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Churches for Middle East Peace

Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israel Trade Fire Amid Iran Tensions

A look at rocket fire and other fighting, diplomatic relationships, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: A pickup truck with a rocket launcher is seen in Chouaya, Lebanon, August 6, 2021. (Reuters/Karamallah Daher)

hezbollah and israel exchange fire

Image: A pickup truck with a rocket launcher is seen in Chouaya, Lebanon, August 6, 2021. (Reuters/Karamallah Daher)

Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israel trade fire amid Iran tensions


“The Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah fired rockets towards Israeli forces on Friday (August 6), drawing retaliatory fire from Israel into south Lebanon, in a third day of cross-border salvoes amid wider regional tensions with Iran. Suggesting its attack was calibrated to avoid further escalation, Hezbollah said it had targeted open ground near Israeli forces in retaliation for Israeli air strikes that had also struck open areas. Israel said it did not wish to escalate to a full war, though it was ready for one."

patriarch urges halt to hezbollah rockets

Image: Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2021. (AzizTaher/ Reuters)

Lebanon's President defends Patriarch under fire for urging halt to Hezbollah rockets

“President Michel Aoun on Tuesday (August 10) condemned criticism of Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch after he expressed opposition to the Iran-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah, warning that insults must be avoided to safeguard national unity. Following a cross-border salvo between Israel and Hezbollah, Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai was sharply critical of Hezbollah on Sunday, saying no group should decide on war and peace and urging the army to halt rocket fire from the south."

Greek wildfires

Image: A burnt house after a wildfire in Pefki village on Evia island, about 189 kilometers (118 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Greek wildfires: Multinational force fights to tame flareups
AP News

“Hundreds of firefighters from across Europe and the Middle East worked alongside Greek colleagues in rugged terrain Wednesday (August 11) to contain flareups of the huge wildfires that ravaged Greece’s forests for a week, destroying homes and forcing evacuations. The spread of the blazes has been largely halted, officials said, but fronts still burned on the large island of Evia, and in Greece’s southern Peloponnese region where several homes were on fire, according to state ERT TV. The fires broke out last week as Greece had just experienced its worst and most protracted heatwave since 1987, leaving its forests tinder-dry. Other nearby nations such as Turkey and Italy also faced similar searing temperatures and quickly spreading fires, while Spain and Portugal were on alert for wildfires amid a heatwave forecast to last through Monday. At the other end of the Mediterranean, in Algeria, wildfires Tuesday (August 10) killed 42 people.”

What's Happening at CMEP
advocacy issues

Sheikh Jarrah Update:

CMEP released a video update by our new Manager of Middle East Partnerships, Kevin Vollrath, on recent events in Sheikh Jarrah. CMEP opposes the unjust eviction of Palestinian tenants in Sheikh Jarrah and will continue updating our followers on this case in further videos.

Sheikh Jarrah Virtual Tour:

Join CMEP and MEJDI Tours on September 29th at 11 am Eastern for a virtual tour. We'll travel via Zoom through the City of David, Silwan, and Sheikh Jarrah, starting with the relevant background and sharing the local narratives. This is an in-depth opportunity to view, learn, and discuss with your live guide. CMEP staff will be present to talk about current events and advocacy opportunities related to the Holy Land.


Let CMEP Help Bring the Holy Land to You:

Whether you want to have a casual evening of experiencing the culture of the Middle East or host an in-depth discussion on the religious history of the land, current theological conversations, and the root causes of the recent escalations in Israel and Palestine, CMEP can facilitate a remote event for you.

Support CMEP

Consider making a gift in honor of CMEPs former Executive Director Warren Clark through your support of the Ambassador Warren Clark Fellowship (AWCF). This Fellowship supports young scholars work and research towards a more peaceful future.

US push toward compromise on Sheikh Jarrah

Image: Palestinians and left-wing activists protest against the expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah, April 16, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel asking US to push Palestinians toward compromise on Sheikh Jarrah
Times of Israel

“Israel has asked the Biden administration to use its bully pulpit to encourage several Palestinian families facing Israeli eviction from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah to accept a compromise proposed by the Supreme Court that would allow them to stay put for the foreseeable future, an Israeli official told The Times of Israel on Monday (August 9). ‘The deal allows the Palestinians to climb down [from their position], and we asked the Americans to encourage the families to do so before it’s too late,’ the official said, confirming the request first reported by the Haaretz daily. The Sheikh Jarrah evictions have been a rallying cry for Palestinians in recent months and sparked violent clashes in East Jerusalem that spread far beyond the contested city — and were even partly responsible for the flare-up between Israel and Gaza terror groups in May.”

Biden administration voices support for Egypt relationship

Image: US President Joe Biden in the White House on May 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Biden administration voices support for US-Egypt security relationship
Middle East Monitor

“The Biden administration has voiced support for the US and Egypt's security relationship amid ongoing debates about holding back part of the $1.3 billion security assistance it sends to Cairo over continuous human rights abuses. The Hill reports that top officials in the defence and state departments have stressed how important it is for US security assistance to Egypt to continue given Egypt's management of the Suez Canal and its role in the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in May. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defence in the Middle East, Dana Stroul, told a hearing with the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on the Middle East, ‘the bottom line for President Biden is that he values the relationship with Egypt, he believes they are an important security partner.’"

US won't recognize Taliban government

Image: Internally displaced Afghan women from northern provinces, who fled their home due to fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security personnel, receive medical care in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

US vows to isolate Taliban if they take power by force
AP News

“A U.S. peace envoy brought a warning to the Taliban on Tuesday (August 10) that any government that comes to power through force in Afghanistan won’t be recognized internationally after a series of cities fell to the insurgent group in stunningly quick succession. Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy, traveled to Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, to tell the group that there was no point in pursuing victory on the battlefield because a military takeover of the capital of Kabul would guarantee they would be global pariahs. He and others hope to persuade Taliban leaders to return to peace talks with the Afghan government as American and NATO forces finish their pullout from the country."

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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