The Israeli military raised its alert level on Monday, taking various measures in the wake of new assessments that the Islamic Jihad will attempt a revenge attack. The leadership of the Gaza-based group is threatening revenge over Israel’s bombing of a cross-border attack tunnel near Gaza two weeks ago, in which 12 members of Islamic Jihad and Hamas were killed. These measures, which are considered exceptional, included the deployment of anti-rocket Iron Dome batteries in central Israel, but not the calling up of reservists. This is the first time such measures were taken since the 2014 Gaza war ended.
The assessments regarding Islamic Jihad involve a range of possibilities on the Gaza border and further beyond. The organization controls dozens of Grad-type Katyusha rockets with a range of over 40 kilometers, capable of hitting Ashdod and Be’er Sheva, and possibly even longer-range rockets. The group also still has operational capabilities in certain areas of the West Bank, including the Jenin area, but it is unclear whether it could carry out an attack. Islamic Jihad is under pressure both from Israel’s security services and the Palestinian Authority’s intelligence apparatus.
Israel and Islamic Jihad have exchanged threats over the past few days. The coordinator of government activities in the territories, Gen. Yoav Mordechai, announced in Arabic on Saturday a warning that Islamic Jihad “is playing with fire on the backs of residents of the Gaza Strip, and at the expense of the internal Palestinian reconciliation and the entire region.” Mordechai stressed in the video message: “Just to be clear, Israel will respond forcefully and resolutely to any Islamic Jihad reaction whatsoever — not just against Jihad, but also against Hamas.” The video concluded, “We advise Islamic Jihad’s leadership in Damascus to exercise caution and keep things under control.”
“Behold, I am sending My messenger to clear the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek shall come to His Temple suddenly. As for the angel of the covenant that you desire, he is already coming.” Malachi 3:1 (The Israel Bible™)
Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, a well-known Israeli mystic leader, made a remarkable statement last Sunday predicting that the identity of the Messiah would be revealed in the very near future, even giving specific details on how the revelation would occur.
“Messiah is at work right now,” Rabbi Ben Artzi said in a sermon. “Jews, be happy! Very soon, the Messiah will be revealed to everyone!”
The rabbi went into detail, explaining how this would come about.
“The Holy One, Blessed be He, will come to the rabbis in a dream with a vision and inform them of whom He has chosen for the King Messiah,” predicted Rabbi Ben Artzi. “The Creator will write to them exactly, whom He has chosen as King Messiah.”
This singular revelation was accompanied by details.
“There will be a yellow card and holy letters inscribed on a parchment like a Torah scroll, where they will be told in Aramaic who is King Messiah,” the rabbi continued. Aramaic is no longer spoken, but it is the language of the Talmud (oral law). “Then, they will have no choice and they will recognize the King Messiah.
“From above they will be told, ‘The choice is in your hands. Either you reveal him or the Creator of the world will cause you great trouble and will not let go until you reveal this and tell it to the people of Israel’,” Rabbi Ben Artzi said. “Then they will follow the instructions laid out in the dream and acknowledge who the Messiah King is.”
The rabbi even described the inscription that will be revealed to the rabbis in their vision of the the parchment.
“I, the Lord, command you to say and to show who is the King Messiah, the man of God chosen by Him.”
Rabbi Ben Artzi explained why God has chosen this specific time to reveal the Messiah.
“The Creator can no longer wait while watching the suffering of the Jews in Israel and abroad,” Rabb Ben Artzi said. “Their suffering is especially difficult since Israel is the Chosen People, chosen by the Holy One, blessed be He.”
The rabbi did not discount the non-Jews from this soon-to-be-revealed process. In an exclusive response to Breaking Israel News, Rabbi Ben Artzi explained the role of Christians in the messianic age.
“In the beginning of Christianity, there was a schism, and there were Jews among them,” the rabbi explained. “But some Jews continued in the path of Christianity. Therefore, there are among them today those that have the spark of Judaism in their soul and in their spirit. That is why they have an affinity for Judaism and a love of the Jews that is awakening as the Messiah approaches.”
Rabbi Ben Artzi had a dire warning for Jews who live outside of Israel, telling them that since the Messiah is about to be revealed, now is the time to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel).
“God has given man free choice so that he will willingly connect to God, and to the Land of Israel,” Rabbi Ben Artzi told Breaking Israel News. “If they truly believe in God, they will come of their own free will.”
Rabbi Ben Artzi emphasized that the timeliness of the Messiah has been made clear by current events in order to bring Jews back to Israel.
“There are great signs showing that it is time to return: growing anti-Semitism, signs in nature, global political conflicts,” the Kabbalist leader said. However, he added, “Throughout all of this, the land of Israel is conspicuously protected. Anyone who looks at the signs will understand and come to Israel immediately.”
l Thess. 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
‘This could get extraordinarily messy … Israel may be drawn into it’
While the world tries to interpret Saudi Arabia’s moves to clamp down on corruption and watches the kingdom accuse Iran of an “act of war,” a former Reagan administration Pentagon official says Saudi Arabia is gearing up for the very real possibility of a “very, very bloody” war with Iran.
Within the past several days, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is next in line to the Saudi throne, has ordered the arrests of many government officials, including 11 princes, on allegations of corruption. More recently, the crown prince accused Iran of an “act of war” after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen launched an Iranian missile toward the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
The Houthis admit firing the missile, and Saudi investigators say the fragments prove the missile is from Iran. Furthermore, the Saudi-friendly prime minister of Lebanon abruptly resigned, and many other elements of the Lebanese government are loyal to the Shiite regime in Iran.
So are the events of the past week just the latest developments in an unstable region or something far more significant?
Frank Gaffney is president of the Center for Security Policy, and he served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. He said these recent events are very significant.
“Something is moving, for sure,” Gaffney told WND and Radio America. “I think this is a lot bigger than chess pieces. I think this is nothing less than tectonic shifts taking place throughout the region.”
Gaffney said Iran’s goal of creating a “Shiite Crescent” is greatly disturbing to the Saudis. The crescent is a continuous stretch of Iranian-dominated areas that stretches from the southern end of the Red Sea through Yemen to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.
He said Crown Prince Salman is bracing for a major fight to prevent Iran control of the entire region.
“I think what is teeing up, as I see it, is probably a very, very bloody war in that part of the world, and it may not be confined to that part of the world,” Gaffney said.
And now for something completely different: Arabs once again not missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity. A week after the Palestinian Authority had announced that it had accepted responsibility for the the Gaza Strip crossings, Hamas and Fatah ar at odds over the management of those crossings.
According to Ha’aretz, on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority during its weekly meeting in Ramallah announced it could not guarantee the proper operation of the crossings without receiving routine security authority for the entire Gaza Strip. In this spirit, PA Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah called on the factions slated to meet in Cairo on November 21 to discuss this issue in order to arrive at a mutually agreed resolution.
Al-Hamdallah’s remarks were greeted with seething anger in Gaza, where Hamas has been in charge of routine security for more than a decade. Hamas officials are saying Fatah should take charge of the crossings at once—especially the Raffah crossing to Egypt, never mind the broader arrangements. The longer the crossing to Egypt remains closed, the worse things are getting among Gaza’s civilians, they argued.
A spokesman for the Hamas Interior Ministry in Gaza told reporters the al-Hamdallah’s statement was puzzling, considering that Hamas had already handed over to Palestinian Authority the full responsibility for all the crossings, ordering Hamas fighters to abandoned all their positions there.
According to the same spokesman, Hamas is disturbed by the fact that PA senior officials are issuing public demands regarding the military control of Gaza ahead of a scheduled meeting of PA and Hamas security delegations planned for later this month.
“Yea, their day of disaster is near, And destiny rushes upon them.” Deuteronomy 23:35 (The Israel Bible™)
Nearly 100 young children were evacuated from their preschool near Tel Aviv on Sunday when Arab construction workers at a neighboring building site began attacking their school by throwing rocks through the windows.
The 90 three- and four-year-olds were inside the preschool in Givatayim, a neighborhood on the fringes of Tel Aviv, when on Sunday morning two Arab workers from a nearby construction site went on the offensive, hurling rocks through an open kitchen window at the children and preschool staff members.
They also made vulgar gestures at the staff members, a parent of one of the children reported.
Staff quickly herded the kids out of the building into a nearby school. No injuries were reported, but when parents arrived to pick up their children, there were police units at the entrance, said one mother.
Police officers arrested two workers from the site, but both were released on bail after questioning. They were barred with a restraining order from entering Givatayim again.
One news site used the story as an opportunity to question Israel’s good-intentioned policy of allowing Palestinian Arabs, suffering from high unemployment in the Palestinian Authority, to enter and work in the country.
“Despite an influx of foreign aid…the Palestinian Authority have failed to create jobs for its people,” Israel Today wrote. “Israel has sought to alleviate the pressure that unemployment brings by allowing large numbers of Palestinian Arabs to enter its sovereign territory each day to work in construction.
“On Sunday, it was demonstrated how such gestures of goodwill can sometimes backfire.”
An Israeli family digging in their backyard accidentally discovered an ancient system of underground caves and stables dating back to the time of Jesus.
The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the structures were found in a primarily Arab village called Eilabun and were left behind by the Romans some 2,000 years ago.
“It’s three meters underground today, but 2,000 years ago, when in use, it would have been ground level, maybe half a meter,” archaeology inspector Nir Distelfeld told Haaretz. “It shows how much dirt and silt accrue over 2,000 years.”
The underground rooms had holes carved into the walls, which experts said would have been used to form a handle to tie animals to.
Excavators also uncovered a local synagogue in a rural village nearby.
Before Eilabun became an Arab village, it was once a primarily Jewish town. It lies just 11 miles from Nazareth, the very city where Jesus grew up as a child. Looters and antiquity thieves destroyed much of the town’s ancient history.
“The looters weren’t archaeology experts,” Distelfeld said. “When they saw a chamber, they started to deepen it, breaking the rock itself, thinking they would find other interesting stuff.”
“The thieves may have found other things, but they won’t tell us,” Distelfeld added.
In letter to Lebanese cleric, Ali Khamenei says responsibility for toppling ‘Zionist usurper’ rests on ‘shoulders of the entire Muslim world’
Iran’s top religious and political leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged all Muslims to engage in “different methods” of fighting against Israel.
In a letter to the International Union of Resistance Scholars, a group that has convened anti-Israel gatherings in the past, Khamenei wrote that the “unforgettable responsibility” for removing Israel “rests upon the shoulders of the entire Muslim world.”The letter, which appears in English translation on Khamenei’s official website, is addressed to the union’s chairman, Lebanese Sunni cleric Sheikh Maher Hamoud. Hamoud, who hails from Sidon in southern Lebanon, advocates an end to the Sunni-Shiite rift and a refocusing of Muslim attention on the Palestinian cause.
In Khamenei’s letter, dated October 30, the Iranian supreme leader seemed to back this view.
He assured Hamoud that “the Divine promise guarantees definite victory [for] the resistance.”
He characterized the broader Muslim effort against Israel as a “vast, public movement,” and urged “all individuals who feel the importance of this great responsibility” to engage in “different methods of fighting against the usurper Zionist regime.”
Khamenei often rails against Israel and urges its destruction in public comments. He has called the US, Israel and Britain Iran’s “main enemies,” and backed upgrading Iran’s military capabilities and support for its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah and the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, all sworn to Israel’s destruction.
As soon as Israeli Jews began asking for rain in the Amidah prayer on Friday, it started raining – recommended talking point in debates with atheist friends. The, on Saturday night, Israel switched to the winter clock and on Monday morning heavy rains began in earnest. Haifa and the rest of northern Israel are already flooded, as an estimated 60mm of rain came down in just a few hours. The temperature are in the 50s and 60s, this after a warm and muggy summer that never ended (well, it did end, last Friday).
Several traffic arteries were blocked in Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, including the Paz bridge heading north to the Check Post (where Haifa Bay makes a turn to the northwest). The city of Atlit, on the coast south of Haifa, is also experiencing serious traffic delays due to a ditch that opened up in the middle of the highway. Several communities circling the Carmel mountains are also experiencing serious road flooding.
The weather report calls for more winter for the rest of the week, topped by a major rain system moving into Israel come the weekend.
You know what comes next: the Negev desert is going to bloom overnight with a carpet of fresh flowers, which means more traffic jams, this time on account of Israeli nature lovers.
The ancient tomb of the Jewish prophet Nahum, located in the Nineveh region of Iraq and guarded for decades by local Christians, is in serious danger of damage from local warfare, warned an Israeli MK recently.
“As Iraqi forces approach the town of Al Qosh, the danger to the historic tomb of Prophet Nahum is growing,” Zionist Union MK Ksenia Svetlova, chair of a Knesset group tasked with protecting Jewish culture and heritage in Arab and Muslim countries, was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post.
“I’m concerned that the warfare in the region between the Iraqi forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga will result in a destruction of the tomb that was once a center for Jewish pilgrimage from all parts of Iraq.”
For the past week, Iraqi forces have been battling Kurdish troops for control of strategic border territories containing oil fields near the ancient Christian town of Al Qosh, the location of the already vulnerable tomb. The 2,700-year-old tomb was first endangered by warfare in 2014, when ISIS conquered the Nineveh plains and expelled the region’s Christian communities.
As an ancient non-Muslim site of religious importance, the tomb was an obvious target for ISIS, which has destroyed a significant number of ancient Jewish and Christian archaeological religious sites in its territory in Iraq, including the Tomb of Jonah.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was able to protect Al Qosh for three years, holding ISIS off until the Islamic State began to lose its footing in Iraq. Meanwhile, the tomb remained under the care of the Assyrian Christian Shajaa family, which has guarded it for over 60 years.
Al Qosh’s Jewish population left the region for good when the Iraqi government expelled the country’s Jews in 1950. Before leaving, the community asked the Shajaa family to watch over the precious tomb of the Prophet Nahum, identified as an “Elkoshite” (one who hails from Al Qosh) in the Bible.
“When the last Jewish people in Al Qosh left, they asked my grandfather to watch over the tomb, to keep it safe,” Asir Salaam Shajaa told the Christian Post in 2015. “Nahum is not our prophet, but he is a prophet, so we must respect that.”
The prophet Nahum is best known for his predictions of the fall of ancient Nineveh in the seventh century BCE. Nineveh was one of the largest cities in the world during Nahum’s time, with a population of about 150,000 people. Today, it lies in ruins, but it is still surrounded by an almost intact massive 7.5-mile long brick rampart.
But despite efforts by conservationists, Jewish donors, activists, and the KRG, the tomb has never been officially recognized or protected as a historical site. It was in a state of partial collapse during a visit in 2015, and now once more faces the threat of destruction.
MK Svetlova urged the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to add the tomb to its list of protected historical sites in 2016, but without success. In the wake of the recent fighting in the region, Svetlova has turned to the American government to ask for assistance.
“I urge the American authorities to protect the Jewish shrine of the Prophet Nahum at Al Qosh before it is too late,” she said.