Muslims, Jews and Christians across the globe designated Tuesday as an international day of fasting to encourage peace between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, as the two areas continue to exchange rocket fire in the wake of the death of three kidnapped Israeli teens.
The fasting movement, coined as #hungryforpeace on Twitter, encourages both sides of the Middle East conflict to resolve their differences and end the ongoing bloodshed.
Tuesday falls as a fasting day for both Muslims and Jews, as it is the 17th of the month of Tammuz on the Hebrew calendar, as well as the month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast during daylight hours each day. more >>
Islamist militant group Hamas has rejected an Egyptian-brokered proposal for a cease-fire with Israel, calling it a "joke" and launched rockets into Israel, as the war over Gaza continued Tuesday.
"We did not receive this declared paper from the Egyptians ... which means it's an initiative for the media. It's not a political initiative," said Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan, calling the proposal a "joke," according to CNN.
"It's not really an initiative. It's not really an idea, what they are trying to do is to corner the Palestinians and to help the Israelis more." more >>
Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil called on his country's Muslim and Christian's populations to come together, while blaming Israel for stoking tensions between Arabs who practiced the different faiths.
Bassil, who serves a country with a robust Christian population, — Christians are estimated around 35 percent of the total population of 4.3 million people — said that the nation should conceive of its diversity as an asset.
"We should be aware as Lebanese, that our source of strength lies in our unity as Muslims and Christians," Bassil said on Sunday as reported by The Daily Star, stressing "the importance and essentiality of Lebanese unity." more >>
Western Christians fail to fully grasp the suffering of Palestinians, including its Christian population, Bethlehem Bible College professor and Palestinian Christian told The Christian Post on Monday.
"The Christians in the west, most of them, they don't know the realities here. They don't know who is occupying who, who is oppressing who, who is confiscating whose land, who is building walls to try and separate people from one another," Alex Awad, who also pastors East Jerusalem Church, told The Christian Post.
"In the United States and much of Europe people — they just don't understand the realities on the ground," he added. more >>
The Israeli-Hamas military conflict continued to escalate over the week, with Israeli airstrikes in response to rocket attacks driving Palestinians from their homes in Gaza.
Close to 17,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in northern Gaza and reached United Nations shelters, with officials sharing that at least 172 people have been killed and more than 1,250 wounded since last week.
Israel's military has been exchanging fire with Islamic militant group Hamas, with close to 1,000 rockets being fired from Gaza by Monday morning. BBC News reported that the mass evacuation in Gaza followed Israel's warning that it is prepared to launch a ground invasion. more >>
Rockets fired from Lebanon have hit Israel territory near the northern town of Metula, near the border. Meanwhile, the death toll from the conflict with Gaza has reached over 100 on Friday.
According to CNN, no damage or injuries have been reported from the Lebanon rockets, and it is unclear who exactly launched them. An Israel Defense Forces spokesman said that Israel believes the Lebanese government to be responsible for the attack.
Meanwhile, airstrikes exchanged by Israeli forces and militant group Hamas have left at least 100 dead in Gaza since the long-standing conflict turned violent again two weeks ago. more >>