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The battle for Judea and Samaria, Israel’s disputed Biblical hea rtland

20 May

From: Messianic Bible
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 1:09 PM

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Jerusalem

Shalom

“Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” (Isaiah 66:8)

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were on high alert last week, as Palestinians in Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip, as well as pro-Palestinian supporters in other Arab nations, observed “Nakba (the Catastrophe) Day,” which marks the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.

A number of incidents left Israelis injured as Palestinians hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at security forces and civilians.

In Jerusalem, a group of Palestinians attacked Jewish worshipers as they made their way to the Western (Wailing) Wall on Wednesday afternoon for Shavuot (Pentecost) prayers.

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Jewish women pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall, which is located in the
Old City of Jerusalem.

As clashes continued, about 25 Palestinians were arrested during the course of the day in Jerusalem. Jerusalem Police also closed the Temple Mount to Israeli Jews and tourists on Thursday due to Palestinian demonstrations.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas marked Nakba Day with a televised speech. He said that the only acceptable solution to the conflict would be one that guaranteed Palestinians the right to a sovereign state on all the lands captured by Israel in 1967.

“We have made huge sacrifices—thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands of wounded. Today there is no country in the world, including the US, that denies our legitimate right to an independent state on the territories occupied in 1967,” Abbas said. (Jerusalem Post)

He was referring to the Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967) in which the Israeli military captured territory that included East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, Israel’s ancient heartland, after the surrounding Arab nations mounted their considerable military might against Israel.

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Jerusalem and the Temple Mount

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Telling the Truth about Judea and Samaria

On the international scene, Palestinian opposition to the State of Israel has gained momentum through a global campaign demanding boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel.

This campaign encourages punitive measures against Israel such as labeling and boycotting products made in the Jewish “settlements” of Judea and Samaria.

One BDS movement strategy is the false comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa and the claim that the State of Israel is a racist undertaking.

To combat this lopsided and deceitful campaign, the Shomron (Samaria) Regional Council recently established its own Foreign Ministry Department and began reaching out to officials in the European Union to provide a balanced picture of Judea and Samaria.

This month, several parliamentary delegations visited the regions and witnessed firsthand cooperation and coexistence between Arabs and Israelis studying and working side-by-side in places such as Ariel University and Barkan Industrial Park.

Here, Palestinians and Jews work together at some 150 businesses, all receiving the same benefits, pay and the opportunity to move up into management.

The Palestinians often receive two to three times what they might make working at a job in the Palestinian areas. (CBN News)

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The Ariel University Center of Samaria is open to all Israeli students,
including Arabs; its student enrollment represents “the full spectrum
of Israeli society.” (Ariel Municipality)

After seeing the reality in Samaria, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Dr. Fiorello Provera denounced the boycott of settlement products by BDS supporters.

“I don’t support restrictions in this area (the settlements) because they can harm factories where Israeli and Palestinian employees work together, have similar salaries, make the same sacrifices and have the same possibilities for attaining a good standard of living in dignity,” he said. “Harming these factories’ ability to function would damage coexistence.” (Jerusalem Post)

He encouraged Israel to continue counteracting the misinformation about Judea and Samaria by educating the members of the European parliament.

“Most European Parliament members do not know what’s happening in Israel. Since I’ve been exposed to the settlement movement in Samaria, I feel a responsibility to open up my fellow European Parliament members to the reality here,” he said. (Arutz 7)

The truth is, however, the European Parliament members are not alone in their lack of knowledge. Few outside of Israel seem to understand Judea and Samaria.

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Orthodox Jewish Israeli children in Hebron

Judea and Samaria: Prophecy Fulfilled

“Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.” (Isaiah 37:31)

Settlement in the territories began after the Six-Day War in 1967, and today there are over 360,000 Israelis living throughout Judea and Samaria.

While the world largely takes a dim view of Jewish settlement in this area, it is the fulfillment of many Bible prophecies:

“The days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess, says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 30:3)

Shomron Regional Council spokesperson David Ha’iviri said that the population in the region is growing at a rate five times greater than Israel’s national average. (CBN)

He pointed to the attractiveness of clean air, beautiful vistas, safe neighborhoods, and cool climate, and then added, “But aside from that, and even more important, there’s a godly process of fulfilling prophecy that’s beyond explanation. The prophets promised that the children of Israel would return to these mountains and rebuild these Jewish cities and Jewish towns. And that’s what’s happening.”

I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before.” (Jeremiah 33:7)

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Jewish men pray at the Western (Wailing) Wall

Large and well-established communities have been built in Judea and Samaria, including Ma’ale Adumim, which is roughly four miles (seven kilometers) outside of Jerusalem.

Kedar, Pisgat Ze’ev, Gilo, essentially neighborhoods of Jerusalem, were also built on territory acquired during the `67 war.

Despite the economic advantages enjoyed by Arabs coexisting peacefully with Jewish communities, the security threat to Israelis living in Judea and Samaria persists.

David Wilder, a spokesperson for Hebron’s small Jewish community, said the threat must be dealt with. “During the second intifada [armed Palestinian uprising], we were shot at for two and half years here. There are still terrorist attacks here,” he said.

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The victims of Itamar massacre

In 2011, in the town of Itamar, two local Palestinians murdered Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their small children as they slept.

While the world continues to call Judea and Samaria the “West Bank,” and the Jewish communities that live there “settlements,” this is the land that God promised to Abraham.

When God, who had brought Abraham to Canaan, appeared to him in Shechem, which today is a predominantly Muslim city called Nablus, He declared, “To your offspring I will give this land.” (Genesis 12:7)

God also told Abraham:

“Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you. So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the LORD.” (Genesis 13:17–18)

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Tamar and Yishai Fogel, whose
family was murdered in their beds by Palestinian militants.

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West Bank or Judea and Samaria: What’s in a Name?

The term West Bank (so named because the land is situated on the west bank of the Jordan River as opposed to Jordan’s territory on the east side) was coined only about 65 years ago.

The names Judea and Samaria are ancient and well-established.

Though smaller in size, their location roughly corresponds to the ancient Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, also known as the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.

These two kingdoms were created following the death of King Solomon when the 10 northern tribes refused to submit to his son, Rehoboam.

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After the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 720 BC, it was renamed Shomron or Samaria.

The Southern Kingdom of Yehudah (Judah) had a name change, as well. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was called Judea.

Samaria includes land that was originally a part of the inheritance belonging to the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, and Judea encompasses territory allocated to the tribes of Benjamin and Judah.

During the British Mandate period, the area of Samaria was an administrative district with that same name.

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The Disputed Biblical Heartland

When the British Mandate ended in 1948, Israel declared its independence as a nation. With the British gone, the surrounding Arab nations of Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria attacked Israel.

As part of the peace agreement in 1949 between Israel and these invading nations, a demarcation or “Green” line was established that allowed Jordan to occupy East Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria (Yehudah and Shomron), while Egypt held the Gaza Strip.

This demarcation line was never officially a border and a Palestinian entity was never created.

The Jordanian occupation, however, led to the desecration of Jewish holy sites, cemeteries, and historic synagogues, as well as the expulsion of all Jewish residents.

Jews were even barred from visiting the Temple site.

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In the “West Bank,” Judea is the
region lying to the south of
Jerusalem. The area north of
Jerusalem is Samaria.

On June 5, 1967, following a mounting threat by the same nations that invaded in 1948 and an attack by Jordanian forces on West Jerusalem, Israel encircled the Old City of Jerusalem.

The IDF successfully pushed the Jordanian and Iraqi armed forces out of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and recaptured the Old City, including the Western Wall, Temple Mount and, finally, Judea and Samaria.

In the span of six days, what began as an attempt by Egypt, Syria and Jordan to destroy the nation of Israel, ended in a decisive victory for the 19-year old nation.

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Many key events in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament) occurred in
Judea and Samaria. The Mount of Temptation where Yeshua (Jesus)
was tempted (Matthew 4:8) is generally identified as Mount Quarantania,
which is near Jericho.

The victory led to the reunification of Jerusalem and the capture of Israel’s ancient Biblical heartland—the entire region lying between the Jordan River and what people now refer to as the 1967 border.

Though Arabs demand these territories back, even the names of Arab neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria, such as Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron and others reaffirm the land’s Biblical Jewish roots.

The Tanakh (Old Testament) and Brit Chadashah (New Testament) record many events that took place in these ancient cities.

For example, Bethlehem is mentioned 44 times in the Bible and is the birthplace of King David and Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).

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Bethlehem

The Arabic name for the Palestinian village El-Jib comes from the name Gibeon, where Joshua commanded the sun and moon to temporarily stop during battle:

“On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’” (Joshua 10:12)

Anata, which is just outside of Jerusalem, is Anatot, where the Prophet Jeremiah lived.

“Jeremiah said, ‘The word of the LORD came to me: Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, Buy my field at Anathoth [Anatot], because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.’” (Jeremiah 32:6-7)

Tequa (Tekoa) is the town of the Prophet Amos, who God called to preach to the Northern Kingdom, particularly the cities of Samaria and Bethel (modern-day Beitin), which was once the site of the Holy Ark, although he was from the Southern Kingdom of Judea.

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Replica of the Ark of the Covenant at the Mamilla Open Mall in Jerusalem.

Hebron: The City of the Patriarchs

“Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed.” (Genesis 35:27)

Today, many people are aware of the Biblical and religious importance of the Old City of Jerusalem, but few realize the long, rich Jewish history of the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.

Hebron, for instance, which is south of Jerusalem in Judea, has the oldest Jewish community in the world.

It was in Hebron that Abraham first resided after arriving in Canaan.

This ancient city is revered as the place where Abraham purchased a field to bury his wife Sarah in the Cave of Machpelah. (Genesis 23:19)

At that same site are also buried the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the Matriarchs Rebekah and Leah.

Hebron was also King David’s first capital. He was anointed as king here and then ruled from this city for seven years until he conquered Jerusalem.

“David also took the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in Hebron and its towns. Then the men of Judah came to Hebron, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah.” (2 Samuel 2:3-4)

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The Cave of Machpelah or Cave of the Patriarchs: situated underneath this
Herodian-era structure are a series of subterranean chambers where
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah are buried.

Even after Rome destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Second Temple in AD 70, the Jewish People have lived in Hebron more or less continuously throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Mameluke, and Ottoman periods.

During the British Mandate, violence against the Jews in Hebron grew.

In 1929, an Arab pogrom (often an officially condoned violent mob attack) caused the death of 67 Jews. In 1936, on the eve of the Palestinian Arab national revolt, the British Government moved the Jewish community out of Hebron as a safety precaution.

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Immediately following the Six-Day War in 1967, the Jewish community of Hebron was re-established.

Today, over 7,000 Jews live in a community adjacent to the city with the Biblical name of Kiryat Arba, the original name of Hebron.

“Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.” (Joshua 14:15)

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Following the 1995 Oslo Agreement and subsequent 1997 Hebron
Agreement, Hebron was split into two sectors: H1, controlled by the
Palestinian Authority, and H2, controlled by Israel.

United Nations Pressures Jews to Leave Judea and Samaria

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which was adopted in November 1967 after the Six-Day War, calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the “occupied territories” of Judea and Samaria.

In May 1968, Israel accepted the resolution when the Israeli ambassador told the UN Security Council:

“My government has indicated its acceptance of the Security Council resolution for the promotion of agreement on the establishment of a just and lasting peace.”

This resolution paved the way for the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995, a series of agreements that transferred land to the Palestinian Arabs.

Following the Oslo Accords of 1993, many urban centers in Judea and Samaria came under the control of the Palestinian Authority, including Jenin (where the IDF withdrawal in 2005 forced the dismantlement of several Jewish settlements), Bethlehem, Jericho, Shechem, Ramallah, and Hebron.

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Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, United States President Bill Clinton,
and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony
on September 13, 1993.

The Oslo process, rather than encouraging peace, however, seems to have sent a clear message that terrorism pays.

Moreover, the UN is now calling for other major settlement areas to be abandoned. Those settlements include the following: the city of Ariel, which sits 10 miles east of the “pre-1967 border;” Modi’in, a Jerusalem suburb of over 75,000; and Gush Etzion, a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s current Speaker of the Knesset (parliament) who lives in Gush Etzion, said that such a plan would leave Israel open to attack.

“God forbid, Palestinian terrorists, Hamas terrorists, would be standing here. They would basically be in total control. And they won’t need long-range missiles. They could reach basically to every town and city in this area,” he said. (CBN)

“I know that strategically, many things have changed in modern war. But on the other hand, without our total control here in these areas, I don’t think we’d be able even to run a normal country.”

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While many around the globe call for a boycott of products made in Jewish
settlements, such boycotts also result in the loss of Palestinian jobs, as
many of these factories also employ Palestinians who work side by side
with the Jewish People.

Regardless of the strategic importance of this area to the nation of Israel, the United Nations continues to put pressure on Israel to withdraw and to give to the Palestinians the land Jordan controlled before the Six-Day War in 1967, including the eastern half of Jerusalem.

To that end, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva recently approved a report calling for a boycott of all Israeli products coming from settlements in Judea and Samaria.

This international body continues to consider all neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria illegal and destined to be included in a future Palestinian State, even those that now are a part of Jerusalem proper, such as Gilo, which is in southwestern East Jerusalem.

Most of Gilo’s land was legally purchased by the Jewish People before World War II. That land was never relinquished, but the UN still considers Jewish settlement here illegal.

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Gilo

Despite the Biblical, historic and strategic significance of Judea and Samaria, Israel has shown itself willing to negotiate with the Palestinians and trade land for peace.

It must be remembered, however, that the Jewish People have been in the Holy Land for over 3,000 years, and the restoration of the nation of Israel and the return of the Jewish exiles is Bible prophecy fulfilled.

Although the term “Palestinian” gives the impression that the Arabs living in Israel have ancient ties to the Land, most Arabs living here today are here because of a massive 19th–20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Muslim countries.

The Palestinians, with the aid of the world’s media, however, have cast Israel as the aggressor who has snatched Palestinian lands.

As well, since Jordan (and not the Palestinians) held Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem for only a brief period, its claim to the Holy Land on the west bank of the Jordan has never been recognized, and Arab locals never had the power of self-government.

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The presence of the Jewish People in the Holy Land is more than fulfillment of Bible prophecy; it is evidence that God loves the Jewish People and is actively at work in their midst.

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Posted by on 20. May 2013 in Ukategorisert

 

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