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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: ​​Biden-promised Plan to Operate Allenby Crossing 24/7 Faces New Hurdle

A look at new restrictions, continuing 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: Passengers sit in a waiting room on the Jordanian side of the Allenby Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan on July 19, 2022. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP)

Biden-promised plan to operate Allenby crossing 24/7 faces new hurdle

Times of Israel

“Israel’s already-delayed plan to begin operating the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan 24/7 — as promised to the Biden administration — has hit yet another hurdle. When US President Joe Biden was in Israel last July, the White House announced that on September 30, Israel would begin the nonstop operation of Allenby — a key component of a package aimed at improving Palestinian livelihood in the absence of a diplomatic initiative for a two-state solution.”


Image: Israeli security forces guard as Palestinians make their way through an Israeli checkpoint to attend Friday prayer of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, April 22, 2022. (Wisham Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

US concerned by Israel's new West Bank restrictions for foreigners

“​​The Biden administration is "concerned" by new Israeli restrictions on foreign visits to Palestinians in the West Bank, which are set to take effect on Thursday (October 20). It has in the past spoken of the 90-pages of regulations that replace on Thursday what had been a vague three-page set of rules as ‘onerous.’ On Tuesday (October 18), US State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel said that ‘we, of course, remain concerned about potential adverse impacts that some of these procedures could have on civil society, on tourism, on health care facilities, on academic institutions.’”


Image: The leaders of 14 Palestinian factions held two days of talks in the run-up to an Arab summit in Algiers next month. (File: Anadolu)

Palestinian factions sign reconciliation agreement in Algeria


“Rival Palestinian factions meeting in Algiers for talks mediated by the Algerian government have agreed on a reconciliation deal that aims to resolve 15 years of discord through new elections in the occupied Palestinian territories. The agreement was signed by senior Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad; chief of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniya; and the secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Talal Naji.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Webinar Series: A Land Full of God: A Land Full of God gives American Christians an opportunity to promote peace and justice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It shows them how to understand the enmity with brief, digestible, and comprehensive essays about the historical, political, religious, and geographical tensions that have led to many of the dynamics we see today. This mini-course will feature several of the book's contributors in a panel discussion on a different topic each week. We've also invited an additional guest who was not a book contributor to respond to the information shared. We'll end each session with an audience Q & A time. Reading the book is not required for participation.

Action Alert: Contact Your Representative Now: End Discriminatory Visa Rules for Entering West Bank

On October 20 the Israeli government implemented new procedures for those seeking to enter the West Bank. First published by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) in February, and revised in September, these new procedures discriminate severely against those seeking to visit the West Bank and will have a profoundly negative impact, separating Palestinian families, undermining Palestinian education, and subjecting Palestinians and foreign national visitors to intrusive data collection.

Video Update from our Middle East Manager: You may have noticed increased violence in the West Bank recently. CMEP's Manager of Middle East Partnerships, Kevin Vollrath, gives background and details to understand the situation.


Support the work of CMEP:

We couldn't continue in the work of holistic peacebuilding and advocacy without the support of friends like you. Make supporting peace a regular routine part of your month by joining CMEP's Sustainer Circle today!


Image: Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, October 19, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF soldiers arrest 12 wanted Palestinians in West Bank amid ongoing unrest
Times of Israel

“Israeli troops operated extensively throughout the West Bank in the predawn hours of Wednesday morning (October 19), arresting 12 wanted Palestinians, the military said. The Israel Defense Forces launched major arrest operations after a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people earlier this year. Another Israeli woman was killed in a suspected attack last month, and another four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations. Footage circulated online showed Palestinians hurling stones, cinderblocks, and other heavy objects at a convoy of Israeli military vehicles in the town of al-Bireh near Ramallah.”


Image: Women hold their malnourished children at the Hays Rural Hospital in Hodeida, Yemen, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Hussam Al-Bakry)

Children starve as Yemen teeters on a return to fighting
AP News

“An emaciated little girl lies motionless on a hospital bed and struggles to breathe. Her body is covered with sores. She can barely open her eyes. Hafsa Ahmed is about 2. About a dozen other children in the red-brick hospital in this southern Yemeni city are also dying of starvation. Hunger has long threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands of Yemen’s children. Now, the war between the country’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition is threatening to escalate after months of a tenuous truce. Yemenis, and international assistance groups, worry that the situation will get even worse.”


Image: An unexploded rocket in a road outside the town on Jermuk, Armenia on Sept. 15. (Karen Minasyan/AFP/Getty Images)

EU Deploys monitoring team on Armenia-Azerbaijan border after deadly clash

“The European Union deployed a monitoring mission along Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan on Monday (October 17) after clashes last month that killed hundreds of soldiers on both sides. The team of up to 40 experts aims ‘to build confidence’ by reporting on the situation as the two neighboring Caucasus states strive to reach an agreement on delineating their border, the European Council said in a statement. The EU presence will last no more than two months, it said. The monitors began their work as Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of a fresh build-up of forces along their border after more than 300 soldiers were killed last month in the worst fighting since a 2020 war.”

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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