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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: King, US president reaffirm commitment to working towards peace

A look at continuing clashes at holy sites, international response, 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: (R) US President Joe Biden. (L) Jordan's King Abdullah II.

King, US president reaffirm commitment to working towards peace

The Jordan Times

"His Majesty King Abdullah and US President Joe Biden on Monday reaffirmed Jordan’s and the United States’ commitment to continue working towards global and regional peace. In a phone call, King Abdullah and President Biden discussed the deep-rooted bilateral ties and the strategic partnership between the two countries, as well as means to expand it across all fields, according to a Royal Court statement.


Image: UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefs, over video conference, the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question on January 26, 2021. (Daniela Penkova/UNSCO/File)

UN envoy cites Israeli account of how Temple Mount clashes began
Times of Israel

“The UN’s Middle East envoy on Monday (April 25) appeared to adopt the Israeli account of how major clashes between Palestinians and police on the Temple Mount were sparked earlier this month. ‘On 15 April, during the early morning hours, a large number of Palestinians gathered at the Al Aqsa compound. Some Palestinians threw stones, fireworks and other heavy objects toward Israeli Security Forces, and ISF used stun grenades, sponge-tipped bullets and batons, including against some bystanders,’ Tor Wennesland told the UN Security Council, during the forum’s monthly session on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”


Image: Archbishop of Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Atallah Hanna [centre] on 22 January 2015. (Muhesen Amren/ApaImages)

Atallah Hanna: Aggression on Al-Aqsa is aggression on Church of Holy Sepulchre
Middle East Monitor

“Head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Archbishop Atallah Hanna said yesterday (April 26) that Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque is aggression on Church of Holy Sepulchre. The archbishop's remarks came during a popular action organised in the holy city in support for Al-Aqsa Mosque and Muslim worshippers who have been subjected to Israeli aggression throughout the month of fasting, Ramadan.”

What's Happening at CMEP

The Joint Nakba Day Ceremony (May 15): Hosted by Combatants for Peace, this service brings together Palestinians, Israelis, and the international community to remember, honor, and acknowledge the Nakba – when more than half a million Palestinians were displaced from their homes in 1948. CMEP is proud to sponsor this event. The registration is being handled through the American Friends of Combatants for Peace and the link below will take you to their website.

Public Statement: April 27, 2022: CMEP Opposes Violations of Status Quo and Calls for Commitment to Religious Freedom: CMEP calls on Secretary Blinken and the Biden Administration to support the Status Quo at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount and protect the religious freedom of all who call Jerusalem holy.

Press Release: April 28, 2022: CMEP’S Catholic Advisory Council Announces the Fr. Drew Christiansen Holy Land Lecture Series: Hosted by CMEP's Catholic Advisory Council (CAC), this inaugural Fr. Drew Christiansen Holy Land Lecture Series brings Christian leaders and scholars from the Holy Land to share firsthand updates, insights, theological reflections, and a much needed perspective on today’s Christian situation in the Land of Jesus’ birth.

Public Statement: CMEP Joins Christian Faith Leaders in Writing to Congress in Support of Palestinian Children and Families Act: Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, joined 24 other Christian Faith leaders in a letter to all members of Congress in support of HR 2590, The Palestinian Children and Families Act.

The letter was made public during a virtual event featuring Congresswoman McCollum and Christian faith leaders, including three from Minnesota, on Tuesday, April 26. The video of the event is viewable here.


Support CMEP

We could not continue to pursue our mission to Educate, Elevate, and Advocate for a just and holistic peace in Israel, Palestine, and the broader Middle East without your support. Consider supporting CMEP today.


Image: The Nokdim settlement in 2010. (Daniel Bar-On)

Top court asks Israel to explain how it plans to stop settler land grab

“The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Monday (April 25) to explain how it plans to prevent settler incursions onto a Palestinian enclave within an Israeli settlement. On Sunday (April 24), Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank gave the residents of the Nokdim settlement 15 days to explain why their actions on the Palestinian land, such as planting trees and paving a bicycle path, should not be considered squatting. If they do not submit a response by that deadline, the state can uproot all the trees.”


Image: A picture of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in the Gaza Strip, in May. (Mohammed Abed - AFP)

Israel's Middle East allies have changed the equation with Hamas

“Israel, as we know, does not negotiate with terrorists. But terms and conditions may apply. If, for instance, the country must put an end to rocket launches or explosive balloons, or if it needs to wrap up a military operation with a ‘decisive victory’ and of course if it wants the bodies of Israeli soldiers or captives held in Gaza, then it can negotiate.”


Image: A general view shows the grain silo damaged during the 2020 Beirut port explosion in Beirut, Lebanon April 4, 2022. Picture taken April 4, 2022. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo)

Saudi Arabia, France pledge $30m for Lebanon aid and development

“France and Saudi Arabia announced a joint development fund for crisis-hit Lebanon Tuesday (April 26), pledging an initial $30 million to support food security and the country's crippled health sector, a French embassy statement said. The funds will be routed to humanitarian projects to provide emergency aid, including food, to the most vulnerable populations in Lebanon, improve access to primary healthcare and to support the main public hospital in the impoverished northern city of Tripoli, the statement said.”

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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