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CMEP Weekly Bulletin: ​​Shireen Abu Aqla: Al Jazeera Files Case at ICC Over Journalist's Killing

A look at investigations, coalitions, 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: Shireen Abu Aqla was shot in the head while reporting on an Israeli army raid in Jenin refugee camp in May. (AFP)

Shireen Abu Aqla: Al Jazeera files case at ICC over journalist's killing


“The Al Jazeera network has submitted a case against Israeli forces at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the killing of Shireen Abu Aqla. The Palestinian-American journalist was shot in the head during an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank in May. The Israeli military concluded that one of its soldiers probably killed her, but called her death unintentional. Al Jazeera said that was completely unfounded and that its evidence showed it was a ‘deliberate killing’. Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: ‘No-one will investigate [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers and no-one will preach to us about morals in warfare, certainly not Al Jazeera.’ Israel does not recognise the ICC's authority and has refused to co-operate with an investigation by the Hague-based court's prosecutor into possible war crimes in the occupied territories.”


Image: IDF Abu Akleh probe is more than just an investigation. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Chief ICC Prosecutor Khan hopes to visit 'Palestine' in 2023

“International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan on Tuesday (December 6) told a conference of the court's Assembly of State Parties that he has a ‘goal’ to make ‘a visit to Palestine’ in 2023. The public statement was Khan's first major step into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That said, maybe as a pragmatic nod to the fact that Israel protests any ICC involvement in the conflict, his wording was that he had a ‘goal,’ not that he was certain it would happen.”


Image: Likud leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu, center, with Shas leader MK Aryeh Deri, left, and Religious Zionism head MK Bezalel Smotrich at a swearing-in ceremony of the 25th Knesset, at the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Likud readies for fight against clock to pass contentious bills needed for coalition

Times of Israel

“Details were emerging Wednesday (December 7) about presumed incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned legislative blitz before his government is sworn in. Hebrew media reported that Netanyahu’s Likud party plans to form two committees, each headed by a party lawmaker. One of the committees, to be headed by MK Shlomo Karhi, will oversee a law change aimed at enabling Shas party leader Aryeh Deri to serve as a minister despite his recent conviction on tax charges, as well as legislation enabling far-right Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich to gain control of civil bodies with sweeping powers over the West Bank.”

What's Happening at CMEP

Virtual Film Salon: Join us via Zoom on December 11th at 3 pm Eastern/ Noon Pacific for a discussion of the film "Come and See; Go and Tell – Next Year in Palestine." CMEP is a co-sponsor of this event, and Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon will participate in the panel. Click the link below to learn more and register. After registration, you'll get a link to view the film for free at your convenience and a link to join the Q&A Discussion on December 11th.

Public Statement: November 23, 2022: The Violence Must Stop: CMEP calls on Palestinian and Israeli Leaders to Protect Children and Pursue Peace

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) continues to be dismayed by the escalation of violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem and its devastating impact on children. CMEP calls on Palestinian and Israeli leaders to protect children and pursue peace.

Freedom of Movement Trip to the Occupied Palestinian Territories: March 7-16, 2023

CMEP invites you to visit Palestine/ Israel to participate in the annual "Freedom of Movement" marathon (half-marathon, 10k, and 5k available for walkers and runners). This trip will focus on issues related to the UN-sanctioned "right to liberty of movement" and environmental injustice in the occupied Palestinian territories. In addition to the marathon, participants will spend several days hiking in the West Bank with the option of staying with families. The geographical focus of the trip is Bethlehem and the West Bank, including a day in Jerusalem, with an optional 2-day extension in the North of Israel. Individuals and local groups are welcome to join this trip.


End of year giving:

As 2022 comes to a close, we remain committed to educating others on the issues in the Middle East, elevating the voices of those most affected by the conflict, and advocating for policies that will help create a holistic peace in the Holy Land. We could only continue this work with the help of friends like you. We have some lofty goals for 2023, and your financial support would be invaluable.


Image: Campaign posters during Israel’s general election last month in Jerusalem. (Abir Sultan/Shutterstock)

As Israel’s left suffers defeat, so does two-state solution
Wall Street Journal

“For decades, Israel’s left wing championed a Palestinian state side by side with a Jewish nation, keeping alive the idea even as it declined in popularity. Now, the left’s crushing defeat in last month’s election has dealt a punishing blow to those still committed to the so-called two-state solution. This kibbutz, or collective community, located on the lush hills outside of Jerusalem, is still a bastion of support for the socialist ideals of Israel’s founders. But even here, support for left-wing parties has plummeted, a decline many residents attribute to the failure of previous Israeli governments to achieve a solution to the longstanding conflict with the Palestinians.”


Image: Protesters in Iran remove their head coverings in defiance of the Islamic Republic's laws as protests continue to grow despite regime crackdown, November 2022. (1500tasvir)

 Iranian student protestors poisoned ahead of mass protests, student union claims

“Iranian students planning to stage a mass protest fell victim to a stomach illness they called food poisoning ahead of a planned three-day nationwide strike by protestors, Iran’s student union reported on Telegram late last week. Iranian authorities blame the food poisoning outbreak – which has affected students at four major Iranian universities – on water-borne bacteria. Iran’s student union is not buying the explanation. ‘Our past experiences of similar incidents at the Isfahan University negates the authorities’ reason for this mass food poisoning,’ the student union declared.”


Image: A camp for people displaced from the war in Yemen, Taiz. (Akram Alrasny)

What Congress needs to know about the truce in Yemen
Inkstick Media

The following op-ed was written by one of CMEP’s member communions, Friends Committee on National Legislation. Learn more about our member communions on our website.

“It’s been almost two months since the UN-brokered truce in Yemen expired. Fortunately, the warring parties have not returned to the level of violence that helped precipitate the truce last April. Specifically, the Houthis have refrained from launching missiles and drones across the border of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudis have yet to reinitiate airstrikes on Yemen. If this relative calm prevails, hope persists that the parties might agree to recommit to a truce and perhaps even a lasting ceasefire.”

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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