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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Biden Admin Reverses Trump Policy that Allowed Funding to Research in Israeli Settlements

A look at the war in Syria, settler violence, 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: Biden and Netanyahu at a press conference in Jerusalem in March 2016. (Debbie Hill/AFP via Getty Images)

Biden admin reverses Trump policy that allowed funding to research in Israeli settlements


“The Biden administration notified Israel two weeks ago that it was reimposing a ban that prohibits U.S. taxpayer funding from being used in any research and development or scientific cooperation projects conducted in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to three U.S. and Israeli officials.”

Image: Channel 13 journalist Yossi Eli dressed as a priest in his investigative report on violence against Christians in Jerusalem. (Video Screenshot)

Israeli Reporter Goes Undercover as Priest – and Gets Spat At


“An Israeli journalist was derided and spat at, including by a child and a soldier, as he spent a day dressed as a priest in Jerusalem to investigate spiraling hate crimes against Christians in the city. Donning a brown priest's robe, Channel 13’s Yossi Eli was spat at just five minutes after setting out with a Franciscan clergyman, Father Alberto.”

Image: Hamrin Alouji, the mother of 13-year-old Peyal Aqil, goes through her daughter’s photographs at their family home in Qamishli, Syria, on Monday, June 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)

Recruitment of children by armed groups in Syria is on the rise, even as fighting subsides

AP News

“Armed groups have recruited children throughout the past 12 years of conflict and civil war in Syria. A new United Nations report on children in armed conflict, released Tuesday, says the use of child soldiers in Syria is growing, even as fighting in most parts of Syria is winding down. The number of children recruited by armed groups in Syria has risen steadily over the past three years — from 813 in 2020 to 1,296 in 2021 and 1,696 in 2022, the U.N. says.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Join Churches for Middle East Peace and Embrace the Middle East for a four-week online series in conversation with Christians across the Middle East. Rev. Colin Chapman will speak with Christian leaders from Iraq, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, and Egypt to discuss the intersection between political context and personal faith. Delve into these rich conversations with us on Mondays in July and August, starting July 17th.

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.

Save the Date! Churches for Middle East Peace is honored to announce a 2024 Summit in Jericho. This event, a part of our And Still We Rise (ASWR) initiative, is open to Christians from the Middle East, the United States, and the international community. Participants are invited to come together for this  summit elevating the voices of women committed to pursuing peace.  This three day event includes portions open to women only as well as portions open to everyone. In addition, there will be several tours traveling to the region that will include the summit as a part of their itinerary. If you are interested in leading a group tour to the Holy Land in November 2024, please reach out to info@cmep.org.  Registration and more details will be available at a later date.


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Image: A view shows a damaged truck belonging to ethnic Armenian forces in an area that came under the control of Azerbaijan's troops…  (Aziz Karimov/Reuters)

4 Armenian soldiers reported killed in Azerbaijani strikes amid talks in US

Jerusalem Post

“Four ethnic Armenian soldiers from the defense force of the de-facto Artsakh Republic were killed in Azerbaijani artillery and drone strikes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region on Wednesday morning, the Artsakh Defense Forces stated on Wednesday (June 27).”

Image: Children join their parents at Eid al-Adha prayers at an open area in Gaza City. (Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu)

Millions celebrate Eid al-Adha around the world


“Millions of Muslims across the globe are celebrating Eid al-Adha, one of the biggest holidays in the Islamic calendar. Known as the “Feast of Sacrifice”, the revered observance coincides with the final rites of the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Eid al-Adha commemorates the Quranic tale of Prophet Abrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God.”

Image: This file photo shows a part of new housing projects in the West Bank Israeli settlement of Givat Ze’ev, Monday, June 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

Israel OK’s plans for thousands of new settlement homes, defying White House calls for restraint

AP News

“Israel’s far-right government on Monday approved plans to build over 5,000 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Israeli media said, a move that threatened to worsen increasingly strained relations with the United States. The decision defied growing U.S. criticism of Israel’s settlement policies. It also raised tensions with the Palestinians at a time of rising violence in the occupied territory.”

Image: The White Helmets said most of those killed at the vegetable market were workers and farmers (EPA)

Syria war: Nine killed as Russia air strike hits Idlib market


“The UN has expressed deep concern about an escalation of hostilities in north-western Syria after at least 11 people were reportedly killed in Russian air strikes on rebel-held Idlib province. Nine were killed when warplanes dropped bombs next to a market outside Jisr al-Shughour on Sunday (June 25), rescuers 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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(202) 543-1222 | info@cmep.org

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

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