High Alert in Jerusalem as Arab Riots Continue
by Maayana Miskin
Jerusalem police are on high alert Friday morning as Muslim prayers take place at the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount. There is concern that worshipers will be inspired to further violence, as Arab rioting near the Old City continues for a third day. There is a massive police presence in the Old City and no Muslim males under the age of 50 are being allowed on the Temple Mount.
Rioters have thrown rocks at passersby, police, vehicles and buildings, wounding one officer and 11 civilians. Firebombs have also been used. Four buses sustained severe damage, and three cars were burnt.
16 rioters were arrested early on Friday morning, all of them Arab residents of Jerusalem from the neighborhoods of Mei Shiloach (Silwan) and A-Tor.
Jewish residents of Mei Shiloach and Ir David (City of David) said they have been under a serious assault for the past 24 hours. Local Arabs have hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at their sukkahs. In one case, a firebomb hit a sukkah, setting it ablaze.
On Wednesday night, the first night of Sukkot, an Arab mob attempted to blast its way into the Beit Yuri complex north of the Old City, home to four Jewish families. The mob tried to blow open a door using gas cannisters, and threw rocks at the building.
Jewish residents of the complex said Border Police officers were at the scene, but said they had orders to use only non-lethal methods of crowd control, and would not use live fire unless the mob succeeded in bursting into the building. The rioters were ultimately unable to access the complex, and continued to throw rocks instead.
Jerusalem Police Chief Aharon Franco said Sukkot events in the capital would take place as scheduled despite the unrest.
Police are planning for possible riots on Tuesday, which will mark 10 years since the day that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, then the leader of the Knesset opposition, visited the Temple Mount. Muslim worshipers reacted to the presence of a Jewish leader on the Temple Mount with riots so intense that they were considered by many to be the first attacks of the Oslo War (Second Intifada).
Judea and Samaria Prepare to Build
by Maayana Miskin
Clinton, Abbas meet as US tries to keep peace talks alive
Jews in Judea and Samaria are preparing for the end of the construction freeze imposed on them for the past 10 months this Sunday night. Local officials have announced that they will open their offices on Sunday at midnight to begin signing building permits the minute the freeze ends.
Deputy head of the Binyamin Regional Council Moti Yogev spoke to Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service and said construction would resume “as soon as possible.” Yogev criticized the building freeze as immoral, but said local authorities in Judea and Samaria would abide by the freeze until Sunday out of respect for the rule of law.
When the freeze ends, “we won't seek publicity, we'll just work on building,” he continued. “What we want is to build as much as possible,” he explained.
Jewish renewal in Israel is unstoppable, he continued. “We are all witnesses to the return of the people of Israel to its land. Even if some want to get in our way – this process cannot be stopped. It's best to join in and help. Judea and Samaria will only grow stronger, and those who make trouble only create challenges to make us stronger over the course of the years,” he stated.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has faced strong pressure from the United States to continue the construction freeze. U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday and told the world that America wants a continued building freeze
for Judea and Samaria Jews – a statement that angered many Israelis, who accused Obama of disrespect for democracy and the will of the Israeli people.
Despite the pressure, Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that building will resume as scheduled. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas backed down
this week from threats to quit negotiating with Israel if construction is allowed.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
US secretary of state meets with Palestinian president in NY late Friday; State Dept. says efforts continuing to keep negotiations from failing.
Christians Ready for Global Prayer Day for Jerusalem
NEW YORK — US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spent nearly a half-hour Friday meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as the Obama administration tried to prevent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from collapsing.
After Clinton's 25-minute meeting with Abbas, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters that the US efforts to keep the talks alive were continuing.
Officials: Palestinians will consider freeze compromise
Clinton: Netanyahu, Abbas trying to seek common ground
In a furious, last-minute round of diplomacy, the Obama administration is pressing Israel to extend the settlement slowdown, while urging Abbas not to make good on his threat to leave the negotiations.
"It is a pretty intense set of negotiations going on right now with the Israelis and the Palestinians," said Jeffrey Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. "We know that time is short. This is an important issue."
Feltman told reporters the US is urging Israel to extend the moratorium and that both parties need to see the negotiations through to their conclusion.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he does not intend to extend the slowdown, but some Israeli officials have hinted that a compromise could be reached.
Clinton met earlier in the week with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and US special Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell has been shuttling between the two sides in a bid to craft some sort of a compromise.
Earlier Friday, Palestinian officials said they were waiting for the latest American effort to break the standoff with Israel over the settlements.
With Sunday's deadline looming, US President Barack Obama has increasingly placed efforts to resolve the conflict at the center of his foreign policy. On Thursday, Obama made an impassioned appeal at the United Nations to support a solution and called on Israel to extend the slowdown.
The Palestinians have threatened to walk out of the talks if Israel does not extend a slowdown in West Bank settlement activity that expires on Sunday.
Israel: UN Absence due to Sukkot
by Maayana Miskin
Following speculation over the absence of Israeli delegates from the United Nations session Thursday, the Israeli consulate in New York released a statement explaining that the session took place on the first day o fthe holiday of Sukkot. Israel traditionally does not send delegates to UN meetings taking place on holidays or on the Sabbath (Shabbat).
Some had suggested that Israel missed the assembly in response to United States President Barack Obama's decision to focus on the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in his UN speech. Obama called on Israel to continue a 10-month construction freeze in Judea and Samaria, a move that angered many Israelis
Television cameras showed empty seats at Israel's UN desk during his address.
The New York Times described Israel's absence as “odd,” while an LA times writer referred to suspicions that “Israel was snubbing Obama as boycotting his speech.” A writer for Politico, while noting that Thursday was Sukkot, suggested that Israel was deliberately keeping a low profile and quoted an anonymous U.S. official as saying, “If Bibi had good news to deliver on the freeze, he would have been here.”
Consulate officials said the absence had nothing to do with Obama's speech. The U.S. president was informed in advance that Israeli delegates would not be present, they said.
While Israeli Ambassador to the UN Meron Reuben was not present Thursday for Obama's speech, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres attended a speech given by Obama on Wednesday at the UN's Millennium Development Goals summit.
JERUSALEM, Israel - An estimated 300 million Christians from more than 175 nations are expected to unite in prayer on Sunday, October 3, to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
More than 1,000 Christian leaders support the annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, sponsored by the U.S.-based Eagles' Wings ministry.
"It is a new day in the Christian Church," said Rev. Robert Stearns, founder and executive director of Eagles' Wings ministries and co-founder of the "Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem."
"There are millions of Christians declaring that they will pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We are not spectators, we are not bystanders, and we will not be silent…The sin of silence will not be repeated… Shalom to Israel is shalom for the world!" Stearns said at last year's gathering.
Organizers say it has become the "largest Israel-focused prayer event in history" since it began in 2002 drawing Israeli political and religious leaders, as well as Christians from around the world.
According to the Day of Prayer website, the day is intended to "raise global awareness and intercession for God's purposes in Israel."
As in previous years, the local Jerusalem celebration of the day of prayer will be streamed live on the Internet via God TV from a venue overlooking the city.
Why Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem?
"Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem" co-founder Dr. Pastor Jack Hayford said praying for the peace of Jerusalem is actually praying for the Kingdom of God to come.
"To pray for the peace of Jerusalem is to pray, 'Lord, let your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth, not only in the ultimate revelation of His King coming from Heaven, but in the present revelation of God's peace as it comes into our hearts in a troubled world, to bring to the heartbeat center of the world, something of a peace that alleviates the tensions, the hatred, the bombings, the torments," Hayford said.
Hayford is the founder of Foursquare Church, Church on the Way.
Michael Little, president of the Christian Broadcasting Network, said praying for the peace of Jerusalem is a matter of obedience.
"The enemy of our souls wants to destroy Israel; he is opposed to the peace of Jerusalem, just as he is opposed to God's grace working in each one of us. It is essential that we obey the scriptures and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for the people of Israel, and for all those that are influenced by the Prince of Peace around the world," Little explained.
Jane Hansen Hoyt of Aglow International said as spiritual and natural warfare increase so must prayer for the peace of Jerusalem.
"The biblical mandate to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem' must take on greater priority in our lives as we watch the intensity of warfare increase, both in the natural and spiritual realms, over God's end-time purposes for His people - Israel and the Body of Christ," she said.
Olmert urges ‘int’l trusteeship’ for Holy Basin
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
In 'Post' op-ed former PM sets out terms Israel should present to ‘transform’ talks - relinquishing sovereignty over Western Wall, Temple Mt
Israel should agree to an international trusteeship in Jerusalem’s Holy Basin, should allow non-Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a Palestinian state, and should offer to solve the Palestinian refugee problem within the framework of the Arab peace initiative, former prime minister Ehud Olmert urges in an op-ed article in today’s Jerusalem Post.
“If takes a clear stance on these issues and presents them as its position for the negotiations,” Olmert writes, it would “transform the atmosphere” surrounding the direct talks with the Palestinian Authority.
The terms for an accord
'Top US figures raised idea of taking 100,000 refugees'
Olmert says he wrote things 'as they are' in his memoirs
A source close to Olmert told the Post that the positions he sets out in the article reflect the terms he offered to PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of their two years of negotiations – “terms which Abbas now regrets not responding to,” the source said.
The source confirmed that Olmert’s reference to an international trusteeship in the Holy Basin, which “will not be a sovereign part of either the State of Israel or the state of Palestine,” would involve Israel relinquishing sovereignty at the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. “There would be complete and unlimited access for all believers – of course, for Jews – to these sites. Basically,” the source said, “this would represent a maintenance of the status quo, but under international trusteeship.
“This was part of his proposal for a permanent accord with the Palestinians,” the source said. “The trusteeship proposed to Abbas constituted Israel, the Palestinian state, the US, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.”
The source added that the terms Olmert sets out are known to be acceptable to the United States and the Europeans.
In his article, Olmert laments the fact that the settlement freeze, due to expire on Sunday, has become a central issue threatening the talks. It should not be allowed to derail them, he writes. Instead, “Israel can and must re-focus discussion on the core issues of dispute between us and the Palestinians.”
He cites five such core issues, including the question of borders, where he asks whether the Israeli withdrawal will include parts of Jerusalem. On the issue of the status of the non-Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem, he asks whether those neighborhoods, “including Sheikh Jarrah,” will “ultimately be the Palestinian capital.”
Regarding the status of the Holy Basin, Olmert asks whether the sides will be “prepared to decide that the Holy Basin will be overseen by an international trusteeship and will not be a sovereign part of either the State of Israel or the state of Palestine.”
On the refugee problem, he writes: “Will the Palestinian leadership and that of the government of Israel agree that the framework for discussion of this sensitive issue is the Arab peace initiative, which is in any case part of the road map that is accepted by both sides?” And finally, he asks whether the Palestinians will be “prepared to respect Israel’s security needs” according to “eight points that were drafted in the past by the Israeli government with the agreement of the American administration – all this based on the assumption that there will be agreement on borders based on the 1967 lines.”
He urges Israel to takes a clear stance on these issues and to “present them as its position for the negotiations.”