MORE WAR CLOUDS GATHER OVER TENSE MIDDLE EAST

April 1 Release

By David Dolan

Armed attacks upon the world’s only Jewish state escalated sharply during March, coming from both the northern and southern border regions. For the first time in over 40 years, Israeli air force jets struck several Syrian Army military positions after four Israeli soldiers, including a battalion deputy commander, were wounded in a border attack that the IDF said was launched by Syrian soldiers stationed on the tense Golan Heights. One week later, two Syrian infiltrators were shot and wounded as they tried to penetrate the Golan border fence.

Earlier in the month in the south, Iranian-backed Palestinian Muslim terrorists once again fired nearly 100 rockets at Israeli civilian communities near the Gaza Strip. One landed just outside of a library in the often attacked Israeli town of S’derot. It was the largest barrage of rockets to be fired in the same timeframe since Israel fought a six day battle with the radical Hamas movement in November 2012.

The Israeli Air Force was quickly ordered into action, hitting a number of rocket shooting positions and other targets connected to the Islamic Jihad group, which said it carried out at least most of the rocket assaults. As they have done several times before as rocket attacks escalated over the past year, Israeli government officials warned that a major military incursion into the small Palestinian coastal zone might become necessary if the shootings continued, prompting the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers to put at least a temporary halt to the sustained firings.

As fierce fighting continued to envelop neighboring Syria, the embattled Assad regime made more gains against its multifaceted Sunni Arab Muslim opponents during the month, recapturing a strategic town near the border with Lebanon with the help of Iran’s surrogate Shiite Lebanese Hizbullah militia force. This came as the regime continued to drag its feet on commitments made to the United Nations last year to hand over all of its huge chemical weapons arsenal to international control and destruction. Israeli leaders are said to be worried that the chemical weapons deal may fall entirely apart in the coming weeks and months, since Syria’s main big power ally, Russia, is now at loggerheads with much of the world after Vladimir Putin invaded portions of the country of Georgia during March.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met once again with American President Barrack Obama during the month in Washington, with discussions reportedly focusing on faltering peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, the war in Syria and Iran’s nuclear program. The meetings came just a couple weeks before a deadline set by the PA last summer for suspending the talks if they did not make any tangible progress by the end of March. Meanwhile the Israeli government decided to postpone the fourth and final round of Palestinian prisoner releases that was due to be held on March 29. The four stage release was agreed upon last year as part of the peace talk’s resumption, prompting outrage from Palestinian leader who issued more threats that a new terrorist attrition war may be on the horizon if the release did not take place.

Meanwhile PA leader Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his hard line position that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state—a basic requirement spelled out by Israeli leaders for many years if there is to be a final peaceful resolution of this portion of the wider Arab-Muslim conflict, which has morphed in recent decades into a struggle with non-Arab Iran and its allies. Further sinking the always extremely slim prospects that an American-brokered peace treaty could be ironed out sometime this year, the Arab League subsequently formally endorsed the PA’s rejectionist stand.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon got into more hot water during March after he delivered a speech in which he termed President Obama’s response to the so-called “Arab Spring” regional upheaval, and the recent Russian invasion of Crimea, as “feeble.” He noted that widely perceived growing American weakness in the region can only spell ill for Israel. This came as Egypt’s military leaders finalized a major arms deal with Moscow that will provide the large Arab country with some of Russia’s most advances weapons systems, said media reports from Cairo.

Senior Iranian government leaders praised their Palestinian allies for lashing out at Israel. Defense Minister General Hossein Dehqan said that Iranian weapons shipments, training and financial aid had left Palestinian militiamen in the Gaza Strip “a thousand times more powerful than they were before.” This came as the country’s Foreign Minister predicted that international talks to curb the regime’s rogue nuclear production will fail to reach that goal.

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NO PEACE in MAY …

The following excerpts from news posted at Watch.org are very telling … with respect that no peace pact will come to Israel in March, or April, or May … and frankly, those who have read the Scriptures know what to look for … we are told there the peace pact will be a seven year covenant in a time when Israel lives without walls … NO PEACE, NO WAY, until then.  Also of interest is Putin’s apparent desire to grater power and with access to strategic territories taht will only make it easier to move forces to the south … Gog and Magog … is that it?

Stay tuned, because if you really think about it, humanity is not about living in peace, stewardship, or extending the prospects for life on earth … why?  Because everyone has some sort of material or national agenda … and that is why we say information from both science and scripture have relevance … so visit WindowView for more on that, but for now … WHAT do the following headlines tell you!

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Susan Rice to Netanyahu: Only two-state solution can bring peace with Palestinians

Not reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran is preferable to signing a bad accord, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, soon after meeting with visiting US National Security Advisor Susan Rice.  Rice arrived in the country earlier in the day as part of a high-level US delegation. Members of the delegation came to consult with their Israeli counterparts about Iran and other strategic issues prior to another round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna next week, and as work went on to formulate a final nuclear deal. Following the Rice meeting – a meeting the Prime Minister’s Office was not willing to discuss – Netanyahu met with a delegation from the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). The brief statement issued about that meeting made the gist of Netanyahu’s message to Rice clear.

Meeting Abbas, Rice outlines ‘constructive’ path forward for peace with Israel

Any power-sharing Palestinian government must recognize the state of Israel, renounce violence and adhere to previous agreements, whether it includes Hamas or not, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Ramallah on Thursday.  According to the White House, Rice made “clear… the principles that must guide a Palestinian government in order for it to play a constructive role in achieving peace and building an independent Palestinian state.”

“She reiterated US policy that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties,” the White House said in a statement after the meeting.

US envoy Indyk insists peace process not dead

Washington’s top negotiator criticizes both sides for failed talks, saying Netanyahu was ‘flexible’ despite approving settlements.  While delivering scathing condemnations of the behavior of both sides, Washington’s chief negotiator in the recent Israeli-Palestinian talks denied Thursday that the peace process was over.  In his most revealing comments since the breakdown of talks, Ambassador Martin Indyk recounted Thursday evening how, after six months of productive direct negotiations, Palestinian leaders “shut down” and singled out settlement activity as a major – but not the sole – factor.

“We have passed the nine-month marker for these negotiations, and for the time being the talks have been suspended,” Indyk said, addressing the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Weinberg Founders Conference in Washington DC. “Some have said this process is over. But that is not correct. As my little story testifies. As you all know well— in the Middle East, it’s never over.”

Roads blocked, schools closed as freak rains flood country, flash floods from Eilat to the Dead Sea

Unseasonable storm wreaks havoc in south; flash floods reported from Eilat to Dead Sea.  Schools near the Dead Sea were shut and several roads in the area were blocked by authorities Thursday morning as a rare tropical storm dumped rain across the country causing flash floods and wreaking havoc in the south of the country.  Wednesday night and Thursday morning saw heavy rains and thunderstorms across the country, a rare occurrence so late into the spring. The rain brought dry riverbeds to life, flooding low-lying areas, especially in the Judean Desert and Negev in the south of the country. By Thursday morning the city of Arad reported 44 millimeters of rain had fallen from the storm, 40 times the average for this time of year, according to the Israel Meteorological Service. Jerusalem saw 32 millimeters, Beersheba 24 millimeters and Ra’anana 45 millimeters. Tel Aviv, however, only saw 15 millimeters.

Top Netanyahu aide: Here’s proof Abbas deliberately destroyed peace talks

Analysis: Countering US narrative, some Israeli sources
insist Netanyahu negotiated sincerely

Putin oversees Russian Nuclear forces exercise

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday oversaw a military exercise involving Russia’s nuclear forces amid escalating tensions over Ukraine.  While Putin said the exercise had been planned back in November, it comes as relations between Russia and the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War over Ukraine.  Putin, speaking from the Defense Ministry’s headquarters where he oversaw the exercise along with leaders of several ex-Soviet nations which are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, said that the maneuvers involved the military across the entire Russian territory, including the nation’s nuclear forces.  Russian news wires said that the exercises simulated dealing a massive retaliatory nuclear strike in response to an enemy attack. The description of the exercise is unusually blunt, reflecting tensions with the West running high over Ukraine.

Putin says Russian troops pull back from Ukraine border

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday that his military had pulled back from the Ukrainian border — but a top Pentagon official told Fox News that the U.S. military had not seen any changes in the deployment of Russian forces.  Putin also urged pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to postpone Sunday’s referendum on secession. Putin said Russian troops had pulled back to training grounds and locations for “regular exercises,” but didn’t specify whether those locations were in areas near Ukraine.

Putin Warns of Growing Militant Nationalism, Nazi Ideology in Europe

NATO’s top military commander in Europe said on Monday he no longer thought regular Russian troops would enter eastern Ukraine, predicting Moscow could achieve its goals through the unconventional forces stirring up trouble there.  U.S. air force Gen. Philip Breedlove said it was a completely false Russian narrative that it was only Ukrainians rebelling in the east of their country, saying it was clear that special forces troops from Russia were operating there as they did in Crimea before its annexation.  “Remember that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin denied their presence and now he has admitted to their presence in Crimea. The same thing will come out of Ukraine as time rolls out,” he told a military and diplomatic audience in Ottawa.

Pew Global Survey: Public Backs Putin, Crimea’s Secession, Putin is overwhelmingly popular

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s handling of the crisis in Ukraine has met with considerable opposition in Western nations and much of the international community, as well as in Ukraine itself, but Russians have largely rallied around their leader. Putin is overwhelmingly popular, and Russian national pride appears to be on the rise. In fact, a plurality thinks Putin’s handling of the crisis has improved Russia’s international stature.  A large majority of Russians believe the recent referendum in Crimea was free and fair, and that Kyiv (Kiev) should accept the results and allow Crimea to join Russia. Crimea is only one of Russia’s territorial grievances, and as they have in previous surveys, a majority of Russians say they believe there are parts of neighboring countries that really belong to Russia.  Meanwhile, tensions with the West have led to a dramatic spike in negative views about the U.S. and the European Union. Similarly, both U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are held in low regard.

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Spend some time at your window and think about what is really happening in the world today … it looks like it could get a lot worse before it gets better.

Director, WindowView.org