March 20, 2008
Steven Collins
Students of biblical prophecy all know the importance of following events in the Mideast, in general, and in Israel, in particular. Two small stories caught my eye which, together, could be a harbinger of ominous developments.
As you know, President Bush’s “Mideast Peace Process” is stalled, and President Bush, Sec. of State Rice and others are pressuring the Israeli government to essentially “surrender” vital Israeli security interests to the Palestinians to salvage this “peace process.” Quite understandably, even Olmert’s weak government is reluctant to yield on vital issues just so Bush and Rice can salvage some kind of legacy for their efforts.
In a story posted at,  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is cited as darkly hinting that the Palestinians might resort to more terrorist acts unless Israelis make more concessions (see story text below). Consider his threat in light of the information in the news link cited below. It reports that a top aide to Mahmoud Abbas was caught smuggling 3,000 cellphones plus cartons of cigarettes into Israel as his car entered Israeli territory through an ordinarily privileged location. The real issue here is the 3,000 cell-phones. Let’s connect the dots.
Cell-phone signals can be used by terrorists to detonate bombs. Palestinian leader Abbas threatens to resort to new terrorism unless Israel makes even more concessions. Soon after Abbas’ threat, one of Abbas’ aides is caught trying to smuggle 3,000 cell-phones into Israeli territory. Hmmm. Is it so hard to see what may be happening here? The Palestinians tried to take advantage of diplomatic trust to smuggle thousands of devices into Israel which can be used to detonate bombs just after Abbas threatens to resort to more terrorism. One could simply write-off this episode as an example of the endemic corruption of Palestinian leaders, but it could also mean that Palestinians were caught red-handed trying to sneak into Israel 3,000 cellphones to use them as detonators for the new terrorist attacks threatened by Palestinian leader, Abbas (especially since it was Abbas’ own aide who was doing the smuggling)
I think the Palestinians were planning on using the cell-phones for purposes far more sinister than selling contraband cigarettes. There are reports that Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are planning for a coordinated strike against Israel. If that happened, those 3,000 unregistered cellphones could have been used for detonating bombs to cripple Israel from within at a time when it was being attacked by other enemies. Christians should watch events in the Mideast very closely. The possibility of a war with prophetic significance is very real.
Exclusive: Abbas threatens to quit peace talks, revive Fatah terror
March 18, 2008, 11:44 AM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has put President George W. Bush and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on notice. He has sent them a warning that he means to break off peace talks with Israel unless prime minister Ehud Olmert comes through with concessions by April. After that, he says, the Palestinians may weigh “alternative actions on the ground” – a transparent threat for his Fatah organization to revive the Palestinian “uprising” (terror campaign) against Israel from the West Bank.
DEBKAfile’s Palestinians sources note this is Abbas’ second threat to reignite the Palestinian-Israeli war launched by Yasser Arafat in 2000. Two weeks ago, he told the Jordanian <iA Dustouri>, that while he prefers negotiations for now, he does not exclude an alternative option in the future.
Our Washington sources disclose the Palestinian leader’s conditions for the dialogue to continue:
1. The Israeli prime minister must meet Palestinian demands for concessions.
2.  Foreign minister Tzipi Livni must satisfy her Palestinian opposition number Ahmed Qureia’s demand for a final list of Israeli concessions on the core issues of borders, refugees, Jerusalem and water.
3. Israeli must halt all construction in Jerusalem and the settlements forthwith.
According to DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, Abbas’s ultimatum was timed to profit from three forthcoming events:
<bFirst:b> US Vice President Dick Cheney’s visit on March 22.  Palestinian officials will emphasize to him that they have run out of patience with Olmert and that some American arm-twisting is needed to make him more forthcoming.
<bSecond:b> The forthcoming Arab League summit on March 29 in Damascus. Abbas is jockeying for a position that will upstage the Gaza issue, which is high on the summit’s agenda, and steal the thunder from radical Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal’s triumphal performance. For this, he needs a more radical platform than tame submission to the US-sponsored peace line.
<bThird:b>  A fighting stance would pave the way for reconciliation talks with Hamas on the formation of a Palestinian unity government. This would be applauded by all the Arab rulers present.
For Abbas, time is running out with his own people. A new Palestinian popularity poll in mid-March placed Hamas prime minister of Gaza Ismail Haniyeh in the lead – 47 percent to the PA chairman’s 46 percent. Significantly, Haniyeh gained 10 percent in popularity after Hamas smashed the Gaza-Egyptian border wall and escalated its missile onslaught on Israel.
<bFourth:b> The Palestinian leader is under fire from his own followers for letting Israel celebrate its 60th year of statehood in May without discernible progress toward Palestinian independence. The resumption of a Fatah-dominated terror offensive to mar Israel’s anniversary events might quell the dissatisfaction with his leadership.