|Holland ready to support peace-keeping force in Middle East|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2008 10:48|
Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has stated his country is ready to support the deployment of an international peace-keeping force in the Middle East, in the event that a peace agreement is signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He made the comments during an official visit to Israel today, where he met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The Dutch Foreign Minister is also expected to make stops in the Palestinian Authority and Syria. During his tour of the country, Verhagen said the situation in Gaza was unacceptable, and called on Hamas to stop the firing of Kassam rockets. But at a conference in Damascus today, Hamas' leader Khaled Mashaal said the firing of Kassam rockets would not cease until all of Palestine was liberated, reinforcing the organization's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Quote: "Speaking at a conference in Damascus, Mashaal added that "the struggle must continue until the entire siege on the Strip is lifted and until the liberation of Palestine – all of Palestine."
Earlier this morning Hamas terrorists detonated 17 bombs demolishing nearly two thirds of the border fence which runs along the Philadelphi corridor separating Egypt from Gaza. This effectively ended the closure of the Gaza Strip which had been imposed by Israel following an increase in rocket attacks and shootings that had left one dead and dozens more wounded. Hamas promptly announced of the breach in the fence, saying that flour and medicines were coming across the border from Egypt. Over 350,000 Palestinians have so far crossed into Egypt, and no doubt many terrorists with them. The European Union has previously called for an international force to be stationed in the Palestinian territories, even before this present crisis developed. But Hamas has said they would regard any international peace-keeping force as an occupying force, and European states have so far been reluctant to send troops into a situation where they would be coming under fire from a hostile entity.
Quote: ""If Israel withdraws from the Palestinian areas within the framework of a peace settlement, an international military force is the best way to stabilise this region," according to Verhagen. He "will urge that the Netherlands also contributes to such a force," he said in his address to the annual summit conference on peace and security in the Israeli city of Herzliya.
The Bible seems to indicate that following the confirmation of the covenant, some sort of peace-keeping force will be deployed in the region. Daniel describes the Antichrist as a man who honours the "god of forces", Daniel 11:38. After the Antichrist turns his back on the covenant, the daily sacrifice is taken away and the Antichrist enters the Jewish Temple and proclaims himself to be God (Daniel 12:11, 2nd Thessalonians 2:4). The Antichrist will divide the land of Israel (Daniel 11:39), and Judea and east Jerusalem will be trodden down of the Gentiles for 3.5 years (Zechariah 12:2, Revelation 11:2).
I must admit it is extremely difficult to understand the exact sequence of events in Daniel 11, for it seems there is a double fulfilment here. The Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes did defile the Jewish Temple in sacrificing a pig on the altar, and it is believed that some of this chapter covers this event. But in Mark 13:14, long after the reign of Antiochus Epiphanies, Jesus Christ mentions the "abomination of desolation" as a future event that will mark the beginning of the greatest period of persecution the nation of Israel will ever experience. Daniel 12 also links the "abomination of desolation" with the "time of the end". Perhaps Antiochus Epiphanes was a trial run for the real thing. Daniel had difficulty understanding the vision (Daniel 8:27), and Peter had difficulty understanding Paul's writings (2nd Peter 3:16), so I guess we shouldn't be too concerned if we don't fully understand everything we read in the Scriptures. The important thing is, do we believe it? At the age of four years old, I believed it, and I put my faith in the One who died for me. And I knew immediately that I was saved. I can't explain that and I still don't understand it, but I know it is real. And I know that when I die or when Jesus Christ returns, He will be coming for me. Can you say the same?