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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: Israel Gets New PM as Netanyahu Targets Comeback

A look at political upheaval, investigations and legislation, 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: Yair Lapid (R) took over from Naftali Bennett, who was prime minister for just one year. (Reuters)

Israel gets new PM as Netanyahu targets comeback


“Yair Lapid has become Israel's interim prime minister, taking over from PM Naftali Bennett after just one year. Mr. Lapid, head of a centrist party, will lead the country as it heads towards elections on 1 November. It follows the collapse last week of the coalition which he formed with Mr. Bennett. The upcoming elections will be Israel's fifth in less than four years. Mr. Lapid faces a tough challenge from former PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to return to power. Although the new prime minister has previously said he is committed to a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians, he is unlikely to begin any bold new initiatives as an interim leader.”


Image: Palestinians hold posters displaying veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead during clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen as she covered a raid in Jenin on May 11, 2022. (Hazem Bader/AFP)

US says Abu Akleh bullet test inconclusive, IDF likely shot her by mistake
Times of Israel

“A US government probe concluded on Monday (July 4) that an Israeli soldier likely unintentionally shot the fatal bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, although ballistic analysis was unable to establish conclusively whether the shot came from an Israeli gun or a Palestinian one. ‘Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion,’ US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement after American officials were allowed to oversee an examination of the shell, which had been withheld by the Palestinian Authority until Saturday (July 2).”


Image: Congressman Andre Carson speaks to a crowd of several hundred at a May 2021 protest calling for the United States to stop funding violence in Palestine. (Allison C Bailey / Alamy Live News)

Progressives introduce legislation to force US investigation into Israel’s killing of Shireen Abu Akleh
Jewish Currents

“On Tuesday night (July 5), 11 Democrats introduced legislation that would force the FBI and the State Department to investigate the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and determine whether US weapons were used to kill her. Abu Akleh, a prominent Al Jazeera reporter, was killed on May 11th while reporting on an Israeli military raid in the West Bank city of Jenin. Her death attracted international outrage, including in the United States, especially because she was an American citizen. Israeli officials initially suggested that she may have been killed by Palestinian gunmen who were firing on Israeli troops during the military raid. But multiple investigations by news outlets, as well as UN human rights officials and the Palestinian Authority, concluded that an Israeli soldier killed her. (Israel eventually allowed for the possibility that its own soldier fired the fatal shot.)”

What's Happening at CMEP

CMEP's Kyle Cristofalo To Speak on July 13 UMKR Webinar: Kyle Cristofalo, CMEP's Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, will speak on a July 13 webinar hosted by United Methodists for Kairos Response covering current legislative priorities related to Israel/Palestine.

Christian Zionism Webinar Is Almost Over: We hope you were able to join CMEP, Embrace the Middle East, and author Colin Chapman for the first 3 sessions of our webinar mini-course in June and July. If you missed them, there’s still time to register for the final session, which will take place on July 12.

Accountability Matters: Advocate for Palestinian Children & Families: A virtual Advocacy Summit this August. Join CMEP for a series of virtual events this August including a webinar, advocacy training, and virtual meetings with your elected officials. Accountability Matters will focus on the importance of Human Rights, specifically via the support of HR 2590: Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act introduced by Congresswoman Betty McCollum.

Action Alert: June 30, 2022: Urge President Biden to Stand Up for Peace and Justice During His Trip to Israel and Palestine: As President Biden’s July 13-14 visit to Israel and Palestine approaches, events on the ground are propelling the region towards escalating conflict, violence, and suffering. The President must address these issues in his meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leadership.


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: Israeli soldiers confront Palestinian activists during a protest against the Israeli military drill, in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron, in the West Bank on June 22, 2022. (Mamoun Wazwaz/APA Images)

“Discrimination against Palestinians is overt and systemic,” says World Council of Churches Central Committee

“Meeting earlier this month in Geneva, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) issued a statement charging that Israel’s ‘discrimination against Palestinians is overt and systemic, and the ongoing half-century-long occupation continues to contradict the equal human dignity and human rights of Palestinians living under this system of control, while the response of the international community continues to reflect egregious double standards.’ The WCC’s governing body said that ‘recent events in Israel and Palestine have highlighted the mounting obstacles to a just peace in the region.’”


Image: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (center) holds a rare meeting with Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh (fourth from right) under the auspices of Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune, on Tuesday July 5, 2022, in Algiers. (WAFA)

PA leader Abbas, Hamas’s Haniyeh hold first face-to-face meeting in years in Algeria
Times of Israel

“The long-estranged leaders of Hamas and Fatah held their first face-to-face meeting in several years in Algeria on Tuesday (July 5), potentially signaling new efforts to broker reconciliation talks between the warring factions. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh are both in Algeria this week attending festivities marking the country’s 60th Independence Day. Algerian and Palestinian media outlets published photos of the pair shaking hands clasped together by Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune — who reportedly pushed for the meeting.”


Image: Fighters affiliated with Yemen's separatist Southern Transitional Council in the Khormaksar area of Yemen's southern city of Aden, last week. (Saleh Obaidi/AFP)

Explosion at arms depot in Yemen kills three, wounds 18, officials say

“An explosion at an arms depot in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan on Tuesday (July 5) killed three people and wounded 18, medical officials said. The cause of the early morning blast at the warehouse, located at a popular market in the town of Lawdar, was not immediately known. The town is controlled by forces loyal to Yemen's internationally recognized government.”

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.

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