We see this almost every day now - stories of those regions who will be involved in the coming wars described in Isaiah 17, Ezekiel 38-39, and of course the wars which will be waged during the Tribulation:
Despite a period of relative calm between Israel and Gaza, terrorists in the Palestinian enclave are arming themselves with missiles that can reach deep into Israel’s heartland, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz declared Monday.
Speaking at the Herzliya Conference, an annual national security gathering at the Interdisciplinary Center in the central coastal town, Gantz gave a sweeping overview of Israel’s security situation, saying instability was everywhere, but military deterrence was working to keep war at bay.
In Gaza there was has been “a dramatic increase in medium- and long-range rockets,” he said.
His statement came hours after two rockets were fired out of Gaza at southern Israel, causing no damage.
But what was a repeated theme throughout his address was the instability and unpredictability of the region.
He also warned against cutting Israel’s defense budget. According to Gantz, “We have no alternative but to stand here as a strong and united nation.”
Most military experts consider China's DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile a major threat to US carriers operating in the Western Pacific, but Zachary Keck, the associate editor of the Tokyo-based Diplomat, has gone further to suggest that the cruise missile is a "real carrier killer."
Citing a new report from the Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, Keck said that a key element of the People's Liberation Army's investment in anti-access/area-denial capabilities is the development and deployment of large numbers of highly accurate anti-ship cruise missiles and land-attack cruise missiles on a range of ground, air, and naval platforms.
The report also detailed several advantages of cruise missile against US carriers, with the authors noting that cruise missiles can be launched from land, sea or air-based platforms. Their compact size and limited support requirements allows them to be highly mobile and thus highly survivable when launched from ground-based platforms. With low infrared signature, the authors also stated that it is easier for the cruise missiles to escape detection from enemy missile defense systems.
"The potentially supersonic speed, small radar signature, and very low altitude flight profile of cruise missiles stress air defense systems and airborne surveillance and tracking radars, increasing the likelihood that they will successfully penetrate defenses," the report said.
Meanwhile, China is able to produce cruise missiles cheaply, and the country will be able to stockpile large quantities of them, according to Keck, who cited the report's conclusion that that PLA may be able exploit a quantity over quality approach against the US.
Israel will not make unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank, particularly if Hamas continues to hold sway, officials from the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday. The officials were responding to Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s new peace plan that called for evacuation of parts of the area.
Officials also dismissed the finance minister’s demand that the Israeli government produce maps outlining future borders, saying “Any map that is presented will become the point of departure for the Palestinians’ demands.”
“Anyone with political experience knows that you don’t make concessions without [getting] anything in return, especially with a government partnered with a terror organization that wants to destroy Israel,” officials said. The sources also referred to the 2005 disengagement from Gaza as proof of the futility of these measures.
As the US and Iran geared up to hold bilateral talks over Tehran’s nuclear program, a senior Israeli minister called for the international community to avoid shoehorning in a bad deal just to meet the July 20 deadline.
“If on July 20 there is not a good agreement that prevents Iran’s development as a nuclear state, we must not settle at this stage for an agreement that is partial,” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told the Herzliya national security conference.
Steinitz added that a nuclear Iran is a global threat, and declared that the “international community must act responsibly to avert the danger not only to Israel and the Middle East, but the entire world.”
Egypt’s newly sworn-in president vowed Sunday that there would be no reconciliation with anyone who had “committed crimes” or “adopted violence” against Egyptians, a thinly veiled reference to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.
Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was addressing a gathering at a Cairo presidential palace hours after he was sworn in as Egypt’s president before the Supreme Constitutional Court.
The 59-year-old career soldier did not mention the Muslim Brotherhood by name or supporters of the Islamist Mohammed Morsi, the president he ousted in July after just a year in office.
Since Morsi’s ouster, authorities have staged a massive crackdown against the Brotherhood and other Islamists, killing hundreds and jailing close to 20,000 others. The government has banned the Brotherhood and labeled it a terrorist organization. Islamic militants have in the meantime stepped up attacks against troops and police in the strategic Sinai Peninsula after Morsi’s ouster and later took their campaign to the mainland.
“There will be reconciliation between the sons of our nation except those who had committed crimes against them or adopted violence,” el-Sissi said. “There will be no acquiescence or laxity shown to those who resorted to violence.”
Russia and China are continuing to work closely to strengthen the BRICS economic bloc, which has made notable progress in many aspects in the last year, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said in Beijing.
"The development of the group of five is increasing. Our association remains an important driving force of the world economy, surpassing the total growth rates of the G7 BRICS has made significant progress in many aspects of its activities in the last year. We have formed unified positions on key policy issues: Syria, Iran, international terrorism, international information security," Patrushev said on Friday at the end of the 10th round of Russian-Chinese consultations on strategic security.
"I am confident that the forthcoming chairmanship of Russia in the group of five will consolidate this positive trend," Patrushev concluded.
The BRICS countries plan to meet at a summit in Brazil’s Fortaleza in July. Among other issues, the association is planning to discuss Argentina’s candidacy.
Earlier, Indian Ambassador to Argentina Amarenda Khatua who said Buenos Aires was interested in joining BRICS, and three of the group’s five members – India, Brazil and South Africa – supported the idea.
Argentina's foreign minister said Buenos Aires planned to develop its relations with BRICS states, but said it is up to BRICS to decide on the agenda.
In a historic move without precedent, Pope Francis welcomes “the Religion of Peace” to the Vatican today. Al Arabiya reports:
For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Francis issued the invitation to Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit last week to Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority.
Abbas, Peres, and Francis will be joined by Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious leaders, a statement released by Peres’s spokesperson said, according to the Times of Israel.
Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level, according to the Associated Press.
This follows the Pope’s controversial trip to Bethlehem in which he prayed in front of a graffiti-filled wall and posed for a photo op at a section of that wall that compared Bethlehem to a Warsaw Ghetto. On the same trip he was interrupted by Muslim prayers chiming in over the loudspeakers as he addressed the faithful.
Some theorize that Pope Francis is part of the globalist movement and looking to usher in the age of One World Religion.
Whether or not that is the case, one has to wonder how the families of those Christians who have been slaughtered in the name of Islam feel about this.