Beersheba, Israel - In simultaneous attacks on two Israeli buses on August 31, Palestinian terrorists killed 16 people and wounded about 100 others. The attacks ended a five month lull in violence in Israel.
The bombings were the first in Israel since March, and revealed that Hamas is still a threat even after Israel's assassination of two top Hamas leaders after twin suicide bomb attacks in the port city of Ashdod nearly 6 months ago.
The five months of relative calm was not the result of lack of trying. Security officials said that more than 90 attempts to carry out suicide bombings inside the 'Green Line' and against Israeli targets in the Palestinian territories have been thwarted since the beginning of the year. That means that, as a result of heightened security and continued progress on the security fence, Palestinian terrorists seeking death have been unable to find it. During these five months, those that have desired to die in Israel have watched death flee from them, as two would-be bombers did on July 5, 2004.
Israel says that the 120 miles of its barrier erected so far have thwarted dozens of would-be bomber infiltrations into its densely populated north and coastal regions.
Danny Attar, head of the Gilboa Regional Council and crusader for the construction of the security fence said of its effectiveness, "Instead of 600 terrorist incidents per year around here, in the last five months we've had zero. Tens of thousands of illegal Palestinian workers would cross through here every year; in the past five months, you've got it, zero."
Ergun Caner, a Baptist minister who grew up a devout Muslim before converting to Christianity as a teenager, explains why Islamic terrorists around the world don't have a hard time recruiting suicide bombers. Muslims, he says, live and die by "the scales" that balance good against bad in thoughts, words, and deeds.
"Every single Muslim - 1.6 billion of us on the planet - live in fear of the scales, terrified we won't reach the standard ... at the end of your life you've got to be 51 percent righteous to get into Paradise. There is only one act in Islam that assures eternal security of forgiveness of sin. You are promised the highest heaven if you die as a martyr in a declared fatwa, an act of jihad."
We declared that the end of the 42 months of the treading down of Jerusalem under the feet of the gentiles came at the end of March, 2004. And so, for five full months, terrorism was thwarted in Israel, and limited to the territories of the West Bank and Gaza. We have also expressed the correlation of the locusts of Revelation 9 to the threat of Islam.
In Rev. 9:3, the locusts are given power, but in verses 5 and 6, they are prevented from using their power for the space of five months - allowed only to torment, but forbidden to kill. It goes on to say, "And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them." This is exactly what we've seen.
Muslims know that if they die a martyr in a jihad, they are guaranteed heaven, so they desire such a death. This mentality, while so foreign to the western world, was best expressed by Hassan Hotari, 54, father of the young man who carried out an attack in Tel Aviv on June 1, 2001 which claimed the lives of 21 Israelis. "I am very happy and proud of what my son did and, frankly, am a bit jealous. I wish I had done (the bombing). My son has fulfilled the Prophet's (Mohammed's) wishes. He has become a hero! Tell me, what more could a father ask?" What more indeed.
These five months, have served as an exclamation point that the 42 months are indeed over and that we have entered a new time in God's prophetic calendar. The locusts are now released from their five-month period wherein they could not kill, and will advance on their prophetic path of destruction. Meanwhile, God's messengers will continue to prophesy and persuade Christianity to prepare for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.