Hamas Sets Its Sights on the West Bank

Hamas Sets Its Sights on the West Bank

SAIF DAHLAH/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinians in the West Bank are taking note of what Gazan rulers have achieved by attacking Israel.

Last week, thousands of Hamas supporters waving green flags marched through Hebron and Nablus in what some called an outbreak of the Arab Spring in the West Bank. During this peaceful but powerful show of force by Hamas, Palestinian security forces simply stood by.

On December 9, the Associated Press reported that Israel is concerned a third intifada might soon erupt in the West Bank. A quick review of the more recent developments in that region proves that its concern is not without cause.

First, there was the eight-day war between Israel and Hamas in November. Hamas not only survived that battle with its infrastructure intact, it emerged from the war with newfound clout across the region and more popularity than ever before within the Palestinian community.

Then on December 7, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians swarmed the streets of Gaza in celebration of Hamas’s 25-year anniversary. During the celebration, Hamas welcomed home its exiled leader, Khaled Mashaal. It was the first time Mashaal had ever been to Gaza, which in itself shows how confident and strong Hamas now is.

As Stratfor wrote December 13, “The most telling sign of Hamas’s new confidence is Mashaal’s visit to Gaza. It was the leader’s first visit to any Palestinian territory since he left the West Bank after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and it was his first ever visit to Gaza. … A sympathetic administration in Cairo and the ceasefire that ended the Gaza war in November created the right conditions for Mashaal to visit. The visit follows Hamas’s attainment of recognition from regional players, including Qatar, Jordan and other Arab capitals, after the group decided to end its relationship with Syria.”

In several speeches over the course of that weekend, Mashaal praised Hamas militants for standing up to Israel and repeated the movement’s founding goal of wiping Israel off the map. “God willing, we shall liberate Palestine together, inch by inch,” Mashaal said. “We started this path and we are going to continue until we achieve what God has promised.”

In the West Bank, controlled by the supposedly more moderate Palestinian Authority, there was no public condemnation of Mashaal’s diatribe. In fact, the Palestinian Authority allowed a Hamas rally in Nablus on the anniversary day.

Then there was the scary moment in Hebron earlier this month when Israeli soldiers on routine patrol had to seek refuge inside a butcher’s shop, of all places, to avoid confrontation with an angry mob of Palestinian protesters. After showing footage of the incident, an Israeli news station asked if Israel might be in the early stages of a third intifada.

Add all of this to the United Nations’ recent decision to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority to a “non-member observer state,” and it makes for a dangerous mixture of events.

The bottom line, as Israel Hayom’s editor in chief Amir Mizroch wrote on December 9, is that things in the West Bank are changing—and fast! According to Mizroch, the Palestinians have seen what Gaza’s rulers have achieved by standing up to Israel and now they want change too.

The Jerusalem Post recently reported that Hamas is working to reactivate its sleeper cells in the West Bank. That was followed by a report the Sunday Times released this weekend warning of a Gaza-style Hamas takeover of the West Bank. According to Israeli military intelligence, Hamas political chief Mashaal has called upon his supporters in the West Bank to prepare for a takeover.

“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been warned by his intelligence services that the Islamist group Hamas could seize power in the West Bank, just as it did in Gaza five years ago,” the Times wrote. “According to military intelligence, there are strong indications that Iran is encouraging Hamas to replace Fatah, the more moderate party led by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian National Authority.”

Senior Fatah member General Tawfiq Tirawi told the Times, “We’re on the verge of catastrophe. Hamas wants intifada (an uprising) and now only a spark is needed to light the inferno. Hamas will take over the West Bank.”

The Times of Israel wrote, “A source close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the paper that the prime minister is maneuvering to halt Iran and Hamas from gaining dominion of the territory.”

To make matters worse, according to a recent survey by Jerusalem-based pollster Khalil Shikaki, 48 percent of people in the West Bank back Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, while only 45 percent support Mr. Abbas.

Stratfor wrote, “In the West Bank there is a general disappointment with Fatah and its governance. There are signs of frustration and of a loss of faith in Fatah, and the West Bank Palestinian leadership is seen as geriatric, corrupt and ineffective. This creates an opening that Hamas can exploit.” Due to the religious and political alignment of many people in the West Bank, Stratfor goes on to point out, there is plenty of political space for Hamas to exploit in the West Bank.

Now notice what we wrote at theTrumpet.com back in August of 2008: “The Arabs of the Fatah party currently control the West Bank. However, Hamas terrorists (and weapons) are present throughout the West Bank and there is little doubt that they are working toward getting control of this strategic region of Israel.”

And looming behind all of these proxies, as we have said all along, is the head of radical Islam, Iran. Our article continued: “Iran’s ultimate goal is to overrun Jerusalem. The West Bank adjoins the city. The Iranians believe that if they can conquer Jerusalem, they can unite the Arab world under their control.”

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you read online or request The King of the South.

Islamist Tremors Continue to Shake Ethiopia

Back in January 2011, Gerald Flurry prophesied that Ethiopia would eventually turn radical and ally itself with Iran—this despite the fact that the majority of Ethiopia is Christian. Today, tensions in Ethiopia between the Muslim minority and Christian majority have greatly escalated since the death of Ethiopia’s last prime minister and strongman, Meles Zenawi.

Russia and Europe Moving Toward a Deal on Syria?

Russia and Europe Moving Toward a Deal on Syria?

JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images

With Assad’s regime ready to topple, Russia and Europe are moving closer to making a deal on Syria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin distanced his country from Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria, after talks with EU leaders in Brussels on December 21. His statements indicate that Europe and Russia may have come to some kind of agreement over Syria’s future.

Russia, he said, is not “a defender for the current Syrian leadership.” Instead, he said there is a “need to agree how Syria is to be governed.” Mr. Putin said he would support a democratic regime there. But he made clear that he still does not support military action or increased sanctions.

The Associated Press notes that “Putin’s statement reflected attempts by Russia to distance itself from the Syrian regime.”

Last month, Andrew Miiller wrote that “with Russia funneling cash to the Assad regime and Germany giving politico-military support to the rebels, the entire Syrian civil war can be viewed as a proxy war between Moscow and Berlin.”

Mr. Putin’s comments could be the first indications that this war is coming to an end.

Something like this is to be expected. Though German and Russian relations are on a short-term dip at the moment, overall the two countries remain close. They have a lot of common interests. To really be powerful on the world scene, Germany has to be sure Russia isn’t working against it behind its back.

That doesn’t mean some kind of deal was made at the summit. The EU officials present aren’t the big players in this game. Germany is Russia’s closest and most important partner in Europe. The German-Russian relationship is the one to watch. Putin’s statements indicate he is at least leaving the door open for a deal with Germany.

What happens in Syria is very important for the Middle East. But it also reflects on relations around the world. Bible prophecy shows us that the Syrian government will end up an ally of Germany. Russia could try and fight that. It’s more likely that the two sides will come to an arrangement.

Watch German-Russian relations to see if this will happen. If Russia gives way easily, watch for it to receive something in return: less opposition to Russian energy companies in Europe, or a blind eye turned to Russia’s attempts to regain control of former Soviet countries, for example.

Ultimately, the German-Russian relationship is vital for world stability. Historically, Germany secures assurances from Russia before going on the offensive. As Germany grows more powerful, watch for it to seek the same assurances.

For more information on this history, see our article “A New Strategic Partnership Emerges.”

Kings of the North and South Battle in Jordan

Jordan has invited the European Union to monitor its upcoming elections. The request was made by Jordan’s independent election commission, and the EU said on Thursday that it will fulfill the request. The EU will send 140 observers from its 27 member states to monitor both the vote itself and the pre-election campaign, which starts on Saturday.

It will be the first time that the EU has monitored Jordan’s parliamentary vote.

The EU’s election observer chief, David Martin, said on Thursday that he hopes the elections on January 23 will contribute to Jordan’s democratic development. “We have never observed Jordanian elections before,” said Martin. “This is the first time that the European Election Observation Mission has felt that the conditions were right to come and observe elections here in Jordan.”

“The agreement is to give us the space to work, but not to work with the government, so we are completely independent of the government structure,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood is boycotting the vote.

Both Iran and Europe are interested in Jordan’s elections. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote earlier this year that radical Islam is plotting to take over Jordan, which is a comparatively small and weak nation. He also pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to hijack the king’s effort to reform his country.

Jordan’s invitation to the European Union to monitor its elections is probably an effort to win support in its battle against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Bible prophesies that Jordan will not be taken over by the EU or by Iran and radical Islam. The presence of EU observers will not skew the election, but it shows who Jordan will turn to in order to combat radical Islam.

God has a special plan for modern Jordan. To understand this nation’s future, read Jordan and God’s Church in Prophecy.

Germany and Japan: Biopharmaceutical Axis Powers

Germany and Japan: Biopharmaceutical Axis Powers

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

World War II military allies forging powerful health-care partnerships

Germany and Japan partnered October 10-12 at the BioJapan World Business Forum in Yokohama. Since 1986 BioJapan has expanded to over 400 exhibitors and 1,000 coordinated representatives. This year initiated a new online matching system designed to aid representatives in finding business partners. The convention is a key player in building new business bridges between international corporations.

Health—Made in Germany” is a development strategy to create “win-win situations for global partners and German health-care companies,” claims Germany Trade & Invest (gtai).

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology underwrites the initiative, while operations are directed by gtai to ensure federal groups, firms and professional communities prosper from medicare trade prospects.

Gabriel Flemming, medical biotechnology expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin, noted, “There is a need for innovation, and small and medium-sized companies have an excellent chance to work with established players.”

BioJapan gave representatives of biotech companies from both countries a forum to qualify for mutual opportunities in their respective homelands, notably in the medical pharmaceutical and diagnostic spheres.

Iwami Asakawa, Germany Trade & Invest representative in Tokyo, said, “With world-class pharmaceutical industries and cutting-edge research, Germany and Japan are natural partners. Both countries are also facing the same challenges that come with aging societies. The conditions are just right to intensify cooperation in order to share costs and speed market entry.”

As a prime example, Osaka’s Bio Medical Cluster and Munich’s BioM have partnered for over a year now, setting the pace for other firms to follow. Currently, there are more than 550 biotech companies in Germany, with almost 50 percent devoted to animal and human production of cutting-edge medicines and diagnostic procedures.

You can expect these former axis military and economic powers of World War ii to continue maximizing their biotech momentum into market dominance amid rapid U.S. fiscal decline, compounded by the impact of Obamacare, an unfathomable national debt load and unemployment abyss (Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 28; Ezekiel 33:1-11; Hosea 5:5).

These conditions have been long prophesied in the pages of the best seller, yet little read, physical and spiritual health and healing book—the Bible. The Word of God foretells not only Germany’s rise in dominance of Europe, but also Japan’s in conjunction with the great Eastern powers of Eurasia. Request your free copies of Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans, Russia and China in Prophecy and The Plain Truth About Healing for vital understanding.

Jacob Zuma’s Reelection and the Most Dangerous Job in South Africa

Jacob Zuma’s Reelection and the Most Dangerous Job in South Africa

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

With Zuma poised to lead the nation for another term, South Africa’s racial tensions are not likely to abate any time soon.

Amid hearty renditions of apartheid-era songs and wails from vuvuzelas, South African President Jacob Zuma was swept to victory on Tuesday in his party’s leadership election. Since his party—the African National Congress—holds dominant influence over the black majority of South Africa’s population, the win effectively secures Africa’s most powerful office until 2019.

Zuma’s victory has sobering implications for South Africa because he has repeatedly condemned the white minority’s control of the country’s economy, and has worked toward a widespread transfer of wealth to the nation’s black population, including the redistribution of white-owned farms.

At present, only 8 percent of South African farms are owned by blacks—a number far short of the 30 percent goal by 2014 proposed by former President Nelson Mandela. Those zealous about achieving Mandela’s target have turned South Africa into a nation where it is more dangerous to be a white farmer than to be even a policeman.

This fact is especially sobering because South Africa is awash with violence and crime, making it abnormally dangerous to be among the police forces of many of its cities.

The dangers posed to South Africa’s ever dwindling number of white—mostly Afrikaner—landowners have become so serious that a group of activists and farmers marched to the capital of Pretoria in December to demand state protection of their lives and property. “Farm murders are not only a crisis,” said AfriForum deputy ceo Ernst Roets. “They are a catastrophe.”

The Transvaal Agricultural Union of South Africa says nearly 1,600 farm murders have been reported since 1990, but think tanks place the number closer to 3,000.

With Zuma’s office secured for six more years, the situation for South Africa’s white farmers is not likely to improve in the short term.

Ezekiel 7:23-27 describe South Africa’s present situation with startling accuracy, and make plain that in the near term, it will only get worse. Bloody and violent crimes will be committed so frequently that they will be like the links of a chain—one right after another. This passage even discusses citizens’ homes being wrested from them, and clashes between different nationalities.

The conditions in South Africa will deteriorate to such an abysmal state that the people will eventually wage a search for God. They will cry out for Him, pleading for deliverance from the turmoil. But God explains that He is purposefully sending the punishment upon the people as correction. (To prove that this passage refers to the nation of South Africa, read the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

Yet there is breathtaking hope on the horizon for all races of the people of South Africa—a revolution that will replace socialistic and violence-spawning policies with a government and a body of laws that is literally perfect (Revelation 11:15; James 1:25). Ezekiel 7:27 says that God is sending the punishment on the people so that “they shall know that I am the Lord.” Bringing obstinate people to the understanding and acceptance of who He is requires extreme measures. But it is foundational to this imminent revolution.

Ezekiel 33:11 makes plain that God does not want any people to suffer. He loves all races and all nationalities, and He yearns for all men to be truly happy. But true, lasting happiness and peace can only result from obeying His perfect laws. God’s will is for the people of South Africa—and the whole world—to obey Him. Obedience to Him would saturate their lives with blessings of prosperity and peace.

To understand more about South Africa’s bleak present, and its awe-inspiring future, read South Africa in Prophecy.