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Bishop Calls on U.S. to Defuse Israeli-Palestinian Tensions
Catholic News Service (13 November 2012)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a Nov. 8 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace took both Israel and Palestine to task for actions that he said undermined the possibility of a two-state solution in the Holy Land.

Israeli-Palestinian Relations Call for Talks, Pope Says
Catholic News Service (18 December 2012)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Just weeks after the Vatican praised Palestine’s boosted status as a nonmember observer state at the United Nations, Pope Benedict XVI met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a private audience at the Vatican.

Israeli Court OKs Construction of Wall Through Salesians’ Property
Catholic News Service (2 May 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — An Israeli court has approved the construction of the Israeli separation barrier along a route through the Cremisan Valley that will nearly surround a convent and its primary school and confiscate most of their land on the outskirts of Beit Jala, West Bank.

Sharing Jerusalem Key to Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Catholic News Service (16 August 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Coveted as a spiritual and political capital by both Israelis and Palestinians, the status of the city of Jerusalem has stood out as one of the pivotal topics in their ongoing peace negotiations.

Jerusalem Patriarch: Church Will Take Legal Action to Rebuild Home
Catholic News Service (7 November 2013)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, condemned the government demolition of a home on church-owned property and said the church would take legal action to “bring back justice and rebuild this home.”

Bishop Condemns Kidnappings, Asks Israel to Keep Response Proportionate
Catholic News Service (26 June 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — The chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate asked anyone with information about the kidnapping of three Israeli teens to come forward and help return the youths to their families. At the same time, he called on the Israeli army to keep its reaction and its search methods proportionate.

Pope Phones Rabbi, Offers Condolences Over Israeli Teens’ Murder
Catholic News Service (2 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis telephoned Rome’s chief rabbi to personally express his sadness over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens whose bodies were found on 30 June in Hebron, West Bank.

Jerusalem Patriarch Denounces Wave of Retaliations After Teen Murders
Catholic News Service (8 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal strongly denounced the increasing wave of violent retaliations following the murders of Israeli and Palestinian teens and called on political and religious leaders to act to calm the atmosphere.

Holy Land Bishops Criticize ‘Collective Punishment’ of Palestinians
Catholic News Service (10 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Catholic leaders in the Holy Land called for an end to the cycle of violence and criticized Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and its collective punishment of Palestinians.

Phone Calls, Evacuations: Gaza’s Christians Work Together to Stay Safe
Catholic News Service (14 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Members of the tiny Christian community in the Gaza Strip have been keeping tabs on each other and lending a helping hand to keep each other safe during Israeli airstrikes throughout the region, but nowhere in the territory is really safe, said a priest at the territory’s only Catholic parish.

Pope: Prayer Is Never in Vain; Work Courageously, Concretely for Peace
Catholic News Service (15 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying for peace is never a useless exercise — it keeps evil at bay and helps people not give in to violence, Pope Francis said.

Churches’ Official: ‘Everyone in Gaza Considers Themselves a Target’
Catholic News Service (15 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — The situation in hospitals in the Gaza Strip is dire, and Palestinians are saying that medical supplies will soon run out, said a cardiologist who serves with the Near East Council of Churches in Gaza.

Cease-Fire Gives Gaza Civilians Chance to Seek Aid
Catholic News Service (18 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Civilians in Gaza used a brief cease-fire to spill onto the streets and replenish scarce supplies, some church representatives said.

Pope Urges Israeli, Palestinian Leaders to End Holy Land Hostilities
Catholic News Service (21 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end hostilities and build peace.

No Electricity, Water: Caritas Official to Launch Appeal for Gaza
Catholic News Service (21 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — The head of Caritas in Jerusalem said he would launch an international appeal to help with the Gaza Strip and would not wait until the end of Israeli-Hamas hostilities, as he had done in the past.

Stop Targeting Civilians, Archbishop Tells Israelis, Gaza Fighters
Catholic News Service (23 July 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council urged the Israeli military and fighters in the Gaza Strip to stop targeting civilian areas.

Jerusalem Patriarch: Don’t Punish All Gaza Palestinians Because of Hamas
Catholic News Service (23 July 2014)
WASHINGTON (CNS) — It is impossible for Israeli military to target Hamas missiles without hitting civilians in the Gaza Strip, said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem.

Holy Land Tour Operators Scramble to Help Pilgrims After Flight Ban
Catholic News Service (23 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — With most international airlines canceling their flights into Israel’s Ben Gurion airport after several Hamas missiles were launched toward the area on 22 July, Anton Mousallam has only three words on his mind: cancellation, cancellation, cancellation.

Holy Land Priests on Both Sides Try to Help Parishioners Confront War
Catholic News Service (24 July 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Two priests on either side of the Gaza border are trying to help their small communities confront the realities of war.

For Some Middle East Catholics, Church Is Anchor of Hope Amid Violence
Catholic News Service (28 July 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — As the death toll in Gaza surpasses 1,000, violent demonstrations in the West Bank leave dead and wounded, and an entire Christian community is exiled from the Iraqi city of Mosul by Islamic extremists, Christians in the Holy Land find themselves facing harsh realities.

Desperation of People in Gaza Spurs Violence, Say Cardinal, Patriarch
Catholic News Service (1 August 2014)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The president of Caritas Internationalis suggested Israeli and Hamas leaders pick up a pair of binoculars so they could see that “most of your victims are innocent people.”

CRS Official: Gaza a ‘Complete Catastrophe’ on ‘Brink of Collapse’
Catholic News Service (4 August 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — A top Catholic charity official described Gaza as a “complete catastrophe” after nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas.

Lebanon’s Maronite Bishops Condemn Islamist Incursions
Catholic News Service (8 August 2014)
BEIRUT (CNS) — Lebanon’s Maronite Catholic bishops underscored their “full confidence” in the country’s military and security forces as the Lebanese army battled Islamist militants’ incursion into Lebanon near the border with Syria.

Caritas Official: Emotional Toll in Gaza Worse than Physical Damage
Catholic News Service (11 August 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — The head Caritas in Jerusalem expressed grave concern for the Gaza Strip’s residents with fighting once again erupting between Israel and Hamas.

Catholic Aid Official: Agencies Try to “Pick Up the Pieces” in Gaza
Catholic News Service (17 August 2014)
AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) — A senior Catholic aid official said humanitarian agencies are “trying to pick up the pieces” of Gaza’s badly destroyed infrastructure, desperately hoping that the declared truce between Israel and the militant Hamas will hold.

Catholic Aid Groups Hope Latest Israeli-Hamas Cease-Fire Holds
Catholic News Service (27 August 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Catholic aid organizations are hopeful that the most recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will hold as they begin to assess the needs in Gaza after 50 days of war.

Aid Official Says Gazans Cautious, Worry That Nothing Has Changed
Catholic News Service (5 September 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Gazans are frustrated that, despite all the sacrifice and loss of life, nothing has changed for them, except perhaps having more fishing rights, said a Catholic aid official.

East Jerusalem Tour Heightens U.S. Bishops’ Awareness of Complexities
Catholic News Service (12 September 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — U.S. bishops visiting the Holy Land said an on-the-ground tour and briefing about the situation in East Jerusalem heightened their awareness of the settlement issue in the divided city.

U.S. Bishops Plan to Be Stronger Advocates for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
Catholic News Service (22 September 2014)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — American bishops were returning to their dioceses after a nine-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land with a stronger resolve to advocate for peace and to urge the U.S. government to take a leadership role in ushering Israelis and Palestinians toward peace, a member of the delegation said.

Gaza War Dashed Hopes for Palestinian Tourism Windfall
Catholic News Service (10 December 2014)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNS) — Palestinian hopes for a tourism windfall following Pope Francis’ spring pilgrimage did not pan out because the Gaza war broke out shortly after his visit, Palestinian Tourism Minister Rula Ma’ay’a told journalists.

Aid Official: Gazans Have Lost Hope
Catholic News Service (6 March 2015)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Six months after the end of the most recent war in Gaza, there is still a “grave humanitarian crisis” in the narrow strip wedged between the Egyptian and Israeli borders, where more than 1.8 million Palestinians live closed off to the world because of an international embargo.

Priest Says Situation in Gaza Continues to Deteriorate
Catholic News Service (17 July 2015)
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (CNS) — One year after a war with Israel that turned daily life here into a nightmare, a Catholic priest in Gaza said the situation in this besieged Palestinian territory has deteriorated even further.

Unrest Flares Again in West Bank, Jerusalem
Catholic News Service (5 October 2015)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Unrest flared in early October throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, which has experienced tensions during September, largely over the status of the contested holy site of the Temple Mount or Haram al Sharif.

Haram al Sharif, Temple Mount: Holy Site at Center of Increased Tensions
Catholic News Service (15 October 2015)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — It has been painful to watch as violence has taken over Jerusalem once again, especially along the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus suffered in order to dissuade the use of violence, said Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali, Latin Patriarchate chancellor.

Praying and Hoping for Peace in Jerusalem’s Old City
Catholic News Service (19 October 2015)
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Following a week that included Palestinians stabbing Israelis, bloody clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces, and despair rising on both sides, the parishioners of St. Saviour Church in the Old City of Jerusalem came to Mass on 19 October to pray, mainly for peace.

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Picture of the Day: Praying in Gaza
Israeli reserve soldiers pray at a staging area near the border with northern Gaza on 20 November. (photo: CNS/Nir Elias, Reuters)

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Picture of the Day: Children of the Occupation
Palestinian children look out from the window of their home in Dheisheh refugee camp. (photo: Steve Sabella)

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In Canada, Working to Bridge the Divide
On 15 April, CNEWA Canada joined with the office of Senator Anne C. Cools to organize a special event in Ottawa highlighting the situation of Christian communities in the Holy Land.

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Dividing the Valley
Rev. Elias Mallon discusses the Israeli separation wall's encroachment into the Cremisan Valley.

“Keep Gaza and Its People in Your Prayers”
Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA's regional director for Palestine and Israel, paid a visit to Gaza from 22-24 April. An excerpt of his report follows.

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Picture of the Day: Prayer and the Holy Land
A pilgrim prays in the Church of Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. (photo: Paul Souders)

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Picture of the Day: Divided Land
The Rev. Firas Aridah was a pastor in the village of Aboud for 6 years. Over 1,600 acres of Aboud’s land were confiscated by the Israeli occupation for construction of settlements and separation wall. (photo: Rich Wiles)

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The Courage to Tell the Truth
Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal spoke about the situation in the Holy Land while visiting the CNEWA New York office.

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Speaking Truth to Power
On 8 July 2014, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land issued a statement decrying the escalating violence following the murder of four teens.

Page One: Headlines for 7/15/14
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Sisters Prepare to Depart Gaza
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Page One: Headlines for 7/18/14
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“Pray for an End to This Madness”
Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA's regional director for Palestine and Israel, shares details of recent developments in Gaza.

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The “Powder Keg” of the Middle East
This week in Our Sunday Visitor, CNEWA’s Communications Director Michael J.L. La Civita offers some thoughts on the explosive crisis of the Middle East.

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Picture of the Day: Hope Amid Violence
Catholic nuns light candles spelling “peace” in Arabic in front of the altar during Mass in the Church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem, West Bank, on 27 July. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)

Is the Middle East Unraveling?
Michael J.L. La Civita discusses the wave of violence that seems to be overwhelming the Middle East.

Gaza’s Beacon of Hope
Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA's regional director for Palestine and Israel, shares details of the situation in Gaza.

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Update From Gaza
Judith Sudilovsky shares an update on the status of Gaza and how CNEWA is helping the people of this beleaguered city.

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Working Together to Aid Gaza
Sami El-Yousef, CNEWA’s regional director for Palestine and Israel, shares details of the situation in Gaza.

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The Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza
The National Catholic Register this week has some very good insight into the ongoing crisis in Gaza

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In Gaza, “This Is a Window of Opportunity”
Catholic aid organizations — including CNEWA — are hoping the latest cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will hold.

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Breaking in Gaza:
‘Grave Humanitarian Crisis’ Continues

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An Update on the Situation in Jerusalem
I returned home on 3 October after a one-week visit to New York to attend CNEWA’s annual planning meeting .

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Picture of the Day: Tensions in Jerusalem
With tensions still high in the Old City following weeks of violence, the Rev. Firas Aridah completed his work at the Latin Patriarchate early so he could leave Jerusalem for his West Bank parish before any possible violence began...

Picture of the Day: Sustained by Faith
Palestinian Christians Najwa and George Saadeh pray in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. (photo: Nadim Asfour)

Picture of the Day: Strength From Faith
Palestinian Christians Najwa and George Saadeh pray in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. (photo: Nadim Asfour)