Hostage deal with Hamas could be in shambles as Biden looks to be at his weakest point

Families-of-Hamas-Hostages

Important Takeaways:

  • The chaos in Washington, could sway Hamas to harden its stance in the hostage talks and give Iran that impression that now is the moment to increase military activity against Israel.
  • Now, he is suddenly a lame duck president with only six months left in office, and there are calls for him to step down immediately in favor of Vice President Kamala Harris.
  • This means that the issue of retrieving the hostages and forming a military coalition against Iran could almost immediately fall into her hands.
  • The leadership chaos will be most acute in the next month, given that the question of Harris replacing Biden on the ticket can only be officially decided by the Democratic National Convention on August 19-22.
  • This sudden potential shift in leadership comes as Biden and his administration are in the final phase of potentially closing a hostage deal.
  • The problem is not just that Harris is untested on these issues, but more that Biden is now at his weakest point during a month when Israel most needs Washington to be in a strong leadership position.
  • That will create difficulties with closing the hostage deal and make Israel seem more vulnerable to Iran.

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Senior Hezbollah Radwan commander killed in strike in southern Lebanon

Funeral-Hezbollah-Radwan-commander

Important Takeaways:

  • Senior Hezbollah Radwan force commander Ali Jaafar Maatuk was killed in a strike in southern Lebanon on Thursday, the military said.
  • During the attack, other Radwan forces commanders were also killed who were responsible for launching attacks into Israel.
  • The Radwan forces have been active during the exchanges of fire in the north between Israel and Hezbollah.
  • Several high-ranking Radwan commanders have been targeted during the war, with the mastermind of the March 2023 Megiddo bombing being killed in February, he was also responsible for coordinating Hezbollah’s attacks in the immediate aftermath of October 7.

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Top U.N. court said Israel’s presence in Palestinian occupied territories is “unlawful”

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Important Takeaways:

  • The top U.N. court said Friday that Israel’s presence in the Palestinian occupied territories is “unlawful” and called on it to end and for settlement construction to stop immediately, issuing an unprecedented, sweeping condemnation of Israel’s rule over the lands it captured 57 years ago.
  • In a non-binding opinion, the International Court of Justice pointed to a wide list of policies, including the building and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, use of the area’s natural resources, the annexation and imposition of permanent control over lands and discriminatory policies against Palestinians, all of which it said violated international law.
  • It said Israel must end settlement construction immediately and that existing settlements must be removed, according to the 83-page opinion read out by court President Nawaf Salam.
  • “The Jewish people are not conquerors in their own land — not in our eternal capital Jerusalem and not in the land of our ancestors in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu said in a statement issued by his office, using the biblical terms for the West Bank. “No false decision in The Hague will distort this historical truth and likewise the legality of Israeli settlement in all the territories of our homeland cannot be contested.”

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Hezbollah threat increases concern that conflict across the Israel-Lebanon border could escalate into full-scale war

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Important Takeaways:

  • Hezbollah has warned it will find new targets for its rocket attacks should Israeli attacks continue to “target” civilians in Lebanon.
  • Noting that eight non-combatants were killed in Israeli attacks on Lebanon in recent days, Nasrallah said that more civilian bloodshed would see Hezbollah fire at new Israeli towns.
  • “Continuing to target civilians will push the Resistance to launch missiles at settlements that were not previously targeted,” he said in an address to mark the largely Shia holy day Ashura.
  • Israel has said it is striking Hezbollah fighters and infrastructure in Lebanon and does not target civilians.
  • As the temperature rises between Israel and Hezbollah, fears are growing of an all-out war that could spark regional turmoil.
  • Nasrallah on Wednesday reiterated a vow that Hezbollah would keep up the fight, insisting that Israel is on its heels after 10 months of grinding war in Gaza.
  • “If your tanks come to Lebanon … you will have no tanks left,” Nasrallah said.

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Israel’s parliament voted overwhelmingly to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state

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Important Takeaways:

  • Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to reject the establishment of a Palestinian state, reflecting the deepening decline in support for a two-state solution among wider Israeli society.
  • The vote could signal that Israeli lawmakers have confidence that “the next president is going to be Donald Trump,” one analyst said.
  • The vote came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to travel to the United States to address a joint session of Congress and meet with President Joe Biden
  • Israel has faced growing pressure to present a clear plan for what happens when the war comes to an end, with Israeli opposition to a two-state solution complicating paths to a viable diplomatic resolution.
  • Addressing the Knesset on Wednesday, Netanyahu defended his handling of the war in Gaza, saying Israeli forces had been effective in putting Hamas “under pressure” amid negotiations for a cease-fire deal that would bring an end to fighting in Gaza and see hostages who remain held by Hamas in the enclave released.

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As Israel trades threats with Hezbollah, there are fears that the military is overstretched

fire-ignited-by-Hezbollah

Important Takeaways:

  • Israel is “prepared for a very intense operation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on a visit to the Lebanese border last month
  • In Lebanon, Israel would face a larger, better-armed and more-professional foe, experts warn, and the threat of an even deeper military quagmire.
  • Hezbollah insists it will not lay down its arms, or consider retreating from the Israeli border, until a cease-fire is in place in the Strip.
  • Israeli military leaders have been drawing up plans for a Lebanon offensive for months
  • Since the start of the operation in Gaza, 326 Israeli soldiers have been killed, more than four times the toll from the 2014 war against Hamas.
  • To avert a Lebanon war, Israeli officials are demanding — through U.S. and European diplomats — that Hezbollah retreat about 10 miles north of the border, past the Litani River, a military demarcation agreed upon at the end of the 2006 war.

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Israeli military expanded its evacuation order to the whole of Gaza City

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Important Takeaways:

  • The Israeli military expanded its evacuation order to the whole of Gaza City on Wednesday after sending tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing from several of the city’s neighborhoods earlier this week.
  • It also issued a notice saying it will be suspending inspections along two roads in Gaza City, in the north of the Gaza Strip, to allow civilians to reach humanitarian zones more easily and quickly as the city “will remain a dangerous combat zone.”
  • The IDF has been issuing evacuation orders affecting large parts of Gaza City since Sunday, urging 250,000 residents to head to “safe zones” further south, in Deir al-Balah and al-Zawaida.
  • The IDF has said that evacuation orders are necessary so that civilians don’t get caught up in its renewed operations in areas where Hamas is seeking to re-establish a presence. The IDF insists it goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties.
  • Hamas has said the evacuations threaten to return negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage deal to “point zero.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hardened his demands for ceasefire and hostage deal with Hamas

Netanyahu-meets-with-Bretty-McGurk

Important Takeaways:

  • Netanyahu hardened his own positions on the border issue in a speech on Thursday, insisting Israel maintain control of the territory immediately along the border — known as the Philadelphi corridor — and the Rafah border crossing.
  • He added that any deal must allow Israel to return to fighting in Gaza until all war objectives are achieved.
  • Netanyahu added that he won’t agree to the return of armed Hamas militants to the northern Gaza Strip and said he will insist that a maximum number of live hostages be released in the first phase of the deal.
  • The Israeli official involved in the talks said the prime minister does want a deal, but is willing to push talks to the brink.

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Why the normalization of hating the Jews

Oct-7-Hostage

Important Takeaways:

  • It apparently never occurred to either the heads of the UN or the EU to consider that if you are a terrorist organization that commits war crimes, you do not get to choose how a war that you started is waged against you.
  • If you do not want a “bloodbath,” do not take hostages, hide them among civilians, try to prevent a rescue, then if they are rescued, profess shock at the fallout that you yourself have teed up.
  • In contravention of the Geneva conventions, Hamas has refused to allow the Red Cross to check on the welfare of the hostages. One can imagine why.
  • To this day, there seems little-to-no interest in the fate or condition of the hostages still in Gaza. Instead, there is denial that the October 7 atrocities even took place, compared to an almost obsessive regard for the safety of, and humanitarian aid for Gazans. When the UN is unable to deliver the aid, Israel, not the UN, is blamed.
  • The Hamas murders, rapes, burning alive of babies and abductions – all the reasons why Israel was forced to go to war with Hamas to begin with — have retreated into the background.
  • What seems to matter instead to those who set the political and media agendas is to use the Hamas war once again to demonize the Jews as the world’s most inhuman people for wanting to live peacefully on their historical land without daily massacres from Iran and its proxies — Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and the Houthis — which apparently plan to encircle them in a “Ring of Fire” — “six fronts of aggression

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Time is running out and biblical events are taking place

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Important Takeaways:

Time flies. Years race by. But, 2024 has been a stunner in many ways. And many events remind me that the world is running out of time before the last act of a major drama plays out. In other words, the Church Age is winding down.

  • 1) Israel is alone. After she was brutally attacked in October of 2023, one would have thought the world would rally to her side. Not so! Not even America is now her ally. The U.S. is withholding weapons and intelligence.
    • The International Criminal Court wanted to arrest Benjamin Netanyahu in May just for defending his country. The European Union, the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and the International Court of Justice, have all denounced the Jewish state just for wanting to wipe out Hamas thugs. Zechariah 12:3 is in play. She is isolated and is the world’s burdensome stone.
  • 2) The spirit of the Antichrist has been loosed on the earth. The headquarters appear to be America. We tell the world how to tear apart college campuses and how corrupt government should work. We even embarrass banana republics by trying to jail former presidents in a style that natives in the rain forest couldn’t dream up.
  • 3) There is a new level of calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Hamas is celebrated around the world! Christians are persecuted like never before. Islam is glorified, particularly on college campuses. Those who protest abortions are jailed. The White House and U.N. mourned the death of Iran’s President Raisi on May 19, the “Butcher of Tehran.”
  • 4) The world is leaderless. There is not one global leader to whom the world looks. Governments everywhere operate like the Keystone Kops. World War III could easily erupt as a result. The world is unsure of just who is running the White House. The stage is being set for a Mr. Fix-It, whom the world will celebrate. They just want stability and someone in charge to enforce peace and security.
  • 5) There is a rush to global government. And strangely, unusual power is being given to the corrupt World Health Organization, who could end up being the leader of the world. They met in May and could use another pandemic to unite the world. The stage was set with Covid. They have targeted 2025 as a possible timeline.
  • 6) Artificial intelligence is being refined to rule the world. The goal is that it will be smarter than mankind. And the Antichrist will need this system to run his global kingdom. Even now, Microsoft CoPilot AI demands to be worshipped. Technology has gone too far. The inanimate is god-like.
  • 7) The aberrant is celebrated as normal and should be the world standard. In the predicted end-time decline of man’s character, we are watching the homosexual and trans movement be hailed, and the lovers of biblical values be persecuted and jailed. The sanctity of life is scoffed at. As predicted, mankind lives for money and power at the expense of everyone and anyone.
  • 8) Too many churches are majoring in minors and furthering unsound doctrine. There are wolves among the flock. Church members hear about their best life now; about being purpose-driven and about attracting “seekers” to church. Sin is avoided. Eschatology (Bible prophecy) is scoffed at and marginalized. Pulpits are “woke”.
    • End-time apostasy is the new normal in the church.
  • 9) A new way of doing business is waiting in the wings. It will be cashless. It will be crypto. It will be blockchain so that it tracks your every purchase. It could be in play very soon, though power brokers may delay it until after our November election. Life with central bank digital currency (CBDC) will cause life as we know it to dramatically change! It will be at the heart of the Beast system, but many think it will be implemented sooner.
  • 10) The violence of the Days of Noah is upon us. Criminal prosecutions are soaring—in some areas by 5,000%. Cities are ravaged by crime. Entire towns are closing down a business district due to theft and lawlessness. Society is on the move, re-locating to safe cities and states, just to lead a more normal life, away from the mayhem. It is as though the entire country is the wild west of the 1880s!

If it helps neutralize the bad news, these things are happening because the stage is being set for the closing act of a global drama. A trumpet will soon sound and the Church will escape this scenario to enjoy the wonder of Heaven. But every reader will leave someone behind who will have to cope with trial and turmoil.

That is why sharing the gospel should be the first order of business when it comes to being about our Father’s business!

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