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Churches for Middle East Peace

UN Palestine Refugee Aid Agency ‘Close to Collapse’ After Funding Cuts

A look at aid funding, settlements and ceasefires, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Palestinian schoolboys walk past flour outside an aid distribution centre run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib/AFP/Getty)

UNRWA close to collapse

Image: Palestinian schoolboys walk past flour outside an aid distribution centre run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib/AFP/Getty)

UN Palestine refugee aid agency ‘close to collapse’ after funding cuts

The Guardian

“Cuts to the budget of the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees – including a halving of the UK grant – means the agency is close to collapse, the head of the agency, Philippe Lazzarini, has said. The UK has cut its core grant by more than 50% from £42.5m in 2020 to £20.8m in 2021. Lazzarini, the commissioner general of UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which serves Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza but also in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, said the agency was in an existential crisis due to a $100m (£74m) shortfall this year, but also because of a method of long-term funding that has proved unsustainable.”

settlers escalate violence

Image: Palestinians extinguish a fire in a field near Burin, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, after Israeli settlers from the settlement of Yitzhar set it ablaze on June 29. (Jaafar Ashityeh/AFP/GETTY)

Israeli settlers escalate violence in West Bank
Foreign Policy

“Incidents of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians are increasing in frequency and scope, human rights groups allege, becoming a key part of settlers’ push to take over land in the area it captured during the 1967 war. Rights groups say settler ties with security forces have become closer and that settlers enjoy relative impunity when they attack Palestinian people and property. According to figures published last month by the left-of-center Haaretz newspaper, there were 363 instances of nationalist crime by Jews against Palestinians in 2019 in the West Bank. That rose to 507 in 2020, and in the first half of 2021 there were already 416 cases.”

5 EU countries concerned at designations

Image: United Nations Security Council (UNSC) members Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, and Albania signed a statement asking Israel for information on Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) designations. (IMEMC)

Europeans concerned at Israel listing of Palestinian groups
AP News

“Five European countries expressed ‘serious concern’ at Israel’s designation of six Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist groups after a Security Council meeting on Monday and said they will be seeking more information from Israeli authorities on the reasons for their listing. The 15-member council took no action after the closed consultations. But a statement from Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway and Albania, which will join the council in January, said the listings ‘have far-reaching consequences for the organizations in political, legal and financial terms.’ They said they ‘will study carefully’ information provided by Israel on the basis for the designations.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Film Screening Online Event:

Join CMEP for a screening of a short film about the life, ministry, and advocacy of His Beatitude Michel Sabbah followed by remarks from His Beatitude as well as a Question and Answer time with him. His Beatitude Michel Sabbah served as the Archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1987 to 2008, the first non-Italian to do so in over five centuries, and is an outspoken defender of Palestinian rights. Moderating the post-film discussion will be Kevin Clarke, Senior Editor for America Magazine joined by CMEP's executive director Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon. The film screening will take place virtually on December 7, 2021, at 11:00 am Eastern.

Work with CMEP: We’re hiring a Director of Mobilization and Outreach to join the CMEP team in January and work out of our D.C. office. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the position, please review the job description linked below.

CMEP's auction closes today (November 19th) at 5 pm Eastern! We've added new items throughout the week - see what you want to bid on at the link below.


Giving Tuesday

Mark your calendars - Giving Tuesday is coming up! We hope you can join us for a global day of generosity. CMEP is thankful for supporters like you

Arab league talks

Image: Israel's Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog. (Courtesy)

New Israeli ambassador to US Mike Herzog pledges to keep Israel a nonpartisan issue
Times of Israel

“Retired IDF brigadier general Mike Herzog started his first working day as Israel’s ambassador to the United States on Monday, kicking off a new chapter in the Jewish state’s ties with Washington. Herzog landed in the US capital on Friday (November 12) and has already been holding marathon meetings and hosting consuls general whom he’ll be managing in the coming years. He will also be hosting Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, who are in the US this week for meetings with US officials and Jewish community leaders.”

Trump on Israel and Congress

Image: Azeri service members take part in a procession marking the anniversary of the end of the 2020 military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, involving Azerbaijan's troops against ethnic Armenian forces, in Baku, Azerbaijan, November 8, 2021. (Reuters/Aziz Karimov)

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree ceasefire after border clash

“Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on Tuesday (Nov. 16) to a ceasefire at their border, the Armenian defence ministry said, after Russia urged them to step back from confrontation following the deadliest clash since a war last year. Armenia had asked Moscow to help defend it after the worst fighting since a 44-day war last year between ethnic Armenian forces and the Azeri army over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave that killed at least 6,500 people."

envoy to Iran

Image: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 30, 2021. (Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters)

US envoy visits Saudi Arabia, Bahrain for talks on Iran, Yemen

“US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking is visiting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to coordinate on regional security and concerns over Iran, and for talks on UN-led peace efforts for Yemen, the State Department said on Tuesday(Nov. 16). It said Lenderking would also discuss the detention by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement, the de facto authority in the north, of some Yemeni staff at the US embassy compound in the capital, Sanaa, which was closed in 2015."

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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