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

Archive for February, 2013


Friday, February 22nd, 2013

(Virtual Jerusalem)

President Bashar Assad has evacuated most of the troops of his 5th Army Division from their permanent bases on the Golan opposite Israeli forces and transferred the unit along with its artillery to Damascus, debkafile’s military sources report.

The Syrian ruler’s step had three purposes:

1. To reinforce his Damascus defenses;

2. To carve out a buffer zone along the Israeli border and leave it under rebel control.

3. To provide the jihadists fighting in rebel ranks with access to the Israeli border fence. Senior officers in the IDF’s northern command believe it is just a matter of time before these al Qaeda-associated fighters hurl themselves at the border fence to break through, or target Israeli military targets from across the Syrian border.

Assad first practiced this stratagem on Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey.

Six months ago, he opened the door of his border region to let armed bands of the separatist PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) through from Iraq and set up new strike bases opposite Turkey’s back door, to which they could flee after attacks.

The PKK took full advantage of this opportunity. Indeed, to curb the Kurdish offensive, Ankara was forced to enter into negotiations with PKK leaders for a settlement of their claims, although they are still poised in Syria to resume their attacks.

Israel does not have that option because most of the Islamists fighting with the Syrian rebels are associated with al Qaeda and committed to jihad against the Jewish state.

Debkafile reports that Israeli government and military leaders were at odds over whether to extend medical treatment to seven Syrians injured in battle on the Golan. In the event, they were allowed to cross the border and transferred to hospital in Safed.

But because of the argument, the official communique said only that the decision was taken on humanitarian grounds but omitted to specify whether the injured Syrians were soldiers or rebels.

However, there was never any doubt that they were in fact Syrian conscripts wounded in the course of their unit’s withdrawal from the Golan. The argument against giving the soldiers medical treatment was that they were Bashar Assad’s troops and looking after them was tantamount to endorsing Assad’s hostile schemes and therefore unacceptable. It was settled by avoiding identifying the wounded men.


Thursday, February 21st, 2013

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

Hizbullah terror operatives are in Europe scanning for area for Jewish targets, according to a source quoted by The New York Times. Israel has for months tried unsuccessfully to persuade the European Union to add Hizbullah to its official list of terrorist organizations.

Hizbullah member Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, 24, admitted this week in a Cyprus courtroom that he had been ordered by his handlers to seek out kosher restaurants and other Israeli and Jewish hotspots throughout the European Union.

Yaacoub, arrested six months ago, was sent to cities such as Limassol, Amsterdam and Antalya, he told the court. The young Lebanese-born operative testified that he was taken in a commercial vehicle to meet with his handler, a masked man whom he knew as “Ayman,” and admitted membership in Hizbullah.

Yaacoub also gave information about his communications with his handler, including code words, and about Hizbullah’s European activities, according to the report published in Wednesday’s New York Times.

Arrested on July 7, 2012 reportedly with the assistance of Israel’s international Mossad intelligence agency, Yaacoub denied ever taking part in an actual terrorist attack on Israeli tourists in Cyprus, as accused.

“Even if they had asked me…. I would refuse,” he told the court. “I could never do that. I’m only trained to defend Lebanon.”


Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

by Chana Ya’ar (IsraelNationalNews)

Anti-Semitism is skyrocketing in France. Last year saw a 58 percent increase in the number of anti-Semitic incidents there according to a new report published Wednesday by the security unit of the Jewish communities of France.

The report, which called 2012 “a year of unprecedented violence against Jews in France,” noted 614 anti-Semitic incidents last year as compared to 389 such incidents in 2011.

Most of the attacks were verbal, the report said, but there was a significant number of physical assaults as well.

For example, just two weeks ago, a woman was arrested in Toulouse after trying to stab a student at the Ohr HaTorah Jewish day school. The school was the target of a terror attack last year which left four people dead, including a rabbi and three students. It was known at the time as the Otzar HaTorah day school, but has since changed its name.

A recent survey conducted by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) revealed that more than 40 percent of the population in France holds some kind of anti-Semitic belief. The most common was that which said Jews “have too much power in the business world.”

The survey also found that 47 percent of the French population believes “French Jews are more loyal to Israel than the country in which they live.”

Due at least in part to the “rising wave anti-Jewish hatred and violence in Europe, particularly in France,” WZO decided to hold its European Conference on Countering Anti-Semitism this year “near Paris.”


Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

by Elad Benari (IsraelNationalNews)

For the first time since Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi took office, Egypt will be sending a security delegation to Israel.

Channel 10 News reported on Monday that the Egyptian delegation will discuss issues such as the situation in Gaza and other matters of mutual interest with Israeli officials. The delegation is scheduled to arrive in Israel in the near future, the report said, but no exact date was given.

While Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo Administrations, he has mostly given Israel the cold shoulder since taking office.

In November, Morsi recalled the Egyptian Ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.

Last October, Egypt rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries, after the Jewish State expressed interest in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart.

Last week, a four-man Israeli security delegation reportedly arrived in Cairo to take part in talks about the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Some reports indicated the Israeli delegation had come to hold indirect talks with Hamas about understandings reached after the ceasefire which ended Pillar of Defense.

Sending a security delegation to Israel would be the first time that Morsi’s regime publicly acknowledges the relations and cooperation between the two countries, noted Channel 10.

Shortly after he took office, Morsi decided to order the retirement of Egypt’s top generals, including Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, with whom Israel had enjoyed close ties during the Mubarak regime.

While the generals were not replaced with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the replacements were certainly approved by the movement, said the Channel 10 report.


Monday, February 18th, 2013

by Yaakov Lappin (Jerusalem Post)

J’lem completes $200 million deal with Turkish air force, after it was frozen following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.

Israel has completed the sale of electronic warfare systems to the Turkish air force, despite ongoing strained relations between the two countries.

The original deal, worth 200 million dollars, involved Israel’s ELTA Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, delivering electronic systems for four Turkish Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWAC) aircraft.

Two of the aircraft had already been fitted with the systems in the past.

Following the 2010 Marvi Marmara ship incident, in which Turkish Islamist activists attacked Israel Navy commandos, an incident that resulted in the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists and pushed ties between Ankara and Jerusalem to breaking point, Israel held off on delivering the remaining systems, worth tens of millions of dollars.

The equipment have been now been delivered to the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) facility in Ankara, the Turkish news website Today’s Zaman reported on Sunday.

“A senior defense bureaucrat told Today’s Zaman last month that Boeing, the manufacturer of the planes that are part of the system, had to intervene, the report said. “Boeing told Israel that their refusal to complete the delivery was hurting their business, and Israel agreed to deliver the equipment,” the defense source was quoted as saying.

“The integration of the additional parts into AWACS will be completed in weeks to come,” the report said.

The Ministry of Defense in Israel said it does “not comment on defense contracts.”

The Turkish media report noted that the four Turkish AWAC aircraft were purchased by Turkey from the US around a decade a go.

Turkish national security was being challenged by developments in the Syrian civil war, it added, noting that a Turkish jet had been shot down by a Syrian anti-aircraft battery in June 2012.

The report also listed “tensions with Israel and Greek Cyprus over the issue of gas drilling in the region” as a Turkish national security concern.

These were causing Turkey to seek “to boost its early warning systems to handle the multi-dimensional challenges stemming from the numerous crises in the region,” the report added.


Sunday, February 17th, 2013

By Reuters (Jerusalem Post)

Head of Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy c’tee says enrichment plant is essential to defend Tehran against enemy threat, adds that suggestion to shut down Fordow “is meant to help the Zionist regime.”

DUBAI – Iran will never shut down its Fordow uranium enrichment plant, a senior legislator was quoted as saying on Sunday, brushing off a demand from world powers who fear Tehran is working to develop an atomic weapons capability.

The Islamic Republic, which insists its nuclear program is purely peaceful, started building the plant inside a mountain in secret as early as 2006, to protect it from air strikes.

Last week, Reuters reported world powers were planning to offer to ease sanctions barring trade in gold and other precious metals with Iran in return for steps to shut down Fordow.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, referred to the reported offer on Sunday and dismissed any idea of a closure, the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported.

“Fordow will never be shut down because … our national duty is to be able to defend our nuclear and vital centers against an enemy threat,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying by the agency.

“This suggestion (shutting down Fordow) is meant to help the Zionist regime (Israel),” he added.

Israel has threatened to attack Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail to curb its nuclear program, raising fears of a regional war.

The United States and its allies are particularly worried about Fordow because Iran is refining uranium there to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, which Iran says it needs for a medical reactor. Twenty percent purity is only a short technical step from weapons-grade uranium.

Western officials said last week the offer to ease sanctions barring gold and other precious metals trade with Iran would be presented at February 26 talks between Iran and world powers in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

They acknowledged it represented a relatively modest update to proposals that the six major powers put forward last year.

Iran’s parliament has little control over the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy, which is decided by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.


Sunday, February 17th, 2013

by Chana Ya’ar (Arutz Sheva News)

President Barack Obama will be received by the State of Israel with all appropriate honor, “out of respect for the American people and for the bond between Israel and the United States,” says Israel’s chief of diplomacy.

Danny Seaman, deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, spoke with Arutz Sheva’s Josh Hasten about Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel on A7 Radio’s “Reality Bytes” Internet Radio program last week.

“We have an interest in stressing the deep bonds between the United States and the State of Israel,” Seaman told Hasten.

“President Obama is the President elected by the American people,” he reminded listeners, “and therefore out of respect for the American people and for that bond between Israel and the United States he will be received here with all the respect and honors which the State of Israel knows how to give,” Seaman said.

There has been much speculation regarding how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will get along with the U.S. President during his expected visit to Israel next month, as the relationship between the two is at best rocky.

Netanyahu’s first visit several years ago at the White House during Obama’s first term was marked by a rude display of public disrespect by the American leader in which he abandoned the Israeli Prime Minister to wait in the White House while he went off to enjoy a private evening meal alone with his family.

Netanyahu was subsequently escorted from the White House through a side door, rather than openly through the front — a further humiliation that left unpleasant memories with which both leaders have since been forced to contend.


Saturday, February 16th, 2013

by Yaakov Lappin (JPOST.COM STAFF)

Hundreds of Palestinians throw rocks, Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers near Ofer security prison in support of hunger strikers.

Widespread rioting erupted in the West Bank on Friday in support of hunger striking Palestinian prisoners, with groups of Palestinians hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers, who responded with various riot dispersal means.

In Betunia, west of Ramallah, near the Ofer security prison, some 300 Palestinians rioted and threw rocks at the IDF. Two soldiers were lightly injured by rocks thrown, an army spokeswoman said. Four Palestinians were lightly injured by rubber bullets in the clash.

Palestinian medics said that 156 Palestinians were treated for smoke inhalation, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an.

Palestinian medical officials also said two protesters were wounded by live gunfire in the demonstration.

The IDF Spokesman’s Office responded that, “During a violent an illegal riot near Betunia, Palestinians hurled rocks at IDF soldiers. The soldiers, feeling immediate danger, fired while leaving the area. The incident is being reviewed.”

Smaller demonstrations in solidarity with the hunger strikers were also held across the West Bank on Friday, including in Bethlehem, Jenin and outside the settlement of Efrat, according to Ma’an.

Sixty Palestinians gathered at Kafr Qaddum, west of Nablus, and hurled rocks and firebombs at soldiers. The soldiers were dealing with that incident.

Some 80 Palestinians appeared at Nabi Salah, near Ramallah, to take part in a violent disturbance, and 30 Palestinians attacked soldiers in the Kalandiya area, between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

The riots came after the Kfir Brigade’s Haruv Battallion carried out arrests of nine Palestinian suspects overnight Thursday in the West Bank village of Azun, on suspicion of throwing rocks at Israeli vehicles, causing injuries.

The arrests followed intelligence gathering in the village, which has been a hotbed of rock and Molotov cocktail attacks on passing Israeli vehicles in the area.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday that the Palestinian people would never forget the prisoners in Israeli jails.

“We will not forget, and we will not leave you to suffer behind the bars of the occupation,” he said during a visit to a prisoner’s tent in Ramallah, according to Ma’an.

The activists were seeking the release of hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi, who was arrested by the IDF in Operation Defensive Shield during the second intifada in 2002. A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Samer was sentenced to 30 years in prison for terrorism-related activity.

Issawi served 10 years, and in October 2011 he was released along with 476 other Palestinian terrorists and criminals in the Egypt-brokered Schalit deal between Hamas and Israel.

However, in July 2012 he was rearrested as the IDF said he had violated the terms of his release.

He began a hunger strike shortly after his arrest in 2012.

MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) told The Jerusalem Post this week that his party is trying to internationalize the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by seeking help from the UN and other countries with regards to the release of four Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike in Israeli jails.


Friday, February 15th, 2013

by Elad Benari (Arutz Sheva News)

U.S. Senate Republicans successfully blocked Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be President Barack Obama’s next Pentagon chief on Thursday, forcing a 10-day delay in his confirmation vote, AFP reported.

By a vote of 58-40 with one member voting present, Democrats failed to overcome a procedural roadblock put up by Republicans who had demanded more time to receive answers to their questions. One senator was absent.

It leaves Hagel’s nomination in limbo while the Senate takes a week-long recess. The nomination, however, is expected to pass on February 26.

Democrats needed 60 votes to end debate on the nomination and head to a floor vote. Senators said the failure to proceed marked just the third time that a so-called “filibuster” against a cabinet nominee was successful.

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the floor immediately after the vote to rail against the move, which he saw as “embarrassing the President” at a time of tensions in the Middle East, ongoing war in Afghanistan and North Korea recently testing a nuclear device.

“Republicans have made an unfortunate choice to ratchet up the level (of partisanship) here in Washington,” a furious Reid said, according to AFP.

He added that he would call Hagel, a Republican former senator, and say, “I’m sorry for the President, I’m sorry for the country and I’m sorry for you. But I’m not going to give up on you.”

In a separate statement, Reid expressed bafflement about what he described as “one of the saddest spectacles I have witnessed in my 27 years in the Senate.”

“I think we all need to take a deep breath,” a White House official told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding, “Senator Hagel is going to be confirmed, if not tomorrow then when the Senate returns from recess.”

Republicans had blocked Reid’s previous attempts to bring Hagel’s nomination up for a vote on the Senate floor, demanding more details on his finances and on Obama’s management of a September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Several Republicans, including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, said Thursday they were ready to drop their blocking tactics, but only after the recess, frustrating White House demands for a vote by the end of this week.

Hagel’s critics say they are worried by his past remarks and voting record on Israel, Iran and other issues.

The Republican Jewish Coalition, along with countless others, has cited a long list of Hagel’s anti-Israel policies, asserting that his nomination would “be a slap in the face for every American who is concerned about the safety of Israel.”

Hagel recently claimed that there is “not one shred of evidence that I’m anti-Israeli, not one (Senate) vote that matters that hurt Israel.”

“I didn’t sign on to certain resolutions and letters because they were counter-productive and didn’t solve a problem,” he said.

Hagel faced fire from Republicans at his confirmation hearing over his past anti-Israel remarks and his attitude towards Iran. These included past comments he made that there’s no justification for Israel to “keep Palestinians caged up like animals.”

A newly surfaced video which was posted to YouTube on Sunday shows Hagel as having expressed in 2008 more concern over Israel’s nuclear weapons than Iran’s and advocating that the U.S. engage with Iran and Syria.

On Thursday, new reports indicated that the controversial nominee failed to disclose damning Senate speeches he delivered to contentious groups known for their anti-Israel bias.

Fox News Channel earlier in the week aired reports of two speeches that Hagel gave in connection the Israel-Arab conflict and of which he failed to hand over transcripts or notes.

In one of the speeches, delivered to Rutgers University’s Center for Middle East Studies and in 2007, Hagel reportedly said that the U.S. Department of State is controlled by Israel.


Friday, February 15th, 2013

by Maayana Miskin (IsraelNationalNews)

A meteorite shower hit Russia early Friday morning. Meteorite fragments hit the Urals region, 900 miles east of Moscow, and caused damage and injury.

Pictures of the event showed a streak of smoke across the sky, followed by blasts of flame. Witnesses said they saw explosions as chunks of meteor hit.

Several hundred people were hurt. Many of the injured were struck by glass fragments when their windows shattered as the shower hit. At least three people were seriously injured.

The meteorite shower also caused local phone networks to crash and damaged buildings. A zinc factory in Chelyabinsk partially collapsed in the event.

Russian officials have sent soldiers to the affected areas.

Later in the day Asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to skim the orbit of the earth. Scientists say the Friday morning shower in Russia is not likely to be related, as the meteorites that hit Russia were travelling in a different

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