If God is Love - What is Hate?
Chanting anti-Israeli slogans the protesters marched to the rally where sweets were handed out in celebration.
"The message of our Islamic party Hamas is a message of encouragement and support for every jihadi who carries out an attack that puts an end to the acts of the Zionist enemy," Hamas leader Fathi Hamad, who led the rally, told Reuters.
The Palestinian Islamist group routinely praises those who carry out street attacks against Israelis.
The Palestinian attack in Jerusalem was the deadliest in months and targeted officer cadets as they disembarked from a bus that brought them to the Armon Hanatziv promenade which has a panoramic view of the walled Old City.
The military said an officer and three officer cadets were killed and that 17 others were injured.
Police identified the truck driver as a Palestinian from east Jerusalem and said he was shot dead. His uncle, Abu Ali, named him as Fadi Ahmad Hamdan Qunbor, 28, a father of four from the Jabel Mukabar neighborhood.
Muslim attacks on Christian churches are on the rise all around the world—including in America. The worst occurred last month when a bomb exploded in Egypt’s St. Peter’s Cathedral, killing 28, mostly women and children. Preliminary investigations had indicated that a woman entered the church, sat in the women’s section, and then left an unattended purse that later detonated. Later reports asserted that, although others were involved, including one Muslim woman, a male suicide-bomber was the chief culprit (graphic pictures of his remains here).
The answer is an unfathomable—and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable—amount of hate. Yet the wonder isn’t that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it. After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations and Internet sites—even the ministry of education—openly incite hatred for Egypt’s indigenous (but “infidel”) inhabitants: the Christian Copts. Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate—and show that they hate—Christians, even if they are their own wives.
Worse, they teach that the most abominable crimes in God’s sight—“worse than murder and bloodshed”—take place inside churches: there, Christians flaunt their rejection of Islam’s core doctrine of tawhid (“monotheism”) by ascribing partners to God (shirk) via their worship of the Trinity. This is why some of Islam’s most revered ulema (scholars) describe churches as “worse than bars and brothels” and “dens of iniquity” which “breed corruption throughout the lands” (see Crucified Again, pgs. 32-36).
But it’s not just ISIS and “radical” clerics that harbor such animosity for churches. After the fatal bombing inside St. Peter’s, “everyday” Muslims wrote things like “God bless the person who did this blessed act” on social media. One average looking Muslim woman appears in the streets of Egypt jubilantly celebrating the massacre (video with English subtitles). She triumphantly yells “Allahu Akbar!” and says that “our beloved prophet Muhammad is paying you infidels [Christians] back… for rejecting tawhid, which must be proclaimed in every corner of Egypt!”
But it could put the Islamic Republic on a collision course with the incoming Trump administration, and fuel criticism from other Western states which say Tehran's recent ballistic missile tests are inconsistent with a U.N. resolution on Iran.
Tasnim news agency said 173 lawmakers voted in favor of an article in Iran's five-year development plan that "requires government to increase Iran's defense capabilities as a regional power and preserve the country's national security and interests by allocating at least five percent of annual budget" to military affairs.
The increase in military spending is part of a growth plan for 2016-2021 first announced in July 2015 by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal and the US Treasury has imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals linked to the program.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last year that the missile launches were "not consistent with the constructive spirit" of the nuclear deal, but did not say whether they actually violated the UN resolution.
The US Navy destroyer Mahan fired warning shots at four Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz that were closing in on it at a rapid pace, Fox News reported citing an unnamed US defense official.
The ship warned the Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats to stop before firing warning flares and a smoke float on Sunday.
The Mahan was escorting two US ships when the Iranian boats approached at a high rate of speed, according to officials.
The incident is the latest of several confrontations between US and Iranian vessels around the Persian Gulf.
The Kremlin will have to respond to NATO's muscle flexing in Eastern Europe and the Baltics because Moscow sees it as a threat, Dr. Martin McCauley, Senior Lecturer at the University of London, told Radio Sputnik, commenting on the Pentagon's latest deployment to the region.
"From the point of view of the risk of war [this step] increases it because NATO deploying more troops to the Baltic states and Poland will be seen as a threat by Vladimir Putin and he will respond in kind. He has to respond in kind," the analyst said. "I would expect Russia to in fact take measures to put even more troops near the borders with the Baltic states and perhaps more missiles in the Kaliningrad Region. It's a tit for tat," he explained.
McCauley noted that this was a vicious circle, with both sides forced to increase their military presence in the region so as not to appear weak. NATO has beefed up its military presence in Europe, particularly close to Russia's borders since mid-2014.
"The key thing here of course is this: why have American troops been deployed at this moment, in the middle of January 2017? Well of course President-elect Trump is coming to power on January 20 and he said that he wants to improve relations with Russia. President Obama is making this very difficult for him because he expelled 35 Russian diplomats and now he is putting troops into Poland, the Baltic states, Romania and Bulgaria. So Putin and Trump will have to discuss this," he said.
McCauley further noted that both sides do not want tensions to morph into a war, but warned that an armed conflict could be sparked by an accident due to the sheer scale of military presence close to Russia's western borders.
"The problem is that at present nobody wants a war in Europe," he said. "But unfortunately wars sometimes start out of errors and small mistakes. A small mistake becomes a fire somewhere else and that escalates. That is the real danger. With all this troops in Eastern Europe being deployed and the 300,000 Russian troops in the Western sector and near the Baltic borders, the danger is that an accident could in fact inflame the situation and lead to a response from one side or the other."
McCauley urged Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump to come together and "wind down" these tensions.
"The key thing between Putin and Trump is trust. There is no trust at present between Obama and Putin. They don't respect one another. So therefore the key thing is to develop trust," he said.