Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Antichrist’s boycott raises fears of political and security chaos

Iraq elections: Sadr’s boycott raises fears of political and security chaos

Though some of the cleric’s rivals see opportunity in his withdrawal, others believe Sadr will do everything he can to disrupt October’s polls

When Muqtada al-Sadr last month announced his movement would not be participating in Iraq’s upcoming October elections, many of his rivals saw an opportunity. But others are far warier about the effects the Sairoon Alliance’s withdrawal will have.

For Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and other political forces, Sadr’s decision raises questions about Iraq’s ability to hold the elections at all, officials, politicians, and analysts told Middle East Eye (MEE).

There are serious concerns that the security situation will be destabilised in the coming weeks and the political vacuum left by Sadr could cause chaos, they said.

Sadr cited the need “to save the homeland that the corrupt have burnt and are still burning” when he announced his candidates’ withdrawal on TV on 15 July. His politicians are yet to formally cancel their candidacy, but they’ve all ceased campaigning and declared they will obey Sadr’s decision.

‘Technically, we are more prepared to hold elections than ever before, but politically, there is confusion’

– Senior politician close to Kadhimi

The Shia cleric has a loyal following of around five million supporters – many of whom are now expected not to vote.

He also controls one of the largest paramilitaries and about half of the senior and middle-ranking government positions.

The boycott of his supporters and allies would immediately allow questions to be asked about the elections’ integrity, particularly as it is likely to depress the vote significantly.

Were the polls to go ahead, his supporters may see them as a challenge to Sadr himself, which officials worry could spark violence and demonstrations in Baghdad and the southern provinces.

“Technically, we are more prepared to hold elections than ever before, but politically, there is confusion,” a senior Iraqi official close to Kadhimi told MEE, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“If we hold the elections on its current date [10 October], they will be successful from a technical point of view, but it will be disastrous from a political point of view due to the absence of major forces,” he added.

“The Sadrists are one of the major political forces that cannot be ignored or proceeded without. At least to protect the outcomes of the electoral process and ensure the stability of the upcoming parliament and government and their representation for all.”

‘Dirty war’

Sadr’s announcement came just two days after a devastating fire ripped through Al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in Nasiriyah, a catastrophe that killed at least 64 people and wounded scores of others.

The blaze was preceded by the bombing of dozens of power transmission towers, which led to a near-total electricity outage in several governorates for several days, as summer temperatures rose to nearly 50 degrees Celsius.

Both the health and electricity ministries are controlled by Sadrists, and those disasters sparked a torrent of criticism on TV stations and social media accounts owned by Sadr’s rivals, which blamed his movement for the incidents, saying they were caused by corruption, disregard for people’s lives and a total lack of accountability.

Iraqi boys sit under a poster of Moqtada al-Sadr in the Sadr City district of Baghdad (Reuters)
Iraqi boys sit under a poster of Muqtada al-Sadr in the Sadr City district of Baghdad (Reuters)

Sadr’s sudden rejection of the election was quickly perceived as a response to this ferocious criticism – a “dirty war waged by his rivals on the people to embarrass him and his followers” as a prominent Sadrist leader put it.

Sadr decided to withdraw from the elections to stop the bloodshed,” the Sadrist told MEE.

“The [media] attack on us was unprecedented, and the electoral struggle has become bloody and dirty. They [Sadr’s rivals] were targeting innocents to bring us down politically,” he alleged.

“We decided to withdraw in order to stop this bleeding and to expose their nakedness and to prove to the people that we have no control over what is going on.”

Filling the void

Assuming the elections go ahead, all of Sadr’s Shia opponents will be boosted by his candidates’ absence.

They expect to pick up more seats, especially in Shia-dominated areas such as Baghdad and Iraq’s centre and south.

The State of Law coalition led by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, Sadr’s arch-foe, and the candidates of the Iranian-backed armed factions, the cleric’s traditional rivals, would be the biggest beneficiaries of his boycott of the elections.

Now, they are planning to take advantage of the situation and campaign in Sadr areas that they would never have previously dared, politicians and observers told MEE.

“Maliki and the loyalists [Iranian-backed parties] are the biggest beneficiaries of our withdrawal. They are currently seeking to hold elections without us,” the Sadrist leader said.

“But they will not succeed. Otherwise, they will have to face what will happen. There are no elections without the Sadrists, no parliament, no government. The street will not calm down and Kadhimi will not dare to hold elections without our participation.”

Sadrist candidates who are resentful they cannot now run for parliament but wary of speaking out against their leader have instead begun promoting the idea that the elections should be postponed until April, to ensure their participation.

The cleric’s rivals, meanwhile, insist on holding the polls on time, arguing that Sadr isn’t seriously boycotting the elections and he is likely to reverse the decision at any moment.

In 2014, the cleric played the same trick ahead of that year’s elections, only to row back on his decision two months later.

Besides, Sadr’s rivals argue, there is overwhelming popular enthusiasm for the October elections, and all the legal framework to hold the polls has already been put in place.

Sadr’s retreat from his decision to boycott the elections will not be strange or new, as he has already done it several times over the past years,” a State of Law leader said.

“His candidates have not submitted formal requests to the Electoral Commission to withdraw their candidacy. If [Sadr] was serious about his decision, he would ask them to formally withdraw.”

Over the past year, Sadr and his followers have promoted the idea that the next election will see his movement snatch 100 of the 329 seats in parliament and even see one of them become prime minister.

If they don’t, they argued, the elections will have been rigged.

The State of Law leader believes this fear will not materialise but it has put Sadr off running altogether.

“Whether he regrets his decision or not, he lost the bet and has proven that he and his followers are incapable of winning half the number of seats they promised,” he said.

Sadr’s rivals were provoked by his assertions that a Sadrist was set to become prime minister. So when disasters struck sectors under Sadrist control, his opponents quickly linked them to Sadrists’ corruption and negligence.

Sadr and his political movement have been controlling around a half of the government and other authorities. They will not simply give up all of this’

– Prominent Shia politician

When he withdrew, Sadr’s opponents then said he was only bowing out because his candidates were projected to win just 32-34 seats in parliament, far fewer than the number he predicted himself.

His decision to boycott the elections was seen as “a tactic to evade his promises and save face”, a prominent leader of the al-Hikma Movement told MEE.

Privately, Sadrist leaders do not hide that they are betting on chaos and violence, which they believe will hit the streets before election day and force the government and Sadr’s opponents to postpone the elections.

“Whatever the upcoming election results, it will lead to a redistribution of powers, positions, influence, and money among the winners,” a prominent Shia politician told MEE.  

Sadr and his political movement have been controlling around half of the government and other authorities. They will not simply give up all of this, even if this is Sadr’s desire. Those [Sadrist leaders] have commitments, contracts, commissions, and mass bases that are waiting for them to continue to keep the spoon in their mouths,” he added.

“Preventing them from participating in the elections and threatening all these privileges will provoke their wrath against Sadr himself, and they will translate this into pressure on everyone, including Sadr.”

Postponement is not an option

Yet, as things stand, such a delay is far from an option for Iraq’s government and the international community.

Primarily this is because of the time and money spent preparing for them and getting the electoral law into place, officials told MEE.

“The early elections cannot be postponed now. Postponement means that all technical steps will be repeated anew. Perhaps we will even witness demands to amend or cancel the election law,” an official close to Kadhimi told MEE.

“These procedures may take a year or more. This means that the option to postpone the elections is closer to the idea of ​​canceling, and this is what the prime minister does not want.”

According to the official, Kadhimi, who is not running in the next election, wants all the main forces to participate and ensure a smooth transfer of power. Sadr’s absence threatens this, he warned.

“The prime minister is very concerned and is currently seeking to find a settlement with the participation of the [political] forces that support him, to reassure Sadr and reduce the severity of the attacks on him and his followers, and convince him to retract his decision,” he said.

“Everyone knows that the Sadrists will not withdraw from the political scene quietly and will not allow elections to take place without them. Sadr’s followers will burn the streets if necessary, and everyone must understand that there is no real profit to be gotten from the Sadrists boycotting the elections, and there will be no stability, therefore action must be taken on this basis.”

The Russian and Chinese horns will take advantage of Biden’s blunder

China, Russia waiting to take advantage of Biden’s Afghanistan blunder: Navy vet

August 18, 2021 by News Desk

Fox News published this video item, entitled “China, Russia waiting to take advantage of Biden’s Afghanistan blunder: Navy vet” – below is their description.

The former Navy veteran and Texas congressman discusses the current situation at the Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul. 

Fox News YouTube Channel

Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iranto the west; TurkmenistanUzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast.

Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, composed mostly of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks.

China is the third largest country in the world by area and the largest country in the world by population. Properly known as the People’s Republic of China, the political territory of the country includes the former nations of Tibet and Hong Kong. The capital is Beijing.

China’s state media criticizes social platforms amid crackdownChinese Medical Workers’ Day: A day of a surgeonRailway trippin’ – Tibetan Style | Heyang’s first horse rideAfghanistan’s ex-president Ashraf Ghani denies fleeing with money, says he’s ‘in talks to return’China outlines priorities for Tibet to advance stability, prosperityKeiser Report | China burning their treasure fleet again? | E 1738Hong Kong Olympic athletes welcomed back in homecoming parade

Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country located in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It extends from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, and from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the south.

Russia spans more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area, stretching eleven time zones, and bordering 16 sovereign nations. Moscow is the country’s capital.

The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991 and since 1993 Russia been governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia is a major great power, with the world’s second-most powerful military, and the fourth-highest military expenditure. As a recognised nuclear-weapon state, the country possesses the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons.

The German horn expresses concern over the Iranian nuclear horn: Daniel 8

Germany says Iran’s accelerated enrichment of uranium is “very negative step”

August 18, 20216:43 AM MDTLast Updated a day ago

BERLIN, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Iran’s acceleration of its enrichment of uranium to near weapons-grade breaches restrictions imposed in a 2015 nuclear deal, Germany said on Wednesday, urging Tehran to return to negotiations with a constructive approach.

“Iran has no plausible civilian justification for these steps, and instead gains military knowledge and skills,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman told a news conference. “We urge Iran to return to the negotiating table with a constructive stance.”

The U.N. atomic watchdog said in a report on Tuesday seen by Reuters that Iran had accelerated its enrichment of uranium.

Reporting by Paul Carrel Editing by Madeline Chambers

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The China nuclear horn will take over Taiwan

China takes US withdrawal from Afghanistan as an opportunity for some sabre-rattling in Taiwan

Tuesday 17 Aug 2021 at 11:36am

Chinese state media and nationalistic commentators have leapt on America’s disastrous retreat from Afghanistan to claim America will not defend the people of the next potential flashpoint in Asia: Taiwan. 

Online reaction in China to the US withdrawal has focused on the general demise of American power and several commentators have drawn comparisons to a potential future conflict over the island to China’s east. 

“If the US gets involved in a war over Taiwan, it has even less chance of success, and will involve bottomless costs”, Hu Xijin, an influential nationalistic state media commentator, said in a video. 

The editor of the Global Times published several pieces taking aim at what he called Taiwan “separatists”.

“Just think how many American soldiers’ lives would be spent on Taiwan, and how many trillions of dollars,” he wrote in one editorial. 

While many people in Taiwan believe they are a separate nation, Beijing sees the island as a province destined to be brought under Communist control.

A 40-year-old US law states that the United States will provide political and military support for Taiwan. 

But despite decades of arms sales, the US remains strategically ambiguous on whether it would ever directly intervene to defend Taiwan from a Chinese attack. 

It has long been feared that a dispute over the island would drag the two rival superpowers, who both possess nuclear weapons, into war. 

Beijing follows up editorials with drills

As the hot takes rolled in, the Chinese military announced it was sending warships, anti-submarine warfare aircraft and fighter jets to areas south of Taiwan for live-fire assault drills. 

“I hope that the Beijing leaders would understand that Taiwan is no Afghanistan,” said Alexander Huang, a former Taiwanese government official, now at Tamkang University. 

He told the ABC that the US withdrawal has raised questions about how committed America would be to Taiwan, but dismissed the Chinese state media comparisons with Afghanistan. 

“Of course Beijing might play psychological operations against the general public in Taiwan to try to soften their will and make them think the American commitment is in doubt,” he said. 

China’s Communist Party has vowed to take control of Taiwan and its 25 million people by 2049 at the latest, regardless of what Taiwanese themselves think. 

Joe Biden smiling with his hand on Xi Jinping's shoulder
US state media portrayed America’s defeat in Afghanistan as proof of the country’s decline as a superpower. (Reuters: David McNew)

China’s leader Xi Jinping has repeatedly expressed a desire for a peaceful takeover, maintaining an offer of “One Country, Two Systems” — the same deal that saw Hong Kong last 23 years before Beijing politically clamped the city.

But China maintains the threat of military force if persuasion fails, an option Beijing would prefer to avoid. 

“State media actively promulgates stories and editorials that Taiwan has no fighting chance and should simply surrender. The commentary drawing parallels between Afghanistan and Taiwan is yet another case of it,” said Jessica Drun, a non-resident fellow with the US-based Project2049 Institute. 

“We need to give pause around these narratives, not play too hard into them.

“The circumstances and national security priorities in Afghanistan and a Taiwan Strait contingency are so dissimilar.” 

They feel they’ve eroded America’s military edge

Consecutive landslide election defeats in Taiwan for the main political party seeking more cooperative ties with China has underlined how unappealing such an arrangement appears to most Taiwanese. 

A group of Taiwanese protesters holding up signs, with one reading 'Taiwan yes, China no'
Many Taiwanese believe they have a separate nation, even if independence is never officially declared.(AP: Wally Santana )

And with President Tsai Ing-wen’s DPP party over the past six years leaning more heavily towards an independent identity separate to China, Mr Xi has been ratcheting up military pressure. 

“I think the Afghanistan withdrawal must make the Chinese more confident that if they push hard on Taiwan, America will cave,” said Hugh White, a defence analyst at The Australian National University. 

Professor White told the ABC that America’s rapid victory against Iraq during the Gulf War operation known as Desert Storm in 1991 shocked the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

“I remember speaking to senior PLA figures and they were very impressed. So now when the opposite occurs, you’re going to get converse thinking from them,” he said. 

Professor White believes the pressures and incentives for China’s leader Xi Jinping to act sooner rather than later are growing.

Three US soldiers in combat gear walking through a desert with a helicopter behind them
US President Joe Biden says he stands behind his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, even though the Taliban seized power in just over a week.(AP: Hoshang Hashimi)

“I think they feel they’ve eroded America’s military edge sufficiently, and Xi wants it on his banner,” he said. 

Last month, China demanded the US stop arms sales and military interactions with Taiwan, as the Biden administration announced plans for a further $US750 million ($1.03 billion) sale of howitzer weapons systems.

Outmatched in military might, Taiwan’s chances of withstanding a People’s Liberation Army offensive would heavily rely on US support, and China’s PLA is a far more powerful foe than the Taliban. 

The stakes, though, are much higher. 

Why a US-China conflict is the nightmare scenario

Being able to help Taiwan ward off a Communist takeover is integral to America’s reputation in East Asia, on which alliances with Australia, Japan, South Korea and several south-east Asian nations depend. 

Most analysts believe attempting to take control of Taiwan would be a costly, bloody conflict for China to pursue and is therefore not imminent. 

But the 2049 deadline that Beijing has set creates a window that narrows with every year. 

A woman with long hair wears a face mask with the flag of Taiwan on it
The US pledges support to Taiwan, but does not explicitly vow to protect it in a war. (Reuters: Ann Wang)

“At three in the morning, if Joe Biden has to make the call to commit maritime forces to the biggest war the world has seen since 1945, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the Chinese calculate that Biden would pull back,” said Hugh White. 

“It’s bad news if they’re right, because America would cease to be an East Asian power.

“And it’s bad news if the US doesn’t cave in, because we’d have the first war between great powers since 1945.”

Gaza terror groups threaten ‘escalation’ from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Children talk with masked members of the military wing of Hamas, while marching along the streets of Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, May 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Gaza terror groups threaten ‘escalation’ as progress reported in Qatari aid deal

Palestinians to protest Saturday near border fence with Israel, despite apparent advances in ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas

By Aaron BoxermanToday, 1:50 am

Palestinian factions in Gaza said on Wednesday that they were prepared to “escalate” hostilities against Israel unless restrictions on the enclave were loosened and announced a protest Saturday near the border fence.

“An explosion and escalation are inevitable if the status quo persists. The weak Zionist government must realize the price of its continued existence is ending the aggression against the West Bank and Jerusalem and ending the siege on Gaza,” senior Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh said in a statement.

After a Wednesday meeting, Gaza factions also announced that they would begin “a series of activities” to increase the pressure on Israel. In statements following the meeting, officials said they would hold a mass gathering in Malika camp on Saturday afternoon close to the security fence with Israel.

Malika was a key site of protests against Israel near the Gaza border fence in 2018 and 2019. The demonstrations, many of which saw violent clashes between terror group members and Israeli soldiers, left hundreds of Gazans dead.

Tensions between the two sides have been mounting again in recent weeks, propelled by an apparent lack of immediate progress in ceasefire talks to allow Gaza to rebuild following the 11-day conflict in May. On Monday, southern Israel was hit with the first rocket fire since the May round of fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Israel did not respond to Monday’s rocket fire in its unusual manner of striking Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip. Nonetheless, without an agreement to facilitate Gaza reconstruction, observers say a future escalation of hostilities is inevitable.

Israeli officials have vowed they will not allow a return to the status quo, which they view as too favorable to the Hamas terror group that controls the enclave.

“There’s no going back to the way things were,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the government shortly after assuming power in mid-June.Advertisement

One of the main points of contention has been over the future of hundreds of millions in subsidies that Qatar sends to the Gaza Strip. Since 2018, Qatar has provided over hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza. Israel allowed the funds into the tightly blockaded enclave in exchange for quiet on its southern border.

The Qatari projects funded fuel for Gaza’s only power plant and hospitals to shore up the enclave’s damaged healthcare system. They also brought in hundreds of millions in cash payments to 100,000 poor Gazan families and to Hamas’s civil servants.

In the aftermath of the May fighting, Israel has sought to impose heightened restrictions on Gaza, significantly limiting imports and exports and largely halting the Qatari subsidies, all of which are essential to rebuilding the battered enclave.

During the war, Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian rockets caused at least $290 million worth of damage to the Gaza Strip, international assessors reported in early July.

The Israeli government has also sought to condition any easing of restrictions on progress in talks to reach a prisoner exchange with Hamas. The terror group currently holds two Israeli civilians, as well as the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Hamas hopes to swap them for thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Both sides, however, are said to be closing in on a deal. Qatar and the United Nations have reached a tentative agreement that would see some of the Qatari subsidies return to the Gaza Strip, a diplomatic source told The Times of Israel

Previous announcements by officials that serious progress had been made in the ongoing talks were not borne out, however. A proposed deal between Ramallah and Doha to facilitate the funds through Palestinian Authority banks apparently fell through.

The current proposed framework does not include the Palestinian Authority. It would instead involve e-cards issued by the UN to 100,000 poor Gazan families, rather than suitcases of Qatari cash.

Nor would the planned deal include payments to Hamas’ employees in Gaza, one of the key stumbling blocks to any potential agreement.

It is unclear how the UN framework would overcome the concerns of Palestinian banks. The Palestinian Authority’s attempt to sign a deal with Qatar to fund the impoverished Gazans apparently collapsed when PA banks registered sharp opposition, fearing international sanctions if they paid out funds to families linked to Hamas.

But a senior Israeli security official reportedly expressed optimism on Wednesday that a final deal could be made to allow the Qatari cash into the Gaza Strip in the coming days, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Israel also lifted some restrictions on Gaza beginning on Sunday, allowing in the import of tires and some other goods, according to Israeli and Palestinian officials. Over 1,350 Gazan businessmen were also allowed to cross into Israel on Wednesday for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hamas Leader Sends a Warning to Israel: Revelation 11

Hamas Leader: ‘Foolish Act’ by Israel Could Lead to War

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the Rafah Medical Complex in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Nov. 23, 2019. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90. – Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the terror organization based in the Gaza Strip maintains “a strategic relationship” with Iran, Hezbollah and “many [others] in the region,” and therefore, any “foolish act” by Israel could lead to a regional war.

According to the report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Haniyeh said this during an Aug. 10 interview with Al-Alam TV (Iran).

“It is no secret that Iran played a very important role” in building the force seen during the 11-day conflict with Israel in May, said Haniyeh.

He also noted that “Jerusalem will not remain hostage to Zionist practices, policies and projects, and the Palestinians will not be left alone to defend Jerusalem.”

“We no longer hesitate to say that any foolish act carried out by the occupation against the Al-Aqsa mosque or Jerusalem, or an act that crosses the line concerning the Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem, might lead to regional war,” he said.

As he explained, “When the Americans leave the region, when the Israelis can no longer win their military battles, when the path of normalization fails and when the resistance wins battles inside or outside Palestine, that means that a strategic environment could be formed around the Palestinian cause that is better than before.”