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Israel conditionally welcomes cease-fire proposal; Egypt will have to play a major role if peace efforts are to succeed

The Security Cabinet issued a statement at the end of a four-hour meeting Wednesday indicating that it was looking favorably upon French, US and Egyptian efforts to broker a Gaza cease-fire based on the establishment of an international mechanism to stop the smuggling of arms from Egypt into the Strip.

"Israel is working to improve the security situation in the south," the statement said, thanking Egypt and French President Nicolas Sarkozy for "their efforts to stop the terrorist activities from Gaza, and to stop the arms smuggling from Egypt to the Gaza Strip."

Israel, the statement said, viewed "favorably" the dialogue between Egyptian and Israeli officials to further this issue.

Prime Minister's Office spokesman Mark Regev said Israel could accept the proposal if it would include a cessation of "hostile fire" from Gaza and measures to prevent Hamas from rearming.

Does the international community mean what they say? Will they succeed in stopping Hamas from firing rockets into Israel and stop weapons smuggling? Well, the Bible isn't clear on this subject, but it does say that there will be a short peace at some point (seven years; Daniel 9:27). Right now, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is taking the lead role in this latest Middle East ceasefire effort. As you know, he has become a prominent world peacemaker in these last days and has offered to be the lead broker for ME peace on several occasions. The world community seems to be very receptive to his ideas and his leadership role as a peace negotiator.

It will be interesting to see if this just turns out to be another Hezbollah style UN ceasefire where peacekeepers ignore Hamas re-arming and continue to allow weapons smuggling via Egypt. However, this could prove to be different since Egypt is co-sponsoring the ceasefire plan. Already, US officers are on the ground to survey and help unearth Hamas smuggling tunnels. The fact that Egypt is playing such a prominent role in the proposed ceasefire may force them to cooperate in the search and destruction of all border tunnels. I would have to believe if they are serious about being seen as a legitimate global peacemaker they will have to stop all future weapons smuggling that is initiated from Egypt.

If Egypt does prove to be a legitimate peace partner this could start the domino effect that could lead to the creation of a Palestinian state and the subsequent normalization of most of the Islamic world with Israel. A couple of things should be noted about Egypt...they are not mentioned as a participant in the future Gog and Magog War (Ezekiel 38 & 39). They are also recorded in the Bible to be one of the nations that will survive the tribulation period and enter into the millennium kingdom of Christ:

[16] And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
[17] And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
[18] And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
[19] This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
[20] In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowl's before the altar.  Zechariah 14:16-20

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

Terry Malone

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