Churches for Middle East Peace
gaza ceasefire

Israel Lifts Security Restrictions, Cementing Gaza Cease-fire With Islamic Jihad
A look at violence in Gaza, uprising in Iraq, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Trails of smoke are seen as rockets are fired from Gaza toward Israel, November 14, 2019. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

gaza ceasefire

Israel lifts security restrictions, cementing Gaza ease-fire with Islamic Jihad

“Hours after a cease-fire was achieved between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza following a surge in fighting, five rockets were launched from the coastal enclave, with two of them intercepted, the army said. The cease-fire came into effect 48 hours after the targeted assassination of top Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata, who was killed with his wife Asma. Islamic Jihad announced the cease-fire around 6 A.M. The Home Front Command announced a return to normalcy throughout the country, however restrictions are still imposed on communities near the Gaza border. The calm came after two days of hostilities that killed 32 more Palestinians in Israeli strikes in the Strip and wounded at least 111. The IDF Spokesperson Unit said all the objectives of the operations, dubbed ‘Black Belt,’ were achieved.” 

Image: Trails of smoke are seen as rockets are fired from Gaza toward Israel, November 14, 2019. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

product labeling

In landmark ruling, EU’s top court says settlement product labeling mandatory
Times of Israel

“The European Court of Justice on Tuesday morning ruled that products made in Israeli settlements must be labeled as such, and may not be marketed as products of Israel. The dramatic decision will likely cause already-tense relations between Jerusalem and Brussels to further deteriorate, as Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum have long rejected the European Union’s policy of distinguishing between goods made in Israel proper and those manufactured in areas that the EU does not recognize as sovereign Israeli territory. ‘Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance,’ the court — the EU’s highest legal instance — said in a press release."

CMEP believes settlements are a significant obstacle to peace. We welcome the ruling of the European Union Court and call on the U.S. Government to consider similar action.

Image: Illustrative - A hearing of the Court of Justice of the European Union. (Court of Justice of the European Union)

iraq uprising

An uprising in Iraq is the broadest in decades. It’s posing an alarming threat to Baghdad and Tehran.
Washington Post

“From Baghdad to the Shiite Muslim shrine city of Karbala and farther south, Iraqis are pushing for a revolution. They fill central squares to sing and dance from daybreak, and face down riot police when night falls. Iraq’s streets are no stranger to power struggles. They’ve been a stage for sectarian conflict and for the Islamic State’s emergence. But the crowds are different this time, and so is the threat now posed by the largest grass-roots movement in Iraq’s modern history: A new generation raised in the shadow of the U.S.-led invasion is rising, and politicians from Baghdad to Tehran have been caught on the back foot. ‘To the generation of the sixties and seventies,’ reads a sign flying high above Baghdad’s central square. ‘We have more courage than you.’” 

Image: Soldiers try to prevent anti-government protesters from crossing the al-Shuhada bridge in central Baghdad on Wednesday. (Khalid Mohammed/AP)

What's Happening at CMEP
do justice

CMEP in the News:

Our Executive Director has joined Do Justice as a columnist and her first piece is out on the blog now! Read her piece on what she’s learned about religious persecution in the Middle East.


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iraq protests

Four killed, scores wounded in Baghdad protests: police, medics

“At least four protesters were killed and more than 65 wounded on Thursday in clashes with Iraqi security forces who were trying to push them back to their main camp in central Baghdad, police and medical sources said. The protests erupted in early October over economic hardship and endemic graft. The government responded with some measures such as handouts for the poor but the protesters are now demanding an overhaul of the entire political system. After two days of relative calm, three protesters were killed early on Thursday after being struck in the head by tear gas canisters and a fourth person died in hospital from wounds from a stun bomb fired by security forces, the sources said. The total death toll from the protests now exceeds 300.” 

Image: Iraqi demonstrators take part in ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq November 14, 2019. (Reuters/Alaa al-Marjani)


'Defeated' ISIS has found safe haven in an ungoverned part of Iraq
NBC News

“Just months after the Islamic State militant group lost the last of its territory in Syria, and days after its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a U.S.-led raid, the group has found safe haven in a remote, ungoverned space in Iraq, as foreign fighters move across the border from Syria, military officials tell NBC news. ‘The fight against ISIS is continuous,’ said U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William Seely, commander of Task Force-Iraq. ‘We're seeing ISIS fighters move from Syria across hundreds of miles of desert.’ Their goal, Seely says, is to re-establish their physical caliphate in the region.”

Image: U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. William Seely. (NBC News)


In Washington, Erdogan receives a warm welcome from Trump – and a cold shoulder from Congress

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan landed in Washington on Tuesday and is scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House on Wednesday morning, despite strong bipartisan criticism of the visit. Erdogan is expected to receive a warm welcome from Trump when he reaches the White House. Elsewhere in Washington, however, the reception for him has been cold. Wednesday's meeting will take place at the same time as the House holds its first public hearings as part of the impeachment process against Trump — a coincidence that will no doubt lead to a 'split screen' situation in media coverage.”

Image: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan wave as they board a plane before a visit to the United States, in Ankara, Nov. 12, 2019. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)


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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