Hamas and Fatah have signed a landmark reconciliation deal in Cairo in a key step towards ending a ten-year-long rift. The deal will see administrative control of the Gaza Strip handed to a Fatah-backed unity government.
Lord, we thank you for this latest move towards peace and reconciliation among the Palestinian people. We pray that a united Palestinian government will be a step forward to our liberation from the Israeli occupation. Lord in your mercy…Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 22: (15-22)
Prayers for Israel/Palestine:
O God who, in Christ, walked the hills of Palestine and the streets of Jerusalem, accompany each of us as we seek to be faithful followers of your way. Through solid preparation and sound consideration, let us be guided in life and work by your example to desire what is beyond the superficial. Inspire us as we seek to deepen our faith; strengthen us physically and spiritually as we try to follow you; fill us with the inspiration of your Holy Spirit as we do justice and seek peace. Give us hearts of love to embrace Israeli and Palestinian and embolden us to speak words of truth as we seek freedom for all who are occupied by military force or destructive ideology. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.Read more
Last week the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas authorities in Gaza signed a reconciliation deal to end the decade of division between the two groups. The text of the agreement has not been released, but the goal of the deal, as stated by both sides, is to reunite the West Bank and Gaza under the control of the Palestinian Authority while reconciling the divisions between the political factions.Read more
Hamas and Fatah Sign Unity Deal, Allowing Joint Control of Gaza [The New York Times]
The New York Times reports, “Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo on Thursday that aims to end their decade-old rivalry by providing for a joint administration with control of Gaza’s borders, including a key crossing point with Egypt, but that leaves thornier issues unresolved. Under the agreement, which was brokered by Egyptian intelligence, Fatah will lift a series of punitive sanctions that it imposed on Hamas-controlled Gaza earlier this year. In return, Hamas officials said they would allow the Palestinian Authority to resume control in Gaza. Egypt said a ‘government of national accord’ would come into effect by Dec. 1. … [T]he two sides had not discussed a number of critical questions, including a joint strategy for dealing with Israel, the conduct of any future elections and, crucially, the state of the Hamas military wing.”
The olive harvest has started in Palestine. Many Palestinian communities, who earn their living from this harvest, are unable to reach their olive groves due to the separation wall, or their proximity to illegal settlements, or because of military intervention.
God, we lift our prayers for Palestinian farmers who are taking the risk to harvest their produce. We give praise to you lord God, who through the mouth of your prophet proclaimed that one day "...they shall sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees and no one shall make them afraid" (Micah 4:4) Lord in your Mercy…Read more
US, Israel on Standby as Egypt Pushes Palestinian Reconciliation [Al-Monitor]
“According to the Fatah source, Egypt notified the United States and Israel on the progress of the rapprochement, making it clear that a Palestinian unity government is not only in Egypt's interest, but has positive implications for Israel and the Palestinians as well. Egypt regards such an agreement as vital to a regional peace deal, in which it hopes to play a major role. ... The United States appears to share this view. President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, who visited Israel and the West Bank at the end of September, updated Netanyahu on the American position on the reconciliation and the significance of such a move for a US peace blueprint soon to be unveiled,” according to Al-Monitor.
Amman, Jordan – “When the West looks at Christianity of the East, they don’t look at the mosaic, they look at the Orthodox, not the Evangelicals,” said, The Rev. Dr. Habib Badr of Lebanon. This describes the environment which Middle Eastern Evangelicals are living, in the shadows of and looking toward the future of the Reformation.Read more
Twenty one representatives from the International Reference Group of Alternative Tourism Group-Study Centre and Kairos Palestine met in Madaba, Jordan, from Sept. 14-16, urging churches and Christians to heed the call of Kairos Palestine to "Come and See," by making a visit to Palestine, and to journey for justice.Read more
The Israeli government has called on the Israeli Supreme Court to approve plans to demolish the entire village of Khan Al Ahmar, a Palestinian Bedouin community, and forcibly transfer its residents. The village consists of more than 40 Palestinian families.
Lord, we turn to you as the Israeli courts lack justice. We pray for courage for the Palestinian families, who live in fear and uncertainty, to resist the government’s decision. Lord in your mercy…Read more
Palestinian Shoots Dead 3 Israelis at Settlement Near Jerusalem [The Washington Post]
“A Palestinian shot dead an Israeli policeman and two security guards at the entrance to the settlement where he worked near Jerusalem on Tuesday, an attack Israeli officials said could have ‘serious implications’ for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have Israeli work permits. The attacker, who was killed at the scene, was crossing through a security checkpoint to Har Adar from his neighboring village of Beit Surik, about 500 yards away, when he opened fire just after 7 a.m., residents and security officials said. … The settlement, home to roughly 4,000 people, has a special arrangement that allows about 100 workers to enter each day without going through the main, clogged West Bank checkpoints, where Palestinians line up for hours,” according to The Washington Post.