New obstacles continue as the United States-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians pick up again with Secretary of State John Kerry’s goal that the agreement be reached by April. Recently the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al Habbash, declared in an interview that all of East Jerusalem, including the Western Wall, must be part of the new Palestinian state.
Habbash said, “There will not be peace without putting an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967. Every piece of land that Israel conquered then belongs to the Palestinians. All the holy places including the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall must be returned as well.” Though there are many sticking points to the negotiations, the ultimate status of Jerusalem is perhaps the largest. Though the majority of the world refuses to recognize Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, the entire city is regarded by the people of Israel as their capital.
It is doubtful whether any meaningful peace agreement can be reached, but the pressure being applied for some sort of deal has already had a major impact. Dozens of convicted terrorists, most of them murderers of Israeli civilians, have been released from prison as part of the incentive to the Palestinian Authority to agree to talks. Further economic benefits, including millions of tax dollars, have flowed to the PA as well. Yet there appears to be no interest in making a deal on anything less than terms that will be impossible for Israel to accept.
We do not know what the outcome of this will be. There are disturbing signs that we may see a new wave of violence—another intifada—against the Jewish People. What we do know for certain is that the difficult circumstances facing the people of Israel provide an opportunity for us to reach out to them in the name and love of Yeshua and meet their needs. Your contribution today will allow us to continue to work hand in hand with more than two dozen ministry partners in Israel to reach these people with the Good News. Thank you so much for being part of this great outreach. God bless you.
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