Displaying items by tag: conflict
Israel will begin to implement four-hour ’humanitarian pauses’ in northern Gaza each day to allow people to flee, the White House has said. A spokesman called the move a step in the right direction, and said the USA wanted the pauses to continue as long as they are needed. Israel has committed to announcing each window at least three hours in advance. The US still does not support a ceasefire in Gaza at this time, but aims to see at least 150 humanitarian trucks entering the strip each day. Fierce fighting has continued, and the health ministry in Gaza (controlled by Hamas) says that the number of Palestinians killed is now more than 10,000. Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad has released a video of two hostages, and offered to release them if certain conditions were met. The hostages criticised Benjamin Netanyahu; it was not certain if they were reading from a script. A humanitarian conference in Paris today called for a total ceasefire: see
An airstrike in Ethiopia’s Amhara region has killed 26 people, as detailed widespread killings of civilians broke out this month. Fano militiamen had flooded towns and cities in Amhara, briefly taking over several of them; they attacked police stations and garrisons, freed prisoners and intermittently took control of Lalibela airport. Early in August federal forces managed to push them out. Ethnic tensions and land conflicts lie behind Amhara’s clashes. This fighting is Ethiopia’s biggest security crisis since the civil war in neighbouring Tigray ended in November 2022, but there is now a state of emergency. Many had hoped Ethiopia was inching back towards stability and away from a conflict that caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s reputation as a Nobel-prizewinning peacemaker is being shredded. He had hoped to reach deals with the IMF and the World Bank to rescue Ethiopia’s war-wrecked economy.
People escaping the fighting in Khartoum are creating a crisis in South Sudan. Roughly 50,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to South Sudan. However, putting people from different tribal groups in the same refugee camp creates fear and anxiety, with tensions boiling over. In many of these regions, there is much hostility. Even in the city of Malakal 13 people were killed in a conflict in the United Nations refugee camp. Orphanages are being evacuated and children displaced. For refugee children, going from fighting in their home country to fighting in the refugee camp is frightening. Child Evangelism Fellowship has been serving refugee camps in South Sudan since 2016. Its staff now want to reach this new wave of Sudanese refugees and children pouring in from the northern border. It has a burden to bring relief, comfort, and the gospel. However, some of South Sudan’s northern cities are difficult and even dangerous to get into.
America’s largest Protestant denomination is grappling with gender issues and politics. The recent Southern Baptist Convention expelled its largest and most prominent church, Saddleback Church in California, because it installed a woman pastor. Saddleback still operates as a church, and its members will not be overtly impacted. But Southern Baptist leadership’s ejection of such a high-profile member church underlines their struggles with gender, sexuality, abuse, politics and race, including criticisms from an energetic right flank that the group is drifting to the 'woke’ left. The convention also removed other churches over women holding certain leadership roles, and a Florida church over a sex abuse case. Saddleback was founded by pastor Rick Warren, who built a national profile thanks to the then innovative posture as ‘seeker-sensitive,’ attuned to those unfamiliar with, or wary of, traditional church experiences. He also wrote the best-selling book ‘The Purpose-Driven Life’.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is an Iran-supported terror organisation. On 27 January Israeli special forces conducted an unusually complex early morning raid in Jenin, eliminating a PIJ cell suspected of planning major attacks. The Associated Press reported nine dead including four Hamas terrorists and three from PIJ. The PIJ responded by issuing threats of escalation. We can pray for an increase in Israel's success against terrorism as accurate and actionable intelligence is passed on to Israel’s security forces. Hours after the raid seven people were killed outside a synagogue, and two Israelis were shot in occupied East Jerusalem. The worst violence in years across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories continues. On 29 January Pope Francis said, ‘It is with great pain that I hear news coming from the Holy Land.’ He called on Israel and Palestinians to engage in dialogue, pursue peace and halt the spiral of death.
Ukraine reported over 90,000 Russian troops and tanks being moved to the border, inside Ukraine’s territory, causing western powers concerns. On 7 December Vladimir Putin spoke via a video link with Joe Biden, who called for a de-escalation of tensions. Hours before the video talks, Washington was not planning to make a military response, but to use tough economic sanctions. However, by 8 December it said it was preparing strong economic and ‘other measures’ over fears of a Russian invasion. Mr. Biden and leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy agreed to use ‘all the tools at their disposal’. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration was preparing specific robust responses in the weeks ahead ‘if they were required’. Moscow denies it has plans to attack. See
The worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in seven years intensified this week, as Israeli airstrikes began targeting Hamas offices in Gaza City and militants in Gaza fired rockets at the metropolis of Tel Aviv, the southern city of Ashkelon and Israel’s main airport.
In Gaza, at least 67 Palestinians, including 15 children, had been killed by Tuesday night, and 203 others were wounded, according to health officials. In Israel, five people were killed in strikes on Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Lod, and at least 100 were wounded, according to medical officials.
Away from the military conflict, a wave of civil unrest spread across Arab neighbourhoods as Palestinian citizens of Israel expressed fury at the killings in Gaza and longstanding complaints of discrimination inside Israel itself.
Towns with mixed Jewish and Arab populations have been struck by some of the worst communal violence that Israel has seen in years. Live footage was broadcast of far-right Israelis dragging a man they thought was an Arab from his car and beating him until he lay on the ground motionless and bloodied. Footage of the attack in Bat Yam, a Tel Aviv suburb, was broadcast live on TV. Those in the crowd justified the attack by saying the man was an Arab who had tried to ram the far-right nationalists, but the footage showed a motorist trying to avoid the demonstration.
At the same time, Arab protesters also took to the streets, triggering confrontations with Jews. They burnt cars and assaulted Jewish residents of mixed cities, according to police.
This all comes at a time when cities with mixed populations have been positive examples of co-existence but are now being destabilised by a small but destructive minority. As trust is damaged and moderate voices increasingly lost the fear is that violence will only continue to escalate.
The mayor of Lod, a city with both Jewish and Arab residents, warned that “civil war” was breaking out after Arab mourners clashed with police. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called on both Jews and Arabs to cease attacks on each other: “It doesn’t matter to me that your blood is boiling. You can’t take the law in your hands,” he said.
The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.
The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount. Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.
Palestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in mid-April.
It was further fuelled by the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers and Israel's annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, known as Jerusalem Day.
The UN have stepped in amid concerns that the region is heading towards a full-scale war. The UN envoy Tor Wennesland said leaders on all sides “have to take the responsibility of de-escalation” after a day of ferocious confrontations and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, promising to intensify attacks on Gaza. “The cost of war in Gaza is devastating and is being paid by ordinary people,” said Wennesland. “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full-scale war,” he warned.
Read more insight into the situation surrounding Israel from Well Versed World.
Pray for peace and that the moderate voices calling for it will be heard above the explosions and gunfire.
Pray for the victims and their families that they may be comforted in their loss.
Pray for the political leaders in the region, that they will show wisdom in seeking an end to the violence and not seek political gain out of the situation.
Pray for all those living in fear that they may know the peace of God in these difficult times.
Pray for restoration of communities being torn apart by civil unrest and communal violence.
European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) is deeply concerned about the increase in tension between Ukraine and Russia over the Donbass region. Fear of invasion, a desire for respect, territorial justice, patriotism plus military presence and diplomatic pressure have created a volatile situation. Since 2014 thousands have died and half a million have claimed asylum abroad. Those remaining in Donbass are in a kind of no-man’s land. Faith minorities, including evangelical communities, are unable to register, and no faith activities are allowed. The Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian National Orthodox Church are in a constant fight for superiority. Will the people’s suffering worsen with the resumption of full scale war? EEA is calling Europe to pray for comfort and healing for the victims of the conflict, and for the restoration of safety and human rights to the people of Ukraine. May wise diplomacy bring about a commitment to peace and stability. For background see
BAKU/YEREVAN -- Deadly fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region has intensified as both sides blame each other for the collapse of a third attempt at a cease-fire.
Azerbaijan and Armenian reported civilian casualties in urban areas on October 28, two days after a U.S.-brokered cease-fire was to go into effect.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said 21 civilians were killed and 70 injured in Smerch multiple-rocket system attacks on the city of Barda, located in central Azerbaijan outside the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Four civilians were reportedly killed in another attack on the city on the previous day.
The Armenian Defense Ministry accused Azerbaijani forces of attacking civilian areas in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the shelling of a hospital and maternity clinic in the enclave’s main city, Stepanakert. The rocket attacks caused damage but inflicted no casualties. One civilian was killed and two others were injured in a rocket attack on the nearby town of Shushi (Susa).
Both sides denied the other's claims that civilians were being targeted.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said urban areas had been hit and that one volunteer from the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society was killed in the shelling. Two other volunteers were injured.
"Alongside thousands of civilians, the ICRC witnessed intense shelling in urban areas on both sides of the front line today, leading to death, destruction, injuries, and desolation," it said in a statement.
"These latest exchanges signal that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict risks spiraling out of control," it warned.
Both sides have claimed the other is targeting civilians during a month of intense clashes that have drawn in world powers seeking to halt the worst fighting the region since a 1994 cease-fire.
More at: https://www.rferl.org/a/armenia-azerbaijan-urged-to-seek-lasting-cease-fire-as-diplomatic-efforts-continue/30916763.html
Pray for the hostilities to cease and for a return to negotiations.
Pray for the safety of civilians living in the disputed regions.
Pray that external interference will be brought to light and that this war does not escalate further.
Please, earnestly pray for the people of these countries, so that God's peace may descend on the borders and reconciliation may be established between the neighboring fighting countries.
Forest fires have ravaged several villages in Luhansk in areas held by Russian-backed separatist forces. Water-bombing planes, the national armed forces and hundreds of firefighters are battling high winds and soaring temperatures that are spreading the fires. The governor of Luhansk region suspects the fires were started by arsonists. He hopes that separatists nearby are not attacked as they tackle the blazes but ‘cannot give any security guarantees’. Luhansk is currently divided between Ukrainian control and the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) amid an ongoing conflict in the east of the country. More than 13,000 people have been killed so far. Also, recent heavy flooding hit nearly 300 towns and villages in the west of the country. Climate change, illegal logging, and deforestation have all been blamed.