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    The nations of Iraq and Iran figure prominently in the Middle East Conflict. Iran is depicted in Bible prophecy in the prophecies of Ezekiel. Persia is the ancient and Biblical name for the present State of Iran. Iran, today is home to a brand of fundamentalist Islam that is working feverishly to undermine the Middle East Peace Process, and to exterminate the State of Israel from the Middle East region. The Iranian Revolution under Ayatollah Komeini in 1979 established an Islamic Theocracy in the State. Iran also exports its version of Dar Al-Islam (house of Islam-Islamic Empire) throughout the Middle East. It is heavily involved in fortifying the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon, Syria, and the Palestinian West Bank terrorist organizations with weapons, finances, and other material to wage war against Israel.

Iraq and Iran waged war against each other during the 1980's. America basically

supported the Iraqi side in a calculated “dual containment” policy. Iraq is ruled by the Baathist Party Dictator Saddam Hussein. Iraqi leadership has had its own designs on becoming the vanguard of the Arabic Empire, and thus has contended with its neighbors for supremacy, and also eyed them with suspicion. Iraq's ambitions were curtailed by the defeat in the Persian Gulf War. But since the 1990 war, Iraq has developed a mutual alliance with the anti-West powers in the region. (Syria, Iran, numerous terrorist organizations) Iraq is conspicuously absent from the list of allies mentioned as being banded together with Gog, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal that will assault Israel in the Last Days. Many theories abound as to why Iraq is left out, but in watching the trend of events in the Middle East, it may that Iraq will be extracted from the Middle East equation as a consequence of the current War on Terrorism.

The Palestinian Refugee Problem

    Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 302 to carry out direct relief and works programs for the Palestinian refugees. The Agency began operations on 1 May 1950. In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA's mandate to maintain the refugee camps.     The (UNWRA) United Nations Works and Refugee Relief Agency map depicted below shows the locations of the many Palestinian Refugee Camps that are located around Israel. A close observation of the camp localities reveals to even a casual observer that all of the Palestinian refugee Camps are located outside the UN recognized boundaries of pre-1967 Israel. The controversial Palestinian refugee camps are fixated in the countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. While there are 17 camps located in the West Bank, and another 8 located in the Gaza Strip, one often gets the perception from media reports that Israel is forcing Palestinians to live in these inhumane poverty riddled camps of desperation and despair. Many people around the world have assumed that Israel incarcerates the Palestinians in reservation-like areas. But the truth of the matter is that Israel operates no camps, and has permitted the assimilation of many law abiding Palestinians into the Israeli society. The truth is that the Arab countries that border Israel (and began the 48,56,67, and 73 wars) have denied the Palestinian refugees from those wars to become citizens of their countries, and will not allow the natural assimilation of Palestinians into their national society. In fact the United Nations maintains and finances the Palestinian Refugee Camps. The vast majority of UN funding for these camps comes primarily from Europe and the USA. Most of the Arab world not only refuses to allow the displaced Palestinians to live freely in their countries, and enjoy a decent living standard, but also doesn't even contribute to the UN provision and maintenance of the refugee camps that are located in their countries.

    Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and the entire Arab League professes to be battling Israel on behalf of the Palestinian peoples to recover lost lands, but the truth is that the Arab world simply hates Israel and uses the poor Palestinian peoples as pawns to justify their demonic lust for blood and incite Holy Jihad and hatred against the descendants of Jacob!

Over three-quarters of the current estimated population of the Gaza Strips 1.1 million people are registered refugees, representing 22 per cent of all UNRWA registered Palestine refugees. The refugee camps in the Gaza Strip have one of the highest population densities in the world. For example, some 74,000 refugees live in Beach camp whose area is less than one square kilometer.

Palestinian Refugees in UNRWA Camps

    The UNRWA is unique in terms of its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees and its contributions to the welfare and human development of four generations of Palestine refugees. Originally envisaged as a temporary organization, the Agency has gradually adjusted its programs to meet the changing needs of the refugees. Today, UNRWA is the main provider of basic services, education, health, relief and social services to over 3.7 million registered Palestine refugees in the Middle East, something that he Arab world has willfully neglected to perform.

    As Christians and Bible Prophecy watchers in these Last Days, we often get caught up in the euphoria of God bringing his chosen people back to their Promised Land, but we must also remember that there are a lot of lost people of all nationalities, tribes and backgrounds, such as the Palestinian Refugees that are simply caught in a vice-tight grip in a tug-of-war struggle that is going on between the powers of darkness/evil, and the angels of God. Christians need to remember to pray for, and to minister to the poor Palestinian people who have no home, and like so many other people around the world simply need to know the love of Jesus Christ!

Maps courtesy of JSOURCE used with permission.

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