|Rice pushes for division of Jerusalem within five years|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Tuesday, 26 August 2008 16:37|
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has concluded her latest trip to the Middle East, aimed at building a consensus between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams. Rice has been pushing for the drafting of an agreement that would consolidate progress made since the Annapolis peace conference last November, and pave the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state under the next Israeli government. The race is now on to conclude some sort of agreement before Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert steps down in September, and before the end of term for US President George Bush in January. According to one Palestinian negotiator, meetings are now being held on a daily basis and both sides are closer than ever to a final agreement. But the issue of the status of Jerusalem is still the main sticking point. The Israeli government is seeking to have negotiation on the division of Jerusalem postponed until a later date, but Palestinians are wanting all issues resolved by the end of the year. As a compromise, the US Secretary of State has suggested formulating an agreement that gives the Palestinians a state in Judea and Samaria, and forces the Israelis to divide the capital within a timeframe of one to five years.
Quote: "The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division of Jerusalem – despite claims to the contrary – but would rather conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND. The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem. Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as a "compromise position," concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years.
And this is the exact situation that Bible predicted would occur during the time of the end. Zechariah 12:2-3 states that in the last days, that God would make the city of Jerusalem "a burdensome stone for all people", and "all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it". Today there is no other city that is more hotly contested than the city of Jerusalem. And the Temple Mount, which is revered by both Jews and Arabs, lies at the very heart of this conflict. It seems that the Antichrist, the leader of the revived Roman Empire, will broker some sort of agreement between Israel and her enemies (Daniel 9:26-27). He will divide the land between Jew and Arab (Daniel 11:39). But it seems that Judea and east Jerusalem will not ceded to the Gentiles at this time. Half way through the seven year period the agreement is broken, and the Gentile armies take Judea and east Jerusalem by force (Zechariah 14:2). Thus begins the three and a half year period that is known as the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). The book of Daniel states that there has never been a time of trouble like it, even since there was a nation (Daniel 12:1). And the Lord Jesus Christ adds that there has never been a time of trouble like it since the world was created, nor shall there ever be again (Matthew 24:21). But those Jewish people who have believed on Yeshua for salvation will be saved out of it.
Although these prophecies pertain to the nation of Israel in particular, the Bible states that a time of trouble is coming upon the whole world (Isaiah 24:17, Luke 21:35). The Bible warns that this coming day of judgement will come like a "thief in the night", and that when people say "peace and safety!", sudden destruction shall come upon them as upon a women with child, and they shall not escape (1st Thessalonians 5:2-3). But there is a Way of escape for all those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. Jesus Christ is coming back (John 14:3). He is coming back for those who have believed on Him for salvation (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18). Is He coming for you? Turn away from your sins. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31)