The unrest in the Middle-East focuses on the civil struggle between the government of Israel and its Palestinian people who want to establish a separate Palestinian state. Most of the Arab and/or Islamic nations in the area are also involved. The United States, the U.N., the European Union, and even Russia are all trying to broker peace in the region.
The current wave of violence could die out and become one of many such cycles in the area, or it could lead to more serious war. The outcome of this war could be a most welcome peace agreement.
Such a peace agreement might be just another phase in the age-old struggle between these nations, or it could be the false peace mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:3. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (NIV)
When Israel finally is at peace, it will be the first time since they became a nation in 1948 that they have enjoyed such security. This could cause them to lower their guard, which would set the scene for yet another war, such as the one predicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39. (Many good Bible teachers think that war is more likely at the end of the Tribulation, but it does not correspond exactly to the Battle of Armageddon.) If it does come before the Tribulation, it will most likely correspond to the 2nd Seal of Revelation 6.
The dramatic end of this great war of the 2nd Seal could produce the treaty predicted in Daniel 9:27, which many prophecy scholars identify as the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation period.
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Names translated from other languages may have different spelling, depending on the source. For example Hizbollah may be translated "Hezbollah," "Hizballah," etc.
Sept. 25, 2011 - Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told NBC’s "Meet the Press" that the Palestinians are
reluctant to engage in the peace process because they are not willing to accept Israel's right of existence. He said,
I will be the one who establishes a peace agreement between two nation-states, one of which will be a
demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state...If these basic conditions are agreed to, and we can ensure all of our security needs are met,
we can achieve a peace agreement.
Sept. 23, 2011 - After Palestinian leader Abbas delivered his provocative anti-Israel speech at the
United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke to the same people. He said that the Palestinians want
to have a state without first establishing peace. He said:
“I came here to speak the truth. The truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace.
The truth is that Israel wants peace with the Palestinians, but they want a state without peace, and the
truth is you shouldn’t let that happen,”
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Sept. 23, 2011 - Palestinian leader Abbas will make his appeal to the UN today for their
recognition of Palestinian statehood. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will then give Israel's perspective on
Abbas will likely receive a much better reception than Netanyahu, because the General Assembly, and
international public opinion, favors Palestinian statehood.
It would take 9 votes in the 15-member Security Council to approve the Palestinian request. If they do have enough
votes the US has already promised to veto the proposal
Sept. 21, 2011 - This Friday Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is planning to deliver a formal request to the
U.N. Security Council for full Palestinian membership.
Analysts expect President Obama to privately ask Abbas to drop the move for statehood recognition.
The Obama administration has pledged to veto any Palestinian statehood bid, arguing that only direct peace
negotiations, not a U.N. vote, would allow the Palestinians to achieve the benefits of statehood.
Sept. 20, 2011 - As the date for a Palestinian bid for the United Nations to recognize a separate state of
Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to hold direct talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud
Abbas. Former peace talks between the two broke down a year ago. The US and Israel oppose United Nations recognition
of a separate state because they believe a Palestinian state can only be achieved through direct negotiation.
The Palestinians are seeking international recognition of their state based on the borders that existed in 1967.
This would give the Palestinians the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
Sept. 19, 2011 - Arriving in New York ahead of the opening of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said he expects a "very difficult" situation after the Palestinians submit their request
for full membership at the United Nations General Assembly. During the previous week intense efforts were made by
various factions, not only in the region but world-wide, to pave the way for the U.N. debate.
Israel offered the Palestinian Authority, through the Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair, several compromises,
but denied that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to be flexible on the wording of Israel as a Jewish state.
Sept. 17, 2011 -Israel's military added another 1,500 soldiers to their forces in the West Bank because of possible Palestinian
demonstrations ahead of their statehood bid at the United Nations on September 23.
General Avi Mizrahi, the commander of central Israel which includes the West Bank, has issued strict
orders to the military to act with restraint and avoid bloodshed if trouble erupts, the newspaper said.
Sept. 15,2011 - Palestinian expert Pinchas Inbari says that the Palestinian's plans to ask the U.N. for
recognition will just be a step toward the total elimination of Israel. If they can get the U.N. to agree
with them that Israel should withdraw to the 1967 borders (changed by the Six-day war in 1967), they will eventually
ask the U.N. to go further and invalidate the original borders established by Israel's War of Independence.
One example of this thinking came from a recent documentary recently aired on official Palestinian Authority
"We are drawing our new maps," one person in the documentary said. "When they [Israelis] disappear from the picture,
like a forgotten chapter in the pages of our city's history, we will build it anew."
Sept. 14, 2011 - While in Cairo on his so-called "Arab Spring tour," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He said that support of Palestinian national
independence was "not an option but an obligation," and that Turkey was making "efforts" to support
Palestinian statehood at the UN.
Speaking to the Arab League, the Turkish prime minister said “Let’s raise the Palestinian flag and let that
flag be the symbol of peace and justice in the Middle East."
Sept. 13, 2011 - Arab and other Muslim nations surrounding Israel have tried and failed to conquer Israel in
five different wars since 1948. They see the present situation as an opportunity to try again. Meanwhile, the
Western press characterizes the "Arab Spring" revolts as steps toward democracy, when in reality they are a surge
toward anti-Israeli feelings. And the U.S., Israel's only friend and ally fails to make a strong statement of
continued support for her.
It is not foolish or premature to ask what will the U.S. do when and if the Muslim nations surrounding
Israel, this time led by Egypt and Turkey, supported by others, assault the Jewish nation? Will the President
and the Congress come to its aid?
Why not let Israel and the Muslim nations know what will happen if they attack Israel?
Sept. 8, 2011 - Palestinians have said for months that they would ask the United Nations to recognize them
as a full membership state in September. They have now sent a letter to the United Nations urging the Secretary
General to "exert all possible efforts toward the achievement of the Palestinian people's just demands."
The letter said the campaign would include a series of peaceful events leading up to the September 21
opening of the UN General Assembly. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the assembly two days
later, according to the officials.
Sept. 7, 2011 - Yesterday Israelil Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned that an all-out war
in the Middle East is becoming more likely. Amos Gilead, advisor to the Israeli Defense Minister, reacted by saying,
"There is no need to sow panic." He contradicted Eisenberg point by point with assurances that Israel's neighbors
are relatively stable.
Read seven facts that DEBKAfile's military analysts give in support of Major General Eisenberg's more
Sept. 6, 2011 - Israeli Major General Eyal Eisenberg, head of the IDF Home Front Command, told the Institute for
National Security Studies that an all-out regional war in the Middle East is becoming more likely, and that such a
war could include the use of weapons of mass destruction. The Israeli population is being instructed to use better
bomb shelters in the future.
Eisenberg cautioned that the Arab Spring could turn into the "Radical Islamic Winter".
Aug. 30, 2011 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has evidently given up on trying to reach a peaceful
solution with Israel before going to the U.N to request their recognition. Chinese President Hu Jintao has assured
Abbas that they will support their bid for statehood. He wrote to Abbas that China has, "always supported the
legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state."
Aug. 29, 2011 - Leading up to the Palestinian's bid for statehood next month, Palestinian Authority Chairman
Mahmoud Abbas has adopted a belligerent tone toward Israel, but said he did not mean to isolate Israel or cause
conflict with the United States.
The Palestinian leader also criticized demands made by the International Quartet of his Authority, urging
the international community to back off. "Don't order us to recognize a Jewish state," Abbas said. "We won't
Aug. 18, 2011 - After five months of Syria's "sustained onslaught" against its people, President Obama will have
a written statement delivered to President Bashar Assad to step down, while calling for new sanctions against his
Though the move may not have any immediate impact on the Syrian regime's behavior, officials hope it sends a
powerful signal that Assad is no longer welcome in the international community. The announcement will be
accompanied by new sanctions.
Meanwhile, the U.N. human rights chief is expected to call on the U.N. Security Council
to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court for investigation of alleged atrocities against some 1,800
protesters who have been killed since mid-March.
Aug. 17, 2011 - The "Quartet" of peace negotiators, - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the
United Nations - has reacted with alarm about Israel's latest plans to build settlements in Ariel and East Jerusalem.
They released a statement that said in part:
Jerusalem in particular is one of the core issues that must be resolved through negotiations between the
parties, which underscores the urgent need for the parties to resume serious and substantive talks.
Aug. 12, 2011 - In preparation for a September vote in the UN Security Council, a delegation of Arab leaders
plan to visit representatives of the five permanent Security Council nations next week to urge them to vote for
Palestinian UN membership.
Negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP the group would talk with representatives from the veto-wielding Britain,
China, France, Russia and the United States in a bid to sway them in favour of the Palestinian request
Aug. 10, 2011 - According to a senior Western diplomat, U.S. diplomats have told the Palestinian Authority that
they will harm the relationship between them if they go through with their plan to seek United Nations recognition
of a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly session in September.
"We are trying very hard to make clear to the Palestinians that only direct talks can achieve their
goals," the diplomat said. "We told the PA that going to the UN is a bad idea and avoiding talks will not
produce any results for them."
The Israel Defense Forces redeployed the Iron Dome missile defense system near Ashkelon on Friday
following days of heightened rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
At least three Grad rockets have been fired into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip during the past few days. The
Israeli Defense Force responded by attacking three tunnels used for terror activity and two other sites in Gaza.
Aug. 4, 2011 - As part of a gesture in honor of the holiday of Ramadan, Israeli authorities released Sheikh
Hassan Yousef and some 200 Palestinian security prisoners today. Yousef has been in prison for the past five years
for terrorist activities.
Aug. 1, 2011 - Discussions are already proceeding in the United Nations about the possibility of recognizing
"Palestine" as an independent country including all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. A vote on
the issue is scheduled for late September, so Palestinian officials are planning mass marches on September 20 to show
support for the issue.
Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo said leaders hope to attract millions, and the protest will be the first
of a prolonged effort. He said the campaign would be called "Palestine 194," since the Palestinians hope to become
the 194th member of the United Nations.
The U.S. opposes the Palestinian initiative and has signaled it will use its veto power in the council to defeat the measure.
On the 90th anniversary of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the vast Islamic Caliphate regime which fell
in 1921 after WWI, thousands of members of the Radical Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir rallied on the T
emple Mount in Jerusalem. They called for Muslims to unite and embrace the Caliphate rulership once more.
July 27, 2011 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may be sincere when he says he does not want
a third intifada, but his recent actions may be setting the stage for such an uprising just the same.
His two-pronged strategy of powersharing with Hamas and making a bid for UN recognition is
foundering, increasing the risk that the high expectations he sparked among his people will
dissolve into frustration and violence.
Knowing that the request to be recognized by the UN will ultimately fail, he says, “we will return to the negotiating
table.” But the chances of meaningful negotiations will have been diminished greatly by the UN bid.
July 27, 2011 - At an international defense conference Israeli Home Front Minister Matan Vilnai warned that
the next conflict with Gaza will bring missile attacks to the Tel Aviv financial center.
Hamas and other terrorist groups have at least 10,000 missiles and rockets, according to military intelligence
estimates. Advanced weapons are smuggled, in whole or in parts for assembly, enter Gaza from Iran, often via Sudan.
Israel has been improving its defense capabilities by deploying missile interceptors and building bomb shelters.
July 12, 2011 - When the representatives of the Middle East Quartet meet Monday in Washington, they are
planning to endorse U.S. President Barack Obama's May 19 speech on the Middle East, which called
for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians on the borders of a future state based on pre-1967 lines
with agreed-upon land swaps.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said he would be willing to start negotiations on that basis, but
would want the Obama administration to ratify President George W. Bush's letter to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that
would accept Israeli sovereignty over Jewish West Bank settlement blocs, and make plans for Palestinian refugees to
be resettled in a future Palestinian state.
The Palestinian Authority notified the Obama administration that early next week it would file
with the UN Security Council a request for admission to the United Nations as a full member recognized as an
independent state within the 1967 borders.
However, the US, European powers and Russia have agreed to handle the request by taking it under consideration in
the Security Council behind closed doors without setting a date. This will allow two months to try to restart peace
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians before any decision is made.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat has aleady said that there is no contradiction between the Palestinian
application for UN recognition and the restart of negotiations with Israel. An Israeli-Palestinian peace summit is
scheduled to begin on September 2 in Paris, and plans include participation by President Barack Obama, French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
July 1, 2011 - The US Senate was unanimous in its approval of a resolution that warned Palestinians that
they could face cuts in US aid if they persisted in their plan of asking the UN to endorse Palestine as a separate
state without first being successful in peace negotiations with Israel.
Nimer Hammad, a senior political adviser to president Mahmud Abbas, told AFP,
"We reject this decision and the Palestinian people will not succumb to such pressure and attempts."
Jun. 30, 2011 - Hezbollah ("The Party of God") emerged with financial backing from Iran in the early 1980s to
drive Israeli troops out of Lebanon. It is also supported by the Syrian government. It is thought that some militants
who would later become members of Hezbollah were responsible for the suicide bombing attack that killed 241 US marines
Hezbollah's popularity peaked in the 2000s, but took a dent among pro-Western Lebanese people when it was at the
centre of a huge, destructive war with Israel following the capture of two Israeli soldiers in 2006.
The group has grown in power now to the point that it has several seats in parliament and has ministers in
a national unity government formed in late 2009. So far the party has blocked an investigation of former Prime Minister
Rafik Hariri's murder. At this time a U.N. tribunal is investigating the murder and has issued warrants for the
arrest of four Hezbollah members.
Jun. 29, 2011 - Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck does a weekly report for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)
on the subject of terrorism. In this week's video bestselling author Walid Phares gives evidence of Hezbollah's
growing strength in Lebanon, the Middle East and around the world.
Phares also outlines what a future Middle East war -- sparked by Iran, Hezbollah and their allies
attacking Israel -- would look like and how it could affect America's national security.
Jun. 21, 2011 - Israel's Ron Prosor, who has only been their ambassador to the United Nations for less than one week,
met with Jewish American leaders at the Conference of Presidents of major Jewish American Organizations. He challenged
them to prepare for an attempt by the Palestinians to gain United Nations approval in September for unilateral
recognition of a Palestinian state. He urged them to influence decision makers against the approval of such a move.
Prosor also said that regardless of the outcome of the UN vote, a Palestinian state will not be created and added
that the UN is not authorized to dictate borders between countries.
Jun. 20, 2011 - In a surprising boost for Israel, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (23 member states, also known as the
Mediterranean Union), including its Muslim member countries, called on Monday for an end to the Israel-Palestinian
conflict, and a return to negotiations and the Quartet's conditions for a peace agreement between Israel and the
Palestinians. All of the members that were present, including Egypt, Morocco, Tunis and Algeria, and even the
Palestinian Authority, voted in favor of the resolution. Countries that did not attend the meeting were Turkey,
Lebanon, Syria and Libya.
Jun. 17, 2011 - Meeting in Jerusalem with EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, Israeli Foreign Minister
Avigdor Lieberman said that the Palestinian's bid for recognition by the UN as an independent state will invalidate
all the agreements that have been made between Israel and the Palestinians over the past 18 years. He added that the
problem is the position Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had adopted.
"Abbas does not want an agreement, but rather confrontation with Israel," Lieberman said. "This is his
personal interest, even though it is contrary to Palestinian interests and many in the Palestinian Authority
For her part, Ashton said, "it is more urgent than ever" for Israel-Palestinian peace talks to take place.
Jun. 13, 2011 - In a meeting with delegation of the Socialist International Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
said he would prefer to have direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but that all attempts to have
such talks have failed.
Abbas told his interlocutors that his first, second and third priorities were negotiations - and that
only his last priority was making a move at the UN.
June 5, 2011 - In spite of stern warnings that Israel would defend its borders against demonstrators on "Naksa"
Day ("setback" in Arabic), Syrian protestors stormed the fence on the border of the Golan Heights. The event was the 44th
anniversary of the 1967 Middle-East war. Israeli soldiers fired at the feet of some of the demonstrators, and launched
tear-gas over the fence to quell the protest. Syrian TV said more than 300 protesters had been wounded and 20 killed.
An Israeli military spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post newspaper they were only aware of 12 injuries.
Jun 3, 2011 - The Vatican called for an independent Palestinian state and a just and lasting peace between Israel
and the Palestinians
"Soon, the State of Israel and the Palestinian state must live in security, at peace with their neighbors and within
internationally recognized borders," the Vatican said in a statement issued following a meeting between Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.
June 2, 2011 - Palestinian have laid plans to march on Israel's borders this coming Sunday.
Israel issued a harsh warning to Syria and Lebanon ahead of 'Naksa Day' - the 44th anniversary of the Six
Day War. "We shall use all means to prevent an attack on our sovereignty. You will be held accountable,"
the message said.