Saturday, July 22, 2017

Escalation: Fatah Says 'Campaign For Jerusalem Has Begun', Family Murdered In West Bank Home, Arab MK Says Third Intifada Has Already Begun




Fatah says 'campaign for Jerusalem has begun'



The Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party called Saturday for a continued struggle “to take control of the Al-Aqsa mosque.”

In a statement sent to supporters, the movement of PA President Mahmoud Abbas said the “campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun, and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation,” the Walla news site reported.

Fatah commended Palestinian protesters who rioted in the streets of Jerusalem on Friday against the deployment of metal detectors at the Temple Mount compound, with three reportedly killed by Israeli security forces in the violence and some 200 others wounded.

The party hailed those demonstrators’ “initifada (or armed struggle) against the enemy,” their “acts for the protection of Al-Aqsa and their struggle against the Israeli plans, while sacrificing souls and blood.”
Th group called for three days of mourning as well as a general strike in honor of the dead protesters.
Abbas said the installation of the metal detectors was “falsely presented as a security measure to take control over Al-Aqsa mosque.”
“The steps taken by Israel are leading to a religious confrontation and an evasion from a diplomatic process,” Abbas was also quoted by Haaretz as saying.
Abbas said he had spoken with several heads of state, including from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, and asked them to intervene in the Temple Mount conflict.
The PA president said the Palestinian Authority would finance all costs of treating those wounded of Friday’s clashes. “We will spend $25 million supporting the Palestinians of Jerusalem,” he reportedly said.

He also called on Hamas to rally around the cause of the Temple Mount and reconcile with his own party.




Palestinian worshipers run for cover from teargas, fired by Israeli security forces, following prayers outside Jerusalem's Old City in front of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on July 21, 2017. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)


The drastic escalation on Friday came a week after two Israeli Border Police officers were killed by terrorists at the Temple Mount. In the wake of the attack, Israel closed the site for 48 hours as it searched for more weapons, and then installed metal detector gates at entrances to the compound.








Three Israelis were killed and another was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on Friday night when a terrorist broke into their home and began stabbing the family as they ate their Shabbat dinner.
The IDF said a Palestinian assailant killed a man and two of his children, while his wife was badly wounded and taken to hospital. The man’s grandchildren were present but not harmed, the army said.
According to a preliminary investigation, the terrorist, a Palestinian in his late teens from a nearby village, arrived in the settlement on foot armed with a knife, climbed a fence and chose the last house on a street near it.

The perpetrator broke a window and entered the home, surprising a family of about 10 inside as they were finishing their dinner, and launched his stabbing spree.

During the attack, another daughter hid several of the grandchildren in one of the rooms, where she called police and began shouting that a terrorist was inside the home.
Paramedics said the the victims, a father in his 60s, his son in his 40s, and his daughter in her 40s, died of their wounds.
Palestinian media identified the terrorist as Omar al-Abed, 19, from the village of Kaubar, near Ramallah.
An IDF soldier on leave in a nearby home responded to the screams and shot and wounded Abed through his window, according to Magen David Adom rescue service officials. An MDA paramedic at the scene told The Times of Israel the attacker was wounded by the shooting and was evacuated to hospital in moderate condition.
In initial questioning, Abed said he bought the knife two days ago, wanting to commit a terror attack because of events surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Hamas praised the attack as “heroic,” and said it came after “Israel’s attacks on the rights of our people in Jerusalem and at Al-Aqsa Mosque.”








IDF forces early Saturday morning raided the home of the Palestinian terrorist who murdered three members of an Israeli family the previous evening, and arrested his brother.
Troops were searching the village for weaponry and suspects. They also mapped the family home of the 19-year-old killer in preparation for its likely demolition.
Following Friday’s terror attack, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot had held an emergency meeting of top army brass to discuss events.

Military leadership decided to temporarily enact a closure on terrorist Omar al-Abed’s hometown of Kaubar, north of Ramallah, and to conduct searches in his family’s home.


An army official told Ynet the 19-year-old assailant’s parents were known to be affiliated with the Hamas terror group. Hamas hailed the attack late Friday as “heroic.”
Ibrahim al-Abed, an uncle, said troops searched the family home and arrested Omar’s brother Monir, 21. Officials said they suspected Monir had aided his brother in carrying out the attack.
Security forces said they were looking for any additional suspects in the Halamish attack.






Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visited the site of Friday’s terror attack in the settlement of Halamish, which claimed the lives of three Israelis, and said Israel was demanding prompt condemnation of the attack by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas, he said, must issue “a clear condemnation of the massacre committed yesterday against an innocent family that posed a danger to no one, a terrible slaughter carried out during the family’s Shabbat dinner.”
Abbas has so far been silent about Friday night’s attack. Before news of the attack broke, Abbas had said he would freeze all contacts with Israel over its actions in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Friday saw riots around the Old City and the Jerusalem area in response to Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount compound. Three Palestinians were reported killed and some 200 others were wounded in the confrontations with Israeli security forces.








"The government's brutal actions at the Al-aksa Mosque, changing the status quo by placing metal detectors, will necessarily lead to a third Intifada, that already began today," Joint List Member of Parliament Taleb Abu Arar, said Friday afternoon. The lawmaker warned of a major Palestinian uprising and accused the police of killing three Palestinians in clashes following weekly prayers in Jerusalem.

"Those who initiated the violence and killed three Palestinians were the Israeli police," he said.

MK Ahmad Tibi, also from the Joint List party, said that the responsibility to the clashes to those who died is the government and its head, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Muslim leaders and Palestinian political factions had urged the faithful to gather for a "day of rage" on Friday against the new security policies, which they see as changing delicate agreements that have governed the holy site for decades. 

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein posted on Twitter two screenshots from videos of Arab MKs from Friday and wrote: “This is a shame! It is a shame that the precious time of our security forces is being wasted.”

Protests also broke out in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israeli military, dozens of Palestians were burning tires and throwing rocks at troops along the border fence. The soldiers returned fire towards the instigators.

"Today we are acting to bring the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem back into the embrace of the the Arab World," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said during his weekly sermon in Gaza. "We shall not enter the Temple Mount through metal detectors."









The brutal stabbing attack at Halamish, which left a grandfather of 70, his son and daughter dead while still in their 40s and a grandmother of 78 badly injured - when the family was gathered for the Sabbath Eve meal on Friday, July 21 - was no random act of terror. It followed directly and consistently on the murder of two Israeli police guards on Temple Mount exactly one week earlier. 

The planners of the first outrage, perpetrated by three Israeli Arabs, knew exactly that such action would ignite flames which would claim many Israeli and Palestinian lives.


Halamish is a small Orthodox Jewish community of 250 families, not far from Ramallah, which is walled, gated and guarded. Nevertheless, a 19-year old Palestinian from the nearby village of Kubar, was able to scale the wall, burst in on the family and repeatedly slash four of its members. The wife of the murdered son grabbed the five children who were visiting their grandparents, hid with them in another room and phoned the police, while a neighbor, a 19-year old soldier on leave, shot the terrorist through a window and so finally stopped the carnage.
The paramedics, though experienced in terrorist atrocities had to overcome their horror at the bloodbath in which they went to work to save laves. For the grandfather and his son, it was too late. His daughter died under their hands, and the grandmother was removed to hospital in serious condition.


Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to profit from the high tension around Temple Mount since the July 14 murder of the Israeli policemen. Accusing Israel of declaring a religious war (sic), he announced earlier Friday that he was suspending all Palestinian security cooperation with Israel. This demonstrated extreme hutzpah, considering that it is this cooperation which keeps him in power. He deals directly with American and American parties which support his security forces and serve as go-between for Palestinian ties with their Israeli counterparts.

If the Palestinians choose to continue along the path of violence, their American and European backers will face the dilemma over whether to continue to sponsor terror. Making a public issue of this will effectively put paid to all efforts at diplomacy for ending the dispute – whether local or regional.

 And that is exactly what the three Muslim gunmen were after when they shot dead three Israeli police guards at the Lion’s Gate entrance to Temple Mount.

The Palestinians are consistent in their tactics: First shed Israeli blood, then tell the world they are victims and as martyrs are justified in seeking revenge – especially against “the sons of apes and pigs who defile Al Aqsa.” This was how the Halamish killer Omar al-Abed, 19, a Hamas sympathizer, described the Jews in the “will” he posted on Facebook three hours before the murders. Except that instead of dying with a martyr’s halo, he survived.

The whole week, it was dinned into Palestinian and Israeli Muslims by their leaders, including elected members of the Israeli parliament, that the Al Aqsa compound, an artificial mountaintop platform built as the site of the Jewish Temple more than 2,000 years ago, is exclusive Muslim property and no Jew has the right to set foot in the “Noble Sanctuary.”  This claim also applies to Jerusalem, known in Arabic as Al Quds.

The most notorious metal detectors in Middle East history became emblems that objectified their rage that Iover Israeli sovereignty in Temple Mount and the holy city. This has exposed the dispute as being a national rather than a religious dispute.

For Israel, sovereignty over its capital and the site of the Jewish temples, which was won at great cost in a war of defense after millennia of exile, is not in question. The government’s reiterated pledge to preserve the status quo on Temple Mount and the cities holy places is solidly backed up. But it cuts no ice with the Palestinians since the pledge is offered by an entity they consider a usurper.

Nothing less will satisfy them than Israel relinquishing Temple Mount to the full control of the Waqf Muslim Authority.

But this presents another problem. For decades, Israeli governments has provisionally quelled endless outbreaks of violence, by rescinding pieces of control to Muslim authority - the Waqf or Jordan, allowing the Hashemite King to claims custodianship of Al Aqsa. But it was never enough to keep Palestinian violence down for long. The Waqf was even permitted to build an extension to Al Aqsa, which they rewarded by trashing the relics of the Jewish Temples discovered by the builders.

But Israel has now reached the end of its tether. It is obvious that even if the metal detectors installed at Temple Mount gates are removed or replaced, the violence unleashed at Temple Mount on July 14 was just an opener, followed a week later by the Halamish murders.

A surge Palestinian clashes with police across Jerusalem earlier Friday left three Palestinian rioters dead. Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott Saturday ordered a massive call-up of IDF and police reinforcements to try and put a lid on the violence and protect the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.








During the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Israeli military actions were limited by the broader diplomatic situation. The expulsion of Syria from Lebanon had taken place a year earlier.

The government of then-prime minister Fuad Siniora in Beirut was considered one of the few successes of the US democracy promotion project in the region. As a result, pressure was placed on Israel to restrict its operations to targets directly related to Hezbollah activity alone.


Ten years is a long time. Today, the view in Israel is that the distinction between Hezbollah and the institutions and authorities of the Lebanese state has disappeared.

But while the government of Lebanon is no longer a particular protégé of the US and the West, the position taken in Western capitals regarding the Lebanese state and, notably, its armed forces remains markedly different from that taken in Jerusalem. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) continues to be a major beneficiary of US aid.

This gap in perceptions reflects different primary security concerns. For Israel, altering this perception in the West before the next conflict with Hezbollah is a primary strategic task.

So what are the facts of the case? One of the basic expectations of a functioning state is that it exercise a monopoly on the use of violence within its borders.

What has happened in the intervening decade, however, is that Hezbollah and its allies, rather than simply ignoring the wishes of the state, have progressively absorbed its institutions. The events of May/June 2008 in Beirut finally demonstrated the impotence of “official” Lebanon in opposing the will of Hezbollah and its allies.


Then, on the official political level, Hezbollah and its allies prevented the appointment of a Lebanese president for two years, before ensuring the ascendance of their own allied candidate, then-Gen. Michel Aoun, in October 2016. For good measure, the March 8 bloc of which Hezbollah is a part ensured for itself eight portfolios in the 17-person Lebanese cabinet. Of these, two are directly in the hands of Hezbollah.

So at the level of political leadership, it is no longer possible to identify where the Lebanese state begins and Hezbollah ends.

In particular, there is deep disquiet in Israel regarding revelations of an Iranian- supported, homegrown Hezbollah arms industry. This, combined with what may be the beginnings of a slow winding down of the Syrian war, raises the possibility of renewed tensions with Hezbollah.


The intention will be to dismiss any distinction between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state, and to wage a state-to-state war against Lebanon, on the basis that the distinction has become a fiction. This would involve an all-out use of military force that will be intended to force a relatively quick decision.

For this to be conceivable, a diplomatic battle has to first be won. This is the battle to convince the West, or at least the US, that an Iranian proxy militia has today effectively swallowed the Lebanese state, making war against the former, by its very nature, involve war against the latter.









Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, armchair pundits determined that the age of the tank as king of the battlefield had come to an ignominious end. They argued that the introduction of anti-tank guided missiles rendered the tank obsolete. How wrong they were. Several post-war studies of the conflict demonstrated that the tank was still indispensable to modern warfare and when employed in a combined arms manner with artillery and mechanized infantry, still reigned supreme.


Israel learned many lessons from the Yom Kippur War and incorporated those lessons into the development of its own indigenous tank, the Merkava (Chariot). The Merkava 1 entered service with the Israel Defense Forces in 1978 and first saw action in 1982 during Operation Peace for Galilee when it engaged and destroyed no fewer than nine Soviet-made, Syrian T-72 tanks without sustaining a single loss. It also reportedly succeeded in downing a Syrian anti-tank helicopter with its main gun.

Since that time, the Merkava has undergone several modifications and improvements, the latest iteration of which is the Merkava 4. The Merkava 4 is considered by armored warfare experts to be among the finest tanks in the world, and in terms of crew survivability, the safest.

In the summer of 2006, Israel was forced to go to war again, this time with the notorious terrorist organization Hezbollah. On July 12, two Israeli reservists were killed and their bodies snatched during a Hezbollah cross-border attack. Israel could not allow the outrage to go unanswered and decided to launch an offensive against Hezbollah. Nearly 400 Merkava tanks, mostly of the older II and III variants, were haphazardly deployed in the latter stages of the 34-day conflict.

During the course of the war, Hezbollah guerrillas fired thousands of anti-tank missiles – from the first generation Sagger to the highly advanced Kornet – at static Israeli infantry and tanks but only succeeding in damaging some 40 tanks and of these, there were only 20 penetrations. Despite these encouraging numbers, so-called experts began to once again challenge the utility of the tank and its place in modern warfare. 


IDF planners saw things differently. They went back to the drawing board in an effort to draw conclusions from the performance of the Merkava and tactics employed by its crew members.

With at least 1/3 of its fighting force permanently stationed in Syria, the probability of Hezbollah initiating war against Israel in the near future is low. Even in the absence of the Syrian conflict, Hezbollah will soon not forget the thrashing it took at the hands of the IDF during the 2006 campaign. Nevertheless, most experts agree that the next Lebanon war is not a question of if, but when, and when it does begin, Israel’s latest Merkava variant, the vaunted Merkava 4 will be in the thick of it.




The Merkava 4 incorporates many sophisticated design features including advanced electro optics that ensure a 100% first-hit kill capability from its formidable 120mm smooth-bore gun. The Merkava also features an internally operated 60mm mortar to deal with missile-armed infantry. The Merkava is also capable of firing the long-rang, third generation LAHAT laser homing, guided missile from its main gun, an advantage lacking in the Merkava’s contemporaries. Another feature possessed by the Merkava but lacking in its competitors is the ability to accommodate up to eight infantry soldiers or three litter patients.

But among its most outstanding features is its emphasis on crew safety and ability to negate anti-tank missile threats. The tank, whose well-sloped armor is composed of advanced spaced and composite materials, is arguably the best protected in the world. 


Unlike other tank designs, the Merkava’s 1,500hp diesel engine is located in the front, providing the crew with an additional layer of protection from frontal hits. Learning from past experience, the Merkava’s vulnerable underbelly was up-armored to provide additional protection against anti-tank mines and Iranian supplied explosively formed projectiles (EFP), which have been used to devastating effect by Iraqi and Afghan insurgents against American forces, claiming no fewer than 500 American lives. In addition, the Merkava 4’s armor is modular, allowing for quick battlefield repair and tailoring the armor for the tank’s mission-specific purposes.

But perhaps the Merkava’s most outstanding feature is its use of the Trophy active self-protection missile defense system, which acts like the tank’s personal Iron Dome missile defense shield. The system is designed to shoot down incoming missiles before the projectile reaches the tank’s armor. The IDF is the first military to deploy such a platform and all Merkava 4s and Namer (leopard) and Eytan armored personnel carriers (APC) are equipped with it. The United States Army is currently testing the Trophy system for use and adoption in its M1A2 Abrams tanks and other armored fighting vehicles such as the Stryker wheeled APC and the Bradley tracked APC.









Friday, July 21, 2017

Tension On The Temple Mount - Is A Triggering Point Being Reached?




Tension on the Temple Mount! – Bible Prophecy for Today


Jerusalem has seen two temples built on the Temple Mount. The first was built by King Solomon close to 3,000 years ago. It was destroyed by the armies of Nebudchadnezzar in 586 B.C. The second temple was built under Zerubbabel during the years 520-516 B.C. This was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Since that time there has been a deep longing amongst many observant Jews both out in the Diaspora and back in the land of Israel to see the temple rebuilt once again.


Once a year, on the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, Jews fast, cry and mourn for the destruction of their Holy Temple. They long for the rebuilding of an edifice that was destroyed 2,000 years ago.


Over the past decade there has been a growing “Movement” to rebuild the temple in Israel today with thousands of Jews working to rebuild the temple. According to a poll taken last year in a leading newspaper Ha’aretz, one third of Israelis believe that Israel should erect the Temple on the Temple Mount. Just last year, Israel’s Housing Minister called publicly for the rebuilding of the Temple, “We’ve built many little, little temples,” MK Uri Ariel said, referring to synagogues, “but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.”

Schools throughout Israel are diligently studying the laws of the temple and Jews of all backgrounds visit the Temple Mount each month. The Jerusalem Post quoted Sarit Berko, a non-observant Israeli who came to the Western Wall to observe the 9th of Av from her home in Tel Aviv, an annual pilgrimage she has made since the Six Day War in 1967. “During Passover, most Jews say ‘Next year in Jerusalem’,” explained Berko, “As an Israeli I pray, ‘Next year may the Third Temple be built and last for eternity.’



Revelation 11:1-2—–And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.


Forty and two months is equivalent to 3.5 years which in itself is half of seven, or quite possibly midway through the last seven years of history prior to the Return (NOT THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH) of the Lord Jesus Christ. These seven years have been referred to by many scholars as the Tribulation.

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has announced that it has finished building an altar that can be utilized for Temple service. The altar, which took several years to build, can be operational at little more than a moment’s notice, reported Matzav Haruach magazine.
Furthermore, the third Temple’s sacred vessels, the menorah, showbread table and incense altar are completed. The architectural design is also done. It is also being reported that the third Temple will be a mix of steel, stone and composite materials conforming to the Law. The architectural plans only need to be executed.


The Temple Institute is committed to preparing all the necessary clothing and tools for the re-built Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In addition, the institute operates an educational center for visitors and a preparatory training program for members of the Aaronic priesthood who wish to be ready to serve as soon as the Temple is rebuilt.
Events continue to escalate on the Temple Mount following the murder of two Israeli guards on the Temple Mount just last week.


The Temple Mount was closed Friday after three Arab Israeli terrorists emerged from the compound and opened fire at a group of police officers just outside, killing two of them.
On Sunday, the site was opened to Muslims only, and on Monday, it was opened to non-Muslim visitors as well.
Under the status quo, established after Israel captured the site in 1967, the site is managed by an Islamic foundation under the auspices of Jordan — the Waqf — and Israel controls access.
Pay close attention because here is where this gets very interesting:



The current ruling Fatah party of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas re-broadcast his call for violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosue in 2014. The broadcast was in response to the closure of the Temple Mount following the terrorist attack in which two police officers were murdered Friday morning. Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah posted the video on its official Facebook page. In it, Abbas calls on Arabs to use violence to prevent Jews from ascending the Temple Mount.

“We must all carry out Ribat [religious conflict] in the Al-Aqsa Mosque… We have to prevent them, in any way whatsoever, from entering the Sanctuary… They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places,” Abbas says in the video.

In addition, last week the country of Jordan also condemned the violence in Jerusalem but also demanded that Israel “immediately” reopen the Temple Mount compound for Muslim worshipers. 


Jordan’s Government Spokesman Mohammed Momani said in a statement quoted by the Jordanian news agency Petra that Jordan rejects any violation against the right of Muslims to perform their religious rituals in their holy shrines.

Israeli officials were angered by Jordan’s statement, saying on Friday evening they rejected it.



“Instead of condemning the attack, Jordan chose to attack Israel, which protects the worshipers and preserves freedom of worship in the area,” the statement said, according to Israeli media outlets.

“Israel will not tolerate any ham to the holy sites and it maintains the status quo in them. It would be appropriate for all the parties involved, including Jordan, to maintain restraint and prevent an escalation,” it added.
Jordan is one of two Arab countries, the other being Egypt, to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.
Events like these can be looke upon as trigger points that can escalate to war.
Just how will this Middle East peace be achieved? What will have happened to suddenly change the political landscape in the Middle East and thus open the way to allow the temple to be rebuilt? A new “prince” will have come into power. But who will this man be? And in whose name will he come? Will he turn out to be the peacemaker or power broker spoken of by the prophet Daniel? Shall we come face to face with the long awaited peacemaker of Daniel 9:27:

Daniel 9:27–And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
This future seven year covenant will be different. The final solution of the “Road Map to Peace” will be on the front pages of our newspapers and News websites on Fox and CNN cable news. This seven year peace deal or covenant will kick off  the final seven year history of this world spawning earthshaking political events of Biblical proportions.

When this covenant is signed and confirmed there will be major international consequences. Great and awesome events will start to happen as the Holy God of Israel resumes His determined covenant dealings with the nation of Israel and the rest of the world.





Jerusalem On Alert As Tensions Rise




Jerusalem on alert as religious tensions rise over holy site



* Israeli police, extra units called up to bolster security
* Palestinians angry over metal detectors at Old City shrine
* Muslim leaders, Palestinian factions call for day of rage
* Netanyahu's security cabinet won't remove metal detectors
By Luke Baker and Ori Lewis

JERUSALEM, July 21 (Reuters) - Israel bolstered security in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday and prepared for possible clashes with Muslim worshippers after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided metal detectors at a sensitive holy site would not be removed.
There have been daily confrontations between Palestinians hurling rocks and Israeli police using stun grenades since the detectors were placed at the entrance to the shrine, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, on Sunday, after the killing of two Israeli policemen.
Muslim leaders and Palestinian political factions have urged the faithful to gather for a "day of rage" against the new security policies, which they see as changing delicate agreements that have governed the holy site for decades.
The Israeli police said extra units had been mobilised to bolster security in the Old City, while Muslim access to the shrine for prayers would be limited to women of all ages and men over 50. Roadblocks were in place on approach roads to Jerusalem to stop buses carrying Muslims to the site.
"Police are coordinating to enable Friday prayers to take place and at the same time security measures are taking place," spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
The Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound, containing the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa Mosque, has long been a source of religious friction. Since Israel captured and annexed the Old City, including the compound, in the 1967 Middle East war, it has also become a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
On Thursday, there were calls for Netanyahu to back down and remove the metal detectors so as not to inflame the situation. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, after discussing the issue with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to press for their removal.
Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations' special coordinator for long-stalled Israel-Palestinian peace talks, appealed for calm and the White House urged a resolution. Jordan, which is the ultimate custodian of the holy site, has also been involved in mediation efforts.
DETECTORS STAY
But after a late-night meeting of his security cabinet, Netanyahu decided the metal detectors should stay. Officials said they were necessary to ensure Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs do not smuggle weapons into the holy compound.
Far-right members of Netanyahu's government - which relies on religious and right-wing parties for support - had publicly urged him to keep the devices in place.
"Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo at the Temple Mount and the freedom of access to the holy places," the security cabinet said in a statement.
"The cabinet has authorised the police to take any decision in order ensure free access to the holy places while maintaining security and public order."
Tensions around the Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount have erupted into violence in the past. In 2000, after then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited, Palestinians took it as a provocation. It led to clashes that spiralled into the second Intifada, when an estimated 1,000 Israelis and some 3,000 Palestinians were killed over four years of violence.
As well as anger at having to submit to Israeli security policies, Palestinians are alarmed at what they see as the slow chipping away at the status quo at the Noble Sanctuary.
Since Ottoman times, while Jews are permitted to visit the area - considered the holiest place in Judaism, where an ancient temple once stood - only Muslims are allowed to pray.
Over the past decade, however, visits by religious-nationalist Jews have increased sharply and some attempt to pray. While police are supposed to eject them if they do, the rules are not always enforced, fuelling Muslim anger.








Hezbollah, Syria Army Launch Offensive At Syrian-Lebanese Border




Hezbollah, Syria army launch offensive at Syrian-Lebanese border



The Lebanese group Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an offensive on Friday to clear militants from an area of the Syrian-Lebanese frontier, a commander in the military alliance fighting in support of President Bashar Assad told Reuters.

The operation is targeting insurgents from the Nusra Front group in the Juroud Arsal area on the outskirts of the Lebanese town of Arsal, and in areas of the western Qalamoun mountains in Syria, the commander said.


The barren Juroud Arsal area between Syria and Lebanon has also been a base of operations for Islamic State militants. Several thousand Syrian refugees are living in camps in Juroud Arsal.

Hezbollah's al-Manar TV said Nusra militants were being targeting in Juroud Arsal and in areas near the Syrian town of Fleita.


The Lebanese army has deployed reinforcements on the outskirts of Arsal town in anticipation of the operation, aiming to prevent militants from fleeing into Lebanon, a Lebanese security source said this week.

The Nusra Front was al Qaida's official affiliate in the Syrian civil war until last year when it formally severed ties to al Qaida and renamed itself. The group now spearheads the Tahrir al-Sham Islamist alliance.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Tuesday the Lebanese army would carry out a carefully planned operation in the Juroud Arsal area, but there was no coordination between it and the Syrian army.


In 2014, the Arsal area was the scene of one of the most serious spillovers of the Syrian war into Lebanon, when jihadists briefly overran the town of Arsal.

The Iran-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah has provided Syrian President Assad with crucial military support in the war, a role that has drawn heavy criticism from its Lebanese opponents including Hariri. 







Palestinian President Abbas Cuts Off Diplomatic Ties With Israel, More Clashes Erupt Across The West Bank




Palestinian President Cuts Off Diplomatic Ties With Israel



Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he was freezing contacts with Israel until it removes metal detectors that were installed recently at the Temple Mount, one of Islam’s holiest sites, after three people died and 200 more were injured during deadly clashes at the site Friday afternoon, according to Reuters.
"I declare the suspension of all contacts with the Israeli side on all levels until it cancels its measures at Al-Aqsa mosque and preserves the status quo," Abbas said in a brief televised speech after meeting his aides, referring to a mosque forming part of the holy site.
Abbas said in a speech that the freeze would stay in place until Israel lifted its stringent measures at Al-Aqsa mosque , which Jews call the Temple Mount, according to the Daily Sabah. On the advice of local police and the IDF, Israel’s cabinet decided to tighten security around the site after a series of violent terrorist attacks, including one that occurred a week ago, when three assailants somehow smuggled weapons onto the site, according to Breitbart.

Palestinians have been battling with Israeli Defense Forces outside the Temple for days to protest the new security measures – including metal detectors that have been installed at the Temple’s entrances. On Friday, three young men were killed when fighting broke out.
Israeli police told the government that “extremist elements” where planning to “to cause violent disruptions to the public order, and thereby to threaten the public peace, including the [safety] of those coming to pray at the holy sites and other residents of the area," according to Breitbart
As a result, Israeli security forces erected checkpoints at main entrances to Jerusalem and blocked several roads leading to the Temple Mount area. Some 3,000 police forces were deployed to Jerusalem’s Old City in addition to five Israel Defense Forces battalions that have been put on standby.
According to Palestinian medical sources, Mohammad Mahmoud Sharef, 17, was shot in the neck in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud. Sharef reportedly and died of his wounds shortly afterwards. The Palestinian reports claimed that the gunfire came from a nearby east Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood called Maala Hazeitim. The other casualty was Mohammad Hassan Abu Ghanem, 19. Later, Palestinian media reported a third Palestinian, 17-year-old Mohammad Laffi, was killed in Abu Dis, a town near the border with Israel.

Clashes have erupted across the West Bank. Here’s the Jerusalem Post with more:



“Israel's Channel 10 reported that a child of eight had died from tear gas inhalation, but that could not be confirmed.

Israeli police also reported disturbances in Ras Al-Amoud, A-Tur, and Wadi Joz, including stone throwing and Molotov cocktails, which resulted in the injury of four police officers.

According to the army, the West Bank checkpoint of Qalandiya as well as Hebron saw the largest riots, with an estimated 600 Palestinians throwing stones at troops at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem and hundreds more in Hebron. Troops responded with tear gas and stun grenades in both cases.

At least 200 Palestinians threw stones at security forces at Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, while more demonstrated in the West Bank town of Jericho. A reported 100 others threw stones at Israeli vehicles near the settlement of Tekoa and some 200 others clashed with troops in Qaddum, west of Nablus, and Na’alin, west of Ramallah. Another 100 Palestinians clashes with troops in Beit Ummar, northwest of Hebron.

The Palestinian Maan agency reported that the bodies of both Palestinians were quickly buried on Friday afternoon, out of concern that Israeli authorities would seize them. Maan also reported that Israeli forces raided Makassed Hospital, although the purpose of the raid has not yet been established.”

The battles erupted after Palestinian protest leaders, a group that includes top Palestinian government officials, told their followers that the metal detectors were part of an Israeli conspiracy to hamper Muslim worship at the Mount. The site is one of the holiest landmarks in Judaism and Islam.