Inter-Palestinian unity

Fredy Winkler

What does the convergence of the Palestinian Fatah from the West Bank and Hamas from Gaza mean? Is there really a desire for inter-Palestinian unity, or are there other factors that play into this convergence? There’s no doubt that Gaza has devolved into a hopeless situation. Iran is practically the only state that is willing to continue offering its assistance to them. This sort of development, in which Gaza would become dependent on Iran, should definitely be prevented. The effort to free Gaza and Hamas from the clutches of militant, Shiite Islam is being led by Egypt, under the leadership of President al-Sisi. Reconciliation of the Palestinians among themselves is apparently a prerequisite for receiving support from the moderate Arab states, in which Saudi Arabia currently plays a leading role.

Saudi Arabia, which practiced Wahhabism—one of the most extreme forms of Islam—for a long time, is now separating itself from that doctrine under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in order to pursue a more moderate form of Islam. The Saudi prince wants to modernize his country and free it from its dependence on oil. In October, he announced a $500 billion project that will secure Saudi Arabia’s connection to the modern industrial age.

A so-called Smart City for high-tech firms, in the areas of solar energy, biotechnology, water and nutrition technology, robotics, etc. is to be built near Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, where Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan all connect. Israeli firms are further advanced in all these technical areas than their Arab competitors. At the private level, there has long been contact with the Israeli firms, but those relationships couldn’t be made public due to the political sensitivity.

The obstacle that prevents official cooperation between Israel and the Arabs is a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The current efforts to unify the Palestinians are thus in harmony with the coming peace agreement. Saudi Arabia appears to be behind the efforts to secure a resolution with the Palestinians, in order to keep them out of the clutches of Iran.

One thing is clear: the necessity of reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians will become increasingly urgent for the economic development of the entire region. We can expect things to advance in that direction, because the Bible talks about an apparent peace in Ezekiel 38 and I Thessalonians 5.

The United States is joining others in support of this gigantic project. Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump, is said to have a good relationship with the Saudi crown prince and was purportedly responsible for seeing to it that the president’s first foreign trip was to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

David Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, stated in an interview [paraphrased], “We aren’t going to get a quick resolution with the Palestinians, but we’re going to get it done right.” This statement makes it clear that something serious is happening.

Economic progress in the region is vital to the survival of both Israel and the Arabs; inventiveness and creativity will give a new impulse to resolve an old conflict between the Jews and the Palestinians.

These developments are leading to the creation of two power blocks, which are also mentioned in the Bible. One in the south, under the leadership of Saudi Arabia, and the other in the north, under the leadership of Iran and, in the future, probably Turkey as well. At some point, the two are going to collide, but before that will be a carefree time, as there was in the time of Noah, when Jesus Christ will suddenly return to build His kingdom.

Over 2,000 years ago, when the Messiah came the first time, God built His kingdom in the hearts of people who believe in Him. The angels at that time only spoke of peace for certain people at God’s pleasure. In these turbulent times, it is therefore of utmost importance to live in in a way that brings God’s pleasure upon us. May God be merciful to all who place their hope in Him.

With thanks for the peace that we have in Jesus Christ, and with best wishes for a blessed holiday!

News From Israel - 12/2017

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