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Churches for Middle East Peace

"Those of Us Who Survived in Gaza are Buried in the Fear of Loss"

A look at the ongoing cost of violence, calls for collaboration, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Baraa Rantisi posing at Flavor Cake, the bakery he owns in Gaza City, which suffered losses due to the May war on Gaza, September 2, 2022. (Mohammed Zaanoun)

buried in fear of loss

Image: Baraa Rantisi posing at Flavor Cake, the bakery he owns in Gaza City, which suffered losses due to the May war on Gaza, September 2, 2022. (Mohammed Zaanoun)

"Those of us who survived in Gaza are buried in the fear of loss"

972 Mag

“All across the Gaza Strip, people will tell you that living there requires faith, strength, and patience. Over the past 12 years, Israel launched four wars against the besieged population, not including other frequent escalations. These repeated aggressions — augmented by restrictions on the movement of people and goods through Israeli and Egyptian crossings, Gaza’s only entry and exit points — snatch away people’s hopes, and repeatedly undermine our efforts to rebuild our lives out of the rubble. For this reason, stories from the strip are often about suffering, loss, and beating the odds. The 11-day war in May — which killed over 250 Palestinians in Gaza and left thousands wounded — only compounded the challenges Palestinians there have been facing due to years of blockade, and more recently, a crippling pandemic. It involved massacres and destruction, stealing memories, and planting despair in our hearts. Though the bombing has ended, it has left a great deal of pain. Those of us who have survived are buried in the fear of loss.”

Abbas and Gantz

Image: Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Avi Moalem, Reuters)

Abbas-Gantz meeting raises hopes for some Palestinians in West Bank
Ynet News

“A meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, a first between top officials in more than a decade, has stirred renewed hope that a revival of peace talks between the two sides is imminent. In the meantime, though, their meeting yielded several key decisions among them, Israel agreed to resolve residency issues for some 5,000 families living in the West Bank.”

Israel asks Egypt to pressure Hamas

Image: Palestinian protesters take part in a nighttime demonstration near the fence along the border with Israel, east of Gaza City on Sept. 2, 2021 in the Gaza Strip. (Fatima Shbair/Getty Images)

Israel asks Egypt to pressure Hamas to end border violence

“Israel’s Coordinator Of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Rassan Alian and the head of the Africa/Middle East desk at the National Security Council, whose name is forbidden from publication, visited Egypt Sept. 2 and met with senior intelligence officials there. Israeli press reports said that the two Israeli officials asked their Egyptian interlocutors to pressure Hamas to stop the ongoing nightly demonstrations at the Gaza border. For the past few days, Gazans have been gathering near the security fence, burning tires and hurling explosives at Israeli troops stationed along the border. The escalation was apparently prompted by frustration in Hamas over the deadlock in the Egypt-mediated talks with Israel for a long-term arrangement. Gaza health authorities reported that one Palestinian man died and four were injured by live fire in violent clashes last night. Hamas sources said the Israel Defense Forces used sniper fire at specific targets and a drone that dropped tear-gas grenades on the rioters as means to disperse the demonstrations.”

What's Happening at CMEP

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.


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Israeli prison

Image: A police officer keeps watch from an observation tower at Gilboa prison in northern Israel. (Guardian)

Six Palestinian militants escape from high-security Israeli prison
The Guardian

“Israeli security forces have launched a massive search operation in northern Israel and the occupied West Bank after six Palestinian prisoners escaped from one of the country’s most secure prisons using a rusty spoon in an unprecedented jailbreak. The six, including five members of Islamic Jihad and a high-profile leader from al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade from Jenin refugee camp, had shared a cell at Gilboa prison and reportedly excavated their escape route behind a sink.”

Blinken and Lapid

Image: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. (AP/Collage)

Blinken invites Lapid for Washington visit next month
Times of Israel

“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has invited Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to visit Washington, the State Department said Tuesday (September 7). Speaking to reporters, spokesman Ned Price said the invitation was issued during a phone call between the two on Monday ‘to continue conversations following Prime Minister (Naftali) Bennett’s recent visit and to exchange Rosh Hashanah greetings.’ ‘Secretary Blinken invited Minister Lapid to visit Washington soon. The Secretary and the Minister also underscored the importance of consultations on regional and security topics, including on Afghanistan, Iran, and China,’ Price said."

Iran president

Image: Iran's new President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during his swearing in ceremony at the Iranian parliament in the capital Tehran, on August 5, 2021. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Iran’s president insists country is ‘transparent’ about nuclear activities
Times of Israel

“Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi said Wednesday (September 8) that his country was ‘transparent’ about its nuclear activities, a day after the UN atomic watchdog criticized it for lack of cooperation. ‘The Islamic Republic of Iran’s serious cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency is a clear example of Iran’s will to be transparent about its nuclear activities,’ Raisi told European Council chief Charles Michel by phone, according to an Iranian presidency statement. ‘Of course, if the IAEA has a non-constructive approach, it’s unreasonable to expect a constructive response from Iran,’ Raisi added."

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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