In the past couple of weeks, the issue of access to holy spaces in Jerusalem has been highlighted in the news. Earlier this month, Israel took measures to close off access to al-Haram ash-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), also known as the Temple Mount, to Palestinian Muslims who sought to pray at al-Aqsa Mosque, and prevented entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City to all except its residents. The step led to rebuke from Muslim leaders locally and globally, and led to clashes.
This most recent episode highlights the deep sentiments and affinities with holy sites in Jerusalem; the tendentious nature of attempts to control access; and the impact of denial of opportunities to visit, pray, and worship at places dear to believers.
In this time of Lent, leading to Easter in April, call your Congressional representative, urging her/him to press Israel to ensure free access to places of worship in the city.Read more
The 51st ‘Great March of Return’ protest was postponed in order to save the lives of protestors, after a flare-up with Israel the night before when rockets were fired from Gaza towards Tel Aviv.
The Hamas government in Gaza raided several homes and arrested dozens of Palestinians who took part in mass protests against the rise in taxes. Hundreds of Palestinians from the besieged Gaza Strip continue to take to streets in demand of better standers of living and economic conditions.
Lord, we continue to pray for the right to protest peacefully in Gaza without threat from Israeli forces or those of the Hamas government. Grant all sides the wisdom and graciousness to seek a peaceful solution to all hostilities. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.Read more
This was the 50th consecutive week of protest along the Gaza/Israeli border with the ‘Great March of Return’ protestors calling for the right to return to their homes occupied by Israel since 1948. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that a young Palestinian, Tamer Khaled Mustafa, was killed and another was critically wounded. More than forty Palestinians were wounded by Israeli live fire.
Lord, we pray for the families of Tamer and Saif as they grieve their loss. We pray for the many people who were injured during the protests this week. We continue to pray for a breakthrough in the peace talks and for an end to the blockade of Gaza. Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayers.Read more
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, Palestinian women continue to live under the longest occupation in modern history. Over 70 years of oppression and the Palestinian women continue to suffer every day humiliation, physical and psychological violence at checkpoints, yet they continue to struggle with dignity and persistence to survive. More than 10,000 Palestinian women have been imprisoned over the last 50 years, and today 53 women prisoners continue to be held in Hasharon and Damon prisons in violation of Article 76 of the Geneva Convention. They are subjected to all kinds of abuse and violence including deprivation of family visits, with no exception for mothers with young children, health services and education, as well as psychological and physical torture and sexual harassment. According to Addameer, “Sexual harassment of Palestinian women prisoners also occurs through threats of rape (including threats of rape of their family members) and sexually degrading insults made by prison personnel.” (Addameer, “IMPRISONMENT OF WOMEN AND GIRLS”, November 2018.)Read more
Libya, Terre des Hommes and FCEI provide specialised medical care for the most vulnerable children
The new project promoted by Terre des Hommes, together with Mediterranean Hope – the Refugee and Migrant Programme of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI) – and financed by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation aims to provide medical and health care to Libyan children with serious illnesses, who belong to the most vulnerable groups … Read moreRead more
Over the past several weeks, the political discourse relating to Israel/Palestine has rapidly deteriorated. We have witnessed members of Congress attack their colleagues by name, making accusations of anti-Semitism, often talking over and distorting what was actually said. As an organization committed to advocating for U.S. policies that will help bring about justice, equality, and human rights for all in Israel-Palestine and throughout the Middle East, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) has been dismayed by the tenor of these conversations. They reflect just how far we are as a nation from helping to foster a sustainable end to the conflict in Israel-Palestine.Read more
This edition of Sabeel’s “Cornerstone” publication is focused on interfaith and inter-religious dialogue. The issue features viewpoints from writers with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. From the outset, it is important that we establish the difference between interfaith and inter-religious dialogue. It is entirely possible to be in an interfaith situation without dialogue, simply standing in solidarity alongside those of another denomination or faith. Coexistence is in itself an interfaith act – an interaction between faiths. Inter-religious dialogue, on the other hand, requires an exchange to take place.Read more
WASHINGTON: Last week a delegation of leaders from the South African Council of Churches and African American Church leaders traveled throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories for fact-finding and bridge-building. Their experiences and observations are contained in this statement released by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.Read more
In the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes targeting sites belonging to the Hamas movement. For several weeks, hundreds of Palestinian refugee protesters, have been organizing in night protests, during which they set tires on fire and chant slogans through loud speakers, these refugee protesters are known as the "Night Confusion" unit. The weekly ‘Great March of Return’ protests along the Gaza border continue with dozens being injured by Israeli army gunfire.
Lord, we continue to pray for to an end of suffering of the people of Gaza living under impossible conditions. We give thanks for all the people who use creative methods of nonviolent resistance to obtain freedom. Lord in your mercy…hear our prayersRead more