International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

Israel finds rare 2,200-year-old gold coin

Another amazing find in the Holy Land:

Archaeologists say they have uncovered the heaviest and most valuable gold coin ever found in Israel. The 2,200-year-old coin weighs an ounce (28 grams) and was found at the Tel Kedesh site near the Lebanon border on June 22, according to Wednesday’s statement from the antiquities authority.

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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 3:18 PM  | David Kuner

Iran says it will make up for the cutoff of U.S. aid to Lebanon

Allegiances are showing after the recent border skirmish in Israel  

Iran, reacting to the cutoff of U.S. aid to the Lebanese military, told Lebanese officials Tuesday that it would make up the potential $100-million loss.

The promise came one day after disclosures that Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Valley Village), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations, decided to freeze the money because of concerns that the U.S. aid might be buying arms that could be turned against Israel.

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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 at 3:11 PM  | David Kuner

Hamas on killing spree in Gaza

The terror organization is on a massive hunt for collaborators — while religious laws in the Strip get stricter and more expansive.

News stories about bodies found at sea are occasionally published by Gaza newspapers. The number of such bodies isn’t huge, yet not all those drowning victims chose to go swimming voluntarily. The Gazans who found their death at sea include mid-level officials at sensitive government ministries, the Interior Ministry for example, alongside police and security officers.

Some of them were shot in the head before being sent on their swim.  

There is a common denominator to these deaths: All of the victims were designated as traitors by the secret service of Hamas’ military wing in charge of counter-espionage and executed as collaborators.

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 8:20 AM  | David Kuner

At the crossroads to peace and war in the Middle East

Michael Oren offers insights on the rising tension and continuing hope:

Rarely have the lines in the Middle East’s sands been drawn so distinctly. Arrayed on one side is the peace-seeking camp that opposes militant extremism and favors direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians. On the other are the organizations, many of them surrogates for Iran, that work to undermine moderate governments and violently impede any effort for peace.

Recent events have revealed the dimensions of this divide. On the same day last month that the Arab League authorized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to move from proximity talks to direct negotiations with the Israeli government, Hamas terrorists in Gaza fired a Grad rocket at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. This week, as the Obama administration joined with Egyptian and Jordanian leaders in urging Abbas to act on the Arab League’s instruction, terrorists launched rockets from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into Jordan and Israel.

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Friday, August 6th, 2010 at 3:01 PM  | David Kuner

Seven dead as train, minibus collide near Kiryat Gat

A tragic accident in Israel:

Seven people were killed and at least 20 were injured when a train collided with a minibus on route 353 near Kiryat Gat Thursday.

Reports said most or all of the injured were passengers of the minibus, and that no injuries were reported on the train. A pregnant woman and two children, aged four and six, were among those killed. Large numbers of police and MDA arrived at the scene.

Please pray for comfort for the loved ones of those who were killed and for a swift recovery for those injured in this terrible crash.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 1:11 PM  | David Kuner

U.N. exonerates Israel over deadly border clash

As the casualties of Monday’s Israel-Lebanon border skirmish are buried, the U.N. offers rare and welcomed support of Israel’s side of the story.

United Nations peacekeepers have exonerated Israel over a border clash that left four Lebanese and one Israeli dead, confirming that Israeli forces clearing bushes along the border fence had not crossed into Lebanese territory when they came under fire.

A spokesman for UNIFIL, the 30,000-member peacekeeping force that helped restore calm after the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, also confirmed today Israel’s claim that the routine maintenance work had been coordinated in advance with his forces, and even delayed at the U.N.’s own request so it could get organized.

“The trees being cut by the Israeli army are located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli side,” said UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti, referring to the U.N.-demarcated boundary established after the 2006 war.

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 10:27 AM  | David Kuner

Netanyahu: Hamas responsible for rockets on Eilat

In an address on Israeli television, the P.M. vows retaliation for recent attacks.

“Over recent days we’ve witnessed three attacks against Israel,” Netanyahu said in a special announcement on Israeli television. “An attack from Gaza on Ashkelon, an attack by the Lebanese army on Israel Defense Forces troops carrying out a routine operation, and another attack from the Sinai peninsula at Eilat. I want to make very clear to Hamas and to the Lebanese government that we view them as responsible for the violent provocation against us.”

“Don’t test our determination to protect our citizens,” the prime minister went on to say. “Israel will retaliate for every assault.”

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Thursday, August 5th, 2010 at 9:00 AM  | David Kuner

IDF activity did not merit Lebanese fire

A rare occurrence — UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, takes Israel’s side:

UNIFIL forces who toured the site of Tuesday’s deadly exchanges of fire on the northern border said the IDF’s activity did not warrant the attack launched by Lebanese Army soldiers, Israeli army officials who spoke to UNIFIL representatives said.

According to the IDF, soldiers were performing routine operations in a border-area enclave within Israeli territory when they were ambushed by Lebanese troops. 

Please pray for the loved ones of those killed in the skirmish, including IDF Lieutenant Colonel Dov Harari, and for a swift recovery for IDF Captain Ezra Lakia, who was seriously injured.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 3:03 PM  | David Kuner

Tensions high after Israel-Lebanon skirmish

Earlier today, the IDF traded fire with Lebanese forces on Israel’s northern border, leaving 4 Lebanese and one Israeli soldier dead.  

The Lebanese Army fired on Israeli soldiers while the IDF was performing maintenance within Israel’s borders. Israel had informed the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) about the work and received permission to go ahead with it. Israel responded to the Lebanese attack by firing mortar shells, which killed three Lebanese soldiers and one journalist.

Tensions are now high between Israel and Lebanon, but the chances that this incident will lead to an all-out war are slim. Israel is about to head into peace talks with the Palestinians, while Lebanon cannot afford another round of war against Israel.

The fact that the Lebanese army initiated the exchange of fire is cause for concern. The West had hoped to establish a pro-Western Lebanese government, but with Syria and Iran meddling in Lebanon’s internal affairs through their major support of Hezbollah, the Lebanese government is falling in line with a more radical approach to foreign policy.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 10:39 AM  | afarkas

IDF and Lebanese soldiers exchange fire; three dead

A skirmish along Israel’s northern border:

At least three Lebanese soldiers were killed in clashes with Israeli troops along the border on Monday afternoon, according to a Lebanese security official.

Speaking on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, the Lebanese official said IDF shelling struck near a military vehicle in the border town of Adaisseh, setting it on fire and killing three soldiers inside the vehicle.

Lebanese reports said the conflict began when an IDF patrol attempted to uproot a tree on the Lebanese side of the border, while initial Israeli reports had said the soldiers were on a routine patrol, operating past the border fence, but within Israeli territory, since the fence does not always exactly parallel the border. Other reports said the Israeli soldiers were attempting to plant cameras.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman called on his country to “stand up to Israel’s violation of UN Resolution 1701 – whatever the cost.” Resolution 1701 brokered the cease-fire which ended the 2006 Lebanon War.

Here’s Michael Totten’s take. Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 6:52 AM  | David Kuner