Tagged: Jerusalem

Gaza toll rises to 60 as fresh protests against Israel gather

(AFP) – Palestinians were gathering Tuesday for fresh protests along the Gaza border, a day after Israeli forces killed dozens there as the US embassy opened in Jerusalem on what was the conflict’s bloodiest day in years.

Palestinians on Tuesday marked the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

It came a day after the United States transferred its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem in a move that infuriated the Palestinians and was widely condemned.

Most of the 60 Gazans killed Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry said.

The toll included a baby who died from tear gas inhalation along with eight children under the age of 16, the ministry said.

At least 2,400 others were wounded in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

Some funerals were held on Monday, while others were taking place Tuesday.

Hundreds of people took part in the funeral of Yazan Tubasi, 23, killed east of Gaza City.

His father Ibrahim, 50, said his son had a boy aged one year and three months.

“I am happy that my son is a martyr,” he said, though he was crying uncontrollably. “He is among dozens who died for the sake of Palestine and Jerusalem.”

Small numbers of protesters began returning to the border area on Tuesday, with larger crowds expected later.

In the West Bank, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas declared a general strike on Tuesday after accusing Israel of “massacres”.

– Protests and clashes –

On Monday, tens of thousands had gathered near the border in protest while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached the fence and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side.

The death toll led to strong condemnation from rights groups and concern from a range of countries.

But the United States, which blamed Hamas, blocked the adoption of a UN Security Council statement that would have called for an independent probe into the violence, diplomats said.

[READ MORE]

Netanyahu thanks Trump for keeping promises, moving embassy to Jerusalem

(JERUSALEM POST) — Sixty-nine years after Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, and 23 years after the US Congress passed a law mandating that Washington move its embassy there, the US formally opened its embassy in the city on Monday afternoon, in a move Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called “courageous” and “momentous.”

“What a glorious day. Remember this moment!” Netanyahu entreated the applauding crowd. “President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful.”

Be the first to know – Join our Facebook page.
Jewish protesters in Washington D.C. condemn US embassy move, May 14, 2018 (Reuters)

“Last December, President Trump became the first world leader to recognize Jerusalem as our capital, and today, the United States of America is opening its embassy right here in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Thank you President Trump, for having the courage to keep your promises!”

In a video address to the assembly, US President Donald Trump said the move was “a long time coming,” and that Israel, like all sovereign nations, has a right to name its own capital.

Trump mentioned that the US would still be observing the status quo in terms of contested territories such as on Temple Mount.

“The US will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace,” Trump said. “We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace. May God bless this embassy. May God bless all who serve here and may God bless the United States of America.”

Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, took the stage. to declare that “When President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”

“By moving our embassy to Jerusalem, we have shown the world once again that the US can be trusted. We stand with our friends and our allies, and above all we’ve shown that the US will do what’s right, and so we have,” Kushner said.

“The US stands with Israel because we both believe in freedom. We stand together because we both believe in human rights. We stand together because we both believe that democracy is worth defending. And the US stands with Israel because we know that it’s the right thing to do.”

Kushner received resounding applause when he mentioned President Trump’s decision last week to exit the Iran nuclear agreement, and when he gave thanks to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley for her hard work.

Kusher also reiterated the US’s commitment to helping find a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together,” he said. “As Israel turns 70, the search for lasting peace turns over a new leaf: one of realism, and of courage to stand with our allies for what is right and what is true.”

[READ MORE]

Jewish dreams of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital go back thousands of years

(NEW YORK POST) — In the Second century AD, Jewish rebels who had stunned the Romans and liberated a portion of Judea, overstruck imperial coins with images and a message of their own, “Year One of the Redemption of Jerusalem.”

The Roman emperor Hadrian had planted the seeds for the rebellion with his ambitions to remake Jerusalem, including the planned construction of a Temple to Jupiter on the site of the old Jewish Temple.

The leader of the Jewish rebellion, Bar Kokhba, was fired by a vision of a united Israel with Jerusalem as its capital that had been the exception during the prior millennium, thanks to the depredations of the Assyrians and Babylonians, among others. But such was the power of the national idea — and his messianic zeal — that Bar Kokhba ventured all on regaining it.

And lost. Not for nearly another 2,000 years would the vision come to fruition. At a ceremony in 1982 burying bones of some of those long-ago rebels with military honors, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin declared, ‘’Israel and Judea are reborn. We have redeemed Jerusalem.”

King David conquered the city in 1,000 BC and made it the capital of the kingdom of Israel. His son Solomon built the First Temple. “He who has not seen Jerusalem in her splendor has never seen a desirable city in his life,” declares the Babylonian Talmud. “He who has not seen the Temple in its full construction has never seen a glorious building in his life.”

But Jerusalem would repeatedly be captured and the Temple destroyed (first by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and then by the Roman Emperor Titus).

The story of the Jewish people is one of loss, memory and faithfulness and persistence. Psalm 137 recounting the Babylonian captivity avers, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.”

The Jewish people never forgot. In one of the miracles of our age, after long centuries of exile punctuated by genocide at the hands of the Nazis, they re-established Israel in 1948, and then gained control of all of Jerusalem in 1967 (prior to that, when Jordan held East Jerusalem, Jews couldn’t visit the Western Wall).

The notion that the City of David isn’t the capital of Israel was an impolite fiction, honored by the United States and the West for fear of provoking Arabs hostile to the very idea of the Jewish state. Its prime minister, parliament and highest court are based there, and it’s unimaginable that Israel would ever agree to any peace deal that didn’t recognize it as the capital.

[READ MORE]

Scimitar-wielding Turkish governor vows to conquer Jerusalem

(THE TIMES OF ISRAEL) — A Turkish regional governor last weekend declared while wielding a double-bladed scimitar above his head that Turkey’s forces would soon march into Jerusalem and other cities in the Middle East.

Necati Senturk, the government-appointed governor of the Kirsehir province, raised eyebrows with a speech from the balcony of the governor’s office as Turkish troops were poised to take the Syrian city of Afrin from Kurdish militia.

Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories
Free Sign Up

“God willing, we will take Afrin. We will take Manbij,” he said in videos posted on Turkish news websites, referring to another Kurdish-held city in Syria.

Waving a sword known locally as a zulfiqar above his head with one hand and holding a megaphone in another, he added: “We will also go to Mosul, and we will go to Jerusalem!… God is Greatest!”

The Turkish sultans controlled both the Iraqi city of Mosul and the holy city of Jerusalem for long periods during the Ottoman Empire.

[ READ MORE]

Khamenei, Iran-backed militia leader threaten U.S. over recognition of Jerusalem

(THE TOWER) — Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his anger over the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, threatening that Palestine will be “freed” and claiming that America was starting a “war in the region to protect the security of the Zionist regime.”

The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday that Khamenei had dismissed President Donald Trump’s decision as a sign of desperation. “That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem. He added: “On the issue of Palestine (US) hands are tied and they cannot advance their goals.”

Iran has long supported a number of Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in their fight against Israel.

Meanwhile, the leader of an one of the Iran-backed Shiite militias operating in Iraq, which make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) threatened to attack United States forces in the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

“The decision by Trump on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) makes it legitimate to strike the American forces in Iraq,” Akram al-Kaabi, leader of the Al-Nojaba militia, said.

Al-Nojaba was formed in 2013 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It answers to Iran’s IRGC-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and is part of the PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi, as the militias are known in Arabic.

In addition to fighting against ISIS in Iraq, Al-Nojaba has fought in Syria to support regime President Bashar al-Assad and helped Iran extend it influence across the region.

The U.S. is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 troops currently serving in Iraq.

Last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that he sent a letter to Soleimani warning him and his proxies not to target American troops.

[READ MORE ]

Erdogan wants the keys to Mecca and Jerusalem and will stop at nothing to expand his Muslim caliphate agenda

(SHOEBAT) — By Walid Shoebat

The one obstacle for an Ottoman Caliphate is that Saudi Arabia holds the keys to Mecca and Medina while Jordan holds the keys to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. For a Caliphate to succeed it needs to hold both keys: the keys to the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa) and the keys to Mecca.

Erdogan wants these keys and will do everything in his power to restore what once belonged to the Ottoman Caliph, which was lost when Arabia betrayed the Ottomans by allying with the British during Ottoman fall. For that, Turkey is executing plans to redraw the Middle East region back to Ottoman times. All caliphates held such keys; the Ayyubids, the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, the Ottoman Sultans, and then to have the modern Saudi kings hold it is unacceptable for Erdogan.

The plan to regain these keys starts by using Erdogan’s ally, Qatar, under the care of Erdogan’s neo-Ottomans. Now Qatar demands that Mecca become an international city for all Muslims while Saudi Arabia threatens “war”. In reality, this is all about control of these keys. Erdogan then moves in on Jerusalem (he must obtain these keys) demanding all Muslims to begin to visit it. What westerners do not understand is that this is expanding the Hajj to also be observed in Jerusalem as an extension of Mecca via the Umrah:

Turkey’s Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has included the al-Aqsa Mosque [Temple Mount] into the religious Umrah program that will be effective as of April 15. One of the Muslim pilgrimages, the Umrah, which is not compulsory but is highly recommended for Muslims who can afford it, will also include the visiting of the al-Aqsa Mosque [Temple Mount] in Jerusalem, Israel.

By next year (2018), the world will begin to see the change. In Istanbul on Thursday was hosted the signing ceremony of the “Protocol of the Declaration of Jerusalem” as the Muslim youth capital in 2018. The Turkish Daily Sabah had this to say:

“The main objective of the declaration of Jerusalem being the capital of the Muslim youth in 2018 is to attract young people to Jerusalem from all over the world and defend the Islamic sanctuaries in it.”

The whole region is realizing that they need to redraw their political and governmental structure. They either be magnetized towards Turkey and its Islamism or towards secularism.

Even Israel see this. When the Temple Mount in Jerusalem had the fiasco with metal-detectors, Turkey took the lead in fomenting the violence. Israel had to make a diplomatic choice; does it cow-tow to Turkey or seek Jordan to deal with Israel’s capitulation to remove the metal detectors. And since Jordan holds the key to the Temple Mount, Israel finally reconsidered the equation of forces, responded to Jordan’s request instead of Turkey’s. This was the only way to thwart the Islamists’ plan to pour regional chaos on Israel. Arab states fearing the end of their rule, noted the Islamists’ attempt to create chaos claiming al-Aqsa (Temple Mount) was in danger. In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Sheikh Raed Salah recently demanded a coup against these Arab regimes in the name of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israelis saw Netanyahu’s capitulation as weakness where Israelis using social media began circulating a mock-photo of the Israeli army’s entry into Old Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967. The picture was created and the faces of Islamic figures were placed in place of Israeli military figures. In the photoshopped picture, the faces of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Sheikh Raed Salah (the head of the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line) and Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories Sheikh Muhammad Hussein were installed on the bodies of the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces during the 1967 war Yitzhak Rabin and the then Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, and the commander of the central region of the army, Uzi Narkis; a picture that Jews consider historic, coming four hours after the fall of Jerusalem.

In other words, Israelis are beginning to see Erdogan’s march towards Jerusalem and Israel’s capitulation fearing Erdogan. The Islamist Turkey wants the key to the Temple Mount (al-Aqsa) and will not mind using any excuse, even the controversy over some metal detectors installed.

And to add more prophetic chips on the table, Egypt, Somalia (part of biblical Cush) and the entire Arabian Peninsula is in the cross-hairs of Turkey’s expansion. While Qatar is in Turkey’s pocket, the rift with the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is growing.

[READ MORE]

Three Palestinians carry out knife-and-gun attack in Jerusalem, policewoman killed

(HAARETZ) — Three Palestinian assailants armed with guns and knives carried out an attack Friday night in Jerusalem that killed one Border Policewoman and left a number of people wounded.

The officer, Hadas Malka, 23, was critically stabbed while attempting to reach for her gun, according to Israel’s Police, and later succumbed to her wounds.

All three attackers were shot dead by officers at the scene.

The attack unfolded along Sultan Suleiman Street, near Damascus Gate in the Old City. At one scene, two of the attackers were shot and killed after assaulting police officers with knives and guns. At the other, an attacker was shot dead after stabbing a border policewoman, critically wounding her.

Another officer was lightly wounded in the attack. Both were evacuated to Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment, where the female officer died of her wounds.

According to the police, two Palestinian bystanders were wounded in the shootout, one moderately and one lightly.

[READ MORE]

Why the Crusades began

About 450 years before the first crusade began, a new religion was born in the Middle East. At the time, the Middle East was mostly made up of Christians and Jews.

Before Islam began, there were five main centers of Christianity: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

As Islamic warriors conquered the Middle East and North Africa, three of those centers were lost. Most of what was once “the Christian world” became what is now “the Muslim world.”

Two of the centers of Christianity remained, and one of them was the new Islamic target: Constantinople (now known as Istanbul). Constantinople was a huge walled city, and it was being threatened by the now powerful Islamic empire.

[READ MORE]