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Israel At War: Week Twenty-Three Coverage

TRUSTED ANALYSIS

ISRAEL WAR — TIMELINE

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Day 161 — Friday March 15

Thousands Of Police Deployed In Jerusalem’s Old City For Ramadan On Friday

Israel War
Israel’s police force said it will deploy thousands of officers across Jerusalem’s Old City for Ramadan’s first Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, with tensions high amid the Gaza war.

“We are prepared for Friday prayers with more police officers. Thousands of them will be in the area of Temple Mount,” police spokeswoman Mirit ben Mayor told reporters, referring to the holy site upon which the mosque sits.

Hundreds of police officers had already been deployed in the Old City in since Ramadan began on Monday, she said.

Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Muslim worshippers would be allowed to access Al-Aqsa Mosque in the same numbers as in previous years during the first week of Ramadan.

Day 160 — Thursday, March 14

Analysis — Amir Tsarfati: The US Is Slowly But Surely Becoming Israel's Greatest Obstacle To Obliterating Hamas

Israel War
The US began supplying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip last week. If it’s not enough that the people of Gaza were seen throwing some of the aid in the trash because it came from the US, some locals were also killed in the process. Apparently, some of the aid was incorrectly dropped from the sky leading to fatalities. And don’t be fooled, there’s plenty of evidence revealing there’s no food shortage in Gaza. The people have plenty of access to food.

Sadly, the news doesn’t get better regarding US involvement in our war with Hamas. In a recent interview, President Biden explained that he would never cut off defensive weapons. This means the current administration would be willing to cut off offensive weapon supply as leverage against Israel in the future in an attempt to prevent further operations in Gaza. Both the US and Hamas share at least one thing in common – they have completely unrealistic expectations regarding what it will take to bring an end to this war.

Tragically, Israel has learned that at least 34 abductees of the 134 taken to Gaza on October 7 have died. On a positive note, #3 in the Hamas hierarchy is believed to have been eliminated over the weekend.

The US is slowly but surely becoming our greatest obstacle when it comes to obliterating this terrorist organization. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even had to correct Biden in a recent statement saying, “When he says that my policy is against Israeli interests and against Israeli public opinion, he is wrong on both counts.” No matter what, Netanyahu remains determined to win this war. I’m glad to have a strong leader at such a time as this.

None of this should surprise us, as the Biden administration has gone out of its way to save face with the pro-Palestinian audience over the last several weeks, especially since the beginning of Ramadan.

It’s of no small concern to see what’s happening in the United States. Its sympathy towards the Muslim mentality is extremely alarming. Look no further than Times Square, where Muslims gathered for prayer at the onset of Ramadan. Beyond this, amid the war in Gaza, disgusting pro-Palestinian fliers were seen in New York City stating, “Rape is resistance”, and “Babies are occupiers too”. This is the direction the west has been heading for years. It’s no surprise that NYC is seeing a rise in Islamic terror propaganda.

As our war in Gaza rages on, it’s becoming clearer by the day that Biden is living in a fantasy world when it comes to his perception of the Middle East. He appears to think that Palestinians are eager for peace and Israel’s government is at odds with its people. Both are anything but true.

Day 160 — Thursday, March 14

Career Soldier, 51, Killed In Stabbing In South; Terrorist Shot Dead By Victim

Israel War
A senior non-commissioned officer in the Israel Defense Forces was fatally stabbed in a terror attack at a gas station in southern Israel on Thursday. The assailant, an Israeli citizen originally from the Gaza Strip, was shot dead by the victim.

Another three people were slightly wounded.

The attack took place inside a branch of the Aroma coffee chain at Beit Kama Junction, just north of Beersheba.

Surveillance camera footage from the attack showed the assailant approaching Chief Warrant Officer Uri Moyal from behind, pulling out a knife and stabbing him in the back. Amid a struggle, the terrorist was seen attempting to also stab Moyal in the neck. The pair then fell to the ground, as another man was seen trying to pull the knife from the terrorist’s hand.

Moyal was seen managing to get up, then opening fire at the terrorist with his handgun, before collapsing outside the cafe.

Moyal, 51 from the southern city of Dimona, served as a senior technology and maintenance NCO at the Nahal Infantry Brigade’s training base.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said it took the victim to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba in critical condition, where he was pronounced dead shortly upon arrival.

Day 160 — Thursday, March 14

‘No Safe Haven For Terrorists’ – Defense Minister Gallant Hints Rafah Operation May Begin Soon

Israel WarIsrael Defense Forces may soon begin the long-awaited ground offensive into the town of Rafah, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hinted while visiting IDF troops in the western portion of Gaza City on Wednesday.

He commended the soldiers and commanders of the IDF’s 162nd Division operating in the northern Strip and affirmed that the terrorists in Gaza would be found and brought to justice.

“I met the troops who are conducting extraordinary work above and below the ground. Our forces reach every location [necessary], and we can conclude that there is no safe haven for terrorists in Gaza.”

“Even those who think we are delayed will soon see that we will reach every location [necessary]. We will bring to justice anyone who was involved in the events [massacre conducted] on October 7th. We will either eliminate them [the terrorists] or bring them to trial in Israel,” Gallant vowed.

“There is no safe haven – not here, not outside of Gaza, not across the Middle East – we will bring them to justice.”

The issue of Israel’s planned operation in Rafah has led to major disagreements between U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reiterated on Tuesday that the operation would go ahead.

Day 160 — Thursday, March 14

Poll: Netanyahu Tops Rivals as Biden Pressure Campaign Fails

Israel War

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is far ahead of his political rivals, and right-wing parties would win another election if it were held today, according to a poll released Wednesday by Israel’s Channel 14.

The result led to speculation that pressure from the Biden administration has united Israelis behind Netanyahu as the only leader capable of standing up to the White House on issues such as a Palestinian state and defeating Hamas.

The poll was conducted in the wake of the departure of politician Gideon Sa’ar from the opposition Blue and White Party, a centrist party that governs with Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition in an emergency government of national unity.

Sa’ar has a habit of leaving parties; he broke with Netanyahu’s Likud Party in protest at Netanyahu’s leadership.

Still, he has some support among voters, and so Channel 14 conducted a poll to gauge Israeli politics after his switch.

The poll found that Netanyahu is preferred to Blue and White Leader Benny Gantz by 47% to 37%, and that he is preferred over opposition leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party by an even wider margin of 48% to 28%.

The evident support for Netanyahu flies in the face of an assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies that the Netanyahu government faces collapse — a conclusion whose publication was interpreted by the Israeli government as a threat.

Netanyahu’s strong support also contradicts Biden’s claim that Netanyahu is “hurting Israel more than he’s helping,” and Vice President Kamala Harris’s attempt to distinguish between the Israeli government and the Israeli people.

Biden has tried to press Israel to accept a Palestinian state after the war, which Netanyahu has said would be a massive reward to Hamas for terror. Biden has also pressured Israel not to attack Hamas in its last stronghold in the town of Rafah.

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken published a post calling for a ceasefire and a hostage deal. He did not mention the goal of defeating Hamas.

While Israelis want a hostage deal, most do not want one at the cost of losing the war.

Day 160 — Thursday, March 14

Analysis — The Re-establishment Of Israel —Modern Miracle Or Conspiracy?

Israel War
I received an email recently from someone claiming that current Israel is not biblical Israel. The writer further stated that the people we call the Jews today are not Jews at all.

The typical rant ensued about the wickedness of modern Israel, Zionism, the Mossad, and the Ashkenazi Jews who control the world. Normally embedded in the rant is some expletive about Israel controlling America.

I receive these types of emails berating me for being so naïve, blind, deceived, and several other things I can’t print, all because I support the modern state of Israel and its right to exist in her land without the constant threat of terrorism.

By the tone and content of most of these emails I wonder if the authors are saved, born-again, spirit filled believers in Jesus Christ. The biggest reason for my concern for these individuals is their denial of what the Bible says and their belief in what the Bible doesn’t say. Let me explain.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will establish a fake Israel in her ancestral land.

As hard as some people work to argue that modern Israel is not biblical Israel, they cannot formulate a convincing defense of their belief. The reason is clear – arguing against what the Bible declares God will do in the end of days is a losing argument every time.

The same is true for the Jewish people. Elaborate arguments are offered that seek to destroy any belief that the Israelites of today are biblical Jews. Again, the argument is not supported biblically.

Day 159 — Wednesday, March 13

Israel Gov Says Canadians Should Be Aware That Liberals Are 'Funding Terrorism'

Israel WarA spokesperson for the Israeli government accused the Canadian government of indirectly funding terror through its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

Ilana Stein, the National Public Diplomacy Directorate’s head of international affairs, condemned Canada’s decision to continue funding UNRWA at a press conference.

“The taxpayer should know that their money is funding terror, as simple as that. And do they want their money to help terrorists, build tunnels, educate children on how to kill and that they should kill? And train them how to do so? Is that the best way for the taxpayer’s money to be used?” Stein said, in response to a question from the Canadian TV station the News Forum.

The federal government’s decision to resume funding after a brief pause has raised concerns among some Canadian lawmakers, including Liberal MPs Anthony Housefather and Marco Mendicino, who have advocated for a complete halt in Canadian support for UNRWA.

Housefather and Mendicino expressed deep concerns over allegations of UNRWA staff involvement in terrorism and the distribution of antisemitic materials in an open letter to the government released last week.

These allegations linking some UNRWA staff members to Hamas attacks against Israel first emerged in October and were later acknowledged by the UN agency itself.

Among the accusations are claims of involvement in grave activities such as kidnapping, distributing ammunition, and participating in a massacre that resulted in the deaths of 97 Jewish civilians.

The Israeli government has provided a dossier to the United States government outlining the alleged roles of several individuals in the Hamas attacks against Israel on October 7.

These allegations have fueled suspicions that funds directed towards UNRWA may have been diverted to support Hamas activities.

The Israeli spokesperson emphasized the need for a reconsideration of taxpayer funds, questioning whether supporting an organization with such allegations aligns with Canada’s interests in promoting peace and stability in the region.

“If we want Gaza to have a bright future…you can’t keep on giving the money to an organization that taught hate (and) facilitated and was part of a massacre. And it’s not just a few, we have evidence of a lot of people. There’s no way that people who are running this organization did not know this, so that means that there has to be another solution,” said Stein.

Day 159 — Wednesday, March 13

Hezbollah Fires Over 100 Rockets On Israel, IDF Hits Terror Drone

Israel War
Hezbollah fired over 100 rockets on Israel on Tuesday, while the IDF struck multiple strategic targets of the terror group around 100 kilometers deep into Lebanon in one of the most tense days of the conflict in the North.

Alarms sounded in the Galilee and the Golan Heights. The first round of rockets contained around 30 rockets, and the second round contained around 70.

Rocket crashes were reportedly sighted in open areas near Ein Kuniya, Snir, Sha’ar Yashuv, and Kfar Szold.

Hezbollah said it fired these Katyusha rockets in response to Israeli bombardment deep into Lebanon in the Bekaa region Monday night.

A mix of IDF statements, an analysis of the think tank ALMA, and other reports indicate that the IDF struck a Hezbollah drone base and a base where it held long-range rockets.

More specifically, the IDF implied that one of the bases it attacked had been the launching point for a drone attack on Israel on Monday.

Some of the IDF attacks deeper into Lebanon have followed drone attacks by Hezbollah, including its first attack on Baalbeck in February.

Day 158 — Tuesday, March 12

Analysis — Why The Last Days Prophetic Scenario Centers On The Jews And Israel

Israel WarIt has become a normal practice in our day for people to identify themselves via their heritage and their homeland. Many refer to themselves as African-Americans or Mexican-Americans, etc. But there is one place and people where the practice cannot be engaged in. That would be Israel.

Israel is a people who descended from Abraham and Isaac and that have been given a land as an everlasting inheritance. That means it is a misnomer to call anyone an Israeli-Arab. Arabs descended from Abraham through Ishmael, and Israel descended from Abraham through Isaac. Though related, they are distinct people groups.

Today we refer to the Israelites as the Jews, a practice that began at the time of the Babylonian captivity. This marks the beginning of the time of the Gentiles, because the vast majority of the captives were from the tribe of Judah. While it is true that Israel separated into two kingdoms for a time, what God has done cannot be put asunder. The point of all this is that when you talk about the Jews today, you are talking about a people and a land. When you talk about Israel today, you are referring to the Jews and their land.

The whole of the last days prophetic scenario centers on the Jews and Israel – both the people and the land God has given to them. This tells us that when we see antisemitism growing against the Jewish people and global calls for dividing the land God gave them, we know we are watching prophecy being fulfilled.

Day 158 — Tuesday, March 12

Israeli Forces Eliminate Terrorist 'En Route To Israeli Territory' Armed With Weapons And Explosives

Israel War

Israeli security forces operating in Samaria killed a Palestinian terrorist on his way to carry out an imminent attack, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement on Monday.

Muhammad Jaber, a resident of the terror hub of Jenin in northern Samaria, was killed by the IDF’s Duvdevan undercover counterterror unit in Zeita, in the area of the Judea and Samaria security barrier.

According to local media reports, Jaber was caught “en route to Israeli territory” armed with weapons and explosives. The Kan News public broadcaster said he had planned to carry out an attack in Tel Aviv.

Also on Monday, Palestinian terrorists fired a barrage of bullets at the Ganot checkpoint, located adjacent to Shavei Shomron near Nablus (Shechem), according to Arab reports. In October 2022, IDF Staff Sgt. Ido Baruch was shot and killed at the same intersection.

In a separate incident in the Binyamin region of southern Samaria, terrorists threw a powerful explosive device towards houses in the community of Psagot. No injuries were reported.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada that took place from 2000 to 2005, per IDF data.

Between Oct. 7 and Jan. 15, Rescuers Without Borders first responders recorded more than 2,600 Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in Judea and Samaria, including 760 cases of rock-throwing; 551 fire bombings; 12 attempted or successful stabbings; and nine vehicular assaults.

Day 157 — Monday, March 11

Netanyahu Says Biden is 'Wrong' In Recent Criticism: The Vast Majority Of Israel Is United Like Never Before

Israel War
In an interview with Politico, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to recent comments by US President Joe Biden, asserting that his policies align with the interests of the vast majority of Israelis. 

The interview, conducted today (Sunday), provided Netanyahu with a platform to address concerns raised by Biden’s statements.

At the onset of the interview, Netanyahu clarified his stance, stating, “I don’t know what the president (Biden) meant, but if he meant that I lead a policy against the majority of the Israeli public and that it harms Israel’s interests, he is wrong on both counts.” He emphasized, “This is not just my private policy, it is a policy supported by the vast majority of Israelis.”

Netanyahu elaborated on the widespread support for his policies, citing backing for actions aimed at combatting remaining terrorist battalions of Hamas. “Most Israelis understand that if we don’t do this, we will return to the October 7 massacre,” he emphasized.

Furthermore, Netanyahu highlighted Israeli sentiments regarding the Palestinian Authority’s involvement in Gaza, stating, “Once we have eliminated Hamas, the last thing we should do is bring the Palestinian Authority into Gaza, which educates its children in terrorism and finances terrorism.” He reiterated his stance against the imposition of a Palestinian terrorist state on Israel.

Concluding the interview, Netanyahu expressed confidence in the unity of Israelis behind his policies, stating, “The vast majority is united like never before, and they understand what is good and what is important for Israel – and they are right.”

Day 157 — Monday, March 11

Analysis — The World’s Hatred For Jews, Zion, God, And His Messiah Are Inextricably Linked

Israel War
A Salt Lake City bar recently instituted a “No Zionists Allowed” policy. The bar owner wrote on social media, “We are pleased to announce we are banning all Zionists forever from our establishments. Zionism is hate speech, it is white supremacy and has nothing to do with the beautiful Jewish faith.”

Really? So, he hates Zionists but finds the Jewish faith “beautiful.” He thinks Zionism is “unrelated” to Judaism. I have no idea what his motivations are, but his statements have become a common theme among those who want to be anti-Jewish without seeming to be anti-Semitic. Zion is part and parcel, not only of the Jewish faith, but of the Jewish soul.

Psalm 137 expresses the intense feelings of the Jewish captives taken from their homes by Babylonians. Verses 1 and 3 (NASB) say, “By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept, When we remembered Zion…. Our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’”

Even the Babylonians knew that the word Zion represented something deep and precious to the Jews. The captives equated singing about Zion to singing “the Lord’s song.” In verse 4 they ask, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” This was about God.

Verses 5 and 6 say, “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.”

Day 156 — Sunday, March 10

Biden Insists Netanyahu Is 'Hurting Israel More Than Helping,' Citing Hamas Compiled List Of Gaza Death Toll

Israel War

After first denying that he had said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needed to have a “come to Jesus” moment, U.S. President Joe Biden admitted making the remark, during an interview with Jonathan Capehart of MSNBC.

“What I meant was, it’s an expression used in the southern part of my state meaning a serious meeting,” Biden said. “I’ve known Bibi for 50 years. He knew what I meant by it.”

Capehart pressed. “What’s the ‘come to Jesus’ part? What tough love are you going to give to the prime minister?”

“What’s happening is he has a right to defend Israel, a right to continue to pursue Hamas, but he must, he must, he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken,” Biden said. “In my view, he’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel by making the rest of the world—it’s contrary to what Israel stands for.”

“I think it’s a big mistake,” the U.S. president added. “I want to see a ceasefire.”

Asked if there is a red line that Israel could cross, Biden said, “There is a red line, but I’m never going to leave Israel.”

“The defense of Israel is still critical,” Biden said. “There is no red line I’m going to cut off all weapons so they don’t have the Iron Dome to protect them.”

“But there are red lines if he crosses them—you cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead,” Biden added, using the death count that the Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza have used.

Capehart asked Biden if he would go to Israel and address the Knesset. “Yes,” Biden said.

“Would that have to be at the invitation of the prime minister, or could that be at the invitation of the president?” Capehart asked.

“I’d rather not discuss it more,” Biden said.

Day 155 — Saturday, March 9

Peru Arrests 2 Plotting Attack On Israeli Businessperson At APEC Summit

Peruvian police on Friday reported arresting two individuals – an Iranian and a Peruvian national – over alleged plans to attack an Israeli businessperson at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), scheduled later this year.

The Iranian national,  Majid Azizi, 56, is reportedly a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He is said to have obtained a Peruvian citizenship through marriage.

Chief of the General Staff of Peru’s national police, Oscar Arriola, told the press that the arrests followed an investigation in coordination with international intelligence agencies that provided “sensitive” information about an Iranian citizen who had arrived in Peru in early March.

“We had to act quickly because today [the Iranian national] was set to return to Iran after forming a terrorist cell to wipe out an Israeli national” who was going to participate in the APEC event, said Arriola. 

The Peruvian police said the authorities have the information about who the suspects intended to target, but chose not to disclose the businessperson’s name for security reasons.

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