Guatemala was honored with an award from an international Jewish organization for his decision to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem and for his unwavering support of Israel.Jimmy Morales received the Human Rights Award from global and regional B’nai B’rith officials during a ceremony Thursday in Guatemala City.“We praised Morales for his courage and determination for the embassy announcement and for recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” said B’nai B’rith International Director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn. “Additionally, B’nai B’rith reiterated our commitment to human rights, the fight for democracy and our relationship with Guatemala.”Morales said that moving the embassy to Jerusalem is “the right action to take legally and historically.” He added that Guatemala is “the United States’ strongest ally” in combating and preventing terrorism in America.“The Jewish people will always be grateful to Guatemala for its crucial role in Israel’s birth, and for the great roles then-ambassador Jorge García Granados and then-president Juan José Arevalo played in recognizing the Jewish state,” added B’nai B’rith Latin America Vice Chair Marcelo Burman, who gave the Central American leader a shofar and a plaque highlighting his country’s record of defending human rights.B’nai B’rith International advocates for global Jewry and champions the cause of human rights around the world, including combating antisemitism and bigotry. Founded in 1843, B’nai B’rith International describes itself as the oldest Jewish service organization in the world.Morales announced the embassy move on December 24. In a Facebook post, he said that he had instructed his country’s chancellor “to initiate the respective coordination so that it may be.” The decision followed a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.The announcement was made in front of an image of Guatemalan and Israeli flags fluttering side by side in the wind. The leaders, Morales said, spoke about “the excellent relations that we have had as nations since Guatemala supported the creation of the State of Israel.”Days before, the UN General Assembly passed a nonbinding resolution rejecting any recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in reaction to US President Donald Trump’s pronouncement on December 6 that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and begin taking steps to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.Morales, who enjoys a large base of conservative Christian support, visited Israel in November 2016, to mark the 69th anniversary of the Partition Plan for Palestine vote in the United Nations. Shortly after his election in 2015, Morales visited a synagogue in Guatemala City, met with members of the Jewish community and declared his desire to visit Israel.Guatemala is home to about 1,000 Jews out of a population of 15 million.

Cabinet to vote on steps to authorize illegal West Bank outpost-After delay, Liberman says proposal granting Defense Ministry powers to examine recognizing Havat Gilad will be raised on Sunday-By Jacob Magid-TOI-FEB 1,18

The cabinet will vote on Sunday on a proposal that would begin the process of legalizing the Havat Gilad outpost, less than a month after the murder of resident Raziel Shevach, the Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.If adopted by the cabinet, the proposal would authorize the defense minister to instruct relevant government bodies to examine the legal aspects of recognizing Havat Gilad as an official settlement, a statement announcing the proposal said earlier this month.On January 9, Rabbi Raziel Shevach was gunned down by Palestinian terrorists while on his way home to the northern West Bank outpost. Even before the burial of the 35-year-old father of six, settler leaders and right-wing lawmakers began to call for the outpost to be legalized in response to the attack.A vote on Liberman’s proposal had been scheduled for this Sunday, but was pulled at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who cited “tactical reasons” for the delay.The hilltop community southeast of Nablus was founded in 2002 in memory of Gilad Zar, security coordinator of the Samaria Regional Council, who was shot dead in an attack a year earlier.Zar’s brother Itai, who helped establish the outpost, praised Wednesday’s announcement, telling The Times of Israel that the move marked “a holiday for all of Israel.”He admitted that while feelings were “bittersweet” due to Shevach’s murder, his memory was helping “preserve the community for years to come.”When Liberman initially submitted the proposal on January 14, he received criticism by some settler leaders who claimed it presented an extra and unnecessary step.One West Bank council chairman, speaking on the condition of anonymity, dismissed the announcement as “spin.”“He’s asking the cabinet for approval to direct bodies that are already under his jurisdiction,” said the official. “Liberman doesn’t want to make the decision himself so he’s passing it on to the cabinet.”A spokesman for the defense minister rejected the criticism at the time, and insisted that such cabinet approval was necessary if the government wants to legalize the outpost. Asked why no such decision was passed before the government legalized other outposts, the spokesman said the legal circumstances were unique in the case of Havat Gilad.Regardless, significant hurdles still remain in the hilltop community’s path to official recognition. According to the IDF’s land registrar in the West Bank, most of the land on which the illegal outpost was constructed is privately owned Palestinian property, the Haaretz daily reported earlier this month.The outpost was founded on land purchased by Zar, but the current community of some 40 families sits on areas far larger than the original purchase, and includes land that is owned by Palestinians — according to both the claims of local Palestinians and the Israeli land registrar.Furthermore, none of the buildings in the outpost, including those situated on Israeli-owned land, are legal, and all have outstanding demolition orders against them, since they were built without a zoning or planning process, and without the approval of local government bodies.A law that passed in February 2016 allows the Israeli government to retroactively expropriate private Palestinian land where illegal outpost homes have been built, provided that the outposts were established “in good faith” or had government support and that the Palestinian owners receive financial compensation for the land.None of those conditions are met in Havat Gilad’s case, according to sources cited in the Haaretz report.However, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said last week that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit had given his blessing to the legalization of the outpost, saying “there is no legal impediment” to raising Liberman’s proposal.Separately Wednesday, Israeli security forces arrested five settler youth who attempted to prevent soldiers from demolishing a building in the illegal Havat Maon outpost in the south Hebron hills. They were released several hours later.The teens, who hurled stones at soldiers during the evacuation, were banned from the area for 15 days upon their release, the right-wing legal aid group Honenu said.During his interrogation, one of the detainees was evacuated to a medical clinic in the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement for treatment. Honenu said security forces had violently detained the suspects, some of whom were minors.

German FM skewers Israeli leaders’ opposition to two-state solution-'Are you prepared to pay the price of perpetual occupation and conflict?' Sigmar Gabriel asks in Tel Aviv; vows to defend Israel's 'essential and historic connection' to Jerusalem-By Raphael Ahren-TOI-FEB 1,18

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel skewered opponents of Palestinian statehood in the Israeli government on Wednesday, asking whether those who reject a two-state solution were willing to “pay the price of perpetual occupation and conflict” that, he argued, is inevitable if no peace agreement is reached.In a lengthy speech at a think tank in Tel Aviv, Gabriel also cast doubt on the assumption that the current US administration’s support for Israel’s position on the Palestinian question and on other regional issues is in the Jewish state’s interests.While he rejected Washington’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the German foreign minister vowed to always defend Israel’s and the Jewish people’s “essential and historic connection” to the city.“Some members of Israel’s cabinet are explicitly against the two-state solution,” he said. “But the two-state solution has always been the foundation of our engagement for Israeli-Palestinian peace and for the large amount of funding that Germany and Europe make available in support of the situation on the ground.”Last appointment in Tel Aviv: FM @sigmargabriel at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies #INSS2018. More: https://t.co/GmxOMW1LtD pic.twitter.com/8PrL2vwQYW— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) January 31, 2018-Across Europe and even in Germany, there is “clearly growing frustration with Israel’s actions,” with young people feeling increasingly less inclined to accept what they deem unfair treatment of the Palestinians, he said, warning that “it is increasingly difficult for people like me to explain to them the reasons why our support for Israel must persist.“As a friend and close ally, we need to know if Israel is not supporting a negotiated solution to this conflict anymore,” Gabriel  continued. “So I ask those who oppose a Palestinian state: How do you want Israel’s future to look? Are you prepared to pay the price of perpetual occupation and conflict, a price that will continue to grow if there is no hope for self-determination on the Palestinian side?”He added, “Are you willing to bear the consequences of fully fledged annexation — a one-state reality of unequal rights? Or are you ready to accept a single democratic state between the sea and the river?”Gabriel said he was “worried” by those questions and “especially by the lack of convincing answers so far. Until I have heard any, I believe that the path to security and peace can only be found in two states.”Earlier on Wednesday, Gabriel, in a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had said that he was “very thankful to hear that, of course, also the government of Israel wants to have two states” with secure Israeli borders.But Netanyahu interjected to reiterate his position that Israel would have to maintain security control in the Palestinian territories under any peace arrangement. “No, that we will control security west of the Jordan [river]… that is, I think, the first condition,” Netanyahu said.“Whether or not it’s defined as a state when we have the military control is another matter, but I’d rather not discuss labels, but substance,” he added.Addressing the 11th annual Conference of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, Gabriel said Germany was “looking forward to the day when it will be able to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.”He added, however, that the move will happen only in the framework of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that includes two states that share the city as their capital.“There is no shortcut here. Both parties have legitimate aspirations with regard to Jerusalem, and a solution can only be found in negotiations,” Gabriel said. “At the same time, we will always speak out when anyone tries to deny what is undeniable — the essential and historic connection of Jerusalem to the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”Germany, which was one of six states that struck with Iran the 2015 landmark nuclear deal, opposes Israeli and American calls for it to be abrogated, Gabriel indicated, noting that Berlin shared Israel’s concerns about the Shiite terror group Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed “extremist forces.”“Iran has profited immensely from the wars and chaos in the Middle East. This is a reason to worry,” he said, adding that ways need to be found to address “concerns about Iran’s activities in the region and about the role Europe can play here.”On both the Iran deal and the Palestinian questions, the administration of US President Donald Trump is taking Israel’s side “more clearly than ever before,” Gabriel noted. “But is this really only a good thing?” he asked.Despite the US’s longstanding close ties with Israel, its Middle East diplomacy has been successful because Washington was seen as an “arbiter in crucial questions,” the foreign minister posited. “Great achievements like the peace with Egypt would not have been thinkable otherwise. Can the Americans still play such a role if they take sides so openly? Will others try to step into their shoes?”In his speech, Gabriel, who noted that he was the son of a Nazi, also reiterated Berlin’s “special commitment” to Israel’s security, and said that in recognition of Germany’s dark there will always be “a special and precious bond” between the two countries.“My country also has also a special responsibility in fighting against anti-Semitism,” he added. “It is very sad, but there is no denying: We have not yet won this fight in Germany. But we are determined to win it. Please be assured: My government will not tolerate anti-Semitism, of any form. Never again.”

US puts Hamas chief Haniyeh on terror blacklist-Treasury Department's sanctions freeze any US-based assets terror leader may have and ban any US person or company from doing business with him-By AFP and TOI staff-FEB 01,18

The United States on Wednesday put the head of Palestinian terror group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, on its terror blacklist and slapped sanctions on him. The 55-year-old Haniyeh was named head of Hamas in May 2017.“Haniyeh has close links with Hamas’s military wing and has been a proponent of armed struggle, including against civilians,” the State Department said in a statement. “He has reportedly been involved in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. Hamas has been responsible for an estimated 17 American lives killed in terrorist attacks.”Haniyeh is now on the US Treasury sanctions blacklist, which freezes any US-based assets he may have and bans any US person or company from doing business with him.Hamas, which is sworn to destroy Israel and has controlled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, has been on the US terror blacklist since 1997.The US government also slapped sanctions on Harakat al-Sabireen — a small Gazan terror group that splintered away from the Islamic Jihad and, like Hamas, is close to Iran — and two other groups active in Egypt: Liwa al-Thawra and HASM.“These designations target key terrorist groups and leaders — including two sponsored and directed by Iran — who are threatening the stability of the Middle East, undermining the peace process, and attacking our allies Egypt and Israel,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement.“Today’s actions are an important step in denying them the resources they need to plan and carry out their terrorist activities.”The US decision to put Haniyeh on its terror blacklist will not affect Hamas’s activities, the movement said Wednesday. “It is a failed attempt to pressure the resistance,” said a statement from the group. “This decision will not deter us from continuing the resistance option to expel the occupation.”Israel’s Intelligence Minister Israel Katz welcomed the decision.“I wish to congratulate the US on the rightous [sic] decision to designate Ismail Haniyeh as a global terrorist,” Katz tweeted. “This man is one of the main reasons the citizens of the Gaza strip are suffering since the terror organization Hamas took power of the Strip in 2007.”Haniyeh replaced Khaled Mashaal, who now lives in Doha in exile, atop the Hamas movement. Unlike Mashaal, Haniyeh will remain in the Gaza Strip.Also known as Abu Abed, Haniyeh was born in Gaza’s Shati refugee camp in January 1963 to parents who fled when Israel was created in 1948.Hamas has frequently highlighted his modest background as a counterpoint to officials within Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, who have been accused of being corrupt and too easily compliant with Israel or the United States.After US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December, Haniyeh voiced rage over the decision, saying it “crosses every red line,” and called for a new intifada, or uprising.“This Zionist policy supported by the US cannot be confronted unless we ignite a new intifada,” he said.

PA arrests 7 Hamas-linked suspects for planting roadside bombs near Tulkarem-Devices were apparently intended for use against IDF vehicles; families demand Abbas's security forces stop cooperating with Israel-By Khaled Abu Toameh-TOI-FEB 1,18

Palestinian Authority security forces have arrested seven Palestinians in connection with the explosive devices that were discovered last week near the West Bank city of Tulkarem, Palestinian sources disclosed on Wednesday.The roadside bombs were discovered after a Palestinian driver who spotted suspicious objects on a road between the villages of Ilar and Saidah, north of Tulkarem, alerted PA security forces.PA sappers safely dismantled 12 improvised explosive devices, each weighing between 20 and 30 kilograms. The roadside bombs were apparently intended for use against IDF military vehicles passing the area.The sources identified the detainees as Mujahed Shadid, As’ad Shadid, Sara’ Raddad, Ahmed Al-Haj, Fadi Raddad, Amer Abdel Ghani and Mohammed Yunis.The sources said that the suspects are affiliated with Hamas and some had previously been arrested or interrogated by the PA security forces.The family of Sara’ Raddad said that PA security officers raided their home shortly after midnight Monday. After conducting a thorough search of the house, the officers arrested Raddad without offering an explanation, according to a family member.“We haven’t been allowed to visit him in prison,” the family complained. “We don’t know anything about the circumstances surrounding his arrest.”According to the relative, Raddad had previously spent eight months in PA detention for “security-related” offenses. “The arrest of our son is a disgrace for the Palestinian Authority,” he added.Meanwhile, a committee consisting of families of Palestinians held in PA prisons has launched a campaign to demand the release of the seven men.The Committee of the Families of Political Detainees in the West Bank said in a statement: “The Occupation is the only party that benefits from such arrests.” The committee repeated its demand that the PA halt security coordination with Israel.Fathi Al-Qarawi, a Hamas legislator from Tulkarem, called on the PA to release the detained men immediately. The arrest of the seven men endangers their lives because they will now be targeted by Israeli authorities, Al-Qarawi argued.“Arbitrary arrests by the Palestinian Authority add to the suffering of the Palestinian people and serve only the interests of the occupation,” he said.A PA security official refused to comment on the arrests.

Guatemala’s leaders join Jews, Christians in Israel embrace-Small trip by 2 Florida synagogues to fete country for recognizing Jerusalem turns into 'moment of history' as President Morales, Evangelicals join in-By Raphael Ahren-TOI-FEB 1,18

It was supposed to be modest weekend trip by two Jewish congregations from South Florida who wanted to go to Guatemala to thank the country for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.But due to the involvement of a well-connected organization promoting the Jewish state in the Spanish-speaking world, the “mission of gratitude” to the Central American nation turned into a Jewish-Christian Israel lovefest, attended by Guatemalan top brass, including President Jimmy Morales.Over the weekend, some 35 members of of the Conservative Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach and the Orthodox Palm Beach Synagogue were joined by 30 Evangelical Christians, a former US congresswoman, senior Jewish community officials, Israeli and American diplomats and Guatemalan dignitaries to celebrate the country’s longstanding friendship with Israel.On December 24, Morales had announced his intention to relocate Guatemala’s embassy to Jerusalem, making his country the first to follow the US, which on December 6 recognized the city as Israel’s capital.“I was so grateful to the people living in this country. I know it’s not an easy thing,” said Margot Cohen, a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor who went on the trip, alluding to backlash against Guatemala’s decision to recognize Jerusalem.“I lived long enough to know what it is to be on the flip side of life,” she told The Times of Israel in a telephone interview Sunday from Guatemala City, moments before flying back to Florida.She added: “There really wasn’t a moment since I stepped off the plane that wasn’t absolutely beautiful. This was one of the most wonderful experience of my life.”It was “a once-in-a-lifetime moment of history,” gushed Peter Bendetson, who organized the trip.“The intensity of support for Israel and for the move of the embassy from both the Christian members of our delegation and the Guatemalan president and foreign minister has been so incredible that it defies belief,” he said.Guatemala has had very friendly ties with Israel since before the state was founded.In 1947, Guatemala’s ambassador to the UN, Dr. Jorge Garcia Granados, played a crucial role in convincing Latin American countries to vote in favor of General Assembly Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Mandatory Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state.Guatemala was one of the first countries to recognize the nascent State of Israel in 1948, and the friendship has remained strong ever since.Having arrived in Guatemala City on Thursday afternoon, the synagogue members were joined by Malcolm Hoenlein, the vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations, and some 30 members of Christian pro-Israel groups from the USA, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Argentina and the Dominican Republic.I wish Israelis liked Israel as much as these Christians do-Later that day, they all gathered at the National Palace of Culture for a dinner attended by President Morales — a devout Evangelical — along with Vice President Jafeth Cabrera, Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel, Guatemalan Ambassador to Washington Manuel Espina, Israeli Ambassador in Guatemala Matanya Cohen, members of the Guatemala’s tiny Jewish community and local Christian associations.Michele Bachmann, a former Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, also attended the event.Morales’s office later highlighted the event — said to be the first-ever kosher meal served by the Guatemalan government — on its social media channels.#InformeNacional-#InformeNacional | Organizaciones pro-Israel reconocen decisión del presidente Jimmy Morales de reconocer a Jerusalén como capital de Israel.Posted by Gobierno de Guatemala on Friday, 26 January 2018-On Friday morning, Jovel, the foreign minister, spent another two hours with the group.Later that day, both Jews and Christians prayed at a local synagogue and had Shabbat dinner together with the Israeli ambassador.“I go to Shabbat services in Houston and whenever I’m in Israel. But to come to a Spanish-speaking country, sit there and sing ‘Lecha Dodi’ and all the other prayers was truly wonderful,” said Becky Keenan, who heads a Christian organization called “One with Israel.”“It was a symbol of what’s happening across Latin America,” added Keenan, a pastor at the Gulf Meadows Church in Houston, Texas. “Jews and Christians work shoulder to shoulder, as we should, for what is in my opinion obviously the right thing to do — as an American, as a woman, as a Christian, as a Zionist. Even if you were an atheist, mind you, you should know that it’s right to support Israel.”On Saturday evening, the group participated an event honoring Israel attended by hundreds of Guatemalan Evangelical Christians.“These Christians were singing and praying in Hebrew. Everything was about Israel and the chosen people — it was fascinating,” said Ilan Kottler, the president of Temple Beth El.“I wish Israelis liked Israel as much as these Christians do. It shows that we’re not alone in the world,” added Kottler, who grew up in Tel Aviv but has lived in West Palm Beach since 1995.The idea behind the trip was born when two South Florida congregations thought of a way to thank Guatemala for its diplomatic move.“Together with the entire Jewish world, we were overjoyed when the US decided to move its embassy to Yerushalayim,” Rabbi Moshe Scheiner, the Palm Beach Synagogue’s spiritual leader, told The Times of Israel earlier this month, using the city’s Hebrew name.After Guatemala became the first country to follow suit, the congregation invited Leslye Samanta Illescas, the country’s vice consul in Lake Worth, Florida, to attend Shabbat services.Israel’s consul-general in New York, Dani Dayan, also spent that weekend at the Palm Beach Synagogue. In a speech he delivered there, he recalled that his late father, Moshe Dayan, was the Israeli ambassador to Guatemala in the early 1980s and had tried very hard to get the government to move its embassy back to Jerusalem.“It was a very moving experience and inspired us to embark as a community to personally thank the people of Guatemala for their friendship and courage,” Scheiner said. “Gratitude is the most fundamental principle of Judaism and this is a wonderful opportunity to practice it.”The trip’s organizers then contacted Gloria Garcés, who works for Fuente Latina, a nonprofit trying to connect Israel to the Spanish-speaking world. Garcés, whose Evangelical family in Guatemala has been trying for years to get the government to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, helped arrange the VIP meetings and invited other Christian activists to join.“We felt like rock stars. People wanted to take pictures with us, touch us and give us hugs,” Kottler told The Times of Israel. “I’ve been to many places in the world — Colombia, Cuba, Morocco, Russia, I’ve been to Europe — but I’ve never ever seen so much love for Jews, not even close.”

Stone tools in India suggest earlier human exit from Africa-Following Israeli jawbone discovery, new report shows Homo sapiens may have existed in Asia as far back as 385,000 years ago -- though some experts are doubtful-By AP and TOI staff-FEB 1,18

NEW YORK — Just a week after scientists reported evidence that our species left Africa earlier than we thought, another discovery is suggesting the date might be pushed back further.Homo sapiens arose in Africa at least 300,000 years ago and left to colonize the globe. Scientists think there were several dispersals from Africa, not all equally successful. Last week’s report of a human jaw showed some members of our species had reached Israel by 177,000 to 194,000 years ago.Now comes a discovery in India of stone tools, showing a style that has been associated elsewhere with our species. They were fashioned from 385,000 years ago to 172,000 years ago, showing evidence of continuity and development over that time. That starting point is a lot earlier than scientists generally think Homo sapiens left Africa.This tool style has also been attributed to Neanderthals and possibly other species. So it’s impossible to say whether the tools were made by Homo sapiens or some evolutionary cousin, say researchers who reported the finding Wednesday in the journal Nature.“We are very cautious on this point” because no human fossils were found with the tools, several authors added in a statement.It’s not clear how much the tool development reflects arrival of populations or ideas from outside India, versus being more of a local development, said one author, Shanti Pappu of the Sharma Center for Heritage Education in Chennai, India.The tool-making style was a change from older stone tools found at the site, featuring a shift to smaller flakes, for example.Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist who specializes in human evolution in Asia but didn’t participate in the work, said he did not think the tools show that our species had left Africa so long ago.“I simply don’t buy it,” said Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany.Instead, he said, he believes one of our evolutionary cousins in India developed the tool style independently of outside influence. The tools at the site northwest of Chennai in southeastern India are closely related to the older tool-making style there and seem to represent a transition, he said.The idea that they reflect knowledge brought in from elsewhere would be tough to prove in India, he said. The country has few well-studied archaeological sites and only one fossil find from this period, from a forerunner of Homo sapiens that was associated with the earlier style of tool-making, Petraglia said.Israeli research published in January in Science magazine centered on a jawbone found in a cave at Mount Carmel in 2002. After 15 years of intensive research by an international team of multidisciplinary scientists, the remains were dated to 170,000-200,000 years ago.The earliest record of migration outside of Africa were previously dated to around 90,000-120,000 years ago.“The entire narrative of the evolution of Homo sapiens must be pushed back by at least 100,000-200,000 years,” said Prof. Israel of the Department of Anatomy and Anthropology at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine.The dating of a modern human fossil to 200,000 years ago “implies that the biological history of our species must be pushed back to half a million years ago,” Hershkovitz told The Times of Israel. “It implies that our species didn’t evolve in isolation… The species was involved with a very long interaction with other groups.”“Our species,” said Hershkovitz, “is a genetic mishmash of several hominins.”Amanda Borschel-Dan contributed to this report.

Lebanon issues oil and gas tender, angering Israel, which claims ownership-PM Hariri says claims the Block 9 field belongs to Israel are 'invalid,' vows to assert Lebanon's 'right to act in its territorial waters'-By TOI staff and AP-FEB 1,18

Lebanon issued an offshore oil and gas exploration tender on the country’s maritime border on Wednesday, prompting a war of words with Israel, which has laid claim to one of the fields in question.Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called the move “very provocative” and suggested that Lebanon had put out a tender to international groups for a gas field “that is by all accounts ours.”His comments drew sharp condemnation from Hezbollah and Lebanese officials, including Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who described the statement as a “blatant provocation that Lebanon rejects.”He said Lieberman’s claim was “invalid in form and substance” and that the Lebanese government would follow the tender up “with the competent international parties to assert its legitimate right to act in its territorial waters.”Lebanon last year approved the licenses for an international consortium led by France’s Total, Italy’s ENI and Russia’s Novatek to move forward with offshore oil and gas development for two of five blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, including one known as Block 9 that is disputed in part with Israel.Lebanese officials say the country will start exploratory offshore drilling in 2019 and say Lebanon wants to assert its resource rights along the length of its maritime territories.A major find in Lebanon’s southernmost waters could raise the possibility of a dispute with Israel, which is developing a number of offshore gas deposits, with one large field, Tamar, already producing gas, and the larger Leviathan field set to go online next year.There are over 300 square miles of waters claimed by both countries, which are technically in a state of conflict. Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group fought a month-long war in 2006.Hezbollah, in a statement, said Lieberman’s remarks offered new proof of Israel’s ambitions to steal Lebanon’s resources and said it would confront any aggression against the country’s rights.Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, also rejected Lieberman’s statements.“Comments by Lieberman about Block 9 are a threat to Lebanon and its right to sovereignty over its territorial waters,” he said in a statement released by his office.‘One giant missile site’-Wednesday’s exchange came amid an already escalating war of words between Lebanon and Israel, which  has repeatedly warned of Iran’s increasing efforts to turn the country into “one giant missile site.” Hinting at the possibility of war, Israel’s chief military spokesman this week said it was “prepared for all the scenarios.”The Iranian-backed Hezbollah wields enormous political and military influence in Lebanon. Its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has said the Shiite militant group does not seek to provoke a war with Israel but would respond with crushing force should Israel attack Lebanon.Speaking at an annual conference held by Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies on Wednesday, Liberman said that the state Lebanon will be held to account in a future war because, led by Hezbollah, it had “sacrificed its national interests by subjugating fully to Iran.”Hezbollah is believed to have an arsenal of between 100,000 and 150,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and a fighting force of some 50,000 soldiers, including reservists.Over the past year, Israel has often warned of a growing Iranian influence in Lebanon, with Liberman telling United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in August that Iran is “working to set up factories to manufacture accurate weapons within Lebanon itself.”In a rare Arabic op-ed published Sunday in Lebanese news outlets, the IDF spokesman accused Iran of turning Lebanon into “one big missile factory.” In the piece, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Iran’s extensive support for Hezbollah had turned the country into a “branch” of the Islamic Republic.“It is no longer just the transfer of weapons, money and advice. Iran has de facto opened a new branch — ‘the Lebanon Branch.’ Iran is here,” Manelis wrote.In his Wednesday speech, the defense minister said that this time, as opposed to 2006, a war with Lebanon would also likely involve Syria.

Eritrean leader pans Israel’s migrant deportation plan-Isaias Afwerki says the 38,000 asylum seekers from his country and Sudan paid 'high price' to human traffickers to reach Israel and deserve far more than the $3,500 being offered-By AP and TOI staff-FEB 1,18

Eritrea’s president in a rare interview Wednesday expressed his displeasure with Israel’s plan to deport tens of thousands of African migrants, saying they deserve far more than the $3,500 offered to leave.President Isaias Afwerki’s interview, which was posted on a government website, said the migrants from his country and Sudan paid a “high price” to human traffickers to reach Israel and deserve more like $50,000.Many leaving the East African nation claim they fled a restrictive regime where men are often forced into a military service with slavery-like conditions.Afwerki claimed the Eritrean migrants were enticed abroad to organize an armed opposition, but that the “subversive schemes” failed and the migrants have become a burden.He said Eritrea has offered to register all of its migrants but Israeli authorities refused.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.Last month, the Knesset approved an amendment to the so-called “Infiltrator’s Law” paving the way for the forced deportations of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and asylum seekers starting in March, and the indefinite imprisonment of those who refuse to leave.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced deals to send the migrants to third-party countries in Africa. Though he has refused to divulge which countries they are, they are widely thought to be Rwanda and Uganda.Israeli rights activists and Jewish communities in the US have spoken out against the deportation plan.

Former MK says Iran stole specs of Israeli submarines in hack-Erel Margalit notes German shipyard that is building vessels for Israel was owned by family of Lebanon’s former defense minister-By Shoshanna Solomon -TOI-FEB 1,18

A former Knesset member claimed Wednesday that blueprints for submarines that were being built for the Israeli military were stolen in a cyberattack on a German shipyard.In December 2016, heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp said it fell victim to a hacking attack in which the perpetrators sought to steal company secrets, but there was no indication at the time that the plans for the Israeli submarines had been taken.“When Israel is ordering strategic submarines from Germany, a hacker… gets into ThyssenkKrupp and is able to steal the secrets and blueprints of the submarines that were developed in Germany for Israeli use,” high-tech entrepreneur Erel Margalit, a former MK, said at a cybersecurity conference in Tel Aviv.Margalit noted that the shipyard in Kiel, Germany, that is building the ships for the Israel Navy was owned by the family of Samir Moqbel, who was Lebanon’s defense minister.“We know that the boats, the Corvettes that Israel is buying to protect… its waters… are bought from a shipyard that is owned by a Lebanese family, one of which was the Lebanese defense minister, who has intimate dealings with Iran,” he said. “And so you are asking yourself whether the new blueprint of Israel’s boats is in the hands of Iran.”In announcing the attack in 2016, a ThyssenKrupp spokesman said hackers believed to be from Southeast Asia were trying to obtain “technological know-how and research results” from the steel conglomerate. He said that the attack was over and had been repelled.ThyssenKrupp also made headlines in Israel after it was revealed that the Iran Foreign Investment Company held a 4.5 percent stake in the Germany conglomerate.At the Tel Aviv conference, Margalit also cautioned that “while the world is trying to delay and prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, Tehran has already become a cyberpower, with attacks against Israel, the US, Saudi Arabia and others.”In any future confrontation with Iran’s Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, he said, Israel will have to contend with Iranian capabilities “that we have not yet encountered in the cyber arena, especially in light of the lack of protection for civilian infrastructure in Israel.”Last year, Margalit, who was an MK for the opposition Zionist Union faction at the time, petitioned the High Court of Justice to demand an investigation of reports Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have been involved in suspected shady dealings with ThyssenKrupp.An ongoing Israel police investigation, known as Case 3000, has focused on suspicions that state officials were bribed to influence a decision to purchase four patrol boats and three Dolphin-class submarines, at a total cost of 2 billion euros (NIS 8.4 billion), from ThyssenKrupp, despite opposition to the deal from the Defense Ministry.On Friday, Hadashot TV news reported that Netanyahu would be asked to give testimony in the coming weeks, adding that he will be questioned generally and then, later, possibly as a suspect.Police suspect that Yitzchak Molcho, Netanyahu’s chief negotiator and personal envoy for over a decade, tried to push the submarine deal during his diplomatic trips abroad, while Shimron, Molcho’s legal partner, sought to promote the interests of the German shipbuilders within Israel.Shimron has already been questioned several times as part of the investigation by Lahav 433, the police anti-corruption unit. In addition to his work with Netanyahu, he served as a lawyer for Ganor, who was ThyssenKrupp’s local representative and turned state witness in July. He is considered a key suspect in the case.According to a report Tuesday in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, Ganor told investigators that he had hired Shimron because of his ties to senior government officials, especially Netanyahu. He said Shimron had told him he had involved Netanyahu in the affair.

Leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan arrested in Paris amid rape claims-Academic, who took leave of absence from Oxford after allegations lodged against him, is grandson of founder of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-By Agencies-TOI-FEB 1,18

PARIS — French police on Wednesday detained prominent Swiss Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, a legal source said, months after two women filed rape charges against him.The Oxford professor was summoned for questioning to a Paris police station and taken into custody “as part of a preliminary inquiry in Paris into rape and assault allegations”, the source said.Ramadan — the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement — has furiously denied rape allegations from two women that emerged late last year, as the Harvey Weinstein scandal unfurled in the US.Henda Ayari, a feminist activist, says Ramadan raped her in a Paris hotel room in 2012, while an unnamed disabled woman also accused the academic of raping her in a hotel room in Lyon in 2009.In November, Oxford University announced that 55-year-old Ramadan was taking a leave of absence from his post as professor of contemporary Islamic studies, “by mutual agreement.”Popular among conservative Muslims and a regular panellist on TV debates in France, Ramadan faces regular accusations from secular critics that he promotes a political form of Islam.Ayari, a self-described “secular Muslim” who used to practise an ultra-conservative strain of Islam that she has since renounced, detailed her rape allegations in a book published last year, without naming Ramadan.But in October she said she had decided to name him publicly, encouraged by the thousands of women speaking out against sexual assault and harassment under the “Me Too” online campaign and its French equivalent, “Balance Ton Porc” (Squeal on your pig).Ayari, who lodged a rape complaint against Ramadan on October 20, charged that for him, “either you wear a veil or you get raped”.“He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die,” she told Le Parisien newspaper.Ramadan has denied the two women’s accusations, as well as further allegations in Swiss media of sexual misconduct against teenage girls in the 1980s and 1990s, as “a campaign of lies launched by my adversaries.”