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Abbas welcomes idea of international force in territories; Rice joins counterparts in Quartet yesterday in rare formal rebuke of Israel for its plans to expand Jewish settlements in West Bank 

Yesterday, Palestinian President Abbas, said that he supported a French proposal that called for an international force to deploy within his territory to help train and support Palestinian security forces. "We welcome this idea," Abbas told reporters at a news conference in Paris. "We are working for this to become the international position in the near future."  Jerusalem Post

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know I have been suggesting this would happen for some time.  In fact, I believe Scripture supports this move.  Take a look at what Revelation 11: 1 & 2 says:

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."  

This scripture could mean one of two things. One, the temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount, but the Temple Mount property would remain in the hands of an international body or military force. Two, after the defeat of the Russian-Islamic Alliance, Israel will be allowed to rebuild its Temple but the gentile powers (international force) would still remain in control of the Temple Mount property. 

Certainly, this could also be a reference that Jerusalem will become an international city, but I don't see the Islamic world ever tolerating Israel to rebuild their Temple on one of their supposed holy sites without a crushing war taking place.

Deputy Prime Minister Chaim Ramon, acknowledged yesterday that Israel would be exchanging land with the Palestinians as part of the peace process that would relinquish parts of pre-1967 Israel.  The land swap of pre-1967 Israeli settlements are made up of primarily Arab dominated cities. Those cities would be annexed as part of the new Palestinian state. The land Israel would receive in exchange are the established larger Jewish settlements located in Judea and Samaria making them officially a part of Israel.  

He also stated, a partition wall cutting through Judea and Samaria, would serve as the future border of a Palestinian state.  In light of Scripture, it will be interesting to see if Israel continues its construction on the partition wall to completion. Ezekiel 38:11describes Israel in the last days as a nation that is "dwelling without walls".  Certainly, I could be taking this verse too literally.

At the donor conference, Mr. Abbas took the opportunity to address Israel's further expansion of Jewish towns in the West Bank (and Jerusalem).  

"If we want to launch serious talks to end the conflict, as we and the world have decided to do, then how can a key party pursue settlement activity and expansion?" Mr. Abbas asked delegates at yesterday's conference. Washington Times

It caught the attention of the Quartet, and yesterday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a rare formal condemnation of Israel for their expansion.

"The Quartet called on both parties to make progress on their Phase One road-map obligations, including an Israeli freeze on settlements, removal of unauthorized outposts and opening of East Jerusalem institutions," the group said in a joint statement.  Washington Times

In response to the rebuke, Israeli officials made it clear that they would confine their new construction within existing Jewish settlements.

The announcement of a land swap, potential permanent borders, the infusion of exorbitant amounts of money into the Palestinian state fund ($7.4 bil.), and Israel's cooperation in halting Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank are all signs that peace at some point is very possible.

This is no longer a Middle East problem but has been taken on and embraced by the world.  With that said, as the peace process moves forward, I look for Jerusalem to come to the forefront as a major sticking point and possibility the last obstacle the world will face before peace becomes a reality.  

"And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."  (Zechariah 12:3)

Are you ready to meet the Lord?  If not, your time is running out!

Terry Malone

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