Hamas pummels Israel with rockets, Israel strikes back - then quiet...will it last? and US firefighters join Israel to battle terrorist arson near Gaza border; plus a chilling eyewitness account of proceedings against American pastor in Turkey.
- This week on Jerusalem Dateline:
Hamas pummels southernIsrael with rockets.
Israel strikes back, then quiet.
Will it last?
And U.S. fighters join Israel
to battle terroristarson near Gaza border.
Plus, a chilling eye witness account
of proceedings againstAmerican pastor in Turkey.
All this and more thisweek on Jerusalem Dateline.
(upbeat rock music)
- Hello, and welcome to thisedition of Jerusalem Dateline.
I'm Julie Stahl fillingin for Chris Mitchell.
We're coming to you today from Sderot,
the southern Israeli city
known as the bomb sheltercapital of the world.
Hamas says it has a truce with Israel
after the latest round ofrocket and air strikes.
Israel says quiet will be met with quiet.
But as senior editor John Waage reports,
that doesn't do much to calm the nerves
of the residents along the Gaza border.
- The current lull began
after a Hamas Grad rocketlanded in Beersheba,
Israel's third largest city.
Israel responded by blowingup a five story building
it says was a Hamas headquarters.
For more than 10 years, Israelisliving near the Gaza Strip
have had to put up withdeadly rocket attacks,
flaming kites and balloons,terror tunnels, and much more.
And this is ground zero,the city of Sderot.
- The children is very frightened.
The scaring, the crying.
- [Waage] During a 24 hour period,
Hamas pounded Israeli communities
near Gaza with nearly 200 rockets.
Now it's quiet.
Ossi Anikovich is a farmer.
He says even his cows give lessmilk because of the rockets.
- This situation is not good for the cows.
- [Waage] Despite thecurrent halt in fighting,
Israel's SecurityCabinet directed the army
to act with force againstterrorist perpetrators.
- The IDF is committed todefend the state of Israel,
its civilians, and its sovereignty,
and we are ready and prepared
for different scenarios to come.
- [Waage] But Yedidya Harush,
who lives in a border community,
says the government needs todeal more harshly with Hamas.
- Their goal is to continue this conflict
as long as they can.
We have to understand,with a longterm agreement,
Hamas is no longer relevant.
Their entire existence is based on hatred
and killing and death.
We make our lives holywhile they make their death.
- Joining me here now in Sderot
is CBN senior editor John Waage.
John, good to have you with us.
Tell me, what's the backgroundbehind this conflict
between Israel and Hamas?
- Really I think you have togo back Julie to 1987, '88,
the founding charter of Hamas,
which calls for the destruction of Israel,
and for the last ten years specifically,
and a little more than that actually,
the rockets have been flying
to places like Sderot andall along the Gaza strip.
And as a result,
these people here can'ttolerate that on a daily basis.
It's not only deadly,it's damaging to property,
it causes great stress.
And so what's happened is theIDF, Israeli Defense Forces,
three times and maybe fournow, have had to go into Gaza,
rout out the Hamas infrastructure
to the extent that theycan, and get out again.
In the meanwhile
they've been developingsystems like the Iron Dome,
which are shooting downsome of the rockets,
making life better here.
And so actually you lookaround and this town is growing
from what it was ten years ago.
- Yeah, we just saw the buildingson the outskirts of town.
- Yeah, exactly!
The bomb shelters wherepeople used to run under
like something in a playground,
now they have big concretestructures to flee to
even in their own homes.
And so it's becoming a place where you see
that the residents here are not leaving.
They're not gonna leave
in the face of what Hamas is doing
and the other terror groups,
and so you really have a kind of stand-off
until Israel is willing to go in
and completely take care of Hamas,
which up till now because ofinternational public pressure
has not happened.
- Do you think that there's any way around
just totally getting rid of Hamas?
Can they make a peace deal do you think?
- They can make a truce deal,but a long-term peace deal,
unless the leopard changes its spots,
Israel would have to go in
and completely wipe out theHamas infrastructure in Gaza,
and that would take possibly weeks,
and they're just not ready
for that kind of international outcry.
- Do you think they'dhave to stay in Gaza then?
- They'd have to stay for some time, yes.
Well thank you very muchJohn for joining us.
- You know it's quiethere in Sderot right now,
but we want you to takea look at what it's like
when Sderot is under attack.
(people screaming, rockets exploding)
- In the streets ofSderot, panic once again
as the sirens signalincoming rockets from Gaza.
Hamas says the barrage is retaliation
for Israel's earlierkilling of two Hamas snipers
who were said to be in training
and not firing at Israeli troops.
The terror group's response
sent stressed-out Israelisheading for shelters,
and Israel's militarypounded Hamas targets
in the Gaza strip withstrike after strike.
This wave of bombardmentcomes after days of debate
here in Jerusalem aboutwhether Israel should agree
to a five year Egyptianbrokered ceasefire with Hamas.
Now with roads and beaches
and summer camps closingin southern Israel,
and weary residents sick of sirens,
the talk has turned to military strategy.
At least one Knessetmember, a retired colonel,
is calling for the headsof the Hamas leadership,
and U.S Middle East negotiatorJason Greenblatt tweeted:
"Another night of terror andfamilies huddling in fear
"as Israel defends itself.
"This is the Hamas regime's choice.
"Hamas is subjecting its people
"to the terrifyingconditions of war again."
Meanwhile, UN leaders
warn that Gaza residentsface impending disaster,
with severe fuel shortagesalready plaguing the city.
But with more than 100000Israelis under fire,
the fuel problem may notbe Gaza's greatest worry
in the days ahead.
Before the rocket attacks,
Israeli firefighters battled arson fires
caused by some 1200 Hamas terror attacks
over the last months,
burning more than 7500 acresof farmland and nature.
So American volunteers cameto fight the flames with them.
Palestinian terrorists areusing balloons and kites,
combined with the summer wind,
to carry their fire from Gaza to Israel.
We found this piece ofkite in a scorched field.
Behind me in the tree aremore pieces of the kite,
and behind the tree is the Gaza strip.
- Some people can think it'slike a toy, a children's toy,
but it's a very deadly weapon,
and we are fighting every dayto prevent any achievement
from these terrorists.
- [Waage] That's when theEmergency Volunteers Project,
a US organization dedicatedto assisting Israel,
stepped in to help.
- Our firefighters haveassisted putting out
literally dozens offires over the past week
here in southern Israel.
- [Waage] Sponsored by
the Jewish Federations of North America,
spokesperson Eitan Charnoffsays when the volunteers arrive,
they're ready to go.
- Our American volunteersare trained in advance
about how to work here,
not just in terms of whatequipment is different,
what tactics are different,what threats are different,
but they're also taught the culture.
- In February of 2017, Icame on a trip to be trained.
That way when we get here in a deployment
they don't have to take time to train me.
I get off the airplane and I go to work.
- [Waage] Cory Rea and Aston Bright
are both American firefighters.
- Firefighting, there's auniversal language to it.
You pull a hose and youspray the water on the fire,
you pull an ax and you cut something,
firefighters, we like to break things,
so it's universal.
- [Waage] But some things are different,
like fighting fire while under fire.
- This is actually an armor-platedbulletproof fire engine.
It's the first time
I've ever been on a fireengine quite like this,
but that's necessary
because we are so closeto the Gaza border.
- [Waage] Rea and Bright, both Christians,
say their faith played apart in their decision.
- I can't build houses, I'm not a doctor,
but I can put out firesand so that's how I serve.
As a believer, the Biblesays to be a friend of Israel
and the Jews are the chosen people,
and so I felt led to serve in some way
and that's all I know how to do.
- [Waage] Shmulik Friedman,
an Israeli fire service commander,
said working with Americans
is about more than fighting fires.
- It's much more than ten firefighters,
because it's the spirit of the brotherhood
between our two nations.
- We have to protect the state of Israel
and the Jewish people,
and the United States ishere in this fight with them
and we're glad to be here.
- John Wagee, CBN News, nearthe Gaza-Israeli border.
- Turning to another front,US sanctions hit Iran,
adding pressure to aregime already under attack
from the inside.
Iranians are rising up, furiousover their terrible economy
and the tyranny of the ayatollahs.
Gary Lane has details.
- The US sanctionstarget Iran's technology,
automobile, currency, andprecious metal industries.
The punitive measures areexpected to further damage
the country's economy and exertmore pressure on the regime.
In Iran, Trump's strategyis already having an effect.
A worsening economy has leadto anti-government protests.
A growing number of Iranians
are demanding an end to the regime.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
praised President Trump's decision,
calling it an important momentfor Israel and the world.
- I call on the countries of Europe
who talk about stoppingIran to join this move.
The time has come to stop talking.
The time has come to do,
and that is exactly whatthe United States is doing,
and that is what Europe should do.
- [Lane] But the EuropeanUnion is unlikely to join in.
It's taking actions to shield businesses
from penalties imposed forviolating US sanctions.
They ensure lucrative oil,banking, and investment deals
with the Islamic Republic can move forward
when a tougher set of sanctionstakes effect in November.
President Rouhani denounced the sanctions,
calling them psychological warfare,
but he opened the door to direct talks
with preconditions, aUS apology, and payback.
- If the US government is ready today
to negotiate about payingcompensation to the Iranian nation
from 1953 until now
over its meddling in thelife of Iranian people,
we are ready for talks
to see how they are going tocompensate and pay us back.
- [Lane] President Obama already returned
at least 150 billion dollarsfrom a canceled arms deal.
Middle East analyst Robert Spencer.
- It was the shah's regime
that had made the armsdeal that was canceled,
and so it did not by rightbelong to the Islamic Republic.
- [Lane] And even if the USstands alone against Iran,
Spencer says Trump'sapproach may be enough
to make a huge difference.
- He has reversed thepolicies of appeasement
that Obama pursued soindefatigably for eight years,
and this could bring aboutthe downfall of the regime,
which would be good for theIranians and good for the world.
- Gary Lane, CBN News.
(upbeat rock music)
- Coming up, a chilling eyewitness account
of Turkish proceedings againstAmerican Pastor Brunson.
(upbeat rock music)
Pastor Andrew Brunson remainsunder house arrest in Turkey
awaiting his hearing in October.
While many call recent proceedings
against him a kangaroo court,
the millions praying for him had no idea
what was happening inside, until now.
Jennifer Wishon brings usthis firsthand account.
- A courtroom designed to makePastor Brunson feel defeated,
bogus witnesses bribed by the prosecution,
and the power of forgiveness.
An eyewitness takes us inside
Pastor Brunson's persecution in Turkey.
- The court used to belike a basketball court
or some sort of sports court
that has been turned into a courtroom
right next to a very large prison,
and way up front there arethree judges on a raised dais
and very low is Pastor Andrew Brunson,
witnesses for the prosecution,and Pastor Brunson's lawyer.
There are over 500 chairs between him
and the area where observerslike me and his wife
are allowed to sit.
- [Wishon] Kristina Arriaga
of the US Commission onInternational Religious Liberty
attended Pastor Brunson'smost recent hearing.
Seated beside his wife Norine,she watched in disbelief.
- Because Pastor Brunson cannotsee very well from far away,
anytime he looks back towards his wife
she stands up and putsher hand over her heart
so he knows he's not alone.
Pastor Brunson sat there
while he heard former church members,
people probably that he baptized,
people that he had teawith, testify against him,
and the judge at one pointturned to him around noontime
and asked Andrew Brunsonto speak for himself,
and he said "My faithteaches me to forgive,
"so I forgive those whojust testified against me."
There was a chill in the room.
I know his wife, who isgraceful and extremely strong,
probably found that tobe a natural answer,
but I was stunned and movedto tears when he said that.
- Why would his church members,
people that he was intimatewith, testify against him?
- I imagine these people wereunder tremendous pressure
to keep their jobs or feed their families.
We don't know what kind ofthreats they were under.
- [Wishon] Brunson has been transferred
from prison to house arrest,
but Arriaga fears that puts him at risk.
- But he's in a terriblydangerous situation
because the Brunsons areportrayed in the Turkish press
as people who are againstthe state of Turkey,
and I have great fears
there's gonna be an increase of incitement
to violence against him,
and no one will be able to stop a mob
that tries to go and kill him.
- [Wishon] Armed with sanctions
and the power to withholdF-35 fighter jets
Turkey wants to purchase,
US officials from theWhite House to Congress
continue to pressure Turkey'spresident Recep Erdoğan
to release Brunson.
His next hearing is October 12th.
Jennifer Wishon, CBN News.
(upbeat rock music)
- Up next,
do you know which color theancient biblical priesthood,
the Israeli flag, andouter space have in common?
(upbeat rock music)
The ancient biblicalpriesthood, the Israeli flag,
and outer space have one thing in common,
and that's the color blue.
That's the theme of a new exhibit
at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.
Take a look.
Did you know
the ancient blue and purpledyes in biblical times
were extracted from snails?
- Tekhelet is the bluecolor that was used to dye
the most important fabrics and textiles.
Tekhelet was extracted from a sea snail,
the murex snail, in the ancient world.
The Phoenicians were knownas the purple people.
Phoenicia actually theorigins of the word is purple,
and the color wastekhelet blue and argaman.
Argaman is like a purple.
- Blue and purple arementioned dozens of times
in the Hebrew scriptures,
and those colors are thetheme of a new exhibit,
Out of the Blue,
here at the Bible LandsMuseum in Jerusalem.
- We decided to do an exhibition
that looks at the originsof the color blue,
everything from the chemistry
and the original types of stones
and attempts to copy blue
and make a lasting color and the dye.
- [Stahl] The exhibittraces the color's history
in the Middle East frompagan cultures to the Bible.
Tekhelet and argaman
were used in the tabernacle'scurtains and veil,
and God commanded the Jewish people
to wear blue in their clothes.
"Speak to the children of Israel:
"tell them to make tassels onthe corners of their garments
"through their generations,
"and to put a blue thread inthe tassels of the corners
"that you may look upon it and remember
"all the commandments ofthe Lord and do them."
One rabbi asks why the tekhelet
is different from other colors.
He says it's becauseit looks like the sea,
which looks like the sky, whichlooks like sapphire stone,
and that looks like the Throne of Glory.
- It's almost like magic.
You have this jar of thisvery yellowish gooey liquid,
and you dip your wool inand when you pull it out
it looks yellow for a moment,
and the longer it's in the air
it starts to transformcolor in front of your eyes,
and as you open it up itbasically takes on the hues
that are such an exquisite array here.
Only those that were in royaltyor of religious significance
wore colors that were so exquisitely dyed.
- [Stahl] There's alsothis amazing Persian jar
from the time of King Dariusin the Book of Daniel.
- It's a jar made of alabaster,
and if you look at it closely
you can see a little bitof purple tint to it.
The King Darius jar hasfour different inscriptions,
four languages written on it.
- [Stahl] And a tiny scrollof the Book of Esther
where the people aredressed in blue and purple.
Fast forward to modern times,where a huge Israeli flag
is the first one to flyat the United Nations
after Israel became a state.
- The inspiration for the flagof the modern state of Israel
was something that wasdiscussed by the early Zionists
and in a variety of design options,
but all of them seem to be based on
the same basic principle,
that it had to reflect the prayer shawl
of the Jewish people, the tallit.
- [Stahl] Another smallerflag wraps up the exhibit.
It flew aboard the world'sfirst international space flight
So from snails to outer space,
for Israel it's all about the color blue.
(upbeat rock music)
Still ahead, thebest-selling book of all time
tops the list again
with a new version forJews and Christians.
(upbeat rock music)
The Bible is the best-sellingbook of all time,
and it's still going strong.
This latest version just hitnumber one on Amazon's list,
and as Chris Mitchell reports,
it's designed to appeal toboth Christians and Jews.
- The Israel Bible is the only Bible
that's exclusively dedicatedto the land of Israel,
the people of Israel,and the God of Israel.
- [Mitchell] Rabbi TulyWeisz of Israel 365
saw the 70th anniversary ofIsrael as a great opportunity
for a special version of this kind.
- The Bible has had such agreat impact on civilization,
yet it's also been the greatest source
of friction and divisionbetween Jews and Christians,
who both claim to love the Bible.
And so now the vision for the Israel Bible
is that we're gonna have the opportunity
to use the Bible as a source of unity
between Jews and Christians,
and everybody who loves the Bible.
- So this is the Hebrew scriptures,
it's not the New Testamentor the Brit Chadasha,
so why would Christians want to be able
to read the Israel Bible?
- Well first of all, I'm not a Christian,
but I know that for Christians
who want the Bible that Jesus read,
so he read the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh.
That's something that my Christian friends
have pointed out to me,
that this is the Bible that Jesus read.
I think that there'sanother aspect as well
that the prophets talkedabout, how in the future,
Isaiah says in the future,in the end of days,
the non-Jews are going tosay to the Jewish people
teach us the Torah, teach us the Bible.
- [Mitchell] It comeswith special features
in the 929 chapters.
- Number one is that it opens
in the format of a Hebrewbook, it opens backwards.
A lot of our customers are saying
hey wait a minute, myBible opens backwards.
It's not a mistake!
We did it on purpose.
All of the verses about Israel
have been highlighted andtransliterated so that anybody
could actually read theHebrew for themselves,
and then of course on thebottom of every chapter
we have study notes.
- [Mitchell] Weiszfeels this version comes
at an important time,
because of the inaccuratecriticism directed at Israel.
- More than any other time in history,
the world's eyes are focused on Israel.
You have world leaders who are saying
that Israel is occupying this land,
and this Bible shows thatwe're not occupying this land.
This is the land that God gave to us,
and everybody needs to bemore educated in God's Word.
And especially if you're confused,
if you're not familiar which side to take
to be supportive ofIsrael, to be on the fence,
to be anti-Israel, just read the Bible.
- Chris Mitchell, CBN News, Jerusalem.
- That's it for this edition.
Thanks for joining us,
and remember you can followus on Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, and YouTube.
And remember, pray forthe peace of Jerusalem,
the persecuted church, andthe Israeli-Gaza border.
I'm Julie Stahl.
We'll see you next timeon Jerusalem Dateline.
(upbeat rock music)