The Syrian Civil War has produced a chaotic situation perfect for ISIS to gain a foothold and recruit supporters to its cause. Yet with ISIS “losing ground in Syria due to Russian air strikes, the terror group could target Israel and Jordan, Israel’s chief of armed forces has warned” (Jigmey Bhutia, “Israel Sees Itself and Jordan as ISIS Targets as Daesh Loses Ground in Syria,” International Business Times, Jan. 19, 2016).
Recently ISIS breathed overt threats against Israel. It first released a Hebrew-language video “in which a masked militant warns that ‘no Jew will be left (alive)’ once its fighters conquer Jordan and arrive at Israel’s borders” (“ISIS Video Threatens ‘Soon There Will Not Be a Single Jew Left in Jerusalem and Throughout the Country,” The Jewish Chronicle Online, Oct. 23, 2015).
Then a recording from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, warned: “Jews, soon you shall hear from us in Palestine which will become your grave . . . [Allah] has gathered you in Palestine so that the Mujahadeen [Islamist fighters] can reach you soon . . . Palestine will be your graveyard” (quoted by Aaron Klein, “Islamic State Leader Baghdadi Threatens West, Vows to Turn Israel Into ‘Graveyard’ in Rare Message,” Breitbart.com, Dec. 26, 2015).
ISIS has already drawn Palestinians in Jordan and Israel to its cause, so there are concerns of ISIS getting inside help. “‘IS is here and it’s no secret,’ says Reuven Rivlin, Israel’s president. ‘I’m not talking about the borders of Israel, but about IS within. Research, arrests, witnesses, open and classified analysis all indicate clearly that IS’s popularity is growing and that even Israeli Arabs are actually joining up with it’” (ibid.).
And ISIS is not the only serious threat. As DEBKAfile reports: “On Wednesday, Jan. 27 a large Hizballah [or Hezbollah] force entered the southern Syrian town of Daraa, a critically dangerous event for Israel’s security. The way to the town, which lies near the Jordanian border and across from the Israeli Golan, was opened before Hizballah by none other than Russian forces.
“This was a blatant violation of President Vladimir Putin’s commitments to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordanian King Abdullah not to permit Iranian and Iran-backed forces, such as Hizballah and Iraqi and Afghani Shiite militias, [to] reach their borders in consequence of Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian war” (“Russians Let Hizballah Into Daraa, Breaking Their Promise to Israel,” Jan. 28, 2016). Daraa is only 20 miles from the southern Golan and 7.5 miles from the Jordanian border.
Israel has long clashed with Hezbollah fighters in northern Israel and southern Lebanon, and Jordan has fought Hezbollah attempts to destabilize the Amman government. Jerusalem is deeply concerned that the Islamic State and Hezbollah, both mortal enemies of Israel (though currently warring among themselves), pose a grave danger to the whole of northern Israel.
Israel also faces threats on several other fronts. In southern Lebanon, Hezbollah wields tens of thousands of Iranian-supplied missiles that it can rain down on northern Israel in the next conflict. In Gaza, the Hamas-ruled terrorist mini-state boasts of rebuilding the tunnels it used to attack Israel two summers ago, and near-daily knife and car attacks continue against Israeli civilians and soldiers.
We must certainly keep an eye on developments in the Middle East, because Bible prophecy shows that events there will eventually trigger conflicts leading to a devastating third world war and the eventual return of Jesus Christ to prevent human annihilation. To learn more, download or request our free study guide The Middle East in Bible Prophecy. (Sources: International Business Times, The Jewish Chronicle Online, Breitbart, DEBKAfile.)