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Churches for Middle East Peace

The Truce Quieted Israeli-Palestinian Hostilities — But Not the Jerusalem Disputes That Triggered Them

A look at issues that persist beyond a ceasefire, the ongoing responses of world leaders, 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)

Ceasefire didn't end tensions

Image: Palestinians pray at the compound that houses al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday (May 21). (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

The truce quieted Israeli-Palestinian hostilities — but not the Jerusalem disputes that triggered them
Washington Post

“Leading a group of Jews onto the Temple Mount for the first time in three weeks, Tom Nisani shrugged off the sensitivities of Palestinian worshipers at the contested site. ‘If it makes them sensitive, it’s not my fault,’ Nisani, 32, who heads an organization that aims to bring the holy site under direct Israeli control, said moments before Israeli police on Sunday (May 23) escorted him around the compound known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary."

Israel unsure it deterred Hamas

Image: Gazans lighting candles amidst the ruins of buildings, yesterday (May 26). (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Israel is unsure it deterred Hamas, and the military is preparing for renewed Gaza fighting

“With scarcely a week since a cease-fire was secured in the military confrontation between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli military is poised for a possible resumption of the fighting in the near future, with top military officials believing that Hamas could yet reengage. In contrast to assertions by Israel’s political leadership about the successful deterrence of Hamas, senior IDF brass have said in closed-door meetings that it is not yet possible to gauge the extent to which Hamas has been staved off, and how the damage in Gaza will affect a decision by Hamas on whether to embark on another round of fighting in the near future.”

gazans hoping to rebuild

Image: Palestinian volunteers clear the rubble at a street in Gaza City, after it was hit by Israeli airstrikes during Operation Guardian of the Walls, May 23, 2021. (Atia Mohammed/Flash90)

Looking to rebuild again, war-weary Gazans see little hope for a swift recovery
Times of Isreal

“As rocket alert sirens rang out in Israel and IDF airstrikes hit Gaza last week, an ice cream factory joined a long list of sufferers of collateral damage in the recent round of fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists. ‘We tried to save what we could, but it’s all gone now,’ said Sami Ghazali, a 40-year-old Gaza resident whose father founded Ma’touq Ice Cream. The chain has five shops around the Gaza Strip, although operations were suspended in three of them during the coronavirus pandemic.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Public Statement: CMEP Applauds Ceasefire, Urges Resolution to Underlying Issues:

We uplift in prayer all families in Israel-Palestine who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Every moment without bombings and rockets saves innocent lives.


Webinar with Israeli Peace Partners:

Join CMEP on Wed, June 2, 10 am EDT for a webinar addressing the work that remains to confront the injustices in Israel/Palestine. Our panelists are Tania Hary (Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement) and Jessica Montell (HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual). The discussion will focus on the next steps now that the ceasefire between the State of Israel and Hamas is in place. 

CMEP in the News:

We’ve been actively working to put CMEP’s message of peace and justice into the world and the last few weeks our work has been featured in multiple publications. Check out where CMEP’s work is appearing.


Support the work of our Ambassador Warren Clark Fellows and honor the legacy of a former Executive Director of CMEP.

us reopening Jerusalem consulate

Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken hold a joint press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, days after an Egypt-brokered truce halted fighting between the Jewish state and the Gaza Strip's rulers Hamas. (Menahem Kahana/Pool Photo via AP)

US to reopen Jerusalem consulate, upgrading Palestinian ties
AP News

“Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Tuesday (May 25) that the U.S. would reopen its Consulate General in Jerusalem — a move that restores ties with Palestinians that had been downgraded by the Trump administration. The consulate long served as an autonomous office in charge of diplomatic relations with the Palestinians. But former U.S. President Donald Trump downgraded its operations and placed them under the authority of his ambassador to Israel when he moved the embassy to Jerusalem. Trump’s move infuriated the Palestinians, who view east Jerusalem as occupied territory and the capital of their future state.”

state dept sale of bombs to isreal

Image: Neighbors walk among the rubble of a building destroyed by an airstrike in Gaza. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Days before approving humanitarian aid to Gaza, State Department agreed to contentious bomb sale to Israel
Jewish Currents

“Today (May 25), the Biden administration committed more than $5 million to rebuilding Gaza after Israeli bombing left swathes of the territory in ruins, with medical facilities, homes, and roads destroyed or damaged by the aerial attack that killed at least 248 people this month. But even as the administration takes steps to aid Gaza, its State Department has approved a $735-million sale of bombs to Israel, bypassing congressional opposition. On May 21st, according to a congressional staffer, the department granted Boeing an export license for the sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions and Small Diameter Bombs—two kinds of laser-guided munitions that were reportedly used by Israel in the 11-day attack on the Gaza Strip that ended on Friday (May 21) with a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.”

Syrian refugees losing hope

Image: Refugees from Syria sit next to a camp in Jordan. (Reuters)

As Assad tightens grip on Syria, many refugees lose hope

“When Syrian refugee Lara Shahin fled Damascus at the start of Syria's conflict she thought her family would be back within months to help rebuild the country. Nine years later, an election dismissed as a sham by refugees across the region is set to grant President Bashar Assad another seven years in power - further shredding her hopes of ever going home.”

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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