Churches for Middle East Peace

Ireland Approves Funding of $21m to UNRWA

A look at promised aid and continuing needs, elections, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

 Image: Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) prepare aid to distribute to families in Gaza on 14 January 2020. (Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency)

ireland unrwa funds

Image: Workers of United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) prepare aid to distribute to families in Gaza on 14 January 2020. (Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency)

Ireland approves funding of $21m to UNRWA
Middle East Monitor

“The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs has announced a three-year contribution towards the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Ireland will be donating €6 million ($7 million) per year to the agency between 2021 and 2023, intended to be what the Irish government has described as ‘development needs of refugees across UNRWA's fields of operation in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Ask the Biden Administration to release funding to UNRWA today with CMEP’s Action Alert.

Netanyahu lost

Image: Benjamin Netanyahu flashes a 'victory' sign in Bat Yam on Election Day, Tuesday (March 23). (Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)

Israel election results: How Netanyahu lost, and why he might still win

“The final results in the election for the 24th Knesset are in and their bottom line is that Benjamin Netanyahu lost. He defined victory as a Knesset majority made up of five parties – Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Religious Zionism and Yamina, even though Yamina’s Naftali Bennett refused to commit to joining in advance – and he failed to achieve even that low bar. The five parties of the notional ‘Netanyahu bloc’ now total 59 seats, two short of a majority."

Gaza households lack water

Image: A man disconnects a hose from his water truck after refilling at a water depot on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City, Gaza. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Only 4% of Gaza household have access to safe water
Middle East Monitor

“A recent study has found that only four percent of households in the Gaza Strip have access to safe water, compared with 39.5 percent in the rest of Palestine. According to a study released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority yesterday and reported by the Wafa news agency, 66.2 percent of Palestinian households in the occupied West Bank have access to safe water. The report also found that the daily allocation of water per capita is less than the internationally recommended rate, adding that it is decreasing."

Learn more about water insecurity in Israel and Palestine.

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP Journeys:

Have you joined CMEP for an event yet this year? Some upcoming highlights include a kid’s story time, virtual tours, and learning to write Letters to the Editor. Learn more about upcoming events and join us soon!


CMEP in the News:

How does Christian Nationalism relate to CMEP’s work in the Middle East? Read Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon’s latest piece for Do Justice: Pursuing a Faithful Witness.

Joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony:

Join hundreds of thousands of people from around the world in what is being called the biggest Israeli-Palestinian peace event in history. On April 13, 2021 at 1:30 PM EST, we will gather to call for peace, freedom, and human rights for all. This event is hosted by Combatants for Peace and The Parents Circle–Families Forum, and we are proud that CMEP is an official sponsor this year.


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greenfield us aid to palestine

Image: US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield at UN Headquarters in New York, on March 1, 2021. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP)

Renewing US aid to Palestinians, Biden administration to send $15m in COVID aid
Times of Israel

“US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield announces that Washington will be sending $15 million in COVID-related humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, in what will be the first such funds transferred under the Biden administration, which has vowed to restore financial assistance to the Palestinians."

Netanyahu trip to UAE cancelled

Image: Left: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, March 8, 2021 (Miriam Alster/Pool via AP); Right: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a virtual G-20 summit held over video conferencing, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Nov. 22, 2020 (Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

Former top Saudi adviser: No Israel normalization before Palestinian statehood
Times of Israel

“A former senior adviser to the Saudi Arabian government said in an editorial published Monday that the kingdom would not normalize ties with Israel until a peace agreement is reached that establishes an independent Palestinian state. Nawaf Obaid’s editorial, published in the Palestinian Al Quds newspaper one day before Israelis go to the polls, was seen by analysts as an open message to Israel after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior officials have recently indicated that Riyadh is on its way to normalizing relations with Israel.”

palestinian hamlet

Image: “Before, life was about waking up and milking and making cheese,” said Fadwa Abu Awad, a Palestinian herder. “Now we’re just waiting for the army.” (Samar Hazboun for The New York Times)

Palestinian hamlet embodies fight for the West Bank’s future
New York Times

“Until last November, Fadwa Abu Awad’s mornings followed a familiar rhythm: The 42-year-old Palestinian herder would rise at 4 a.m., pray, and milk her family’s sheep. Then she would add an enzyme to the pails of milk and stir them for hours to make a salty, rubbery, halloumi-like cheese. But that routine changed overnight in November, when the Israeli Army demolished her hamlet, Humsa, in the West Bank. When the 13 families who live there resurrected their homes, the army returned in early February to knock them down again. By the end of February, parts of Humsa had been dismantled and rebuilt six times in three months because the Israelis viewed them as illegal structures.”

Read more about Settlements and Displacement

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)
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