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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Sheikh Jarrah: Salem Family Gives Cautious Welcome to Israeli Court's Decision to Freeze Eviction

A look at continuing decisions on settlements, discussions of solutions, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

CMEP’s Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP’s behalf.

sheikh jarrah freeze on evictions

Image: A woman waves a Palestinian flag during a protest in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, 18 February 2022 (AFP)

Sheikh Jarrah: Salem family gives cautious welcome to Israeli court's decision to freeze eviction

Middle East Eye

“Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah have welcomed an Israeli court's decision to freeze the eviction of the Salem family from their home. There was a sense of relief in Sheikh Jarrah on Tuesday night (February 22), after weeks of tension and clashes between local Palestinian families and Israeli settlers and forces in the area. Khalil Salem, a member of the Palestinian family of 12, told AFP the decision was ‘a positive step because we were on the verge of losing our house’."

amnesty report response

Image: Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces during a protest in the village of Beit Dajan, near the West Bank city of Nablus on December 24, 2021. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Palestinians will have 'an entity,' not a state, says Gantz

“In the future, Palestinians will have an entity, but not a full-fledged state, Defense Minister Benny Gantz told the Munich Security Conference on Sunday (February 20). ‘Eventually we will find ourselves in a two-entity solution, in which we respect Palestinian sovereignty and governance, but we will be respected for our security needs,’ he said. The moderator, Souad Mekhennet, senior security writer at The Washington Post, pushed him on his choice of words, ‘entities’ and not ‘states,’ given that the normative international discourse on a resolution to the conflict is often two states. This would involve the creation of a Palestinian state, alongside the already existing Israeli one."

first coptic Egyptian court leader

Image: Palestinian worker Maher Al-Farra writes in Hebrew during a class at Nafha Language Center, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip February 16, 2022. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Demand for Hebrew lessons jumps in Gaza as Israel eases work restrictions

“In a brightly lit classroom in Gaza, a teacher spells out Hebrew words on a whiteboard, followed attentively by Maher Al-Farra and dozens of other Palestinians hoping to take advantage of an opening up of employment opportunities in Israel. Increased demand for the classes at the Nafha languages centre follows a new offer of work permits by Israel as it has moved to calm border tensions following an 11-day war in May with Hamas, the Islamist group which rules the Gaza Strip.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Webinar Series: Join CMEP for a series of discussions on Gaza in February and March. This program will openly and honestly present the reality of the siege, the occupation, and political leadership as well as include ways participants can advocate with their elected officials to encourage U.S. policies that will help end the siege of Gaza and advance human rights and security for all. This series is co-organized by Churches for Middle East Peace, Arab American Institute, and American Friends of Combatants for Peace. Each 90-minute session will present on one of these four aspects of Gaza: History & Historical Significance, Politics, Culture, Economics.

Webinar: Is Peace Possible?:
Join us Thursday, March 3 at 11 am EST for a webinar discussion hosted by Churches for Middle East Peace of the recent publication: Is Peace Possible: Christian Palestinians Speak, with representatives from the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land and CMEP board member communions, and moderated by Julie Schumacher Cohen, Assistant Vice President in Community Engagement & Government Affairs at The University of Scranton. To read this powerful resource online, visit CMEP’s website here. The physical book is available at Amazon.com or at your local retailer.

Pilgrimage2Peace Tour Update:
This April, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon (Executive Director) and Tala AlRaheb (Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow) will travel to Colorado, California, and Washington State to host a conversation with churches and other community groups about peacebuilding and advocacy related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our event schedule is almost full but if you are in CO, CA, or WA and are interested in hosting a meeting with your church leadership, small group, church, or public events April 18 - May 2, please reach out to nicole@cmep.org to inquire about hosting an event


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us asked to investigate apartheid

Image: Shtayyeh called on US lawmakers to form a special committee to probe "practices of persecution and apartheid" committed by Israel (AFP/File photo)

Palestinian Authority asks US Congress to probe 'Israeli apartheid'
Middle East Eye

“Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has warned US members of Congress that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories could explode if Israel is not pressured to return to the peace process. During a meeting with a delegation of 30 US lawmakers in Ramallah on Monday (February 21), Shtayyeh called on the legislators to form a special committee ‘to investigate the practices of persecution and apartheid carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people’. ‘Israel does not want the two-state solution or the one-state solution,’ Shtayyeh told the congressional delegation, according to the Palestinian state-run news agency Wafa."

what the us says about drone threats

Image: An American flag flutters on a U.S military vehicle during a joint U.S.-Turkey patrol, near Tel Abyad, Syria September 8, 2019. (Rodi Said/Reuters)

What the US is saying about Iranian drone threats in Iraq and Syria

“Attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria by pro-Iranian groups using drones represents an emerging threat in the region. The US acknowledged the attacks in a recent report on the US role in Iraq and Syria, the quarterly Lead Inspector General report to the US Congress on Operation Inherent Resolve. The report covers the October-December 2021 period. These reports usually are released a month or two after they have been provided to US authorities and Congress. The report combines information from the Pentagon, the US State Department, Central Command and other sources."

iran deal premature

Image: U.S. Iran envoy Rob Malley. (Mazen Mahdi/AFP via Getty Images)

Talk of imminent Iran deal is "very premature," U.S. official says

“The U.S. and Iran are close to a return to the 2015 nuclear deal but several ‘difficult issues’ remain unresolved, a senior Biden administration official told Axios on Wednesday (February 23). Why it matters: At the moment, neither side seems willing to compromise on its remaining red lines, and the official said the outcome could still be no deal at all. The latest: Iran's chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, is expected to return to Tehran on Wednesday night for what could be final consultations about the nuclear deal."

CMEP's Bulletin is a weekly round-up of news from the Middle East and represents an array of perspectives on the issues we cover. CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the views expressed in the articles, and they do not speak on CMEP's behalf.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP)
110 Maryland Ave NE, Suite 311 | Washington, District of Columbia  20002
(202) 543-1222 | info@cmep.org

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