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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Israeli Settlers and Police Seize Part of Historic Hotel in East Jerusalem's Old City

A look at rising violence, defections and food shortages, 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.

Image: An Orthodox Jewish man raises his hand as he walks past the Petra hostel in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Jaffa Gate, 11 June 2019. (AFP)

Israeli settlers and police seize part of historic hotel in East Jerusalem's Old City

Middle East Eye

“Israeli police and settlers have taken control part of the historic Petra hotel, the subject of a years-long legal challenge between the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and settler group Ateret Cohanim, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. On Sunday evening (March 27), dozens of Israeli policemen and members of Ateret Cohanim moved into the first floor of the hotel, near Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate.”

Read CMEP's statement on this illegal capture of the hotel here.


Image: Israeli security and medical personnel secure the scene of an attack in which people were killed by a gunman on a main street in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel, March 29, 2022. (Reuters/Nir Elias)

Arab gunman kills at least 5 in Tel Aviv suburb, latest in series of attacks

“An Arab gunman killed at least five people in a Tel Aviv suburb on Tuesday (March 29) before he was fatally shot, the national ambulance service said, in the third deadly attack in Israel in a week. ‘Israel is facing a wave of murderous Arab terror,’ Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tweeted after the shootings in Bnei Brak, a Jewish ultra-Orthodox city on the outskirts of Israel's commercial capital."


Image: Yemeni police inspect a site of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting two houses in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, March 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

UN says Yemen's warring parties agree to 2-month truce
Washington Post

“Yemen’s warring sides have accepted a two-month truce, starting with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the U.N. envoy to Yemen said Friday (April 1). The envoy, Hans Grundberg, announced the agreement from Amman, Jordan, after meeting separately with both sides in the country’s brutal civil war in recent days. He said that he hoped the truce would be renewed after two months.”

What's Happening at CMEP

In Memoriam - Father Drew Christiansen, S.J.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) received the news on April 6, 2022, that Jesuit priest and CMEP Leadership Council member, Father Drew Christiansen, S.J., passed away as a result of heart complications. We are deeply grieved by this news.

We’re Hiring!

CMEP is seeking to hire a part-time Development Coordinator to support the Development Portfolio of CMEP, including conducting funder research, contacting donors, administrative support for grants, maintaining our donor database, producing data reports, meeting project-based needs as they arise, and offering day-to-day administrative support.

We're also seeking applicants for the position of Mobilization Manager, Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow, and summer interns. Check out our website for more information on each of those.

CMEP In the News:

Read this recent article by CMEP’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, in the Christian Reformed Church’s “Do Justice” blog. “Every year, hundreds of thousands of Christian tourists travel to the Holy Land to see the holy sites and to touch the land where Christ was born, crucified, buried, and resurrected. For me, seeing the place where Jesus breathed, lived, and did ministry profoundly changed my life.”


Support CMEP

Monthly sustaining donations are vital to our work. Please become a monthly donor by selecting that option in the donate link.


Image: Idit Silman, then-head of the Arrangements Committee, leads a Committee meeting at the Knesset, November 8, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Silman’s coalition defection catches her political partners off-guard
Times of Israel

“Coalition whip Idit Silman’s shocking announcement that she was defecting from the coalition sent political shockwaves across Israel on Wednesday morning, including in her own party and coalition — neither of which she apparently informed before she resigned with a letter to the prime minister that was rapidly leaked to the media.”


Image: Worshipers gather for Friday prayers, next to the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city, on Friday, April 1, 2022. (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

Israel Lets Palestinian Men 50 and Up, Women on Al-Aqsa for Ramadan Friday Prayers

“Israel announced on Tuesday (April 5) it will let Palestinian women, men 50 and up and children enter Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which began this week. Defense Minister Benny Gantz also told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a Tuesday phone call that Israel was willing to expand measures for civilians during and after Ramadan if calm persists, according to his office.”


Image: A joint US-Arab initiative will tackle food challenges in the MENA region through investment in sustainable agri-tech. (AFP/File Photos)

US-backed initiative tackles Middle East’s food-security challenge
Arab News

“Millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa were suffering from severe effects of hunger and malnutrition long before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains and put a squeeze on public spending. Now the war in Ukraine threatens to exacerbate the problem and global food prices are expected to keep rising. This is happening against the backdrop of an ever-worsening climate emergency, as rising temperatures around the world compound problems such as water shortages, soil degradation, forest fires and rural displacement. This is placing additional strain on agriculture and the food security of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

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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