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Churches for Middle East Peace

Gaza Businesses Stand on Shattered Ground Months After Israel Attacks

A look at ultimatums, rising tensions and shifting relationships, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: A worker inspects damages at a concrete factory in Gaza, nearly three months after it was bombarded by Israel in May 2021. (MEE/Mohammed Alhajar)

Gaza concrete factory

Image: A worker inspects damages at a concrete factory in Gaza, nearly three months after it was bombarded by Israel in May 2021. (MEE/Mohammed Alhajar)

Gaza businesses stand on shattered ground months after Israel attacks

Middle East Eye

“Naim al-Seksek is a Palestinian businessman who runs a factory in the Gaza Industrial Zone, one of the safest places in the Gaza Strip to operate a business from - or so he'd thought. On May 20, his factory became one of the many casualties of Israel’s latest military operation in Gaza. During an 11-day period in May, Israel launched around 2,750 aerial attacks and 2,300 artillery shells on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 260 people. ‘When the Israeli artillery started targeting the Gaza Industrial Zone, there were four guards who saw the fire rapidly spreading due to the raw materials in the factories, they tried to stop it but they couldn’t,’ al-Seksek, executive director of the al-Seksek Factory for Plastic Industry, told Middle East Eye."

ultimatum to Israel

Image: People at the Rafah crossing point between Egypt and Gaza borders on May 24, 2021, in Gaza City, Gaza. (Laurent Van der Stockt/Getty Images)

Palestinian factions give Gaza border ultimatum to Israel
Middle East Monitor

“The Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza have given Israel until 21 August to resume the entry of basic commodities to the besieged Gaza Strip to the level that it was before the Israeli offensive in May. The ultimatum has been passed to Israel via Egyptian mediators. ‘We will take counter-measures if the Israeli occupation authorities do not reopen the border crossings at the same capacity they were before the 'Sword of Jerusalem' battle,’ said Issam Daalis, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, on Tuesday evening (August 10). During a meeting with senior Hamas members in Gaza, Daalis spoke about the impact of the Israeli siege on the coastal enclave and how the government is coping with it."

Israel hopes Biden will take harder line on Iran

Image: A US Chinook military helicopter flies above the US Embassy in Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021. (Wakil Koshar/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel hopes Biden will take harder line on Iran after Afghan withdrawal

“Israeli intelligence had long given up on Afghanistan. When President Donald Trump declared that US troops would withdraw by May 2021, no one in Israel entertained hopes of a change in policy under a Democratic administration. When President Joe Biden announced a final US pullout from the war-torn country, assessments differed on how long it would take the Taliban to crush the modern Afghan state envisioned by the United States and its allies. ‘It will not take three months and not even one month,’ a senior Israeli security source told Al-Monitor several weeks ago on condition of anonymity. ‘It will happen much faster.’ But even he probably did not believe that it could take the Taliban only hours to take over Afghanistan.”

What's Happening at CMEP
advocacy issues

CMEP in Your Ears:

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon discusses CMEP’s work on the Dangerous Dogma podcast with Word&Way President Brian Kaylor.

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.


Rewind: CMEP Journeys:

This spring we hosted a series of virtual events designed to educate, elevate, and advocate. Video recordings include a media training on writing op-eds, webinars featuring women peacebuilders and peacemakers working in Gaza, and three different author conversations.

Support CMEP

Make supporting peace a regular routine part of your month by joining CMEP's Sustainer Circle today!

Iran says us failure may lead to peace

Image: Iran's President-elect Ebrahim Raisi speaks during a news conference in Tehran, Iran June 21, 2021. (Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters)

Iran says U.S. "failure" in Afghanistan a chance for durable peace

“Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday (August 9) the United States' ‘military failure’ in Afghanistan offered an opportunity to establish lasting peace in the country. Taliban insurgents took control of the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday following a rout of the U.S.-backed Afghan army as foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan. Washington has accused Iran in the past of providing covert aid to Taliban fighters against U.S. forces. Tehran, which supports an inclusive Afghan government that would include all ethnic groups and sects, has denied this. ‘America's military defeat and its withdrawal must become an opportunity to restore life, security and durable peace in Afghanistan,’ Iran's state TV quoted Raisi as saying.”

house dems push Biden to ensure Gaza aid

Image: Trucks carrying goods pass through the Kerem Shalom crossing, in late May. (Said Khatib/AFP)

53 House Democrats push Biden administration to ensure Israel lets aid enter Gaza

“Fifty-three House Democrats urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday (August 18) to work with Israel and Egypt to ensure humanitarian aid is able to enter Gaza, three months after a military confrontation between Hamas and Israel worsened the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave. The lawmakers, led by Reps. Mark Pocan and Debbie Dingell, called on Blinken to push for the full reopening of the Kerem Shalom, Erez and Rafah border crossings, as well as to work with Israel and Egypt to get clear guidance on goods and materials allowed into Gaza and to extend Gaza's fishing zone to 20 nautical miles in accordance with international agreements."

fuel crisis in Lebanon

Image: Essential services like neo-natal care are threatened by a lack of a reliable fuel and electricity supply in Lebanon. (UNICEF Lebanon)

Fuel crisis in Lebanon potential catastrophe for thousands: senior UN official
UN News

“Najat Rochdi, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, said fuel shortages are threatening provision of essential health and water services, putting thousands of families at risk. ‘I am deeply concerned about the impact of the fuel crisis on access to health care and water supply for millions of people in Lebanon. A bad situation only stands to get worse unless an instant solution is found,’ she said in a statement. The fuel and electricity shortages have forced Lebanon’s largest hospitals to reduce their activities.  At the same time, public water supply and wastewater treatment systems that rely on fuel have cut back on their operations, leaving millions without access to water, and jeopardizing environmental and public health."

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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