Apologies for the vast amount of time without a post directly to this site. I have been called into and therefore have been busy teaching topics and books of the Bible that have (and continue to) deserve and demand a good deal of research and writing as well as my prayer and meditation focus, and although this blog has been neglected, writings and ministry have not. I am planning to perhaps post links to those writings, later, on this site. Meanwhile there’s a podcast available for listening or download at www.podbean.com or itunes podcast. In either, search: EZ3728.
The past few weeks in particular I have been specifically pressed upon by the Lord to be praying for Israel. Avner Boskey’s justifiably lengthy and (as always expected from him) biblically accurate blog was in my inbox this AM. I want to share that, along with a link to a newsarticle from the FoxNews site. That article sat below the far-less critical “news” about The Gates divorce, Jeff Bezo’s yacht and even the ongoing world plague/political football called Covid.
It is important for us to understand the plans of our Lord in these days prior to His return. The Haggai 2:6-7 shaking is for the saved and unsaved alike – to wake up, draw attention, draw to intimacy, call to repentance. High on His priority list, our faithful-God is going hard after His beloved people, the Jewish people, and their Jewish land. Our Savior’s feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. There will be a new temple. Our Savior will rule and reign from that place. THAT has been the theme and topics of my personal teaching and ministry these past few years, particularly this past season.
My beloved friend Avner Boskey: His and his family’s life and ministry is literally prophetic boots on the ground in Israel. Besides praying for Israel itself, please keep him, his family, and other like him lifted up in prayer during these critical days. Our adversary despises truth. Israel is being condemned for their current actions. That actually makes prophetic sense as well. And here’s what it is leading up to:
1 The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:
2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
1 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming,
And your spoil will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;…
3 Then the LORD will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.
The FoxNews article (link below) is “reporting” – some of it is accurate. Other news sites are far worse, clearly only speaking lies. The Avner Boskey article is truthful.
THE FOXNEWS ARTICLE THIS AM:
The flames of jihad on the Temple Mount
World media are filling their screens and blogs with violence – pictures of explosions and fire on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount; videos clips of Israeli SWAT teams pushing back rioters who are assaulting the police with Molotov gasoline bombs, rocks, fireworks, boulders and clubs. World power diplomats are calling on Israel to exercise maximum restraint, and cluck their tongues in disapproval at Israel’s ‘disruption of peaceful Muslim worship.’ These events may be on the news, but they are not new. The following is a brief reminder of history and context regarding riots on the Temple Mount.
The origin of connections between the Temple Mount and Islamic tradition
Muhammad actually never set foot on the soil of the Promised Land, dying in Medina in 632 AD. Sixty years after his death in 691-692 AD the now-golden Dome of the Rock was constructed in Jerusalem, while the black-domed al-Aqsa mosque was completed in 701 AD. In later years an Islamist tradition developed that in the year 620 AD Muhammad rode a mythical horse named al-Buraq, taking his legendary ‘night journey and ascension’ (in Arabic al-’Isrā’ wal-Mi‘rāj) to the ‘distant masjid or mosque’ (in Arabic al-Masjidi ‘l-’Aqṣá); Quran 17:1, Surat al-Isrā’). But in 620 AD Islamist jihadi forces had not yet invaded any country, including Israel. Jihadi battles were happening only in what is today called Saudi Arabia. In 633 AD Syria was invaded, and only in 638 A.D. was Israel conquered by jihadi armies. The al-Aqsa mosque never existed in Muhammad’s day. What it represents is a form of Islamist Replacement Theology spin, where Islamic people and purported Islamic events were artificially injected into Jewish sites, replacing them with a false Islamist identity. The Islamist attempt to destroy and invalidate Jewish connections to the Temple Mount is at the heart of this age-old conflict. It is Replacement Theology on steroids, backed up by jihadi invasion, conquest and oppression.
Napoleon versus the British Mandate
Napoleon Bonaparte declared on April 20, 1799:
- “Rightful [Jewish] heirs of Palestine! The great nation [France] . . . calls on you . . . to take over that which has been conquered and, with that nation’s support, to remain master of it against all comers . . . Hasten! Now is the moment, which may not return for thousands of years, to claim the restoration of civic rights among the population of the universe which had been shamefully withheld from you for thousands of years, your political existence as a nation among the nations, and the unlimited natural right to worship in accordance with your faith, publicly and most probably forever!”
Yet when England occupied those territories, it had a distinctly different vision. Article 13 of the League of Nations Mandatory Charter given to Britain in 1922 denied the United Kingdom’s right to interfere with the Temple Mount site or with the administration of ‘purely Muslim holy places:’ “Nothing in this mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.’ The King’s Order-in-Council issued by the government authorities of Mandatory Palestine in 1934 also confirmed the Ottoman religious status quo. Jews were forbidden from accessing the Temple Mount, which was now considered by Christians to be an exclusively Muslim holy place.
The Mountain which had been conquered by jihad and made Judenrein by the sword of Islam was now having its anti-Jewish ‘Islamist Replacement Theology status’ validated by Britain, the fast-fading heir to a Christian and Protestant empire. A British Christian writer expressed his anger at Britain’s realpolitik submissiveness to Islam in 1922: “To permit a false religion to hold sway in ‘the city of the Lord’ (Matt. 5:35), or any other portion of the Holy Land, would be to thwart and countermine God’s set purpose, and be altogether contrary to His plans regarding the earth and man upon it” (Frank G. Jannaway, Palestine and the World; London: Maranatha Press, 1922; pages 232-233).
The Grand Mufti al-Husseini and the al-Aqsa pogroms
Starting in the 1920’s and continuing up to the present Islamist leaders have falsely charged that there is a national Jewish goal of seizing the Temple Mount and rebuilding a Jewish Temple there.
- Haj Amin al-Husseini was one of the main instigators of the April 1920 Nebi Musa riots outside of Jerusalem, virulently renouncing the 1917 Balfour Declaration (which was favorable to the establishment of a Jewish national home). Six Jews were murdered and 216 Jews injured (of them 18 critically) in that riot by Arab mobs. About 300 Jews were evacuated from the Old City of Jerusalem at that time. Al-Husseini was charged by the British with inciting Jerusalem’s Arab crowds and was sentenced in absentia to 10-years imprisonment by a military court. He fled to Syria after the riots, but was welcomed back by the British and appointed as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in 1921.
- A 1922 Arabic leaflet penned by Sheikh Abd al-Qadir al-Muzaffar entitled Public Call to the Muslim People from your Brethren, the Muslims of Jerusalem and the Rest of Palestine: “The Zionist body which is trying to create a Jewish kingdom in Palestine, dreams of taking from us the al-Aqsa Mosque, built upon the ruins of Solomon’s temple, and of reconstructing their temple…” (An Aesthetic Occupation: The Immediacy of Architecture and the Palestine Conflict, by Daniel Bertand Monk, Duke University Press, 2002, page 83).
- On Yom Kippur, September 1928, ten armed thugs dispatched by Islamist leadership attack Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall, shouting “Death to the Jewish dogs!” and “Strike, strike!”
- In September-October 1928 al-Husseini began to distribute leaflets throughout Mandatory Palestine and the Arab world claimed that the Jews were planning to take over the al-Aqsa Mosque. The leaflet stated that the British Mandatory Government was “responsible for any consequences of any measures which the Moslems may adopt for the purpose of defending the holy Buraq themselves in the event of the failure of the Government.” The Moslem Supreme Council stated in a memorandum, “Having realized by bitter experience the unlimited greedy aspirations of the Jews in this respect, Moslems believe that the Jews’ aim is to take possession of the Mosque of al-Aqsa gradually on the pretense that it is the Temple.” and it advised the Jews “to stop this hostile propaganda which will naturally engender a parallel action in the whole Moslem world, the responsibility for which will rest with the Jews.”
- On Thursday August 15 1929, a commemoration of the Jewish Fast of the Ninth of Av occurred at the Wailing Wall. On Friday August 16 (the Islamic day of prayer), the mawlid (Arabic for the birth) or mawsin an-nabi (Arabic for ‘the feast of the prophet’) – that is, the birth of Muhammad – was celebrated on the esplanade of the Temple Mount, As the crowd came down from the Mount, they attacked the Jewish prayer area, burning prayer books, Torah scroll arks and cupboards, and destroying paper prayer notes left in the cracks of the Wall. Rioting quickly spread to the Jewish commercial area of town.
- On Friday August 23, 1929 thousands of Arab villagers who had been incited by bloodthirsty preaching in local mosques streamed into Jerusalem from the surrounding countryside to pray on the Temple Mount, many armed with sticks and knives. For five days violent Muslim mobs attacked Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Motza, Jaffa, Haifa and Safed. Approximately 135 Jews were murdered and 340 wounded during that period.
- On Saturday August 24, 1929 Arab mobs attacked the ancient Jewish Quarter of Hebron killing and raping men, women and children and looting Jewish property. Over 65 Jews were killed and 58 were wounded. Many of the victims were mutilated, others were tortured. Most of the 116 Arab fatalities and 232 wounded throughout the British Mandate during those five days were as a result of military confrontation with British security forces.
- In all the above cases the Muslim population had been stirred up by false rumors that the Jews were attempting to seize the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.
The British Shaw Commission of Enquiry concluded, “The outbreak in Jerusalem on the 23rd of August was from the beginning an attack by Arabs on Jews for which no excuse in the form of earlier murders by Jews has been established . . . The fundamental cause, without which in our opinion disturbances either would not occurred or would not have been little more than a local riot, is the Arab feeling of animosity and hostility towards the Jews” (Report of the Commission on the disturbances of August 1929, Command paper 3530; Shaw Commission report; 1930).
Husseini, Hamas, Hitler and Hassan
Haj Amin Al-Husseini later spearheaded the Arab Revolt (1936-39) which led to the death of over 300 Jews and the destruction of many Jewish farms and orchards.
Al-Husseini co-operated with three forces which have played a strong role in genocidal attacks against the Jewish people:
- Hassan al-Banna (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood)
- Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam (founder of the anti-Zionist and anti-British Black Hand [al-Kaff al-Aswad], and spiritual doyen of Hamas
- Adolf Hitler (whom he met on November 28, 1941 where they collaborated on planning a Holocaust of all Jews in the Promised Land)
In close cooperation with Adolf Eichmann and an Einsatzkommando (Special Operations force and mobile killing squad) under the control of SS Obersturmbannführer Walther Rauff, the Mufti Al-Husseini planned to build crematoriums for the Jews in the Dothan Valley of Samaria. The testimony of Faiz Bay Idrisi, a senior Arab officer in the British Mandatory police, stated, “I remember what was said in police circles and among supporters of the Mufti in those months . . . Haj Amin al-Husseini’s master plan was to establish in the Dothan Valley, close to Shechem, giant crematoriums like Auschwitz, into which would be brought the Jews of Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and even North Africa, in order to slaughter them with the methods of the S.S. who operated in the death camps in Europe.”
When Muhammad’s descendent occupied al-Aqsa
Jordan’s King Abdullah I bin Al-Hussein was a 38th generation direct descendant of Muhammad through the House of Hashim [Hashemite]. As conqueror of the Temple Mount in May 1948, he oversaw the following:
- the exile of all Jews from Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem
- the settling of Arabs in their place
- the demolishing and destruction of fifty-eight synagogues in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City
- the systematic destruction of 38,000 ancient Jewish graves on the Mount of Olives
- the transformation of the Old City of Jerusalem into a Judenrein city (a Nazi term meaning ‘cleansed of Jews’)
- the transformation of the Western Wall into an exclusively Islamic holy site.
For more information see Jerusalem Divided: the Armistice Regime, 1947-1967, by Raphael Israeli, Psychology Press, 2002, page 24.
What happened in June 1967?
On June 7, 1967 the Israel Defense Forces captured the Old City of Jerusalem. After nearly 2,000 years the Temple Mount was once again in Jewish hands. On June 17, 1967 then-Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan met Islamic religious authorities on the Temple Mount. It was decided to permit the Jordanian Awqaf (waqf) Ministry to continue to administer the site. Jews and Christians were given the right to visit the Temple Mount provided that they respected Muslims’ religious sensibilities, but they were not allowed to pray there. Only the Western Wall was to be recognized as the Jewish place of prayer. Muslim were in charge of ‘religious sovereignty’ on the Temple Mount, while ‘overall sovereignty’ became Israel’s. Israel would be responsible for security around the perimeter of the site, while the Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem Waqf would be responsible for events within the compound. Today, the Jerusalem Waqf controls the Temple Mount, schools, orphanages, Islamic libraries and museums, mosques, the Shari’a courts as well as many residential and commercial properties in greater Jerusalem.
‘Al Aqsa is in danger!’ October 1990
In early October 1990 a small Jewish extremist religious group (the ‘Temple Mount Faithful’) stated that they were going to lay a cornerstone for a Third Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. On 8 October 1990, mosque loudspeakers in the Kidron Valley and on the Mount of Olives proclaimed that “al-Aqsa was in danger.” The immediate result was an Islamic riot where 17-20 Palestinians were killed and over 100 others injured (after they attacked Israeli Border Police on the Temple Mount).
According to the Israeli Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Events on Temple Mount on 8 October 1990, “The members of the Waqf knew that the High Court had refused the Temple Mount Faithful petition to lay the cornerstone of the Third Temple, and did not respond to requests by Israel Police officers on the morning of the incident to calm the crowd. This, even after the police informed the Waqf that they would also prevent the Temple Mount Faithful, and anyone else, from visiting the area, though such visits are allowed by law… The incident itself began when, suddenly, violent and threatening calls were sounded over the loudspeakers “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is Greater], “Jihad” [Holy War], “Itbah al-Yahud” [Slaughter the Jews]). Immediately afterwards, enormous amounts of rocks, construction materials and metal objects were thrown at Israeli policemen who were present at the site. Many in the incited, rioting mob threw stones and metal objects from a very short range, and some even wielded knives. The actions of the rioters, and certainly the inciters, constituted a threat to the lives of the police, the thousands of worshippers at the Western Wall and to themselves. This was a serious criminal offense committed by masses who were incited by preachers over loudspeakers, and this is what led to the tragic chain of events . . . Nineteen policemen were injured as well as nine Western Wall worshippers. According to Police statistics, 20 people were killed and 52 injured on the Temple Mount.”
“A new Israeli temple in the place of al Aqsa mosque” – September 1996
On September 24, 1996 a new archeological exhibit called ‘the Rabbinic tunnel’ was opened to both the Israeli public and international tourists. It was the culmination of nearly 30 years of archeological excavations outside of the Temple Mount’s external buttress walls. A tunnel was dug outside of these supporting walls which had been constructed by Herod the Great in order to expand the workable surface of the Temple Mount. The tunnel and the retaining walls were not part of any Temple at any period in history.
Even though the tunnel was more than two football fields away from the al-Aqsa mosque and totally outside the Islamic precincts, the head of the PLO Yasser Arafat declared that the opening of the tunnel was a “big crime against our religious and holy places.” Palestinian Authority spokesman Sa’eb Erekat declared, “Well, the thing is … it was the Israelis who announced that they will open this tunnel in order to build … a new temple now in the place of the Al-Aqsa Mosque” (CNN, September 29, 1996).
On September 24, 1996 Voice of Palestine radio urged listeners to “move immediately and effectively to face this serious criminal scheme. We appeal to them all to shoulder their religious and national responsibilities in these serious circumstances and to confront these painful incidents and tragic dangers facing holy Jerusalem” (Voice of Palestine radio from Jericho monitored by BBC, September 24, 1996, 1050 GMT).
On September 25, the Palestinian Authority and Arafat’s Fatah faction brought busloads of Bir Zeit University students to attack Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint outside Ramallah. Molotov cocktails and rocks were thrown at the IDF who initially repulsed them with rubber bullets and tear gas. Whereas at other times PA police had previously prevented crowds from approaching Israeli checkpoints, this time they stood aside. As the rioting spiraled out of control, PA police joined in, firing on Israeli soldiers.
In a speech in Gaza at that time, Arafat invoked Islamic references to war, reminding the crowd that “to the believers who fight for Allah, kill and are killed, heaven is promised” (quoted in The New York Times, Oct. 4, 1996).
In three days of violence 14 Israeli soldiers and 44 Palestinians were killed. The violence had been stirred up by the Palestinian Authority. It spread a poisonously false charge that al-Aqsa was under attack. It created out-of-control violent attacks by Palestinian Arabs on Israeli troops and civilians. This was a repeat of the Islamist violence against Jews which had exploded in 1920, 1928-29, 1936 and 1990.
The rose of Sharon and the rise of Sharon – September 2000
On September 28, 2000, then-opposition leader of Israel Ariel Sharon visited the al-Aqsa compound accompanied by a large number of armed security guards. After Sharon left, a violent Palestinian demonstration erupted with people throwing stones and other projectiles at Israeli riot police. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the crowd, injuring 24 people. On September 29, 2000, Israel deployed 2,000 riot police to the mosque. After Friday prayers Muslims hurled stones at the police and at Jewish worshippers gathered at the Western Wall. The police then stormed the compound, firing both rubber bullets and live ammunition at the rioting Palestinians (4 killed and 200 wounded).
Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reported on September 19, 2002, that the rioting and the official reason behind it were planned and fabricated in advance by the Palestinian leadership:
- Imad Faluji, the PA Communications Minister, admitted on October 11, 2001, that the violence had been planned in July, far in advance of Sharon’s ‘provocation.’ He said: “Whoever thinks that the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon’s visit to Al-Aksa Mosque, is wrong, even if this visit was the straw that broke the back of the Palestinian people. This intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat’s return from the Camp David negotiations . . .”
- More than a year later, on the first anniversary of the intifada, West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti gave an interview on October 22, 2001 to the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat in which he admitted that he had played a direct role in igniting the intifada. He said: “I knew that . . . when Sharon reached al-Aksa Mosque, this was the most appropriate moment for the outbreak of the intifada . . . The night prior to Sharon’s visit, I participated in a panel on a local television station and I seized the opportunity to call on the public to go to al-Aksa Mosque in the morning . . . We tried to create clashes without success because of the differences of opinion that emerged with others in al-Aksa compound at the time . . . After Sharon left, I remained for two hours in the presence of other people, we discussed the manner of response and how it was possible to react in all the cities and not just in Jerusalem. We contacted all [the Palestinian] factions” (How the war began, Khaled Abu Toameh, September 19, 2002)
Close to 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis were killed in these clashes, which lasted five years.
Once again, the 2000 AD Islamist violence was deliberately triggered against Jews. The fig leaf was a supposed Jewish attack on al-Aqsa mosque, but the real reasons were more sinister and had to do with another goal – jihadi destruction of the Jewish people’s state.
To view how Islamists perceive these events, watch Al Jazeera’s program.
The Ramadan riots – July 2017
On July 14, 2017 three Islamist terrorists attacked and murdered two Arab Israeli policemen at the conclusion of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. Within a very short time their terrorist attack was being justified in Islamic circles (surprise, surprise) as a noble response to a ‘Jewish attack on the sanctity of al-Aqsa mosque.’ This false charge exploded like fireworks on a haystack, spreading like wildfire throughout the world’s media outlets. British commentator Melanie Phillips has written an excellent commentary on this dynamic – Incitement, lies and the strange eclipse of the Dome of the Rock.
Note the declarations of the most prominent Islamist leaders at the time of these riots, and how they echo the bloodthirsty cries of Haj Amin al-Husseini and his comrades:
- Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA chief shari’a justice and religious affairs advisor to ‘Abbas,: “Responsibility for the Al-Aqsa mosque is the exclusive right of the Palestinians, and Israeli intervention in the affairs of Al-Aqsa constitutes aggression against the Muslims’ religious and political rights”
- The Fatah Revolutionary Council “calls for holding demonstrations headed toward Jerusalem from the adjacent cities, villages, and refugee camps, and extends congratulations, commendation, and pride to our people in Jerusalem who guard Al-Aqsa mosque like the apple of their eye”
- PLO executive committee member and Jerusalem Affairs department head Ahmad Qurei warned “The government of Israel and its executive branches are continuing to harm the Al-Aqsa mosque, pilfer its contents, and forcibly lay their hands on the mosque’s entire noble compound”
- Fatah Revolutionary Council member and spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmeh emphasized: “The Fatah movement will never allow the Israeli plan for emptying the Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem’s Old City of its original inhabitants, the Palestinian people, to pass . . . Jerusalem and its centerpiece, Al-Aqsa mosque, represent a red line in the fullest and deepest sense of the words, and that there will be no peace and stability unless Jerusalem is restored to its Palestinian owners.”
- Hamas political bureau head Isma’il Haniya said: “Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem are a red line . . . The occupation’s plots will be carried out over our dead bodies”
- Sheikh Raed Alah, leader of the northern branch of the Islamic movement in Israel, wrote: “As long as Al-Aqsa mosque is occupied, it is in constant danger. This danger will pass only if the Israeli occupation is removed. This means that the Israeli occupation is the source of the danger threatening Al-Aqsa mosque . . . and the attacks against it will intensify as long as it [remains] occupied . . .”
- Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and a prominent religious leader for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel, tweeted: “Standing at the battlefront and at the head of the jihad in the land of prophecies and the place where the Prophet arrived in the Night Journey [i.e. Al-Aqsa] will continue until Allah alone declares victory and fulfills his promise.” “The existence of the Zionists is alien, oppressive, aggressive, and criminal. It is inconceivable for it to persist. It is undoubtedly [destined for] perdition”
Those who love Israel and believe in God’s divine hand accomplishing her restoration in our day – need to be aware of these dark machinations on the part of those who oversee the waqf of al-Aqsa and those who stir up violence among Palestinian and Muslims worldwide.
The current round of Ramadan riots – May 2021
When Ramadan began in late April 2021, Israeli police put up anti-riot barriers beside Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate, preventing young Arabs from gathering in the evenings. At the same time, violent videos were being posted on TikTok of Muslims attacking religious Jews in Jerusalem. Simultaneously, an Israeli court decision from 1973 evicting Arab squatters from property (originally Jewish owned in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrach area) was finally about to be actualized. On April 22, a far-right Jewish group clashed with Muslims in front of the Damascus Gate, with some wounded on each side.
The Hamas terror organization in Gaza declared that Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque were being threatened, and avowed that the “gates of hell” (an Arabic euphemism for ‘total war’) would be opened. Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Lebanon’s Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah simultaneously began banging warm drums and threatening hostilities. Jerusalem Post reporter Seth Frantzman explains: “The statements by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are not isolated. They occurred as a coordinated message . . . preparing the ground for further violence . . . This is also a Hamas ploy for power in Jerusalem, a city it has had a foothold in but in where it has had difficulty raising its head. It is a Hamas ploy for power in the West Bank after the Palestinian Authority postponed elections. It is also a way for Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas to appear relevant. They also want to drive a wedge between Israel and its new peace partners in the Gulf, knowing that the violence in Jerusalem will pressure Bahrain, the UAE and others to make statements . . . The bubbling crisis could now affect Israeli relations with the Gulf and may also spark the interest of Washington and Europe.”
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Spokesman Abdel-Latif Al-Qanua stated that Israeli actions “represent an escalation of aggression against our people, a flagrant breach of their legitimate rights, and a blatant violation of the freedom of worship . . . The continuation of these racist measures, vandalism in Al-Aqsa Mosque, restrictions on our people, and the pursuit of worshipers will result in a massive uprising against the occupier and its racist plans that target Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Israeli politician Mansour Abbas (RA’AM party) condemned Israeli security forces, using language eerily similar to the words of Haj Amin al-Husseini: “I wholeheartedly condemn the violent assault on the holiness of the al-Aqsa mosque and the worshippers. Al-Aqsa mosque is for us a red line. Muslim control over the Temple Mount and the mosque is total/exclusive” he tweeted.
Attacks by mostly young Muslims against Israeli Police and IDF Border Patrol triggered riot-control measures and resulted in some wounded. When rioters attacked Police from within the al-Aqsa mosque, Israeli security forces entered the mosque and arrested rioters. Busloads of rioters on their way to Jerusalem were prevented from entering the city.
The rocket’s red glare
Over the past 27 hours, Islamist rockets have been fired from Gaza against Israeli kibbutzim and cities. They have either been intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-rocket network or have fallen in uninhabited areas. Some mortars have also been fired at Israeli targets.
Israel has long planned specific military exercises in the coming week focusing on simultaneous enemy attacks from Gaza and Lebanon. The exercise is appropriately named ‘Chariots of Fire’ (see 2 Kings 6:17; 13:14).
How should we then pray?
- Pray for the frustrating and ceasing of Islamist rocket fire, and for divine wisdom for IDF strategic leadership
- Pray for those who disseminate lies and violence about the Temple Mount – that they would receive a revelation of their sinful deeds and the gift of repentance which leads to everlasting life
- Pray for diplomats to receive gifts of truth and courage to become forces for good and not for evil
- Pray specifically for Arabic-speaking believers in Yeshua across the Islamic world to receive God’s perspective on these issues, as well as bravery to declare these truths clearly and unapologetically
- Pray for Israelis to receive a revelation about what is actually happening on the Temple Mount, as well as an anointing of courage to explain to others what is happening
- Pray for world leaders to receive a spirit of revelation and repentance about these matters, that they might come into alignment with God’s word and heart (Ephesians 3:14-19)
Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.
In Messiah Yeshua,