CMEP Bulletin: Palestinian Breakthrough in Cairo

CMEP Bulletin: Palestinian Breakthrough in Cairo

CMEP_logo.jpgHamas 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.”

Likud Ministers Slam Netanyahu over Limited Settlement Construction [The Times of Israel]
The Times of Israel reports, “Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, who earlier this week announced that he would run for leadership of the Likud party after Netanyahu steps down, described the settlement movement as a battle for Israel. … ‘I am with you in this entire campaign, on the front lines of the Land of Israel, a front that needs to work to build as much Jewish construction as possible in Judea and Samaria,’ he said, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. The Defense Ministry body responsible for authorizing construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is to advance plans for roughly 2,000 new housing units when it convenes next week, of which some 1,200 will be receiving final approval, far short of what settler leaders had hoped for.”

Bennett Reveals Plan for Peace, Calls for Drastic West Bank Change [The Jerusalem Post]
“‘The second Palestinian state is not going to happen beyond Gaza, and the Palestinians and the world are starting to understand that,’ [Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett] said. ‘My approach is build peace bottom up, through well-paying jobs for everyone, Jews and Arabs.’ … Bennett proposes gradually ending Israeli military rule in Area C, applying Israeli law and offering full Israeli citizenship to the 80,000 Palestinians living there. His plan is to incorporate into Israel 100% of the Jews in Judea and Samaria, while minimizing the number of Palestinians that would be drawn into the state’s borders. Along with extending Israeli law to Area C, Bennett wants to significantly strengthen Palestinian autonomy in Areas A and B,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

In America, the Right to Boycott Israel Is Under Threat. This Is Why That’s Cause for Concern [Haaretz]
ACLU attorney Brian Hauss writes, “The First Amendment squarely protects the right to boycott. Lately, though, a legislative assault on that right has been spreading through the United States – designed to stamp out constitutionally protected boycotts of Israel. … Today, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging one of those laws — a Kansas statute requiring state contractors to sign a statement certifying that they do not boycott Israel, including boycotts of companies profiting off settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. … From the Boston Tea Party to the Montgomery bus boycott to the campaign to divest from businesses operating in apartheid South Africa, political boycotts have been a proud part of this country’s constitutional tradition. That’s why the ACLU has opposed anti-boycott bills in state legislatures for the past several years. That’s why we’ve come out against the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in Congress.”

Click here to read the full Churches for Middle East Peace Bulletin, including links to these stories.