First, we turn to the headline article:
Fayyad: PA will declare independent state in August 2011
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the PA will declare an independent Palestinian state in 2011, while picking olives with a reporter from Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, according to an interview published on Thursday.
"The deadline is next summer, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank must end," Fayyad said. "In 2011, we will celebrate 66 years of the United Nations and the United Nations will celebrate the birth of our nation."
Fayyad added that the Palestinians "need to build national institutions in the West Bank and prepare for an independent Palestinian state."
"The people of Gaza must be involved in our national project," Fayyad explained. "There are gaps between us, it's true, but the real gap is the wall that closes off the Strip. Next week, I will try to enter Gaza," he added.
The Palestinian prime minister said that he will give Israel "one more year of grace...but these colonies can no longer be there. They are illegal everywhere; here and Jerusalem."
The last quote in the article holds particular interest:
On Tuesday, Fayyad went olive-picking with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry. Serry expressed his support for an declaration of Palestinian statehood by August 2011.
Will the UN really support this "unilateral" decision on the creation of a separate PA State, without Israel's consent? If the borders are drawn up as the PA has envisioned, then Israel would literally be divided with a "connecting strip" created linking the West Bank with Gaza. In the process, Jerusalem could be "moved" (Zechariah 12:3) by dividing it and the possibility that Jerusalem could become an "international city" also remains on the table.
How would Israel react to this?
We know that Israel will stand alone in these last days, so I wouldn't expect for them to have any countries supporting their opposition to "the nations" imposing new borders upon Israel and the creation of a PA state.
If this process does become reality, it will be a huge "game changer" in the region and one would expect some big events to follow.
Questions may include:
- Would THIS be the covenant which must be "confirmed" by the antichrist?
- Would violence/warfare ensue?
- Would THIS be the opportunity for the newly formed border control military force from the EU to step into the region?
Either way, it would most definitely stir things up in the Middle East - that powder keg that we watch so closely.
And it would only be in 10 months. Things are happening rapidly as we approach the Tribulation.
In other news, Joel Rosenberg weighs in regarding Iran's nuclear facility and Russian involvement in recent developments:
Tensions Rise As Russia and Iran Fuel Nuclear Reactor
Tensions are rising in the Middle East this week amidst several new and troubling developments.
First, “Iran began loading fuel into the core of its Bushehr nuclear reactor Tuesday morning, moving closer to the start-up of its first atomic plant,” reports the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. “Iranian and Russian engineers started moving nuclear fuel into the main reactor building in August but a reported leak in a storage pool delayed injection of the fuel into the reactor.”
This is the latest evidence of the increasingly close strategic alliance between Russia and Iran. It is particularly concerning in light of the Iranian leaders’ belief in the imminent arrival of the Shia Islamic messiah known as the Twelfth Imam, and in light of the prophecies of Ezekiel 38 and 39 — what is known as the War of Gog and Magog — which indicate that Russia and Iran will form an alliance against Israel in “the last days” of human history, before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Second, a new report in a French newspaper indicates that the Iran-backed Shia Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah now has some 40,000 rockets and missiles in southern Lebanon aimed at Israel in preparation for an apocalpytic war involving the Twelfth Imam.
Mr Rosenberg also weighs in on Israel's recent oil and gas finds:
Third, in an intriguing sign of good news, “a new preliminary geological survey indicates 26 million barrels of recoverable oil worth $2 billion may be sitting underneath the sandy soil in the area of two kibbutzim in the Western Negev, near Gaza,” says a new industry report. “Besides the estimates of oil at a depth of 2,000 meters, or approximately 1.25 miles, the preliminary survey also reports an additional estimate of 12 million barrels of recoverable oil at depths of up to 4,000 meters, worth $900 at current prices. The area is adjacent to the small Heletz oil field, which so far has produced more than 16 million barrels of oil. If the new field is drilled, it will be the first deep-well drilling in the area in decades.”
Meanwhile, off the coast of Haifa, an historic, $150 million drilling operation has begun to reach the massive natural gas fields discovered earlier this year. Some industry experts believe Israel will be energy independent in the next few years, and will become a net exporter of natural gas, most likely to markets in Europe.
Lars Larson had me on his nationally syndicated radio show last night to talk about the game-changing nature of such developments, and the possible prophetic nature of these oil and gas finds. He alerted me to an interesting blog that has been tracking such events over the past week. I confirmed for Lars that in the Old Testament there are several End Times prophecies that petroleum will be discovered in Israel in the last days...
I haven't been to that "interesting blog" yet (link provided above - it may be worth bookmarking) but this COULD be the "hook in the jaw" that pulls Russia into the epic war of "Gog-MaGog" described in Ezekiel 38-39. Russia deeply desires to be the main exporter of energy in the region, and these recent gas/oil finds in Israel threaten Russian plans.
For these reasons, any news relating to Israel's findings of gas and oil are of great interest to a prophecy watcher.
Just as any news relating to new borders for Israel and the creation of a PA State, without Israeli consent are of great interest.
There is never a dull moment in the Middle East as we approach the last days.