Churches for Middle East Peace

U.S. Pressure Behind Israeli Delay in Evacuating Bedouin Village, Defense Official Says

A look at important High Court decisions, changes in aid for Palestinian refugees, and more news in this week’s bulletin.

Image: Israel Border Police confront protesters and activists blocking an IDF bulldozer operating in Khan al-Ahmar, June 9, 2019. (Nasser Nasser / AP)


U.S. pressure behind Israeli delay in evacuating Bedouin village, defense official says

“The Israeli government is postponing the evacuation of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in the West Bank until at least December at the Trump administration's request, a senior defense official told Haaretz on Monday. The Americans want to delay the evacuation of the unauthorized village until the ‘Deal of the Century’ peace plan is presented and to avoid any additional tension, or humiliation, with the Palestinian Authority, the official added. The State Prosecutor’s Office, which informed the High Court of Justice of the delay during Sunday's hearing on a petition to carry out the evacuation, said the delay was necessary because of both the previous and upcoming elections.”

Image: Israel Border Police confront protesters and activists blocking an IDF bulldozer operating in Khan al-Ahmar, June 9, 2019. (Nasser Nasser / AP)


Court okays demolition of 100 East Jerusalem homes under Palestinian control
Times of Israel

“The High Court of Justice has approved demolition orders for 16 East Jerusalem buildings that contain a total of some 100 apartments under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, sparking fears the unprecedented move could drive Israeli home demolitions deeper in the West Bank. The court last week struck down an appeal against the demolition of 16 apartment buildings in the Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood of the Sur Baher neighborhood, according to a report in the Haaretz daily.”

Image: Israeli police stand near an excavator as it demolishes a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher on April 7, 2009. (Kobi Gideon / FLASH90)


U.S. Mideast envoy Greenblatt says he 'will understand' if Trump's peace plan fails

“U.S. envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt told Israel's Channel 12 News on Tuesday that if President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan fails, he will ‘understand why.’ This rare statement comes amid heightened tensions surrounding the blueprint, which Greenblatt said Monday may only be published in November. Also Monday, a White House official said that there will be no official Israeli representation in the Trump administration's Bahrain economic conference, as Washington wants to keep the event from being ‘political.’”

Image: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, UN Security Council, New York, February 20, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/ REUTERS)

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netanyahu and trump

White House not inviting Israel to Bahrain summit

“The White House is scrapping plans to invite Israeli government officials to its economic conference in Bahrain later this month, a Trump administration official said. The White House had previously planned to invite an Israeli government delegation to attend the summit alongside finance ministers from several Arab countries and businessmen, sources familiar with the matter said. ‘This is a workshop where we will present our economic vision for the Palestinian people. As such, we want the focus to be on the economic aspect, not the political,’ the administration official said, confirming that Israel would not be invited to attend.”

Image: Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump at Davos, 2017. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

all things considered

Trump administration seeks to phase out main program for Palestinian refugees

“The Trump administration is seeking to phase out the main program for Palestinian refugees. But other countries are seeking to make up the money the U.S. has pulled with a conference. Later this month, at a conference in Bahrain, the U.S. will try to generate investment in the Palestinian territories. It's part of a peace deal effort. But the Trump administration has cut its money to the main U.N. agency serving Palestinian refugees. And as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, that agency is holding its own donors conference at the same time as the Bahrain meeting.”

Image:  NPR “All Things Considered” podcast logo


UNRWA suffers $200 million budget shortfall without US funding
The National

“The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, responsible for the welfare of Palestine refugees, announced on Monday it is facing a US$211 million (Dh775m) budget shortfall following the US’s decision to cut six decades of funding. On the sidelines of UNRWA’s biannual advisory commission meeting, a gathering of 28 donors and host countries supporting Palestinian refugees, Commissioner Pierre Krähenbühl said the agency is still struggling to plug the funding gap after the US, its largest single donor, cut over US$300m in funding last year. President Donald Trump’s administration had pledged an initial $60 million in funds before entirely cutting its aid in September.”

Image: Commissioner of UNRWA, Pierre Krahenbuhl, says his agency is struggling to find the funds to continue all of its work following the US decision to cease donations. (EPA)


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.

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