Churches for Middle East Peace

Israel And Hamas Agree To A Cease-Fire In The Gaza Conflict

A look at the ceasefire, the response of citizens and politicians around the world, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: People gather near the rubble of a residential building hit by Israeli airstrikes Thursday (May 20) in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. (Adel Hana/AP)

We at Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcome the ceasefire and pray it holds. A ceasefire, however, is not enough. CMEP will continue to advocate for U.S. policies that will help result in a just and lasting end to the conflict in Israel/Palestine. We call the Biden Administration to ensure the pending eviction orders against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah and throughout East Jerusalem are permanently halted.

Ceasefire called

Image: People gather near the rubble of a residential building hit by Israeli airstrikes Thursday (May 20) in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip. (Adel Hana/AP)

Israel and Hamas agree to a cease-fire in the Gaza conflict

“Israeli and Hamas have accepted a cease-fire plan that was to take effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday (May 21) after 11 days of fighting in Gaza. The Israeli Cabinet voted to accept an Egyptian initiative for a cease-fire, according to a statement from the Cabinet. A Hamas spokesman said, ‘The Palestinian resistance will commit itself to this deal as long as the occupation is committed.’ President Biden said his administration held "intense, high-level discussions hour by hour" with the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and others toward the agreement. In remarks at the White House, Biden said he sees a ‘genuine opportunity’ to make progress."

Sanders calls for de-escalation

Image: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to Thursday introduce a resolution disapproving of the Biden administration's $735 million arms sale to Israel. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post/POOL)

Sen. Bernie Sanders to introduce resolution of disapproval on $735 million U.S. arms sale to Israel
Washington Post

“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is preparing to introduce a resolution on Thursday disapproving of the U.S. sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel, according to a draft obtained by The Washington Post. The resolution aims to halt the planned sale to Israel by the Biden administration of JDAMs, or Joint Direct Attack Munitions, and Small Diameter Bombs, as the worst hostilities in years continue between Israel and Hamas. The resolution needs only a simple majority to pass the Senate; but if it were to be vetoed by President Joe Biden, it would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to take effect.”

general strike

Image: A WhatsApp message from a Palestinian worker telling her Israeli employer that she could not attend work on Tuesday (May 18), followed by a reply that informed her of her dismissal. (Supplied to MEE)

Palestinian citizens of Israel fired for participating in general strike
Middle East Eye

“‘Hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel have received WhatsApp messages from their Israeli employers firing them from their jobs after participating in a general strike on Tuesday (May 18) that was adhered to by millions of Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. Middle East Eye has seen tens of messages in Hebrew by Palestinian workers who informed their Israeli employers that they would not be attending work on Tuesday due to the general strike, only to receive messages shortly afterwards informing them that they were fired. The karameh strike - ‘dignity strike’ in Arabic - was called on Tuesday across historic Palestine to show Palestinian unity amid ongoing Israeli bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip and violent crackdowns on Palestinian protesters elsewhere."

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP Signs Letter to UNSC Calling for Immediate Ceasefire:

The letter also urges the UNSC “to act immediately to address the continuing underlying causes of injustice that will otherwise remain a constant threat to peace in the Holy Land: occupation, land dispossession, displacement, and the withholding of basic human rights we take for granted. 


Take Action: Tell President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to oppose violence and evictions in Israel/Palestine:

Your voice is critically important. Please act now as we work to push the Biden Administration to play a proactive role in bringing about justice and peace in Jerusalem and throughout Israel/Palestine.

Take Action: Call Your Senators Now!

Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) will introduce a resolution to block a recently announced sale, approved by the Biden Administration, of additional weapons to Israel. Senators must hear from their constituents now asking them to co-sponsor this resolution. A sample script is included for your guidance. Please call your senators now!


Help us reach our matching fund goal of $21,000. Donate to the work for peace today!

lab for coronavirus damaged

Image: An Israeli airstrike hit a street outside the Al-Rimal health clinic in central Gaza City Monday evening, shattering windows, shredding doors and wrecking Gaza’s only coronavirus test laboratory. (Hosam Salem for The New York Times)

An Israeli airstrike damaged Gaza’s only lab for processing coronavirus tests, officials said
New York Times

“Since Covid-19 first emerged in the blockaded Gaza Strip, a shortage of medical supplies has allowed authorities to administer only a relatively tiny number of coronavirus tests. Now, the sole laboratory in Gaza that processes test results has become temporarily inoperable after an Israeli airstrike nearby on Monday (May 17), officials in Gaza said. The strike, which targeted a separate building in Gaza City, sent shrapnel and debris flying across the street, damaging the lab and the administrative offices of the Hamas-run Health Ministry, said Dr. Majdi Dhair, director of the ministry’s preventive medicine department.”

Rep Marie Newman

Image: Democratic Rep. Marie Newman. She beat the conservative incumbent in Illinois' 3rd Congressional District last year and has become an outspoken critic of Israel's government. (Charles Rex Arbogast / AP)

Meet the new progressive lawmaker challenging the D.C. consensus on Israel-Palestine

“Five months into her career as an elected official, Democratic Rep. Marie Newman has wasted no time making a name for herself. The congresswoman from Illinois has quickly established herself as among the most vocal supporters of Palestinian rights in the history of Congress, consistently finding herself at the forefront of the progressive response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."


Image: Obaida Akram Abdurrahman Jawabra, 17, was shot dead by Israeli forces with live ammunition May 17, 2021 around 8 p.m. local time in Al-Arroub refugee camp located near the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron. (DCIP / Matthew Cassel)

Israeli forces kill 17-year-old Palestinian in Arroub refugee camp
DCI Palestine

“Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian boy today in the southern West Bank. Obaida Akram Abdurahman Jawabra, 17, was shot dead by Israeli forces with live ammunition today around 8 p.m. local time in Al-Arroub refugee camp located near the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Obaida sustained a gunshot wound to his chest during a demonstration at the entrance of the camp located near Route 60, the main route in the West Bank connecting Hebron and Jerusalem. An Israeli soldier deployed about 70 meters (230 feet) away fired the fatal shot, according to eyewitnesses interviewed by Defense for Children International - Palestine."

CMEP recently screened DCI-P's film "Obaida" focused on Obaida’s experience as a Palestinian child arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in Israeli military courts. You can watch the film here.

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 |

Follow Us

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences