The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

Archive for February, 2012

WRITING ON THE WALL – ISRAEL AND ITS CHRISTIANS

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

WRITING ON THE WALL – ISRAEL AND ITS CHRISTIANS
by David Rosenberg (Zionica News)

Graffiti on Jerusalem church points to negative attitudes among many Jews

A day after it was discovered on the exterior walls of a Jerusalem Baptist church this week, graffiti declaring “Death to Christianity” had been cleaned up and a host of officials from the Israeli government had visited with apologies and expressions of concern.

But for the Christian community in Israel, the environment remains inhospitable.

A small but eclectic population of indigenous Palestinians, foreign clergy, messianic Jews, Russian immigrants and expatriates, Christians are free to practice their faith and only very rarely are victims of actual violence. But centuries of anti-Semitism have left many Israelis with a poor view of Christianity and that occasionally bubbles over into attacks on people and property, say Christian clergy and Israelis who work in interfaith ties.

“I don’t think a majority would engage in such a vandalistic act, but it is a manifestation of anti-Christian feeling in Israeli society,” Hana Bendcowsky, program director for the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations (JCJCR), told The Media Line. “The main problem is ignorance, a lot of stereotypes and the history of Jewish-Christian relationships in Europe that influence the attitude of Israelis toward local Christians.”

With its array of Christian institutions and holy sites, Jerusalem puts the two faiths into very close proximity, but rarely do Jews and Christians have much personal contact. In a city of 770,000 people, only 14,500 are Christians, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. That leaves the task of influencing the attitudes of the Jewish majority to the schools and groups like the JCJCR.

The vandalism of the church building, in the city’s Rehavia neighborhood close to the center of town, included attacks on vehicles nearby that were scrawled with the words “Jesus, son of a whore” and other graffiti with the words “price tag,” a phrase used by extremist Jews in suspected attacks on mosques and Palestinians.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israeli Police, said investigators are not sure who was behind the vandalism. They are probing possible links between it and graffiti declaring “Death to Christians” and “price tag” that were scrawled three weeks ago on a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Valley of the Cross, not more than a 15 minute walk from the Baptist church, he said.

“We’re looking in two different directions about who is behind this event as well as the possibility there is connection with a previous incident,” Rosenfeld told The Media Line, saying the perpetrators could be either people with nationalistic motives or just plain vandals with no ideology.

Clergy are often targeted for spitting attacks by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem’s Old City. Two years ago signs on Mt. Zion guiding pilgrims to the Cenacle, where tradition says The Last Supper took place, were defaced by anonymous vandals.

“They seem to come in waves. One provokes another. Crazy people get into their heads that this is the thing to do,” David Neuhaus, a vicar of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, told The Media Line.

The Baptist church itself was burned to the ground in 1982 and subject to a second, smaller arson attack in 2007. “Over the years we’ve had other incidents of graffiti and tar being smeared on the wall, broken windows. Before that we had a nail bomb,” said Chuck Kopp, pastor of the Narkis Street Congregation, one of three Baptist groups that meet in the church and count about 300 members among them.

Kopp, who has lived in Israel since 1966, said that as far as he knows no one has been convicted for any of the crimes. While he expressed disappointment that higher officials in Israel’s government or in Jerusalem didn’t make any public statements condemning the vandalism, he acknowledged that most Israelis do not approve of the harassment.

“While the majority wouldn’t stand for extremist actions, there are segments that are substantial that tip the scales in the favor of extremists. They aid and abet, give psychological comfort,” Kopp said.

Ironically, Baptists and many other Protestant groups have been emerged as big supporters of Israel in recent decades in contrast to other denominations that are perceived as pro-Palestinian. But Bendcowsky said most Israelis do not relate to that in forming their attitudes toward Christians.

By the same token, Neuhaus discounted the role of the church’s historical anti-Semitism, pointing out that anti-Christian attitudes are more prevalent among the more religious and the less educated, who tend to be less tolerant in general, not just of Christians. A 2009 poll of Jewish Israelis by the JCJCR and the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies bears that out.

Among secular Jewish Israelis, 85% agreed with the assertion that the State of Israel is obliged to guarantee freedom of religion and conscience for its Christian citizens. Nearly half described the relationship of the Catholic Church to Judaism and Jews as positive.

Among religiously observant Jewish Israelis, however, the survey found that 78% agreed with the claim that “Christianity is an idolatrous religion,” 65% maintained that the attitude of the Catholic Church to Judaism and Jews is negative and 48% agreed that the activities of Christian churches in Israel should be restricted.

Residents of the Jerusalem area were shown to be less tolerant as were younger people versus older; and less educated versus better education, according to the poll.

“It’s connected with what children are learning in schools,” suggested Neuhaus. “Secular schools have textbooks that are very different from religious schools when it comes to the teaching of Christianity. They tend to be more tolerant and open towards minorities.”

ANNIVERSARY BANQUET MESSAGE

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Last night we enjoyed our ANNUAL ANNIVERSARY BANQUET at the Turnip Rose Restaurant in Newport Beach, CA. Terry & Nancy Clark provided the music and time of worship – it was very special! It was my privilege (David) to share the following message with the wonderful crowd who came to celebrate with us over what God did through the ministry of HOPE for TODAY in 2011.
Please feel free to use these notes to bless the hearts of others!

Subject: “OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN”
Scripture: Matthew 6:9-15

In Romans 1:7 He is called “God our Father” and frequently is referred to in the Bible as “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” He is the “Father of lights” according to James 1:17, and the “Father of spirits” according to Hebrews 12:9. II Corinthians 1:3 refers to Him as “The Father of mercies” and when Jesus prayed to Him in Matthew 11:25, He said “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth.” He is called the “Holy Father” and the “righteous Father” by Jesus in John 17. In our text, He is the “Father which seeth in secret” and “our Father which art in heaven.”

The word “father” appears 979 times in the Bible, of which 352 are in the NT. The plural “fathers” is found 549 times, of which 59 are in the NT. The reference to our “heavenly Father” is found six times.

Notice the following profound truths about the greatest “FATHER” of all:

1A. HE IS SUPERNATURAL – Ephesians 1:7 calls Him the “Father of glory” and John 6:27 calls Him
“God the Father”

2A. HE IS SUPERIOR TO EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE – James 1:17 calls Him the “Father of
lights” – He does not change though everything else does! Ephesians 4:6 speaks of Him as “One God
and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

3A. HE IS SOVEREIGN OVER ALL – Matthew 11:25 says that He is “Lord of heaven and earth.” Psalm
103:19 says that “His kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 115:3 adds, “But our God is in the heavens:
He hath done whatsover He hath pleased.” Matthew 6:9 simple encourages us to pray – “Our
Father which art in heaven.” Matthew 23:9 says, “call no man your father upon the earth: for one is
your Father, which is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 says “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:13 says “For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever – Amen!”

4A. HE IS SPIRIT – John 4:23-24 Hebrews 12:9 calls Him the “Father of spirits”

5A. HE IS SEPARATE FROM ALL HE CREATED – He is called the “holy Father” in John 17:11, and
the “righteous Father” in John 17:25. Our text simply says, “hallowed be Thy Name.”

6A. HE IS SYMPATHETIC TO OUR NEEDS – II Cor. 1:3 refers to Him as the “Father of mercies”
Matthew 6:11 prays “Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (the evil one).”

He KNOWS what we need at all times – Matthew 6:8, 32

He COMFORTS us in our difficulties – II Cor. 1:3-7

He SUPPLIES all of our needs – Phil. 4:19; Matthew 6:26

He CARES about what happens to us – Matthew 18:14

He ANSWERS prayer – John 15:16; 16:23-24

He PROTECTS us – Matthew 6:13; I Cor. 10:13; II Thess. 3:3

He FORGIVES us – Matthew 6:12, 14-15

7A. HE IS SACRIFICIAL IN HIS LOVE FOR US – John 3:16; I John 3:1-3; 4:9-10

JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH BLAMES ISRAEL FOR STALLED PEACE TALKS

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH BLAMES ISRAEL FOR STALLED PEACE TALKS
by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva news)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Tuesday blamed Israel for the deadlocked Middle East peace process, the official Petra news agency reported. According to the report, the king made the remarks during a meeting with representatives of the New York-based Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations. The organization’s Annual Leadership Mission was held in Jerusalem this week.

Petra reported that King Abdullah was specifically concerned over Israel’s “unilateral policies”, including changing the identity of the Arab sector in east Jerusalem and tampering with Muslim holy shrines there.

Speaking after the meeting with the king, Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, acknowledged the king’s concerns but said he had also been complimentary of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s peace efforts and had asked Hoenlein to convey a message of thanks for Israel’s proposals in the latest round of peace talks.

Jordan recently hosted Palestinian Authority and Israeli representatives for a series of “exploratory” talks, which ended after the PA refused to continue them.

The king praised Netanyahu and asked that we specifically give a message to “my friend” that I appreciate his taking risks by putting forth the package that he did … a package that he knew was difficult to do, but he created a climate to enable the process to move forward and for negotiations to take place,” Hoenlein was quoted by AP as having said.

The details of the exact “package” offered by Netanyahu were not revealed, but a recent unconfirmed report said that Netanyahu plans to announce a plan to uproot communities and carry out mass evictions in Judea and Samaria.

The report said that due to the political impasse between Israel and the PA, Netanyahu is expected to propose a final status solution that would leave Israel with only the major settlement blocs and eastern Jerusalem.

MUSLIMS STONE POLICE ON TEMPLE MOUNT

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

MUSLIMS STONE POLICE ON TEMPLE MOUNT
by Gavriel Queenann (IsraelNationalNews)

Muslims hurled stones and shoes at police escorting Jewish and Christian visitors on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday.

“An officer was slightly wounded and treated at the scene,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, adding that two Arabs were arrested. Police say officers had been put on high alert earlier in the day after receiving reports Jewish and Muslim groups were set to clash at the site, preceded by.various Muslim groups posting calls online urging people to head to the compound to “protect” it from a group of Jewish pilgrims planning to ascend to Judaism’s holiest site.

Police were deployed around the Temple Mount and throughout the Old City “following various calls on different Internet sites by terrorist groups calling on people to go protect the compound after calls from the extreme right to come today,” Police spokeswoman Liba Samri said.

Over a dozen vans filled with riot police were reportedly parked by the Dung Gate, an entrance to the Western Wall plaza where the Mughrabi ramp ascends up to the Temple Mount.

On Sunday, police used tear gas to disperse Muslims who were throwing stones at tourists and police inside the compound. In that incident police arrested 18 people.

A similar protest took place last week when a group of Jewish worshippers sought access to the site.

Police say it “was not clear” why the “disturbances” broke out, but one local Arab told an AFP reporter stone throwers were targeting religious Jews who entered the site with a group of Christian tourists.

However, it was reported earlier on Tuesday that the Al-Aqsa Center had released a report, denied by Israel, that Israeli authorities planned to allow Jews free access to the Temple Mount.

According to the report, Jews would be able to perform “Talmudic rituals” (i.e., pray) on the Temple Mount. At present, Jews are allowed to ascend at certain times, under heavy supervision, but may not pray there – for fear of “disturbing the peace”.

The Al Aqsa report goes on to say that Israeli police plan to use the new arrangement to “cleanse the Temple Mount of Muslims under flimsy pretexts.”

According to another plan “revealed” by the Al Aqsa Center, Jews will “freely enter the mosque” between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., between Muslim prayer times. These alleged plans will be implemented this year.

The Temple Mount is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (705 CE). However, way before that, it was the site of the the First Holy Temple, built by King Solomon (stood from ~950 BCE to 587 BCE) and the Second Holy Temple (517 BCE to 70CE) and is indisputably Judaism’s most sacred site. The Western Wall, where Jews are allowed to pray, is merely a remnant of an outside compound wall of Herodian days and not part of the Temples.

The Muslim Waqf, the religious Muslim authority, has systematically attempted to destroy all archaeological evidence of earlier Jewish presence on the Mount, illegally excavating and destroying priceless and irreplaceable relics. Israeli archaeologists and volunteers sift painstakingly through the debris of the excavations, finding artifacts that are then transferred to Israeli museums.

The Muslim Waqf was allowed to manage the site after Israel succeeded liberating the Temple Mount in 1967 at the suggestion of then Defense Minister Moshe Dayan. It maintains a discriminatory policy seeking to bar Jews entry to the site. The Israeli police, afraid of riots, allow the Jewish worshippers to be discriminated against to the point of not being allowed to even whisper prayers on the Mount

IS ISRAEL PLANNING TO DIVIDE THE TEMPLE MOUNT?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

IS ISRAEL PLANNING TO DIVIDE THE TEMPLE MOUNT?
by Gil Ronen (IsraelNationalNews)

The Al Aqsa Center has released a statement saying that it has received information that Israel plans to divide up the Temple Mount into separate Jewish and Muslim sections, in the same way that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron is divided.

According to the statement, as reported by the Elder of Zion blog, Jews would then be able to perform “Talmudic rituals” (i.e., pray) in the sacred site.

The Al Aqsa report goes on to say that Israeli police plan to use the new arrangement to cleanse the Temple Mount of Muslims under flimsy pretexts.

According to another plan “revealed” by the Al Aqsa Center, Jews will freely enter the mosque between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., between Muslim prayer times. These alleged plans will be implemented this year.

Dozens of Arabs stoned Christian tourists and police on the Temple Mount Sunday morning, a day after a former Muslim Mufti warned of a possible “break-in” by Jews.

Elder of Zion notes, “There is only one reason why these rumors are started — to keep Jews off of the holiest site in Judaism. They want to stir up riots because, according to these defenders of Islam, it is better than no one go to the Temple Mount than to allow Jewish ‘filth’ from ‘desecrating’ it.

“These incitements have worked in the past, so the Al Aqsa defenders will keep churning out the lies that Arab Muslims are more than happy to believe, fed by hateful terrorist-supporting media like Palestine Today.”

Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount today are not even allowed to pray at this holiest site for Judaism, as it is considered an incendiary action that can provoke Muslim rioting.

ISRAEL WOULD NEED MORE PLANES TO ATTACK IRAN’S NUCLEAR SITES

Monday, February 20th, 2012

ISRAEL WOULD NEED MORE PLANES TO ATTACK IRAN’S NUCLEAR SITES
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

Israel would have to deploy most of its air force to attack Iran and still would lack planes, analysts told The New York Times in an article that may have been timed as part of an American campaign to talk down Israel from considering a military strike.

The bottom line is that despite Israel’s superiority in surgical strikes, such as the attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981 and on a Syrian nuclear facility under construction four years ago, Iran is another story. Israel does not have the capability to fly the distance to Iran nor does it have the arsenal that can damage Iran’s underground nuclear facilities, buried under concrete bunkers in mountainous areas, analysts told correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller.

“There’s only one superpower in the world that can carry this off,” meaning the United States, said former U.S. Air Force intelligence official Lt. Gen David A. Depulta. “Israel’s great on a selective strike here and there,” he added.

The article was published while Tom Donilon, President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, was in Jerusalem, where he spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday. Details of their conversation were not released, but it is assumed his visit carried a message that Israel should back down from its hints that an aerial strike on Iran is imminent.

Donilon’s visit came one day after U.S. Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told CNN that an Israeli strike would be “destabilizing.”

American officials have insisted that economic sanctions on Iran are working, and that it is only a matter of time before Tehran realizes it must change course in its nuclear development or face economic disaster. Israel is afraid that it is only a matter of time before Ahmadinejad will be able to have control of a nuclear warhead that can be launched on Israel.

Previous scenarios of an Israel attack on Iran have indicated that it would take at least month to complete, possibly touching off a regional war and/or a punishing Iranian blockade of the Strait Of Hormuz, the passageway for a sizeable amount of the world’s oil and natural gas needs.

American estimates of Israel’s lack of capability to carry out a successful strike on Iran are limited by the unknown factor of weapons or tactics that Israel may possess.

Nevertheless, analysts’ conclusions, as reported in the Times, are that Israel would need refueling planes to enable its planes to reach Iran and return, a trip of 2,000 miles, and would need permission to use the air space of Jordan, Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

Unless Israel has more re-fueling planes than is known, it does not have enough to support an aerial strike, according to defense consultant Scott Johnson. Since the refueling planes need additional fighter planes to guard them, he told Bumiller, “The numbers of planes you need just skyrocket.”

They would require refueling supertankers to fly at the height of 50,000 feet, and the warplanes would need to knock out Iran’s radar systems to allow the craft to attack without encountering anti-missile fire.

Even if Israel got that far, it still would lack the bombing power to penetrate nuclear facilities, such as the underground Natanz plan and the Fordo uranium enrichment site in the mountains.

Israel has several American-made bunker buster bombs, but they are not thought to be powerful enough to do the job.

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY REJECTS MAALEH ADUMIM, GUSH ETZION AS ISRAELI

Monday, February 20th, 2012

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY REJECTS MAALEH ADUMIM, GUSH ETZION AS ISRAELI
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu (Arutz Sheva News)

The Palestinian Authority has ditched any Quartet hopes for a negotiated peace with Israel and rejects Jewish sovereignty over “settlement blocs,” such as the city of Maaleh Adumim, home to approximately 40,000 Jews, and the Gush Etzion communities populated by Jews before the 1948 War of Independence.

It also demands the release of terrorists, the right to maintain a PA army and a halt to Jewish growth in Judea and Samaria in all parts of Jerusalem the Authority claims, according to PA documents that recently were presented to the Quartet and which were reported Sunday by the Hebrew-language Yisrael HaYom newspaper.

The Quartet – consisting of the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States – met with PA and Israeli negotiators five times in Jordan in the past several weeks in a renewed Western effort to reach a negotiated agreement.

The only thing both asides agreed to was another date for a meeting, but that also was called off by the Palestinian Authority, which has indicated it feels ready to go back to “Plan B” and win its territorial and political demands through membership in the United Nations.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas failed to gain the necessary two-thirds support in the United Nations Security Council last October for a motion to bring the request for membership to the General Assembly, where the PA is assured a majority. The Security Council make-up has since changed, but a two-thirds majority for the PA remains far from assured.

The PA document presented in Jordan includes a demand for 98.1 percent of Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem that were restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

Virtually all of the Palestinian Authority demands are a rejection of Israeli “red lines,” which include maintaining the Oslo Accords prohibition on the establishment of a Palestinian Authority army.

“They ignored facts that have been on the ground for 40 years,” an Israeli source told the newspaper. “They ended up going back to the demands for a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria and the demand for freeing Hamas’ spokesman for Judea and Samaria.”

“We did not agree to anything. The objective of gaining trust was not achieved. Most of the dialogue was a rehash of former requests for pre-conditions, this time through a back door. They also refused to agree for a meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.”

The central committee of Fatah, headed by Abbas, confirmed the document’s conclusion on Sunday, demanding that any agreement with Israel be based on the temporary borders determined by the 1949 Armistice Agreement, which became obsolete after the war in 1967.

Abbas chaired Sunday’s meeting, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, which added that the discussion also covered reconciliation with Hamas.

MUSLIMS STONE CHRISTIANS ON TEMPLE MOUNT

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

MUSLIMS STONE CHRISTIANS ON TEMPLE MOUNT
by Ryan Jones (Israel Today News)

A mob of some 50 Palestinian Muslims stoned a group of Christian tourists atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Sunday morning. Three of the Israeli police officers who acted to protect the Christian group were wounded by the stone-throwers.

Police arrested 11 Palestinians, several of them minors, for their role in the attack. The attack is believed to have been instigated by the former Muslim mufti of Jerusalem, Ekrama Sabri, who told Palestinian media over the weekend that Jewish groups were planning to break into the mosques that occupy the holy compound and desecrate them.

Sabri urged all local Muslims to protect the mosques from “the Israeli conspiracy against the city and its holy places.”

Muslim religious figures regularly claim that Israel is plotting to destroy the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque to pave the way for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, which the Muslims now insist never previously existed.

Because of the constant threat of Muslim violence, and despite the fact that the Temple Mount is the most holy place on earth to Jews and many Christians, the Israeli police comply with Muslim demands for harsh restrictions on non-Muslim visitors to the site. For instance, Jews and Christians are forbidden to carry Bibles atop the Temple Mount or to utter even silent prayers within its walls. Jews and Christians are regularly detained for violating these conditions.

In other violence, Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip fired a Grad-type missile at the southern Israel city of Beersheva on Saturday. The projectile landed in an open area just outside Beersheva and did not cause any injuries or damage. Two more short-range rockets hit nearby Israeli towns.

Palestinian forces fired at least two rockets at southern Israel – one at the coastal city of Ashkelon – on Friday, again causing no injuries or damage.

Israel’s air force responded to the unprovoked missile attacks by launching aerial strikes against terrorist installations in Gaza, including a missile production facility.

HAMAS THREATENS ISRAEL – SAYS “IT WILL PAY THE PRICE!”

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

HAMAS THREATENS ISRAEL – SAYS “IT WILL PAY THE PRICE!”
by Elad Benari (IsraelNationalNews)

Hamas’ military wing threatens Israel, says the Jewish State will soon “pay the price for its crimes.”

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, threatened Israel on Thursday and announced that the Jewish State will soon pay the price for its crimes against Gaza, Al-Aqsa and the Arab prisoners.

The terror group clarified in a statement that its members will not stand by without responding to what is happening to Palestinian Authority Arabs.

“The occupation must know that any new aggression against our people will bring it closer to the moment of judgment, during which it will pay a high price for its crimes,” said the group.

The statement added, “The Zionist aggression against our people in Gaza continues despite the quiet and restraint which the Palestinian resistance groups exhibit in order to maintain national interest.” In addition, said the statement, the Israeli leadership ignores the demands of hunger striking prisoners.

One such hunger striking prisoner is Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan, whose lawyer said this week he will appeal his client’s administrative detention order to Israel’s Supreme Court.

Adnan has been on a hunger strike for 61 days to protest his incarceration by Israeli security officials.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades also claimed that the IDF has recently escalated its aggression in Gaza and hit the “Palestinian resistance sites”, a fact which resulted in the hurting of six innocent civilians on Wednesday night.

The statement was likely referring to the IAF strike on two centers of terrorist activity in northern and central Gaza. The attack came after terrorists from Gaza fired at least four rockets at southern Israel.

NETANYAHU OFFERS CONDOLENCES & ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

NETANYAHU OFFERS CONDOLENCES & ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
by Elad Benari (IsraelNational News)

PM Binyamin Netanyahu sends condolences to the families of the PA victims of the bus accident which occurred north of Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday sent condolences to the families of the Palestinian Authority Arab victims of the bus accident which occurred on Thursday north of Jerusalem.

Kol Yisrael radio reported that Netanyahu’s special envoy for negotiations with the PA, attorney Yitzchak Molho, telephoned the office of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and offered his condolences on behalf of Netanyahu to the victims’ families. Netanyahu reportedly also offered Israel’s assistance to the PA should it require any.

Nine PA school children and a teacher were killed in the accident, which occurred when a PA bus carrying children collided head-on with a truck driven by an Israeli Arab man. As a result, the bus overturned and caught fire.

Israeli first response teams worked alongside the PA to rescue as many victims as possible. Both MDA and Red Crescent ambulances brought some of the injured children to Israeli hospitals in Jerusalem.

Kol Yisrael reported that as of Friday afternoon, 13 people who were injured in the accident were still hospitalized in four Israeli hospitals. One of them was in critical condition and three were listed in serious condition.

On Thursday, Abbas said that no one is responsible for the accident, which occurred due to bad weather conditions.

Abbas’ remarks came after the PA’s Minister of Health accused Israel of being responsible for the deaths in the accident. The minister said Israel did not immediately provide assistance to the wounded.

Deputy Health Minister Ya’akov Litzman rejected the claim, and called the PA minister’s remarks “misplaced lies and incitement.”

“Medical and rescue teams rushed to the scene of the accident and administered the required assistance without hesitation,” said Litzman. “Some of the victims received and are still receiving the best medical care at our hospitals in Israel. Human life has no limits and no politics.”


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