More trouble brewing on the Gaza border, will it explode? And Prime Minister Netanyahu urges Christian journalists to tell the truth about the Middle East and CBN interviews Pastor Brunson after his dramatic release.
- [Chris] This week on Jerusalem Dateline,
more trouble brewing on the Gaza border.
Will it explode?
And Prime Minister Netanyahuurges Christian journalists
from around the world to tell the truth
about the Middle East.
And CBN interviews Pastor Andrew Brunson
after his dramatic release.
All this and more thisweek on Jerusalem Dateline.
- Hello and welcome to thisedition of Jerusalem Dateline.
I'm Chris Mitchell.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu
pledged to take very strong action against
the Gaza Strip after a rocket from Gaza
slammed into an Israelihome in Beer Sheva,
Israel's fourth largest city.
CBN Middle East Correspondent, Julie Stahl
brings us that story.
- [Julie] Terrorists in the Gaza Strip
launched a rocket before dawn that crashed
into a home in the southernIsraeli city of Beer Sheva,
nearly 30 miles from Gaza.
A mother and her three children were safe
because they had gone to the bomb shelter
when the warning sirens sounded.
In response the IDF said Israeli planes
struck more than 20 Hamas targets
including a terror tunnelwhich crossed into Israel
and a factory used tomanufacture components
to build tunnels.
The IDF also released a video showing
a terror squad setting up a launching pad,
loading rockets and theIDF strike on the squad.
The rocket attack came a day after Israeli
Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman said
he is pressing forupgraded military action
to quiet the situation in Gaza.
He said, "My position isvery clear: we must deal
"a heavy blow against Hamas.
"This is the only way to return the
"situation to its previousstate, and to reduce
"the level of violence to nearly zero."
- Hamas isn't trying toachieve any truce with Israel.
Hamas is trying to achieve political aims
by using violence.
This is what terrorist organizations do.
- [Julie] IDF spokesman, Lieutenant
Colonel Jonathan Conricus
said Hamas is trying to involvethe international community.
- What they're doingis sending Palestinian
civilians forward causingthem to endanger themselves
by attacking Israel andhoping that these civilian
casualties will generateor garner international
interest in what's happeningand perhaps alleviate
the situation in Gaza.
- [Julie] A second rocketwas also apparently
launched at Tel Aviv andlanded in the Mediterranean.
It's the first time a rocket was launched
toward Tel Aviv since the 2014 Gaza War.
The rocket attack wasthe latest in escalating
violence which has seenPalestinian rioting
along the Gaza borderfor nearly seven months.
(speaks foreign language)the Jewish National Fund
also said attacks fromarson balloons and kites
from Gaza since April, havedestroyed more than half
of the forested areas surrounding Gaza.
Political leaders arecalling for Israel to take
tougher action and not allow Hamas
to erode Israel's deterrence.
Julie Stahl, CBN News, Jerusalem.
- Prime Minister Netanyahuhad already promised
painful blows againstHamas if they didn't stop
their violent protests.
The threat comes afterseven months of riots
along Israel's southern border.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu
said Israel may choose a different way
to confront Hamas's violence.
(speaks foreign language)
- [Translator] We're close toa different kind of action.
This action will includevery painful blows.
If Hamas is smart it will cease its fire
and violent outbursts now.
- [Chris] Hamas-led riotsbegan on March 30th.
IDF spokesman JonathanConricus told CBN News
Hamas plans events for different days.
On Monday, it's the beach.
- For instance, Mondaysare always the naval riots.
When they embark from the Gaza Harbor
and they try to breachinto Israeli waters.
- [Chris] Friday is the weekly main event.
- Where an average of18,000 rioters gather
in six different locations,trying to violently
get across into Israelbecoming more and more violent.
We see a clear escalation in violence,
in the weapons that they use.
Last Friday the most violentattempt, IED's were placed
by Palestinians on thefence, were detonated
and that blew a hole inthe fence through which
20 or so Palestiniansgot in and they tried
to assault an IDF position.
Hamas is actively pushingPalestinians towards
the fence, really escalatingthe level of violence
and trying to get Palestinianskilled on the fence.
- [Chris] AmbassadorMichael Oren addressed
the Gaza situation toChristian journalists
from around the world.
- A demonstrator is the new missile.
It's actually a better missile
'cause in more cases it's multi-usage.
And they get the picture,they get the picture
of innocent kids getting killed by Israel
which causes the same time of (mumbles).
It erodes our national legitimacy.
- [Chris] Earlier, CBNNews got a firsthand look
at what Israel soldiers have faced
for more than half a year.
- [Soldier] It's notlegitimate and civilian riot.
The leaders of the riot isHamas and they are trying
to challenge us.
- [Chris] Hamas is hasalso flown arson balloons
into Israel that burn thousands of acres
of Israeli farmland.
The goal of Hamas is toinfiltrate into Israeli
border communities toattack Israeli civilians.
- It should be very clear to our enemies
that there is a limit tothe amount of violence
that can be tolerated,to the amount of terror
that is inflicted uponIsraeli's civilians,
and of course IDF has thetools and the capabilities
to defend against us.
- New disturbing details are emerging
in the case of missing Washington Post
journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Intelligence officialsare reportedly becoming
more and more convincedthe Saudi Crown Prince
was involved in his death.
This as critics ofPresident Trump accuse him
of giving cover to the Saudis.
CBN's Jenna Browder bringsus the story from Washington.
- New grim details are comingout about what happened
to Washington Postjournalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
This as President Trumpgets ready to be briefed
by Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo today,
who just returned home from Turkey.
(speaking foreign language)
- [Jenna] One of his closest friends says
Khashoggi was killed in a barbaric way.
The New York Times reportsthat Turkish authorities say
audio recordings indicatea hit squad beheaded
and dismembered Khashoggi.
And US IntelligenceOfficials say evidence points
to the Crown Prince's involvement,
noting that some members of the team
serve on his security detail.
- They're an ally and they'rea tremendous purchaser
of not only militaryequipment but other things.
- [Jenna] President Trump saysthe Prince and Saudi King,
both deny having any knowledge
about what happened to Khashoggi.
But others have their doubtsincluding Khalil Jashon,
another friend of Khashoggi's.
- Everything is possible inpolitics and in a chaotic
situation and apparentlythere is an element of chaos
in governing in Saudi Arabia at this time.
But I would say it's afar-fetched assumption
because the governing processis a very vertical one.
It always goes up to the top.
- [Jenna] The Crown Princeis heir to the throne
and has been credited withbringing some positive
changes to Saudi Arabia.
- Since becoming CrownPrince, bin Salman has
positioned himself as thechampion of modernization.
He has ushered in a host ofeconomic and social reforms.
He's allowed for example, womento drive for the first time.
They can also open their open businesses.
- [Jenna] CBN NewsInternational Correspondent,
George Thomas says whilethe Crown Prince has
helped to modernizeSaudi Arabia, he's also
ruled with a heavy hand.
- He's clamped down oncritics, arresting dozens
of prominent businessleaders, government officials,
human rights activists and evenmembers of the royal family.
The number of executions in the Kingdom
has steeply increased.
- [Jenna] The Presidentinsists he's not giving cover
to the Saudis and wantsto hold off on judgment
before the full story is known.
- I want to find out whathappened, where is the fault.
And we will probably knowthat by the end of the week.
- The Washington Post haspublished it's final Op-Ed
written by Khashoggithat says the Arab world
needs more freedom of expression.
In Washington, Jenna Browder, CBN News.
- Coming up, after morethan two years in prison
and house arrest, PastorAndrew Brunson is free.
Hear what he has to say about his ordeal.
Just a week after he wasfreed from a two year
confinement in Turkey forhis faith, Pastor Andrew
Brunson appeared on CBN's 700 Club.
He also sat down with CBN News' Gary Lane
to talk about his experience in prison.
- Pastor Brunson, it's sogood to have you here with us
and to see you back homein the United States.
Many Christians were praying for you.
And you were in house arrestand then within 24 hours,
you were in the United Statessitting in the Oval Office
with the President of the United States.
How did that feel?
- Well it was kind of a Joseph situation.
Actually I was just a weekago, standing in a Turkish
courtroom and it becameapparently, suddenly
that they were going to convict me.
We did not know what was going to happen.
But it was clear they haddecided to convict me.
And I didn't know how manyyears they would give me
at that time and how it wouldescalate things politically,
how many years I'd end up in prison.
And within 24 hours after Iwas convicted as a terrorist
in Turkey, officially convicted now,
but released for time served.
And then within 24 hoursto be able to visit
the White House andpray with the President.
It's a Joseph type ofsituation from the prison
up to the White House, amazing.
- Out of all the places inthe world you and your wife
could have ended up, why Turkey?
- Well, we didn'toriginally plan to go there
but our mission at thetime asked us to go.
And we said, okay.
But as we stayed there, we realized,
we developed a real love for the country.
God put it in our hearts.
But one very good reasonto be there is that
it's the largest unevangelizedcountry in the world.
So it has very few believersfrom a Turkish background.
And so this was what keptus there for many years,
is just sowing into that land,sowing into what we believe
is a great harvest thatis going to come there.
- And three months after the coup attempt
against the president and his government,
you're arrested and you'reput in solitary confinement.
What was that like?
- Well, first I was for13 days, with my wife
and we were kept togetherin a detention center.
And after that I wastransferred on my own,
my wife was released after 13 days.
And I think that was helpfulfor me to be arrested
with her, and go throughthose first days with her,
because we both wentthrough a process of fear.
We didn't know what wasgoing to happen to us.
And then when she wasreleased, I knew she would
be fighting for me.
One of the big concerns thatpeople have when they're
in prison, especiallythe political prisoners
or for reasons of persecutionis that they'll be forgotten.
And I knew that my wife wouldnot allow that to happen,
that she would fight for me.
Being in solitary confinementwas very, very difficult
especially for a long time,I didn't have a Bible,
there were not books.
It was just a bed and that was it.
And so I had nothing to dothroughout the entire day.
And actually what really saved me there
is somehow a booklet byMike Bickle, somebody
go it in to me, which we werenot allowed to have books.
But someone got thatinto me and it was just
some prayer points.
And that helped me to keep my sanity.
I just began to praythrough that and I'd pace
back and forth across that room for hours
just praying through these prayer points,
crying out to God.
- And before this interviewyou were telling me
how you started dancing before the Lord.
Tell me how that came about.
- Well, I read a book by Richard Wormbrand
where he describes how whenhe was in solitary confinement
that God says, Jesus sayactually, "Blessed are you
"when people persecuteyou and revile you falsely
"say all kinds of evil things about you.
"Rejoice and be glad,"
exceedingly glad actually.
And Wurmbrand danced before the Lord
in obedience to this.
And I thought well, I don't feel joy,
I don't sense joy right now.
But I'm going to dance before the Lord
as Wurmbrand did, asa sacrifice of praise.
So it was one of the steps I took.
That was into my secondyear when God started
to rebuild my strength.
So every day, I would take five minutes.
I just danced beforethe Lord and sang those
versus from Matthew 5:10 and 11.
And I would say, I dancebefore you as Wurmbrand
danced before you.
Here's my sacrifice of praise.
- Up next, we'll havemore on that interview
with Pastor Andrew Brunson.
As we promised, here's thesecond part of that interview
with Pastor Brunson, whosestory of faith under fire
was heard around the world.
- Would you say the firstyear was a tough year for you
and then God took you to a new level?
- The first year I wasreally broken in a way
that I hadn't imagined that I could be.
I thought I was stronger than that
because we had gone throughsome difficulties in Turkey.
And this was very unexpectedand I think what I had
expected from reading biographies was that
prison wouldn't be that difficult.
It would just be a timeof great intimacy with God
and joy and rejoicing in suffering.
And it was not that way for me.
I was really broken.
And then it was in the second year
that God began to rebuild me.
I could think of several of my friends
that I thought theywould to so much better
in this situation.
They're prayer warriors,they're intercessors,
they would just spendall their time praying.
And I said a number of times,God, you got the wrong man.
You chose the wrong man for this.
This is a mistake because I'm so weak.
So he allowed me to be broken.
I believe God allowed this.
But then he began to rebuildme in the second year.
- What did you pray at that time?
- Sometimes, my prayerswere not very deep.
They were just heartfelt and very simple.
When I was returned for a fewdays to solitary confinement
when my trial started at a prison
where I had some traumatic experiences
and I started to really fall apart again.
But then I found thatwhat spontaneously came
from me, even though I wasjust weeping and weeping
in solitary confinement again,
and I was just saying, Ilove you Jesus (laughs)
and this was my heart.
It was a time, very difficult time
but just a time of hanging on to him
and making declarations that he loves me
and is faithful and good and true,
even when I don't feel it or see it.
- And he was there?
- He was there.
- Did he lead you to share the gospel
with any of your cellmates?
- I certainly tried.
One of the things is that my cellmates
were all, I was in a cell for
for terrorists, Islamist terrorists,
at least called that bythe Turkish government.
For the (speaks foreignlanguage) movement.
And so they were all very strong Muslims.
And it's basically aMuslim missionary society,
you could say, Muslim missionary movement.
So they were telling meabout Islam. (laughs)
And I would answer back and I explained
Christianity to them.
But it was like being ina Muslim house of prayer.
It was very intense.
Muslim prayers going on all the time,
recitation of the Koran.
- Did they mistreat you?
- No they didn't.
The prisoners wereactually, they were in the
same situation I was in.
They were in prison,they didn't know what was
going to happen to them.
And they were not bad.
- So now that you're free,
looking back on this experience,
how did it change your faith, Andrew?
- You know, I was justconvicted a week ago.
So I haven't begun to process
what God has done in me.
I think that he's, there aresome profound changes in me.
And one simple thing I think is
that I've learned justto press on and hang on
whatever my feelings are,
that, make declarationsabout God's faithfulness
to me, even when I don't feel it.
So those are some of the big things.
I think that
my main prayer became
God I want to serve your purposes.
And if serving your purposerequires me to remain
in prison, I can't do it.
I feel weak and broken.
But then I ask you to give me the strength
and perseverance and courage of Jesus
to just pour it out into me
so that I can finish the race well.
- How can we and otherpeople who see this interview
pray for you?
What should we pray?
- Well, first, we'regrateful for all the people
who did pray for us.
It's just an amazing thing.
We can't believe it.
And those prayers really sustained us.
And I believe that far beyond us,
that they are an overflowthat will go into Turkey
and the Middle East andthat God will use these
prayers for his purposes there.
As for now, we're just seekingGod to say what's next.
We've been missionaries for many years.
Our heart is to reach the lost.
And so we want to continue doing that
for the rest of our life.
- Still ahead, the Israeli government
invites Christian journaliststo come and see Israel
on its 70th anniversary.
The Israeli government invited Christian
journalists from around the world
to see for themselves whatthe country is all about.
Take a look at what government officials
and participants had to say.
- You are ambassadors of truth.
You're not merely the greatestambassadors that Israel
has around the world,you're champions of truth.
- Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu
spoke to Christian journalistsat the second Christian
Media Summit in Jerusalem.
More than 180 journalists,broadcasters, publishers
and communicators from some30 nations gathered here
for the three day event,called Seventy Years of Israel.
Among the speakers, USAmbassador to Israel,
David Friedman, who is an orthodox Jew.
- While I do not observe,in a religious sense,
the teachings of the New Testament,
I'm quite fond of many of its insights
and what it has to say.
None more so than the statementfrom the Book of John,
chapter eight, verse 32, says,
"Then you will knowthe truth and the truth
"shall set you free."
- [Chris] Participants heardfrom Israeli government,
military and other leadersabout Israel's achievements
and challenges facing the Jewish state
in the international and media arenas.
Nitzan Chen, heads thegovernment Press Office,
that sponsored the event.
- We need your Christianmedia because we know
exactly that you are loversfrom the bottom from your heart
and you don't need to pretend.
- [Chris] Author Joel Rosenberg said,
the fact that Israel hosted such an event
shows how much it valuesChristian reporting.
It's encouraging to see thatthe government of Israel
realizes that Christianjournalists are people that
at least are willing toconsider their perspective
and in fact, communicate
a fair picture of what's going on.
- [Chris] Participants saidthe summit was important
to their understanding of Israel.
- We're hearing a lot offresh, primary source news.
And that's what a goodjournalist should want.
- There's such a wonderfullydiverse community here
and I think sometimes inthe evangelical community
we don't grasp that about Israel.
So it's a tapestry.
- You read about things inthe news but when you come
here and you hear all of these speakers
and then you understandreally from all these
different perspectives ofwhat's happening in this land,
and the media bias, thestuff that's going on,
the negativity againstIsrael and you hear the truth
of what's happening inthis land firsthand,
it really opens up your eyes to everything
that's going on here.
- [Chris] Israeli President Reuven Rivlin
summed up Israeli sentiments.
- We thank you, thank you again
for coming to Jerusalem.
Please take home withyou a message of peace
from the Holy Land and a love for Israel.
Even more importantly, come back soon.
- Well, it's alwaysexciting to have journalists
from around the worldcome here to Jerusalem
and also exciting to seethat Pastor Andrew Brunson
has been freed.
Well, that's all for thisedition of Jerusalem Dateline.
Thanks for joining us.
Remember you can followus on Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram and YouTube.
I'm Chris Mitchell,we'll see you next time
on Jerusalem Dateline.