The ‘Great March of Return’ protests continue for the fourth month as Palestinians call for the right of return. On Friday the 13th of July, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Othman Halas, a Palestinian teenager, who had been taking part in the border protests.
Lord, we pray for the family of Othman as they grieve for their loss. We continue to pray for the safety of the protestors and for them to continue to espouse non-violent means to achieve their demands. Lord in your mercy…Read more
3rd Thursday Alert: Call on Congress to put an end to Israel’s demolition of Palestinian villages. Keep Khan al-Ahmar standing!
“It’s inhuman, it’s like putting them in pens, it’s like a zoo.”
--Michael, international observer, of the proposed relocation
site for the villagers of Khan al-Ahmar
The West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar faces the imminent threat of demolition by Israeli forces. The Israeli government plans to transfer the residents against their will to the village of al-Jabel, near the Abu Dis garbage dump.
International observers have joined Palestinians from around the West Bank and Jerusalem to offer support and a protective presence to residents of the village.Read more
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is offering a LIVE webinar, “Document Detention: Justice for Palestinian Children."
This resolution is an appropriate and timely educational opportunity related to the resolutions the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) adopted last summer at their General Synod and General Assembly calling for our two churches to "advocate for the rights of children living under Israeli military occupation."
Date: Monday, July 30th
Time: 11:00 am-12:00 pm ESTRead more
China to offer aid to Palestinians, seeks greater role in the Middle East The Jerusalem Post
“China will offer 100 million yuan ($15 million) in aid to Palestinians, President Xi Jinping said. The Chinese leader further said that China would like to form a strategic partnership with the Arab League to become ‘the keeper of peace and stability in the Middle East.’”Read more
By Claus Grue*
Originally, they were made of pieces of broken glass from the rubble an Israeli tank left behind it when it slammed into the gift shop at the International Center of Bethlehem (ICB) in 2002. Today the glass angels of peace are made of used bottles and have emerged into a small business enterprise employing around 50 people in the Bethlehem area. Since the tank-incident, thousands of angels have been produced and sold worldwide.
Inger Jonasson, a Swedish missionary and art teacher, who worked at the Art and Culture Center at the ICB 2004 - 2012, explains the theological reasoning behind the angel project:
“Broken glass can be seen as a sign of the brokenness in our world, which is also a reason why God became a human being. Through incarnation, God brought the divine and the human together. He embraced what seemed worthless and hopeless and transformed it to something beautiful and complete. This incarnation, which took place in Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, is what gives us strength to seek people with broken lives and lost hope”.Read more
As reports unfolded on 12 July of Israel announcing the demolition of a Bedouin village within days despite a temporary injunction, World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned the plans for demolition, saying it violates human rights, particularly those of vulnerable children, who live in Khan al-Ahmar.
“Demolishing the homes and especially the school in Khan al-Ahmar is an inhumane decision violating the human rights of people already living in extremely difficult conditions because of decades of injustice,” said Tveit. “The WCC joins many in the international community who are condemning the threat to demolish this village, and calls for an immediate stop to any demolition already underway.”Read more
CMEP Action Alert: Tell Congress to Pressure the Administration to Lift the Review on Humanitarian Aid
In January, the Trump Administration placed a freeze on all aid to the West Bank and Gaza pending an administrative review. In addition to threatening the disbursement of future humanitarian aid, the Administration is continuing to withhold two years’ worth of funding for aid that has already been approved by Congress. Without this promised financial assistance, USAID and the NGOs it supports will be unable to continue providing economic and humanitarian aid in Gaza and the West Bank.
Take Action Here! Tell Congress to demand that the Administration unfreeze humanitarian aid for the West Bank and Gaza.
On the 4th of July Mahmoud al-Gharableh, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy, died of his wounds after being shot by Israeli snipers last month. Thousands of Palestinians continue to take part in the ‘Great March of Return’ calling for their right of return to their homeland and for lifting the oppressive Israeli siege.
Lord, we pray for the family of Mahmoud as they mourn their loss. We continue to pray for the safety and steadfastness of the protestors to keep their commitment to non-violence to achieve their Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayerRead more
So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).
Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.
Genesis 35:19-20 (NRSV)