1. More rocket fire from Gaza into Israel:
Gaza Escalation: Three Rockets Hit Israel
Arabs in Gaza fired three short range "Kassam" rockets at Israel early Monday evening. The rockets exploded within the limits of the Ashkelon Coast local authority. Gazan terrorist attacks against Israel have become daily occurrences over the last few weeks, and a marked escalation was felt this week, with mortar shells wounding civilians on the Israeli side and an Israeli soldier killed during fighting with a terror squad.
2. Jerusalem: The Epicenter back in the news:
Israel 'Shocked, Insulted' as EU Calls Jerusalem a Settlement
Israel is shocked by international criticism of the demolition of a Jewish-owned property in Jerusalem.
"Calling Jerusalem a settlement is a misinterpretation, an insult to the history of the city," Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the French news agency AFP. "It is incomprehensible that they are mixing questions of private rights, international law and politics," he added.
He was reacting to European Union and American condemnation of Israel for Sunday’s demolition of the old and unused Shepherd Hotel. The lot is owned by Irving Moskowitz, an American Jew and a strong supporter of a Jewish presence in all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The Prime Minister's Bureau pointed out in a statement that the government was not involved in the demolition and that it was carried out “in accordance with Israeli law. There should be no expectation that the State of Israel will impose a ban on Jews purchasing private property in Jerusalem. No democratic government would impose such a ban on Jews and Israel will certainly not do so.
The overreaction to this situation is both predictable and sad:
The Arab world joined the condemnation of the demolition, with the Arab Monitor stating that the demolished building was on an “historic site." The adjacent hotel was the former home of the Mufti of Jerusalem, known for his close ties with Hitler.
Egypt raised the threat of “a new explosion of violence" because of the demolition, which marks progress in Moskowitz’s plan to build 20 residential units on the site. Jordan warned that “instability” in the region would follow.
More on Jerusalem:
Jerusalem will never be divided, says city mayor
The mayor of Jerusalem, a rising star in Israeli politics, has vowed that the city would never be divided to allow the eastern side to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Wow. Thats what we call "throwing down the gauntlet". This won't go over well with "the nations".
"It's not going to happen, it's not natural, it's the wrong thing to do from any perspective," mayor Nir Barkat said during a visit to New York.
Barkat also joined government rejections of international criticism of an historic east Jerusalem hotel to make way for settler homes.
The mayor said the Shepherd's Hotel was "owned legally, by Jewish owners, they have asked to develop the land according to the zoning code, with no extra demands or requests. They have been granted permission like they would be in any city, in any country in the world."
3. We also see yet another disturbing development from one of the local terrorist groups:
Is Hamas close to acquiring unconventional weapons?
Hamas’ Al-Qassam news agency carried a curious story on Monday that sparked concerns in Israel that the terrorist organization, which controls and operates out of the Gaza Strip, is close to acquiring chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons.
OK, that gets my attention.
Speaking at an anti-Israel rally on Monday, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar declared, “We are only a few steps away from achieving a historic triumph which might cost us a large number of our children. However, in the coming confrontation with the Zionist entity, we will realize our ancestors’ dream and return history to the right track.”
Hamas has already unloaded its conventional rocket and missile arsenal on Israel in the past, so it is difficult to imagine what it could do that would be so drastically different except for using unconventional weapons.
It is also worth noting that the rhetoric about being “only a few steps away from achieving a historic triumph” is similar to that used by Iran to describe its nuclear efforts.
Israel has long feared that Syria, Iran and other terror-supporting states will transfer unconventional weapons to Hamas and Lebanon’s Hizballah terrorist militia, leading to an enormous escalation of the Israeli-Arab conflict.
While it is more difficult for Hamas to obtain such weapons thanks to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, it is now widely known that Iran and Syria are arming Hizballah at a worrying pace.
Remember, Jesus clearly stated that we would see "wars and rumors of war" and indeed, we see this increasing rhetoric on a daily basis. We also see massive weapons shipments funneled into areas dominated by both Hamas and Hezbollah. The region is armed to the teeth and ready for war at any moment. Just as foretold. Just as expected. And right on schedule.