“He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.” 1Sam 2: 9-10
FEAST OF TABERNACLES LONDON, 2013: Plan on celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles with us in London, September 27 and 28, 2013 at the Emmanuel Centre. Speakers include Myles Munroe, Barry & Batya Segal, with special guests. Myles Munroe has been a frequent visitor to Israel encouraging and teaching the local believers. He is a friend of God’s purposes for the Jewish state. To register, or for more details, go to: www.josephstorehouse.co.uk or call 01793-862121 in the UK.
PM: ISRAEL’S ‘FINGER ON THE PULSE’ OF SYRIA DEVELOPMENTS, IF NECESSARY WILL ALSO BE ‘ON THE TRIGGER’: Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own people “simply demonstrates” what will happen if Iran gets even deadlier weapons, PM Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday. What we see in Syria is how extremist regimes have no reservations whatsoever about using these weapons even against innocent civilians, against their own people.” Netanyahu said Israel drew three conclusions from this incident. “One, this situation must not be allowed to continue. Two, the most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world. And three, we expect that this will stop, but we must always remember our sages’ ancient principle: ‘If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?’ That is to say, our finger must always be on the pulse. Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger.” Israel’s President Shimon Peres said Sunday the “time has come for a joint effort to remove all the chemical weapons from Syria. They cannot remain there either in the hands of Assad or of others.” He said that while he could “understand the problems and doubts” about intervening in Syria, “the moral call is superior to any strategic considerations.” (J.Post) Pray for the increased protection of Israel as the events in Syria threaten to engulf the region in a catastrophic war.
PENTAGON WEIGHS MILITARY OPTIONS AGAINST SYRIA: On Saturday, US military and national security advisers met with President Barack Obama at the White House to consider options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government last week. The American military updated a list of possible targets to include mobile units of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army, after extensive evidence surfaced Wednesday that his forces used chemical weapons against civilians in a suburb of Damascus, killing hundreds. Israel’s security establishment estimates Washington is considering a limited yet effective attack that will make it clear to the Damascus regime that the international community will not tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction against Syrian civilians or any other elements. Meanwhile, the White House said Obama will continue to gather facts before deciding on a course of action. During an interview last week with CNN, the president made no mention of the red line that US intelligence officials say has been breached several times. US confirmation took more than four months after rebels similarly reported chemical attacks in February. Assad’s government, then as now, has denied the claims as baseless. (J.Post/Fox) The obvious question for Israelis is: So how does Obama’s “red-line” speechifying work when it comes to Iran’s nuclear weapons development?
WESTERN LEADERS “CONCERNED” ABOUT CHEMICAL WEAPONS MASSACRE: NOW WHAT?: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Saturday that all indications show the Syrian government was behind a “chemical massacre” last week against its own people. A preliminary assessment made by US and allied intelligence agencies concludes chemical weapons were indeed used by Syrian forces last week. US President Obama’s national security aides are studying the NATO air war in Kosovo as a possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the UN. Russia is likely to veto any military action in the Security Council, and Obama is wary of bypassing the UN. German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Russia and China for torpedoing a UN Security Council resolution that would have demanded that the Damascus regime give UN inspectors complete freedom of operation. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday that if claims that Syria used chemical weapons several days ago are true, a speedy response will be needed to prevent another such attack. Meanwhile, Iran is warning America against any involvement in Syria. “Trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House,” the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard told Iranian media. Iran is determined to keep its ally Assad in power, and views the Sunni-dominated rebel forces as a threat to its own plans of regional hegemony. (INN) Pray that as the nations deliberate a possible coordinated military move against the Assad regime that there will not be a repeat of last week’s merciless use of chemical weapons against the Syrian population.
BRITAIN: SYRIA DESTROYED EVIDENCE OF CHEMICAL ARMS USE: British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday evening that Syria has apparently hidden evidence of the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Damascus area. He said some of the evidence was almost certainly destroyed by government shelling of the area, some disintegrated and some was sabotaged. Meanwhile, The UN secretary-general’s office said inspectors hope to begin their investigation Monday at the suspected chemical attack site. The Syrian government has agreed to cease all hostilities as long as the UN inspectors are on the ground. Before Sunday, UN inspectors in Syria attempting to gather information were not allowed to visit the site of the recent attack. One senior Obama administration official said the Syrian government’s announcement was too little, too late. “If the Syrian government had nothing to hide and wanted to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons in this incident, it would have ceased its attacks on the area and granted immediate access to the UN - five days ago,” the official said Sunday. “At this juncture, the belated decision by the regime to grant access to the UN team is too late to be credible, because the evidence available has been significantly corrupted as a result of the regime’s persistent shelling and other intentional actions over the last five days,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly. (INN/CNN)
ISRAELI DEMAND FOR GAS MASKS SPIKE ON RISING SYRIA TENSIONS: The possibility of a US attack on Syria has led to a sharp rise in the number of Israelis seeking to obtain their gas masks. According to the Israeli postal service, which operates the mask distribution centers, on Sunday between 7 A.M. and 1 P.M. alone it received four times the usual number of requests. Statistics released by the postal service reveal that most residents of Israel’s north have already acquired gas masks. Other parts of the country have seen similar figures. On the other hand, only 29% of Jerusalem residents have masks at home. (Ha’aretz)
LIBERMAN: MERETZ PROVIDING THE SHEEP’S CLOTHING TO COVER ABBAS THE WOLF: If PA President Mahmoud Abbas is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, then Meretz Members of Knesset are providing that woolly cover, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman, Avigdor Liberman, contended on Sunday. (Meretz is a left-wing, Zionist, social-democratic political party.) Liberman’s comments came three days after all six Meretz lawmakers met with Abbas in Ramallah, who told them no progress was made in peace talks, but that he hopes they will not be a waste of time. “Abbas is using Meretz MKs the way a wolf uses sheep’s clothing,” Liberman wrote on Facebook. “Once every few months, Abbas meets with members of left-wing parties and says the things they want to hear in English in order to appear like someone who is really interested in peace with Israel.” Liberman added that it is unfortunate Meretz MKs don’t stay in Ramallah between their meetings, to hear “speeches of incitement encouraging terror and terrorists” that Abbas makes in Arabic. “Apparently, some people like being sheep that are used as a cover for wolves,” he concluded. (J.Post)
POLL: ONLY 21% BELIEVE IN PA STATE AS REAL SOLUTION: A new survey has found that only a small minority of Israelis believe the Palestinian Authority will establish a new Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza – and only 11% hope it will. The poll asked respondents to choose the solution to the Israel-PA conflict they most prefer, and the solution they think is most realistic. The most popular answer in both cases was simply to maintain the status quo. Currently Judea and Samaria is split into three areas, called A, B, and C. The PA has full control over Area A, Israel controls Area C, and in Area B the IDF is tasked with oversight of security, while the PA has legal power over other aspects of daily life. (Arutz-7)
MUBARAK RELEASED FROM JAIL: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and placed under house arrest Thursday, more than two years after he was deposed during the Arab Spring uprisings. A court ordered last week that Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years, be released while he awaits a retrial for complicity in the killing of demonstrators during the protests against him. Mubarak’s release comes amid ongoing violence and political turmoil since the ouster of his successor, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, earlier this summer. The ailing Mubarak appeared in court, Sunday, three days after being released from prison, as the process of the retrial begins. (Time World)
Palestinians cancel peace talks after deadly clash
Monday, August 26, 2013 | Israel Today Staff
The Palestinian Authority canceled Monday evening’s session with Israeli peace negotiators in response to a deadly clash between Israeli soldiers and a violent Palestinian mob earlier in the day.
In a fairly routine operation, Israeli Border Police officers dressed in civilian clothing entered the Palestinian town of Qalandiya just north of Jerusalem to arrest a wanted terror suspect.
Just moments after the officers arrived at the suspect’s home, a mob numbering at least 1,500 poured into the streets and began hurling firebombs and stones at the Israelis.
The Border Police officers responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, but were beginning to be overwhelmed when IDF soldiers arrived to back them up. The soldiers resorted to live fire as the situation spun out of control.
"Large violent crowds such as this which significantly outnumber security forces leave no other choice but to resort to live fire in self-defense," an IDF spokesman said in a statement to the press.
Three Palestinian rioters reportedly died of gunshot wounds during the clash.
The riots subsided for several hours, but resumed as Palestinians again took to the streets Monday afternoon for the raucous funeral procession of the three deceased men.
Palestinian Authority officials, who view such mob activity as “peaceful protest,” accused Israel of “assassinating” the rioters.
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Syrian rebels: Israel must help us take down Assad
Monday, August 26, 2013 | Ryan Jones
A senior Syrian rebel leader on Sunday told Israeli media that the Jewish state must help must help topple the Assad regime by convincing Western powers to intervene militarily in Syria’s civil war.
"If Israel wants to prove it has good intentions toward the Syrian people it must urge the international community to intervene in Syria," the official told Israel’s Ynet news portal.
The source said that Syrians opposed to the Assad regime feel that Israel has been providing the dictator with diplomatic cover by not being more vocal in its opposition to the brutal tactics being used by government forces.
Israel has purposely taken a low-profile approach to the Syrian civil war, as it does not feel it can trust the Sunni-dominated rebel forces any more than it can the current regime. Many of the groups making up the rebel forces are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, and hate Israel at least as much as Assad and his cronies.
However, the latest alleged atrocities committed by Syrian government troops have lead Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do exactly what the rebels requested - press Western powers to finally take action.
British media reported on Sunday that Royal Navy vessels had begun preparations for an initial cruise missile strike against Syria, and that London was urging America to join the attack.
Russia demanded that the US and its allies not act hastily, and welcomed a decision by the Assad regime to permit access to the alleged chemical weapons attack zone to foreign investigators. But, White House officials said the gesture was too little, too late.
A joint British-American strike on Syria is expected within the week.
While that might sound like a dangerous prospect for Israel, military commanders in the Jewish state said they view a retaliatory strike against their country as unlikely.
Army officials told Israel’s Channel Two News that the Assad regime is perfectly aware of how forcefully Israel would respond to any unprovoked attack on its homefront, and that it could not possibly survive a war against the combined forces of the US, Britain and Israel.
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Israeli minister: Two-state solution is unrealistic
Monday, August 26, 2013 | Israel Today Staff
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the world is touting, and that the Israeli leadership has publicly accepted, is unrealistic and will never happen, insisted a senior Israeli government minister.
"Those who are here understand why the vision of two states is unrealistic and will ever happen. Those who think they can force us to build only within the Auschwitz borders are wrong," said Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) on Sunday as he helped dedicate two new neighborhoods in the Samarian Jewish community of Kedumim.
The term “Auschwitz borders” was first used by former and legendary Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eben in 1969, when he noted that the Arab states and the international community were trying to confine Israel to tiny, indefensible borders, much as how the Jews were corralled into ghettos during the Nazi Holocaust.
Ariel said Israel would continue building homes for Jews on all of the land promised to this nation in the Bible, as that is the only true Zionist response to the threats against the Jewish state.
Many Israelis, and many in the Israeli government have come to accept the notion that they must surrender Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”) for the establishment of a Palestinian state in order to maintain a demographic Jewish majority in Israel.
But Knesset member Tzipi Hotoveli (Likud) told a gathering in Jerusalem on Sunday that Israel should not fear fully annexing those “disputed territories” and establishing a bi-national state.
Speaking at a conference advocating recognition of Jordan as the true Palestinian state, Hotoveli noted that annexing Judea and Samaria and granting Israeli citizenship to the 2.5 million Arabs living there would still mean a Jewish majority west of the Jordan river.
In fact, it would be a similar ratio of Jews to Arabs as what existed in the region when David Ben Gurion declared independence in 1948. Israel’s first prime minister did not let himself be deterred by the fact that there were only 600,000 Jews to the 450,000 Arabs living in the area.
Just as in Ben Gurion’s time, there remains a sufficient Jewish population around the world that will eventually immigrate to the Jewish state to further offset the increased Arab citizenry. And in the meantime, Israel will have solidly staked its claim to its historic and biblical heartland.
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Israel expects US attack on Syria
Sunday, August 25, 2013 | Ryan Jones
Israeli leaders are anticipating US military action against neighboring Syria after Western leaders appeared to accept evidence that the regime of dictator Bashar Assad had used chemical weapons against its foes, including civilian populations.
In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was openly urging Washington to make good on its threat to intervene should Assad employ non-conventional weapons against his own people.
In statements to the press prior to Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres even hinted that Israel itself could strike Syria if the situation did not stabilize soon.
Peres noted that the price of allowing Syria to continue holding chemical weapons after it has proved it’s willingness to use them against even internal enemies was far higher than the cost of taking forceful preemptive action.
While most Israelis no doubt agreed with Peres, the prospect of open warfare with Syria caused some trepidation at home, as only 60 percent of Israelis currently possess up-to-date gas mask kits.
Meanwhile, Iran is warning America against any involvement in Syria. “Trespassing over the red line in Syria will have severe consequences for the White House,” the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard told Iranian media.
Iran is determined to keep its ally Assad in power, and views the Sunni-dominated rebel forces as a threat to its own plans of regional hegemony.
For Israel, there is no good outcome to the Syrian civil war. If Assad wins, Iran’s influence in the area will continue. If the rebels win, Syria will likely descend into chaos and become a haven for all manner of radical terrorist organizations, much like what happened to the Gaza Strip and Southern Lebanon.
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News Update Agust 21st 2013
JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel
"He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness." Job 12:24
ISLAMIC TERRORISTS EXECUTE 25 EGYPTIAN POLICEMEN IN SINAI: Islamic terrorists on Monday ambushed two mini-buses carrying policemen in northern Sinai, killing 25 of them execution-style. The terrorists forced the two vehicles to stop, ordered the policemen out and forced them to lie on the ground before shooting them. Initially it had been reported the policemen were killed by rocket-propelled grenade fire. Last Thursday, terrorists in the Sinai peninsula killed seven Egyptian soldiers. Gunmen in two cars attacked the soldiers in their tents in the town of El-Arish, according to security officials. (AP/Arutz-7)
EGYPT ARMY ON HIGH ALERT IN SINAI, GAZA BORDER SHUT FOLLOWING DEADLY AMBUSH: Egyptian authorities on Monday were on high alert after Islamists killed 25 Egyptian policemen in the Sinai peninsula, where attacks on security forces have multiplied since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on July 3. Military and police have declared a state of emergency in Sinai, deploying roadblocks in the area in an effort to combat terrorists. Egypt has resealed the border crossing into nearby Gaza in the wake of the ambush. The attack underlined the challenges facing Egypt’s new rulers, locked in a struggle with Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in which at least 850 people have been killed since the security forces opened fire at pro-Morsi protest camps earlier this month. Mounting insecurity in Sinai also worries the US because the area lies next to Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, as well as the Suez Canal. Egypt’s descent into the bloodiest internal conflict in its modern history is causing global jitters, but no consensus on how to respond has emerged in the West or the Arab world. (J.Post)
EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS RETURN TO WORSHIP IN CHURCH DESTROYED BY MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: Copts whose church was one of dozens destroyed by Muslim Brotherhood supporters have returned to the charred house of worship, with their pastor vowing the violence suffered by his flock will make them better Christians. “This will teach us to be better Christians,” said Pastor Sameh Ibrahim of a torched congregation in Upper Egypt, where some 15 churches were reportedly attacked in recent days. Across Egypt at least 60 churches have been targeted, along with Christian schools, homes, businesses and even an orphanage. In several areas Christian homes and businesses have received leaflets warning them to leave or face reprisals by Islamists. Christian homes and businesses in Al Minya have been marked with black X’s to single them out for attack. As violence envelops Egypt, Christians are paying a heavy price with scores of their most sacred buildings and monuments being systematically destroyed by members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The group, which is clashing with the military throughout the North African nation, has zeroed in on Christians since the Muslim Brotherhood-backed administration of Mohamed Morsi was ousted on July 3. The military removed him from power after he imposed several sweeping constitutional changes that put the nation of 90 million on a path toward Islamist rule. Under fire, Christians are solidly backing the military’s harsh crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. (Fox) Pray the Egyptian crisis will soon come to an end with a secular, rather than an Islamist government, in place. Continue to pray for the protection of both lives and property of the Christian community in Egypt. Pray also for the comforting of those connected to the Bible Society Bookshops in Assiut & Minia. Both beautiful and well equipped bookshops were completely burned and demolished by Islamists late last week, according to reports from Bible Society sources. “The attackers demolished the metal doors protecting the bookshops, broke the store windows behind them and set the bookshops on fire. They did the same to many stores on those streets as well as demolishing many parked cars. Similar incidents are taking place across the nation,” said one Bible Society spokesperson.
COPTIC CHRISTIANS IN NASHVILLE DEMONSTRATE FOR EGYPT: More than 200 Coptic Christians from churches around Nashville rallied Monday, calling for an end to the violence in Egypt, while declaring their support for the Egyptian army. During the rally in downtown Nashville, many demonstrators chanted “Obama, Obama don’t you care? Christian blood is everywhere,” and “Pray for Egypt” while waiving Egyptian flags. Others held signs with messages such as “We are against Muslim Brotherhood.” Amany Shahata, who has lived in the US for 16 years, said she feared for Christians living in Egypt, where more than 60 churches had been attacked in recent days. She and other protesters blamed the Muslim Brotherhood. Abram Thabet said that he hopes the Obama administration will stand by the Egyptian government. He said he fled Cairo two years ago with his family, because he feared persecution. “The Christians in Egypt are paying a very high price,” he said. “I couldn’t keep my children safe.” (USA Today)
SUPREME LEADER OF MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD ARRESTED: Egyptian security sources and state television say the supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has been arrested. Mohammed Badie was captured Tuesday in an apartment in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City. That’s where supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi held a six-week sit-in protest that was cleared by security forces last Wednesday. Morsi is a longtime leader of the Brotherhood. Badie and his powerful deputy Khairat el-Shater, who is in custody, go on trial later this month for their alleged role in the killing of eight protesters outside the Brotherhood’s Cairo headquarters in June. Badie has in the past called for a jihad (holy war) against Israel. (AP/INN)
ERDOGAN BLAMES ISRAEL FOR MORSI’S DOWNFALL, EGYPT UNREST: Turkish PM Recep Erdogan’s rant that Israel was behind the overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in Egypt was not worthy of a response, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Tuesday. “This is a statement well worth not commenting on,” Palmor said. Another Israeli official said he had a one word response for Erdogan: “Nonsense.” The Turkish premier, who has a history of anti-Israeli and antisemitic remarks, blamed Israel on Tuesday for the events that brought about Morsi’s ouster. “Who is behind the ouster? There is Israel,” Erdogan said at a meeting of his AK Party in Ankara. (J.Post)
ISLAMISTS PLAN TO ATTACK ISRAELI, JEWISH TARGETS WORLDWIDE: Islamist groups are actively planning attacks against Jewish and Israeli targets abroad, the Anti-Terror Unit of the Prime Minister’s office said Monday. Specifically, Israelis were warned to stay away from Sinai, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, a number of countries in Central Africa, and Turkey. The Turkish threat was termed “potential and ongoing,” the Unit said. Turkey has slowly become a destination for Israelis in the past year, as relations between Jerusalem and Ankara have thawed somewhat. In Sinai, the threat was termed “concrete and very high,” as was the threat in Chechnya and southern Thailand, bordering Malaysia. Visitors to Egypt and Jordan also face a “concrete and solid” threat. Hezbollah and Iran would likely be behind the attacks, the Unit said. (INN) Pray for the safety of Jewish tourists while travelling in foreign countries, especially during the approaching Jewish holidays. Pray all terrorist attacks will be averted.
JORDANIAN KING: VIOLENCE WILL DESTROY MUSLIM WORLD: The ethnic and sectarian violence that is currently affecting several Arab countries could ultimately destroy the Muslim world, Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned Tuesday. His statement was issued at a conference of religious scholars in Amman. The event was attended by Shiite Muslim, Sunni Muslim and Christian clergy. The conference focused on how Muslim countries can safeguard human rights and civil rights. “Democracy is achieved when all share the feeling that they are truly represented,” he said. Abdullah’s comments came as several Arab Muslim countries face internal violence. In Egypt, hundreds have been killed in the military government’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, while Syria’s civil war is increasingly becoming a religious sectarian battle. There have been tensions and violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Middle East as well. (Arutz-7)
2,700-YEAR-OLD-HEBREW INSCRIPTION FOUND IN JERUSALEM: Archaeologists working in Jerusalem have discovered a 2,700-year-old pottery fragment with an ancient Hebrew inscription, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Sunday. The text fragment on the shard is similar to the name of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, the father of the prophet Jahaziel, whose name appears in 2 Chronicles 20.14. (Times of Israel) 2 Chronicles 20 recounts a joint attack on Judah by the nations of Moab, Ammon, and Edom in the time of King Jehoshaphat. The King declared a fast to Jehovah and prayed for his help before the assembled nation. Then the Spirit of Jehovah came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, who declared the word of Jehovah, “The battle is not yours, but God’s,” and concluding, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and Jehovah will be with you.” The next morning, Jehosaphat led his people out, calling them to have faith in Jehovah, and leading them in praise. They saw their enemies turn on each other, and returned to Jerusalem in joy. After that, the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. Reference: 2 Chron 20:14-25. What a victorious word for the nation of Israel today!
Egypt’s Embattled Coptic Church Lashes Out at Western Media for Giving ‘Political Cover’ to ‘Terrorist and Bloody Groups’
Egypt’s Orthodox Coptic Church lashed out at Western media coverage of the recent violence in its country, saying “read objectively the facts of events and [don’t] give international and political cover to these terrorist and bloody groups.”
The church also announced its support for state military and police against the “black terrorism” of the Muslim Brotherhood-led forces supporting ousted former President President Mohammad Morsi, according to statement Friday and reported by Al Arabiya.
Scores of Egyptian churches have been attacked and torched in the midst of the violence.
But Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has denied involvement: “Based on the true nature of our religion, and pursuant to our party’s indivisible principles, we strongly condemn any attack, even verbal, against Copts, their churches or their property,” Dr. Murad Ali, a spokesman for the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said in a statement.
More than 600 people have been killed since the latest wave of violence began Wednesday, as the interim government attempted to disband the sit-ins in support of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
According to The New York Times, many Islamists fault Egypt’s Coptic Christians — who make up about 10 percent of the population — for supporting Morsi’s ouster. Attacks on churches are viewed as retaliation.
“When Pope Tawadros comes out after a massacre to thank the military and the police, then don’t accuse me of sectarianism,” 35-year-old accountant Mamdouh Hamdi said.
A Christian Coptic rights group in the country says they have recorded 74 attacks on churches and Christians so far, and in some of those attacks, the churches were “burned to the ground.”
Islamist columnist and author Fahmy Howeidy wrote in al-Shorouk daily on Thursday that Egypt is being firmly divided.
‘‘The spark of civil war is out,” he wrote. “The nation is on the edge of an abyss.’’