1. According to The Times of Israel, a Jordanian minister accused Israel of planning to partition the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount plaza surrounding it in order to erect the third Temple. The Islamic Endowments Minister told a visiting clerical delegation from Australia that he received instructions from leadership to safeguard the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem because Israel was planning to divide the mosque from its courtyards with a new structure. The country of Jordan continues to administer the Islamic holy sites on the Temple Mount.
2. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Home Front Command is preparing all hospitals in Israel for a range of security threats, including large-scale missile attacks and chemical attacks. The preparations have been planned three years in advance, and bear no relation to current events or recent threat assessments. Exercises include training hospital staff to deal with conventional missile attacks, mass-casualty incidents and “mega-mass casualty incidents” – involving one thousand or more injuries.
3. According to CNN, Islamic militants in Nigeria’s north have taken the lives of 34 people since Christmas, including 27 Christians attending church services. This week, however, the country’s military took the fight to Boko Haram’s stronghold, killing 13 suspected combatants. The task force condemned alleged Boko Haram attacks going back to July 2012 in a statement, calling them “incessant, callous, brutal, barbaric and impious killings.” Human Rights Watch said the militant group has killed more than 2,800 people in all.
4. According to The Times of Israel, the Jewish state is stepping up efforts to improve border security between it and its neighbors. Spurred on by fears of Syria’s civil war spilling into the Golan Heights, Israel is ramping up works to improve the border fence between the two countries. Israel may also look to improve the long border fence with Jordan, should there be money for such an endeavor. On Wednesday, Israel announced it had completed the main section of a fence along the border with Egypt aimed at preventing the entry of migrants, terrorists, and smugglers.
5. According to Great Britain’s The Telegraph, an Israeli intelligence report has said that Iran’s ability to retaliate for any Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities has been “dramatically” reduced by the disintegration of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. This assessment predicts that Syria’s army would not join its Iranian ally in a war against Israel because of the 21-month uprising. Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is armed and funded by Iran’s regime, would also face an acute dilemma over whether to intervene.
The Bible says in Luke 21:27-28: “Then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
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