Mideast Peace Agreement—2019?

The Prophecy of the Final Seven Years

The Bible prophesies a peace agreement will be signed between the Palestinians and Israelis. This agreement will put the Palestinians in control of much of Judea (the West Bank) and will place the Temple Mount under a sharing arrangement between Muslims and Jews. The peace deal will also allow the Jews to build their Third Temple on the Temple Mount without disturbing the Dome of the Rock or the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The signing of this peace agreement will mark the beginning of the Final Seven Years to the Battle of Armageddon and the physical Second Coming of Jesus to the earth. It will be the greatest prophetic fulfillment in 2,000 years!

A Brief History

Many have tried to negotiate a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians since the modern state of Israel was born in 1948. All attempts have failed.

Before his election as president, Donald Trump said his number one goal as president would be to achieve a peace deal between the Israelis and  Palestinians. He said, if successful, it would be the “ultimate deal”. Once elected, President Trump renamed the deal he hoped to achieve the “Deal of the Century.”

The first week after his inauguration the president appointed his two most trusted aides, son-in-law Jared Kushner and personal lawyer Jason Greenblatt, to lead the peace effort. Kushner and Greenblatt plunged into the task with all their might. In the first seven months, they visited Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas 20 times. That’s more than an average of three times a month. They also visited Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu continually during this time period.

Kushner and Greenblatt offered no suggestions to the two leaders. They simply asked questions about every conceivable obstacle that needed to be overcome. They wanted to get a thorough understanding of the Palestinian positions and the Israeli positions on every aspect of the conflict.

Finally, around the first of September 2017, Abbas said to the peace team that he and Netanyahu had answered all their questions and there was nothing remaining to discuss. He stated it was time for America to present a peace plan in light of all they had learned. President Trump promised to put forth his plan within three or four months.

When the month of December rolled around, anticipation for the American plan was building. Then the unexpected happened.

Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Before his election, candidate Trump had adamantly promised he would move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama had made the same promise but they all had reneged when it came time to do it. Trump said that while others had broken their promises, he would keep his.

The first deadline to move the embassy was June 2017. Trump said he wanted to wait to see if it could be done when a peace agreement was reached, so he signed the waiver allowing him to delay the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Many Americans and Israelis thought, “Just another politician, like all the rest.”

When the next deadline to obey the Jerusalem Embassy Act came in December, everyone expected another waiver to be signed. However, on December 6, 2017 President Trump announced that the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and would be moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

Abbas Suspends Communications With Trump Administration

After Trump’s announcement that the U.S. was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas was in a fit of rage. From December 6, 2017 to the present, Abbas has continued to avoid communication with the Trump administration.

After Abbas continued his boycott of the United States, President Trump decided to cut the huge amounts of money the U.S. voluntarily gave to the Palestinian people. This included $200 million in US aid for programs largely going to Gaza, $300 million in funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides education, health care and food aid for more than five million Palestinians and $25 million in support for hospitals in east Jerusalem. Trump asked why America should give upwards to $750 million annually to a people that wouldn’t even speak to the U.S. government?

The Trump administration ordered the closure of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington on September 10, 2018.

Israel Pulls Funding from Pay for Slay

Israel collects customs duties on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) under the interim agreements of the Oslo Accords – sums thought to amount to $222 million a month. From this monthly revenue, the PA pays a monthly income to Palestinian terrorists who have died or are being held in Israeli prisons for killing Jews. Israeli calls this practice “pay for slay”.

On February 17, the Israeli cabinet approved a bill to deduct $138 million from the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues, the amount Israeli officials calculate the PA pays monthly to Palestinian prisoners and their families. Israel withheld the $138 million and sent the balance to the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas rejected this arrangement, saying the families of their “martyrs” needed to be supported. He has refused to accept any of the money unless Israel gives the Palestinians all they feel is rightfully theirs. However, Israel sees this as supporting terrorists who kill Jews. That’s the reason they have dubbed the practice, “pay for slay”.

These tax transfers from Israel cover roughly two-thirds of the Palestinian government’s budget. Between this source of income drying up and America suspending its contributions to the Palestinians, the Palestinians are saying they could soon be forced into bankruptcy. Some have even speculated this financial crisis could result in the toppling of Abbas from power.

American Peace Plan is Ready                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

In December 2018, President Trump announced the American peace plan was ready for release. However, on December 24, 2018 Israel’s government was dissolved and new elections were scheduled for April 9, 2019.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu asked Trump to not present his peace plan until Israel’s elections were over. The Trump administration complied with Netanyahu’s request.

When the election results came in, Netanyahu’s Likud Party captured the most seats in the Knesset. However, Netanyahu was unable to put together a coalition of at least 61 seats required to establish a government. He was only able to receive 60.

Finally, new elections were scheduled for September 17, 2019. Many Israelis are starting to believe the only path to a new government will be a national coalition government in which Netanyahu would share power with the more liberal Blue and White Party.

The Blue and White Party favors settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by a two-state solution and sharing land for peace. If the Likud Party and the Blue and White did establish a national unity government, this would make a peace agreement much more likely and enable the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The right-wing parties that were members of Netanyahu’s last government would never agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Knowing that, according to the prophecies, a peace agreement is coming, a national unity government seems more and more likely. We will know more after the new elections scheduled for September 17.

Trump Releases Half of the Peace Plan

The Trump administration did not want to wait for the formation of Israel’s next government before moving forward with its peace plan. Jared Kushner announced that the economic half of the U.S. peace plan would be released on June 22nd, and an economic conference would be held in Bahrain on June 25-26. The conference was called the “Peace to Prosperity” Summit.

The economic portion of Trump’s Deal of the Century called for a $50 billion global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab states’ economies, and construction of a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza. Kushner said this huge economic infusion could turn the Palestinian areas into the Singapore of the Middle East. America’s hope was that these huge economic incentives would entice the Arab nations surrounding the Palestinians to pressure Mahmoud Abbas to come to the peace table.

Peace to Prosperity Summit

Kushner visited Europe and the different Arab nations urging them to attend the conference. When the conference convened, 20 countries were in attendance including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan and Oman in spite of Abbas urging them to boycott the summit. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were also in attendance.

Since Abbas was boycotting the meeting, it was decided that Israel would not be officially invited either, since the desire was to keep the summit apolitical. However, 15 Palestinian businessmen did attend the conference along with a number of Israeli business people.

Abbas Arrests a Palestinian Who Attended Bahrain Conference

When the Palestinian businessmen who attended the “Peace to Prosperity” conference returned home, one was arrested and Palestinian forces attempted to arrest several others. The one who was arrested was released the next day after extreme American pressure.

It Appears Abbas is Ready to End His Boycott of the U.S.

A senior official in Ramallah told the Israel Hayom newspaper that mutual messages have been sent recently between Ramallah and Washington in order to straighten things out and end PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ boycott of President Donald Trump and his representatives—Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and special envoy Jason Greenblatt.

According to the report, one reason for the PA’s change of heart could be its disappointment with the Arab countries which agreed to participate in the U.S.-led Bahrain conference, despite Abbas’ pleas to boycott it. Given that one of the goals of the conference was to exert pressure on Abbas to end the boycott, it seems the move succeeded.

When will the Political Portion of the Mideast Peace Plan be Released?

The excitement generated by the release of the economic portion of Trump’s peace plan has produced calls for the political portion of the plan to be released sooner rather than later. It appears Arab countries are telling the Palestinians that the present opportunity may never present itself again.

The most likely time for the political portion of the Deal of the Century to be released will be after September’s Israeli elections and the formation of Israel’s next government, which will probably be completed sometime in November.

What is the Likely Outcome of Israel’s Elections?

No one can say for sure what kind of government will emerge in Israel after the elections. April’s elections were so close that neither the conservatives nor the liberals could form a coalition of the 61 seats needed in the Knesset to form a government. The polls are indicating the very same scenario could occur again. However, a third election in a single year would be unthinkable.

Most people believe, if neither the right nor the left can muster the votes needed for a coalition, the only recourse could be the formation of a national unity government where the Likud Party and the Blue and White Party would agree to govern together. Many Israelis believe this would be the best thing for the country at this time.

The Blue and White Party openly advocates negotiating a two-state solution. Prime Minister Netanyahu embraced the two-state solution in his famous speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009. With Trump’s peace plan waiting to be revealed, a national unity government might be the only government that could take the bold step to reach an agreement with the Palestinians.

The above factors demonstrate how pivotal the elections of September 17 in Israel could be.

Could we be on the brink of an historic breakthrough in the Middle East? Could we actually see a peace deal signed in 2019 or 2020? One thing we know for sure—there is going to be a Palestinian-Israeli peace agreement. The only question is “when?”

Could it be in 2019?