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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Pope Francis Thanks Jordan’s King for His Attention to Region’s Christians

A look at the Israel-Gaza ceasefire, Flag Day, 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: The leader of the Catholic Church praised the king during an audience with participants in the Sixth Colloquium between the Vatican Dicastery for Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (Supplied).

Pope Francis thanks Jordan’s king for his attention to region’s Christians

Arab News

“Pope Francis has expressed his ‘appreciation and gratitude’ to Jordan’s King Abdullah ‘for his attention to the Christian communities not only in his country, but also to those living in the entire Middle East region, particularly in times which are marked by conflicts and violence.’”

Image: Palestinian Islamic Jihad confirmed a ceasefire had been agreed, while Israel said quiet would be met with quiet. (Reuters)

Israel-Gaza: Shaky start to ceasefire ending five days of fighting


“There are hopes a ceasefire will take hold to end five days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) militants in Gaza. It got off to a shaky start, as both sides kept firing for two hours after the truce started on Saturday (May 13) evening. At least 33 Palestinians have been killed since Tuesday (May 9) in Gaza, where Israel says it has struck PIJ targets. Palestinian rocket fire into Israel has killed two people, one Israeli and one Palestinian working in the country.”

Image: Israel's Iron Dome air defense system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza City on May 13. (Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad calls the shots in Gaza from Lebanon


“In last week’s escalation between Gaza and Israel, the shots were called by leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group based in Lebanon — now a strategic center of operations for multiple Palestinian armed groups.”

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP Film Screening: Sunday, June 25, 2023.  On average, two Palestinian kids are arrested every night by the Israeli army. They are interrogated, tried, and sent to prison. The film Two Kids a Day describes the use of minors' arrests to control and repress Palestinian society. Join Churches for Middle East Peace on Sunday June 25th at 12 pm Pacific/3 pm Eastern for a virtual screening of the film and a conversation with the film director and co-producer. If you are interested in hosting a satellite screening of this event at your church, contact Jennifer at jennifer@cmep.org

Action Alert: HR 3103 The Palestinian Children and Families Act. With the rise of violence in the West Bank growing by the day under the new Israeli government, it is critical members of Congress join Rep. McCollum and sponsor HR 3103. Congress must ensure U.S.  taxpayer dollars are not used to violate Palestinian human rights and further annex Palestinian land in the West Bank. Such actions–which only exacerbate the conflict–should not be funded with assistance from the U.S. government.

Fast and Pray for Tent of Nations: On Friday, May 12th, over 70 people joined together with Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) and Daoud Nassar to pray together for 30 minutes over the May 15th court hearing regarding the farm's reregistration. These monthly prayer sessions will continue in June as we gather to pray over the end of the Gaza Blockade. Read the article below to learn the history of “the world’s largest open-air prison”, then join us June 14th (time TBD) to fast and pray over Gaza. Keep an eye on our events page or social media for updates.


CMEP is seeking a Development Intern 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.


Support CMEP:

Mandatory IRA withdrawals are a great way to give to CMEP! 


Image: Israeli participants in the annual Flag March beat Palestinian residents of the Old City of Jerusalem on May 18, 2023. (Ir Amim)

At Jerusalem Flag March, chants of ‘Death to Arabs’ and assaults on Palestinians

Times of Israel

“Thousands of Israelis took part in the Jerusalem Flag March on Thursday (May 18), with the highly controversial annual event again featuring racist chants and scuffles with Palestinian residents as the largely teenage, religious nationalist participants made their way through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.”

Image: Photo of Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Photo taken on December 9, 2022, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Reuters/Ahmed Yosri)

Arab League head welcomes Syria back into the bloc


“Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit welcomed Syria back into the bloc on Wednesday, as Arab foreign ministers gathered for a preparatory meeting ahead of the full summit. Earlier this month, the Arab world's top diplomats agreed to fully reinstate Syria's membership after a 12-year suspension over the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters.”

Image: Dina el-Dhani, a Palestinian cancer patient in Gaza City, says she missed her scheduled treatment in Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Gaza cancer patients face life-threatening treatment delays


“It is estimated that more than 200 patients, mostly with cancer, are unable to leave for urgently needed treatment. They include children. Israel controls two crossings with Gaza - used for people and goods - which have been closed since the start of its military operation on Tuesday (May 9).”


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 505 | Washington, District of Columbia  20002
(202) 543-1222 | info@cmep.org

Please note our offices have changed locations to 110 Maryland Ave NE #505

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