A Christian leader in the Holy Land has said that a "two state solution" for Israel and Palestine is the only way to achieve long-term peace in the region as the truce held out a second week; but another warned that reconciliation between the two societies remains a far away goal.
"It would be wonderful to see two states developed as this is the only way to keep lasting peace and for Islamic radicalism to be contained," Munir S. Kakish, chairman council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email on Thursday. "A two state solution is good for both Israel and Palestine."
The long-term ceasefire agreed on by Israel and Hamas last week was brokered by Egypt and made in the hopes of stopping the fighting, which began in July and killed over 2,200 people, mostly civilians. more >>
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revealed on Wednesday that he has reached a ceasefire agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, though a spokesman for Putin noted that no such ceasefire is possible since Russia maintains that it is not involved in the war in Ukraine.
"The conversation resulted in an agreement on ceasefire regime in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine region). The parties reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace," a statement from the Ukraine government said.
Israel and militant group Hamas have agreed to a long-term ceasefire in the Gaza Strip aimed at ending the conflict that has killed over 2,200 people. Israel has agreed to ease its economic blockade of Gaza, while Hamas has said it will stop firing rockets into Israeli territory.
The Associated Press reported that the truce was holding as of Wednesday. The open-ended deal was brokered by Egypt, with hopes it will stop the fighting, which besides the heavy death toll, has led to widespread destruction in Gaza.
"Israel has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a complete and unlimited-in-time ceasefire. Israel accepted already the Egyptian proposal on July 15. Israel has always supported an unconditional, open-ended ceasefire," an Israeli government official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. more >>
James Foley, the American photojournalist beheaded by ISIS militants was reportedly trying to forge dialogue between Christians and Muslims, his former fellow hostage said.
"It's completely ironic," French journalist Nicolas Henin told the Irish Times after learning of Foley's beheading. "James got hold of a Koran in English and he was fascinated by it. There were times he read it without interruption. After being taken hostage twice, he said his career as a reporter was obviously jinxed."
However, Foley was not deterred and continued working for the Global Post and the Agence France-Presse. He was taken hostage in 2012 while on assignment in Syria, which was under attack from ISIS at the time. During his imprisonment, Foley was convicted and felt the need to try and do his part to encourage dialogue between Christians and Muslims. more >>
A truce in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas collapsed Tuesday after the Palestinian militant group fired rockets at Israel, which retaliated by launching air strikes at terrorist targets.
Israel has reportedly recalled its negotiators from long-term peace talks in Cairo, France 24 reported. Both sides are accusing each other for the collapse of the truce, which had allowed humanitarian groups to provide some relief to the civilians trapped in the crossfire.
Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of a joint-Palestinian delegation in Cairo, said that "the ceasefire has collapsed and Israel is responsible." more >>
While protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, fill the streets in the name of justice, local churches are filling pews in order to restore peace to a city divided by the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager.
Church leaders are working behind the scenes to create a dialogue between government officials and community members, clean up looted store fronts and restore a sense of calm so that the real change can begin.
F. Willis Johnson Jr., senior pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, told The Christian Post that he considers the protests and street rallies to be "their expression of their emotion, of their frustration of their hurt, of their sense of insecurity or even in some cases, fear of continuation of not only this event but what seems to be a reoccurring practice or a set of instances where people feel vulnerable or susceptible to being victims and victimized." more >>